(We're revisiting, the arguably most successful spinoff settlement', 'Brick because it has declined in interest. The root of this is the super kiln OP made which solved a lot of the town's problems. However, as we know from life there are always more problems, so we need to think about the issues facing Brick as it is now with the super kiln. While we're at it, it wouldn't hurt to beef up stuff and give this a fresh coat of paint all around, so to speak.
Also Hench gets final approval on our revisions, this is his baby.)
A picture of Bricks mud holes
Location: North West Lousiana, right off the Texas Border. Four days walking time from Buckettown. Population: ~100 (45 humans, 4 ghouls, ~50 refugees) Current Leader: Mayor Foley
The town of Brick is named after towns main viable commodity, bricks. Since most people there couldn’t think of a catcher name, that one stuck. (The other name was “Shithole” but, it was bad for tourism.) Brick is a few days west of Buckettown, and the two have off and on trading. As a relatively peaceful, and economically prosperous, border settlement the town of Brick has grown significantly over the past few months. While the Mayor and his partner in crime Big Z hold sway for the moment, everyone eyes the seat of power hungrily. Its hard not to have dreams of something better when you spend every day in a soggy ditch.
Brick’s defense force is simply some trusted lackeys of Mayor Foley given some above-average weapons and armor. There is only 7 men in charge of the towns defense, but, all of them carry weapons like a double barrel shotguns and 10MM Pistols. They also have some pre-war riot police armor, so shots to the chest from a pistol will stun but most likely not kill. Though given the conditions in town, its highly likely that any cut would lead to a nasty infection if trench foot doesn't claim them first.
The town center contains five buildings. The first is a ‘common-house’. There, almost every original resident in the town lives there (excluding the Mayor-for-life and the towns only storekeeper). Inside the common house, you can usually find the various workers lounging around while there mud-bricks are baking in the sun, while they wait until morning or the evening to work. As the population of the town has grown recently conditions inside the common house have deteriorated. Workers sleep in hammocks and improvised bunk beds to make the most of the space available. Even with these changes most of the new arrivals have to find accommodations elsewhere, likely in the tent city or suburbs.
The second important building is the Mayors house, which is a 5-room house, made after the war, for the mayor, his wife and their daughter. In there, drifters and mercenaries often times accept various jobs from the Mayor. Most require the disciplining of various workers that have stepped to far our of line and requires someone to bring them back in line. Mayor Foley and his right hand man, Ramirez, a hulking shirtless Mexican who carries a .32 revolver and a large Bowie knife, can often be found in Mayor Foley's office inside of Mayor Foley's home. A mercenary looking for work often has to pass Ramirez’s test, which generally Ramirez simply sizes the person up. If Ramirez let the mercenary through the door, Mayor Foley will give the person the job. Mayor Foley's job is mainly some personal favors that pay reasonably well in hides and gear. Most of his jobs are simply just teaching a mud man who has gotten too far out of line a lesson, while if you continue to work for Mayor Foley he will offer jobs that involve….bloodier work. But, if you get on his good side you can expect for him to pass on words to other towns that your good to hire for jobs they can’t be seen doing.
Mayor Foley also gives out contracts for his Brick-making operation. If a Player Character wanted to, he or she could enter in one of these contracts. This is the only way someone could profit from the Mud-making process legally. However, you have to do a short RP on having you make some bricks, or, scooping up some mud etc. If you really wanted to help out, the town is in short supply of brick salesmen. With all of the bricks laying around Brick needs new customers desperately.
Mayor Foley is a largely corrupt, but, benevolent ruler of Brick. Working with Big Z, Foley ensures the safety of the population of the town and takes a quiet slice of the underworld's profits. It's a balancing act that Mayor Foley has been able to work for the past several years since he assumed the office of Mayor. In Foley's mind he's got Big Z wrapped around his finger, though some claim that his sense of power is just the liquor talking. Although many mud-men complain about how Mayor Foley is living like a king while they (often literately) sleep in mud, they also recognize how he treats everybody fairly. Some days when the mayor is good and liquored up, he and Ramirez will be out mending fences and doing handy work around the common house. Afterwards the mayor and his companion go back to his office and "rehearse for a local play." Its an interesting tale given that there hasn't been a play in the area for decades, but the Mayor insists that there soon will be one.
If bisexual mayors aren't your thing, Brick offers Malcom's bar. The bar and the traders shack is exactly what it says on the tin. Run by an aging ghoul named Malcom, the bar and traders shack serves as the primary meeting source for workers besides the common-house. Malcom even has an old, aging pool table that he pulled from the rubble and dragged all the way back to his bar. Malcom doesn’t have much (besides cheap beer) to sell, but, he does sell some various equipment that could double as weapons, and he does sell some basic medical supplies. He also rents some rooms in the back out to folks that don’t want to spend the night outside or in the common house.
