Medieval America Mark III

[Non-Canon] Criticisms
  • Random musings I feel the need to write for some reason, even though this universe runs on Rule of Cool:

    The agriculture-herding boundary is a couple hundred miles too far east. Even without the aquifers of recent centuries, rainfall should be enough on its own to sustain at least moderately intensive agriculture, a sedentary society supplemented by animal husbandry, into the eastern thirds of Nebraska and the Dakotas, half of Kansas, and so on. Especially since the rain line has been shifting east recently, probably due to climate change, and with that out of the way it should stabilize somewhere between the 99th and 100th meridians west. Even if mounted archers can outfight farming societies in marginal areas, eventually sheer numbers will tell. So the cowboys should be restricted into a fairly narrow band between thereabouts and the Rockies, with Iowa safe from their raids in all but the worst times (once in a lifetime, say), and the Mississippi impassable unless they have all, not just one particularly powerful band, been united under a reincarnation of Temujin.

    Kuluradu should not exist. Even if all the Muslims in the entire decaying federal prison system were at Florence, and even if they all staged one coordinated riot during a distracting crisis, they'd eventually get outshot by local forces, who wouldn't take kindly to a surely despised foe going on the rampage. Prisoners with stolen or makeshift weapons should be no match for posses, national guards, and sheriff's departments, even in favorable circumstances.

    The USA should still be in D.C. In an age where the government would be hyper-sensitive to the symbols of legitimacy, going to Baltimore would only weaken their claims. Giving the entire city to the Non-Denom Church would be like the Byzantine emperors decamping to Nicomedia and leaving Constantinople to the Patriarch. I get what White was trying to do with the Rome analogy, but that happened when the city split off from the Byzantines in the 8th century because the empire couldn't force them back into line or protect them. With the US government still controlling the area all that'd happen is that the Chief Justice who proposed such an idea would wake up dead.

    California would not have adopted the Desereti alphabet. California is a larger, richer realm, not the type that would normally just adopt a whole new writing system for ease of trade. Especially since the Desertis are rivals and infidels ("suppressives"?) In fact, I'd expect the relationship to realistically go the other way, with the Desereti alphabet being restricted to ceremonial purposes and most writing even within Deseret happening in some kind of demotic hybrid or Deseret-influenced Latin, but I'll let that slide..

    These all strained my suspension of disbelief.

    Lesser implausibilities that are a bit weird but not too egregious:

    New Age New Mexico should probably be New Age-flavored Catholicism instead.
    Scientologist California. There's roughly 20,000 of them in the state in 2019. The demographics almost certainly just aren't there, except maybe for Scientology-influenced syncretism if they get lucky.
    Although it was done cleverly, I feel that the effective end of race in the South (everywhere else is too monochrome to sustain separate racial identities, as White notes) is still unlikely. If race is in the rest of America's DNA, in the South it's a ritual scar.
    On a similar note: the de jure acceptance of debt bondage by the Supreme Court. It would be too open for the north, which would still semi-hypocritically pride itself on greater adherence to American values of equality of opportunity. I expect that there'd just be a gag rule on challenging it, but the north wouldn't have to accept it, much less have it.

    Thoughts?
     
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    State of North Carolina
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    State of North Carolina

    NorthCarolinaFlagSmall.png


    System of Government: Feudal Monarchy
    Head of state: Governor, chosen son or nephew of the previous governor
    Population: 1,770,000
    Religion: Nondenominational Christianity
    Totemic Symbol: Pitch Pine

    Unlike it's weak neighbor to the south, North Carolina is a proud state and will not bow to outside influence. This has naturally lent itself to a great deal of conflict with Georgia and it's vassal South Carolina. Ever since the Southern branch of the Hobbs family were ousted from the Palmetto throne, the Governors of North Carolina have sought to press their claims and restore the Jasmine-Dogwood crown, a united crown of both Carolinas.

    Their ambition stems from the death of Felix Hobbs, who died without heir. A minor succession crisis ensued with skirmishes between Georgian and Carolinian Knights but ultimately Virgil Hobb's son Donovan won over and ruled over both Carolinas. However, when Donovan died in 2536 and his second son James rose to the throne, Georgia sought to cleave the combined State of Carolina in half and pressed for the Southern half of the state to go to Donovan's exiled elder son Virgil II. The conflict which ensued, known as the Palmetto War, ended in 2539 with a Georgian victory. However, the Georgians overextended themselves and a mercenary captain was able to ascend to the Georgian governorship.

    Since then, the Governors of North Carolina have pressed to reclaim what they see as their rightful demesne. This is especially pronounced as Donovan ruled from a palace in Charlotte. This palace ,the heirlooms contained within and the rest of South Carolina was lost when the state passed to the Isleys.


    The situation with the USA and Virginia is similar though the reasons for conflict are different. The USA is a continual threat to the independence of North Carolina, through their mission to reassemble the Union. Pennsylvania and Virginia have already fallen to Baltimore, currently ruled by Vicegovs, appointed by the President in Baltimore with the power invested in him through emergency law. Gullahs raid eastern North Carolina, emerging from the swamps to steal crops and harvest pitch pines. The border with Virginia is also fortified, with various castles and hold-fasts having been constructed to repeal Virginian raiders.

    The tobacco from North Carolina is known as some of the best tobacco in the country. Governors of North Carolina use their tobacco to appease their vassals, when vassals visit the governor, he will smoke with them, showing off his generosity and patronage. This practice extends throughout the nobility and wealthier peasants will also do this. This is traditionally done in a special smoking cabin where host and guests sit around a round table and cigars are passed around. This practice has begun to trickle down to the peasantry, though for them whole tobacco leaves are burnt directly, and in much smaller quantities than nobles will use.

    American naval ships are unwelcome, traders are fine and North Carolinian tobacco can be found along the Atlantic seaboard from Nova Scotia to Savannah.
     
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    State of Virginia
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    State of Virginia

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    Taken from here

    System of Government: Directly Appointed Federal-State (Feudal Viceroyalty)
    Head of state: Vice-Governor, appointed by President of USA
    Population: 650,000
    Religion: Nondenominational Christianity
    Totemic Symbol: None


    In the early days of the Great Emergency, Washington DC was exposed. Federal Authority had degraded to such a point where states openly warred against the federal government. The states surrounded DC each conspired to take the city and seize the church and old seat of federal power for themselves. Virginia was one of these states. However, when President George Washington II took power and drafted the Articles of Emergency, the anarchy around DC ended.

    One of the first victims of the new Federal Government was the State of Virginia. Continual pressure from Federal Mercenaries and a blockade by the Navy brought the local warlord down. A federal army crossed the Potomac at the break of spring and made great haste to reach Richmond within 2 months. Rather than living off the land, this besieging force was supplied by the Navy, which was simultaneously blockading the Virginian coast. After 3 months of siege, then Virginian Governor George Dinwiddie tried to escape across the James River but was killed in his attempt by an arrow to his back. The remainder of his family was not spared. His sons were exiled to Newfoundland and his daughters given to the church.

    Since then, the State of Virginia has been a vassal of the USA, the first line of defense and front line in the long-term federal project of reforging the union. Several ambitious vice-governors have attempted to declare themselves independent but usually insurrections are swiftly put down by armies from DC. These armies are composed of professional soldiers hardened by the constant skirmishes against DC's many enemies. Many of these soldiers are Hillbilly pikemen from the Pennsylvanian Appalachians who travel to DC to earn a wage. Others are Gullah, who have chosen to serve on land rather than on the ships of the Navy.

    Not all vice-governors are content on taking orders from Baltimore but some are more successful than others in their bid for sovereignty. In times when the various merchant houses of Baltimore squabble with each other an ambitious vice-governor might take power and declare himself independent. This is generally supported by the various enemies of the USA who always like to see the US taken down a peg or so. The longest lasting period of Virginian independence happened in from 2612-2725 when General Adam Greencastle was also made Vice-Governor of Virginia. This was a grave mistake. After only 2 years, he declared himself independent and took much of the army with him. He was supported by the local nobility who had been denied representation in the House and could not become presidential electors. Greencastle won several battles and Baltimore eventually sued for peace. This peace would last until Greencastle's death in 2654. Afterwards, the USA and Virginia would continue to struggle with Virginian knights reaching the Potomac several times but never being able to cross it.

    It was not until the presidency of President Grover Cleveland II in 2723 that an opportunity for the USA to reclaim Virginia emerged. Capturing Shenandoah County, a 3rd path into Virginia opened up. With his son and nephew, they led a 3-pronged campaign against Greencastle's great-grandson Peter. His son marching down the Shenandoah Valley, himself straight towards Richmond and his nephew leading a blockade, President Cleveland trapped the Virginian army at Gordonsville and inflicted a decisive defeat. The defeat then allowed the American army to capture Richmond and eventually the whole state.


