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Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and is not canon.

Burham Springs, known before the war as Eagle Rock, and widely known as Burning Springs following the destruction of the mine, is a location in the American Southwest.

Background

In 2039, Prometheus Coal, a division of Poseidon Energy, opened the Eagle's Rock mine complex in central Utah. A small mining town named Eagle Rock would open sometime later. The mine would prove to be quite dangerous and inefficient, eventually leading to the company selling the site to the Federal government almost three decades later. The government turns the mine into a radioactive-waste dumping ground, manned by AGRICOLA mining robots. The Enclave also promoted the construction of a small bunker in the mine, for personal use in the event of a war. Unfortunately for them, no Enclave members manage to reach the bunker before the Great War.

New California Republic explorers would discover the mine two centuries later. Recognizing the value of the coal, a small community was built in the remains of Eagle Rock by the wealthy NCR mine merchant, Trent Burham. The community was given a charter by Lt. Gov. Dodge to excavate the existing mines in the region for the production of valuable coal resources. Burham's men and women struck black gold. A small community quickly grew up around the mines in the shells of the old mining town. With the NCR railroad project moving through the area, everything was safe and secure. The NCR ignored the lower caves, as pre-war toxic waste had been dumped here by the government.

Everything went well at Burham Springs until the NCR presence pulled out. The railways were completed, and civil discontent was brewing back west. NCR recommended that the citizens of Burham Springs pack up their things and return with them. Many of the stubborn miners refused to give up what had become a very profitable and familiar way of life. Several were ex-criminals or "integrated" tribals with no future in the rest of NCR. With no one to protect the community, it became vulnerable to attack by the powder gangs of the wasteland. After a powder gang attack between Burham Springs and Hoover Dam left several important NCR political figures dead, the 5th Engineering Company was deployed to track down the responsible gang. The gang, finally afraid of NCR's focused might, retreated to Burham Springs. The NCR's firepower forced the gang to retreat into the mines. The commanding NCR officer, Maj. Robert "Border" Briggs, hastily ordered his men to plant explosives around the mine and detonate them. The massive explosions reached all the way down the mineshafts and hit the powder stockpiles of the gang. A chain reaction occurred. Flames erupted from every mineshaft that didn't collapse. The oil and coal dust on top of the local creek and pond were lit ablaze. A number of partially-tapped veins of coal also ignited, starting an unstoppable blaze that burns and smolders to this day. To make matters worse, the explosion didn't kill everyone. At least a few dozen townsfolk and power gang members were horribly burned and exposed to the radiation leaking from the ruptured containment barrels in the lower caverns. Through mysterious 50s sci-fi-esque pseudo-science, the anthracite coal, fire, and radioactive elements combined to create a bizarre mutated monstrosity that the nearby Canaanites call "Gehennas."

Though a few extraordinarily hardy miners continued to gather small amounts of coal and technology from the caverns, everyone else abandoned the area out of fear. The NCR didn't even bother posting warnings or trying to keep people out. As far as they were concerned, if someone walks into a city that's been burning for over a decade, they're on their own. The three remaining residents of the town's surface, Phil, Sparky, and Frank, trade their finds with various merchants and roving packs of tribals, typically in exchange for food, weapons, and ammunition to defend themselves. The two men and one ghoul are tough bastards, and clever enough to see trouble coming. They have successfully defended against attacks from three different tribal groups.[2][3] The AGRICOLA mining robots can be found there, as well as horribly mutated creatures, called the gehennas and the molechs.[4]

Appearances

Burham Springs was to appear in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 project by Black Isle Studios.

