|Location:||Border Country, Mexico|
|Population:||1100 (900 outside, 200 inside)|
|Factions:||Reino de Mexico|
|Notable events:||La Guerra de la Ciudadela|
|Current status:||Contested feudal city|
Located in the bombed out ruins of Rio Bravo, Mexico, La Ciudadela as it was nicknamed during construction is among the few large scale Vault-Tec imitations in Latin America that succeeded in its goal to keep its occupants alive. Since the bombs fell and Rio Bravo was burned off the face of the earth in nuclear hellfire, La Ciudadela has remained safe and secure and more recently has become the palace of the self-proclaimed “Reyes of Mexico” who have run the vault and the surrounding shantytown with an iron fist and self-interest in their goal of establishing a new Mexican Empire and more recently, in defeating Pancho Mendoza’s Communist People’s Legion who seek to open the vault’s amenities to the poor paisanos who live outside it, or so they claim.
La Ciudadela, Spanish for “The Citadel” was the survival idea of the last president of Mexico, Presidente Mateo Cardozo. He wanted a palace-like bastion of survival for himself, his family, his top staff, their families, and sixty bodyguards, a population of around two hundred. This plan was conceived in 2073, the second year of Presidente Cardozo’s term; however, the billions of pesos it would take to make the bunker were unavailable to him due to the major budgetary strain Mexico was in. Mexico’s major oil industry was being commandeered by the American government which also placed heavy sanctions on the country, all across Mexico there were drug cartels forming paramilitary armies, terrorizing rural areas, and to make things worse there were thousands of refugees and guerrilla fighters pouring across the southern border every day from the Guatemala-Belize War. Keeping their borders secure meant that thousands of troops from Mexico’s small and strained army had to be diverted along with billions of pesos. The budgetary committee denied Presidente Cardozo his bunker funds.However Cardozo refused to be discouraged, he covertly contacted the head of the dreaded Ciudad Juarez drug cartel, the only organized crime syndicate in Mexico who could finance a mega bunker. The Ciudad Juarez cartel agreed; under the condition that all imprisoned cartel members receive a presidential pardon, including infamous drug baron Tuco Mendolado. The pardons released over four hundred criminals back on the streets and Mendolado and accordingly, Presidente Cardozo’s approval numbers dropped from sixty percent to twenty percent, turning him from the most popular president in the past fifty years to the least popular president since Victor Huerta. But that was irrelevant to Cardozo whose vault became reality.
Built by a front company, the vault was finished by a front construction company in 2075 and had a monumental area of half a square mile, boasting an Olympic sized swimming pool, a soccer field, and even an underground polo field with a stable and several prize-winning British racehorses that Presidente Cardozo owned. The vault was furnished like a palace and cost nine billion pesos in the end; the president’s bedroom even sported gold faucet handles, and artwork by Michelangelo. Tuco Mendolado ordered no expense be spared for the president who freed him and when it was finished, it was an underground Versailles complete with robotic servants and a massive stockpile of weaponry.
Presidente Cardozo just barely made it into the vault along with his staff when the bombs fell. Fleeing from Mexico City to Rio Bravo when Mexican intelligence intercepted Brazilian radio chatter about their submarines picking up ICBM signals from China head to the Americas. Cardozo rushed his family, staff, and security into a fleet of helicopters and flew for Rio Bravo. The choppers landed outside of the vault and were destroyed just moments later when the bombs hit, mere minutes after the doors to La Ciudadela were sealed. All went off without a hitch and La Ciudadela survived the war as intended, giving Cardozo a well armed and well supplied people to live in a luxurious underground Versailles.
The so called "Sealed Century" was actually a little over a century, closer to a century and a quarter century in fact and refers to the period of time that The Citadel was sealed. The history of this period is known to none but the nobility. The vault ran smoothly when the bombs fell, it was the hope of Presidente Cardozo to stay in the vault for a short period of time and then return topside. He had hoped that Mexico would not have been hit as hard as it was and expected that there would be a large population still alive that would be ready to still consider him as their leader.
