The Settled Lands

Also called ‘the Settlement’ (never the ‘Burbs), the land outside the Wall but nearby has much more of the joi d’vivre the Clave proper lacks, but not as much in the way of amenities and technology. Given the pervasive cold and wind, buildings rarely rise above two stories, and tend to be made of wood and stone rather than more advanced materials. Wood- and charcoal-burning stoves are common, and most dwellings have a partially or completely below-ground floor. Combined with the heavy winter snows, most buildings have two entrances—one down to a common area for guests, and one up to the more personal area for the residents. Heating, where not electric, usually consists of a large hearthfire and some modern technology to circulate the heated air rather than purely venting it via a standard chimney. Efficiency is required rather than recommended, and most buildings are domed rather than flat, often a transparent dome over a flat roof full of solar receptors. The more affluent often have small wind turbines on top or on the north side of that.

The Settlement has a much higher tempo of life than inside the Wall, an excitement from shared adversity and determination to live life to the fullest, as unfettered as possible. Still, the Settlement is not without some measure of civilization. The Clave maintains many free medical Clinics, open to all (even non-citizens), though suspicious injuries are reported. Similarly, there are also free Kitchens, where anyone is fed, no questions asked. Beyond that, there are numerous hostels offering free (or nearly so) shelter [turns out it’s easier to house transients then collect their frozen or decaying corpses] to anyone who asks—and enters the system.

The Settled Lands

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