Medieval America Mark III

A Brief History of the Age of Aquarius
A Brief History of the Age of Aquarius



In the towns of Santa Fe, Tumacacori, Arcosanti, Roswell and Sedona, strange and disparate groups had been gathering since the 1970s. Devoted to the esoteric, the otherworldly and the mystical, these so-called "New Agers" had little unifying between them but for a few loose concepts and a disdain for the modern world and its close-mindedness. They saw the coming return to a simpler time as a positive step on humanity's path towards enlightenment.

And so it was that 50 years post-regression, as the wise men saw the early signs of civilizations collapse, that a herald was issued forth from Sedona: the dawning of the Age of Aquarius had come, and it would begin in the American Southwest. Though ridiculed by those "Downers" who still clinged to the hope of society's survival, the herald drew in New Agers from as far away as Cascadia and New England, with entire communities packing themselves into wagons overnight to make the long arduous journey.

The arrival of fellow enlightened individuals was met with jubilations, leading to nearly a month of spiritual enlightenment and partying-hardy, people bringing themselves to ecstasy as a warm=up for the coming age of free love. And then they waited, and waited, and waited... until they finally realized that this whole Age of Aquarius may be more of a "Behold, I shall come quickly" type-deal. They hunkered down, got to farming, and got to killing each other over the nuances of their faith.

In the beginning, these marginal communities were just that: marginal. Though the New Age flourished in the hills to the north of Phoenix, it would only be as more and more people fled south and west for the waters of the Gila and the Colorado, raising the relative population percentage of New Agers. New Age warlords would take control of Flagstaff, but only long after the government had moved operations down to Phoenix.

Those few who could eked out a meagre living as subsistence farmers along the Verde River, while others established colonies in the major cities. For the most part, however, the Arizonan adherents of the New Age became wanderers, domesticating the feral camels that colonized the American southwest. In this way, the New Age spread across northern half of the state. As it did, it came in contact with the Navajo, who were re-asserting their traditional dominion over that land. With most New Agers already incorporating a number of Native American customs into their faith and being fully invested in the stereotype of the "Noble Savage", the two communities got along famously, slowly merging into one another as time went on.

The New Age spread peacefully to the south of Arizona during the Great Droughts of the 200s, when the collapsing state and religious authorities were overthrown by angry locals who had finally lost faith in the old system. Termed "Simpletons" by their detractors for their blatant disdain for "science" and the old world, they embraced New Age and Navajo ideals.

A similar phenomenon ocurred in New Mexico. The New Age in this state was focused to two regions, Santa Fe and Roswell. Santa Fe became a powerful city in its own right as the world collapsed, and one that was plurality New Age. Though the city was toppled by Navajo invaders during the Great Droughts, they quickly used it to assert the New Age all the way down to El Paso. As they spread through the state, they were met with an invasion by the nomadic horsemen of the Pecos River, devotees of the New Age cult based out of the hill-fort of Roswell. Though the New Mexicans would beat back the horsemen all the way to Roswell, they did not crush their religion, instead incorporating it full-heartedly into the New Age corpus, though the remnants of the horde fled east into Oklahoma.

The civilized regions of New Mexico were far more pious towards the New Age then those of Arizona, meaning that it would only become the national religion with the New Mexican conquest of Arizona. It was then that the First Dynasty was declared, and the President was placed at the top of the New Age religious hierarchy. It would only become truly entrenched during the reign of the Third President, who launched a series of persecutions against the Christians and Scientologists who still lived in New Mexican territory. These persecutions were led at the local level by allies, generally holy men and women of the New Age. As his reign co-incided with some of the best rains that the region had seen in centuries, the New Age become almost universally popular.

The decision to empower local Medicine Men and Mediums would prove particuarly pivotal. As an inherently loose religious structure, each holy man or woman of the New Age had his or her own preferred philosophy and higher powers, but little ability to enforce this view upon others. When they were granted resources to enforce "New Age", they generally took this to mean their particular brand of the faith. This led to a system of patron deities and competing temple complexes, a political unit which dominates the inner workings of the Confederacy to this day.
It would be the fourth president of the First Dynasty who would begin one of the most hallowed traditions of the New Age: the pyramids.

