With the San Fransisco area put under a scorched-earth policy during The Rending, many civilians found themselves trapped between the ravenous hordes of Wolven and the sea. With the chance of drowning being preferable to the certainty of slaughter, many people tried to make their way to the various islands on San Fransisco Bay.
Out of the three islands that people tried to flock to, only Alcatraz Island was un-infested. Those seeking shelter at Angel Island State Park and Treasure Island Wines would find themselves suffering the same fate as those who stayed ashore.
A high-security prison in the past that eventually fell into disuse, Alcatraz eventually became the home of hundreds of terrified refugees in the wake of The Rending. Ironically (or perhaps not, considering the location) the island in the Bay turned out to also be a prison, as the mainland belonged to the Wolven.
As the months went by, and the population of The Rock began to stabilize (through people leaving by boat or simply dying, such was the lack of supplies in those early days), the water began to freeze, and once more the Wolven had become an active threat to those who had tried to escape them. “Out of sight, out of mind” was no longer possible, and from that point forward, the San Fransisco refugees had to fight to protect what little they had left.
Decades later, The Rock is now a haven for those living in the San Fransisco area. Fish from the bay and pre-Rend salvage from the mainland are the settlement’s main exports; those who visit The Rock will find that the island is patrolled day and night by an experienced militia.
Due to the settlement’s relatively small size (only around the three hundred mark, but never rising above it) there is less need for the harsh rules that other settlements abide by. While not everyone may be friends, people will at least recognize each other (as opposed to an outsider).
Governed democratically, the island is run by ten individuals who vote on everyday issues. These individuals are elected by their sector (the island is split up into ten sectors, each sector being a small community of a few dozen people) for a term of six months, with no maximum term limit in place.
Much of The Rock’s food supply comes from the sea, and what they have extra (which there always is; no one is ever hungry, making citizenship in the settlement very desirable to some) is traded for supplies that can’t be made or looted locally from the mainland.
A lot of the equipment the settlement buys is used for its seafaring vessels (which are used almost exclusively for fishing, ferrying, and scouting), so parts and fuel are very much in demand.
With its relatively small population its not a wonder that The Rock isn’t a major military power. When it comes to force of arms, its typically focused on defending the island or patrolling the Bay area.
That’s not to say that The Rock lacks teeth; quite the opposite, actually. With many Coast Guard and Navy ships being abandoned in the wake of The Rending, the weapons and equipment on board became fair game for whoever could claim them (which the people of The Rock soon did, of course). Shipborne weapons are now firmly entrenched to form a part of The Rock’s coastal defenses, with some weapons to spare for patrolling ships as well.