Medieval America Mark III

Laskan Orthodox Church
  • The Laskan Orthodox Church

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    The primary church of the Laskans is, surprisingly, the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church always hadan unusally large following in Alaska, a tradition dating all the way back to its colonial Russian past. When the world began regressing, the Orthodox church was prepared: after all, the entire organizational and liturgical structure of the Church came about during the Middle Ages, as opposed to those pussy post-Renaissance Protestants. Using its organized network across Laska, the different Orthodox churches coordinated their efforts, and worked to ensure their hegemony over the whole of the land. The local Catholic Churches quickly reconciled, ending the schism, but most of the Protestant churches were slower to do so. From Joono, the center of the Orthodox church, they either convinced them, forced them, or got a friendly local leader to burn them down. Eventually, thanks primarily to the conversion of most of the leaders of the first Great Raid, Orthodoxy was the number one religion in Laska.

    As it turned out, Orthodoxy lent itself quite well to the slowly developing folklore of polytheism and ancestor-worship. Orthodox icons, considered holy and said to be capable of working miracles, were already halfway to being idols. As Laskans began building totems and fetishes and idols themselves, many were simply called "Icons", blessed by the local priest, and they were free to sacrifice chickens to it.

    The Orthodox Church also ministers quite extensively in the wastes beyond Laska, among the Athabaskans and Inuit of Eskimoland. The common folk generally consider them heretics, unfaithful devil-worshipers that only put on the trappings of faith when, ironically, the average "Eskimo" is far more true to the Church's teachings than the average Laskan. While the Eskimos are perhaps more open about the non-traditional aspects of their Orthodoxy, which does incorporate a lot of Native beliefs, they are still generally more faithful.

    The Church is loosely organized, but is theoretically governed by the Laskan Patriarch in the Joono St. Nicholas Cathedral, which has been vastly expanded from its original pre-Regression form. The Church moved to Joono as the Regression began, hoping that by moving to the state capital, it would be easier to spread their control across the state. It is difficult for the Patriarch to issue direct control over most of his priests, since they are often located in isolated locales, giving local priests a good degree of leeway that they have certainly taken advantage of.

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    The Holy Church of St. Nicholas as it stands today

    Generally, Orthodoxy is not too hostile towards other religion. This is in part due to necessity- after all, they don't just have their own pagan populace to deal with: trade with the Buddhists of the Pacific Northwest and the Scientologists of California is one of the only things keeping them afloat. Buddhism has even made inroads, especially on Graham Island and the city-state of Kechikan, with smaller colonies spread throughout the Alzandar Archipelago. Though these converts and colonials have been excommunicated by the Orthodox Church, they still consider themselves Christian, seeing Buddhism as an addition, not a subtraction.

    The Church has been getting less and less strict about canonization, with most of the heroes of Laskan history being accepted in. There have been several periods of iconoclasty, when the church (mainly in Joono, which is the center of the church and home to the the Laskan Patriarch) has tried to crack down on the "folk-saints", superstitions and idolatry, but this is always met with hostility by the common folk of Laska. Only time will tell how far the Orthodox Church will allow the Laskan people to fall into the pit of polytheism and sin- will it go down with them, a slave to cultural and economic reality, or attempt a glorious crusade upon the Laskan people?
     
    Here There Be Monsters: The Brine Giants
  • Here There Be Monsters: The Brine Giants
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    The Great Salt Lake of Deseret is one of the most barren ecosystems in America. Barely anything can live in this warm and thick body of water except a few brine shrimp which seem like mere specks compared to many creatures of the ocean. The people of Deseret however disagree. Their cities have thrived by this inner sea and where cities thrive, myths form. There are legends of beings great and powerful that swim in these waters. Tales and stories range from the lake containing the body of Joseph Smith to it being the very gateway to hell. Yet no myth has been stranger than the brine giants.

    There is a tale that the deserts of North America were once covered by an entire ocean with islands dotting the sea. The people would often fish trout that could swallow two men whole from these waters. However, the people of the islands became greedy and sinful. They would murder for the sheer sport of it and give none of their riches to charity. This angered god who lowered the oceans until the islands that they stood upon became mountains. In this new world, the rains never came and they depended on the lakes for survival. And when that was not enough to stop their sinful behavior, god made the lakes saltier than the very oceans they used to fish on. While the Church of Mormon does not believe this tale to be true, a Deseret man will usually cry "Your water is salt in the eyes of god!" to someone they don't like.

    Yet, within this myth lies another stranger myth that you will often find Salt Lakers speaking about. The legend goes that there used to be gigantic fish within the former Sea of America. And when God shrunk the oceans, he took pity on these magnificent creatures and brought them to the Salt Lake. However, there was no food within the lake except for the hardy brine fish. God, told them to use their mouths as vacuums to suck in the water and catch as much shrimp as possible. The only price was that they were to worship God like the humans did. Without the ability to pray, they would leap out of the water during holy days to show their praise of god.

    As the societies of Medieval America began to thaw, they sent warriors further and further into the unknown. The Casadians began to act more benevolent to the Deseret raiding parties and would not enslave them as long as they renounced Mormonism and converted to Buddhism. Thanks to their hardiness, they were often invited to travel long treks towards the Pacific shoreline. Much to their surprise, giant beasts inhabited the waters that would jump out of the ocean only the splash back in. The only difference between the giants and the humpback whales were the fact that all whales were air breathing creatures. Other than that, the shape of the fins and body were spot on.

    This was not the only time empires have had similar myths. In fact, the Dark Wizard Vader was prominent in both Californian and Casadian cultures. Much like the Jersey Devil and Jackalope, these extremely similar legends would remain mysteries for many years to come.
     
    Yellowstone (Western Montana)
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Yellowstone (Western Montana)

    Whilst this region was once part of the state of Montana, the eastern part of this state has become cowboy territory. Now a days Montana refers a fairly nebulous region bounded by the Milk river to the north, the Absaroka and Bighorn Mountains to the south , the Rocky Mountains to the West and is west of Dakota, wherever the boundary between the two lands is. This is generally agreed as about halfway between the Yellowstone and Missouri River.

    What was once Yellowstone National Park is now a forest home to monsters galore, and Yellowstone now refers to confusing maze of mountains, streams and drylands of western Montana.


    This land had great mineral wealth, sparking various gold and gemstone rushes and nowadays Deseret has set up various colonies in the region to be able to mine and extract these valuable resources. These colonies are far away from Salt Lake City and Deserti patrols rarely if ever visit some of the furthest flung ones. But as long as the gold wagons arrive in Pocatello unmolested then Deseret does not care about what goes on. This has caused these colonies to become de facto independent states. This should give Deseret cause for worry because some of these states like Flathead and Missoula have been converted to Buddhism by wandering monks as well as ethnically Mormon converts. It opens up another front against Deseret and heaven knows that Deseret needs more enemies.

    However most colonies remain Mormon, though the form of Mormonism they practice can be fairly divergent. The divergence comes from their isolation from Salt Lake and the influence from pagans, herdsmen and buddhists. However in recent years, ever since the reconquest of the Mormon homeland, the faith has come more in line with the dogma preached by the priests in Salt Lake. This is because the old mainline faith died with the destruction of the Temple. The new mainline faith grew from the various Mormon divergences of the Hilljack and Great Basin Mormon tribes. Also, with the reemergence of the temple in Salt Lake, preachers and soldiers wander these hills and keep the colonies in line, religiously and politically.
     
