Medieval America Mark III

There’d still be some small communities living around the edges of the yawning pit that swallowed the city. The more heavily-urbanized core of Las Vegas and the Strip would be where the undermining would be the most profitable. More to salvage in those areas. Plus the former Vegasites have nowhere to go. Not to mention the various small towns in former Clark County that could support small remnant communities.
 
There’d still be some small communities living around the edges of the yawning pit that swallowed the city. The more heavily-urbanized core of Las Vegas and the Strip would be where the undermining would be the most profitable. More to salvage in those areas. Plus the former Vegasites have nowhere to go. Not to mention the various small towns in former Clark County that could support small remnant communities.
I'm going to go the full diaspora route. The people won't want to stay, they'll see it as cursed, not to mention that there just isn't that much water. The newly ascendant Nevadan herdsmen won't want them nearby, either. And any ground water replinishment was reduced over the past centuries. Most of the survivors either end up enslaved or as a voluntary diaspora. The Californians allow the House claimant (one of the survivors of the battle) to establish a small state for the diaspora around Reno.
 
I'm going to go the full diaspora route. The people won't want to stay, they'll see it as cursed, not to mention that there just isn't that much water. The newly ascendant Nevadan herdsmen won't want them nearby, either. And any ground water replinishment was reduced over the past centuries. Most of the survivors either end up enslaved or as a voluntary diaspora. The Californians allow the House claimant (one of the survivors of the battle) to establish a small state for the diaspora around Reno.

Fair enough. The aftermath of the collapse could be the next chapter of the Lost Vegas saga. The beginnings of the diaspora, their new reputation as being cursed, and the House claimant establishing Reno as a rump Vegasite state would be a fitting conclusion to the story.
 
Fair enough. The aftermath of the collapse could be the next chapter of the Lost Vegas saga. The beginnings of the diaspora, their new reputation as being cursed, and the House claimant establishing Reno as a rump Vegasite state would be a fitting conclusion to the story.
That was the plan.
 
That was the plan.

Maybe the Lady Luck religion manages to survive, in some reduced form at least, in Reno since survivors are glad to have survived the collapse of the city and managed to find a new home for themselves. It'd just be ironic if it survived sans the sinfulness that the faith had in Vegas. This isn't like the modern day where disasters cause the loss of faith. It's a world where terrible events cause people to cling onto whatever faith they can.
 
Maybe the Lady Luck religion manages to survive, in some reduced form at least, in Reno since survivors are glad to have survived the collapse of the city and managed to find a new home for themselves. It'd just be ironic if it survived sans the sinfulness that the faith had in Vegas. This isn't like the modern day where disasters cause the loss of faith. It's a world where terrible events cause people to cling onto whatever faith they can.
Yeah, I'm picturing something similar to the Babylonian Talmud emerging - they still believe in Lady Luck, but believe they were too sinful and stretching their luck too much.
 
Yeah, I'm picturing something similar to the Babylonian Talmud emerging - they still believe in Lady Luck, but believe they were too sinful and stretching their luck too much.

The pre-collapse Vegasite view of Lady Luck and the Odds was that she'd always be there to help worshippers. That, needless to say, lead to arrogance since the Odds were ever in their favor. It also stands to reason that such arrogance would crumble when what would seem like a literal act of Lady Luck struck them down for their hubris. So now instead of impulsively going ahead with whatever crazy plan they have, worshippers of Lady Luck carefully weigh the possible consequences of their actions. This might result in quite a few Lady Luck worshippers in Reno suffering from some form of anxiety as a result since all possible consequences for an action, no matter how unlikely, need to be at least considered.
 

tehskyman

Banned
The pre-collapse Vegasite view of Lady Luck and the Odds was that she'd always be there to help worshippers. That, needless to say, lead to arrogance since the Odds were ever in their favor. It also stands to reason that such arrogance would crumble when what would seem like a literal act of Lady Luck struck them down for their hubris. So now instead of impulsively going ahead with whatever crazy plan they have, worshippers of Lady Luck carefully weigh the possible consequences of their actions. This might result in quite a few Lady Luck worshippers in Reno suffering from some form of anxiety as a result since all possible consequences for an action, no matter how unlikely, need to be at least considered.

Maybe a shift from lady luck into being a two.faced god like Janus from Greek mythology.
 
Maybe a shift from lady luck into being a two.faced god like Janus from Greek mythology.

