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This world possesses large interior deserts, an artifact of an ice age that ended about 8000 years ago. French speaking colonists arriving here in the late 500s found the local soils depleted by glaciation, and farming has always been difficult. After jump drive technology reached Joyeuse after the Third Frontier War, they contacted Quichotte and found the local population stricken with severe poverty. Joyeusean money helped the farmers to finally wring some decent returns from their fields, and the economy became willingly dependent upon that aid. Economic aid led to the world's willing annexation in 1042.
In the years before the Islands War, the small farms were bought out by the Joyeuse government and replaced with huge "latifundia" governed by wealthy private landowners. Commercial plantation farming supplanted subsistence cultivation. The local economy boomed as larger amounts of food and oil crops, and some livestock, were exported to Joyeuse. But most of the wealth ended up with the landowners, or with the colonial government, while the locals sank further and further into impoverished dependence. During the Islands War, local production was intensified to the point of exhausting the land, and pesticide and industrial residues have poisoned the air and water. To prevent a rebellion, Soma was passed out to the populace as a medicinal drug, reducing the population to penury. To visitors Quichotte is a ghost world, populated by emaciated and diseased phantoms idling amidst the ruined farms and castoff dreams of a feckless imperial master.