Medieval America Mark III

tehskyman

Banned
But my point is if territory implies trying to enter the Union then why would the cowboys which have no interest in that do it?

They are called "Territories" in the sense that they are Andersen territory. It is land which belongs to the Andersen clan.

Iowa Territory and the Red River Territory are formal political entities, fully non-denominational. Prior to the Bailey conquest over Dabney territory, Iowa was probably known as Bailey territory and Dabney territory. Maybe we'll have to retcon that back in.

So basically

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

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

tehskyman

Banned
Arkansas Territory

ArkansasFlagSmall.png


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


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


Arkansas Territory and it's larger neighbor to the south

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

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

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

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


Along with their brothers to the south, Arkansas Territory and the Red River Territory control the entrances to the southern routes across the great plains. These routes follow the Red and Arkansas Rivers respectively and allow relatively exotic goods from the Colorado, New Mexico and to a lesser extent Utah to reach the south, bypassing the merchants of St Louis and Memphis. For many years, the Andersons sat on top of this trade route, growing wealthy enough to carve out their own land. It was stable enough that a group of 5 could travel from Santa Fe to Little Rock unmolested save for the transit fee they paid in OKC. The Andersons used decades of accumulated wealth and power to take over the farmers of coastal Texas and until they lost Oklahoma to broncos, okies and jayhawkers. Nowadays merchants pay up to 3 or 4 transit fees along the Arkansas river if they travel alone. However, if they travel with cowboys driving their herds trekking across the plains becomes much easier. This is how New Mexico Turquoise ends up in the hilts of many a Southern warlord.
 
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I was thinking. Would the southerners use “Confederacy” for any of their nations? It could be a symbol of Southern regional pride, removed from the racism of the past given that people in the south aren’t particularly white anymore. In particular I was looking at the nameless state squished between Ohio and North Carolina and thought that “Franklin Confederacy” worked. They’re a loosely united nation that’s being kept together by the pressure of being between Ohio to the northwest a and the Carolinas to the Southeast.
 
Lost Vegas, Part II: Viva Las Vegas
Lost Vegas, Part II: Viva Las Vegas



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Traders enjoyed the limited amounts of grog on offer and the dice games. Most of them were wholly unaware of the “holy” connotations of these establishments, seeing them as nothing more then good fun - same went for the temple concubines. Young men and women heard ales of this rising city and poured in by the thousands to proclaim their loyalty to Randall House. Branded with the mark of Vegas and pressed into service. These pioneers would subdue the Nevadans and forge an empire that stretched from the Colorado Delta to Lake Powell and beyond…
 
Is there a canonical reason why Jefferson City, Missouri isn’t shown as a District Supervisor’s seat on the “East Map”? It’s in the borders of a Non-Denominational State and is a former state capital like the rest.

Alternatively, might I make a suggestion to edit White’s original suppositions and have St. Louis serve as the seat of the District Supervisor of Missouri. First, the primacy of St. Louis in the region would make it easier to defend than Jefferson City, and thus an ideal place to move for a religious figure. Second, it serves as an callback to A Canticle for Leibowitz, where St. Louis is a major religious center.
 
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Is there a canonical reason why Jefferson City, Missouri isn’t shown as a District Supervisor’s seat on the “East Map”? It’s in the borders of a Non-Denominational State and is a former state capital like the rest.
It's a good question. The easiest explanation would be that White forgot, but I doubt it. Some potential explanations: Missouri seceded from the Union? Seems unlikely. Missouri remains New Israelite? Again, unlikely. Evangelical Heresy? Possible, I suppose. Or perhaps the Supervisory was destroyed by Cowboy Invasions and some political manuvering means that it's yet to be restored to Missouri proper.
 
It's a good question. The easiest explanation would be that White forgot, but I doubt it. Some potential explanations: Missouri seceded from the Union? Seems unlikely. Missouri remains New Israelite? Again, unlikely. Evangelical Heresy? Possible, I suppose. Or perhaps the Supervisory was destroyed by Cowboy Invasions and some political manuvering means that it's yet to be restored to Missouri proper.

I rather like the idea of St. Louis and Missouri being the heart of an evangelical heresy - that would give a lot of new meaning to the Dabneys allowing Memphis to restore St. Louis - almost a Latin Empire of Constantinople parallel.
 
