Welcome to Riddleport.   Posted by Overseer.Group: 0
 GM, 1 post
Wed 9 Sep 2015
at 16:31
Welcome to Riddleport
Large City  nonstandard (titular provost with multiple crimelords);
   AL CN
Caps Limit 40,000 caps; Assets 26,600,000 caps
Population 13,300
Type mixed (77% human, 12% ghoul, 9% mutant, 2% other)
Authority Figure
Gaston LeCrox, male human (Provost of Riddleport)

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:17, Thu 16 Apr 2020.

 GM, 3 posts
Wed 9 Sep 2015
at 20:15
Riddleport at a Glance
Most  of  Riddleport’s  buildings  are  composed  of  wood—logs  or  planks—with multiple  floors  and  steep,  highpeaked  roofs  of  wooden  shingles. They  are  built  in close  quarters,  and  in  some  cases  their  wooden  upper floors  sag  and  lean  together  from  the  constantly  sodden conditions. In  high  summer warmer  air  currents  from  the  south bring  a  muggy,  oppressive  heat  along  with  great  black mosquitoes  that  breed  in  the  nearby  marshes. Many  burn peat  treated  with  incense  in  their  hearths  during  these months to ward off the vermin with their thick smoke. The  major  streets  of  Riddleport  are  cobbled,  often becoming  rain-slick  cataracts  during  the  wet  seasons. Cobbles  are  often  missing  or  crushed  by  the  incessant traffic,  leaving  gaping  holes  and  ruts  in  even  the  most well-tended  thoroughfares. Side  streets  tend  to  be relegated  to  muddy  tracks  that  are  swift  to  turn  into stinking  morasses  of  sucking  mud  and  filth.  Riddleport doesn’t  have  much  of  a  sewage  system,  and  relies  mainly on  gutters  along  street  edges  to  carry  refuse  to  the  river and  harbor.  One  feature  unique  to  the  major  streets  are the  frequent oil lamps mounted on iron poles that provide beacons  of  light  in  the  benighted  mists.  These  are  set  in sturdy  hurricane  lamps  and  burn  thick,  rancid-smelling oil  from  barrel-shaped  reservoirs  at  the  lamppost  base—a byproduct  and  innovation  of  the  Gas  Works.  These wavering  lights  give  off  illumination  equal  to  a  torch  in even  the  foulest  weather  but  are  not  well-tended;  just  over a  third  of  them  are  out  on  any  given  night,  in  need  of repairs or refueling.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:47, Thu 10 Sept 2015.

