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The Waste Lords

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 5 months ago

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"Knowledge is Power" -- Schoolhouse Rock


     A large warlord army, based in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Apparently they were taken over by some members of the Morrow Project about ten years ago. Their symbol/logo is based on that of the Morrow Project -- the more "important" people wear a Project patch on a red background. Flags, and the insignia of ordinary soldiers, use a more simple red-yellow-black symbol:






     Jacob Krell was scheduled by the Morrow Project to be placed on an Omega Team, due to be woken up only long after the Project was successful.

     The San Luis Valley was mostly owned by the Bureau of Land Management; the 20,000 or so inhabitants were mostly Hispanic-Americans, descended from the old settlers of New Mexico. Ranching and farming (potatoes, lettuce and barley) were the main activities.



     While the San Luis Valley escaped any direct attacks during the War, the Long Winter drove the inhabitants out. By 2060, some people began settling in the basin again. A local raider group grew in size about 2080, and became known as the Wastelords by 2090. Their first raid outside the Valley was in 2095. For forty years the Wastelords raided and ruled their small domain, undisturbed.     

     Krell and the other members of the Omega Team at Depot Delta woke up in 2125, and by 2130 Krell was leading the Wastelords. Their current headquarters are at a Morrow Project base (Depot Epsilon, now known as Shelter City) in the San Luis Valley, in Colorado.


What Outsiders Know

     About the largest and most dangerous raider group, with a respect for tech and education (to a degree). Their founder and leader, Krell, was cast out of his underground vault after being falsely accused of squandering supplies while searching for new resources. He destroyed the previous leadership of the Wastelords about ten years ago, and took over as leader; some of his lieutenants or technical experts were fellow vault-survivors. The Wastelords are now a large motorized army; they have weapons and drugs from the Ancient Time, and now dominate large areas of the Forbidden Lands. Their stronghold is “beyond the Big Rocks”. Their motto:  "Knowledge is Power".


The Reality

     Team R54 has been looking into this community since 2139. The information on this page has been gleaned from conversations with Lukas Skalicky, Dr. Henry Floyd, and from written materials snatched during a raid in 2139.



     About 6,000 people live in the San Luis Valley; about half in the three towns, and half in farms and ranches. The army consists of about 800 people.


Territory and Locations


Roads are black, railways are red; dotted black lines are roads not usually passable by motor vehicles.

The dotted brown line is the continental divide.


     The Wastelords "homeland" is the San Luis Valley. It's about 20,000 square kilometers in area, at about 2,400 meters above sea level. There is a good aquifer deep under the basin floor; the Rio Grande flows through it, also. Currently irrigated, arable land comes to only 500 square kilometers -- about 8 kilometers around Center, Victory City and Home, more or less. Much more of the valley could be farmed, but the available machinery and agricultural workers are pretty much at the limit now.

     Rabbitbrush (which flowers in the summer) and greasewood cover much of the uncultivated land.

     The capital and headquarters is the underground bunker known as Shelter City (formerly Depot Epsilon).


Shelter City


     Near the Great Sand Dunes, at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is Shelter City. The valley spreads west from there, brown and green. Before the entrance to Shelter City is a camp of a few hundred tents and ramshackle shelters; the mountainside itself looks to have been blasted open, and broken bits of reinforced concrete lie in piles or are used in simple defensive walls. Electric lights glare from the entrance; un-muffled engines, the distorted sounds of 1980s music played over bad sound systems, and the chatter of commerce echo out into the desert. During the day, gunfire will be heard from time to time at the training field just outside the walls.


