|art by Glenn Orbik|
“...snake-charmers, phoney real-estate operators, and syphilitic evangelists.”The region between the hegemony of the City, the Smaragdine Mountains, and the eastern coast of the New World is known generally as the South. Popular conception holds a dim view of the South, and its people are painted with various unflattering stereotypes. The poor are viewed as over-religious, unwashed dullards, and its would-be gentry as grandiose eccentrics living in the past.
It is true that the South has been slower to embrace the industrialization and engagement in the wider world that mark its neighbors like the City and the Steel League, and its folk are often hidebound and insular. These traits aside, there are many things which might draw adventurers here.
There is one industry the South excels at—bootlegging. Though the South’s tradition of fire and brimstone Old-Time Religion ensures that most counties are “dry”--and even more liberal localities prohibit alcohol sales on Godday--this hasn’t stopped the manufacture and smuggling of alcohol. The lowland moonshiner typically sticks to alcohol; he’s is less likely than his Smaragdine brethren to also be involved in bootleg alchemicals in general (though it may only be a matter of time). Southron bootleggers are famous for their skill behind the wheel of their suped-up automobiles (sometimes even magically enhanced) used to outrun authorities on rural highways and back-roads. Both sides of the moon-shining equation offer opportunities for people of action.
In addition to the highways, the lesser travelled waterways of the South are conduits for bootleggers, smugglers, and criminals on the lamb. Bayous and swamps can hide a multitude of sins, if one can deal with the hostile locals (including conjure-men or hoodoo doctors), skunk-apes, gator-men, and dangerous animal life. Outsiders should be cautious before choosing to follow a local fugitive into the interior. The largest of these swamps are the closest thing the Northern continent has to the Grand Cinnamon River basin in Asciana.
There is also perhaps a little money to be made, and a lot of justice do be done, in defending Black or Native communities from terrorizing by the Knights-Templar of Purity. This can be a dangerous proposition as Black-Folk are legally disenfranchised in much of the South, and the Knights-Templar wield more power here, so near there place of origin, than in most other places. Some whole towns are under their sway, so that knowing who is an enemy and who is not can be difficult to discern.