Medieval America Mark III

tehskyman

Banned
Does anyone know if there's an upper limit to the amount of precipitation that will still allow agriculture?

Most parts of the world with 4000mm and up are dense jungle. Though there are some parts of India where all that rain comes during the monsoon season and continue to have rice agriculture.
 
The forces in charge of Gitmo could've taken over Santiago. I don't think that that is outside the realm of possibility. Especially since this thread doesn't seem to prioritize plausibility so much as what can reasonably be justified.

The forces take over Santiago and over the centuries their origins in an abandoned military base fade into obscurity and Gitmo becomes a mythical location like O'lando or Fifty One. Maybe they tell stories of mysterious men in black who spirit men away never to be seen again.
 

tehskyman

Banned
The forces in charge of Gitmo could've taken over Santiago. I don't think that that is outside the realm of possibility. Especially since this thread doesn't seem to prioritize plausibility so much as what can reasonably be justified.

The forces take over Santiago and over the centuries their origins in an abandoned military base fade into obscurity and Gitmo becomes a mythical location like O'lando or Fifty One. Maybe they tell stories of mysterious men in black who spirit men away never to be seen again.
Its a bit hard for Gitmo's location to fall into obscurity especially when its a days sailing away. Though stories of the men in black who take people away might become a part of the Bermuda Triangle myth
 
Its a bit hard for Gitmo's location to fall into obscurity especially when its a days sailing away. Though stories of the men in black who take people away might become a part of the Bermuda Triangle myth
I stretched the definition of "Bermuda Triangle" as far as possible to make it an active concern for American sailors, but pushing it all the way to the other side of Cuba seems a bit far. Will probably just get lumped in with other Caribbean weirdness.
 

tehskyman

Banned
Would Caribbeans give a name to the island chains?

I was thinking something along the lines of the Azure Road. If we want to be tongue in cheek, could call it the Azure Lane
 
Its a bit hard for Gitmo's location to fall into obscurity especially when its a days sailing away. Though stories of the men in black who take people away might become a part of the Bermuda Triangle myth
But what about the people in charge of Gitmo taking over Santiago? If it's so easy to get there there's no reason why it couldn't work.
 

tehskyman

Banned
But what about the people in charge of Gitmo taking over Santiago? If it's so easy to get there there's no reason why it couldn't work.
Sure, but there's also 400k people in Santiago, I'd imagine that they could put up a pretty good fight. Also, in the 900 or so years since, the rulership of Santiago DC has probably changed hands multiple times.

There's no reason to simply abandon Guantanamo. It's a perfectly serviceable location which could still have a fort. The Caribbean empires might put a fort there to deter pirates and smugglers. The people in charge will probably just blend into the local population over time.
 
More Renaissance America
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Greetings, Abbot Fergus. May this memorandum from your son in the faith find you well.

Two weeks ago I met with Brother Esteban O’Toole, the same who was sent to San Gorgonio Pass to resolve the feud of our border-guards and those of the Elayites. I heard from the man himself that the dispute, which began with the death of one of our own, had been resolved with a price of gold, not blood; and that to seal the compact he had submitted to a Hubbardensian ceremony. The light tap of a wooden paddle on each of his shoulders has ensured the treasures of land and sea will move freely, one way and the other, until the next border incident. I have been thinking on the matter ever since; it has quite spoiled my quiet hermitage by the Laguna Salada, and I have returned to the monastery in Guadalupe Victoria.

Permit me a while, Abbot, to ramble on. It is certain that we did not always live so precariously. Even in the garbled doctrines of the Desereti and other schismatics, there is something of the Gospel; the Church must once have spread its branches through a great expanse of the North-Land Estadundos. But though the men of that time wore the right badges, they transgressed, and disaster came upon them. They were proud, and God tipped over their Babel-tower and confused their thoughts and speech. They were wicked, and God scattered the Northern tribes, leaving the South-Lands to face their own trials. These and other explanations have been proposed, and I am inclined to believe.

