Old West

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Inspired by the American wild west

The Old West is a federal republic currently operating under martial law. Although first settled in 17th century, immigration skyrocketed during the coal rush of the 18th century in which the then "New West" became the largest source of dextrocite in the world. At the high point of the rush an ecological cataclysm rendered much of the landscape barren. Nowadays the Westerners are scattered in small towns and settlements across the nation, with only the coastal cities prospering from the international trade of dextrocite.

There are still vast quantities of coal deep underground with most of the communities being mining towns. Gigantic steam-powered drills bore further into the planet's crust, legions of miners haul the coal to the surface, and the vast western rail networks bring the coal out to the coast. From there the coal is traded with the world, and then the steam trains go back to the mines laden with supplies and migrant workers.

Although the military keep the peace in the larger cities, out in the frontier life is generally lawless and the fledgling settlers have learned to look out for themselves.

Contents

Geography and Major Landmarks

The first settlers found the plains of the New West to be fertile and temperate, with wild game in abundance. The population exploded when dextrocite was found near the surface of the plains. Today's Old West is known for its arid landscapes, with rampant drought and desertification. Throughout the wastelands there are still pockets of living topsoil, and this is where the farming takes place to support the scattered settlements and mining towns. The coal industry remains abundant in these dry lands, with mines extending deep underground.

Far to the south is the Deep South, which is mostly marshland and swamps. It extends into a jungle area, where some indigenous people try to survive [1]. This area is sometimes explored by adventurers [2].

Cities and Towns

Harling Pass

Harling Pass, Jefferson Territory, the Old West

Harling Pass is a farming community located in Jefferson Territory [3]. Little dextrocite has been found in the area, and the ground remains fertile and suitable for farming. Although generally quiet, the community sees a few visitors such as independent miners that find their way into this little town to trade their wares. Harling Pass has a local mayor and a sheriff. The local saloon is named the Iron Buffalo Saloon and sees regular gambling and drinking.

Arrow Rock

A tiny town, not much more then a resting point, located between Harling Pass and Kanesville [4].

Ivy Bridge

The first tiny town off of the main trail the Steamhawke pirates traveled through on the way to Kanesville [5].

Haswell

The second tiny town off of the main trail the Steamhawke pirates traveled through on the way to Kanesville [6].

Broadwell (formally Rockwell)

The final tiny town off of the main trail the Steamhawke pirates traveled through on the way to Kanesville [7].

Kanesville

An industrial town, not too far from Hope Mountain [8]. It has a train station, with regular weekly services to Columbus City.

Hope Mountain Settlement

Hope Mountain Settlement is a large, high, and (formerly) barren mountain in the Old West [9].

It is known for having a large population of Tainted, distrustful residents, alchemical advances, and raw natural resources. Hope Mountain has a large army, which uses somewhat outdated weaponry enhanced by alchemy. The somewhat paranoid citizens who usually know their way around weapons, too.

A while ago, there was a mining accident in a town in the Old West, triggering a large dextrocite spill, which resulted in many unwanted Tainted. After some time, the Tainted got sick of the violence, shunning, and general mistreatment from their neighbors. It culminated in the December Purification Riots. During the riots, Tainted homes and businesses where burned and any Tainted spotted was beaten or killed in an attempt to "cleanse" the town of them. A group of determined Tainted went out in search of somewhere where they'd be able to have a better life. After much searching they found a deserted mountain, where at least food could be grown via terrace farming. They called it Hope Mountain. Fifty years later, their descendants, Tainted or otherwise, have not forgotten the mistreatment of their ancestors and to this day the only visitors who do not have to earn their trust are Tainted. Despite their resentment towards outsiders, they will accept other Tainted into their community with open arms and are willing to trade with merchants (if you don't mind the occasional glare).

Major exports of this settlement are gold, jewels, alchemically made products, silver, bronze, and dextrocite. They mainly import advanced weaponry, food (other than what they can grow for themselves, on their fertile terrace farms), and books on newer alchemy techniques.

Columbus City

Located in Columbus Province, this bustling coastal city is a centre of trade. It is a rich city, for rich people. There are no Tainted allowed in the city or its outskirts.

History

Politics

Social Issues

The Old West is a haven for people from all backgrounds. This variety of cultures and viewpoints makes for a mixed society.

Some rural areas, still depending on dextrocite coal extraction, hold on to narrow views on roles in the community. The traditional family of father, mother and many children is the corner stone, and anything that deviates from that is seen as wrong and a threat to society. Any same-sex couples will be looked down on at best, or physically assaulted as punishment at its worst [10]. Only if very few cases will the community take punishment as far as death.

Tainted are also actively shunned, and in some places killed outright. A killing of a Tainted was witnessed by Bridget Perry and her husband Remington Perry the Third in Harling Pass [11].

Icari are viewed as vermin by most Old West farmers, due to their unnatural appetite [12].

References

  1. Chapter 8, Hints
  2. Chapter 7, Ghost Stories
  3. Chapter 8, Dry Landing
  4. Chapter 8, Contentment and Self Discovery
  5. Chapter 9, Kanesville
  6. Chapter 9, Kanesville
  7. Chapter 9, Kanesville
  8. Chapter 8, Cloak and Dagger
  9. Chapter 8, Cloak and Dagger
  10. Chapter 2, In a Dream
  11. Chapter 8, More kind by far
  12. Chapter 8, Fitting in
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