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Guadalante and Cimmaron
South and west of the Enlightened Lands are two states whose spirited people are known for their love of open expanses, horses, and pistols. I write, of course, of Cimmaron and Guadalante, two states whose main concerns lie with the land. These people are explorers at heart, interested in any exciting endeavour. They would make fine additions to any quest which could hold their interest, and the quest to end the Red Curse is certainly one which would do so. However, those most affected by the Red Curse, the Afflicted, tend to separate themselves from other people and from life in general.
The Chronicle of the Curse
by Don Luis de Manzanas
The cultures which have risen in these two states create an atmosphere unique in the Savage Baronies. Though they have the same fiery temperaments as the other Guardianos, the people of Guadalante and Cimmaron apply their passions in different ways.
Sometimes known as the Lands of the Gauchos, Guadalante and Cimmaron are concerned much more with the land than the sea. Instead of smooth, swashbuckling rogues, these two states have rough, range-riding warriors. The frontier feel is much more prominent in these two states than elsewhere in the Savage Baronies; the people are a little rougher, and perhaps a little tougher, than the dandies and courtiers of the other baronies.
While Vilaverde and Texeiras have the strongest navies and Narvaez and Torreón have the strongest infantries, Guadalante and Cimmaron have the most impressive horsemen. The gauchos of the plains, brought together to fight for their freedom, make formidable light cavalry units.
In addition, Cimmaron is the home of smokepowder and wheellock pistols; Guadalante has made extensive use of these items as well, trading grazing rights to Cimmaron in exchange for weapons. While wheellocks are popular with many Swashbucklers, they are required equipment among Gauchos. Almost every warrior of the two small states knows how to use a smokepowder weapon. In Cimmaron and Guadalante, a belt pistol is the preferred personal defence for many people.
The omnipresence of firearms also influences duelling styles in these two states. While smokepowder weapons are occasionally used for duels in other baronies, duellists of Guadalante and Cimmaron have become famous for their skills. Other baronies may prefer the sword for its elegance, but firearms are the weapons of choice here.
Personal bravery and honour are very important to the people of these lands. Guadalantans and Cimmarons pride themselves on their willingness to fight for what they believe in. They are proud of their heritage of freedom. Neither barony has ever fought to conquer another land; to enforce their will upon others would be the height of hypocrisy for those who love freedom so well.
Guadalante and Cimmaron would be likely to unify if either state saw any need for it. Their ideals are comparable, their people similar, and their governments are friendly to one another. However, both nations are fiercely independent and proud; both feel they are doing fine as they are.
Estado de Guadalante
Guadalante is the most loosely organized of the Savage Baronies. It has only two real population centres, and encompasses mostly open grassland, with a few haciendas and camps scattered across the countryside. Baronials outside of Guadalante and Cimmaron tend to think of Guadalante less as a nation and more as a large ranch. This attitude is irrevocably altered in those people who attempt to attack Guadalante or trespass on its lands; the Gauchos of Guadalante are fiercely proud of their nation, doing all they can to maintain its rights and power.
Most Guardianos picture Guadalantans as crude ruffians with no appreciation for the finer things in life. For the most part, they are correct; the typical Guadalantan would rather sleep under the stars than in a bed.
Fertile farmland along the banks of the Río Copos and Río Negro relieves the monotonous expanses of Guadalantan grasslands. Guadalante also claims a small portion of the Sierra Desperada hills on its southern border.
The barony has had a relatively peaceful history, at least in regard to the other baronies. Guadalante was founded in 985 when the States of Copetez and Bigotillos were united through the marriage of their heirs. Copetez had been founded around Ciudad Huelca in 908, and Bigotillos was established north of Río Copos in 947. The two states seldom quarrelled because there was enough rangeland to go around. The rulers of the two states often communicated, and their children's match was one of love. When Maria of Copetez married Guillermo of Bigotillos, their parents happily relinquished control of the entire united domain to the newlyweds. The two ruled together, and when Guillermo died, Maria passed the domain on to her son Dante and his wife. Guadalante has been ruled by a married couple ever since.
