Medieval America Mark III

Vortextes
Vortextes

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Within the New Age religion, vortexes are described as spiraling concentrations of energy that coalesce at certain locales of deep spiritual importance. The spinning resonances are said to break the bonds separating this realm of being from other worlds, alternatively termed in New Age scriptures "The [n]th Dimension" (often 4th), "The Astral Plane", "The Dreamtime", "The Great Beyond", or simply "The Other". It is here at these zones where one's hold on reality is weakest that the greatest spiritual enlightenment and physical healing is to be found.

When one goes through a "Tripping" ritual, they consume as many narcotics as possible and go on a cross-country pilgrimage to see as many of these sites as they possibly can. Most of the peasantry is so poor that they can only hope to fly high at one vortex in their lifetime, while the Priesthood and the political class may see as many as the known world has to offer. The greatest concentration of vortexes is to be found in the ancient land of Dinetah.

Ironically, the study of the non-existent vortexes has created countless treatises on their mechanics based on observable mechanics of water vortices. This has given the New Mexicans a surprisingly advanced understanding of fluid dynamics - invaluable knowledge in a Hydraulic Empire.

Some Major Vortexes

Note: A full listing of the holy sites of the New Age could fill several volumes; seemingly every village has some shrine of supposedly cosmic significance. This list simply provides some of the more notable vortexes, and excludes others.

1. Fifty-One: One of the holiest sites in the New Age. It is said that here the Gray dwelt upon the earth and men flew in metal wagons like birds. The precise site is lost to the sands of time; it is known that it laid somewhere between Death Valley and Las Vegas. With the destruction of Las Vegas the pilgrimage has only become more difficult. Those few who make it to the stretch of desert said to house the ruins will have to rely on less then reliable camel-jockeys to guide them to the alleged site.

2. Roswell: Like Fifty-One, said to be a site where the Gray touched the Earth. The city holds countless relics of this happening including mummified remains purported to be those of one of the Grays who came here: it is worshiped as God, held in the Great Saucer's holy of holies and paraded by the Pecos Cowboys in battle when they believe they face frightening odds. The hillfort marks the easternmost boundary of the Confederacy.

3: The Thing: In the deserts between Two Sun and El Paso there is a thing of a strange power. Many ask "What is it?", to which one can only say that it is a wonder, truly the mystery of the desert. The Thing is housed in a temple complex that is possession of countless other wonders, relics of the New Age and of world hitory. The many pilgrims who make the journey can view these sacred and wondrous objects for the small price of a temple donation, also called an "Admission". Pilgrims marvel at the bone and statues of the monsters of a bygone world, they can protrate at the feet and relics of Grays, chant at marvellous crystals and relics or see the astrological charts that are said to posess knowledge of all history. But the Holy of Holies is what houses the Thing itself, and it is only accessible by the High Priests and the President. Though no one knows what it is, it is whispered that is an ancient mummified God who will awaken from his slumber and usher in the Age of Aquarius. Well whatever it is at least you can enjoy their world-famous hotdogs in the meantime.

4. The Great Pyramids: The Great Pyramids of Albuquerque are the tallest structures in Medieval America, if not the world. Despite the name, it is located just outside of Albuquerque to the west of the Rio Grande - the direction of the sunset and death in New Age cosmology. Built by a President of the fourth dynasty, it stands as a testament to the might of the New Mexican state.

5. Alamogordo: Once far more celebrated then it is today. Here man summoned Trinity who smote the earth with his righteous fury. Following the rule of the Gray President however, the site has been abandoned for its association with his despotic monotheism; it has been abandoned to the Gila monsters. It is said that the vortex here is inverted, radiating out "bad vibes" left over from Trinity's smiting. Only the most daring of mystics who wish to know the darker side of the New Age venture here.

6. Sedona: Sedona was the place where pre-Regressive faithful discovered the vortex phenomenon; it is therefore no surprise that it is home to the greatest concentration of vortexes anywhere in the known world. It was in Sedona that the first great meeting of New Agers was called at the dawn of the Regression and much of the dogma was hammered it. Many temples and holy sites commemorate the places and wise folk who brought gnosis to the South West. Admittedly it has fallen off in the in the intervening centuries what with its disadvantageous position and the power of New Mexico, but it is nevertheless highly respected as a center of worship and learning. It holds host to the Green Temple of Healing Mother Isis, one of the realm's greatest medical establishments and a center for Vortex research.