    Since that time, the sovereignty and symbols of Virginian independence have been eroded. No longer are military men allowed to become Governors. The original Virginian flag has been erased, replaced with the Coat of Arms of Thomas Jefferson. A similar process has also occurred to Delaware and Pennsylvania where the symbols of the Patriot-Saints have replaced the local state symbols. Maryland is the lone exception because the President in Baltimore simultaneously holds the title of Governor of Maryland. Furthermore, in states under direct federal control, Vice-Governors have no jurisdiction to appoint representatives to the Senate. Rather, these representatives are appointed by the President, generally with the approval of the Supreme Court. To prevent future insurrections, land owners in Federal States are able to send representatives to the House and join the Electoral College, having the same rights as any other land owner under Federal Jurisdiction.
     
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    The Freer the Trade, the Freer the Folk: Structure of the Mackinaw League
  • The Freer the Trade, the Freer the Folk: Structure of the Mackinaw League

    The Mackinaw League is the fifth Great Lakes trade organization since the dawn of the new Medieval era. Excepting the first league, known as the Great Lakes Area Federal Emergency Relief Office, all leagues have emerged naturally from the interactions of traders seeking mutual benefit through commerce, that most American of enterprises. The league has a fluid structure that varies from town to town and from year to year, but below is a cursory outline.

    Structure

    The League consists of merchants living along the shore of the Great Lakes and their tributaries. To be a league merchant, you must be born to Lakelander parents, you must be subject to Lakelander laws, and you must be in possession of a commercial education (even if it comes informally). The ultimate goal of the league is to manage the heterogeneous interests of its merchants for the enhancement of trade, and to secure the maximum amount of independence for the cities of the league.Most professions are represented by guilds or “Unions”, with each union being lead by a ‘captain of industry.’

    League towns are centered around the local Chamber of Commerce. Chambers operate much like an early stock exchange. It is here that records are kept, handshakse are had, and meetings are held. Each Chamber is overseen by a Tycoon. Tycoons are elected by the Chamber’s merchants to three-year terms. Tycoons are genuinely the wealthiest and most powerful members of their communities and in many cases effectively operate as minor princes. While they have an enormous amount of power over the day to day operations of their town, they are still ultimately bound by the desires of their merchants and, to a lesser extent, the state to which they pledge fealty.

    Meetings are called by the Tycoon either on a regular basis or if the local merchants demand it. Issues are raised and debates are held. The ultimate voting process is based on the consent of all members, where consent is defined as “lack of dissent.” Even if a league member doesn’t get his way but his proposal is unlikely to gain appreciable support, he is usually obliged to remain silent by convention. If dissenters can raise sufficient clamor however,, a compromise wil have tol be worked out.

    The most important duty of the Tycoon is to represent his township at the General Shareholders Meeting in the Grand Chambers of Detroit, Chicago, or Buffalo to vote on bylaws, organize trade policy, and to modify the League Compact. While they theoretically may send a representative in their place, most Tycoons take the opportunity to flaunt their wealth in person. Famously, the Tycoon of the village Marquette on Lake Superior embezzled money from his rather poor Chamber to build the Son of Dogman in an attempt to put himself on par with the great Tycoons of Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo. When word reached Marquette of his crime, he was subjected to the harshest punishment prescribed by the LEague: a hole was drilled in the ice of Lake Superior, and he was cast in.

    Foreign Rleations

    Aside from setting prices and providing for intraleague cooperation, the League’s greatest goal is to minimize the power that the Governors and Presidents have over their towns.

    Genesee county is of course the greatest example of League independence. The county is effectively run by local league merchants, much to the chagrin of the local noble class. The Count of Genesee is by law also the tycoon of the Great Chamber of Buffalo, making him one of the three Executive Tycoons.

    Ohio has historically been a great friend of the Lake Leagues. The President in Cincinnati has historically adopted a policy of benign neglect. While Cleveland, Toledo, and Cedar Point are valuable ports, Ohio understands that it has little hope to exercise much direct control over the affairs of the Great Lakes compared to its adversaries. Thus, it largely leaves league merchants along Lake Erie to their own devices. Though they are not sovereign over their towns, the league merchants are extremely influential and the authorities are generally cooperative. In recent years, this policy has been upheld by the President to stick his thumb in Michigan’s eye.

    Iowa’s relationship with the League is complicated. On the one hand, the league was instrumental in the siege of Chicago and the final victory against the Dabneys. On the other hand, the New Israelite past of the Iowas leave them suspicious of merchants and usurers. For the time being, however, Iowa has entrusted the League with a massive amount of control over its trade for the simple reason that they seem to know what they’re doing. This has been much to the chagrin of Iowa’s vassal Wisconsin and the Elks, who see the League as competition for power along the rich shores of Michigan and Lake Superior.

    By far, the greatest enemy of the League has always been Michigan. Michigan’s vital control over the straits and, indeed, its naval supremacy over three of the major lakes has directed its policy in the direction of taxation, tolling, and control. The fortunes of prior leagues rose and fell depending on their relationship and relative power to Lansing. With the recent cowing of Michigan, however, the League is enjoying a large upswing. The tolls have been lifted, and many league towns are enjoying defacto independence.

    The Canucks of the far north are vital to the league, being the source of the fine pelts that constitutes the Lakelands’s greatest export. However, Canuck raiders are a perpetual problem for traders who come to the far north.

    Prior Leagues

    -First League: Great Lakes Area Federal Emergency Relief Organization, or Glafero. Established by the Federal Government to ease logistics as the Regression went on. It quickly transformed from a humanitarian body into a mercantile one.
    -Second League: Trilake Workers League , or the Lake League. The first true “Lake League”, caused by a reaction of the guilds to the perceived corruption of the First League.

    -Third League: The Soo League. Based out of Sault Ste. Marie, and primarily focused on the fur trade.

    -Fifth League: The Cedar League. Based out of Cedar Point.

    -Sixth League: The Mackinaw League, the current iteration and so far the most powerful.
     
    Here There Be Monsters: The Skunk-Ape
  • Here There Be Monsters: The Skunk-Ape

    skunk-ape-alleged-sighting.jpg


    The Gulf has become more wild since the Regression - perhaps not since the Palaeolithic has it seen the level of teeming biodiversity that it enjoys in the New Medieval Era. The hot and humid environment has been reclaimed by the yearly hurricane, destroying much of the ancient infrastructure and leaving in its place a nigh-tropical jungle. Zoo escapees and freed pets have made their mark all across Medieval America, true, but nowhere enjoys quite so exotic a repertoire as the Gulf, and nowhere in the Gulf enjoys quite so exotic a repertoire as Florida: the Torrid Vacationland, with a zoo for every tourist attraction and far more exotic pets per capita then is really reasonable.

    Countless strange creatures inhabit the overgrown jungles of Florida - cane toads, giant iguanas, alligators, crocodiles, pythons, hippos. It has certainly earned the moniker American sailors have given it, the “Animal Kingdom”, though it is a kingdom without a king. The ecosystem of Florida is a deeply confused one. Given a few thousand more years of natural progression, most of these species would disappear, too many creatures competing for too few niches. But for now, it’s the wildest place in America.

    Perhaps its most famous inhabitant is the Skunk Ape. Legends abound about these creatures among the native peoples. The Jewish tribesmen who inhabit believe they are Golems, created by rabbis to stop the Regression, driven mad by their failures. The Seminole believe they are the spirits of their murdered ancestors. Practitioners of voodoo affirmatively state that they are escaped Zombies who though free of the control of their Witch-Doctor still cannot regain their humanity. Even Christian Floridians are fearful of the Skunk Ape and are known to leave offerings to stave off their wrath.

    The typical image of the Skunk Ape is that of a huge, hulking creature, the bastard son of the common Floridian monkey and man. It has a stink like no other that can paralyze a hapless huntsman from a mile away, leaving him victim to the horrid depredations of that monstrous beast. Its stink is believed to be a harbinger of the tropical diseases that ravage the peninsula.

    The United States attempted to stamp out much of the folk belief in the Skunk Ape as they expanded their holdings in Florida, seeing it as a dangerous folk religion. The authorities in the State of Florida insisted that the Skunk Ape was very real, and a public health hazard. This schism was finally settled when an American monk, one Artie Burgess, slaid a Skunk Ape and sent its body to the Smithsonian. The United States and the Church has since reversed its line, conceding that the Skunk Ape is real, but countering that it is not any sort of mystical being but a race of escaped orangutans that have grown giant.
     
    The Amish
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    The Amish

    When the great regression came, the Amish seemed poised to capitalize upon the sudden loss of technology. Because of their lack of technological reliance and adherence to a largely agricultural lifestyle, they flourished in immediate time after the great recession began. They took over formerly mechanized farms, using their demographic strength to spread and grow. However, after 100 years or so, once everyone had gotten used to a medieval way of life, they began to falter. Warlords preyed upon them, using their pacifist ways to extort more and more out of their communities without any fear of reprisals. This situation continued until a more militant branch of the sect sprouted in the Upper Susquehanna Valley in 2653. Jon Delaney, a former captain in the American Appalachian Guard led an uprising of Amish peasants to overthrow the local sheriff. This uprising spread and soon Amish pikemen were knocking at the door of Harrisburg. The siege was swift, with Amish sympathizers inside the town opening the gates to the invaders outside.