Except for periodic troubles with Yazak goblinoids to the north and Yazi gnolls to the southeast, Guadalante has had few conflicts. One such was a disagreement with Saragón over watering rights. This argument came to a head at the Battle of Cortesillas but was soon solved with the Treaty of Cortesillas. The only other conflict Guadalante has had with another barony occurred just four years ago when Guadalante allied with the other southern baronies to resist the depredations of Narvaez and its allies. Guadalantan Gauchos proved the effectiveness of cavalry against ground troops in the few battles fought between the baronies before Hule's invasion united them all.
Nearly all Guadalantans are human, but a few demihumans live within the nation's borders. Tortle peasants occasionally work on the haciendas, but lupins and rakastas are not welcome in Guadalante because they tend to spook horses. Goblinoids are discouraged as residents, but peaceable merchants occasionally visit for trade. Few lizard kin have ever strayed into Guadalante, and the Guadalantans find them fascinating when they do visit.
Guadalante is home of the Gauchos, free-spirited wanderers of the pampas. Gauchos can be recognised easily by their calf-high boots, puffy pants, ample shirts, and broad hats. Seldom wearing armour, these range-riders are almost always armed and usually carry at least a dagger and a wheellock pistol; bolas, javelins, and lances are common as well. In peacetime, most Gauchos raise cattle and live in the pampas in large, fortified haciendas.
Guadalante has a higher proportion of adventurers than most of the other baronies. Most of these are warriors, a few rogues, wizards, and priests leaven the mix. The most common kit in Guadalante is, of course, the Gaucho. Local Heroes, Honourbound, and Nobles are somewhat common, but Swashbucklers, Myrmidons, and Defenders are rare in Guadalante. Those Defenders who do live in Guadalante are usually devoted to the General, though Valerias is quite popular as well. Most Guadalantan wizards are Militants, and the clerics are usually War Priests. Both the Scout and the Bandit are popular among Guadalantan rogues.
The Red Curse
Guadalante gets most of its cinnabryl from Cimmaron but imports barely enough for the nobility, wealthy merchants, and adventurers. Most common folk rely on maintain spells from local clergy, but many still become Afflicted. As in the majority of the Savage Baronies, Afflicted are shunned in Guadalante. However, since the nation is wide open, the Afflicted can find plenty of places where "normal" people are miles away. Several haciendas in Guadalante are run entirely by Afflicted. Those Guadalantans unaffected by the detriments of the Red Curse tend to ignore it; many look upon the Afflicted as something less than human.
Industry and Trade
Though some red steel and cinnabryl are imported into Guadalante, the barony's major import is smokepowder. All these substances are obtained from Cimmaron, Guadalante's main trading partner. The landlocked nation also deals with Saragón, mostly for finished goods, and occasional trading takes place between Guadalante and Robrenn, especially for the lumber with which wealthy Guadalantans build their homes (poor inhabitants build their houses of mud bricks). Some weapons from Renardy and Bellayne are also imported.
Guadalante's only major exports are horses and beef. Most of this goes to the other baronies, but some is sent to Robrenn, Renardy, and Bellayne.
Guadalantans care little for religion as a rule. Valerias and the General are the most popular, and the Judge is somewhat respected. Considered weak by Guadalantans, Milan and the Ambassador receive little attention.
Guadalante is an oligarchy ruled by the prominent cattle-trading families. These are Guadalante's nobility perhaps a bit rougher than most, but nobles nonetheless. The current rulers of Guadalante are Don Crístobal "El Barbudo" de Bigotillos y Copetez and his wife, Doña Catalina de Bigotillos y Narvaez, the daughter of Barón Hugo of Narvaez. Don Crístobal "The Bearded" is a rather peaceful if boisterous ex-adventurer. Though a member of the nobility and possessed with the gaucho spirit, Don Crístobal grew up among common folk and is a ranger with the Local Hero kit.
