The Regions of Southern Maryland
BITN is set in a slightly expanded Southern Maryland. While in the real world the core of Southern Maryland is St. Mary's, Charles and Calvert counties, we have expanded to fully include both Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties. The region covers over 2,800 square miles, with many towns and settlements spread throughout. While we aim to provide information on what our world is like, it is of great benefit to a player to do their own independent research on the setting as well.
Southern Maryland is bordered by the Chesapeake Bay on the east, the Potomac River to the South and South-west, Washington, DC to the west Montgomery County to the north-west, and Baltimore City and Baltimore County to the North. As a region, Southern Maryland exists between two major metropolitan areas in Washington, DC and Baltimore. Both cities spill out population and influence, primarily into Prince George's and Anne Arundel county, predominantly. The remaining three counties are historical and some of the oldest settled lands (by European colonists) in the area.
The region is one of immense wealth, and immense contrast. There are large areas of undeveloped land between pockets of modernity, Wealthy, entrenched whites are suddenly being introduced to less affluent minorities, while small conclaves of Native Americans and Menonites exist.
Outside Looking In
Charm City. The City That Reads. The Greatest City in America. Bodymore, Murderland. Baltimore is a medium sized city, in a long cycle of violence and decay. Having recently had a massive upswing in civil unrest and a record year for violence, Baltimore is not a safe place. Even discounting the monsters, the violent streets and brutal police crackdowns have made this an area where few go to hunt.
Culturally, Baltimore slides into Southern Maryland, primarily into Anne Arundel county, though being the largest population center in Maryland, its influence is felt all over, whether liked or hated.
DC is a two cities sharing one border and one name. As the Nation's capital, it is the home of the absolute highest levels of national and global intrigue and power brokering, where anything and everything that goes down is recorded and observed, except in the highest levels of power themselves. Radiating away from the center, however, are areas of extreme poverty and desolation. This contrast of high risk and low reward is one of many reasons hunters fear to operate in DC.
Culturally, Washington smothers parts Southern Maryland, primarily Prince George's county, though being the nation's capital, the entire region is strategically significant, with Federal agencies and military bases scatterd about.
The Chesapeake Bay is an ecologic and economic wonder. It has defined the region for as long as humanity have settled here. The by itself, or its tributarys, reach around Southern Maryland like an aquatic tendril, and the influence of Bay culture extends everywhere.
Anne Arundel County
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles (40 km) south of Baltimore and about 30 miles (50 km) east of Washington, DC, Annapolis is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Its population was measured at 38,394 by the 2010 census. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annapolis,_Maryland )
Annapolis is an old city with a long history, which shows in the multitude of historical sites, museums, and institutions located within a relatively small area. The city is situated on a peninsula and contains many coves, creeks, and harbors, which makes it a prime location for sailing and other nautical pursuits. Prominent sites and venues include the US Naval Academy, Maryland Statehouse, St. John's College, many museums, and a thriving theater district.
Fort Meade (AA3)
t’s all but impossible to miss the NSA headquarters, which is the focal point of Fort Meade. There are four buildings in all, and while two are unimpressive tans and greys, the two famous buildings are done entirely in black glass, standing a dozen stories tall. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Meade,_Maryland )
Glen Burnie (AA1)
Glen Burnie is a suburb of Baltimore, located just south of the city limits. The town holds almost sixty eight thousand residents, and the income level is slightly lower than the state average. Though there are a few large buildings and towers, the town is mostly suburb sprawl, with many residential neighborhoods and shopping complexes. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Burnie,_Maryland )
Jessup is a small unincorporated community and census-designated place in Anne Arundel County. With about 5 square miles total, it boasts a population of right around 7,000. The center of population for the state of Maryland is located on the grounds of the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup. The community is located near the site of the historic Spurrier’s Tavern, a farm and tavern located on the post road between Baltimore and Washington (Route One) where George Washington traveled regularly. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jessup,_Maryland )
A sprawling conglomeration of buildings approximately 3.5 miles long and 1 mile wide comprise the mini-town that is the Naval Surface Warfare Center (Indian Head Division). It resides on a peninsula, bracketed by the Potomac River and Mattawoman Creek. There are numerous businesses within the installation, including a BX (one stop shopping for military personnel & family), housing, even dining and entertainment options
La Plata (CH2)
La Plata is a town in Charles County, Maryland, United States. The population was 8.753 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Charles County. According to one of several legends, the town was given its name by Colonel Samuel Chapman, whose family owned 6,000 acres of land in Southern Maryland, including what would become the areas of La Plata and Port Tobacco. The town was founded in 1888, after the river flowing into the previous county seat, Port Tobacco, silted up, ending that town’s utility as a port.