    The fall of Harrisburg sent shock-waves across the Mid Atlantic, how could a District Supervisory fall to near heathens! Don Matteo III De Delfino of New Jersey sent an army to try and conquer the fledgling nation but an Amish army met him just outside Harrisburg on the banks of the Susquehanna. The New Jersey army attempted a lancer charge when it seemed like the Amish were not prepared for their cavalry. However, the Amish had cleverly hidden pikes within their ranks planting them across the width of the battlefield. When the lancers drew near, the Amish retreated behind the pikes and revealed a forest of spikes awaiting the horses. The lancers could not stop in time and died en masse. Survivors were finished off by other spear-men.

    After the battle of Falmouth, the Amish began negotiations with the Non Denom church about the status of the District Supervisory of Pennsylvania and the Amish church. 2 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice himself met with Amish church leaders in Hagerstown for a preliminary meeting. Afterwards, both sides generally set representatives in their steed. After 41 long months, several brawls between delegates and a tense standoff between the Amish army and the Appalachian Guard, the Hagerstown Accords were signed. It was decided that the Amish would be officially granted an exception to the Non-Denom monopoly, with the condition that they would not be allowed to proselytize outside the borders of Pennsylvania. The Amish would no longer have the Non-Denom Orthodoxy interfere in their own church which would officially become a child-church of the larger Non-Denom church. Beliefs about the status of God would be shared though operation of the churches would differ. These differences included the approval of Pennsylvanian Dutch as a liturgical language, the ability for the Amish church to appoint their own holy men, and the financial independence of the Amish Church. In addition, the church supervisory in Harrisburg would be allowed to remain, and would have its holy men appointed by Baltimore.

    Future disputes between descendants of John Delaney 51 years later caused the state to split into half and the title of the State of Pennsylvania to be vacated. The lower Susquehanna, downstream of the Blue Mountain Ridge would become Lancaster County and the upper Susquehanna would become Northumberland County. 15 years after the split, the USA attacked Lancaster County and forced them to submit to Federal Governance and the State of Pennsylvania was reformed. However, recognizing the potential for conflict and needing a stable frontier, the feds have officially protected the Amish from persecution within Federal territory and their church is allowed to practice freely in the new State of Pennsylvania. The Amish remain without representation in the Senate though they are allowed to sit in the House.

    Since that time, the Amish have remained peaceful, content to stay in their little mountain valleys or spread throughout Federal Jurisdiction. Amish peasants have traveled to Pennsylvania and Northumberland County, fleeing persecution from the President in Cincinnati. The Amish have also spread throughout Federal Jurisdiction and their characteristic hats and beards are a familiar sight in many Federal cities, though no longer stand out quite as much as they once did in the industrial era.
     
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    The Hell's Angels
  • The Hell's Angels

    The annals of Americana are home to a great number of marauders from Ivan Redsails to the Thunder Chief to Darius the Black Prophet. However, none seem to draw more fear and revulsion than the legend of Charlie Coleman and his raiders from hell. While the pious judges of New Israel claim that the Hell's Angels cast aside the word of heaven to worship the great beast that is Satan, the Angels regard the Devil as a soldier of Lord Above instead of his enemy. After all, Satan had given himself to the greatest of God's tasks, torturing the wicked in his firey pits of hell. And the Hell’s Angels, dressed in black leather coats regarded themselves as the earthly soldiers of God, who had given his people an infinite land of riches to loot and reave. The oral tradition of the Hell's Angels maintains that they are an ancient people who traveled from the land of Cali to escape war, drought, and famine. This legend appears to be a reference to the Great Droughts of the 200s, which resulted in the Warring States Period in the West Coast.

    After the bandit hordes failed to destroy the great hydraulic empires, the Angels would journey east, pillaging settlements across the Rio Grande. Despite their fearsome reputation, the Hell's Angels are a fractious bunch as the different clubs would quarrel with one another regarding loot, territory, and the activities of unfaithful wives. Eventually, their decline would come when the Dineh Confederation declared Roswell a holy site and launched a crusade against the heathens who raided the sacred Temple of Fifty One. As the full might of the Confederation was brought down upon the Angels, the road captains were forced out of their capital of El Paso, fleeing to the safety of the Davis Mountains. Soon, it seemed that the Angels would slip into extinction as the clubs began to cannibalize each other through a series of power struggles and land disputes. However, a child would be born to unite the Angels once more under the banner of the Lord and Lucifer.

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    Charlie Coleman was born the son of Captain Bill Coleman and would take over his father's club at age sixteen following Bill's death at the hands of a Navajo headhunter. After subjugating the other clubs, young Charlie would receive a holy vision from Satan where he was instructed to travel east and conquer the golden city-state of Houston. To do so, he formed an alliance with capos of Los Zetas, wedding the heiress to the Garcia family to defeat a common enemy. After the deal was made, the alliance began a massive assault on the fort cities of Santonio and Austin, overwhelming the city's defenses as the horde raped, pillaged, and burned two great cities of the Texas frontier. Immediately, Southern knights and voodoo warriors came to Texarkana's aid, to fight the demon worshippers that intruded upon their lands.

    While his sergeants feared the wrath of the feudal core, Charlie told his people that he received a divine dream where a great horde sacked the city of Houston and built a kingdom of God its ashes. Emboldened by the words of their leader, the Angels began their journey east to fulfill their destiny. However, another tribe was also making a journey of its own. Following a series of cold spells, New Israelites from the Southern Plains began migrating to warmer climes, only to be greeted by savages who worshipped the image of Satan alongside G-d and his holy son. Horrified, High Judge Marion Peterson formed an alliance with the Imperial Wizard and declared his own crusade against the demon-worshippers. This alliance would prove to be the very thing that would end the Hell's Angels as hundreds of Cowboys recaptured Santonio while knights of the cross beat back the hordes at the Brazos River.

    The-conquest-of-Valencia-by-Jaime-I.jpg


    In spite of these rapid defeats, Charlie claimed that Satan had possessed his soul and had given him the power to drown Houston in a flood of fire. While his words emboldened the sergants, Captain Coleman unexpectedly died after choking on a terrible nosebleed, forcing the Angels to retreat west and escape extinction once more. In the aftermath of their victory, the Imperial Wizard agreed to grant the New Israelites land beyond the four fort cities in a treaty that would be broken after the election of Judge William "Big Bill" Anderson. Now, the Hell's Angels have returned to their old haunts on the Rio Grande, slowly fading into obscurity. The Angels now regard the Crusade of Charlie Coleman with a great deal of nostalgia, but it appears that their beloved captain only delayed their demise as they become subject to cowboy raids and incursions from Dineh. While the Hell's Angels remain feared across the Southwest as the legendary ravagers of Texas, it is known by all that every legend must eventually come to an end.

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    The State of Pennsylvania
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    The State of Pennsylvania
    PennsylvaniaFlagSmall.png

    System of Government: Directly Appointed Federal-State (Feudal Vice-royalty)
    Head of state: Vice-Governor, appointed by President of USA
    Population: 430,000
    Religion (Official): Nondenominational Christianity
    Religion (Popular): Pennsylvanian Anabaptist
    Totemic Symbol: None


    After the fall of Lancaster County, and it's reorganization under the American Government, the State of Pennsylvania has become the primary frontier against one of America's biggest threats, the Capos (lancers) and Dons of New Jerzey. As a result of New Jerzey aggression, the Federal government has enacted several edicts to make this land far more defensible.

    Firstly, it has encouraged local peasants to plant hedgerows. These hedgerows funnel knights down roads and prevent them from rampaging freely across the land. These hedgerows also allow Baltimore's largely pike-based armies to engage Jerzeyite Capos almost anywhere.

    Secondly, the interstate department has greatly improved I83 and I95, being paved with stone and pitch from Baltimore to Wilmington and Harrisberg respectively. Fortresses and beacon towers also exist along both roads, such that an attack on Wilmington or Harrisberg will send a signal straight to Baltimore and a relief army can be dispatched. When a beacon tower sees the preceding tower light their beacons, they will light their own. The amount of signal fires lit represents the size of the threat to the fortified towns. 1 fire for a small force, 2 for a large force, 3 for the imminent fall of the town. Along both roads, a major fortress is placed every 18 miles, with fortified beacon towers every 3 miles.

    When the state was conquered by the Federal government, they had learnt their lessons and local identifiers were replaced with symbols of Federal rules. The flag was replaced with the coat of arms of the Patriot-Saint John Adams. However, this significantly chafed the Amish who were concentrated in the northern half of the new state. This tension grew when missionaries began proselytizing in Amish villages. This was not supposed to happen as the Amish church officially submitted to becoming the daughter-church of the Non-Denom church, sharing doctrine. This came to a head when a young Amish man-at-arms killed a missionary and sparked open rebellion. To try and maintain unity and prevent adversaries from taking the state, the government negotiated with rebel leaders, allowing them to become captains of autonomous Amish counties within the State of Pennsylvania.
     