Despite Don Crístobal's apparent roughness from his years in the pampas his style, extravagance, sense of humour, and appreciation of all that is refined in life have charmed more than one señorita during his visits to other baronies. He met Doña Catalina while he was in Narvaez during the recent wars, not long after he helped ravage Ciudad Quimeras. Despite Don Crístobal's actions, Doña Catalina became smitten with the noble gaucho and secretly married him, without Barón Hugo's knowledge or approval. Barón Hugo was not happy about the marriage. Viewing Crístobal as a pechero (commoner), he refused to send a dowry. In contrast, Don Crístobal's parents were pleased with their son's activities during the war, and after he was married, abdicated in favour of Crístobal and Catalina.
After some brief difficulties with Saragón and despite the friction with Narvaez, Guadalante is at relative peace with the Savage Baronies. This leaves Yazi and Yazak incursions as Don Crístobal's main concerns. However, the Gauchos are more than willing to defend their land. Armed with wheellocks and lances, they are well suited to combat in the vast grasslands. They are the most mobile military force in the baronies.
Ciudad Huelca's population of 6,300 comprises mostly farmers, merchants, crafters, and labourers. It is a sleepy town during the daytime at least. In the evenings when the Gauchos ride in (especially nights when cattle drives end at the capital) the town becomes a veritable maelstrom of activity, with business roaring in the taverns and more than a few fights breaking out. Most merchants and crafters lock up their storefronts and their sons and daughters and wait for the town to return to normal again when the sun rises.
Other Places of Interest
Guadalante has only one other major settlement the village of Dos Cabezas Hacienda, built up around a large manor owned by one of the noble families. The village has a population of more than 300 peasant farmers, but it is known more as a gathering place for the Gauchos of southern Guadalante. As in Ciudad Huelca, Dos Cabezas Hacienda is usually quiet, but the atmosphere becomes decidedly more rowdy when Gauchos or Bandits ride into town. Duels, fistfights, and public drunkenness are more common here than in Ciudad Huelca, and only the law enforcement specialists (mostly Honourbound sponsored by the local nobles) keep things from falling into complete anarchy.
The majority of Guadalante's population lives in fortified haciendas scattered across the grasslands, and the rest are nomads who camp wherever they end their day. Any hacienda worthy of the name supports between 20 and 50 permanent residents and might have as many as 20 range riders.
Unusual in many ways and culturally dissimilar to the other Savage Baronies, Cimmaron does share a few characteristics with Guadalante. Cimmaron's state language is common, and while people in most other baronies speak common and either Espa or Verdan, only about one-third of Cimmarons speak a language other than common (usually Espa). All Cimmaron place names are now rendered in common.
Besides the language difference, Cimmarons have distinctive views and habits that set them apart from other Baronials. Their leader prefers the title Count over Baron (though his people have begun to refer to him as a duke), and the state is called a county. Cimmaron is where smokepowder and firearms were developed on the Savage Coast; the people of Cimmaron have a fondness for wheellock pistols and prefer them above all other weapons for duelling. The people of Cimmaron dress differently, preferring suedes and leathers and tending toward darker, rougher, heavier clothing than that found elsewhere in the baronies. Cimmarons are rarely seafarers, even though theirs is a coastal state. While most Baronials are tough, many are light-spirited as well; this is not true in Cimmaron, where the toughness of the people has a cold edge to it. Finally, Cimmaron feels like an uncivilised frontier, a place where people are trying to tame an unruly wilderness and the hostile natives who live there.
Most other Guardianos avoid Cimmaron as too uncivilised a place. This suits Cimmarons just fine because they tend to view the other Baronials (except for Guadalantans, whom they respect) as pampered dandies.
Cimmaron is blessed with a good mix of terrain types, from grasslands and farmlands to forests and hills. The soil here is not as fertile as in the other baronies, and Cimmaron tends to appear dry and inhospitable. Those plants that do grow in Cimmaron seem stunted to the eastern eye, and the animals of Cimmaron are skinny compared to specimens found in the other Savage Baronies.
