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"What if this place could be more than just a refuge for ghouls who aren't welcome elsewhere? What if it could also be an example of what we can do when we put our minds to something and work together?"
Wiseman, Fallout 4, about the Slog

Wherever a group faces discrimination or persecution, be it mild or extreme, they will often attempt to carve out a safe place to take refuge from their oppressors. It can range from a short-term shelter from immediate persecution to a full-blown city or nation where their kind (sometimes joined by other oppressed groups) can live in relative peace.

Victims of Fantastic Racism are a common group to form such a refuge in fiction, be they androids, clones, cyborgs, sentient machines, bestial people, intelligent undead, or anything else with human-like intellect but who tend to draw hostility from living flesh-and-blood humans (or other human-like species) for their "otherness". Defectors from Decadence may be another group to establish these, away from what they dislike about the majority group.

Often, the location is kept secret to remain safe from the oppressors. In these cases, there is often an Underground Railroad to help the intended individuals to find it. Can be an Open Secret if the group is more martially capable to defend themselves, or if the oppressors don't care enough to destroy it. (After all, if the group is choosing to self-segregate away from the oppressive society, it's still in line with the oppressor's goals.) In either case, it's bad news if the oppressor is Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence as they'll never be safe.

Can quickly become an Unsafe Haven and, indeed, if visited as part of the story, will usually be assaulted in one way or another. This is a common place to find the Token Heroic Orc if the oppressed group is villainous (actual or perceived).

Users of magic who are distrusted by muggle society instead tend to form Magical Societies and/or Wizarding Schools where they can (mostly) safely practice. Examples involving those groups should go on those pages. Likewise, examples involving criminal groups (who are, in most stories, justifiably oppressed by authorities) should instead go under tropes like Bad Guy Bar, Outlaw Town, Totally Not a Criminal Front, The City Narrows, Criminal Found Family, etc.

Compare/contrast Hidden Elf Village, which is already established by inhabitants who choose to be isolationist, rather than founded as an escape from oppressors on the outside. Also compare/contrast Fantastic Nature Reserve, which is intentionally set aside for (usually non-sapient) fantastic fauna and flora. See also Fantastic Ghetto, a segregated area where the oppressed are forced to live by the oppressor.

While real-life groups forming these is Truth in Television, due to the controversial nature of declaring groups as oppressed/oppressors, No Real Life Examples, Please!. noreallife


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    Comic Books 
  • The premise of the X-Men franchise is that mankind's children can develop powers that separate them from normal humans, so they are shunned, hunted, and, worst-case scenario, exterminated. To protect themselves, many people of interest begin to form mutant refuges:
    • American professor Charles Xavier (a mutant himself) founds the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning as a front to recruit mutants to train them in developing their powers.
    • His archnemesis and former friend, Magneto, also created his own mutant refuge named Avalon, although of a nearly religious nature, since his second-in-command was a powerful telepath named Exodus and his followers were the Acolytes.
    • The Morlocks were a group of outcasts among the outcasts since their powers manifested in physical transformations. Their hideouts were the Morlock Tunnels or the Morlocks' Alley under New York.
    • It reaches the point that an entire nation, Krakoa, is established to serve as a refuge for all mutantkind. Magneto in his dying moments comes to believe that Krakoa must be a refuge for all of the world's outcasts and not just mutants.

    Fan Works 
  • An Act of True Humanity (MHA): Izuku has founded the Antarctic Republic for the sake of protecting the Quirkless from their superpowered oppressors, as the Fantastic Ableism against them only grows worse as the quirkless population keeps dropping.
  • In The Daughter of the Sands, Rana opens the doors of New Sun Land to the Atlanteans after making an alliance with them.
    Rana: Well. Sages of Mu and Atlantis. That has a nice ring to it, does it not?
    Meliad: It sounds a little...clunky, if I may say.
    Rana: We will find a better name. But I think this is a step in the right direction already.
  • A Thing of Vikings:
    • Berk has hated slavery for generations, giving freedom to any thrall who managed to make it to their territory. Before the end of the Dragon War, they would sometimes go on raids to "steal" thralls and free them, inducting them into the tribe if they wished, and a large percentage of them have thrall ancestry. They extend their emancipation policy to all their territories, and thralls from all over Eire start fleeing to the cities under Berk's control. They also declare that Jews have an open invitation to settle in their lands, in recognition of their oppressed status in much of Europe, and because generations ago, a Jew helped the Hooligan Tribe by teaching them all to read and write.
    • The Bog-Burglars began as a group of Norsewomen fleeing their patriarchal community to found a home where they could worship their goddesses freely, and soon attracted women fleeing unwanted marriages or Honor-Related Abuse. As part of their integration into the Hooligans, the Bog-Burglars require them to keep their law offering sanctuary to any woman who wants it.
  • War of Gods and Beasts: After realizing how rampant the Fantastic Racism against Beastformers was on Cybertron, Leo Prime decided to establish Biosfera as a place for his people to live.

