Map of the Pewpspway basin

The Pewpspway Basin

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You know you are pronouncing the name of this river and basin correctly when you sound intellectually challenged. This is a fairly small basin, the United States would barely fit onto this map. Even so you'll notice the map has no cities. The largest settlements in this area are barely over a hundred thousand residents, but there are a thousand river towns of more than ten thousand.

This is the basin where most of the Orcs settled after the Wars of Magic. They were never able to form a stable culture until the Instinct. Until then this area was more or less impassible, and as it is a vital crossroads, the planet was nearly divided in two thru the whole Troubled Times and forties.

Before the Troubled Times, this was the least populated shore of the Great Sea. Most of the land was inhabited by tribes of Trolls. They never achieved a civilization, but they did make settlement by Elves problematic. The area was somewhat drier at the time, the coast was rocky and there were few good harbors. The glideway that came thru the area went inland, following the rivers where timber was being cut, and never served the few settlements along the coast.

The few Elven settlements were deserted soon after The Fall. The bones of Elves have been found near primitive campsites nearby. Some like to think they abandoned their settlements and reverted to hunting and gathering, but it is more likely they were eaten by the Trolls.

The Wars of Magic produced more Orcs and other types of humans modified for military service than any other conflict in history, including The Fall. What's more, the technology of the time had advanced to the point where these military species were fertile. There is no evidence that female Orcs were produced, but half-breeds with raped women were becoming a problem even before the war was over.

The victory of the Dwarves, Elves and Nordics against the Orcs and Trolls drove these hoards of Orcs out of the Old Midlands. A few fled to the high plains, but most marauded their way thru the Pirate Coast and then on into the Troll tribes beyond.

There can be no doubt that the Trolls did not greet the oncoming waves of Orcs like long-lost brothers. It is probably safe to assume the war went on for those people while it came to an end for those remaining in the Old Midlands. But since neither side left permanent settlements or written records, and oral legends get too distorted for use after six thousand years, we don't know many details from that time and place.

The Traygoths of the high plains to the south began noticing the difference in the bandits that came up from the lowlands about fifteen hundred BC. Though they were also nomadic hunters and herdsmen, they have kept written records since the Energy Age.

To the best of our knowledge, thruout the Troubled Times and well into the forties, residents lived in fortified clan castles of roughly worked stone blocks. Peasants tilled fields under the direction of overseers. Conditions varied greatly from house to house. There was little commerce or trade. Most castles were pretty much self sufficient and what had to be imported was usually imported by force.

After the plagues went thru, things began to loosen up a little. A few explorers were able to get out alive. Some clans began to engage in trade, and by the time of Europe's Dark Ages, there were a few towns on the rivers and interests from Knidola had established permanent trade routes thru to the Ttharmine and Hrrst.

The Instinct made a great change in this area. All the old ways of coercion by the strongest ended overnight. What little had been built up, collapsed. People fled the clan masters. They set up huts of twigs and bigleaves in the woods. They began to party and do drugs to the point where starvation stalked the land.

It wasn't till the middle of Kassidor's 50s, about the European Age of Exploration, when the area finally settled into an approximation of normal Kassidorian life. People still live in huts of saplings and bigleaves, but they have a going garden around it. By now, many have a modern all-in-one plumbing module set up near that hut, and a plank for a kitchen counter under some more bigleaves. Few still cook their meals in the campfire circle, but the circle is still there and is the community's light and heat for the dark.

There are some communities with grown houses, and even a few towns with some structures that can be called buildings by now. Data lines run thru the area on their way to Knidola and Eridor. Some of the towns along the river even have outlets. There is one town with a single wireless outlet, no others in the basin.

Almost no one is straight enough to function. The only check is that someone has to remain sober enough to brew more beer. There's as much yaag here as anywhere, but it is lost in a sea of beer. The beer is flat and warm and they still guzzle it. There are drunks doing dangerous work. Carpenters loose fingers and limbs, people chop axes into their feet, butchers loose fingers. Now that regeneration is possible, few seem to mind. Indifference to pain was bred into the military mutants and that characteristic persists in them today.

Most people (male as well as female, Kassidorian as well as Centorin) find seeking companionship problematic in this basin. Those mutants were bred for fighting, not for beauty. Strength, endurance and indifference to pain were the traits their makers were looking for. They interbred mainly with some of the crudest Trolls on the planet to form the current population. Thus the women you'll find will probably be much stronger than you are. She may be able to convince the Instinct she is trying to give you pleasure, not harm you, so be careful you don't find companionship whether you want it or not. But then there are some who think those long canine teeth are sexy.

Actually, our best advice, should you have to travel thru this area, is to stay on the boat and let the professionals take care of everything. A caravan over the Traygoth plains might be more interesting and nowhere near as sweltering, but that has dangers of it's own. If you stay on the boat and don't fall in the river itself, you should be fine.

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