After six years, Cardozo prepared to open the vault however this was met with hostility by his vice president, Mateo Corazone. When once the two Mateos had been the most popular politicians in Mexico and the best of friends, they quickly became horrible enemies. The Citadel was divided between Mateo Cordozo and Mateo Corazone and it was decided that the fairest thing to do was to hold a vote on whether or not to open the vault. All adults were called to the auditorium to vote, it was then that Mateo Corazone orchestrated his coup. A moderate Marxist, Corazone admired the police state of Stalin and Lenin in Soviet Russia and believed it to be the best model to survive. He believed that the only way to survive was to stay inside and since the majority of people in The Citadel thought that going topside was best, he realized he had to act like Lenin and seize power for the "common good". He persuaded the security that going topside would result in their deaths and when the vote was called, every armed man in The Citadel marched into the auditorium with their rifles chambered, declaring Corazone to be the new leader.
The coup was bloodless and Corazone openly declared that he was Rey or King Mateo and began his underground monarchy. He would live a long life of one hundred and ten years, dying in 2150. During his rein he would solidify his power and hold and keep The Citadel running strong with an authoritarian police state monarchy with little of notable importance to speak of during his reign or the reign of his son, Rey Hector who kept the status quo established by Rey Mateo until his death in 2197.
Rey ValentinoAfter the death of Rey Hector, his son became Rey, that son’s name was Rey Valentino and it was under him that the Mexican border became acquainted with a secret hidden citadel near Rio Bravo. Taking power in 2195, Rey Valentino had longed dreamed of what lied above the ground and secretly abhorred his grandfather’s isolation policy. Realizing that the threat of a coup was possible due to the extreme fear of the outside world, Valentino hatched a plan to convince his people, including his police forces to support opening up to the outside. His plan was simple yet insured that his bunker would be organized and a coup like his grandfather threw wouldn’t occur. Valentino had one of his best friends, the head maintenance officer in the vault give a report that The Citadel’s water systems would give way and break within five months. The panic this report caused gave support for opening up to the outside and made Valentino incredibly popular with the people. In March of 2196 the doors to The Citadel opened and an expeditionary force of soldiers went outside.
What they found was the ruins of Rio Bravo inhabited by a band of slavers led by the feared Texan slaver, Jordan McBeth. McBeth's slavers were feared on both sides of the border as some of the worst slavers in the wastes, numbering thirty strong they had close to seventy slaves in Rio Bravo. When news of these hostile slavers reached Rey Valentino he declared the first military action of El Reino de Mexico, or in English, The Kingdom of Mexico. Within three hours, Jordan McBeth and most of his slavers were dead by a surprise attack by the well armed military and police forces of Rey Valentino which numbered eighty strong. Under the cover of night and armed with kevlar armor and automatic weapons, they lost not a single man and freed every slave, letting them loose in the wastes.
The soldiers quickly set up an above ground outpost outside The Citadel and began sending teams to scavenge for water. However they could not be left alone, when word that the infamous Jordan McBeth had been killed by a heavily armed band of soldiers, refugees began to move to The Citadel's exterior, asking for protection. This marked the start of feudalism in La Ciudadela.
Rey Valentino had studied many forms of government in the library and realized it was his job to set one up. The refugees were willing subjects and thus he held counsel with their elected leader. He offered a feudal social contract to their leader, offering safety for servitude. The treaty specified their would be two classes: Paisanos and Nobles and gave the Paisanos basic rights while still keeping the nobles in charge, many of these rights (such as the right to private property) would later be abolished by Rey Valentino's son. On November 19th, 2196 the contract was signed and feudal society had begun outside of La Ciudadela.
Rey Valentino would prove to be a strong and benevolent monarch, he actively recruited and strengthened his military to protect his paisano serfs, he created a police force to protect the town outside of The Citadel and even used some of the money gained by taxes to build a church that was completed in 2198, it was in 2199 that La Ciudadela's power became more known. When an expeditionary unit of troops was slaughtered on the banks of the Rio Grande by Santiago Joaquin and his men, Rey Valentino declared them to be "Comancheros" and ordered that they be hunted down and killed. For the next four years, Joaquin and his top lieutenant, John Roper were hunted down before being captured and executed by firing squad in 2203. With two major gangs of raiders killed in under a decade word began to spread further until the small Mexican city state was the subject of conversation as far north as New Orleans and Tulsa.
After the deaths of Roper and Joaquin, La Ciudadela was left alone for the rest of Rey Valentino's benevolent reign which lastest all the way until 2251 where due to memory problems in his old age, he decided to abdicate power to his young son, Mateo, whose regal name would be Rey Mateo Segundo or King Mateo the Second and whose nickname would be well earned, Rey Mateo el Sangriento, or King Mateo the Bloody.
