Provincia do Brasil
By Ben Levy
West of Oxala, south of Acre, and east of Nova Ostia the land is dominated by an broad and irregular plateau, mostly arid to semi-arid, with the driest region being in the east, facing Oxala, and along the northern border with Acre. To the west, the average moisture increases steadily (although, as in many areas of Tirane, rainfall is highly irregular.) and the land gradually changes from desert and steppe to prairie. The with southern coast is fringed with extensive salt marshes to the east of the Rio Lusitano, with barrier beaches lining the coast to the west of the river, protecting a series of salt lagoons inland from the beach. This barrier beach chain continues westward through Nova Ostia to Alegre. The Estado is split down the middle by its most obvious terrain feature: the Lusitano rift valley, the center of which is occupied by the broad and unpredictable floodplain of the quirky Rio Lusitano. This valley, averaging 200 kilometers in width, is the northern terminus of the rift that stretches down towards the south pole. The tectonic activity formed by the spreading of two plates, in addition to gradually widening the Estado of Campobelo (western Campobelo, Nova Ostia, and Alegre are slowly headed for New Canberra, but the Australians have millions of years left in which to prepare for the invasion.) gave rise to the peninsula on which sits Campinasur, as well as the Brazilian islands. The eastern side of the valley is marked by a series of great escarpments, the western approaches are much gentler. Geologists are working to explain why this is so. Also, geologic activity is much more prevalent on the eastern side of the rift than on the west. One theory is that the rift itself does not penetrate Tiranes crust vertically; as it goes deeper, it slants towards the east.
Campobelo was established as the southern portion of the Unidade of Campo-Oeste in 2215. This Unidade was subdivided in 2245 into the Unidades of Dominicada and Campobelo. Dominicada eventually became the Estado of Acre, and Campobelo was granted Estado status on May 25th, 2249, shortly after the region passed the pre-requisite million citizen mark. The earliest settlers were ranchers, bringing their herds of beef cattle imported from earth on the Vaca ships, some even arriving on the first Vaca voyages, settling along the floodplain of the Lusitano. The area proved itself as a cattle raising region, and further herd animals arrived, on later Vaca missions, and also on the Boi ships that followed the Vacas. The region was to remain a ranching territory until the discovery of the Matarna bush (named for its discoverer), shortly after Campobelo achieved Estado status. Campobelo had to compete for settlers with too many other areas of the colony simply offered a better environment for agriculture, and settlement in the area was sluggish. The spice derived from the Matarna became an instant hit nationwide and beyond, and Matarna proved a powerful economic draw. Settlers soon boosted the economy and population of the then-Unidade past the critical mass points where businesses are attracted not to some native resource, but the growing economy itself and the market it offers.
Campobelos largely rural population has grown to 7,800,000 as of 2300. Although the Estado has some 866,250 square kilometers-about twice the size of pre-twilight Iraq- and a resulting population density of about 9 per square kilometer, the bulk of the population is concentrated along the rift valley floor, including about 2 million in the metropolitan Lusitanium area. The temperature here is warm and not humid, and generally quite pleasant, ranging from temperate to subtropical, but subject to substantial variation
Campobelo is well known for its very favorable policies toward small farmers. Tax laws offer great advantage to farms, and classification of a piece of property as a farm is a very simple matter. One need merely have a few domestic animals, or a small planted field, and nothing else, so long as one has no other predominant means of support. A result of this has been the development of many "retirement farms" in the Estado, where retired citizens can buy an estate, declare it a farm, and spend their retirement years paying almost no land taxes. This has become very popular in the Estado, and it has gained a reputation as a retreat for Provincia do Brasils elderly. The population of Campobelo, on the average, is older than the rest of the colony, and many social and medical services have migrated into the Estado to serve this market. The skew in the demographics has other results as well. Campobelo is considered very conservative, politically, economically, and socially. This is not the place to try new ideas, or test the Churchs "suggested limits on art.
The city on the Rio Lusitano occupies the site of the Estados first permanent settlement. The river itself is unstable, with a very variable flow, and a wide floodplain, across which the river meanders erratically, frequently finding a new channel after an exceptional rain. The rift valley through which the river moves experiences frequent flash floods in the area of the Rio Lusitano headwaters as the ground is ill suited for rapid absorption of water and much of the rainfall moves into the river as surface runoff. The river is often turbid and generally not potable. This was all clear to the first settlers, who were kept clear of the floodplain by astute geologists. Later settlers challenged the river, and usually lost. The floodplain is a vast park and farming area running alongside the city today. The city planners made no attempt to straddle the river. The causeways necessary to connect urban areas on opposite sides of the river would have cost too much. Lusitanium is therefore entirely on the west bank, although a few east bank suburbs have grown up anyway, incorporating themselves into the citys metropolitan area, and require some additions to the transportation arteries crossing the Lusitano. Currently, the river and floodplain are crossed by the Superestrada Sur, and the Governor Rita Silva Causeway and Bridge. Taking full advantage of the vast and empty land available in Campobelo, Lusitanium is extravagant with space. Of the major cities of Provincia do Brasil, only Consequencias has a smaller population per square kilometer, and only because of that citys unconventional layout and origin. Key areas of Lusitanium are discussed below
Downtown Lusitanium was not built until some years after the founding of the city, as decades passed before it was clear that Lusitanium was evolving into a significant metropolis. Although it lacks the sleek unified design of Miranda in Cabo Vitorio, Distrito Centro certainly bears the features of a city built at a more deliberate pace, with considerable and professional urban planning. Most of the Estado and municipal offices are in this district, as is the Cathedral of Saint Colombo, spiritual focus of what is a very conservative segment of Provincia do Brasil. The streets are wide and straight, and the municipal transit system is fully incorporated into the design. A public park surrounds the district, and care of this park is given over to a number of farming cooperatives of the Estado. The farming cooperatives have come to view care of the park as a sort of competition, and they have developed extensive and amazing gardens and beautiful landscaping. This contributes to the luxurious feel of the district. Despite the beautiful appearance of Centro and its surrounding park, the city is not popular with tourists. This is an unknown jewel, and people who take the time and effort to visit usually consider it worthwhile.
