Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
The District of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina
Independent Nation-State of Terramatrix
San Andrés Archipelago
San Andrés is a coral island chain in the central Atlantis Sea. Politically tied to The Federative Republic of San Marcos, and historically part of The Republic of Sangria, San Andrés and the nearby islands of Isla de Providencia and Santa Catalina form the San Andrés Archipelago. The official languages of the district are Spanish and French.
While San Andrés is located 50 km (31 mi) south of Isla de Providencia and Santa Catalina, the Sangrian archipelago is approximately 230 km (140 mi) east of the Corazón Jungle and about 750 km (470 mi) north of the Islas Brasilera. This archipelago encompasses a total area of 57 km2 (22 sq mi), including the outer cays, reefs, atolls and sand banks, with the area of the islands being 45 km2 (17 sq mi). In 3007, it was named an independent nation-state, having become financially stable enough to support itself with its increasing tourist trade. Known as the Seaflower Declaration, (so named from its signing aboard the barque “Seaflower” ), it was peacefully allowed to secede from the nation of Sangria, following its concerns regarding an endangered ecosystem and self-sustainability.
The nation’s capital is located on the northern end of the island. Named _*"San Andrés"*_ but nicknamed “La Centro”, it is the nation’s main urban center. Along the 30 km (19 mi) road that circles the island, there are many picturesque beaches, coral reefs, cays, geysers, and coves. Also of note are La Loma, the town of San Andrés, the Seaquarium, the large pond of La Laguna, and a freshwater (arsenic-free) lake amidst mangrove forests. There are coconut palm plantations, lush pastures, and tall native trees reaching 20 meters (66 ft). Surrounded by the warm Central Atlantis Sea, all of these features have made the island an “exotic holiday destination”.
Main Island of San Andrés
San Andrés is the largest of the island group in the Independent Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. The island is 12.5 km (7.8 mi) in length and 3 km (1.9 mi) in width. It has an area of 26 km2 (10 sq mi) within the total area of the group of islands of 45 square kilometres (17 sq mi), making it the largest island in the archipelago. Providencia, the next largest in size, is located 80 km (50 mi) to the northeast.
San Andrés has a fairly flat topography with the highest point in the island reported at an elevation of 55 m (180 ft) above sea level. San Andrés is crossed from south to north by a small mountain range whose highest peak is _Cerro La Loma_, also known as “El Cliff”. San Andrés’ soils indicate that their formation is due to the eruption of a volcano which threw rocks older than the seafloor to the surface, creating the islands. Despite this, there is fertile soil and the soil is mostly red clay. It is easy to find small deposits of quartz on the island, especially in the neighborhood of Loma Cove. Aside from the main settlements, the island is almost entirely covered in grass, trees and other vegetation, as well as sand along the coastline rather than rocks. The central area is marked by a chain of hills ( Flowers, Orange, Shingle and Lion’s Hill ). The island has only small, ephemeral streams draining the land area, but no major rivers.
On the southwest coast of the island are some features, namely (from north to south) Bobby Rock, Boobie Rock, Fisher Rock and Tyler Rock. A feature named Rock Point is located on the southeastern coast. _Sulky Bay_ lies in the central western part of the island near Cove Sea Side. The northern part of the island has a beach, while the western part of the island has no beaches.
San Andrés Beach
San Andrés Beach : The island is surrounded on its northwest side by a small coral reef and several keys that are home to varied fauna and flora, and are a popular destination for tourists. The small cay in the San Andrés Bay is said to be the most visited place in the archipelago. Johnny Cay is a small coral islet that is located 1.5 km (0.93 mi) to the north of San Andrés Town_. It is a scenic place with white-sand beaches surrounded by seanut plantations. The sea here is not suitable for swimming as the current of flow could be risky. _Haynes Cay is the place where visiting ships are docked. There are a number of large coral farms here with variety of species. The place is also popular for water sports activities like snorkeling and diving. Diving here with a mask and seaboots (protection against sea urchins) colorful fish species can be seen. _El Acuario “Aquarium” Cay_ is off to the east coast of San Andrés, adjoins the Haynes Cay. It is a popular center for diving since the sea here has shallow and calm waters.
The island experiences a tropical wet and dry climate that borders on a tropical monsoon climate. Average temperatures range from 24 °C (75 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) in two periods dominated by dry and rainy spells. The rainy season is accompanied by high humidity across the island archipelago. The trade winds blow from the north, but most rain usually blows from the east, when there are storms in the region.
