Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.
Most recent revision is shown below, by Galactic Baroque.
”’North of the city wall and away from the tracks is a decentralized community known as the Dairy Cooperative. Early risers have seen them selling their milk to city vendors, who then distribute it from ornate metal jugs mounted on the back of dog carts.”’
An interesting fact about the Dairy Cooperative is that nobody quite knows exactly when the farming families in that expansive greenbelt first came together forming their long enduring union of about thirty families. What is clear is that archaeological evidence suggests that the fertile fields making up the region currently known as Dairy have been inhabited for thousands of years – predating the now fallen empire by centuries. Out on the barrows where the sheep and the cattle graze without fence or pen, many stone-age structures, partially hidden by overgrown thickets of gorse, still remind those of a the time of enlightenment; a near mythological era when the austere mystics of the region held out against the might and pressures of the formidable organization of the early Church. The forces supporting the church eventually took hold but only by subsuming local practices, rebranding them to conform more closely with established church doctrine. While it is generally assumed all the families of the area ”adopted” the will of the church as their own will, it would be more accurate to say they ”adapted” the will of the church; never truly abandoning their old beliefs.
There has been a longstanding rumor about the seemingly flexible morals of the young ladies from the Dairy Cooperative, and the persistent rumors about visitors and runaways. As with all tall tales, there is a grain of truth to the stories. Because of the relative isolation of the community, the town elders realized at some point that the families who farmed and raised livestock in the valley were so intermarried that either the church would need to revise their rules on cousins, or something more creative would need to be done. Being knowledgeable in the ways of animal husbandry, the elders knew what was needed to keep the viability of their human flock…the introduction of foreign breeding stock. The plan they came up with was ingenious in its simplicity. The families of the Cooperative would accept into their midst any single female that happened to come their way seeking refuge, with the provision that in order to stay they pick one of the single menfolk to act as their ‘native guide’. They also agreed that they would look the other way if some stranger came to call and decided to sample the charms of one of their daughters. The decision to effectively accept those ‘gift children’ into the family without applying any stigma of bastardy made the standard deviation in the genetic pool a touch wider as time passed. There were a few notable exceptions over time, such as the red-headed anvil salesman from Falun who found that once every family in the western end of the valley had a ginger child someone would catch on.
Granted, strange men who sought to live there would have a decidedly more difficult time in finding a place in the Cooperative, as most ‘men of the families’ would have a part of their father’s or fathers in law’s land for their own once they had reached an age where they were ready to get married and start their own family. This arrangement worked well openly for a number of years, until such time that the available males outstripped the female population, enough so that the single men of the valley went out into the neighboring towns to ‘pick up girls’. Much to the chagrin of the nearby communities, the boys of the Cooperative did not intend to return any of the young women they picked up. An additional rumor that was never confirmed was that several organizations who were tasked with assisting the lost, transient, and runaways were sending girls of a certain age ‘out to the country’ for a little ‘fresh air and clean living’.