Like having Lady Luck have a benevolent side and a vindictive side? I’m imaging two-faced coins like a certain DC villain would be popular. As well as having the icons of Lady Luck be two-faced like that same DC villain.
 

tehskyman

Banned
Like having Lady Luck have a benevolent side and a vindictive side? I’m imaging two-faced coins like a certain DC villain would be popular. As well as having the icons of Lady Luck be two-faced like that same DC villain.

I don't think that people would remember Two-Face by this point but the imagery would be similar.
 
Incomplete Map of California

Antaeus

Banned
Ban
Made a map of western California. Doesn't match up entirely with what's being done here since it's part of a separate project but I feel it would still find a place here.

I will next be working on the Southern Great Command, followed by the Centre, North, East and finally Socal.

However, I would like to know what would be the best base map for a detailed map encompassing all of the USA + Canada (including the rest of North America if possible) since the base map I'm using at the moment is the Socialist Atlas of the World's California-Nevada map.
 
Well we have our first ban...

I can only presume he was a sock. Shame, he made a good map.
I think it's a shame how many engaged users we lose from this. I don't know what he did to get banned at first but it seems like he isn't doing anything wrong now.
 
Transoceanic Contact: East Asia and the Pacific Northwest

tehskyman

Banned
Transoceanic Contact: East Asia and the Pacific Northwest

In the industrial era, transoceanic contact between the Americas and the rest of the world was largely dismissed, outside of the first European explorers and the Vikings. However, with the presence of sea-faring cultures like the Polynesians and the oceanic currents the way that they are, the notion that noone ever crossed from East Asia to North America is ridiculous.

In the new medieval era, Japanese fishermen will occasionally be swept out to sea and if they manage to survive the journey, will land on the shores of the Pacific Northwest or California. In either case, if they're lucky, a passing merchant ship will discover them or they'll find some friendly tribes who might take them in. If those fishermen manage to learn the language then they might entertain the courts of California or the Pacific Northwest. In the case of the Bhuddists ,the fishermen are particularly valued for what is seen as their origin from the Bhuddist homelands. In all cases though, they are not able to return to their homelands, though many remark on the climactic similarities of Cascadia to Japan. The knowledge on how to return to East Asia is fuzzy and the dangers and costs too great.

However, there are people who maintain a very low volume yet high value trade route from Cascadia to East Asia across the northern shore of the Pacific Ocean, a nearly 7000km one way trip. Most goods making their way to Asia from North America will find their way to Victoria where the sea borne trade to and from the Salish sea congregates in its harbor. From there merchants will often sign a contract to ensure sufficient food and water for their ships at designated stations all the way north. The contract signed is usually with the Order of the Orca who own inns and warehouses in many Cascadian harbors and designated trade outposts/forts further north. The Order itself was founded by the various merchant guilds of the Salish sea to prevent conflict in the already dangerous passage north. Those merchant guilds went to war 2 decades later but the Order survived and has remained neutral ever since. The Order doesn't prevent conflict, but it does provide for the sailors of Cascadia, convert and attack pagans assuring a neutral and safe place for sailors to stay and eat.

From Victoria ships will sail in short hops from port to port. The itinerary generally goes, Victoria, Sturdies Bay, Nanaimo, Courtenay to Campbell River. Beyond Campbell River lies the Johnstone Strait, a narrow passage separating Victoria (Vancouver) island from the mainland.

JohnstoneStrait.PNG

The views along the Inside passage

Ships will stock up for 3 days of sailing and past the strait will make it to Port McNeil and past that to Port Hardy. The remainder of the route is referred to as the Inside passage, sheltered from the storms and waves of the Pacific by various islands. The vast majority of the route is wild ,though the tribal villages are peaceful enough that sailors will often find a place to anchor and stay. Various merchant ships will begin to turn away from the path north, instead traveling up the fjords of the Fractured Coast, trading with the tribes for various pelts and wild goods. From Port Arthur, the next stop is Ketchikan and further north, Alaska. Most Cascadian ships will travel no further, the maze of islands and sounds too much for them to handle. Trade goods continue though and will make it to Juneau. Here goods making their way to Asia will change hands once again. Travelling from Juneau to Anchorage is fairly difficult as the protection that the maze of islands has provided so far is lost and ships are now sailing between the open sea and the coast. Merchants will pass snow covered mountains and vast glaciers.


