Novaville was a ville built around the ruins of a predark state penitentiary. The rulers are descendants of the original warden, the guards are descendants of the original guards, and the people were descendants of the original prisoners.
They built it over the years by salvaging goods from the nearby villes and a national guard armory. They controlled the ville through fear and the use of riot gas, which only the wards and a couple of their most trusted sec men had the antidote for. The ville had been attacked by the Son's of the Knife, a biker gang. It was destroyed by a three way battle between Ryan's people, an open rebellion by the slaves, and the attack of a robotic vehicle known to them as the Beast. (Pandora's Redoubt)