Medieval America Tk II: Discussion Thread

Right, so for the past month there's been a general agreement that the old 'Medieval America Co-Op Project' had gotten too unwieldy and incohesive, and that a new thread and general reboot of the Project was necessary. Well, this thread is that., a discussion of the Medieval America FH setting conceived by Matt White

First some background: In 2003 Matt White created the Atlas of Medieval America, a look at a post-apocalyptic North America that had regressed to medieval tech levels. Like all of his AH work this was very tongue-in-cheek, with entries like California being ruled by Scientologist Pharaohs and the Deep South being nudist. In spite of this, this was clearly the project he spent the most amount of research and effort on, and it is a shame it was never finished.

Fast foward four years to 2007, and we get this discussion thread on AH.com. Two years later, this blog showed up. All this led to Jord839 creating the Medieval America Co-op Project. The goal was to for AHers to try to create a vibrant world based off of White's framework, the iron-clad rule being "The collapse of civilization should never be discussed."

It was somewhat bumpy in the beginning (at least one now-banned poster constantly tried to wank his entries, another now-banned poster tried to constantly bring his personal views into it, and several posters simply complained that Medieval America wasn't a carbon copy of Medieval Europe), but it was, overall, a success. However, as mentioned above, it was very disorganized, and after roughly a year it was increasingly difficult to keep track of information. Jord839 leaving the board didn't help matters.

In the end, a total reboot was agreed upon, and thus this thread. This is a discussion thread, and so is intended to focus on discussing aspects of the Medieval America world, with a submissions thread for country information to follow if interest is high enough. I hope we can make this as succesful as the previous thread.
 
Huh, thought that intro would look longer. Anyway, here are some discussion topics, and my own ideas on answers:

What caused the Regression?
This won't be answered. Period. Matt White doesn't go into it, Jord839 refused to let it be discussed, and that will continue for this thread.

When was the Regression?
Matt White said the Regression occured 'over 900 years' ago. For the record, I tend to presume the Regression occured in 2012, and the setting itself is in 3000

What is the techlevel
Based on the '900 years' comment, I've assumed the tech is roughly equivalent to the 1300s OTL - this is the High Middle Ages, just before the Renaissance proper. Gunpowder exist largely as entertainment, with some crude use as a seige weapon.
 
Aw, hell yeah. If someone starts this up from scratch, then I won't have to wade through that massive beast of the old thread.
 
Just my personal thoughts on the overall shape of the world. It's quite a big post, but there are quite a lot of thoughts in there. I'd like people's verdict on this, and their input, so everyone can get an idea of what the world is like before we actually start making individual nations; in my opinion, lack of overall structure of the world was what led the old project to become bloated, unwieldy and incomprehensible. This attempts to rectify that. Here goes:

There are a few questions to ask ourselves. Firstly, to what extent, exactly, did we see technology decline, and did it do so in all areas? I can see medicine being more advanced than it was in the Middle Ages; even if we don't have mass production of modern drugs, I can still see a much better knowledge of surgery and the nature of disease than was present in the 'original' Medieval period. Perhaps they even have the knowledge of how to make penicillin, but only in small quantities? Not for everyone, certainly, but the perhaps the court physician can produce some if, say, the heir falls ill.

I also think that sailing and navigating will probably be more advanced. Astronomy won't have been forgotten; we'll still have telescopes, and we'll have very reliable charts. The Americas won't be cut off, but travel between them won't be massive. Trans-Atlantic trade will occur, but Trans-Pacific Trade will be limited, probably to luxury items for the ruling classes of say, the Californian Empire. As for trade around the Mediterrannean, the Indian Ocean, Indonesia or between Japan, China etc, expect it to be huge.

Also; population movements. Whatever caused the apocalypse, it will have caused massive population movements going here there and everywhere. They'll probably be minor states in Siberia that are heavily influenced in cultural terms by Japan or China, and with interbreeding having gone on in the past. Hell, a large Japanese cultural state in Siberia might be more powerful than the hundred squabbling states that Japan proper has.

