Kennebec is heavily wooded, providing bountiful timber for the E.F.S. Lumbering Shags, the wooly mammoth of the Akroydiesel Age, are the popular beast of burden and chattel in these parts but see use in caravans all across the Upper 11. They’re well suited to cold climes and arduous climbs, with all the strength and stamina one might expect of an endurance megafauna.
Misty vistas, jagged coasts, and sheer cliff faces meet the roiling frigid waves that batter down most attempts to live on the coast. Portsmouth stands defiant, a wretched hive of scum and villainy if ever there was one after the Great Ottawan Loot Rush.
Slaughter towns and other small settlements elect sheriffs and state reps, who dispense led locally and pass laws from deep in the heart of Portland respectively. Particularly large settlements which begin to warrant too many deputies to not pay will eventually go on to electing a mayor who appoints a sheriff.
Portland politics are an eternal balancing act: trying to keep the once-a-year Market Day safe and profitable for everyone involved and curtailing the Porteroi. The shants and parks of outer Portland are where people come to set up their campers and tents for Market Day, but the gangs have become organized to extort “rent” from these folks. What is to be done is the question of the day, because after having to deal with sheer numbers the cut down gangs have gotten more organized and require a different response than merely rounding up a State-sanctioned posse.
Kennebecs are simple folk who favour simple solutions, preferably involving the warm barrel of a gun.
Kennebec life is by definition rural, with the exception of the squalor around Portland. Settlements have their own Akroydiesel derricks, run their own crude refineries, and operate their own generators unless someone within a day’s travel is locally producing same. They’ve all got a primary trade, be it logging or slaughtering, and the dangers of the Kennebec Raptors ensure most Kennebec settlements are built with aerial defense in mind.
There are some communes who practice life in a wildly different fashion in Kennebec, most are out of staters come with a little cult of personality to “start society over again.” They tend to end in tyranny and blood, if not starvation from their own stupidity. There is a more resilient home-grown breed, however, the Wylands.
Wylands are self contained communes built around a single household compound, which sometimes federate into loose coalitions known as Wymets. They are Matriarchal in structure and accept no outside males within their walls. Born of a forgotten creed during the Lost Age, these residents of Kennebec acquiesced to the sovereignty of the state more out of desire to not be forcibly annexed than a joyous feeling of civilization being “reborn.” To them, the E.F.S.’s society is highly aberrant from both nature and reason. They consider materialism and impersonal governmental authority traps for exploitation and prefer to live in tight knit communities where they believe they may better eschew societal tensions and embrace their humanity.
Of course, they have their own constraints they consider necessary to stay free from those tensions. Male exile is the great question of Wylands. Some allow those born within to stay, but often social pressure or dictates of the Wyland’s Matriarch will result in a permanent exile for those offspring who fail to adhere to the codes of conduct within. Wylands are diverse in philosophy and rules, making Wyland-on-Wyland warfare common. Generally speaking Wylands within a day’s walking distance of one another will form a Wymet if they are sufficiently ideologically aligned, though these can dissolve if there is sufficient philosophical drift, normally over the course of several generations. The most common reason for dissolution is disagreement on “the Male question,” namely if, when, and how exile of the males is to be affected.
There is, of course, a more drastic approach. Morphants which change the gender of the recipient are commonly cultivated in rural communities for their easy commercial appeal, and not a few Wylands have taken to cultivating those which solve “the Male question” by way of changing the offspring physiologically into the preferred sex. Most Wylands and Wymets consider this hard hearted when offered as an ultimatum at time of maturity or downright inhumane if done before the child can reasonably consent\without anything resembling consent in the first place.
There’s a mighty strange breed in Kennebec, a strand of the human genome uniquely suited to the region’s fauna. There are two dozen clans of Raptor Riders in Kennebec, those with the heritable ability to mollify young Raptors and eventually ride them. The secret to the gene flaps of the morphants you inject your Raptors with to make them bond with a potential partner is held so tightly it is said there is no one a Raptor Rider would not kill to keep it.
Whatever the case, Raptor Riders are renowned far and wider across Kennebec and beyond as champions of the sky and scourges of the airways. Not a few aerial ventures hire them on and keep a roost for their Raptors for the event of airship-to-airship combat. Far more graceful than a lumbering machine, the Kennebec Raptors represent a credible threat to anything less than a military grade airship. Even then, in sufficient numbers they can prove dangerous to repel.
Kennebec is perhaps the single largest provider of meat in the E.F.S., and their timber production is a close second. Various loot coming out of the frozen north can also be considered a primary export of Kennebec, but it’s nothing close to Ottawa regardless of what a gold rusher will tell you.
Cottage and town industry is common here, and most corporations are commonly held by the families that operate them. Attempts by outside business to penetrate the region generally fail or wind up costing more than they’re worth. Outsiders are frequently wholly reliant on natives to navigate the countryside and avoid deadly wildlife, especially Raptors.
Freezing cold, filled with expert marks(wo)men of questionable morality, and generally without much in the way of easy transit or readily purchasable supplies Kennebec is not welcoming to unprepared outsiders. Most communities are self sufficient because contact with the outside world is unreliable, some northern communities cannot even be sure they will reach Market Day each year.
The streets of Portland at the core are full of long faces with questioning eyes. Outsiders are usually considered suspect for cooperation with the Porteroi, and the Porteroi generally read outsiders as saps first and competition the second they prove themselves to not be saps. Thus the single most civilized place in the state can become a death trap just as easily a small avalanche wiping a caravan off a winding hillside trail.
Truly, Kennebec living is only for the firm of hard and steady of aim.