The Crime Lord

     The Valley's crime boss, Tanner, barters in arms and other forbidden goods (hard drugs, women, etc.). He has some weapons for sale, including a few Project items:


  • a dozen zip gun "rifles" (.30 cal more or less)

  • ten zip gun "light rifles" (.22 LR)

  • two sawed-off 12 gauge doubles

  • seven .38 Special revolvers

  • nine generic hunting rifles, various calibers (none in .308"/7.62mm though)

  • eleven beat-up M16 rifles (specific models not easy to tell now), each with one magazine

  • five Colt M1911 pistols

  • six MAC Ingram M10 submachineguns, each with one magazine

  • eight frag grenades

  • three smoke grenades

  • three timer-detonator assemblies (time fuse and blasting cap)

  • four blocks of C4

  • lots of molotov cocktails


     An observer might wonder whether Tanner is operating with the permission, or even at the request of, the Wastelords.



The Camp


     A squalid settlement for the least skilled or trustworthy of the Wastelords' soldiers. They are mostly former captives, taken from their homelands in recent years. Gambling, drinking, fighting, and crime are rife; new recruits are trained to use weapons. A fence of barbed wire, rock and broken concrete surrounds the camp; it's pretty clearly meant to keep folk in and out. Senior guards have tattoos that mark their trusted status. Most of the raiders are of course "scum of the earth".


Alamosa, Victory City, and Center



     The main towns are Home (formerly Alamosa), Victory City (formerly Monte Vista), and Center. Each has a population of about 800 people, with normally two Omega team members as supervisors (one civil, one military), and 20 troops of the better sort. In each town are 40 of the inflatable concrete shelters for shops, power station, command center/radio center, water pumping/purification station, etc. Housing and more spacious buildings (hospital, school, etc.) are in one- or two-story adobe/rammed earth structures; electric utilities (though not much lighting) are common, as is piped water and a proper sewage system. Heavy 0.4 meter diameter water pipes snake off across the fields. The towns have low, thick rammed earth walls, with one or two watchtowers. A simple standard-gauge railway system connects all the towns, and the north, south and east border zones. The main difference between these two towns is the more extensive rail yard and train servicing structures at Home, which run through the middle of the town.




Government, National and Local

     It's a dictatorship. Krell is in charge, the Morrow Project "elites" work for him. The three towns are governed by Supervisors, who are usually Project members - though that is slowly changing. There are officers and sergeants in the army; everyone else, civilians and soldiers, are at the bottom.

     About a hundred or so of the members of the military are trusted enough to operate in the towns or at critical positions (the southern, eastern and northern borders). They're usually in units of no more than 20 men. The other seven hundred or so (the Main Force Battalion) are kept on a tight leash, normally at the camp just outside of Shelter City.

     The Main Force Battalion is divided roughly into seven companies of about a hundred men each. Companies are in turn divided into several platoons.

     The higher-quality troops, in the towns and on the borders, are called Regional Forces; there are seven Regional Force Sections.


Justice, Social Control, Punishment

     The townspeople are judged reasonably competently and consistently in most cases; however, the personality of the local Supervisors has a lot of effect on how "nice" law enforcement is. There is a jail at Shelter City.

     The members of the army live under a much harsher regime.


Political Factions, Dissent

     The "unwilling" Morrow personnel are an obvious -- and closely-watched -- source of unrest. Usually they're kept in Shelter City. The army has to be watched closely for trouble, also.

     For the benefit of the squalid army at Shelter City, an "election" is held every year or so. Krell, as the Wastelord leader, fights some challenger to the death, in hand-to-hand combat. Given that Krell is usually wearing his Resistweave coverall during the fight, and the opponent is medicated into a blurry fog, the outcome has been predictable. If Krell ever lost, Darius Moore would immediately challenge the winner.


Famous/Infamous Persons


     Originally at Depot Delta there were 30 members of the Omega Team, and 20 members of the other Morrow teams. Ten of the "regular" team members, and two of the Omega team members, didn't survive either the cryosleep, the wakeup process, or the coup by Krell. Since 2125, more than half of the 38 people who came down from Hurricane Mesa have died or fled. All of them are between 40 years and 55 years old (except for Moore).

     The following people were all on Omega Team 101, and are now part of the Waste Lords' ruling elite:


    • Jacob Krell. Age 51 years in 2140 AD.


