“I can still smell the farms back at Greenwood when I close my eyes. The sound of the bell when grub was up... That bell... That was the last I heard of Greenwood, but its last ring wasn’t for food, it was for the Swarm.
You have no idea. The Swarm barely touched you. The Union took its brunt. It was us who felt the force of it. Once we were so big, so strong, now look at us—the only thing we have now is corpses.”
- Survivor testimony
The Union is formed from a collective of vastly different and diverse settlements and groups, unified by a shared belief that you don't attack your business partners. This simple idea led to the largest and most powerful organisation since before the Burn. The Union makes no judgements on what you do, what you believe or how you act, so long as these things do not interfere with the flow of trade. More than anyone else, the Union has surplus. More food than it could eat, more workers than it could use.
For the first time since the Burn, significant resources could be devoted into needs other than the immediate. Science, exploration, art, literature, the Union was on the verge of a renaissance. Then the Swarm hit.
The FTU is a melting pot of cultures but, without exception, the Swarm has devastated them. If they did not come under direct attack from the Swarm, or avoided the attention of opportunist bandits, they were swamped by refugees. The FTU is a ruin of its former glory, but it has far from given up. It has called in every debt, employed every scheme, and provided every incentive in its arsenal in order to regain its strength.
The FTU prides itself on its indifference to the... quirks... of its members, but is also ruthlessly efficient at protecting its interests. The Union is Free, so long as you don't use that freedom to disrupt the Union’s activities.If the Union is considered to believe in anything, it’s money. But as any trader worth their salt will tell you - money is simply a way of keeping score. What it really wants is power, resources to do whatever it needs to do to survive and prosper. In the wake of the Swarm, this is more important than ever.