Statistics & Foundation
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Zion is an area encompassing and spreading over the former Zion National Park of Utah. It is home to two conflicting factions; a settlement of coyotes and coyote hybrids known as Scintilla, and wolf and wolf hybrid population called Boreas.
Flowing from the north, The Mother is a south-western flowing river. Large enough to support a varied and unique ecosystem, all of the animals within the desert depend on it. Though the riparian zone surrounding Scintilla's main claim, along with various weirs and other improvements, has slowed the river considerably here, it is decidedly more unpredictable closer to its origin.
The majority of Scintilla's vast population lives in the land surrounding the river. This is a deep gorge which has in turned created a forest and riparian zone. Here the water slows, an effect of this has allowed for great woodlands to flourish. Numerous flora and fauna make their home here, despite the large coyote population. The land is named after Jerusalem, but very few people still refer to it as such. Permanent residents live in earth lodges hidden throughout the valley. Training grounds are frequented by temporary shelters, though the use of tipis is the favored construction.
A rocky formation of caves and areas of good vision, Gilead is the home of the Boreas wolves. The fast-flowing river is more dangerous in this area, though the wolves have taken to using this defensively. Years of hard work have made this area habitable, though it is no longer large enough to support the growing population.
A canyon with high walls, it's obvious that The Narrows were named for the small amount of space between the rocky land. It makes for dangerous passing for many reasons – a branching stream from the river cuts between the walls and has been known to flood or freeze depending upon the season, and in certain places one can look down to the canyon (and whatever or whoever might be there). Nevertheless, many people will journey through these bends despite the risks.
In late 2010, a brush-fire spread out of control. This took out a large portion of previously habitable land, including the few remaining human-buildings close to the area. Though fire is a sacred symbol to the residents of Zion, this event caused far more restriction and caution to be used when it came to fires. Though it has since regrown and now seems to be a picturesque field, the name Badlands stuck – especially following a large battle in the area, signified by the tall crosses mounted at either end. The Badlands have remained something of a “neutral zone” since then, acting as a buffer between the two warring factions.
- Spring weather is unpredictable, with stormy, wet days being common, mixed with occasional warm, sunny weather. Precipitation is normally heaviest in March. Spring wildflowers bloom from April through June, peaking in May.
- Summer days are hot (95 °F to 110 °F; 35 °C to 43 °C), but overnight lows are usually comfortable (65 °F to 70 °F; 18 °C to 21 °C). Afternoon thunderstorms are common from mid-July through mid-September. Storms may produce waterfalls as well as flash floods.
- Fall days are usually clear and mild; nights are often cool. Autumn tree-color displays begin in September in the high country; in Zion Canyon, autumn colors usually peak in late October.
- Winter is fairly mild. Winter storms bring rain or light snow and heavier snow to the higher elevations. Clear days may become quite warm, reaching 60 °F (16 °C); nights are often 20 °F (−7 °C) to 40 °F (4 °C) .Winter storms can last several days.
Everyone here speaks English, though Spanish and Latin are equally commonplace.
With roads leading to former human settlements, the canines of Scintilla are not unexposed to such ideas. They have, however, rejected most of this as many of their development is influenced by their religious beliefs. Both groups boast an extensive collection of military equipment and knowledge, and this is where the majority of their scientific exploration goes. They are capable of rudimentary metalworking and engineering, and raise domesticated animals like horses, scouting-birds, and livestock.
Families, especially breeding families, are especially important. Women are encouraged to bear as many children as possible. A man is allowed to take a second mate. Polygamy is allowed, but only when both of the first mates agree. Often, a second woman is taken to assist with the children of the first woman; there is a decidedly unfair advantage to being the second wife in a mateship, and it is often only taken by outsiders. Homosexual relations are not tolerated as their unions can't produce children, and homosexuality is considered a sin.
The only universal law is that of survival. Both Boreas and Scintilla have their own codes of conduct, but the truth is that things are very lawless -- individuals are largely responsible for their own behavior, and tend to bend and break rules when they feel a need to do so.
Coyotes are the most common species, followed by hybrids and then wolves.
The majority of Zion's residents, coyote and wolf, follow an interpretation of Pentecostalism. This follows the Christian belief of the Holy Trinity with a special emphasis on The Spirit. They also practice being Slain in the Spirit and Glossolalia (Speaking in Tongues).
The cross is the main symbol of this faith. It is worn to show that the owner, in a fashion, in debt to The Son for his bloody sacrifice and Resurrection. This symbol is used to mark graves as well.
A major part of this faith is the belief that all those who are connected to The Spirit share within them the Divine Fire. This meaning varies from person to person, though it is most commonly seen as a desire to achieve worldly happiness. While this is often a good symbol, history has shown that The Spirit can use these flames to cleanse--the coyotes who made it back from SoCal believed that The Spirit had caused the fire that helped destroy the core of Boreas.
The Bible is considered truth, and many of the stories within are noted as “historical events”. It's followers are certain that there will one day be an apocalypse as described in Revelation. However, they are more focused on the here-and-now, and believe that salvation must be attained in this life regardless of what may occur. As such, they go through several rituals in order to assure themselves “saved”.