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    The Laskan Republic
  • The Laskan Republic

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    • System of Government: Clan-Based Feudalism
    • Head of State: President, selected by linear descent
    • Population: 150,000
    • Religion: Laskan Orthodoxy
    • Totemic Symbol: Kodiak Bear
    There was a time when Ankrage got the short end of the stick in Alaskan politics. Denied capital status despite being by far the largest and most metropolitan of the Alaskan cities, Ankrage was denied the influence over state affairs that were its god-given right. But the fall of civilization would grant it its place in the sun.

    An excellent port, not divided into hundreds of tiny islands that would prove impossible to be managed, and with access to Laska's greatest farmland, it quickly established itself as a true power when nearly every other city in Laska was either starving to death or devolved to the status of minor city-state.

    When the Great Coldspell of the Year 300 struck, it was Laskan warriors that took initiative- one warrior in particular, a half-Eskimo named Alan Holt. Converting their fishing fleets for the purposes of war, the sailed from village to village, compelling people to either join the great War-Fleet, or be looted themselves. The Lasan Raiders nearly exterminated the people of coastal British Columbia, and sailed into the Puget Sound, putting the coastal cities to the torch. The ships made it as far south as San Francisco, where they siezed all the gold in the Federal Reserve Bank. Planting the Alaskan flag, their ships loaded with food, booty and thralls, they returned home.

    While it looked as if Laska was sure to dominated the entire region at that point, it was not to be. Laska is too large and disjointed to be centrally administered. Most local towns and communities declared independence when old Alan Holt died, including Joono which proclaimed the "State of Alaska", with the blessing of the Orthodox church. Most of the Alzandar Archipelago came under their grasp, making them a strong bulwark against Ankrage.

    Ankrage declared the Republic of Laska, focusing more heavily on colonization than control of pre-existing communities. It was Ankragemen that settled the coasts of British Columbia and Graham Island, that settled Kodiak and the Alaskan Peninsula, even establishing a few outpost on Kamatchka.

    With the rise of the Buddhist merchants in the Alzandar Arhcipelago, the fates of Joono have turned significantly south, with Ankrage swooping in to pick up the slack, getting many communities under its wing.
     
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    Ostar, the Rabbit king of Spring
  • Ostar: The Rabbit King of Spring
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    In the Holy Church of Saint Nicholas, there are dozens of men, women, and children hard at work. With their knives, they cut at the hard and brittle pine wood to create many idols each one stranger than the last. To the people of Laska, they are known as elvens or the shop workers. At a very young age, they tested for their eyesight so they may cut the finest of details on their strange toys. Only the best of the best will be picked to craft such marvelous playthings. The church will give out these idols during holy days such as Christmas, Halloween, or Pentecost. However, one of the most strangest holidays may be the day of Ostar.

    The day of Ostar marks the day Saint Nicholas brought greens to the frozen land. The legend says that many, many years before the Regression, Laska was even more frozen than it was today. In fact, the world was so cold, much of the sea became ice which allowed Laska to connect to the far western islands. The only reason the saint did not travel on this land bridge is because it was a dangerous land filled with pagans and heretics. These heretics would often raid the first settlers of Alaska, burning down their huts and taking the children. It is said that they used enormous hairy beasts with large noses and tusks for their livestock and steeds. Saint Nicholas prayed to God for a solution and God gave him an answer.

    The very next day, the saint ordered all of the townsfolk to collect seven eggs of the ptarmigan and their finest jewelry. He then headed to the forge to melt all of their jewelry into molten gold and gems. When the precious stones were warm enough, he covered the eggs of the ptarmigan with the molten concoction and wrapped them in cloth. After placing the eggs in a circle, a large bunny wearing a crown upon its head burst from the center of the pattern.

    Saint Nicolas then said to the bunny, "Hear us oh lord of nature and blossom. Accept these gifts for these are people hungry and kind. They have never seen a flower bloom or the sun warm their bodies. We require warmth and farmland to fight our oppressors. Please Ostar, king and sovereign of the rabbits. We beg for you to be kind and caring."

    Ostar collected the eggs and then traveled back into his burrow. As the days slowly passed, spring returned to the land bringing joy and prosperity. Two weeks after the rabbit lord's visit, Saint Nicholas ordered his people to travel west to where the raiders once lived. Much to the people's surprise, the home of the raiders was flooded with ocean water. There were no more heretics to raid their villages after the rising sea drowned the homes of the pagans. However, the frost has returned to Laska once again. Crops and farms have failed to grow and the people now live in fear of starvation. Now, they pray to Ostar and Saint Nick to bring back the warmth of the sun. Soon, their prayers shall be answered as the ice sheets will shrink and the land of Laska will prosper once more
     
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    Victoria Island and the Fractured Coast
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Victoria Island and the Fractured Coast

    From Ketchikan to Cambell River at the tip of the Strait of Georgia lies a labyrinthine coast. Bisected by mountains and fjords this land is a confusing mess. Ever since it was nearly purged of people by Adam Holt and his vast warband 600 years ago this land has been a blank slate for people to impose their will upon it. And impose they have. Groups from surrounding lands have settled here and prospered off of the lush rainforest and bountiful sea. Native Americans from over the mountains, Laskans from the North and Cascadians from the South come together, to produce a wonderfully chaotic mess of a country. The rainy climate leads to dense forests harvested for their timber as well as fields which feed countless villages and towns. The rich waters also enable the land to carry a greater population than otherwise would be possible.

    Victoria Island

    Once upon a time this Island was named Vancouver, so was a city, in fact so were two cities, neither of which were on this island. For the people of the new medieval Age this became confusing. If the main city on this island is called Victoria, a city state named Vancouver is across the sea and a town named Vancouver is several hundred kilometers away and is just a suburb of Portland, why are we calling this island Vancouver? It definitely makes more sense to call it Victoria Island and so it was.

    Victoria Island has many valleys and a warm climate as well as deep long harbors stretching into the interior. These harbors are home to various Cascadian colonies turned semi-independent town states. Alberni, Cold Harbor, Nanaimo, Campbell River and Cowichan all crowd onto the island. Occasionally these towns will send troops to interfere with the squabbles of the city states. Sometimes they can get lucky and get some concessions/influence from the larger city states. Usually though the towns are under the thumb of other city states. Because of the long infuence of the Cascadian merchants and the relatively close proximity, most people are Buddhist. The island used to be more religiously diverse. But they weren't expecting the Holy Orders.

    The Fractured Coast

    The coast of British Columbia was cut by many deep and long fjords and countless smaller ones. Most of the major ones will have a colony or two at their head especially if the valleys beyond the fjord cut through the mountains to the interior. These colonies allow Cascadian merchants to trade with interior tribes, providing metal and various luxuries in exchange for minerals and furs. Bella Coola, Arrandale and Osland are islands of Cascadia in a sea of barbarism.

