|Location:||Outer Banks, North Carolina|
|Population:||Roughly 74,000 sentient or semi-sentients
The Broken Banks, formerly the Outer Banks, is a region in the former Southeast Commonwealth referring to the barrier islands surrounding the former state of North Carolina. This geopolitical region maintains a trading presence throughout the eastern seaboard, exporting a wide variety of goods, from scrap metal to ammunition to slaves. The waters of the Broken Banks are notoriously dangerous due to shipwrecks, rocks, ruins, and other hazards for travelers. The area is home to multiple trading factions of note, including Elizabeth City. The local vault is Vault 110 on Cape Hatteras.
The Broken Banks is composed of multiple islands and the coastal mainland of North Carolina. The pre-war landscape was nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic due to multiple ships running aground or sinking due to the thin islands and high sandbar. After the Great War, however, the area became littered with multiple shipwrecks from refugees and traders to the region. With nothing to clean these ships up, these shipwrecks remain just under the murky waters, posing a massive threat to passing ships.
When the bombs fell, the Broken Banks were not hit as hard as the rest of North Carolina. However, years of radiation from the decimated Wilmington has contaminated the eastern portions of the Broken Banks. The landscape of the Broken Banks is that of a parched beach usually, with long-dead brush posing a real fire threat. Roanoke Island remains fertile and green, though the Lost have prevented anybody from colonizing Roanoke.
Every few years, a powerful hurricane will make its way to the shores of the Broken Banks, destroying communities and devastating the landscape. Two centuries of destruction by natural forces have left a lasting impression on the landscape. Abandoned communities that were never rebuilt litter the Broken Banks... assuming they weren't completely swept off the face of the Earth.
Before the Great War, the Broken Banks was referred to as the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a series of barrier islands along the coast of North Carolina. Infamous for being treacherous waters, the Outer Banks were once referred to as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. High sandbars and rocks could easily spell doom for ships, taking them down even before the Great War. The Outer Banks were also known for tourism and commerce, the area generating great profit for the state of North Carolina and the entire Southeast Commonwealth. The Outer Banks, along with the eastern coast of North Carolina itself, had been home to a large ecosystem. The biodiversity made the area home to many interesting forms of animal and plant life. The biodiversity was constantly threatened by run-off from various environmental hazards, including military bases and industrial sites.
The Outer Banks had been home to over 60,000 people before the Great War. Its known history stretched back for centuries, though the earliest and most famous event that took place in the Outer Banks happened in Roanoke Island. This island was home to the famous 'Lost Colony,' which was founded in 1585 only to be found abandoned within five years. This enigmatic story captivated historians for centuries. As history progressed, the Outer Banks were subjected to various disasters, both man-made and natural. The US Civil War brought as much destruction to the Outer Banks as the various deadly hurricanes that pounded the islands over the span of United States history.
The Resource Wars
During the Resource Wars, the various shipyards of the Outer Banks pumped out ships and supplies for the war effort in Alaska, commiting a large portion of the areas industrial base, the majority of it being Ship yards of various sizes, to the war effort. The somewhat depleted fleets near the Outer Banks were also responsible for defending the East Coast, in the event that Chinese forces made an attempted sneak attack on the United States lightly defended East coast Atlantic Ocean naval installations, due to most US naval ships being drawn away to the Alaska front. As the war continued, the Vault-Tec Corporation, following commissions from the United States Government after the initiation of Project Safehouse vaults due to the fear that a nuclear or biological attack on the United States could put its people at risk. One such Vault was to be placed in Eastern North Carolina. In a controversial move, they ordered Vault 110 to be built on Hatteras Island.
The Vault was placed beneath Cape Hatteras in the interests of catering to military personnel and their families rather than the citizens of Eastern North Carolina. This location provided optimal coverage for both parties. The unique choice of soil composition served Vault-Tec's interests as well. By placing Vault 110 on a coast, they doomed the Vault to be subjected by the erosion of the coastline on which it had been built. Aside from the experiment, it was a very standard Vault. The only thing worth noting in this Vault's history prior to the Great War is that it had been considered for a GECK, though Vault-Tec ultimately declined Vault 110's request for a GECK, citing location as its main concern.
