Persepolis is a small frontier town of some 500 inhabitants in the Colorado Territory, where the Great Plains of the Mid-west meet the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Which means you are here:
More precisely, here:
The nearest railroad station is in the somewhat larger town of Eire, a couple of hours on horseback due south. The county seat, where in particular the county sheriff’s office is located and regular court sessions are held, is the city of Boulder, another hour west of Eire by train, or about a day’s travel southwest from Persepolis.
In the summer of 1869, four years after the end of the Civil War.
Colorado itself has only been settled relatively recently, the first pemanent settlements being established in the mid-to-late 1850’s when gold was discovered in the Rocky Mountains. The Civil War left the area mostly alone, seeing only a couple of small raids from the South that were repulsed by the local militias.
Presently, Colorado is still a territory rather than a full state, which means it is governed directly from Washington, is subject to federal laws and jurisdiction, and its habitants have limited political rights (e.g. no right to vote for Congress or presidents). However, there is a strong campaign underway to apply for full statehood as soon as possible.
Persepolis is divided in two political factions, the cattle ranchers and the farmers.
Generally speaking, the ranchers, led by the wealthiest of their number, Reginald Clayton, want to limit the growth of Persepolis as much as possible in order to maintain their status in the local society and to keep as much land as possible available to feed their large herds of cattle. The farmers, meanwhile, under the leadership of Jefferson Blake, want to see Persepolis grow in order to increase the value of their lands and the size of the local market for their products. This conflict of interests has been growing still more tense in the past few years and it is only a matter of time before the two factions will come to a serious confrontation.
Among the other prominent or interesting local citizens are:
Town marshal James Anderson is responsible for enforcing the laws and keeping the peace in the community. As an official elected by the town’s inhabitants, he has to tread a careful line between the two factions while still maintaining his own authority.
Benjamin McPherson owns the best (also only) saloon in Persepolis. Although he like to present a facade of jovial, urban respectability, pretty much everyone in town knows that he can be paid to do almost anything.
Catherine Fields is an elderly widow and owner of a local farm which she inherited from her late husband. She is almost as wealthy as Mr. Blake and considered a strong rival for his position as leader of the local farmers. She is also incredibly stubborn.
Jeremiah Patrick Evans is a minor cattle rancher who is loosely allied to Clayton.
Providence Nimitz is the post master, telegraph operator, and publisher-editor and only employee of the local newspaper, the Persepolis Pascha. He is not known to be too scrupulous about either the sources or his truthfulness of the stories in his paper.
Jordan Rogers, a formers slave from Georgia, owns the local general store. Known to have lost a son who fought on the Northern side in the Civil War, he has a strong dislike for anyone connected with the former Southern states.
Silver Jenny is one of the bar girls working in McPherson’s saloon. She is usually quite well-informed about what goes on in the town.
Rev. Solomon Adams is a ‘circuit priest’ who rides around to those communities too small to have their own priest (such as Perspolis) and holds services about one Sunday every two months or so.
Other people of importance:
Dr. Friedrich Mannteufel, a German immigrant, owns a large mining complex in the mountains west of Persepolis. He is practically never seen in town, although some of his men come down to buy supplies from time to time.
Nathaniel Dexter is a rich business magnate in Eire, and in fact owns most business interests in that town. Met with Clayton.
A tribe of Ute Native Americans are believed to live somewhere in the Rockies near Persepolis, but not much else is known about them. Their chief is called Ouray.