Medieval America Mark III

State of West Virginia
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    State of West Virginia

    WestVirginiaFlagSmall.png


    System of Government: Feudal State
    Head of State: Governor, chosen through vote of feudal electors
    Population: 400,000
    Religion: Non-Denominational
    Totemic Symbol: Rhododendron
    In the hills beyond eastern Ohio, lies the small state of West Virginia. West Virginia is currently a small rump state that is too inconsequential for Ohio to bother conquering. As of right now they have lost their capital Charleston, but said loss was recent, having happened just 20 years ago when Wallace I rode into the hills and conquered the southern half of the state. Prior to this conquest West Virginia was forced to pay an annual tribute to the President in Cincinnati but this tribute is not in gold or silver but instead in the elite pikemen who makeup the Ohioan presidential guard. West Virginia must continue to pay this tribute but in recent years the amount of pike-men travelling to Cincinnati has been decreasing as Wallace I grows frailer. Instead these pikemen travel north to Pitsberg onto Erie or Cleveland where they serve other masters across the great Lakes.

    Though they are not unique in their culture of spear wielding yeoman, the West Virginians are different in the relative ease of access to the Midwest and Great Lakes. In most other Appalachian states and across New England, the composition of armies is mostly pikemen, though most of these other nations lie on the other sides of the Appalachians making access to their pikemen difficult. As a result, in Ohio and the Midwest, most pikemen come from the hills and terraces of West Virginia/
     
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    Population Map
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Here it is
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    and here is the population of the west, as can be seen there probably aren't 700k people there, more like 400k, maybe 500k if you want to stretch it

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    The State of New York
  • The State of New York

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    • System of Government: Feudal State
    • Head of State: Governor, chosen through primogeniture from the sons of the ruling Lamb family
    • Population: 1,000,000
    • Religion: Non-Denominational
    • Totemic Symbol: Liberty
    The State of New York has fallen on hard times. Long ago they lost direct control over Manhattan and Long Island when US troops occupied the territory to secure trade. Genesee County would secede not long after that. But even then things were going fairly well; the Governor in Albany ruled the largest territory in the Northeast, his dominion over the Upstate seemingly secured. New ork was able to throw its weight around and was counted among the great states of the Union.

    Everything would change when the Quebecois attacked. The First Crusade struck without warning, Quebecker Chevaliers sacking entire villages seemingly over night. The Governor rallied his forces to meet the Quebecois in battle at Lyons Fall. The Quebecois were almost turned back until the Governor took an arrow to the throat, throwing New Yorker forces into disarray. The Quebeckers stormed south, marching triumphantly into Albany and hunkering down for the winter.

    Initially it was not quite clear to the Non-Denom powers should be overly concerned about this state of affairs; it was perceived as just another war, and many were all too happy to have New York knocked out of the running. But as spring melted the winter frosts it became clear that this was something entirely different; New England faced invasion from the north and east, Genesee County and Ontario were under attack, and Quebecois forces appeared to be marching for New York City itself.

    A panicking US declared a counter-crusade that would quickly turn back the Francophone advance and even coming very close to taking Montreal before winter turned them back. It would only be some twenty years later when that the seizure of Kingston County would prompt the Americans to launch their first offensive crusade.

    Despite the victory New York was not reaping the spoils. After chafing under a year of tyrannical Quebecker rule the State came no closer to finding a legitimate Governor, and a low-level civil war burned through the already devastated country. The US had exercised control over much of the State following the Crusade and elected to maintain control until the chaos subsided. One claimant finally rose above the rest; rather then making up however, he had many of his rivals and their supporters executed, prompting a mass exodus to the territories of New York under Federal control. After the new Governor demanded the return of his land the US held democratic referendums as is their want. The votes came in and the Governor was crushed when he lost almost half of his territory, most cuttingly Albany which was now a Nondenom Supervisory. Too weak after years of war, the Governor limply accepted.

    Today, New York is doing well but most assuredly not great. Sure it grows fat off the riches of the Erie Canal, but massive proportions of it are lost to the State thanks to the exorbitant cut taken by the American and Mackinaw Canal Guilds. It may be respected by the other nations of the US as a bulwark against Canadian aggression but it remains under constant threat. And to this day Watertown, Champlain, Genesee and its Hudson territories remain lost to it. Chester Lamb plots to restore the Empire State's lost empire as the Governors before him did. Though New York City itself may remain out of its grasp for the forseeable furtue, Lady Liberty still adorns its flag as they wait for their return to the mythical splendor of the Big Apple.
     
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    The Commonwealth of Mississippi
  • The Commonwealth of Mississippi
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    ( flag courtesy of @tehskyman )

    System of Government:
    Feudal Monarchy (de jure), Pseudo-Elective Military Dictatorship (de facto)
    Selection of Leaders: The House of Maddox rules from Jackson, along with the District Supervisor, as Governors of Mississippi. In fact, however, the Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi rules at the head of a council of the landed warlords of Mississippi.
    Population: 3,162,500
    Totemic Symbol: The Stars and Bars
    Religion: Non-Denominational, strong Voodoo presence in the South, tolerance of the Evangelical Heresy

    The Commonwealth of Mississippi is one of the larger powers of the Feudal Core in the Old South of America. Two of the great cities of the region - Montgomery and Mobile - both remain just outside of the Commonwealth’s borders, Mobile held by the State of Louisiana and Montgomery maintaining a fierce independence. This means that the remaining cities of Mississippi - Vicksburg, Meridian, and Jackson - are the centers of urban commerce and development in Mississippi, and they are not the sprawling, prosperous cities that New Orleans, Mobile, Montgomery, or Memphis are. The result of this is that, aside from the District Supervisor of Jackson, few of the traditionally urban power holders of Medieval America - guilds, church officials, merchant families, and the like - have much power in Mississippi. Instead, Mississippi is truly dominated without exception by the feudal landowners.

    Mississippian Knighthood and Aristocracy

    Knighthood in the Commonwealth of Mississippi is different from that of Ohio and the Midwest. Knights in Mississippi are trained as horseback archers as much as they are as lancers, able to handle both the recurve bows and lances with skill. The heavy plate armor of the north is often too hot and cumbersome for these knights, so instead they ride into battle in lamellar armor. Outside of battle, knights operate by a code of “Southern Chivalry,” which, while similar to the chivalric traditions that exist elsewhere in Medieval America, is a distinct code of honor, shame, and hospitality. Mississippi knights and lords are expected to be hospitable to their social superiors and equals, deferent to their superiors, well-spoken and well-mannered to the opposite sex, and willing to defend their honor even beyond the point of reason. Mississippi knights share much of the hot-bloodedness and passion that defines the common southern farmer, but are expected to act with more dignity and an air of superiority; dance is proper and formal, not wild and passionate, clothing is somewhat more conservative, and vendettas are always couched in an aggrieved innocence; no southern knight will ever admit to wanting to exact revenge, even though that desire is expected and almost always exacted. Challenges to one’s personal or family honor, which can range from true insults to perceived ones, often results in retaliation. Talking one’s way into a vendetta against a weaker opponent by manufacturing outrage and feigning injury has become something of an art form amongst the knighthood of Mississippi.

    The grandest nobles in Mississippi often style themselves with one of two titles: Colonel or Mayor. Colonels tend to be from families whose lineage is more prestigious than their holdings, and thus represent the “Old Money” of Mississippi; they are titled as the Colonel of their family (i.e. Colonel of Randolph). Alternatively, those for whom their holdings are more prestigious than their lineage style themselves Mayors, and are titled as the Mayor of their manor (i.e. Mayor of Vicksburg). Mayors tend to be seen as the “Nouveau Riche” of Mississippi, even though some have lineages hundreds of years old. Of these nobles, the most powerful often band together to form the Golden Circle, a semi-official organization that has existed for the past two hundred years. The Golden Circle serves as both the enforcers and supporters of the Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi, and effectively much of the government of the State.

    Because the aristocracy of Mississippi dominates the vast majority of their land and has armies of debt-enslaved peasants to work the land, the individuals have time to dedicate to a variety of other activities. Men who are not the patriarch of their family tend to develop themselves as the ideal “Warrior-gentleman” of the South. These men are expected to be fine horsemen, archers, and jousters, as well as dabble in more “civilized” activities, including wrestling, poetry, debate, liquor sampling, and painting. Women, meanwhile, are expected to be pleasant, witty, charming, and hospitable, and are often also expected to be able to provide medical care. Noble men and women are expected to show extreme deference to their aristocratic patriarchs.

    The Peasants, Church, and Burghers

    The peasantry of Mississippi is more typical of the southern stereotype of hot-bloodedness, passion, and frivolity. Here, much of the Caribbean influence on the people of Mississippi can be seen: their food is spiced like it would be in Jamaica or Haiti, in war they fight with machetes and bucklers like the seaborne raiders of the Caribbean, and their worship incorporated much of the animistic tradition on Voodoo. Of particular importance in Mississippi culture is dance; dances are forms of storytelling, reenacting famous folk tales in Mississippi’s rich mythology while rhythmic drums and flutes add a melodic quality. Troupes of dancers and musicians wander the countryside of Mississippi, seeking patronage from one of the many great lords in their plantations. Most peasants, however, are tenant farmers, tied to their land for generations working under their manorial lords. Uniquely, these peasants are not serfs, but debt slaves, who are often working debts ten or more generations long to their overlords. This system has prevented most any migration by the peasantry, and thus prevented the growth of cities within Mississippi.

    Indeed, the social structure of Mississippi makes future development difficult. The strict enforcement of peasant residence and debt slavery has effectively stunted the growth of cities and towns, and with them many of the engines of further state development, namely commerce and any semblance of an educated middle class to serve as administrators of a growing or effective Mississippian State. Further, the large population and abundance of food production in Mississippi has made large-scale social evolution even more difficult; peasant coordination is simply impossible with the amount of people, the distance, and the lack of education or communication, and as such negotiations out of debt slavery or revolts against tyrannical lords can be put down piecemeal. At the same time, however, these facts make Mississippi an attractive target for foreign powers seeking fertile, populous land, and without a strong hand at the helm, Mississippi makes an attractive target for circling vultures.

    The American Non-Denominational Church is the official faith of the Commonwealth, with the District Supervisor sitting in the city of Jackson. However, Mississippi has a long history of religious tolerance, primarily out of necessity. In the southern and even central reaches of the Commonwealth, Voodoo or pseudo-Voodoo practices are commonplace among the peasantry, and attempting to root out this heresy felled no fewer than four Governors in mass peasant revolts. Similarly, in the north, the Evangelical heresy promotes a different reading of Christian tradition, rooted in the Old Testament and in dangerous displays of faith and divine protection, the handling of snakes during religious services being among them. Though the Supreme Court has frequently put pressure on the Governors of Mississippi to crack down on such heretical activities, the District Supervisors of Jackson and the Governors have impressed upon them that doing so is simply not possible, and that cracking down of religious dissent would be more likely to topple Non-Denominational rule in Mississippi altogether.

