(ROUGH WIP) (Slight warnings of gore)
A former State-occupied agricultural outpost that cut itself loose and now governs itself. Famed for it's 'Get Anything Done for a Low Price'-attitude. Since the Fall of the State have been known to hunt and raid FACS deserted or otherwise.
The Dreglands used to be simply called 'The Fields', a rather far removed country under loose State regulations. Granted FACS and their technology the Fields were only visited to claim a portion of the harvest for the State itself. Meek and not war-driven the country did as told. When the State engaged in War one of the first outposts to fall were the Fields. With nothing to defend themselves with they were bombed nearly to extinction. Thousands dead, FACS completely destroyed and the fields set ablaze… There was nothing the Fields could've done to prevent this. They were hopeful for help coming from the State but all that came were demands of their contribution to the war; men and food. Unable to supply this without dooming themselves the State returned home only to return a month later with higher demands.
Outraged by this casual disregard of their services and their lives the Fields fought back with the few things they had left. The State realized the Fields were a lost cause and cut their ties, disguising it as 'gifting the Fields their independence'. They placed a puppet in a leading role, intending to convert the Fields into an cheap industry-driven country to fulfill their growing need of manufactured parts. Placing ambitious Citizens in positions of factory CEO's it was easy to convert a bombed wasteland to fit their needs. Living conditions in the Fields became worse and worse with each day. Education took a backseat to work as children as young as 5 year old would get employed. Their environment withered under the waste and smog became an all too real issue. The name 'Fields' got slowly replaced by the Dreglands for the stinking wetland of mud and grease it had become. It wasn't until the puppet on the throne died that action was taken to finally remove the State from their land. Buster, an aggressive entrepreneur had carefully inserted himself in an important position by supplying the CEO's with armies of goons to keep control both in and outside of the factories. When the leading puppet fell he was swift to take their place and forcefully demand the State-factories bend to his rule. His army of blood-thirsty goons was fairly convincing.
After the fall of the State the Dreglands have become very disrespectful towards their former handlers, raiding FACS and hunting down any and all of it's members. They haven't given up their industry-driven economy but are slowly repairing the damage done to them to try and get a more prominent position in the world than 'the cheap labour force'. The sudden thrust to live on their own has developed them into somewhat of a technologically advanced society but with primitive social and cultural developments.
Dreglands is a very small country that is almost entirely naturally sealed in by thick woods and swamps. There are extensive areas of more gentle hills and even flatlands which are almost entirely populated by the ever growing cities or compounds. Many of the more civilized parts are drained swamps, the rich soil made for excellent farming. Not all of the swamps have been drained and many of them are now affected by waste from the factories resulting at times in interesting clashes of vibrant flora with barren and dead parts woven in.
In terms of weather they have generally gloomy weather with a bit of rain every now and then which happens to be on the acidic side due to their unrelenting ‘progress’. They have, thus far, not experienced winter in the true essence of the word and are unfamiliar with snow as a result. Nature is only found in the swamps and thick woods as all other flatland has been made into a muddy or dry landscape and largely been tainted by foul earth.
Dreglands is governed by a twisted variant of a general-emperor. With the majority of their population being illiterate and purposely kept dumb the Dreglanders have no need for democracy. The Dreglands is by all means the result of a sort of military coup and has no wish to change this any time soon. The leading figure in is the Boss that leads an army of Goons and deals with the important issues. To strengthen his position he has the ability to appoint as many people in command as he needs. As the Boss grows too old he generally selects a new goon to follow his footsteps, choices are mostly based on trust and competence.
Though the military coup makes it seem like a strict and totalitarian rule there are is a strange sense of justice set in place. While the economy has twisted itself in such ways that child-labour is needed to keep many families from starving, children are protected by the Regulations as any injury done to them will cost the CEO and child-labour is generally of a much higher pay-grade than regular workers. The regime of the Boss is strict but fair and tries to generate the best results for its people rather than for themselves. In the Dreglands this not always available. It is a cruel and crude system that tries to work for the comfort of the common people but cannot achieve it without irreparably damaging themselves.
Armed Forces Edit
The goons are what keep the country running and have a multitude of tasks they can fulfill to ensure their way is like it is. With bionic engineering a staple of the Dreglands most if not all goons are outfitted with at least one bionic arm to further impress and intimidate their opposition. Aside from their bionics they are often supported by burly dogs of which the regular teeth are replaced with steel ones to ensure not even enhanced targets can get out of their bite.
