The hardhold of Caryle was established shortly after the ice receded in the area, about a decade ago. Most of the people who moved into the area were refugees from raiders in central Illinois and parts of Missouri.

The initial settlement focused on the High School, which was the most intact building in the area. A second settlement formed up around the docks, based out of an old Corps of Engineers building. Later settlement focused on Route 127 as the main road through town.

Much of the original city remains in ruins to the south of the settlement. The reservoir dam broke sometime before settlement, and when the ice melted, much of the remains of the city were flooded.

Both the Docks section and the High School section have their own individual walls. A field of traps (pits, mines, bear traps, trenches and obstacles defend the hold to the north. Walls have been build using the buildings to the south of the two settlements, in what was once the northern most portion of the city. To the east, the city was defended by the Carlyle Reservoir. The west was the most vulnerable side, opening up into several local farm and home steads. Regular patrols by armed guards were frequent.

The town was ruled by a loose council of elite citizens (business owners, merchants, the captain of the guard, the chief engineer, and a few others, mostly boat captains), but was fairly loose with rules and regulations. Their main goal was to preserve the reservoir, make sure trade continued uninterrupted, that the defenses were maintained and manned, and to resolve disputes.

Several small gangs operated in the town, and due to lax regulation, did fairly well for themselves. The council would only step in if the gangs caused problems in town. So long as they focused their attentions on outsiders or each other, the council did nothing.

The main resources of the hold is the reservoir. It is the only relatively clean body of water anywhere in the area. It contains drinkable water (it should still be boiled first), edible fish, and the locals have fought hard to keep aquatic mutants out of the place. The chief engineer is looking for a way to possible restore some electricity to the town using the dam, but hasn’t had much luck yet.

Because of the presence of fresh water, the town quickly became a center for trade. While the towns permanent population was only a little over a hundred, there could be as many as 500 in the town at any given time, passing through, trading, passing on news and rumors. It was one of the more popular stops for food and water for merchants throughout central Illinois.

However, it was also a popular target for raiders, thieves, slavers, and nomads. Sometimes the attack would come en mass, other times, individual farmsteaders or boats would be picked off by slavers or pirates on the reservoir. However, the town had successfully held off these attack for years.

It was, for a post apocalyptic ruin, overall not a bad place to live. While there was violence, danger, the ever present cold, there was also food, water, and ample shelter. The people were far from the paranoid survivors found in other settlements. There was a sense of normality about their lives. If power had been restored, it might have even gone on to be the first city to truly recover from the Last War and the Dark Ice.

Sadly, that was not to be. Despite having resisted raids for years, the sudden appearence of a cannibal cult in the region proved to be the hard holds undoing. At first, the attacks were isolated. But they increased in numbers and ferocity with each attack. Little was known about this cult, other than they had religious overtones, and weapons and equipment that far exceeded the usual savage nature of cannibal groups.

One dark night, they came in huge numbers. They attack from all directions, overwhelming the northern defenses, slipping through the ruins of the city, decimating the outer patrols and over running the farmsteads. Small boats slipped onto the docks. Gunfire erupted, fires broke out, and the Great Feast of Carlyle began. Only a handful of survivors escaped the fate of the town.


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