The Moonshiners (Eastern Brewers) - The Smugglers of City 24

Meco

MegaHeart
Supporter Plus
7 January 2019
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#1
DISCLAIMER: This is not confirmed lore as of yet, this thread is purely to suggest the faction and see how staff and server community react to it. I would expect changes as people are likely to ask to change at least something. Italics are author's notes.

DISCLAIMER 2.0: Not native English speaker. Expect mistakes. Especially articles/connectives, I hate those. *shoots "a" with a shotgun :mad:*


Introduction:

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The Moonshiners” is a gargantuan smuggler ring operating in the City 24 (Previously Geneva) and its immediate area around it, the Tri-Mountain Outlands. They are well known on the fringes on the city, but a relatively new sight in the central district. Their structure is highly autonomous and almost anarchic on lowest levels, while extremely hierarchical on top. Their main aims are non violence and abundance of contraband “luxuries” for all of humanity. Their name is derived from their supplies being predominantly beer and whiskey.



Backstory:

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The Invasion:

The moonshiners' first iteration came to life as a “United Freedom Army” (“Armee de liberte unie”), a rebel organization formed right in the heat of the seven hour war. It was primarily formed from volunteers in south eastern France and the border patrol army branches. Refusing to surrender, they have cooperated with Swiss rebel cells in making the area of Geneva infamously hard to pacify.



1 Year after the invasion:

Losing the majority of their numbers to the Combine advance and new-found Xen creatures, the UFA has turned to even more guerrilla based tactics. Recruiting numbers were at all time high, yet the losses were outpacing them dramatically.



2 Years after the invasion, The Civil war:

Seeing the Combine settle and prosper, forming the new “City 24” out of Geneva has dealt a major blow to the organization and morale of the faction. Defeatism has spread like a wildfire, with many falling out of the faction to form their own, or even surrender to the new combine rule.

This escalated into a major civil war within the faction which lasted over multiple months. The winning side has reformed the ruins of its organisation, prioritizing living out their lives in the best condition they have, yet outside of the Combine grasp. This has helped them out dramatically, and caused their old infrastructure being reformed into a proper chain of supplies. The name of the faction was briefly changed to “Red Mountain”.



3 Years after the invasion, Abundance:

The faction has been reborn quite successfully, enjoying lack of attention from the Combine forces, who were still much more interested in killing off aggressive rebel cells, rather than some scattered human groups. After much reshuffling of the leadership, the new name was formalized for the faction: “Eastern Brewers” (“Brasseurs est”) to reflect their vast production of fermented drinks.



4th and 5th years, The First Expansion:

Now with a good few years behind them, the Brewers were nearly drowning in supplies they have planted, grown and processed. Such abundance lead to another ideological rebirth, that of trade and charity. Initially, the brewers would only supply rebel organizations with their produce, but swiftly found that contraband trading was both more lucrative and morally redeeming, bringing oppressed “citizens” the luxury they have missed for so long. These years have seen the most basic runs, the first attempts at breaching the city and recruiting of the citizens into the smuggler ring.

This had the expected consequences of globalization, as the traditionally french language used in the faction has been slowly replaced with a more accessible English language, especially with the influx of citizens first relocated from other parts of the world. This had the unintended effect of giving them a new nickname from the populace, “The Moonshiners”, which was eventually adopted as the faction name for convenience, yet some older veterans cling to the “official” name they held before.



6th year and current time, The Second Expansion:

Moonshiners have enjoyed a massive success on the fringes of the city, but started to feel the grip of the Combine: the major resistance movements were crushed, and those that were left were forced to hide. Now with the danger of resistance diminished, the Combine administration started to crack down on the smuggling twice as hard, resulting in many losses for the Moonshiners.

Despite that, the trade has only been blooming, and now there have been rumors of the Second Expansion: namely, the appearance of Moonshiner affiliated citizens in the central district, previously enjoying its relative lack of anti-citizen activity. Only time will tell if they will succeed and flood the heart of the city with illegal luxury, or fail like the less peaceful factions before.





The Structure and Ranks:

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Despite its outreach, the complete structure of the Moonshiners is very hard to analyse, as they tend to operate in increasingly anarchic and autonomous fashion down the supply chain they have created. The faction is evenly split between the Tri-Mountain Outlands and the City itself.

Majority of produce is rumored to be produced in an almost mythical “Brewer’s Cliff”, however there has been absolutely no evidence about such a place existing, outside of hearsay. However, the spies in the Moonshiners have helped to identify and raid several small scale breweries in the Outlands, showing that it is not entirely centralized even if the Brewer’s cliff does exist.

Rank structure is well known due to rumors and hearsay being spread around almost like stories, casually.

These ranks are special: due to the fact that the faction is in the outlands and the city, and we don’t have many players to play any way, the ranks are split into non playable and playable.

Ranking:

Peddlers (Playable): A very vague term describing someone who is interacting with the smuggling positively. It could be anyone, from a citizen collecting and reselling smuggler’s drops to rebels buying supplies directly. They have near zero contact with higher ranks, usually.

Fixers (Playable): Recruited from promising and anti-combine peddlers. Usually serve as an operative in the city for the Fence they are hired by, but are generally supplied to be the black market traders themselves if the situation calls for it.

Fences (Playable): A first rank in direct contact with the rest of the Moonshiners: an agent, recruited or off city, who ensures the distribution of contraband all across the district. Their numbers vary heavily on the district, and their duties are heavily varied and decided by the Fence, usually covering anything from direct black market sales, or running the treasure hunt drop offs for the district.
They tend to be the one of the only groups that the Runners actively talk to.