    The relationship of the American Non-Denominational Church to the Feudal Core as a whole has also led to this contentious relationship. More than half the District Supervisors of the Church are located in the Northeast, which creates a powerful voting bloc that the District Supervisors of the South have never been able to match. The result of this is that the core of the Non-Denominational Church and the lords of the Feudal Core, Mississippi chief among them, have always viewed one another with suspicion. To the Supreme Court Justices, the Mississippians are half-heathen hotheads who are too busy killing each other over slights to deal with the rampant heresy in their lands, while to the Mississippians, the northeastern justices are pompous aristocrats who have consolidated power to keep it out of southern hands and who don’t understand the realities of ruling in the South. At one point, the District Supervisor of Jackson was impeached by the Supreme Court in absentia, almost leading to a schism between Mississippi and the Church until cooler heads prevailed and the situation was resolved.

    Jackson, as the seat of the District Supervisor, and Vicksburg, situated along the Mississippi River, are the two primary cities of Mississippi. Vicksburg serves as the primary port of Mississippi, where the wheat, corn, and cotton produced in the Commonwealth are sold to Louisianan merchants and shipped throughout the known world. Vicksburg is a unique city, where a combination of Louisianan, Mississippian, and Mephian culture has created a distinct blend. Jackson, meanwhile, is Mississippian though and through, with several monastic communities surrounding the city serving as its food source. Jackson is the only place in Mississippi where many finished goods, such as glass, parchment, and liquor, are actually made, making it very wealthy. However, there is still a massive trade imbalance in Mississippi, as almost all the finished goods they use must be imported from abroad, often putting Mississippian nobles in debt to foreign merchants of foreign banks; an irony lost on many of those same nobles who own peasants in debt slavery. Finally, there is Meridian, which is more fortress than city, which serves as the seat of the Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi and the heart of the Golden Circle. The town surrounding the Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion is only slightly larger than most farming villages in order to satisfy the needs of the nobles who travel there.

    In lieu of cities or freeholder villages, population centers in Mississippi mostly gather around large plantations. The typical plantation village is a ways away from the Big House itself, often connected by a grand boulevard. The villages are mostly houses for the peasantry who owe debt slavery to the nearest lord, as well as a couple of watchtowers, a church, and a collection of businesses. These villages are run by overseers, trusted lieutenants of the lords who keep tabs on the peasants and keep them in line. Criminal justice is handled by the overseers, and the harshest punishments are generally reserved for those who try to flee the land and are caught, as allowing such movement would undermine the entire social order of Mississippi. The village shops often contain little more than a blacksmith, a fletcher, and a carpenter. Artisans whose goods have more value, such as cobblers, distillers, weavers, silversmiths, and secretaries are generally retainers of the lords themselves, and live in houses adjacent to the Plantation itself.

    History and Government

    The past several centuries of Mississippian history have been characterized by the gradual erosion of the power of the Mississippian Governors, both within their dominions and in the wider political sphere of the Feudal Core. Nonetheless, this has not stopped the Commonwealth of Mississippi from attempting to become a regional hegemon, and has in fact spurred on several changes within the Commonwealth’s culture and politics. Two hundred years ago, the city of Montgomery, the largest and wealthiest city in Mississippi, flew into revolt after a series of honor-killings between a local lord and a visiting lord from rural Mississippi led to an angry mob storming the visitor’s quarters. The following war saw concurrent invasions of Mississippi by the Red River Territory, the Arkansas Territory, and Shelby County, forcing the Governor to accept Montgomery’s independence. Soon after, a new Governor sought to retake Mobile and open up its fine port to export the agricultural produce of Mississippi, only for a two-pronged retaliatory invasion by the State of Louisiana to force yet another humiliating peace. This humiliation led to the formation of the Golden Circle, an alliance of two dozen of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Mississippi. They nominated one of their own, a man by the name of Isom Cromwell, to serve as the Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi, an office in charge of the Commonwealth’s armies and second only to the Governor.

    The rise of the Golden Circle saw a proportionate fall in the power of the Governor. As the power of the Governor seemed to be waning, several outlying landowners declared their own independence, forming a band of independent states to the north and east of Mississippi. A conspiracy was ultimately hatched to cleve the Commonwealth in two, forming a rival State of Alabama. The Alabaman conspirators went so far as to kidnap the reigning Governor, Robert IV Maddox, and hold him hostage against the Golden Circle. This was ultimately stopped by the formidable Lieutenant Governor Leonidas Randolph, who defeated a league of rebellious lords at the Battle of Batesville and secured the borders of Mississippi going forward. Roughly 75 years ago, the power of the Lieutenant Governor had clearly eclipsed that of the Governor, and the Golden Circle became the de facto ruling council of Mississippi, going so far as to “educate” the Governor’s children in their stronghold of Meridian to ensure his compliance.

    Though the Golden Circle has no official roster of families, certain landholdings are simply too large, too wealthy, and too important to ever be ignored on this council. The Mayors of Vicksburg fall on this list, as do many large landowners along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. Seven such families have held a seat on the Golden Circle since its inception, and largely dominate the selection process for the Lieutenant Governors - only two in the position’s near two hundred year history have not come from one of these seven families: the Randolphs, the Cromwells, the McCalmonts, the Dunlaps, the Davenports, the Burgesses, and the Rhodes. This system has nevertheless created both boons and pitfalls for Mississippi. On the one hand, the generational prospect of gaining the highest office in Mississippi has convinced many who might otherwise seek independence to remain part of the Commonwealth. On the other, the politicking and scheming surrounding the circle has caused a fair share of blood feuds between families, and any selection of a new Lieutenant Governor without at least a dozen duels of honor is considered a peaceful and successful vote.

    Mississippi and Louisiana

    Mississippian nobles rely on the State of Louisiana for many things. Spices, essential to the cuisine of Mississippi, must be imported through Vicksburg or Mobile, both of which allow the Louisianans to increase the price and skim profit off the top. Similarly, the coasts and rivers of Mississippi are woefully unprotected, making them ideal for pirates and corsairs from the bayous to prey upon villages and plantations. In exchange for annual payments, New Orleans has cracked down on piracy, keeping Mississippian shores safe. On the flip side, Mississippian Knights have often served as mercenaries for Louisiana, though their honor demands that they be identified as “Foreign Allies” and not serve in the same companies as common mercenaries, and the food produced by Mississippian plantations feeds and fuels much of the Louisianan naval empire. The symbiotic relationship between New Orleans and Meridian has done much to ease tensions between the two states, even if many Mississippian nobles still long for the reconquest of Mobile, and often look down their noses as the merchants of New Orleans.

    Despite their symbiotic relationship, not to mention their cultural similarities, Louisianans and Mississippians do not tend to have particularly high opinions of each other. Mississippians tend to see the Louisianans as full-blown heretics, and although Mississippi may be more tolerant than other regions, the boundaries between their faith and others is not lost on them. To Mississippians, the syncretic Non-Denominational/Voodoo practices of many peasants are acceptable, if disappointing, as they are uneducated peasants who have no ability to raise churches or temples; the aristocratic mindset coming out. The Louisianans, by contrast, are educated, wealthy, and able to spread their heretical faith elsewhere, which the Mississippians do not accept. Further, the Secretarial model which dominates Louisiana is anathema to the entrenched gender roles of Mississippi; the perceived unmanliness of the Louisianans is reinforced by their preference for fighting at sea (not on an open field) and their mercantile activities (not farming or overseeing a plantation). Louisianans, by contrast, often see the Mississippians as country bumpkins, whose pride and backwards economics keep them in debt to foreign merchants and keep their Commonwealth from achieving the power it could.
     
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    State of Louisiana
  • State of Louisiana

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    • System of Government: Secratarial State
      • Head of State: Governor, the husband of the Witch-Queen
      • Head of Government: Witch-Queen, chosen by matrilinear descent from the ruling Long family
    • Population: 1,640,000
    • Religion: Voodoo, with tolerance of all faiths
    • Totemic Symbol: Pelican
    It’s hard to remember a time when Louisiana was anything other then the regional hegemon. If anything, things have improved for Louisiana in the new Medieval era. The time when N’awleens was a hurricane-ravaged backwater are long forgotten; with anti-flooding measures built to last and construction methods that are more mindful of the Caribbean environment it stands as the largest city in North America, and perhaps even the world. For most American merchants it is the final stop on their voyage before handing their cargo off to Louisianian pilots who navigate the treacherous pirate infested bayous.

    A thousand years ago the ongoing collapse of civilization prompted many to turn to religion for answers. In the West this meant the rise of Scientology, the New Age and American Buddhism. On the Great Plains a return to Old Testament values. Across much of the east people found solace in the new state sanctioned non-denominational church, the only ones that were able to stay open in the tumultuous financial situation that accompanied the collapse of the industrial world. On the Gulf of Mexico however people began turning towards voodoo, its polytheistic nature accounting for their chaotic lives. As the movement grew, many Christian leaders launched campaigns of persecution in an attempt to root it out.

    The Governor of Louisiana would launch one such pogrom against southeastern Louisiana, the largest center of Voodoo in the formerly contiguous states. The local leader of the Voodoo community in New Orleans, the so-called “Witch-Queen”, organized the resistance against this pogrom. After several victories the Witch-Queen organized a congress consisting of prominent members of the Voodoo community and Christian politicians who opposed the Governor. The congress ruled that the Governor had violated the Louisianan constitution’s provision for freedom of religion and thus rendered his governorship null and void. The Congress elected the Witch-Queen as the state’s new governor, now with a provisional capital in New Orleans.

    Louisiana has had to fight hard for its recognition over the years, and for the recognition of voodoo as a legitimate faith. It has taken on a self-appointed role as the protector of religious liberty in the Gulf. Persecutions by the surrounding states have historically prompted reprisals from the Louisianans, which have resulted in the State seizing control over some extremely wealthy exclaves that have solidified its position as regional thalassocrat. It was during such religious conflicts that Louisiana took control of Mobile and Tampa.

    Louisiana's strength does not lie in its armies. Its army is small, lacking much on the way of heavy cavalry or a strong professional class. Most troops are armed with machetes or pikes. Louisiana has been able to assure its independence and even become powerful through its massive navy. Thousands of merchant and military ships fly under the Louisianian flag: at a moment’s notice they can shift their operations towards conquest, raiding and razing shorelines while offloading thousands of sailors-turned-shock-troops. Most importantly of all however is its control over the Mississippi and American trade: if it wishes, it can cut off any state in the east from vital trade.

    Today the Witch-Queen in N’awleens holds court in her palace while her husband launches a punitive campaign against the burghers of Cuba. Her ascendancy seems assured: it would take a hurricane the size of the Great Plains to dislodge Louisiania from its pedestal.
     
