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Task Group Michigan – Campaign Notes #4: Slavers

January 22, 2016 Leave a comment

The lower Michigan peninsula (like many areas) has a problem with Slavers.  However, they do not identify themselves as “slavers” and will claim to be Agents of the Michigan Emergency Prisoner Workfare System, or MEPWS.

History of the Michigan Emergency Prisoner Workfare System

The MEPWS dates back to the beginning of Maxwell’s Militia.  When the Militia seized power, it had to make decisions about the fate of prisoners held in Michigan’s jails.  Many (mostly old, sick and non-white) were killed, but some inmates were incorporated into a “Prisoner Workfare” system where they were given the choice of working or starving.

The system was always corrupt (especially with the female prisoners) but – in general – the prisoners were a useful asset.  They were used on farms, road repair and in the more dangerous salvage operations.  Also, the Militia found that some prisoners had useful skills such as mechanics and welders.  The MEPWS was so useful to the Militia that it “became necessary” to keep prisoners for life.  Propaganda stated that the Prisoners were incapable of life “outside” and needed to be kept under supervision.   In other words, there would be no chance of parole, or even release.  Children born to female prisoners were given the status of “inmate by birth”.

The MEPWS operated for decades and partially survived the collapse of Maxwell’s Militia.  It now operates out of pre-war Prison facilities in Ionia and Jackson.  Naturally, it is on very good terms with the Steel Crusaders.

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THE GREAT SALTMARSH OF LOUISIANA

August 3, 2014 4 comments

or, “why the Kentucky Free State does NOT have access to the sea”

 

REAL- WORLD BACKGROUND:

The Mississippi River has changed course many times and – for several decades – has been likely to swing to the west (following the course of the Atchafalaya River which is a stteper and shorter distance to the Gulf of Mexico). If it did so, the river would no longer flow past Baton Rouge and New Orleans .  Instead of discharging through the Bird’s Foot Delta into deep Gulf of Mexico water (a distance of 315 miles) the longest river in North America would flow into the shallows of Atchafalaya Bay (only 142 miles away).

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has been given the task of preventing this economic disaster.  The Corps built the Old River Control Structure, a billion-dollar marvel of engineering.  It is a  series of dams built on a quiet, unpopulated stretch of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, a few miles east of the tiny town of Simmesport.

GAME BACKGROUND

The Old River Control Structure suffered catastrophic failure in the first Spring after Death Day.  This was the final blow to all attempts to rebuild.

Colossal amounts of water  moved down the Atchafalaya River system , creating ten-storey-deep scour holes that migrated along the riverbed, undermining bridge pilings. The Interstate 10 and the U.S. Highway 190 bridges collapsed.

The  gas and oil pipelines built beneath the bed of the River  ruptured  and spilled what remained of their contents . Floodwaters  isolated and then destroyed Houma, Raceland, and Thibodaux. Morgan City was drowned and then buried  by silt as floodwaters receded. Rotting bodies were trapped in buildings,  snagged in tree branches and beached on high ground when water levels dropped.

At the Old River Control Structure, the Mississippi River’s bed is below sea level.  The reduced flow in the Mississippi River downstream from the structure was overcome by the pressure of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico. Seawater rapidly extended upstream from the Gulf,  contaminating water supplies needed for drinking and industry, first in Port Sulphur and then in New Orleans itself.

The Mississippi River channel just south of the Old River Control Structure silted in, cutting off barge traffic and isolating what remained of  New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

The outlet of the Atchafalaya River (which allows ship traffic to move in and out of Morgan City) silted in.

 

Next entry will describe some of the group’s who live in the Marsh

 

 

Categories: Chrome, World Background

Brother Casimir and the Illinois Railway Museum: a diplomatic problem

April 29, 2013 2 comments

inquisitor

Brother Casimir is a young and enthusiastic Inquisitor (perhaps over-enthusiastic).  He’s not a particularly cruel man and takes no real pleasure in torture – but he is proud of his ability to “break and remake” sinners.  He is ambitious and ruthless.

Casimir’s enthusiasm has been rewarded by his superiors.  He has been placed in charge of an Inquisitor project to salvage a pre-collapse rail museum: the Illinois railway Museum (IRM).   This is something of a mixed blessing. Casimir has a great opportunity but he has some major problems.

The various exhibits of the IRM are in poor condition, but enough remains to provide an immensely useful resource for (re)building a rail network.   Therefore, several groups have an interest in the site; Twin Port University,   Maxwell’s Militia,the NAU, and the Frozen Chosen would all like to own it – but don’t want to fight each other.    Fortunately, a diplomatic solution has been found: the Inquisitors are clearing the site and (for a reasonable fee) allow “scholars” to study the technology and sometimes buy examples of specific machines.

Obviously, the IRM is a major asset for the Inquisitors and they take great care to keep it safe.   They  have become quite skilled at dealing with Razers and in “converting” them to their faith.

The Museum is now a church of the Inquisitors and home to a group of 40 fanatical worshippers.   They are equipped with the best weaponry that the Church can provide (shotguns, bolt-action rifles, and a small supply of antique Thompson Machine Guns).

Dogs in the KFS Military

July 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Background

Despite the Kentucky Free State’s attempts to portray itself as a high-tech nation, it cannot rely entirely on machinery.  It makes extensive use of animals (specifically dogs) for military purposes . Some carry messages, some help in patrolling, some do guard duty, some are trained locate injured personnel , and others are draft animals – tasked with  pulling or carrying supplies.

Dogs Selected

Several types of dogs are used.   Not all dogs selected have to be large or strong – but all must be capable of being trained.   The KFS has been fairly successful in establishing a number of breeds  and the current “Military Dog” is a medium-to-large animal with good natural camouflage and an outstandingly loyal temperament.  However, it is not the only type of dog used and some “Terrier” dogs are considered well-suited for “guard” and “first aid” roles.

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Categories: Chrome, KFS, World Background

Leetown: a Mocambo on the KFS border

April 26, 2012 Leave a comment

For decades, the KFS Army hasn’t fought anything but “starving river pirates” and slave rebellions.  These pirates and escaped slaves live in Mocambos.  A typical Mocambo is Leetown

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22nd Century Power Station: a Boat Mill

March 4, 2012 1 comment

For centuries, the waterwheel was civilization’s most important power source.  It was used to grind grain, extract vegetable oil, power machinery and even generate electricity.  In the world of the Morrow Project,  this technology will be used again.

One variant of the “undershot” waterwheel is the Boat Mill: a waterwheel mounted between 2 barges and anchored in the river.

A simple and inexpemsive/crude wooden  structure, the Boat Mill has a few advantages over a mill built on the banks of a river

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The Red Stripe Trading Company – introduction

September 11, 2011 2 comments

Many MP Teams see it as their duty to set up communication and trading networks.  Unfortunately, most Encounter Groups are insular and resist contact with outsiders.  To provide contrast, this is a Group that enthusiastically supports the flow of commerce, information, and people across the continent of North America.

NAME: Red Stripe Trading Company
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Anywhere
H & M AVERAGE: 12
NUMBER FOUND: n/a
TECH LEVEL: C
POWER/RESOURCES: Micro-Hydropower is commonly used.  If unavailable, will operate steam or diesel generators
WEAPONS:  Firearms in good repair, including some light automatic weapons.  May sell hunting rifles
SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES:   A network that provides secure locations for ANYONE to trade ANYTHING.  Uses couriers & radio to disseminate commercially important news & information within the network

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