The original airfield, now used for private aviation, is surrounded by warehousing, food processing, light industrial, and utility structures. The major roads connecting Aeropista with other districts are long, somewhat quirky commercial strips that show almost no sense of order. Commercial establishments of very different types and clientele are intermixed along these strips almost at random. It all seems to make sense to the locals, who dont see anything wrong in Lusitaniums finest banquet and catering hall being placed next to a dealer in industrial vehicles. The surrounding residential neighborhoods are mostly blue collar. Traditional values, the church, and labor unions are particularly strong here.
This is the current fastest growing district within Lusitanium, hugging the west side of the Rio Lusitano flood plain for about seven kilometers to the north of Centro. The new Campobelo Main Medical Center is being built here. Half of it opened in 2300, the rest is being added in bits and pieces. When complete, it will be the most advanced medical west of Oxala. Its rooftop includes not just landing spaces, but facilities to service a squadron of aero-ambulances, some of which are already operational. Like all medical centers in Campobelo, it is publicly owned, although private doctors, specialists and laboratories can operate out of the public facilities as contracted concessionaires. (This is what the people of Campobelo spend the money they save by not buying ornate public buildings on: first class hospitals.) Elsewhere, the district has large-lot residential neighborhoods, with many homes, including many new ones, being set on properties large enough to be small farms. Some are. The residents tend to be middle class to upper class. The city lacks a well defined "elite" neighborhood. The upper class young tend to prefer luxury apartments in Centro, but the large houses they tend to buy when they settle down are not in exclusive neighborhoods. They are dispersed through the middle class neighborhoods, and no one seems to mind the arrangement.
This large district of flat land sprinkled with middle class homes lies to the southwest of Prefabos. The district is divided up, quite deliberately, into a series of discrete "villages" as the urban planners who developed the area were testing ideas that social structures become easier to establish with well defines psychological borders. Pradaria is a quiet, conservative district, with much of the citys offices, and some heavy industry on the southern flank. Contrary to the planners ideas, the citizens of the district do not confine themselves to the small villages as much as they were expected to, and neither the road net nor the public transportation routes within Pradaria appear sufficient. Traffic during certain times of day is very heavy in the district.
The oldest region of the city, this district is named for the hundreds and hundreds of prefabricated dwellings which were transported out here by truck and installed in neat lines to create instant housing for the fast growing town. A great many still exist. Few are in their original form. Most have been added to and extensively reconfigured over the years. The Prefabs, even the heavily modified ones, are considered substandard dwellings, and are used mostly by the laboring class. Newer apartment buildings, rising over commercial and public spaces, are spreading over the district, as rising land values make the maintenance of small obsolete structures economically unsound. The eastern side of Prefabos extends to the Lusitano floodplain. Two marinas were built along the river. Both were excavated and flooded to create a large section of river that stays deep enough for small craft regardless of the current flow in the river. They are used primarily for recreational craft, with one passenger hovercaft service based here making runs to Ilhadoce.
This is a suburb of Lusitanium, considered a part of the metropolitan area, on the east side of the Rio Lusitano floodplain. Bossas is old for a suburb. It s the eastern terminus of the Superestrada Surs bridge across the Rio Lusitano. When this bridge was completed in 2230, it was the final element in the east-west link across the island continent of Cabralia. Until then, a temporary bridge stood in the same location. Bossas had already become a rougher, less gentile community, home to people who chose a slightly less conservative lifestyle than was the cultural norm in Lusitanium, but were employed locally, and chose not to relocate to other, less conservative cities. Bossas was not a planned development. With no official guidance, it sprung into being from economic fortune, being the eastern gateway to the city. Hotels and restaurants, and modern shopping facilities still dominate the approaches to the bridges. Bossas has most of the citys night life, today, and is connected by public transportation to the rest of the city. It is still considered the home for Lusitaniums misfits. Not surprisingly, the Campobelo Institute for Mental Health (Institudo do Saude Mental do Campobelo) is located here.
