Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Flashman, Jun 21, 2017.
I preferred the old flag
A version of the flag with just the hammer-and-sickle could work too. My major issue was that the totemic symbol involved both the halberds and the hammer-and-sickle. That seemed excessive.
for shelby county, i know the concept of "the king" is canon. However, what do you think the role of "the king" would be in shelby county? We've already made the place to out to be a merchant paradise so what is the role of "the king" in government?
Figure head and war leader like in some Native American tribes for chief?
Yeah, the Sheriff is basically just the military leader/figurehead but lets the corporations do as they please.
My idea is that Shelby County's first King was a wealthy and influential merchant who found a book on the old Middle Ages and decided that he liked the idea of kingship. So he decided to use his wealth and influence to get himself crowned. And the coronation ceremony is called "inauguration" instead. Because every time the King dies the merchant nobles gather together and vote in the one with the most power and influence at the time. Sometimes that results in talented ambitious man becoming King, and others it means a man talented at schmoozing and nothing else getting inaugurated as King and being lethally impeached shortly afterward.
Where was a king mentioned? Or o you just mean in the sense of a sovereign?
I thought that he meant someone finding out about the old Middle Ages and deciding he wanted to be a King, but he's talking about someone taking Elvis's nickname more seriously and deciding to follow in his footsteps.
I think I may have been reading a bit too much into what non-canon sources have written. But to feature 2 pictures of elvis must've meant something
Shelby Free County
System of Government: Feudal State with significant input from Mercantile Council
Head of State: Sheriff, selected from sons and nephews of ruling Sheriff prior to his death
Religion: American Non-Denominational Church
Totemic Symbol: Oak Leaf, River Barge and Cotton Boll
On the banks of the Mississippi lies the Free Mercantile County of Shelby, more commonly referred to as just Shelby County. Of all the nations east of the Appalachians, there exists no other except maybe Montgomery County in which the merchant corporations and conglomerates hold more sway over the government. The Sheriff must carefully balance the wishes of the merchants along the banks of the Mississippi and Tennessee rivers as well as his more traditional vassals in the interior.
Here the cotton plantations abound generating sweet sweet profit and wealth for the merchants. These merchants act like vassals to the Sheriff of Shelby County. Instead of a formalized levy and taxation system, the merchants pay for the "private protection" by the Sheriff and can either contribute men or pay extra for "communal protection fee". For the most part neither party interferes in the affairs of the other. Unlike other states where both sides can be in conflict, the Sheriff has co opted the merchants into the feudal system and if any one corporation were to try and disrupt the status quo the others would outright attack them. The mercantile council also advises the Sheriff in many matters of foriegn policy, using the Sheriff to gain favorable trading conditions for themselves and in return attracting tax revenue and paying their taxes to the Sheriff. In almost all other cases though, the merchants settle armed disputes by attacking each other using mercenaries forces in ritualized combat. Instead of actually burning down crops and potentially causing losses on both sides, merchants use a more formal dispute resolution mechanism. They hire mercenaries to duke it out on fighting grounds to hack and slash their way to victory. The mercenary company with the least losses after 2 turns of the hourglass is declared the winner.
This has developed a "healthy" cultures of mercenary companies who base themselves in Memphis, waiting for contracts to come to them. When crusades are called, often times, many of the elite units of those crusades are made up of former Shelby County mercenaries. These mercenary companies also actively recruit from across the South and Midwest, hiring wayward knights and integrating them into their units. Some mercenary companies also invest in the future, taking the toughest and meanest orphans of the cities of the Midwest and Gulf Coast and training them to replace their losses. The mercenaries are often hired by merchants to protect their caravans wherever they may go. Mercenary companies may have up to 50-60% of their members on retainer at any given time, guarding the salt shipments of Oklahoma and Utah, the ubiquitous river barges of the Mississippi or the gulf ships in Louisiana's constant wars with the other naval powers of North America.
The Sheriff however is not powerless against the mercenaries. His lancers, whether on foot or mounted are more than a match for the comparatively lightly armored mercenaries. Hearkening back to the industrial era, he also holds the title of "King of Rock and Roll". In practicality this doesn't mean anything. What is Rock and Roll even? However during battle his helmet has hair mounted to the top. This hair has been covered in resins and oils which sweeps it up and back resembling some swooning bard's fancy hair. Sheriffs are also generally expected to know how to play the lute or some other instrument. If they can't do that, then they'll usually hire a band of bards to keep with tradition. Either the Sheriff himself or his personal musical band will perform for the court a few times a year, recycling classics or very rarely performing a new song.
The mercenaries of Shelby County are despised by President Wallace of Ohio. In 2954, Wallace watched as Shelby County mercenaries overran his brother's personal guard and butchered his brother during a raid along the Michigan border. As President ,Wallace has banned the entry of Shelby County mercenaries into his demesne, punishable by drawing and quartering. Thus far, over 30 have died in this fashion.