Rey Mateo SegundoWhen Rey Valentino abdicated, the people held high hopes for his successor, Rey Mateo Segundo, however these hopes would quickly be dashed as Mateo the Second quickly earned his nickname, Mateo the Bloody. Mateo II and his father both held an ardent belief in feudalism, however where Valentino saw feudalism as another form of social contract where the nobles were entitled to more only because they brought more to the table, Mateo II saw feudalism as a placement of natural superiors over natural inferiors. The concept of feudalism being a binding contract between two equals that his father had believed in was crazy to the new rey who in his first year on the throne abolished among other things, the right of private property of a paisano, the right of a paisano to protest peacefully against their noble, the right of freedom of speech of a paisano who now could not speak against the king, and the right of a paisano to receive a jury of his fellow paisanos.
When these decrees were put up, there was outrage among the paisanos who defied their king's law and protested peacefully anyway. On New Years Day, 2252, the nature of Mateo II's regime was defined for the rest of his reign when thirty four protesters, including thirteen women and two children were shot down by soldiers with automatic gunfire under Mateo II's orders. This massacre quelled all further protest and ensured in the tent cantinas and in the fields whenever Mateo the Second came up in conversation among paisanos that "sangriento" or "bloody" was always attached in place of the "Second".
Under Mateo Segundo's regime, the amount of people flocking to become paisanos dropped drastically, however the amount of money invested in La Ciudadela increased tenfold. Mateo offered limited military escort of all caravans willing to take investment money from nobles. While the concept seemed funny, it worked as caravans came begging nobles for money to get an escort through comanchero territory, more specifically, to the Rio Grande. The strip of land in between La Ciudadela and the Rio Grande was among the most comanchero infested areas on the former border and in 2257, Rey Mateo Segundo declared war on the comancheros specifically the most notorious comanchero in the area, Sam Baxter, deciding that it was no longer time to wait until comancheros came to his home and it was time for him to come to their homes.
The Comanchero Campaigns became the defining act of Mateo Segundo's reign. For six years the soldiers of La Ciudadela patrolled the roads up to the U.S.-Mexican border and the Rio Grande and hunted down any and all comancheros and bad men they could find. It cost them twenty three lives and cost the comancheros close to eighty, most of them killed in ambushes or surprise raids on their camps and some like the infamous and bloody Sam Baxter hauled back to La Ciudadela and executed by firing squad in 2262. In 2263, Mateo II could declare that there was victory over the comancheros between The Citadel and the Rio Grande and had decent sized patrols scouring the roads on a daily basis with a permanent military outpost at Casa Roja about eleven miles from La Ciudadela, a little more than halfway and the only military outpost controlled by La Ciudadela's military to this day.
However, while Rey Mateo certainly served the border area, the last thing he did was serve his serfs. In 2267 he raised the taxes on paisanos from half to three quarters of what they make in food or currency and infamously instituted the right of primae nocti, which entitled his nobles to claim the virginity of the daughters of all paisanos once they reached the age of sixteen. This right was implemented by Mateo II declaring that a census be taken and the names, dates of birth, home, occupation, family, children, age of children, religious beliefs and the number of weapons they own be collected from all paisanos, this ensured that all people were accounted for as Mateo made withholding information from census punishable by death. When a girl neared the age of sixteen police officers would come and take her to La Ciudadela where nobles would be allowed to bid for who would take her virginity, the bids went to Mateo's coffers to fund his military. This downright dark age barbaric practice led to some rioting and violence among the paisanos who were brutally put down with gunfire and thus all anger was suppressed within a month, and while anger remained, the paisanos were too scared to act on it. In addition to primae nocti, Rey Mateo II also made nobles above the law and decreed that they could only be punished with death for treason in addition to giving them the rights to sleep with any paisano woman they wished outside of primae nocti and loosening restrictions on what allowed a noble to kill a paisano to a point where a nobleman could legally kill a paisano if the paisano did as little as refuse to bow in said noble's presence.