 GM, 4 posts
Thu 10 Sep 2015
at 01:20
Life in Riddleport
The titular head of the Riddleport government is the selfappointed Provost of Riddleport, a position traditionally held for life. Riddleport’s current provost is a former pirate captain named Gaston LeCrox. Since the city’s founding, Riddleport has been ruled by a series of slavers, raiders, and other unsavory sailors in a bloody cycle of betrayal and violent coups. Provost LeCrox has maintained his rule over Riddleport for three decades by entrenching himself in a wholly new manner. Rather than rely on the loyalty of pirate crews and raiding bands, Provost LeCrox opened the coffers of his deceased predecessor and hired mercenaries from land-bound groups with no connection to piracy. Calling this new breed of enforcers the Riddleport Gendarmes (“gentlemen-at-arms”), he created a military force loyal to his coin.
Under LeCrox's rule, life in Riddleport has become more stable than ever before. Open streetwarfare between rival gangs is a rarity now, and the gendarmes have made it safe enough for brave or desperate traders from Baton Rouge and Shreveport to bring in trade. By Provost LeCrox's decree, any ship that flies the flag of Riddleport at full mast is under his protection and is not to be raided by any pirate who wishes to  call Riddleport home. That LeCrox charges scandalously high prices for this protection of visiting ships ensures that there’s always enough ships plying the Gulf Coast or the southern waters for Riddleport’s traditional pirates to prey upon to keep them happy. The stability and semiregular influx of imported goods has begun to spoil the citizens of Riddleport, but these days may be numbered. Rumors abound that LeCrox’s coffers may finally be running low (despite his protection racket), and the rise in power of LeCrox’s most vocal public enemy, Elias Tammerhawk, has many of Riddleport’s citizens expecting a shift in leadership soon, an eventuality that many Riddleport traditionalists would greet with relief. Despite the unheard-of political stability that  the city of Riddleport currently enjoys, only a longtime Riddleport native would ever think of the city as truly civilized. The provost rules with a light touch and with the consent of several powerful individuals who likewise shape the direction of Riddleport’s future. These individuals are the various crime bosses who hold sway in the city. Pirates may have founded the city, but many more bandits and scoundrels soon saw the value of having a place to call home, the wilds of Louisiana hardly being a safe place  to camp. The crimelords each have their own particular specialties and focus, and they play the role that noble families do in most other cities: they are the movers and shakers, the leaders whom the average citizen idolizes and fears. When a provost dies, the new provost invariably rises from the ranks of the city’s crimelords.
Yet not everyone who comes to live in Riddleport is attracted there by the promise of loose law and criminal sanctuary. In increasing numbers, all manner of adventurers, scholars, and religious types have been flocking to the city, drawn by the presence of the Ordo Caerulea. This scholastic organization is dedicated to deciphering the mysteries of ancient monuments—in particular, the vexing Cyphergate, whose function and meaning have eluded illumination for so long. The locals find the influx of philosophers and scholars aggravating, and find their soft-spoken ways and general attitude to be infuriating, but the Ordo Caerulea does not interfere with the day-to-day skullduggery of Riddleport’s citizens. Furthermore, Provost LeCrox has openly welcomed the order to Riddleport, likely because the addition of many skilled vault dwellers can only increase the city’s defensive options. That the leader of the Ordo Caerulea went on to be LeCrox’s most outspoken public foil no doubt vexes the aging pirate lord, and many of the city’s citizens have taken to betting among themselves on how may more weeks will pass before LeCrox and Tammerhawk come to blows.

Who's Who in Riddleport
Anton Mescher: Provost LeCrox’s right-hand man, Anton oversees the city’s fortress-prison and leads the gendarmes.
Father Arnando Rolf: Fr. Arnando is the priest of the local Unity church, a bear of a man who is rarely seen without Benediction on his lips.
Avery Slyeg: The owner of a pricey public house called the River Runner, Avery Slyeg’s true interests lie in smuggling and other black-market operations; it’s said he has agents in two dozen cities throughout the Gulf Coast region.
Boss Croat: Known for keeping mutant minions, Boss Croat has his hand in much of Riddleport’s drug trade and other contraband.
Clegg Zincher: One of Riddleport’s more notorious crimelords, Clegg runs the quite profitable Zincher’s Arena, a place where anyone can pay to see desperate men fight creatures of the wasteland (or, more commonly, each other).
Elias Tammerhawk: Elias is the leader of the Ordo Caerulea, an accomplished scientist who has been elected as speaker of the order for two consecutive eight-year terms. Many whisper that Elias has his eye set on the position of provost, and Riddleport’s other crimelords worry about the nature of the changes to their beloved city should this event occur.
Mr Krix: Rumor holds that old man Krix consorts with spirits, and is a cannibal. He runs the Riddleport Light, and does so responsibly enough that the provost has left well enough alone. Visitors are not welcome here.
Grimas Oltedler: Grimas runs the Riddleport Ferry, the only safe mode of public transport over the river. He works steadily through the evening and night but must be summoned from his bed by ringing the ferry bell if one is seeking passage before midday. Prices range from 2 to 6 caps per traveller, depending on the length of the journey up or downriver.
Hyman Crooge: Hyman is a reclusive man who dwells just outside of town on a ledge overlooking the Boneyard. He maintains a constant bonfire for the burning of some trash and dumps the rest over the cliff edge into the marsh below.
Linus Smeed: This surly man is one of Riddleport’s more notorious moneylenders. Linus Smeed (if the streetside chatter is to be believed) feeds parts of those who fail to pay him back on time to his always ravenous pet mole rats.
Ruben Carfay: A retired sea captain, Ruben is the leader of an open-air temple dedicated to the Pirate Queen Besmara.
Saul Vancaskerkin: Just recently, Saul recovered his footing in Riddleport after several years of destitution due to some sort of run-in with the other crimelords of the city. He’s recently purchased and rebuilt the Gold Mine Gambling Hall.
Shorafa Pamodae: An alluring but dangerous native, ex-slave, and high Voodoo priestess, Shorafa is also one of the city’s minor crimelords and rules the hospitality industry, from pimps to liquor sales.