7. Four Corners: The Four Corners is said to be the place where all realms meet, both earthly and otherwise. It is held to be the center of the universe and the multiverse
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8. Las Vegas: When Las Vegas was a mighty city many New Agers made their home there, in no small part for its proximity to Fifty One. The temple complexes and the famed treatises of such New Age luminaries as Celestio of Gila led to it becoming a site of pilgrimage (and debauchery) in its own right. Like Alamogordo, it has taken on a different and darker meaning ever since the collapse of the Hoover Dam and the subsequent collapse of Vegasite civilization. Most New Agers give the city and its bad vibes a wide berth and instead opt to see the Hoover Falls, representative of nature's majesty.

9. Los Alamos: Though associated with Trinity, it has not had quite as poor a fate as Alamogordo with many coming to bask in the atomic rays.

10. Monument Valley: It is said that to climb the towering buttes of Monument Valley is to commune with the Sky Father himself.

11. Arcosanti: Like Sedona, Arcosanti is one of the birthplaces of the New Age in Arizona. Famed for its iconic architecture and its bronze production.

12. Chaco Canyon: These ancient ruins in Dinetah are seen as a place of the ancestors. Many come here for its sweat lodges.

13. Poston Pyramid: The oldest pyramid in the west, said to house the body of the "Father of Arizona" who has grown to become something of a minor local patron deity (one whose worship Albuquerque would very much like to stamp out).

14. Hunt's Tomb:

15. Tombstone: An ancient site holy to bowmen. Archers from Portland to Oklahoma have come here to pay homage to the mystic gun fighter and their lost magic. Many test their mettle in a variety of skill based archery competitions.

16. Tumacacori: The third of the great New Age holy cities in Arizona. A small New Age commune overtook the small settlement and became a major stop on the trade routes between Two Sun and Nogales, Tumacacoran camel-jockeys spreading their strange ideas to the North and South. The great temple is in the style of the old Spanish cathedrals.

17. Bryce: The towering hoodoos of Bryce Canyon are surely an incredible site. New Agers believe these are the Ancestors, petrified by the Coyote so that they may pass on their wisdom to future generations.

17. Blanca Peak: The Navajo held the Blanca peak to be the eastern boundary of the world and the home of the rising sun. While this no longer holds for the New Mexicans who consider Roswell to be the known world's eastern boundary, it is still held with much reverence.

19. Mount Taylor: Another of the mountains held as holy to the Navajo. In the New Age, it is held as especially holy to the Indigo Children.

20. Hesperus Peak: This striking peak is the fourth of the cardinal Navajo mountains. Said to be the home of rainbows and the northern boundary of Dinetah.

22. Grand Canyon: The Grand Canyon is inhabited today by wild tribes who speak dialects unintelligible to the surrounding nations. Still, its natural magnificence has made it a holy site to the New Mexicans.

23. Barring Crater: It is said that this great crater is what remains of an event where the stars touched the earth. One President of the fourth dynasty built his pyramid within the center of the crater to be closer to the stars he would one day ascend too.

24. Bandera Ice Caves: Within the Bandera volcano, one can find a strange sight indeed: a natural ice cave in the fiery southwest. Not only do New Agers get to marvel at this strange and resplendent beauty, they get to enjoy one of those little comforts that has largely been lost Post-Regression: a cool drink.

26. Carlsbad Caverns: South of Roswell, these caverns are said to have a rejuvenating effect on those who enter it. It's crystals hold a particular fascination for the New Agers.
 

tehskyman

Banned
I think that the Nevada Test Site should be added to that list. It's just south of Area 51 and is basically hundreds of craters from nuclear tests
 
I think that the Nevada Test Site should be added to that list. It's just south of Area 51 and is basically hundreds of craters from nuclear tests
I think it would fall under the broader matrix of Area 51, since they only know the general area of its location.
 
@Flashman Remember how you claimed that "Las Vegas" meant "the pastures" in Spanish? Literally, everything I've found says it means "the meadows". It originally attracted attention because of the local desert springs. While the local aquifer has been thoroughly exhausted by now there's no reason why the centuries couldn't be enough to recharge it. There'd be enough water for a small isolated community to survive in the pathetic ruins of their once mighty city. The desert isolation and bad reputation make it unlikely to be attacked for whatever reason. And the phrase "most New Agers" implies that an incredibly small minority go to Vegas regardless. Maybe the people who tried to go to Fifty-One and gave up.
 