One of the quirks of the Estado and municipal agencies is their dispersal within the city of Lusitanium. Local residents never went along with the idea that their limited tax money should pay for the grand structures most government agencies believe they should be housed again. Government agencies in Campobelo are forced to rely on the same office structures that private firms own, lease, or rent. As a result, they tend to be dispersed, having attained their office space in a catch as catch can mode. Most offices are located in the Distrito Centro, as most of the Estados office space is there, but some can be found elsewhere. The Governors residence is still in Prefabos, occupying ground close to the site of the first prefab office modules (long since moved away and put to other uses, even though many of the other prefabricated structures remain.
The Estado has been since its inception a conservative stronghold, dominated by the Partido Republicana. However, the Estado branch of the party is always much more committed to fiscal austerity than the rest of the party. They are typically regarded as a bunch of loud obnoxious penny pinching geezers by the national party establishment, and their success in popularizing their values has been limited. Their work in the Estado, on the other hand, has been lauded even by their political opponents. Campobelo is considered the easiest place to live in Provincia do Brasil for a retired person of limited means. Schools, although limited in their ancillary activities by budget limits, hold to high standards in the teaching of the basics. The crime rate is low for the colony, with a relatively small force of 2,000 Estado policemen, a like force of metropolitan and local policemen, and a 500 man federal force keeping order. Public health is considered a higher priority here than in other areas of the colony. The Estado has a sizable and powerful department of Health and Safety. In addition to examining eating and drinking establishments of all kinds, they keep a watch on most significant places of employment, and are considered one of the more competent and least corrupt agencies of this kind. As a result, workplace safety in Campobelo is the highest in Brazil.
In the northern area of the Estado, near the rough waters of one of the tributaries of Rio Lusitano, the Abbey of Saint Patrick is the center of a small and very insular town of Irish immigrants and their descendants. This is one of the smallest identifiable ethnic minorities in Provincia do Brasil. There are perhaps only 40,000 citizens of post-Twilight Irish descent in all of Provincia do Brasil, and about half of them are settled in the are around the abbey. The land, including the farmland and the town itself, is all Church property, and the Abbot is the highest civil authority as well as the spiritual leader. This is by choice of the citizens. They relocated here in 2232, in true pilgrim fashion, having decided that the government of Ireland wasnt puritanical enough for their tastes. They understood that a large area of land in the region was to be turned over to the Roman Catholic church to form their Tirane base of operations, and decided they wanted to be close to it. Unfortunately, the deal eventually established Acre and the city of Basilicade well to the north, after the settlers had already built their abbey and their town. Being of very stubborn disposition, they chose not to relocate. Even so, its not to far from here to Basilicade, but only by very difficult road- there is no connection by highway or airfilm. There is little distinction between Abbey and town, in fact, the town is entirely enclosed within the Abbey proper. Saint Patrick draws visitors despite its location, some to see the abbey, some to see the natural hot springs and geysers found in the vicinity. The folk of Saint Patrick are religiously active to a degree that seems excessive even to the most conservative of Brazilians. Naturally, the town has produced far more than its share of senior clergy on Tirane, and they tend to be of the activist sort. Many Tiranean Irish priests and nuns, in fact, grew up in Saint Patrick. (The town has adopted the name of the Abbey). Despite its small size, the town has a strong growth rate. The birth rate is quite high, and large families are promoted by local clergy, and have become the standard in the town. No city or town in Provincia do Brasil has a higher percentage of children.
North meets south in Campobelo in a literal sort of way. The two great combination highway/airfilm routes than span Cabralia (The island-continent that forms the bulk of Provincia do Brasil) meet at Lusitanium. These are the Superestrada Norte, which hugs the northern coast as far as eastern Chaparaca, and the Superestrada Sur, which continues westward to Alegre, and eastward to Vitoria de Conquista from the junction area in Lusitanium. The Sur route is by far the more heavily travelled, and is quicker and better managed. The Superestrada Norte traverses much more dramatic and scenic terrain. Most of the route north from Lusitanium towards Acre, for example, is within sight of the striated rock walls of great rift valley escarpment. The population along the whole stretch of the Superestrada Norte, however, is much thinner, and the route sees much lighter use.
Aside from the Superestradas, the Estado has a good road net, even if large areas of the Estado are still undeveloped wilderness. The rift valley running north-south through the Estado' center, and the southern coast area, are the best connected areas. With agricultural enterprises pretty well distributed through these areas, finding fuel and service is easy. A not of caution regarding seismic activity: tremors and quakes are not unknown here. They can disrupt ground travel routes. The automation of the Superestrada allows instant knowledge of a damaged section of roadway. The standard roads are not so well equipped. Roads in affected areas should not be travelled until the Campobelo department of transportation clears them.
