Zeitgeist: The Gears of Revolution
Though the ground of most of Flint’s coast is rocky and hilly, the western coast of the bay has a strange sprawling bayou surrounding dozens of short granite hill-islands. Pine Island takes its name from the aquatic pine trees that anchor the bits of dry land throughout the bayou, though the hills are mostly grassy ranchland. Not as well known or developed as the bustling east coast, this district nevertheless plays a significant role in the city’s business.
While Bosum Strand handles industrial and textile trade, Pine Island handles agricultural trade, servicing hundreds of plantations in its soggy lowlands and small ranches in its western hills. The main docks on Flint Bay are practically a floating city of wooden bridges and stone anchors,
which has slowly grown away from the silt of the bayou to better serve deep-water merchant ships. Further inland, complicated streets, connected by ferries and bridges, weave between islands ranging from the size of a single house to a small neighborhood. Criminals ply the waters of the bayous in shallow boats, often parking ships of smuggled drugs, magic, or women just off shore, then taking circuitous routes through the flooded forests in order to bypass dock authorities. While most dockside businesses are legitimate, deeper in the bayou you can find gambling houses, brothels, and opium dens. Pacts with local fey who are angry with the spinning gears on the other side of the bay help these criminal establishments hide from law enforcement, all for the low price of just a few newborns a year. Farther west, where there are no longer even the occasional outcroppings of hills, the Battalion academy trains elite soldiers and martial scientists in the ways of war, with an emphasis on wilderness survival and the best techniques of intimidation against an occupying force. The district’s mayor, Roger Pepper, is a graduate. Many of the Battalion’s teachers served in the Yerasol Wars and various skirmishes, and the common fishermen of Pine Island say some of them brought back strange spirits from those distant islands. Recent folk tales tell of pale fish-scaled men who steal fowl and livestock each month during the neap tide.