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    [Semi-Canon] Some ideas about New Jersey
  • Some ideas about New Jersey, as someone from there:

    1: City states ruled by rival dons in places like Asbury Park, Newark, Montclair, Atlantic City. Sinatra should be a folk saint The Dons have a Commission like the HRE electorate or Ten of Venice that selects the ruler of the state. Actors perform decayed bastardized versions of The Godfather, Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale and Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire episodes as Shakespearean stage plays, but they revere Scorcese as the greatest playwright not Shakespeare if they have an education.

    2: Bards that cover Springsteen and Bon Jovi and Gaslight Anthem songs.

    3: Northwestern NJ, the Skylands, is very different than the rest of the state, more an extension of rural PA. Near where I come from, is the towns of Mahwah and Ringwood and there are these hill people who live in poor and primitive conditions, calling themselves the Ramapo tribe, though they're mixed descendents of Dutch and Hessian colonists and escaped slaves. Into the Furnace is about them. That general area in north Passaic, Morris, Warren, Sussex and Hundertdon counties should be a barely controlled hinterland of the Italian Mafia descended culture of the rest of the state.

    4: The same with the Pine Barrens. Also have them live in fear of the Jersey Devil and have it on the state's Coat of Arms.
     
    [Semi-Canon] New Jersey/Novo Giosi
  • New Jersey/Novo Giosi


    System of Government: Independent State
    Head of state: Capo Di Tutti Capi (Boss of All Bosses, selected by Commission of the Five Families)
    Population: 1.4 million
    Religion (Official): Roman Catholic Church
    Religion (Popular): Roman Catholic Church
    Totemic Symbol:
    Devil.png


    Novo Giosi is a realm on the Atlantic Coast formed of what used to be the State of New Jersey before the Regression. When American society collapsed, New Jersey's notoriously corrupt state government fell apart quickly. Gangs from blighted inner cities like Paterson and Camden went on rampages through the suburbs as the electricity and water failed and small town police were overwhelmed. Into this power vacuum stepped those who had always really run society in New Jersey. The Mafia. The Mafia had soldiers establish protection rackets over large suburban areas and go in and either take over or burn down cities that would not accept their rule. For a century or two after the Regression, the different families fought, with the De Cavalacantes, Gambinos and Lucheses coming out on top but often bloodying one another's noses. Different cities became city states and feuded.

    condotierri.jpg


    Mafioso armies in combat at the Battle of The Raritan River

    In time, wars with the rump USA in Washington and New York lead to consolidation of the Families into a Commission for the state to select a Boss of All Bosses to run the state. Feuding between cosa nostra nobility takes place behind the scenes through intrigue, with hitmen conducting the occasional whacking or poison or shakedown. The maritime traders from Washington, New York and Boston sail into Asbury Park and Atlantic City to hawk their wares and the local dons heavily extort protection from the merchant classes. Capos and soldiers turn their aggression outward, raiding into Pennsylvania and Delaware for tribute or "shakedowns" in small armies, though the state does not have the resources to totally conquer its neighbors. DC tolerates Novo Giosi but with its Catholicism in contrast to the Non Denominational Church and local Italian dialect, it does not really have much influence.

    The Dons on the Commission meet in Hoboken where the capital was moved to from Trenton, too distant from the main power centers by horse. Young Capos show off in jousts, Dons intrigue and bargain and show off their goomahs, and consiglieres try to exercise power behind the thrones. Acting troupes put on performances of Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale, The Godfather and The Pine Barrens at the Mile Square Theater and bards sing the ancient folk songs My Way and Living on a Prayer.

    That is not to say the whole land is the mafioso noble class though. In the Northwest are the Jackson White tribes from Mahwah to High Point. These hill people are descended from Natives, Hessian and Dutch colonists and escaped slaves in times of old and always resisted regular society in the hills of the Ramapo mountains and they still do. Few large towns exist and the Morris Canal long silted over and dried up and became too hard to use for river traffic so aside from an occasional raid of Capos sent from Hoboken from the garrison in Fairfield along Route Quarantasei to shake them down for protection, the various hill tribes run their own affairs in their villages and their hilltop mall fort in Dover.

    In the South, the Shore is the domain of the cosa nostra ruling class, but inland of it, things change. Lakewood is a large Jewish shetl run by a Rebbe who in exchange for tribute to the Don of Asbury, runs the area as his own fiefdom. Piney tribes live in the ancient looming forests of the Pine Barrens. Their villages are usually walled and they have occasional forts for fear not of men but of the Leeds Devil, a horrific winged monstrosity that they say haunts the forest from ancient times and will slaughter the unwary. They say its unearthly screeches and tracks can be found in the forest, and it once had a great battle with another flying dragon, Hindenburg and slaughtered it, causing it to fall on fire from the sky.

    Trade and wagon routes are maintained along the Parkway and Turnpike, which are fractured concrete filled in with stones and debris from time to time to keep them usable. A guild of boatmen called the Port Authority controls merchant traffic with New York across the Hudson and is looked on with suspicion by the rulers of both places.
     
    [Semi-Canon] A Vision of Jersey
  • Like the post, but @Flashman had a vision surrounding Jersey so talk to him about his thoughts.
    Here's what I wrote:

    Well it seems to me that a lot of the history of the Northeast is centered around three powers: the United States, New Jersey and Quebec. The United States, of course, attempts to secure its trading interests along the midatlantic and New English seaboard, and must balance that interest with (or, at times, against) the interests of the Court. Quebec, of course, wants more souls for the Catholic Church, and more living room for Frenchmen. Their interests are largely focused on Canada, upper New York and inland New England, but they also want to project power through coastal New England via the Maritimes. So where does Jersey come in in all of this?

    From the get go, it's obvious that Jersey is going to be run by the mob. That's obvious. The mob is one of the American myths, right up there with cowboys and George Washington. Further, many have made the observation that the mafia essentially operates as a state (and vice versa), so it's no great leap to say that as government collapsed the mob would step in to fill up the vacuum. So what exactly is the extent of that?

    The core of the mob, of course, is New York City and Northern Jersey. This is the core where the mob wields the most power. It is still present but less so through the tristate area as a whole - so down through southern Jersey, Long Island, Upstate New York. At its furthest extent it goes down through Delaware, up to Providence and potentially as far as Boston. There is also a very strong presence in Philly.

    As the Federal Government and therefore the Federal Bureau of Investigation retreats, the Mob moves in. It quickly consolidates control over North Jersey. The rest of its range is more contentious - New York is of course, extremely diverse, with lots of institutions (both legitimate and il) to also attempt to fill the gap).

    This kicks off something called the "Jersey Wars", which comes in three phases. The first phase is consolidation against competing institutions. The Mob has the benefits of not being associated with the failed federal government and, unlike competing illegitimate institutions, it has a lot more cross-over appeal, both between different crews/families and with other ethnic groups. While the Triads may be able to consolidate their control over a decaying Chinatown, they have little chance of moving beyond that. There aren't really many Chinese gangs outside of Chinatown and in the hinterlands, and they are fundamentally foreign whereas the mob not only has the aid of many different crews with shared values and idols to call upon, but generally cultural support through extensive media penetration and a strong identification with Catholicism which many will find comforting.

    Ultimately, the mob is able to consolidate a very strong core in Jersey, Philly and New York south of Westchester. Families may even for a time control large swathes of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware, maybe even Boston.

    The second phase comes through internal division. The several families are only loosely united and often fight at a low level throughout the first phase but, when control is consolidated, things break down. Jersey descends into effectively many different, vibrant city-states, constantly competing.

    The US begins to recover strength during this period and intervenes somewhat in the conflict. The Mob, in the Medieval America as now, makes a lot of its money over control over the docks, and its domination of the Midatlantic means that it is essentially the maritime power in the northeast. The US backs various families and crews to cause chaos and leverage some control. Through this method, they gain power over much of the marginal extent of the mob's domain.

    The final phase of the war comes when the US is genuinely strong, and the wars with Quebec have raised the Catholic Question. Historically, the Catholics were fairly friendly and cooperative with the Non-Denominational Church, being among the more moderate of the American denominations. However as time goes on and the Nondenom Church begins to act more liek a proper church and not just a loose organization, American Catholics in some quarters grow more hostile and sympathize with the Quebeckers. While in most of the country most catholic churches have atrophied and effectively joined the Church, this is not the case in Jersey where the mob patronizes the Church heavily, and the Church has increasingly tied itself to Quebec as the only major branch of the Church within communicable distance.

    The US issues an ultimatum for the Catholic Church to fold into Nondenom, which of course is rejected. The Boss of New York, with the support of the Cardinal, rallies the families to unite and fight a brutal war against the US. In the end, the Boss of Philly, with US backing, converts to Nondenom (the city's historic stature meant the Church here had already more or less integrated) and conquers Jersey for the US, while the US takes NYC and Long Island. A few concessions are made, but for the most part Catholic identity is erased.
     
    The Account of Chief Hawken
  • The Account of Chief Hawken

    The following is taken from the "Travels to the West" by one Obadiah Olmstead, a celebrated Bostonian merchant who claimed to have personally travelled from Boston to California. This was an account he claims was given to him by one 'Chief Hawken' of the Black Gun Clan, a minor Nebraskan Cowboy tribe.