While obviously we have to keep the world recognisable, we must acknowledge that it will have changed somewhat. We want to keep ethnic groups because otherwise it just becomes another nation game on Shared Worlds. But, these peoples may well have moved. Some languages may have changed drastically; others, not so much (think about modern Icelandic versus Old Icelandic or Old Norse).

As for which political systems have survived, I think that feudal systems will be back, but that democracy may have survived in a few out of the way states. Australia and New Zealand spring to mind, as do Hawaii and Iceland. Other than that, I expect there will be a great deal of city-states run by bankers or merchant families, particularly in Indonesia or on the Med. A sprinkiling of Noble Republics for variety, but not many. A few Monarchies may have some kind of parliament limited to the upper rungs of society. Overall, there will probably be more political thought and philosophy going on, but not much actual action.

As for whether people remember the Regression; I think they will. They reckon that the flood that accompanied the end of the last Ice Age lasted long enough to inspire tales of Noahs Ark and other flood myths around the world. The pre-Regression era will be like a mythical Golden Age; like Medival Europe viewed Rome, but too a far greater degree. Many of their wonders may be ascribed to magic. Tales might still exist, distorted versions of modern history or fiction (LotR, anyone?). As for ancient technology; we could see people going into the ruins of modern cities for ancient artefacts, which will mostly be knick-knacks; not much is going to last the 900 years. Perhaps a few modern guns might have survived somewhere, and be kept around as a 'personal weapon' for a great king, but with no replacement ammo and no knowledge of how to keep it working, it probably won't be used much.

In fact, that just gave me a great idea for a story. A group of adventurers heads into the ruins of an ancient city, and after many troubles, recovers one of these guns at the request of a King or Emperor. They meet with the King to hand it over and get their payment; instead the King tests his new weapon by killing the adventurers. Problem is, he get's so enthusiastic about it he uses up all the ammo for it, and it's just a worthless hunk of metal; and he's killed the guys who might have been able to lead him to more ammo. Everybody loses. Anyone want to write this?

Anyway, I think the fundamental thing is this: While we don't know what caused the Regression, we can, and must, consider what it's short term effects were and what influence that would have had on the time period we're describing. We have to consider population movememnnts, and we have to consider which regions of the world are too densely populated for any kind of large scale-authority to survive the regression; Japan will quickly become a bloodbath and then a huge number of small, squabbling states. Java will probably be the same.

Most importantly of all; modern borders should be extemely limited, only existing where they follow a very important natural landmark, and only certain of those. Having a border along the Pyrenees is logical; having one along the Oder-Niesse line isn't particularly logical, and will require some clever justification, and you can just forget about the fucking Kazakh border.

Finally, with regards to Australia and New Zealand; I can see these places as the best survivors of the Regression; though their technolgoy won't be more advanced that the rest of the world, their thought might be; they may recognise that instead of magic, the ancients simply had advance technology. They might still have democracy, like I said, and might still have a larger intellectual class or more knowledge of science, even if they don't have either the practical benefits or the actualy understanding; they might take this knowledge on faith. Their out of the way location, however, means they aren't going to be spreading their ideas very fast. Change in this world is going to come slowly and gradually, just like it did in our world.
 
Great to see this topic receiving attention again :).

One of the early points of division on the past thread was whether or not there are ruins. The presence of vast ruins on most of the best locations for settlement would have a huge impact on the way culture, technology and religion all develop. This could easily change this from a Medieval America to a Post-Apocalyptic America. Also, on the original thread, it was decided that resources were replenished as fiat. Would that still be an assumption here?
 
Great to see this topic receiving attention again :).

One of the early points of division on the past thread was whether or not there are ruins. The presence of vast ruins on most of the best locations for settlement would have a huge impact on the way culture, technology and religion all develop. This could easily change this from a Medieval America to a Post-Apocalyptic America. Also, on the original thread, it was decided that resources were replenished as fiat. Would that still be an assumption here?
Unless someone argues otherwise that should still be the assumption.