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    The Red River Territory
  • The Red River Territory
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    System of Government:
    Sovereign Monastic State
    Head of State: Imperial Wizard of the Red River Territory, appointed by predecessors and confirmed by their high council
    Population: 2,488,750
    Religion: American Non-Denominational Church
    Totemic Symbol: Alligator

    Among the westernmost reaches of eastern civilization, the Red River Territory is a Crusader State, forged in battle against the New Israelite Cowboys of the Plains and maintained by a fearsome array of lancers, horse archers, and macheteros. It is also, however, a land sitting at a crossroads, between the Secretarial States of the Caribbean, the Feudal States of the East, and the Nomadic States of the Plains, and has drawn upon elements of all three in its development. On maps in the east, it and Iowa share the dubious honor of being the final states fully inked before the lands of heathens and barbarians, and the strange countries beyond.

    The Red River Territory has it’s roots in the Southern Crusades, a series of wars between the American Non-Denominational Church and the various cowboy lords of the region. For generations, the cowboys had ruled over what was known as Cajunland. The pre-Crusade Cajuns had originated closer to the coast, but as the caribbean, voodoo-worshipping population grew along the coast, many Cajuns migrated inland, forming communities around Natchez, Monroe, Alexandria, and the greatest of them all, Shreveport. Religion was mixed in Cajunland, with some practicing a form of Non-Denominationalism, while others practiced a deeply altered form of Catholicism. Some one hundred and fifty years ago, the region was ruled by the Plauchet Family, a tributary offshoot of the Andersons to the west.

    This all changed with the declaration of the Non-Denominational Crusade for Shreveport. This event was spurred on by two factors. The first was the arraying of an unprecedented alliance of Southern District Supervisors in the Supreme Court, who managed to break the Northeast’s traditional hold on evangelical power, and who had greater interest in the expansion of the church in the south. This was coupled with the rise of the Sons of the South, a military order seeking to curb the excessive honor killings occurring amongst southern nobles by directing their energies outwards. The Crusade was declared, and a host joined battle under the banner of the Sons of the South, composed largely of Mississippians, Georgians, Tennesseans, and Carolinians. The lancers of the Crusade overran the Plauchet defenses, and with some Cajun support for their co-religionists, captured Shreveport. The massacre within was brutal, with crusaders killing Israelite, Non-Denom, and Voodoo without discrimination. When it was done, the back of the Plauchets was broken, and the collected lords bestowed upon the Imperial Wizard of the Sons of the South a crown and a banner, depicting the totemic symbol they had selected; the alligator.

    The Red River Territory is blessed with natural borders: the Pine Belt to the west, the Mississippi River to the east, the Ouachita Mountains to the north, and the Gulf to the south. However, all of these borders have proven to be more porous than one might hope, and raids from all four directions are common. As a result, the nobility of the Red River Territory is highly militarized. The nobles of the Territory have never forgotten their origins as the Sons of the South, and thus many still wear the blue X pins which denoted membership in that organization, and drill in the most well-organized army in Dixie. Nevertheless, an army composed solely of lancers has proved insufficient, and as such the nobles of the territory have adapted. Some fight as horse archers; most as the Mississippi-style lamellar archers, but many as cowboy-style light horse archers as well. Others arm their peasant levies as pikemen in the style of Louisiana, creating pike formations which can ward off attacks by light cavalry.

    Though it was once known as “Cajunland,” the Red River Territory is not uniformly Cajun in character. Cajuns tend to be concentrated in the cities and in the swampy south-east, while the rest of the territory is divided between Texans and Arkansans, who have much more cowboy influence than southern. Of course, the rule by the Sons of the South has imparted much of a Southern aristocratic culture, and the plantations of the Red River Territory do resemble those further east to a large degree. But there are also nomadic clans loyal to Shreveport who guard the Pine Belt, free villages who populate the foothills of the Ozarks, and of course, the burghers and merchants of the major cities of the Red River Territory.

    Shreveport is certainly no N’awlins or Houston, but it is nevertheless an important center of trade and commerce unlike anything in the southeast save Augusta. Shreveport serves as the gateway to the southern portion of the Prairie, with a grand caravansary welcoming distant caravans from inner Texas and Oklahoma. Locally-produced goods are also loaded onto either caravans or ships from Shreveport, most notably leatherwork and sugarcane; the former goes south and east, to the Caribbean or Feudal Core, while the latter goes west, with sugar and other foodstuffs, to the wealthy amongst the plains. Alexandria and Monroe see the same things play out on smaller scales; they are wealthy and prosperous towns, but consistently overshadowed by Shreveport.

    Leadership-wise, the Sons of the South and the Red River Territory have become one and the same, even if some successor organizations remain scattered across Dixie. The Territory, and organization, is led by the Imperial Wizard and his deputy, the High Dragon. High Dragons are selected by the reigning Imperial Wizard and confirmed by his council of deputies; they are then confirmed again upon the Wizard’s death, before taking up the scepter of the Imperial Wizard. The lines of crusaders still claim membership in the order and rule vast swathes of territory, though increasingly there has been intermarriage between the ruling class and the Cajuns or Texans they rule. Of course, the nature of the several cultures ruled by the Territory means that not everywhere is ruled by installed southern landlords; in the west, Non-Denominational nomadic clans of horsemen patrol the Pine Belt, and their chiefs pay tribute to Shreveport. In the north, among the mountain foothills, live tough villages of Arkansans whose village elders serve a similar role.

    The process of ruling this territory has led to cultural elements blending together. The Red River aristocracy has taken to speaking Cajun, and their cuisine has adopted such Cajun elements as alligator meat, blends of carrots, celery, onions, and green peppers, and rice, as opposed to the black beans, pork, corn, and tomatoes that characterize traditional southern cuisine. Beef, too, has been brought in through the cattle herds managed by the cowboys and those descended from them. Alcohol, too, is far less common in Red River than it is elsewhere in the south, owing to a lingering sense of the New Israelites' ban on alcohol - after all, there's no harm in picking up an extra abstention from a vice, right? The presence of cities and towns has also led to peasants generally being freer in the Red River Territory than elsewhere in the south, with the freeman pike organizations being a direct result of this change.

    While Cajun and Texan cultural practices have been tolerated, and in some cases even adopted, such as with Cajun cuisine and the Cajun language, the Red River Territory has remained staunchly Non-Denominational. The Cajun population, having already practiced a form of Non-Denominationalism, was easily incorporated into this new structure, but the New Israelites to the west and the Voodoo practitioners to the south have both proved more troublesome. Purges and expulsions have led to trouble with both Louisiana and the Anderson Territory, but active conversion attempts continue. Interestingly, the Red River Territory does not have a District Supervisor, and is thus locked out of power with the Supreme Court. Despite repeated attempts by the Red River Territory, no Supreme Court has broken with tradition and created a new District Supervisor.

    The Red River Territory today remains a curiosity among many members of the American Non-Denominational Church; this crusader kingdom follows no hereditary kingship, rules over a strange people seemingly with as much in common with the Caribbeans and Cowboys as with easterners, yet who worship their same faith, and who trade with the cowboys and as far away as the Mormons and New Agers. Cajun culture, blended with Southern culture and Texan culture through the Sons of the South and the Red River Territory, is emerging as a polyglot society on the edge of the Feudal Core.
     
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    Lost Vegas, Part I
  • Lost Vegas, Part I

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    Las Vegas was among the first cities to be lost to the New Middle Ages. Las Vegas was not a city built on some advantageous geography as most other cities in the US and indeed the world had been. Las Vegas was once a sleepy Nevada hamlet. Its rise to prominence came when workers on the new Hoover Dam went looking for somewhere to get a little T&A. Before you knew it the first casinos were opening in Las Vegas, organized crime was moving in, and Las Vegas gained its reputation as the home of sin and vice; a new Babylon.

    But Las Vegas was predicated upon the economy of the industrial world, an economy that gave workers unprecedented amounts of free time, disposable income, and the ability to travel long distances on a whim. In the new middle ages a city like Las Vegas, far as it was from water or other civilizations, was quickly depopulated. Unlike most other cities which were depopulated slowly in a piecemeal manner, Las Vegas was depopulated all at once, seemingly overnight. The city was left untouched to be reclaimed by the desert.

    Nevada degenerated into a series of pastoral clans, riding their camels and tending their herds of sheep. Mostly they were descended not from the citizens of Las Vegas, who had mostly decamped to the more urban regions of California and Arizona, but the rural people of Northern Nevada. They had few good memories of Vegas, a den of vice that had a long history of stealing their water for its own use. The hulking ruins of the city inspired fear among the tribes. They told tales of it’s ruins and the daemons said to haunt its broad avenues. The ruins became taboo, and the Nevadans avoided it at all costs.

    It only made sense, then, that the worst possible punishment possible was to be condemned to the city. Those too terrible to tolerate but not bad enough to execute were exiled to Los Vegas, where they were expected to die not long afterwards. They were branded with a “V”, and expected to be killed on sight if they left the confines of the ruins - but within the ruins, they were not to be harmed. California had a long history of exiling their criminals to Nevada and when these convicts arrived the Nevadans treated them as they would their own. The practice even spread to the people of Bajo Colorado and Western Arizona.

    The genesis of the Vegasite state came from two sources. Eight hundred years ago a rebellion in California prompted the exile of thousands of Californian rebels. When they arrived in Nevada they were treated as countless before them, branded by uncouth savages and driven to the dunes where now only a few remnants of the old city peaked out. At the same time, New Age refugees were driven from Phoenix by a lost war and forced to Vegas. These two forces represented the largest and most civilized group to ever arrive in the ruins, and they formulated a plan.

    A series of hit-and-run raids subdued the local tribes, most importantly those that sat upon Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. This secured both water and one of the most vital trade routes in the south west. In Vegas itself they began to drill wells. In the process, they came upon a realization: Las Vegas remained extraordinarily intact. Below their feet there was a fortune in glass and steel, just there for the taking.
     
    Mississippi & Red River Population Count
  • The population is bit low. Refer to this to help you. Mississippi's population might have to be lowered a bit too

    Alright, having combed through that map, here's my revised population numbers:

    Mississippi
    • Light Green (150k) - 14 full, 5 partial (added) (2,850,000)
    • Yellow (75k) - 2 full, 1.5 partial (262,500)
    • Purple (25k) - 2 partial (50,000)
    Total: 3,162,500

    Red River
    • Light Green (150k) - 12 full, 1.75 partial (2,062,500)
    • Yellow (75k) - 1 full, 1 partial (150,000)
    • Red (27.5k) - .5 partial (13,750)
    • Purple (25k) - 7 full, 3.5 partial (262,500)
    Total: 2,488,750


    1. @Imperial Inkstand-filler is two-for-two on creating excellent write-ups for nations.
    2. We previously discussed renaming Red River Territory to Texarkana. What if they use a name derived an “Anglicized” version of “Cajun”. It’s both to further represent how they are America’s Prussians and for the irony of further corrupting “Acadia”.

    Thank you! I personally like the name "Red River Territory," but I'm not opposed to an anglicized Cajun term for it.
     