Malcom has the distinction of being Brick's first store owner and first ghoul. If you need info or supply, talk to Malcom. He’s a bit of a loud mouth, talking away while making a trade or keeping watch while running his store. At times, you want to shut him up, but, he’s a nice guy and respected by most of the ‘mud men’. The list of supplies he has is below.
[x10] Gardening Shovel (Counts as a baseball bat): 1 Hide
[x2] Brick Armor (Tier 2) - Its literally bricks attached to a vest, its as heavy and protective as you'd imagine: 4 Large Hides
[x3] Jug of Swamper Juice - A switchgrass ethanol mixture, keep away from flames: 1 Large Hide
[x10] Handful of Whacky Tobbacy: 1 Hide (rolling paper included for an extra hide)
The remaining two buildings in town belong to a notorious local figure named Big Z. Big Z is one of many of Corrotos men that fled Buckettown after Gerade took office. At first, he was a small-time mobster with a flair for the dramatic. Now, in Brick, he is the undisputed king of criminal activities within the area. Running the local Brothel, Big Z is often found in the back room with a small group of cronies; all armed with a variety of weapons ranging from a Sawed-off shotgun to a a simple switchblade. Most of them simply wear business suits, making them a threat if your not quick on the draw or have a grenade.
Big Z has his fingers in a variety of pies, ranging from Prostitution, Loan sharking, Extortion, drugs and hired killings outside of Brick. Prostitution is his biggest money earner, selling out whores to lonely mudmen and merchants. Big Z also lends hides to mudmen, keeping them trapped in a cycle of debt. Big Z practically works with impunity in the town, with the various vices he's pushing is often sold openly on the streets with Mayor Foley's guards standing nearby.
Recently Big Z has been expanding more into drugs. He operates out of both Brick and Big Brown. For awhile he had a small time operation in Bucket town but Ali sent mercs to kill his dealers and chemists in the area. That was a temporary setback that Big Z wont forget. Big Z has a bigger selection of chems than you might find in a small town such as Bucket town. His specialty is Jet, and he seems to have an unending supply of fresh inhalers.
Big Z maintains a working relationship with Mayor Foley, often times sending his boys out to do things for the Mayor that the Mayor can’t be seen doing. In turn, the Mayor gives Big Z the authority to run his Brothel with impunity and protects him with outside influence (Namely bounties from the Texas Rangers that want him hauled up to the Penn). At first this relationship worked well but over time the mayor has begun to expand his own power and use Big Z's outlaw status as blackmail. While they both need each other to maintain the increasingly precarious power structure, the mayor has begun to see Big Z as a means rather than an ally. In order to keep this relationship with Mayor Foley running, Big Z send's Mayor Foley the occasional large kick-back sent every two weeks. While Big Z hopes the mayor returns to his senses he isn't a helpless victim, Big Z has contingency plans in place for the day Foley goes a step too far. For now that is unlikely as a fight between Foley and Big Z would likely give one of the other groups a clear opening to assume power. Even the mayor isn't drunk enough to ignore that fact.
If the PC’s are looking for a job, you should go to the Brothel. There, the bartender will let you into the back door. There, Big Z will give you a minor job; often times just a simple beatdown on a mudmen that didn't pay his dues and subbing in for a guard at the local poker game. The pay is mainly in hides, with the occasional equipment piece being thrown in.
If lackey work isn't for you, then seek out the Brahmin stables. A long stable made from bricks that was recently built in the town center by Big Z. Some of the lucky out of work kiln operators found themselves working for Big Z in the stables. They work in an enclosed section of the building that's off limits to the general public. No one is sure what the stables are for as the Brahmin aren't being slaughtered or milked. Old kiln workers just scoop up their dung and take it in a wheelbarrow back into the enclosed area. Some locals report glimpsing big metal vats inside the secret area, but these rumors are quickly dismissed by the Mayor. Whatever Big Z is making gets shipped out once a week in a metal crate covered in chemical warnings. Most folks steer clear of these deliverymen as they are usually hopped up on Jet.
[b]The Mud Pits[/b]
One of the key areas outside of the town center is the mud pits, the source of most of Brick's economic power. For most of the town's history, laborers was forced to pay for old small wood kilns to finish their bricks or rely on the ancient method of letting the bricks sun-dry, before they were able to sell them to neighboring towns. However, due to the events of a certain Suvarna Vishnavi, the town now has a trench kiln that is built behind the Mayors house. Workers now bring their unfinished bricks to the kiln, and, in return for meeting their quota; they are paid a salary. This has greatly increased the amount of bricks being produced, instead of producing small batches workers cure bricks by the hundreds. This increase in conductivity is welcomed by the diggers but it has put the old kiln operators out of business.