As for ruins, I point to the "When was the Regression" comment - Nine centuries is more than enough time for most man-made structures to crumble or be 'harvested.' Best case for many cities is that they'll resemble Medieval Rome - some imposing but mostly skeletal ruins standing over a smaller, newer city
 
So one of the things I thought this thread could do is review the earlier concept's ideas and go over them. I plan to do this in chronological order, so we'll start with White's earliest entry - the Great Plains Nomads

Matt White said:
[SIZE=+2]W[/SIZE]here water is too scarce to support agriculture, nomads drive herds of ruminents from pasture to pasture. On the grasslands of Great Plains, the nomadic lifestyle has reach a peak of affluence with vast herds of cattle and horses driven by wealthy, healthy tribes of brutal barbarians. In the scrubland of the western desert, however, the nomads are a more sorry bunch, riding burros and leading flocks of sheep and goats from waterhole to waterhole, arousing less envy and fear among their agricultural neighbors.

Food:

Humans cannot digest the grasses that cover the priarie, but they can eat the animals that eat the grasses - cattle, sheep and goats. Because it's more economical to drain an animal again and again rather than simply slaughtering it, the staples of the nomadic diet are dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter; and blood tapped from non-vital arteries in small doses. In fact, the drinking of cattle blood is such an important part of the nomadic diet that it is one of the only Old Testament taboos not reimposed by the New Israelite religion. Meat is clearly secondary, although they do eat it almost daily, even in the dead of winter. It is usually roasted or barbicued over an open fire. They eat very few vegetables, except what they scrounge from the forests of the rivers and foothills.


[Here there be map]




Clothing:

The typical cowboy wears a light woolen workshirt, heavy leather boots -- pointy-toed and high-heeled to fit into a stirrup -- and leather pants to facilitate riding. He keeps the sun out of his eyes with a broad-brimmed hat of stiffened leather or felt. In colder weather, he will tuck a wool cap under his hat, and wrap himself in jackets and sweaters of wool and felt, quilted in flamboyant, abstract patterns (not shown). Woman dress similarly, except that they wear long skirts instead of pants.
[Here there be pictoral example]​

Housing:

As they drive their herds from pasture to pasture, the nomads drag their villages along with them, and tribe of cowboys on the move always includes a long dusty caravan of covered wagons drawn by teams of oxen. Whenever the tribe settles in for more than an overnight stay, a city of teepees will sprout up for extra living space.
[Here there be wagon picture]​

Fuel:

Because wood is in short supply on the open prairie, the principle fuel of the cowboys is dried cattle dung, which usually contains enough undigested grass to sustain a low flame for cooking. In the winter, when they need larger flames, they generally withdraw to the foothills or riverbanks, where they can chop timber.

Tools and Materials:

For the most part, the tools of the nomads are manufactured from the bodies of their animals: woven wool; pressed felt; rawhide straps and thongs; glue from boiled hooves; composite bows of bone and horn; sheepskin parchment. They make periodic forays into the mountains for the wood to build their wagons, and they trade with settled communities for the metal to make their knives.
So, how does this stand up? Does it fit? If not, what would make it better?
 
Well, there's a lot there that does fit, based on synthesising the early 19th Century traditions of the Plains Indians with the ranching era.

The only think that strikes me as slightly off is sheepskin parchment. It's not waterproof and very sensitive to changes in humidity, and while it can be cured in a single day of soaking, that needs a high concentration of lime, not to mention a source of it, which isn't too much of a problem.

In general, it would imply that there are at least some more permanent settlements scattered around- perhaps at particularly important watering/trade sites or traditional meeting/worship locations.

I would like to know what is the parchment being used for. It implies a degree of literacy which seems unlikely to even be necessary for a nomadic population. The only thing I can think of is that the priests are literate and transcribe both the tribes history and the religious texts for the future of the tribe, and possibly the chief's/highest class of people have a degree of literacy and may have written records of important agreements with other tribes. I'm not sure how accurate that might be.

Also, I'm not sure about Oxen being used to pull sleds, they're quite slow moving. That might not be an issue though.
 