     Krell was born in 1946, to a Polish couple who emigrated to the US after World War Two. He graduated from Piedmont High School in 1963, was an Eagle Scout, and received his B.A. (Economics, minoring in Mathematics and Philosophy) from U.C. Berkeley in 1967. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. His final degree was an MBA from Harvard, earned in 1969.

     He worked for Price-Waterhouse for a year, and then returned to Harvard as an assistant professor in the business school. In 1973 he was recruited by Brown & Root as a management controls specialist, working on planning and financial analysis; he was already tagged for possible Project status from the start of this employment.

     In 1978, as the Project expected to expand rapidly, he was formally approached -- although it soon became clear that Krell had already learned some hints about the Morrow Project. He was placed on the Project's planning team.

     He soon clashed with the Council of Tomorrow regarding Prime Base, which had been under construction since 1968, and was scheduled for completion in 1980. As even the location of Prime Base was unknown to the Council, Krell became concerned that the vast funds and manpower disappearing into the hands of a few Project members were being mis-managed. In addition, the security issues experienced by the US Air Force regarding silo vulnerability led Krell to believe Prime Base was already known to the Soviet Union, and would be destroyed during the War.

     He advocated for the construction of several "back-up" bases, much less ambitious in size than Prime Base, to perform the central command functions required if Prime Base were destroyed. A few of the depots under construction were slightly modified at his insistence to serve as backups, but they didn't have access to communication systems, team wake-up codes, and other vital operational information.

     A minor memorandum which came across Krell's desk in 1981 led him to believe that Prime Base did not in fact exist, and that Project funds for its construction had been spent on something else entirely. He confronted Bruce Morrow about this; the nature of their discussion is not known except to the two of them, but Morrow had Krell immediately placed under arrest by Project security.

     Krell and some other Project members with whom he'd worked closely were removed from their positions, and charged with inefficiency and embezzlement. They were scheduled by the Morrow Project to be placed on an Omega Team, due to be woken up only long after the Project was successful. Krell was placed in cryosleep at Depot Delta in early 1982, within weeks of his "arrest."

    • Ellen Quan. Age 44, second in command of the Wastelords. She had been one of Krell's assistants on the planning staff. Dark hair covers one eye. She had a child eight years ago -- nobody seems to quite know who the father was. The child was killed by one of the Waste Lords' warriors when he was only six; Ellen shot the guilty man (and a couple of his possible accomplices) herself.

    • Darijus Manninen/Darius "Hammer" Moore. He was born in Finland in 1924, served in the Finnish Army during the Winter War, then in the SS (as an officer) on the Eastern Front, later with the U.S. Army during the Korean War and in Southeast Asia, retiring in 1975 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Green Berets. "Moore" is the last name the U.S. government gave him, by the way. He was an early MARS team cadre; a lot of MARS team members will have heard of him. In 1978 his past became too well known for the Project's tastes, and he was placed in cryosleep (not as punishment, per se) and eventually (while still asleep) into the Omega Team. He's now 69 years old, but still the most skilled warrior of the Wastelords, and quite possibly the oldest man on the Earth. He really hates communists. STR 16, CON 20 in 2140. In charge of the military at Shelter City.

    • Timofei "Zap" Zsoldos, a skilled but sociopathic technician and scientist. Was a member of Engineering Team Delta. In charge of tech services at Shelter City.

    • Jacob Anton. Age 42, a rejected MARS team recuit, and veteran of MACV-SOG. Military supervisor at Home.

    • Josh Scanton. Age 54, civil supervisor at Home. He's married to a woman native to the Valley, Maria; they have two children, in addition to caring for the children of Morton Jackson and Trai Tran.

    • Robert Aritza. Age 45, mililtary supervisor at Center

    • Farric Kermode. Age 42, civil supervisor at Center.

    • Toni Pal. Age 48, military supervisor at Victory City. Killed by team R54 on July 22nd, 2139.

    • TJ Garnet. Age 41, civil supervisor at Victory City. He's married to a woman native to the Valley, Helena.


