What is the Shattered Frontier?
The "Shattered Frontier" was a term coined by a St. Louis newspaper publisher, Shawn Griffith Nelson, when describing the lands west of the Mississippi River.
A few months ago, Mr. Nelson made a journey from St. Louis to the frontier boomtown of Muskeegie and chronicled his experiences by telegraph.
In his weekly published updates, he harped on and on about the 'God-given' opportunities presenting themselves out West that were, in his opinion, being "squandered" by the Union.
"Vast expanses of land and valuable resources claimed by everyone yet controlled by no one lie in this shattered frontier," he wrote in one piece. "Neglecting this territory is akin to letting fields of fertile soil lay fallow while the starving farmer picks through the trash for his supper. It's shameful."
The 'Shattered Frontier' as he dubbed it, is a region with overlapping claims and contested borders -- land coveted by Imperial Mexico, the Republic of Texas, Deseret and the United States, but occupied by "heathens, squatter towns, Indians and bandits".
Known by the Mexicans as "El Diablo’s Caldera" (or simply "the Cauldron") this area of political unrest is the stage for your beginning Aces & Eights campaign. It is here, around the squatter towns of Lazarus and Muskeegie, that your adventure is centered. Once an area deemed suitable only for outlaws in hiding and for trappers running the occasional trap line, the San Juan Mountains now have the continent's undivided attention. Gold was discovered here in recent months and the rush is on. ★