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The Refuge

Just before The Curtain has fallen, and the spirits conquered the Earth, a masked man showed up. No one knew his name, but he started gathering a handful of people who were still alive.
They had nowhere to go anymore, so they followed him no matter where he led them.
The man led them underground, to the old, unused sewer cistern. As The Curtain started to fall, he taught them how to draw protective sigils.
Just as they finished, and the world started to change, he disappeared.
The Refuge was found by the masked stranger and the people he led the 15th of May of the 4th year of Extinction, a month before the Curtain has fallen. During that month, he would help them find the food and water in now abandoned shops, teach them about the spirits and the ways to ward them off and find and move the shipping containers, that would later serve as their homes.
Then, during one of the nights, he went outside The Refuge and disappeared, never to be seen again.

The location

Once this place was used as a part of the sewer system that would fill with water in case of the flooding. The cistern is a 50*50*30 meters big concrete room with pillars inside it. As the new anti-flooding systems showed up, detours were created, leading the water through them. Thanks to that, The Refuge is now connected to most of the sewers under the city. This lets the inhabitants of The Refuge access big parts of the outside world without being seen on the surface.  

City of containers

At first, the cistern was just a big room made out of concrete. The concrete floor and concrete walls with nothing inside them.
The stranger took some of the people with himself and led them to the nearby construction company, where the shipping containers were stored.
With the help of the forklift and by driving through the widest drain pipes, they somehow managed to move those containers to the cistern, where they repurposed them to serve as houses.
After they got access to the water and they found working generators, the heating system was built, where the warm water passes through the pipes connected to the shipping containers, heating their interior.   Some of the containers have been used as a wall to protect the settlement from the invaders.  

Water

The first real problem for the inhabitants of The Refuge was finding a source of fresh water.
One of the people was a plumber before Extinction, and he came up with an idea. He wanted to create a set of connected pipes, leading upwards that would collect the rainwater.
It was a good but temporary solution as the rain was really unpredictable.   Luckily, during one of the successful expeditions, it was discovered that the surrounding area had a lot of still working well pumps. A little hijacking and the plumbing work and since then, The Refuge has an endless supply of water.


Doctor

At the outskirts of The Refuge, there lives a mysterious man. He says that before the Extinction he was a simple doctor, living happily with his wife. During the first days when it all went wrong, he lost contact with her and haven't seen her ever since.
Ever since, he remains hopeful (or delusional) that she is still somewhere there, alive. People of The Refuge try to keep away from him, but even they need his help from time to time.
Doctor promises loot from his hidden stashes to anyone who brings even the scraps of information about her.

Food

Gathering the food proved to be a much riskier task than gathering water. Not only the ones tasked with it had to watch out for the spirits they had no way of defending themselves from, but the ones who survived also had to watch out to not lead anything hostile back to the settlement. Additionally, while the Extinction still lasted, the Lords still transmitted The Word through any transmitter they could. Just because of those first expeditions The Refuge lost more than half of its inhabitants.   One of the expeditions that were more successful than others resulted in obtaining resources needed for the creation of farms. A few months later, this investment finally bore fruit and the people here could finally eat fresh vegetables again.

 

Daily life

Every inhabitant of The Refuge has their role and daily tasks related to it. There is no one who hasn't got something to do that would help The Refuge to survive. There are those who manage supplies (often accused of hoarding said supplies for themselves), mechanics (their work never ends), farmers, cooks, a therapist, a teacher, a few medics and many guards (equipped with normal "anti-human" firearms and melee weapons).
As it is expected, there are some people dissatisfied with the role that was chosen for them, which often results in fights when they don't fulfill their duties.  

Present problems

Right now, The Refuge still has no way of fighting with the spirits and any defense should someone want to bury them alive. The pipes leading the water to them also could be destroyed by anyone hostile to them.
Also, if they won't find enough food outside, they will probably starve during the next winter.   But that's when the Vagabond finds them by accident.

