Fort El Dorado

Fort El Dorado
Population: 135,000 (80% human, 15% D-Bees and 5% mutant
animals). An additional 85,000 people live in small villages
surrounding the city. An additional 2D4xlOOO Juicers and as
many would-be Juicers could be found in the city at any given
time (up to the time of the Juicer Uprising anyway).
G.M.‘s Note: Fort El Dorado has changed a great deal in the
five years since Erin Tarn described the city in her book, Traversing
Our Modern World (see Rifts RPG). Most of the
changes are related to UTI’s industrial investments in the city,
and CS activity in the area.
Until 102 P.A., Fort El Dorado was an independent kingdom
whose wealth was derived from producing raw materials for the
Coalition States, mostly oil, cotton and natural gas. When their
Northern neighbor, the free city-state of Newtown, became incorporated
into the Coalition States, a delegation from Newtown
established a thriving Juicer conversion business at Fort El
Dorado; a business that now accounts for 10% of that kingdom’s
economy. What seemed like a great economic boon would seem
to flirt with disaster a few years later, during the great Juicer Uprising.
Fort El Dorado was founded by the survivors of the former
American state of Arkansas. The community managed to survive
thanks to their access to strategic resources, especially natural
gas and oil, and by the post apocalyptic years, it was one of the
largest and wealthiest kingdoms not associated with the Coalition
States. In the 50’s P.A., a number of treaties between Fort
El Dorado and the Coalition States were signed, and renewed in
85 P.A. Although the rulers of Fort El Dorado politely rejected
offers to join the CS, the kingdom remains a strong ally, allowing
the CS army to establish two military outposts within its borders.
Among the reasons why Fort El Dorado did not join the Coalition
were the kingdom’s D-Bee population, which accounted
for some 15% of its people, and its reliance on Juicer mercenaries
for its defense. Although Fort El Dorado is extremely prejudiced
against magic, non-supernatural D-Bees are allowed to
live peacefully in the community, and a few have even become
important citizens, something that would have clashed with CS
policies. Furthermore, the Coalition would have forced the kingdom
to give up their enhanced warriors, which at the time accounted
for one-tenth of their defense force. So it seemed better
for everyone to keep things as they were.
When Newtown agreed to divest itself from all Juicer technologies,
UTI met with King Randall Stuart III and made him
and his Congress a very attractive offer. At the time, Fort El
Dorado only had minor Juicer facilities, certainly nothing compared
to those in Ishpeming, Kingsdale and Los Alamo. UTI offered
to move its entire human enhancement programs, lock,
stock and barrel, to Fort El Dorado! A move that would add billions
to the local economy!! In return, all UTI wanted was a
guarantee that the kingdom would not outlaw the Juicer procedure
for a period of at least fifteen years. Given that King Randall
had no intention of restricting the creation of Juicers, he
readily agreed to the plan. By 103 P.A., UTI had, in record time,
built a large body-chop-shop that offered almost every Juicer
conversion available. Since then, Fort El Dorado has become a
major Juicer hang-out, which has only increased the city’s
wealth and reputation as the largest trade city in the area.
Government
Fort El Dorado is ruled by a constitutional monarchy. The
King is an inherited position, controlled this last century and a
half by the Stuart family, who claims to be descendants of time
travelers from Earth’s past; none other than members from the
Stuart royal family from England (not likely). This century-old
tale is cherished by the king’s supporters and politely ignored by
everyone else. Whatever its origins, the Stuart dynasty has produced
its share of relatively capable leaders. The king commands
the armies and rules by signing decrees. However, the
financing of any government activity is in the hands of Congress,
which controls taxation and public funds, unless the king
pays for a government program out of his own pocket. This system
gives Congress a great deal of power, although this elected
body (whose members are selected by democratic vote once
every six years) cannot rule on its own. In addition to the King
and the Congress, there are a number of Directors nominated by
the King and approved by the Congress. Directors are in charge
of a number of government functions and take care of most administrative
matters.