On August 27th 2073, the chinese infiltration operation, later dubbed the Skirmish at the Outer Banks, occured, causing unrest in the area, with an ever increasingly war weary citizen in the United States becoming ever more wary and troubled with the slow progress of the effort to retake Alaska, and despite the efforts of the United States many propaganda machines to downplay the event once local sources from the Outer Banks revealed the event to the press wider press, the event stoked ever increasing doubt in the governments ability to ensure the safety of the United States mainland, and in its efforts to ensure security for the average American citizen.
The Great War
In 2077, the fragile peace that followed the Resource Wars was broken as the world was bathed in nuclear fire. The citizens of coastal North Carolina and various military personnel fled to Vault 110. Its doors closed mere moments after a nuclear strike on Wilmington took place. The last thing from the outside world the citizens of the Vault saw was the growing mushroom cloud in the distance where Wilmington had once been. Overall, North Carolina was not spared from the nuclear bombs, but the Outer Banks escaped relatively unscathed, at least for the time being. The most imminent danger was to the immediate south of the islands. Nuclear strikes in Wilmington and subsequent nuclear disaster at the Brunswick Nuclear Collection Plant contaminated lower coastal North Carolina. The ocean was polluted with radioactive material in the southern Broken Banks. Those that were stuck outside Vault 110 had to fend for themselves as the region fell into anarchy.
Rise of the Families
With no support from the federal government, rioting turned to chaos. Chaos turned to anarchy and desperation. Starvation and sickness led to entire communities being abandoned. However, some communities were able to restore order fairly quickly, including Elizabeth City and Manteo. These cities became refuges for starving survivors and their children. Other cities, such as Columbia, became centers of anarchy for decades. By 2100, a deep famine struck the Outer Banks. Some communities were able to adapt to living off of the riches of the seas while many other communities resorted to raiding or cannibalism while many more simply disbanded due to starvation or raiding. However, not every community suffered this cruel fate. Manteo on Roanoke Island and Elizabeth City on the mainland grew in power, coming into contact with various other communities. As the two rose to power, a group of powerful families began making their riches by trading across the Broken Banks. Before long, these families became synonymous with their host cities.
Trade flourished in the mid-2100s until, one day in 2190, contact was lost with Manteo. Any and all teams sent to investigate never returned. To this day, nobody has ever returned from Roanoke Island. The common theory is that the island is inhabited by a group of raiders known as the Lost. Other theories, which stretch from plausible claims such as a virulent disease to outlandish claims, such as aliens. Still, Roakoke Island remains infamous and enigmatic, one of the many mysteries of post-apocalyptic United States.
The loss of Roanoke Island hurt the economy of the families in the Broken Banks. Worse, the people of the islands were terrified that they would suffer the same fate that befell Roanoke Island. To counter against this perceived threat, the families realized that an alliance was necessary. In 2210, the Johnson Family of Elizabeth City proposed the Outer Banks Defense Pact. This pact guaranteed that all families would come to the aid of one family should it be attacked unjustly. Although this put minds at ease to a point, many families were still uneasy with each other. Pacts were created and alliances were forged. While war never broke out, it always loomed. By 2177, it became apparent that the peace could not last. With each passing day, the various factions of the Broken Banks seemed to be preparing for all-out war.
Location: Elizabeth City
Head of Household: Tad Johnson
The Johnson Family was one of the first families to rise to power in the Broken Banks. Before rising to prominence, the Johnson family owned a fishing business along with a reliable agricultural business. During the difficult days after the Great War, the Johnson Family used these assets to feed the people of Elizabeth City, making a name for themselves as the Heroes of the Banks. Their status as saviors led to their celebration in the city. The Johnsons have arguably been responsible for the rise of the Houses of the Broken Banks. In the 2100s, the Johnsons traded with the now extinct Williams family, forging a powerful alliance in the northern Broken Banks. Some modern members of the Johnsons are related to the Williams, though their lineage is diluted at this point. At one point in time, the Johnsons and the Manteos arguably controlled the Broken Banks, dominating every other community with trade and military presence.
After Manteo disappeared, the Johnsons were responsible for attempting to fill the trade gap left by Manteo. The family did what they could to ensure that the people of the Broken Banks were not disrupted. While this help was welcomed at first, the Johnsons were eventually shunned in the southern Broken Banks and in the Free States. Some, namely the Dixons, believed that the Johnsons of Elizabeth City had become too involved in the politics of the Broken Banks. Tensions rose between the northern and southern Banks quickly. While the Johnsons did take a step back in the way of involvement outside of the Albemarle Sound, they were the ones who had initially proposed the Outer Banks Defensive Alliance.