    Arkansas Territory
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Arkansas Territory

    ArkansasFlagSmall.png


    System of Government: Sovereign Monastic State
    Head of State: High Cyclops of the Arkansas Territory, appointed by predecessors and confirmed by the high council of the ruling holy order, nominally a vassal of the Red River Territory
    Population: 540,000
    Religion: American Non-Denominational Church
    Totemic Symbol: A Razorback (Wild Boar)


    Nestled in a long valley between the Ouachita and Ozark mountains, Arkansas Territory was wrestled from the cowboys about 130 years ago by a branch of the Sons of the South. Spurred on by the success of the Red River Crusade this branch returned to Dixie from Shreveport after the capture of the Red River Territory to recruit more men and funding for a new expedition to take back the Arkansas river valley then known as Winfield Territory. Once back in Mississippi, they received word that Memphis was looking to fund just such an expedition and it was there that they met with the merchant houses of Memphis. Memphis had just recently been visited by John Winfield and his army and the merchants were looking to remove his menace once and for all. Many Kentuckians, Tennesseans and Mississippians who had missed the Red River Crusade signed up with the order to gain their own personal share of glory. Many Ohioans also joined in this time, preferring the allure of a southern adventure to manning the towers of the Wabash Wall.

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    Arkansas Territory and it's larger neighbor to the south

    After a year of waiting and preparing the would be crusaders set out on ferries built by Shelby County and landed near Little Rock. Though the rulers were New Israelite cowboys, they had only ruled for about 50 years and so many residents of Arkansas and Little Rock continued to be Non-Denominational. In fact the Winfield clan had been extraordinarily lenient in their own conquest of Arkansas and it was said that John Winfield, seeing the writing on the wall, had been seeking to convert to Non-Denominationalism. However, when the crusaders snuck into the town and opened the gates, the answer to whether or not the Winfields would convert died with them.
    After the fall of Little Rock many of the vassals of the Winfields surrendered to the crusaders relatively easily, many of them had retained their Non-Denominational traditions and were okay with seeing the now renamed Brothers of Little Rock take over. And so the conquest of Arkansas Territory ended almost as soon as it began.

    Since that time, Arkansas has faced multiple attempted cowboy invasions, mostly by pseudo New Ager Okies. These invasions have been repulsed with the help of the Sons of the South and have ensured that Arkansas remains a part of the Union. Arkansas however, has not been granted their petition into re admittance into the Union, remaining a territory though they retain their District Supervisor seat. The Supervisors of the Northeast have created a special classification of District Supervisor specifically to address the Arkansas seat. Since Arkansas is merely a territory, several privileges of the Arkansas District Supervisor have been curbed such as being able to table a case or submit a dissenting opinion. They are allowed to vote for justices of the Supreme Court however.

    Culturally the peasants of Arkansas are freer than their counterparts in Mississippi. The landowners here have provided their peasants much greater rights and freedoms, knowing that if they were to severely mistreat them, the peasants might rise up which they have done many times or simply run away to the mountains. This effect has been augmented by the initial composition of the Brothers of Little Rock, many of whom were Midwesterners, more used to villages of yeoman paying their overlords a percentage of their harvests rather than indebted to them permanently.

    The initial leadership of the Brothers of Little Rock also encouraged an armed peasantry and this tradition has passed on through the ages. Peasants are allowed and encouraged to train with the pike, which helps with the defensive effort against the cowboy hordes. But first and foremost, peasants are made to train with the recurve bow, adapting a tradition of archery in the Ozarks with the more effective bow design of the plains.


    Along with their brothers to the south, Arkansas Territory and the Red River Territory control the entrances to the southern routes across the great plains. These routes follow the Red and Arkansas Rivers respectively and allow relatively exotic goods from the Colorado, New Mexico and to a lesser extent Utah to reach the south, bypassing the merchants of St Louis and Memphis. For many years, the Andersons sat on top of this trade route, growing wealthy enough to carve out their own land. It was stable enough that a group of 5 could travel from Santa Fe to Little Rock unmolested save for the transit fee they paid in OKC. The Andersons used decades of accumulated wealth and power to take over the farmers of coastal Texas and until they lost Oklahoma to broncos, okies and jayhawkers. Nowadays merchants pay up to 3 or 4 transit fees along the Arkansas river if they travel alone. However, if they travel with cowboys driving their herds trekking across the plains becomes much easier. This is how New Mexico Turquoise ends up in the hilts of many a Southern warlord.
     
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    Lost Vegas, Part II: Viva Las Vegas
  • Lost Vegas, Part II: Viva Las Vegas

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    Las Vegas quickly grew into a regional power-house. Its control over Lake mead and the decaying controls of Hoover Dam allowed it to control the flow of water down the Colorado, subjugating the agricultural peoples who lived along the river. Vegasite emissaries rode all the way down to Sea of Cortez and demanded fealty from the people of the lower Colorado. With this power base, Vegas was able to assert its dominance over the nomadic tribesmen who had exiled them to the city.

    Vegas’s greatest strength was the ruins that lay beneath it. Excavation revealed a city seemingly untouched by the regression, full of many of the wonders of the ancient world that the refugees had not taken with them. Enslaved tribesmen were employed to deconstruct these buildings, carrying up copper and steel to be melted down and sold - or forged into weapons.

    California and Arizona were initially reluctant to deal with Vegas, seeing as how it was composed of a combination of tribals, rapists, thieves and worst of all their own political exiles. Utah had no such compunctions however. Desereti merchants sailing down the Colorado were all too happy too purchase precious metals at rock-bottom prices, and by the 2350s the emergent empires of California and New Mexico had no choice but to join in on the lucrative trade.

    The forging of Vegas’s political identity would be difficult. Though only a few centuries had passed at the time of founding, the Californians and Arizonans were already totally foreign too each other, and the herdsmen of Arizona might as well have been from Mongolia. The Californians were predominantly anti-Scientology rebels, though their rebellion had more to do with a desire for power on the part of their leader, one Randall House, former mayor of Oakland. The Arizonans were New Age zealots who had fought for (and lost) control of Phoenix. After early years of difficulty between the two parties, House (by far the more savvy politician) conducted a purge of the more ambitious elements in the New Age camp, and “convinced” one of the high-ranking Mediums to have a religious revelation, one that House hoped would help to build Vegas as an identity.

    The Medium stood upon the broad Las Vegas strip that the nascent city was being built upon and declared that he had had a vision. He did not deny the gods of the New Age, nor did he condemn the teachings of Hubbard or the Christian idolatry of the Nevadans. He said that their worship was good and right for their respective peoples, but in Las Vegas there was one deity that stood upon them all: Lady Luck. Lady Luck granted favor to the bold and those who prostrated themselves at her feet and the feet of the high-roller. And yet she was also capricious, with the ability to turn the poor into kings and kings into beggars at a moment’s notice, requiring constant reverence and consciousness of The Odds that governed all things. One thing ranked above all else, however: in the end, the House always won.

    This new constructed religion gave house many advantages. Firstly, it harkened back to Vegas’s half-remembered past, giving it a unique identity that set it apart from the surrounding civilizations. Secondly, Lady Luck gave a venerable figure for people to rally around with her motherly aspect appealing to the feminist leanings of the New Agers and the Marian cult of the many quasi-Catholics now encompassed over Vegasite control. Most importantly, it simultaneously encouraged a spirit of dynamism needed when it came to forging a new state in the midst of a desert and fealty to House personally. However, despite what future histories have claimed the religion did not immediately take off; it would only be as Vegas began to prosper that the novel faith was taken somewhat seriously.

    And prosper it did. Lust for steel, copper, and glass re-directed trade routes across the south west. Traders from Arizona crossed the vast Hoover Dam watched by stern guards and attendants who bore the mark of Vegas while Scientologists crossed the breadth of the Mojave. They came to the Strip, a veritable boom-town. Then the slave auctions were small and the casino-temples were still slapdash. At the head of the Strip traders marveled at Caesar’s Palace: constructed in the style of one of the sunken casinos, it would be here that the High Priestess of Lady Luck would crown Randall House Caesar of Las Vegas.

    Traders enjoyed the limited amounts of grog on offer and the dice games. Most of them were wholly unaware of the “holy” connotations of these establishments, seeing them as nothing more then good fun - same went for the temple concubines. Young men and women heard ales of this rising city and poured in by the thousands to proclaim their loyalty to Randall House. Branded with the mark of Vegas and pressed into service. These pioneers would subdue the Nevadans and forge an empire that stretched from the Colorado Delta to Lake Powell and beyond…
     
    Territory Distinction
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Also, is the way I've described territories fine?
    Edit: This appears to be canon now

    <Clan name> Territory refers to land belonging to a cowboy clan. Held for long enough to be put on a map

    <Geographical area> Territory is a land taken from cowboys/ was once cowboy territory. Has been converted to Non-Denom and is awaiting ascension to statehood.
     
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    The Toledo Road
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    The Toledo Road

    Historically, the Commonwealth of Ohio has had great difficulty maintaining control over it's northern Border. This was a land far from Cincinnati and one where Michigan was so much closer and so much stronger. Michigan and the states of the Mackinaw league always had far more influence than the President in Cincinnati and eventually, enough was enough. About 200 years ago, President Robert II Ingram declared a great public works project, a grand road to be constructed from Cincinnati to Toledo to facilitate the movement of the merchants with Inns one days travel apart along it's entire length. The road was also supposed to be wide enough for 20 horses to march abreast.

    Needless to say that his project would not go as planned. The ramifications of the road were not lost on Michigan. This was a route which was designed to combat their interests in two specific ways. 1. It would divert trade away from Detroit, and 2. It would allow Ohio to more rapidly move their troops northward. So as soon as news of the road reached Ann Arbor, Governor Thomas III Wolf began to plan for war. The following spring, Michigan began to besiege Toledo and sent their fleet to Sandusky to seize that town as well. Ohio responded with their own armies. By August the forces of Ohio and Michigan would meet on the bank of the Maumee River and fight in what would come to be known as the Battle of Clark Wood. The battle and war would end up as a stalemate, both rulers severely injured in the melee; Robert losing his left eye and Thomas breaking his arm and several ribs. When they met again, it would be under the banner of arbitrage. It was agreed that Ohio would greatly scale down the planned capacity of the road and pay Michigan indemnities for potential loss in traffic.

    50 years later the road would be complete and it's damage would be of primary importance to Michigan. When Ohio lost Toledo and some of the surrounding territory at the conclusion of the war, Michigan changed their tune on the road. No longer was the road to be destroyed. Now it would be tolled upon exit from Toledo. Since Ohio's recapture of Toledo, the road has been maintained in a passable condition. Most of the Inns have been successful enough to expand in order to meet the demands of increasing merchant traffic. In some respects the road is far more attractive than sailing around Michigan is. It's safe and generally free of bandits, Ohioan knights and men at arms patrol the road and it's safe in that an autumn storm will soak you to the bone, but won't sink you in the depths of Lake Michigan or Lake Huron.

