Hill, swamp, and prairie surround the vast swaths of flat cultivable lands that Pamlico is best known for. Its capital of Raleigh, ringed in a tall concrete wall and resilient to outside interference or chance, is an impressive preservation of a number of antique architectural styles. The people of Pamlico saw fit to painstakingly recreate old buildings as were from ancient pictures and what floorplans could be obtained, even for buildings clearly not built sturdily enough to last so long.
Its long and sandy beaches are not nearly so flood prone as those of Virgio, and flooded ruins off the coast that have been built upon offer lovely seaside getaways to the idle rich.
Pamlico’s society and political apparatus is extensively influenced by the Thirteen Families. They grew to prominence in the darkest days of the Lost Age, keeping Raleigh alive through many trials and tribulations. It was they who built the wall, and they who built their towers to defend the city’s center.
From their thirteen towers the Thirteen Families’ operate many businesses across the state and city. Some of their operations are illegitimate but made functionally untouchable through their clout. In the rare event something is inescapably criminal and finds its way to a court of law, the family will shut the business down and influence the proceedings away from fingering them. Even if the judge knows they’re at fault, it is usually career
or life, depending on the family in questionending to publicly denounce the families in criminal, much less declare it official in court.
This is all an open lie, of course. Well armed retainers sporting a wide arsenal in plain view, constant maneuvering and smear campaigns againste politicians who oppose their desires, and a general sense that only those in line with the Thirteen Families’ interests are truly first class citizens.
In an attempt to make peace with the firebrands in Plymouth in the wake of border spats a decade ago culminating in Pamlico State Guards opening fire on Plymouth State Guards, prohibition was enacted on all alcoholic goods within the city walls of Raleigh. This served a double purpose: the politicians trying to show their moral uprightness to Plymouth (and get them to agree to terms of settlement that would avoid a federal investigation), and the Thirteen Families who wanted to be the only alcohol in town.
Speakeasies within Raleigh proper are more popular than traditional bars ever were, and for those without the means or unwilling to take the risk there’s watering holes just outside the city. The ratways dug beneath the wall over the years present a winding network of ways to stumble drunkenly home: which bar goers usually need, because the gates close at sundown in Raleigh. Only trains are allowed in and out after dark, and those entrances are raised off the ground and heavily guarded through the night.
Pamlico is known for its significant plantations and the rural townships are usually walled affairs built around a central manor. The fields will have primitive perimeter traps and physical alarms like bells on wires, but mostly after the sun sets rural life is about hiding indoors. Not a few rural homesteads deemed safe for a generation have been found smeared with blood, doors bashed open and barricades chewed apart. Business outside of plantation towns is still possible but requires extensive fortification and readiness.
The swamps can be safer than the plains in some regards. Though they bring with them their own risks, many individuals are willing to risk it for the relative freedom possible there.
The Populist Party attempts insurrections against Thirteen Families’ politics on the surface, but in truth this is a ruse and only policies with the support of at least a few Families are put into place. Unionist sentiment is strong here on the national level but weak on the local level, as in spite of popular ideals they can sometimes be seen as catspaws of the Families rather than true agents of the people. The Capital Party holds down a few seats on the Raleigh city council reliably, but do not pierce the national stage for the state with any regularity--tradition and blood are more important than raw wealth in Pamlico, and this does not suit the Capital Party’s policy trajectory.
Akroydiesel drilling and mass agriculture are two the region’s largest industries, with a normal level of shipping by land, air, and sea. Pamlico grows many speciality items possible due to their proximity to Savannah, and unique fruits mean they make a mean profit exporting to extravagant restaurants across the E.F.S. Ultimately more drugs are grown and refined in Pamlico than normal due to the freedom with which the families can operate, slightly impacting rates of availability to the common user.
To the south west the ancient city of Charlotte is overgrown in verdant decay. The flora there emits a purple gas that slowly acts upon all who stray too long in the area. It slowly drives its ways into the psyches of those that inhale it and before long they begin to forget human speech and most other trappings of civilization. These folk are known as Charlotteans, after the ancient city’s name. It threatens Savannah and Pamlico alike, who mutually police its fringes. The city, once quite whole under the greenery, was subject to an E.F.S. firebombing campaign many years ago--and is now a charred husk in many places. Within the deepest of the burn zones one finds the most verdant and complete regrowth, raising serious questions about the nature of the threat within. The E.F.S.A. maintains several bases around the perimeter in conjunction with Pamlico and Savannah’s State Guards.
In theory it is illegal to enter Charlotte past the military perimeter, but in practice they are more interested in containing the blight within than stopping trespassers: however, people suspected of becoming Charlotteans are detained and quarantined until they can be shown free of the plant’s influence. Those who cannot are dealt with.
Beyond the normal creatures of the wilds, Pamlico is stalked by a unique threat: the Bladenhund. These strange combination of feline and canine are the size of a wolf and can easily chew through and bash through all but the sturdiest of wooden barricades. They are nocturnal, and the people of Pamlico dread them. It is said they originate from the town of Bladenboro. However, Bladenboro appears on no maps of Pamlico and has largely been written off as a myth.
The threat of Bladenhunds keeps bandits from plying the woods on foot at night, but this is a double edged sword: they instead tend to group into little robber baronies around fortifiable structures on the roadways, charging tolls and extracting “taxes” from remote settlements. Most are cleared out by the State Guard over the course of a few months else fall into disarray of their own doing, but those that enjoy the blessings of one of the Thirteen Families can indefinitely scourge an area without fear of reprisal from state law enforcement.