Today, the Albemarle Pact is headed by the Johnson Family. While they nominally have given the Hawkes and the McCanns equal say in the doings of the Albemarle Pact, the Johnsons hold the most sway in decision making. This can cause tension within the Pact at times, though the other Albemarle Pact members realize that, without Elizabeth City, there is not much stopping these cities from being wiped off the face of the Banks in one swift, co-ordinated attack. The Johnsons are led by Tad Johnson, who has made it a point to step back in the affairs of the other members of the Broken Banks. His sons, however, believe that Elizabeth City should inherit the Broken Banks. After all, the Johnsons did save the Broken Banks from starvation countless times.
Relations With Other Families
The Johnsons are old money in the Broken Banks. They once owned the Broken Banks and they aim to remind everyone of this fact. The other houses, once grateful to the Johnsons for this, have become annoyed by this sentiment at best. In the Albemarle Sound, the Johnsons are tolerated and, in some cases, still celebrated. Hawke and Columbia are kept in line by the Johnsons. While the native families of these settlements grow weary of the Johnsons, they realize that they need them. They also fear what the Johnsons would do if Hawke and Columbia ever left the Albemarle Pact.
In the southern and middle Banks, the Johnsons are seen as dominating and controlling. Anti-Johnson sentiment is high, with some ports in the Pamlico Sound actually refusing business with the Johnsons. They believe that the Johnsons wish to control the Broken Banks once again and establish complete and total dominance over the land. Whether or not this is actually true is open for debate.
Head of Household: Lucas Hawke
Hailing from the city from which their name derives, the Hawke Family is a small, enigmatic clan of inventors, academics, and thinkers. Their first member, Anthony Hawke, was a man allegedly from the Commonwealths in the Northern United States. He had been sent to the area to record what had become of the island where humanity first discovered powered flight. It is reported that he chose to make his residence in the area, adopting the surname 'Hawke' and founding a small research community on this island. He gathered thinkers from the Broken Banks and from the Dukes of former Duke University. He reportedly spent most of his time trying to gather people for this island. Hawke wanted the best and the brightest and he arguably got them. During a trip to recruit more Dukes, he met a woman named Maria, who he later married. Anthony Hawke made a name for himself whilst traveling the wastelands. He is said to have a number of illegitimate children all over the Piedmont region of North Carolina, though very few of them travel to the Broken Banks.
Under Anthony Hawke's guidance, the settlement of Hawke acquired a number of high-tech weapons and robots, though it should be noted that most of these robots are inactive. Hawke is also allegedly in possession of a number of planes that were acquired during Anthony Hawke's tenure. During the waning years of his wife's life, he began spending time and research on how to save her life before ultimately failing. Maria Hawke reportedly passed away in 2190 at the age of 60 due to cancer. This led to Anthony Hawke becoming even more reclusive. In 2223, over six decades since he had started his work in the Broken Banks, Hawke elected to prolong his life by having his brain placed in an upgraded Brainbot. He traveled to the Capital Wasteland in search of the Wright Flier. He was never seen again.
The surviving Hawkes never followed in Anthony Hawke's footsteps. Though they occasionally traveled to Duke University, none of them left a legacy on the Broken Banks as profound as that of Anthony Hawke. Today, the Hawkes are led by the ambitious Lucas Hawke. He aims to make Hawke a powerful presence in the Broken Banks through any means necessary. His son, however, Tony Hawke, seems to have a problem with his father's goals.
Relationships With Other Families:
The Hawkes are seen as an enigma in most circles. The legacy of Anthony Hawke remains and all Hawkes are expected to be intelligent playboys with penchants for self-destructive habits and goals. The families in the Broken Banks believe that the Hawkes are generally well-meaning, though some believe that they may be involved with the disappearance of Manteo. Some see Hawke as a lapdog for Elizabeth City while others believe that the denizens of Hawke hold the opinion that they are 'too good for the Broken Banks' and aim to leave the area. Whatever the case, Hawke remains allied with Elizabeth City and Columbia for defense. One of their most active projects is discovering what happened to Manteo. Rumor has it that they've made a breakthrough...
