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Ephrem Salt VII is the current patriarch of the Salt Family, with this position comes responsibility for the governance of Petroleum and ultimate authority over the family's assorted enterprises, which span Texas, especially the Permian Basin.
Ephrem VII was born, 12/7/2238 in his family's home in Petroleum. His parents and extended family had a plan for his upbringing and indeed an intended course for most of his life. Throughout his childhood he was passed between a succession of aunts, uncles, and cousins to learn about the different facets of the Salt's enterprises. He would spend weeks at a time in the different salvage claims and workshops owned by the family learning the processes. The point wasn't to train Ephrem to be an artisan or scavenger however, but to demonstrate the labor and materials involved in the work. In order to be a good steward of his family's prosperity, he needed to have a deep understanding of the numbers and logistics involved in every aspect of their work. He proved a good study, and when he was 16 he was allowed to join a caravan to Fort Holly, accompanied by a bodyguard. It was in that more northerly town where he met his future wife, Ertha Worthy, the sheriff's daughter. He was immediately infatuated, and boldly asked her to share a Nuka Cola with him at the general store. They spoke at length, sharing stories about their respective hometowns and Ertha introducing Ephrem to her favorite music. They agreed to meet again the following month when the next caravan arrived. So it went for a few months, until Ephrem's father noticed that he wasn't joining caravans to other local markets. Ephrem VI considered it a vital part of his son's education to join the caravans to the other towns of the Midessa Compact and demanded an explanation of why he'd been shirking this responsibility. Ephrem VII was sheepishly forced to admit that he'd gone solely to meet a girl. Sympathetic but firm, his father said they'd have to correspond by letters until Ephrem was well versed in the ins-and-outs of the region's markets.
Ephrem and Ertha continued to communicate by monthly letters, while he and his younger siblings familiarized themselves with local and regional players. In this period he traveled to Big Spring, Globe Town, Marfa, Mesa, and Penwell. Late in his 18th year, he told his parents of his intention to court Ertha, and journeyed to Fort Holly once more. Though he had always conducted himself with remarkable poise for a teenager, enduring the penetrating stare of Caleb Worthy after asking permission to court the Sheriff's daughter made him nearly shake in dread. When the Sheriff then smirked and revealed he'd been looking through the shoebox full of letters that Ertha kept under her bed, Ephrem just about wanted to drop dead on the spot. However, he was merely thinking like the teenager he was, the letters were actually rather innocuous, and Caleb needled Ephrem by calling them "adorable." Nevertheless, he gave Ephrem the permission he sought, and his monthly visits resumed in earnest.
Main Article: Salt Family
At 43 years of age, Ephrem stands 5'10" and weighs 160 lbs. Although he isn't overweight, his somewhat sedentary lifestyle has given him a somewhat droopy physique. He has light blue eyes and extremely fair blond hair, almost towheaded. He keeps his hair high and tight, and is clean shaven. He has his suits tailored in the antique, Pre-War style and wears a simple gold wedding band. He wears corrective lenses.
Ephrem is an intelligent man, confident in his knowledge and instincts. He is a keen bargainer who is well informed of regional affairs. He usually appears impassive, almost to the point of indolence, and plays his cards close to his chest. Though he is regarded by his neighbors as humorless, he positively lights up when he is alone with his wife and his younger son. He has the same affection for his older son, but he presents his more typical public face to him, which he subconsciously believes is necessary to properly raise him to take his own place.
He has grown into a fastidious and somewhat hidebound man, he takes a very dim view of criminals, tribals, vagrants, and itinerant adventurer types. He advocates the rule of law and the expansion of the version of civilization that Petroleum represents.