As for the Pacific Northwest I think that of them :
City Status:portland stands to be the richest and most important given its position as a trade crossroad on the Columbia/Williamette Rivers. Seattle, Vacouver, Victoria, Astoria, Port Angeles, Aberdeen, and Olympia will likely form their own city states. Pendleton, Bend, Yakmia, Walla Walla, and Spokane being the principle Columbia cities.

Trans-Pacific: Trade will actually be not that bad, as during the 1800s American schooners trading to Russia and China was popular even before heavy American-Canadian settlement. I can see a competitive trade route with California over Hawaii forming.

Ethnic Makeup: South of Vancouver will be very White Bred, but the Vancouver area has a ethnic make up of many Asians as nearly a quarter of the population is Asian Ethnicly in BC. Which may actually combine with Seattle's 13ish percent Asian population. So, it is quite possible the Asian character of the area could be prominent.

Alaska + Natives: The relationship will likely be combative with the Cascadia groups, the largely white population probably would shrink prior to the collapse as people move out, but a number would remain and merge with the Natives. Anchorage will probably be a competitive zone between the PNW and Russian Far East. A smart chief of the Alaskan remnants would control the city and play off the Russians, PNWers, and other Alaskans off one another.

ON ANOTHER NOTE:


What was discussed on railroads? Railroads will gain prominence again, except instead of steam they will be moved by people or animal power.
 
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What avbout names chaniging, so that names are not thae same, also, tshouldnt english be spanish, french, and homegrown in various areas.
 
Well, there's a lot there that does fit, based on synthesising the early 19th Century traditions of the Plains Indians with the ranching era.

The only think that strikes me as slightly off is sheepskin parchment. It's not waterproof and very sensitive to changes in humidity, and while it can be cured in a single day of soaking, that needs a high concentration of lime, not to mention a source of it, which isn't too much of a problem.

In general, it would imply that there are at least some more permanent settlements scattered around- perhaps at particularly important watering/trade sites or traditional meeting/worship locations.

I would like to know what is the parchment being used for. It implies a degree of literacy which seems unlikely to even be necessary for a nomadic population. The only thing I can think of is that the priests are literate and transcribe both the tribes history and the religious texts for the future of the tribe, and possibly the chief's/highest class of people have a degree of literacy and may have written records of important agreements with other tribes. I'm not sure how accurate that might be.

Also, I'm not sure about Oxen being used to pull sleds, they're quite slow moving. That might not be an issue though.
White later details the faith of the Cowboys as being heavily influenced by Leviticine law, so literacy is presumably a priestly function, with most history presumably being genealogical in nature (so one doesn't violate the incest prohibitions by mistake). I don't see any mention of sleds - perhaps you meant wagons, in which case White is referring to ones modeled after the 19th century covered wagons used to go to Oregon.

As for the Pacific Northwest I think that of them :
City Status:portland stands to be the richest and most important given its position as a trade crossroad on the Columbia/Williamette Rivers. Seattle, Vacouver, Victoria, Astoria, Port Angeles, Aberdeen, and Olympia will likely form their own city states. Pendleton, Bend, Yakmia, Walla Walla, and Spokane being the principle Columbia cities.

Trans-Pacific: Trade will actually be not that bad, as during the 1800s American schooners trading to Russia and China was popular even before heavy American-Canadian settlement. I can see a competitive trade route with California over Hawaii forming.

Ethnic Makeup: South of Vancouver will be very White Bred, but the Vancouver area has a ethnic make up of many Asians as nearly a quarter of the population is Asian Ethnicly in BC. Which may actually combine with Seattle's 13ish percent Asian population. So, it is quite possible the Asian character of the area could be prominent.

Alaska + Natives: The relationship will likely be combative with the Cascadia groups, the largely white population probably would shrink prior to the collapse as people move out, but a number would remain and merge with the Natives. Anchorage will probably be a competitive zone between the PNW and Russian Far East. A smart chief of the Alaskan remnants would control the city and play off the Russians, PNWers, and other Alaskans off one another.