The entire worker population is simply men and women who work on a contract-based system. Every 10 bricks they bring in to the kiln means they earn 1 small hide. With the trench kiln, violence between the workers has increased as everyone wants to be the one with the most mud to produce hundreds of Bricks. Without reliable trading partners though, most finished Bricks sit in a recently constructed storehouse by the trench kiln. This has put a strain on Brick's burgeoning economy and squeezed out many of the independent work crews. "Super-gangs" creating quasi-companys by taking over smaller gangs are the dominant force in the mudfields.
Each one of these brick companies control a healthy reserve of mud, which is hotly contested by other compaines. In these businesses individual member profits from meeting their quota are funneled up to the top before being funneled back down. The advantage of this system is that the super gangs can hold on to enough hides to keep their workers paid during the lean months. As of late it seems that Brick has had far more lean months than usual. An outsider could buy-off (or force someone) to give them there share of the mudding operation, if a company is weak or if a freelancer could be found. If someone was to do that, then said outsider would generally be considered one “of the workers”. Plus, they could make a tidy profit if they are a hard worker are able to fend off the corporations.
Of course, you do have to deal with the fact that if it’s hot enough, then you could get severe burns on your legs if you working with leg protection. (Most rubber working boots will protect you, and there for sale at Malcoms store). That, and the fact that you could drown in the mud if your not careful. Some mud will actually suck you into the depths, but, if you feel a slight tug on your leg, then you better get out soon. And by soon, get out as fast as you can. The locals say that there's a monster in each of the mud holes, but, others say its just suction.
Recently a couple of the companies have even established office areas in Brick with book keepers and skeleton staff. There are more companies than these two, but at the moment these are the dominant business interests in the pits. The first of these was the W.G. Avery Co. named after the founder. Avery and his accountant can be found in a small square six foot by six foot, one room building by their mud pits. The building is modest, containing two desks and a firepit for the winter. The room has one window opening with no glass, it lets in some light but lanterns supply the rest of the needed illumination. Even with these additions the room is dark and hot from the humidity and lanterns.
The second company to set up an office is the Greene Frasier Co., which was formed from a merger of the Greene and Frasier brick companies. The staff operates out of a medium sized tent beside their mud claims. Inside the tent an accountant and foreman share an old wooden desk, the only major piece of furniture in the building. The tent flaps are usually open to keep the tent cool and well lit. If a player was looking to work with either of these companies they could get hired to make bricks or find new customers to sell the stockpiled finished bricks to. If a player worked hard as a laborer or salesman they could find themselves promoted to higher responsibilities.
As recognition for the hardships faced by the mudmen, the Mayor recently errected a monument to the spirit of the workers in the pits. Its an elabortate display made from the extra bricks laying around. The town can't trade them so the Mayor began buying them to make various public works projects. The manument was the first of these projects. Its best described as a square gazeebo made from caly bricks where workers can rest on dry ground and get out of the sun. Inside the building is a series of crude carved bricks that talk about how great the workers are and how much of a friend the mayor is to the people in the mud fields.
[i]Johnny Dollar (J.D)[/i]
Johnny Dollar is a lot like the other mud men. He works on a contract based system, generally does what Mayor Foley wants and likes it when outsiders don’t pry too deep into his business. However, what is unknown to Mayor Foley and most of the other Mud men that work in Brick is the fact that Johnny Dollar (Better known as ‘J.D’ in Brick) was once a famed explosives expert. Johnny Dollar ran with the infamous Yale Brothers Gang for a bit before he soloed it for a while. After the Texas Rangers caught up with him, Johnny escaped from The Pen . Wandering his way to Brick, Johnny signed a contract with Mayor Foley like the rest of the Mud men. As until now, Johnny has been working there and lying low. However, somebody with a high enough perception (7 or above) can notice Johnny Dollar from the crowd of other mud men, or, with a high enough Charisma (6 or above) or Strength (7 or above), you can ‘convince’ a mud men to give the location of Johnny Dollar up. After you find out about Johnny Dollar, you can attempt to recruit him as a companion (-75 Karma or less, or Charisma 7 or more. Either way, you need to hire him with 4 Big Hides or the equivalent value.), bring him in for his bounty, or, receive explosive training from him if you give him 3 Big Hides.
[b]Tent City and the Suburbs[/b]
As the war between the Lobbers and Swampers continues with little end in sight, many civilians have fled the swamps to the east and have settled in the relative safety of Brick. The swamper refugees have assebled a modest tent city by the old abandoned kiln works. While this area is technically part of the mud fields it is a distinct area for its population and cultural differences. The swampers serve as cheap labor for the mud companies, undercutting many of the original workers. This has led to siginificant resentment from established brick residents that feel they depress wages. The swampers mostly hang out amongst themselves as there is a significant language barrier between them and the rest of the community. One needs to be rather gifted (Int or Chr 7+) or significantly ungifted (Int < 3) to understand these individuals.