@Flashman the link in the table of contents for the state of Ohio is incorrect. It should point here https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...america-mark-iii.419904/page-32#post-18024460
The formatting for the State of West Virginia is also wrong.
State of Florida
System of Government: Loose Secretarial State
Head of State: Governor, selected from sons-in-laws and nephews of ruling Governor prior to his death
Population: 545,000 farmers, 325,000 swamp peoples
Religion: American Non-Denominational Church/ Voodoo
Totemic Symbol: Orange
Prior to the 1900's, Florida was sparsely populated outside of the northern part of the state. It was simply too hot and swampy elsewhere for anything else. As a result, without air conditioning the population has taken a steep decline. Great cities on the coast returning to swamps, mangroves and dunes. In the new Medieval era, most of southern and central Florida has reverted to wilderness, the swamp people living like native tribes did prior to their eradication by the US government.
Outside of the swamps is a narrow strip down the north-central part of the state where agriculture is possible. With orange, sugar and cotton plantations, to a traveler this place doesn't feel much different from Mississippi or Georgia. In fact this part of Florida is essentially southern in nature, where large aristocratic families vie for power among themselves while a mostly ineffectual governor tries to retain what little power remains to him.
In fact the governor is so weak, that de jure and de facto control over the bays of Florida's coasts have been given over to the USA and State of Louisiana. The USA went in and took what they wanted, citing obscure laws about federal privilege. The State of Louisiana used the pogroms of some Voodoo worshipers as pretext to take the Tampa Bay area. And now those two naval super-powers use the bays as bases from which to vie for the Florida Keys and the hyper-valuable trade routes to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Unlike most of the rest of North America where titles and land passed down from father to son, Florida does things the Caribbean way where titles and land are passed down through from father to daughter (technically father to son-in-law) or occasionally from uncle to nephew, if that nephew has shown great potential or leadership. The rest of the country regards this as perverse and weak willed and consequently laugh at pussy-whipped Floridian men.
The impenetrable swamps have allowed legends and myths to form around them based off half-remembered facts of what was once found there during the industrial age. The Magic Kingdom and it's lost capital O'Lando, where animals spoke like men, and women wielded magic as easily as waving a twig. Where heroes like StrongArm and Alldrin rode flaming arrows to the moon and more importantly defeated death itself with the help of a font of eternal youth. Some in the church claim that this was god's kingdom on Earth where others believe that god cast down the city for being devil worshipers. Whatever the truth may be, the ruins of Disni and O'Lando were a great treasure to be found and many a ruler sought the riches and most importantly the waters of eternal youth for themselves. They sent expedition after expedition into the swamps and those expeditions disappeared or returned empty handed. The consensus is that whatever ruins there may have been have vanished into the mists of the swamp like the men who foolishly wander into the mire and searches have largely stopped.
The Florida Keys are a land of constant naval skirmishes and battles. This is where the goods of South and Central america land after taking the short hop across the Straits of Florida. The USA and State of Louisiana, operating out of their bases at Miami and Tampa Bay respectively, jealously protect their own merchant ships and raid the merchant convoys of the other state. All to ensure that their trade route to Havana remains open.
The only states left are Tennessee and whatever Baton Rouge is a part of.
State of Tennisy (Tennessee)
System of Government: Feudal State, currently paying tribute to the Commonwealth of Ohio
Head of State: Governor, selected from sons and nephews of ruling Governor prior to his death
Religion: American Non-Denominational Church
Totemic Symbol: Tobacco Flower
Sandwiched between the Deep South and Midwest, Tennisy has always been a borderland between Yankee and Dixie. In the new medieval age this has held true. At times paying tribute to Ohio as it is now and once paying tribute to Mississippi when it's governor still held sway over the aristocracy. It was during that period that Ohioan lancers and Mississippian knights would fight on opposite sides of Tennisy's numerous succession wars. However, ever since the Alabama Rebellion, the nobles of Mississippi have been far more content to duel among themselves and crusade in Arkansas than concern themselves with northern affairs. For a while Tennisy was able to enlist Illinois' help in keeping Ohio at bay. Later the constant crisis that was the Dabney clan helped distract Ohio as well. Now that Ohio has a relatively peaceful western border it has been able to focus on it's neighbors including Tennisy, harassing them with raids until they agreed to pay tribute.
This region is well known for its tobacco, cheaper than more exotic Cuban or Mexican varieties. Many members of the nobility will have at least a small patch on their estate, making their serfs work the land alongside their rents. Across the feudal heartland many a lancer will smoke some tobacco prior to battle for a momentary boost in energy. This is preferred to cocaine which is frowned upon by the clergy.