Pyramids were a distantly recalled memory of Ancient Egypt, and generally regarded as something holy and supernatural by New Age clergy, who had long employed "pyramid power" in their healing ritual. It would with the work of the priest and scholar "Righteous the Elder", however, that pyramid power would be applied to the dead. In a famous treatise, based on his (admittedly scanty) knowledge of the use of pyramids by the Egyptians and the Mesoamericans, he surmised that pyramids had the capability to repair the bad vibrations inflicted upon one's life essence through the course of their life, and furthermore that they eased the transition process between this world and the next. The tradition of pyramid building began in Santa Fe before the Confederation was fully formed.

Being essentially the national religion of the southwestern people, and being hemmed in two sides by powerful, centrally organized religions, the New Age would have little success in terms of proselyitization. Many of the shepherds and tribesmen in the badlands between California and New Mexico would convert to the faith in its early days, but most of them ultimately were won over by the well-organized efforts of Scientologist missionaries, leaving behind only a substrate in the tribes west of the Colorado. The faith had influence in Las Vegas at its height, but it was already such a religiously diverse land that it made little difference. Some of the tribesmen of Colorodo would convert, but most of them would either be won over by the Mormons or joined the Muslims of Kuluradu. The rocky badlands to the south are even worse, with most folk worshiping a degenerated form of Catholicism that gave alms to La Santa Muerte. New Age only barely holds sway in Nogales, thanks to its proximity to Tumacori.

Perhaps the New Age's greatest success was on the Great Plains. The Pecos watershed had long been dominated by tribes of New Age horsemen who centered themselves on the holy hill-fort of Roswell. These tribes were not, however, cowboys, and were often at odds with the tribes of cowboys and broncos that dominated Texas. So great was the fear of these horsemen of the New Israelites that they allowed themselves to be subjugated by the Dineh. Something strange would happen, however, when a new tribe of cowboys migrated to the area. Displaced by the expansion of the Anderson clan, these cowboys originally hailed from Oklahoma and were of predominantly Cherokee descent. Though New Israelites, they were tenative at best, putting a lot of stock into their pre-Christian faith. In the pro-Native American rhetoric of the New Age, they found solace, creating a strange hybrid religion. Known to themselves as the Keelers after their Judge, and known to the settled peoples of the east as the Okies, they would return to their ancestral homeland with their new faith in hand and create one of the three great cowboy tribes.

A number of schisms and heresies would wrack the faith over its 800 year history. The Raelian Movement, the Ghost Dancers, the Prohibitionists: these names are curses to your typical New Ager. One heresy, however, is hardly even mention, known only to the oldest and the wisest of New Mexican Society: the heresy of the so-called Gray President. Unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to know just what exactly his heresy constituted, as the authorities have done their best to scrub not only his philosophy from history, but his very name, hence the euphemistic title. It can be surmised that this President attempted to move the nation from its polytheism to a strict henotheism, with emphasis placed upon the god-spirit alternatively known as Trinity or Alamagordo, representative of the sun, supreme potency, and the excesses of man (with some Christian Trinitarian ideas wrapped up in there thanks to confusion). To this end, he even built a new capital in the town of Alamagordo, where it is said the Trinity touched the earth. Today, it stands abandoned, scaring off looters with tales of the "bad vibrations" that permeate the area. Only giant gila monsters inhabit it today.

In the modern era, none of the many temple-complexes rain supreme. Each vies for the ear of the President, hoping to get special favors and privileges, all in the hope of further free love, harmony between all beings, and a tidy tithing profit.
 
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So the Okies are a New Ager- New Israelite Cowboy tribe living in Oklahoma? Interesting. What do their New Israelite neighbours think?
 
So the Okies are a New Ager- New Israelite Cowboy tribe living in Oklahoma? Interesting. What do their New Israelite neighbours think?
Strongly disliked.

Just note, I'm not drawing this out of whole cloth: there were some clues on the original site that the Oklahomans were New Age.
 
I'm just curious where white mentioned it. Can you link me the page?
Hmm, it seems to be based mainly on this. Rob Bartlett speculates that this unused page border (named "oklbar") may have been used for one of the "heresy" pages. But beyond that, I'm not quite sure where I got that idea.

I don't particuarly liek it regardless, so I think I'm going to make it non-canon anyways unless anyone objects.
 
Hmm, it seems to be based mainly on this. Rob Bartlett speculates that this unused page border (named "oklbar") may have been used for one of the "heresy" pages. But beyond that, I'm not quite sure where I got that idea.