The first modern colonists to come to the Claw Peninsula actually arrived a couple of years before the Ispan wave. These colonists were members of the Brotherhood of Order (also known as the Lawful Brotherhood), the philosophical "ancestors" of the Inheritors of the Order of the Ruby. The Brotherhood originated in the City-States on the other side of the Gulf of Hule. Its colonists located the first Brotherhood outpost at the present site of Old Fort, at the tip of the peninsula.
These colonists were soon followed by shiploads of adventurers from many different parts of the world, particularly Ispans. The first Ispan settlement, then in the lands claimed by Narvaez, was Nueva Esperanza (New Hope), which eventually became known as Smokestone City. Nueva Esperanza declared independence three years after the founding of Narvaez and was allowed to secede without a fight. The people of Nueva Esperanza got to know those of the Brotherhood, and they began a peaceful trading relationship. They also signed a mutual defence pact, and soon Lawful Brotherhood trading posts, defended by Nueva Esperanzan warriors, appeared along the coast. Occasional influxes of colonists from the City-States, and of disaffected Baronials from the north, caused rapid growth along the Savage Coast. Native tortles and dwarves, and a few halfling settlers from far to the east, also joined this odd alliance.
The State of Almarrón was founded in 936; it grew out of the southern remnants of the Barony of Sotto, which was conquered by Gargoña that year. Almarrón needed something to unite its people, so it decided to give them a common enemy in the people of Nueva Esperanza and the surrounding territory. Almarrón's leaders rallied their people by characterising the colonists from the City-States as undesirable gringos. To "claim the land for the Espan people," Almarrón attacked Nueva Esperanza in 939 and quickly took over the entire Claw Peninsula. Some of the Brotherhood of Order went into hiding, while a small sect became the LB Trading Company and maintained many of the group's trading posts.
A cinnabryl mine had been discovered near Nueva Esperanza a few years before Almarrón's conquest; the inhabitants told the Almarróñans that the unusual metal was worthless and poisonous. Thus, the mine was mostly ignored by the conquerors. In 948, a group of dwarves working in the mine began experimenting with steel seed and developed smokepowder; again, the secret was kept from the Almarróñans and remained with a single dwarven family, the Smithy clan.
These dwarven smiths, in their quest for a good use for smokepowder, invented the arquebus in 957. This time, the secret got out to the Almarróñans, but they ignored the "toy" because of its dangers and inaccuracy, preferring to stay with swords. Smokepowder weapons were mostly forgotten, but a young Smithy became enthused about the project almost 15 years later, and with the help of a halfling jeweller named Westron, developed a wheellock pistol in 975.
They demonstrated their weapon to a man named Cimmaron, one of the leaders of a growing movement to throw the Almarróñans out of Nueva Esperanza, who encouraged its secret production. Many of these weapons were produced over the next couple of years, and smokepowder was stockpiled as well.
In 977, Almarrón conquered the tiny state of Escudor and then initiated hostilities with Gargoña and Rivera to the north. This was the opportunity Cimmaron and other leaders had been waiting for, and they began a rebellion against Almarrón in 978. Cimmaron's unit, most armed with wheellock pistols, made quite an impression on the Almarróñan soldiers, routing many of them. In 979, Almarrón ceased its war with Gargoña and turned its full attention to the rebels. Many insurgents lost their lives during a disastrous battle at Old Fort, the site of the original Lawful Brotherhood trading post, after refusing to yield to vastly superior Almarróñan forces.
However, in 980, the self-appointed General Cimmaron led his soldiers to many small victories. His major victory came at the Battle of Hondo, when Cimmaron led his last soldiers in a desperate charge to break the Almarróñan ranks, carrying a wheellock pistol and a red steel sword and rallying his troops with the cry "Remember the Old Fort!" The defeated Almarróñans left the area, and Cimmaron's followers promptly declared him Earl and named the newly-freed region Cimmaron. Nueva Esperanza was renamed Smokestone City to further break from old Ispan ways and became the capital of independent Cimmaron County.