    Films — Animated 
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney), fundamentalist Judge Frollo seeks the gypsies' refuge, "The Court of Miracles", where the Romani people of Paris, France, gather to escape from the oppression of the Parisian authorities.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964): The Island of Misfit Toys is a refuge for toys who are defective in some way (a boat that can't float, a cowboy that rides an ostrich, a Jack-in-the-Box named Charlie). They are collected by King Moondancer in the hopes that one day they might find a home with a child who will love them. Rudolph and Hermie, who are considered misfits in the North Pole, ask to stay on the island forever, but Moondancer tells them that only toys are allowed to stay.
    Yukon Cornelius: How do you like that? Even among misfits you're misfits!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Demolition Man, the "Scraps" are people who reject the Crapsaccharine World world of San Angeles above and choose to live in the massive, abandoned LA sewers where they can enjoy some measure of freedom. The plot kicks off when the Big Bad leader of San Angeles unfreezes a 20th-century mass murderer to assassinate the Scraps leader.
  • In Nightbreed, Midian is a hidden city buried under a cemetery where monsters are given a place to hide from hostile humanity.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Dark Phoenix: Magneto has turned the fictional island of Genosha (located off the eastern coast of Africa) into a safe haven for mutants, who come there to escape repression from other nations.
    • Logan has Eden, a supposed refuge for mutantkind after their population has been decimated during the 20 Minutes into the Future Time Skip. Logan, recognizing it from a comic book and despite his warning her that it probably isn't real, helps Laura get there... only to see that it's an old abandoned camp. Subverted as it's actually a rendezvous point before they cross the border into Canada, the government of which has agreed to grant them asylum.