Port Tobacco (CH3)
Port Tobacco, officially Port Tobacco Village, is a town in Charles County, Maryland, United States. The population was 13 at the 2010 census, making Port Tobacco the smallest incorporated town in Maryland. Established in 1727, it was the first county seat and originally the second largest town in Maryland. It declined rapidly after river traffic was cut off by silting and the town was bypassed by the railroad. It is notable as a Jesuit mission center established in the 17th century and is likely the oldest continuously operating Roman Catholic parish founded in the Thirteen Colonies.
In modern days, Port Tobacco Village includes several historic buildings that have been restored and now operate as models and museums. Notable sites include a preserved home, plantation house, school house, and St. Thomas manor and cemetery. The village is also a thriving archaeological site, with researchers from UMD and other state organizations frequently coming to work sites.
Zekiah Swamp (CH4)
Zekiah Swamp is part of the Potomac River basin in Charles County, Maryland in the United States. The swamp is 21 miles (34 km) of braided stream stretching the length of Charles County and is a tributary of the Potomac River. It sits at an elevation of 3 feet (0.91 m) and 450 acres (180 ha) of its southern end is protected as the Zekiah Swamp Natural Environment Area. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has the authority to purchase an additional 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) for the park. Charles County has moved to protect an additional 65,000 acres (26,000 ha) of the wetland. The headwaters of the swamp are protected as part of Cedarville State Forest. It was first accurately surveyed by John Henry Alexander, Maryland's official cartographer, in 1835, as "Allen's Fresh."
Since Alexander’s explorations, the swamp has been mostly devoid of human activity. Researchers and surveyors occasionally move through to check the health of the swamp, and wildlife rangers scout the area to prevent poaching, but the encroachment of these groups is quite limited. The protected status of the swamp prevents any new structures from being built on the land, and the unstable soil makes roadbuilding extremely difficult. The result is that this is one of the most secluded areas in Southern Maryland.
Situated on the Chesapeake Bay shore and miles from any other major sites, the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant is easy to miss. Once the forests that surround it are traversed, the massive facility is unmistakable.
The nuclear power plant is contained within a massive, rectangular, grey building. In front of the main structure there are two huge sand-colored cylinders. The power plant does not utilize cooling towers, and so lacks that iconic look. Further inland from the plant, there are several administration buildings, a large parking lot, and a field of towers and electrical equipment.
Chesapeake Beach (CA1)
Seated on the coast of the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Beach is a town of the sea and of leisure. Numerous marinas and docks line the inlet created by Fishing Creek and allow all manner of vessels to dock, ranging from private yachts to charter fishing boats. A handful of resorts line the coast as well, each of them opening to small, groomed beaches or long, lovely piers. This town was founded as the ideal weekend getaway for the well-off in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. These days, it is home to about 5,000 residents, with a much larger crowd pouring in to fill vacation homes and the still-booming resorts come summer.
Prince Frederick (CA2)
Prince Frederick is an unincorporated community located in the very middle of Calvert County. It has a population of about 2,500, and it is the county seat of Calvert County. Though the county is situated on a peninsula, Prince Frederick sits about a mile east of the Patuxent River and a mile west of Chesapeake Bay, making it a land-locked community. The small community features a few county buildings, many small homes, and a plethora of churches.
The southwest tip of Calvert County is broken up by myriad creeks, coves, and bays, pouring into the Patuxent River. The southernmost spot is Solomons Island, which is connected to the mainland by a small landbridge. The community, set just south of the Thomas Johnson Bridge, is packed with docks, marinas, vacation homes, and resorts. Though it is a popular spot for vacations and beautiful waterfront houses, the island and surrounding area holds several small research stations tied to the Navy, UMD, and other government agencies.
Prince George's County
College Park (PG2)
About a century ago, this was the site of the Maryland Agricultural College and not a lot else. Since then, the University of Maryland has grown, and College Park with it. Now, in addition to housing the university, College Park home to numerous academic and government buildings. College Park is located less than 5 miles to the north east of Washington, DC, and has a population of about 30,000. The parts of College Park that are not occupied by the university or government facilities are suburban residential.
FedEx Field (PG4)
The stadium looms over black asphalt parking lots, accessible from an eternal loop of road. Massive in size, it dominates the view in all directions.
Capable of seating almost 80,000 screaming fans, the home of the Washington Redskins is, like many stadiums, a monstrosity of a building. The exterior is white, reflecting heat onto the black asphalt parking lots that surround it. On game days, these are filled with tailgaters and cars, but most of the time, they have an empty, lonely feel. Inside, colorful stadium seating rises above the green turf. Under the seats, in concrete tunnels rarely seen by fans, are warrens of training rooms, meeting rooms, maintenance and storage rooms, and other dark, echoing corridors that see little constant use. Security can be found in the guise of cameras, and bored private contractors who roam the halls in irregular patterns.
Joint Base Andrews (PG5)
A half dozen miles inland from the Potomac River is Joint Base Andrews, a combined Air Force and Navy installation. The base itself includes two runways, several buildings and hangars, and a town that surrounds the area.
