So I did some digging on the Iron Rivers, and here’s what I had from the PNP campaign. Note that this wasn’t specced out in Tech Docs b/c the Iron Rivers didn’t reach that stage for Van Buren (I don’t think they made it into the second draft, but not sure). In any event, here’s what I could find.
- Attached is an old Word doc that has some cinematic/cut scene text and a rough breakdown of the tribals at Circle Junction. If I find any more, I’ll let you know.
- They were supposed to be a homage to the Wasteland rail nomads, although they’d be more primitive.
- Like the nomads, they’d make their homes in boxcars along the tracks and in huge switching stations like Circle Junction.
- They are excellent scouts and craftsmen using the Outdoorsman skill (Brahmin cloaks, doghide, etc.). They would help introduce the player to these mechanics – and if the player didn’t have the Outdoorsman skill, the companion you could gain here would, which would make them valuable.
- I took some inspiration from a short story called “Mary Margaret Roadgrader” for some of their naming and customs, and a way of taking vehicles and construction machinery and combining it with American Indian flavor.
- They were intended to inhabit one of the first locations you’d leave once you came from Leavenworth (Circle Juncton) – however, the railroad junction station they inhabited would have recently been attacked by Caesar’s Legion, gathering them for slaves back West.
- I’ve gathered some of the reference images used in the creation of “Circle Junction,” and the location map. A huge switching/loading station was in the middle of this camp, and at the start of the campaign, two of the trains from the prison had smashed right through the middle of the camp, scattering tribals and Legion slavers alike (the players would quickly discover that a huge bunch of slavers had headed off in search of the train’s path, so they’re not all there when the player arrives, but they’re in danger of coming back soon).
- You could gain one Iron Rivers companion there, Alkaya (she wasn’t going to make it into the computer game, because she was largely useless as we discovered in gameplay except for Outdoorsman and crafting). I can’t find her stats, unfortunately.
- They had a lot of American-Indian style legends about the region. (“Mad King Scorpion” that’s the father of the Radscorpions that fill the region, and the “Chain Walkers,” stories about old ghosts that walk the area, referring to old prisoners from history that still walked with manacles and handcuffs on their hands, now feral ghouls). I found a fragment where Alkaya describes Denver and the dogs:
Long Walk talked much about the world beyond the Circle, beyond home. Some of what he said made sense, much did not. We figured his eyes and his mouth could not agree on what to be said, so made up words.
One thing he had often said the world outside the Circle did not run smooth, and I have found these words he spoke are true. The tracks lead to bad places, fields of dead men, and into the skeleton tracks.
It has been difficult to find the track I must take, there are dogs everywhere in this place where the glass ladders touch the sky, tracks leading up, but never reaching the sky. The ladders must be angry for that, and for the dogs that always bite at their foundations.
- The idea is that they believed the great metal roads, the stitches in the earth, would lead them to hunting grounds. Because they’d mapped out the railroad paths, they could become valuable for reconnecting the railroad lines over the course of the game, and the player could gain considerable rep with them by restoring the train tracks and the trains.
- Since Denver and Boulder were close by, there would be ties between Circle Junction and these 2 locations (you could take tech from Boulder, manpower from Denver scavenger teams, and use that to fix the first “railroad” between the areas, and set up trade).
- The Iron Rivers tribe, if recruited and gain enough rep with them, could help you restore the tracks if you appeal to their religion as well.
In any event, hope this helps! I may clean it up and present it at some point in the future, but you’re welcome to share whatever.