Runner (Event Only): Well trained pathfinders who breach the city and supply the Fences, directly from the Outland. Due to their importance, they are heavily trained and always armed, and have yet to be captured alive by CCA. Capturing such an individual would severely hurt the operation of the Moonshiners in the city, and can even endanger the entire faction, on behalf of them usually being the most informed. They are rumored to loosely cooperate with rebel groups by trading their path finding knowledge and maps.

Helmet (Non Playable): The security force of the Moonshiners, usually posted all around their breweries and bases. Their name comes from the unfortunate detail: the Moonshiners have come across a military surplus of oversized helmets years back and have been known to use them for additional protection. Despite their comical appearance, they are seen as a status symbol of any Moonshiner tasked with protection of their assets, and thus are kept in the best repair, even if their outfits are lacking.

Brewer (Non Playable): The core of the Moonshiners ranks, those who are entrusted to “Brew” various supplies. The act of “Brewing” actually covers anything from actual drink preparation to gun assembly. They are rarely seen outside of well protected bases or breweries, usually enjoying relaxed life.

Firebrand (Non Playable/Event Only): Leaders of the Moonshiners. Few remain, but they still hold the faction together through charisma and leadership. Their skills of managing the Moonshiners are outstanding after years of practice, yet due to some internal instability, killing even one of the leaders would result in the faction folding in on itself.


Political Instability:

The Moonshiners are currently split into two conflicting internal factions: Conservatives and Moralists.


Conservative “Old Guard” values and preaches not crossing paths with Combine, and avoiding any violence or serious crime offenses. This has come from years old experience of not provoking the CCA too much and enjoying staying low on their radar, however now that CCA pays them more attention…

The Moralist Movement has been blooming in the faction, born of solidarity to certain rebel cells in the city. It praises actual interference and opposing the Combine forces, as well as being more lenient on certain crimes, not judging as harshly when it comes to murder or harm in general, interpreted as “self defence”.

The Middle (silent) Majority is an average Moonshiner individual represented en masse, usually gravitating towards the balance of those two factions, but are generally not taking sides.


Crimes:
Doing these specified offenses is a good way to alienate yourself or get exiled from the Moonshiners ranks. Depends on who you ask.


Murder (Unjustified)
OG: Total Taboo
Moralist: Dislike
Majority: Dislike


Murder (Justified)
OG: Strong Dislike
Moralist: Like
Majority: Neutral

UPA (Non-consensual)
OG: Total Taboo
Moralist: Strong Dislike
Majority: Strong Dislike


Assault/Harm (Towards CCA):
OG: Dislike
Moralist: Like
Majority: Neutral


Assault/Harm (Towards Citizens)
OG: Dislike/Neutral
Moralist: Strong Dislike
Majority: Neutral



Rank Infighting:

Certain ranks of Moonshiners are traditionally prestigious and limited in capacity, having set numbers by those who manage them. This creates tension and rivalries between ranks, and acts of setting others up to progress yourself in the faction are fairly common. Fixers ratting on Fences to get promoted to Fences themselves, Fences dropping hints on other Fences to get more influence, all of this infighting is becoming more and more common as more people join the Moonshiners.

Affected ranks: Fixer/Fence/Runner



Operations:

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Trade: Main activity of good old black market and smugglers who supply it. Direct trade face to face on the less travelled streets, with some secrecy. It is very simple and requires little explanation, and knowing more specific detail is hard without participating in such acts.


Caravans: Ambitious supply runs between districts. Usually done underground, by boat, or by carrying contraband on individuals en masse. These are more and more of a rarity nowadays, as the infrastructure and the city has long been made permeable for any crafty pathfinder to navigate without being noted by CCA.


Drop offs (Treasure Hunts): A fairly recent addition, a “charity” run by the Moonshiners. In order to promote low level contraband trading and flood the district with easy access to such goods, the Moonshiners have certain Fences creating drop off locations around the city, sketching them and uploading them to public access. It is an insane risk to follow those, as if you are not the early bird to grab the drop, the friendly CCA will remind you why contraband is bad, in person, on site. After all, they can see it the same as you do…



Threats to CCA:

These are the primary reasons why CCA has been cracking down on the Moonshiners hard in the last years.

-Expansion: The Moonshiners expanding into the center district of the town is almost a declaration of war, and a declaration of the failure for CCA. Propaganda is churning the slogans out to stop the tide of the luxuries that corrupt the mind and body. The Moonshiners must be stopped or disrupted at once to ensure the safety inside City 24.

-Corruption: There have been reports of low level Civil Protection Units engaging in personal contraband appropriation. This is a major concern, as such low rank units are still human, and can be swayed by certain luxuries, either being bribed to close their eyes on certain events, or pocketing the drop offs they raid themselves.

-Rumors of Counterfeit UU branded goods: A current fear-mongering scare going on in the City 24. There are widespread rumors that the Moonshiners have started to counterfeit and put their food and drink produce into the usual pool of rations. Such a threat is very unlikely, and can be assumed to be just a rumor, but convincing the public that it is untrue might take a lot of effort. Unless it is true after all..



Misc Information:



Joining:

Entirely IC. No applications.
Server likely to have just a few fences and their entrusted Fixers they recruit themselves, while rank of a peddler is for anyone who engages in contraband on any level.



Faction play:

This faction is a “soft” faction in a way that you don’t need to abandon any other faction to “join” it. It is not affiliated with any other faction and exists on its own, but its goals are not excluding most other factions out of the action.



Here we go, this is the part 1, and the main part of the faction description. I will add or remove parts upon suggestions from the comments and correct inconsistencies to the server lore if such arise. I feel insane after writing 2k words about a faction in hl2rp.
 
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