Statistics & Foundation
Table of Contents (hide)
- 1. Essentials
- 2. Culture
- 3. Residence
- 4. Religion
- 5. Significant Characters
- 6. Other
- 7. History
- 8. Notes & References
Portland is a coastal city located in Maine, flanked by several smaller islands and noted for its humidity. Known for its snowy and unpredictable winters, Portland's claim extends further west than it did in the time of humans. Remnants of humanity are found throughout the area, though most of the exceptionally dangerous and unlivable buildings have been demolished – either by nature or Luperci hands.
East Bayside, West End, and South Portland
Though many of the buildings in the city-proper were beyond repair, materials were scavenged during the deconstruction of many of these and used to “rebuild”, albeit more crude Luperci structures. Many familiar names from Portland have sprung up again.
With sprawling fields separated by purposefully planted “rows” of trees, this area is used largely for farming and the keeping of livestock. Tensions rose between many of the older farms when the Svantevit pack and their horses arrived in 2016 and claimed a large swath of land.
Portland has a humid continental climate with rather cold, snowy winters and warm, occasionally almost hot, summer. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 22.3 °F (-5.4 °C) in January to 69.1 °F (20.6 °C) in July; it's rare for temperatures to exceed 90 °F (32 °C) or drop below 0 °F (-18 °C).
The area can be affected by severe nor'easters during winter, with high winds and a lot of snowfall. Precipitation is plentiful year-round, but with a slightly drier summer; snowfall averages 61.9 inches (157 cm). In coastal Maine, winter-season mid-latitude storms can be intense from November to March, while warm-season thunderstorms are markedly less frequent than in the rest of the U.S. area. Direct strikes by hurricanes or tropical storms are rare, partially due to the normally cooler Atlantic waters off the Maine coast (which weaken tropical systems), but primarily because the Coriolis effect carries these storms well south and east of the Portland area.
The fauna of Maine include several diverse land and aquatic animal species, especially those common to the North Atlantic Ocean and deciduous forests of North America. Overall, the species in Portland are not too different than those found in eastern Canada and 'Souls.
- Fauna: red and grey fox, American black bear, bobcat, Canadian lynx, various bat species, various rodent species, mole, shrew, weasel, marten, white-tail deer, red and grey squirrel, moose, striped skunk, eastern cottontail, beaver, woodchuck, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, various owl species, raccoon, shorebirds
- Flora: dwarf white birch, lesser brown sedge, honeysuckle, Christmas fern, witch hazel, jack-in-the-pulpit, maidenhair fern, northern painted cup, Ram's-Head Lady's-Slipper, slenderleaf sundew, beach head iris, Maine dewberry
Luperci & Shifting
The vast majority of the canines in the area are Luperci. Non-Luperci all consist of newer residents, and they are very few. Although specific attitudes in Portland vary from family to family, Non-Luperci are generally accepted.
There are about one-hundred canines within the districts of Portland, and the majority of them work in the docks, as traders, or as cooks and hunters of the Cooks' Den. Most permanent residents are spread out, though a few prominent canines live within Portland proper.
Canines in Portland are more open to human technology and adaptations -- some are European immigrants, and still others have migrated from Freetown. It is commonplace to see a variety of humanization throughout Portland, from practically feral to extravagant.
The primary language spoken in Portland is English, although finding Spanish, French, and German are not uncommon. Various languages from more exotic locations can occasionally be heard around the docks.
The Portland Claim is run by a "coalition" of canines -- four leaders hold different areas of Portland and lead groups associated with a given area. The Svantevit Alpha, the Trademaster (the "elected" -- term used very loosely -- head of the traders), the Camp Manager (the alpha of the Portland Hostel wolves), and the Head Judge (a representative chosen from the farming families). Each leader is a law unto themselves in their particular sector of Portland; on the rare occasion a decision affecting the whole of the area is made, they gather and come to their best consensus.
The "law" in Portland consists of the leaders' council, though it's a lax sort of law and not very involved in anyone's daily lives. The Hostel is the harshest and most strict in its laws and ways, akin to a wild wolf pack -- the Traders are the most lax. Any one of the leaders can exile any Portland canine without the consent of the others -- they don't convene every time they're giving someone the boot to discuss it. Exile by a leader can be a somewhat arbitrary thing, though tyrants are kept in check by the willingness of the people to violently remove them.
Portland's crimes are written:
- Causing undue harm
- Thieving or deceptive trade
Beyond these two simple laws of major crimes, self-imposed justice rules: minor disputes are settled by arranged combats or simple argumentation (e.g., if you attack someone in an alleyway, you’ll be exiled; if you and the other disputant arrange a duel, the leadership stays out of your business).
The Portland economy is quite stable and supported entirely by the barter system. Many canines within Portland work, but the resident workers are unsteady labor at best -- most Portland residents take up jobs only when they have dire need of it (e.g., saving up to buy for a horse). However, permanent residents of Portland are rather well-off in most cases.
