The Cultured: Across the homeland are a handful of settlements united by a family known as the Cultured. Descended from prewar socialites and corporate officers, the Cultured saw themselves as the last bastion of civilized society. They decided that they would not fall into was they perceived as barbarianism and tribalism. Instead, they would maintain their standards of life.
To this end, as the Homeland started to rebuild, they occupied mansions and manor houses from before the war, as well as warehouses of goods. Unlike many of their peers, the forebears of the Cultured realized that the old forms of currency and wealth would be completely worthless in the wake of the war, and moved to secure more valuable caches of supplies and materials in the wake of the violence. They used these to employ servants and mercenaries while building a luxurious life for themselves.
Generations later, their descendants have maintained this lifestyle by employing scavenger teams to acquire goods from the ruins and by sending caravans of merchants throughout the Homeland. Money has yet to make its return to the Homeland, but barter is alive and well, and the Cultured know how to make a good deal. If you want it, they probably have it somewhere in their warehouses, and if you're willing to give up something nice, they just might be willing to give it to you.
Each of the Cultured Manor Houses produces its own currency, collectively called the Plaz (a square piece of molded plastic with a hole in the center), and their caravans encourage their use in communities they trade with. Plaz can be directly traded to the Cultured to recharge old batteries or fuel cells, and is the basis for the currencies value.
Faces The Cultured are currently in a leadership struggle, and have divided their loyalty between three different leaders.
Countess Kensington: The leader of the western branch of the Cultured, Kensington believes that the Cultured need to focus on redeveloping new technology and building a new society, instead of picking over the remains of the old. A society that the members of the Cultured would lead, of course.
Baron Fitzgerald: The leader of the Central branch, Fitzgerald belives that the Cultured should seek to become part of OLYMPUS, by finding something they want more than anything else, and trade that for eternal life.
Duchess Ambrose: The traditionalist of the three groups, Ambrose wants to take the Cultured back to their roots. Reestablish the scavenger teams, and increase trade.
- Luxury: There is nothing the Cultured like more than to live in the lap of luxury. Good food, good clothes, pre-war items. The whole of their trade
- Trade: In order to maintain their luxurious lifestyles, the Cultured have sent trading caravans throughout the Homeland and beyond, acquiring valuable goods and trading them at cut throat prices.
- Energy: The Cultured's power-base and currency is based on the energy trade. They have access to a handful of renewable energy sources and the technical expertise to recharge batteries and power cells.
- Morale: The Cultured are presently engaged in a cut throat three way political battle to determine who will take control following the death of their old level. As a result, they have difficulty acting in a unified manner.
- Scavengers: The Cultured recently lost most of their scavengers during an ill fated expedition to the Denver Metroplex. As a result, their ability to acquire new resources has been curtailed until they can replenish their teams.
- Safety: Sensing weakness in the Cultured; raiders, bandits and brigands have taken it upon themselves to begin attacking Cultured caravans in greater numbers
- When the Cultured give a gift of one of their collected luxury items to a Family, they gain one treaty on them.