Medieval America Tk II: Discussion Thread

I keep sitting down to describe the California Republic's government, nobility, and military in more detail. The thoughts are all there in my head, but writing it turns out to be slow going.

The Free Zone will come next, and it's surprisingly complicated. Centuries of isolation has allowed it to "go to seed" somewhat, with some very archaic and dense customs and political structures.

I dig the flag.
Thanks. Far be it from me to question Matthew White's talent as a writer and map artist, but some of his flags lacked something. This is his original.
 
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Foreign and military relations of the Republic of California
Part 1 (of 6): Introduction

The Republic is just about the largest and richest state in all of America. This does not mean it has always been the most powerful, but its sheer size does mean that California leaves a sizeable footprint. Its relations with its neighbors and with other empires further off are therefore very important to the whole region.

The Governor of the Republic has the final say over matters of war, peace and alliance. However, the size of California and the vastness of the barbarian lands beyond makes it necessary for him to appoint delegates to manage affairs at the borders for him, subject always to his final decision. These officials combine diplomatic with military authority. They oversee the garrissons in the passes over the Republic's encircling mountains; they negotiate terms with client tribes and oasis towns outside the Republic's direct rule; they collect customs duties and pass their receipts on to the capital (after taking their due cut). In short, they are men to whom has been given great power in order to accomplish the complex and difficult task of defending the Republic and extending its rule over the barbarians.

In times when Gubernatorial control was weak, the border commanders were able to amass a great deal of independent power indeed. They made their positions hereditary. They used their armies, income, and allied tribesmen to bully, intimidate, and sometimes overthrow the government in Sacramento. Three of California's last four dynasties have been of barbarian origin and were allowed into the Valley by border commanders looking for an advantage over their sovereigns. Currently the Californian central state is strong and the Governor has good control over all his officials. Certain rules are in place to prevent the commanders from gaining too much power. Hereditary succession is strictly prohibited. Governors usually choose to command the borders men who owe them personal favors - younger guvernatorial nephews or cousins, family of of the governor's wife, court favorites and their relatives. Their terms are limited to ten years, and only after completing the full term can commanders collect their lucrative pension, which usually includes a good estate with plenty of land. The hope is that the border commanders will chose certain wealth over the risky prospect of coups and revolts.

There are four of these great commands in the Republic: the East, South, North, and West, in addition to a smaller fifth command for the Center. Each of these has a very different role due to California's different relationships with the neighbors on each side.

california military map flat.png
 
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Lurking in the first medieval america thread is by and large what brought me to this site, I would love to be involved if you would have me, I am most interested in the "cowboy" culture of the west and could come up with some ideas for it!:D
 
You know what I want to do this really bad so here goes... let me know what you think! Hopefully this will give more life to the Cowboys so they don't look like such a homogeneous group.

Notable Cowboy Tribes

Danvurs: The Danvurs as their name implies originated in Denver Colorado. While they retain the name of their city of origin they no longer inhabit that area, living primarily in NE Colorado and the Nebraska panhandle along the Platte River. The area that holds the most spiritual significance to the Danvurs is the point where the North and South Platte come together near what was once the town of North Platte, Ne here their Baptism/Coming of manhood ritual is preformed. One of the few things that backs up the Danvurs claim to originate in the old Colorado capital is their emblem of a white horse with orange mane on a field of blue similar to that once employed by the football team of the ancient city. The particular form of New Isrealism practiced by the Danvurs reveres the horse as god’s chosen animal, due to this their yearly pilgrimage to the black hills on the “Furth of Julay” is to Crazy Horse rather than to Mt. Rushmore as is common with other tribes. Danvurs have a strong taboo against eating horse (as is common with most tribes) but drink mare’s milk (rather than wine) as part of their Passover/Communion ritual.