I don't particuarly liek it regardless, so I think I'm going to make it non-canon anyways unless anyone objects.
Make what non-canon? I personally think a cowboy tribe influenced by a foreign religion is an interesting idea. Nomadic societies like the cowboys should have diversity like that. Plus inter-tribal warfare due to religion makes the Great a Plains more interesting than all cowboys fitting the same general template.
 
Even historically the horse tribes had many religions. We even have mormon horse nomads right now. Why not another tribe heavily influenced by the empires around them.
 
The Englightened Republic of Seattle
The Enlightened Republic of Seattle


[Disclaimer: Not mine]

Government: Enlightened Republic
Head of State: No official head of state. All matters dictated by the Council.
Head of Government: The Mayor
Population: 115,000
Religion: Eco-Buddhism
Totemic Symbol: Chief Seattle


Seattle is a city marked by an inferiority complex, in spite of the fact that it is one of the "Big 3" and thus one of the most powerful cities in all of Cascadia, alongside Cascadia and Portland. Neither Vancouver nor Seattle has ever had much hope of outcompeting splendid Portland for the top spot, lacking its strategic position at the confluence of the Columbia and the Willamette and it's fertile hinterlands. Brimming with civic pride, Seattle spends most of its time competing with Vancouver to take the silver. Seattle is certainly a great port, but so is Vancouver, and neither is nearly so great as Portland. Seattle has plenty of fertile land to raise a population, but so does Vancouver, and again, Portland has much more. Thus, to set itself apart from the other cities of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle has pursued one specific specialization: manufacturing.

Using timber from the carefully managed forests of the Seattleite hinterlands, Seattle companies manufacture ships. Most of these logs are transported either by river or by land to the edge of Lake Washington, most often to Bellevue, Renton or Kirkland. If the logs are not used in one of these ports, then they are shipped across the lake into Seattle proper where one of the many shipwrights firms will turn them into galleys. Most prominent among these is the Bowing Company, though it is far from the only one. Bowing specifically and Seattleite firms more generally are regarded as making some of the finest shipwrights in all the world. It is worth noting that Seattle is not merely home to ship-building: it produces many fine crafts, such as the fine clockwork mechanisms produced by the Microsoft Company. It is also home to one of the west coast's greatest trade leagues in the form of the Amazon Company.

Seattle sits on an isthmus between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington with the two connected by an ancient canal. The city is spread across seven hills, and at its core is the great market and civic center of Pike Place, thought to be named for the militia's weapon-of-choice. Like most cities in Medieval America, Seattle has atrophied down to its nucleus, with far flung communities like West Seattle, Beacon Point and Fremont becoming their own small city-states, albeit dominated by Seattle. This has had its benefits: by losing most of its land to the north of the Canal and to its south, it is now only approachable by land from the south, making it nearly unassailable.

Seattle is well-known for being amongst the most radically democratic in a region that is known for it's radical commitment to democracy. The City Council of Seattle is far less oligarchic then those of the other city-states, with every single citizen being entitled to a vote. Now of course, in order to be considered a "citizen" you must be a native-born freeman who has served in the militia, meaning that the actual "citizen" population tends to hover around a mere 30 percent of the population.

And yet, despite this relatively reduced suffrage, the council is still an incredibly unwieldy: with tens of thousands of members, it is impossible to have anything resembling order. Rather, debates tend to be dominated by a number of sophists and demagogues. Matters are made worse by the fact that there is no other oversight structure in Seattleite politics: all decisions are made by the mob, from matters as trivial as canal maintenance to matters as important as foreign policy, with even general and admiralships being elected positions. There is an executive committee in the Senate and an executive in the Mayor, but the former is assigned by the allotment, and the latter, though elected by the Council, can only be elected from among the Senate.

Hucksters and demagogues have led Seattle to military and financial ruin many times over. The city is just now recovering from a disastrous attempt at invading the Queen Charlotte Isles, and that came in the wake of the city being conned out of a small fortune to build a bridge that was never built. And now, as the city gears up for an invasion of Vancouver on the advice of silver-tongued monk, it looks like it may happen yet again. The rule of the mob has its downsides, and the Californian philosophers who looks to the city no longer wonder why the old United States fell.
 
Also, I've been watching Wild Wild Country on netflix recently. It's about a new age cult in Oregon during the 80s but one of the things that struck me was that the adherents of the cult changed their names. I think that for a new age state like New Mexico, that they wouldn't have conventional english names like Bill Cisneros but rather something closer to navajo/ other non-european names

Maybe something like Bill Cisneros -> Cisniros yl Bilzii.
 
