Grafton is a small town that was built post drop. It is remniscent of what you would expect from a typical western movie; dusty roads, wooden buildings (including a prominent saloon complete with horse trough) and the occasional tumbleweed. Interspersed with this cliche of a town are the constant reminders of the present; an electric panel gleams on the roof of the casino in town (the grandly named Caesar’s Palace), an old picktruck rusts on the side of the street where it was left when the Smith boys ran out of gas and the ruined remains of the Los Angeles skyline are visible to the west on a clear day.
Grafton is a place where the strong rule the weak. The town was built by the Clyde family, considered to be a gang of well armed bullies, who occupy an old fortified ranch on the outskirts of town. They control the only working well in town and own the distillery (along with a considerable stake in the Saloon). They provide protection and a degree of organization for the town against outside dangers but let the town govern it’s own business within city limits (as long as that business does not threaten them).
Bart’s saloon is the main drinking hole in town and is typically filled to the brim with heavy drinking troublemakers; most of them cronies of the Clyde family. It is a good place to take care of shady business.
The Clyde family is not the only power in town. Caesar Ortez (of Caesar’s Palace) runs a gang of his own that controls their own turf. Caesar’s Palace is just about the only place in town that where you can have a hope of escaping the influence of the Clyde family. Rumor has it that the Ortez gang and the Clyde family had some sort of confrontation a few years back about the profits from the casino. The Clyde family was reputedly not happy with how this turns out and has been looking for revenge.
Pietro Marconi is a relative newcomer to town who has set up shop in another rundown ranch leased to him by the Clyde family. He supposedly offers a selection of unsavory vices worse than either the Clyde alchohol or the Ortez gambling – but is seemingly content to pay protection money to both.
Grafton isn’t devoid of any bastions of morality. Father Thomas holds mass at a small chapel every Sunday preaching the word of the Good Lord to the devout. He and a few faithful followers also provide a measure of protection for the women and children of town; Father Thomas is an expert with the baseball bat he keeps tucked away and at nearly three hundred pounds of pure muscle he makes sure you feel it.
Susan Clarke runs the local store and barters with travellers and townsfolk alike. Folks call her Sly Sue behind her back but that doesn’t change the fact that she has a surprisingly good selection of essentials tucked away in her shop. Her two sons Randy and Mark both carry high quality revolvers to discourage any people interested in a five finger discount, and her daughter Bonnie’s marriage to John Clyde Jr. is more discouragement for troublemakers than either of her sons.
Vincent Freeman runs the local salvage shop along with a handful of assistants. He both purchases salvaged parts and items in need of repair and offer’s his expertise to others. He is notable for a large brand on the right side of his face that he won’t discuss. People who press him on the issue tend to be denied services.
There are a few other establishments and people of note in town. Old Man Cheng supposedly is willing to pay good trade items for old books and documents. The Smith boys, Jonas and Clem, are scavengers who head into the ruins for weeks at a time. Clem is missing his left hand but has replaced it with a nasty knife. Finally, Ol’ Doc Irons is a bit of a quack but the only one person in town with any medical knowledge.
Grafton sure as hell ain’t much but it’s a damn sight better than the endless wastelands and the decaying ruins of civilization; every now and again people stumble into town too tired to go further. These people tend to end up either breaking their backs in the fields outside of town or breaking heads on behalf of the gangs inside of town. Despite it’s many flaws, Grafton seems to be your home for the immediate future.