During the Days of Fire and Fog, either Hanscom Air Force Base or Boston was targeted by an ultratech tectonic devastation weapon. The weapon missed and landed near Littleton instead. Upon impact, it radically terraformed the surrounding area, raising the general surface level by over 1000 feet and creating a jagged ring of hills and low mountains, roughly 8000 feet high, running roughly along I-90 in the south and I-95 and I-93 in the east.
Most of the buildings in the area were immediately turned to rubble. Over the next few years, the line of mountains limited the amount of water the prevailing winds brought onto the new plateau, and most vegetation died. Soon the winds began tearing at the topsoil and producing dust storms and eventually sandstorms.
Still, some people clung to life in the Littleton Desert. Hanscomb Air Force Base had hardened bunkers, some of which survived, and the survivors of the Massachusetts National Guard, especially the 181st Infantry Regiment, buried into the ground and survived on preserved rations while they desperately cultivated hardy desert plants. Other refugees settled on the few sources of water in the region.
The communities of the Littleton Desert are mostly cut off from the rest of the Boston Commonwealth. There are few easy passes through the Ring Hills, and none of them are especially convenient to existing communities. The 181 claims to be the legitimate government of the Commonwealth, and sends patrols out to collect taxes from nearby towns, but the claim is not generally recognized and the taxes are rarely paid.
Greenskins are a constant threat in the Desert. Whatever mutations allow them to thrive in the irradiated ruins of Providence also serve them well in the Desert, and bands live in or near the ruins of Lowell, Shrewsbury, and Devens.
The Littleton Desert is home to dozens of ruins. The tectonic activity that created the desert leveled most buildings, and subsequent sandstorms have begun to bury the remains, especially in the west past the ruins of Littleton. Scavenging is difficult and dangerous, with many hazards, but rewarding as the ruins have not been as extensively explored as the ruins in other parts of the Commonwealth. A further difficulty is the limited passes through the Ring Hills make it difficult to transport large items into the more populated lowlands.
Picked over and controlled by the 181.
NW of Boston, NE of Littleton. Hit by a low-yield ground burst nuclear weapon.
The 181 is the remnants and descendants of the Massachusetts National Guard out of Hanscombe AFB near Bedford. They "requisition" supplies from nearby villages and are not well liked, but claim to be the legitimate authority in MA.
Unnamed Settlement Between Acton-HudsonEdit
Likely a dependency of the 181.
Unnamed Settelement South of Marlborough West of FraminghamEdit
Independent settlement; controls the only decent pass through the Ring Hills.
Unnamed Settlement West of LancasterEdit
West of Lowell, this village was built around a church building that miraculously survived the tectonic warhead intact and was further blessed by a natural well nearby. The priestly leadership continue to welcome refugees, and the village is constantly searching for fresh water.