The island’s last reported population is 7500; it was 7291 in 3015, 5500 in 3001, and 2000 in 2981. The continuous growth and influx of people from the mainland of The Republic of Sangria means that they now form about two-thirds of the island’s population. The native islanders are the descendants of the original Taurian settlers that first inhabited the planet.
The population is grouped around a few residential areas. _*San Andrés*_, known locally as La Centro, is the largest town, as well as the most developed commercial and tourist hub of the island. It is located at the northern end and is the capital of the archipelago. The departmental administration, commerce, banks, several hotels and the airport are located in this area.
A smaller village, La Loma, is inhabited by the native islander population and is at the centre of the island. Its traditional fame is due to the Baptist Church that was established in 2855. This church was rebuilt with pine wood imported from Terra. The Baptist church was built along the central road to La Loma, which functioned as a beacon for shipping. Located at the top of the hill, La Loma provides lovely views of the “Seven Coloured Sea” (Atlantis Ocean).
On the eastern coast of the island is San Luis, which is a small tourist town. It is notable both as a tourist establishment and for its impressive stretch of white-sand beach. Traditional wooden houses are also located on the shores of the beach, spread over a 3 km (1.9 mi) stretch. Here also, in view of generally calm sea water (only occasionally rough), snorkeling is a popular sporting activity. It used to be port for export of coconuts.
Sierra Madre : Rarely mentioned, is the village and resort of * Sierra Madre Casino & Villa, located on the isolated southern end of the island. Once considered the premier resort on the planet, the facility became more of a haunted and forgotten corner of the island, with its resort closed to almost everyone, and its owner’s attempts to bolster their fortunes through a failed industrial effort manufacturing consumer goods.
In late-3023, the facility came into the possession of * “The Iron Dingoes”, and remains firmly under their control, though stripped of its production lines for use elsewhere. The facility was largely cleaned up, and began operations again on January 1st, 3027 amidst great fanfare, and has quickly become the premier resort on the planet once more. Supported by Iron Dingoes management efforts, the facility serves more than four-hundred (400) guests at one time, with the best performers from across the planet. In addition, it offers an international market, horse-riding, spa services and every other possible option to guests, to ensure they have the premier experience for their vacation. It also serves the Iron Dingoes directly, by providing cheap rates to its service members and families, as well as transporting them aboard Whippet Transport Lines planes and buses to receive a cheap and exclusive R&R experience during their downtime.
The economy of the island, which was largely dependent on fishery resources and meager agricultural produces, underwent a change with the opening of air services from Sangria, followed by a 2962 declaration of the island as a duty-free zone. This brought about a large influx of tourists to the island apart from immigrants from the mainland. This also resulted in the local government imposing restrictions in the 3000s to control the influx of people from the mainland, with intent to preserve local culture. However, there are no real industries on the island.
Today, the economy is mainly sustained by tourism and commercial fishing. Once a duty-free port, it still has a relatively vigorous shopping district selling various consumer goods at bargain prices, including Sangrian gold and emerald jewelery, leather goods and other distinctively Sangrian wares. It has become a distinctly favorite place for wealthy to spend time in from San Marcos, Tragnar and Buntar.
San Andrés has become an increasing byword for bargain shopping in Terramatrix, that many towns and cities have a bargain shopping area known as a San Andresito (“little San Andrés”).
Over the last few years, the number of tourists to San Andrés has steadily increased. Annual tourist visitors have increased from 34,293 in 3011 to 37,619 in 3022, of which 29,741 are foreign nationals and 8878 from elsewhere in Sangria. There have been no attempts at recent surveys, but the numbers seem to be increasingly larger, as demand for services has increased. As of July 3019, the archipelago received 2300 tourists more than the previous, in the same period. Furthermore, it has continually invested in a hotel infrastructure, even during the 1000 Days War.
Among the tourist attractions of the island are:
North End, is known locally as the center of San Andrés, which concentrates the hotel zone, commercial, banking and government.
Isleña House Museum (Casa Museo isleña), which was created by the natives in order to acquaint visitors with the culture and customs of the inhabitants.
La Loma, a town inhabited almost entirely by natives of the island and one of the best places to appreciate the traditional island architecture.
The _*Cayo Santander (or Coton Cay)*_, which is located opposite the pier and close to the coast of the Bay of San Andrés, its name comes from the Davion settlers there deposited cotton crops and coconut.