One of the core rituals is that of baptism. This ritual is not undertaken until children are at least a year old, and newcomers must wait for at least six months before the rite is offered. It requires that the person repent for any wrongdoings committed during their life, give themselves up to God completely, and be baptized by water. This is all the more important because Utah, while not a true desert, shares the threat of drought. Once a year, those who are to be baptized are taken on a journey to The Great Salt Lake. It takes several days, during which they are put through vigorous and sometimes harsh questioning by their faith-leaders, testing to see whether or not they truly believe. A sermon is begun at dawn to explain the purpose of such an event, and then the actual baptisms begin. The faithful are led into the lake and fully submersed, then led out “cleansed”.
Coyotes have long since been the dominant of the two canine species in the South West. This was no exception after the fall of man, when coyotes swept in and took over the landscape. Over years there was a population explosion, including a rise of domestic dog-coyote hybrids. In 2003, wolves from northern states began to move south, feeling the effects of their own rising population, and scuffles broke out between the two groups. The coyotes of Scintilla, and their hybrid families, grew up knowing war.
The coyote population saw themselves as being invaded, and fought viciously to defend their home. A strong moral background was place on their children, with a streak of pseudo-Christian beliefs prevalent, often carried on from the domestic dogs. Trained in guerrilla fashion, the coyotes used tactics that were outside of the norm for the wolves who were threatening them.
For the wolves that came south, they were ultimately only trying to find a new home. Unfortunately, their leaders believed that they could not coexist with coyotes, and they attempted to push out the natives. They suffered great losses, being unfamiliar with the geography of Utah, and ultimately were pushed out in 2006. Very few survived the fires in SoCal, and those that did retreated back up north.
The next few years saw a period of relative peace. With their numbers decimated, Boreas dug out in places where only the most foolhardy coyotes dared to venture. Over time they stopped coming all together, and the wolves went relatively unnoticed by Scintilla. This may largely be in part to the shift of power within Scintilla itself – many of its military leaders, like former General Gabriel de le Poer, did not return from SoCal. Speakers assumed more power, and much of the focus became on religious pursuits instead of military.
Boreas never forgot their humiliating defeat, and in 2012 a group demanding retribution split from the main pack and traveled north, looking for the ex-General. Their arrival in Nova Scotia was soon followed by the Boreas Conflict, a series of attacks carried out on coyote-clan Inferni and (at the time) a coyote-run Salsola. This tactic proved to be a mistake – the two packs allied together to crush this opposition. Only a few stragglers survived the final massacre and made it out alive, and it took them many months to return to Zion, spreading stories of “northern barbarian heathens”. Revitalized by these tales, the wolves of Boreas soon found a new leader in a young, charismatic man.
Daniel Dalton went from a relatively unknown figure to one of infamy over the course of the next few years. He helped to train and organize the Boreas wolves and became vital in the adaptation of their tactics, leading to more and more “victories” in combat. Scintilla struggled with this and suffered many losses. Conflict within the pack grew as higher-ups (and everyday soldiers) sought scapegoats for what felt like an impossibility. It was during this time that the grandchildren of the former General, Kali, Marlowe, and Agrippa, went AWOL1 and traveled to Inferni.
The next three years saw a steady increase of violence between both Boreas and Scintilla, though the coyotes maintain superior numbers and a greater land-claim than the wolves.
- Kastra Hunting, Jezebel, Ithiel de le Poer, and Aemon de le Poer were all born in this area.
- Gabriel de le Poer played a significant role in the 2006 war; his grandchildren, Kali de le Poer, Marlowe de le Poer, and Agrippa de le Poer spent their adolescence in the area before going AWOL from Scintilla.
- Wolves from Boreas were the instigators of the Boreas Conflict in 2012, engaging in violence against Inferni and Salsola.
- Conrad Nielssen passed through Zion and spent time with Scintilla. The Luperci there purposefully infected him with the virus, and provided him with aid before sending him on his way.
- Ichabod Bertram and Goliath Harland, who are cousins, went AWOL from Scintilla in 2016.
- Numerous members of Boreas traveled from Zion to engage in the Second Boreas Conflict.
- The most common prey animal is the mule deer. Scintilla coyotes seem to equally enjoy rock squirrel. The wolves of Boreas hunt bighorn sheep, and many make use of their horns as trophies.
- Livestock is generally hardy animals, like goats or pigs. Though no one is really able to raise them, cattle are something of a commodity in the area – both Boreas and Scintilla regularly interact with traders and often seek these out. This is not always honest work; both the wolves and coyotes have been known to poach and raid hapless victims.
- Falconry is practiced regularly here. Most people either seek out peregrine falcons, condors, or spotted owls and raise them individually. Corvids are something of a nuisance throughout the area, for they have no true alliance except to individuals – a raven is more likely to betray someone who threw rocks at it, or help someone that gave it food, for example.
1 AWOL or Absence Without Leave and the offense of sedition is unforgivable. Coyotes who leave Scintilla are considered traitors, in body and spirit. This is double-damnation; not only are they cursed with death, but once killed, their spirit will be forever damned to Hell. This fear has kept many from abandoning their posts, and encourages members to keep others from leaving...even to the point of force. ⇑