    The road also proved to be the saving grace of the Commonwealth of Ohio from the first Dabney invasion. The army of Lancers which finally turned the tide of the war headed north from Cincinnati at record pace using the road, travelling the 180km from Cincinnati to Lima in only 4 days using the road. The speed at which the army moved surprised the Dabneys and as a result they were caught off guard when they finally did show up.

    The road itself is nothing fancy. Upon first glace it looks to be just a path of flattened earth. However, when the road was being constructed, a small army of serfs were pounding the ground for days at a time until the earth was as hard as rock and water would not wash it away. Over the past 180 years since it's completion the road has not deteriorated because every spring, the Master of Roads and his Interstate Department will go out and patch up the road where needed returning to each section of the road every 5-6 years. Furthermore, in the southernmost section, from Cincinnati to Dayton, the road is as Robert envisioned it, wide enough for 20 lancers to ride abreast.
     
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    The State of Missouri
  • The State of Missouri
    Missouri_final.jpg

    System
    of Government: Hereditary Feudal Monarchy
    Selection of Leaders: Primogeniture succession within the House of Schwartz
    Population: 1,036,250*
    Totemic Symbol: The Gateway
    Religion: American Non-Denominational Church

    Located on the edge of the American Non-Denominational Church’s reach, the State of Missouri is a strange blend of southern, midwestern, and cowboy cultures. St. Louis, the largest city in the state, is one of the three great cities of the Mississippi River (the other two being Memphis and N’awlins), and is a uniquely cosmopolitan city, having been destroyed by the Baileys and then rebuilt by a combination of Memphian merchants, Kentuckian freeholders, Cowboy converts, and Missourian refugees. Nevertheless, the Gateway City remains a center of commerce in the middle Mississippi, and serves as part of the connective tissue for the central trade routes through America. With the State of Missouri’s tribute to the Iowa Territory keeping their northern flank secure and the St. Louis’s position as a crossroads of trade from Deseret, Chicago, Memphis, and Ohio, the State of Missouri has experienced a remarkable resurgence in the past eighty years.

    History of Missouri

    In the distant past, Missouri was one of the premier powers of the Feudal Core. St. Louis, along with Chicago, Memphis, and N’awlins, formed a chain of large, wealthy, cosmopolitan cities along the western end of the Non-Denominational Church’s reach. Missourian merchants were a common sight in the Mackinaw League, in N’awlins, and in Cincinnati, and were not unheard of as far away as Salt Lake City, Baltimore, and Portland. Missourian dominion extend as far south as Little Rock, and the Schwartz Governors of Missouri were as wealthy and influential as any Governors in the east. The rise of the cowboys in the Prairie, however, led to increasing raids on Missouri’s frontier. As more resources were devoted west, sometimes with disastrous results when cowboy raiders ambushed and destroyed Missourian forces, Missourian borders to the east and south receded. A long, miserable decline set in for Missouri, and even St. Louis began to contract in size and wealth.

    During the Bailey conquest of Illinois, larger raids into Missouri became a common occurrence. The Governors in St. Louis were incapable of defeating them, culminating in the disastrous Battle of Gallatin, where the Missourians under Governor Jackson IV Schwartz were cornered and massacred, the Governor included. Unopposed, the Bailey forces swept south towards the long-inviolate walls of St. Louis and pulled them down, putting the city to the torch and looting everything of value they could find. Many Missourians, the Schwartz family included, fled east, toward Pope-Gallatin County, Shelby County, and the Commonwealth of Ohio. What followed was twenty years of anarchy, with villages and small landowners turning on one another. The once-wealthy territory was subject to extreme poverty, and many powers only did not invade for fear of Bailey reprisal. Only when Lafayette Schwartz, a great-nephew of Jackson IV, came to the Bailey court with the last wealth of his family as tribute to gain the Baileys’ blessing for his pacification of Missouri did the anarchy finally come to an end; even the Baileys had grown tired of the destructive infighting in Missouri. And so, from his new base in the former District Supervisor’s seat of Jefferson City - the District Supervisor had fled to Baltimore when St. Louis fell - Governor Lafayette I Schwartz began the long, arduous process of restoring the State of Missouri. Though it would take another twenty-five years of war, diplomacy, and strong-arming, Lafayette’s great project would ultimately pay off.

    Not long after Lafayette had completed his project, he received a delegation from Memphis about reconstructing St. Louis - the city’s destruction had left a gaping hole in the trade routes of the midwest which Lafayette’s impoverished kingdom could not fill. Now in his late fifties, Lafayette returned to face the Baileys with this proposal, only to discover that the new ruler of the clan, George Bailey, was a connoisseur of the luxuries of civilization, and heartily agreed. Merchants from Memphis provided massive loans to the Governor, in exchange for lucrative trade deals in the new St. Louis. Soon, Missourian refugees, who had fled around the area in the face of the Bailey invasion, began to make their way back to the city. They brought with them many new immigrants; Kentuckian freeholders, whose traditional village lands were being eaten up by Ohioan nobles, came, as did those cowboys who felt the same way George Bailey did and wanted to plant their roots in this new urban environment. An outpost of the Sons of the South, composed of Ozarkians, Ouchitains, and Cajuns made their way north to the new city to offer their services as defenders of the faithful, while many wealthy merchants from Chicago and the Mackinaw League came south to stake a claim in the new market. Perhaps the strangest of all the new settlers arrived seven years after the new construction began; a group of Mormons calling themselves the Apostles of Nauvoo, arrived in Lafayette’s territory, claiming that a holy place was located within and asking to be granted a Mormon Quarter in St. Louis to facilitate Mormon pilgrims and merchants visiting these sites, to which Lafayette agreed.

    Governor Lafayette I Schwartz the Great died of old age seventy-two years ago, after ruling Missouri for nearly forty years. He had brought the State back from the brink of destruction, and though it was now surrounded by nations which it was indebted to, mostly Iowa and Shelby County, it has survived the twenty years of anarchy and destruction that had followed the initial Bailey conquest. His successors emulated some of his wide-reaching success, bringing in still-nomadic but converted cowboy tribes to guard the western borders of the State and encouraging merchants from Louisville and Cincinnati to trade in the rebuilt market on the waterfront. Despite this, none of Lafayette’s successors have been able to emulate his brilliance or determination, and Missouri’s restoration has not turned into a political renaissance. The current Governor of Missouri, Jeffrey II, continues to chafe under the far-reaching trade rights given to Memphian merchants, which have begun to hinder the growth of native Missourian merchant houses. Despite this, Missouri’s contacts with both the cowboys and the mormons has made St. Louis the primary way station for trade moving east to west or west to east, and the bazaars of St. Louis sell porcelain from Salt Lake City and precision crafts from Sacramento on their way to the markets of the east.

    Perhaps the biggest change of the past generation was the restoration of the District Supervisor of Missouri. The District Supervisor’s flight to Baltimore at the beginning of the Bailey Invasion had left the State without it’s traditional religious head, and even Lafayette I’s impassioned pleas had not convinced the Supreme Court to dispatch a new Supervisor. It was only recently, when Jeffrey II offered to construct a new church in Jefferson City for the Non-Denominational Church and subsidize a new monastery, that the District Supervisor of Jefferson City was restored. This event occurred only 15 years ago.

    Missourian Society and Culture

    Missourian society is something of a blend between southern, midwestern, and cowboy social norms. In the east, along the Mississippi, society resembles the norms of the feudal core, with knights ruling over vast estates growing corn and wheat. Missourians largely do not practice the debt slavery of the deep south, as peasants are far more capable of running off into the mountains and defeating noble attempts to dislodge them. Indeed, the political collapse of Missouri and the death caused by both the Bailey invasion and the anarchy has created a shortage of laborers, giving peasants freedom and mobility to increase their wages and begin forming towns and communes. The continued distraction of the Governors in St. Louis, preoccupied with keeping their many enemies at bay while the state recovers, has so far permitted these social changes to continue. As one travels west, these freeholder villages and feudal estates give way, first to monastic communities in the south of the state, where beer and some of the only wine produced in the east are brewed, and more freeholder towns fortified against raids along the rivers. Finally, the western border is virtually indistinguishable from the wide prairies of the cowboys, aside from the presence of Non-Denominational clergy, with semi-nomadic tribes maintaining the edge of the State and trading with the caravans or river vessels traveling along the cowboy trails.

    Missourians have a reputation for being practical, serious, and just no fun, which in part is due to their long-standing contact and conflict with the cowboys. In part, this conflict has led to a “siege mentality,” where many Missourians fear that a screaming horde of cowboys could come sweeping down on them tomorrow, and thus that they must be responsible, prepared, and committed to defending their holdfasts and villages. However, contact with the New Israelites has also brought over some of their more puritanical beliefs; though Missourians do not share their abstinence from alcohol, they do share a general distaste for pork, ostentatious clothing, and spicy food. Even the merchants of St. Louis wear black or muted red, so as not to inspire jealousy or greed for their commercial success. Missourian knights have many differences from their counterparts in Mississippi, thinking the hot-blooded honor duels to be impractical and mutually destructive, and their counterparts in Ohio, considering chivalric tradition and honor to be secondary to the more practical concerns of skill in battle. This has, however, made Missourians ideal candidates for organizations like the Sons of the South, which prioritize skill at arms and a devotion to the expansion and defense of the American Non-Denominational Church, and the State of Missouri represents the northernmost portion of the so-called “Southern Wall” reaching up from the Red River Territory and including those nations which the Sons of the South have strong influence in.

    The aristocracy of Missouri, meanwhile, appears as a blend of elements from the south and north. Some are members of the Sons of the South, which helps to coordinate training and defense of the borders, but also take part is Missouri’s rich river culture in longboats that would be familiar to Wisconsinites. The porous nature of Missouri’s borders and the recent anarchy has made traveling by roads even more dangerous than elsewhere, and riverboats moving from fortified town to fortified town are often preferable to excursions into the wilderness. Like southern knights, Missourian knights are trained both as horse archers and as lancers, though their armor is a mix of plate and chain-mail or scale-mail, more akin to the armor work by the lancers of Ohio or Michigan. Missourians prefer beef and chicken for protein, owing to a distaste for pork shared by their New Israelite neighbors. Missourian castles follow the time-tested motte-and-bailey construction style, allowing for a fortified town center and a fortified castle, providing defenses for both the nobility and the peasants who they rely on.

    Law in Missouri rests almost solely in the hands of the nobility. The dangers of travel and the immediacy of many threats means that Missourians do not have the time nor the inclination to travel to state courts to try matters of crime and punishment. Many New Israelite practices, most notably public stoning, have been adopted for “crimes against the union,” a term which, in theory, indicates treasonous activities, but can be stretched to include giving aid to a rival noble or attempting to sneak off of a lord’s land without his permission. The experience of the twenty years of anarchy has reinforced this localized sense of justice, and even in towns without a noble overlord, mob violence or public attacks on criminals are far more common than actual trials or judges. The District Supervisor in Jefferson City has made attempts to put a stop to this practice since his restoration, but the idea of hauling condemned criminals across the open fields of Missouri to Jefferson City or St. Louis, risking raids, bandits, or escape attempts, only to likely see a similar verdict handed down to them is anathema to the practically-minded Missourians. The Governors of Missouri, for their part, have been permissive of this brand of justice, believing that the nobility of Missouri will be less demanding of independent military command if they are granted a free hand in their judicial affairs.

