A Fantasy Core Setting
© Jerry Harris 2014
(This link will take you to the Fantasy Core Index.)
Many of the colonists in the Southland are transplanted convicts, who chose permanent exile from their nation in return for populating and developing the colony with at least some freedom. This option was only available to those convicted of non-violent or non-capital offenses. They were simply dumped here with nothing but a mandate to meet with their parole officer once a month for their first year.
These individuals form the bulk of the menial labor pool in the colony. Lacking a native population to impress, like in the
Dark Continent, somebody has to do the dirty work.
It’s a hard scrabble existence, but a few, with hard work and some luck,
can do alright for themselves, even become rich (though usually there’s some
larceny involved in that). Southland is
a harsh environment with a sparse population, however. Even the aristocratic gentry in country are
forced to deal with the convicts in a somewhat egalitarian manner. For their part, honest work is only means of
survival for the convicts. There are no
second chances here.
A few convicts have been brought here to serve hard time for violent capital crimes, though some are purely political prisoners here in exile. These individuals were considered too dangerous to be incarcerated in any Commonwealth member nation and could not be executed for various reasons. Those eligible for parole after serving their sentence could not be allowed back into the general population. These individuals are used for much of the hard civic labor in the colony under heavy supervision. In truth, given the sheer remoteness and desolation of the Southland, there’s few places to run to even if prisoners could escape (the Crossbones “nation” in
Tasmania being one).
The option of military service is available for all convicts with the Frontier Service. As the name implies, they are holding the frontier against the Humanoid hoards. Most consider this a prolonged violent death sentence, but it is a path to eventual freedom, if you survive.
The Military and Appointed Government OfficialsSomeone has to guard and run the colony. Even those sent to the Norther March meat-grinder to fight the barbarians in the Commonwealth homeland, still find that post preferable as its closer to home. The soldiers and sailors in the Southland theater count the days until they are cycled back home. The government officials posted here more often than not refer to themselves as “in exile,” which may in fact be true. Some have hopes that if they do their job well, they’ll be recalled. Most are resigned to spending the rest of their lives here, hopefully buried and not eaten. Nobody in government with an option volunteers for the Southland.