Also, I've been watching Wild Wild Country on netflix recently. It's about a new age cult in Oregon during the 80s but one of the things that struck me was that the adherents of the cult changed their names. I think that for a new age state like New Mexico, that they wouldn't have conventional english names like Bill Cisneros but rather something closer to navajo/ other non-european names

Maybe something like Bill Cisneros -> Cisniros yl Bilzii.
Well it's worth noting that the majority of the population is going to end up being of Spanish and Anglo descent
 
The Order of Cobain
The Order of Cobain

The Order of Cobain is one of the greatest religious orders in all of Cascadia. It is from here that the wandering "Rocker Monks" originate. The Order is named for an ancient sage named Cobain, who is said to even antedate Amadi. He was the first American to achieve nirvana, and once he had, he took his own life, leaving behind his music to help others to reach the same state that he had.

The aim of the Order is to help its adherents achieve nirvana through the use of song. A complex musical theory has developed around the songs of Cobain's oeuvre that have survived the ages. The laws governing this theory are Pythagorean in nature, implying an inherent unity and the underlying absolute reality that permeates all things. Beyond this, the songs are used in complex meditation ceremonies, the ebbs and flows of the song governing the breathing and mindset of the disciple.

As is common to Cascadian Buddhism, the tradition of the hermit-druid is well regarded within the Order. It is not merely a question of meditation and tending to nature for the Disciple of Cobain: rather, he hopes to more actively spread the music and enlightenment of Cobain. If one finds themselves in a random tavern in the Cascadian countryside, it would not be unexpected to find a Monk of Cobain jamming. The greatest of these rocker-monks can expect an invitation to the courts of the wealthy and powerful of the region.

Technically speaking, Monks of the Order are to maintain the ancient songs, for only they are known to aid in the achievement of nirvana. Many of the rocker-monks of the order feels that this calcified view of music loses Cobain's point entirely. It is from these renegade priests that we get one of the best regarded cultural traditions of the region-- the "rock opera". These are essentially epic poems, recited by memory with the aid of memorization and a heaping of mnemonic devices and patterns. These tales can be tragedies, melodramas, histories, lewd comedies, and everything in between. Some of the most famous of these are committed to parchment, and can be enjoyed as far away as the courts of Elay.

When they're not rocking out on their lutes, the rocker-monks can be found in their Seattle Headquarters. Here, they will write treatises, organize religious concert-festivals both in Seattle and across the region, and hone their craft. Many monks are employed in the art of Illumination- they copy down ancient sheet music and album covers for the sake of posterity, adding little frills and decorative elements as they go over the years. The Order of Cobain represents one of the most respected cultural traditions of Seattle and the Northwest more generally.
 
The Mackinaw League
The Mackinaw League


The Flag of the Mackinaw League

In the Industrial era, the Great Lakes were a conduit for trade and goods deep into the heart of North America. Like the Baltic Sea of Old Europe, the Great Lakes are dominated by trading leagues, conglomerates of trading companies and cities who band together for protection and a degree of autonomy from their overlords. Unlike the Hanseatic League, member cities span a wide range of nations and this has lead to rivalries within the leagues that sometimes tear these trading leagues apart. Currently one trading league dominates the Great Lakes but as the tensions between the different cities and their overlords ramp up, it threatens to break the league up again.

When the cities on the Great Lakes are united in a single organization, trade flourishes, free from the threats of rival leagues and pirates. Warships constructed by member cities patrol shipping lanes, keeping bandits at bay and city disputes are settled peacefully. Member cities are allowed a certain degree of autonomy from their overlords. The collective power of the merchant corporations allows them to get concession out of Governors and Presidents. Cities are often allowed to set their own laws, raise their own armies and set their own taxes. Part of the taxes collected by member cities goes towards the league itself in order to maintain the league fleets and outposts. The League's trade outposts are located along the wild Shores of Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Lake Nipigon. In the summer the wild tribes of the northern forest paddle their canoes to these outposts to trade furs for steel and other civilized goods. In the winter skeleton crews maintain the outposts, shivering from the cold and praying for spring. Many traitors and criminals have found themselves exiled here, doomed to shiver and probably die within 2 years.