Rey Mateo Segundo's reign was long and bloody, nearly two hundred paisanos including men, women, and children had been killed by him in 2268 when his reign came to an end. As he had lived by the sword, he would die by the sword. Duquel Francisco Carlitos Montoya, Mateo II's chief military officer feared that the insane amount of tyranny leveled on the paisanos would drive them to rebellion, and though The Citadel could repel an attack, without paisanos they had no food or labor suppy, thus Duquel Montoya hatched a plot to overthrow the rey, however he realized that anarchy would ensue if the royal family was eliminated as the major nobles would fight for the throne and the military would splinter. So he decided to go to Mateo Segundo's son, Príncipe Vicente, he proposed his plan to make the young príncipe (or prince) the rey. Montoya had enough support in the military to lead the transistion if a clear heir to the throne was decided before Rey Mateo Segundo was out of the picture.
Worried of a rebellion and anxious for the throne that his healthy father may not have relinquished until the 24th century, Príncipe Vicente agreed to personally assassinate his father and then declare himself king. He did this by entering his father's private study to discuss pre-War Mexican history which was well preserved in several books in his father's study and a great passion of Mateo II. During discussion, Mateo II stood up and walked to a bookcase to get a book detailing the military junta of Generalissimo Santanna to show his son a portrait of the military dictator, while he was getting the book, Rey Mateo Segundo's own son pulled out a silenced pistol and shot him in the back of the head, ending the reign of Mateo the Bloody.
Rey CristobolWith his father dead, the young prince rushed to declare his power. With the backing of the military, Príncipe Vicente called all the top nobles together and issued a speech which was broadcasted on radio to the paisanos. Unable out of shame to keep the name given to him by the father who he shot in the back, the young prince coronated himself Rey Cristobol del Reino de Mexico, or King Cristobol of the Kingdom of Mexico. The first month of his reign was a godsend to the paisanos as he reversed some of his father's more oppressive policies. This meant returning paisanos the freedom of speech and the freedom to peaceably protest, he also replaced the restrictions on nobles killing paisanos that his father had loosened, making the killing of a paisano by a noble excusable only under self-defense or pre-emptative self defense with reasonable cause to believe an attack was extremely imminent. In addition, while he retained the degrading barbarism of bidding for primae nocti due to the money it generated, the new rey did reverse the right of a noble to sleep with any paisano woman at any time he desired. This new code still retained however the destruction of private property rights and the three quarters of income tax, making the code of Rey Cristobol a middle ground between the kind and benevolent monarch that Rey Valentino was and the iron-fisted despot that Rey Mateo Segundo was.
When Rey Cristobol took power he was a young man of twenty, he proved immensely popular with the paisanos in the first three months of his reign for the reversals in policy he implemented with the serfs willing to overlook the ridiculous taxes, opressive denial of private property, and the humiliating savagery of primae nocti in gratitude for freedom of speech, protest, and protection of life and female partners. While not as loved as Rey Valentino, he was a welcome relief from the senseless tyranny of Mateo Segundo. However quickly into Cristobol's reign, the bright and sunny future that seemed to be ahead of Cristobol was blightened when out of Texas came a new threat, Pancho Mendoza and La Legión de la Gente.
Founded a year before in 2269 in Hidalgo,Texas not even thirty miles from La Ciudadela, La Legión de la Gente, or The People's Legion was founded by legendary lawman Harland Ross and a young marxist cardhouse owner, Pancho Mendoza with the goal of freeing Hidalgo from the reign of comanchero jefe, Benedicto Aguado. The goal was a success and in 2269 within six months of the legion forming, Benedicto Aguado was shot dead in a duel by Harland Ross. While most had joined the legion just to fight the comancheros, Mendoza's charisma and marxist beliefs kept some in the militia as he yearned to form a communist state on the border. Mendoza at first tried to get his friend, the new sheriff to take control of the town and start a marxist micro nation, however Ross had no interest in socio-political experimentation and merely wished to run Hidalgo fairly and ensure the town's prosperity. After being turned down, Mendoza looked for a place to start his left-wing eden and became interested in La Ciudadela.
La Ciudadela was in his mind the perfect breeding ground for a communist revolution, exploited and underprivileged paisano laborers formed a proletariat while the luxurious and high living nobles living inside their citadel formed the classic condemnable bourgeoisie that his hero Marx had wrote of. Mendoza dreamed of conquering La Ciudadela and making it a shining communist star, he wanted to open the vault up to all paisanos and demolish the shanty town, using it for crop production closer to The Citadel to grow food to equally distribute among the people. Thus he persuaded his men to follow him to a glorious future of living under a benevolent government where all would be equal in the eyes of the law, have equal food and provisions, reiceve equal medical care, and live in equal and very suitable housing. On October 1st, 2270, Pancho Mendoza officially declared war on La Ciudadela and El Reino de Mexico, putting the young Rey Cristobol up to the ultimate test, a test that many in the military and the vault wished his father was able to face, La Guerra de la Ciudadela, or The War of The Citadel had begun.