  • Animorphs: The secret valley of the free Hork-Bajir serves as a refuge for them on Earth, and the Animorphs later escape there with their families when the Yeerks discover their secret.
  • The Beginning After the End: One of the major plot twists of the novel is The Reveal that Kezess Indrath, the ruler of the Asuras, orchestrated the genocide of the Djinn. However, Kezess was opposed by his former friend Mordain Asclepius, whom he banished from Epheotus before covering up his actions. It is revealed that in his exile, Mordain established the Hearth, a hidden enclave in the Beast Glades for any Asuran exiles — particularly those who opposed both Kezess and Agrona — and Djinn who survived the genocide. After defecting from Epheotus, Aldir and Wren find themselves in the Hearth, and Arthur is later summoned there at the request of the former.
  • In The Broken Earth Trilogy, we see two places that have high populations of orogenes (energy manipulators viewed as sub-human monsters), including among their leaders, who are discriminated against by mainstream society to the point that some people would kill them as soon as they are discovered; Meov, which avoids being discovered by being on an island in a setting with geological activity that makes living on an island very dangerous, and Castrima, where people hide by living underground in a city maintained by orogenes' powers.
  • In Deviant's Masquerade, Virgil's city has Sinner's Way, where Deviants have taken refuge.
  • A Former Child Soldier Who Uses a Magic Sword: Benjamin Village is made up of former heroes, sages and other "lost souls" who sought company in each other. When Seto and Satis pass through, they offer the pair temporary refuge despite already knowing that the latter is a demonfolk.
  • In Little Mushroom, the Highland Research Institute is a hidden refuge for the scientists of the Fusion Faction who left the Northern Base out of protest for the base's "kill everyone remotely suspected of being a xenogenic" policies and the xenogenics who managed to retain their human will and consciousness after being mutated but would be shot dead on sight if they ever tried returning to the human bases. The non-human protagonist An Zhe finds shelter and friendship there after leaving the Northern Base upon revealing his true identity.
  • Star Wars: In both Legends and the Expanded Universe, the Rebel Alliance established New Alderaan as a safeworld for Alderaanians who had been off-planet when Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star, to protect them from the Empire, which was targeting them for destruction in order to complete the genocide against them. In Legends, the planet's location was initially kept secret in order to keep those Alderaanians from being further targeted by the Empire. Later on, Mon Mothma's daughter Leida recuperated from an injury or illness on that world, and former Alliance General Jan Dodonna retired to New Alderaan, where he died 24 years after the Battle of Yavin. In the EU, Alderaanian survivor Janray Tessime relocated to New Alderaan and helped tend to the civilian population there.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "A Town Called Mercy", set just after the American Civil War, the sheriff of the eponymous town, Isaac, explains that is a place for anyone to seek refuge, regardless of race, creed, past misdeeds, or even planet of origin.
    • "Face the Raven" gives us Trap Street in London, where Ashildr has created a place for alien refugees to come. There is a strict non-aggression pact. Simple theft, even for a noble cause, will warrant a death sentence from Ashildr. It's shown that even a Cyberman in the group is observing the non-aggression pact.
  • Doom Patrol (2019): Danny the Street is a sentient street that can teleport around the world to provide safe haven for societal misfits.
  • Fellow Travelers: Fire Island Pines is a haven for gay men, a tourist destination where they're free to be themselves in public without the scrutiny of a homophobic society. Rafael calls it a "gay paradise".
  • The Orville: Moclus's Hat is being He Man Woman Haters, to the point that they force gender-reassignment surgery on any Moclan who happens to be born biologically female. In "Sanctuary", the Orville crew discover a colony of female Moclans hidden in a nebula, with an Underground Railroad transporting refugees and their families from Moclus.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The station is located on the Federation's "frontier," in a politically volatile area, causing it to draw a wide range of misfits. These include Worf (a Klingon raised by humans turned Starfleet officer), Garak (a Cardassian tailor/Double Reverse Quadruple Agent who remained on the station when it was handed over to the Federation), Quark (a Ferengi bartender with Hidden Depths), Rom (Quark's brother/Genius Ditz), Ziyal (Half-Bajoran/Half-Cardassian daughter of the Big Bad), Odo (who turned his back on his race because he didn't want to be part of the Dominion), Bashir (who was revealed to be an augment), and Dax (an alien new to her symbiotic personality and just starting to understand her new self). The station itself being on the opposite end of a wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant means plenty of other outcasts pass through, driving the plot in quite a few episodes.
    • Star Trek: Picard: After a devastating attack on Mars, the Federation bans artificial lifeforms, as it's believed that they were responsible for the attack on Mars. Dr. Bruce Maddox and Dr. Altan Soong vehemently disagree with the ban and leave to establish a safeworld on Coppelius for artificial lifeforms, where they work on creating a new generation of artificial lifeforms in defiance of the ban. After Romulan fanatics are exposed as the real attackers, the ban is lifted, and Coppelius becomes a Federation protectorate.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica: The Order of Hermes usually build Covenants away from towns to avoid provoking medieval society's fear and distrust of magic. Beyond the magi, a lot of the employees are people somehow at odds with society, from heretical scholars to lycanthropes.