    "When we came to the land of the Black Guns we were met most rudely and there was some fear that we would be treated as so many travelers. However, our Trucker guides did smooth things over with the cowboys and we were then treated warmly, and invited to share a meal with the Judge of the Black Guns - though the black guns call their leader the Chief, and not the Judge.

    We came to the camp of the Black Guns, which was rough, and small. The Chief's tent was the finest, but even this was poor in comparison to the tents of many of the Great Chiefs and Great Judges and indeed even some of the lesser. As the Faith Traitors do not believe in the creation of any image for the believe it to be sorcery, the tent is instead dressed with appealing patterns, much like a quilt, but this one was worn.

    We came in to find the retinue of the Chief, assembled around the chief, who was old. They were all dressed very roughly: one man was dressed in an outfit made wholly of coonskin, and even the chief's fine robes (no doubt taken from some Arkansas potentate) were worm-bitten and fraying. We did kneel to the chief and presented those things that the savages value, and he nodded. We joined him and his retinue for a prayer in the manner of the New Israelites before eating. The prayers of the New Israelites take the form of a short sermon, given by the patriarch. When he had concluded, all said "Amen" (a commonality between many American tongues) and enjoyed a meal of simply cooked beef. Though we Eastrons did not understand the prayer, our Truckers did translate it for us after dinner.

    The Chief (who was called Hawken) told the tale of the time when he was a young warrior, and the Black Guns rode with the Okies into Arkansas for pillage and booty despite the animosity of the two races. Hawken participated in the Sacking of Fort Smith, which Wilbur Griffin discussed in his chronicle of that territory. Hawken told how he rode through the city street as it went up in flames all around him, how he was laden with booty. The Black Guns were ready to divest from the raid, and so was he, until he saw a little girl in the flames. This little girl he took and with his wife (who was barren) they conceived to raise this farmer-girl who they would otherwise see as subhuman to be their own daughter, and Hawken said that he did love her.

    Chief Hawken told how the Black Guns rode off from Arkansas to the west, where they came into some conflict with a tribe of Teksaners over grazing rights. Chief Hawken held himself bravely in the battle against the Teksaners. When the Chief was killed in battle, Hawken rose to the occasion and led the men to victory, wiping out that clan of Teksaners to the man. He was then acclaimed Chief. However, the very next day, Chief Hawken found that his adopted daughter, who he had been raising as a Cowgirl for several months, had been crafting dolls from corn husks. When interrogated, the girl admitted that she had been taught this in Arkansas, and that she had started making them on the same die that the old chief had died. Chief Hawken did what any Faith-Traitor would: he tried the girl, found her guilty, and had her stoned for idolatry.

    Though this tale no doubt has some significance for the New Israelite regarding power, responsibility, and personal sacrifice, for us it shows only the cruelty of that accursed race.

    We left the camp of the Black Guns first thing in the morning."

    s-l400.jpg
     
    Dar-as-Salam: Muslim Merchants of the Great Lakes
  • Dar-as-Salam: Muslim Merchants of the Great Lakes

    Early on in the New Middle Ages, anti-Muslim sentiment was at a fairly high level. The War on Terror was still a fresh memory, and many blamed Muslims for America's downfall. Most Muslims across the country saw the writing on the wall, and would either convert or flee west to Colorado. Some, of course, stuck it out: they had lived where they lived for generations, and weren't about to leave behind the only life they had ever known: they were Americans, after all, and surely that counted for something.

    As it turned out, it didn't count for much. In many cities along the Eastern Seaboard, they would survive as minority communities, perpetually harassed and put upon by the majority, subject to the occasional pogrom. Things were far worse in the interior of the country, and especially in the Great Lakes. Here, an already sizable Muslim community was confronted by a population petrified by early raids from Quebeckers, Canucks, what Evangelist warlords popped up, and the emergent Cowboys.

    Thus, as so often happen, a scapegoat was sought and found in the large Muslims populations in the Rust Belt, most prominently in Dearborn, Michigan. Fading memories of 9/11 fueled the conviction that Muslims were somehow responsible for the decline of America, and that their removal could perhaps restore it. The first major pogrom occurred in Dearborn, where an angry mob created from several surrounding communities demanded that the Arab population either convert, leave, or die. The state government, relieved to see public pressure off them, refused to intervene. This act of genocide inspired similar acts across the Rust Belt, and a few others in Eastern America as a whole.

    Muslim communities became more ghettoized and more controlled by the local potentates, who used and abused their marginalized status to the best of their ability. Many took the perilous journey West to the fabled lands of Kuluradu, though the odds of making it were about even with dying or enslavement. Others chose to leave the Great Lakes for the Eastern Seaboard, where things were somewhat more tolerant.

    The Muslims that remained became tied to the land as artisans and manual laborers, forbidden to own or work the land lest they corrupt it. Any community that grew too prosperous was subject to pogrom; the same happened if a large enough plague or crop failure afflicted the kafirs.

    The government of Michigan ran into a problem during one of the last great pogroms against its state's remaining Muslim population. A now muscular Nondenominational Church, once unable and unwilling to stop rogue governors from wrangling together more souls to fill Nondenominational pews, was starting to get uncomfortable with outright conversion by the sword type shenanigans what with the American ideal of freedom of religion. Largely, this shift in policy was due to more sustained and more civil contact between the US and peopls of other religions, and the beginning of an intellectual strain that would attempt to find a role for these differing faiths to play within God's plan for America.

    A deal was brokered by the Church between the Muslims and the State Government of Michigan: offer the Muslims the choice of conversion or resettlement to the recently plague-depopulated town of Fruit Ridge and surrounding environs. Here, they would be allowed to work the once prosprous but long-dead apple orchards of the region. If they could supply a hefty tax to the Church and Michigan, they'd be allowed to maintain autonomy in their religious affairs and protection from angry mobs.

    Led by the prominent Muqtar family, of Dearborn the Muslims succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Their first harvest was a particularly good one, and the community soon grew prosperous. Satellite communities would pop up throughout the Michigan Fruitbelt, and becoming one of the greatest cider suppliers in the Midwest. The Muqtars are one of the most prominent families in the Lake League and, following the proclamation of the County of Rockland and Non-Denominational Federalism, Islam finally received a government-approved status. The influence of the Fruit Belt Muslims has spread well beyond the Great Lakes, and has provided a common source of identity and institutions for the small Muslim communities of the East Coast. Rumor has it that the Muqtars are even in direct contact with the legendary emirates of Kuluradu.
     
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    [Semi-Canon] East Culture Map
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    tUfHMbd.png


    Ok, so refining this

    Yankees
    1a. Lakelanders/Midwesterners
    1b. Iowans: Either cowboys who have converted to agriculture or descendants of the Iowans who lived there prior
    1c. Ontarians
    1d. Upstaters
    2. Kentuckians
    3. New Englanders
    4a. Jerseyians
    4b. Marylanders

    Dixie.
    5. Carolinians
    6. Dixie proper
    7. Ozarkians
    8a. Ouachitans
    8b. Arkansans
    9. Riverlanders
    10. Texans

    Caribbean
    11. Louisianans
    12. Floridians

    Hillbilly
    13a. Central Hillbillies
    13b. Southern Hillbillies
    13c. Northern Hillbillies

    Quebecois
    14. Quebecois
    14b. Vermonters
    14c. Roostookians: Mostly tribal and french speaking

    Maritimers
    15. Maritimers
    15b. Acadians: Speak french mostly

    Boreal Tribes
    16. Assorted Tribes
    16b. Canucks
    16c. Yoopers

    Cowboys
    17a. Kanadi
    17b. Dakotans
    17c. Nebraskans
    17d. Kansans
    17e. Okies
    18. Vaqueros

    Misc
    19. Amish: Probably most similar to Yankees.
     
