Isla del Oro
About a hundred miles off the coast of north central California, and about the size of Rhode Island lies Isla del Oro. Originally called Nova Albion it was discovered first by Sir Francis Drake during his historic voyage around the world. On July 29, 1579, the Golden Hind and her smaller consorts dropped anchor in a sheltered bay on the south western corner of the island. Drake proclaimed it Nova Albion and he and his crew spent several weeks there gathering food and repairing their ships. The natives proved to be very friendly and helpful. The weeks turned out to be the most idyllic time the Sea Dogs of Queen Elizabeth. When they sailed off it would be another 23 years before the island was again visited by white men.
Rediscovered in 1602 by a ship crewed by pirates and running from the Spanish Navy, this island became a haven for the eastern Pacific brotherhood. The western side of the island is rugged, much as the coast of California to the north of the Golden Gate, while the eastern coast is flat salt marshes like the terrain around Drake's Bay. Over the centuries, two very different settlements have formed, to the north, Playa del Norte and to the south Punta del Sur. Punta del Sur was, from the beginning, the preferred site for the richest of the pirates and over the centuries, that hasn't change. Now the southern city is a thriving tourist Mecca of over a half million people. To the north, Playa del Norte has become the more reasonably priced city that has become almost exclusively a service industry bedroom community to the south. From here, the majority of the one hundred-fifty thousand population commutes via trains and the single major highway to work in the hotels and restaurants of the south. Some few have found jobs in the many estates the line the western coast of the island as cooks, maids and gardeners.
The social classes of the island has become a marked as Victorian England or the Upper/Lower split of Midgaard. As the years go by this separation has grown until there are now places on the Eastern coast that the West Coasters and Southerners have no idea exists. One such place is a festering sore called the Basin.
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