Nearing the a million people before The Rending, Denver was one of the rare examples of a city that wasn’t instantly overwhelmed by the violence. Though the exact circumstances that were required for a human to change into a Wolven during The Rending were never understood (not even now), for whatever reason Denver had a disproportionately low amount of changed citizens, which allowed the city’s government to properly respond to the threat with unusual swiftness.
Thanks to their efforts, a large majority of the population managed to survive the first few days, and as the days turned to weeks people began to secure the neighborhoods and create defensive perimeters with the help of local law enforcement and military officials.
Unfortunately, the new borders that were drawn on the map couldn’t be fully secured, and during that year’s especially harsh winter many people died from disease (exacerbated by the city’s failing power grid) and increased Wolven Raids. When summer came, less than half of the population had survived the winter.
Despite these early setbacks, the survivors managed to pull together and solidify their hold on the city, buildings being torn down to make walls with the recycled materials. With firm barriers in place, more man power was diverted from security to other necessities (such as farming, maintenance, and everything else that comes with running a settlement).
Decades later, Denver is still the largest city in Colorado, if only because there’s a lack of competition.
Unlike before The Rending, the governance of Denver is no longer a democracy. The freedoms that other settlements enjoy are the price the people of Denver have to pay for their security.
Surrounded by the City Council, Executive Balcazar is the leader of the settlement and has a final say in all matters concerning Denver and its interests. While not a particularly cruel ruler, some of his policies have been unpopular (such as the Food Rationing Act and the selective curfew) among the populace.
Saying that Denver is run by a monarchy would not be entirely wrong, as the position of Executive has been passed down from father to son over the decades. While some people grumble at this, it should be noted that those who have or do hold the title of Executive haven’t been known to frequently abuse their power (though that isn’t to say there haven’t been some incidents in the past).
The only true democracy in Denver are the elected members of the City Council, who are chosen by the various districts they represent. Even then, though, the Executive may choose to deny a district’s elected representative a seat on the Council (which has happened in the past).
Denver is one of the few settlements in Post-Rend North America to have its own currency: the Denver Dollar. Unlike the physical money before The Rending, money in Denver is made from silver and gold, typically in the shape of a square coin (much easier to produce than Pre-Coins). Unfortunately, this currency is typically only used within Denver, and doesn’t carry much standing outside its walls.
While Denver does grow a large amount of food wherever it can (parks being owned by the government for planting, while many citizens have their own private gardens) there is by no means enough to feed its large population, and relies heavily on importing food from settlements and traders. It’s not unknown for people to butcher Wolven corpses for sustenance (something that verges on taboo).
Despite its walls, Denver is also known for its constant purchases of advanced military hardware, specifically the types of equipment that is too difficult to produce (things such as robotics and advanced electronics, to name a few).
With its large population, one thing that Denver can spare (and does) is manpower, typically in the form of specialized labor or military assistance. Many smaller settlements pay heavily for the support of a large settlement, and Denver is happy to oblige so long as payments aren’t late.
Denver’s one other major export is raw material, typically scavenged from abandoned areas that dot the landscape around the city. Whether the material is sold as-is is typically up to the person or group buying, but Denver has no trouble churning out basic parts made from that same raw material.
Despite its large population, Denver isn’t recognized as being a major military power. A major reason for this is the lack of major Pre-Rend military installations in the surrounding area, the only one of any note being Buckley Air Force Base (which has long been looted of anything of worth).
Most of Denver’s combat strength is instead focused on defense rather than offense, with soldiers and equipment either mounted on the walls or patrolling the county that shares the city’s namesake.