In this week’s Faction Feature, we look at those hardy dwellers of the desert, the Arashi!
Symbol: The Vulture
Colors: Rust and White
Ship Prefix: LS (League Ship)
Territory: The Arashi Desert
The Arashi League is a loose confederation of independent city-states, some in truth little more than shantytown hamlets or travelers’ encampments just this side of permanent, eking out a marginal existence in the unforgiving dust of the Arashi Desert. Both cursed and blessed by geography, the inhabitants of Arashi endure frequent, devastating sandstorms and lack adequate fresh water, arable land, and vegetation of almost any kind, yet the barren, cratered hills harbor a wealth of technological and industrial assets in the sand-clogged ruins of dead towns, factories, and processing facilities that are the only remains of this once populous industrial region.
Adapted to their peculiarly harsh environment, the resourceful Arashi are expert survivalists as well as professional scavengers, ranging widely outside their desert borders to salvage wrecks, trade scrap, and repurpose the cast-off detritus of the prewar industrial age to every use imaginable. They are also mechanically adept, tinkering with cobblework machinery and reverse-engineering the technology around them to build new contraptions using old parts, jerry-rigged components, incomplete diagrams, half-remembered science, and plenty of imagination. Some of the more intact facilities among the ruins have been inhabited and in later years rebuilt and powered up by Arashi engineers who returned them to their original purposes or converted them for entirely new work, as with the original Feraille ironworks, the munitions factory at Kugel, or the Mercure machine shop housed in a prewar automobile factory.
As a people, the Arashi tend to be fiercely individualistic and independent in character. Family, clan, and town affiliations take precedence over faction loyalty, and squabbles between neighboring towns within the League are common. Most towns in Arashi began as coalitions of traveling families and scavenging bands who camped together for mutual support and security against roving desert brigands. Certain protections were afforded to anyone on the right side of the wall who was willing to abide by the rules of the community, while those who betrayed or stole from their fellows were dealt with without mercy.