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|For the Fallout 4 location, see Charlestown.|
Charleston was the pre-War capital city of West Virginia.
The capital and largest city of West Virginia, Charleston was founded at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers at the end of the 18th century; Charleston steadily grew thanks to the salt mines and natural gas deposits found in the area, which combined with coal gave the city - and the region - a steady economic foundation through salt works. During the American Civil War, the city was briefly occupied by Confederate forces in 1862, before being permanently pushed out by Union forces.
The division of Virginia into Confederate and Union territories was resolved by declaring West Virginia a separate state on June 20, 1863. Charleston became a state capital and its boom continued, thanks to the natural resources and steady railroad expansion. New industries were established, producing chemicals, glass, timber, and state, exploiting the availability of resources.
In the 21st century, Charleston became the heart of a major push towards automation throughout Appalachia. Governor Evans, a strong proponent of automation and a corporate ally, pushed through measures despite stiff opposition from what unions remained after governmental crackdowns and congressmen like Sam Blackwell.
After the Great War, Charleston became the heart of Appalachian reconstruction. It escaped nuclear devastation and was intact, allowing an emergency government to form, using the Charleston Capitol Building as a foundation. Together with the first responders, the city had an actual shot at rebuilding fast and hard. Problems with the sheer volume of refugees, however, forced them to deny requests for aid and supplies that could not be handled on the spot. That includes survivors from the Pleasant Valley Ski Resort. Humiliated and left without help, the survivors banded together under David Thorpe, a cold and brutal man who turned them into a terrifying raider warband.
Charleston grew in the meantime and by 2082, a raider group led by Rosalynn Thorpe was routed handily by the Responders, after they were spotted early. Rosalynn was injured and taken prisoner along with some of the other raiders. By then, the Responders were more or less running things in the city and were doing well. Their confidence made them attempt a confrontation: Face the raiders on their home turf, in the mountains, and see if they could make a deal. The Responders hoped they could get them to leave them alone in exchange for prisoners. They were wrong. David Thorpe had somehow gotten his hands on a mini-nuke, and he used it to blow the Summersville Dam on Christmas morning, 2082.
In a flash, the Responders lost almost everything: Homes, supplies and most of their friends and family. Although they suffered under the devastation, they survived, keeping the idea of the Responders alive. Although the city was largely abandoned in the wake of this devastation, the Fire Breathers found it to be the perfect training environment when the Scorchbeasts appeared.
Apart from that, the flooding left Charleston devastated, its streets choked by mud and debris, and some buildings were even dislodged from their foundations. Super mutants and the Scorched roam the ruins, along with the occasional snallygaster or Grafton monster.
As the capital city of the state of West Virginia, it is home to the Charleston Capitol Building. Other facilities and structures include Wade Airport, the Charleston Fire Department, Charleston trainyard, AVR Medical Center and the Hornwright Industrial Headquarters.
Charleston stretches through the valley west to east, bounded on the eastern end by the Summersville Dam and on the western by the Poseidon Energy Plant WV-06. Perched on top of the hill to the north is Wade Airport, while the Charleston Fire Department is on the southern slope of the valley, home to the Fire Breathers. In front of the Capitol Building, the West Virginian replica of the Liberty Bell can be found. It bears a plaque which reads:
The ruined city is crawling with scorched and feral ghouls, along with Appalachian super mutants. Roughly west of the capitol building there is a snallygaster spawn point, near the collapsed South Side Bridge, previously spanning the Kanawha River.
- The house - Note, in the building immediately after crossing the catwalk from the Charleston Herald building and dropping down into a hole in the floor in the next building. It will be on a mirrored dresser next to a bed.
- The view - Note, on a table next to a couch after dropping down one level from the apartment with the house note.
- The shrink - Note, found on the front desk of the psychiatrist's office, two buildings southeast of the Charleston Herald building. The Fire Breather's training course leads right through the room.
- The drop - Note, found on the desk right before the training course drops down to street level. In the second building southeast from the Charleston Herald building on the highest floor.
- The doctors - Note, found on a desk in the highest floor of the second building southeast of the Charleston Herald building along the Fire Breathers' training course. It will be on a small desk with a telephone and wall painting over it.
- The safe - Note, found in an open safe inside of the destroyed red house after the Fire Breathers' training course descends to street level. The house is roughly east-southeast of the Hornwright Industrial Headquarters.
- The owner - Note, in a wooden house to the southeast of the Hornwright Industrial Headquarters, in the dried-out river.
- The end - Note, inside of a coffin in the destroyed church in the middle of Charleston, next to some pastor's vestments.
- The coffee - Note, next to the cash register in a Slocum's Joe to the east of the AVR Medical Center.
- Tattoo parlor - Note, found inside of the destroyed remains of a tattoo parlor, southeast of the Charleston Herald building as the Fire Breathers' training route begins to head back north. The note will be sitting on a table between two lawn chairs.
- Charleston Herald - Bell article - Note, found inside of the First Friends Church in the middle of Charleston, in the back of the church on a table. It can be read but cannot be collected.
- Two Grafton Dam editorials:
- One copy of this note can be found in the book store building adjacent to the beauty salon near the AVR Medical Center, on a small shelf flanked by bookcases (cannot be collected).
- Another copy can be found on the porch of a bluish-gray house along I-59, across from the coffee shop (cannot be collected).
- Junk mail - Note, in a mailbox during Recruitment Blues.
Charleston appears only in Fallout 76.
Behind the scenes
Charleston is based on the real world location of Charleston, West Virginia, the capital city of the state. The West Virginian Liberty Bell seen in-game is identical to that of real life, including the transcription on the plaque.