Skavvies

The third largest group is the Skavvies. Skavvies, unlike Herders and Villagers, still live mainly by salvaging and scavenging Old goods rather than living off the land, hence their name. The Skavvies make a living by finding functional technology, medical supplies and raw materials in the cities and towns where other groups fear to tread, although they regard such places as dangerous and are reluctant to stay in them for any length of time.
The Skavvies recognize one another as members of a single large community - they have their own slang and customs and regard non-Skavvies as outsiders. Each Skavvie has a small tattoo on their wrist or forearm of a spiral that can be sued to identify themselves to others of their culture. The Skavvies live in bands of around five to twelve individuals. Each band is somewhat insular, with its own slang terms and traditions that are baffling to outsiders. Members of a band typically try to dress and conduct themselves similarly to create a ‘band identity’ with trade partners, but other traditions are pure superstition or just in-jokes within the band.
Each band claims a large territory, but unlike Herders, Skavvie bands are not territorial and will happily co-exist with other groups. Scattered across their territory will be a number of well-hidden bolt-holes, such as caves or abandoned buildings. The Skavvies maintain dwellings here and store most of their salvaged goods in these places. A typical skavvie bolt-hole has enough food and trade-goods to support the Skavvies dwelling there for a while.
Each Skavvie band spends a large amount of their time visiting Villages and Herder tribes to trade. To both groups they offer tinned food, fuel, medicines and other salvage, claiming food from the Herders and crafted items from the villagers in return. In this way, the Skavvies form a merchant class going between various groups.
A Skavvie expedition into a town or city will not last more than a few days and will likely have been planned in advance to minimize time spent inside the town. To protect themselves from the Mixi infection that still lingers in the towns, the Skavvies don facemasks, take various herbs and carry a number of lucky charms and wards. Generally these precautions are successful, but every now and again a member will contract the disease. The Skavvies have a higher rate of Mixi infection than other cultures and have learned a number of ways to increase their survival rate. An infected Skavvie will be tended to by their team-mates as the common belief is that if one member is infected then the others will have been exposed to it as well. If in a few days the skavvie shows no sign of recovery, they will be given a number of hallucinogenic herbs to ease their suffering, and then eventually given a poison to take before the disease makes their life a living hell.
The Skavvies are well known for their ability to locate fuel for other groups. Most outsiders believe the Skavvies know the locations of hidden reservoirs of petrol, and whilst this is true, there is more to it than that. Hidden within the large towns and cities where others will not venture, many skavvie bands farm various plants that they ferment for crude alcohol. This alcohol is then distilled and mixed with petrol and other oils to be traded with outsiders. The existence of these fuel production facilities is a closely guarded secret by the Skavvies, and a number of outsiders have been killed to prevent the secret getting out so that the Skavvies can maintain their monopoly on fuel.
The skavvie bands also maintain a number of locations on the edge of towns where other will not venture. Here, the bands meet every few months to swap news and information and conduct trade amongst themselves. These meetings go on for several days and in some cases include a number of small rituals to promote a ‘group identity’ within the Skavvies.
There are various dark rumours about the Skavvies; that they work with the Tested, that they conduct human sacrifice, that they secretly control most of the population or that they are working for some darker master. Whilst these are mere paranoia, outsiders somewhat justified in their suspicion as the Skavvies are a well organized, insular and secretive group.

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