ON ANOTHER NOTE:


What was discussed on railroads? Railroads will gain prominence again, except instead of steam they will be moved by people or animal power.
White never wrote about the Northwest, but his general ideas are visible: The region was going to be largely coastal city-republics, with a feudal nation further inland around the Snake-Columbia confluence. Also, they're Buddhists (some people took this to mean they were enviromentalist as well, but there's no evidence for that beyond the Northwest being the most pro-Green region in Today's America). What we do know is that sometimes the Northwesterners would raid San Francisco, and the feudal kingdom - Columbia - once conquered Utah some years ago.

So your ideas are useful, although I'd wait until we get to the Northwest to start detailing them.

Oh, and railroads are looong gone.

Baconheimer: I don't really know what you're saying, but if you're asking about language, yes, language did change. However, White used Modern English for his names and terms - likely because it's familiar to the reader - and for the time being that's the default for this project.
 
The next entry White wrote was also on the Cowboys - this time it was their warfare

Matt White said:
[SIZE=+2]B[/SIZE]ecause it combined the mobility and long distance killing power that soldiers with a memory of indutrial era wars had come to expect, the horse archer was the first medieval fighting style to emerge after the collapse of civilization. For a few centuries, it dominated the old United States, until it was discovered that large warhorses carrying heavily armored knights could often stand their ground against an attack of horse archers; however, it was only in the settled communities of the forest zone that there was enough grain to feed these large horses, so the armies of archers on grass-fed ponies remained dominant on the open prairie.
Among the nomadic herdsmen of the plains and desert, just about every adult male (or roughly a quarter of the population) is trained in the arts of war simply because the management of a herd was so much like battle itself. The cowboys circle the herd on fast ponies, leading it in a chosen direction, splitting it into smaller sections and selecting a few head of livestock to pick off for the day's meal with a couple of well-aimed arrows. The techniques for slaughtering cattle and sheep work just as well for slaughtering people. The archers ride up close enough to send a volley into the massed enemy, and then veer off before the enemy can retaliate. They keep this up all day, thinning the enemy ranks and maybe creating gaps that can be slowly widened, wedging the mob apart into smaller, bite-sized groups.
Adding to the military strength of the nomads is their incredible long-distance mobility. Armies of the forest zone are tied to the land -- both defending it and working it -- and they can only spare a handful of their adult males for long distance campaigning. The nomads, however, can simply uproot their entire nation and drag it along wherever they go. In the quiet times between battles, they can still tend their herds and their families as if they were at peace, and they can thrive wherever their is enough pasture to support them.
It is the lack of pasture that limits the depth of nomadic invasions. As the invaders penetrate deeper into the farmlands, they leave a trail of devastation behind them. If the abandoned farms revert to grasslands, then the nomads can settle in for a long stay, but if the land reverts to forest, then there will soon be no forage for their herds. The nomads then must retreat to the high plains, and the farmers move in to reclaim the empty land.
I wonder if White grew up on a dude ranch - at the very least, the Cowboys are the culture he writes the most about.

The part I'm iffy about is using devastation to determinethe campaign depth. Farmland doesn't revert to forest, not for many years, so I'd assume the real reason should be "When the trees become too thick for easy movement, the nomads realise they should retreat to the highplains or risk destruction. The farmers then move in to reclaim the empty land."
 
White later details the faith of the Cowboys as being heavily influenced by Leviticine law, so literacy is presumably a priestly function, with most history presumably being genealogical in nature (so one doesn't violate the incest prohibitions by mistake). I don't see any mention of sleds - perhaps you meant wagons, in which case White is referring to ones modeled after the 19th century covered wagons used to go to Oregon.


White never wrote about the Northwest, but his general ideas are visible: The region was going to be largely coastal city-republics, with a feudal nation further inland around the Snake-Columbia confluence. Also, they're Buddhists (some people took this to mean they were enviromentalist as well, but there's no evidence for that beyond the Northwest being the most pro-Green region in Today's America). What we do know is that sometimes the Northwesterners would raid San Francisco, and the feudal kingdom - Columbia - once conquered Utah some years ago.

