Town History for Steel Horse Crossing
Background Information for Steel Horse Crossing, Ironworks Territory
Steel Horse Crossing is located just off the waters of The Great Lake, northeast of Mill City within the Ironworks territory. Nestled between an Ironworks naval vanguard and Mill City proper, it is both a home for the few that live and work there on a permanent basis, and for the off-duty sailors and privateers that frequent the well-stocked saloon.
Unknown Year - The Beginning
Originally founded by the first Diesel Jock family in the area, The RPM, it was no wonder that Steel Horse Crossing was declared a holy place once The Boneyard was established. Once just rumors, The Great Lake was quickly confirmed to have been the home for a great many Hawgs, both stored locally and long ago shipped across the Lake into the eastern reaches of Wishigan and Motor City. Other larger metal containers were found to have many different types of rides, all useful for transportation or work. The wide variety of parts made the perfect Boneyard for the Diesel Jocks. They were quick to name the town after the Hawg legends, and Steel Horse Crossing was born.
After the Ironworks had seated itself as the great power of the Midwest, the powers that be quickly established a naval base within walking distance of Steel Horse Crossing, ensuring that the nearby waters would be safe to travel. Shortly after, a rail line extended through the local area, ensuring the handiwork of The RPM could make its way to the Ironworks proper. Suddenly the Diesel Jocks were joined by sailors and Salt Wise looking for a port to rest in, and Rovers sought to make trade with visitors and negotiate travel with the ruthless privateers running across the Great Lake to the northern reaches of the world. Bartering with the rail-runners to ship goods down into the Ironworks proper via the railroads became a normal process, and the town found its first legs.
Approximately 30 Years Ago
As the small town began to blossom into a true trade port, it saw others traveling in from Madtown, Mini Soda, and even Canuckistan. With the influx of people, the Iron Works began to take notice of the various resources in the area. They sent in a group of surveyors to take stock of what natural resources the area had to offer to an expanding empire. This resulted in an effort to dig out a mine of iron and silver among other farming, logging and production pushes. During this time the town was at its peak, bringing in enough profit to make many of the residents a tidy little sum.
Unfortunately the mine ran dry just under ten years after it had opened, and was closed without further ado. It was a difficult time for anyone who had put their faith in the mine, and money had to be diverted to keep the community afloat.
20 Years Ago
The Ironworks had already put a great deal of time and money into this community and was not interested in letting it flounder. With recommendations from both the local lighthouse keeper and the naval admiral on site, the Ironworks made Steel Horse Crossing their main trade post to those northern territories outside Iron Works immediate control, inviting more commerce through consistent use of the rail lines and bolstering business in the area with goods and services not easily found that far north.
There was a brief scuffle with a large group of Lascarians who had moved into the mine beneath the town and claimed it as their own, trying to secede from the ‘above ground’ Ironworks. Their intention was to avoid established taxes and laws and live outside the confines of the town, its people, and the Ironworks as a whole. They were both belligerent and aggressive, caring little for those their actions affected. That didn’t last long. The tunnels seemed to harbor their own dangers, and a wave of irradiated animals flooded up from the deep, removing the Lascarian threat as the Ironworks was still negotiating with their leaders. The mines were sealed off and abandoned, and the town decided to forbid any Lascarians from living in Steel Horse due to the danger their tunnels posed to the town. This was evidenced when a small group of traders were found not too far into the mine, partially consumed, with sharp implements that had torn away their flesh. Generally, the experience left the town sullied on tolerance for such tunnel dwellers. Most citizens tended not to ask many questions, as rumors had quickly spread that Lascarians were unable to control their cannibalism and had begun attacking people wantonly for their meals.
10 Years Ago
With Steel Horse crossing becoming a popular place to find the standard fare of the Ironworks without having to pay the exorbitant prices to pass through fortified walls, it began to attract attention from further out than initially expected. Madtown residents - particularly the Red Stars - found it an excellent place to set up their cells as most folks didn’t bother them much, and they were insulated from the harsh reality the Ironworks imposed closer to major establishments. Rovers and caravan drivers made it a point to stop in while passing through. Diesel Jocks flocked from faraway places when looking for new parts, and to spend some quality time in The Boneyard when allowed. Some visitors found themselves settling, finding a viable life and new opportunities.
Leveraging the title of Consul, the Ironworks drew on their network of contacts to find and institute the perfect person to govern the town and their interests therein - a Solestro, adept at governing estates for extended family. With a fair amount of expense, they shuffled the new Consul into place after she was fully apprised of the situation. Consul Zell-Ann quickly adapted, opening an inn for visitors and taking on a motherly role in the community. She handled interfacing with the Ironworks, and freed the community to live a more relaxed life, while keeping a hands off approach to the town as a whole.
5 Years Ago
Whether instigated by regional Natural One scavengers, enacted by the organized machinations of the Reclaimer strike teams of Canuckistan, or maneuvered by The Cheez, a great culling began around the area of Steel Horse. With the situation creating hostility in the region, machinery began to pour into the area for distribution to local farmers and smaller settlements – primarily weapons for their own protection. The Ironworks sent a variety of investigative teams, and Steel Horse conducted their own reconnaissance, which revealed nothing that could be attributed to any of these groups. With both local Rovers and Natural Ones forming the vanguard of the defense, many of both strains were struck down in defense of the town and its local settlements. Some reports returned that zed were responsible for much of the devastation, but the truth of the matter was that the strikes were too surgical for any undead to organize.
18 Months Ago
On and off, the attacks continued for a handful of years until the dwindling Rovers and Natural Ones allied, and developed plans to take the resources available from Steel Horse and eliminate the threat entirely. For a year, they scoured the region, running patrols in circles outward from Steel Horse, purging any threat they found. A number of stories returned with those that slowly trickled back – animals that were part machine, Cheezhead raiders that had evolved to militaristic proportions, massive ravens that would scoop a man up whole, and even one of a zed so large it towered over the tops of the local forest. Whatever the full truth, it created a schism with the local Natural One tribes, and decimated the ranks of the Rovers. Their display of sheer force did bolster the belief that the Ironworks could protect the town, however, and the local population that had begun to trickle away experienced a resurgence.
It is here we find ourselves – Picking up the pieces of a prosperous trade town, ensuring that future generations can live relatively free of oppression, and make their way in the dangerous world around them protected by family and friends.
Who will join the community next?