Old General Cimmaron died in 1008 fighting Yazi goblins from the Badlands at the battle known as Longhorn's Last Stand. He was succeeded by his son, John, who is the small nation's current ruler. Except for a minor Tortle Revolt just after he took office and a few problems with Yazi goblinoids, Sir John has had a peaceful two years in charge of Cimmaron.
Cimmaron's population is mostly human, though dwarves are common, and halflings (mostly stouts) are more frequently seen here than elsewhere on the Savage Coast. Like other Baronials, Cimmarons are independent, self-sufficient, and proud; like Guadalantans, they are rough, fond of firearms, and comfortable on horseback. However, the similarities end there. The people of Cimmaron tend to be tougher and cruder than those in the other Savage Baronies.
Adventurers are more common here than in any other barony. Warriors, especially rangers and paladins, are likely to be encountered in Cimmaron more so than in any other barony. The most common warrior kits found here are Gauchos, Honourbound (duellists), and Local Heroes though Defenders, Nobles, and Myrmidons are sometimes seen. The Swashbuckler mentality is not present in Cimmaron, and native Swashbucklers are rare indeed, found mostly among those Cimmarons who choose a life at sea.
Rogues are also found in Cimmaron, most with the Scout or Bandit kit, though a few Local Heroes and Nobles also live here. Bards with the Local Hero kit travel the countryside, stopping in small hamlets to entertain with their guitars in return for a meal and a place to sleep.
Some wizards and priests live in Cimmaron, the vast majority with the Local Hero kit. A few are War Priests and Militant wizards. Multiclass dwarves and dual-class humans, usually a warrior class combined with something else, pop up more here than most places.
Many citizens in Cimmaron, not just warriors, carry firearms. Most are wheellocks, some new, some handed down from a parent or other relative who fought in the war for independence. Occasionally an old arquebus is handed down from long ago.
Because of the proliferation of smokepowder weapons in Cimmaron, Inheritors of any type are rare in the barony. Inheritors occasionally visit to engage in trade for cinnabryl, red steel, or even smokepowder. A few especially brave Inheritors live in Cimmaron, but they avoid the public. An Inheritor would be foolish to take part in a firearm duel, but still risks being branded a coward for rejecting such a challenge.
The Red Curse
The Red Curse has long been known in Cimmaron, and is an accepted part of life. Cinnabryl, steel seed, and smokepowder were all discovered or developed here and are readily embraced. Cimmarons understand the Red Curse as well as anybody and recognise its progress.
Since cinnabryl was once discarded after depletion, small stocks of red steel lie around in unexpected places. Also, while cinnabryl is common in Cimmaron, the metal does not always make it into the hands of peasants. Though local clerics use maintain spells to protect their flocks, Afflicted still exist in Cimmaron. Most are peasants, so they are routinely ignored anyway by members of the upper classes. Afflicted here, as in some of the other baronies, remove themselves to small enclaves to spare their friends and families the burden of taking care of them.
Industry and Trade
Cimmaron's main home industries include taverns (usually called saloons in Cimmaron) and gambling. The state depends on revenues from these endeavours instead of heavier taxation, still pulling in a good amount of money. Even better, collecting revenue from saloons and gambling halls means the tax burden is shared by visitors to the small nation as well as natives. Smokestone City features a huge tavern and gambling hall called the Red Steel Saloon.
Smokestone City takes its name from the deposits of coal nearby; the coal mines produce fuel to heat the many forges of Cimarron and provide a valuable export. Thanks to the county's strong dwarven tradition, Cimmaron's forges turn out weapons and basic metal implements; many of these are also exported.
The nation's large cinnabryl mine is located near the village of South Gulch. A smaller operation near Smokestone City does not produce enough metal to be called a cinnabryl mine. Its mother lode is steel seed, used to make smokepowder. Cimmaron exports great quantities of cinnabryl, smokepowder, and red steel.
