The Motor City Wasteland is the most common name for the region encompassing much of southeast Michigan, particularly the pre-War counties of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb. The Motor City Wasteland was the location of major cities such as Detroit, Warren, and Pontiac and home to many pre-War companies such as Chryslus Motors, Sugar Bombs Cereal, and Chuggo Soda.
Before the War, the city of Detroit was known for it's own unique mix of style, luxury, and class. From Chryslus's sleek design of their trademark Corvega, to the smooth jazz produced by Imperial Records, influence of the trendsetters in Detroit can be felt from coast to coast, even 200 years after total atomic annihilation. A hard-working, blue collar city at heart but the people knew how to have fun. Spectacles like the annual American Auto Show and Belle Isle Grand Prix attracted visitors from across the globe. Boblo Island Amusement Park, located on the Detroit River, was the perfect family getaway. And the wealthy travelled the Great Lakes by cruise ship, visiting cities such as Chicago and Cleveland.
However, the area wasn't entirely without strife. Automation was on the rise in many factories, which led to laid-off workers who protested outside Chryslus and RobCo. Tensions were high along the border with newly-annexed Canada as well and a standing military presence was established along the Detroit River, at border crossings, and in Windsor, Ontario. Beyond that, companies with government contacts were able to take control of many Canadian businesses, most notably the Poseidon Hydro One power plant, and a number of military bases and satellite installations were established in southern Ontario, part of Project: Aegis. This led to riots by the local Canadians, which led to martial law in Windsor.
Project: Aegis was a project undertaken by the U.S. military which sought to intercept, deflect, and detonate nukes coming over the Arctic Circle before they reached "real" America. On the day the bombs fell, Project: Aegis stopped three-quarters of the nukes from entering the Detroit area, which saved the city from being totally decimated. Unfortunately for Canada, the nukes were either directed downward onto Canadian soil, or detonated midair, which left much of southern Ontario a highly radioactive wasteland.
Unlike other regions around the U.S., there was no source of FEV, hence no super mutants. This fact combined with the efforts of Project: Aegis allowed humanity to remain the dominant life form in the Motor City Wasteland.
The Mechanics of Detroit (2077-2142)
Shortly after the War, the people of Detroit began to band together and attempted to repair the damage done by the bombs. They built generators and water purifiers, repaired vehicles to reestablish trade, and patrolled the roads to keep the people safe. In time, they became known as "the Mechanics of Detroit", fixing the world one problem at a time.
The Mechanics had many enemies however. For every one person trying to fix the world, there seemed to be ten willing to burn it all down. Upstart raider groups popped up all the time but few could match the technology and firepower of the Mechanics. The most notable exception was the Highwaymen, the Mechanics' biggest rival.
The Great Winter of 2130 was the beginning of the end for the Mechanics. The deep snows caused trade to break down. Many wastelanders living on the outskirts of the city starved or froze to death. Those who survived were desperate and willing to kill their neighbors over a meal. Some even resorted to cannibalism. Over the next couple years, the number of raider groups multiplied while the Mechanics dwindled. Without the trade they came to rely on, the Mechanics couldn't keep their vehicles running. In 2142, the Mechanics made their final stand at the Snap-Off Tools Factory, dying to the last man trying to keep their weapon factory from falling into raider hands.
The Anarchy (2142-2250)
In the Mechanics' absence, the raider groups began to fight one another for dominance of the Motor City Wasteland and a mighty turf war broke out among the gangs of Detroit, one that lasted for a century. The Highwaymen still controlled a number of outposts on the Michigan Super Highway, even though their cars had stopped running years before. Another gang retained control of the Mechanics' old weapon factory. And a gang of cannibals was said to be plaguing outlying farms. It was in this time that Motown was established as a safe haven from the Raider War.
The Rise of the Green Gang (2250-2282)
In the 2240s, the Green Gang was formed by the teenage children of some of Detroit's raiders. A juvenile outfit at first, they soon turned bloodthirsty and ruthlessly eliminated or assimilated their rivals. More importantly, they reestablished trade and brokered a food deal with a group of tribals known as the Hunters. For the first time in years, it was safe to walk the streets of Detroit. And the Green Gang got a cut of everything.