@Flashman Remember how you claimed that "Las Vegas" meant "the pastures" in Spanish? Literally, everything I've found says it means "the meadows". It originally attracted attention because of the local desert springs. While the local aquifer has been thoroughly exhausted by now there's no reason why the centuries couldn't be enough to recharge it. There'd be enough water for a small isolated community to survive in the pathetic ruins of their once mighty city. The desert isolation and bad reputation make it unlikely to be attacked for whatever reason. And the phrase "most New Agers" implies that an incredibly small minority go to Vegas regardless. Maybe the people who tried to go to Fifty-One and gave up.
Hmm. Fair enough, but from an aesthetic point of view I like it as totally abandoned in a reflection of Irem, but it could go either way.

What say you teshkyman, or anyone else?
 

tehskyman

Banned
Hmm. Fair enough, but from an aesthetic point of view I like it as totally abandoned in a reflection of Irem, but it could go either way.

What say you teshkyman, or anyone else?

I'd say it's abandoned. Without water there's no reason for a community to exist. Even with some ground water, there'd never be enough to sustain agriculture. Nomads would be able to use it as a watering hole. And they don't have to be anywhere near the cursed city for that. Heck that water is probably cursed too (not only because there's radiation in the ground water?).

Would it be considered to be too cliche to have people in New England stumble upon Lovecraft and decide that it's 100% fact?

They'd treat it like a religious text. How else could you describe an object beyond description?
 
Would it be considered to be too cliche to have people in New England stumble upon Lovecraft and decide that it's 100% fact?
I wrote something like that last time around and plan on doing the same here, though its more of a Free Masons/Illuminati type deal... or Skull and Bones of you like.

I'd say it's abandoned. Without water there's no reason for a community to exist. Even with some ground water, there'd never be enough to sustain agriculture. Nomads would be able to use it as a watering hole. And they don't have to be anywhere near the cursed city for that. Heck that water is probably cursed too (not only because there's radiation in the ground water?)
Why would there be any radiation in the water? Yucca Mountain's a good long ways away.
 

tehskyman

Banned
I wrote something like that last time around and plan on doing the same here, though its more of a Free Masons/Illuminati type deal... or Skull and Bones of you like.


Why would there be any radiation in the water? Yucca Mountain's a good long ways away.

I was thinking the Nevada Test Sites. But Yucca Mountain and the Nuclear Test Sites are basically right next to each other. Huh Area 51 must be really holy then.
 
Hmm. Fair enough, but from an aesthetic point of view I like it as totally abandoned in a reflection of Irem, but it could go either way.

What say you teshkyman, or anyone else?

Maybe it was totally abandoned for a time but over the years enough people attempted and failed, to discover the elusive Fifty-One that a small town/village was build in the remains of the city.

I'd say it's abandoned. Without water there's no reason for a community to exist. Even with some ground water, there'd never be enough to sustain agriculture. Nomads would be able to use it as a watering hole. And they don't have to be anywhere near the cursed city for that. Heck that water is probably cursed too (not only because there's radiation in the ground water?).



They'd treat it like a religious text. How else could you describe an object beyond description?

Then how about having the survivors of the fall of Vegas take the grueling trek northwards towards Lake Tahoe or Walker Lake, both of which are natural lakes instead of reservoirs, and found a new town there? Its initially low population would be augmented by the number of confused pilgrims that got lost on the way to Fifty-One.

I wrote something like that last time around and plan on doing the same here, though its more of a Free Masons/Illuminati type deal... or Skull and Bones of you like.


Why would there be any radiation in the water? Yucca Mountain's a good long ways away.

They've got a grudge against the Non-Denoms since they've got ahold of their holy city, Lovecraft's hometown of Providence. And they're keeping the people ignorant about the horrific abominations lurking in the dark.

I was thinking the Nevada Test Sites. But Yucca Mountain and the Nuclear Test Sites are basically right next to each other. Huh Area 51 must be really holy then.

Then there'd be no shortage of pilgrims to the area to either die in the desert or find New Vegas near Lake Tahoe or somewhere else.
 
