History of the Rovers and Natural Ones in Steel Horse Crossing: A Shared Existence
Along with the Diesel Jock family of the RPM, Steel Horse has shared a long history with Rovers and Natural Ones. Given the nearby port, the Rovers had long since established a working relationship to use the area for trade and fishing, creating a permanent waypoint for their many travelers. Similarly, the Natural Ones in the surrounding great forests were reticent to leave their homes, instead creating a peace between the less savory Diesel Jocks by demarking lines between the forest and their newly established graveyard for machines. All three lived fairly amicably, with little effort, for a great many years. Each group tended to their business, working together when threats loomed that were larger than the individual.
Early in their relationship, it was clear the Rovers and Natural Ones respected each other. They began to trade at first, looking out for each other’s interests and health as best they could, and grew closer by the years. The Natural Ones learned of the religion that stemmed from the Rovers, and in turn the Rovers took on a great many aspects of the land that the Natural Ones taught them. Their symbiotic relationship created a bond that seemed it would last generations.
When the Ironworks encroached on the territories, the Diesel Jocks welcomed them with open arms. Unfortunately for the other strains, and despite their lukewarm protests, the Ironworks offered a presence none of them could ultimately pass with a better life in tow. The trade opportunities, safety and security that were put on the table appealed to a great many, with the last remnant holdouts still voicing their opinions as the industrial power took their place. The Natural Ones slowly receded into the surrounding forests and away from the promises the Ironworks brought in tow, only pursuing their relationship with the local Rovers and their families as Steel Horse began to expand.
Almost a full generation passed, and the population swelled in the heavily supported town. When the first large scale problems began, it was the Natural Ones that came to the town looking for help. They were being overrun by things they did not, and perhaps could not, comprehend. With the relationship between the Natural Ones and the town all but non-existent, the settlement wasn’t quick to jump into action at their request. It was the Rovers that stood steadfast, and took up arms without question to help their neighbors. Further, the Rovers had made strong ties with those newer members of the Steel Horse community. When Rover elders understood how much of a potential problem could be realized, they brought the request to the town themselves, looking for support where previously there was none.
Steel Horse was not prepared for such an event, and as a prosperous business town, military might was only a cursory thought. As the town began to experience loss and battle alongside the two combined strains, the Ironworks was alerted to send more help. The response was swift, but lighter than hoped for. The Ironworks sent in supplies and machinery, arming the surrounding settlements and preparing those of the community for a fight. Both Rovers and Natural Ones were joined by other able bodies, and armed with new implements of destruction. Coordinating with the town, the Natural Ones led a sweeping assault on the threats around their home, while the Rovers joined both the warfare as well as logistics for supplies and proper intelligence relays for the naval support waiting nearby.
In all, the effort was successful, but took its toll on everyone involved. The Rover community dwindled despite their valiant efforts, and to ensure their long term survival, they have recently put out a call to all clans to join them in sharing the local bounty. Only a few clans have started returning home, but the call of a port town and plentiful resources is sure to bolster their numbers in time.
The Natural Ones, following the fighting, were struck by a schism created by the warfare itself. Some insisted that local animals had started becoming machines, and that the area was no longer fit for their kind. Still others gave accounts of giant avian creatures, black as night with blood for eyes, taking away their tribe members. The small contingent left that refused to accept such superstition whole stock stayed close to town, and some even began to integrate into the Steel Horse community despite their long standing self-reliance.