The Cliff or Peñon, a limestone formation surrounding the airport, which is a rocky cliff about 30 meters high above the airport.
Cocoplumbay, a beach located in the town of San Luis_, right in front of _Cayo Rocoso, because of its shallow depth, with its white sand and blue sea green, is a favorite spot for tourists.
La Piscinita, natural formation that built the sea in the coral rock that surrounds the island.
Sierra Madre Casino & Villa*, re-opened in January of 3027, the Sierra Madre has fast become an almost exclusive resort for those willing to pay for a safe and secure vacation retreat from the war-torn world of Terramatrix. It is, by many, considered the finest single hotel in the world, with services and accommodations that are difficult to match elsewhere. In particular, its music and international performers are increasingly well-noted.
The island has rich floral diversity in its vast mangrove swamps, the largest mangrove forest on the island being the Old Mangrove Point Regional Park. There are 12 mangrove forests in red, black and white colors, rich with many species of flora and fauna revitalizing the ecosystem. There are also coconut palm trees, seanut trees, tall growth of local trees, green and lush pastoral lands and farm lands.
San Andrés Vireo
The bird species named _San Andrés Vireo_ or St. Andrew Vireo occurs exclusively on the archipelago, favors mangrove and scrub bush habitat It is a small, innocuous, but delicate bird, green in color, of the _Vireonidae_ family. It is about 5 inches (130 mm) in length, weighs about 16–20 g, found in clutch size of 2, and feeds on insects and fruits. Critically endangered, its habitat has been threatened due to large-scale expansion of the island lands for development of the capital city in the last few decades. It is reported that habitat of these birds is now confined to about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi) area in the southern part of the island. Its distinguishing noise feature (song feature) is a single note repeated 2–20 times. In order to protect this local species, it has been suggested that the mangrove swamps of the island be declared as a protected area. Another bird found in abundance on the island is the _White-Winged Dove (Zenaida Asiatica)_.
The aqua faunal species found here are _Terramatrix Oysters_ and (in lesser quantities) Deepwater Crabs. There are extensive coral species found in the island’s shores.
The only mammal that has been recorded from San Andrés is the bat _Artibeus jamaicensis_, also known locally as the Dire Bat, a small predatory creature that hunts at night and drinks blood.
The main hospital on the island is Hospital Departamental Amor de Patria. It is located on Via San Luis. The hospital can provide basic medical care to most patients but chronic diseases that require medical specialists require travel to the mainland of Sangria.
On San Andrés you can find the consulates of San Marcos, San Isabel, Sangria and Delancourt. Von Doom has expressed an interest in opening a consulate at this resort location, mostly as a result of recent tourism from that important city-state.
Banking services are available across the island through numerous automated teller machines. Local banks are primarily the Banco Nacional de Sangria and the Banco Republica of San Isabel through its ATM-chain, BanRed. There are numerous small local credit unions, though they generally only deal with local land-owners.
Other services include a widespread internet, connecting most of the inhabited island through a modern communications link. Tour operators are common, though privately run operations.
Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport
With the establishment of an airport in the northern part of the island, transport services from the mainland of Sangria ushered economic development in the island, particularly in San Andrés town proper. _*Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport*_ has flight services offered by Avianca, and several private jetliner companies.
Air Transat FB-2772 “Airbus” at San Andrés
A local airline, Air Transat also operates three FB-2772 “Airbus” jetliners, offering daily flights to Sangria and San Isabel, but have also been seeking financing to increase their fleet for regular flights to San Marcos and Delancourt.
Satena DO-328B Medium-Haul Plane at San Andrés
Satena operates four (4) medium-haul cargo and passenger planes that connect with Ciudad Garcia and south into San Isabel. They are also the primary passenger and cargo connection to Isla de Providencia and Santa Catalina.
In addition, numerous other small private planes operate from the Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport, though Searca seems to dominate the local charter business.
However, the sea route to visit the island is by private cruise ships only (3–4 days journey from most Atlantis Ocean ports). There are no regular passenger services to the island though some cargo ships do carry a few passengers. The island also has a good network of paved lateral roads connecting the main circular road which is of 30 kilometres (19 mi) length. Private buses operate across the island, but are infrequent and do not follow a set schedule. Private boat services are also available within the island to visit various small towns and other locations of tourist interest along the coast line.