I was thinking the Nevada Test Sites. But Yucca Mountain and the Nuclear Test Sites are basically right next to each other. Huh Area 51 must be really holy then.
Huh. I assumed that the Nevada Test Sites wouldn't be irradiated a thousand years hence but apparently there will be some residual radiation for tens of thousands of years. Do note that it's pretty low and probably won't make much of a dent in already low Medieval lifespans, but uts there.

Yucca mountain is probably holding strong and not leakinf - after all, that's what its made for. I did consiser including Yucca Mountain in the lost but figured its way too far for New Agers to really care about.

Finally, New Age opinions on radiation probably aren't good on the whole: after all, modern New Agers are scared of even non-ionizong radiation. It's on the whole more negative then positive methinks, especially with the Gray President.
 
Maybe it was totally abandoned for a time but over the years enough people attempted and failed, to discover the elusive Fifty-One that a small town/village was build in the remains of the city.
Permanent abandoning is a pretty big part of the story of Irem. There are probably communities on the banks of the Colorado that claim descent from Lost Vegas, but the ceater itself is forbidden and saud to be demon-haunted. Bad vibes, man.

Then how about having the survivors of the fall of Vegas take the grueling trek northwards towards Lake Tahoe or Walker Lake, both of which are natural lakes instead of reservoirs, and found a new town there? Its initially low population would be augmented by the number of confused pilgrims that got lost on the way to Fifty-One.
Hmm... Lake Tahoe is a center of New Age activity in the modern day. I suppose its possible, but I think it would remain a fairly minor settlement (albeit one of the larger in Nevada) and probably sworn to California.

They've got a grudge against the Non-Denoms since they've got ahold of their holy city, Lovecraft's hometown of Providence. And they're keeping the people ignorant about the horrific abominations lurking in the dark.

Then there'd be no shortage of pilgrims to the area to either die in the desert or find New Vegas near Lake Tahoe or somewhere else.
Lake Tahoe is a very far way from Fifty-One or its purported locations. Most pilgrims die long before they stumble upon Lake Tahoe. Like I said, it'd be a historical foot note. Think the 11th century Black Sea New England.
 
Permanent abandoning is a pretty big part of the story of Irem. There are probably communities on the banks of the Colorado that claim descent from Lost Vegas, but the ceater itself is forbidden and saud to be demon-haunted. Bad vibes, man.


Hmm... Lake Tahoe is a center of New Age activity in the modern day. I suppose its possible, but I think it would remain a fairly minor settlement (albeit one of the larger in Nevada) and probably sworn to California.

They've got a grudge against the Non-Denoms since they've got ahold of their holy city, Lovecraft's hometown of Providence. And they're keeping the people ignorant about the horrific abominations lurking in the dark.


Lake Tahoe is a very far way from Fifty-One or its purported locations. Most pilgrims die long before they stumble upon Lake Tahoe. Like I said, it'd be a historical foot note. Think the 11th century Black Sea New England.

Journey far enough north along the Colorado River and the descendants of Lost Vegas would find sanctuary among the Coloradans.

The old map makes it look like California doesn't have any land east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. So that's why I thought that Lake Tahoe could stay somewhat independent. They're tiny enough to escape mighty California's notice most of the time.

I can deal with it being a historical footnote for most New Agers. Maybe there are towns in the desert relying on groundwater not contaminated by any radiation. It's a damned hard life but it's a life.

You just quoted what I said about the Lovecraft cultists. Do you have anything to add to that?
 
Journey far enough north along the Colorado River and the descendants of Lost Vegas would find sanctuary among the Coloradans.
Sure, refugees are probably scattered throughout the Southwest. Perhaps they're looked down upon as tainted and take on a role similar to the gypsies with a heavy emphasis on gambling.

The old map makes it look like California doesn't have any land east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. So that's why I thought that Lake Tahoe could stay somewhat independent. They're tiny enough to escape mighty California's notice most of the time.
I meant they would be one of the Nevadan peoples who are vassalized by the Guardian of the West. It's a fairly important strategic point so I doubt they escape notice.

I can deal with it being a historical footnote for most New Agers. Maybe there are towns in the desert relying on groundwater not contaminated by any radiation. It's a damned hard life but it's a life.
Again, the area's not that irradiated and where it is the difference in lifespan would be hardly noticeable. But almost all of them would end up shepherds, not sedentary farmers outside of a few trading outposts.

