The main road was long since plowed under and the highway is the only entrance, requiring an extra 20 minute drive, due to the curve of the otherwise abandoned highway.  You can make it the old way in a 4-wheel drive (ATV, off-road), but there is a 2 in 10 chance of getting stuck, further modified by weather, vehicle, and circumstance.  Bubba's Gas rests on the turnoff, serving fuel and their famous shoofly pie, but employees are wary of anyone asking about anything other than directions.  And they've got a pretty good radio...

The majority of the population works for the neighboring agricorp and, though not official, most consider King's Way a corporate suburb. Permanent residents remain split on this issue.  Somewhat paradoxically, the area is also home to a large and active community of Mother Earthers (
DC, p. 176). King's Way is the stereotypical, one-horse town on the edge of Apocalypse; it was created to fulfill this setting need. The small, defeated population plods through a ghost town from work to bar to home, and has grown fiercely distrusting of the outside world.

Most of this fear of the outside comes from the goings-on in neighboring Birdston, as well as their fear of being annexed by BioDyne.  They don't really know if what's going on "next door" is part of the agricorp's doings or not, and are too afraid to ask -- they figure doing so would just be inviting trouble.  They're best bet, the citizens of King's Way figure, is to say nothing at all.  But there's no need for snooping outsiders, and there is no reason for anyone not associated with BioDyne or King's Way to be there.

Though they hate outsiders, there is one hotel and a local drunk, Zelda, runs a flophouse (see following) for extended stays.  The nightlife consists of the only bar in town, the Gryphon's Tooth Tavern (see following), which is a concrete-floored studio room with one barred window.  Outsiders are not only unwelcome, they are encouraged not to visit and/or to leave quickly and quietly.  Of course, the tavern is where the information players most often need can be found. Zelda herself can be a font of information... for a price.

People in King's Way do not bother to hide their distaste for outsiders, which may erupt in violence.  As it has a very small police force (only two squad cars and eight employees, three of whom primarily handle clerical duties), skirmishes can quickly get out of hand and response can be slow.  BioDyne has been known to send in troops when necessary, but this has rarely happened. In those instances, it was to defend King's Way from predatory motorcycle gangs.



Zelda's Flophouse


An old, five room house in the middle of town, the lawn is sparse and mostly dirt.  A large, blue-gray concrete slab front porch with a white porch swing dominates the house and property.  The house is covered in weathered gray paint, with green shingles and gables. The shutters are falling off.  Zelda uses the porch for "storage" -- a pleasant way of saying it is chockful of junk and impossible to navigate.


Zelda rents three of the rooms for extended stays or overnight guests. Two people can comfortably stay in two of the three rooms, but Zelda will charge double, despite there being only one room -- she's no fool. She will vocally protest weapons in the house if she sees any, but will let the matter drift quickly. Zelda has a stick under or behind the couch (d3+STR) but she is unskilled and will be going for Nonlethal Melee Combat (ES, p. 7, 10).



Zelda

Gidget - DC, p. 174



An old, alcoholic divorcee, most of Zelda's problems stem from the fact that she is soft on criminal types -- especially young ones. She was once very pretty, but heavy drinking and smoking have robbed her of her looks. She is always drunk (usually very) and comes-on to male boarders at first sight. If her advances are spurned at the start, she may still let them board, but remains catty toward them from then on, sometimes hurling vicious insults and leveling cruel accusations, depending on her mood.


She is rarely coherent and extremely emotionally unstable, prone to impromptu tirades and crying jags which stop as suddenly as they start. She is not altogether aware of these when they happen and rarely remembers them afterward. She drinks very cheap whiskey by, and from, the bottle, and her shabby living room is littered with "dead soldiers."



Gryphon's Tooth Tavern


A stand-alone building, The Gryphon's Tooth was once either a garage or workshop for a larger structure.  It is painted solid white, though the paint is cracked and peeling, and has only one window, which is barred.  There is one door leading inside, which is around back from the street.  There is a garage door facing the street, but it has been painted over and boarded-up.  It can be raised, but would take two good men, as the spring is broken (Formidable).  They would then have to place something underneath it to keep it up, as even two or three strong men couldn't keep it aloft for very long.  The bar is directly behind it.


There is no sign, as everyone in town knows where the bar is. There is a fighting pit, but it hasn't been used much lately.

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What happened to King's Way is very simple: the goings-on in Birdston robbed them of their young -- their sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, friends, and future leaders -- and they're none too willing to let it happen again.


Until the Dark is pushed out of Birdston, things will remain the same.  But regardless of what happens where, King's Way will never be the same again.

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