    Outside of the colonies, hundreds of small villages live off the land and sea. South of the Johnstone Strait is much more Cascadian in nature, meaning that pretty much everyone is a Bhuddist. But north of the strait, all the way to Ketchikan is a mess of Laskan Orthodoxy, Cascadian Buddhism and Interior Paganism. These villages are in competition for land and piety. These tensions mean that petty wars and micro genocides happen every year. However as the influence of the Cascadians grow here and in the Alzandar Islands, more and more are converting to Bhuddism. Soon Cascadia will begin at Yakutat bay.
     
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    The Devil’s Flock
  • The Devil’s Flock

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    When men from the east arrived on the shores of America, they brought four legged beasts that could carry a man on it’s back. They brought faceless snakes that burrowed in the dirt and made the soil rich. The people who had lived on these lands for hundreds of years were met with a barrage of unusual beasts. A citizen of the Mayan empire could not purchase a goat for a few coins and the plains people had to rely on their legs to catch their food. However, man became careless and brought alien creatures to these virgin lands. Fish with mouths like a viper, serpents that could swallow a man whole, and plants that clogged the waterways. But the most horrifying beast had a brown shaggy coat and no arms.

    There are many tales about how the devil’s flock came to be. Some say that they were man-made abominations after a Heretic wizard attempted to reshape the body of a roadrunner. Others say that the old republic imported a million of them from a desert island off the coast of California. The more religious men and women of America state that God felt that the regression was not enough so he sent a walking plague on earth. While their origin shall remain a mystery to them, we all know that they are a threat to farmers, cities, and kingdoms alike.

    However, the devil’s flock are not comprised of demons, warriors, ghouls, or monsters from another dimension. In reality, they are simply animals that were born on this world, were raised on this world, and will die on this world. From a long distance, an individual flock member will resemble a tall and dark man. Their appearance was probably the origin of the western skinwalkers which are giant hairy men that live in the desert. Up close, you can clearly see that they are birds giving them the name of the Devil’s Flock.

    Unlike the falcon or hawk, these birds possess very very small wings due the the size of their bodies. Much like their physique, their talons are quite large and are a dangerous weapon when combined with their powerful kicks. Their long and flexible necks also allow them to reach the highest branches and feast upon the smallest of grasses. This allows the birds to grow about 5 feet in height, taller than many of the peasants today. Despite their shaggy coats, they thrive in the American deserts and do not mind bathing in shallow ponds. While one of these birds may be a nuisance, fifty of them are considered to be a menace to society.

    For years, these strange beasts have lived happily in the wild west. The New Agers would often associate these creatures with famine, drought, and disease. This superstition was mainly due to the fact that these birds were opportunists and an opportunist will eat what it can get. The farms of New Mexico have been raided by these shaggy bipedal monsters for many years. Not even the pharaohs of California were safe from this mysterious creature. Governor Thomas Cruise the Eight famously tried domesticating these birds to fight against the Nevadan savages. All attempts ended with the emus breaking out of the ranches and attacking the innocent farmers.

    During the olden times, the emus were mainly restricted to the dry deserts of lands far away. Travelers said that they would often raid farms consisting of corn, wheat, barley, and sunflowers. In order to show off to their mates, they would jump up and down while swinging their heads back and forth. The locals would often refer to these beaked oddities as emus. Little did they know, the descendants of the travelers would see enough of them to last a lifetime. As the droughts of 400 struck our great continent, the emu population began to dwindle. In an attempt to find new food, thousands of them fled east to the farmlands.

    They ravaged the gardens and villages leaving behind wounded farmers. The kings and kingdoms were not very pleased about this so they began to look for a solution. About two hundred and fifty years ago, Governor Lucas Bartholomew Johnson of Arkansas declared war against these beasts and tried to push them into the deserts where they came from. About two hundred and fifty years later, the devil’s flock has only become more bloodthirsty.

    If you were to offer a small dog to an emu from the west, they would merely ignore it it. However, if you were to offer it to an easterner, they would smash the blood and bowels out of the poor canine while mercilessly pecking at it’s face. Observers have compared these new emus to the bandit clans as they are always lead by a stronger individual with a bit of black plumage on his head. It appears that mankind’s savage nature has imprinted itself onto the emus. Over two centuries of war have hardwired their minds to exterminate all threats to the flock. As the kingdoms of the east attempt to exterminate this foul pest, one must ask himself. What is mankind but merely another part of the food chain?
     
    (Non-Canon) Artifacts
  • Artifacts


    Glassware

    In medieval America, glassblowing was one of the few pre-Regression arts to not be lost in the following centuries. Glass objects could serve a practical function as well as have any aesthetic appeal. Though even the crudely-made glass items made in the post-Regression world can only be afforded by the upper crust, as the peasants had to make do with pottery or copper drinking glasses. The highest members of society prize specimens of pre-Regression glassware for their personal use. The few intact specimens of pre-Regression drink bottles are often used as the noble's prized drinking glasses, especially those with the pre-Regression labels still in legible condition. Even, broken pre-regression glass is often used in the construction of the windows of high ranking officials' houses. Pre-Regression glassware is extremely expensive and rare considering how much of it was destroyed in the Regression and the centuries following it.

    Electronics

    Examples of the lost Pre-Regression art form of "elektronics" are highly prized by the powerful in societies all across the continent. Items such as strange handheld devices that are said to have gifted pre-Regression people with the ability to speak people across the continent, strange boxes that gifted pre-Regression people with the ability to see shows as if they were there in the flesh, wondrous computing machines that were said to gift the pre-Regression user with access to a library with an unfathomable amount of information, and strange goggles that are said to immerse the pre-Regression user in an incredibly lifelike illusion for the purpose of some form of recreation. These astounding artifacts, though non-functional, are still prized possessions of the nobles who own them, as many hold on to the hope that the magic that made them operate them would return and bestow the blessings of the artifact upon them.

    Firearms

    Virtually nobody in the post-Regression world knows how to produce gunpowder for weapons. The examples of Pre-Regression handheld firearms are only a curiosity at most in virtually every Post-Regression state. A bayoneted rifle is, after all, nothing more than a short spear in the Post-Regression world. Ironically the vintage rifles used by Pre-Regression historical reenactment groups are more effective in this task than their more modern counterparts. At least one Post-Regression leader as had a Pre-Regression rifle melted down and reforged as a sword in a misguided attempt to imbue its deadly abilities into the blade.

    PS: Just me wondering how the medieval Americans would perceive Pre-Regression artifacts.
     
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    The Wheeled Warriors of the Wastes
  • The Wheeled Warriors of the Wastes
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    The cold spell was a curse for many. It killed crops, wiped out animals, and killed thousands of men and women. However, it was a blessing for many others. As rain came back to the deserts of the west, forests grew and villages thrived. However, areas like the Chihuahuan Desert only received a slight increase in rainfall. While the forests around them began to grow, many of the nomads were unaware about the droughts and harvests that happened around them. However, they began to use the expanding forests to good use and created strange wooden machines.