Yakutat Bay at the peak of summer

Anchorage is the last town before total wilderness. From Victoria the journey here will have taken about 2 or 3 months. Goods here will exchange hands yet another time for beyond Anchorage are the Aleutians. The Aleutians are well traveled enough that the tribes people are familiar enough with traders and their ships to not immediately attack upon sight. Though calling the vessels which sail these seas ships is a bit generous. At best they might be resemble a long-ship but more often are glorified canoes. And most traders here are not southerners but tribesmen who have journeyed to Anchorage to trade pelts and skins for metal and other tools. As traders travel west ward, the Aleutians grow thinner and the distances between them grow. To reach Attu Island, involves two separate full day open sea trips, a journey only experienced traders will attempt.


The Island of the Four Mountains

Beyond Attu lies a 2 day jump to the Commander Islands, a pair of islands so remote that no human lived there until the industrial age. Then traders will reach Kamchatka where sailing south along the coast will allow them to reach a town formerly known as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, now named after the bay upon which it sits, Avacha. The few goods that have come from North America will change hands again here. These new traders are usually Japanese traders who have come here for the narwhal tusks and exotic pelts that can found here in the north. Those Japanese traders will return to Tokyo by way of the Kurils, island hopping in a fashion very similar to what was done along the Aleutians. However, the Kurils are generally much warmer than the Aleutians and the journey is much more pleasant this way. The Kurils will give way to Hokkaido where traders will refuel on their way back to Tokyo. Prior to the industrial age Hokkaido was populated by the tribal Ainu. However the colonization of the island by agriculturalists has largely tamed the lowlands. The uplands remain wild though.

In almost 1000 years a small number of people, no more than 30 have traveled the entire span. Most of their names have been lost to the sands of history. Though there is a man who has seen the courts of Tokyo and Portland and had his adventures recorded in both. Born in Anchorage as Jonothor Chagulak around 2740 to an Aleut trader and his wife when he was about 10 years old, his father took him on a trade expedition to Kamchatka. The trip went well enough until in Avacha, his father lost so much in a gambling match that he was forced to sell his own son to the winning party to pay off his debts. And so Jon was sold to a Japanese trader couple who valued the boy for his knowledge of the Aleut language. They taught him Japanese and took him in as their adopted son. He traveled with them for about a decade until one winter, the Shogun in Tokyo heard of this man from the far north who could speak Japanese and sent for the traders and Jonothor. There he appeared before the Shogun and became a court favorite. Every winter for the next few years he would appear before the Shogun and regal the court of tales of the North. Word would even trickle over to the Chinese imperial court though Jon would never have the opportunity to make it to China. Eventually the chief scribe of the Japanese emperor would write his stories down in a tome entitled, "The Northern Beyond"

After some time Jonothor would tire of the court life and longed to return to his homeland. That chance came with the death of his adopted mother from sickness. His adopted father died not long after of heartbreak. With this Jon returned north and found some Aleut traders willing to take him back to Alaska. He survived the journey across the Aleutians and made back to Anchorage where he set up a small trading operation of his own and met his wife, whose father was a Cascadian trader. She would convince Jonothor to set up a trade expedition to Cascadia. His expedition would go without a hitch and he would repeat the journey the following year. Word spread of his travels and he told his tales from Vancouver to Olympia. Word of the northerner who lived in the lands across the sea and returned spread to Portland. A scion of the great merchant families wanted to hear his stories in person and arranged for Jon to travel to Portland. In Portland, before an audience of the merchant families and holy orders he relayed his experiences across the ocean and once again became a court favorite. His stories were immediately written down by various scribes in a book called "The Northern Lands and the Nations across the Sea." Jonothor would return to Anchorage where he resumed his trading business. He would die many years later when a storm capsized his ship as he was sailing in the Aleutians.
 
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Lost Vegas, Epilogue: The Wretched of the Earth
Lost Vegas, Epilogue: The Wretched of the Earth



And so it was in the year 2710 that a parlay was called between the surviving forces of California and New Mexico in Boulder City. The two parties agreed that something of great significance had happened here, and that the city of Las Vegas had been cursed and its empire was forfeit. The New Mexicans gained control over most of Vegas’s former empire (excepting the newly independent Bajo Colorado), while the Californians retained clientage over the Nevadans. The surviving population was to be split in half - one half would be transferred as slaves to New Mexico, while the other half would be taken to California. The House claimant, Jackson House, arranged for many of those taken in by California to be free, and gained himself mayorship over New Reno. The city of Las Vegas itself was declared cursed, and the local tribes were empowered to kill any who attempted to enter the crater.

