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GARGOÑA (Baronía de)

Location: West of Gulf of Hule, north of Almarrón, south of Narvaez, and east of Saragón. SC

Area: 7,468 sq. mi. (19,340 sq. km.).

Population: 14,000, including 11,700 in Ciudad Real.

Languages: Espa.

Coinage: Real (pp), oro (gp), dies (sp), centa (cp).

Taxes: 20% income tax, 5% sales tax.

Government Type: Independent barony part of the Treaty of Tampicos and Signatory Council, partially occupied by Narvaez.

Industries: Arts (music, poems, painting and sculptures), diplomats and political advisers.

Important Figures: None.

Flora and Fauna: Standard for its warm temperate climate, including kudzu, tomatoes, potatoes, maize, alligators, plains grasses, deer, armadillos, prairie dogs, turkeys, and eagles. Dangerous monsters include various giant lizards and undead found in the swamps of la Delta de Pozaverde. Normal animals with Legacies can also be very dangerous.

Further Reading: The Savage Coast online document, previous almanacs.

Description by Hernando Cagliostro.

Gargoña is recognised as the centre of culture in the Savage Baronies, a fact affirmed by the location of the unique university of the coast within its borders. Admission to this grand university is free in return for a promise of future tithes to the nation of Gargoña for the rest of your working life. Since Gargoña is generally viewed as politically neutral, its renowned scholars and graduates are found throughout most of the nations of the Savage Coast as advisers or teachers.

The Land

Although about the same size as any other baronía, Gargoña actually has little land for its people to live on. Almost a third of la baronía is inhospitable swampland located at la Delta de Pozaverde, the mouth of the famous Rio Copos. On the bright side, this swamp makes approaching the towns of Gargoña from the sea very difficult, preventing attacks from the sea baronies.

The Rio Copos crosses la baronía from west to east, and most of the towns and homes of the people can be found along its shores. After about 15 kilometres (10 miles) from the shores, dense forests dominate, and they are sparsely inhabited by any locals. These bosques cover about one half of la baronía, and serve as borders with friendly Almarrón and the religious fanatics of Narvaez.

Ciudad Real is the capital of la baronía, and is located just after la Delta de Pozaverde, where Rio Guadiana merges with Rio Copos. Skiffs powered by oar ply the waterways of the delta, ferrying commerce to and from seagoing ships, allowing access to the lucrative sea trade.

The People

Gargoñans are typically poets, artists, and scholars. Many dream of adventure and excitement, but only a few actually give it a try (and most give it up after their first tries). Those that do adventure are some of the most swashbuckling souls in the baronies. They are easily offended when people claim that Gargoñans cannot fight and are eager to prove them wrong.

To Gargoñans, the Red Curse is a dreaded disease that must be stopped. Many, especially those with an afflicted in the family, try to raise money to fund research into the curse. Luckily, the few priests found in Gargoña are devoted to stopping it and they use their spells to keep the number of afflicted very low within the nation.

Recent History

The history of Gargoña, like so many of the other baronies, is sad and bloody. Originally part of la Baronía de Narvaez, the southern half of that nation separated and formed a new Baronía de Sotto in AC 913. Cities of this Baronía de Sotto soon declared their own independence, causing a civil war. Rivera (which included Ciudad Real) won its bid for independence in AC 926. Gargoña (which only included la Castillo de Pardalupe) finally declared its independence in AC 934. Sotto retaliated and invaded Gargoña. By AC 936, Sotto was soundly defeated and Gargoña had conquered its parent baronía. Gargoña released its claim on Sotto, and the population reorganised themselves into la Estado de Almarrón. In AC 977, Almarrón again went on a spree of conquest. Gargoña merged with the nation of Rivera, keeping the name Gargoña, and was able to repulse the invaders in AC 979. Baronesa Esperanza was crucial in negotiating a peace treaty with Narvaez during the war of AC 1006 so that the baronies could fight off Hule. The fact that her daughter is married to the son of the racist Don Hugo of Narvaez helped in the negotiations.

As with the entire Savage Coast, the Red Curse spread through Gargoña in AC 1009 during the dreaded Week Without Magic.

Gargoña had thankfully agreed to the sanction of selling smokepowder to Narvaez, until Narvaez invaded Gargoña in AC 1016, and executed Baronesa Esperanza.