Airfilm travel is not as common a means for people to get around in Campobelo as it is in other areas of Provincia do Brasil. Between Kantzauropolis and Nova Ostia the population is sparse and the distances great, the metropolis of Lusitanium notwithstanding. Most passengers prefer to travel by private vehicle or air. Since he airfilm track has less train traffic, it is easier for properly equipped hover vehicles to interface with it, and enjoy a computer controlled cruise to the destination. Privately owned bus lines in Campobelo make frequent use of this system. Despite the low demand, the nationally owned airfilm serves Lusitanium, as it is the terminus of one Superestrada and an important way station on another. The one Estado owned public airfilm line runs a small number of trains along the Rio Lusitano route. This is certainly sufficient, as most of the population lives near the river.
The very uncompact nature of Lusitanium made urban transportation there problematic. On the one hand, residents need a mass transit system, or, with the distances they have to cover, private vehicle traffic will choke Lusitaniums streets. On the other hand, they are so thinly dispersed that any given transit station will serve very few residents. The city was forced to forgo the more common train solutions and rely totally on busses. These busses are automated. They have human drivers for safety and securty, but a central computer system continuously upadates their routes and schedules to accommodate calls from the many thousands of bus kisosks scatytered thrtough the urban area. The system is more expensive than other urban transit systems elsewhere in Provincia do Brasil, especially for visitors, who must shell out 33 Cruzeiros for a day pass and 155 for a week pass, but residents are happy with it, and point to the responsiveness of their solution: rail based systems cannot create new routes for themselves instantly based on demand.
Aeroporto Senador Espinosa is the largest airport in Provincia do Brasil without international passenger status, and the most recently built. Lusitaniums original airport began as a rural, temporary airstrip. Long since rendered obsolete by the citys growth, the original "Aeropista Lusitania" is now the headquarters of the Provincia do Brasil branch of Brazils private aviation league. Conventions are held here annually attracting thousands of private civilian fliers. The major civil aviation manufacturers all have offices and showrooms here full time, but participate in the annual event with a full blown trade show. Next years models are generally seen here first. The new airport is about 20 kilometers from the city center, and was completed in 2290. Although not yet paid off, the facility is the most modern in Provincia do Brasil and receives high marks from passengers and the companies that fly here. Of particular interest is the highly automated air cargo terminals. No international passenger service is available here (although there is efficient connecting service to Sao Celestine and other international airports) but Aeroporto Senador Espinosa is a major hub for international air cargo.
Despite having a coast, and what would appear to be a short trip to Ilhadoce, Campobelo does not have much in the way of maritime transportation. The seacoast here is deceptive and treacherous. The subsurface topography is chaotic and often unstable, and the currents are unpredictable. The flow of the Rio Lusitano is too unpredictable, and it is usually too shallow for use by hulled vessels, although hovercraft traffic moves unimpeded over the broad flood plain. One hover ferry service connects Lusitanium with Ilhadoce. It moves people, their vehicles, and cargo. Flying is quicker, but many people prefer moving their vehicles with them. East-West sea traffic tends not to follow the coast of Campobelo, and instead threads through Brazilian Islands south of Ilhadoce, avoiding the channel between Ilhadoce and the mainland. Once, the dangers of these waters were less known, and about a dozen ships now rest on the ocean bottom here. A few are unlocated, or were located once and have since been lost again, thanks to the turbulent conditions here.
The ground forces in Campobelo are in a way, "sisters" of those in Oxala. Organization is very similar, and the main Army post here, the Reservacao do Canhao Cinza, is very similar to Oxalas post, the Reservacao do Deserto Aspero. Canhao Cinza is actually somewhat larger, and at 12,500 square kilometers it is the largest military facility in the colony. The area includes maneuver training areas, gunnery ranges, ordnance depots, etc. Stationed here are Brazils 2rd Tank Brigade, the 31st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, the General Petremuzzi "Corcovados" (Hunchbacks) Artillery Brigade, the 38th Area Support Brigade, the Campobelo Garrison Brigade, and the 72st Training Brigade. The 2rd is a heavy armored unit, equipped with 2 battalions of recently purchased Crocodile armored fighting vehicles of Australian manufacture, an infantry battalion with indigenous Lobo infantry fighting vehicles, an aviation battalion, an artillery battalion, an engineer company, a cavalry company (hover) and an electronic warfare company. The 31st Mechanized Infantry has a similar arrangement, but has two infantry battalions, and only a company of tanks. The hunchbacks earned their nickname during the second Rio Plata war, hauling their cannons and ammunition by hand through impassable terrain for weeks, to arrive at firing positions considered impossible to obtain. They provide high level fire support to the Brazilian army units on Tirane. The 38th Area Support Brigade includes the logistics units needed to keep the combat units moving on extended operations, and includes signal and medical units, as well as an independent infantry and anti-armor battalion. The Campobelo garrison brigade includes those units assigned to the operational support of facilities in Oxala, a military police battalion, an engineer battalion, a signals company, and an air defence company. The training Brigade is the primary training facility for new recruits from the western Cabralia Estados, Campinasur, and the Brazilian islands. The Brazilians have considered creating a mobile force for deploying off Tirane, possibly in support of the Kafer war. The units in Campobelo have been considered, but there is currently a lack of transportation.
