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Grindstone Arch, also known as the Natural Bridge,[1] is a location in the Skyline Valley region of Appalachia.

Background[]

This natural arch-shaped rock formation in the Blue Ridge Mountains was formerly a landmark of Shenandoah National Park,[2] called the Natural Bridge, with a small creek running underneath the arch from the Three Ponds to the north.[1] Following the Great War, sometime in or before 2099,[3] the arch became home to a group of settlers who built their settlement both atop and below the arch, both for the water source and the location's defensive potential. Around 2099 to 2100, they built a dam for electricity and a water filtration system for farming, although in coming years the water flow from the river was often lower than expected for their purposes.[3][4] Regardless, they survived the next few years with little incident via farming and scavenging in other parts of Appalachia to the north. Though they noticed the Scorched spreading across the rest of Appalachia, they decided not to evacuate, believing their isolated location and height advantages would protect them (since in the worst case, they would "cut the bridges, lift the elevator and hold [the Scorched] out.") They never ended up needing to put this into practice, as the Scorched did not migrate south in any major capacity.[5]

The settlers noticed when people began returning to Appalachia in 2103.[6] They initially considered the return of human life a blessing, but soon realized they would need to defend themselves against hostile raiders as well. Spurred by sightings of suspicious people near High Knob Lookout, they began stocking up on defenses.[7]

By 2105, things began to get worse. The river started to dry up, threatening the survival of the settlement. Furthermore, one settler, Kenny, began hearing rumors about "giant green guys" spotted in the distance.[8] These rumors turned out to be truths: later that year, the aforementioned green guys (super mutants) overran the settlement, killing everyone present and claiming the site for themselves.

Layout[]

Appearances[]

Grindstone Arch appears only in Fallout 76, introduced in the Skyline Valley update.

Behind the scenes[]

The rock formation's design is inspired by the real-world Natural Bridge State Park in Shenandoah Valley in central/southwest Virginia. The real-world Natural Bridge is not part of Shenandoah National Park, unlike its in-game counterpart. Its name may come from Grindstone Mountain, a peak in Shenandoah Valley which is closer to Skyline Drive.

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References[]

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