Most of the labor within the town is performed by migratory workers, passers-by to the town who also only need to work for a brief time -- usually to get back out of Portland and into the world. Thus, the quality of the work in some of the less-skilled jobs (e.g., tending fire at the Cooks' Den) can vary from great to awful. The more specialized workers -- e.g., the metalsmith -- are permanent residents and the quality of their works isn’t so varied.
Available Items Quick List
Note: this is in no way a complete list of goods and technologies available. See the Traders below for further information. Note, however, that the list is exemplary of the type of goods obtainable within Portland.
Livestock & Animal Companions
Livestock has long reflected wealth among Portland canines, and those who can afford more animals are often seen as better off.
Companion animals vary from person to person; some see them as useless (or even food), while others admire and value more uncommon “pets”.
Boating and Sailing
The docks are a mishmash of technologies: some cement and steel piers leftover from the time of humans sit alongside some long wooden docks of Luperci construction. There are a large number of huts, shacks, and even gutted houses alongside the docks -- most are unowned, serving as communal places where sailors can gather and relax.
Smaller spooner boats are often found fishing the plentiful waters. Larger trade ships originating from Europe or the Caribbean have begun finding their way to these docks.
Farming was something that began first to sustain families in areas where wildlife was still scarce, owing to the urban sprawl that consumed most of the Portland area. With these wide tracks of land already cleared, many canines were quick to settle in the most providable areas for their families – and as Luperci advanced, many began raising their own crops and livestock.
Most farmers are dogs or dog-heavy mixes, with many descended from the original “owners” of the land where they live. Many of these families have a specialty crop or animal which they raise. There have long been competitions between these groups to produce “the best” of whatever it is they make, and (mostly) friendly rivalries exist between many.
Each family is afforded a representative on a council that discusses things like trade, land-rights, and fields communication between the farmers as a whole.
Generally within the city the rule of thumb is squatters rights. Anyone can stake a claim out in an empty building or lot if they set up camp and intend to make use of it. Larger groups will generally claim larger areas, though city properties are usually limited –groups of buildings and inner-city green-space are among the first to go in these cases. Not every claim is a peaceful one, and some residences may be “encouraged” out by bigger groups.
Some Luperci maintain areas where travelers or newly-settling residences may stay in established boarding houses or make use of the Portland Hostel.
It is common for traders to pass through, so they are treated well as long as they cause no trouble and can pay for their stay.
A single street, formerly suburban looking, is the stage for almost all Portland trade. The asphalt of the street was torn up when it began to crack, leaving only dust behind, and many houses have been completely demolished, leaving wide spaces between the few remaining houses. Various traders of Portland gather here, manning rickety tables in the street or (in the case of the "wealthier" traders) Luperci-built storefronts.
The usual stuff of residents is quite bland and not worth a terrible lot -- there are quite a lot of fur and bone traders. The foreign wares -- things coming across the ocean, or up the coast from Barbados -- are of more interest, and they're considerably more expensive to trade for, too.
Exactly what it sounds like, this is basically a bar. This is a more traditional tavern, and its alcohol and food have made it a popular place for locals and travelers alike. The Mullen Family employs The Brigade as bouncers who rotate every few nights. There is little tolerance for belligerent behavior here.
This is something of a Luperci "restaurant." If you're thinking sit-down, think again. The Cooks' Den is simply a huge firepit dug into the earth, with numerous spits at different heights. Most of them are made of the thin remnants of old human piping, dozens of them strung across the pit. There are also a few slow-smokers built into the tall stumps of trees.
There are two types of canines who "work" (it's not an employee/employer but volunteer system) here -- the cooks, and the hunters. The cooks tend the fire, and the hunters prowl the nearby valley, bringing in meat for the fires. Luperci canines are free to also bring their own meats in, but everyone who makes use of the fires is expected to trade for that privilege.
Portland "Camp" Hostel
The Hostel, often referred to as "Camp" is located on the outskirts of Traders’ Alley. It consists of a wooded copse of trees and several platform tents. There's very little privacy within the area. There are hitches for horses and a cleared space in the forest for wagons. Most canines are permanent residents who prefer a more feral lifestyle.
With so many people passing through, religion and religious practices are varied. Abrahamic, Slavic, and Haitian Vodou beliefs are the most commonly found religions of permanent residents.
The traditions held by the residents of Portland are largely derived from human holidays that were passed down through generations and slowly altered to suit the purposes of Luperci more.
This has mostly pulled away from the religious holiday it used to be, although some still view it as more of a spiritual celebration. Feasting and merriment are the larger theme. Bold colors and evergreen are put on display to ward off winter's monotone grip, and many of these are kept up season-after-season by lazier Luperci. Canines give small presents to each other. One is usually a "want" and one is a "need".