Below are some of the more popular Riddleport slang terms and their meanings.
AbbessPagan Priestess of Calistria, or a whoreLaced MuttonGender neutral prostitute
Bridge MonkeySomeone from New OrleansLeakySomeone who can't keep a secret
CappA trusted lieutenant or henchmanLumberAn unwanted or unwelcome passenger on a ship
CattleA group of peoplePigeonA victim of a crime, or someone who visits a prostitute
CowA personPigmeatA dead body, or someone who is about to become dead
Church WorkA lengthy job that is slow to finish or otherwise drudgeryPump-suckerA midget
Dog-biterA molerat, or small childQuickwifeFemale prostitute
Earth bathAn unmarked graveRatholeYour mouth
Easy LadMale prostituteRotgutBad/radiated liquor
Fancyboy/FancygirlA member of the Ordo CaeruleaSideshowA ghoul
GendarmeCity watchSnickersnakA small blade/knife that can be easily hidden
Grog BlossomA facial pimple, or unsavory personSoakerA general pagan
HushmanA hired killer, usually kept on retainerSoggy PlumA drunk
KissTo stab someoneWhiskerA wererat/wolf

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:49, Fri 03 June 2016.

 GM, 5 posts
Thu 10 Sep 2015
at 01:40
City Parishes
Riddleport is divided into a total of nine separate parishes (or districts); although two of them, Lubbertown and the Boneyard, technically lie outside of the provost’s jurisdiction:
Free-Coin Parish: Provost LeCrox’s three grand gamehalls are located in this part of the city along the northwestern shore of the Mississippi River.
Leeward Parish: The city’s largest district, Leeward is built into the protecting curve of the city’s eastern ridge, where it is sheltered from the worst of the gulf winds.
The majority of the city’s population resides in the tall tenements of this district, and most buildings have a shop at street level where standard goods and services can be obtained.
Lubbertown: Known derisively as Lubbertown for the fact that most of its inhabitants arrive at the city by land rather than by sea, this district is not patrolled by the gendarmes and has developed its own social order, informal system of laws, and distribution of goods and employment.
River  Parish: This section of town runs along the banks of the Mississippi River and consists primarily of shops  and mills. Riddleport’s atrophied trade items are crafted in this district. The waste produced by the district’s tanners and fishmongers and the fact that many of the city’s sewage gutters converge here have earned the place the unofficial name of "The Reek."
Rotgut  Parish: The slums of Riddleport are a truly depressing and dangerous place to be. Easily the poorest section in the city proper, Rotgut also hosts the highest crime rate and the most brothels and alehouses per capita.
It lies along the city’s eastern side against the ridge.
The  Boneyard: This deceptively named place actually serves as the city’s dump and ship’s graveyard. Its name is derived from the many old hulks and collections of ships’ ribs that protrude from the swampy ground. The whole area is a partially flooded salt marsh that is generally 2 or 3 feet deep, although some hidden patches of quicksand are much deeper. Monstrous vermin, mirelurks, swamp barracuda, and (it is whispered) wererats infest this area.
The  Devil's  Fork: This small military district is nestled near the north end of the city on an island in the Mississippi River. It serves above as barracks for Riddleport’s  250 gendarmes, and below as a prison for the city’s malcontents.
Wharf  Parish: This rough-and-tumble district lies hard on the edge of the very docks of the city and is where much of the city’s day-to-day action of commerce and thievery occurs. Nearest the docks are a series of warehouses and cheap grog houses where merchant and pirate crews alike mingle in a haze of rum-soaked blood and debauchery.
Windward  Parish: Built on the slopes of the city’s western ridgeline, this is Riddleport’s affluent district; the buildings here are generally quite tall and its streets winding and steep. The majority of the city’s scholars and sages dwell in this windy district.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:11, Fri 11 Sept 2015.

