Life in Oshtigwanegon
As with any small town in the rural American heartland, Oshtigwanegonian life comes with certain norms and expectations that provide structure in the lives of the townsfolk. Whether this structure is a comforting source of stability or a stifling cage depends upon the individual, but regardless, it’s just the way things are around these parts.
Religion, tradition, and a healthy respect for established hierarchies come together to provide a strong sense of town community and historic continuity, uniting many generations of Oshtigwanegonians. Growing up in Oshtigwanegon means being brought up Right. If you live your life Right, you value things like modesty and good manners, charity and humility, self-reliance and independence, and stoicism and strength of character. It means you work hard for what you have, and you are content with your place in the social structure because it is yours because you have earned or deserve it, one way or another.
The people around you feel like home, and you are therefore naturally wary of outsiders whose presence shakes up the sense of community you’ve grown up knowing and understanding. At the very least, you are better off with the Devil you know, right? Your healthy sense of suspicion is honed in other ways as well. A small town like Oshtigwanegon is full of local lore–supported by religious beliefs–that teaches you that Evil exists in the world. You must always keep a watchful eye out for it and be ever ready to stem its insidious tide.
Most days, though, your concerns are more grounded in the practical realities of life in Oshtigwanegon. This is a town where you can expect to do the work your parents did before you, to marry your highschool sweetheart, to raise your children, and to watch the new generation discover their own places in the community as you live out your days here. The town is smaller than it used to be, in no small part due to the younger generation who didn’t grow up seeing opportunity in Oshtigwanegon, and now seeks to leave for bigger and better places. You might be one of them, and that’s OK too–it’s not your fault that the mine ran dry and the refinery that ushered the town into the modern age has closed up most of its doors.
But even if you’re itching to break free and forge your own path, you still grew up here. Oshtigwanegon will always be home to some part of you. It’s where everyone knows your name, your mother’s name, your father’s name, who Your People are and what stock you come from. You may have your secrets that you’ve managed to hide from prying eyes, but what you don’t have is anonymity. Even if you’ve just arrived in town–especially if you’ve just arrived in town–you can’t remain a stranger in a place where everyone expects to know everyone else. One way or another, Oshtigwanegon will extend its welcome to you.