Rey Cristobol immediatly sought the counsel of his father's most trusted military advice and the orchestrator of his rise to power, Duquel Montoya who became the top advisor of the young rey. Under Montoya's guidance, the outpost at Casa Roja became the frontlines of the war, and a heavily fortified stronghold. Security was ramped up in town and the serfs watched more closely, the full force of La Ciudadela's military was utilized as paisanos were conscripted due to the inability of volunteers to fill the demand for troops. All noblemen between seventeen and thirty not holding a vital office of state were also conscripted, in 2171 the army of La Ciudadela numbered 230 strong fighting a guerilla force of an uncertain size guessed to be between one hundred fifty and three hundred strong.
The conduct of the war quickly proved to be an on-and-off brush fire campaign, much to the lament of La Ciudadela's command staff. Casa Roja, the front line received close to seventy troops and patrols fanned the countryside for communist camps and escorted caravans financed by noblemen which became popular targets for the People's Legion. The war was very start and stop and continues to be, the winter and fall months when the temperature dropped became a rather peaceful time with the only war being fought over radio broadcasts by Rey Cristobol and by The Legion. The spring months became the hottest for communist activity, with the cold months over the legionnaires came out of their winter homes in the hills and began hit and run raids. La Ciudadela was never targeted, however caravans were ambushed as little as a mile away from the shanty town and guards shot down in the fields.
Cristobol sent special forces into the countryside scouring for Mendoza, who has yet to be found even with a large bounty on his head. Several times there were large scale raids on countryside camps and by 2279 close to one hundred people had been killed in camp raids, combined with another hundred and twenty killed in various caravan hold-ups, hit and run attacks, and ambushes. Cristobol held the line quite well at Casa Roja however he never got the straight up battle he was looking for until in the spring of 2281 when after eleven years of sabotaging the economic activities of the noblemen, Mendoza began a true offensive, gathering all his troops and attacking Casa Roja.
The ensuing battle killed seventy men and resulted in the outpost under communist control, when Cristobol sent a party of one hundred men to investigate, they found the outpost looted of supplies and no communists, who had circled around Casa Roja and right past Rey Cristobol's forces. On May 3rd, 2281, the People's Legion attacked the corn and wheat fields around La Ciudadela, razing them in the hope that food riots would drive the paisanos to storm The Citadel for food. After three days when this didn't happen, Mendoza retreated back to Casa Roja whose investigating unit had been called back. In a comical and humiliating blunder, Rey Cristobol had allowed Mendoza to slip past his forces twice in two weeks and now Mendoza had Casa Roja as a base, with many new supporters.
As stands, Rey Cristobol is still popular, yet in a standstill. He is relying on brahmin herds from Texas to feed his people who are trying to replant the crops that were destroyed just days before the harvest and trying to prepare for a final showdown with Mendoza. However he is no longer as prepared as he was, for eleven years of raided caravans have put an oozing wound in the revenues raised by his government and he cannot sustain an army of two hundred for much longer, however as winter comes Mendoza is likely unable to keep his entire force as well for every winter when the legion hides in the hills near the Rio Grande to scavenge for food, many legionnaires do not return.
When the final showdown between the Legion and the forces of the Citadel arrived, the People's Legion came out on top and the Monarchy in the Citadel collapsed. Rey Cristodol was hauled out of his quarters after fierce door to door fighting between members of La Guardia del Rey and the Legion, and was summarily executed for the various crimes he and his Nobles had perpetrated against the paisanos. What few members of La Ciudadela's Nobility managed to escape the wrath of the Legion have either fled to safer lands, joined up with men like Arturo Vincente Gonzalez and continued to fight or have gone into hiding. Either way the Citadel and all it once stood for has all but ceased to exist and what was once the seat of a tyrannical monarch is now the capital of Pancho Mendoza's new República Popular Mexicana, the Mexican People's Republic.
