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The Paladins

Page history last edited by Michael 5 years, 8 months ago

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Origin

 

Pre-War

 

     While hundreds or thousands of random individuals ended up in the Trinity Shelter, the most notable persons came from two sources:  a California National Guard engineer unit, and from academic staff and students at Humboldt State University, in Arcata.

     The military units were as follows:

 

    • 579th Engineer Battalion

      • 579th Headquarters Support Company (Santa Rosa):  about 30 M998 Humvees, couple dozen big trucks (including some M809 five-ton trucks), dozen or so cranes and other construction stuff, M728 CEV on display

      • 579th Forward Support Company (Santa Rosa):  shelter, food, utilities, and a couple dozen trucks

      • 132nd Engineer Company (Mount Shasta and Eureka):   multi-role bridge building; lots of trucks, construction vehicles, a couple dozen M998 Humvees or M151 Mutts

      • 120th Engineer Detachment (Lakeport, on Clear Lake): concrete finishing; two big flatbed trailer trucks, truck with lowbed trailer for carrying equipment, one other truck, plus a couple of M998 Humvees or M151 "mutts"

    • Detachment 1, 270th MP Company (Placerville):  the armory is about the size of a large dentists' office, no vehicles

 

     On October 17, 1989, the 579th mobilized in response to the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The first mission was the construction of a parking lot for the Bay Bridge commuter ferry and the second was to assist in debris clearing and removal in the Santa Cruz area. They had just returned from those tasks and had not demobilized when World War III took place. By the time they ended their travels at the Trinity Shelter, about 800 soldiers (from various units) and 800 civilians (many of them family members from near the armories) were with them.

     About 800 persons from Humboldt State University were brought to the Trinity Shelter; about 50 of these were academics, 100 were family members, and only 400 of the students were under 25 years old. The most common academic skills were in botany and biology, which helped keep the Shelters fed during the Long Winter. The large number of HSU staff and students may explain why a pretty large amount of marijuana was, and still is, grown by the Foundation.

     A couple of hundred civilians, mostly from the Weaverville area, also became part of the Trinity Shelter.

 

Post-War

 

     Weaverville and the Trinity River Division provided supplies, power and shelter for the refugees. During the Long Winter, water was plentiful, thus power was plentiful; food was grown in miles of tunnels under electric lights. In 1990, the Shelter housed 3000 persons. The inhabitants spent about 40 years either in the Shelter, or within 20 or thirty miles of the Shelter, until after the Long Winter. Some major floods beginning in 2018 caused some damage to the dams, roads, etc. During this period, the surviving vehicles were mostly converted to gas-generator power.

     By 2030, the Foundation (as they now called themselves) had mostly moved out of the Shelter (largely due to the dangers from fire and poor air circulation), and numbered about 2500 persons. They spent the next seventy or so years strengthening their defenses, securing resources, and improving their industrial base. As the Long Summer began (about 2040) their control of a good water source gave them some leverage in the area; the Trinity Shelter once again carried water towards the Sacramento River.

     In 2101, the Foundation controlled about 10,000 square kilometers of the Central Valley, much of it irrigated; General McLaughlin had just become the overall leader. While investigating the forests of the Coast Range for resources, an ancient buried structure was detected -- a Morrow Project depot! Gaining entrance to the depot was difficult, but ultimately rewarding, for it contained a trove of useful technology. Since then, the Order of Prophecy has been busily finding new applications for Project technology. More notably, members of the Order of Enlightenment above sergeant rank are using Project weapons, and wearing Project resistweave coveralls.

     Within ten years after finding the Depot, the Foundation began to expand, and came to agreements with the Cartel and other traders to provide security for trade caravans as far east as the Big Rocks (Rocky Mountains).

     Recruitment began for the legions in 2124, but this led to tensions among the descendants of the original Foundation members. Racial divisions, disagreements about the future direction of the Foundation, etc. led to the Schism.

 

The Schism

 

     In 2129 (about eleven years ago), General McLaughlin died at the age of 90. His successor, General Sax, vowed to continue the policies of preserving knowledge for the good of all mankind; but a large faction among the Order of Enlightenment felt this was wrong.

    Meanwhile, am ambitious paladin of the Foundation’s Inner Circle, General Todoshi, wished to assume command and take the Foundation in new directions. His belief was that the Foundation was too open-minded in its vision, too eager to give away the secrets their people had fought so hard to acquire over the decades. Under McLaughlin, and now Sax, the Foundation was slowly dying, and for what? To one-day release everything they had gained to the unworthy pups of the world?

     Todoshi led a powerful faction within the Order of Enlightenment, with nearly two-thirds of that Order behind him. He demanded a vote, and while the Council of Elders refused, General Sax also requested the vote, in the interest of democracy.