While most of the building materials consist of old canvas and woven reeds, some enterprising swampers have begun building with bricks. In the shanty community a person might glimpse a tent with a solid brick wall or two for support. Most of these bricks have been paid for with the dope the swampers grow in their personal gardens. The swampers are skilled enough to eak out a few crops to subsist on and a bit of recreational herbs for sale in the muddy soil. What crops and small animals the swampers catch are usually collected in a big stew that cooks prepare in the old kilns. For a small hide a person can get enough food to last them for the day, its a bland but hearty brown soup made from any food that isn't nailed down.
The suburbs are a different animal from the tent city altogether. The suburbs were a crazy idea Mayor Foley came up with to find a temporary use for all the surplus bricks. With the common house over crowded a touch of urban planning seemed like a capital idea. Mayor Foley partnered with one of the oldest Brick families, the O'Boyles, to oversee construction of a new section of rented residential housing. The suburbs were a marginal success before John Coleman convinced the O'Boyles, to switch sides. Only a block and a half of the homes were ever built before Coleman swooped in. Looking to establish permanent roots John Coleman and his experienced gang members have taken over the area in all but name. While Coleman has not declared open hostilities towards Mayor Foley, the relationship is tense to say the least.Construction of the suburbs has slowed from Coleman's lack of funds and gang conflicts. Big Z's lackeys and Coleman's goons pick fights with each other frequently in back alley brawls and quiet executions. To keep the support of his men and fill his coffers Coleman has begun expanding into his own criminal enterprises. Coleman's first big foray into organized criminal businesses was his own bar and brothel. The brothel is located in a modified suburban home. The residence is currently being expanded into a multistory structure that will happen to be a few feet larger than Big Z's hangout, not that it matters or anything. Of course non of the gang members working on the brothel have construction experience so progress is going exactly as well as you'd imagine, but they are getting there. While the brothel is still being worked on the business is up and running. Coleman may dream of being a big shot but so far he has the distinction of having the cheap bordelo. To compensate the bar serves extra strong drinks so patrons wont mind the selection of women available. The prostitutes working in the suburbs are the scraps that Big Z wouldn't hire, and a few of them are effeminate dudes that Coleman hopes drunker customers wont notice. The sparsely furnished building is ran by one of Coleman's lieutenants Toyle O'Boyle, a gangly platinum blonde man with flowing brittle hair that looks a bit corpse like. Still for one small hide a go, its not like anyone has any room to complain.
[x10] Spool of Duct Tape: 1 Hide
[x10] Pack of handrolled cigarettes (Somethings inside them, it might be tobacco?): 1 Hide
[x10] Sturdy Wooden sticks: 1 Hide
[x5] Rusty Wire Cable: 1 Hide
[x7] Empty Sincerely Sweet Tea bottle: 1 small hide
[x3] Grain cake: 1 small hide
[x4] Charged Battery: 1 Large Hide
[x2] Homemade Shotgun (Tier 1): 3 Hides
[x4] Box of 12 guage shotgun shells (reloaded): 1 Hide
[x1] Throwing Knife (Tier 2): 2 Large Hides
[x5] Box of phosphorous matches: 1 Hide
John Colemen is the leader of the Bucket-town and Unity refugees that are a newer group in Brick that arrived after the fallout of the Bucket town revolution a couple years ago. As a former Bucket-town guard, he is skilled with firearms and close-quarters combat. Coleman Carries a 10MM pistol around wherever he goes, often tucked plainly in his pants so everybody can see. As the gang leader, he supervises the Refugees from Buckettown and Unity in there brick-making dutiess and works towards better conditions and living standards for his crew.However, he can be considered something akin to a local gang-leader. Unlike Big Z or Mayor Foley, who rule because they have people to attack those that don't follow them, Colemen has followers simply because he had already shown up with a group of them. Colemen is seen as a hero amongst the Buckettown and Unity refugees, while most of the other mud-men regard him nothing more as a gang boss with an idealistic nature. Both Mayor Foley and Big Z hate Colemen, with Mayor Foley giving Big Z his express support to harass Colemen whatever way he can. Colemen to his credit has shown the tenacity of a radroach and has managed to establish himself dispite intense pressure to leave.
Most of Colemen's jobs mainly involve stopping one of Big Z's thugs harassing a local mudmen that follows Colemen, or helping to organize the mudmen under his rule. However, the more Colemen trusts you, the more likely he's going to ask you to do something that may seem a little different from his public appearance, to say the least. ((More to come later))