In all the land of Bajo Colorado, not a single priest survived this disaster. Lesser men would have cursed their luck and turned to godlessness (and many in California and Dinetah may be the children of such cravens). But at last our fathers proved themselves worthy of God’s grace, and simply… waited. They knew that neither they nor their children would receive baptism or sit a Mass or marry legitimately, that unknown numbers would live and die still burdened with the sin of Eden’s fruit. But still, still a good man may trust in God’s benevolence! I cannot walk the halls of the monastery but be reminded of this truth, and be moved nearly to tears. That our fathers would build up these places in order to become the best men they could, that they would pray earnestly for all who could not join them in contemplation, that they would write down all they knew of proper priests and wait patiently for God to provide them— what strength, what grandeur of spirit!

And to them, to us, came a salvation so absolute we still struggle to understand its entirety, its enormity. In the days before priests the usurers of Vegas were kings of the life-giving river, and gambled with its very water. And then, one day four centuries ago, the first priests came down from Sinaloa, and matched the expectations set down for them in every way. They baptized souls and confirmed marriages in the hundreds and thousands, and promised to bring the best of the monks into the Holy Orders. From that day Vegas’s grip was slackened— we grew bolder in dealing with them, but we received more water and not less. We asked that the Sinaloans consecrate some of our more priests as bishops; after all, it would take but one bishop to ordinate new priests, and only three to elevate a priest to their own rank. This being granted, Bajo Colorado became an ecclesiastic province with a collegium of bishops. And then all Mexico came under one President, and in Mexico City the New Rome a bishop of Rome was elected by an assembly of all the bishops worth the name. He appointed his cardinals, assigning them titular-churches in the Valley of Anahuac. The word was whispered:
Ecumene. A new world-communion, a new universal family under the Virgins of Birth and Death. At last the Vegasites, their fate known as surely as Belshazzar’s, released a flood of water out of spite, but God did not permit us to be brought low again. And as we repaired our cities and farms, digging treasures and commonplaces from the silt and muck, our hearts were raised by news of the Mexican President’s doings, of the war he brought to the Caribs. We could dream, then, of being the northern sword-point of Catholicism— a wedge to split open Estadundos, a chisel to shape it anew.

All this excitement, I think, makes our current disappointment and disillusion hard to bear. I mean no insult to your stewardship— the Collegium has chosen a statesman well-suited to the age. But the twofold fall of Mexico, first to the machinations of the Devil-President and then to fraternal war, is a burden beyond the power of policy. God has delayed the glorious destiny we imagined, and we don’t know what to do with ourselves. There is no Archbishop over us anymore, for lack of a superior to agree to his elevation. The word
Ecumene goes unsaid, and describes nothing. The Sinaloans are no longer our brothers in communion; they have joined with Durango in league against justice and preserve the ordinances of that Serpent which slithered into the Presidency. Still we buy from them Mazatlan’s gold, and the pearls of La Paz, because we know the Elayites value these. The Jaliscans once waged a righteous war to make a revolution in Sinaloa but have since made their peace. We consider this a blessing, because Michoacan iron is valued among the Dineh and the Sinaloans no longer stop it from traveling past their coasts. The towns and villages of the Sonoran coast, the simple folk under our care, have grown dissolute; sailors and travelers practice freely there the sins we’ve forbidden in our own ports, and the proceeds of this evil trade form a significant part of the levy paid to us by the Sonorans.

It’s all there in the histories, Father; why else would I repeat to you what I’ve learned at your feet? It’s written already in the parchments of the Bible, written already on our own foreheads. In those records are all there is to see of human experience. Though formally outside the Church, our fathers trusted in God and found salvation. And now, within the Church, men trust only in themselves and come to sin. Where once the unbaptized strived for perfection, now trade lies on the lips of the Brothers like a cold-sore. All that will be, is already written— suffering comes in its cyclical turns, and we will not avoid the next. Will we be subjected to another Vegasite captivity— or this time, will it be us who are weighed and found wanting, and our little empire which will be parceled out to the eastern invader? If the Dineh ever come down the Gila with the iron we’ve sold them, I suspect all we’ll regret is the loss of our lives or property. We’ve quite lost our way, though the way is mapped out so clearly; oh, what cruel stupidity!

Father, I hope I don’t seem childish. I’ve thought about this long and well. That’s why, even if I’ve accepted you’re complicit in it all, still I dare to hope that

.
.
.


[The letter, unfinished, was disposed of in the fire.]
 
