Death of a Republic (A monarchical USA timeline)

How is the timeline so far?

  • It's good

    Votes: 198 64.5%
  • It's ok

    Votes: 62 20.2%
  • It's bad

    Votes: 3 1.0%
  • It's really bad

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • It's gone to the Alien Space Bats

    Votes: 42 13.7%

  • Total voters
    307
Honestly, the concept of Folklore, in general, isn't a topic often broached on this forum. It'd be interesting to see the stories people in Imperial America or the peripheral breakaways would make up over the years.

You're definitely right on the portrayal as monsters being a logical outcome, and I could actually see it being virtually pushed as truth in order to try and create as much distance between the US Americans and the peoples in the breakaway states who were Americans often less than a generation before.

Also, I think your comparisons to the Men in Black and Slenderman work really well, and at least the later versions of the Faceless Men would probably be portrayed as a mix of the two.

For example, an opener for a movie or TV show on them could have two men in suits knocking on someone's front door being show from the back, keeping the perspective as a bit of talking through the door goes on. The two men imply some kind of legal action and/or force will be taken if the person doesn't open the door. Cut to the perspective of the person behind the door who then opens it to reveal two faceless men.

The narrative makes sense. It gives these breakaway states a reason to preserve their independence against the evil Government. "Why are we separated from the Land of the Free?" "Because they're secretly being lead astray by literal demons from hell."

Faceless Men that look just like human beings sans the lack of a face seem to be a better choice than the silly tricolored version. Especially once the Republican tricolor ceases to have a negative association with the Faceless Men.

The Faceless Men should definitely have some weaknesses. Like stories where someone would've been doomed had it not been for the presence of X in the room or them shoving X into the fleshy void that the Faceless Man has instead of a face. Why? Because it makes sense that stories spread through word of mouth would include stuff like that.
 
Faceless Men that look just like human beings sans the lack of a face seem to be a better choice than the silly tricolored version. Especially once the Republican tricolor ceases to have a negative association with the Faceless Men.

I agree, but maybe the tricolored ones could pop up in a Walker-era poster or two. Seeing them used for political ends like that strengthens the idea that the Faceless can be made to represent whoever you and the group you identify with are currently collectively scared of.

The Faceless Men should definitely have some weaknesses. Like stories where someone would've been doomed had it not been for the presence of X in the room or them shoving X into the fleshy void that the Faceless Man has instead of a face. Why? Because it makes sense that stories spread through word of mouth would include stuff like that.

If it's a frontier setting, well... "And I tell you, Isaiah, they woulda hogtied me and hopped along halfway to Cathay, but then I stuck an antler right in the big 'un's face. That's what does it, antlers from only the most spirited young bucks." "But it's winter, the deer've all shed their antlers already!" "Well that's your gotdamn problem, ain't it..."
 
I agree, but maybe the tricolored ones could pop up in a Walker-era poster or two. Seeing them used for political ends like that strengthens the idea that the Faceless can be made to represent whoever you and the group you identify with are currently collectively scared of.



If it's a frontier setting, well... "And I tell you, Isaiah, they woulda hogtied me and hopped along halfway to Cathay, but then I stuck an antler right in the big 'un's face. That's what does it, antlers from only the most spirited young bucks." "But it's winter, the deer've all shed their antlers already!" "Well that's your gotdamn problem, ain't it..."

As a political symbol, the tri-colored ones make sense. It's just the ones that seem like normal people until they turn towards you that are truly frightening. Because the Faceless Men themselves are just pawns of some nebulous force, whether it's the specter of Republicanism or the tyrannical government. Hence my idea that they can possess whoever they need to further said Nebulous Evil Force's agenda.

I'm guessing that this hypothetical guy stabbed the Faceless Man in his non-existent face with the Antler, right? Makes sense that the Faceless's most distinctive feature would also be their biggest weakness.

Also, the regional variants where the Faceless are possessing normal people there'd be ways to prevent yourself from being possessed. Like wearing a rabbit's foot on a silver necklace.
 
I'm guessing that this hypothetical guy stabbed the Faceless Man in his non-existent face with the Antler, right? Makes sense that the Faceless's most distinctive feature would also be their biggest weakness.

Also, the regional variants where the Faceless are possessing normal people there'd be ways to prevent yourself from being possessed. Like wearing a rabbit's foot on a silver necklace.

Yeah, it's the place where the face should have been. Although if the Faceless legend ends up being mixed up with the vampire or werewolf legends you might see the weak spot moving to the heart instead. Maybe there'd be other embellishments like the antler needed to be explicitly filed into a stake, but I'm not sure if I like that. The antler's a very sort of impromptu weapon, the kind of thing you accidentally grab in a midnight scuffle and manage as best you can. It's like the opposite of a silver bullet, which takes a bunch of prep and expertise.

And while we're all on the topic, I found this Atlas Obscura article about the "Gray Man" of South Carolina's Pawleys Island, who always shows up before a big hurricane's about to hit...
 
