The third year following the fall of the Ironworks found Steel Horse Crossing settling into its population growth. Secure systems were regularly built and put into place to produce enough food, brews, equipment, and medical treatment for its populous. Much like most cities, Steel Horse had found itself large enough to have different neighborhoods, districts, and communities within its confines, and settlers would choose where they were most comfortable to make their homes. There were communes, compounds, plantations, and encampments with different families, clans, and gangs in each. Crime had become relatively manageable and mostly went back to dark alleys and the Wastelands where it belonged. Some people even started to make enough money that they began investing in local businesses to further grow the economy and the town’s capabilities.
The most sizeable district in town was protected by the Steel Bloods, and their numbers grew steadily every day. They had a penchant for absorbing smaller groups and gangs into their district and larger organization, adding to their numbers, abilities, and power. The increasing size of this district and group only elevated their ability to govern the area, and their insistence that all their members vote as soon as they became a citizen allowed them to hold the majority of the seats and positions in Steel Horse Crossing’s elected government by the second election that year. It was easy enough to accomplish because each candidate on the ticket identified themselves as their original, smaller gang, group, or clan so that they would not go against the letters of the law. The town was large enough that not everyone knew where each candidate lived, and many non-Steel Bloods lived within their district for it to be not too questionable by the populous. By the end of the year, it had become abundantly clear to some that the Steel Bloods had played an exceptional long game and now the town was begrudgingly beholden to the laws it had created just a few years prior.
Trade had increased in the area with the GLTC’s introduction of the Quarterly Marketplace events held in March, June, August, and November. The town of Steel Horse Crossing hosted the event and the SHC Navy and local law enforcement provided the event’s security necessary for such a gathering. Restaurants, sales of wares & equipment, entertainment, and parties became the hub of the local economy during these events and people came from all over to see what the settlement had to offer. Makeshift booths, bars, and stages decorated the city center and each Quarterly Marketplace grew larger and more diverse with its offerings. The local ports and ships stayed busy with the escort, transport, and protection of merchants and patrons of the market.
The Lascarian population continued to grow and had become a notable part of the community. They were working with the Helldiver Society, and subsequently the Helldiver’s Association, to find and dig more functional, safe tunnels beneath Steel Horse Crossing for their homes. They also started working with the townspeople in safer mine placement and facilitating underground salvage operations. Soon the rumors that had been spread about the Lascarians many years prior were barely whispered by only the most curmudgeonly of codgers in the back corners of taverns.
There have always been contradictory folks in every town throughout all of time, but it was hard to shut the discordant dipsomaniacs up when the raiders started getting through the layers of defenses into the city proper. “Told ya they’d be back soon enough! I TOLD YA!” could be heard from the doors & windows of taverns every time a few raiders ran through town to break into a building and take their goods. One or two times was completely probable and understandable, but the regularity of it had become worrisome and the dissonant drunks, annoying.
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