GovernmentBeing a monarchy and feudal society, the government of La Ciudadela is quite simple, the rey has all authority. It is up to Rey Cristobol who lives and who dies. Every paisano outside of the citadel has sworn allegiance to the rey and thus it is to him that they pay taxes. Merchants pay in pesos and farmers pay in food to the rey and his nobles in exchange for protection from raiders and comancheros, failure to pay taxes is punishable by expulsion from the dingy shanty town that surrounds the entrance. The shanty town has basic laws found in most towns with the addition that while paisanos may own firearms, they may not carry them in an open or concealed manner across town, this is to make the police safer after collecting taxes, making arrests, and evicting and expelling paisanos from the shanty town.
Since Rey Cristobol obviously cannot settle every dispute inside The Citadel, outside The Citadel and in his small kingdom, he has made a noble hierarchy to control his capital city and kingdom. In Cristobol's court, directly under him are his duquels of which there are two. One is charged with security of his realm and one with overseeing The Citadel. Under the duquels are condes, under the condes are baróns and under the baróns are the señors. The duties of these nobles simply breakdown into simpler tasks as they go down the hegemony's chain, for instance the Duquel de la Ciudadela has condes to manage things like law and order, tax collection, and agricultural production, those condes have baróns to manage their divisions and report to them and the baróns have señors to manage the subdivisions of their tasks. Ultimately subordinates report to their superior and so on until problems or reports reach the rey.
For criminal punishment, the señors act as judges, there are no prisons in La Ciudadela, although there is a jail for minor offenses in which paisano offenders may be held in for a maximum of three months. If the crime is worthy of more than three months then the only options are a major confiscation of property which most paisanos cannot afford, a set term of slavery, exile from the kingdom, or execution. It is worth noting that this only applies to the paisanos outside of The Citadel, nobles and those of noble families may only be executed for treason against the rey and his reino. For any crime other than treason, nobles are subject to house arrest in their luxurious family living quarters or a fine, if the noble is unable to pay the fine then they are subject to losing their noble title and may become a paisano or leave the reino forever.
The military of La Ciudadela is a strong and well organized force, numbering around two hundred and fifty strong made of paisanos and nobles. Under the command of Duquel Montoya, the army's officers are all nobles descended from the original security officers, only noblemen may serve as officers, although enlisted personnel consists of both nobles and paisanos. There are three divisions of the military: the army, the police, and the special forces. The army is the largest with one hundred and forty men, the police the second largest with sixty men, and the special forces the smallest with fifty men.
The army is obviously the main military force of La Ciudadela, comprised of volunteers and conscript nobles and paisanos, they are a trained military force that have been fighting the People's Legion for eleven years. Supplied with food from the fields around La Ciudadela and with weapons from The Citadel's armory and caravans, army soldiers' equipment and skill level varies however all of them possess at least one rifle, one handgun, and a jacket with rank insignia on it. The army officers are generally the lower nobles and in some cases former paisanos who have been made noble officers for valor, one of only ways a paisano may advance to nobility. In times of peace the army is stationed in the shanty town and at Casa Roja, however they are no longer there due to it being controlled by Pancho Mendoza's People's Legion. While most are weak individually, they have strength in numbers and are a force to be reckoned with which could expand Rey Cristobol's small kingdom if he didn't have to deal with the communist militias seeking to seize La Ciudadela.
PoliceThe police are a gendarmerie, meaning they are technically part of the military. Few nobles are in the police force and the police force is the only branch allowing paisanos to serve as officers. Those charged with policing the shanty town wear blue uniforms while those charged with policing The Citadel wear khaki colored uniforms. They are typically armed only with a high caliber handgun and some form of melee weapon, however they have access to rifles and shotguns in their armories both inside and outside of The Citadel. In case of an attack on La Ciudadela, they will assist the army and special forces as a military unit, however they do not serve the military in any other capacity and the vast majority of their duties are tending to civilian law enforcement as a good police force should.
Special ForcesLa Guardia del Rey, or The King's Guard, they are all clad in pre-War battle armor with gas masks which are used for intimidation effect. They are all armed with automatic rifles, fragmentation grenades, and heavy pistols. While they are few in number, they are a deadly force and have mainly been used to strike legion camps, destroy communist broadcast signals, and raid sites believed to contain Pancho Mendoza.