Cinnabryl is shipped to several other baronies, especially to Texeiras and Vilaverde, for transport to other states. Through the Sea Powers, Cimmaron is the largest exporter of cinnabryl to the nations of the central Savage Coast: Eusdria, Renardy, and Bellayne. Cimmaron also imports some cinnabryl from Slagovich in return for red steel. The Sea Powers buy smokepowder from Cimmaron, but exports of the explosive also go to Torreón, Renardy, Almarrón, Gargoña, and Saragón. Note that Renardy sends some of its smokepowder on to Torreón, and Gargoña trades some with both Torreón and Narvaez. Cimmaron imports food in return for some of its smokepowder.
Most of Cimmaron's trading takes place by overland routes through the LB Trading Company, now a powerful commercial enterprise based in Smokestone City. The company's traditional concerns include exploration, mining, wheellock manufacturing, ale production, and general trading of merchandise in the Gulf of Hule region. Though the LB Trading Company conducts most trade by wagon (Sir John, leader of Cimmaron, once drove for them), it also employs a few small ships. Fortunately, the company's good relationship with Texeiras and Vilaverde (attained through smokepowder trade) means the sea wolves have little cause to worry about their ships.
It should be noted that the LB Trading Company has no official relationship with the other descendants of the Lawful Brotherhood, the Inheritors' Order of the Ruby. Still, the two groups are reasonably friendly. It is not unusual to see a Ruby Inheritor guarding an LB Trading Company wagon. In addition, the LB Trading Company helps Inheritors obtain supplies of cinnabryl and red steel, and (with astute advisers) maintain control over those supplies.
Cimmaron, as a nation, has never commissioned mercenaries from Torreón or Narvaez. On occasion, a landowner or merchant has hired mercenaries to guard possessions, but these sword-wielding warriors-for-hire are seldom a match for the pistol-toting Bandits, Gauchos, and Honourbound of Cimmaron.
Religion holds little importance to most Cimmarons, who tend to be irreverent at best. Still, the General is recognised by many as an inspiration to the state's own General Cimmaron. Valerias is respected as a patron by Gauchos, and the Judge is popular among Honourbound. Milan and the Ambassador are barely acknowledged by most Cimmarons.
The present ruler of Cimmaron is Sir John of the Wain, known to his people as the Duke of Cimarron. He is a calm, unwavering paladin and a skilled duellist with the Honourbound kit. A larger-than-life figure, Sir John hardly seems the type to be a head of state. He earned his nickname "of the wain" (or "of the wagon") driving for the LB Trading Company. During his time with the company, Sir John had many adventures, which have become legendary in Cimmaron.
When Sir John's older brother, Patrick, was killed at Ciudad Quimeras during fighting in Narvaez in 1006, John was recalled to Smokestone City to become the official heir and learn all he could of government. Sir John's father, General Cimmaron, died in 1008 at Longhorn's Last Stand, leading his tiny force of Cimmaron irregulars against hordes of Yazi goblins. John became the Earl of Cimmaron in 1008.
Sir John remains fit and active. He is still prompt to lead a posse after a bandit leader or to mount campaigns against Yazi gnolls from El Grande Carrascal in the north and Yazi goblins from the Badlands in the west. He typically dresses in rough canvas trousers, an open cotton shirt, and a wide-brimmed hat. He is seldom seen without his pair of fine wheellock pistols.
Since the death of his father, Sir John has shown a particular hatred of goblins. Over the last two years, he has overseen the construction of Fort Whitestone, strategically placed at the end of the Bugle Trail on the edge of the Badlands. A desolate cavalry outpost, Fort Whitestone sends out regular patrols to look for goblinoid raiders and other drifters and thieves.