    Tales of the early collapse were mostly about men riding metal machines through the barren wasteland. However, metal turns to rust and the fuel for these metal machines became harder to find. So mankind turned to the beasts of the world for guidance. But just like man and his machines, the creatures that man tamed had their limits. They required more food and water than your Uncle Joe and would die in the extreme cold or heat. This was the case for the the Chihuahuan desert who had lands so barren, not even the horse arches would think about raiding it. With no horse and no cattle, the Chihuahuas picked up their tools and created something new.

    The people would take long walks up the ‘sky islands’ which had large and bountiful forests on their peaks. The trees that grew upon these mountains held the leaves and wood that created their homes. Yet wood was not the deserts only gift for you will spot prickly pears and mormon tea in these drylands. However, the mountain's resources did not last forever and forcing people to once again, roam the lowlands. It was clear that the people of Chihuahua would need a new form of transport that would not only minimize exhaustion, but also allow them to deliver loads that a man could not carry on his own. The vehicle was an odd wooden structure that was known as the kickbike or the ruedaleta.

    As you know, metal is much too expensive for something so frivolous in the middle ages especially for a nomad. That is why all kickbikes are created from the wood harvested from the mountain trees. Many could also argue that a wooden chain is far too fragile for something that is used so frequently. That is why the kickbikes are not pedal-powered but powered by one kicking the ground of with his or her foot. The closest thing we have to a kickbike is a large knee scooter with a cart attached to the front. By balancing your body, you can waste much less energy than running especially in the hot summers.

    The people of Chihuahua mostly used this as a vehicle that could carry around light loads. The kickbikes were also much faster than your brother Jimmy carrying around a cart all day. These were very useful for the nomads that lived in places where the horse and the camel was rare. It was also much easier to chase down your prey if you didn’t carry all of your weapons on your back. The stray cattle population was hardly affected by the mexican wolves and the increased rainfall only allowed its numbers to grow. This was good news for the desert men that found a new way to bring the hides, meat, and bones back to base camp.

    As the years passed, the kickbike found another place in Chihuahuan society, warfare. When the warrior cultures declared war upon each other, the kickbike was used to send messages from camp to camp. No longer would a messenger suffer the fate of Pheidippides by dying only minutes after completing his or her mission. However, they also sent scouts that could travel long distances and spy on enemy tribes and report back to the elders. Smoke messengers could send signals from far away to alert the tribe whether or not they found food.

    Mobile infantry now existed thanks to these vehicles and these military kickbikes were usually ridden by two people. The person in the back would usually be the one to power and steer the vehicle while the person in the front would shoot arrows or throw knives at their unsuspecting victims. Several modifications have been made to this machine such as adding daggers, shields, or spikes in order to wound your enemies. While some horses did roam the southern deserts, it was the ruedaleta that allowed the nomads to prosper.
     
    The Cascadian Lama
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    The Cascadian Lama

    Perched on a mountain overlooking the Cispus and Cowlitz Rivers lies the Taidna Palace so named after the mountain upon which it lies. Originally consisting of just a single hall and a short pagoda tower, after earthquakes and hundreds of years, is now a sprawling fortress monastery complex of great halls, pagodas, courtyards and gates. It's location is particularly holy because of the views afforded to the palace, three of the holiest peaks in Cascadia; Rainer, St Ellens and Adams. Furthermore, whenever the volcanoes emit purifying ash, it usually falls upon these hills, cleansing the palace and it's inhabitants.

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    Purifying Ash about to be wet and slathered over the body of a pilgrim


    The palace itself contrasts with the landscape. Its blood reds, pure whites and golden yellows standing out against the deep forest green and bright blue sky. Pilgrims come here to take part in purifying rituals in full view of the high Mountains. The palace is full of druids, praying for good harvests and bountiful fish as well as studying the creation around them, praising the holy lands that surround them. The Lama lives here all year round, venturing out only for important druidic conclaves.


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    The Taidna Palace


    The Cascadian Lama can afford such a large palace and the maintenance required to keep it standing from offerings that pilgrims leave, as well as tithes from the merchant families. Officially most of this money is supposed to go to supporting the poor and much of the money does, but how is the Lama supposed to lead a life as prominent religious figure without skimming a bit off the top? Furthermore, go without paying your tithe and the Lama might brand you as a polluter and defiler of mother Earth. But pay the tithes required of you as a good Buddhist, and the Lama will grant you gifts and approve your environmentalist credentials.

    The Lama, as the head of the Druids is able to direct the druids with specific edicts. However though, due to the spread out nature of the druidic order, most edicts are only obeyed when issued at great druidic conclaves. In fact it was one of these great conclaves where Lama Ellenia the 2nd, issued the Eastern Purification Edict, ordering the destruction of infidels in the Columbian Basin with a crusade.

    When Lamas die, druids from across the world will gather at Taidna and choose a new Lama to lead them. In order to choose a lama a process is followed beginning 9 months after the death of the old lama. Prior to their death, the lama will have stated a city in the Buddhist world where he shall be reincarnated. 9 months after his death all the babies born in the intervening 9 months in that region are gathered. The babies are placed in the middle of a circle of chairs. One of these chairs was the old lama's. If the child is able to crawl to the correct chair and then stay in front of that chair for a sufficient length of time, they are then deemed the new Lama and will be raised in accordance to their title.

    However with the growing size of the buddhist world and the invariable problems arising from separating a newborn from their (usually peasant) family meant that the druids went back and reanalyzed the scripture. They determined that they had misread the literature and instead, they had to choose from an orphan child placed in the care of the holy orders and various monasteries, who was of the right age. The reasoning being that, all other children could not be the next Lama, they were born into families that wanted them, their lives are defined by their families and social class.

    However orphans given to various holy bodies were fated to be abandoned, they were to be given to the earth. This makes their fates blank slates/ destined to be holy, and thus are the right vessels for the spirit of the Lama. And if their bodies do not host the Lama's spirit, they serve as druids and monks spreading the original word and greening the world.

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    The young Lama being carried by a temple Druid during his 5th birthday. Their grey robes evoke the purifying ash of the volcanoes.
     
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    Hilljacks
  • Hilljacks

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    Despite its reputation, Mormonism is by no means limited to Utah. About 57 percent of Mormons reside outside of the United States and, within the nation itself, congregations exist from Florida to Alaska. But the state with by far the greatest Mormon presence (after Utah of course) was, undoubtedly, Idaho, home to over 400,000 adherents in a state of 1.65 million.

    When the Regression came, these folks were just as ready as their more southerly brothers to use the regression to empower the faith, taking advantage of their relatively high group cohesion and history of surviving through adversity. High growth rates meant they spread fast. First, up and down the fertile Snake River valley into the Columbia basin (which they would dominate until the Columbian Crusade), and then into the hills of northern Idaho and Eastern Wyoming.

    These Mormon settlers, despite their large numbers, came into contentious conflict with non-Mormon locals who followed their local quasi-polythesitic mystical pseudo-Christianity common across some of the more uncivilized regions of America post-Regression. Just as much as the Mormons and the Gentiles fought each other, however, they also melded, with Mormon missionary practices succeeding in gaining converts to bring the hillclans in to the greater Mormon fold. With them, however, the Hillclans would bring their unique cultural outlook, morphing Mormonism into something the potentates of Salt Lake would find barely recognizable.