As the border between Deep South and Midwest, the religion of Tennisy's peasants has always strayed somewhat from Baltimorian orthodoxy. However, ever since the Masonic Purge in Ohio, the spread of heretical thinking has greatly increased, emboldened by the rejection of centralized power in the church by the power to the north. One particular movement started by an exiled monk named Preston has gained ground across the Tennisy countryside. Prestican preachers condemning Baltimore for its decedence and urging the clergy to live lives of relative poverty travel to villages and ingratiate themselves with the community. Of particular ire to these communities is Tithing Day which has always rubbed poor farmers the wrong way seeing as it falls during the hungriest weeks of the year. Presticans have moved into Appalachia where there is fertile soil for these ideas to take root. Prestican demagogues have even moved into Nashville. Clashes now occur regularly between Presticans and orthodox crowds though these are easily broken up, for now. The supervisor has moved to a manor estate outside of the city just in case though.
Would Buffy the Vampire Slayer get her own religion or mythology?
That's kind of iffy. Certain superheroes like Batman, Superman and Spider-Man survived because they had decades of comics to give them a solid foundation in the new medieval mythos. Buffy only has seven seasons of a medium nobody will be able to use and a couple of years of comics. I don't know if that's enough to give her staying power in the new Middle Ages. And even if she did manage to survive into the "present" her story would've been altered beyond all recognition by that point.
Hey is this project still going on.
It's been hibernating. But you can wake it up if you want.
I've gone through the entire site, the What's Next blog and I am currently going through the first thread (I've reached the crazy Warhammer Turko-Greek Constantinople bit). Maybe once I'm finished, I'll make a post or two.
The Burned Men
The children of California, like children anywhere, can be naughty from time to time. Californian parents, like all parents, tell stories to keep them in line, and if nothing else California is a land of rich stories. There are the Scientologist standards, of course, tales of fiery death in volcanoes. There are the old Hollywood tales that have passed into the cultural consciousness, of killers and the woods and monsters from beyond the stars. Perhaps the most feared spooktales are those of the Burned Men.
Though most would like to think that the Burned men are nothing but legends, they were once very real. During the California Warring period (the so-called ‘Time of Four Governors’), these raiders were among the many that managed to penetrate the Republic’s western frontier and wreak havoc. It was the Burned Men that first struck fear of the Nevadan into the Californian heart when they razed Redding to the ground and its ruling family with it.
It was not just the Californians that learned to fear the Burned Men; all across northern Nevada and into the High Desert, they were reviled and despised. Indeed, savage and civilised alike feared the strange customs of the Burned Men.
The Burned Men originated in the north-eastern corner of Nevada, clinging to edges of the Black Rock Desert. These were offshoots of the New Age movement that emerged in the vortexes of New Mexico and Arizona. They did not heed the calls from the better established communities, instead flocking to an ancient site of pilgrimage. Of course, like many of the forgotten vortexes of the southwest, it quickly became clear that the site chosen was not viable for society. The celebrants instead dispersed to the surrounding canyons and deserts, keeping ties with one another's but for the most part living simple hunter-gatherer lives based around principles of radical inclusion, radical self reliance, and radical self expression.
Then, slowly, tribals throughout northeastern Nevada began disappearing out of nowhere. For the most part after grieving, tribesmen threw up their hands and attributed it to the supernatural. There was some talk of queer sights seen from the edge of the Black Rock Desert, but these were largely dismissed as a fantasy.
How exactly the Burned Men rose is mysterious: New Age clerics wrote of the “Last Burning Man” ceremony after the declaration of the Age of Aquarius, but those same scribes claimed that the people there quickly starved, the survivors mostly melding into the surrounding tribes and imparting little of their (heretical) new age knowledge. Possibly this was just rhetorical, as the scribes also tend to attribute their decline to the gods and spirits. This leaves open the possibility that the beliefs they passed on at least some of their beliefs to the tribes they lived in.
An obscure Oregonian tradition claims that the revival was launched by a New Mexican medicine man called Sunshine Osiris, though no medicine men by that name are recorded in the New Mexican registry. Regardless, it would seem that the tribes around the Black Rock Desert united in a confederacy. they oppossed slavery, sexism, and hierarchies more generally. They attacked neighboring tribes, killing the chiefs, the priests, and the warriors, while offering a choice to the more lowly members of society: to join the radical freedom of the Burned Men, or to be given in offering to their libertine gods in great burning effigies.
Many chose the former, and so the tribe grew and grew, conflicting with the Beelemites at their maximum extent. They stormed the California itself, burning the governor in Redding alive. The tribe was ultimately brought down by a confederation of Nevadan tribes and their own overextension, but few will forget the legend of the Burned Men.
Separate names with a comma.