Salton is a small town located to the southwest of Westbridge in Sudland at the base of the Central Range. Salton is a mining town, but is better known for the Salton Prison being located there. There are some other mines nearby, including the silver mine where the silver ore used for minting Sudland's currency, the Dorla, is extracted.
Salton has basically no defenses itself, but the prison is essentially an impregnable fortress, and the Salton prison guards are well armed, brutal thugs. In the past, Salton was raided by Orkrim marauders on occasion, but since the prison was constructed when King Haakan Larssen established control of Sudland, those raids have ceased.
Industry & Trade
Salton is a mining and prison town. Much of the salt used throughout Sudland is mined at Salton Prison by prisoners sentenced to hard labor at the mines. The Royal Family of the Kingdom of Sudland owns the salt mines, after purchasing them (at a price far below their actual worth) from the royalty of the Emirate of Daskar. Production of and trade in salt is strictly controlled, with trade and transport licenses granted to prominent merchant houses, with a percentage of the sales, plus license fees and taxes going to the Royal Family. Ore and raw metal from other nearby mines is also transported from Salton to forges at Daskar and Southport.
Other than the prison, infrastructure in Salton is ordinary. There is a general store, a community well, a small blacksmith that makes ordinary metalware of iron, tin, and copper, a chandler that makes and sells candles and other items of wax, and a few other small shops. Roads are dirt and gravel.
Guilds and Factions
The town is controlled by the mayor and warden, Ephraïm Pasquier and the prison guards, all of whom live in Salton. No one dares cross the mayor or a prison guard in Salton. They are brutal thugs, often arbitrary in their enforcement of the laws of the town and country. They frequently help themselves to the wares being sold by the town's merchants and bully townspeople. Duke Valdemar Tachibana Larssen turns a blind eye and deaf ear to complaints about them.
The salt mines in the Central Range were discovered centuries in the past, and mining was established near Salton even before the recorded history of the Emirate of Daskar. The Salton Prison was established near the salt mines by King Haakan Larssen and salt mining was limited to the hundreds of chained prisoner sentenced to hard labor digging salt from huge strip mines near the prison.
Buildings in Salton are utilitarian, constructed of brick and stone, with slate or tile roofs. Wood is used in some construction, but as Salton is located in a dry area with few trees suitable for making lumber, wooden buildings are basically nonexistent. Nearly all of the buildings are one-story, and they have low-pitched roofs. Few would describe Salton as an attractive town.
Salton lies at the base of the Central Range in a dry valley, filled mostly with tall grasses and shrubby trees, like small, weedy Wax Rose bushes and sagebrush. Evaporation in pre-historical times of a salt sea in the valley left extensive deposits of salt just underneath the surface with some veins of salt exposed on the surface. The area is hilly, rising toward the foothills of the Central Range.
Salton is in a dry valley in the rain shadow of the mountains, so the climate is hot and dry. Rain, when it does come, is often torrential, leading to deadly landslides in the mine and mud everywhere. When the rains pass, the ground is baked into hard clay, making digging and cultivation next to impossible.
The only reason Salton exists is because of the vast salt deposits found there and the other mineral resources mined nearby. The Central Range contains extensive deposits of raw metals, mineral ores, and precious stones. Much of the range has not yet been surveyed.