    Preface of an anonymous compendium of hemp-scrolls, thought to be written by Deejay Agustin of Gila
  • 8MDwT8-906cUDhmu45hfeASPabEC5V7iXJspd9mWcIoWEGCRyYGI59RYHwXDeyL4wuKzyIV-mnalBJwaT3GRIbdiqW3kWfiwIPkJ9fXAzlN9xD-altlMybKPzm9vGDewkQGTGLYP

    The Deejay and the Shape of Five Lengths. (img source)

    Preface of an anonymous compendium of hemp-scrolls, thought to be written by Deejay Agustin of Gila

    ഗ In the dance of numbers the Californian vision-men be favored partners. Though they pile not stones so high as we, they see what a man may work in a day, and see what he must eat or drink. From this they derive the principle of re-addition, of how much one man does in ten days or ten men do in one. They see first how much water a vessel holds, and derive from this the principle of enclosure, that a circle of fathomed width and depth may capture the rain to slake a village’s thirst. Though we count not the instants so keen as they, we have treasured the First Deejay’s Calendar of the Large and Small Sevens for half an Age. Hungry are we for certainty in space, in matter, that our pyramids caress the clouds and stars. Hungry are they for certainty in time, in spirit, that their vision-men may furl out the full writ of a man’s deeds in life and lives previous and at last declare him good. ⪮

    ഗ If this be true, then we of the Sentximund’ are loosetongue liars. We cry out in so many words that our vision is the purest of all men, for we turn in contemplation to the Age that we may see the miracles and secrets long-lost twinkling as jewels in the light of the Sixth Sun. Our numbers prove us false; if the cloudheaded Californian thinking be the rattlesnake’s first skin, ours be no more than the second or third. ⪮

    ഗ Stay your hand; I despise not the glories of our kind. I fear only that the pyramids, though they once moved men’s hearts, becalm now their hearts and work their limbs. The builders of the pyramids move great numbers of men, water, and stone, but the kinships of re-addition and enclosure among these numbers has persisted half an Age. Monuments add not one sentau’ to true wealth— the fruits of contemplating the Age. The miracles of the Age are as the grains of sand, as the miracles of numbers show. ⪮

    Treatise 5 of the Gila Scrolls

    ഗ It is known that we may enclose a length twice to make a square, thrice a cube. From a cube, space may be taken away to make a pyramid, and so a pyramid is a shape of three lengths though it fill only one third the space of its parent the cube. We may enclose a length four or even five times. Though such shapes are beheld only by the mind’s eye of those who have dwelled long in a Vortex and become its wandering vessels, all may guess at their sizes with one number and one principle. How marvelous, that every man keeps a pebble of the Vortexes’ greatness in the folds of his tunic! I say to you such miracles come in pairs; if we take any number as the size of a Shape of Five Lengths, we may take its lengths into our hands as simply as the ribs of a tent. Two truths you know well; two I put forward. ⪮

    ഗ It is known that to divide a cube by a square gives a length.
    ᓌ It is suggested that to divide a shape of five lengths from a shape of four lengths gives a length. ⪮

    ഗ It is known that for a list where all but the last member are known to be the same, if the average is known to be the same as the known members then the last member must be the same as the others.
    ᓌ It is suggested that if by splendid chance I guess a number which is enclosed five times to give the number targeted, then the Trial of the Average must show that the target divided by this guess enclosed four times is the same as the original guess. ⪮

    ഗ The course is as follows. Construct a list of five numbers wherein four are the same as the number you guess to be the answer, and the fifth is the size of the Shape divided by the guess enclosed four times. Take the average of this list. Unless you are blessed in the eyes of gods and men, this average is likely not the same as your guess. Take this average as your new guess and repeat the trial; the second result will without fail be smaller than the first. Repeat the trial again, and the third result is again smaller— though the third will be closer to the second, than the second to the first. Repeat again, and again, and you will come upon a result only a hair away from the previous. This result is what we have sought, and you may enclose it five times for yourself to see the truth of my word. ⪮

    ഗ The proof of this marvelous trial is as follows— [page lost]

    Conclusion of the Gila Scrolls

    [page lost]

    —where the Threshing Wind dwells, where the evil air turns men to husks, there were once found old books of numbers. They are burned now, but a god is not maimed by the crushing of its sacred stones. A fool is he who doubts their power. ESU TUD’. ⪮

    ***
    I imagine the Deejays as a social group of philosophers and charismatic preachers, whose number might be limited by official or unofficial preferences for hereditary membership. Some are wanderers in search of revelations, others pursue rational and consistent theories amid the comforts of monasteries and libraries. The First Deejay’s Calendar of Large and Small Sevens divides the year into 7 months of 51 days (because Area 51 and all) and then 7 leap days (364 days total).

    The Californian “unfurling of deeds” is either a reference to Scientologist clearings or security checks. Both involve questioning a person to uncover details about them, but clearing aims to continue a person’s spiritual evolution while sec-checks investigate them for sins (note: definitions of sin include thinking bad things about Scientology or its leaders). Medieval Scientology just wouldn’t be Scientology without continued use of questioning/interviews, which may also lend itself to a view of time as naturally divided into small units corresponding to lengths of human actions.

    “Centro del Mundo”/”Center of the World” seems like a good poetic name for the land the New Mexico confederacy sits on. When the New Mexicans, Arizonans, and Dineh look out they will see Californians and their ocean to the West, the Sonorans and their ocean to the South, the Texas Cowboys and their ocean to the East, and the Deseretis and their “ocean” (Great Salt Lake) to the North. What else could New Mexico be but the geographic center of this world— and that’s before you consider how the Gray uniquely graced New Mexico with their presence, making it the spiritual center of the world too.
     
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    Tales from the Galactic Gate
  • thwLNTASEdwIX66hH6RQ3j2Xw6snm1_HMAzEov4kwG7yGHUTVocTfLTMP_vh4xwFEgulQcq5eJL-0IJVmGioUF6o1LBgbS6Rp9f1Jfy19k8vquhmB9uKHvJQXyg8xuKy8bFuvWYc

    The Galactic Gate in Fresno. (image source)​

    A small room, dug into the rock beneath the First Church of Sacramento. 2643 AD.

    I wished for strength, but still flinched as wet, cold hands stroked and prodded around my wrists, chest, and back. The two meter-men at last found the channels through which the vital current ebbed and flowed, and their hands came to rest. The fourth person in the room cleared his throat. While I balanced on a rickety stool, this man had the luxury of propping his arms up on a magnificent table. Beneath his elbows lay a thin slab of dark Sierra stone, inlaid with circles and dots of brass— a star map of the Auditor’s constellation.

    “I have read the fables and heard the sermons, Elder.”

    “Oh? And how much do you remember?” I laughed nervously, taking the barb as naturally as I dared. I was not truly hurt, not after my fourth time in the seat— but I was no doormat. That was what I wanted the auditor to remember of me, not…

    “What is your opinion on corporal punishment?” the auditor asked.

    ...not that. “Necessary, when a child is not yet at the age to understand the words of his elders”. The meter-men waited, then blinked twice.

    “Curtly phrased, and naturally expressed. Good. Have you ever ruined a nation?”

    “...No? Not as far as I recall.”

    “What is the earliest time you felt cold?”

    “You know all princes must make camp in the Snowcaps one night before their first audit. It’s very cold up th—”

    “Do you love your family?”

    At least let me finish. Even the meter-men seemed peeved at this auditor’s haste. Were such qualities really allowed in the eight-cleared soul?

    “Who, exactly? So few remain. My younger brother, my two cousins. I love them as much as I can.”

    “Why leave out your uncle?”

    “No reason at all. But if you must know, I love him too.” The meter-men waited… and then both tilted their heads forward as if bowing to each other. A change in the current had been noted.

    “Are you hiding something?”

    “The great families hide many things. It is our prerogative under the old War-powers.” The meter-men bowed further, and their fingertips splayed out further along my chest and back.

    “Have you kept a possession close, even knowing it could harm you?”

    “What harm will the man of prudence and propriety meet with?” The meter-men were nearly touching heads, and their bent bodies formed an arch over my seated frame. They were close. Too close. Was this not unnatural for them too, even if they were slaves who could not complain?

    “I ask again, so think carefully. Do you love your family?”

    Six eyes could see right through me, to my beating heart, as if it had been cut out and held up to the weak sunlight reflected into the room through grates and mirrors.

    “...Not entirely.”

    “Then how do you feel?”

    “I doubt my uncle, the President. I feel fear when I think of him.”

    The meter-men backed off slightly. The auditor remained silent.

    I continued on, saying things I had never said aloud before. “He doesn’t show it, not to everyone. But since the First Lady’s death he has entertained the counsel of madmen. He has gone mad himself. Every day he listens to their ramblings about the stars and at night he forsakes his rest to stare unknowingly at the sky. My cousins are tutored by these same madmen. I have not seen them for many months. I am scared to see them again.”

    The auditor smiled. “Have you ever ruined a nation?”

    “I don’t know. Maybe I have in the far past. But I don’t want to do it again, or for the first time— whichever it may be.” After a full minute of silence, the meter-men straightened and blinked twice.

    The auditor nodded. “You entered this room a wavering reed. But the stain of wavering which lay upon your eternal soul through all of its lives has at long last been washed out. Your back has straightened, and there is iron in your gaze. The air of health and vigor is in you, and I take heed.”

    I made to bring my hands together in the gesture of farewell, but the auditor was not yet finished. He commanded the slaves to leave the room, and waited until the sound of their footsteps on the rock-hewn steps no longer echoed through the narrow hallways.

    “If you truly mean what you have said to me, I would like to let you in on a matter I have been discussing with the Lifers of the army.”

    Inscription of the Galactic Gate, commissioned by Jayden Siliconheart

    In the name of Hubbard, patron of man, who raised his fist against the kings of ignorance and taught the people of stars and souls. I speak of President Jayden Siliconheart, Thetan of Thetans.

    In the President’s youth, the state did cringe beneath the whip of the Astrologer Cabal, a race of deceivers and entertainers who recovered certain old books of powerful lies about the stars. With these lies they seduced the great families, enslaved the heroes, and silenced the tellers of truth. Yet they calculated not the President’s spiritual power, and as he cleared his soul five times over he did assume the air of holy charisma. He did inspire the tellers of truth to sing in the thoroughfares, the heroes to take up their hammers, the great families to wake from their dreams. And so the Suppressives were shattered, and Sacramento made whole.

