- "In this, the year of our lord twenty-two hundred and eighty-three, I hereby bless you, the first settlers of the barony of the loom, and your efforts that will strengthen not only your duque, but the Papal States as a whole..."
- ―excerpt from Cardinal Martin Alleno's dedication speech.
|La Baronia de la Loom|
|Location(s):||The Papal States, Tamaulipas.|
Having far exceeded budget on his galleys, Duque Legon of Huervo Nache was in desperate need of Pesos. Owning (or at least claiming) large tracts of land as well as animals, his advisers began to think of an agricultural venture. After a week or so, however, they began to consider small-scale industry, as some of the Duque's land sat on a river.
Word of the new fashion trend down The Gulf Belt in the mansions of The Royaume would provide the inspiration for the town. They pitched the concept of a craft village to the Duque in July, with him approving and ordering them to start by September.The advisers dispatched surveyors across the duque's realm, with them identifying a spot along the path to Soto La Marina.
Laborers were dispatched and a small village was constructed, at the center a small mill and waterwheel on the banks of the river. The settlers were chosen from among the poor of the city, simultaneously cleaning up the streets and giving them homes. After they were marched out and claimed their dwellings, the Duque sent some sheep with shepherds, as well as a cardinal to give a speech. The paisanos would begin their work slowly, resentful of their forced settling and not knowing how to work a loom. The Duque would send an emissary every month and a half to check it's progress, who would usually yell at the overseer.
This frustration would run downhill, with the overseer yelling at and punishing the paisanos, Who would soon be forced to work almost half the day just for the Duque. The first shipment of blankets and clothes would prove popular, with the Duque receiving a good percentage of his money back. The workers would not prove so happy, however, having been worked and abused for the last several months and not seeing a single peso from their labor, they went on strike.
They would barricade the overseer and his guards in the mill, and mobs would keep out the Duque's representative when he came. Incensed at this disloyalty, the Duque sent his retinue guards to break the paisanos. Experienced mercenaries and fighters gathered from across the Gulf, the guards easily shattered the paisanos and freed the Duque's men there. The village overseer was recalled and replaced, but the guards would stay.
The new Overseer would be a little softer on the workers, but still demand they labor for the Duque before themselves. Broken and with more guards watching them, the Paisanos would comply, and the town would turn out pallets of blankets and shirts. The hours required of them would be reduced in 2285, after several suicides. This would improve worker satisfaction somewhat, and the two years since have proved very profitable for the Duque and his men, though very draining to the workers.
The village is within the realm of Duque Legon, though removed by several middlemen. The Overseer of production is the closest thing to authority in the town, along with his handful of guards. Disputes are settled by him, often by the end of his club. Any issue that could disrupt the production of the mill (such as a strike) will be carried personally to the Duque, who will dispatch whatever answer he deems appropriate. Despite the permanence of the settlement, no Cardinal has yet been dispatched, adding another layer of stress on the unabsolved paisanos.
The paisanos of the town are required to work at least 10 hours a week to stay there and don't start earning wages until after these ten hours are reached. They are paid in the script only exchanged at the village store, at poor rates compared to Pesos. The rare traveler finds their money is able to buy most items in the shop, though a place to stay has to be worked out with the residents.
The paisanos of de la Loom are the poster-children for the alienated workers that Marx spoke about centuries before. Their constant labor keeps them tired, and the store makes sure that they never save enough to rise above their station in life. The cafe is the only place in town with a hint of life, with music and talks emanating out of its doors most nights. Unlike other locations in The Papal States the cardinal here does not try to inspire the paisanos with hopes of improvements in this life, but talks of rewards in the next.