The Arrival of the Midwestern Brotherhood (2282-)
Things changed in 2282 however, when the Midwestern chapter of the Brotherhood arrived in the Motor City Wasteland. They arrived in great numbers, wielding advanced weaponry, clad in power armor, with a large host of robots and super mutants. The group laid claim to Fort Wayne and the factories of Zug Island, both locations in close proximity to the largest settlement in Detroit. The locals had scavenged from both for decades, so they weren't too happy their heavily-armed new neighbors had helped themselves to the sites and were now barring them from entering. Rumor is a scavenging team was sleeping in Zug Island Steel when the Brotherhood showed up to claim the factory. One scavenger awoke to a Knight in power armor standing above him. Startled, he swung a crowbar at the Knight. The Knight swatted him away with a backhand and broke the scavenger's jaw.
The Brotherhood's presence hasn't been all bad for the locals. The Scribes established a clinic for anyone in need of medical care and a school, but few locals are willing to send their kids to it. They've even gone so far as to upgrade the stills in the bar and the labs of the local chem dealers to make their products safer for consumption. Also, the local raider groups have been smart enough to steer clear of any area with a Brotherhood presence. They also recruited from the locals but more than a few only joined on the promise of a hot meal every night.
As the next few years passed, tensions between the Brotherhood and the locals came to a boil. The locals heard tales of Brotherhood patrols defending the outlying farms from raider attacks, only to demand food in exchange for their services. When the farmers refused, they took the food anyway. Shortly after that, Brotherhood patrols started getting attacked more often and their routes were often booby-trapped. Locals in the city and the outlying communities formed a Resistance against the Brotherhood, intent on making them leave, but a few of their most outspoken and/or aggressive members disappeared without a trace.
It wasn't long until everything reached a tipping point. After a failed assassination attempt on the Elder Graham, the Elder of the Midwestern chapter, that resulted in the death of Head Scribe Goodweather, the Brotherhood locked down the city and declared an Inquisition to find the culprits responsible and put an end to the hostilities of the Resistance. The Brotherhood Inquisitors established a prison west of Detroit and locked up anyone they deemed problematic.
In 2287, the Prisoner is a new resident to the prison. After being processed and led to his cell, he meets his new cellmate. A short time later an explosion occurs, leading to a jailbreak. Several prisoners, including the Prisoner and his cellmate, escape from the prison and into the Motor City Wasteland.
There are many factions throughout the Motor City Wasteland. Depending on the actions of the Prisoner, the major and minor factions can end up being allies or enemies.
The Midwestern Brotherhood of Steel: Once a powerful chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel, the loss of the Calculator has left them decimated. They've come to the Motor City Wasteland in hopes of rebuilding the Calculator and reclaiming their former glory.
The Resistance: A group of locals and settlements cobbled together under the common cause of pushing the Brotherhood out of Detroit.
The Brotherhood Inquisitors: A group consisting of Brotherhood loyalists formed to stamp out the Resistance so the Brotherhood can complete their goals unimpeded. Unbeknownst to many, High Inquisitor Hannibal Crane's machinations have led to much of the tension between the Brotherhood and the locals. The main antagonists.
Circle of Steel: A group of Brotherhood of Steel fundamentalists sent by the West Coast Elders to find the Midwestern chapter and determine whether the group is fit to rejoin the Brotherhood on the West Coast. However after witnessing many atrocities caused by the Midwestern chapter, both accidentally and purposely, the Circle has determined they must be eradicated.
Hunters: Familial clans that dwell on the outskirts of Detroit. Like their name suggests, they hunt creatures of the wastes for food and hides to make clothing and shelters. Their main camp is in the ruins of Royal Oak High School, although they have a presence in other areas, such as Belle Isle and the Warrens.
"Heroes of Legend": A secluded and secretive group rumored to be powerful warriors. The group is rarely seen and when they are, they're usually engaged in battle with raiders or dangerous creatures. In truth, they're somewhat nerdy. They spend their days playing Tragic: the Garnering and Grognak and the Ruby Ruins, and they've created warrior personas for themselves. They are quite skilled with technology however and have acquired everything from power armor to advanced weaponry. Both the Brotherhood and Resistance want them for this expertise with tech. Their hangout is the basement of the heavily-fortified Hubris Comics. (Might end up being called The Unstoppables. Anything in quotes is a working name. Suggestions are always appreciated :) )
Army of the Damned: A battalion of military pre-War ghouls who still hold their post at a U.S. Army base in heavily-irradiated Canada. They believe themselves to be damned for failing their mission and cursed to live forever in a radioactive hell. However, they're sitting on the largest collection of weaponry and military hardware in the Motor City Wasteland, which would be a boon to either the Brotherhood or Resistance.
