Medieval America Mark III

I’m thinking that tales of ghost cars and the ghost hitchhikers wouldn’t stop even after all cars have stopped for good. Maybe there’s a local community that has the legend of a pitch-black Impala as their version of the banshee. Headless Motorcyclist, anyone?
Shades of Christine?
 
Shades of Christine?
Why not? I picked the Impala as a random example but that definitely works. Maybe this small town had someone passing down the stories of Stephen King orally and then becoming the scary stories of this small town. Preferably in what was once Maine just because of how appropriate it’d be.
 
The Pacific Ideal: Government in the Northwest
The Pacific Ideal: Government in the Northwest

The Republic is the dominant form of government across much of the Pacific-Northwest. Unlike the rest of the continent where violence and scarcity have allowed warlords to rise to power, the Pacific Northwest was secure and lush enough to allow many of the democratic traditions of Old America to not only endure but thrive. Liberty and democracy are so strongly valued by the Northwesterners that most of the city-states declared independence fairly early in the Regression, with "Liberty Flags" of pre-Regressive social movements being flown high to celebrate their newfound sovereignty. Though some despots managed to arise, most were overthrown during the mass conversions to Cascadian Buddhism. Ever since, nearly every city-state in Cascadia has been a republic of one shade and another.


"Liberty Flags" are a Cascadian icon, incorporated into flags and symbology to this day.

The typical Cascadian republic will at a minimum possess a Senate, and some sort of Mayor. Senators are usually drawn from the wealthiest and most influential citizens of a city. Mayors are of varying power, ranging from near despots to figureheads who do little beyond cutting ribbons. Many republics also possess a lower house of some sort, referred to as the "City Council" or "Congress". Generally, this house is meant to represent the citizenry as a whole and will either consist of the citizenry as a whole voting as a vast rabble, or as a "sample" of the citizenry selected by allotment.

The Cascadian committment to "democracy" is looked upon with curiosity by most of the West Coast. While all states pay lip service to notions of democracy and a popular mandate (Most rulers bear titles inherited from pre-Regressive democratic institutions, with California even terming itself a "republic), these notions have become as abstracted as concepts of divine right. Most of the aristocrats and philosophers of Medieval America see democracy as the God that failed, most attributing the fall of the old United States to the rabble. Californians tend to emphasize the failures of Cascadian democracy (and make no mistake, they are many), and wait for the day will it will collapse into such anarchy that they and the Columbians inherit the ashes. Some of the more optimistic philosophers, however, hope that the "Pacific Ideal" will prove resilient, and serve as the kernel from which democracy is restored to the nation.

While a full examination of the governments of the Northwest would be impossible thanks to their number, below is a brief survey of the governmental styles of the "Big 3: that is Portland, Vancouver and Seattle.


The Serene Republic of Portland



The Serene Republic of Portland has perhaps the least democratic system of the Big 3. Incredibly byzantine in its structures and provisions with more laws and loopholes then any common citizen is capable of understanding. Without delving into all of the nitty gritty, here's the basics:

Theoretically, at the very bottom sits the Citizen's Council, the assembly of all citizens of the Republic. Once the primary governing body and the electors of the mayor, the Citizen's Council was robbed of more and more power until the point in the modern day where it can only meet when called for by the Mayor to temporarily replace the City Council. The City Council consists of the noble families of Portland, who have purchased their hereditary right to sit on the council. Families strapped for cash are free to sell their seat to another noble family. The City Council is the theoretical source of all governmental power, seating some 2000 members.

At the same level at the City Council is the secretive "Select Committee", a council of 13 members elected by the City Council. The members, elected from within the City Council to 2 year terms, are supposed to be the most trusted and experienced in the Republic. First created during the war with California, it is officially supposed to deal with matters of state and war deemed either too sensitive for Council eyes or too important to allow dithering. However, do to the political deadlock in the City Council, more and more trivial matters are being sent to the Committee.

The upper house of the Republic is the Senate, composed of 60 men selected by the Council. They deliberate on more important manners, and decide upon the bills passed up to them by the City Council.
Finally, the executive body, consisting of the Mayor and his Executive Cabinet, which must sign off on his decisions. The power of the mayor waxes and wanes with time. Currently, their is a very powerful Mayor in office.

