Callow’s Field is the Southernmost burrough of Port Fontaine. The Harris river, (running parallel to North and South Yarborrough Streets), forms the northern boundary of Callow’s Field. The city limits follow the northern edge of Carver Bay. Dexton Reach is the westernmost burrough, separated from New Hyperia by the Dallock River (which runs north/south, in parallel with East and West Dallock Street).
Callow’s Field has always been the NIMBY aspect of Port Fontaine. Originally an area dominated by mills, slaughterhouses and meat packers, it expanded to a host of other less desirable industries. Currently the home of Port Fontaine’s Power Plants, the Port Fontaine Supermax prison, and a host of other ugly, but necessary businesses.
Callow’s Field is in many ways the beating heart of the city. The Sewage plants that treat the waste are in the Field. All three of the city’s power plants are in the field. The city’s mass transit hubs are in the field, as are the headquarters of the public works department and the attendant water and power distribution networks. The rest of the city may not like to think about it, but Callow’s Field is essential for the city.
Of the Seven burroughs, Callow’s Field has the lowest Socio-economic status by a fairly wide margin. Readily available entry level jobs have made Callow’s Field the first stop for many people journeying to Port Fontaine for the first time. Immigrants have made Callow’s Field their home since the 19th century, and it has become an interesting dichotomy of the American melting pot idea.
Ostensibly, Immigrants would mix in with each other and learn cultural traditions from their neighbors, and there are neighborhoods where this happens in practice. However, these neighborhoods are often on the border between two distinct ethnic groups, like the Italian/Russian fusion along 13th street (Italians have claimed 5th through 12th street since before the Civil War, while the Russians have maintained an ethnic home turf from 14th through 19th streets since they started emigrated during the 1870s). Throughout Callow’s Field there are hundreds of these ethnic neighborhoods.
One of the most unusual cultural exchanges in Callow’s Field is the never ending struggle between the professional fighting societies. One part monastic order, one part fight club, one part neighborhood protection service, these societies are constantly struggling against each other to prove the superior style. Factor in that there are combat masters from all over the world in a tight space, and it’s a wonder these societies haven’t burned down the neighborhood.
Crime in Callow’s Field
Crime (and specifically Organized Crime) have been a way of life in Callow’s Field for generations. With around three million citizens and a total of four police precincts (all of which are underfunded and underequipped), there are too many criminals and not enough police to cover the streets. Protection rackets, racketeering, and other forms of criminal enterprise flourish in the burrough. Most forms of crime are nonviolent, (drugs, prostitution, and other vices are extremely prevalent throughout the burrough) but there have been several very brutal gang wars over the years.
The Port Fontaine Federal Penitentiary is an oddity in a crime filled neighborhood. With nearly a square mile of cleared land at the southern tip of Callow’s Field, it’s a stark reminder of the apparent power of law enforcement. Referred to as Tarterus by the locals, it’s one of the few federal prisons capable of containing super powered individuals. That combined with the overabundance of powered individuals living in the city has made it one of the safest prisons in the country.
Rumors abound of a mysterious Consortium that controls the organized crime in the city. This organization is rumored to contain representatives of every major crime family and/or organization in the city. Allegations point to them as the party responsible for keeping the police under equipped and the power in Callow’s Field flows from the head of that organization down to the streets.
There are a lot of citizens throughout the burrough that refuse to bow to the Consortium’s will and try to take back their streets. Vigilantes (some with powers) push back against the criminal control. Clashes between the two sides are frequent. Some of the vigilantes are surprisingly well equipped, but they are poorly organized and as a result are not making a lot of progress towards their campaign to take their streets back.
Some of the Vigilantes operate their own form of protection rackets, but these are mostly benign organizations where the citizens of a given block pay insurance to keep the crime from getting out of hand. This is most common in the neighborhoods where internal pressures keep small street gangs at each other’s throats. These so named “Heroes for Hire,” often come and go, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood as the gang violence intensifies.
Life in the Burrough
Callow’s Field operates at a different pace from the rest of the city. People generally work long hours in one job, or two jobs to make ends meet. The profusion of culture means that you can find the most bizarre combinations of goods and services anywhere in the world. It’s not uncommon to find an asian restaurant across the street from a disco which are both down the street from a hookah lounge. There are diversions (legal and less so) for everyone, if you’re willing to pay for them.
The people of Callow’s Field are desensitized to a lot of things that the rest of the city would freak out about. The prevalence of crime in the burrough means that from a young age, people are acclimated to the presence of guns and other weapons. Violence (not necessarily gun violence) is rife in certain areas and people get used to seeing fights in the streets. Public spectacles of sex, violence and other things the rest of the city would find shocking are just another night in the Field.
That said, most people go out of their way to keep children out of harm’s way. The Consortium takes a very dim view on crimes that target children, and as a result, they are rarely the victims of crime. Witnessing crime is another matter, but the children of Callow’s Field are considered off limits by all but the most hardened or desperate criminals.
Places of Interest
Port Fontaine Federal Penitentiary
Tartarus, as the locals call it, is a supermax prison capable of holding super powered criminals. It’s a stark, slab sided facility with high walls, well trained guards and a half mile cleared zone between it and the edge of the city proper. Tartarus is a bleak place, and rumors of secret experiments, underground fight clubs, and illicit activities are rife throughout Callow’s Field.
Thebes is one of the largest casinos in Callow’s Field. Home of the Sacred Band fighting society, Thebes boasts excellent live music, hopping entertainment, and a monthly fight card featuring some of the best combat arts in the city. Rumors circulate that it is also the headquarters of the Consortium, but those have never been substantiated.
Bellridge is a three square block park in the center of Callow’s Field. It’s a centrally located feature of the city and features a rotating group of food trucks and other mobile merchants all showcasing wares from their homelands. Bellridge park is also the home of the WWI monument to all of the soldiers from the city who died in that conflict.
St. Jude’s Cathedral
The largest Catholic church in the city, St. Jude’s opened in the early 19th century to minister to the immigrants and see to their spiritual needs. Bishop Joco Herietta has overseen the cathedral since 1993, and has been a leading voice in creating a vibrant interfaith community that invites religious leaders from across Callow’s Field to help minister to everyone’s needs.