|La baronía de los campos podridos|
|Location:||The Papal States,Tamaulipas|
|Current status:||growing and living|
The largest source of pumpkins and pumpkin products in The Papal States, it also has the displeasure of being caught up in the frequent schemeing for the favor of duque Esteban Gallo.
Like so many farming communities of the states, campos podridos has it's roots in a pre-war village. called agricultores resto, it was settled in 1843 due to it's soil. Little would change for the next two centuries besides what group of soldiers claimed control, which the locals never disputed. When the Bombs fell the village was unaware anything had occurred, except their radios were disrupted.
Despite the radiation passing through quickly and only killing one person, the ordeal of the war and the implications caused the people to flee. Some head to the cities, to look for order, or simply in panic, but none would return. The crops, being ready for harvest, died by mid-November and the fields would lie fallow for another hundred years. When the village was rediscovered by a small caravan looking for shelter, it was found to still be in a strong condition.
The information was passed on to the owner of a cantina in Distrito Capital who, tired of the constant bloodshed and danger, decided to try his hand at farming. Investing all his money and cantina in supplies, tools and a few slaves who were told they would be freed if they worked the land for ten years. The party arrived after a month of traversing The Highlands, and saw that the words of the traders were honest.
They settled down in late April and by September, the fields were in full growtth and ready to be harvested. Having a surplus of food for the first time any of them could remember, they had a celebration, which resulting in most getting blackout drunk and the slaves freed. The newly freed workers would mostly stay in the village, and the two groups would interbreed over the next decade. They would have little contact with the outside during this time, but outsiders would start to appear in 2188. They were minor merchants and drifters initially, but the farmers recieved them warmly regardless.
Word would spread overtime, and the villagers would eventually trade with several caravans a season. They would have little interaction with the outside would otherwise. That would change when a representative from El Dominio de la Corriente Lenta and it's Duque came into the village and told the assembled crowd they were tresspassing on his land.
The representative told the farmers they could stay if they swore fealty to the Duque, the Pope and the Church. Not wishing to lose their way of life, the village agreed, and elected a man to represent them at the court of the duque. The man, Henry Milatra, was awed by the grandeur of the Duque's court, and the solemness of the ceremony which installed him as baron of the village. Not having a suitable candidate for cardinal, one was provided by the Church and Henry returned to run the village according to his oath for the next three decades.
He died in 2218 and left control of the barony to his son Christobel. A well liked and able ruler, the barony truly prospered during his reign, the fields were expanded and irrigation ditches were dug, ensuring a water supply to the crops. One of the few things to mar his sixty year rule was the establishment of La Ciudad de' Cientos de Paz as it's own realm under the duque, and it's lord given control of the barony.
Fortunately for them, the new lord, Adriano Capello, was a kind hearted old man that wanted to ensure the well-being of his people. His son who took power after his father's suspicous death however was a diffrent matter. Agapito Durante spent most of his teen years in the District as merc, and after twenty years he returned to his father's city and would take control of it within the year.
Christobel would die in 2278, leaving the barony to his son Guillermo, who while kind, was quickly brought to heel by Agapito who turned the baron into a puppet for his own ambitions for the duchy. The last three years have been kind for the barony, but the people are unsure about how kind, as their baron has grown depressed, and the men that he drafts for "the defense of the church" often come back the same, if not wracked with guilt that they never speak of or not come back at all.
A poor but happy place, hard work and a good work ethic is valued more than money by most of the paisanos and the baron himself, reinforced by the cardinal's sermons. Because of this working spirit, outsiders who can spin a good story or play music are always welcome, often offered to stay in the baron's own house while they stay in town. The lazy and unscrupulous however are kicked out in short order, which weighs heavy on their baron's heart due to his obligations.
While poor, the villagers are still able to get everything they need, though it is from each other. Those who can afford it use pesos, many of the paisanos barter with each other, trading excess meat for vegetables, hemp-rope for hand-crafted tools, services for potatoes, and of course, outsiders are traded pumpkins.
The barony is run, nominally, by Baron Guillermo Milatra, though he really only carries out the orders of his lord, Adriano Capello. The town cardinal, Rafael Montavo, concerns himself with only the church and his own farm, and seems ignorant of the troubles of the baron. The only real power the baron has is in the control and trade of pumpkins, a surprisingly popular thing in the Papal States.