A small blip of Civilization in the desolate plains of The Saltlands, it's only reason for existence is for the taking of the region's name sake. Little more than a collection of shacks and the hole that they service, The settlement has nevertheless weathered many storms, few of them meteorological.
|Tierras Lejanas Campamento Minero|
|Location:||The Saltlands, Tamaulipas|
|Current status:||working hard|
The lords and merchants of The Papal States have traded for salt with the Lipan and roaming caravans that occasionally come out of the Saltlands for decades, but the supply was always of an inconsistent quality and never certain to return. With this in mind and relatively safe areas thanks to the wars of the previous decade, Count Fernando Montoya began to organize an expedition for the scouting and settling of a suitable location for a salt mine. Word quickly spread and financial support came in just as quick from merchants throughout the realm, but men to actually go there was a different matter.
Despite beating many of the tribes away from their borders and deeper into the desert, many returning veterans of the conflict told stories of the savageness of these people; able to take a shotgun blast to the chest and still take three men down with clubs; warriors who could fight for a week straight without even a drop of water, and archers who could hit a rabbit in the eye at a hundred paces. Despite most of these being clear exaggerations, few volunteers steeped forward at first. However, after the leader of the group was announced, men came in droves for the job. This leader was Miguel Inge, a veteran of the wars since they first began and a well known adventurer before that. With him at the helm, Montoya found that he could choose the group at his will.
He and Inge whittled down the hundred plus applicants to 35, fifteen guards, all veterans of the wars, and twenty miners all of whom had some sort of skill that would be useful to the colony. Accompanying them would be three riders that could give word to the Count or any friendly town if trouble happened. With all the arrangements made, they left in high spirits in early 2279 to the fanfare of the people watching them leave.
They traveled south into The Saltlands and then wandered for two months, chasing tales from friendly Lipan and caravanners before finally finding an old shaft that still had salt that was easy to mine and the location easy to defend. Telling two of the riders to ride back and tell the count, Inge then organized the men to begin construction of their shelter, and a rough palisade with the remaining materials. When that was finished three days after they started, they immediately began to dig, and found the salt there was of a medium quality.
The count couldn't care less however when he received the first shipment they sent, and after distributing it amongst the merchants who had invested at the start, he set up contracts with two local caravan groups for staggered deliveries; one would take food and water and return with salt every two months, and the other would come with extra tools, gun parts, ammo and any luxuries that the workers wanted. Along with the first delivery also came a cardinal and letter explaining that for his work in establishing the camp, Inge was made a Baron.
That November however came the first test of their defenses as a large tribal war-band had seen the dust cloud of the food caravan leaving, and quickly formed around the wall of the camp. Rallying the workers and guards, Inge personally lead the defense, pistol in one hand and pick in the other. After three hours they managed to beat off the tribals, forcing them to leave their wounded behind them. For their part the miners lost six, all of whom were given proper catholic funerals. Sending a rider to request replacements and stronger materials, Inge set up a double watch for the next two weeks as the miners worked.
Since then they had came under attack four more times, once facing down a hundred tribals and Comancheros, but the walls have always held. Miguel retired in 2283, appointing a levelheaded replacement, who has managed the camp much like his predecessor.
The camp always has around 36 people, though not the same 36 at any one time. This is because the workers and guards are rotated out in staggered groups every six months, so as not to became unruly or depressed. When they make it back to safe lands in The Papal States, they are given their pay for the last six months, and told to return if want in six more months, or sooner if they wish. So the skill level of the workers can very greatly from one season to the next, but Inge is always there to make sure everything is going well.