    Video Games 
  • Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly:
    • The Society for Aliens and Various Extraterrestrials, or S.A.V.E., aims to help aliens who are trying to adapt to Earth life and are hiding from F.I.R.E. agents, who hunt them down, even those disguised as Earthlings, to extradite them. The café that Silver opened turns out to be a secret base for S.A.V.E.
    • In the late 1950s, there used to be a flea market established by fairies, who were classified as "transient" beings or unregistered citizens, which included "uncategorizable" beings such as fairies at the time. The market served to help "transients" survive the changing times, and it also hosted "Fairy Week", where fairies would mark the intersection with flowers to raise awareness of their plight. Sadly, the market was forcefully disbanded in 1961 due to the accident that killed a fairy vendor two years prior.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Morrowind, the Dissident Priests are defectors from the Tribunal Temple which dominates the country religiously. The Temple openly persecutes the Dissident Prients, considering them heretics (though this appears to have been partly a response to being persecuted for questioning Temple policy, which isn't heresy even if the Temple calls it that) and arresting them on sight. The Dissident Priests have founded a hidden stronghold at Holamayan, a remote monastery with a protective stone hood over the entrance which only lifts during the hours of twilight. The Nerevarine visits during the main quest in order to recover the Lost Prophecies needed to proceed, which have been kept safe by the priests for millennia.
    • In Skyrim, following the collapse of the Cyrodiilic Empire to vestigial status in the 200 years since Oblivion, the Imperial protections on the Orcish home city-state of Orsinium were gone and the city was sacked by their ancient neighboring enemies in High Rock and Hammerfell. The Orcs who remained became more-or-less a servant class while many others self-exiled elsewhere in Tamriel. Those in Skyrim have founded several Orc "Strongholds" where they can live in relative if rather rough peace. An Orc Dragonborn can gain entry right away, while those of other races must first prove themselves useful to the Orcs within by completing a quest.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout: Necropolis is a Ghoul community formed by the survivors of Vault 12 (where the vault door was designed to fail and expose the residents to radiation). The Vault Dweller ventures there to recover their water chip for Vault 13, but a month later, Necropolis is attacked and destroyed by a Super Mutant army. The survivors went on a "Great Migration", with some ending up in other refuges like Gecko, Dayglow, and Broken Hills.
    • Fallout 3:
      • Underworld is a museum with an exhibit of the Greek underworld which has become a safe haven for Ghouls. Non-Ghouls are able to enter, like the Lone Wanderer, as they do still need to trade and have quests available. You can pick up the Ghoul follower Charon there.
      • The aptly named Brotherhood Outcasts are an Anti-Mutiny faction of the Brotherhood of Steel who split off from Elder Lyons' group to continue their mission closer to the ideals of the original West Coast Brotherhood. They've set up at Fort Independence where you can assist them in the Operation: Anchorage expansion. Between the events of this game and Fallout 4, the new East Coast Brotherhood Elder, Maxson, convinces them to return to the main contingent by veering closer to their ideals while keeping some of the practical changes (like being open to worthy outside recruits) from the old West Coast doctrine.
    • Fallout: New Vegas:
      • The Bright Brotherhood is a faction of Ghouls under the leadership of Jason Bright who've taken over the REPCONN Test Site near Novac with the intention of using the rockets to go on a "Great Journey" to a promised land safe from unmutated humans. You can find corpses of Ghouls throughout the Mojave who were trying to get there. It is up to the Courier as to whether they succeed, fail, or get slaughtered. Unlike most other Ghoul safe havens in the series, Jason also welcomes "feral" Ghouls (who generally do not attack non-feral Ghouls), who he hopes to save as well.
      • Jacobstown is a remote pre-war resort taken over by the Super Mutant Marcus to serve as a safe haven for Nightkin, a special breed of Super Mutants who are addicted to using Stealth Boys and have suffered increasing schizophrenia as a result. A few take offense to the Courier's presence, but if you aid the doctor there in curing the schizophrenia, they become more friendly. You can pick up the Nightkin follower Lily there.
    • Fallout 4:
      • The Slog is a settlement founded at an old public swimming pool by the Ghoul Wiseman when all Ghouls were expelled from Diamond City by the corrupt Institute synth spy Mayor McDonough. It soon attracted some other Ghouls and became known as the only Tarberry bog in the Commonwealth. Wiseman's dream is that it can grow and be a symbol of what can be achieved if Ghouls and humans work together. You can get him to join as a settlement if you're with the Minutemen.
      • Goodneighbor, a Wretched Hive of a town in Boston's old red-light district, is a subversion. While it is open to nearly all in the Commonwealth, it is decidedly anti-Synth and anti-Institute. Led by the Ghoul Hancock (who can become a follower), it has a large Ghoul population as well as the semi-sentient Assaultron weapons vendor KL-E-0 and Mr. Handy bartender Whitechapel Charlie, but contains numerous backstabbing crime bosses, is overflowing with chems, and has already been infiltrated by a Synth, the lounge singer Magnolia, though it's unclear if she works for the Institute or is a freed Synth.
      • You can set one of these up if working with the Railroad in the main story. P.A.M. will cite the need for a new safehouse to hide freed Synths until they can be taken out of the Commonwealth, so you'll be tasked with turning one of the possible settlement locations into "Mercer Safehouse" and setting up defenses. Once established, the NPC "Caretaker" will arrive with another quest to remove a threat to the escaping synths.
      • In the Far Harbor DLC, the prototype Synth DiMA has founded the settlement of Acadia at an old observatory to be a safe haven for other synths from re-capture by the Institute, extermination by the Brotherhood of Steel, and general prejudice by common humans. During the course of the DLC questline, you can report its location to one of the aforementioned groups for destruction, sabotage it yourself, or help it to become a true safe haven by removing other threats from The Island. If you're working with the Railroad in the main game, you can establish contact between the groups, allowing Arcadia to become a destination to help Synths escape the Commonwealth.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IX has the Black Mage Village, founded by the eponymous man-made weapons who gained sentience to escape the Big Bad who created them. Later in the story, after the Terra takeover is stopped, Zidane brings the surviving Genomes to live with the Black Mages. As essentially human-like clones with no initial personalities and monkey tails, they're very similar to the Black Mages, who Zidane believes can help them adjust. They even draw a "Not So Different" Remark from Black Mage party member Vivi.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV, Idyllshire is a "free city" founded by Slowfix Cointoss in the ruins of the Sharlayan colony. Slowfix only imposes one rule: everyone who settles there is a friend, and you should always respect your friends. As a consequence of this and the city's location deep in Dravania, it became a haven for all sorts of misfits. Known settlers include adventurers, homesteaders, refugees, sky pirates, those fleeing Loan Sharks among others. So long as no one infringes on each other's quest For Happiness, all are welcome to stay in Idyllshire.
  • Fire Emblem: Beorc (humans) and laguz (animal shapeshifters) have a lot of mutual Fantastic Racism, and both have even more toward the Branded, their hybrids, who are said to be a crime against the gods just by existing. The Branded can't live among the laguz because they will immediately be detected, and any attempts to live among the beorc are short-term due to their slowed aging. Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn show that some took a third option by founding a settlement of their own deep in the Grann Desert, where no sane person would look.
  • Genshin Impact: Aaru Village in Sumeru's desert region is a refuge for the Village Keepers, who are former scholars and personnel of the Akademiya that were driven mad by the Divine Knowledge Capsule and exiled to the desert by the Sages. Candace goes out of her way to guard the village and make sure it remains a safe haven to all, including the Village Keepers, to the point that the Eremite Radicals were forced to lure the Village Keepers out of Aaru Village with Spirit Borneol for their plan to use them as Human Sacrifices for King Deshret's resurrection.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Taris's dangerous Undercity contains a large outcast camp, populated by those who have been banished from the Upper and Lower Cities. They live in constant poverty, and those who leave the camp to scavenge are at risk of being attacked by contagious rakghouls. Their leader Rukil seeks another, safer refuge called the "Promised Land", which is supposed to be secure and self-sufficient. Ironically, the Undercity is the only place spared after the planet is bombed into oblivion by Malak's forces.
  • Pokémon X and Y has Pokémon Village, well-hidden in a forest, it has become a refuge for Pokémon living in hiding from humans. Its most famous resident is Mewtwo, who can be battled and caught after becoming Champion.
  • Project Downfall: Crimson Tide's sewers are home to the sewer-dwellers, a secret society composed of gas-mask-sporting thugs who hide from the Kyoncha and the MegaCorps in the hopes of someone deciding to stand up to their oppression and start a revolution. That's when the protagonist comes in.
  • In Tails Noir, Howard spends a couple nights at an outcast camp underneath a bridge. It's mentioned that another such refuge exists outside the dystopian city.
  • Tales of Symphonia: In the world of Tethe'alla is a flying city named Exire. It's basically the one place in both worlds where Half-Elves can live free of the hatred and discrimination they face from everyone.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: The Pontar Valley, a territory disputed by both Kaedwyn and Aedirn, is de facto ruled by a collection of dwarves, elves, and human peasants who want autonomy from both nations. With non-humans being discriminated against in most of the Northern Kingdoms, the Pontar Valley has been turned into a safe haven for them to live in relative freedom.

