Regressive Settlement

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There are places where order breaks down. Where education and history takes the backset toward simple survival. These are not good places to grow old, and the life expectancy of those living within them is disturbingly short.

Some of these places are remote, and were dependant on technology that no longer exists. With it gone, the mortality rate was astronomical until the survivors figured out new ways of doing things. Other places were devastated by fallout or bio-weapons that laid waste to a generation or two, before the next generation developed resistance to the scourge that claimed their parents.

When you leave people alone long enough, without any major outside influences, savage and strange ways can develop. That’s when you get a regressive settlement.

People from a regressive settlement are often called "Tribals". They tend to have and use handmade clothing and goods, at least until they go out into the world and find or steal corporate-made items. They sometimes have tattoos and strange customs, and often speak bastardized English, or their own language.

The technology level in most regressive tribes is minimal. A few tribes have managed to retain or salvage some of their old technology, but they are dependant on individuals who greedily hoard knowledge of how things really work, or have forgotten how things really work and make up supernatural reasons for ordinary things. So a witch doctor might know how to brew a “healing water”, that’s actually some nanite stock that’s been handed down in a “Spirit Flask” from his mentor.

This isn’t to say that all regressive settlements are primitive. Ones that let traders or outsiders in learn how to use new technology to their advantage at amazing speeds. Never confuse ignorance with stupidity, when dealing with “Tribals.”

In some ways, regressive settlements have an advantage on magic. A pre-technological mindset, combined with a willingness to honor spirits can make for powerful shamans. Magic is treasured in most regressive settlements, and encouraged. It makes life easier, it’s not complicated or easily broken like technology, and it’s something that you can keep inside the tribe.

Sad to say, racism is often prevalent throughout regressive settlements. Many tribes are formed around a single race, and people who are not of that race are often treated like second-class citizens, killed on sight, used as food, or sacrificed to placate the gods. It’s a good policy to be wary when approaching a known tribe’s territory. If you don’t know their views on outsiders or metahumans (Or humans, for that matter,) you may be in for a nasty surprise.

Corporations love regressive settlements. They can gain major PR by doing “Charitable works” and “Recivilizing primitives.” This is usually good for a few human interest propaganda broadcasts back in the home enclave. And in the meantime, they can grab whatever resources the tribe is sitting on, and use them for cheap labor in some of the worst holes of the wastes. And if the tribals resist, then they can usually be gunned down with superior firepower.

Dragons tend to like regressive settlements as well. Once they’re persuaded into worshipping the great “dragon-god”, then they can be loyal unto death. Metahumans are a lot less of a hassle to deal with, when you’re their religious icon. All it takes is a little beneficial magic, some protection of the territory that you were going to protect anyway, and you’re good.

There are as many different types of regressive settlements as there are grains of sand on a beach. Some are as small as twenty people, others have hundreds of members. Some stay crouched in a hidden valley back in the hills, while others are spread over dozens of miles.