 GM, 6 posts
Thu 10 Sep 2015
at 02:04
Riddleport Rumors
In a city where everyone watches for new opportunities to turn a profit, no news remains a secret for long. Here are but a few of the rumors currently making the rounds in Riddleport.

The Shadow in the Sky: A strange, persistent, dark cloud recently appeared in the sky above Riddleport. Some people say it was caused by the Ordo Caerulea meddling with the Cyphergate, while others believe it's a storm being cooked up by God, or some overly moral deity, to wipe Riddleport off the map. It's the big news in town and everybody seems to have their own explanation.
Carnivore Carnage: Several Chinese wavecutters recently washed up on the rocks near the Riddleport Light, their hulls covered in dozens of gashes from teeth and claws. Sailors fear some new predator in the Gulf or an unseasonable migration of local bunyips.
The Devil and his Gold: The washed-up crime boss Saul Vancaskerkin recently renovated the Gold Mine Gambling Hall and has a massive gaming tournament planned called Cheat the Devil and Take his Gold. While this might just be a publicity stunt, some say the swindler sold his soul to some fiend and is using the tournament as a way to raise the money to buy it back.
Lost Below: Milon Chath, a local lay-man, left to explore several caverns discovered in the banks of the Mississippi River more than a week ago and has yet to return. His friends and family fear the priest has become lost in the labyrinthine caves said to riddle the endless depths below the riverbed.
Siren Song: A band of smugglers recently tried to set up a base at Devil's Elbow, an island just south of Riddleport's harbor, but they've gone missing. Most blame  Virashi, the famed siren of the haunted island, for the disappearance.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:55, Tue 15 Sept 2015.

 GM, 18 posts
Fri 18 Sep 2015
at 20:58
Religions in Riddleport
As with most aspects of living in the Wasteland, daily life is a hard fight for survival. Life within the walls of Riddleport is no different. Under the authority of the city’s Provost and other crimelords, there is some semblance of law and order (albeit a small measure). This southern bastion of "civilization" can, in some respects, be considered something of a farce.
There are simply too many ways for one to meet a grizzly and untimely end. Although the walls keep the raiders out, muggings and murders are still an everyday occurrence. Radiation levels might be somewhat benign, however living in the swampy delta of the American South still presents its risks of environmental exposures.
And what do the survivors have to look forward to, if not the empty promises of an easier life in Riddleport than wandering the Wasteland alone? To be honest, not much. And as a result, the vast majority of Riddleport citizens are atheists. However, over the last three decades or so, with the opening of Vault 77 and the ever increasing tribal populations inter-mixing with the citizens of Riddleport, new spiritual ideas are beginning to permeate the population.

Below is a broad overview of the prominent religions in Riddleport:
Atheism: The vast majority of Riddleport citizens practice no religion. The struggle to survive is too much for them to have time enough to ponder life's bigger questions.
Paganism: Brought into Riddleport by tribal folk originating outside Louisiana; it isn't very popular with non-tribal citizens.
The Church of Unity: A religion directly from Vault 77, the Church of Unity is relatively new to Riddleport, and only becoming popular about 10 years ago. Many of the more affluent citizens study its teachings and observe its practices.
Voodoo: Even before the bombs fell in the Great War, Voodoo became syncretized with the Catholic and Francophone culture of south Louisiana as a result of creolization in the region. Today it is a muddy blend of Louisiana Voodoo and Christian (chiefly Catholic) beliefs, practices, and mythology. Most everyone in Riddleport  (and the surrounding Wards) observe some elements of Voodoo, even if they are Atheists.