The Sioux: not to be confused with the Native American tribe The Lakota, Nakota and Dakota tribes colloquially known as Sioux in the 18th - 20th centuries The Sioux are a tribe of Cowboys that inhabit the Upper Missouri River Valley around the confluence of the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers known as “Sioux Land” it is unclear whether The Sioux originated in Sioux Falls, SD or Sioux City, IA however they hold the ruins of both cites as sacred sites. Unlike most Cowboy tribes The Sioux do not make pilgrimages to the Black Hills as they have a strong superstition against “going west river” (crossing the Missouri into western South Dakota). The Sioux follow a unique form of New Isrealism that venerate Jesus, who has been re-imagined as a Sioux Chief that was captured and crucified by “West Riverers” only to rise from his grave to lead the Sioux against them in battle. Jesus died again in battle even though The Sioux won, three days later however he came to life a third time making “The Proclamation of the Lord” declaring that The Sioux shall be safe from “West Riverers” so long as they remain in Sioux Land and do not cross the Missouri after words riding chariot made of clouds pulled by flaming horses to heaven. The Sioux equivalent of Revelations predicts that someday Jesus shall be born once again to a virgin camping in Sioux Falls he will then take the form of “New Moses” and will split the Missouri like the Red Sea and lead the Sioux in conquest of West River and then the world.

The Rosebud:
Although not technically Cowboys in the cultural sense The Rosebud, like the other smaller Native-American nomadic tribes, are often studied alongside Cowboys due to their shared environment and nomadic herding lifestyle. Located in the western Dakotas the Rosebud may indeed be the “West Riverers” of Sioux lore, this theory is supported by the fact that The Rosebud are ethnically Native-American and vehemently anti-white and anti-New Israelite. Rosebud encampments are easily identifiable on the plains due to their use of Tipi’s rather than the Covered Wagons employed by the ethnic Cowboy tribes. The Rosebud follow a resurrected form of the “Ghost Dance religion” altered to be more less hunter-gather centered as the modern Rosebud herd cattle much like Cowboy cultures. Like the Cowboys The Rosebud meet for important festivals usually involving Ghost and Sun Dances, however unlike the Cowboys there is no one sacred area and these Powwows can take place anywhere within their vast and ever changing range. The Rosebud are also one of the most warlike tribes as their religion advocates forcing all Cowboys out of the plains into either the mountains or east of the Missouri. Due to their animosity with Cowboys The Rosebud have not settled in any one general region, rather they are more truly nomadic living wherever is habitable for the time being, in fact there have been reports of Rosebud raids as far away from the Rosebuds traditional area as Iowa Territory.

Hillianites:
Highly regarded by other Cowboy tribes the Hillianites are the defenders of the Black Hills and its many sacred sites their range extends in both directions from the hills as far west as Sheridan, Wy and as far east as Pierre, SD. While they share much of this range with other Cowboy tribes they rarely get into the grazing disputes common of other tribes in part because of the foundational role their area plays in New-Israelite religious practice, losing the favor of the Hillianites is as dangerous to a cowboys soul as excommunication was to the people of ancient Europe, their one enemy being The Rosebud and other Native Tribes occupying their same range. The Hillianites are also known for having the most Orthodox beliefs (if you can call it that) of all New-Israelite communities, their complex web of stories regarding old and new testament as well as historical figures and their diverse mythology surrounding Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devils Tower, and the hills many caves often being adopted whole sale by visiting tribes from as far away as northern Texas or south-central Canada. While there is no defined theology or priesthood within the many syncretic faiths known as New-Isrealism the Hillianites are as close to Levites as Cowboys get.
 
I love the Hillanites. I am very interested in the idea of sacred sites in TTL that exist outside of any particular government or organized religion. Who knows what a particular rock or river may mean to a certain people. But the Black Hills and the other spots you mention are clearly going to be venerated very widely.

What do they think about the Badlands?

For the Rosebud tribe... I had thought that distinctions between White and Indian had disappeared and the two had merged (with Whites having much greater numbers, but with the Indians also clearly giving numerous cultural ideas). Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
I love the Hillanites. I am very interested in the idea of sacred sites in TTL that exist outside of any particular government or organized religion. Who knows what a particular rock or river may mean to a certain people. But the Black Hills and the other spots you mention are clearly going to be venerated very widely.

