|The only non-bloodstained ectograph from our visit|
to the North West Rampart last Winter.
The trees were singing right up until the Black Smoke alarm...
The Eight Inner Ramparts enclose an area known as the Baffles that has been walled-up, cordoned-off and barricaded away. Officially, the Ramparts are supposed to be the only means of access to this area. Unofficially, practically anyone who has spent more than a single Winter in this place knows there are several discrete entrances into the Baffles and the Weak Points leading off to the Adjacent Worlds beyond. All of those worlds are dead. They've all been cataloged, documented and written-off by the majority of experts and scholars at the Academy. It's understandable. Practically every Adjacent World that has been discovered in this region tends to lead to a dead, barren place. The Academy was originally founded here in order to study all these dead and abandoned worlds. The Institute for Apocalyptic Studies used to be an academic institution, before it became a congress of cultists.
Steel-reinforced concrete bunkers flank each of the ponderous draw-bridges connecting the Ramparts with the outer perimeter of the Baffles. Pillbox-style mitrailleuse emplacements overlook the mined and wire-strung approaches. The barbed wire is rusted into uselessness where it isn't entangled with Red Weeds. The Third Army under Javret stripped most of the pill-boxes to use the guns in their disastrous assault on Nagrothea. There used to be heavy cannon as well, but most of those were removed. Some of the bigger guns were remounted along the North Face of the main bluff, ostensibly to defend Wermspittle from the hordes and mobs flooding out from the war-ravaged Three Empires. Most of these cannon were supposed to be melted-down and used to construct urgently needed barricades and spiked barriers for the Sewer Militia to use in their ongoing war in the Deep Below. There are rumors that at least three of the big guns were hidden somewhere in the city by resisters. There are also indications that a goodly amount of the steel from this effort was illegally diverted. No one is sure how or why, or even where the misdirected metal wound up. Some say it was just incompetence on the part of some logistics officer. The Sewer Militia did hang three quartermaster's orderlies in the course of their investigation into the matter. That was back when they still hung people. Back before the Alraunes made that a really bad idea.
Thanks to the Wall Guard, the Ramparts are still manned, more or less. If you're going to visit the Ramparts, go in the Winter. Things tend to be quieter then. You're less likely to get shot by accident. They still maintain the old Black Smoke alarms in the Northern Guard Houses, the alarms in the East are not as reliable and the alarms in the West are gone. Some enterprising scavengers took the alarm when the Western Guard House was abandoned to the Red Weeds.
|d8||Cardinal Direction||Status||Unit Strength||Unit Insignia||Black Smoke %|
|1||North||Commandant Zulmer has made this Guard House his Headquarters. After sixteen executions and summary courts martial, things are settling down again, as much as they ever do in this place. Zulmer has begun training-up a corps of non-coms with the help of some old sergeants mustered out of the Sewer Militia. This has caused some trouble for him with the units of the Wall Guard stationed on the Outer Ramparts. A schism appears imminent, even inevitable now.||30 Light Infantry, 16 Heavy Infantry, 4 Light Cavalry, 67 Irregulars, 45 Specialists, 21 Support, 106 Dependents||Black Horned-Bear on Green Square||3%|
|2||North East||The White Harts recently took in some Pallid Refugees to bolster their ranks. They are rumored to have worked-out some sort of arrangement with a group of scavenger-scholars to help fund their re-armament efforts. They recently recovered some field artillery and have requested a training cadre to help them build-up their own artillery-team.||49 Light Infantry, 2 Heavy Infantry, 6 Irregulars, 15 Pallid Recruits, 6 Support, 45 Dependents||White Hart on Black Thorn-Wreath||10%|
|3||East||This Guard House is compromised, the lower levels are flooded. More than half the Hawks have fled to the North East Guard House. The rest are staying to fight what looks like a losing battle. No reliable reports have come out of this place since the trouble began. Lots of rumors are in circulation, of course.||10 Light Infantry, 14 Heavy Infantry, 18 Irregulars, 2 support, (Rest of unit in transit to NE Guard House)||Yellow Hawk on Blue Oval||70%|
|4||South East||Surrounded by shantytown, despite mold infestation. The Purple Lions occupy the Infirmary. The Guard House proper is completely taken-over by mold. Jelly Hunters are flocking to this place to investigate the infestation. There is a bit of tension between the factions, but so far the Jelly Hunters have been supportive of the Wall Guard. It saves them money and effort.||16 Light Infantry, 3 Heavy Infantry, 23 Irregulars, 56 Dependents||Purple Lion on Black Triangle||15%|
|5||South||The South Guard House was abandoned due to the Scarlet Plague. No one gets out of the Containment Zone, though every now and then a few cultists get permission to pass through the cordoned-off section. The majority of the unit assigned to this Guard House occupies a fall-back position that their Combat Engineers are converting into a sort of Keep. No one talks about the 'conscripted undead' digging trenches.||6 Light Infantry on patrol duty, 4 Irregulars on-call. Reserves include mortar crews, mine-layers and combat engineers.||[Red Griffin on Gold Triangle]||30%|
|6||South West||This Guard House was abandoned after collapse of Main Bunker due to undermining. This area is mostly dangerous rubble, riddled with sinkholes and collapsing tunnels, sprinkled liberally with land-mines and lingering traces of Black Smoke. Foragers and Scavengers have begun to construct some make-shift fortifications off to the side of the main thoroughfare. Some of them have taken to using the old unit's insignia. This has caused some friction between them and the 'legitimate heirs' of the Purple Wyverns. So far the Commandant has not said anything. Officially.||22 Light Infantry, 3 Heavy Infantry, 6 Irregulars stationed outside the primary firewall in make-shift bivouac.||[Purple Wyvern]||90%|
|7||West||Another abandoned Guard House, this one is now completely overgrown by Red Weeds. You can see the Purple Glow quite a ways off. There are a few survivors of the old unit originally assigned to this Guard House trying to maintain a patrol, but it is pretty ineffective at present.||6 Light Infantry, 22 Irregulars patrol the back quarter on sporadic basis.||[Blue Fist on White Teardrop]||30%|
|8||North West||Partially rebuilt after fire, Black Smoke lingers about the draw-bridge supports. The Black Eyes have come to an agreement with some of the local gangs of Feral Children; they buy the older kids at a set rate. They are training the new kids to be their own 'combat foragers' and sending them across the Baffles to look for anything useful over there. The Commandant is very interested in their progress.||42 combat Engineers, 23 Light Infantry, 6 Heavy Infantry, 37 Irregulars, 23 Support, 12 Specialists, 78 Dependents.||Black Eye Over Blue Diamond||75%|
Black Smoke %: This is the base chance of someone spotting Black Smoke every hour. It might be a false alarm, someone's moronic idea of a joke, or it could be the real thing. It varies by circumstance and situation.
Each of the Guard Houses will be more fully detailed in a follow-up post, including their own Encounter Tables. We'll link each of those entries back to this table so it can serve as a central hub for all things pertaining to the Inner Ramparts.