Taskmasters: Secure the factories and keep the workers from rebelling against their work but also ensure any disrespect from the owner of the factory does not go unpunished. Have a further job of keeping an eye on the children to protect them but also to spot any potential pupils for highly educated jobs.
Guards: Keep the brightest of their kind safe from harm. As of recent monitor their dealings so ugly secrets don't pop up.
Trackers: The broadest job as they are the ones sent out into the world to scavenge for tech or resources. At times they are sent out into the swamps to deal with Drowners that get too close to the city-borders. Handlers: A select group of goons which directly governs potentially dangerous wielders of magic and train them into leashed weapons. They are a rarity and have a high risk of death.
Tenders of the Field: Dreglands justice is brutal and crude. The Tenders deal with crimes, often in the most vicious of ways.
The general populace has no choice but to work in the factories as they lack education to apply for anything else. The ones who enjoyed education have more paths laid open for them such as a Guide, teaching the new generation, administrative jobs or able to work as a goon for the local gangs.
Further education can promote people to specialist jobs or a higher administrative job within the factories or gangs. Positions of power such as the CEO and the Leader of the Gang are usually appointed by a retiring person holding that position. In the Factories this has often resulted in family businesses where the CEO usually appoints his child as next in rank.
The general Economy of the Dreglands is strong as they strive for a combination of quality and cheapness. A task not easily achieved but it's price is paid by dealing with the Dreglanders and the Boss himself. Generally a harsh man who twists the CEO's rules to his own and keeps them just as much under his thumb as his workers.
Education has become important for the Dreglands to survive. However it is still a reality that many parents cannot afford the costs and lose the rather high wage a child-labourer brings with it. Some parents have enough money to at least juggle between a child's education and it's work by making them work part-time. There is a fail-safe in place in the form of the Taskmasters who can suggest some young children get Educated if they seem responsive or bright in their work. These individuals tend to be successful investments as it isn't something that is easily granted. Any position beyond general Factory-worker needs at least a basic Education to ensure the individual is literate, a basic rule dooming many families to an endless line of factory workers whilst the goons keep producing long lines of goons or at least children with administrative functions in the factories. These are often referred to as the Literates.
There is a possibility for even higher education which many who can afford it will take. These are referred to as the Educated.These often take the form of mentors and student-relations in which engineers, doctors, surgeons, pharmacists or other higher educated jobs take on students and teach them through a combination of example and textbook. This has the backlash of not being monitored that carefully and without an official system in place many Educated are nearly incapable of continuing work where another has left off. The Educated have a strict policy of having to write down what they are researching to ensure nothing goes lost and others always have a basis to continue from, even if their ways of working entirely contradict those of the other. The most promising ones, especially ones dealing with bionic engineering, health or pharmaceutical professions are generally pressured to take on a guard which leads to a beneficial relationship in which the Goon gets free services where as the Educated has protection.
The Dreglanders know they have it hard and have kind of realized there is no guarantee that there is an omniscient being out there to guide them. However many of the people have enjoyed little to no education and in an attempt to look for any and all explanation to how the world functions have found somewhat of an answer in an array of Gods which are often connected to Nature or the Unknown. As their lives tend to be horrible they have put much of their faith in the afterlife, the promise that it gets better then. Their bodies are processed like those of animals, parts used for transplantation, study or even animal feed. There is no threat in dishonouring something they no longer see as human. They view the body as an empty husk that holds onto the true essence of the person: their soul.
The Soul is the personality, the ideas, the lusts and wants of a person. The body is merely there to interact with the world. This has the by-product of a certain lack of monogamy in the Dreglands. Sex is common in the Dreglands, prostitution is rampant and not looked down upon. Sex are needs of the body, a withering husk that is bound to die where as they view 'love' as intertwined souls that understand each other. Soulmates if one could call it that.
Upon death they imagine the Soul is guided back to a better place by the gods, to have their greatest wishes fulfilled and be reunited with their dead loved ones.
Their Religion does have it's issues… Magebloods — magically inclined people — are viewed as cursed and twisted. A good soul tied to a corrupted body. Therefore many Magebloods have no real future in the Dreglands that doesn't end tragically.
While the Dreglands is rather evolved in terms of science and technology especially on the fronts of engineering their health system is primitive and relies heavily on practices that are very outdated by modern standards. Often taken the approach of taking away from the body rather than fixing it. While bionics can be used as replacements these tend to be costly and are not an option for the working-class man who cannot afford those easily.
