Savannah, or more formally, the Savannah Coalition, comprises several packs settled in the region of Savannah, Georgia, on the southeastern coast of North America. The local population is comprised primarily of dogs, coyotes, and hybrids thereof.
Each pack of the coalition has a trade specialty and the Savannah Council is formed by representatives from each pack. Though various packs and families of the area have warred and had disputes in the past, interfamily coupling, longterm truce agreements, and a strong sense of community have gradually given rise to a cooperative interpack proto-government.
Specialisation has allowed the Savannah packs to rapidly develop technologies and techniques related to a variety of areas, including tool and weapons development; food preservation and storage; and arts, crafts, and smithing. The coalition trades regularly with Barbados, as well as Chesapeake Bay, and occasionally New Orleans.
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- 1. Packs
- 2. Families
- 3. Culture
- 4. History
The largest and oldest pack of the coalition, Pembroke, both the pack and the family, have been around since the early days. The Pembroke territory is centered around a large farm, which has been largely rebuilt by Luperci over the last twenty years, following initial destruction in the wake of the human apocalypse.
Due to its historic access to livestock, pastures, and feed fields, Pembroke's focus is centered around care and cultivation of these things. However, in recent generations, Pembroke ranching has been more and more horse-focused, with other livestock becoming less important due to Luperci learning more about their needs versus benefits.
There is also some controversy both within the pack and in the greater Savannah community with regard to whether farming/ranching are worthwhile Luperci pursuits or if they're holding over too much from their human priors. While still usually the largest pack in the region, Pembroke has gradually lost members to other Savannah packs due to drifting interest.
- Current Leaders: Rusty Pembroke, George Pembroke (mates)
- Farming division: 10-15 members
- Ranching division: 10-15 members
- Relatively little emphasis placed on medicinal plant research traditionally, though this is a growing interest among younger Pembrokes
A relatively traditional pack with a matriarchal hierarchy, Wassaw specialises in hunting and foraging, as well as developing weapons and techniques for hunting and trapping. Wassawans have also worked to develop techniques related to food and resource preservation, including drying, tanning, and leather and fur production.
- Current Leaders: L'Rhonda Ogeechee (old matriarch), L'Toya Ogeechee (strong-willed daughter, to-be inheriter), Brando Delway (L'Toya's mate)
- 15-25 members
- Also experimenting with benefits of cooked food
- Dabbles a little in fishing and attack/defense and collaborates often with Hilton and Carolina
This pack controls Savannah's port and various rivers and has the highest percentage of foreign-born members among Savannah packs, thanks to many locals bringing home friends, mates, and sometimes children, from their various travels. Along with fishing and providing a great deal of seafood, Hilton is generally responsible for taking Savannah's many wares out to trade.
Being Savannah's vital connection to much of the rest of the world, even before the formation of the coalition, Hilton has had particularly strong historic ties to all other local packs and its members are particularly well regarded in the community.
- Current Leaders: Keller Mississippi (captain), Fortune McGuff (first mate)
- Specialises in fishing and boating: 15-25 members
- Fishing and boating aren't separate "divisions" yet, but they're getting there -- more individuals are focused on improving boating and sailing since many of them think their fishing techniques are mostly fine as-is/don't need to be or can't be improved
- Collaborates frequently with Wassaw with regard to food preservation (in particular, working on harvesting salt from sea water for use in preservation techniques)
Carnegie Hall specialises in artisan trades, including painting, crafting, woodworking, metal and jewelrysmithing, and ceramics, as well as general education. Older community members tend to "retire" to Carnegie, where almost all Savannah puppies are sent to learn the foundational life skills, including reading/writing, basic survival/hunting, etc. Puppies are exposed to the trades of each pack at Carnegie, so they may choose the trade most suited to them and their interests.
Additionally, "outcast" individuals usually remain in Carnegie pursuing whatever weird thing they're into and this is just accepted/not particularly looked down on. Many figure that these weirdo creatives will think of something eventually that would be of benefit to the community. One commonly cited example is the story of Abercorn Fernwood, who was obsessed with ovens and trying to control the temperature of fire within them, who eventually came up with a reliable technique for just that, and then figured out optimum temperatures to fire different types of materials. (Everyone thought it was weird to be obsessed with fire and heat when Savannah is so hot and humid.)