    No survey of Missouri would be complete without considering St. Louis itself. Were it further from the frontier with the cowboys, it might have been another Augusta, N’awlins, or Cincinnati, the grand capital of a sprawling commonwealth. As it stands, St. Louis is a wealthy, prosperous city of just over 50,000 individuals, making it a reasonably large city - especially for Missouri - but not a particularly large one as far as the great cities of the day go. The city is built around the Gateway, the remains of a great metallic arch which once marked the city’s waterfront. Though the arch itself has long since collapsed, two great marble spires have been raised in the places where the legs once stood, and between them is a great covered bazaar where goods from across America are sold. Some distance from the city proper is the Castle of Washington, the seat of the House of Schwartz and Missouri’s own imitation of the National Mall, all laid out in red sandstone and overlooking a large reflecting pool. St. Louis’s culture has been impacted heavily by Memphis, though other cultural elements, including Chicagoan cuisine and Cajun architecture, have found their way into the city. Somewhat separate is the Nauvoo Quarter, where the Mormons maintain a hospital, bakery, well, and temple, and help pilgrims and merchants from as far off as Deseret acclimate to the city.

    Outside of St. Louis, the only other settlement of note is Jefferson City, the seat of the District Supervisor of Missouri and the heart of the wine-producing country. Situated on the Missouri River, Jefferson City mainly communicates with St. Louis via riverboats, which sail between the fortified towns along the river to avoid the possibility of being waylaid on land. Many monasteries in Missouri produce wine and beer as well as contemplation and solitude, and these goods are generally shipped to Jefferson City in caravans before moving either east to St. Louis and other, further destinations, or west, to pass along the cowboy trail to merchants beyond. Jefferson City is often considered the westernmost beacon of civilization by Non-Demoninationalists, and it is the site of an annual wine fair, where merchants flock to the open grounds to purchase wine, mostly from Missouri but some imported from California and Cascadia, in exchange for other goods. These fairs are attended by many cowboy tribes in the surrounding area, who find many goods they would otherwise not have access to. During the years where St. Louis was a smoldering ruin, Jefferson City was the home of the Governor Lafayette I, and a modest castle outside the city remains a testament to this period of exile. Recently, the return of the District Supervisor has led to a minor boom in construction in the city, with a new church and a new monastery paid for by the Governor.

    The Missourian Cowboys

    When the first cowboy raids began striking at Missouri, it was common for many Governors to underestimate the threat, believing that these raiders were mere bandits who could be dealt with by his vassals. As the death toll from those raids increased, however, the Missourian Governors were forced to take a more serious approach to the cowboy threat. When the formidable Okie Cowboy Micah Twiss burned his way up to the walls of St. Louis, the terrified Governor Ethan III struck a deal with the Twiss clan, granting them lands in western Missouri in exchange for fealty and a conversion to Non-Denominationalism. While the fealty was never strictly enforced, the conversion appeared successful, and the first of many resettlements of cowboy tribes on Missouri’s borders formed a buffer between the towns and holdfasts of feudal Missouri and the open plains of the Prairie. Over the next couple of centuries, more cowboy clans would rise and fall on the border of Missouri, nominally paying tribute and swearing fealty to the Governors in St. Louis, but always existing in a strange, semi-independent state.

    The fall of St. Louis and the twenty years of anarchy led to these Non-Denominational Cowboy clans spreading their power back east. Towns and holdfasts would pay for protection from the Baileys and their raiders, and the Non-Denominational Missourian Cowboys would attempt to provide it. This was not always successful, but by the beginning of Governor Lafayette’s reconstruction of Missouri, the cowboy clans were the largest power brokers in the remains of the state. Now, cowboy culture has left an unmistakable impact on that of Missouri. Beyond the dour dress, serious nature, aversion to pork, and harsh justice already mentioned, the cowboys have also helped to increase the mobility of the Missourian peasantry, giving them the ability to join the tribes and escape the serfdom of the great estates. The Missourian cowboys have also, inadvertently, helped promote Missouri’s unique place on the cowboy trail and in east-west trade. Even the Non-Denominational Missourian cowboys are proficient at connecting with the cowboy clans of the Prairie itself, and cowboy guides are frequently used by Missourian caravans. This advantage has kept many Missourian caravans safe as they travel west, and helped to make St. Louis the primary way station for goods from California, Deseret, or Cascadia moving east.

    With the resettlement of St. Louis, the Missourian cowboys have entered a new era of urban settlement. Several thousand cowboys, largely from the Bailey domains in Iowa, moved south to repopulate St. Louis, bringing with them their own culture and practices. If anything, though, this has made the merchants of St. Louis even more capable in the west, with translators, networkers, and guides to be found within the city itself. Many cowboys have made a successful transition to either merchants or carpenters, working with the Cajun, Kentuckian, and Memphian immigrants to the city to create the distinct architectural style that now defines the new St. Louis. Some cowboys in St. Louis have even gone so far as to build a small, nondescript New Israelite temple within the city grounds, the first of its kind in the State of Missouri. While many St. Louisians have been reticent about this new development, the amount of trade with the New Israelite territories and the many converted cowboys in the city have prevented any sectarian violence from breaking out. This makes St. Louis one of the most religiously diverse cities in the American Non-Denominational Church’s hold, with notable communities of both New Israelites and Mormons living in the city walls.


    *- adding up the population based on the map gave me a total of 986,250, but since on the East Map White indicated that Missouri’s population exceeds 1 million, I added 50,000 to bump it up to 1,036,250.
     
    Last edited:
    City Populations Note
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    *- adding up the population based on the map gave me a total of 986,250, but since on the East Map White indicated that Missouri’s population exceeds 1 million, I added 50,000 to bump it up to 1,036,250.
    When I was thinking about Missouri I got something similar. I reckon that the population of cities is not included in the population density map but the color of the map has their population included. So if the pop of St Louis is included it would exceed 1 mil
     
    Lost Vegas, Part III: Decadence & Downfall
  • Lost Vegas, Part III: Decadence & Downfall

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    Vegas expanded up and down the Colorado expanding what had once been a relationship of vassal-fealty into outright centralized control. Vegas hired some of the greatest irrigation specialists of Deseret, California, New Mexico and Kuluradu to build complex systems of canals and dams that brought the life giving Colorado further out into the desert. This simultaneously enriched and immiserated the newly minted farmers of the region; while they were able to grow plenty of food, they were now totally enthralled to the authority of the Caesar.

    At its height, Vegas ruled over some 450,000 souls and the city itself held host to 60,000. Partly to be close to the source of their wealth and partly out of vanity, the Houses never moved closer to Lake Mead. Instead a network of canals and tunnels re-directed more and more water up through Lake Las Vegas and into the city - for a time, the city even had one of the rare sewage systems of medieval America, built in the mining tunnels.

    The House proved one of the most remarkably durable royal houses in medieval America. They ruled for centuries in a continuous line stretching back to Randall House, even establishing cadet branches in California and New Mexico - in fact towards the end of its existence, a lucky marriage sat a House on the throne of New Mexico. In Vegas itself they built up the city into a true metropolis. Aside from the aforementioned water infrastructure, the House’s built magnificent palaces and temple-casinos where once mud brick buildings had lined the strip, greatest among them a massive black pyramid built in the style of the New Mexicans. Trade brought countless young men excited to explore all the offerings of the city of sin. In part because of its criminal past and in part because of its semi-nihilistic faith, just about everything was permitted. Vegas did have its own moral codes and taboos, but the ones best known to their neighboring civilizations were irrelevant. The city’s many slaves prophesied that this sin would ultimately be Vegas’s downfall. The Vegasites responded with a hearty laugh on a good day and a crucifix on the bad.

    For the New Mexicans the city grew into a sight of pilgrimage where one would go for the sake of going. Initially this began with the caravans. It evolved into those seeking the lost Fifty-One, and then the city itself became rendered holy. In addition to the large New Age diaspora community that had produced a number of notable Medicine Men and Mediums, it was seen as a strange up-side-down city where one must travel to understand the world as it is; the easy access to drugs actually helped.

    Just as they re-directed all other trade routes in the southwest, Vegas managed to create its own hook up for narcotics. Vegasite ships sailed from the Colorado Delta down the coast of Mexico, establishing trade stations and paying exorbitant prices for the drugs in such heavy demand for the New Agers. Cocaine flowed up, and the Vegasite alchemists even managed to jury-rig a sort of amphetamine out of natural ingredients. The trade with New Mexico was certainly profitable, but a significant amount of the supply would remain in the city to sell to merchants and pilgrims, especially those from the more conservative California. The ruling class even began to partake but, unlike the New Mexicans who refined drug use over the centuries, their was no cultural infrastructure or norms to keep the level of addiction manageable. The ruling family grew decadent in their harem, and more and more control of the kingdom fell to a caste of professionals (predominantly foreign) and eunuch bureaucrats.

    The religion grew more and more ornate. Originally a cult taken seriously only by the elite, it gradually spread to the common folk who worshipped it along side the other regional faiths. Lady Luck was taken on widely, altars to her being found in illegal gambling dens as far away as Vancouver. “The Odds”, originally just an off-hand comment in the prophet’s declaration, took on a new meaning. They ere transformed into a pantheon of minor gods associated with Lady Luck that presided over different matters - after all, each game (whether that be taken literally or figuratively) has a different set of probabilities, and therefore required a different deity to oversee it. Who these gods were ranged from the gods and religious figures of other pantheons to old world pop-culture figures, and what they oversaw ranged from rainfall to blackjack.

    The fall of Vegas came slowly at first. As mentioned above, the Houses grew increasingly degenerate and incompetent, leaving their lands in the hands of their supposed servants. Legitimacy waned, and the people whispered of independence. Previously the Caesars would’ve put a stop to such mutterings quickly with military force, but the military of Vegas grew increasingly complacent and poorly trained as time went on due to the increasing poverty of Vegas. While caravans and “tourists” still flowed into the city the former began to decrease as Vegas finally began to deplete the ruins beneath it, leaving only empty tunnels behind. This wasn’t necessarily a huge problem - the trade routes were still routed through Vegas due to inertia and the kingdom was taking in significant tribute from its greater empire, but the hungers of the House only grew as their fortunes fortunes declines.

    The true fall of the state came when Utah ceased trade with it, citing it as a den of sin that led its merchants astray. In truth this move had more to do with the depletion of its mines then anything else, but the loss of one of the three great powers of the West hit hard. The mumblings of the vassalized and enslaved tribes grew into an open rebellion, with California wresting more and more tribes into its sphere of influence. Then, when the House cadet branch that ruled over New Mexico died, the people of Bajo Colorado, long fed up with the denial of water by the Vegasites, asked the New Mexicans to take them over. The New Agers did them one better, marching an army to the hoover Dam and visualizing mighty Vegas itself.