Another holiday with largely forgotten religious roots. Canines will plant flowers and celebrate the coming of spring. The eating of rabbits and eggs is tied to this holiday, and many families use it as an excuse to host feasts. Bright colors are often worn or displayed. It is believed that rabbit's foot charms from the full-moon before this holiday are especially lucky among more superstitious locals, and the demand for them increases (conveniently around a rabbit-hunting holiday).
In a general way, canines celebrate the first birthday of their young. They cannot usually remember the exact date, but they get as close as they can. This centers around a celebration (and food), and members of the immediate family and very close friends will often present the youngster with gifts.
See NPCs > Board NPCs for more information about how you can roleplay with the characters from Portland.
The Svantevit Pack
The horse-trading group to the south of Portland.
The Trademaster of Portland and his assistant.
de la Croix Family
A wolf specializing in the trade of food-relevant items.
A peddler of crude wooden items, Rourke is a very sour wolf.
Traders of various dried food, spices, and pottery. Custom pottery is available.
Though Cyril is unfriendly to dogs, the Arcadius family deals in leathers, raw materials, and cloth (they have a loom).
Experienced carpenters who offer high quality work at reasonable prices.
Scavengers to the core, there's always a wide variety of ever-changing products.
With a stock consisting of ill-abused or wild horses, Mack has earned a reputation for the quality of his "products". He occasionally has non-horse livestock worth a look.
Solomon the Salamander (Solomon Belgrave)
A sleazy, sleazy slave-trading wolf from Barbados. His merchant vessel is called "The Salamander". The Belgrave family also occasionally trades in less mutinous cargo, such as rum and sugarcane.
While they do not directly trade, lower-ranking crewmembers may be convinced to smuggle for the right price. Their prices are accordingly exorbitant.
Luci is a trader of skins, pelts, rawhide, leather, and animal products.
Kaskae is a trinkets and jewelry trader.
A Spanish-speaking trader with stores of liquids, especially alcohol, dyes, oils and fats, and so forth.
A trader of stone items -- flint, arrowheads, mortar and pestles; metal toolheads, etc.
Unlike permanent residents, they typically do not have goods of great wealth, rarity, etc. These east-coast travelers bear leather, furs, bones, beads, herbs, and many other "natural" items.
A Vodou Mambo (priestess), Mama Monifa is an eldery Ethiopian Wolf/Dog hybrid who dyes her fur to resemble an African Wild Dog (which she claims to be). She lives in a small cottage outside of town with all sorts of crazy vodou objects around it. Her living is made through fortune-telling and curse-casting.
A woman who does not give or use her surname (some have whispered she is Mama Monifa’s daughter, however). She lives just outside of Portland prope on the other side of the river. Marilena employs one hyper-obedient slave-canine (whispered to be Marilena’s son), to prowl the countryside in search of various herbs. She creates herb-based and natural medicines; while they do provide some effective results, they are sometimes not to the degree Marilena advertises (read: they occasionally aren’t totally effective). Marilena has long been banned from trading within Portland itself, but the leadership does not bother her so long as she keeps her trade outside of Portland's marked boundary. Those peddling her wares back within Portland have a very, very hard time trading her potions and elixirs to anyone but other outsiders unaware of her reputation.
A gypsy with a mouthy cat named Paul and mules, Vali haunts the Eastern Coast of the United States and returns to Portland in the summer. He collects various pieces from the places he goes, and boasts a more impressive collection of stories. Vali is not really exactly truly a trader -- he's kind of just a hippie who floats from one place to the next, living the life he wants to live. He just picks stuff up from one place and takes it to the next (to call it "trading" is laughable -- he doesn't care for prices and just wants something to eat, man). While stuff is more commonly transported, he can handle passengers, too, sometimes.
After the humans died, the dogs in this area struggled to survive. Originally, there were many more than there are now, although like everywhere else, most of the small breeds died out. The remaining ones carved out areas within the city and slowly moved more west where the environment was more suitable for them to continue living. This slow shift caused many disputes between different families over their land claims, and several families tried to mediate and say they were in charge. Others disagreed, and some families kept themselves out of the main conflict altogether. In the end, three main families called a tense truce and continue to act as a way to solve arguments, but none will concede victory to the others.
During the time of power struggles, farms also popped up. By the time Luperci got started, the fields were in disarray and most of the horses had gone feral. They slowly learned how to work the land as best they could using books in libraries. Some also learned animal husbandry.
In the late 1990s, a wolf pack took up residence to the west, nearly starting a war because many of the dogs saw them as a threat to their well-being. Several small fights occurred, although in the end it became clear that the wolves had little interest in interrupting the dogs' way of life.
Sometime after the wolves settled in the area, other canines began passing through to head north to Portland, causing canines from Portland to head there as well. Portland never became a trade hub itself, and instead is a stop-over on the way north.
This changed dramatically in the spring of 2016, when the whole of Freetown found itself resettling in the Portland area. Though this was largely a peaceful process, tensions flared between various factions and families — not everyone was quite so keen on the arrival of so many newcomers (and not every transplant acknowledged earlier familial land-claims).