The Peasant's Republic of Vancouver



Vancouver was once the most radical of the major Northwestern republics. It was a peasant republic, with no formal leaders, flying the sickle and hoe on their liberty flags. All actions were intended to serve the people, and all decisions were thrown to the mob. Eventually, however, the realities of being a major state made themselves manifest, and this system was co-opted by the merchants and the guilds to serve their interests, eventually transforming the state into a pure plutocracy. Some time following the defeat of the Columbians and the disbandment of the Jedi Orders, the other holy orders of the Northwest were faced with a choice: accept the orderless Jedi into their ranks, or shut their doors to them. Most orders, resentful towards the inordinate control the Jedi wielded under the Columbians, forced them out, even pushing for the cities to force them into outlawry or even executing them outright.

The orders of Vancouver welcomed the Jedi of the land with open arms, seeing them as a bulwark against the mercenaries of the guilds. Newly militant and looking to solidify their control, the Buddhist orders launched a new revolution, harking back to the days of the Peasant's Republic, utilizing populist rhetoric to gain wide-spread support. After guillotining the former city elders, the religious orders did not re-instate the Peasant Republic as it had once been, rather creating on oligarchic council of the religious orders' representatives who theoretically use their wisdom to look after the spiritual and material health of the Peasantry. Chief among the religious orders are Brothers of the Whitecap. Theoretically, the Premier-Mayor is the executive of the city. He must be a man of "great piety", meaning pliable to the interests of the Brothers.

The Enlightened Republic of Seattle



While republics are certainly valued across the Northwest, and the ideal of "democracy" is at least payed lip service too, nowhere is what Californians term the "Pacific Ideal" more prominent than in the Enlightened Republic of Seattle. Like Portland (and somewhat unlike Vancouver which is almost totally dominated by local Buddhist monks, albeit unofficially), a city council runs the affairs of the city. Unlike Portland, however, that has its council dominated by merchants, the mercantile guilds here are just one set of contender among many- indeed, rather than being a true city council consisting of oligarchs and pseudo-Democratic representatives, the Enlightened Republic allows all of its citizens to sit in on the proceedings of the council and vote upon decisions. Every man and woman who has proved their loyalty to the republic has the right to determine its course.

It is by no means a perfect system. There is, for one, the fact that in order to qualify as a "citizen" in Seattle, you must be a freeman, one who owns land or has served in the militia. This has tended to limit suffrage to the rich and to men in practice, though it is open to all in theory. But even with these qualifiers reducing the total number of people on the council, it is still hopelessly unweildly: with 30,000 members at any given time, it's nearly impossible to get anything done, and proceedings tend to be dominated by demagogic figures who can sway the crowd. Influential groups include religious bodies like the Order of Cobain or the Order of Starbuck, or manufacturing guilds like the Bowing Company.
 
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I’m thinking that tales of ghost cars and the ghost hitchhikers wouldn’t stop even after all cars have stopped for good. Maybe there’s a local community that has the legend of a pitch-black Impala as their version of the banshee. Headless Motorcyclist, anyone?
Wouldn't that just be a ghost horse and rider? Maybe with a cart

Basically the headless horseman, just with a head and perhaps holding a latern
 
Wouldn't that just be a ghost horse and rider? Maybe with a cart

Basically the headless horseman, just with a head and perhaps holding a latern
Fair enough. As society regressed into a medieval state there’d be no shortage of death omens in the new American folklore. A mysterious stranger in pale make-up appearing is an omen that heralds the death of a child.

I’m imagining that quite a few popular stories were passed down via the new oral tradition. Like having the Grinch be an evil spirit or creature that is warded off by singing hymns in the street at Christmas.
 
The Batman as more bat than man. But. Still doing justice to the evil and corrupt.
Could be that it just gets foleded into the Moth Man, though I suppose Bat Man isn't particuarly powerful in the WV region, and the Moth Man is of an utterly different character.

I wonder i any pre-Regressive fictional personalities will get beatified by the Nondenom Church? In a similar sense to the fact that the Buddha was sortof beatified, and many of the Saints were reall syncretecised pagan gods.
 
Could be that it just gets foleded into the Moth Man, though I suppose Bat Man isn't particuarly powerful in the WV region, and the Moth Man is of an utterly different character.

I wonder i any pre-Regressive fictional personalities will get beatified by the Nondenom Church? In a similar sense to the fact that the Buddha was sortof beatified, and many of the Saints were reall syncretecised pagan gods.
  • Santa Claus- the post-regression world might have forgotten that he was adapted from a saint.
  • Mister Rogers- Not fictional, but a well-known figure in pop culture. Plus if any figure on American TV deserved to be beatified it’d be Fred Rogers.
  • Ebeneezer Scrooge- The story of a greedy man who has a divine intervention and becomes a better man would definitely become Non-Denom doctrine.
 