In terms of healthcare their system can be compared to that of the 19th century. Bloodletting, poultices and leeches are common practises for a Dreglands doctor.
Justice and Punishment Edit
Thinking jails a waste of resources and heavily relying on money to further their country has reflected itself in how they govern their criminals. The more common uses of punishment are physical discipline and fines but when those lack there are alternatives.
Critters: Critters is a degrading form of punishment in which the individual charged is deemed too irresponsible or incapable to handle human responsibilities and subsequently have their human rights taken from them. These Critters are often doomed to lives of fighting for entertainment, subjects of experimentation or issued to basically fulfil suicidal-professions. At times a Critter can be sold to an individual. Note: These Critters are not the same as the 'Magebloods' used by Handlers. Critters are in no way or form magically inclined.
The 'Rebar-field' is the Dreglands variant of Capital Punishment in which people are tied to steel rebar strips poking out of the ground and are left to wither away slowly, often fed only meagre rations of acidic water to extend their lives until starvation takes them. The Tenders tend to these prisoners and ensure none escape. This punishment is reserved for ceremonial deaths (people of importance) or highly dangerous individuals.
The Dreglands are a culturally-starved people. They have no culture to fall back on as they wish to distance themselves as far from the State as possible. With much of it's people illiterate writing is no real option to convey information or entertainment.
Due to it's easily accessible nature and auditory form of entertainment the radio is an important part of their culture and there are several stations dedicated to using this to further enlighten the people be it by way of conveying history, current news, radio dramas, stories filled with morals or simply music. Whilst there are few places with television it is not an medium that's largely used by the Dreglands due to it's high cost and limited stations. At times programs from the State or other countries are used. Because of a minor Dreglands character in the show the State-produced show 'Zeus Mercury' had a small cult-following especially amongst the goons.
Dreglanders put a lot of faith in stories to teach their children and have developed a large amount of them, seldom written down but often told from parent to child. Users of magic (unless by artifact) are usually depicted as beings of evil with shape shifters being in the most prominent position of the baddies. Mainly developed from generations of their people being tricked by something that used them and wasn't as it appeared to be.
While 'sport' is a big word it is one of the few things the Dreglanders have for entertainment. Namely arenas in which they make others fight. Sometimes these are friendly bouts arranged amongst friends where they are kept tame and the focus is put on amazing stunts rather than injuring the other but there are times when death or bloodshed is it's intended purpose. These matches usually have Critters fighting each other or captured foreigners. Like the traditions of old these Critters or prisoners of 'war' are often promised freedom or have their human rights reinstated once more.
Dreglands does not handle magic all that well. There were attempts but with no research dedicated to magic or anyone to teach the mages they are often left to their own devices. Magic is highly uncontrollable to them and therefore something they fear. Dreglanders view Magic in People as a curse and the sign of a good soul trapped in a 'bad body'. Unlike their normal practices they fear using the body like they would do all others just in case it might taint whatever the body is used for. To circumvent this they use the practice of 'Drowners'. While the Dreglands has been known to mess with magical artifacts and even creatures but they cannot deal with sentient people using these talents. Mages have three possible outcomes in the Dreglands.
Vanish: By far the most preferable outcome for the mage. These are mages whose talents are not that easily noticed or dangerous. Or at times just people who flee the country out of fear.
Magebloods: Magebloods usually are orphans, poor children or foreigners with highly offensive yet malleable capabilities such as elementally-linked powers or shapeshifting. From a young age they are trained by handlers to become little more than weapons. If they kill their handler or any Dreglander without permission they are made into Drowners. They are rather rare.
Drowners: Drowners is the fate of many magic-users in the Dreglands. Displaying unusual abilities at any age they are rounded up and undergo a procedure of lobotomies and chemical substances to dull their minds. The Dreglanders hope to ease the soul by doing this and usher the confused, unresponsive bodies back into the swamps to simply die of natural causes in the hopes their gods purify the body of its taint.
While the Dreglanders are shy of people using magic they are known to hoard other sources of magic often in the form of non-sentient creatures or objects.
Mainly used by bionic engineers to decode or use their power for other means such as generating power or mimicking an action through mechanical means.
Many of these Artefacts and animals tend to get collected by Trackers or sold to them by others. Some of the more prominent projects have had a hand in using magic as a basis or key-component.
An example of this would be the 'Slaughterhouse'. A secretive project that utilises pigs and magic to generate power for their people.