Nestled against the shores of Parime Bay, the desert sand sea beyond, and surrounded by irrigation canals that turned the transition zone into as rich a field as the chaparral that leads away from it into the gentle lands around the seaport of Deseray on the Blue sea.
Eldorado is famous for the Posse of Eld, who are the protectors of the Train for the Posse of Rails. The 15 years of its being built were bloody, brutal, and now, profitable to a degree few can argue with.
Eldorado is watched closely by the other realms and is known as a place where they can all meet should they need to – formally neutral. It has one unique thing going for it that attracts even respectable nobility to uplift – it is something called a democracy, where each household has a vote in the wider realm. This causes many to shake their heads in disbelief, but it has led to a prosperous, successful realm that may one day change the shape of the world. Some argue it is a kind of poison of the mind that has come over from Antilia, but the Duke just smiles in his laconic way and ignores that.
All for One and One for All
Touching forehead or hat brim with slight head bow to everyone
Clothing is strongly gendered – Men, Women, and Enbies all have different clothing pieces.
A handshake closes all agreements, bonds, oaths, and friendships.
Eat it up
Make it do
Wear it out
In a hurry, inauthentic, having ulterior motives
Naive, Lackadaisical, Uppity
The heart and soul of Eldorado is the Ranch (Ranc). It is the basis around which all else arises, and anyone is welcome to start one. All it takes is three months of living in a building on land that the resident walled and then be registered with the local Kinhouse, which costs nothing.
A Ranch is usually a cluster of buildings – House, Barn, Stable, bunkhouse, wellhouse, outhouse. A Ranch is also a settlement of its own. The registered Head of the Ranch is the only member of it that can vote in elections or have a voice on the Kining. They are elected within the Ranch itself, by those on it – ranch hands, family members over 4, other residents – and it can and does change as time goes on, because an election is held yearly.
Ranches are not merely agricultural – they are not a designation of what they do, but rather simply a way of saying home and family. A ranch may be dedicated to dyes, or to ceramics. Most, however, are indeed dedicated to herding cattle, raising crops, and other agrarian pursuits.
After the Ranches come the businesses that are collectives – created by an agreement to put up funding to do something, with all the parties receiving a share. They are the Posses, and many people will work for a Posse – such as the Posse of the Rails.
Eldorado can be a bit wild at times – the Order of Eld is a very visible presence, and those humorless bastards are used for security and patrols. The Prisons are Dwarfin-made, guarded by Wait Dilon, an Elf known for a fanatical adherence to the law.
Eldorado is the only known place where firerth and duretile are found, deep in the desert sand sea, and neither is exported. Controlled by the Eld Posse, they thought to be essential in the use of firearms. The Posses control most of the mercantile supply sources in Eldorado, so the Guilds have to deal with them. The Posse of Mines, the Posse of Stone, the Posse of Rails, the Posse of Sails, and so on dominate the non-agricultural, craftsman sector, and are typically quite good at taking care of their people. The recently formed Posse of Ways is banking on a trip around the world.
Doradan crafts are supported as well by the use of wind- and watermills, which help them to create the fine clays used in their highly sought-after ceramics, and make the vibrant dyes that color their textiles, as well as the flours for which they are known. Doradan ceramics sell for more than any other.
They also have one of the few iron mines known – iron is extremely precious on Wyrlde. It is common for a Doradan home to have cast iron cookware, instead of the usual brass or bronze found elsewhere, often polished to a high gleam on the inside.
Doradan Hamlets, Villages, and Towns are laid out in a grid pattern that does not allow for curving roads or meandering ways. A settlement space is usually about 1,056 feet square and surrounded by roads. Fields are often outside the settlement walls, making them more compact. The fields are still walled – a good wall makes for good neighbors, they say. Usually, stone walls caulked with clay mortar.