Joint Base Andrews was created from the merger of a Naval air base and Air Force base, and most notably contains two long runways. The facility houses numerous Air Force and Naval units, including the 89th Airlift Wing, which contains Air Force One. Surrounding the base is a town, including everything one might expect from a mostly suburban area.
Located on the Patuxent River, halfway between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Laurel is one of the older towns in this area, and had done well as a stopping point on the trip from DC to Baltimore. Laurel is known for its numerous historical neighborhoods, many of which are registered as national historic places. Laurel also holds several government and academic facilities.
Mount Rainier (PG3)
Named after the mountain in Washington state, Mount Rainier sits along the border of Washington, DC. The town has changed some over the century plus since it was first created, but it remains a haven for DC commuters who cannot afford to live in DC proper. These days, it mostly consists of small houses, warehouses, and apartment buildings. While there have been attempts to revamp the neighborhoods by tearing down apartment buildings and replacing old houses with big, new ones, the town has resisted any movement in that direction.
National Harbor (PG7)
Since Europeans first arrived in America until 1997, the land upon which National Harbor sits had been fertile farmland and then plantation. After the historic plantation house burned in 1981, the land was sold, and for 16 years the new owners slowly gained approval to develop the area. Today, National Harbor houses a massive hotel, numerous shopping malls, and a new casino is under construction. The town itself was designed to cater to the DC metro area, and residential areas were never built. The entire population of 4,000 could fit within the convention center. The continued development, and the conversion of forest and marshland into strip malls has been a constant cause for unrest amongst conservationists and environmentalists.
Piscatay Park (PG8)
Located on the east shore of the Potomac River, across from Mt. Vernon, Piscataway Park is about six and a half square miles of forest and farmland. It holds trails, a historic working farm, archaeological sites, and a small boat launch. There are numerous historical sites and preserved buildings, and the land was also the site of Piscataway native american villages.
Upper Marlboro (PG6)
Upper Marlboro, officially the Town of Upper Marlboro, is the seat of Prince George’s County, Maryland in the United States. The population within the town limits was 631 at the 2010 U.S. Census, although Greater Upper Marlboro is many times larger. Less a than half of a square mile (.43 sq mi), Upper Marlboro was settled in 1695, though it wasn’t established as a township until 1706 as Marlboro Town.
St. Mary's County
On the west end of St. Mary’s County, about a mile up the St. Mary’s River from the Potomac River is a small coast guard station, with a dock that holds just a few patrol boats.
The coast guard station is a combined facility with the Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Activity facility. Though the navy facility might receive more funding, it is surely the coast guard station that sees more traffic. There are three boats stationed here, two 41-foot utility boats, and one 25-foot security boats, as well as numerous other USCG and US Navy vessels that move through the are. From this small dock and station in Molls Cove, the USCG launches patrols that circle the southern Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.
Though the town has been growing steadily for the last two decades, Leonardtown is still best known for housing a few county offices, and having a big oyster shucking competition. The population of 3,000 is fifty percent larger than it was 10 years ago, and it shows by way of new housing developments, and the popularity of the wharf park, and the Mennonite farm stands.
Lexington Park (SM2)
Just outside of Naval Air Station Patuxent River is Lexington Park. This town was created alongside the air station during World War II, after the land was seized from tobacco growers using eminent domain laws. Since then, the town has grown rapidly, as employees of the base move in, and services follow them.
Point Lookout State Park (SM6)
This park is located on the very southern tip of St. Mary’s county, right at the convergence of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. The park features hiking, fishing, and a public boat launch.
Route 5 terminates at the very southernmost tip of St. Mary’s county. This land sticks out into the water, with the Potomac to the west and the Chesapeake to the east. Here, at the confluence, the state department of natural resources has created Point Lookout Park. The name comes from the land’s original use, which was as a lookout point for American soldiers to track British ships during the war of 1812. Today, the park is likely best known for it’s fishing, hiking, and boating, as well as a weather monitoring station located there. The history of the site is, however, far more nefarious than boating and watching for British ships.
St. Mary’s City (SM4)
St. Mary’s City is the fourth oldest English settlement in America. This town established the colony of Maryland and served as its capital for some time. Since then, times have obviously changed, and it is now a very small settlement with a population not reaching 1,000 people (excluding the college). The town is now a mix of preserved historical buildings, archaeological sites, college campus, and a few small residential neighborhoods.
Located in the center of St. Mary’s county, southeast of St. Mary’s City and northwest of NAS Patuxent River is the St Mary’s River Park. This mostly undeveloped, forested land is popular for hiking, horseback riding, and boating.
tSt Mary’s River State Park is actually two parks, connected by a trail. The largest portion is 3.5 square miles of forest, through which the St Marys River flows. This land is wild forest, and though there are 7.5 miles of trails, most of the land is totally untouched by humanity. To the south is St. Mary’s Lake, which has an area for fishing, and a launch for non-powered and electric-powered boats.