- Octavio PazDeath rules Zingaro in more ways than one.
This country of the New World, west and far to the south of the City, practices an unorthodox version of the Oecumenical faith that venerates the Barren Madonna, Our Lady of the Grave, “Sainted Mother Death” as its patron saint. This saint isn’t recognized officially by the church, and theological scholars speculate that she is either a syncretized pagan death goddess, or else an eikone of death dressed in an Oecumenical nun’s habit--or perhaps both. Her festival is the "Day of the Dead," where the people of Zingaro pay homage to the ghosts of their ancestors and offer gifts of skull-shaped sweets to any undead they encounter--which are not as uncommon there as in most of the New World, and no where so common as town of Cujiatepec.
Skulls are an important symbol to Mother Death, and the most powerful of the items connected with her veneration are the crystal skulls. Seven of are known to exist, but some thaumaturgical archaeologists believe there may be as many as thirteen in existence. These mysterious items predate the modern land of Zingaro, perhaps being artifacts of pre-historical New World civilization, or of drowned Meropis. Whatever their origin, the Lady of the Grave has claimed them as her own. Folklore holds they are the transformed skulls of men who so loved the Lady that she preserved a part of them forever--while taking their souls into her eternal embrace as God wills.
brujos have predicted that the man who will rule Zingaro will possess one of the crystal skulls.
Death also rides Zingaro in the company of war. It began as a populist revolution over twenty years ago, but has become a bloody civil war with no end in sight. Various contenders for the presidency have bases of power in different parts of the country. They commit atrocities against other factions in the name of strategic advantage, and bleed their own people to fund their campaigns--which often require foreign mercenaries.