Yeah, it's the place where the face should have been. Although if the Faceless legend ends up being mixed up with the vampire or werewolf legends you might see the weak spot moving to the heart instead. Maybe there'd be other embellishments like the antler needed to be explicitly filed into a stake, but I'm not sure if I like that. The antler's a very sort of impromptu weapon, the kind of thing you accidentally grab in a midnight scuffle and manage as best you can. It's like the opposite of a silver bullet, which takes a bunch of prep and expertise.

And while we're all on the topic, I found this Atlas Obscura article about the "Gray Man" of South Carolina's Pawleys Island, who always shows up before a big hurricane's about to hit...

  1. The best part of the antler weapon is that all it'd need is to be a vaguely dagger-shaped piece of antler. No additional filing or shaping needed. The deer's antlers are already designed to be weapons in the first place.
  2. What do you think about warding off Faceless possession with a rabbit's foot or something similar?
  3. And now I'm imagining a version of the Mothman legend where the figure is explicitly warning people about impending disaster.
 
What do you think about warding off Faceless possession with a rabbit's foot or something similar?

I like it, seems like rabbit's feet were connected with death OTL so there's some poetry in using death to ward off the deathless. Though there's room for TTL embellishments in the cap of metal they add to cover the severed joint. Maybe the cap has to be fine tumbaga alloy from the land of El Dorado...
 
I like it, seems like rabbit's feet were connected with death OTL so there's some poetry in using death to ward off the deathless. Though there's room for TTL embellishments in the cap of metal they add to cover the severed joint. Maybe the cap has to be fine tumbaga alloy from the land of El Dorado...

I was thinking more from the modern "rabbit's foot equals good luck charm", though your idea works too. It's like a backwoods version of wearing a crucifix to ward off vampires.

The benefit of folklore that ideas associated with it don't have to be 100% logical since the stories about the things that go "bump" in the night isn't logical in the slightest.
 
I was thinking more from the modern "rabbit's foot equals good luck charm", though your idea works too. It's like a backwoods version of wearing a crucifix to ward off vampires.

The benefit of folklore that ideas associated with it don't have to be 100% logical since the stories about the things that go "bump" in the night isn't logical in the slightest.

True. But I think that giving the tools used to ward off the Faceless a frontier theme is a logical development, since the overall effect is to encourage people to fit into the "frontier culture" and to develop the skills that will help them survive. If you need antlers to kill the Faceless, you'd better get damn good at shooting horned animals. And if you need rabbit's feet, you'd better get good at trapping.
 
Cool. I do wonder if their name should be different, though. I'm thinking about American folk vocabulary, and you got stuff like greenbacks, redbacks for the independent-Texas currency, tumbleweeds, Bigfoot, Sasquatch, lot of flippant-sounding compound words. And then you got all the names associated with characters in tall tales. The way the legend's been described, it seems like it will arise first in the Northwest territory, with Imperial settlers having run-ins with New Legion holdouts. In that case, might be interesting for the Faceless to start off with a set of regionally-based threatening-but-very-slightly-campy names first (Slatejaws? Marble-Pates? Ghosts-of-no-Man? Wisps-of-no-Soul?), and then the Faceless becomes their main name in urban society under the influence of works like What The Jungle Hides. It then predominates in academic studies of folklore for its pan-regional uniformity, but some maverick scholars insist pedantically on the "authentic" name of their choice.

A folksy name is definitely for the Faceless Men are definitely a must. One alternative name I'd give is the Mantanatoo, a corruption of the Lenape word for devil. I like the Marble-Pates name, so I'd probably yoink that one as well. I think in the early days though, they'll just be called devils or demons due to some associations with religion, and they'll be one of many "frontier demons" that stories are told of.


Faceless Men that look just like human beings sans the lack of a face seem to be a better choice than the silly tricolored version. Especially once the Republican tricolor ceases to have a negative association with the Faceless Men.

I agree, but maybe the tricolored ones could pop up in a Walker-era poster or two. Seeing them used for political ends like that strengthens the idea that the Faceless can be made to represent whoever you and the group you identify with are currently collectively scared of.



As a political symbol, the tri-colored ones make sense. It's just the ones that seem like normal people until they turn towards you that are truly frightening. Because the Faceless Men themselves are just pawns of some nebulous force, whether it's the specter of Republicanism or the tyrannical government. Hence my idea that they can possess whoever they need to further said Nebulous Evil Force's agenda.


The tricolor ones would be a regional variant, the Skunk Ape to the Sasquatch as it were. I'd see them coming from a more violent region where the warfare is a bit more violent and intense, and the coloration would come as symbols of the violence. Black hands from the ash of burnt homesteads, red feet from trodding in the blood of their victims.

Their use as a political symbol definitely would make their popularity boom, and as @LostInNewDelhi mentioned, the Walker era (what with the Civil War and such) would be the exact time that would be pushed.


