Background[edit | edit source]
The Ash Heap is the most desolate region of Appalachia, destroyed for the enormous riches available to those determined enough to take them. Historically, the region was the site of great mining initiatives and even greater struggles between miners and those who bought their labor. Mount Blair was a focal point of these mining efforts for decades. Before the Great War, it was turned into a large-scale coal mining site, with gigantic digging machines like the Rockhound destroying a majority of the mountain by the late 2070s.
However, this did not happen without repercussions. The strip-mining caused enormous ecological damage. This turned the entire region into a slagged expanse of mined rock and dumping grounds. By 2077, the situation got to the point that toxic ash was routinely dumped into the atmosphere and carried by the wind to adjacent towns, covering them in harmful ash and forcing the Appalachians to wear gas masks in order to go about their daily lives.
The culprits behind this ecological disaster were the Garrahans and Hornwrights, the two major families in charge of Appalachia's mining industry. They owned lavish estates in the mountains overlooking the mines. The Hornwrights bear most of the burden: The Rockhound polluted the air until it was almost unbreathable and when the Clear Skies Alliance offered co-ownership of air scrubbers that could clear the skies, Hornwright promptly repurposed them as ash forges to extract minerals from the polluted air and increase their bottom line. To maximize their efficiency, the company literally set the mines on fire to fill the air with toxic, resource-rich smoke that could then be harvested.
By 2103, the mine fires continue to burn, releasing smoke and ash into the air. This forces residents and travelers to continue wearing gas masks in order to obtain breathable, freshy-filtered air. The Blue Ridge Caravan Company established an outpost at Big Bend Tunnel East, using the tunnel to cross the Savage Divide. The Blood Eagles, a hostile gang of raiders, settled into and repurposed many old campsites across the region, producing bases such as the Rollins labor camp.
Environment[edit | edit source]
The Ash Heap is a dark, barren, rocky region with little vegetation. Dense, polluted smog covers the area, causing an almost perpetually overcast sky. Smoke and cinders bellow up from the region's mines, sent to the surface by unceasing, raging fires in the tunnels below. The Ash Heap's air is toxic, with the more polluted and smoke-filled areas requiring proper airborne protection at the risk of acquiring lung disease. The air contains traces of arsenic, cadmium, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide, among other toxins.
The Ash Heap's weather is primarily overcast or foggy. The weather has a 40% chance to be overcast, 40% to be misty, 11% to be an ash storm, 7% to be rainy, and 2% to be a radstorm. Ash storms are a type of weather unique to the Ash Heap, primarily occurring near Mount Blair. A heavy grey haze blankets the area, notably lowering visibility. This effect is amplified during the daytime and when looking outside from interiors, though it doesn't appear to introduce any additional hazards. Certain areas of the Ash Heap are constantly within ash storms, particularly those around Mount Blair.
Layout[edit | edit source]
The Ash Heap is in the southwestern portion of the Appalachia map and contains the following locations:
- Abandoned mine shaft 1
- Abandoned mine shaft 2
- Abandoned mine shaft 3
- Abandoned mine shaft 4
- Abandoned mine shaft 5
- Abandoned mine shaft 6
- Abandoned mine shaft Elaine
- Abandoned mine site Kittery
- AMS testing site
- Belching Betty
- Big Bend Tunnel campsite
- Brim Quarry
- The Burning Mine
- Camden Park
- Garrahan Estate
- Garrahan Mining Headquarters
- Hornwright air purifier site 01
- Hornwright air purifier site 02
- Hornwright air purifier site 03
- Hornwright air purifier site 04
- Hornwright testing site 2
- Hornwright testing site 3
- Hornwright testing site 4
- Janelle's camp
- Lake Reynolds
- Mount Blair
- Nicholson's End
- Pylon ambush site
- Relay tower HG-B7-09
- Red Rocket filling station
- Riverside cottage
- Rollins labor camp
- The Rusty Pick
- The Sludge Works
- Striker Row
- Unfinished mansion
- Van Lowe Taxidermy
- Vault 63
- Widow's Perch
Quotes[edit | edit source]
Expect periodic bouts of seismic activity and instability, mainly brought about by decades of incautious mining by the AMS Corporation. AMS conducted some early Ultracite tests in the region, leading to seismic rumblings, while other shaking seems to be caused by Scorchbeasts burrowing and the infamous “Motherlode.” Prior to the bombs dropping, an earthquake revealed a vein of Ultracite under some homes in the impoverished town of Welch. AMS attempted to evict the residents in order to reach the vein, and these tactics resulted in a riot, which swept the region about three weeks before the War. Rioters hit the Bucket Wheel Excavator on Mount Blair, blowing up one of the Mega Mansions and defacing the home of the Hornwrights. The Garrahan family’s holdings were mainly left intact due to their tendency to work with, rather than against, the miners.”— Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide
Appearances[edit | edit source]
The Ash Heap appears only in Fallout 76.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The Ash Heap contains many real life West Virginian mining locations, such as the Kanawha-Coal River coalfields of Kanawha, Raleigh, Fayette, Logan and Boone County (Mount Blair), Pocahontas coalfields (Welch), Greenbrier County (Lewisburg), and Cabell and Wayne County (Camden Park).
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "Before the war, Mount Blair was a large-scale coal mining site where gigantic digging machines removed entire portions of the mountaintop at once."
- Lewisburg terminal entries; Lewisburg visitor's center terminal, Lewisburg Newsletter
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "The Garrahans and Hornwrights were the two major families in charge of Appalachia's mining industry. They owned lavish estates in the mountains overlooking their precious mines."
- Hornwright air purifier site terminal entries; Terminal: Dominick Heyward, MOST RECENT MESSAGE: You Fucking Thieves
- Aries: "Ah, fresh air! Well, freshly filtered ash-infested air! I'll take what I can get, as long as it means I'm still breathing."
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "In the region survivors dubbed the "Ash Heap," a thick layer of filthy smoke blankets the area, providing cover for friend and foe alike."
- Charleston Fire Department Protectron: " "
- Region data for Ash Heap. (MtnRemovalObjectRegion)
- Region data for Ash Heap. (MountBlairCoalFireRegion)