Background[edit | edit source]
After being closed in December of 2022, due to overflowing radioactive water detected inside the mine structure, the mine had become a shanty camp and Raider stronghold for the Blackwater Bandits, later becoming the domain of the odd and dangerous mole miners.
Blackwater was originally a coal mine exploiting the rich resources remaining in the Appalachian Territories. With the discovery of uranium, however, the United States Department of Energy took control of the site in April 2076, as it became a matter of national security. Dr. Phillip Cotton, head of the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, headed the site. The mine was chosen for perfecting an experimental leaching process for exploiting the uranium deposits and by September 2076, limited success was achieved, clearing the way for long-term extraction. Cotton was assigned to the mine permanently.
Construction proceeded apace and the facility was finished by the end of June 2077, reaching operational status. Further developments planned included reinforcing the water pumping systems, strengthening the core of the mine, and shutting off other portions. Over the course of development, the on-site staff increased to 50, but the ultimate goal was to make the facility run itself. To that end, Cotton hired a new foreman to oversee operations during optimization processes and staff reductions. Mitchell Hibbs was not initially aware of his role, believing that this was to be a long-term job, one for the benefit of national security, as the uranium yields would power nuclear power plants and construct missiles. He believed the automation would benefit them all: Uranium yield increasing drastically due to tweaked extractor machines pulling the ore in at a rate faster than an army of miners ever could and much safer to boot, due to the method of melting uranium underground and siphoning it.. He did, in fact, believe that the wealth generated in the mine would eventually trickle back to the common man.
The first cracks started to appear in mid-July when the mining crew started to take it easy, able to complete their work in a fraction of the time allotted. The foreman wrote them up for laziness and when the first mass layoff hit at the end of July, he believed it was for the best: Cutting the crew down to just the best, working with state of the art technology and maximizing profits for the company. He believed he could demonstrate to the executives the potential in combining the best of both worlds. He did not expect to be fired less than two weeks into August, replaced by an automated foreman.
The mine was abandoned after the Great War but was eventually seized by a raider gang from the Pleasant Valley. Led by Freddie Lang, the gang styled themselves the Blackwater Bandits and followed Freddie's lead. Burglary came naturally to all of them and they focused on stealing, rather than robbing others. At least, at first. Then they started robbing settlers and murdering them just like everybody else. It was smooth sailing for a time before a sudden illness infected Freddie, leading the gang to trade the Cutthroats mini-nukes stolen from the Brotherhood of Steel for chem cases. The illness continued, until the entire gang became sick, with symptoms such as hair loss and peeling skin. It was then revealed that one of Freddie's crew decided to mess with the automated extractor units, flooding the mine with radiation, turning the gang into walking corpses.
The raiders lost contact with Blackwater circa 2096, after Freddie and her bandits succumbed to radiation poisoning. Lang was turned into a glowing one by the intense radiation, becoming a ghost haunting the mine. Since then, the mine and its immediate surroundings have been heavily occupied by mole miners.
Layout[edit | edit source]
Blackwater Mine is to the east of the Whitespring Resort. There are several buildings in the northern part of the mine, and the mine itself is accessed through a large building to the south.
The outside of Blackwater Mine is surrounded by a tall fence, with the entrance through the perimeter in the north. Through the concrete building with the adjacent ruined raider trade post is the main courtyard, which includes a pair of office pods with a cooking station in front of them, a warehouse with workbenches (armor, tinker, chems, and cooking) to the east, and a mechanic's shed on the opposite side, containing a power armor station with random power armor and a workbench. The entrance to the mine proper is in the south, with the useless automated foreman in front.
The mine's interior consists of a single main corridor running west to east, with branches in each cardinal direction (except the entrance in the west). The entrance area contains an old locker room with a functioning decontamination arch and the foreman's office with his terminal and a locked safe. Down the corridor, the first branch is to the north, beyond the first chamber and marked by a pair of red steel pillars. It leads to the raiders' quarters, up winding, confusing corridors. There is a small, locked storage room in the first area with a magazine spawn, with the chamber beyond leading to the main raider camp up the catwalks. The catwalks contain passageways radiating from the central area, with the location's steamer trunk and armor workbench to the northeast, a cave laboratory with a magazine spawn point and a safe to the northwest, and a passageway leading to the balcony overlooking the central chamber to the south (the security room may also contain a bobblehead).
The southern branch is beyond the bridge chamber and through the double doors. In the entrance room is a weapons workbench with a magazine spawn point. Beyond is the extractor room, which features in Uranium Fever, where player characters have to defend the extractors from waves of mole miners. The eastern branch is the end. Through the submerged mine tunnel lies the pump room for the facility. There is a chemistry station in the control chamber together with a chemistry station. Down the northern tunnel lies the exit to the surface and another bobblehead spawn point.
Notable loot[edit | edit source]
- Freddie Lang's holotape - Holotape, on a wooden shelf inside the mine interior front office.
- Blackwater Mine: Orientation - Holotape, on the desk next to the Blackwater Bandits terminal.
- Blackwater Mine: Innovations - Holotape, in a room near Freddie Lang at the back of the mine, next to a terminal (Logs: Dr. Phillip Cotton) and some lab equipment. It is to the northwest after entering the main catwalk area.
- Blackwater Bandits key fragment - Holotape, found on the body of Freddie Lang inside one of the mine's antechambers during the mission Key to the Past.
- Four potential Vault-Tec bobbleheads:
- On top of the warehouse with the interior mine entrance and the curved roof, on the middle chimney.
- Underwater, at the bottom of the vertical cavern with the metal gantry and generator at the top.
- In the tiny computer room with a view of the mine shaft, on the metal desk.
- In the dead-end alcove to the right of the exit ladder, on the long horizontal metal bar.
- Four potential magazines:
- In Dr. Cotton's tiny cave laboratory, near three radioactive barrels and a safe (Picklock 3), below metal shelving near a pipe.
- In the tiny, locked (Picklock 1) security closet, off the narrow tunnels connecting the main mine tunnel to the vertical waterlogged cavern, close to some red steel tunnel buttressing.
- In the concrete storeroom off the drilling chambers, on the east wall, behind the low metal counter to the right of the weapons workbench.
- In the fan extraction and machine room with the large circular pipe hole in the floor, opposite the chemistry station, under a mattress bed, on the sleeping bag.
- Power armor with raider power armor pieces - Outside, in the mechanic's shed in the western part of the area.
- Two potential armor mod plans:
- On a barrel to the left of an armor workbench outside of the entrance.
- On a metal shelf to the right of an armor workbench, in the same room as the water systems monitoring terminal (interior).
- Potential power armor mod - Outside, on a locker shelf, in the same area as the power armor chassis.
- Potential weapon mod - Outside, on the ground (or on a desk), facing the north exterior (or interior) wall of the power armor chassis spawn.
- Potential recipe - Outside on the cliffside, in a lookout tower south of the mine, on a small table.
- Fusion core - On the same counter as Dr. Philip Cotton's terminal, to the right.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Blackwater Mine appears only in Fallout 76.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries#Water systems monitoring
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; 04-13-76
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; 09-04-76
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; 06-28-77
- Blackwater Mine: Orientation
- Blackwater Mine: Innovations
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; 7-9-77
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; 7-20-77
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; 8-13-77
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; Miss you
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; Good haul
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; Low on chems
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; People gettin' sick
- Blackwater Mine terminal entries; Radiation leak
- Rose: "Ah whatever, it's not like you can radio back. Anyhoo! If I recall, we completely lost track of the Blackwater Bandits back in '96."