Motown: The largest settlement in the ruins of Detroit not under Brotherhood control, built in the area surrounding Imperial Records. From here, the town's leader Tommy Jupiter broadcasts music and his message of truth, in sharp contrast to the Brotherhood-controlled Galaxy News Detroit.
Green Gang: An organized crime family who operate a club in an old bowling alley in Detroit. Since the Brotherhood's arrival, their power and influence has waned considerably. Unlike other potential Resistance allies, their motivation is more vengeance-driven and bloodthirsty, as are the quests they assign the Prisoner.
Eastern Market Traders: Scavengers, traders, and caravanners established in Eastern Market. Once, they were under the "protection" of the Green Gang. When the Brotherhood arrived, they pushed organized crime out of Eastern Market and vowed to protect the settlement as long as the traders dealt fairly with them and helped supply them. To the traders, there's little difference between the Brotherhood's protection and the Green Gang's and they'd gladly deal with either group. As long as they can conduct business in peace, they're happy.
"Painted Raiders": A gang of apathetic, somewhat nihilistic, chem addicts who spend their days getting high and painting, occasionally robbing locals to pay for their vices. Their home, the Detroit Museum of Art is part-flophouse, part art gallery. The gang used to buy chems exclusively from the Green Gang but have been venturing into making their own, much to the Green Gang's dismay.
Chuggalos: Once a group of "Painted Raiders" sent by Diego to the Chuggo Soda Headquarters in search of raw materials to brew chems. In the plant, they got hooked on the somewhat addictive Chuggo Soda. Afterward, their art became "harsh" and they began painting their faces in the manner of clowns. Diego was forced to kick the group out due to their tendencies toward violence and they've made their home at the bottling plant since.
Hellraiders: Dwelling in the pre-War town of Hell, Michigan, the Hellraiders have declared themselves the meanest, toughest gang around. Their appetite for torture, dismemberment, and murder is unmatched in the Motor City Wasteland. They are led by Face-Eater, and the rest of the gang has similar names that express their deeds. Members proven to show cowardice are given names like Mary or Susan.
Boom-Boom's Gang: A group of raiders who operate the old weapons factory at Snap-Off Tools. The weapons they make end up for sale at Eastern Market's gun shop. The Brotherhood is unaware of the gun shop's criminal element.
Note: Districts are large areas of the map. Each contains multiple locations. Most are cities or neighborhoods of Detroit. Think "Back Bay" and "The Fens" from Fallout 4. Any location not in one of these districts is in the "Motor City Wasteland" district.
Belle Isle: A State Park located on the Detroit River. Once teeming with a variety of wildlife, the flora and fauna have mutated due to radiation in the river and storms coming out of Canada. It was also once home to the yearly Belle Isle Grand Prix, much to the dismay of the island's conservationists. A Coast Guard station on the island was investigating smuggling occurring across the river.
Canada: Formerly southwest Ontario, much of it was decimated in the Great War because of Project: Aegis. An air of radiation lingers here and it gets more dangerous the further one travels into Canada. A number of defunct military installations litter the area and combat robots still make their rounds, showing the U.S. military once had a significant presence here.
Detroit: The largest city in the Motor City Wasteland, once defined by industry. Downtown has a significant human presence, with a number of settlements and faction bases within close proximity to each other.
Northville: A suburb west of Detroit with small-town appeal. Home of Sugar Bombs. A settlement and a number of farms have sprouted up on the outskirts; the wastelanders often scavenge supplies from the town.
Royal Oak: A suburb of Detroit abandoned early and avoided often due to its proximity to the Warrens. Nature has taken back much of the city and it is home to a number of strange creatures, not only originating from the Warrens but also from the Detroit Zoo. Royal Oak is the realm of the Hunters.
The Warrens: The ruins of the pre-War city of Warren, Michigan. A prime target in the Great War due to a number of military installations, it one of the most heavily bombed areas in the Motor City Wasteland. Toppled buildings, radiation, and dangerous creatures make travel difficult in the Warrens. Only the bravest Hunters dare to dwell here.
Zug Island: An industrialized island located at the confluence of the Detroit and Rouge Rivers. Surrounded by a toxic moat of industrial waste. The Brotherhood of Steel have laid claim to Zug Island and guard it from Fort Wayne on the mainland. It is here the Brotherhood is building the Calculator 2.0 and their robot army. The only locals allowed on the island are approved workers.