    The President bade the four great mayors of California renew the oaths of fealty made to his office in the All Men’s War to clear San Francisco of the Buddhist interloper. All four refused, for in the reign of the Astrologers Sacramento had lost all face in the eyes of men. Yet the refusal of mayor of Fresno was brash beyond the bounds of propriety, and so the President challenged him first.

    The mayor of Fresno was a fool, but a mighty one. His mills produced a new spear and bow for every one broken in practice or battle. The men of his host were as the horse and boar. In three days his host did march from Fresno to the field of Modesto, and there they assembled many engines of destruction. Yet he calculated not the President’s spiritual power, and in the face of this great trial the President did become his own Auditor. He did submit himself to himself, and cleared his own soul to the tenth level to become as the Giants.

    Then did the President read out the words I AM THE LORD OF MATTER, and the mills of Sacramento produced engines, spears, and bows beyond count.

    Then did the President read out the words I AM THE GUIDE OF ENERGY, and his sworn men did fall as tigers and hippos upon the unready host of Fresno and drive them from the field of Modesto.

    Then did the President read out the words I AM THE COMMANDER OF SPACE, and in half a day he marched from Modesto to the walls of Fresno.

    Then did the President read out the words I AM THE OWNER OF TIME, and in one night the ramparts of stone and wood did crumble to dust, and grow over with moss and creeping vines.

    The mayor of Fresno crawled out from his keep on all fours, and cried out— Truly you are the Soul Realized. My domain is forfeit, and with it I offer my head. The President promised him a long and healthful life, and bade him seek wisdom in the Eastern Snowcaps to understand his fate.

    Jayden Siliconheart was the holder of the bright Atom-bolt in his left hand and the sweet Cola-nectar in his right hand. Yet he trod the soil, that the land of California would know galactic order. He will be born among us again, age after age, to take the reins of the state and people forevermore.

    A narrow alley in Fresno. 29XX AD.

    “Ed, you’ve got nowhere to run,” Kat breathed heavily. “Now answer me. How many eggs did you sell before the markets closed?”

    “...Thirty,” her brother replied.

    “And where are the rest? Not that it matters, they’ll all have gone rotten by now.”

    “Gave them to the urchins. Hope they ate them quickly.”

    Kat leaned against the wall as her legs slackened. “Ed, we can’t live like this. We won’t have enough to pay our dues.”

    “I know.” Ed, always timid by nature, was on the verge of tears.

    Kat’s face softened. “I’m not angry at you, Ed. I’m not. I’m angry at… the taxmen. Yes, that’s right. They think that just because they planted some ivy on our walls, they can do what they want in our town? I’ll prune their precious hedges myself!”

    Hey. Don’t say that.”

    This surprised Kat. “What? Wait, so the story on the Gate about the vines on the old inner walls… you think it’s true?”

    The moonlight fell on Ed as he wrestled with the words that so often escaped him. “...I don’t know. Churchman says it is but I don’t know. But if it is, then a great man put those vines on that wall. Cutting those down would ruin us in this life and the next. And we’re ruined enough as is.”

    ***

    The idea of the Astrologers as clowns and entertainers given absolute power is inspired by L. Ron Hubbard’s statements on psychologists and psychiatrists in his Battlefield Earth series.

    There are some aspects of Scientology that lend themselves well to post-apocalyptic settings. The atom bomb and radioactivity in general are very prominent in Hubbard’s scifi and cultic writings— he even tried to flog anti-radiation pills and doomsday survival camps in the 50s and 60s. Naturally, Scientology markets itself as the polar opposite of (and antidote to) all the evils represented by the atom bomb, which all the religions of the world were unable to contain or prevent. Scientology could take the apocalyptic Event itself as proof that the formerly dominant religions couldn’t save humanity from itself.

    However, Scientology is very influenced by science fiction. The core ritual of Dianetics is auditing, by which an interviewer walks a person through repressed memories of great subconscious importance, especially memories of pain and distress. By uncovering these memories and dispelling them, a person becomes “clear”-- a state associated with increased mental and physical health. The contribution of Scientology, which is built around Dianetics, is to make these memories endless (by postulating an eternal soul which retains memories across reincarnations) and the benefits of dispelling them endless (increasingly godlike powers are promised, including power over matter, energy, space, and time-- this formula is so common it is often shortened to MEST), and so makes the fees required for such "services" endless (the "fables and sermons"-- the prep classes and tests that precede auditing-- can cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars). Scientology prides itself on measuring “clarity” with the E-meter, which allegedly uses electricity to detect emotional stress (in truth, it measures changes in voltage across the skin that are caused by a whole range of other factors). The needle on this meter is said to go still when a person no longer feels stress after being asked a specific question, implying a particular stressful memory has been dispelled. Since there is no electricity in the medieval-tech post-apocalyptic world, it’s possible that “current” comes to resemble Chinese traditional medicine’s understanding of qi, and is measured through monitoring patterns in breathing and pulse.

    One thing I wanted to explore is how Scientology might justify leadership that is not leadership of the church. From 1948, when L. Ron Hubbard released the first writings on Dianetics in a popular magazine, the leader of the movement has always been unique and unequaled. So how can a king, or several kings, attain authority or undying fame? The references to “nth-level souls/clearing” are a repurposing of the Operating Thetan concept. This is one of the teachings that Scientology tries very hard to keep secret (people expend enormous sums of money to discover the mysteries of each level, no point revealing them for free) and so out of 15 confirmed levels we actually don’t know anything about any level above OT 8, and what we know about OT 8 comes from some memos which a court legally required to be brought out during a case. In Medieval California, Level 1-6 are considered regular people, and Levels 7-8 are divided further into various ranks of preachers and auditors, who keep the mysteries and establish orthodoxy. Levels 9 and above are treated as outside the scope of standard religious practice, accessible only through revelatory experience or Herculean labors. People who are considered to have attained these levels are deified and remain part of a pantheon of bodhisattva-like figures headed by Hubbard. I haven’t yet sketched out the theology of the Free Zone but I imagine this is where most of their quibbles with California would be.
     
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    An Account of the Mormon Victory-Feast at Fort Bridger
  • uNh3d_wSaxr8PJa4uWhzY-Ue3tGwFABBIVzCIjmz6mOgjivNF45N540xEZ8DlHyIMpgaK4uDKo53qd3nznP2bvXld8p1KYrQF0Ok66OX5srT74s2g9cZF4O11epDoDFZJCZXigIl

    Of all the luminaries in the court of President Zeram-Lehi by the Salt Lake, the oldest was the head chef Ezias Stryn. Keeping a careful balance of bold originality and consideration for his clients’ wishes, through decades of service to the first two Presidents of House Reid, Ezias crafted his own piece of the cheerful and bombastic high culture of Deseret's Restoration Era. This is a short account of the celebration of the victory at Fort Bridger. The battle was the culmination of the struggle to restore the sovereignty of Deseret after an ignominious period of foreign rule; the feast in its honor, a national sigh of relief releasing decades of tension, would have to be quite the party.

    Amid the poppies and manzanitas of the rolling lawns on the north side of the rebuilt Beehive Palace, nearly five thousand Mormon braves, the victors of the battle, sat expectantly at trestle-tables. Serving so many was a job for the subsidiary staff of the palace kitchens— their recipes for pot-roasts, fried chicken, and pickled-trout pies were not quite to Ezias's standards, but would surely impress footmen used to daily meals of wheat, corn and greens (with meat reserved for festivals like this one). The concern of Ezias and his three hundred assistants were the guests in the palace antechamber. Among the commanders and captains waiting there, resting their elbows on gold-trimmed velvet as they traded stories, were Samson Dog-Ear, the chieftain turned governor of the Stake of Wyoming; Strand the Blue of Provo, whose expert longbowmen gave the outnumbered Mormons a decisive advantage against the nomad cavalry; and the President himself, icon of the realm.

    After prayers and handwashing, the meal started with buns of fried dough studded with cubed peaches, glazed with butter and honey; hard candies of raspberries and cherries dipped in boiling sugar-beet syrup and left to cool and crystallize; and fluffy slices of sweet cornbread running over with custard and topped with strawberries. There were thin flatbread sleeves filled with eggplant and mild yogurt; wide Dinetah peppers stuffed with the mincemeat of turkeys and chunks of tomato, garlic, and sharp cheese; and fried cheese-curds in a gravy of mushrooms, horseradish, and mustard. All along the tables, the salt-boats were placed so that men of higher rank would not have to reach overmuch, or deign to ask others to pass the condiments.