You just quoted what I said about the Lovecraft cultists. Do you have anything to add to that?
I don't think they hold an especially strong grudge against Nondenom. Most members are minor merchants, sailors and local nobility that simultaneously consider themselves Christians and cultists. Only the most hardcore really believe. But as the temples will represent a gathering place for New England's elite and emergent middle class and considering Lovecraft's love of Nee England, it in later years is likely the crucible for any nationalist sentiment.
 
Sure, refugees are probably scattered throughout the Southwest. Perhaps they're looked down upon as tainted and take on a role similar to the gypsies with a heavy emphasis on gambling.


I meant they would be one of the Nevadan peoples who are vassalized by the Guardian of the West. It's a fairly important strategic point so I doubt they escape notice.


Again, the area's not that irradiated and where it is the difference in lifespan would be hardly noticeable. But almost all of them would end up shepherds, not sedentary farmers outside of a few trading outposts.


I don't think they hold an especially strong grudge against Nondenom. Most members are minor merchants, sailors and local nobility that simultaneously consider themselves Christians and cultists. Only the most hardcore really believe. But as the temples will represent a gathering place for New England's elite and emergent middle class and considering Lovecraft's love of Nee England, it in later years is likely the crucible for any nationalist sentiment.

  1. That definitely works. I like the idea of the descendants of "Lost Vegas" being considered tainted by their "bad vibes" and have to be nomadic.
  2. Fair enough.
  3. Where would these trading posts be?
  4. I like that. Lovecraft's works have become a cultural touchstone for New Englanders not under the control of the coastal United States. I also like the idea of most members of the Esoteric Orders* not truly believing in it as a religion but as a nationalist symbol. There'd still be quite a few diehard Esoterics** running around. Maybe the level of faith depends on what class you are. Higher classes are comfortable enough to pay lipservice to the faith and nothing more, whereas the peasants are desperate enough to have stronger faith in it. Esotericism is a blanket term for a movement with quite a few local variants despite being confined to a relatively small geographic area.
*Derived from the "Esoteric Order of Dagon" cult from The Shadow over Innsmouth. "Esoteric Order" being the name for the various local branches of the church through New England. Maybe some places intentionally renamed themselves after places in the stories for a deeper connection to their faith.
**They need a good religious Denonym and "Esoterics" works for "Esotericism" as well as "Catholics" works for Catholicism.
 
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New England Cult
That definitely works. I like the idea of the descendants of "Lost Vegas" being considered tainted by their "bad vibes" and have to be nomadic.
I actually like the idea of Bad Vibes Vegas Gypsies/Jews so much that it might finally put the fire under me to actually write the Vegas post.

Where would these trading posts be?
Wherever there's enough water for a couple scores of people to garden and water their camels and/or wherever the trade routes are advantageous.

I like that. Lovecraft's works have become a cultural touchstone for New Englanders not under the control of the coastal United States.
I think it'd actually be strongest in the places of American control, since those are probably going to be the richest ports. Also note that geopolitical the situation in these sites is probably pretty complex; it's not a question of Baltimore having Westphalian control over these territories, but a series of overlapping boundaries and loyalties, cessions and taxation rights.

I also like the idea of most members of the Esoteric Orders* not truly believing in it as a religion but as a nationalist symbol. There'd still be quite a few diehard Esoterics** running around. Maybe the level of faith depends on what class you are. Higher classes are comfortable enough to pay lipservice to the faith and nothing more, whereas the peasants are desperate enough to have stronger faith in it.
The way I see it is that the cult provides a couple of things; on the one hand, it's an opportunity to get drunk with your buddies in the Order Hall - something that'll be desperately missed in New England considering how strong a presence the Masons have there in the modern day and that those Lodges will close down or become filled with shave-headed teetotallers.

On the other hand, it's a means to network. Meetings in the halls allow a parallel government of sorts to form in addition to the Town Halls which I'm sure dominate much of New England; things can be said in private that it would not be expedient to say in public, and lets you meet with other community notables to make deals and trade gossip.