And so it was that the nation of Vegas was destroyed. It would be Vegasite slaves that built the new Phoenix pyramid and the floating gardens of Sacramento. Over the intervening three centuries, however, many slaves both in New Mexico and California would earn their freedom. Some made for New Reno while most others established small communities in their new homelands. A new culture emerged, a diasporic culture built on a history of suffering and slavery. The profound trauma at the heart of post-collapse culture was the question why Lady Luck would abandon her chosen people? Some came to the conclusion that it was because Lady Luck never existed at all, that they had been worshipping false idols and thus punished. These pessimists would convert to the local religions and attempt to integrate, but with little success - prejudice remained harsh against the Vegasites. Forced to adhere to their own community, many searched for new answers within their own cultural tradition.

The exile community in Elay would see the most complete codification of this growing religious consciousness. A group of priestesses and priests sought out the oral records of the faith and what few texts remained to construct the first comprehensive account of the Vegasite faith in what was called the Bookie’s Book, later shortened to the Bookie. Being written in California, the character of the Bookie naturally took much influence from Scientology and its rigid theology, while the exile communities of New Mexico reflected the looseness and mysticism of the New Age. The Bookie recounts the history of Vegas and its people, beginning with its mythological pre-regression origins and then Randall House leading his people out of the desert and out of exile to build a paradise with Lady Luck playing a prominent role all the way through. The role of The Odds are notably reduced, resembling Christian angels moreso then their polytheistic origins if not outright abstract concepts.

The ultimate message taken away form the collected tales (and made clear in the commentaries) by the Angelene School was that history operates on people stretching their luck; transgressions are necessary to progress, but pushing your luck too much is hubristic and angers Lady Luck who will strike you down at your apotheosis. Thus the ultimate virtue was not the hedonistic lifestyle of Vegas’s height but one of careful adherence to traditional, tried-and-true methods of living. Most “risks” that ought to be undertaken are ones that have a long history and complicated rituals surrounding them and constant reverence for The Odds that surround each set of actions, with truly novel risks being vanishingly rare and small-scale. Only so-called “High Rollers”, messianic figures with a personal connection to Lady Luck and The Odds, are qualified to undertake the massive risks needed for the community to move forward. One unfortunate side effect of this new consciousness was a constant sense of dread and indecision that paralyzed many Vegasites.

Angelene Vegasism spread out of the Free Zone into the rest of California where it enjoyed massive success. Priestesses and priests took the Bookie as holy writ despite only being recently written, and commended its compilers as High Rollers. Communities reformed their way of life to live in line with ancient tradition. Slowly but surely, this brand of the religion spread into New Mexico, blending with the New Age influenced Vegasism to for a more mystical interpretation that would still be recognizable to your average Californian Vegasite.

Of course, this religion did not fix all of the Vegasites’ problems; arguably, it made things worse. Already they were widely ostracized by the surrounding communities as “suppressive” or as harbingers of “bad vibes”. Angelene Vegasism made the Vegasites stick to their own people and traditions even more readily then they had before, making them easily identifiable as aliens. Most communities required Vegasites to wear some identifying marker, usually a “V”, embroidered on their clothing at best or branded on their foreheads at worst. Pogroms were common, spurred by stories of the Vegasites’ sinful ways.

These stories were not entirely fictional. While the Vegasites themselves mostly refused to partake in the sinful actions they were famous for, they took no such compunctions about inflicting gambling and sin on non-Vegasites: after all, Vegas had originally grown rich on exploration of foreign foolishness, and the more dumb risks taken by non-Vegasites the better the odds were for the Vegasites to succeed. While the casino-temples themselves had largely relegated actual acts of gambling to rare ceremonies and divination, smaller scale casinos and brothels emerged to service non-Vegasites. Such speakeasies were cracked down on by the authorities, and often prompted pogroms when (usually fictional or exaggerated) stories of murder or sexual impropriety emerged from such establishments.

The free Vegasites became something of a wandering people, going from town to town and country to country. Some would set up shop for several decades at a time, while others lived permanently as nomads. They would offer gambling and divination to locals, and were famed for their skills in money management and risk assessment.

Recently, a new intellectual flowering has occurred among the Vegasites of Kuluradu. The Caliph and the various Emirs invited the Vegasites to settle and join their courts following a new series of persecutions launched by New Mexico. Free from much of their historical baggage and declared (entirely erroneously) “people of the book”, allowing them to develop free and unfettered. They’ve taken on much from Islamic thought, and many have acknowledged that the Abhrahamic God is likely the creator of the universe, but Lady Luck is the mistress of Vegas and its people. The first Vegasite wanderers have made made their way west where they are looked upon with curiosity by the people of the feudal core. Vegasite colonies are known as far north as the Pacific Northwest, with one enterprising patriarch having even set up a gambling den in Kechikan.