Aerodromo Joronayo towards the center of the Estado is a major support and logistics center supporting the nearby army reservation. Air force units from elsewhere in Provincia do Brasil often rotate through here to join in exercises held in the desert to the east. Based here are the Cabralia Aviation Training Regiment, the main school unit on Tirane for the Brazilian Air Force, not only for pilots, but for a number of support specialties. The Regiment includes the Conversion Squadron. This unit is outfitted with whatever types of aircraft the Brazilian Air Force is currently purchasing. Pilots from other units scheduled to receive the new aircraft will be rotated through the squadron on temporary duty assignments, so they will be familiar with the new aircraft when it arrives. Several independent squadrons are also stationed at the base, flying combat aircraft mostly in support of training maneuvers.
The communications net is fairly comprehensive in Campobelo despite its rural nature, and visitors need rarely concern themselves with cash. The Estado collects a Value Added Tax of 6% on all transactions, save agricultural goods (3%) and medical goods and services (none). Being fully linked to the communications net, accounts anywhere on Tirane may be accessed almost instantly anywhere in the Estado.
Headquartered in Lusitanium, this firm is the financial and insurance underpinning of agriculture in western Cabralia. They make loans to farmers, insure crops, and trade in commodities, especially agricultural futures. Originally, BeSRs activities were confined to banking. Other interests were added through the years as compends were acquired through mergers and acquisitions. In the 2270s, there was substantial concern that the company, by both making loans to farmers, and trading in the future production of the farmers, and thus being in a position to benefit from the failure of the clients to whom it had made loans (As agricultural futures prices can rise when farm production decreases) had strayed into a tangle of conflicted interests, and was a threat to the independence of Campobelos agriculture. In 2276 the company was given a choice by the Estado government: divest itself of its trading organizations, or submit to a high level of public oversight. The banks officers chose the latter, but only after an extended legal battle. Today the company is the most transparent, and most regulated bank in Brazil, yet, it continues to be profitable, primarily due to a virtual lock on its market. Farmers throughout western Cabralia- Alegre, Acre, Campobelo, and Nova Ostia, trust Banco e Suguridad Rural before any other institution, and the CEOs of the company are not about to bring any grief to their loyal customers. The company is jointly held by private concerns and institutional holders. Stock is traded only privately.
Commodities trading in Provincia do Brasil is done entirely via the communcations net, via a special branch of the Fazenet. Like the rest of the Fazenet, it is operated from Miranda in Cabo Vitorio. The traders themselves, however are scattered across the country, and rely on analysts for their information. The analysts stay close to their subject matter, and the best traders stay close to their analysts. In this manner, Agricultural trading has become an important part of the commercial life of Lusitanium. Several companies based in Centro make it their business to observe, analyze and report on the state of Campobelos agriculture. Crop reports assembled by the firm of Bayado and Silva, SA for example, can cause jubilation or despair amongst traders throughout the nation, and beyond. Within seconds of a major report being issued it is uploaded to couriers bound for Earth and the other major colony worlds.
Bossas and Centro are the two major retail districts within Lusitanium, the shopping hub of the Estado, and stand in contrast to each other. Centro is planned, serious, and quite homogenized. The major retail chains are all there, exactly as they should be, and doors close at a respectable hour. In Bossas, across the river, chaos rules. Stores are open at all sorts of ungodly hours, with many never closing. Doors stay open through the night at bars, hotels and restaurants as well, especially at the huge, dazzling "Belobebes", the glitzy oversized bar that would not have been out of place in old Las Vegas. Advertising is directed at travellers approaching from the east, and not all the advertising would be deemed appropriate on the other side of the river. (On the other hand, this is Brazil, and nothing gets too far out of hand. Whats considered lewd here would barely catch the attention of a Frenchman.) Bossas has a string of small informal markets as well, where vendors sell an unusual assortment of merchandise- and not all of it legal, from small booths and tables. The towns along the river valley all have their own retail centers, of course, but these tend to be for local consumption, and most Campobelans arrange trips into Lusitanium when theres serious shopping to be done.
This is the lifeblood of the Estado, even though only about ten percent of the active wage earners of Campobelo work on farms. (This figure does not take into account the subsistence farms many people live off of, or the "retirement" farms operated as tax sheltered retirement homes by many older persons) The oldest major component of Campobelos agriculture is still the most important, the cattle industry. Most of Provincia do Brasils beef cattle live here, and a large number of dairy cattle as well. The cattle began arriving during the early phases of colonization, when the then new Vaca ships began importing thousands of animals to the new colony. Beef and leather are produced to great excess here. Both are exported not only throughout Provincia do Brazil but to the other colonies as well.
The focal point of Campobelos cattle industry, which now includes generations of cattlemen, is the annual cattle show and fair in Carrera. This si a town of about 70,000 people about 120 kilometers north of Lusitanium near the Rio Lusitano. Generally, this is a bucolic, quiet town dedicated to supporting the local ranching industry. For about three weeks every year, it comes to life. Ranchers from throughout the Estado bring their best livestock to compete for prizes. Although the event attracts families and tourists, they are not the primary thrust of the fair. This is a serious agricultural convention. New products and process are displayed, and breeders and geneticists are always about, interested in the best livestock. Many livestock and other agricultural deals are made, and the rancher who misses this is all but cut out that year from the informal social networks that link the ranches, farms, associatives, and cooperatives.