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    To the Idahoans, the term "Hilljack" was applied, Jack being an ancient term for a Mormon who had drifted from the faith. The Hilljack clans are most prominent today in the lawless wilds of Idaho, which remains ungoverned by Utah beyond of the Snake River. Here, they fight with the wandering Samurai of Columbia, often launching raids into the border regions, and providing forces for the Deserti army on occasion. They range from Columbia to Yellowstone, and are always ready to fight.
     
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    Stakes of Deseret: Wyoming & Foreign Relations
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Stakes of Deseret: Wyoming

    After the Mormons retook Salt Lake City and crushed Yaeger resistance to their conquests, Deseret reconquered their empire over the span of fifteen years. Along the way they had to defend against the Pallisters, the nomad tribe that destroyed the bulk of the Yaeger armies for the mormons. Once they were done with the core of their old empire, they set their eyes on the Pallister lands. Late in the fall a great army marched over the Wasatch and into Wyoming, retracing the path that the Yaegers had taken all those years ago.

    In the Battle of Fort Bridger, the Mormon army ambushed the Pallisters as they prepared to disperse for the winter. Caught unaware, the Mormons were able to decimate the nomad army and kill their chief and many of his eldest kin. In the spring they set out again and conquered the rest of Wyoming , converting the willing, slaughtering the resistance and taking the women and children as wives and slaves. In order to govern this vast plain they used a Mormon convert, married all of his daughters to Mormons and took his sons as hostages.

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    Fort Bridger, where 5000 Mormon Fanatics ambushed 7000 Pallisters and sacrificed them to God as thanks for the return of Salt Lake City to Mormondom

    That was over a century ago. The nomads have been converted or driven off. Colonists and settled nomads have begun to farm the valleys around the Green, Wind and Bighorn Rivers. There are still nomads living on the plains, you can't farm on them, but they are firmly Mormonized and kept in check, vassals of Salt Lake City. And Casper grows.

    Casper


    If you looked down on Casper (or Casver as the Easterners like to call it) from nearby Casper Mountain, you'd see a sea of teepees and wagons surrounding a small stone fort. Casper grows two to three fold in the winter as cowboys from the surrounding area bunker down for the winter and butcher their animals to sell to Desereti and Eastern Merchants. They trade for wood, metal and other civilized goods in exchange for their best animals, dead or alive.

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    A typical mormon fort late into the spring. Most nomads have left the area. All that is left are those abandoned by their tribes.

    Because of its distance from Salt Lake City, Casper is could have been completely lawless. However nowadays it is firmly under Mormon control. The Mormon Eastern Legion has a strong presence here. Their headquarters are located about a days ride outside the city, on the shoulder of Casper Mountain. This doesn't mean that Mormon laws are necessarily followed. The Legion is seldom around the city. Usually it is out defending from or raiding non-mormon herdsmen. This means that inside the fort, administrators and Mormon Templars try their best to keep order in the tent slums surrounding the walls. They send patrols out to try and curb the spread of the many brothels, speakeasy's and drug dens across the tent sea. It's no use. Shut an establishment down and they'll just pack up the tent and be back within the year. They don't call it the Vegas on the Platte for nothing.

    Over the last 100 years or so Casper has grown. Initially, on the eve of the death of the Yaeger Clan it was almost nothing more than a fort/trading post with the fort having fallen into disrepair during that time. However since it has come under the control of the State of Deseret, the stability and protection provided by the Mormon legions has allowed the city to grow. Merchants feel more comfortable here on the banks of the Platte rather than having to deviate from the river to the Black hills to trade with the cowboys.

    Closer to the fort, wooden buildings go up, signifying that more and more people are settling in for the long haul. Alongside the migration from various tribes and colonists, the city's population growth is also fueled by a more humane version of the herdsman tradition of scapegoating. At the end of every winter, many tribes choose to abandon their unwanted here, sometimes leaving them a horse and or some supplies, often times with nothing but the clothes on their back. Invariably this means that unwed pregnant daughters and excess sons invariably find their way here. Mormon and Midwestern Traders also send their second sons here to set up merchant trading houses to facilitate trades. You might even be able to find the occasional Southerner, Cascadian and Californian here.
    Alfred_Jacob_Miller_-_Interior_of_Fort_Laramie_-_Walters_371940150.jpg

    Looking inside Fort Casper

    Foreign Relations

    Colorado

    Unlike the stake of Utah, Wyoming does not have the canyonlands of Eastern Utah separating it from the mountains and valleys of Colorado and the Islamic states contained within. Because of their small size and the geographical barriers of the Colorado mountains these nations are an afterthought on the minds of most generals in both Deseret, New Mexico and on the Plains. However if and when war (glorified skirmishes) happen between these superpowers, the empires will pay tribute to the states to harass and harangue the other side.

    The Herdsmen

    The primary people bordering the Stake of Wyoming, the presence of the Eastern Mormon Legion keeps the Cowboys at bay and the nomads, subject to the authority of the president. However with the mormization of the wyoming nomads (Yomingite) , the risk they pose to Salt Lake City has been reduced. Reduced, not removed. They are loyal subjects only as far as the Legion is willing to keep them in line. With the conversion comes religious tensions with the New Israelite cowboys. Raids across the border happen nearly every month. It doesn't help that there are little to no natural borders in this part of North America. Even with the raids, it rarely escalates beyond stealing livestock and women, sometimes people die. However both sides are well aware of the fact that war would happen if Casper or the Black Hills were to be molested by either side.

    Even with this tension, extensive trading occurs between the Mormons and the Herdsmen. The Herdsmen need salt in their diet and nomads from as far as Alberta will travel to Casper to sell their cattle for precious salt. Better to buy it direct from the Mormons than pay for the Eastron markup. They also need wood and the Mormons have more than enough for the Herdsmen to make their wagons and tent frames out of. In exchange for these goods and more, the Mormons buy cattle and horses from the nomads in huge amounts.

    Alfred_Jacob_Miller_-_Prairie_Scene_-_Mirage_-_Walters_371940149.jpg

    Driving Cattle to Casper. Notice the short javelins many men are holding. This is in addition to their bow and arrows for which the Herdsmen are so widely known.
     
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    Here There Be Monsters: Skinwalkers
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Here there be Monsters: The Skinwalker

    In the deserts of North America, ancient tales are passed around the campfire of things that roam the desert at night. There are many names for these man-beasts; skin walker, yee naaldlooshii, skin changer, fleshgait and manbeasts. They are powerful shamans who have chosen a dark path and walk among ordinary men in the daylight. Normally Shamans use their powers for good through healing and spiritual guidance as well as conversing with the gods. However a shaman who chooses to become a skinchanger must walk a path of darkness and great evil.

    It is said that in order for one to become a skin walker, they must perform a corrupted form of the sacred rituals. Normally the rituals start with an animal sacrifice to the gods on a full moon, where good spirits of the desert will grant some their power to the shaman. However the skinwalker ritual is performed in a new moon, where dark spirits rise from the sands and with the sacrifice of a close family member, allow the skinchanger to now take a single hybrid animal form. This is usually a coyote or wolf, though ravens, goats, cougars and owls are also said to occur. With repeated sacrifices, the skinchanger will be able to take on additional forms until their spirit is so corrupted they become an animal forever.