  • The eponymous Cursed Princess Club is a refuge for fairy tale princesses (or anyone, really) who had suffered any kind of supernatural storybook misfortune (such as a Curse). It was founded by Princess Calpernia of the Polygon Kingdom as a coping strategy for her own curse (she is a were-spider), but also to provide a safe haven for people like herself who have been ostracized because of their curses.
  • Selkie: The Sarnothi clan Jin'Sorai was on the wrong end of a civil war that turned into a genocide. Most of the survivors live in a secret underwater village known as Havei Jin'Suir.

    Western Animation 
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: The vast desert of the Crimson Waste serves as a hiding place for various criminals, refugees, and fugitives from both sides of the conflict between Brightstone and the Horde, complete with secret towns and taverns.
  • Steven Universe: The "Off-Colors" are Gems considered to be purposeless to Homeworld, falling below their Hive Caste System completely and typically killed on-sight. They've taken to hiding out in an abandoned Kindergarden which has become a refuge to their kind.
  • The Venture Bros.: In the episode "Venture Libre", the Venture family is dispatched to a Banana Republic in Central America where an "invention" Dr. Venture sold the military is "malfunctioning". It turns out to be Venturestein from "Viva Los Muertos" and some other undead soldiers who revolted and created a safe haven for experiments they've "liberated" from Mad Scientists including various mutant Beast Man hybrids and resurrected dinosaurs known as "U.R.G.H" ("United Repressed Grotesque Humanity"). By the end of the episode, they are joined by numerous other mutants who arrive by boat and appeal to the United Nations.