So your ideas are useful, although I'd wait until we get to the Northwest to start detailing them.
I was one of the main guys who wrote about the PNW last time and I admit to having given it more, and better, thought since last time. My thoughts are that something much more like the Hansa might develop, a Puget League perhaps? Where the many trading cities of the area are loosely grouped together with certain cities being leading powers within the League.

I'll write more later once we get to the PNW again but I just kind of wanted to get that idea out there and get others thinking about it.

Edit: I just remembered I have a half written story set in the old Medieval America world that I should dig up and finish, it was a tale of one of the early Puget traders exploring the route to Asia and the "mythical beasts" and other sights he saw.
 
White later details the faith of the Cowboys as being heavily influenced by Leviticine law, so literacy is presumably a priestly function, with most history presumably being genealogical in nature (so one doesn't violate the incest prohibitions by mistake). I don't see any mention of sleds - perhaps you meant wagons, in which case White is referring to ones modeled after the 19th century covered wagons used to go to Oregon.
I don't know why I misread wagons as sleds there:eek:.

Here's a thought- could Branding survive as a way of marking your cows in the herd and thus recording how many you have?

Moving on, I would say we could presume a rough hierachy of this:

At the top is the Chief. He has the most cows in the herd and leads the cowboys into battle. This could be a heriditary position and many of the chief's might trace their lineage back to the pre-regression days- some even claiming descent from the first cowboys of the late 19th Century. Alternatively it could work through meritocratic 'best warrior wins' but that would be a lot less stable. Periodically, the various chief's meet up, sort out some marriage contracts and exchange news, trade goods etc. perhaps they have a few big religious events (Christmas? Easter? Passover?) which have become the nexus for epic meetings/'roundups'.

Next we have the priests and craftsmen. Each has an important role in society- the teachings of religion and recording of geneology, a wheelwrite to repair the wagon wheels if they break, the smith making metal knives and so forth. These are roles that require a lot of intensive training- not everyone has time to learn. They probably have an apprentice or two at any one time. All would still be skilled horsemen and bowmen, but are likely to be among the guard protecting the wagons rather than in the vanguard.

The ordinary cowboys come next, the toughest of whom probably form into two units- the vanguard and the wagonguard to protect where they're most needed.

Then we have the women who basically get the menial jobs. They probably ride and shoot well enough, when not too heavily pregnant, and I would imagine that they'll form part of the protection for the wagons. The chief's wife is probably Pria inter pares among them.
 
I don't know why I misread wagons as sleds there:eek:.

Here's a thought- could Branding survive as a way of marking your cows in the herd and thus recording how many you have?

Moving on, I would say we could presume a rough hierachy of this:

At the top is the Chief. He has the most cows in the herd and leads the cowboys into battle. This could be a heriditary position and many of the chief's might trace their lineage back to the pre-regression days- some even claiming descent from the first cowboys of the late 19th Century. Alternatively it could work through meritocratic 'best warrior wins' but that would be a lot less stable. Periodically, the various chief's meet up, sort out some marriage contracts and exchange news, trade goods etc. perhaps they have a few big religious events (Christmas? Easter? Passover?) which have become the nexus for epic meetings/'roundups'.

Next we have the priests and craftsmen. Each has an important role in society- the teachings of religion and recording of geneology, a wheelwrite to repair the wagon wheels if they break, the smith making metal knives and so forth. These are roles that require a lot of intensive training- not everyone has time to learn. They probably have an apprentice or two at any one time. All would still be skilled horsemen and bowmen, but are likely to be among the guard protecting the wagons rather than in the vanguard.

The ordinary cowboys come next, the toughest of whom probably form into two units- the vanguard and the wagonguard to protect where they're most needed.

Then we have the women who basically get the menial jobs. They probably ride and shoot well enough, when not too heavily pregnant, and I would imagine that they'll form part of the protection for the wagons. The chief's wife is probably Pria inter pares among them.
The big meetups are a good idea, possibly twice a year? I admit I'm not too good with seasonal stuff, but would it make sense for them to want to group together in big meetings during winter? To share food and stories and the like on the solstice?

