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Mar 5, 2021

People will tell you that the heartland got sick about 200 years ago. When the dust came, reality left, and the panic set in. But trust me, it was ailing long before that. 

Don’t get me wrong, you could understand why someone would die for it in the old days. Greens and golds, bread and honey. But around the time that those well dressed devils of Aldomina swept in, five, six hundred years ago, that's when things started to turn.

They wanted to fence it in. Rows of corn and cane, columns of people. Nations reduced to gardens. Is it any wonder the ground itself started to ache? No one noticed until about 200 years ago, of course. See, the truth of the heartland—the truth of the world—is that it cannot be fenced in.

So, the storms came, and they brought a deep sickness to the plains and valleys. Soil turned barren, animals twisted in form and character, unkind spirits swept through the fields, farmhouses, and burgs. Reality, unhinged, drew its own course. Unpredictable, though never dishonest.

And as if in response, a rigid, mechanical malediction arrived, delivered by the cursed railway called the Shape. To be near places touched by such fearsome Structure was to hear a drum played too on beat, to see a circle drawn so smoothly as to make you stumble from its perfect curve.

Those who could, those who held the whips and pocketbooks, fled. Those left behind tried to find stability, tried to make a home on this re-frontier of ash, metal, and ichor. 

Aldomina called this territory San Fielle. But there ain’t nothin saintly this bout place. Now, we used the name that our ancestors, those forced to work this land or force from it, called it under their breath: Sangfielle. The Bloodfields.