Being a self-sufficient capital of a small kingdom, La Ciudadela's economy is completely based on trade with passing caravans and other communities nearby. Being a safe and secure town with a relatively hands-off police force, many merchants travel to sell goods to the paisanos in the shanty town and the nobles in the citadel. Luxury goods can be sold for massive sums to the nobles in the ancient bunker and more common goods can be sold to the paisanos. While gunrunners can't make much money off of the paisanos who are a relatively unarmed group, they make fortunes selling chems and alcohol to the poor laborers who have little else in their lives to give them enjoyment or distraction and thus willingly become alcoholics and junkies.
All caravans must buy a merchant's license to sell goods in town and once purchased these licenses are valid for life once presented to the officials who guard the main entrances into the shanty town. Selling goods without a license is punishable by confiscation of all goods and currency followed by expulsion from La Ciudadela. The economy of La Ciudadela is not particularly thriving like towns to the north in Texas due to the war with the People's Legion which has caused many caravans to boycott the Reino de Mexico due to fear of being caught in the conflict and political sympathy with the communistic legion.
However while the conflict has stopped La Ciuadela from being a massive hub of trade, the economy in the city is strong and has brought wealth to the nobles inside the bunker who have invested heavily in caravan trade, the wealth the nobles possess from the taxes paid by the paisanos has often gone to caravaneers who have taken thousands from the nobility of La Ciudadela. Caravan trade returns sustain the nobility's wealth and caravans financed by this new breed of Mexican nobility have gone as far south as Belize and as far north as Missouri.
The culture of La Ciudadela is one based in stark contrast due to its feudal nature. There are two groups of people, the nobles and the paisanos. The nobles live some of the most luxurious lifestyles in Mexico, the paisanos live some of the poorest, there is no middle class in La Ciudadela. The nobles are those born inside The Citadel, descended from the bunker's original inhabitants, the paisanos are the poor laborers who swear fealty, loyalty, and their very lives to Rey Cristobol and his court in exchange for his protection and the right to use his land for agricultural use to grow food for their families.
NoblesThe nobles are the ruling class, they live inside The Citadel and with their deep coffers they make money by investing in trading ventures to far away lands. Each noble family has a title such as duquel or conde and each has a luxurious living space inside the bunker. They are entitled to special privileges and are mostly above the law. Unless they have committed treason against the king they cannot be executed. In addition, other privileges they have over the paisanos are that a noble cannot be indebted to a paisano, can legally beat a paisano as long as said paisano is not rendered unable to work, and any noble reserves the right to take from any paisano whatever they want be it food, drink, a bed to sleep, money, or a family heirloom. The only real restrictions placed on nobility when it comes to paisanos are that paisanos may not be killed by nobles without due cause. Other than that, paisanos are little more than slaves to the nobles who since Rey Mateo Segundo have had the right of primae nocti over all virgin women of sixteen should they choose to claim it.
The lifestyles of nobles are grand and they are generally very arrogant due to their power. They are all educated from an early age and are required to be literate and fluent in Spanish and English and many are even fluent in French. They eat indulgently and enjoy well prepared food by chefs carrying on traditions from before the war. Nobles are also rather well-rounded as they can enjoy a swimming pool, a soccer field, a pistol and rifle range, a theatre with thousands of the finest pre-war movies, a massive library of fine pre-war novels and philosophical books, and even a skeet shooting range on the former polo field which hasn't been used for polo since the last horse died in Rey Mateo Segundo's rein. There is a Roman Catholic chapel in the bunker which is attended regularly by most nobles and Rey Cristobol, the chapel's father has been declared Pope Santiago by Rey Cristobol who has decreed that La Ciudadela is the head of a "Mexican Papacy".
PaisanosAbove the warm and safe paradise that is The Citadel, there lives the other side, the paisanos. Whereas nobles can count themselves rich as kings, paisanos can count themselves poor as dirt. Of the approximately 900 paisanos living in the cramped shanty town around The Citadel's entrance, only about one out of ten can read and few have ever strayed more than ten miles from where they were born. It is a very poor and hard existence, to become a paisano all one must do is swear an oath of fealty to the current rey and then make good on that oath. The paisano oath swears complete and undying loyalty to the rey and all his nobles and bounds one's life to servitude in exchange for the protection of the rey. The servitude a paisano offers is a monthly tax payed to the rey, picked up by police or military officials. These taxes are one of two things: money or food. If a paisano is crafty enough to open up a shop such as a cantina then their tax is three quarters of what they make, if a paisano is a farm laborer then his tax is three quarters of the food he has produced be it eggs, milk, meat, fish, or crops. These currency taxes go to the coffers of the rey to fund his army and the food taxes to La Ciudadela to feed him, his army, and his nobles. Paisanos make very little as their employer, Rey Cristobol pays them with the right to flee inside The Citadel if the city is attacked and maintains a police force, that being said the only way they can really make money is by selling some of their food to caravans or doing odd jobs for travelers and caravaneers. While paisanos may own property, any noble has the right to confiscate as much as they wish as long as they do not prevent the paisano from surviving, an example being that a noble could take a bottle of tequila, a pocket watch, or even a chicken, but not all the food a paisano has as this would lead him to starve and be unable to produce taxes for the rey.