I could also see there being either multiple, or just a singular, meeting locations. A sort of traditional spot where they come together which might have their only real all year settled population, probably centered on religion. Just a temple, and whatever small population grew up around it.
 
The big meetups are a good idea, possibly twice a year? I admit I'm not too good with seasonal stuff, but would it make sense for them to want to group together in big meetings during winter? To share food and stories and the like on the solstice?

I could also see there being either multiple, or just a singular, meeting locations. A sort of traditional spot where they come together which might have their only real all year settled population, probably centered on religion. Just a temple, and whatever small population grew up around it.
Winter Solstice is a logical one- Christmas is basically just a repackaged version of that. March is the calving season, so perhaps something then around April to give thanks for it, merging in with some sort of distorted version of Passover or Easter depending on exactly what root is strongest for the religion.

Multiple is probably the most logical, with perhaps one which is Prima inter pares. Each site could be the nexus for one extended group of Cowboy 'clans', while in times of great stress- severe drought, external threat, etc.- when all the cowboys need to be united the head chiefs from each clan group journey to the chief site to discuss things.
 
Mormon Culture-

Mormons



One of the few cultural institutions to hold over from the old United States was the Church of Latter Days Saints. In Industrial times, its members were instructed to keep stores of food in case of disaster, and even the Church itself had supplies of grain on hand. When disaster did indeed turn out to strike, the preparations and rigid structure of the Mormons allowed them to ride the storm out with a relative lack of problems also helping out was the Mormon epicenter, Utah, being sandwiched between mountains and barren desert. This not only create buffer from sieges, but it allowed the non-Mormons to either be weeded out or quickly kowtow to spiritual salvation in order to secure earthly salvation.

With most of the population already leaning this way, and power over things like food and water in these times of strife, the Church of Latter Day Saints transitioned from a de facto theocracy to an active one. It was from here a Hydraulic Empire was secured, and the Church became one with the Empire of Deseret. Even in more secular times, much of its members' daily lives revolved around the church and its very rigid structure, so it was not too hard to flex its power a little more. Mormon congregations, called Wards, play an active role in every day life. Even courting between young singles is pretty much instructed by the Wards. Elite and middle class families are often enlisted to do the Church's work for a period of time, maybe even years. Peasant families' involvement varies more, as not to disrupt the growing season, but children may often be drafted to fill the ranks of soldiers, bureaucrats or concubines. Still, any Mormon is expected to serve the Church at the drop of a hat.

Through much of the millennia, Mormonism has changed little. Tobacco and liquor are outlawed, though the more fiscally-minded governors have allowed trade to pass through the borders. The book of Mormon is taken more seriously than ever, and theological history the places the faith in the continent give Mormons a sense that it is the true faith of America. (Of course, other religions feel that way, this is just their argument) Multiple wives have been allowed again, due to the wish to populate the basin and new colonies as much as possible, as well as the lecherous intents of previous Governors. It also helped that the mainstream Church absorbed a few fringe groups. With the United States no longer a concern, the offshoot compounds were not a major concern, though leadership was eventually supplanted with the President's family.

The President is voted on by the ruling family, which can often be quite numerous. The most powerful twelve are the elders, and although they play a significant role in theory, power-hungry Presidents are not always comfortable with the politicking and backstabbing that can take place. As a result, they may kick contentious Elders upstairs to distant states. Most of their advice are taken from loyal Eunuchs, who they refer to as counselors.

Colonies are a major part of the Mormon manifest. After all, the desert can only support so much life, and the Church very much means to convert the world. Therefore, missions, which were very peaceful in Industrial times, are now extremely warlike. The President's army consists mounted knights known as Templars, who are instructed to sway or slay the native heretics. These newly conquered areas are known as Stakes, territories from which to spread the book of Mormon. This usually results most of the males being taken out and the females becoming wives to form a new Stake community.

Our in the East, the Non_Denominational Church does not have much a relationship with the Mormons, but refers to the Church as "The Temple".
So, what? This makes Mormons the Ottomans/Byzantines of the Medieval American world?
 
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