Curse of the Neverborn's Blood
- Capital – Smokestone City (pop 11,500).
- Population – mostly Humans, with large populations of Earth-Touched, Grass-Touched, and Tortles.
- Ruler – Sir John of the Wain, Duke of Cimmaron.
- Typical NPC – wheellock wielding duelist or gaucho.
Unusual in many ways and culturally dissimilar to the other Savage Baronies, Cimmaron does share a few characteristics with Guadalante. Cimmaron’s state language is Wood-Tongue, and while people in most other baronies speak Wood-Tongue and either Espa or Verdan, only about one-third of Cimmarons speak a language other than Wood-Tongue (usually Espa). All Cimmaron place names are now rendered in common.
Besides the language difference, Cimmarons have distinctive views and habits that set them apart from other Baronials. Their leader prefers the title Count over Baron (though his people have begun to refer to him as a duke), and the state is called a county. Cimmaron is where smokepowder and firearms were developed on the Savage Coast; the people of Cimmaron have a fondness for wheellock pistols and prefer them above all other weapons for dueling. The people of Cimmaron dress differently, preferring suedes and leathers and tending toward darker, rougher, heavier clothing than that found elsewhere in the baronies. Cimmarons are rarely seafarers, even though theirs is a coastal state. While most Baronials are tough, many are light-spirited as well; this is not true in Cimmaron, where the toughness of the people has a cold edge to it. Finally, Cimmaron feels like an uncivilized frontier, a place where people are trying to tame an unruly wilderness and the hostile natives who live there.
Most other Guardianos avoid Cimmaron as too uncivilized a place. This suits Cimmarons just fine because they tend to view the other Baronials (except for Guadalantans, whom they respect) as pampered dandies.
//N.B. Dates inaccurate, and will be harmonised with Exalted Calendar in time.//
Cimmaron is blessed with a good mix of terrain types, from grasslands and farmlands to forests and hills. The soil here is not as fertile as in the other baronies, and Cimmaron tends to appear dry and inhospitable. Those plants that do grow in Cimmaron seem stunted to the eastern eye, and the animals of Cimmaron are skinny compared to specimens found in the other Savage Baronies.
The first modern colonists to come to the Claw Peninsula actually arrived a couple of years before the Ispan wave. These colonists were members of the Brotherhood of Order (also known as the Lawful Brotherhood), the philosophical “ancestors” of the Inheritors of the Order of the Ruby. The Brotherhood originated in the City-States on the other side of the Gulf of Hule. Its colonists located the first Brotherhood outpost at the present site of Old Fort, at the tip of the peninsula.
These colonists were soon followed by shiploads of adventurers from many different parts of the world, particularly Ispans. The first Ispan settlement, then in the lands claimed by Narvaez, was Nueva Esperanza (New Hope), which eventually became known as Smokestone City. Nueva Esperanza declared independence three years after the founding of Narvaez and was allowed to secede without a fight. The people Atlas of the Savage Coast 59 of Nueva Esperanza got to know those of the Brotherhood, and they began a peaceful trading relationship. They also signed a mutual defence pact, and soon Lawful Brotherhood trading posts, defended by Nueva Esperanzan warriors, appeared along the coast. Occasional influxes of colonists from the City- States, and of disaffected Baronials from the north, caused rapid growth along the Savage Coast. Native Tortles and Earth-Touched, and a few Grass-Touched settlers from far to the east, also joined this odd alliance.
The State of Almarrón was founded in 936; it grew out of the southern remnants of the Barony of Sotto, which was conquered by Gargoña that year. Almarrón needed something to unite its people, so it decided to give them a common enemy in the people of Nueva Esperanza and the surrounding territory. Almarrón’s leaders rallied their people by characterizing the colonists from the City-States as undesirable gringos. To “claim the land for the Espan people,” Almarrón attacked Nueva Esperanza in 939 and quickly took over the entire Claw Peninsula. Some of the Brotherhood of Order went into hiding, while a small sect became the LB Trading Company and maintained many of the group’s trading posts.
A cinnabryl mine had been discovered near Nueva Esperanza a few years before Almarrón’s conquest; the inhabitants told the Almarróñans that the unusual metal was worthless and poisonous. Thus, the mine was mostly ignored by the conquerors. In 948, a group of Earth-Touched working in the mine began experimenting with steel seed and developed smokepowder; again, the secret was kept from the Almarróñans and remained with a single Earth-Touched family, the Smithy clan.
