City Folk

Cultures-City Folk Top

“The light of civilization may lie beyond these horizons, but it remains, and we carry it with us into these wilds. When I set out for the frontier, I don’t believe I realized how different life would be. Thankfully, I was not the only one to venture forth. Others of my station have braved the journey West as well and we have banded together, if you will. I’ve found that men and women from as far afield as New York, Charleston, Paris, and London have more in common with one another than we do with these less civilized types. A doctor from Chicago can enjoy a fine meal with a London scholar more readily than he could share a table with a farmer from rural Illinois. Though even she would be easier to converse with than the Iron Nation and Tsung. Few are willing to leave the bastions of civilizations and venture forth to the wild frontiers, but there is wealth to be made and knowledge to be gained. The greatest ventures always come with a little risk. It's what keeps life interesting.”

— Anna Sullivan, Heiress to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.
Excerpt from Jeremiah Nix’s interview series for the New York Times

Cultures-City Folk PoliticianCity Folk represent the educated and refined aspects of society. They drive the innovation and vision that typifies the era. While Settlers and Tsung might build the railroads, the concepts came from a visionary in New York, the technology came from engineers in Charleston, and the money to bring it to life came from an investor in Chicago. Many would consider the major cities to be the pinnacle of Western achievement. We’re in the industrial age. The world is changing rapidly and that change is being led by scholars and professionals from Harvard, Yale, and Oxford.

Even the lowliest street urchin considers themselves privy to the refinements and enlightenments offered by the cities, placing themselves culturally above those not so fortunate. Many City Folk delight in reading about the wild frontier through adventurous dime store novels. For those few who dare to travel west to the the Territory, hiring a Settler guide is considered wise, both to offer local expertise and to protect one from the desperadoes and warriors of the Hollow Nation that inhabit those lands. No matter how valuable one’s guide, however, one must maintain a certain decorous distance with those in their employ. Those seeking adventure closer to home, might venture into the Tsung Districts found in almost every major city - partaking in the titillation of a decadent opium den, procuring the luxuries sold in those quarters, or perhaps retaining the services of a skilled medium for a seance. Such “taboo” practices could provide wonderful entertainment and create fodder for the most avid gossip.

Cultures-City Folk ThugA proper education is de rigeur for anyone of the City. Even the lower classes are often able to obtain an education, either through public schooling or apprenticeships. The calibre of one’s degree can mean as much as the prestige of one’s family name. Because of the import placed upon study and the rise of the sciences, the Church of Ohm has long since fallen out of favor in the cities. It is typically viewed as the superstitious retreat of the less educated. Many who still seek some sort of faith in their life have turned to Theurgy; the unity of science, magic, and philosophy. Often members of private clubs and societies, these individuals treat the pursuit of knowledge itself as nearly holy. Their detractors see it as either the farcical pursuit of idle youth or as a compulsion bordering on madness.

As a rule, City Folk tend to be better off financially, possess a higher degree of education, and are more familiar with modern technology. They do, however, lack what some in the West would consider the most basic of survival skills. The abilities to hunt for one’s own food, read the signs of impending weather, and differentiate a friendly tribe from a hostile one, so essential to life on the frontier, elude those used to a life in the city.

Cultures-City Folk TycoonCommon Professions: Politician, Banker, Lawyer, Big Game Hunter, Explorer, Archaeologist, Spy, Inventor, Actor, Singer, Pinkerton, Military Officer, Doctor, Professor, Scientist, Tycoon, Scion of High Society, Cartographer, Fence, Gang Member

Inspiration Links: