Friday, September 9, 2011

Berk Locations - Redwood

The carpenter just ordered a shipment of pine, but all the houses and furniture are built of oak.
Yet another image from Wikimedia Commons.
Ents have a reputation for being mellow and friendly, so when people hear that there is a city of Ents in the wasteland east of Berk, they assume that the city is an easy target for Gibsons, wasteland monsters, Vegan Cannibals, and the other dangers of the wasteland. When people learn that the town has a quaint Wild West vibe to it, they further assume that the town is delightfully old-fashioned. This is true, if you consider a Winchester delightful.

Redwood first sprang into existence shortly after the Second Event, when the Ents first appeared. From the start, it looked like it had always been there, and the Ents who lived there called it home as though they had never known any other. The Ents were happy to keep to their own affairs, going about their business and living their lives away from the constant struggle for lost technology that goes on in Berk.

The citizens of Redwood are of the mindset that if nobody bothers them, they don't bother anyone else. The people of Redwood are almost all Ents, with some tofu families who have adopted the outlook and mannerisms of the Ents. Redwood is nearly self-sufficient, thanks to several ranches and farms run by the big Ents families in the plains around Redwood. These farms are among the main suppliers of food to Berk, and in return they trade for the few things they cannot make in Redwood, like replacement parts for weapons and machines.

This is a somewhat one-sided arrangement, as Redwood provides more than it receives. In return, if any gang of raiders decides to make a concerted effort at destroying the town, or if there is a drought and the Ent farms have trouble producing while hungry predators come sniffing around, Berk lends a hand to defend Redwood until the threat has passed.

Locations in Redwood

The Sweet Leaf Hotel and Saloon is the largest building in Redwood, and the only one where non-Ents are welcome. As a result, it tends to attract some of the less savory people who pass through Redwood. Merchant caravans who sell to the wasteland settlements stop for supplies at Redwood, and hired guards will spend some of their advance money on gambling and drinking in the Saloon.

While most of the buildings in Redwood are built of wood, the Sheriff's Office and Jail is made of thick stone. The sheriff and deputies spend time there when not walking the streets of town or riding out to check on the farms and ranches. Anyone in Redwood who makes trouble ends up in the other part of the building. Redwood justice is simple: people are kept in the jail until the sheriff feels they have learned their lesson. If someone is going to need long-term incarceration, the sheriff either sends the perpetrator to the care of the Librarians of Berk and their allies, or the sheriff sends the criminal on quicker trip, straight down until the rope snaps taut.

The Redwood Bank is the only other stone building in Redwood, and it is the most secure bank outside the Berk area. As a result, most wasteland settlers who have something worth protecting keep it in the Redwood Bank. The Ent bankers look all business with their starched white shirts, black vests, and pince-nez glasses. The bank is the only thing in Redwood that makes the town worth the notice of raider gangs, though it's been decades since anyone has gotten into the bank without leaving on a board.

The stores of Redwood include a Oakman's General Store, Maplebranch Brothers Dry Goods, Golor's Farming Supply Store (run by the Golor tofu family), Ironwood Blacksmith, and a Sequoia and Saplings Carpentry. All of the products on sale are simple and well-made. The shopkeepers can be reluctant to sell to outsiders, as money has little value either in Berk or in Redwood, and outsiders have little that a Redwood Ent would want.

Redwood Posses

Even those Berk citizens who have never been to Redwood know of the town thanks to the posses that sometimes ride out. One of Redwood's best defenses against raiders is to make sure that anyone who harms or steals from a citizen of Redwood does not live to do so again. As a result, an armed party of Ents will assemble and ride out under the leadership of the sherrif and/or some deputies.

If the offending party was the member of a raider gang, the posse offers the gang a simple choice: hand over the guilty, or be wiped out entirely. Even heavily armed Gibson gangs will consider such an offer. Turning over one person can be a good deal when you consider how much ammunition a firefight against Ents can cost you.

If trail the posse is following leads into Berk, the posse will recruit Berk citizens to help them track their quarry. Russian Werewolves are a popular choice due to their exceptional sense of smell, as are tofu people, who get along well with the Ents and have a good sense of where outsiders can be found.

If you ever find yourself in Redwood, be prepared for these words of hospitality from the sheriff: "I hope you're just passing through, stranger. I've got my eye on you."

1 comment:

  1. "The carpenter just ordered a shipment of pine, but all the houses and furniture are built of oak." Your best picture caption yet.--

    Although the idea of Ent dancing girls at the saloon is kind of terrifying, this sounds like a great setting. I can just about smell the wood alcohol. My one suggestion would be that the town sounds a bit generically Western, and I'd like a little more flavor based in the setting and tied to the fact that it's run by Ents.