     Members of the Morrow Project from Depot Delta who are kept under close supervision, or in prison:


    • Lukas Skalicky:  educator/prisoner, age about 40 years. An Omega team member. Escaped recently.

    • Heria Threadlight:  educator/prisoner, age about 45 years. An Omega team member. Her relationship with Darijus Moore is ... complicated.

    • Morton Jackson:  age about 50 years, archivist/prisoner. An Omega team member. Married (12 years ago) to Trai Tran.

    • Anthony "Pog" Thenapod:  comm center operator/prisoner. A member of Engineering Team Delta.

    • Henry "Doc" Floyd:  medical doctor/prisoner. A member of the Science team.

    • Peter Tabos:  prisoner. An Omega team "member", but was never a member of the Morrow Project. No doubt the reasons for this are very interesting ...

    • Sigurd "Swede" Ackerman:  pharmacist/prisoner. A member of the Science team.

    • Trai Tran:  nurse/prisoner. A member of the Science team. Married to Morton Jackson since 2127, she has had three children since arriving at the San Luis Valley; they live with Josh Scanton and his (local) wife at the town of Home. The children (ages 12, 9 and 7) are considered useful hostages by Krell.


     Some of the notable non-Project inhabitants of Shelter City include:


    • Hanson, the senior mechanic and smith

    • Larla, Hanson's daughter, a dangerous warrior

    • Thor and Taur, mechanics

    • Lena, the favored consort of Krell

    • Tanner, the crime boss


Relationships with Other Groups

     Over the last ten years or so, the Waste Lords have managed to build a good relationship with their immediate neighbors -- South Park, the Tradelands, and Santa Fe. However, since the spring of 2139 the neighbors have been under pressure from the Waste Lords to "support the war effort"; a few raids have been launched against them to gather equipment and recruits for the San Luis Valley.

     The Waste Lords usually raid and recruit out to the east of the Big Rocks, in the Forbidden Lands, the Burning Lands, and the Far Desert.




Ethnic Groups, Emigration and Emigration


     The "civilian" inhabitants of the San Luis Valley are normal plains and midwest North Americans, with family roots in the valley for at least a couple of generations. Specifically, they are not descendants of the 20th Century inhabitants of the valley.

     The soldiers, however, are mostly born outside the Valley, in the plains east of the Big Rocks.


Social Divisions and Castes

     The civil population and the army at Shelter City have almost nothing to do with each other. In fact, almost none of the soldiers in the Main Force Battalion were born in the San Luis Valley.


Religion, Beliefs and Superstition

     In Center, Home and Victory City the locals are diffuse Protestant Christians. The members of the Main Force Battalion decline any religious affiliation, but have plenty of crude beliefs and barbaric practices of their own.


Morality and Values

     The townspeople and farmers are solid, reliable folk. The adults remember the "old days" with a shudder; Krell and his people are respected as a big step up, and much better than most rulers in the Southwest. Outsiders are seen as dangerous, aggressive barbarians.

     Hard work, "not drawing attention" and supporting your family and town are important. There's a lot of respect for education.

     The soldiers at Shelter City are regarded as immoral and dangerous, and rightly so. The section of troops at each town have a better reputation.


Progress and Failure

     Operating a ranch or farm, raising a family, and "getting an education" are notable goals. Having "a lot of money" isn't very important -- it would draw the attention of barbarians (and Krell's supervisors).


Family, Age, Sexuality and Gender

     Like most communities in the modern world, there's a slight excess of adult men. Effectively all women get married; unmarried adult men (above age 18) move to the dormitories, in town, and work in the shops and as fieldhands.


Education and Language

     The civilians speak Roadtalk; the members of the army use Roadtalk, Komerk and a few other degenerate languages.

     For the last ten years, public education has been available (and in fact mandatory) for the townspeople. Anyone under the age of 18 is literate in Ancient, and able to do arithmetic; only about a quarter of the populace over that age is literate.


