A man named Higgins was appointed magistrate of a small, unnamed moon (rumors said that this appointment was won in a cards game). At the time of the moon’s founding, it did not appear to have useful resources or much potential for agriculture. A few years later, it was discovered that some areas have a mineral-rich clay that can be harvested, chemically treated and kiln-fired into a ceramic that is ten times stronger than steel at half the weight. It formed a new industry – mud.
Magistrate Higgins rules through intimidation and the use of force, and is hated by virtualy everyone. Mudders yearn for change and residents of the company town of Canton (which was founded near the largest of the mud pits) sing songs of a hero who will return and free them from Higgins’ rule. The most likely way for conditions to improve will be from the magistrate’s son, Fess, who is quietly working to reverse some of his father’s harshest policies.