This is the most successful and best known small farm cooperative association in Provincia do Brasil. They specialize in very high end food products, and are a favorite supplier of the Tiuranean restaurant industry. With over a hundred farms in the collective, Vale Deleitante has created a brand name aura of sophistication and peerless quality. They managed to squeak into the French market for agricultural goods, something of a Holy Grail to food wholesalers, simply be sending samples of their best to French chefs, and letting them demand access for Vale Deleitante. Their products are available in small shops in Lusitanium, and are delivered throughout Provincia do Brasil.
It was this spice that created the second boom in Campobelos history, the cattlemen creating the first. Although collection of the spice, derived from the fragrant wood of a native bush found in the arid uplands, was never a major segment of the Estados economy, it did create nationwide interest in the region. Most immigrants found they were not suited to a life of roaming the desert in search of the bushes, and it was decades before farmers learned to grow the stuff (Matarna is an extremely fickle plant that seems to prosper best when near nothing else), so the majority of those who came to Campobelo as spice harvesters learned to do other things. It doesnt grow well in the rift valley, which is unfortunate as thats where the farms are located. Matarna growers must be willing to locate away form the centers of population. The spice is now a staple in Provincia do Brasil cooking and helps distinguish it from Earthside Brazilian faire.
Leather working in Campobelo originally started as ancillary business of many of the cattle ranches, which as cooperatives, own and operate the slaughterhouses and food processing plants, and thereby produced a lot of cattle based by-products. About three quarters of the regions leather output is provided wholesale to manufacturers, most of whom are outside the Estado, who use it in furniture, vehicle seats, clothing, luggage, and other uses. The remainder is used either by farm workers who work with leather as a side trade, producing goods for home, family, friends, and the occasional extra few hundred cruzeiros here and there, or by local craft shops, which produce many of the same items mentioned above. The crafts shops tend to be a bit more estheticly oriented, and their goods show the signs of custom worked artisanship. Leather clothing, tough weathered stuff that looks like its been worn by a hard working rancher for a season or two, is very popular in the Estado, even among residents who have never been on the same side of the fence as a real cow.
A number of companies own tool and die plants, or machinery plants, in the Estado, which is a strong market for agricultural implements. Several are locally owned, descendents of the early years, when Campobelo was a remote place, and metal shops were set up by enterprising craftsmen to make locally what the farmers would ordinarily have to import over great distances, from shovels to auto-tillers.
A number of medical technology firms operate out of Lusitanium. Closeness to the Cabralian Seniors League is a major attraction for the medical industry here. That foundation has a strong interest in medicine, and an approval from them can mean preferred access to a vast and very brand loyal market. BTSM Campobelo SA, is a good example of these firms. The company is "Biotech Saude Mental do Campobelo" formally, and manufacturers implant devices which, among other things, prevent seizures and stimulate repair of damaged brain structures. They are considered cutting edge in their field, and their implants help many elderly Brazilian (and foreigners, as they do export) avoid the ravages of senility.
Brazilians understand the advantages of privatizing the defense industry. On the other hand, they see a danger in the loss of government control over these industries. As a result, partnership between the government and the private sector in defense is very close. It leads to some inefficiencies, but the Brazilian government has been willing to accpt this as the price of full control. In some of the low priority "commodity" items, such as ammunition, the limited demand will not support sufficient industrial plants to allow for competitive bidding. In this area the Brazilians have fallen back on a system once developed and later abandoned by the United States of America: the government owns the ordnance factories, and manufacturers submit bids to operate the facilities and produce munitions.
On Tirane, the principal factory in western Cabralia producing ammunition is the Lusitanium plant, actually located in the suburb of Tamandare, west of the city proper, about 12 kilometers south of the Superestrada Sur. The plant consists of scattered production and storage units contained within reinforced concrete domes, with some elements underground. It has been the target of terrorist actions in the past, and is guarded by a detail from the national Police. It employs about 1,800 workers, most of whom work for private operating companies.
Led by the cattle industry, in which individual ranch owners arrived first in the Estado and established their own processing and distribution networks to sell their produce, the small scale agribusinesses in the Estado acquired processing and distribution companies of their own. They moved rather quickly in this, establishing their companies and beginning to carve up the Provincia do Brasil markets as soon as they could, seeking to avoid a repeat of the conditions that once led just two companies to dominate the entire Brazilian agricultural sector. The production and marketing of processed food is now a major livelihood for Campobelo workers, with more people involved in this end of the food industry than actually working as farmers and ranchers. Some of the most successful farm associatives have mixed together a range of diverse farm types, including growers in other Estados, in order to provide a broad range of in-house products under one well known label. Luna Verde is a well known example, and it is headquartered in Lusitanium, although the bulk of the corporation is owned as a cooperative by about 180 private farms, mostly in Campobelo but including a series of plantations in Alegre providing tropical cash crops, and dairy farms in Lemanja. Even with this wide range, the company outsources some of its purchases, such as fruits and spices, and grosses over a quarter of a billion Livre per year. "Restricted Stock" is available to the public though brokers. Voting shares are available only to owners of farms, ranches and other food production enterprises (the corporate charter is written to accommodate owners of private fishing boats, but none have yet joined) that are members of the cooperative. The stock has shown good returns, but financial analysts are wary of the lack of power available to non-farmer shareholders.