Alternative Name(s)
One of the last bastions of humanity,
Shipping Container Village

The Wards

The entire area surrounding The Refuge is completely covered with magical symbols warding of everything that is not human.
For someone who can see those things, it looks like the settlement is covered with hundreds of small bubbles forming one giant bubble. Thanks to that structure, even if something or someone destroyed one of the wards it wouldn't make a difference in the town defenses.   Wards protect only against the spirits and spirit-based creatures (Lords, Beasts, Warped Ones, due to them losing their humanity). They don't, however, protect about things that are entirely physical. So even though no spirit can enter The Refuge, they could throw anything heavy at the settlement or tear down the ceiling at it. That's why the most important rule for inhabitants is to never lead anything not human to The Refuge.
— The Refuge's wards perceived by someone who can see spiritual barriers.
 

Population

Right now it's just a place where they can live together and die together. There is no future for them. I would call it more a hospice than a village. They need help. And knowledge. Or they won't survive another year.
Proffesor Kostek to Vagabond, during their first meeting.
Just during the first month of its existence, The Refuge lost over 80% of its inhabitants.
Most died to the monstrosities outside, some have heard The Word spoken outside, some left due to the differences in opinions and arguments, some died due to sickness.
Now, only about 140 people live here. They trust and cooperate with each other. Or at least they have to if they don't want to die sooner.
Even with those numbers, The Refuge is now one of the most populated human settlements in the area.   Due to the fear of letting in someone who isn't completely human or leading the raiders towards their place of residence, the inhabitants of the settlement isolate themselves and don't try to contact with other survivors, no matter if that could be beneficial to them.  

Democracy

All of the decisions made by The Refuge are handled by voting.
The votes take place once every week.
Only adults can vote, however, even the children can present their idea, which will then be voted on.
The vote can be postponed to the next week.   Sadly, this format of governing the settlement isn't perfect. It's one of the main reasons why so many people left The Refuge, not happy with decisions made here.

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  • 4 AE

    15
    /5

    Founding of The Refuge
    Founding

    The day the masked stranger found a place where the survivors of Extinction could live in.

    Related Location
    The Refuge
  • 4 AE

    23
    /5

    Stranger finds the containers, the construction begins
    Construction beginning/end

    Thanks to the stranger's findings, the construction of the houses has begun.

    Related Location
    The Refuge
  • 4 AE

    20
    /6

    Magical wards are finished
    Construction beginning/end

    After a month of creating the wards, The Refuge is finally protected from the spirits, Lords and Beasts.

    Related Location
    The Refuge
  • 4 AE

    22
    /6

    Disappearance of the stranger
    Life, Trauma/ Loss

    One night, the masked stranger just went into the darkness of the sewers and disappeared, never to be seen again.
    Since then, the inhabitants of The Refuge had to handle everything themselves.

    Related Location
    The Refuge
  • 4 AE

    28
    /6

    Half of the population leaves due to infighting
    Life, Trauma/ Loss

    Only a few days after the stranger left, the tension between the people rose so high, half of the population decided to leave.
    Day later, only ten of them came back alive.

    Related Location
    The Refuge
  • 4 AE

    13
    /7

    Construction of water pump system
    Construction beginning/end

    After finding some of the still working well pumps, the pipes that lead to The Refuge are created.
    People have fresh water (no need to search for the bottled water anymore).

    Related Location
    The Refuge
  • 4 AE

    7
    /8

    Expedition which resulted in creation of farms
    Expedition

    During one of the expeditions for supplies, people found seeds, tools, soil, and fertilizer, which could be used in the creation of farms.

    Related Location
    The Refuge
  • 4 AE

    19
    /10

    First Harvest
    Technological achievement

    The creation of farms bore fruit. The first crop that grew was lettuce.
    Morale boosts after people finally eat something fresh again.

    Related Location
    The Refuge
  • 5 AE

    20
    /9

    Vagabond arrives
    Discovery, Exploration

    The day, Vagabond, led by a note from one of his friends, found the location of The Refuge.

    Related Location
    The Refuge

Comments

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8 May, 2019 03:42

Oof, this place just sounds downright depressing. But you wrote it well. I dig the idea of the wards and recycling a cistern as an underground hideout. I also enjoy the mysterious history as to this stranger who gathered these people.   Seems like this was a very fortunate place to be made and one of the only locations that serve as any sort of humanity. I do hope it all goes well for them. :(   Good entry!