The Black Hill Stampede
The Black Hill Stampede

In all cultures across the continent, midsummer is a time for celebration and festivities. Most sedentary communities might have a small feast for local residents. Larger towns and cities might host tournaments or fairs. But the dry and sparsely populated Great Plains have not a single town or city. However, every midsummer, a town springs up at the base of the Black Hils as cowboys from across the continent gather in a huge stampedes with thousands of people gathered to compete in cowboy sports like rodeo, horse archery, polo and racing.

The idea of a stampede dates to pre-regression era North America and was brought into the neo-medieval age by Albertan tribes who remembered their own tradition of the Calgary Stampede. However, the idea of a big get together between tribes who set aside their differences for a few weeks failed to gain traction with many cowboys and so Albertan tribes were forced to practice their tradition by themselves, gathering each summer solstice, where the Elbow meets the Bow river for their very own stampede.

However when the Sifton tribe began their genocide across the Northern Plains, many Albertan refugees fled south to the Black Hills where they would be safe and could possibly find work as ranchhands with other tribes. They brought their traditions along with them and soon, every year a small stampede would bloom just outside the Black hills about a half days ride from the holy Mt Rushmore and the Face of Crazy Horse. Year after year the stampede would attract more and more participants. Young cowboys would schedule their pilgrimages to the Black Hills to coincide with the stampede and eventually cowboys from Manitoba to Kansas would set aside their differences each year and travel to the Black Hills for a week of rodeos, archery competition and proving their worth to young women and more importantly their potential father-in-laws. However, most cowboys outside of Wyoming, Dakota and Nebraska go but at most two or three times in their lives. The journey and time is simply too great a burden for most tribes to bear year after year.

Though wars would often interfere with the Black Hill Stampede and occasionally halt it for years at a time, every time the Stampede would bloom again, like the first pasque after winter. The mixing of cowboys from North to South has helped contribute to the remarkable levels of homogeneity within the greater Cowboy culture.

Similar events in what were once Dallas, Wichita and Calgary happen as well catering to those who cannot make the often month long journey to the Black Hills yet still want to participate.
 
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The Great Church of the East: The Triple Crown
The Great Church of the East: The Triple Crown

As the USA regressed into ignorance, the importance of sports in American life has diminished. Most peasants farmers have neither the spare time or excess calories to justify such a thing. Only the wealthy can really justify sports, and even then they are usually related to their professions. Warlords and their knights compete in melees and jousts, replicating the chaos of the battlefield, both on foot and mounted. Sailors might race their boats across New York Bay, cowboys participate in rodeos to demonstrate their skills and perhaps most unusually, priests and monks race horses.

The Non-Denominational Church and the many components of the US bureaucracy it coopted arose in a time where trans-continental communication, although in a state of decline and soon to fade away, was still a concept present in peoples minds. And so in the final days before the Regression was complete, the Church took over the US postal service as a way of trying to maintain communications across the continent and keep the nation bound together. They were mostly unsuccessful, as even the most accomplished riders would take weeks to reach the Mississippi. However in the areas where they were strongest, the Church maintains a semblance of a communication network using horses and riders to spread messages and edicts outwards from DC. To maintain this network the Church must train and arm messengers as well as breed horses, emphasis on the breeding of horses. This breeding of horses naturally leads to a question of who breeds the best horses and so every other year, members of the clergy and ordinary riders race in 3 races across the continent to discover the best riders and the best horses on the continent.

The first race, like it has always been is the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. Even now, 900 years past, the race is still run in Churchill Downs, now simply called Church Hill, on the First Saturday of May. However, not every aspect of the Triple Crown has remained unchanged.

The Preakness Stakes no longer occur outside of Baltimore, instead occurring just outside of Washinton DC and due to the logistical challenges of trying to cross the Appalachians in only 3 weeks, has been pushed back nearly a month, now occurring the closest Saturday to Midsummer, usually 6-7 weeks after the Kentucky Derby.

The Belmont Stakes continue to happen just outside of New York except now, just outside of New York is 14th street and happens 2 weeks after the Preakness Stakes which is usually the Saturday after Independence Day.

All three races have tournaments and surrounding festivities that have grown to overshadow the races themselves. In Kentucky, the race corresponds with the Louisville May Day festival and tournament, which attracts peasants from miles around and Knights from hundreds of miles around. The Belmont Stakes happen alongside New York's independence Day celebrations, either kicking off or concluding the Independence Day feast and festival days. But most importantly the Preakness Stakes in Washington DC happen alongside a critical component of the Non-Denominational Church, it's biannual National Congress. The National Congress itself begins on the day of the Preakness Stakes and ends about a month after. Generally by this time, competitors in the Belmont Stakes have returned to DC.

