— Ezrah Miles, settler from Virginia.
Excerpt from Jeremiah Nix’s interview series for the New York Times
Settlers are strong, resilient, and resourceful people. These are men and women who can potentially survive any situation and have the courage to attempt to do so. They hail from the more rural parts of the Federated States of America, The League of Southern American States, or even the Republic of Texas. Few settlers have the opportunity for formal education; however, many possess the ingenuity and adaptability to carve a successful life out of the harshest situations. They live in a world where laws are few and variable, but one’s personal code is absolute.
Settlers hold fast to the idea of hospitality, offering kindness to any and all strangers. They do tend to view City Folk with a bit of pity, believing them unfit to survive in the West. They often view them as pampered and pompous sorts who are too reliant upon rules and laws to make it in the wilds. The Tsung are seen as hard-workers. Perhaps the most similar to the Settlers in their resilience and tenacity. They are viewed as an odd people however. Fine to work beside in a mine, but not the sort you choose to invite to dinner. Attitudes towards the Iron Nation vary widely. Some fear the ferocity and strength of these tribes, while others call them friend. As for them Ferners, well most Settlers have never had a chance to meet one, much less have a strong opinion of them. They can just tell they "ain't from around here."
Settlers tend to be a superstitious lot and can see signs and omens in every dust storm. The Church of the Deliverer is a prominent fixture in most settlements, offering a place for folks to gather. Not everyone who attends the Church is truly faithful, but all find comfort from the sense of community it provides. For the Blessed, the hymns and sermons of the Church can refresh both the spirit and the body. Stories abound of the injured and sick finding healing with but a few words from a Ohmnian Preacher.
Then there are those who find it difficult to believe in some distant, divine entity; preferring to walk the line between trusting Lady Luck and creating their own Fate. Traveling the underbelly of society, these “spellslingers” often make their way as cardsharps, fortune tellers, and stage magicians. These acts of showmanship can explain their ability to manipulate the forces around them.
Settlers are the embodiment of the American Dream - that drive to create one’s own life out from under the thumb of politicians and government. They have a strong sense of community, regularly holding festivities like barn raisings and the accompanying dances, potluck dinners, church revivals, and festivals. They welcome the diversion of traveling carnivals and often even choose to up and travel with the same. Most settlers are quite familiar with firearms and survival skills. They don’t let their lack of formalized education hamper them. They may not match a City Folk’s book learnin’, but they are clever and capable.
This lack of formalized education does prevent them from pursuing professions that require accreditation from universities back East or abroad. This also leaves them with a lack of understanding of the greater world or familiarity with places and concepts far removed from their daily life. They are extremely superstitious and at times, can be small minded as a result. Life in rural areas has limited their exposure to the newest technologies. Even some common place luxuries in the cities are viewed as the most astounding wonderments in the settlements.
Common Professions: Prospector, Bounty Hunter, Sawbones, Soldier, Hunter/Trapper, Cowpoke, Druggist, Muckraker, Bandit, Drifter, Gambler, Gunslinger, Bartender, Saloon Girl/Guy, Preacher, Blacksmith, Carpenter, Teamster