The current monarch is King Randall Stuart the Third, or
Randall III, a thirty-year old man who loves to have fun a great
deal more than is good for the government. Fortunately, the laziness
and vices of the king (who has not married, but whose dalliances
with actresses, performers and female adventurers have
been the source of gossip for years) have not harmed the kingdom.
Martin Clements, the Prime Director of Fort El Dorado,
has made up for Randall’s inadequacies, and is the kingdom’s
ruler in all but name. Under his able leadership, Fort El Dorado
has prospered.
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Technology
For the most part, Fort El Dorado’s technology is comparable
to the end of the 20th Century or early 21st Century. It has limited
manufacturing capabilities, but trade with other nations, including
the CS and the Black Market, more than makes up for it.
Cybernetic facilities offer anything up to partial conversion bionics,
M.O.M. and Juicer implants, and most energy weapons
and equipment. As the only non-Coalition rest stop for hundreds
of miles, it attracts trading caravans, travelers and adventurers
from all over, and benefits from the trade and knowledge these
visitors bring along.
Juicers at Fort El Dorado
Juicers are allowed within city limits, provided they do not
carry any heavy weapons or wear heavy armor (power armor
and giant robot vehicles are also outlawed and must be
“checked” at the city’s borders). Would-be Juicers have access
to most forms of conversion with the exception of Mega-Juicers
and Dragon Blood Juicers (which are outlawed because they rely
on magic).
Juicer Sports are very popular in Fort El Dorado. King Randall
himself is a fan of the sports and has spent a fortune outfitting
Fort El Dorado’s own Juicer Football team, the Stuart
Rhinos. The Rhinos have not had a very distinguished career, but
King Randall continues to spend money on them, sending talent
scouts to find new talent at other kingdoms.
Society
Overall, Fort El Dorado’s people are better educated and
more tolerant of non-humans than the Coalition States. Their
only major prejudices are against magic, psionics and other supernatural
powers, due to bad experiences with supernatural
creatures that arrived on Earth via one of the powerful Rifts that
plague the so-called Magic Zone to the Northeast. Only mutant
animals are allowed to use their abilities and only to help detect
and hunt down anybody who is using illegal powers.
As long as somebody does not practice those “forbidden
lores,” he or she is welcome in Fort El Dorado, regardless of
their species and appearance. D-Bees from all walks of the
Megaverse reside and visit this city, without fear of being bothered
as long as they don’t bother others. There isn’t a “D-Bee
Quarter” or ghetto in the city; instead, people can live wherever
they wish. These attitudes make travelers from the Coalition
States and similar bastions of human supremacy extremely uncomfortable.
Foreign Relations
Fort El Dorado’s main ally and trade partners are the Coalition
States at large and the CS city of Newtown, respectively.
The city is on relatively friendly terms with other independent
communities, including Los Alamo, but for the most part, has little
contact with them.
Armed Forces
The city-state has a standing army of 4,000, mostly infantry
soldiers, with a contingent of 50 robots, 40 tanks, and 100 assorted
light vehicles. The El Dorado Army also doubles as the
police and security force. The soldiers are equipped with medium
body armor (40-50 M.D.C.), energy rifles, 1D4 grenades
and built-in radios; police units also have S.D.C. pistols and batons.
The city proper is surrounded by a heavy, fortified wall, 30
feet (9.1 m) high, made of reinforced M.D.C. concrete. A
number of artillery pieces, rail guns and mortars are mounted on
the wall’s battlements, ready to engage any would-be invaders.
For several years, two Coalition military bases have been established
in the environs of the city. The largest one consists of
650 soldiers (upgraded from 400), and is five miles (8 km) away
from the city. A smaller outpost with 128 troopers (upgraded
from the original 72) is assigned with protecting the natural gas
plant, which is as valuable to the Coalition as to Fort El Dorado.
Places of Interest
The Post: The largest inn and hotel in Fort El Dorado, the
Post was first used by travelers and messenger services who
braved the wilds of North America to bring expensive or important
packages or merchandise from one place to another. As civilization
slowly grew, so did the number of travelers needing
lodging, and the number of inns multiplied at Fort El Dorado.
