The Edge books talk a lot about “compliants.” What/who are they?
Tyr of Edge of Obsession explains the concept best, and contrasts it with the raider lifestyle:
“Compliants. Of course. The descendants of all those poor, deluded souls who’d wanted so badly to believe in the pronouncements of the last body resembling a government in those mad days after the Storms when there had been nothing left but wrecked cities and bodies to burn.
Compliant citizens—of what country, dumbasses? There were no countries left—were concerned about one thing only: repopulating the drowned earth. They had their churches and their devout and their grabby-handed priests with their speeches about the evils of technology and how their god alone brought light to the darkness. Whatever. They’d claimed one of the great protected valleys in the high west as their spiritual home—conveniently, said valley had been spared from the worst of the floods. It was also easily defended by the kind of self-proclaimed holy men who knew exactly how to manipulate generations of terrified people with made-up moral absolutes.
Same old bullshit, brand-new world, Tyr thought derisively.
They claimed they were acting in the best interests of humanity, what was left of it. Then they locked pretty young girls away and called them nuns, buying them from their families and claiming it was an honor to give their fertility to the church as a kind of tithe in the grand ceremonies they held when each girl turned twenty-one. Lucky priests, Tyr had always thought, to have all that pretty, virgin pussy at their disposal. They’d dictated that all the rest of the world should enter into winter marriages, so that was what compliant folks had been doing for three generations now. A long, stormy winter to fuck and then, if the woman turned up pregnant, another winter to have the kid and nurse it, claiming it as blood. Or a summer spent finding a new partner, if the fucking didn’t take.
As stupid systems went, Tyr supposed it was fine. The rich dickheads who’d dubbed themselves the new nobility and claimed the high ground in the mountains took multiple fertile women apiece in support of their precious bloodlines and their even more precious property, the way rich people always had and always would. The poorest people were little more than vagabonds, keeping on the move and finding temporary shelter as best they could in their ragged-ass caravans, and who cared how they arranged their personal lives when the wolves picked off most of them like dessert?
Compliance kept those in the middle occupied.
But even people without vast stores of gold and grain at their disposal—or massive Rocky Mountain valleys they conveniently claimed were sacred—were twisted and liked power over each other. That was the way of things, and these arrangements had long since turned into extended bartering sessions for food and shelter. Fertile women were currency; barren women had better hope they had other sources of wealth. And Tyr had met more than one leader of a compound like this one who thought all the potentially fertile women in it were his to trade for status or favors as he chose, the same as his grain or his gas stores or the clothes he wore.
Tyr preferred to get his dick wet where and when and how he pleased. His great-grandfather hadn’t carved his way out of the carnage that followed the Storms to live in a brand-new world under the rule of tiny, red-faced kinglets and their pocket-sized priests. His great-grandfather had helped form the raider brotherhood to stay free of the kind of idiots who couldn’t defend themselves without an assault rifle and a fleet of self-proclaimed holy men to pray on their every move and then help themselves to the spoils. He hadn’t followed any rules he hadn’t chosen himself.”