And finally, you have the religious aspect. Just as in the Medieval Era, the problem many people (especially the peasantry) find with Christianity is that while it helps mightily with the afterlife, it ain't got too much to say about the here-and-now: folk religions promise people the prospect of easier living in the moment which they can syncretize with Christianity for the assurance of a good after-now. It also provides curious people the superiority of having access to a "secret doctrine" even if they only take it half seriously.

I think in terms of belief you've got a kind of bellcurve going on; on the left most side you have peasants and the sailors. Peasants are so poor that they're probably not formal members of temples or the most part, but they actually engage in rituals and loosely believe in what of the cult filters down to them. Ironically though they'd probably be pretty likely to have disdain for actual temple goers (who in reality don't take it so seriously). Sailors are more likely to have their own order halls I think, and probably take the thing deadly serious; after all, the sea is capricious and sailors are historically the most superstitous people out there. Probably still consider themselves Christian.

Then you have the middle of the bellcurve. This makes up most of the cult proper, those who can afford to pay membership dues - minor nobility, merchants, guild members. They see it for the most part as a lark, perhaps with a few superstitions taken to heart.

And then a shadowy upper ecehlon who certainly seem to take the whole thing seriously.

I think the best models here are the pre-Regression Freemasons, Mithraists, folk syncreticsm, and Gnostics.
 
I actually like the idea of Bad Vibes Vegas Gypsies/Jews so much that it might finally put the fire under me to actually write the Vegas post.


Wherever there's enough water for a couple scores of people to garden and water their camels and/or wherever the trade routes are advantageous.


I think it'd actually be strongest in the places of American control, since those are probably going to be the richest ports. Also note that geopolitical the situation in these sites is probably pretty complex; it's not a question of Baltimore having Westphalian control over these territories, but a series of overlapping boundaries and loyalties, cessions and taxation rights.


The way I see it is that the cult provides a couple of things; on the one hand, it's an opportunity to get drunk with your buddies in the Order Hall - something that'll be desperately missed in New England considering how strong a presence the Masons have there in the modern day and that those Lodges will close down or become filled with shave-headed teetotallers.

On the other hand, it's a means to network. Meetings in the halls allow a parallel government of sorts to form in addition to the Town Halls which I'm sure dominate much of New England; things can be said in private that it would not be expedient to say in public, and lets you meet with other community notables to make deals and trade gossip.

And finally, you have the religious aspect. Just as in the Medieval Era, the problem many people (especially the peasantry) find with Christianity is that while it helps mightily with the afterlife, it ain't got too much to say about the here-and-now: folk religions promise people the prospect of easier living in the moment which they can syncretize with Christianity for the assurance of a good after-now. It also provides curious people the superiority of having access to a "secret doctrine" even if they only take it half seriously.

I think in terms of belief you've got a kind of bellcurve going on; on the left most side you have peasants and the sailors. Peasants are so poor that they're probably not formal members of temples or the most part, but they actually engage in rituals and loosely believe in what of the cult filters down to them. Ironically though they'd probably be pretty likely to have disdain for actual temple goers (who in reality don't take it so seriously). Sailors are more likely to have their own order halls I think, and probably take the thing deadly serious; after all, the sea is capricious and sailors are historically the most superstitous people out there. Probably still consider themselves Christian.

Then you have the middle of the bellcurve. This makes up most of the cult proper, those who can afford to pay membership dues - minor nobility, merchants, guild members. They see it for the most part as a lark, perhaps with a few superstitions taken to heart.

And then a shadowy upper ecehlon who certainly seem to take the whole thing seriously.

I think the best models here are the pre-Regression Freemasons, Mithraists, folk syncreticsm, and Gnostics.