I rather like the idea of St. Louis and Missouri being the heart of an evangelical heresy - that would give a lot of new meaning to the Dabneys allowing Memphis to restore St. Louis - almost a Latin Empire of Constantinople parallel.
*Baileys, not Dabneys. Regardless, that wouldn't explain why the Supervisory has yet to be restored - it's been a long time since the rebuilding of St. Louis. Perhaps the District Supervisor feld during Evangelical uprising, then the state was destroyed by Cowboys, and the Supervisor has been living in exile in Baltimore and the US is reluctant to formally return him for... reasons?

Which relates to another idea I had: the eastern states of the Union are still represented in the Senate (though not in the House since elections can only be held in US territory logistically), but the US is able to operate independently because it effectively controls the senatorial votes of the Western states - after all, a state's senators are irrevocable. Even if that state has fallen to Cowboy hordes or follows Scientology it still gets represented in the Senate, but by US-appointed senators.
 

tehskyman

Banned
Personally I was thinking that it was pure politics. The same reasons why Iowa and Minneapolis haven't been restored but Halifax Fredericton and Charlottetown do.
 
Territory Distinction

tehskyman

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

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

<Geographical area> Territory is a land taken from cowboys/ was once cowboy territory. Has been converted to Non-Denom and is awaiting ascension to statehood.
 
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Might it just work better if we assume White forgot Jefferson City? There’s nothing on the site to suggest he planned to have a heresy in Missouri, and the usage of the term “State” puts it more in common with the Non-Denom states than with the New Israelites - I just don’t see a suggestion that the state is meant to be anything other than Non-Denom, nor a reason that Jefferson City would be excluded rather than any other state capital (Madison being a glaring example of this).

On a similar subject, I think Cairo, Illinois should be represented as, at least, a 25,000+ city. It sits at the junction of White’s two biggest trade routes, the Mississippi and the Ohio, and is in a state which controls multiple “wheat” resources (and very fertile land) making supporting a city of such size possible.
 

tehskyman

Banned
Might it just work better if we assume White forgot Jefferson City? There’s nothing on the site to suggest he planned to have a heresy in Missouri, and the usage of the term “State” puts it more in common with the Non-Denom states than with the New Israelites - I just don’t see a suggestion that the state is meant to be anything other than Non-Denom, nor a reason that Jefferson City would be excluded rather than any other state capital (Madison being a glaring example of this).

On a similar subject, I think Cairo, Illinois should be represented as, at least, a 25,000+ city. It sits at the junction of White’s two biggest trade routes, the Mississippi and the Ohio, and is in a state which controls multiple “wheat” resources (and very fertile land) making supporting a city of such size possible.

It probably wouldn't exist where Cairo currently exists, that location would get flooded every spring. It would probably be on the bluffs to the east and there is a town there called Wickliffe
 
It probably wouldn't exist where Cairo currently exists, that location would get flooded every spring. It would probably be on the bluffs to the east and there is a town there called Wickliffe

Makes sense; either way, I don’t a population center not existing in that general area, given it’s stellar location for both trade and food production.
 
The Toledo Road

tehskyman

Banned
The Toledo Road

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

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

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

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

The road itself is nothing fancy. Upon first glace it looks to be just a path of flattened earth. However, when the road was being constructed, a small army of serfs were pounding the ground for days at a time until the earth was as hard as rock and water would not wash it away. Over the past 180 years since it's completion the road has not deteriorated because every spring, the Master of Roads and his Interstate Department will go out and patch up the road where needed returning to each section of the road every 5-6 years. Furthermore, in the southernmost section, from Cincinnati to Dayton, the road is as Robert envisioned it, wide enough for 20 lancers to ride abreast.
 
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I’ve written up an entry on Missouri which assumes that Jefferson City is the seat of a District Supervisor. If that absolutely doesn’t work I can remove it, but I really think it makes more sense to assume that such a religious figure does exist.
 
I’ve written up an entry on Missouri which assumes that Jefferson City is the seat of a District Supervisor. If that absolutely doesn’t work I can remove it, but I really think it makes more sense to assume that such a religious figure does exist.
I think it's a fine assumption. Emphasize that it was only restored quasi-recently since Missouri was only restored quasi-recently.
 
The State of Missouri
The State of Missouri
Missouri_final.jpg

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

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

History of Missouri

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

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

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

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

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

Missourian Society and Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Missourian Cowboys

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

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

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


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

tehskyman

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, just like that, Vegas collapsed.

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

 
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