Sir John fought at his brother's side in 1006, during the war with Narvaez. He also distinguished himself as a leader at the Battle of Morrión in Saragón in 1007. Since becoming leader of Cimmaron, he has won several significant victories against the Yazi. In response to his heroism, the noble families of Cimmaron recently declared him a duke. This titular elevation is a point of contention with other rulers of the Savage Baronies, who sarcastically refer to Sir John simply as "The Duke," which makes him very uncomfortable. So far, Sir John has been successful at keeping Cimarron a county in title and has never tried to put himself above the other rulers, which has lessened tensions.
Though each noble in Cimarron oversees an estate or settlement of some kind, they have little power outside their own lands. Sir John's word is absolute; he can grant someone a title or remove someone from the nobility. He can open trade relations or end them by declaring war. Recently, Sir John created a national constabulary. Some members are stationed in settlements, others wander the state; all are Honourbound. Constables report directly to Sir John and enforce the laws of Cimmaron, sometimes by arresting perpetrators, sometimes by initiating a duel and ending the criminal's life.
Sir John would like a wife, preferably someone with whom he could discuss decisions important to Cimmaron. A ruggedly handsome man in his late 30s, he is considered by some to be the most eligible man in the baronies.
For now, Sir John's heir is his younger brother, Morris, who has recently been serving as John's ambassador to the other baronies in order to learn about their overall political atmosphere. Sir John's brother also has a son, Marion, a boy being educated in Smokestone City by a tutor from Saragón.
Smokestone City has a population of 11,500; roughly half are humans, and perhaps a third are dwarves. Over 1,100 halflings make their home in Smokestone City, as do about half that number tortles. The remaining 2% of the population are elves, lupins, and members of other races found on the Savage Coast.
Because of the smoke generated by the many forges in town, Smokestone is a dark place; soot sifts onto everything, even recently-washed surfaces. The people of Smokestone are friendly in a rough sort of way and always happy to see visitors stop by and sample the local offerings. However, more than one fight has occurred between a tough Cimmaron Gaucho and a flamboyant Vilaverdan Swashbuckler. Fortunately, most sailing ships make port at Old Fort, and Swashbucklers are seldom seen in Smokestone City. The LB Trading Company handles most of the commerce that comes through Smokestone City, including overland and river trade.
This town is known for its rowdy nightlife, which centres around its saloons and gambling halls. The largest and most popular establishment of that sort is the Red Steel Saloon; people claim that a duel occurs in front of the saloon at least once a day.
Other Places of Interest
Aside from the capital, four major settlements can be found in Cimmaron: South Gulch, Little Big Rock, Old Fort, and New Hope Penitentiary. South Gulch is the home base of many cinnabryl miners, as well as a few tortle peasants, Bandits, and Gauchos. Little Big Rock is another trading centre but is also a farming town and resting place for Gauchos.
Despite their names, Old Fort and New Hope Penitentiary are thriving settlements as well. Old Fort, built on the site of the original Brotherhood of Order outpost, is a military port and houses a garrison of troops. Old Fort is also a central meeting and trading location for the human and tortle farmers in the area. New Hope Penitentiary was built by the Almarróñans and named after the city of Nueva Esperanza, which has since become Smokestone City (the Penitentiary didn't follow suit). Besides a large jail, New Hope Penitentiary also houses many farmers and those support personnel needed to keep the jail functioning.
LB Trading Posts
In addition to their locations inside Cimmaron, LB Trading Posts can be found all across the Savage Coast. In many ways, these locations are considered Cimmaron colonies, though the company is a private enterprise, wholly independent of the government of Cimmaron. Small posts are at various points along the coast, but the LB Trading Company's largest interests are the Free City of Dunwick (south of the eastern tip of Renardy), Richland (located in the far west on the Grass Coast), and the Orc's Head Peninsula.