    The bureaucratic class was not pleased with this usurpation by the New Mexicans and after a few years they organized a rebellion to reassert their control against the New Agers. Long supply chains meant that the New Mexicans were even being beaten back for a time. The harem of the House was paralyzed with indecision, but one member of the Californian cadet branch (not quite so addled as his cousins) took action. He convinced the Governor to fund an army for his claim to the throne and to establish Californian suzerainty over the city and keep it away from the New Mexicans. One army marched east through the arid Mojave while another composed primarily of Nevadan subject tribes marched from the north.

    The year was 2710 AD. An engineer frowned gazing at the Glen Canyon Dam, the second most important in Vegas’s empire. Here the bureaucrats maintained control, though there were constant fears of an invasion coming from out of Dinetah. The scribe took some notes down on his parchment control carefully regarding the appearance of the dam. As he wrote, he heard something; a faint crack. He looked up, searching for the source. Not finding it, he took a note of it on his scroll. Then, he heard it again. Crack. He looked up again, but this time there was no missing it - a huge crack in the dam’s body. The scribe’s jaw was agape - how on earth were they going to patch that up? The cracking noise continued, each sound accompanied by a new gash in the ancient concrete. By now, everyone had stopped what they were doing. A trickle of water began to come through the cracks. Some screamed, others fled, but a few were shocked in horror as this scribe; this ancient monolith was failing. Vegas had built on the wisdom of the ancients, and they had lost.

    The dam burst asunder, a wall fo water, concrete, and silt rushing down the canyon long denied the free flow of water. The scribe was killed almost instantly, swept away down the raging torrent as it swept down the Colorado, traveling faster then any news possibly could. Tens of thousands who lived along the Colorado were killed. Those who survived fled for Vegas.

    The bureaucratic forces were being beaten back by the renewed New Mexican offensive at the Hoover Dam when it came. The bureaucratic forces were retreating towards Boulder City as the New Mexicans pursued. Everyone heard though sound, though: the sound of ten million cubic meters of water rushing towards the ocean. They didn’t know hat the low rumble was at first, but they stopped fighting. As it grew louder its source became clearer, and all eyes were on the river. The deluge came into view, and the reactions of the two armies mirrored those of everyone else. The water overtopped the dam, killing the detachment left by the New Mexicans and creating an incredible waterfall. The erosion process began in earnest.

    The sooth sayers of both sides were unsure what to make fo this development other than that it was deeply terrifying. But the New Mexicans, having no way to cross back over and retreat, and the Vegasites having no choice, bot armies went towards the city. Here, the three armies would meet. The mighty walls of Vegas, some of the largest in the west to protect from nomadic raids (outdone only by some of the fortifications that surrounded Columbia and the wall that enclosed Osamabad), offered the bureaucratic defenders a great advantage, but the other armies came prepared. Great siege engines hurled stones and Utah fire, but to no avail. A Californian scouting party would find a min entrance outside the city, leading below the the city. A small force came in to wreak havoc behind enemy lines while another undermined the walls and planted Utah fire - and just like that, the walls of Vegas came a tumbling down. The three armies met in a confused melee. Killing was indiscriminate in the tight walks alleys and side streets, rivers of blood slowing down knights. At the same time a general uprising of slaves arose, hoping to throw off their shackles. Many civilians had escaped the city before the battle, but not all of them - not by a long shot.

    The climax of the battle came on the Strip as the Californians and the New Mexicans made for the palace. Thousands crowded Las Vegas boulevard. Then, a whistling - a Californian artillery piece had overshot and lobbed its greek fire into the center of town. A great ball of fire rose in the middle of the street - and then there was a noise. A cracking, not unlike what the scribe heard at the dam. It was not enough to stop the bloodshed, however. Neither was the second, nor the fourth nor the fifth. It would be a great moan that gave the men pause. A moan that carried strange portents of a daemon-haunted city, one with nearly a thousand years of history weighing it down. For too long had sinners invaded the city’s splendid isolation, for too long had they destroyed its foundations and monuments for their greed. For too long had they lived in the middle of the desert laughing in the face of gods. The Odds were not in their favor.

    And, just like that, Vegas collapsed.

    Seemingly all at once, the very ground beneath the soldiers’ feet gave way. Now shouting men scrambled to get away, but it was hopeless. The great moaning pit opened up swallowing the armies of the east and west. Within a matter of minutes where once there had been a great city now there was only a yawning black crater, the ruins of the new Vegas mixed liberally with the ruins of the old, alongside thousands of corpses as the survivors crawled their way out. All sides retreated, left to think on what they had done to deserve this. One thing was certain, however; the House had gone bust.

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    Incomplete Map of California
  • Antaeus

    Banned
    Ban
    Made a map of western California. Doesn't match up entirely with what's being done here since it's part of a separate project but I feel it would still find a place here.
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    I will next be working on the Southern Great Command, followed by the Centre, North, East and finally Socal.

    However, I would like to know what would be the best base map for a detailed map encompassing all of the USA + Canada (including the rest of North America if possible) since the base map I'm using at the moment is the Socialist Atlas of the World's California-Nevada map.
     
    Transoceanic Contact: East Asia and the Pacific Northwest
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Transoceanic Contact: East Asia and the Pacific Northwest

    In the industrial era, transoceanic contact between the Americas and the rest of the world was largely dismissed, outside of the first European explorers and the Vikings. However, with the presence of sea-faring cultures like the Polynesians and the oceanic currents the way that they are, the notion that noone ever crossed from East Asia to North America is ridiculous.

    In the new medieval era, Japanese fishermen will occasionally be swept out to sea and if they manage to survive the journey, will land on the shores of the Pacific Northwest or California. In either case, if they're lucky, a passing merchant ship will discover them or they'll find some friendly tribes who might take them in. If those fishermen manage to learn the language then they might entertain the courts of California or the Pacific Northwest. In the case of the Bhuddists ,the fishermen are particularly valued for what is seen as their origin from the Bhuddist homelands. In all cases though, they are not able to return to their homelands, though many remark on the climactic similarities of Cascadia to Japan. The knowledge on how to return to East Asia is fuzzy and the dangers and costs too great.

    However, there are people who maintain a very low volume yet high value trade route from Cascadia to East Asia across the northern shore of the Pacific Ocean, a nearly 7000km one way trip. Most goods making their way to Asia from North America will find their way to Victoria where the sea borne trade to and from the Salish sea congregates in its harbor. From there merchants will often sign a contract to ensure sufficient food and water for their ships at designated stations all the way north. The contract signed is usually with the Order of the Orca who own inns and warehouses in many Cascadian harbors and designated trade outposts/forts further north. The Order itself was founded by the various merchant guilds of the Salish sea to prevent conflict in the already dangerous passage north. Those merchant guilds went to war 2 decades later but the Order survived and has remained neutral ever since. The Order doesn't prevent conflict, but it does provide for the sailors of Cascadia, convert and attack pagans assuring a neutral and safe place for sailors to stay and eat.

    From Victoria ships will sail in short hops from port to port. The itinerary generally goes, Victoria, Sturdies Bay, Nanaimo, Courtenay to Campbell River. Beyond Campbell River lies the Johnstone Strait, a narrow passage separating Victoria (Vancouver) island from the mainland.

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    The views along the Inside passage

    Ships will stock up for 3 days of sailing and past the strait will make it to Port McNeil and past that to Port Hardy. The remainder of the route is referred to as the Inside passage, sheltered from the storms and waves of the Pacific by various islands. The vast majority of the route is wild ,though the tribal villages are peaceful enough that sailors will often find a place to anchor and stay. Various merchant ships will begin to turn away from the path north, instead traveling up the fjords of the Fractured Coast, trading with the tribes for various pelts and wild goods. From Port Arthur, the next stop is Ketchikan and further north, Alaska. Most Cascadian ships will travel no further, the maze of islands and sounds too much for them to handle. Trade goods continue though and will make it to Juneau. Here goods making their way to Asia will change hands once again. Travelling from Juneau to Anchorage is fairly difficult as the protection that the maze of islands has provided so far is lost and ships are now sailing between the open sea and the coast. Merchants will pass snow covered mountains and vast glaciers.

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    Yakutat Bay at the peak of summer

    Anchorage is the last town before total wilderness. From Victoria the journey here will have taken about 2 or 3 months. Goods here will exchange hands yet another time for beyond Anchorage are the Aleutians. The Aleutians are well traveled enough that the tribes people are familiar enough with traders and their ships to not immediately attack upon sight. Though calling the vessels which sail these seas ships is a bit generous. At best they might be resemble a long-ship but more often are glorified canoes. And most traders here are not southerners but tribesmen who have journeyed to Anchorage to trade pelts and skins for metal and other tools. As traders travel west ward, the Aleutians grow thinner and the distances between them grow. To reach Attu Island, involves two separate full day open sea trips, a journey only experienced traders will attempt.

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    The Island of the Four Mountains

    Beyond Attu lies a 2 day jump to the Commander Islands, a pair of islands so remote that no human lived there until the industrial age. Then traders will reach Kamchatka where sailing south along the coast will allow them to reach a town formerly known as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, now named after the bay upon which it sits, Avacha. The few goods that have come from North America will change hands again here. These new traders are usually Japanese traders who have come here for the narwhal tusks and exotic pelts that can found here in the north. Those Japanese traders will return to Tokyo by way of the Kurils, island hopping in a fashion very similar to what was done along the Aleutians. However, the Kurils are generally much warmer than the Aleutians and the journey is much more pleasant this way. The Kurils will give way to Hokkaido where traders will refuel on their way back to Tokyo. Prior to the industrial age Hokkaido was populated by the tribal Ainu. However the colonization of the island by agriculturalists has largely tamed the lowlands. The uplands remain wild though.