    After clearing the tables, the servants brought out the heavy-hitters. Skewers of cubed Dakota lamb marinated in dark beer and dusted with salt from the Bonneville Flats. Chicken and turkey eggs poached in tomato sauce stewed with shallots and scalding-hot Arizona chilies. Steaming Kuluradan-style haleem (a porridge/stew of wheat and mutton), which smelled of Denver’s own saffron and tasted of New Mexican paprika. Duck-meat dumplings in a creamy soup of spinach, chunky with walnuts and carrots. Casseroles of pork sausage and rough-sliced potatoes, layered alternately with goat cheese, papery strips of cured beef, and the parsley and mint grown by increasing numbers of enterprising Hilljacks. Steaks slow-roasted with bay leaves and basil from the Free Zone, in fragrant olive oil from the territory of the Andersons. This cornucopia had some conspicuous absences; relations with the burghers of Columbia were still cold. California wine was also gone from the tables, but for reasons of internal politics— it would not do for the great men of state to (openly) flout the customary laws, especially when the Tabernacle authorities were attributing the same behavior to weak-willed collaborators. Instead, the guests washed down their portions with a slightly bitter tonic of lemon, water, and wild Yellowstone caraway.

    The most memorable desserts were the chocolate-pepper cakes. Since the day cocoa was first imported from the faraway continent of Mexico, through the polyglot harbors of Bajo Colorado and the toll-booths of Vegas, Deseret had taken to it like a long-lost kinsman. The bottom layer of the cake was of a thick batter of cocoa, milk, and sugar, and it was embedded and overlaid with prunes and Nevadan oasis dates. Atop this was a batter mix lighter in cocoa and heavy with Mexican allspice and cinnamon. Then came a layer of tart cherry syrup, and finally a batter mix of chocolate and another exotic ingredient, this time from the far east— the flaky fragments of Florida’s pink peppercorns, which filled the coffers of many old families in New Orleans. Every way of attacking this cake— slicing vertically, dividing horizontally, partaking only of small bites— offered a different experience, though only a few still had the hunger to adequately explore them all.

    The lute-players plucked out the last few strains, and the guests leaned back in contented stupor. Some nearly fell asleep right at the table; but Zeram-Lehi, after washing his hands and face, had the presence of mind to invite Ezias to the antechamber and thank him publicly.

    “The Lord Elohim-Adam has given you gifts beyond anything I possess; but still, ask anything of me and I will deliver.”

    Ezias paused a moment. He wanted to answer carefully.

    “There was a time when I had nothing, sire, and wanted everything. In my youth I was one of many who served your father Gid-Jared in the camp-citadel of Price. We faced such deprivation there— we, the last free Mormons left in the world. So many came to us, fleeing the Columbian taxmen and fast Yaeger horsemen, but soon the grasses were too sparse to support the new herds. The herders raided the wheat-growers for animal feed and captives, and the disruption of cultivation threatened famine.

    It was then that your father sent word to the East, to the Emir of Girandabad [Grand Junction, CO], warning him frankly that if the savages overran all Utah, the disunited fiefs of Colorado would lose their last bulwark. Many embassies were sent back and forth, and I was fortunate that the head chef of one such expedition chose me as his right hand. In Girandabad I observed the Coloradan style even as I honed my own. And a chef’s art is only as good as the places he has visited, and the people he has met.

    After a few years I returned to your father Gid-Jared’s side, and walked by him through the blessed years. We took back the clear mountain streams, the fields of wheat and corn, the bushes teeming with berries, the dark forests and their wondrous life. As someone who partakes of the produce of the realm, I have become whole alongside the realm. I am blessed to take such personal pleasure and contentment from the prosperity of the Lord’s Zion-mount.

    But for all that, there is still one thing I want. The salmon in the rivers of Idaho are either very young, or else nearing the end of their lives. But the salmon of the great ocean are in the middle of their lives, with flesh meaty and smooth. I would like to work with the salmon at its prime, sire.”

    Zeram-Lehi understood. “I hope to be as hungry as you still are in my old age! Well then— if I am so blessed to ride with my host clear to Cascadia, the wind at my back, then I will bring home a male and female salmon, two by two, to our own Bear Lake! On that day the treasures of land and sea will be ours, and we will want for nothing!”

    ***

    The Vow of the Salmon was not fulfilled in the lifetime of Zeram-Lehi or Ezias Stryn, though it was symbolically reiterated by the President’s successors. The more immediate outcome of the Feast of Fort Bridger was that the guests in attendance, wishing to recreate the experience, requested that the kitchens of their own estates try some of Ezias’s recipes. Reminded of the expenses, some scaled down their demands; others, undeterred, invested in mills and salt beds, and sold merchants and peddlers contracts for the import of foreign spices. Ezias died knowing that his accomplishments were fast becoming the standard of high Desereti gastronomy.

    But the widespread emulation of Ezias’s time- and resource-consuming style spoke of an underlying change in the ways of life. Deseret was founded, much like the pre-Regression American state of Utah, on an explosive pattern of colonization— from the first few stable settlements in the Wasatch mountains, Mormon colonists fanned out into the chaos left by the Regression. Not everyone managed to grab good land, but there was still a strong tradition of smallholdings, of clans residing on a traditional plot which was acknowledged as uniquely theirs no matter who they shared it with. The collapse of the old Deseret destroyed the traditional land regime, and the construction of the new Deseret rewrote the rules further. As if to dispel a collective sense of claustrophobia, Gid-Jared the Restorer appointed his comrades from the besieged city of Price to sprawling plots of conquered land in Utah and Idaho; his son Zeram-Lehi parceled out Wyoming similarly. The new culture was the fruit of a society which placed the Restoring knight in possession of resources once held by families who were now his serfs, and dared him to unreservedly express his pride in his personal role in his society’s grand project.
     
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    An Image of the SALISH SEA
  • Bringing things back to the West Coast for a minute...

    de0avf8-89cc98de-3b8e-43d0-afca-5eda4b976e47.png


    An image of the many great cities and regions of the SALISH SEA, including those two mighty cities SEATTLE and VANCOUVER, who it is known to all have harangued the merchants and sailors of our Great City many times over.

    This map is presented to his Eminence Mayor Brin, Chosen of the People, Dedicated Roadie of the Buddha and Nirvanna, Lord of the Valley

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    NOTE: None of the minor place names are set in stone,
     
    [Semi-Canon] Factions and Cliques of the USA
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Overview of factions and cliques of the USA

    Reds
    - Landowner based faction who want to see the US expand their land holdings in New England and the Mid Atlantic generally
    - Advocate for expanding the vassal-state system
    - Generally advocates for Crusades against the Quebecois and expansion along interior trade routes
    - Wants to formally vassalize New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Albany County instead of the hybrid vassal-tributary system they have right now
    - Generally concerned about fighting Ohio's influence in Upstate New York and the Appalachians, Quebec in Upstate New York and New England and Georgia in the Carolinas
    - Sub factions include, Chesapeake sub faction, Long Island and New England sub faction, colloquially called the Potomacs, Hudsons and the Charles'
    - The Masons are associated with this faction as a way of spreading influence in the Midwest

    Blues
    - Merchant based faction who wants to see the US expand their overseas holdings in the South, Florida and Caribbean
    - Wants more ports, trading posts and ships
    - Generally advocates for Crusades/ wars in the Caribbean, taking Havana is a dream come true
    - Wants to create a new State based out of Miami and the Bahamas
    - Generally concerned about Cuba, and the State of Louisiana in the Caribbean, concerned about Georgia when it comes to control of the coast.
    - Sub factions based around merchant family alliances.

    Whites
    - Church based faction who wants to expand the church's influence everywhere
    - Wants to fight the infidels everywhere and reign in wayward district supervisors from the South and Midwest
    - Wants to give the Supreme Court more power
    - Will ally with either the Reds and the Blues depending on the situation

    These three factions heavily influence the USA's foreign and domestic policies

    Within the Church there are factions too though these are more geographic based

    Ohio Faction: Advocates for the Commonwealth of Ohio. Growing stronger as Ohio grows stronger. Ohio hasn't yet forced an Avignon-style relocation , it got close before the Great Midwestern War and the Bailey's but it's gaining strength again. Generally pro-blue because it keeps the USA away from Ohio's ambitions

    Warrior Order Faction: More militant, wanting Crusades against everyone. Neither pro-red nor pro blue

    Southern Faction: Very weak, many Southern District Supervisors have been coopted by the Warrior Order

    Mid-Atlantic Faction: A centralizing force for the church, demands that district supervisors enforce orthodoxy more rigorously. Neither particularly pro-red nor pro-blue. Very Anti-Ohio though

    New England Faction: Generally pro-reform faction, reflecting the liberal and Catholic nature of New England. Neither particularly pro-red nor pro-blue. Also very anti-Ohio
     
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    [Semi-Canon] Vassal States and Federal-States of the USA in 2950
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Vassal States and Federal-States of the USA in 2950

    List is not final, just providing a base to work off of.

    Federal Jurisdiction
    • Maryland
    • Delaware
    • Rhode Island?
    • Nova Scotia
    • New Brunswick
    • Prince Edward Island
    • Newfoundland
    Directly Appointed Federal-States (Vassals of the USA)
    • Virginia
    • Pennsylvania
    • New Hampshire
    • Maine
    Locally Appointed Federal-States (Tributaries of the USA)
    • Massachusetts-Connecticut
    • New Jersey
    Locally Appointed Federal Counties (Tributaries of the USA)
    • Westchester County
    • Albany County
    • Greene County
    • Poekeepsy (Poughkeepsie) County
     
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