Croatoan Free States
Head of Household: Mitch Turner
Proudly representing the various city-states along the Croatoan Sound, the Turners fight to tooth and nail to ensure that both the Albemarle Pact and Pamlico Confederation do not establish a foothold in the central Broken Banks. The Turners are the only major house from the Croatoan Sound, but they speak for the various settlements and 'unaligned people' in their established territory. Once a colony from Elizabeth City, the Turners rebelled against the Johnsons in 2198, when House McCann had been in power in the Albemarle Sound. They have been likened to 'civilized raiders.' Most organized crime, piracy, and slavery rackets in the Broken Banks can be traced back to the Turners. The family doesn't deny it either; they believe that such activities belong in a truly free market.
Ironically, the slavery hub of the Broken Banks claims to be the most free. They have prided themselves on their lack of alignment since Dale Turner led the Croatoan rebellion against Elizabeth City. There are over twenty settlements allied with the Turners. The Free States stretch as far into mainland North Carolina as Belhaven and Plymouth. Currently, the Free States are attempting to incorporate Washington into their sphere of influence, though Washington remains adamant in staying out of the affairs of the Broken Banks. The attempts of the Turner family are becoming more and more aggressive as the refusals by Washington stack. Some in Washington believe that the Turners are preparing for an invasion.
Underneath this veil of freedom lies a group of communities seeded with fear. The disappearance of Manteo and other settlements on Roanoke Island has the inhabitants of the Free States terrified. Some believe that the only thing keeping the Free States in this coalition is fear. Despite this, House Turner presents perhaps the largest threat to trade in the Broken Banks. They could very well establish a blockade, restricting trade in the Broken Banks. As tensions rise and the Turners become more ambitious, the likelihood that this blockade will happen increases.
Relationships With Other Families:
Other families simply do not like the Turners and this isn't to say that they haven't desperately tried. The Turners have hindered all sides of the Broken Banks. As the factions of the Broken Banks drift apart, the one thing bringing them together is their hatred of House Turner. Non-aligned communities, though, believe that House Turner is a godsend, as do the various black market lines that travel through the Broken Banks. Pirates and raiders in the Broken Banks usually have made their homes in Turner Territory and most chems produced and distributed in the Broken Banks originated from the Free States.
Head of Household: Ian Dixon
The Dixon Family is responsible for much of the development of the southern Broken Banks. A top competitor for the Turner Family in illicit behavior, the Dixons are entrepreneurs that not only know how to make the best out of a bad situation, but actually, make a fortune from disasters. Their capital city, Ocracoke, has been ravaged by hurricanes, picked dry by droughts and famine, and looted by pirates and Mirelurks on multiple occasions. Thomas Dixon of Elizabeth City came to Ocracoke looking for treasure and came upon the, at the time, abandoned city of Ocracoke. He began initiatives to get people to settle on Ocracoke Island and, by 2180, it was a thriving community. The Dixons cut ties with Elizabeth City and established almost complete dominance over the southern barrier islands of the Broken Banks. Aided by long-term allies in New Bern, the Wilsons, the Dixons are a hardy people.
Today, the Dixons own the entirety of Ocracoke Island and Ocracoke Island. They have noted interest in taking the Emerald Isles, but have put these plans on hold due to rising tensions with the Turners and the Albemarle Pact. Ian Dixon proudly represents the Dixon family from their home in Ocracoke. The Dixons are known for making sleazy deals. While the Free States are the hotspot for piracy in the Broken Banks, Dixon-help ports are no safer. There are plenty of ways to lose everything one owns while traversing Dixon territory... and they're all more or less legal if they've been sponsored by the Dixons.
In addition to several townships and ports, the Dixons own the largest fleet in the Broken Banks. Several speedboats and war ferries are owned by Ocracoke. If war was to break out, the mighty Ocracoke fleet would be a force to be reckoned with.
Relations With Other Families:
If nothing else, the Dixons are a respected group of entrepreneurs. The Wilsons and the Dixons are incredibly old allies and Wilson benefits from the schemes of the Dixons. The Dixons have been likened to the Elizabeth City of the Southern Broken Banks. They are powerful, ambitious, and hate the Turners with a burning passion. The Broken Banks view the Dixons with caution usually. The infamous loopholes in Dixon contracts have put more than one person in crippling debt... and crawling back for more. The Dixons are, however, seen as incredible crisis managers. Every time a hurricane sweeps through the Broken Banks, the communities around the Broken Banks look to the Dixons for assistance.