Those who willingly choose to become paisanos know what they dedicating their life to and realize that they are surrendering practically all freedom they have for safety from outside threats for themselves and their families who are also bound by the oath, although once a child reaches the age of sixteen they have the choice to leave or become a paisano like their parent. However, while many lovers of freedom find the basic idea just appalling, most paisanos are quite content with their lives, they are a hard-working religious type who enjoy their sabbath day off with singing and laughter and dancing after church. The paisanos of La Ciudadela are a docile type, the type who just want to be safe from danger and have their families protected and were attracted to La Ciudadela and Rey Cristobol's feudal enterprise for such a reason. Those discontent with the feudalism normally leave at age sixteen and while they may return and become a serf, paisano's may never leave after swearing an oath of fealty and if they are caught trying to leave the penalty is death. Many look at the lives of the paisanos as depressing and like slave labor and consider themselves lucky to not be a serf however most paisano's consider themselves lucky to be serfs and have their protection assured, showing to the wasteland just how far people will go to ensure the safety of themselves and those they care about.
- Hidalgo - While Hidalgo may be the birthplace of the legion, Rey Cristobol has not declared Hidalgo to be an enemy town due to not wanting conflict with the town, its sheriff, or the people in it who could join The People's Legion. Caravans from La Ciudadela generally avoid Hidalgo as to get to it requires going through land where Pancho Mendoza's communist militia is present and regularly attacks caravans he knows or suspects have ties to La Ciudadela.
- La Legión de la Gente - The People's Legion and their leader, Pancho Mendoza have been at war with Rey Cristobol and La Ciudadela for the past eleven years. They are extremely hostile to all merchants trading with Cristobol's Reino, soldiers in its employ, and nobles of it, however since they view the paisanos as an oppressed working class and have never exhibited hostility toward a paisano.
- Texican Caravan Company - While the Texican Caravan Company has taken huge sums of money from the nobles in The Citadel in the past, they have officially boycotted La Ciudadela and refuse to take money from the nobles there due to fear that by doing so their caravans which regularly trade on both sides of the border may become targets by Pancho Mendoza.
The layout of La Ciudadela is quite simple, from above it looks like a massive circle of poverty with a concrete fortification in the middle. In the center of La Ciudadela is the actual entrance to The Citadel, a small concrete bunker door leading to a palace of luxury which is a massive sprawling complex with grand rooms for recreational and sporting purposes and living quarters that resemble pre-War luxury hotel suites for the nobles to live in. This bunker entrance is surrounded by a circular fortification of barbed wire fences, sandbags, barricades, and guardtowers all guarded by elite soldiers. Outside the fortification is the last part of Rey Cristobol's feudal society, a sprawing circular shanty town where the paisanos live and die.
Police officers patrol the hot dusty streets of this crime infested slum where murders and rapings happen on a daily basis and are rarely punished due to inability to find the criminals. The shanty town has four entrances for each cardinal direction, these entrances are guarded by police and are the only points of entry large enough to fit pack animals or motor vehicles for caravans or large groups of travelers, though a small group could easily slip into the shanty town unnoticed.The shanties in the town are built as close to the bunker as possible so that in the event of an attack their residents can quickly get inside The Citadel. However, in recent years, even with the threat of the legion ripe, paisanos have become less fearful of attacks and have started to build outwards on the edge of the shanty town which makes it less crowded and puts them closer to the fields outside of town that they labor in on a daily basis under the watchful eye of Rey Cristobol's men.
La Ciudadela is located on the outskirts of the former Mexican city of Rio Bravo and is a border city. It is located about twenty miles southeast of Hidalgo, Texas and about six hundred and sixty miles north of Mexico City. It is also just under twenty miles south of the Rio Grande, about 700 miles south of New Orleans, and about 370 miles south of Houston.