- Current Leaders: Mitchell Goodboy, Mackenzie Goodboy (siblings)
- 15-20 members
- Comprised of 2 individuals from each pack (Carolina doesn't count): 1 leader, 1 other member
- The non-leader representative of a given pack is selected by the leader of another pack on a per-meeting basis
- For example, Pembroke's leader would select Wassaw's non-leader representative for a meeting, then in the next meeting, Hilton Royal would select Wassaw's non-leader rep, etc
- Non-leader reps can only be selected once per six months
- The pack that selects the representative for a given pack is based on a set rotation
- The Council meets every other month to discuss current events, diplomatic matters, future plans, etc. The Carolina leader is also present for each meeting, but is not a part of the Council
- Most issues are settled by majority vote (which are cast anonymously), with the Carolina leader as tiebreaker
- Various fights have occurred over losing votes in the past, but this has lessened over time, especially once the Carolina leader was appointed as tiebreaker
- Current Leader: Litwick Denim
- Specialises in fighting, defense, and weapons development: 10-15 members
- Not really a pack so much as a "service team" that protects the greater Savannah area from outsiders
- Is self-sufficient, but receives food, provisions, tools, and raw materials from all other Savannah packs
- Considered a neutral third party and judges fairness and enforces interpack agreements and treaties
- Carolina leadership is voted on and appointed by the Savannah Council (appointment is for life unless revoked by the Council)
- Rules and hierarchy are strictly enforced; there is no tolerance for corruption by either Carolina members nor the Savannah Council & there is a history of dissenters or troublemakers being cast out
Pembroke is the largest pack and the largest family in Savannah. They comprise various herding, working, and sporting breed dogs.
Pembroke has bred into most other families in the area and even families that were once enemies have become integrated into the sprawling family tree over time, resulting in longterm, if often begruding, truces.
A family as old as Pembroke, but with less historic prestige. Comprised of various mutts, coyotes, and hybrids thereof, Ogeechee is a name that's been involved in the creation of several packs in the area over the last few generations, many of which have split and rejoined over time. This tumutulous history lended itself to the family becoming well-versed in hunting and weaponry, as they were often nomadic and did not have permanent shelter.
A medium-sized family gradually rising into prominence, particularly after the mateship of Trouble Mississippi to then-Pembroke alpha, Samson Brody. Samson and Trouble had three large litters, totaling twenty children in total, nearly doubling the Mississippi family tree at the time. Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, and Border Collie characteristics are common in this family.
An old family that nearly died out during the warring period, but has gradually made a come back. Scrappy and resourceful, the Goodboy family has a reputation for strong ethics and a solid moral code. It's almost a running joke that a Goodboy won't lie, cheat, or steal, though if strangers think this makes them easy targets, they've got another thing coming. Goodboys have been well represented in all Savannah packs since the coalition's inception and are a popular choice for Carolina leadership. While they're largely mutts, Rottweiler and Doberman characteristics occur occasionally in this family.
A coyote-dominant hybrid family. Their heritage sets them apart from many other families as they tend to be more independent-minded and rebellious, but they have a reputation for being versatile and fast learners. Members of this family often drift between several packs, pursuing different trades before finally deciding on what they want to do for the longterm. Many also set out on long journeys outside of the region, but most inevitably return. The family is regarded to be creative and intelligent, if a little hard to deal with sometimes.
McGuff, Denim, Bull, Pavlov, Scorpion, Waxflower, de Okra
Savannah has a strong culture of collaboration, cooperation, and group-oriented priority, but at the same time encourages specialisation, individualism, and versatility. While each pack of the coalition is self-sufficient and can operate independently, there is now a multi-generational history of the packs working together, providing for each other, and depending on each other to varying degrees.
From a young age, children are exposed to a variety of trades, and from there, they're encouraged to pursue their individual strengths and to hone specific crafts. Specialisation is highly preferred and those that dabble in a variety of different subjects are strongly encouraged to pick one to focus on, though continuing to dabble in other subjects isn't necessarily discouraged.
There is a strong expectation of hard work and community contribution, and Savannahians are very contemptuous of freeloaders and good-for-nothings. Still, the type of work members can pursue is extremely varied, and each is encouraged to be realistic about their pursuits -- for example, those with no skill for hunting will be thanked for their effort, but asked to try something else (often passive-aggressively). Even the old, injured, and disabled are expected to help the community where possible, doing things like teaching, childcare, or less labour-intensive tasks like painting or collecting eggs.
Family is a strong component in Savannah culture, with loyalty within families being a point of pride and expectation. As most prominent families are interconnected at this point, most consider pack divisions a matter of convenience and tradition more than structures for alligence. Savannah as a whole serves as their alligence, and all the families within it. Backstabbers, usurpers, and traitors are swiftly disowned and cast out, if not killed outright, and there has never been a successful coup, as would-be conspirators are often unable to convince enough people to go along with such plots.