Location: New Bern
Head of Household: James Wilson
If the Dixons rule the seas of the Broken Banks, the Wilsons rule the mainland. They owe their success largely to the PippyCola, a competitor to NukaCola. The bottling plant in New Bern produces new bottles of PippyCola. New Bern's trading Empire has allowed it to expand into the Crystal Coast. The Wilsons became famous in the 2170s by riding on the coattails of the Dixons. As the caps flowed, the Wilsons took advantage of the new-found money to re-open the PippyCola plant. A suitable alternative to NukaCola, PippyCola rocketed the Wilsons into fame throughout the Broken Banks area. While PippyCola can be found if one looks hard enough, the only place to get fresh PippyCola is in the Broken Banks thanks to the Wilson family.
The Wilsons aren't just defined by PippyCola. They are home to a massive population. They have worked hard to maintain their position as the 'gentle giants' of the Broken Banks. They work hard to scavenge the wastes and provide for the large population of New Bern. When on the defense, the Wilsons are fearless and brutal. Raider and ghoul attacks from The Camp have put expeditions from New Bern on hold and have required multiple firefights to neutralize. They are an even match for any challenger in the Broken Banks area.
Relations With Other Families:
While the Dixons are feared by all, the Wilsons are very relaxed with their foreign policies. While they have agreed to help any family in need, they have recognized the threat posed by the Albemarle and Croatoan states. Though they have not been hostile to either party, they are more than willing to do what it takes to defend what's theirs. Most states in the Broken Banks aim to remain on the good side of the Wilsons, both out of respect for this aloof family and out of fear that the PippyCola supply to the Broken Banks could be cut off.
Flora and Fauna
The Broken Banks, like the rest of Eastern North Carolina, is a very humid environment. Vegetation grows in every corner of the Broken Banks that it can. Sea grass dominates the coastline and thick swamps dominate the mainland. Tree growth is common on larger islands, especially Roanoke and Hatteras Islands. Of course, the vegetation and the wildlife are not nearly as dangerous as they are just south of the Broken Banks. While the occasional animal from Cape Fear has been spotted, these animals are quickly either put down or escape back into Cape Fear. That said, the thick vegetation and constant hurricanes are hastening the decay of abandoned structures and large structures.
The fauna of the Broken Banks is largely animalistic, though there are a number of sentient creatures in the area; namely ghouls, humans and swampfolk. An official census of the region has yet to be taken, but the estimates for sentient beings in the Broken Banks, including humans, ghouls, and swampfolk, is in the hundreds of thousands.
While not as much of a problem in the barrier islands as they are in the mainlands, giant ants are, like the rest of the creatures of the waste, aggressive variants of a once-tiny animal. Giant ants work together to bring down prey, attacking mercilessly and without pause or consideration. While most giant ants only dish out painful bites, the giant fire ants are capable of emitting jets of fire at enemies. Hunting parties have been sent out to clear problematic nests only to return with burn marks... if they're lucky. Giant ant mounds can generally be found in the mainland, especially near Elizabeth City and New Bern. The giant ants of the Broken Banks are much like those in the Capital Wasteland.
Mutated from the once abundant horseshoe crabs along the North Carolina coast, mirelurks are territorial arthropods that frequent wet areas similar to their habitats. These armored animals can deal immense amounts of damage with their claws, though they have a tendency to charge at their prey, leaving the victim stunned, injured, or worse: pinned to an object while the mirelurk strikes with its claws. The armor around the face, however, is vulnerable to damage. A well-placed shot to the face of a mirelurk could very well take it out of commission. There is mounting evidence that mirelurks are also descended from Chesapeake Blue Crabs. It is possible that there are two genus of mirelurks. These mirelurks are highly similar to those of the Capital Wasteland and other areas along the Maryland/Virginia coastline.
There are multiple types of mirelurks; in addition to the standard mirelurk, there are the terrifying mirelurk hunters and the mirelurk kings. The former variety is larger, more aggressive, and possesses thicker armor. The latter is a more humanoid variant of the mirelurks. In addition to possessing powerful pincers, the mirelurk Kings can send shockwaves of sonic energy at their prey, disabling them or even causing tissue damage.