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From what I understand Bajo Colorado is supposed to be Mexican-Catholic and involved in trade, but not much else has been explicitly said. So yeah here's a monastic order

I think that Catholicism, which might even be the biggest religion in the Americas assuming Brazil isn't Candomble all the way down, demands a kind of idealism. Like with the new religions and especially Scientology it's fun to be a little cynical; but I think Catholicism can only get so kooky because it stops feeling traditional, and so kinda stops feeling like Catholicism. While there's plenty room for it to get weird and wild in Mexico and Peru I think that needs to grow out of some sane and recognizable basic-form of Catholicism, and the development of cultic weirdness could be a kind of tragic departure from that.

I also think that past attempts to see what Catholicism might turn into have been too influenced by the view of Catholicism as "that particular worldwide organization headed by the pope", so there's been speculations on whether nuncios or cardinals could be the new popes-- but neither the nuncios or cardinals are really relevant to anything besides the organizational needs, they're not really involved in the theology. IMO the first to take authority after the Regression would be the priests, deacons, and bishops. With the bishops you can consecrate new bishops (only takes three other bishops; Papal mandate is only sought out for these things nowadays because it's nice to have) and ordinate new priests and deacons. Without being explicitly sedevacantist you can avoid worrying about the fate of the wider organization and just focus on keeping the local Church alive and the Sacraments administered. And coming down to it, the Pope gets all of his authority from being the Bishop of Rome, so any other bishop would have a better claim to that title than just some papal appointee (until recently, cardinals didn't even have to be priests). Of course some regions aren't as lucky and won't have any bishops left alive, so they can't get this process started at all. Those regions... well, they can lie. And if the regions nearby think they're telling the truth and play along, then what's the harm? Maybe some other regions don't do that, and just try to hold on as a very hopeful, very fanatical group of laypeople. Either way, I guess the important things are 1) maintaining the Apostolic Succession of people only getting called to responsibility by others, going all the way back to Jesus and 2) the Sacraments. And that should be reflected in who claims authority, when and why-- thought not necessarily what they do with it.
 
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tehskyman

Banned
I wonder what the Mexican presidents have done with the Mexican Church. Something similar has probably happened in Peru

1) Probably used some underhanded scheme to get himself declared Archbishop/Patriarch of the West, explicitly advocated for schism
2) One of them probably declared themselves a descendant of Jesus i.e. God. Maybe cites the DaVinci Code as proof or something lol.
3) Human Sacrifice to absolve the nation of sins?
4) Explicit Worshipping of Saints, turning them into minor gods essentially
5) Turned into a standard hydraulic emperor, Cathedrals on giant pyramids (combining the Aztec Temples with European Cathedrals slapped on top), harems etc.
 
I wonder what the Mexican presidents have done with the Mexican Church. Something similar has probably happened in Peru

1) Probably used some underhanded scheme to get himself declared Archbishop/Patriarch of the West, explicitly advocated for schism
2) One of them probably declared themselves a descendant of Jesus i.e. God. Maybe cites the DaVinci Code as proof or something lol.
3) Human Sacrifice to absolve the nation of sins?
4) Explicit Worshipping of Saints, turning them into minor gods essentially
5) Turned into a standard hydraulic emperor, Cathedrals on giant pyramids (combining the Aztec Temples with European Cathedrals slapped on top), harems etc.
I think that might be the President mentioned in the post. Perhaps this more 'pagan' cult is currently competing with Catholicism for dominance over Mexico
 

tehskyman

Banned
I think that might be the President mentioned in the post. Perhaps this more 'pagan' cult is currently competing with Catholicism for dominance over Mexico
I imagine that a President who makes himself the head of the religion and does things like explicitly worshiping saints (and mountains?) would be viewed as pagans. I.e. hydraulic emperor-pope shenanigans would be viewed as paganism
 