     The actual vote went heavily against Todoshi -- the Order of Prophecy was almost entirely opposed to his views. It is unknown whether Todoshi planned a coup, but an attempt was immediately made, within the chambers of the Council of Elders. Sax was slain by Todoshi, but many members of the Order of Prophecy rushed to defend the Council, mortally wounding Todoshi and driving off his adherents.

 

Flight and the New Citadel

 

     The usurpers fled, taking many of the fusion-powered Morrow vehicles with them. They were led by Paladin-Commander Ming (now General Ming), and numbered about 1500 warriors at that time. Several hundred died during the long escape, and more have perished fighting the savage raiders and townsfolk of the desert since then.

     The exiles traveled to Arid City (formerly Dallas/Fort Worth), where there was almost immediately a further split, which resulted in the expulsion of the  Revenants.

     There are only 200 of Todoshi's followers remaining now among the Paladins; all now bear the title Paladin, or Paladin Captain, except for Ming. A few members of the Order of Prophecy accompanied them -- those who had similar beliefs to Todoshi, or who had personality conflicts with McLaughlin or Sax, but also a few whose research and inventions were considered cruel or outrageous by McLaughlin, Sax, and the Council of Elders.

     Since their departure from California, the Paladins have become an uncompromising military force, destroying technology that they cannot take. They have built a slave nation around Arid City over the course of a decade, and a small army of Citizen-Soldiers recruited from among the slaves and from raider clans.

 

Population

 

     About 5,000 persons are under their control:  3000 slaves, 1000 Citizen-Soldiers (organized as three battalions plus a few other units), 1000 Citizens, and 200 Paladins.

     Many of the slaves were formerly the Faithful, drug-addled slaves of the Savant Empire.

 

Territory and Locations

 

     The Paladins control an area of roughly 10,000 square kilometers in and near Arid City.

     They are on neutral terms with the Clean Water Clans (at the Waterbeds). The Paladins are aware that the Savants use biochemical agents, and the two organizations have a wary peace; some trade takes place. The former Savant Citadel within Arid City is unsafe to enter, being riddled with booby traps and drones from REDACTED.

     Paladins and Revenants do not get along, and firefights usually occur when they meet.

 

Organization

 

     The Paladins have an abbreviated version of the Foundation's social structure.

 

  • thralls:  enslaved workers, servants and farmhands

  • Citizen-Soldiers:  promoted from slave status, though a few are recruited directly

  • Citizens:  very lucky or skilled Citizen-Solders (only a hundred or so of those so far), or dependents of Paladins

  • Paladins:  Only those who followed General Ming from California, or their descendants, can be Paladins. Most are warriors, but a couple dozen were scientists and technicians, members of the Order of Prophecy who sided with Todoshi.

 

     Insignia on all uniforms of Citizen-Soldiers, Citizens and Paladins are crossed cavalry sabers. Cheap equipment, or branded thralls, get a simple X.

     Back in California, there's a significant Paladin underground in the Foundation's Order of Enlightenment. Most of their support consists of passing information to the Paladins (via Cartel truckers, usually), and stealing small parts needed by the Paladins for repairs. Members of this Underground number less than 200 people. Some covertly carry an emblem -- old US Army cavalry collar badges -- to identify themselves. 

 

Equipment and Resources

 

Ordnance

 

     Citizen-Soldiers use a mix of Foundation equipment, items purchased from the Cartel, and Savant items. Paladins use TRW Low Maintenance Rifles, other Morrow equipment, and some REDACTED gear purchased from the Savants.

     The Paladins removed the fusion reactors from the two XR-311 vehicles they brought from California. One reactor was bartered to the Savants for equipment and support; the other keeps the Paladins' headquarters in Arid City running.

 

Vehicles

 

     Paladin vehicles are painted the same light-tan color as Foundation vehicles, but with a black crossed-sabers symbol on them. Except for the Morrow Project vehicles, they all run on gasogen power.

 

  • 10 M988 Humvees, plus another dozen unserviceable being used for parts. When armed, they carry M39 machineguns (M1919 Brownings, converted to 7.62mm NATO caliber and using the M13 metallic linked belt)

  • 20 or so M35 (deuce-and-a-half), and given impromptu armor as "gun trucks". They carry a mix of M39 and .50 cal M2HB machineguns, mostly.

  • 10 or so M809 (five-ton) military trucks (with ring mounts on their cabs), plus 20 or so heavy-duty "civilian" trucks

  • 10 or so military tractor-trailer rigs

  • stuff from the Morrow depot:

    • two XR-311 (unserviceable, due to reactors being removed)

    • two Commando Scout (one is General Ming's personal vehicle, the other is nick-named "White Lightning")

    • V-150 APC (nick-name "The Box")

    • V-150 20mm (nick-name "The Beast")

 

 

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