These dwarven smiths, in their quest for a good use for smokepowder, invented the arquebus in 957. This time, the secret got out to the Almarróñans, but they ignored the “toy” because of its dangers and inaccuracy, preferring to stay with swords. Smokepowder weapons were mostly forgotten, but a young Smithy became enthused about the project almost 15 years later, and with the help of a Grass-Touched jeweler named Westron, developed a wheellock pistol in 975. They demonstrated their weapon to a man named Cimmaron, one of the leaders of a growing movement to throw the Almarróñans out of Nueva Esperanza, who encouraged its secret production. Many of these weapons were produced over the next couple of years, and smokepowder was stockpiled as well.
In 977, Almarrón conquered the tiny state of Escudor and then initiated hostilities with Gargoña and Rivera to the north. This was the opportunity Cimmaron and other leaders had been waiting for, and they began a rebellion against Almarrón in 978. Cimmaron’s unit, most armed with wheellock pistols, made quite an impression on the Almarróñan soldiers, routing many of them. In 979, Almarrón ceased its war with Gargoña and turned its full attention to the rebels. Many insurgents lost their lives during a disastrous battle at Old Fort, the site of the original Lawful Brotherhood trading post, after refusing to yield to vastly superior Almarróñan forces.
However, in 980, the self-appointed General Cimmaron led his soldiers to many small victories. His major victory came at the Battle of Hondo, when Cimmaron led his last soldiers in a desperate charge to break the Almarróñan ranks, carrying a wheellock pistol and a red steel sword and rallying his troops with the cry “Remember the Old Fort!” The defeated Almarróñans left the area, and Cimmaron’s followers promptly declared him Earl and named the newly freed region Cimmaron. Nueva Esperanza was renamed Smokestone City to further break from old Ispan ways and became the capital of independent Cimmaron County.
Old General Cimmaron died in 1008 fighting Yazi Beastmen from the Badlands at the battle known as Longhorn’s Last Stand. He was succeeded by his son, John, who is the small nation’s current ruler. Except for a minor Tortle Revolt just after he took office and a few problems with Yazi Beastmen, Sir John has had a peaceful two years in charge of Cimmaron.
Cimmaron’s population is mostly human, though Earth-Touched are common, and Grass-Touched are more frequently seen here than elsewhere on the Savage Coast. Like other Baronials, Cimmarons are independent, self-sufficient, and proud; like Guadalantans, they are rough, fond of firearms, and comfortable on horseback. However, the similarities end there. The people of Cimmaron tend to be tougher and cruder than those in the other Savage Baronies.
Adventurers are more common here than in any other barony. Warriors are likely to be encountered in Cimmaron more so than in any other barony. The most common warrior kits found here are Gauchos, Honorbound (duelists), and Local Heroes — though Defenders, Nobles, and Myrmidons are sometimes seen. The Swashbuckler mentality is not present in Cimmaron, and native Swashbucklers are rare indeed, found mostly among those Cimmarons who choose a life at sea.
Rogues are also found in Cimmaron, most with the Scout or Bandit kit, though a few Local Heroes and Nobles also live here. Bards with the Local Hero kit travel the countryside, stopping in small hamlets to entertain with their guitars in return for a meal and a place to sleep.
Some thaumaturgists and priests live in Cimmaron, the vast majority with the Local Hero kit. A few are War Priests and Militant Thurges.
Many citizens in Cimmaron, not just warriors, carry firearms. Most are wheellocks, some new, some handed down from a parent or other relative who fought in the war for independence. Occasionally an old arquebus is handed down from long ago.
Because of the proliferation of smokepowder weapons in Cimmaron, Inheritors of any type are rare in the barony. Inheritors occasionally visit to engage in trade for Cinnabryl, red steel, or even smokepowder. A few especially brave Inheritors live in Cimmaron, but they avoid the public. An Inheritor would be foolish to take part in a firearm duel, but still risks being branded a coward for rejecting such a challenge.
The Red Curse
The Red Curse has long been known in Cimmaron, and is an accepted part of life. Cinnabryl, steel seed, and smokepowder were all discovered or developed here and are readily embraced. Cimmarons understand the Red Curse as well as anybody and recognize its progress.
Since Cinnabryl was once discarded after depletion, small stocks of red steel lie around in unexpected places. Also, while Cinnabryl is common in Cimmaron, the metal does not always make it into the hands of peasants. Though local clerics use rites of maintenance to protect their flocks, Afflicted still exist in Cimmaron. Most are peasants, so they are routinely ignored anyway by members of the upper classes.
Afflicted here, as in some of the other baronies, remove themselves to small enclaves to spare their friends and families the burden of taking care of them.