The Southern Mutes share all of the physical characteristics of their northern cousins, but in terms of attitude are somewhat different. The Southern Mutes inhabit drier, more arid climates and tend to stick to more reliable sources of food and water. They are also less numerous than the Plainfolk, and do not appear to be divided into bloodlines in the same manner. Geographically, their territory extends from the coast of California to the peninsular of Florida and far south into Mexico. The Plainfolk regard them as 'softer' than themselves. Their numbers of wordsmiths, summoners and seers are also considerably reduced compared to the Plainfolk.
Most notably, the Southern Mutes have been severely bloodied by five centuries of constant warfare with the Amtrak Federation, the territory of which divides the Southern Mute clans into two areas. The lower Mississippi valley and the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky form the eastern part of this territory, with California and Mexico forming the western part. Within Federation territory, the bulk of Federation civilisation is actually located underground, meaning that the surface is mostly still wilderness across which Southern Mute clans still occasionally roam. The Southern Mutes are still numerous and still a problem in the New Territories of Colorado and Kansas, are fairly rare in the Outer States and are totally unknown in Texas.
Southern Mutes captured in battle by the Federation are set to work as a slave labour force by the Trackers. The Southern Mutes' territories also border the south-western edge of Ne-Issan, and it is not unknown for Iron Master slaving parties to take Southern Mutes as slaves to work within their borders. However, the Iron Masters are proscribed from expanding any further south or westwards (for fear of provoking a conflict with the Federation) and are content to leave the Southern Mutes as a buffer between the two states.
Despite their differences, the Southern Mutes are still considered to be brother Mutes by the Plainfolk, who hold that the rescue of their southern brethren from slavery will be achieved when the Federation is destroyed in the fulfilment of the Talisman Prophecy.