Although diminished by the festivities of the New Medieval Era that have grown up around them, the three races of the triple crown remain attractions in their own right, drawing monks, peasants, merchants and feudal lords alike. They have become an important part of the Church, tying together several traditions and anchoring many others.
 
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The Mushmush
The Mushmush



The term "Mushmush" is an exonym, used by the people of the Feudal Core as a "wastebasket taxon" to refer to the peoples who dwell in the far north beyond the Great Lakes and Quebec, termed "Mushmush" out of the (incorrect) belief that they drive their dogsleds forward by incessantly chanting "Mush! Mush!". The first recorded use of the term was by the theologian Harold of Atlanta in an influential treatise on the legality of the expansion of the Nondenominational Church into Canada. As the treatise was widely circulated, so was the term, and it caught on like wildfire. Today, the term is still applied loosely to refer to the northern barbarians, and the products they trade to the south. Universally, their lives center around the winter, preparing for it and surviving it.


The Canucks



The Canucks are a people who dwell along the northernmost shores of the Great Lakes, making their lives in the fjords and islands of that harsh country. Agriculture has devolved into horticulture, albeit with some rather advanced techniques employed to maximize microclimates and get the most out of the stony soil. For the most part, they are hunters and fishermen and above all fur trappers, both catching their own and trading with the more northerly peoples to finally sell their furs to the trade stations of the Mackinaw League, foremost among them Sault Ste. Marie. Occasionally, they will turn to raiding, taking their longboats to set the cities of settled folk ablaze, but this has grown rarer since the war between Ohio and Illinois ended. They consider themselves Lakemen, and so do the other Lakelanders, albeit reluctantly. The greatest number of Canucks pledge fealty to the Governor of Wisconsin, but this is more theoretical than anything.

Their dialect has a surprising amunt of Finnish influence, due to their contact with the Finns of the Upper Peninsula, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. They are almost entirely Christian, though Nondenom is rather rare: instead, they have been won over by some of the stubborn Lutheran burghers of Wisconsin. The Wendigo is largely unknown, and the Dogman is widely feared but largely considered a simple demon, and they will only engage in minor folk magic to combat their influence. Of far more concern to Nondenominational Priests are the quasi-religious terms they speak of the Lakes and storms in, and the idols they build to placate both. While Sault Ste. Marie is majority Canuck, it is ruled by Lakeish merchants who have made efforts to shift the culture for the sake of ease of governance. The only true city of the Canucks is Thunder Bay where a Mackinaw fort abandoned in the most recent league war has taken up by an ambitious chieftain, who has grander plans to stand against the League and unite the Canuck people.

The Kanadi



The Kanadi are the people who dwell upon the frigid Canadian prairie, though they no longer confine themselves beyond the 51st parallel. They are Cowboys like most other societies on the Great Plains, and their contact with their American brothers has led them to full-heartedly adopt the New Israelite faith. Like all other New Israelites, they consider themselves to be the Chosen People. Curiosly, they make the pilgrimage to Mt. Rushmore and revere the stone heads as their forefathers and as symbols of the covenant, but they consider themselves distinctly Canadian. Indeed, their banners are emblazened with the symbol of the Maple Leaf, and they even engage in some minor maple cultivation.

Unlike most other Cowboys, the extremely harsh winters on the Canadian prairies have prompted them to adopt a semi-settled lifestyle. Each clan is centered around a large hill-fort called a "Mall". These "Malls" can provide some measure of security in case of attack (though their wooden construction makes them vulnerable to fire), but primarily they are used for protection against the cold and the wolves that winter brings. All things are held in common within the Mall, with the entire clan sleeping under one roof. They engage in minor horticulture at the base of these hillforts. They are terrified of the Dogman, whom they consider to be Judas, and the Wendigo is considered Satan himself. While they wait to deliver up sacrifices to God for the pilgrimage to the Black Hills, they will sacrifice so-called "sin-eaters" (usually diseased kine or sheep) to ensure that they are not visited by the Wind Walker.