The Post, however, continues to be the largest and best known,
and is usually the place well-to-do adventurers and travelers
seek when they arrive in this kingdom. Good service, great food
and comfortable rooms are the order of the day here. Rates range
from 60 credits for a single room to 400 credits for the Crown’s
Suite, with the average single room ranging from 100-120 credits
a night. The Post also provides high-security, so there is very
little danger of being the victim of random robberies and other
dangers that are common at the cheaper hotels and motels of
Fort El Dorado.
This establishment is owned by Doris Sellers, a former traveling
merchant (llth level Vagabond) who retired after amassing
a considerable fortune. Still an attractive woman in her early fifties,
she has many contacts among travelers, merchants, business
people and adventurers, so she always seems to know what is
going on before anybody else.
UTI’s Superhuman Body-Chop-Shop: The largest bodychop-
shop in the area, the UTI SBCS was established shortly after
Newtown joined the Coalition States. UTI has managed to
copy all technological Juicer variants except the Mega-Juicer
and Dragon Juicer (and the secret Coalition versions), and can
treat as many as 100 candidates at the same time.
The Los Alamo Clinic: The main competitor of UTI’s establishment
is the Los Alamo Clinic, a Juicer hospital established
by a team of cyber-docs from Los Alamo. Conversions here are
10% cheaper, but there is usually a 1D4 week waiting list.
The Killing Ground: This weapon and vehicle store carries
most of the common weapon lines available in North America,
including a few models from Naruni Enterprises (bought from
third parties; Naruni does not have a trading post in this city).
Most items come from manufacturers like Northern Gun, UTI
and Wellington Industries. A variety of off-road vehicles, power
armor and robots are also on sale here.
The proprietor of the Killing Ground is a D-Bee who calls
himself Pecos Hill. He claims to be the former leader of the Pecos
Empire, an outrageous claim, but most people do not dare
dispute it, because Pecos stands nearly nine feet tall and his
scaly red skin has proven to be tough enough to resist anything
smaller than a volley of heavy missiles. Pecos has lived at Fort
El Dorado for over ten years, arriving at the city with about
twenty million credits’ worth of valuable merchandise. He used
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the proceeds from the sale of the merchandise to buy into a local
weapons store, and eventually, he bought out the previous owner
(rumor says he didn’t want to sell but Pecos was frighteningly
insistent). Pecos Hill is believed to have contacts with the Black
Market.
The Stuart Arena: This is the second largest arena dedicated
to Juicer Sports in the area (the largest one is in Los Alamo). It is
certainly one of the most luxurious. Built in 102 P.A. by King
Randall Stuart, who used several million credits from his personal
fortune, backed by a half dozen other investors (including
UTI), to build a beautiful arena patterned after a Spanish bullfighting
coliseum. The structure can hold up to 30,000 spectators
(it has yet to be filled to capacity), and the field in the center can
be used for a variety of events, including Juicer Football, Murderthon
and Juicer motorcycle races, with or without combat involved.
Ticket fees are very reasonable, 200 credits for season
tickets, and 15-50 credits for most events. Located right next to
the Arena is the Arena Annex where Deadball tournaments are
held every day. The two establishments are responsible for the
regular employment of no less than 300 Juicers, mostly Juicer
Gladiators.
The most famous “local talent” of Fort El Dorado includes
Maximillian Smith (Juicer Gladiator, 9th level, four years old),
the undisputable champion of Deadball, who has yet to lose a
game, with a record of 196 wins, 2 ties, and 34 wins because of
fatalities! Groth “Pseudo-Titan” Crycher, a Troll Juicer (7th
’ level, three years old), the MVP for the Stuart Rhinos; and Julienne
“Atlanta” Vargas (8th level Hyperion Juicer, three years
old), winner of the last two Annual Murderthon Championships.

Fort El Dorado

AZURE SKIES Gnarzal