Due to their abundance and large yield of meat, the Mirelurk is one of the most commonly-eaten animals in the Broken Banks. Large hunting parties are commonly organized to clear out Mirelurk nests and gather the meat for their respective settlements.
Radroaches are large, mutated cockroaches. Radiation from the nuclear strikes in Wilmington and Jacksonville, along with run-off from The Camp, has turned once-docile cockroaches into territorial, aggressive radroaches. Luckily, radroaches possess little harm to humans; otherwise, the entire population of the Broken Banks would be at risk from the swarms of radroaches in the Broken Banks. Like cockroaches, radroaches are frequently seen in humid areas, though they are prone to staying in the wilderness where there is ample food and shelter. However, radroaches are not an infrequent sight in populated settlements, especially in trash piles and the homes of particularly dirty people.
Brahmin are among the few mutated animals in post-apocalyptic America that are largely docile. These two-headed bovine creatures are frequently used for meat and milk, making them just as useful as their ancestors had been over two centuries ago. The soil in the barrier islands can't support the type of grass needed to feed brahmim. Due to this, brahmin are only common in the mainland portions of the Broken Banks. Only small portions of Hatteras, Ocracoke, and Roanoke Islands can support a viable brahmin population over a long period of time. The cost of brahmin meat is much higher in the Broken Banks due to the lack of supply. The general lack of these creatures in communities is one of the many things that make the Broken Banks unique in the wastelands.
With more rage than should be able to fit inside such a small body, mole rats are aggressive rodents that frequently attack with their sharpened incisors. They possess powerful leg muscles and are capable of jumping for such an attack. These rodents make their habitats in dark areas. Unfortunately for the mole rat population, most dark areas of the Broken Banks have been flooded for some time. Mole rats have taken to occupying abandoned buildings, becoming a problem for scavengers and stateless people. Still, mole rats are much less common in the Broken Banks than in other areas due to a lack of adequate shelter. Most have chosen to make their homes farther inland or take their chances in the much darker areas of Cape Fear than remain in the Broken Banks.
Yao guai are mutated black bears that can be found all over the East Coast, especially in the wilderness. While the yao guai in the wild are usually hostile if approached without caution, yao guai can be tamed and used as caravan guards. The yao guai can be found almost anywhere in the Broken Banks where trees will grow. They are common especially in the mainland, though they can be seen on Hatteras Island and, according to records from Elizabeth City, on Roanoke Island. Luckily for hunters and scavengers, yao guai seem to only be hostile if they do not feel threatened. A roaming yao guai will remain docile if it is left alone.
Deathclaws are the terrifying product of experimentation and science gone wrong. The Broken Banks has its wet climate to thank for the relative lack of deathclaws, especially around the Albemarle sound. These reptiles seem to favor arid climates and the coastal plain of former North Carolina is a very wet environment. However, deathclaws can be spotted near The Camp. Deathclaws remain among the much discussed but rarely seen horror stories told of the hostile wildlife outside of the Broken Banks, especially in Cape Fear and Virginia.
The Broken Banks doesn't have much to fear from the wildlife. Insectoid life can be hostile at times, salt corrosion and the elements can break down houses, and the occasional yao guai will have to be sidestepped. However, the most dangerous and the most common threat from the animal kingdom comes from the gar. These massive, mutated alligators have made their habitats in the wet areas of the Broken Banks, which is sadly everywhere. Anywhere from flooded sewers to abandoned streets to marshes are fair game for these large, silent reptiles. The attacks from gar are disorienting and deadly. Limb loss is a probability if one is ever unfortunate enough to be caught in the mouth of a gar. The hide of a gar is incredibly tough too. The toughest of the Broken Banks wear gar armor (nicknamed 'Garmor') for defense as much as they wear it for show.
Cities and Towns
Northern Isles & Land
- Elizabeth City
- Knott's Island
- Harvey Point
- Southern Shores
- South Mills
- Frog Island
- Point Harbor
- Alligator River
- Fort Rust
- Mann's Harbor
- Roanoke Island
- Stumpy Point
- Vault 110
- Cherry Point Airport
- New Bern
- Washington (Broken Banks)
Landmarks & Geographic Features