The Metis



The definition of what it is to be Metis has shifted in the New Medieval Age. Metis are not simply those of mixed descent, for most of the Kanadi have a non-insignificant amount of aboriginal blood in them, and indeed many of the Kanadi are descended from the current Metis nation. The Metis as a concept have shifted northwards of their historical place in the south of the prairie provinces, assimilated or displaced by the predations of New Israelite horsemen. They now inhabit where the horsemen dare not tread, in the deep and dark forest band of the north between the prairie and the frigid arctic expanse, extending their cultural reach into northern Ontario and Quebec. They have devolved to a lifestyle that is almost totally dependent upon hunting, gathering and fishing. They spend their days moving between summer and winter camps, never settling down in any one place, constantly fighting both between themselves and against foreign peoples at their margins.

By and large, the Metis speak a creole tongue that is in its greatest part French, but with clear influence from aboriginal languages and English, and many tribes speak predominantly aboriginal languages. They are in large part nominally Catholic, but the worship of the Saints has become totally animistic and, some Qebuecoise critics would say, polytheistic. The landscape is marked by cairns in shrines to these animistic saints that the tribes prostrate before during their voyages. Though the Dogman is not known in these reaches, the Wendigo certainly is, and like the Kanadi is regarded as Satan himself. Unlike the Kanadi, who attach to the Wendigo many of the imagistic trappings of a more convnetional Satan, the Wendigo of the Metis is a far more spectral figure, influenced almost wholly by the native conception. So thin that when he turns he becomes invisibe, so tall that when he passes the leaves of the tallest trees shudder, then suddenly still. As it is punishable upon pain of death to depict the Wendigo, it is uncertain precisely how it looks in detail, but shamen speak of taut, ashen skin, of the horns of deer and rams, of thing, bloody lips. In the winter, the Wendigo whispers to men in their lodgings, compelling to commit the abomination of cannibalism with glee and envy. Cannibalism is regarded as the greatest sin imaginable among the Kanadi, and once it has been committed the only cure is death followed by re-baptism. For this reason the Eucharist is punishable by death, and the Quebecoise church has ruled that there is no requirement for the Eucharist for the Metis or the voyageurs who go among them.

The Eskimos



The final of the Mushmush tribes, and perhaps the vaguest. In its strictest sense, it refers only to the coastal Inuit who make their living off the fat of the sea. More often it is a broad term for all peoples of the far north, many of them totally unrelated and of wildly differing traditions. Many consider the Laskans themselves a legendary race of Eskimos, who themselves apply it to practically all peoples beyond the Rockies, from the Athabaska to the Metis.
 
Hmmm, how will the Quebec church manage without wine. There really isn't anywhere to grow wine, Quebec is way too cold for grapes

I'd imagine that without anywhere to grow wine, either it has to be imported on a massive scale or they'll be distilling vodka/whiskey and adding like beet juice and using that?
 
Hmmm, how will the Quebec church manage without wine. There really isn't anywhere to grow wine, Quebec is way too cold for grapes

I'd imagine that without anywhere to grow wine, either it has to be imported on a massive scale or they'll be distilling vodka/whiskey and adding like beet juice and using that?
Blue berry wine exists.
 
Hmmm, how will the Quebec church manage without wine. There really isn't anywhere to grow wine, Quebec is way too cold for grapes

I'd imagine that without anywhere to grow wine, either it has to be imported on a massive scale or they'll be distilling vodka/whiskey and adding like beet juice and using that?
Blue berry wine exists.
Plus I’ve found a map showing that New York is a strong wine-producing state. So it’s not like they need to try to get it from Texas or California.

Lower class people drink blueberry wine, and upper class people drink imported grape wine.
 
What do you think of the idea of remnants of the US army taking over Texarkana/Red River Territory? A military regime might be what's necessary to hold back the Cowboy hordes.
 
Incomplete Map of North America
I've been working on this map of Medieval America for my own personal project. Its influenced by Matthew White's work and the past three threads which I have been following for a year. I'm entirely sure on how much the map applies to this map but hey, what harm can be down by posting it? It is WIP though as of now.

 
Two notes:

Firstly, @tehskyman ; a minor retcon idea. You've been alluding to the Illinois-Ohio War as being set 250 years ago. I'm currently writing up a Chicago post, and was wondering you wouldn't mind my moving the Illinois-Ohio war closer to the Bailey invasion. I think it makes sense that either the Cowboys were jump on Illinoian weakness if they were involved in a general war spanning the Feudal Heartland, or conversely if the Ohioans jumped on Illinois while they were being invaded from the East. Do you have any possible objections?

Secondly, after the Chicago post is wrapped up, I'm going to be giving the Table of Contents it's long-needed update.

What do you think of the idea of remnants of the US army taking over Texarkana/Red River Territory? A military regime might be what's necessary to hold back the Cowboy hordes.
Could be, but hasn't it already been established as being founded by the Klan?
 
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