    In almost 1000 years a small number of people, no more than 30 have traveled the entire span. Most of their names have been lost to the sands of history. Though there is a man who has seen the courts of Tokyo and Portland and had his adventures recorded in both. Born in Anchorage as Jonothor Chagulak around 2740 to an Aleut trader and his wife when he was about 10 years old, his father took him on a trade expedition to Kamchatka. The trip went well enough until in Avacha, his father lost so much in a gambling match that he was forced to sell his own son to the winning party to pay off his debts. And so Jon was sold to a Japanese trader couple who valued the boy for his knowledge of the Aleut language. They taught him Japanese and took him in as their adopted son. He traveled with them for about a decade until one winter, the Shogun in Tokyo heard of this man from the far north who could speak Japanese and sent for the traders and Jonothor. There he appeared before the Shogun and became a court favorite. Every winter for the next few years he would appear before the Shogun and regal the court of tales of the North. Word would even trickle over to the Chinese imperial court though Jon would never have the opportunity to make it to China. Eventually the chief scribe of the Japanese emperor would write his stories down in a tome entitled, "The Northern Beyond"

    After some time Jonothor would tire of the court life and longed to return to his homeland. That chance came with the death of his adopted mother from sickness. His adopted father died not long after of heartbreak. With this Jon returned north and found some Aleut traders willing to take him back to Alaska. He survived the journey across the Aleutians and made back to Anchorage where he set up a small trading operation of his own and met his wife, whose father was a Cascadian trader. She would convince Jonothor to set up a trade expedition to Cascadia. His expedition would go without a hitch and he would repeat the journey the following year. Word spread of his travels and he told his tales from Vancouver to Olympia. Word of the northerner who lived in the lands across the sea and returned spread to Portland. A scion of the great merchant families wanted to hear his stories in person and arranged for Jon to travel to Portland. In Portland, before an audience of the merchant families and holy orders he relayed his experiences across the ocean and once again became a court favorite. His stories were immediately written down by various scribes in a book called "The Northern Lands and the Nations across the Sea." Jonothor would return to Anchorage where he resumed his trading business. He would die many years later when a storm capsized his ship as he was sailing in the Aleutians.
     
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    Lost Vegas, Epilogue: The Wretched of the Earth
  • Lost Vegas, Epilogue: The Wretched of the Earth

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    And so it was in the year 2710 that a parlay was called between the surviving forces of California and New Mexico in Boulder City. The two parties agreed that something of great significance had happened here, and that the city of Las Vegas had been cursed and its empire was forfeit. The New Mexicans gained control over most of Vegas’s former empire (excepting the newly independent Bajo Colorado), while the Californians retained clientage over the Nevadans. The surviving population was to be split in half - one half would be transferred as slaves to New Mexico, while the other half would be taken to California. The House claimant, Jackson House, arranged for many of those taken in by California to be free, and gained himself mayorship over New Reno. The city of Las Vegas itself was declared cursed, and the local tribes were empowered to kill any who attempted to enter the crater.

    And so it was that the nation of Vegas was destroyed. It would be Vegasite slaves that built the new Phoenix pyramid and the floating gardens of Sacramento. Over the intervening three centuries, however, many slaves both in New Mexico and California would earn their freedom. Some made for New Reno while most others established small communities in their new homelands. A new culture emerged, a diasporic culture built on a history of suffering and slavery. The profound trauma at the heart of post-collapse culture was the question why Lady Luck would abandon her chosen people? Some came to the conclusion that it was because Lady Luck never existed at all, that they had been worshipping false idols and thus punished. These pessimists would convert to the local religions and attempt to integrate, but with little success - prejudice remained harsh against the Vegasites. Forced to adhere to their own community, many searched for new answers within their own cultural tradition.

    The exile community in Elay would see the most complete codification of this growing religious consciousness. A group of priestesses and priests sought out the oral records of the faith and what few texts remained to construct the first comprehensive account of the Vegasite faith in what was called the Bookie’s Book, later shortened to the Bookie. Being written in California, the character of the Bookie naturally took much influence from Scientology and its rigid theology, while the exile communities of New Mexico reflected the looseness and mysticism of the New Age. The Bookie recounts the history of Vegas and its people, beginning with its mythological pre-regression origins and then Randall House leading his people out of the desert and out of exile to build a paradise with Lady Luck playing a prominent role all the way through. The role of The Odds are notably reduced, resembling Christian angels moreso then their polytheistic origins if not outright abstract concepts.

    The ultimate message taken away form the collected tales (and made clear in the commentaries) by the Angelene School was that history operates on people stretching their luck; transgressions are necessary to progress, but pushing your luck too much is hubristic and angers Lady Luck who will strike you down at your apotheosis. Thus the ultimate virtue was not the hedonistic lifestyle of Vegas’s height but one of careful adherence to traditional, tried-and-true methods of living. Most “risks” that ought to be undertaken are ones that have a long history and complicated rituals surrounding them and constant reverence for The Odds that surround each set of actions, with truly novel risks being vanishingly rare and small-scale. Only so-called “High Rollers”, messianic figures with a personal connection to Lady Luck and The Odds, are qualified to undertake the massive risks needed for the community to move forward. One unfortunate side effect of this new consciousness was a constant sense of dread and indecision that paralyzed many Vegasites.

    Angelene Vegasism spread out of the Free Zone into the rest of California where it enjoyed massive success. Priestesses and priests took the Bookie as holy writ despite only being recently written, and commended its compilers as High Rollers. Communities reformed their way of life to live in line with ancient tradition. Slowly but surely, this brand of the religion spread into New Mexico, blending with the New Age influenced Vegasism to for a more mystical interpretation that would still be recognizable to your average Californian Vegasite.

    Of course, this religion did not fix all of the Vegasites’ problems; arguably, it made things worse. Already they were widely ostracized by the surrounding communities as “suppressive” or as harbingers of “bad vibes”. Angelene Vegasism made the Vegasites stick to their own people and traditions even more readily then they had before, making them easily identifiable as aliens. Most communities required Vegasites to wear some identifying marker, usually a “V”, embroidered on their clothing at best or branded on their foreheads at worst. Pogroms were common, spurred by stories of the Vegasites’ sinful ways.

    These stories were not entirely fictional. While the Vegasites themselves mostly refused to partake in the sinful actions they were famous for, they took no such compunctions about inflicting gambling and sin on non-Vegasites: after all, Vegas had originally grown rich on exploration of foreign foolishness, and the more dumb risks taken by non-Vegasites the better the odds were for the Vegasites to succeed. While the casino-temples themselves had largely relegated actual acts of gambling to rare ceremonies and divination, smaller scale casinos and brothels emerged to service non-Vegasites. Such speakeasies were cracked down on by the authorities, and often prompted pogroms when (usually fictional or exaggerated) stories of murder or sexual impropriety emerged from such establishments.

    The free Vegasites became something of a wandering people, going from town to town and country to country. Some would set up shop for several decades at a time, while others lived permanently as nomads. They would offer gambling and divination to locals, and were famed for their skills in money management and risk assessment.

    Recently, a new intellectual flowering has occurred among the Vegasites of Kuluradu. The Caliph and the various Emirs invited the Vegasites to settle and join their courts following a new series of persecutions launched by New Mexico. Free from much of their historical baggage and declared (entirely erroneously) “people of the book”, allowing them to develop free and unfettered. They’ve taken on much from Islamic thought, and many have acknowledged that the Abhrahamic God is likely the creator of the universe, but Lady Luck is the mistress of Vegas and its people. The first Vegasite wanderers have made made their way west where they are looked upon with curiosity by the people of the feudal core. Vegasite colonies are known as far north as the Pacific Northwest, with one enterprising patriarch having even set up a gambling den in Kechikan.

    As for Vegas itself? The city sits abandoned in its crater as it slowly fills up with sand. Untold riches lie in wait, but New Mexican law holds that any attempt to enter the crater is extremely bad vibes and thus punishable by death, lest one bring the dead city’s curse with it. Vegasites hope to return to their home country, but are explicitly forbidden from settling near the city or even along the Colorado. Most of the kingdom was absorbed directly by Dinetah, while the regions adjacent to the old city have been turned into a client state, run by the former slaves of the vegasites who live in constant terror of the ghosts said to haunt the city. Rumors persist of daemons or troglodytes that wander the streets strewn with the debris of the old city and the new, but they are just that - rumors. The only portion of the new city that remains above ground is a titanic vast pyramid, one of the greatest of the casino-temples that now sits at the edge of the crater on a constantly eroding cliff. One day it too shall collapse and give way to the desert, just as Hoover Dam gave way to two titanic walls of concrete flanking the mighty Colorado.

    Vegas may have gone bust long ago, but its champions have started counting their cards. Never forget: no matter how long it may seem to be down, in the end, the House always wins.

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    Pope-Gallatin County
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Pope-Gallatin County
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    Where the Mississippi and Ohio rivers meet lie a mess of small autonomous states. Sheltered by the rivers, they remain largely independent from the giants which surround them, the Commonwealth of Mississippi and the Commonwealth of Ohio. This area is a transition area between the Midwestern cultures to the north and Dixie to the south. As you float down the Mississippi from Pope-Gallatin County to Shelby County, the inhabitants transition from largely midwestern in P-G County to far more Dixie in Shelby County.

    Pope-Gallatin County

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    System of Government: Feudal Tributary State (Sovereign under the Commonwealth of Ohio)
    Head of State:
    Sheriff, selected from sons and nephews of ruling Sheriff prior to his death
    Population: 800,000
    Religion: American Non-Denominational Church
    Totemic Symbol: Saluki Dog

    Historically, Pope-Gallatin county was primarily a tributary state of the State of Illinois because of it's origins within the State of Illinois. However because of it's proximity to Ohio it also paid tribute and fealty to the Commonwealth of Ohio as well. Balancing the desires of the two states was the greatest challenge for the Sheriff of P-G County as to prevent an aggrieved party from invading and removing any independence it may have had. This exact situation happened once where the Sheriff of then Pope County offended an emissary of the State of Illinois that then governor Peter II led an army to replace the Sheriff of Pope County. The new Sheriff was an elderly man who had only one surviving daughter. To secure her inheritance he betrothed her to the son of his neighbor to the north, the Sheriff of Gallatin County. With that move, their son would hold both titles of Pope and Gallatin County. His grandson would merge the two titles together in order to assert his rights over Evansville and increase his personal power. However since then the Sheriff's power over the merchants of the river has eroded.

    Pope-Gallatin County is largely a feudal state but the merchants have immense control of the towns and cities along and south of the Ohio river. It is they who control the ferries across and with this level of influence have carved out free cities for themselves, largely free of influence from the Sheriff though they do pay taxes to the Sheriff for his protection. This is not the situation in Ohio because there it is the president who controls the ferry guilds and he is also not afraid to go to war with some of the more powerful pure merchant states. But in the free areas of Pope-Gallatin County merchants own vast tracts of land where indentured laborers farm the lands for tobacco, cannabis and other cash crops.

    During the industrial era, this region of southern Illinois was known as Little Egypt presumably because of the town known as Cairo, at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. That town has long been lost to spring floods but has been rebuilt on higher ground to the south east. The new Cairo is a small yet bustling city of 20,000, servicing traders as they go on their way. P-G county is also home to Evansville, a city of approximately 35,000. During the years of Dabney raids, Evansville remained unscathed because of it's location east of the Wabash and consequently the Wabash Wall. Because of the destruction of St Louis, Evansville grew as a result, taking in many of the merchant houses which had to flee from the cowboy hordes. That drew alot of trade to Evansville and it grew a lot during that time. However, since the reconstruction of St Louis, many of those merchants and the trade they brought with them have left, leaving the city to decline from a peak of 50,000 to it's current population. However, Evansville's population has remained stable for about 2 decades around 35,000 indicating that the decline has largely stopped. Another important city within the borders of Pope-Gallatin county is Paducah, located just downstream from where the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers merge into the Ohio. It has a population of about 15,000.
     
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