One of the premier institutions specializing in the agricultural sciences in Brazil, gaining a healthy share of foreign students. The academy is very mindful of the agricultural roots of most of its students, and the difficulty presented by their lifestyles. It is often difficult for a son or daughter of a rural farm to leave the family business for four to eight years, then return. Most of the students at the academy belong to "extended programs", in which they are more or less enrolled in the school for life, taking short courses, then returning home again, and continuing the cycle year after year. Degrees are conferred by examination, not by completion of a set course of instruction (although certain basics are required), It is not unusual to see students who have been attending the school for a couple of months a year for twenty years or more.
The Lusitanian is not one of the Agricultural institutions associated with the development of agriculture on frontier worlds. Its occasionally forgotten that there is still a place for front line agricultural research in the core, especially on Tirane. The Lusitanian Academys stated goal is the training of agriculturalists for the betterment of farming and aquaculture to meet the specific needs of Provincia do Brasil.. In doing so, of course, they have developed excellent programs which are applicable in many areas, especially elsewhere on Tirane. The academy has an outstanding aquaculture program with several "floating classrooms" and a series of experimental sea farms.
The Rio Lusitano enters the sea where the tectonic rift meets the water. There is a submarine canyon here, and just to the south, a region of geothermal activity. The sea floor here is gradually spreading, and there is frequent seismic activity. For a variety of reasons, scientists are interested in this area. Marine biologists study the fauna of the region, which is unusual even by Tiranes standards, in many ways reminiscent of the life in similar regions of Earth. Comparisons offer amazing examples of convergent evolution. Geologists study the tectonic process of the planet, some of which are active here, and some of which observable through the evidence hey have left behind. There is also interest in the recovery of mineral deposits from the sea floor here. Although several corporation are actively studying the possibilities, it appears the region is too dangerous to offer a good return on investment at this time. A research ship, the Nereida, is often seen near the mouth of the Rio Lusitano. It supports a research mini-sub, which scientists are using to explore the sea floor. The ship is owned by a civilian non profit organization, which receives grants from the Brazilian national government.
Campobelo places its university campuses in small, isolated towns away from the major city of Lusitanium. Apparently they figure that true Campobelo spirit is best developed in the agricultural rural outlands, rather than the metropolis. The Campobelo Department of Education claims the remote locations provide distraction free environments where students can concentrate on their studies. Whatever the case, there are four campuses, each named for the town in which they are located. Supporting the local campus (sucking money out of students) is the primary business in these towns. Santo Antonio enjoys a cliffside perch on the western escarpment of the rift valley, in the far northern reaches of the Estado. Praia Luciano lies on a barrier island on the southwest coast, the largest and (hopefully) most stable island in the barrier island chain. The Luciano causeway connects it to the mainland. Gamano is in the eastern desert, near the Oxala border and is visible from the Superestrada as a cluster of shiny white domes looking much like ceramic bubbles clustered in the desert. Santalinda lies on the Rio Lusitano floodplain south of Lusitanium, close to the rivers mouth. Students often shift schools based on the availability of specific courses of study. It is not uncommon for a Campobelan student to spend time at all four schools.
The capitol city of Lusitanium isnt a city that draws the best in the art world. Nevertheless, Lusitanium has the obligatory opera house, and a number of holo-theaters. The opera house was built early in the citys history, at great expense, and is regarded as a landmark. The Cattlemens museum is about 20 kilometers north of the city, a short trip on the Estados airfilm line. It is a working museum occupying one of the earliest of the cattle rancho, donated to the Estado by the original owners with the condition that it be made into a museum telling the story of ranching in Campobelo. What appears to be a big gray banana sitting on one end of the museum actually houses a mockup of part of the interior of a "Vaca" ship. The exhibit executes a slight roll as tour groups move through it, allowing tour groups to walk along flat floor and feel like theyre walking along the cylindrical interior of the Vaca.
Lusitaniums Soccer team ranks near the bottom of Brazils hierarchy. Theyve even been beaten by Americans. Likewise, their popularity isnt all it could be. Other teams have helped the Furacaos pay their bills- the idea being that a failed team means one less team to play against. Their stadium is located between Centro and Prefabos in Lusitanium, and is in need of an overhaul.
The sport of "Combos" derived, about a century and a half ago, from the fading Italian sport of Bocci, a game related to bowling. "Combos" added a few technological twists to the game, which, over the course of several decades, mutated into something of a cross between bowling and pinball. Interest in this bizarre sport has never been high, but somehow Combos has became something of a phenomenon in Campobelo. This organization links amateur players and teams throughout Campobelo, and some in neighboring Estados. Attempts to create a professional league have largely failed.
