History for "Immortals"
Our group setting creation will follow a similar process, in which we define local landmarks, people and factions, and plot hooks for our fictional city in the Rocky Mountains.
As with the fantasy realms in the “Vanished Lands” fantasy campaign; “Bay City, Ore,” “Empire City, N.Y.,” “Drake’s Port, New England,” and “Cog/Chrome City” in my “S.J.I.” superhero scenarios; and various worlds in our “Vortex” space opera, I’d like our next city to be distinct and tied to your P.C.s.
- 200 million years ago: Region is at the edge of an inland sea, according to geologists.
- 100 million years ago: Dinosaurs live in the area, leaving numerous fossils.
- Circa 10,000 B.C.E.: Early Native Americans settle in Hogan’s Valley at the end of the last Ice Age. Some megafauna remains not yet identified.
- c. 1,000 B.C.E.: Agrarian Ute tribe displaced by Arapaho, themselves later displaced by an Apache offshoot. Later tales recount heroic deeds, clever shamans, strange monsters, and traitorous warriors.
- c. 1500 to 1600 A.D./C.E.: Spanish missionaries visit the region and eventually build first schools and hospitals. Up to 90% of indigenous peoples are killed by disease. Survivors occasionally trade with Spanish colonists and French trappers at the Great Owl post, in present-day Merton.
- c. 1600 to 1800: Conquistadores led by Juan de la Bruja claim the territory, which is eventually ceded to the young United States of America. Bostonian Josiah Merton surveys Hogan’s Valley, and the town of Mertonville (later shortened to Merton) is named after him.
- c. 1800 to 1850: Ranchers and farmers populate the area, including Irish and German settlers. Native Americans and Mexicans fight and are eventually defeated. Fort Larimer is founded by the U.S. Army Cavalry. The long winters often close the Quinn Canyon, leading to “peculiar insular behaviors,” reports Col. Jacob Garvey.
- c. 1850 to 1860: Gold rush draws people to Merton, which becomes known for its saloons and brothels. “Nowhere is vice more celebrated,” writes Mark Twain. Local university is founded on Great Owl burial ground, leading to later archaeological controversies.
- c. 1860 to 1890: Fort Larimer is enlarged, and Territory of Colorado is organized and becomes a state in 1876. U.S. troops wipe out remaining Indian resistance and move survivors to Coyote Flats Reservation. Mining replaces ranching as the major industry, especially after the arrival of railroads. Chinese laborers found “Little Peking.”
- c. 1890 to 1920: Highview Resort first serves tuberculosis patients fleeing polluted Northeastern cities, including recent immigrants from southern and central Europe. Attempts to restrict Merton vice are hampered by legalized gambling and pervasive government corruption. Vigilantism arises, as does the Ku Klux Klan.
- c. 1920 to 1940: Prohibition and the Great Depression slow population growth, as do declining yields from local mines. Foothills utopian community dies out, but recreational skiiing begins. Automobiles and airplanes enter Hogan’s Valley, as neighboring mountains become protected parkland.
- c. 1940 to 1960: World War II and the Cold War lead to a reopening of Fort Larimer and the construction of Tapping Air Force Base. Aerospace suppliers lead to an influx of workers, including African Americans from the South and Midwest. “Foo fighters,” later called Unidentified Flying Objects, are seen overhead, but U.S. Air Force dismisses any rumors of alien visitors even as it conducts Space Age experiments.
- 1960s, ’70s: Suburbs grow around Merton. While most of the region leans toward libertarianism or socioeconomic conservatism, the growing State University is affected by leftist student protests. New Age dabblers include a mix of artistic dabblers and dangerous occultists.
- 1980s, ’90s: Government contractors and information technology startups lead to renewed prosperity. As Anglo residents move in from remaining farms, Mexican and other Latin American migrants take their place. Illicit drugs contribute to trade in antiquities.
- 2000s: Asian and Middle Eastern arrivals enrich the cultural and culinary scene, as tourism increases. Certain laws are relaxed, even as Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, and Mormons vie for influence. Political polarization worsens, mirroring national trends.
- 2010 to present: Nascent e-commerce, biotech, and robotics megacorps advance cybernetics and bioengieering. Metropolitan Merton reaches 1.2 million population. Young workers start to move back toward the urban center, while droughts affect housing development and the ski industry.
More things (as devised by the players):
- Arts scene: the Mill District includes offbeat — and off-putting — grass-roots movements (Beruk)
- Biotech boom: new industry has led to modernization of the area’s transportation and communications infrastructure (like Boulder, Colo.) and includes new parks (Drew)
- Bomb shelters: unknown to most people, there is a bomb shelter beneath Merton, built in the past decade (Rich)
- Demographics 1: the local Native American population at the Coyote Flats Indian Reservation and elsewhere has recently expanded because of an influx from various tribes being drawn to the area, causing friction with existing Ute people and xenophobes (Bruce)
- Demographics 2: the area is home to small enclaves of ethnic minorities, such as Basques and Romany, particularly in the suburbs of Ikeville and Plata Arroyo (Beruk)
- Illicit trade: reviving its trapping heritage, the area has experienced new commerce in odd animal parts for fetishes/talismans (Beruk)
- Merton Miners: minor-league baseball team, with a record of losing home games and odd things happening on the field, rumored to be jinxed (Brian W.)
- Nightlife: after a slow scene in the early 2000s, an outbreak of mass insomnia has helped clubs and other late-night businesses in the Mill District (Drew)
- Paramilitary sweeps: locals are vaguely aware of periodic troop movements and a series of weak excuses in the paranormally adjacent city (Drew)
- Paranormal Club: at the state university in Telsaburg; members think “magic is cool” and are mostly a nuisance to Immortals and occasionally need saving (Brian S.)
- Religion: socially liberal Roman Catholics (mostly Latino) have been flocking to Merton (Rich)
- Severe weather: Hogan’s Valley is known for sudden thunderstorms and flash floods (Brian)
- TruthCon: annual convention of conspiracy theorists that typically culminates in protests of a cover-up of “Project Blue Book” (files on extraterrestrials dating back to the 1940s and ’70s) at Tapping Air Force Base (Byron)
- Local emergency services: are slow to respond, possibly corrupt (Rich, vetoed by Drew)
- McShane family: descendants of Irish mobsters in San Francisco, suspect “Connor” for the murder of member Rory back during the Gold Rush (Bruce, vetoed by Rich as character-specific)
- Motorcycle gang of wererats (Bruce, vetoed by Byron)