The Goddesses of Eldorado are active participants in the lives of its people – a posse leader once called Kybele a whore in a drunken bar fight and was struck by lightning three times. At once. A stranger once insulted a Shrine Maiden of Antelle and found himself a slave in a brothel in Lemuria the following morning. It is even rumored that the Avatar of Paria is to be found in Eldorado.
Each Village or larger has a Kinhouse, Court Hall, Jail h Hall, Market Hall, Craft Hall, Guild Hall, and Temple. Many Ranches have private shrines within them, visited by Shrine Maidens in their readily identifiable sky blue and white.
The catch with starting a ranch is the need to build a wall around a new field and the cost to build a walled residence. It is estimated this is usually around 100 farthing, for a single person building a barely livable place.
Dorado is generally thought to be composed of three regions: Upper, Lower, and the Sand Sea. Dorado proper is located on the Upper region, a plateau space that touches the Great Inland Sea. The
Deseray: Home of the Farship Posse and the Farship dockyards, where the immense ship for the journey around the world is being built. Rumor has it the massive ship is being called the Nautilus. If it fails, the longtime residents will just go back to fishing and oystering, with the occasional shocking find from the Sea of Silence of Travelers from Antilia. A fishing and trade port along the Blue Sea, best known for the vast marketplace that ships the produce of the Blue Vale to markets in the Sea Realms and the Aztlan.
Seahold: While it is officially a town under Dorado, it is so far removed that even the folks there can’t recall ever being visited by the Duke. Small, peaceful, quiet now that that one wizard is dead.
Derier: Often called the ass end of the world, the only town in the Sand Sea. The town has had a string of really bad luck that hits it – especially the children – roughly every 8 years. No one knows why quite yet.
Dry, Arid Dorado is a peculiar vassal state that doesn’t act like a vassal very much and more or less stays out of Imperial politics. The Duke is known to deeply dislike it, and prefers his time spent on more creative pursuits that he says are aimed at making life better for the many.
It is, then, not shocking that shortly after Dorado was founded, the notion of Posses came into existence, and the first two (some say among the first five) were the Posse of Eld, who created the Eldian Pistol, and the Posse of Rails, who, as we all know, created the Enjin that drives the Train.
Dorado is as much the meat basket of the Empire as Aztlan is the breadbasket and Durango the Milk and butcher capital. The primary cargo in those long trains is cattle, heading for the slaughterhouses of Durango.
Daisy here comes from Dorado. You might remember her.
Hola all! This ‘un asked me t’let ya know the way of things in Dorado. Well, it ain’t like it were in the bigger places – Dorado is still young y’know. We got Ranches and every ranch has a kitchen that is big enough for all to eat. When we have a communal dinner, everybody brings dishes, they all get put on a counter, and you go along and help yourself.
We say that one should eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. We don’t have time for the fancy clothes and all, as we usually got to get out to check the cows and make sure the heard moves to the next pasture or any of hundreds of chores.
Doradans are rarely in a rush and tend to take the view that steadier is better than swifter, and surety is better than uncertainty. They are not a people who gamble with their futures, though one wouldn’t know it from the Saloons and Casinos.
Now that big place, a Cookhouse we call ‘em, that place is also where everyone gathers. A ranch might have two, three even ten families on it, plus hired hands and more, and we use that place to be a kind of communal house. It will mostly have stone walls, or thick ones made from our adobe bricks. They get used all the time, for anything where a lot of people needed to get together. Schooling, quilting, sings, dances, pretty much anything where more people wanted to gather together than would fit in someone’s house.
When ya go around doing your jobs, e’ryone greets ya, even if’n they didna like ya. And with those who do like ya, there’ll be brief touches, pats on the back, hugs. Back home, we’re a touchy bunch. E’ryone hugs, e’ryone kisses, even some of the folks we call Kingelds, who are kinda like nobles, I suppose. I reckon I never lacked for any of that.
It’s ain’t that e’ryone loves e’ryone else, but where I come from e’ryone is loved by someone and knows it.