References

  1. Burham Springs design documents, page 5: "Government decision makers order the dumping of radioactive waste into Eagle Rock's lower mines. Enclave politicos help secure a contract for Poseidon Energy to develop and use their AGRICOLA mining robots in the operation of the dumping ground. Not surprisingly, the AGRICOLA lab turns out to be a pretty good bunker as well."
  2. Burham Springs design documents, pages 3-4: "The town of Burham Springs was established fifteen years ago by Trent Burham, a wealthy NCR mine merchant. The community was given a charter by Lt. Gov. Dodge to excavate the existing mines in the region for the production of valuable coal resources. Burham's men and women struck black gold, NCR tea. A small community quickly grew up around the mines in the shells of the old mining town. With the NCR railroad project moving through the area, everything was safe and secure. The NCR ignored the lower caves, as pre-war toxic waste had been dumped here by the government. Everything went well at Burham Springs until the NCR presence pulled out. The railways were completed, and civil discontent was brewing back west. NCR recommended that the citizens of Burham Springs pack up their things and return with them. Many of the stubborn miners refused to give up what had become a very profitable and familiar way of life. Several were ex-criminals, or 'integrated' tribals with no future in the rest of NCR. With no one to protect the community, it became vulnerable to attack by the powder gangs of the wasteland (the powder gangs were old railway workers left jobless and helpless by NCR). After a powder gang attack between Burham Springs and Hoover Dam left several important NCR political figures dead, the 5th Engineering Company was deployed to track down the responsible gang. The gang, finally afraid of NCR's focused might, retreated to Burham Springs. The NCR's firepower forced the gang to retreat into the mines. The commanding NCR officer, Maj. Robert 'Border' Briggs, hastily ordered his men to plant explosives around the mine and detonate them. The massive explosions reached all the way down the mineshafts and hit the powder stockpiles of the gang. A chain reaction occurred. Flames erupted from every mineshaft that didn't collapse. The oil and coal dust on top of the local creek and pond were lit ablaze. A number of partially-tapped veins of coal also ignited, starting an unstoppable blaze that burns and smolders to this day. To make matters worse, the explosion didn't kill everyone. At least a few dozen townsfolk and power gang members were horribly burned and exposed to the radiation leaking from the ruptured containment barrels in the lower caverns. Through mysterious 50s sci-fi-esque pseudo-science, the anthracite coal, fire, and radioactive elements combined to create a bizarre mutated monstrosity that the nearby Canaanites call 'Gehennas'. Though a few extraordinarily hardy miners still pluck small amounts of coal and gang-stolen technology from the caverns, everyone else has abandoned the area out of fear. NCR doesn't even bother posting warnings or trying to keep people out. As far as they're concerned, if you walk into a city that's been burning for over a decade, you're on your own. The three residents of the town's surface, Phil, Sparky, and Frank, collect bits of coal and small pieces of technology to trade with various merchants and roving packs of tribals. To date, only three tribal groups have tried to attack the strange trio. They were not successful. The two men and one ghoul are tough bastards, and clever enough to see trouble coming. They typically trade for food, weapons, and ammunition to defend themselves, When entering the area, the first area the player will see is the burning village itself. He will most likely encounter Phil, Sparky, and Frank as soon as he or she walks down the central street in town. The PC can trade with these characters and learn about the background of Burham Springs as well as the horrible dangers that lie just inside the cave mouth. Phil and Frank will more than adequately warn the PC that the mine is extremely dangerous -- dangerous enough that NCR didn't think it was worth saving. Phil has a map of the traps on the first floor of the mine and Frank has a map of the extra toxic areas in the lower caves. Neither is willing to part with either unless the payoff is significant. Near the mine entrance, they will pass a water pump on the surface that will prove important in the toxic caves. Inside the mines, the player will find roving packs of gehennas, fire and smoke hazards, and bits of technology stashed here and there. There are six ladders going down into the caves below. Though the player will encounter two a short distance into the mines, they could explore the whole level before descending. The toxic caves are uneven caverns with barrels and small pools of radioactive waste. The player will encounter more gehennas and more badly mutated gehennas in this area. The worst of the gehennas are huge abominations called molechs. In addition to these monstrosities and more tech, the player will encounter the end of a hose for a radioactive pool. The system is broken, but can be fixed on the surface and in the mines with a replacement part from Hoover Dam or through use of the Mechanics skill. When the pool is drained, a door is revealed and opens. Inside, the PC will find the AGRICOLA lab and the waiting AGRICOLA robots. The player will deal with the robots, search through the holodiscs in the archives, and learn about the hazard suppression system that the robots are set up to perform. The player can then help organize the robots and set them on their way, effectively extinguishing the Burham Springs flames and removing a great deal of the toxic waste. The day is saved and dogs and cats live together in harmony."
  3. Burham Springs design documents, page 5: "2039
    Prometheus Coal, a division of Poseidon Energy, opens a coal mine in central Utah. A small village opens up nearby. It is called Eagle Rock.
    2066
    With more important things to spend their money on, Poseidon Energy closes the inefficient and dangerous Eagle's Rock mine complex and sells it to the U.S. government.
    2074
    Government decision makers order the dumping of radioactive waste into Eagle Rock's lower mines. Enclave politicos help secure a contract for Poseidon Energy to develop and use their AGRICOLA mining robots in the operation of the dumping ground. Not surprisingly, the AGRICOLA lab turns out to be a pretty good bunker as well.
    2077
    Bombs drop. Two Poseidon scientists are still trapped in the lab. After four years, one dies of natural illness. After one more year, the other commits suicide.
    2238
    NCR explorers discover Eagle Rock and quickly realize that it is a source of energy and some water -- albeit a dangerous source. Within the year, NCR miners are there, and more come shortly thereafter. Many of them are dregs/outcasts from other communities.
    2245
    NCR halts production on the railroad lines. The need for coal diminishes and the powder gangs rise up.
    2247
    NCR 5th Engineering Division blows up Burham Mines, causing incredible fires to break out all over the area, even in veins of coal encased in rock. Many die. Many become gehennas. NCR abandons Burham Springs.
    2248
    Twelve daring people, including Phil, Sparky, and Frank LaFrancis, drift into Burham Springs to start salvaging. Two years after the end of this influx, all are dead except Phil, Sparky, and Frank.
    2250
    The Blackfoots try to take out Phil, Sparky and Frank twice. Between those attacks, the Vipers attempt the same. Both groups fail.
    2253, October 23
    'The Prisoner' escapes from Leavenworth, dooming the world and creating a holocaust of epic proportions."
  4. A comment on molechs and gehennas by Sean K. Reynolds at No Mutants Allowed
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Burham Springs
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