The State of Missouri 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.