Large families are highly encouraged, with females expected to bear multiple litters in quick succession when in their prime. Same-sex couplings are not controversial, though they are still expected to have children, whether through adoption or surrogacy. It's not uncommon for such couples to adopt entire litters from siblings, cousins, or packmates. In general, children are raised in large part by the greater community, with parents within a pack taking turns at childcare so other parents can work. This also helps to round out socialisation of children with both their own generation and the one before, as they aren't restricted to interactions with their own immediate family.
Gender and Sexuality
For the most part, Savannah maintains sexual equality. While females are expected to bear many children, males are equally expected to help care for and raise them. If anything, females are respected for being able to carry and bear children in addition to being able to do anything a male could do. Physical strength in females is not considered surprising or unsightly, and neither is social intelligence in males.
- Homosexuality is widely accepted and not considered controversial.
- Incest is generally accepted, though a few consider it unlucky or unfortunate in the context of "oh, you couldn't find anyone else to take you?" A few might consider incestuous relationships to have a higher chance of birth defects, but most chalk it up to bad luck. Few know enough about statistics to keep records, and overall, incest isn't common enough to damage the overall gene pool of the community.
- Polygamy and other forms of multiple partnership, including open relationships, are also generally accepted, with the assumption that all partners are aware of and have consented to the situation, though many openly discourage it for fear of problems arising from jealousy. Adultery is a punishable crime, as knowingly sowing discord within the community is a crime.
Religion and Spirituality
Most Savannahians believe in a single, benevolant, and relatively hands-off god, though specific beliefs will vary between families. Some families believe that humans were a species of demigods, who were punished and destroyed for becoming complacent and lazy.
In general, religion doesn't play a large role in Savannahians' day-to-day lives, as they don't put much weight on the influence of external or mythical sources, preferring instead to rely on their own abilities.
There are few explicit laws among the Savannah packs. Members are expected to be productive members of society, to tell the truth when pertinent, and to avoid violent conflict and social discord. Pack leaders are to settle disputes between members, and the Council is to settle disputes between packs. Carolina exists to ensure that promises are kept and decisions are final.
Personal favours are a common currency and casual bribery is not uncommon in the pursuit of compromise. Nevertheless, blatant favourtism, blackmailing, high-stakes bribery, and other "extreme" forms of trading favours can lead to public humiliation and social exile from the community, which many view as worse than physical exile.
Fashion and Style
- Natural, short hairsyles are most common; very long hair and styles which require a lot of maintenance and upkeep is looked down on, as those that have time to maintain hair probably aren't working hard enough
- Piercings aren't particularly common and are usually limited to small ear studs; there is a lot of concern about jewelry getting in the way of practical work
- Necklaces, bracelets, and other more temporary jewelry is seen as a status symbol, but for wear in ceremonies and formal celebration only
- Tattooing is rare and considered to be unclean and/or dangerous; some associate tattooing and cult-like societies or criminals, due to do encounters with such outsiders in the past, or at trade hubs
- Clothing is uncommon; Savannah's climate is hot and humid, so often even the warmth from one's own fur is too much!
- Practical gear, such as riding chaps and hats, are considered tools more than clothes, though many do use these tools as a way to express individuality and style
- English is the primary spoken tongue. Spanish (and Spanglish) are not uncommon, though many of the younger generation only know a smattering of words, phrases, and insults.
- French is spoken by a few members originating both from France and from the New Orleans region, but has not spread widely beyond those families (in part because the European French and the North American French disagree on many aspects of the language).
Wolves, and purebred wolves in particular, are generally regarded with caution, though many consider this to be an old prejudice they would do well to outgrow. Dogs, coyotes, and hybrids of all sorts are less scrutinised, though they're also expected to behave better. Savannahians consider red wolves to be a sort of coyote, rather than a sort of wolf.
Jackals are rare in the region and often invite both polite curiosity and conservative caution.
Non-Luperci are also extremely rare in the region, given the dominance of dogs, who were early spreaders of the Luperci virus. Many locals don't have any concept of being unable to shift and are likely to be extremely confused, if not worried and concerned, at the idea. Most Savannahians wouldn't necessarily know how to convert a non-Luperci either, so non-Luperci would just be met with pity.
Nevertheless, Lupus and Secui forms are commonly utilised by Savannahians for speedy travel between nearby locations, including homes and packs, as well as for traditional jobs, such as herding and flushing prey. Non-Luperci aren't pitied for being weak or useless so much as being unable to enjoy and pursue hand-mandatory activities like crafting and sailing.