What do they think about the Badlands?

For the Rosebud tribe... I had thought that distinctions between White and Indian had disappeared and the two had merged (with Whites having much greater numbers, but with the Indians also clearly giving numerous cultural ideas). Correct me if I'm wrong.
Thanks! nomadic cultures and place based religion is of particular interest to me, and living in South Dakota I've had some experience with these first hand.

The Badlands didn't occur to me for some reason, I should totally add them in, perhaps as some sort of gateway to hell or cursed area? the name is Bad after all!

As for native and white melding... that may be true I should go back and see but I thought it would be interesting to throw an "outsider" culture into the mix to give the area more diversity.

Edit: how far west does cowboy culture go? If Yellowstone is within their range I can imagine it being a spiritual center as well!
 
So, umm, I just noticed this topic. Has anyone actually thought of modding all this into Crusader Kings II?
I did consider it - mainly because I don't like the direction the Phoenix Fire mod is taking, when it goes anywhere at all - but lack any real modding skills beyond adding new characters.
Thanks! nomadic cultures and place based religion is of particular interest to me, and living in South Dakota I've had some experience with these first hand.

The Badlands didn't occur to me for some reason, I should totally add them in, perhaps as some sort of gateway to hell or cursed area? the name is Bad after all!

As for native and white melding... that may be true I should go back and see but I thought it would be interesting to throw an "outsider" culture into the mix to give the area more diversity.

Edit: how far west does cowboy culture go? If Yellowstone is within their range I can imagine it being a spiritual center as well!
All your stuff does look good, and makes me want to add in the two (well, four) known Cowboy families.

There was a map made of Cowboy influence, which I added to. I'll upload it, with all the Cowboy groups (your's and White's) added.

Cowboy.png
 
Foreign and military relations of the Republic of California
Part 2 (of 6): The East


The East, the lands beyond the Sierra Nevada, is home to the quintessential barbarians. The deserts are peopled only by small clans of nomads whose language and way of life mark them as vastly inferior to the civilized standard of the Republic. Beyond the deserts are the empires in Deseret to the west and Arizona to the southwest - barren, uncouth empires whose people practice arcane religions that mark their subjects, too, as barbarians. The Republic essentially has only one gateway to this vast country, the Donner Pass, the main conduit for trade. Smaller passes and less-traveled trade routes cross the mountains in other spots. All of these points are both barriers for keeping out invaders and zones of contact where Californians and outsiders meet for trade and diplomacy.

The Nevadans


The desert clans are the quintessential barbarians. In the rugged but fertile parts of the Sierra Nevada, the people live in scattered self-reliant villages, practicing small-scale horitculture but also heavily relying on the abundant wild produce of the land. Out in the desert, things are more primitive. There, people live in small, mobile kin groups, have a bare-bones material culture, and engage in seemingly endless rounds of petty warfare. Despite these differences, living side by side for centuries has led to a symbiotic relationship between California and the Nevadans, as the outsiders are called.[1]

Religion

Most tribes in the eastern mountains and the nearer deserts have adopted Scientology, after their own fashion. The extremely hierarchical nature of the religion has adapted itself to the less rigid social structure of the Nevadan clans in the form of a female priestly order of Operating Thetans that exists in parallel with the male chiefs and bosses[2] who are the titular clan leaders. Nevadan priestesses come from favored matrilineages that comprise the Nevadan aristocracy, such as it is, and which form the backbone of religious life in the eastern wilds. In many ways they provide most of the day-to-day leadership within the clans, the men coming to the lead only in times of war, which do happen frequently. The scientology practiced in desert camps by illiterate kin groups of tribal priestesses is a long way from the bureaucratic state-run scientology in Sacramento, but the shared heritage gives Californians and Nevadans a common worldview, a common religious vocabulary, and a common identity.

