|MOONVEIL: BASTION OF FAITH|
One of the more famous Regressive settlements is Moonveil, the home of the religious order known as the Meek. Before the fall, they shunned modern technology, to the point of disdaining the use of anything that incorporated electronics, or plastic. After the bombs fell, they found themselves in the unique position of being the only ones who remembered how to survive and thrive without modern technology. The local orders in the Hio land called a council, got together, and decided to do good works by traveling throughout the wastes, and teaching the survivors how to till the land, make things like water-driven mills, and practice old-time medicine.
The Meek soon found that their principles of pacifism and nonviolence were hindering them… Brigands and other scum took joy in raiding them, and slavers paid top dollar for a Meek slave. Soon they found their kindness repaid with misery, and as their caravans and settlements dwindled one by one, the elders left realized that the Meek faced extinction. So, they prayed for guidance.
Their prayers were answered by a vision, of forgotten roads and countryside grown wild, and a ruined tunnel that was aglow with holy light… The dreamers of the Meek awoke filled with purpose, and they gathered their fellow faithful and headed to the South of Hio. The long, dangerous trip that was undertaken by the caravans is referred to as the “Second Exodus”
Eventually, they arrived at their destination. Long ago it had been a town, now a ruined train tunnel cut into a hill was all that remained. The soil was poor, and there were dark things in the woods, but the Meek did not care. To them, it was the promised land.
The Meek say that the second that they set foot into the Tunnel, the moon was covered with a shimmering veil, and God’s Blessing returned to the world. (The Meek refer to magic as God’s Blessing.) There’s some dispute among folks elsewhere about this, but the date seems to match.
Now, Moonveil is a small settlement of about two thousand Meek, and whatever visitors may be passing through. The land around Moonveil is covered with some kind of glamour, that disorients anyone who attempts to enter the village, and renders them lost in thick, foreboding woods. Dark things prowl the boundaries of the town, but cannot enter. The only way in is through the Moonveil tunnel… A site so magical that even a mundane can stand still and feel the energy rushing past them.
Outside of Moonveil, there are a few farmsteads in the nearby hills around Lake Up. They keep to themselves, but are happy to trade with and keep the roads clear for the Meek caravans that move in and out of Moonveil.
The Meek still maintain Moonveil, and a few other villages and settlements of their own, but they send out missionaries on a regular basis. They often run into problems with their neighbors and threats on the road because of their pacifistic credo that forbids them to raise a hand against another. Most civilized settlements and corporate representatives act as their protection when they can… The Meek are good neighbors, good for trade and usually friendly.
Moonveil's not a bad place to live… But the only people permitted to stay there longer than a month at a time are the Meek. Those who wish to convert but are uncertain are sometimes allowed a bit longer to make up their minds, but are put to work in the meantime. There is no money used internally within Moonveil, all currency is kept by the Elders (and the agents of the Elders), who handle all aspects of outside trade. If you need something in Moonveil, either barter for it, work for it, or ask for it politely and be prepared to return the favor when someone needs something from you.
There are only a few electric or mechanical items permitted within Moonveil proper, and they are watched carefully. Visitors who bring weapons or other devices into the town find that they tend to fail inexplicably... This is one of the reasons that the greeters at the gate ask visitors to leave their modern fripperies at the door. The technology level is firmly 19th century, with a few salvaged modern materials here and there, and better medical practices.
Moonveil labors under no racism, and does not discriminate against anyone because of their physical form, but religious discrimination is present. If you believe in a benevolent God, then you are welcome... But the Meek will try to convert you constantly, while you’re there. If you do not profess faith, or indulge in "heathen ways" then expect the Meek to shun you and offer no more than token hospitality.
The big advantage that Moonveil has going for it is magic. Magic makes the crops grow, magic heals the wounded, and magic defends the town where the Meek cannot. The Meek claim that their magic is strictly miracles, the work of God protecting his children. Corporate magicians that have studied them claim that this is untrue, the Meek are simply using natural effects of magic to validate their religion, and that any spells and spirits used by these people are simply channeled by their visualization practices and culture. No one can really say where the truth lies, and for the faithful that's just fine. In the end, the truth is that anyone stupid enough to assault Moonveil would find their forces scattered in suddenly hostile woods, their front line assailed by angelic-seeming spirits, and their bullets unable to touch a single soul, even with guns on full-auto and firing through crowds of the Meek.
Someone who comes from Moonveil is no stranger to farm work, and hard labor. They were raised in a somber and quiet environment, and taught that humility is its own reward. They were taught to believe in God, shun technology, and dress in a very narrow range of clothes and styles. Mind you, many Meek find that their worldviews don’t last too long once they get out into the Wastelands, especially that bit about nonviolence. Enough former Meek find themselves compromising, or forsaking the old ways when the situation gets dire enough. Those that do so repeatedly are excommunicated, and shunned by the faithful. They are no longer Meek, they are now "The Proud", and to be avoided at all costs.