As for Vegas itself? The city sits abandoned in its crater as it slowly fills up with sand. Untold riches lie in wait, but New Mexican law holds that any attempt to enter the crater is extremely bad vibes and thus punishable by death, lest one bring the dead city’s curse with it. Vegasites hope to return to their home country, but are explicitly forbidden from settling near the city or even along the Colorado. Most of the kingdom was absorbed directly by Dinetah, while the regions adjacent to the old city have been turned into a client state, run by the former slaves of the vegasites who live in constant terror of the ghosts said to haunt the city. Rumors persist of daemons or troglodytes that wander the streets strewn with the debris of the old city and the new, but they are just that - rumors. The only portion of the new city that remains above ground is a titanic vast pyramid, one of the greatest of the casino-temples that now sits at the edge of the crater on a constantly eroding cliff. One day it too shall collapse and give way to the desert, just as Hoover Dam gave way to two titanic walls of concrete flanking the mighty Colorado.

Vegas may have gone bust long ago, but its champions have started counting their cards. Never forget: no matter how long it may seem to be down, in the end, the House always wins.

 
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Pope-Gallatin County

tehskyman

Banned
Pope-Gallatin County


Where the Mississippi and Ohio rivers meet lie a mess of small autonomous states. Sheltered by the rivers, they remain largely independent from the giants which surround them, the Commonwealth of Mississippi and the Commonwealth of Ohio. This area is a transition area between the Midwestern cultures to the north and Dixie to the south. As you float down the Mississippi from Pope-Gallatin County to Shelby County, the inhabitants transition from largely midwestern in P-G County to far more Dixie in Shelby County.

Pope-Gallatin County

PGCountyFlagSmall.png


System of Government: Feudal Tributary State (Sovereign under the Commonwealth of Ohio)
Head of State:
Sheriff, selected from sons and nephews of ruling Sheriff prior to his death
Population: 800,000
Religion: American Non-Denominational Church
Totemic Symbol: Saluki Dog

Historically, Pope-Gallatin county was primarily a tributary state of the State of Illinois because of it's origins within the State of Illinois. However because of it's proximity to Ohio it also paid tribute and fealty to the Commonwealth of Ohio as well. Balancing the desires of the two states was the greatest challenge for the Sheriff of P-G County as to prevent an aggrieved party from invading and removing any independence it may have had. This exact situation happened once where the Sheriff of then Pope County offended an emissary of the State of Illinois that then governor Peter II led an army to replace the Sheriff of Pope County. The new Sheriff was an elderly man who had only one surviving daughter. To secure her inheritance he betrothed her to the son of his neighbor to the north, the Sheriff of Gallatin County. With that move, their son would hold both titles of Pope and Gallatin County. His grandson would merge the two titles together in order to assert his rights over Evansville and increase his personal power. However since then the Sheriff's power over the merchants of the river has eroded.

Pope-Gallatin County is largely a feudal state but the merchants have immense control of the towns and cities along and south of the Ohio river. It is they who control the ferries across and with this level of influence have carved out free cities for themselves, largely free of influence from the Sheriff though they do pay taxes to the Sheriff for his protection. This is not the situation in Ohio because there it is the president who controls the ferry guilds and he is also not afraid to go to war with some of the more powerful pure merchant states. But in the free areas of Pope-Gallatin County merchants own vast tracts of land where indentured laborers farm the lands for tobacco, cannabis and other cash crops.

During the industrial era, this region of southern Illinois was known as Little Egypt presumably because of the town known as Cairo, at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. That town has long been lost to spring floods but has been rebuilt on higher ground to the south east. The new Cairo is a small yet bustling city of 20,000, servicing traders as they go on their way. P-G county is also home to Evansville, a city of approximately 35,000. During the years of Dabney raids, Evansville remained unscathed because of it's location east of the Wabash and consequently the Wabash Wall. Because of the destruction of St Louis, Evansville grew as a result, taking in many of the merchant houses which had to flee from the cowboy hordes. That drew alot of trade to Evansville and it grew a lot during that time. However, since the reconstruction of St Louis, many of those merchants and the trade they brought with them have left, leaving the city to decline from a peak of 50,000 to it's current population. However, Evansville's population has remained stable for about 2 decades around 35,000 indicating that the decline has largely stopped. Another important city within the borders of Pope-Gallatin county is Paducah, located just downstream from where the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers merge into the Ohio. It has a population of about 15,000.
 
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