  1. The post-regression Southwest is weird. I love it. The irony being that Vegas was much more influential to the region after its collapse than when it was still living high on the hog.
  2. probably a combination of pre-regression highways and post-regression trade routes. The highways still around are likely the best roads anyone is going to have for quite a while.
  3. So the Esoterics will be able to have possession of their holy city of Providence. That definitely works. The Whateley High Order Hall in Providence is likely a combination of the Masonic House of the Temple and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The leader of the Esoterics, whatever he is called, is seen as the first among equals like the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  4. So the Esoteric Order Halls become like Masonic temples used to be, or at least like how the Simpsons Stonecutter parodies acted, whereas the Masonic temples became legitimate religious centers?
  5. Maybe with the operations of the Esoterics being even more secret in the areas outside of direct American control. The Esoterics living in comfortable conditions in Boston are much less tight-lipped than Esoterics living in rural Vermont, Mayne, or Masachusets. That's where they'd truly need to be a secret society. With subtle signals instead of elaborate parties in the Order Hall. The closest thing to "Order Halls" in the uncontrolled inland are hidden rooms in the basements of prominent members.
  6. Maybe the rural towns have their own teeny-tiny Order Hall chapels to contrast with the cathedral-like structures erected in big cities. With all the monstrosities the Lovecraftian Gospel says are in this world the very act of being able to have a half-decent life is a miracle. And the true believers get the benefit of knowing that suffering with it for so long nets them a comfortable afterlife. Considering how much nautical themes are a thing in Lovecraft sailors taking it deadly serious is extra-appropriate. They'd have some strange syncretic combination of the Esoteric and Christian religions. Maybe with Dagon taking the place of the Christian God. Having a sea god be the supreme deity makes sense for sailors to do.
  7. The higher-ups are ironically more likely mostly Christian with a smattering of Esotericism whereas the sailors are Esoteric with a smattering of Christianity.
  8. Oooh. That has the potential to be the most interesting. A secret society within an already somewhat secretive religion. The "Black Brotherhood" works as a name for this secret leading cabal.
  9. That works to me! This is really getting good!
Also, regarding the map, are you taking names for the unlabeled spots?
 
The post-regression Southwest is weird. I love it. The irony being that Vegas was much more influential to the region after its collapse than when it was still living high on the hog.
Slow up cowboy. Post-collapse Vegasites are certainly influential, but they were far more influential when they had the city. It was among the most important cities in the Southwest. They controlled a lot of trade and even conquered New Mexico for a time. They probably controlled Bajo Colarodo for a time too. Now they're gypsies, likely subject to oppression and pogroms wherever they set foot.

But I agree that the diaspora angle is very interesting.

So the Esoterics will be able to have possession of their holy city of Providence. That definitely works.
Posession isn't the right way of looking at it, I don't think.

The Whateley High Order Hall in Providence is likely a combination of the Masonic House of the Temple and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The leader of the Esoterics, whatever he is called, is seen as the first among equals like the Archbishop of Canterbury.
I like this.

So the Esoteric Order Halls become like Masonic temples used to be, or at least like how the Simpsons Stonecutter parodies acted, whereas the Masonic temples became legitimate religious centers?
Precisely.

Maybe with the operations of the Esoterics being even more secret in the areas outside of direct American control. The Esoterics living in comfortable conditions in Boston are much less tight-lipped than Esoterics living in rural Vermont, Mayne, or Masachusets. That's where they'd truly need to be a secret society. With subtle signals instead of elaborate parties in the Order Hall. The closest thing to "Order Halls" in the uncontrolled inland are hidden rooms in the basements of prominent members.
I think Order Halls are seldom going to be huge even in the cities; it's always going to be frowned upon to some extent especially by the Americans.

Maybe the rural towns have their own teeny-tiny Order Hall chapels to contrast with the cathedral-like structures erected in big cities.
Maybe some of them but I think for the most part the inland peasantry is basically uninitiated aside from superstitions. Rich inland towns will have them, as will formerly rich inland towns. Perhaps inland towns that underwent Quebecois occupation formed a stronger tradition to coordinate resistance. But mostly in the backwoods (again, with some exceptions) the best you can hope for is folk superstitions and the occasional ritual, with Whatley esque figures largely feared and disliked as witches.

Remember, the cult is far from a New England universal. Its ideas have filtered down but active Order members/initiates are a small minority, and mist poorfolk don't take kindly to rich folk practicing what they see as devil worship (nevermind that in reality they take it far more seriously then the average order member).

Considering how much nautical themes are a thing in Lovecraft sailors taking it deadly serious is extra-appropriate. They'd have some strange syncretic combination of the Esoteric and Christian religions. Maybe with Dagon taking the place of the Christian God. Having a sea god be the supreme deity makes sense for sailors to do.
Yeah, the nautical theme is extremely prevalent. I'll be borrowing heavily for theology from @DValdron 's excellent write up of the Cthulhu cult. I can link it if you're interested.

Also, regarding the map, are you taking names for the unlabeled spots?
Sure
 
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