|Current status:||Land of warring tribes.|
Once known as Sweetwater, seat of Nolan county, Sweetsteppes has been given a new name by its inhabitants who know her best. It is the windswept feuding grounds of a gang of women warriors and their rivals, a gang of scavengers who dress head to toe known as the Scraphounds.
Sweetwater was first notable for its role as a training center for the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. It became a rather sleepy air force base after the war. Once the peak oil crisis became well publicized, the city became a major center for the study and implementation of air power. Becoming the largest wind turbine farm in the western hemisphere in the early 21st century.
Sweetwater was deemed worthy of bombing during the great war primarily for its wind infrastructure, one of many cities along I-20 struck down in an east-west swathe of destruction. The center of the city was hit and Avenger Field experienced an airburst bomb that shred its small formation of aircraft to scrap on the ground. Those who survived generally relied upon makeshift shelters in the sewers or the fortifications in Avenger Field as there were insufficient proper Civil Defense shelters.
Most of the turbines actually survived the bombing as they were spread far and wide but the necessary lines and substations that directed the generated power were destroyed, rendering them mournful lawn ornaments.
Two survivor communities formed on opposite ends of ruined Sweetwater, underground and ignorant of each other. Under Avenger Field the military personnel, mostly women, awaited word from higher ups and hoped for some kind of continuity of government. They kept themselves on high alert and focused on military preparedness, thinking that they might be called upon to fight a post-nuclear communist uprising. Meanwhile the surviving townies found that the sewers that had sheltered them were under great duress thanks to the bombing and required a lot of work to keep them from caving in around them.
The townies became industrious and quiet, the need to listen for tell-tale sounds of creaking and settling frequently cut conversations short. They became adept at repeating sounds as they reported them to their peers, and prone to carrying all kinds of odds and ends to supplement their tool kits. They turned their home which had been a straightforward, if narrow system of sewer tunnels into a truly claustrophobic warren held up by jury-rigged buttresses and supports. At the Avenger Field bunker, the gender gap grew and it became apparent that male fetuses were not surviving to term, the on-site medical team did not have the facilities to determine why this might be happening and were forced to assume that some manner of contamination was behind it. Eventually they projected that without outside genetic material they would be unable to sustain the community while the townie ironically were so fecund that they were having trouble living in their heavily developed warrens. The opposite problems of population bust and boom forced the groups out of their immediate areas and they finally encountered each other.
Unaware that the Scraphounds they encountered on the surface represented a very small portion of their numbers, the WASPS attempted to immediately assert dominance over what they called "civvies;" rounding them up to put in an enclosure. They began planning a new society in which the civvies would serve them in every capacity whilst they conquered the countryside, but their scheme proved to be a pipe dream when the Scraphounds' compatriots used their knowledge of the underground tunnels to find a way into the enclosure and rescue them from under the WASP sentries noses. Humiliated and furious at the "craven trickery," of the Scraphounds; the WASPS swore to humble the civvies.
So it has gone for years: the WASPS attack the Scraphounds when they surface to scavenge or trade, but they can't pry them from their underground home due to the Scraphounds traps and ambush tactics. Both groups have no tolerance for outsiders trying to scavenge on their turf, and they've actually joined forces to put down upstart raiders or mercenaries who thought they could take Sweetsteppes away from the rival tribes.
Given the gender bias of the WASPs, the social incompatibility the Scraphounds have with the average wastelander and their long feud Sweetsteppes is not a normal town. An outsider will rarely encounter townsfolk milling about, they might instead be drawn into a secluded alley or building by furtive guards to conduct business or swap news and then be rushed out. The tribes kidnap children to bolster their numbers as the WASPs dont want to be unable to fight and the Scraphounds do it because they're shiftless weirdos who enjoy collecting things.
WASPs take their names from a lexicon of astronomical, aviation, and munitions terms and favor two-syllable given names which they consider to be dynamic. Scraphound names frequently feature onomatopoeic flavors based on the sounds of their work with scrap material but are less cohesive than WASP names.
The region around Sweetsteppes had an enormous number of wind turbines before the Great War, the material components of which have been disassembled and switched hands numerous times. Both tribes trade the machine parts and metal to outsiders and supplement this with hunting and a caravan raid now and then. Unlike some raiding groups it is possible to buy protection from attack and surviving a raid is likely as long as the victims don't put up too much of a fight.
Sweetsteppes currently endures two governments, neither of which recognizes the other's right to exist. The Aviatrix, leader of the WASPs is simply the strong-woman in charge whereas the Scraphound's Chief is usually a temporary position given to whoever has the best immediate plan for advancing their lot in life. The current Aviatrix, Gertrude Galaxy is a dangerous warrior who keeps the skulls of cherished foes in her tent including her predeessor Eva Dynamite and the Scraphound's prized warrior Soldering Samhain. She desires the complete destruction of the Scraphounds and the conquest of every community along I-20. Gertrude's counterpart, Firago Zzzsanx is an elusive figure who has mostly disengaged the Scraphounds from combat as he attempts to deal with outsiders, he seems unusually confident that the WASPs will self-destruct on their own aggression is just waiting for it to happen, an unpopular decision with a growing number of his tribesmen.
I-20 loops around the south end of town. Approaching from the west one would encounter the WASPs and (perhaps) their home territory, Avenger Field. The Scraphounds control the northeastern side of the ruins of Sweetwater. Most of Sweetwater and the territory between it and Avenger Field shifts hands between the tribes frequently. TX-70 roughly bisects the ruins of Sweetwater and is a sort of demarcation line for the tribes during stable periods. In the surrounding region in all directions one rarely encounters windmills in varying states of (disrepair) or neglect. There used to be a huge concentration of these windmills but most have been disassembled in the last 200 years.
- Big Spring: Chrysanthemum Arceneaux is said to recruit her bodyguards from the WASPs, a transaction that secured the amazonian tribe medical needs assuming they can make it to Big Spring to collect.
- Fort Holly: Most business between the Farmers and the tribes goes through Midessan middlemen, but the Rockers have been trying to work out some kind of a relationship with the tribes. They've made some inroads with the Scraphounds who have taken a liking to Psychobilly music.
- Lamesa Wall: Groups from either tribe are a common sight at the Wall's small marketplace, though both groups are never represented at the same time. This is where the people of Sweetsteppes do most of their business in the west.
- Midessa Compact: The people of Midessa are perfectly willing to deal with either of the Sweetsteppes tribes, an insufferable quality in the eyes of both tribes. The Salt Family favors the Scraphounds who they see as more tractable and economically induced to their point of view, but they've made no overt demonstrations of this favor.
- Monahans: The Sand Hills tribe finds the gender based conflict of the Sweetsteppes tribes to be a source of great confusion. They sometimes buy captive children from one of the tribes or are forced to pay ransom to get back one of their own.
- Penwell: Though far less violent in their division, the tribes of Penwell have picked sides as far as Sweetsteppes is concerned. The Greasers respect the "tough chickies," in the WASPS while the Speed Disciples have found common ground with the Scraphounds both culturally and linguistically. Andor Arceneaux once cryptically claimed that this was not a coincidence but refused to elaborate further.
|This has been written by OvaltinePatrol. Please contact this user before editing this article.|