Dunwick started as an outpost of the Brotherhood of Order, then became a trading post when part of the Brotherhood became the LB Trading Company. Today, the company owns or finances many businesses in Dunwick, a city of about 22,000 people. Slightly more than half of Dunwick's population is tortle, but humans, lupins, rakastas, goblinoids, lizard kin, phanatons, wallaras, and manscorpions also inhabit the area. The trade in Dunwick is lively. Most of the LB Trading Company's holdings employ tortle workers and are protected by Texeiran ships and Torreóner sellswords. Having such a large interest in Dunwick gives the LB Trading Company a fractional cut of Texeiran commerce with Renardy.
Much smaller than Dunwick, Richland is a town with about 2,300 residents, including humans, tortles, and shazaks. Located north of the Horn across the Trident Bay, Richland is far from the more civilised lands and largely self-sufficient as far as the production of food, weapons, and various other necessities. The LB Trading Company owns most of Richland, and through a deal with Texeiran shipping, uses Richland as a centre for gathering exotic goods from the Orc's Head Peninsula. Materials are shipped from Richland to the rest of the Savage Coast for sale, which pleases both the Texeiran merchants and the LB Trading Company. Since Richland is within the Haze lands, it also serves as a residence for those wishing to avoid the effects of the Red Curse.
El Grande Carrascal
This area lies between Cimmaron, Almarrón, Saragón, and Guadalante. Though the title refers primarily to the cactus scrub in the region, common usage of the name includes badlands, hills, desert, and more all the land outside the borders of the baronies, east of the Sierra Desperada hills, and north of the New Hope River. Home to gnolls and humanoid bandits, El Grande Carrascal is a dangerous place.
Several camps of gnolls inhabit this region; the major tribes are Long Legs, Chiriquis, and Dead Yuccas. While the Long Legs are a savage tribe, the others trade with humans of the region and are willing to negotiate.
The Long Legs were able to unite all the El Grande Carrascal gnoll tribes, major and minor, about three years ago, leading a violent attack against many of the baronies. These gnolls destroyed two castles, one in Almarrón and one in Gargoña, before they were defeated by Saragóner forces (aided by Cimmaron cavalry) at the Battle of Morrión. In late 1008, their alliance fell apart after they were defeated by Cimmaron troops under Sir John, at the Red Creek Battle. Having lost too many of their people, the gnoll tribes went back to a reasonably peaceful existence except for the few remaining Long Legs, who still raid now and again.
An interesting site in El Grande Carrascal is Buenos Viente an ancient, ruined town, possibly Traladaran in origin and named by later Ispans who found it. Buenos Viente stands in the middle of the cactus scrub, a well-preserved set of buildings that appears to have once held more than 3,000 inhabitants. Most of the buildings are made of fired clay, and so have stood up to the ravages of time. Those who have explored the town report eerie voices, like echoes of half-heard conversations. The place seems to be haunted, a true "ghost town."
Bushwhack Prairie and the Badlands
Bushwhack Prairie, named for the bandit ambushes so common there, encompasses the grasslands just west of Cimmaron. Buffalo and wild horses roam the southern portions of the prairie; camps of Gauchos and Bandit encampments are found throughout the region. Fort Whitestone sits at the western edge of Bushwhack Prairie, and sends out regular patrols to watch for goblin raiders and human Bandits. Though the fort has reduced the number of Bandits in the region, more than enough of the lawless men and women still roam the area to make people think twice before travelling through Bushwhack Prairie, even along Bugle Trail (although, at least on the trail, travellers have a much better chance of being rescued by cavalry charging over the hill).
Bushwhack Prairie includes two notable battle sites, the Battle of Hondo where General Cimmaron won independence from Almarrón, and Longhorn's Last Stand where the general met his end 28 years later. Both battle sites are littered with the bones of those who died there, except for the few, like General Cimmaron, whose bones were brought back to Cimmaron for burial.
The goblins who killed General Cimmaron came from the Badlands, a rocky area west of Bushwhack Prairie. Goblins rule the Badlands; their two major tribes are Black Bellies and Flat Noses. Though some Yazi gnolls actually engage in commerce, Yazi goblins of the Badlands are savage destroyers who live by preying on others.