Environment and Agriculture

     Barley, potatoes, sugar beets, mangelwurzel, fodder, and other field produce are grown in the valley. Animals raised are horses, sheep and goats. The crops all require lots of weeding and maintenance; crop rotation is mostly on a three-year cycle. Sugar beet production is about 40 tons per hectare.



     Nothing too notable or odd. Barbeque horse, skillet-fried duck, chicken-fried horse steak, coffee cake, asparagus ... About 1,000 hectares of arable land are in sugar beet production, producing about 20,000 tons of beets. The beets have many uses:  the greens are used in salads, and there's roasted beetroot, beet sugar, beet liquor (sort of like rum), etc. It takes 5 kg of sugar beets to produce a liter of ethanol; about 80% of the beet production goes towards this, with an annual output of 4 million liters of ethanol.


Art and Entertainment, Music, Literature, Recreation

     Blah blah ...


Fashion and Appearance

     The civilian population wear mostly bib overalls, big boots, and checked shirts, with straw or canvas hats. Adult women wear bib-overall dresses.


Urban and Rural Areas, Architecture

     The three notable towns (Victory, Home and Center) have a core of 40 or so of the Project's inflatable concrete buildings, mostly for civic services. "Regular" houses look like flat-roofed adobe structures, but are actually rammed earth. There is typically a Commando Ranger and an XR311 at each town; other Project vehicles may be present temporarily.


Equipment and Resources



     The valley mostly trades with the Cartel, the Clean Water Clans, and the Crystaltime Merchants. About 3 million liters of ethanol and methanol is sold, bringing in about $45,000. That's about 125 tanker truckloads, by the way. Other agricultural products are sold for about $15,000 or so; this income, plus the value of things taken in raids, represents the Waste Lords' annual income. Over half of the income goes to support the army; much of it is spent on goods from Styx.


Science, Medicine and Technology

     Krell and his fellow Project members have used the engineering resources from Depot Delta to improve the three main towns around the Valley. Ethanol and methanol distilleries are present at each of the towns.
     The Waste Lords have 33 Mk 1 and 2 Mk 2 fusion generators salvaged from vehicles at Depot Delta and Depot Epsilon (including the two "stationary" generators, one at each depot). One of the Mk 2 reactors, and eight or twelve of the Mk 1s, are installed in railway locomotives. Many of the Mk 1 reactors have appropriately-sized electric motors to match, removed from Morrow vehicles.


Weapons and Military Equipment

     The rank-and-file soldiers of the army (the ones camped near Shelter City) are armed with rifled muskets. Sergeants have sort-of-random 20th Century weapons. Officers have Project gear, including Resistweave coveralls. Project machine guns, 81mm mortars, and 40mm grenade launchers make up the "support weapons" of the Wastelords army.  A few Project vehicles serve mostly as command centers; some have been converted to stationary turrets.

     The more loyal and trusted troops, many of whom were recruited from San Luis, have a mix of Project weapons(mostly Low Maintenance Rifles) and other cartridge weapons.

     Ten years of warfare and reconstruction work have taken their toll on the vehicles from Depot Delta.


current status of Depot Delta vehicles

     This is information as currently known (summer of 2140) to the members of team R54. 


  • Engineering Team Delta:  Overland Train

    • the Overland Train hasn't left Shelter City since it was used to carry Depot Delta's contents there a decade ago.

  • Science Team S-40:  Overland Train, which includes a Mk 2 HAAM suit, and an electric motorcycle

    • the Overland Train hasn't left Shelter City since it arrived there a decade ago

    • as of 2140 the electric motorcycle still exists, but isn't often used; it could use new tires, and the batteries are often removed for other projects   

    • the HAAM suit still exists in 2140, but is used as a power supply. Nobody in the San Luis Valley is qualified to "pilot" it. The 20mm rifle is used as an anti-tank weapon on a wheeled mount, but ammunition supply is low.

