Rivertown is a major metropolitan area, the 28th largest city in the nation and the second largest in the region after Sauklund, its southern neighbor.
Rivertown is located on the shores of Lake Lawrence, of the five Majestic Lakes, roughly 90 miles north of the nation's third largest city, Sauklund. The city spreads westward from the lake to a large area known as Greater Rivertown, which ranks as the nation's 36th most populous region.
The Juneau River winds through the city, separating Rivertown proper from the areas now known as the Northwest, Western, and Reaches. The city itself is informally divided into three sections: Rivertown North, Rivertown Central, and Rivertown South.
Rivertown grew to prominence in the middle of the 19th century after numerous immigrants settled there from Germany, Poland, and other parts of Eastern Europe. The area boasted fertile farmland and a booming shipping industry sprung up to transport the goods produced in the region. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the city became an important manufacturing center, again bolstered by its location on the lake for ease of distribution.
The city experienced highs and lows during the 20th century as it struggled to keep pace with an economy that quickly transitioned away from manufacturing, and the many historic neighborhoods fell into disrepair; during this time, the city also became heavily segregated along racial and socioeconomic lines. Early in the 21st century, the city courted and landed new biotech industries and companies specializing in defense and national security. This businesses helped boost the local economy for some of the population but did little to bring prosperity to the historically poorer areas of the city, causing tensions between classes to grow over decades.
The tensions erupted in violence in the 2070s as the economic stratification grew worse. Riots broke out on a regular basis and were put down with increasingly violent measures, leading activists to claim the city was becoming a police state. In April 2088 after the conservative wing of the federal government passed sweeping austerity measures effectively ending public assistance for the poor and needy, it led to a four-day riot in downtown and parts of northern Rivertown. During these years, the production of the street drug rundown increased tenfold as did the sale of handguns, rifles, shotguns, and their ammunition.
The superflu struck the city hard in the summer of 2088. Many apartment buildings were overcrowded as more people piled into smaller areas due to skyhigh rents. As a result the highly infectious disease spread rapidly through much of the city, killing people faster than they could be properly buried. The death tolls were catastrophic and the survivors of the first strain of superflu resented the rich, tucked away in their skyrises and mansions, and lashed out against them by burning whole neighborhoods to the ground and laying seige to high-rise apartment buildings. Overwhelmed by the disease and number of hysterical rioters, many police officers abandoned their positions, though some got word of a resistance group holed up at the building in Rivertown South, which would soon transform into the MPD and the Rock, respectively. During the early 2090s, much of the city was destroyed by unchecked fires, as fire fighters were stoned or shot upon arriving at the scene of the blaze.
See also: History of the MPD
The newly organized MPD struck back in 2091 clearing out much of Rivertown South and carrying their offensive thrust over the Juneau River into Rivertown Central, where they broke up several squatter camps and established their first settlement at Summerland. After years of consolidation, the MPD branched out again in 2097 in Project Unification, a military offensive to win back territory through the downtown region all the way through a good portion of Rivertown North.
At the turn of the 22nd century, the MPD controlled the strip of land east of the Juneau River and west of Lake Lawrence. Though the city still is home to several hundred scavengers, the MPD has stamped their authority on the city with multiple headquarters and settlements in the southern, central, and northern portions of the city.
Rivertown suffered greatly by years of economic distress followed by the superflu epidemic and the mass destruction that followed. The city's different areas experienced different levels of damage.
Main article: Scavengers
While MPD estimates vary and cannot be substantiated, it is suspected that possibly as many as two to three thousand scavengers are active in Rivertown at any given time, dispersed throughout the rubble and hovels in all three sections of the city. They live on the scraps they exhume from the ruins and occasionally through trade.
Scavengers are sometimes friendly, sometimes violent; many scavengers are addicted to the drug rundown and are aggressive and unpredictable. Most scavengers are constantly on the move, never spending more than a night or two in a single shelter.
The destruction of Rivertown was far from complete and beneath the rubble and charred ruins lies more food and supplies that can help one scratch out an existence. However the city is also supremely dangerous as many buildings threaten to collapse at any moment, scarcity has turned people against one another, and drugs and weapons are in plentiful supply.