- "We get by."
- ―Human serf outside Hatt
Hatt, once an independent settlement and a member of the Mutant Free Republic, is now the south Bishopric town of the Brethren of the Shroud. Hatt has a human majority unlike Meridian, but the town is still under tight control of the Brethren hierarchy.
The town that became Hatt was known as Hattiesburg before the Great War and was home to the University of Southern Mississippi, one of three largest colleges in Mississippi.
By the 2070s, Hattiesburg and USM had faded into relative obscurity, with the only thing of note happening there being a racially motivated lynching by Klansmen in 2076.
When the Great War arrived on October 23, 2077, the people of Hattiesburg managed to maintain order for a week or two before fleeing town to avoid radiation winds coming south from Meridian. Most of the original inhabitants were either killed by raiders, black rain, or radiation sickness.
The town stood mostly abandoned unitl 2145, when some nomads decided to settle down in the ruins and try to farm. They were surprised to find that the soil was fertile amd stayed there, establishing the town of Hatt in 2146.
For rest of the century, Hatt grew into a proper settlement of almost four hundred people. However, this made Hatt a common target for raiders, and a militia had to be raised in 2163 to defend the town.
By 2200, Hatt's population grew to five hundred and was even asked to join the Mutant Free Republic in 2210. Hatt accepted.
At first, the Republic's security benefitted Hatt, and the town prospered. However, resentment began to build between Hatt and Meridian, and the towns became rivals. The mutants of Meridian and humans of Hatt did not trust each other at all. This spiraled into something worse and the resulting civil war was fought between the two towns, bringing down the Republic.
Hatt was victorious, but they could not celebrate long. The Brethren of the Shroud rose from the ashes of the Republic in 2226. From there, the Brethren spread out and began to creep closer, taking over Mudpie and Laurel.
In 2232, a Brethren Deacon from Meridian led about one hundred levies to take Hatt. After a quick battle, Hatt was overwhelmed and fell to the Brethren. For taking Hatt, the Deacon was made Bishop of Hatt, a prestigious position.
This caused many inhabitants to flee, but the remaining townspeople were formed into serfdom and the mutants took over.
From then on, Hatt has been an agricultural settlement and a crossroad for Brethren armies going south to Slidell and missionaries going west and south.
The Bishop of Hatt has absolute control over the settlement and does as he sees fit. Brethren Clerics oversee the farmsteads outside the town and make sure the serfs don't rebel or commit crimes.
Hatt's economy is mostly agricultural although there are some businesses devoted to servicing Brethren soldiers passing through on the way to Slidell.
Hatt is an insular town whose spirit was broken during the Brethren conquest. The serfs go about their lives and do as good as they can. The Brethren clergy and their forces maintain a reverence for the Shroud and enforce blasphemy laws zealously.
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