Tools & Weapons
Since the Luperci community in Savannah grew out of old farms, many of the relevant tools left behind by humans have been preserved and protected from looters and outsiders, allowing for relatively quick adaptation after the warring period. Axes, knives, hammers, shovels, etc, are all common and commonly used.
Finer or more complex tools like personal looms, kilns, sewing kits, etc, collected dust for many years, and many artifacts were destroyed or lost in early attempts to learn how to use them. Still, in time, Luperci did figure them out, at least in part, preserved the few that remained, and learned how to make their own.
Feral combat is most familiar to the typical Savannahian, though most know their way around a knife or dagger, since they're commonly used as tools. Individuals who use specialised tools for work, like scythes, rakes, or harpoons, are also likely to know how to efficiently use that tool as a weapon.
Use of specialised weaponry like swords, bows, and slings, is usually limited to Wassaw or Carolina members.
Homes and Structures
Most Savannahians live in human-made houses or barns, most of which have seen numerous repairs, renovations, and expansions over the years.
Animals & Livestock
Horses and oxen are typically used for manual labour such as hauling items and supplies and plowing fields. Within Savannah, horses aren't often used for transportation except by Carolina and Wassaw members who specialise in combat on horseback. Canines typically prefer traveling in Lupus or Secui form as it's generally faster and more efficient. Sometimes they will accompany a packhorse carrying goods without actually riding it.
Pembroke and some individual families keep sheep for wool. A few cattle remain on Pembroke's farms, but most members are in favour of retiring the stock and either eating them or trading them away as hunting deer is less effort for the same end result.
Chickens are the most commonly kept livestock, but aside from Luperci-provided coops and shelter and the management of roosters, they're mostly left to their own devices.
Many Savannahians dislike relying on animals for labour and don't believe they can truly be depended on, preferring to take matters into their own hands as much as possible. The idea of *raising* livestock for food is also somewhat controversial, as most don't see any particular benefit to it compared to hunting and fishing wild game.
Savannahians tend to be welcoming and wary of outsiders and visitors at the same time. As knowledge seekers and tradesmen, they welcome the introduction of new ideas, trade techniques, and other general information about the world. However, they are also acutely aware that much of the world remains in isolation and conflict, and that many bring with them ideas of extremism, cruelty, and bad faith.
Travelers are likely to treated with polite, southern hospitality and invited to share stories of their travels or to demonstrate skill in their trade. Those deemed likely to fit into the community are encouraged to perhaps teach some of their trade to the locals, or the local children, or to perhaps help around the pack that would most benefit from their skillset.
Good-for-nothings, freeloaders, and those who seem to bring with them dangerous ideas are passive-aggressively encouraged to leave and given every opportunity to do so. Eventually, though, hospitality will run out and such individuals will be escorted from territories by Carolina members. Refusal to leave may escalate to injury or death.
- In November 2020, a small expedition from Savannah sails to 'Souls and makes landfall near Mersey Cove.
In the time following the human demise, dogs ran wild across the region, forming and disbanding packs every few weeks as they sought to make sense of their new reality and bring a sort of order among themselves. It's said that the Pembroke family came from a band of dogs who set claim to a large farm during this time ("the warring period"), gradually stablised, and slowly spread influence throughout the region.
These canines hunted and fished to sustain themselves. Livestock present on the farm were largely ignored and left to their own devices, though the Pembrokes protected them from outsiders and would-be poachers. These early period Luperci did not eat the livestock, perhaps out of historical respect, but neither did they know how to utilise them. Agricultural fields were left to be invaded by native species and livestock that survived to breed had to adjust to the changing availability of forage.
Over time, the Pembrokes began to use horses and oxen for transportation and labour and chickens for eggs. Livestock were still largely left to forage, but a few old fields were cleared to experiment with cultivation of wheat and grass. These experiments were largely failures due simply to the lack of knowledge Luperci had about cultivation. As such, more and more chose to pursue other, more immediately useful skills, such as hunting deer, fishing, and building things.
New packs began to form in the area, with each one seeming to bring new tension with Pembroke, which had now long enjoyed dominion over the region. Various conflicts, both minor and major, occurred over the next several years until the surprise mateship between Nissan Pembroke and Jasmine Red of Hilton Royal forced a truce and alliance between the two packs. This partnership joined two of the most powerful packs of the time and inspired others in the area to be more cooperative.
Eventually, as more interpack mateships occurred and as more individuals moved between packs, the Savannah Council is formed. The formation of the council cemented longterm cooperation between the packs and allowed for each to become more specialised.
Later still, in an effort to allow for these pack specialisations to flourish further still, the Carolina team is established for the security of all packs of the Savannah Coalition.
- Fall 2020: beep boop