That about covers what happens daily, with festivals and celebrations being big events that might bring a ranch into one of the villages or towns or perhaps the big city itself, Dorado proper.
The Ranchhead is the law on the Ranch proper. Sheriffs are only brought in when they step outside the ranch. This level of authority and power is extensive – it is possible for the head of household to make many rules that limit or restrict those on the Ranch. In practice, this is linked to the laws of the land, which usually act as a limiter on this power. But it also only applies when it is seen, and some ranches are considered particularly foul.
What other places call nobility or Patrons, they call Kingelds. They are usually popular and powerful members of the Kinning, wealthy and respected. Well, mostly.
Guilds have less power in Dorado, but that is often because the guilds don’t actually pay guildsmen like Posses do, and the balance between the two groups is always iffy.
Typically, an individual marries into an established Ranch, unless they are an Eldest child (who are expected to start their own). A merger of Two Ranches does happen, but it is rare. Usually, one of the people has already established one. The family name is the Ranch name, and all people there take that name for theirs.
It is the second Eldest child who stands to inherit the Ranch, with others expected to stay or marry into others to secure alliances, improve trade and support systems, etc. Since the Ranchhead can change by vote, a vote can change who inherits, and a dying Ranchhead can create challenge.
Love matches are the norm, though this can lead to some interesting experiences at the Dances and Festivals.
Ranch heads meet monthly at the local Kinhouse to pass laws, hear appeals, and deal with the function of the government. Each Kining (hamlet up) selects three members to represent them at the next Kining up, so from a hamlet those three would go to a village, and the village would select three to go to a Town, and the town would select three to go to the City. This culminates in the High Kining, representing all the hamlets, villages, towns, and cities, at the Council Hall in Eldorado.
The Kinings also choose the local Mayor, Judge, and Sheriff – often the same 3 they chose to represent them. The Mayor is the local government representative, the Judge the courts, and the Sheriff the enforcement. Cities have Mayor’s Councils and collective courts that seat multiple people based on the areas in the city.
Law is made by the Kinings, who are also the appeals options – local first, with the High Kining the final arbiter. The Kinings select and appoint a Mayor, Judge, and Sheriff for their areas. The Sheriff is charged with enforcing the law, the judge with applying it.
One can hire a lawyer if one chooses or defend oneself. In capital cases, a Jury of 7 is chosen by the judge from those who are not Ranch heads. High value theft, murder, rape, or crimes against children are all capital cases. Sentences are prison, hanging, or, if the guilty chooses an ordeal (usually water, fire, air, or earth). Few choose ordeals.
Eldorado has no standing military, navy, or Skyship group. Each Ranch is itself a defensible area, even within the walls of a settlement, and each usually has a few able-bodied people able and willing to defend it. There are, however, the Orders.
The most famous of these is the Order of Eld, where those who swear the Oath of Eld come from, but there are four other Orders, as well: Eagle, Bear, Cougar, and Coyote. While the Order of Eld is tied to the House of Eld, the others are not, having been chartered, and they often will have members from the Knightly orders in them, but are not knightly orders themselves.
They serve as a kind of militia, for the most part, all following a set chain of command that leads all the up to the generals of each order, and each order handles something. General Miraj overseas the Order of the Bear. They are an infantry group. General Cavalcada oversees the Order of the Coyote. They are a Cavalry group. Admiral Nessa oversees the Order of the Cougar. They are a naval group.
Bear, Coyote and Cougar all have a full division. They also supplement the Reeves who are often hesitant to face the Sea of Sand, which occupies the massive heart of Dorado.
The single greatest export of Dorado is cattle. The peculiar grasses found upon the steppes of the upper region are known as being not only well loved, but very good for cattle, and they take care in grazing them. A secondary export is guards. The members of the Posse of Eld are often highly sought after, for it is difficult to argue with the effectiveness of their weapons and the zeal of the wielders. Dorado also has some extensive salt mines.
Dorado imports mostly wood and wood products, but also many of the foodstuffs that are difficult to grow there, such as wheat, coffee, and sugar.
