Current Borough Leader: Meganne
The community east of the Mississippi River owns the proper name of Erlosung (German for Redemption). However, almost everyone, including those that call this place their home, knows it as The Badlands. The Badlands is a self-proclaimed autonomous borough. Officially, this borough is considered a part of Wildwood City-State, but its relation to the authorities has a unique status of being regulated by a special law - The Erlosung Law of 2777 - which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Wildwood to that of the borough.
The Badlands has been a point of controversy within Wildwood since well before its history as a borough. The drugs, prostitution, and rumored slavery are tolerated in hopes of keeping unsavory members of humanity away from those deemed worthy participants of society.
Many regular Wildwoodians visit the outskirts of The Badlands. Few dare to go more than two blocks in. Save for a few neighborhoods with watchdog gangs, the area tends to become dangerous quickly after those two blocks. This outer shell of the Badlands is home to many second-hand shops, brothels, burlesque houses, and small casinos. Thus The Badlands is curious one of the many tourist attractions of Wildwood, and is used by businesses as a show place for foreign guests. It is typically considered a cultural area for rebellious youth.
The acceptance of drug-addicts who can no longer cope with regular society is stressed within the streets of The Badlands. The spirit of that belief has never diminished, even though many of the problems are due to the drug trafficking that takes place there. Addicts tend to enter and remain in The Badlands. The general populace of the borough functions under the belief that the addicts are just as integral to the ethics of the place as any other community member.
Due to the decriminalization of many crimes to the east of the Mississippi River and a lack of policing, many social problems run rampant within the boundaries of The Badlands. These problems, associated with extreme poverty, varying from drug addiction to prostitution to slavery. Violent crime continues to be a serious problem within the community.
With the lucrative drug trade in the area, many addicts reside in the community. Peer pressure among the homeless and disenchanted youth contributes to the high usage rate.
Many households in the area are headed by single mothers. Many of these women had their first child at a very young age and cannot adequately provide for their children. Many if not most of these women turn to prostitution or larceny as a means of income.
In 2823, the Badlands Free Clinic was established. Within the first year, the clinic had reported 600 cases of gunshot and stabbing victims.
Originally part of the area known as the Badlands were military barracks along with the ramparts of an abandoned Nova Sectorian fort. The barracks housed the original Wildwood Land Militia and ammunition laboratories. In the north area of the Badlands one can still find the foundation and drainage system from the last active execution site in Wildwood before corporal punishment was outlawed.
In 2678 they were abandoned for the current facility located south of Wildwood. For a decade the group of buildings was left unguarded. Vagrants and squatters moved into as the ever-tightening laws of city began to squeeze them out of the developing boroughs. With the population growing in Wildwood rapidly while the rest of the city was moving slowly, poverty quickly became a problem.
In hopes of heading off this problem and placing the foundation of social aide into Wildwood’s charter, the old barracks were rehabilitated under the direction of Alowishus Clark II. Other buildings were constructed including a hospital and school. This place was named Erlosung, and it was the first experiment in a work farm program of the country’s history. It opened its door in 2692.
The summer of 2695 is known for the great corn rot that ripped across the entirety of Wildwood and beyond. Many farming communes that focused on the corn trade were forced to be abandoned as the agricultural economy collapses for the summer. The founding families running Wildwood City-State promised that all those coming to their city would be fed and housed.
Unfortunately this promise fell through, as they were not fully aware of the magnitude of people that had been displaced. When Erlosung hit maximum capacity that season, those that were unable to get into the work farm to live began to build shanties around the walled compound. Since the organization did not have enough food raised to sustain their ranks, outside food aid was meant to be brought in. By this time, though, gangs had started to form outside the walls. They were quick to begin ambushing the aide coming in.
Unrest continued to grow as violence escalated and began spilling out over the River. As an answer to this, mobs from the city proper moved to begin razing areas of the shantytown. Full-blown riots quickly broke out, and those on the administrative side of the miserably failed Erlosung Work Farm fled for their lives back into Wildwood. The city soon gave up control of the area.
In 2770, Wildwood City-State incorporated what had grown into a commune community. In 2777, The Erlosung Law of 2777 was passed, which transferred parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Wildwood to that of the borough. This left The Badlands free to allow in more of the unsavory industries into their streets. The result was the city-state finally made it illegal for prostitution, gambling, and illicit drug trade and usage to be outlaws from all areas west of the River.
More recently, in 2835 a large fire broke out in a ten block section of this borough, killing a large number of citizens. While the exact cause of the fire is unknown, it is rumored that it was started by Twillah Kelly, owner of Madame Minsky’s, in retaliation over the disappearance of her fiancé, Jonah Greek.