    To ward off skin walkers, the people of the desert wear holy talismans and pendants. Usually made of various crystals and blessed materials and shaped into a 3 fingered claw that will ward skinwalkers and evil spirits alike.

    In fear of encountering a skinwalker and all the dangers of the nocturnal desert, tribes people will not venture into the desert at night. It is cold and dangerous for little reward. Many a story exists of a Dineh or Mormon army crossing the desert only to go completely missing. The farmers scratch their heads and wonder what went wrong but the tribesmen know, the skin walkers attacked and destroyed the men for daring to cross their territory without adequate protection.

    The skinwalker stories are not commonly known outside of the desert wanderers. They fear that the foreigners that hear their stories may be skinwalkers in human form. You can never be certain.

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    A skinwalker roaming the Nevadan Desert

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    Here There Be Monsters: The Sasquatch
  • Here There Be Monsters: The Sasquatch

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    The woods north of San Francisco are vast. If you ask a member of the peasantry, he may well say that it is endless- of course, this is not precisely true. The vast forests come to an end when they meet the deserts of Beelem and the mountains of Cascadia, with the occasional oasis (like Eurkea, Klamath or Rogue) amidst the endless forests. These are the Jeffsin Marches, and for many in California, they mark the end of the world.

    Countless foul beasts and savage races are side to roam these woods. There are, of course, the Jeffsinites, the indigenous race of this land who stand starkly opposed to both the Cascadians and the Californians. There are the ranging Beelemites with their mustang caravans, wandering Jedi and Druids, and even the tribes of Jewish shepherds who fled in the Exodus following the attempts by Governor Cruse IV, to enslave them to build his vast mausoleum.

    But there are fouler things afoot in these woods, according to the people of California. Chief among them is the vile Sasquatch- a beast in the guise of a man, standing on two feet, seven feet tall, all wooly hair and sharp, gnashing teeth. It is said these are the worst of the pagans of Jeffsin, who have accrued so many Thetans that they have turned into the very basest of man's components. The Sasquatch is feared across California and Jeffsin. It is the worst fear of every young Californian recruit to encounter a Sasquatch during the lonely patrols amid the Redwoods of Eureka.

    Dietrich_im_Kampf_mit_dem_Wilden_Mann%252C_Stuttgart_um_1470.jpg


    Not all peoples have such a negative view of the Sasquatch, however.

    In Cascadia, where Californians whisper Sasquatches wander the streets freely, the Sasquatch is to be celebrated. While yes, there are many Sasquatches in the Jeffsin Marches, it is said that there are Squatches in every forest, that they are the natural protectors of the environment. While they are still wild, and there are good and bad Sasquatches, they are generally beloved, with many hoping that their children are born in the "Year of the Sasquatch", the ninth of the Cascadian Zodiac.

    Theories abound as to the origin of the Sasquatch among the learned men of Eugene and the Free Zone. Some say that they are merely cultural caricatures of the uncouth hillfolk of Jeffsin. Others suggest they are the result of a San Francisco menagerie that freed countless apes into the wilds of the north during the tumult of the regression. Others, however, say they've always been here: they were here even before the white race stepped foot on these shores, untold millenia ago. Before even the arrival of antique Indians, the Sasquatch walked the wilderness. They say that the Sasquatch has always been here, and they will continue to be here long after mankind has disappeared...
     
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    The Cowboy Messiah
  • The Cowboy Messiah

    To the Hillians, he will be the great unifier, a boy born in the shadow of the Black Hills who shall one day be the sixth of the carved men (the fifth being Crazy Horse). For the Sioux, he shall rise again, reborn to a virgin in sacred Sioux Falls, who will part the Missouri as Moses did the Red Sea, and lead the Sioux to glory-- first against the Rosebud, then the world. The Danvurs believe he will restore their ancient metropolis to them, and drive out the Mohammedian Amorites. The Andersons say he will once again lead their people in uniting all of the plains, and then lead the Kingdom of New Israel to usher in the Millenial Kingdom. The Okies say he will vanquish the Andersons. And the Rizzinis say he will be the Great Stallion that Bestrides the World, and lead their clan to total victory.

    It is no secret that the New Testament has been marginalized in Cowboy culture. Though not forgotten by a long shot, the tales of the Old Testament are given far more prominence by the New Israelite, with its folksy day-to-day tips on how to handle whores and witches. The world of Medieval America is harsh, with many tribulations. Thus, the people of the Plains need that old-time religion. The Revival Preachers generally refer to the Old Testament, the Judges almost universally look to Israelite law.

    With this emphasis on the Old Testament, some are rather miffed at Christ's actions in the New Testament. I mean, sure, he promised to bring war, condemned the rich, and brought blessings to his people, but at the same time, he was a pansy. He let the Romans and the unfaithful walk all over him, and then he got himself crucified. He was surely not the Messiah, the Son of Man as described in the Old Testament.

    Not only has this resulted in several bloody stories being attributed to Jesus, but some quite detailed belief about the time of Revelation, and what Christ will do when he returns. Of course, this varies greatly from tribe to tribe-- most believe he will be reborn into a Cowboy clan, that he will wield a Revolver as man once did, and that he will bring glory. But for who, no one can say for certain, and every tribe is inclined to believe he will be born unto them, and takes a strangely high amount of concern in local issues.

    All clans and tribes agree on one point, however: The Son of Man shall smite the sinners, and surely he shall return soon.

    But wait-- do you see it? A new star in the sky, burning bright over the Black Hills. Of course, in reality it is no star at all-- simply a satellite whose solar panels havebeen turned to reflect light back at the earth. But that's not what matters: what matters is the thousands of pregnant women, from beggars to the wives of Great Chiefs, riding for Mount Rushmore.

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    Stakes of Deseret: Idaho
  • tehskyman

    Banned
    Stakes of Deseret: Idaho

    ** Pictures will be added later **


    For Deseret Idaho is a blessing and a curse. Rich Farmland, yet frequently populated by hostiles. Valuable trade passes through it, but the same geography that enables this trade enables foriegn invaders. A source of power, for the central authority as well as any upstart provincial governor who wants to become president himself. A core of the empire and yet a frontier at the same time.

    For the last point, it was not always this way. Idaho was once far from enemies, nestled deep inside it's mountain home. At the beginning of the new Medieval Ages, Mormons were well prepared. They spread out from Utah, displacing, converting and conquering those that stood in their way. At the height of Mormon power in the west, Idaho was at the very core of Mormondom, far from the gentile hordes. Occasionally an upstart general or provincial governor would topple the ruling family and replace it with their own but overall the empire remained intact. That is until the the Columbian Crusade and the Yaeger invasion that followed. Gentiles started settling the depopulated land and it took many years to remove/convert them when the Mormons regained power.

    Before then, Idaho was surrounded by Mormon states and Mormon tribes. Even now that is still partially the case. Mormon tribes wander the wastes of Beelem, Nevada and the mountain,s but every year Buddhist incursions increase. Skirmishes to the north mean Mormon Legions now patrol the Sawtooth Mountains and the Yellowstone colonies. Mormon horsemen must now raid Buddhist Beelemites to keep them at bay. Forts in the Blue Mountains from both sides are found burnt to the ground, the soldiers vanishing into the wilderness. There is an air of tension and Idaho is in a state of armed readiness.