King Ocean Services unloading at dock in La Centro
The only regular cargo service to San Andrés is through the locally-run cargo shipping company King Ocean Services. Offering cargo shipping through its small fleet of two bulk Standard (5-ton) Cargo Container haulers; the KOS Orion, and the KOS Knock. In addition, they operate a small fleet of light utility cargo trucks across the island, hauling their shipments to any island location and business.
In mid-3026, Whippet Transport Lines opened a small depot and related bus service on the island, largely to facilitate the opening of the Sierra Madre on the southern part of the island, away from the airport. The company was supported in this expansion through partial funding from the airport itself, and also serves several other local stops across the island, as well as the express service directly to the resort. Although the Sierra Madre still brings in its general supplies through King Ocean Services, they are also something of a military facility and have direct flights of munitions and equipment brought via their own planes that serve infrequently. These latter shipments are brought in exclusively through Whippet air transports, and use special trips of the local military trucks. Their handful of buses, typically small touristy things for a dozen passengers, serve an express trip every thirty minutes, and regular shuttle services every fifteen. There is a growing demand for the service.
The island traditionally kept only a token force of local security militia to deal with revelers and petty theft common to its tourist population.
In early 3023, the archipelago hired the successful mercenary unit * “The Iron Dingoes” in a long-term contract to supply a company of infantry for garrison work of the airport and city around it, El Centro. Contract – Operation : “Ocean Breeze” had provision for the raising of some indigenous troops to supplement the garrison company, and potentially raise a number of reserve military troopers for local defense. Known as * “Sangrian (Air-Mobile/Mechanized) Training Cadre”, it has a history of success and loyalty to its employers.
Soon thereafter, the 12th (Air-Mobile) Rifle Infantry Battalion – “The Krakens” was raised as a defensive force purely for the island chain and its important airport. Essentially a militia force, they depend heavily upon their trainers in * “Sangrian (Air-Mobile/Mechanized) Training Cadre” for technical support and guidance. This force has since retired from their contract, and the 12th serves exclusively as the district’s primary military force, with heavy funding from the central government in their support.
The district also employs a number of squads from the Policia Federales (the 8th Company ), based from their ancient Guardia Civilia headquarters in the middle of La Centra. Roughly a company in strength, they have few vehicles, but rather use horses and several small watercraft for use in patrolling the coasts and moving rapidly around the main islands. A small force also works out of Isla de Providencia and Santa Catalina, in support of the civilian government therein. While relatively new and lacking some experience in police-rated skills, they are very loyal and well-liked by the local district.
In 3030, Sangrian Naval Command shipped its own force of aircraft from service aboard the decommissioned Minas Gerais to be based from the local military air depot, creating the 1st Combat (Naval) Air Wing. This force retains its position as a naval air command.
In mid-3024, the independent nature of the region was questioned, and they formally held an election for inclusion into The New Republic of Sangria, bolstered by its potential of having the first national president being elected from its own population.
Carlos Alberto Valderrama was proclaimed the local governor with a landslide victory, on August 31st, 3024. A former professional soccer player, he is considered one of the most easily recognizable locals, and entered politics with the intent to make something of his fame and popularity to improve his fellow citizen’s lives.
During the late-night celebrations after the election, a force of mercenaries assaulted the airfield, but failed to capture either the fuel supplies or scout its entirety, though they did manage to identify key targets and blunt the local garrison. Although initial alarms were ignored, due to the fireworks and general revelry of the populace, by the time an hour had passed, it became very obvious that an attack was underway, and the bulk of the local militia had gathered, and the local urban civilians were able to find shelter.
After the September 1st, 3024 series of pitched battles at and around the airport, the declaration of the “Small War” involved the territory in the greater conflict, but only as a supporting member. The fight moved on, involving the nations of the nascent military union of the League of Free Nations, until culminating in the successful annexation of Islas Brasilera by the military forces of both * “The Iron Dingoes” and The Oriental Republic of San Isabel. In the years since, the airport damage was largely repaired, and the onetime beach resort “Sea Breeze”, was converted into a military barracks and armory for the district’s own military force, the 12th Infantry Battalion.
In early-3027, the local first-class (by planetary standards) * Sierra Madre Casino & Villa was declared open for business, and it immediately attracted mercenary and wealthy national citizens, despite (or perhaps because of) the rise and fall of the pandemic 3025 Outworld Flu. The site is toted as the premier resort on the islands, though Iron Dingoes soldiers and dependents often visit it as part of their routine R&R, as the facility is a wholly-owned subsidiary of that organization.