  • Recon Team R-111:  four air scouts  

    • as of 2140, only one exists in flyable condition, the other three crashed; two fusion generators and electric motors were salvaged from the wrecks

  • one V-150 APC  

    • no longer in service as of 2140, stripped for parts and spares for the 20mm version, fusion generator and electric motor removed for civil engineering projects

  • one V-150 20mm 

    • as of 2140 it's still in service, but the supply of 20mm ammunition is very low

  • one V-150 recovery and repair vehicle

    • no longer in service as of 2140, fusion generator and electric motor stripped out for civil engineering projects; vehicle stored at Shelter City, could be restored.

  • five XR-311  

    • one still in service as of 2140, using spares and parts from the other four; fusion generators and electric motors stripped from the other four for civil engineering projects

  • two Commando Scout

    • one destroyed in combat, one stolen by R54 and destroyed in 2139

  • four Commando Rangers

    • fusion generators and motors stripped out long ago for civil projects

  • one MW24C scoop loader, converted to fusion power

    • still in use as of 2140, though the tires are falling apart

  • two fusion-powered Case model M4K articulated rough-terrain forklifts 4.4 tons each, top speed 32 kph. Loaded on lowbed trailers originally.

    • the fusion generators and electric motors were stripped out long ago for civil projects, although the vehicles still exist at Shelter City as of 2140.

  • six M818 five-ton semi-tractor trucks, converted to fusion power.

    • one still in service as of 2140, cannibalizing parts and spares from the other five; the fusion generators and electric motors have been removed from the other five


     Depot Epsilon, at the heart of Shelter City, contained Engineering Team Epsilon (in an Overland Train) and Science Team S-50.


current status of Depot Epsilon vehicles

  • Science Team S-50, in a "Science-1" Overland Train

    • this vehicle was largely destroyed when the depot collapsed; the Mk2 and two Mk1 fusion generators and a few other parts have been salvaged by the Waste Lords for civil engineering projects, or to repair other Overland Trains  

    • the HAAM suit has been salvaged, but is being used as a power supply -- there are no qualified Morrow team members to "pilot" it among the Waste Lords

  • Engineering Team Epsilon, in an Overland Train

    • this vehicle was mostly destroyed when the depot collapsed; the Repair Module and some other modules were recovered and repaired by the Waste Lords, along with the fusion generator of the control car

    • a lot of other forklifts, frontloaders, trucks, semi-tractors and other vehicles were destroyed by the collapse of the depot; the Waste Lords have salvaged a dozen Mk 1 fusion generators and some vehicle batteries from the debris.



     Morrow Project PRC-70 radios are used to communicate between the four towns, and the defense lines to the south. A variety of old CB radios and police radios are used for short-range communication, and by the "army". Project members use PRC-68 radios, as well.



     Railway tracks connect the towns, and the four border zones (north, east, south and west). Three old diesel-electric locomotives (an F9A, an EMD GP40, and a GE Dash 8-39B), have been converted to use Morrow Project fusion reactors (either four Mark 1, or one Mark 2) for motive power. There are a couple dozen other locomotives in the yard at Center, not normally in use; some of them may be in working condition, or even converted to work with fusion power. There are a dozen or so old coaches, some fitted with light armor, and nearly a hundred freight cars. Gondola cars with sandbags and canvas covers can be used as improvised armored railcars.

     The F9A locomotive, a coach, and twenty or so freight cars, are normally at Shelter City, ready to move any amount of the army to other points on the rail network. The locomotive has been fitted with crude armor and the turret from a Commando Scout vehicle.

     A fair number of tractors and cargo-hauling vehicles have been converted to run on methanol or ethanol. The ethanol/methanol production plant is in Home, near the railyard.




     Originally there were four Airscouts, but wear and tear, combat damage, etc. has reduced them to one (plus some pieces of another), and none of the remaining "Waste Lords elite" Omega Team members was a qualified pilot. They know they could fly the remaining Airscout, but won't except in an emergency -- the last flight was in 2136. There are none of the 2.75" rockets remaining.




     Essentially none (unless you count amphibious armored cars ... )

Comments (1)

Michael said

at 5:04 pm on Aug 5, 2013

the info on "bad guy" names will come from the stuff looted from Victory City.

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