2) One of them probably declared themselves a descendant of Jesus i.e. God. Maybe cites the DaVinci Code as proof or something lol.
I kinda like this, Catholic conspiracy theory as the basis for a rebellion/new religious movement sounds wild
3) Human Sacrifice to absolve the nation of sins?
4) Explicit Worshipping of Saints, turning them into minor gods essentially
The way I see it there's two very general ways that non-Christian or neo-native elements can find their way into Church doctrine. The first is drawing only from those traditions that still survive among native or mestizo people in Mexico today, traditions which I'd say (all I know on this topic is from this book btw) are like keeping the premises of older religion but not following the same conclusion. So a premise might be that "all living things, or things that may have animacy (includes mountains, and clouds depending on who you ask), must eat". But whereas in earlier times this might have involved sacrifice or war in the name of the Sun, nowadays an offering of maize made to a mountain or to the effigy of a spirit will suffice. Another might be that "spirits can assume several corporeal forms, moving in and out of them"; one tradition in Tenochtitlan was of having a person live as the avatar of Tezcatlipoca (to have Tezcatlipoca take over his form) for a year before sacrificing him and letting the god out again, but nowadays paper and straw effigies are preferred. Saint-veneration goes pretty easily with the general perception of a very animated, spiritually alive world.

The second is the more academic or pop-culture route, where you're taking stuff that's been rediscovered through history or archaeology-- taking the conclusions of older religion, but without the same premise. Mexico of course has enough of an interest in its own history for this sort of thing to gain a following, though it might take a while for it to be hammered into a coherent system of thinking. Human sacrifice could be appropriated for the shock/symbolic value but may stand for anything from sin-absolving (recreation of Jesus?) to just plain cruelty which everyone else picks up on. And yeah it'd definitely have a difficult relationship with Catholicism-- some probably have an open vendetta toward Catholicism or Christianity, but I think the really scary people would the ones who genuinely think they're helping and can convince other people to believe it too...

The friendlier attitude of the first way and its greater relevance to a rural lifestyle mean that it's just the kind of thing that a cleric might be raised with in his village, and then take with him to the seminary and beyond, where it influences his writings throughout his life. But the second way is monumental, it's subversive... the only thing it's not is coherent. It's going to take a while for it to really appeal to anyone besides closed cabals of mild sociopaths, but it's probably always in the background. The contest between these two schools of thought is probably a big part of post-Regression Mexican religious history.

1) Probably used some underhanded scheme to get himself declared Archbishop/Patriarch of the West, explicitly advocated for schism
5) Turned into a standard hydraulic emperor, Cathedrals on giant pyramids (combining the Aztec Temples with European Cathedrals slapped on top), harems etc.
The Mexican Empire at its height should (briefly) be the largest state in the Americas, underhanded schemes are probably as much a fact of life as any other state where people can own whole kingdoms and still want more.

That said, I'm not sure if it would be naturally absolutist. Although agriculture depends on irrigation, the terrain-- the way central Mexico is parceled into these valleys separated by high mountains, and each valley is still roomy enough for one of two significant city-states-- pushes the dial firmly back toward decentralization. And I don't think there's any region in central Mexico that needs water to be brought from a long way away, it's more just getting maximum value out of local sources-- so the irrigation works would be smaller in scale. Once built, they probably remain in the hands of local institutions-- the Aztecs had a form of neighborhood governance called the calpolli to oversee social services. Meanwhile the Yucatan is flat as Florida, they rely on rainwater-collectors called cenotes, but those are maintained locally too (they're just wells in the ground with channels running out of them). So if/when absolutism emerges, it probably relies on other factors besides the ability to control the water.
 
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tehskyman

Banned
Maybe over time, the Catholicism in Mexico begins to shift towards a more polytheistic form. It would be a quiet struggle within cathedrals and monastic circles. Perhaps the ultimate religious schism arrives when the President declares himself the descendant of Jesus and also the ArchBishop of the New World. And the polytheism that was quietly restrained by the church burst open. So nowadays God/Yahweh is the king of the pantheon and the saints are the lesser gods that people might pray to. A saint of volcanoes, war etc.

I am pretty conflicted in the nature of the Central Mexican Plateau. On the one hand, irrigation would be important though it seems like most of the plateau receives enough rain to not require irrigation. On the other hand, the mountains make centralization more difficult. So you have localized absolutism? Every sheriff a petty emperor? However, the amount of possible irrigation canals, pushes the equation towards bureaucracy and centralization. Comparable regions might be Spain or Anatolia. Anatolia seems to be pretty centralized under the Ottomans and the Byzantines, and Spain didn't explode into a million little statelets.

I'd say that in this case, if Mexico city has a relatively large standing army, local forces would be too small to effectively resist, similar to how the Aztecs conquered much of the region. The map might look similar to the Aztec Empire.

Territorial_Organization_of_the_Aztec_Empire_1519.png
 
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