As for the weaknesses of the Faceless Men, the antler-weapon is definitely one of them. As for rabbit's foot, the rabbit's foot is a charm that initially came from Hoodoo myths, so I'd see it as a regional charm being used chiefly in the South. With their association with demons, one idea that I think could work with it would be that placing a Bible verse above a door-frame forbids them to cross it. And when the association shifts towards fears over the government, one thing which wards against the Faceless Men would be a portrait of the Emperor/Dictator (no patriotic man would ever be traitorous and thus there would be no need for them to disappear).
 
american-psycho-by-brett-eaton-ellis-poster-48134-p_9fdb6a0d-e210-48c0-abf3-49fbec39c887.jpeg

The faceless men reminded me of Slender man and this dude, who in the back of my mind didn't have a face.
 
Hello everyone, this isn't an update, it's actually a bit of very bad news.

Writing Death of a Republic has been probably one of the best things I have ever done personally. Writing it has been such a joy, and reading everything you all have said only made it that much better.

But, as many of you know, writing it also led to one of the worst things to happen to me: being thrown out of college. I was able to push through that though, and eventually I wrote the Faceless Men which is the first piece I shared in public as myself, not as Schnozzberry. That was the scariest thing I have ever done, but it was also both very, very liberating and inspiring. There were so many ideas I wanted to write about after that, I was so excited.

And then, the news hit. I got rejected from another college because I was no longer eligible to enroll at the first college. And it all came back. And it is going to be back for potentially a whole year, and I cannot write Death of a Republic. Not because of any demands made of me, but because whenever I do the fear and anger and frustration cripples me. I know it sounds pretty pathetic and wishy-washy, but there isn't anything I can really add to that.

So, I have to put Death of a Republic on indefinite hiatus. It might return in a couple of months after things have had time to settle more, it might be never, I can't guarantee that I'll be back to write more this time. I'm sorry for the disappointment everyone. Thank you all so very much for reading.
 
But, as many of you know, writing it also led to one of the worst things to happen to me: being thrown out of college.
And then, the news hit. I got rejected from another college because I was no longer eligible to enroll at the first college.
This is just atrocious. :(

I'm sorry for the disappointment everyone.
You should not: situation is clearly not your fault. I think majority of your reader would feel the same.

P.S.: I'm sorry if it sounds offensive to you in current situation, but it's possible to made legal case against your college?
 
Im so sorry this has happened. Your life is far more important than a story your not even getting paid for. It's certainly inspired me in a myriad of ways and ill always look back here fondly. Its sad that we're at a state were creative writing is restricted by the idea that it should be more PC, and that even historically accurate actions and fiction should be under harsher perview. I hope you bounce back from this. You should never be punished for fiction. Ill remember this alt history in the best possible light.

Thanks for sharing your time :pensive:
 
P.S.: I'm sorry if it sounds offensive to you in current situation, but it's possible to made legal case against your college?

It's not offensive at all, my family and I did consider this initially, but with the other stuff around it such as me losing my temper in the situation makes the case moot. Also, in practical terms, it'll probably be quicker to just get things worked through and I want to get this behind me as soon as possible so I can go to a different university to finish my degree and move on with my life.

Im so sorry this has happened. Your life is far more important than a story your not even getting paid for. It's certainly inspired me in a myriad of ways and ill always look back here fondly. Its sad that we're at a state were creative writing is restricted by the idea that it should be more PC, and that even historically accurate actions and fiction should be under harsher perview. I hope you bounce back from this. You should never be punished for fiction. Ill remember this alt history in the best possible light.

Thanks for sharing your time :pensive:

Thank you. I've always been really glad for people finding enjoyment out of this, it's all I could have ever asked for.
 
It is terrible that this has negatively affected you in the real world. What exactly about your TL caused it?
If i remember correctly theres a chapter were the word "nigger" is used as part of a nickname or in some other context. This shouldnt be unusual give that this TL chosen history deals with slavery from differing views, but another student saw that schnozz was writing this on a college computer or personal laptop (doesnt really matter), and complained to their college. Schnozz reacted badly, and was let go. Now this has negatively affected his application to another college. This is more or less what happened.
 
Sorry to hear the controversy still gives you trouble in Real Life.

This is a fine TL and its a shame for it to end because someone took offense to fiction. But you need to mind your Real Life and that getting messed up over something like is far worse.

I thank you for story, and wish you luck in real life; and any future writing you may do off or on this site.

May better days be before you.
 
If i remember correctly theres a chapter were the word "nigger" is used as part of a nickname or in some other context. This shouldnt be unusual give that this TL chosen history deals with slavery from differing views, but another student saw that schnozz was writing this on a college computer or personal laptop (doesnt really matter), and complained to their college. Schnozz reacted badly, and was let go. Now this has negatively affected his application to another college. This is more or less what happened.
That's terrible. Worse thing is that nothing bad was done. I wish luck in real life.
 
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