Town of Defiance
The town of Defiance has a rich history, interesting quirks and a diverse population struggling to live together peacefully. Below are some tidbits about the town that you might find in the 2046 Almanac:
Defiance has a population of roughly 6000 people. Of that, about 40% are Votans – mainly Castithan, though there are a healthy dose of Indogenes, Sensoth, and Liberata. There are very few Irathients in Defiance, as most of them left town en masse almost eight years ago. The reason why is something the locals don’t like to discuss.
Defiance is governed by a town council led by an elected mayor. Defiance has its own set of rules, but it respects the laws of each individual race. The one overriding law in Defiance is that you must surrender your weapons when you enter… though all this rule has done is foster a brisk trade in illegal firearms.
Defiance is surrounded by a natural “shield wall” of rock that was thrust upward during the terraforming events of 2030. The Bissel Pass is the major point of entry on the west side of town. It’s protected by an alien energy barrier known as a stasis net. Beyond the pass is an untamed region known as the Badlands, where dangerous creatures lurk.
When terraforming ravaged St. Louis in 2030, most of the town was “paved over” in a geological upheaval. Portions of the city remain intact, deep underground – a place known as Old St. Louis. Scavengers have picked the remains clean, and few people go there anymore – not only is the way down dangerous, but the memories are just too painful. .. And the sound of the Mississippi River still running in the darkness is kinda creepy.
The St. Louis Gateway Arch, originally built in 1965, was thrust upward during the terraforming. It’s a miracle that it survived intact, and it’s seen as a symbol of the town’s strength and resiliency. The Arch was badly damaged during the Pale Wars and Arkfall, and it’s currently in the process of being renovated. The observation deck atop the Arch has been converted into an ad-hoc radio station, where news and emergency broadcasts can be made.
The town’s major source of income is the gulanite mine owned by Rafe McCawley. The town trades its raw ore for processed fuel, manufactured goods, and scrip (cold hard cash). This gives the McCawleys an inordinate amount of power over the town. Rafe’s house is located near the mines. He spent a lot of money recreating an old-world California craftsman. It’s the most traditional house in all of Defiance – but hey, Rafe’s a traditional guy.
The NeedWant is the local bar in Defiance. It’s run by a sultry proprietress named Kenya. Residents like to go there for a drink, a game of Ivali (Castithan poker)… or some especially friendly company provided by the many attractive women and men who work there. The central feature of the NeedWant is an enormous alien tree known as a digba. It wasn’t just brought in for show – the entire establishment was designed around it!
The Hollows are the wrong side of the tracks – a neighborhood for poor Votans and humans who live on the fringes of society. The alleys are dotted with shady businesses and shadier characters. A Sensoth nicknamed "Fozzi" runs a well-respected roller garage there. The Hollows are controlled by Datak Tarr, a Castithan gangster with ties to the Votanis Collective.
The town’s garbage dump is a large pit far east of town known as “The Boneyard.” All manner of junk can be found there – old machinery, rollers, farm & mining equipment. Liberata scavengers can often be found pawing through the detritus, looking for salvage to sell in the bazaar. Their presence has become a nuisance.
Edmund Grove is one of the largest farms on the fringes of town. They specialize in old Earth produce like corn and potatoes, though they do grow a few Votan delicacies, which fetch a good price at market. Edmund Grove sits atop a wooded hill overlooking the town. It's a popular spot for lovers to rendezvous...a nice, quiet place far from prying eyes.
The town’s sheriffs are known as Lawkeepers, and work out of an office near the middle of town. It’s a busy job, which is why Lawkeeper Garret Clancy had a shipping container placed on top of the building which he converted into an apartment. Petty criminals and drunks are thrown into the Lawkeeper’s single jail cell. Hardened criminals whose sentences are longer than a day or two are sent off to Camp Reverie, a work camp about a half-day’s journey into the Badlands east of town.