Horse racing is common throughout Provincia do Brasil, but the fans and practitioners of the sport in Campobelo have taken it in their own directions, and nowhere else does the sport have as strong a following in proportion to the population size. However, the Campobelans seem to have decided that a horse need do more than run one lap around an oval at great speed to be impressive. They subject horses and riders to quite a few more challenging events, such as the Brazilian Steeplechase, and a test of agility akin to American Barrel Racing. Although they are great fans of racing, betting on the races is looked upon as barbaric here.
This is an organization dedicated to representing and advancing the views and interests of Provincia do Brasils older citizens. In raw numbers and as a percentage of the total, Campobelo has a small elderly population, however, their numbers as a proportion of the Estado population gives them somewhat more power here than they have elsewhere in Provincia do Brasil, which explains the choice of Campobelo for the site of the foundations headquarters. Their headquarters is an office building in Lusitanium. Membership nationwide is counted at 7 million.
Hunter. No. Appearing: 1 Initiative: 2, Melee Hit Chance: Difficult, Size: 25 kg, Speed 40 Armor 0, Consciousness: 1 Life: 4 WPM 3 DPV 0.1 Signature -4
This is a creature of such unusual body plan that, as with the Platypus of Earth, first reports were assumed to be fabrications. The Tripod anteater is actually an extremely specialized variant of the Monosupia, evolved over the course of millions of years. The two tail "fingers" have become quite large and strong, ending in foot-like pads, with a larger, stronger pad at the animals snout. The body and fingers are much more rigid than in the Monosupia, enabling the creature to stand erect (its usual stance) with a tripod arrangement, the nexus of fingers and tail high in the air, the end of the snout and the tips of the fingers on the ground. Its prey are the small invertebrates that dwell in Tiranean soil, as well as colonies of terrestrial ants that have established themselves on the planet. It breaks through the often hard surfaced soil by repeatedly ramming its long snout into the ground, in the manner of a pneumatic hammer. Its eyes and ears area set well back from the tip of the snout, and the animal is actually able to reach a respectable speed with its bizarre "three legged" (Well, two legs and a nose, if you get technical) gait. It is a voracious carnivore, even the prey it hunts is small.
Intermittent. No. Appearing: 1-6. Initiative: 2 Melee Hit Chance: Routine Size: 100 Kg Speed 55 Armor 0.2 (above) 0.1 (below) Consciousness: 4 Life: 10 WPM 0 DPV 0.4 Signature 0
The smallest member of the Paddler family (See Lemanja for more information)lives in the Rio Lusitano. They look like headless, shell-less turtles. Periodically, the rivers depth becomes very shallow, and vast areas of river area reduced to muddy flats, incapable of supporting the diving, herbivorous Paddlers. When the river volume begins to dwindle, Mareroses Paddlers burrow into the mud at the river bottom, and create small pockets, where they will aestivate until rains return, and the river fills out again. Like their larger eastern cousins, these Paddlers are considered quite tasty, and are vulnerable while aestivating. Fortunately for them, there are no native predators willing to dig them out of their muddy burrows. Sometimes, though, a flash flood during a dry spell will rip their earthen covers off, exposing scores of them, and then local predators will attack. Trained dogs have also proven capable of locating buried Paddlers, although only when a section of river has dried to the point of exposing the bottom to the air. They have very low metabolisms while aestivating, and can exist for several years waiting for water to return. The longer a Paddler has been aestivating, the worse the flavor of the meat.
Chaser. No. Appearing: 3-18 Initiative: 7 Melee Hit Chance: Routine Size: 25 kg, Speed 100 Armor 0, Consciousness: 1 Life: 5 WPM 2 DPV .3 Signature -3
Believing they needed a new breed of dog to tackle ranching jobs in the wilderness of Campobelo, early ranching settlers obtained Australian cattle dogs, a few hardy Brazilian mutts, and a contingent of coyotes from the American southwest and bred them. Within three decades and a few stray years and about 10 generations of dogs, a distinct breed was developed. The infusion of Coyote genes into the pool added an element of hardiness and intellect the farm dogs lacked. Today the Campobelo Cattle dog is widely regarded as one of the more intelligent and adaptable breeds of dog, but is temperamental and shows little inclination to develop relations with humans introduced after puppyhood. It is curious and mischievous, and does better as a working dog than as a pet, where boredom and a houseful of chewables quickly adds up to trouble. Over time, some of these dogs have escaped or been turned loose. Although they are mostly seen on the ranches of Campobelo and other western Estados, thousands of them now roam the Rio Lusitano floodplain area, and they regularly extend their patrols across the entire rift valley region. These feral dogs have fully adapted to local conditions and have displaced local carnivores with their advanced cooperative pack hunting techniques. Observers have seen them mimic wounded animals to draw out and kill competing carnivores. The feral dogs frequent human habitations, often in search of edible garbage and new "recruits" for the wild packs, but seem to recall the ancient alliance between the humans and canines of Earth and do not attack people.