Deadlands - Divided States of America
It’s been said that California may end up a Chinese state in the end, so great are the numbers of immigrants from across the Pacific still flooding into the Maze. The beacon that calls them from so far away, and gives them haven when they arrive, is that jade emblem of the northern Maze known as Shan Fan.
The city is an inspiration for millions of Asian immigrants to improve their own lot, while ensuring the prosperity of their eventual descendants. In the current climate of frenzied land-grabs and claim jumping, the Chinese remain the most pragmatic, long-range thinkers.
Shan Fan’s success story is impressive enough to lend substance to such long-range plans. After San Francisco’s total destruction in the Great Quake, they couldn’t build a replacement fast enough. Lost Angels was just too far south for most miners to reach, and way too oppressive for those who like to let their hair down and sink a few shots of whohit-John. Once the realization hit that the entire length of the Maze was rife with ghost rock deposits, the creation of a new northern port became more important than ever.
That’s when the Hsieh Chia Jên stepped in, with polite flourishes not quite concealing their iron authority. Hsieh Chia Jên, which means “Family of Deliverance,” is what the Chinese of Shan Fan call their mutual benefit society, or triad. The group is known to almost everyone else as the Shan Fan Triad. There are other minor triads doing business in and around Shan Fan, but they all pay tribute to the Hsieh Chia Jên.
Plenty of folks—especially government and law-enforcement agencies Back East—would consider the Shan Fan Triad a gang of criminals. Sure, they run brothels, gambling halls, and opium dens. Their “family” is sometimes torn by violent turf conflicts that typically take place in the streets. They offer a safe haven for most of the Maze’s pirates and a place to fence their booty. Yet even among non-Chinese, the Shan Fan Triad might be the most popular and accepted authority in the entire Maze.