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Most of the Blasphemes are found in the Fringes.
David’s society is not accepting at all of people who do not look like everyone else. In fact, they are called Blasphemes or Deviants. In some cases, they might only have very minor things wrong with them, like an extra toe on a foot. A person might have an arm that is considered too long for the True Image. Somewhere along the line they decided what God’s Image and the True Image looked like, and anyone who did not look like it was a Blaspheme.
This is a direct result of some kind of holocaust, perhaps a nuclear event, that the community suffered. The people that remain live in fear and are dominated by a religious tyrant, David Strorm’s father Joseph. Any crop or person who does not comply is killed, in the case of livestock or animals, or sent away, in the case of people.
It was not the Badlands, but the Fringes that gave us trouble from time to time. The people of the Fringes- at least, one calls them people, because although they were really Deviations they often looked quite like ordinary human people, if nothing had gone too much wrong with them – (Ch. 3)
The people living in the Fringes have a kind of secondary society. People are sterilized. They live like outlaws. They often live in fear.
[These] people, then, had very little where they lived in their border country, so they came out into civilized parts to steal grain and livestock and clothes and tools and weapons, too, if they could; and sometimes they carried off children. (Ch. 3)
How much this is true we do not know. One thing we do know is that when David does go to the Fringes, the people fear him, and fear the regular Waknuk society. Misinformation was clearly spread to keep people from helping those on the Fringes that were cast out. They are hunted down and killed like animals.
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