The Wicked West is the Old West of our past, and stretches from the Mississippi River to the Golden Territory of California. When Lewis and Clark crossed the continental interior, the truly wondrous, strange and terrifying spaces were pressed out through sympathetic cartography and mystic surveying. But nothing ever truly disappears, memories of these spaces still persist in myth and story and the works of man are transitory. The mass kin slaying of the Brothers' War has blotted out the explorers' magical workings with blood.
As countless souls surge across the frontier in search of Manifest Destiny they rub shoulders with those occluded spaces. Some find themselves wandering through the Fruitful Land laid out by John Chapman, and other stranger, more dangerous places. There are many enterprising occultists who have taken to plumbing these depths via astral projection, which is safer than physical travel. They taken to calling these spaces "malums" or "apples."The largest settlements follow the railroad, taking advantage of convenient transport and telegraph contact Back East. Those towns not on the rail are fiercely independent and take a dim view to outsiders meddling in their affairs. Typically mining towns, they only last as long as the lode does. Those with operational mines are often ran by the Cruach Mining Company and bear a dangerous reputation.
When it comes to vices, there are few banned outright by the what little government exists. Oftentimes the harsh landscape and reality of survival prevent most indulgences from taking root. Alcohol, gambling, and hired flesh are all available in abundance, but in the more established, moribund townships you can find distractions more pleasurable and decadent.
Of course the frontier is not truly uninhabited, just largely untouched by the white man. As the westward push continues, settlers are brought into conflict with the First Nations. Contact that rarely ends well for both sides and results in bloodshed. Though many treaties are formed the settlers rarely honor their word, behavior rooted in arrogance, prejudice, and opportunism. The next violation may be the straw that breaks the buffalo's back, escalating what were prairie skirmishes into a full fledged war.
Next Post: The Elite, the Occult, and the Wondrous