Surely gunpowder must be everywhere, right? Alas, in the Shadowmark, it is one of the most valuable commodities. With the utter collapse of the entire production of the world, the weapons left are what's left. Destroy one, and it's not going to get easily replaced. Sure, people build their own weapons, and most every wastelander sports a homegrown rifle, but they all need one thing: ammunition. That's where gunpowder comes in.
The Powder Kegs
One particular tribe of survivors set up in the area now known as Bullet Creek and quickly found that the small town they now make their home is nothing more than a decreptic weapon's factory from pre-cataclysm times. Left largely intact, however poorly maintained, the group started trying to restore the factory and were able to resume production of some simpler weapons and above all: ammunition and gunpowder.
This elevated the Powder Kegs to a supreme power position in the wastelands. They supply the ammunition everyone else uses. Everyone has to trade with them or be left without effective weapons.
Today, Bullet Creek is the largest settlement in the known Shadowmark, aside from Fusion City, but no one in the wastelands really care about the snooty citizens of Fusion City. They keep to themselves, and the Powder Kegs, and everyone else for that matter, prefer it that way.
Bullet Creek has grown from a couple of factory buildings to a bustling little town, complete with stores, butchers, farmers, entertainment and its own complex politics. The Powder Kegs themselves, of course, run the town.
The Powder in Powder Kegs
The reason they have such a grip on the wastelands is that they possess, control and operate the only known weapon's factory in the known world. There are likely other factories out there, but none in operation or in shape to be ran. Not to mention a factory needs resources to run, and Bullet Creek handily has mines nearby to supply the factory. While the production of gunpowder and ammunition is nowhere near pre-cataclysm levels, it's more than enough to keep the Powder Kegs supplied and produce a healthy surplus for trade.
Bullet Creek is a large settlement in the Shadowmark, built on top of the ruins of an old weapon's factory. It is well known throughout the wastelands for making the best, finest weapons around.
The wastelands outside the cities. A toxin-ridden desert, populated only by the exiled, monsters and mutants.