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Threats

In general, threats in the Grand Canyon Province fall into four categories:

  1. Environments: Keep an eye out for plague zones and radiation areas.
  2. Critters: Lots of the wildlife in the Province has developed a taste for human flesh.
  3. Random Troublemakers: If you can’t talk your way out of a problem with someone, just lay them out and move on.
  4. Organized Troublemakers: There are countless raider gangs, bandits, thugs, and other violent groups wandering around the Province. These folks roam in packs, so be ready to deal with a dogpile—stay mobile and use firearms whenever possible.

Of those four categories, here are some specific types of threats you’ll run into:

Blight Wolves

These ravenous mutant carnivores roam in packs and are more than happy to down humans for meals. Blight wolves stand about four feet at the shoulder and weigh upward of 400 pounds, so they can tear apart their victims pretty quick. The latest news is that some of the Shiva’s Favored have started using them as guard dogs.

CoGs

CoGs are a bunch of Grade-A whack-jobs who worship broken machines, hoping the technology will come to life again. Sometimes, they’ll kill people and string their organs over the machine in question, trying to “awaken it” with a blood sacrifice.

Creepers

No one has any idea where these little buggers came from, but most folks figure they’re some sort of mutated crustacean or insect. They’ve got six legs, big eyes, big teeth, and make some pretty horrific noises. Plus, they smell. They’re real common in drier areas.

Insects

There are giant ants, giant cockroaches, giant stag beetles, giant spiders, and so on. These days, on average, an ant is approximately three feet long. Their ant mounds are big enough to walk in, and some say giant insect eggs make good eating. Insects almost always have all sorts of poison or acid or other such nasty surprises.

Judges

Judges are always led by women who never leave their stronghold in the Grainway. The Judges believe that the Shiva Virus was a plague that God designed to cleanse humanity of sin. Apparently God missed a few spots and needs a little extra help, so they’re his divine clean-up crew. They kill everyone who isn’t virtuous, claiming that they’re saving the world for those who are worthy. They also think mutants and clones are inherently evil. Sometimes you’ll meet Judges who’d rather talk to you than stab you, but don’t trust them.

Prairie Chickens

These little butterballs can be found all over the Province, and it’s a good thing, too; they’re one of the best sources of food around. Sure, they’re not much to look at, but they make good eating. Just avoid the males, as they’re more aggressive.

Raiders

Raiders can be a big pain in the ass, but they’re also an excellent source of supplies, if you don’t mind taking from a thief. In the Plateau, you’ll primarily run into the Blade Dancers in the south, Gaunt’s Raiders in the middle of the sector, and the Night Wolves in the northern area. Each gang has its own territory. Gaunt’s Raiders have set up in Old Kingman Prison, giving them one of the most secure hideouts in the Province. The others lodge in whatever ruins they can find. In Northfields, the main group you’ll run into are the Devil’s Own, though there are smaller gangs wandering around. The Devil’s Own are pretty big; they’ve got decent numbers, a fortress, and a lot better equipment than most raiders do.

Sandworms

Sandworms dig through tightly packed earth and stone, and they do it fast. They have acid pouches in their mouths, which allow them to digest rock while burrowing. That means they can make short work of flesh and most types of cloth. They usually kick up a dust cloud when they’re underground, making it possible to spot them, but finding them at night can be real hard. They’re common in the Plateau; less so in Northfields and Kaibab Forest.

Shiva’s Favored

These mutants somehow adapted to living in the Great Southwestern Wasteland. Used to a much more hostile environment, they can’t survive long-term in the Province, despite some of their weird powers. They want to introduce enough pathogens, carcinogens, and whatever else they can to the Province to make it tolerable to them without turning it into a complete wasteland like the one in which they now live.

Throwbacks

The most popular theory is that the first throwbacks were people the Shiva Virus caused to devolve, changing them into something that more closely resembled their primitive ancestors. They can’t talk, they only use the most basic tools, and they have no culture or society to speak of. There’s a similar group of mutants lurking under the Province called the Underdwellers. These pale, humpbacked bastards can be found in a lot of the old GlobalTech facilities, as well as in mines and old sewers. They’re faster than the Throwbacks, but not as tough. Underdwellers possess wicked edged weapons they use to hunt down their prey—which includes humans.

White Crow Battalion

While these guys may be mercenary thugs, there’s more to them than that. Rumors state they’re the remainder of some sort of Russian invasion from the last days of the Fall. They call each other “Comrade” and have weird ranks, like “Soldat” and “Serzhant.” It’s always a good idea to avoid them.

Wolves and Coyotes

Sure, they may not be mutants or have guns, but you’ve still got to watch out for nature’s classic models. Wolves and coyotes are plentiful in the Province. Watch out for the diseased ones.

Other Forces

There are other groups with unclear alliances at work in the Province. These groups are sometimes helpful, sometimes harmful, but most of the time, they don’t get involved. If you hear more about these folks, maybe give that information to a Rider.

LifeNet

LifeNet was once a subsidiary of GlobalTech; they set up things called “regen pods” all over the Province, each of which can clone people, animals, and all kinds of other stuff. In the days right after the Fall, folks used them to make supplies, which explains why a lot of towns are built near pods. Unfortunately, not many people know how to use them these days, and if you screw around with them, you can cause all sorts of catastrophes, such as creating “diggers” or “infected”—half-formed clones that want to eat people.

Outsiders

Occasionally, Riders have run into people in containment suits. These folks are always carrying high-tech gear, driving vehicles, and asking a lot of questions. They’re most commonly found around large towns and abandoned high-tech facilities. They never talk about who they are or where they’re from; instead they just ask questions about life in the Province. They tend to shoot first and poke the corpses for answers later.