    Boise

    A mere 100miles from the border with Columbia, Boise is the home of the bulwark against the Buddhists. The Mormon Northwestern Legion makes it's headquarters here, in a fortress just outside of the city boundaries. The Boisfort is an impressive stone fortress, the central keep dominating the city skyline alongside the local Mormon temple. Boise's proximity to Columbia also means that this is where Desereti and Cascadian merchants trade goods. Inevitably among these merchants are Jedi, Druids and other Cascadian spies seeking to spread their vile heresy and destabilize the nation. And so, unlike most Desereti towns and cities, Boise is policed directly by the Northwestern Legion rather than a city guard.

    Even with all the tensions, trade continues to flow between Cascadia and Deseret. Salt and other goods are simply too precious to part with and so Merchants continue to ply their wares in the markets of Boise. However Boise is the end of the line for poorer Cascadian merchants. In order to continue on to Pocatello, merchants must travel as part of a convoy, guarded by Mormon riders and pay for the "protection" that these riders provide. To travel alone as a foreigner means risking at the very least, being branded and ejected from the country. Punishments escalate all the way to torture and death for Jedi and Druids. These policies came from an incident that happened 25 years ago when the heir to Columbia, Douglas Lang and his Jedi and Druid companions journeyed through Deseret. They traveled under the guise of merchants in order to avoid detection before they reached their destination, Wyoming. Once they reached Wyoming, they attempted to convince the nomads to rebel, so as to create the chaos needed for a Second Columbian Crusade. This plot only failed when the nomad chief betrayed Douglas and his companions to the commander of the Mormon Eastern Legion. The Cascadians were promptly rounded up, marched back to Salt Lake City where they were publicly humiliated and killed.

    Before this however, all merchants were free to travel without restriction. Even now, travelers approaching from the East are afforded this privilege albeit, they must still pay tolls in Soda Springs. It is just travelers coming from west of Boise that are subject to these restrictions. In spite of the convoy system, merchants continue to travel to Salt Lake city to make money.

    Pocatello

    Pocatello lies at the terminus of the North-South Salt Road and it's intersection with the East-West Mountain Road. Because of this, it is the largest collection of various western cultures with Cascadian godswoods alongside Mormon temples, a Non-Denom Cathedral and New Israelite churches.

    Pocatello's size comes from 3 factors.
    One; Eastern merchants who wish to travel to Salt Lake City to buy salt and fabled Mormon ceramics usually take a detour for fresh supplies.
    Two; Western merchants must pass through Pocatello on their way to Salt Lake city.
    Three; Pocatello is not tolled.
    South of Pocatello, there lie Malad Pass. The Salt Road goes through this pass and Fort Bannock lies astride the road. The tolls mean that many traders choose not to go onto Salt Lake City and barter instead in Pocatello. However, the prospect of the wealth that can be made in Salt Lake means that a slim majority to a large plurality of traders continue onward.

    Pocatello is also where most Eastron merchants trade with Californian and Cascadian merchants. There is little reason for both parties to detour to Salt Lake City to do their trade.
    And so Pocatello grows with the money that trade brings. Whenever war interrupts the trade routes, Pocatello starves and many travel south to Salt Lake to make a living.

    Foreign Relations

    Cascadia

    Relations with Cascadia are at an all time low right now. Both sides hate each other and this is the reason why Idaho is so militarized at the present moment. Although trade still occurs, it is diminishing slowly as Cascadian merchants start trading with California over Deseret. The border is mountainous and soldiers on both sides are inexperienced in that kind of terrain. As such raids and mountain forts are manned by Hilljack Auxiliaries. Likewise with Cascadian forts. These are filled with auxiliaries from Jeffsin and the mountains north of Columbia. Raiding back and forth endlessly in the wilds of Oregon and Idaho

    Hilljacks

    Most Hilljacks are loyal to the President in Salt Lake City. They serve as auxiliaries in the Desereti Army as well as raid Columbia from the safety of their mountain home. However with Jedi incursions into the forests as well as Hilljack conversions to Buddhism, Hilljacks are now fighting off threats from within and without. Mormon Auxiliaries and soldiers often venture into the mountains to establish fortresses and raid the other side.

    Beelem

    Using Wyomite Nomads who converted to Mormonism, Deseret holds off Buddhist Beelemites. Although occasionally they might be able to break through and raid Idaho itself, usually the fighting is limited to Beelem itself. With Wyoming filling up with colonists from Utah and Idaho, Nomads settling down and the population growth that comes from peace, Wyomites have begun driving their herds across Deseret to settle in Beelem. All done with the blessing of the president in Salt Lake City of course.

    Yellowstone

    Former colonies of the Desreti Empire, before the Yaeger Interregnum, these areas were solidly under the control of Deseret. When the Yaegers smashed the power of the Desereti Legions, these colonies broke off. Some of them have converted to gentile religions and relations with them have soured. However these were the farthest colonies anyways and so their loss was not a huge deal. With the remaining colonies they are used to their independence from Salt Lake city, but ever since the Empire was retaken with their help the President and his legions have paid more attention to this corner of the Mormon world. With an increasing military presence their autonomy has been seriously reduced. They are essentially another Stake in the empire and it is only a matter of time before this becomes formalized
     
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    (Semi-Canon) The Knights of Kuklos
  • 240px-KKK.svg.png

    The Knights of Kuklos

    In the far lands of Texarkana, strange men with masks of while cloth roam the deserts. Their horses too wear the cloth to hide their faces and display a bright red badge containing a cross and a flame. These men speak tales of brave warriors marching across the far continent of America seeking purity and retribution. While they may be weak alone, amongst their brothers from lands afar, they are strong. They unite under the sword and shield to protect those in need. For honor and glory, they fight for they are the Knights of Kuklos.

    Thousands of years ago, the great Regression saw many regions across America descend into chaos. One of these regions was the deep south. While originally, a dangerous land of outlaws and maniacs, the Regression transformed it into a dangerous land of outlaws and maniacs. Looters scoured the land in search of food, water, or jewelry. In order to end the chaos and destruction, a group of 3,000 men and women united together in order to protect the weak and the needy. However, they despised the rural Africans, Amerinds, and Asians that lived amongst them and used the chaos to their advantage. Together, they enslaved swathes of minorities under the cross and flag and burned the dissidents that rose up at stake.

    They worked with the slave-kingdoms and warlords to ensure that a rebellious worker would be taken care of quickly and silently. They watched over the slum-ghettos filled with filthy inferiors and worked with the highborn men to guard their territory with every drop of blood. In reward, they would be handed a sack of gold or be given a healthy piece of farmland where the old knights would live out the rest of their days. As the years passed, they eventually found themselves in a new situation. The idea of self-segregation became less popular with the new generation with interracial marriage experiencing massive booms.