When the league tears itself apart, the competition becomes brutal. Ships to ship warfare on the lake. Fortresses constructed, raided and burned. Trade shrivels up and dies. In this sense it is very much in the interests of the Presidents and Governors of the Great Lakes to bash the heads of merchants together and keep them united. It is better to exert influence through the politics of the Lake League then have to spend gold and silver against other states. Fortunately rarely do the merchants involve themselves in the squabbles of Kings and vice-versa. The last time inter-merchant war occurred was 150 years ago when the tensions between the then State of Illinois and the Commonwealth of Ohio dragged much of the Feudal Heartland into war. Ships were sunk, cities like Sandusky, Cleveland and Erie raided and burned to the ground. But when the war ended, cooler heads prevailed and the current iteration of the Mackinaw League was formed.

There is no single capital of the Mackinaw League. Instead the general shareholders meeting rotates between Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo every 3 years. Every Spring and Autumn Equinox representatives from the different cities set sail and anchor in the designated city to attend the general shareholders meeting. Here they debate and argue to set the Leagues agenda for the 6 months. Each of these three cities contains a copy of the legal paperwork that binds the cities together. At these meetings representatives from various Presidents and Governors are allowed to observe though they cannot propose changes to the League Charter.

Cities along Lake Ontario do not trade directly with the Mackinaw League. Instead trade must flow through Buffalo, a situation that has added to the city's wealth over the years. It's not as if they have a choice. Ships can hardly sail up the mighty Niagara falls.

Major Cities of the Mackinaw League

  • Buffalo
  • Chicago
  • Detroit

Other Selected Cities of the Mackinaw League

  • Green Bay
  • Milwaukee
  • Holland
  • St Ignace
  • Soo St Marie
  • Bay City
  • Saginaw
  • Sarnia
  • Toledo
  • Sandusky
  • Cleveland
  • Erie
  • Port Maitland
 
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The State of Wisconsin
The State of Wisconsin

WisconsinFlag2.png


System of Government: Feudal State
Head of State: Governor, chosen through primogeniture
Population: 1,250,000
Religion: Non-Denominational
Totemic Symbol: Badger



On the western shores of Lake Michigan lies the State of Wisconsin. With what was once the State of Illinois to the south and is now Iowa Territory Wisconsin has been heavily influenced by it's relationship to it's much more powerful neighbor. In the past, Wisconsin was a tributary/vassal of the State of Illinois, paying lip service to the President on Rock Island, guarding the north western flank of Illinois and paying an annual tribute in exchange for protection and legal rights. Back then Illinois was much more powerful than the current Iowa Territory. It was nearly as populous as the Commonwealth of Ohio is now, 6 million people. When the cowboys came in, they killed off much of the population and 130 years on, it has only recovered to a half of what it once was. Wisconsin used to be much more like a proper vassal than the nearly independent nation that it is now.

This reflects in some of the titles that the Governor of Wisconsin holds: Marshal of the Northwest, Warden of Minnesota. This relationship carried over when the Baileys and Dabney's took over. Instead of paying "taxes" to the Duponts, they paid tribute to the Dabneys. This tribute was a little higher than the taxes that were paid, but when your neighbor is a genocidal horde, you tend to comply. When the Baileys overthrew the Dabneys and established control over Illinois, Wisconsin's knights played a key role in their success, splitting up the Dabney army and allowing it to be smashed piecemeal. In return Wisconsin's yearly tribute is a fraction of what it once was, and every year it comes closer to regaining independence.

Otherwise, a scene from Wisconsin would resemble one from any one of the other Midwestern nations, corn, rye and barley growing in fields. Villages clustered around a central square . Knights in their castles wearing heavy mail riding great steads and longboats in the lakes and rivers.

Occasionally a fool hardy cowboy will cross the Mississippi and raid Wisconsin. Usually the Governor and his men will ride out to meet them, ambush them in piney forests and massacre them. It has been this way for hundreds of years and will continue like this for hundreds more.
 
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Do you guys think that the Midwestern and southern states might have heresy's / theological diasgreements with the central Non-Denom church?
I can see the southerners embracing a baptist heresy and being alienated that way. Also the distance between the Midwesterners and Northeastern church supervisors might result in a schism.

Also I personally see a large historic rivalry between the 2 great midwestern nations: Illinois/Iowa and Ohio with the other smaller states being nominal vassals/ alliance members.

Prior to the cowboys destroying Illinois, you would've had the 2 great powerhouse Nations: Illinois: 6.5 million, Ohio 7 million and then quite a few second tier countries. Also the lakes and Mississippi river allow a bunch of other nations to get involved in wars too.
I've been hinting at a big war in the midwest about 250 yrs before and am wondering how that might play out in this setting.

What do you guys think?
 
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