Each Ranch is responsible for the education of those upon it, unless they are in a town or city, where there is a Tanjin. The Doradan Tanjin is very large, but the Town ones are very small, and no one forces them. Most of the smaller ones are one room buildings, with a slate wall on one side and chairs facing it.
Literacy is lower in Dorado, but math is strong, and the folks certainly do talk a great deal and should not be thought of as uninformed. Rumor has it the Duke is likely to require some form of education, as he contributed to a Posse that was formed to help use one of the elements developed for the Train so that people in even small villages could send messages quickly. He is also setting up something called a Postal service. Unsurprising; the Duke has always been strange.
Green and Brown are the most popular colors at present, with plaid a fairly standard addition in a form of it called “gingam”.
Hats are considered a requirement of proper society, and so everyone wears some form, with h styles shown the current most popular versions.
One quirk to Noble fashion in Dorado is that it is also the most common fashion for commoners – unlike everywhere else, they put little stock in trying to show their station through dress.
El Miraj: The “crazy old coot” who brought an old sailing ship to the sand sea, and then tamed the fiery desert with it. The village of Mirajin has a Stellae raised to him.
Sufiore El Vandel: The Flower of Dorado, she single handedly defended her Hamlet for two weeks against a regiment of Lemurian irregulars. She was said to be mean as three snakes and a cat in a bucket of rainwater and all shoved in a sack.
Marlow Lovecraft: One of the most famous of the Reeves, he was said to have brought to justice more men than any lawman before or since, and that they always confessed. Some called him the Eldritch Horror. He just called it an honest day’s work.
Most people, when one say Dorado and weapons together, think of the very famous tools of the gunslingers, who originated in Dorado under the banners of Eld and Rose. While those are found in slightly more common ways in Dorado, it is not those weapons which truly defend and mark it.
Doradan Tanners have developed a bit of a linkage to the armorers of the realm, and the result has been a hardened form of hide or buckskin, usually drawn from Aruks, that is much stronger than typical. It is called Korinthian Leather, after the brothers who originally developed it. Equally as useful on the range and in the saddle as it is in a battle, the specially made Korinthian leather, often noted for its smooth, fine, rich, supple, and soft feel and remarkable breathability, while also being deeply durable and weathering well. Korinthian Leather is made through a process that includes weaving a warp-faced textile in which the weft passes under two or more warp threads. This twill weaving produces a diagonal ribbing that gives it a unique look, and the cotton and wool blend alongside and intermingled with sturdy leather is affixed to the special Aruk hide leather using a peculiar bonding method the Posse of D’nym is unwilling to share. Most of it comes from herds around Deseray and Dorado proper.
This armor includes forearm guards that have a long, narrow, reinforced shield permanently attached on the outer part of the arm that runs from wrist to just past the elbow.
The reason for this is pretty simple. While there is a Doric saber, it is about 24 inches long, with leaf shape, narrow at the haft and pointed. Designed for slashing, it isn’t particularly good at getting through the Korinthian Leather, so they went the direction that worked best: The Doric Mace.
The head of a Doric mace has five flanges, each of which is sharpened, and a piercing cap spike to it. The head alone usually weighs several pounds, and if attached to a metal rod and used properly can inflict bone breaking injury. This is what led to the development of the reinforced arm shields.
For distance weapons, they favor small, four to six inch, haftless throwing knives. They are sharp, narrow with a very slight leaf shape to them, but the width is further back. They also have a curved barb on the side and are slightly concave. A standard load out includes a dozen of these.
A long (12 to 18 inches), single edged knife with a broad blade and a curved to a point tip that is thicker on the back side (and often saw toothed along the upper third), is a favorite knife carried by pretty much all Doradans, even women and Youths. The blade is sometimes as wide as one’s hand, and they are typically worn in spine sheaths that can to the non-dominant side. These knives can be thrown by trained folks with deadly effect.