    Eventually, the idea of a whites only government became less popular as the kings and queens hired inferiors as their most trusted military advisers. During the 26th Century, Colonel Jimmy Duval of the Red River Territory and bastard of former colonel began to acknowledge his African roots. Soon, many began to follow advising the highborn to distance themselves from the knights. Eventually, they were forced to make a decision: abandon their racist traditions or continue their customs losing land and money in the process. The decision was not hard.

    Grand Dragon Symington of the Cross and Flame officially declared the unity of minorities and the majority to open a door to a brighter future. Black men now carried the swastika with their white brothers and Hispanics could wear the white cloth with pride instead of shame. However, they still hung tightly to their conservative Christian roots and would not allow a drop of hard drink to fall upon their tongues. They regarded the Santa Muerte cults and Voodoo Empires with a healthy amount of distaste and suspicion. All in all, they were the same type of group except it kept everyone on the bottom and a larger membership.

    Four hundred years have passed since the decision was made and things have begun to slowly go downhill. The Wizards and Dragons have grown corrupt and greedy only using the Bible to keep their troops and workers loyal. The idea of death before honor has begun to fade along the the traditions and values that they held for hundreds of years. However, there are still bright-eyed and idealistic knights who fight for honor and duty for it is their ancestors who began THE BIRTH OF A NATION.
     
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    (Non-Canon) Midwesens
  • I've noticed that the Atlas has virtually nothing about cultures in the Upper Mississippi River Valley (that is, from the Twin Cities, MN to Cairo, Illinois along the river). This confuses me, as it's a large area full of arable land in a section of the river roughly as long as the Nile in Egypt and much wider in terms of land that can be farmed, which means this place is going to be populated and important on a similar level to, say, Germany. I'll call these people Miwesens for now (as they'd consider themselves Midwesterners), though if anyone has a better name I'm all ears.

    AVA%20Boundary.JPG


    This is at the very edge of the Great Plains, so it may be we want to wait to fully flesh it out, but I have a few ideas I'd like to throw out there and see what others think of them. For starters, I think Midwes, populated as it is by richer, educated farmers of German descent would be the perfect region to retain much of their religions- rather than some cult or old religion revived, the Midwesens would be Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian, or perhaps some united religion combining the three (however, it could just as likely go in the opposite direction, with a general related Protestant Christianity but thousands of individual sects). This Protestant Christianity would be much harsher than the modern liberal attitude, but would also gain elements of a culture of hospitality.

    Agriculture would obviously dominate, with cities being based off the trade and production of various cereal crops. This probably creates a relatively stratified society, with the people who control the most land having the most power. However, any peasant farmer who works on a good piece of land (i.e. most of the region) would be able to live a good life and rarely starve. The relatively short growing season means a long winter, but with the amount of farming going on food storage will solve that issue. This region will be difficult to invade in Winter, as will be internal wars.

    The Midwesens remind me a little of the Rus. They will not be nomadic, but will be very familiar with nomadic peoples, and probably still spend a decent chunk of their lives on horses. Sometimes they may suffer from nomadic conquests, though more than likely nomadic raiding will be focused on taking their foodstuffs and wealth in the fall, not conquest. Playing nomads against each other much like the Rus did is to be expected, as would a local ruler paying tribute to the cowboys so they either leave them alone or attack one of their enemies.

    They'd also have an interesting relationship with the people to the south; trade will flow down the Mississippi River after all. A United Kingdom of the Midwes will have a lot of resource to call upon and could surround itself by "tributary" nomadic states (like the Chinese, they may end up paying more to their tributaries than the other way around), dependent Northern States (I want to get to them later, they would be important and have natural resources) and vassal Southern States/conquests.

    These are just a couple of ideas I'm spitballing. I want to make sure this region isn't ignored like it was in the original.
     
    Colorodo
  • Colorodo

    AfganistanWarPaintings08.jpg

    Aspen, the largest settlement in the region

    The land makes the man. This is a platitude that holds true on the vast and ungovernable Great Plains, it's true of the harsh winters of Laska, it's true of the accommodating weather of California, and it certainly holds true for the mountain valleys of the land known as Colorodo.

    Granted, the environment of Colorodo is perhaps not the worst in America. That honor would likely be bestowed upon Laska, the Great Basin or Sianola. True, it is very dry, but not the driest, and true, it can be very cold, but it is not the driest, not the coldest. What sets Colorodo apart from the rest of America is its terrain. High in the Rockies, the land is a fractured patchworks of valleys and glens, rivers and canyons, with mountains only inhabited by the hardiest of the mountain tribes. In many ways, it resembles the terrain of Afghanistan.

    So, if it is the land that makes the men, what manner of man is the Colorodoan?

    latest


    The Colorodoans are a wild race, living in pueblo dwellings in valleys in cliff sides, harping back to the ancient Native inhabitants of the region. Unlike those first natives, they are not hunter-gatherers, at least not by the by: rather, they are subsistence farmers and shepherds primarily, and raiders when the opportunity presents itself. Ethnically, they are "white", with a not-insignificant amount of Latino, Native American, and Arab admixture, though they most closely resemble the Desereti.

    Despite this filial resemblance, they have little else in common. Practically all tribes are "common-sense" Christians - that is to say, vaguely Christian with a massive amount of syncreticism and abiblical nonsense. The degree to which a tribe incorporates Mormon, New Age, New Israelite or Islamic belief varies with their distance to the peoples that practice those belief. But, to be a true blue Colorodoan, you cannot identify with any of these groups over your identity as a Christian, and a Colorodoan.

    Colorodo sits at an intersection between worlds. To the north and west, the upright and serious Mormons march in their legions. To the south, the New Age loonbags and the vast empire of New Mexico. To the east, the Muslims of "Islamistan", and the Cowboys beyond. The Colorodoan identity is built upon their opposition and dislike of all outsider - the Mormon interlopers and missionaries, the water-grubbing Dineh, the thieving Cowboys, and worst of all the Muslims who, in their earliest days, stole the richest country of Colorodo in their Great Jihads.

    Their is no "Colorodoan state", no central organizing body or set of concords. People dwell in small villages and hamlets on the basis of kin and clan. Generally, they have a sheriff as their big-man, who is normally the baddest warrior in town. Of the villages, the only one of any particular note is Aspen, home to the eponymous Aspen clan.

    Aside from shepherding, raiding and farming, there is a minor minor industry in the gold, coal and silver of the mountains. But, all of these pale in comparison to the one central industry of the Colorodan Rockies: drugs.

    poppy.jpg

    A poppy field near the border with Kuluradu

    Just as in the mountains of the Kashmir, cannabis and poppies grow remarkably well. When the choice is given to a Colorodoan between growing a small surplus of corn or to be able to sell an enormously valuable cash crop, the choice is clear. Of course, opinions vary in the surrounding states as to this practice: though the Mormons have grown more lax on alcohol, marijuana is highly illegal, and opiates result in the death penalty. The Kuluradi will not tolerate its consumption within their borders, but they will happily allow it to be trafficked through their territory, by and large. The Pacific Northwest and, more majorly, New Mexico are welcome consumers, both believing it has some bearing on achieving enlightenment.

    The Sheriff of Aspen is moving to consolidate the opioid trade under his control, with Dineh backing. All the while, the Desereti march their soldiers to the border.
     
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