Clientage

Most Nevadans, and other tribes of the region, are linked with the California Republic in some form or another of clientage. Most mountain villages are nominal subjects of the Republic; their political autonomy, really a result of their remoteness, is framed as a special privilege granted by the Governor. Many of these villages pay taxes to Sacramento in the form of a tribute payment collected once or twice a year. Many of the men spend their youthful years serving in auxiliary army units patrolling smaller, less-used passes through the mountains. THese patrols keep the mountains safe from bandits, and when veterans return home they have the skills they need to run the local watch. This security and training justify the tax payments to California, and the system generally works well for everyone. Once in a while, somebody - the Governor, the Guardian, some officials in the bureaucracy - looks around and decides California should do something to rein in these unruly villagers, and forces will move in to impose Gubernatorial law and Republican values. This never ends well for anyone. The villagers relocate to the woods and wage guerrilla war on the invaders; towns are depopulated; soldiers die; and the result is an inevitable return to the status quo ante. Things stay pretty stable in the mountains, because the fact is that the mountain Nevadans are proud to be Californian, but equally proud of the freedoms they enjoy.

The desert clans are even more unruly, but they too have many political links with the Republic. The tribes that cluster near the entrance to Donner Pass, the main route by land into California, are generally loyal clients. They are responsible for much of the carrying trade between California and Utah (see below). In return for this lucrative trade, they are expected to defend California's far eastern frontier. The rowdy desert town of Reno, right at the entrance of the pass, is a central gathering point for these tribes, as well as other caravan traders from further east. A small garrisson of California regulars is there to keep the peace, but clan rivalries flare up every now and again.

FUrther away, most clan chiefs and bosses are nominally clients of the Governor or the Guardian, but these relationships get more tenuous the further out in the desert you go. Many pay small amounts of tribute to the Republic, usually either in kind (meat and milk for the frontier garrissons at the larger oases) or in labor (defending the frontier and occasionally raiding the Republic's enemies). When the Republic is in a weaker state, it must pay these tribes for their help - and this almost always degenerates into paying them for the privelege of not being attacked.

Warfare and Invasions

The threat of war is never far away on the eastern frontier. Most of the time this is a small-scale affair between California's client clan chiefs and their rivals, or perhaps with tribes sponsored by Deseret. Sometimes the garrisons posted to remote oases get involved, but even many of these forces are likely to be auxiliary units recruited from the mountain villages, rather than full-time professional Californian units. Nevertheless, Californians greatly fear the idea of a barbarian invasion from this direction. The regime uses the specter of barbarians at the gates to frighten its subjects into obedience and aquiescing to large taxes for defense.

But the truth is that any tribal confederation strong and disciplined enough to enter the central valley would not be interested in raiding and booty alone, but in taking over the Republic. The origins of the current ruling dynasty lie in just such an invasion. The Scoro clan, recently arrived in the area from parts to the southeast, took advantage of internal strife in the Republic and conspired with the Guardian of the East to attack the capital. The Scoro entered the central valley with several groups of allied warriors. They spent two or three weeks camped just north of Sacramento, but the best evidence shows that they did not engage in wanton rape, pillage and plunder, taking only whatever food from the countryside they needed to feed themselves (which admitedly may have been quite ruinous to local farmers). But the Scoro had their eyes on a bigger prize. Working with various discontented nobles and eunuchs in the city, they entered Sacramento, killed the Governor, and put their own chief in his place. The Scoro spent the next ten years working themselves in to the Republic's aristocracy through grants of land and offices. Within a generation they had put aside most of their tribal traditions and become like any other Californian dynasty, and indeed they were strengthening California's border defenses and frightening their new subjects with tales of the barbarians' cruelty.

The Scoro and earlier barbarian invaders have left some marks on Californian society. Most notable is that the Republic's state church has parallel male and female priesthoods. It is said that all leading Operating Thetans in the Republic were male until the Scoro installed their own leading women as a coequal branch of the church.

Deseret

Trade

Beyond the desert nomads is California's most important eastern rival and trading partner: Deseret, or Utah. Californians consider Deseret to also be a barbarian state because of its turbulent history and foreign religion. California and Deseret maintain a low-volume but lucrative overland trade. The main function of the trade is to meet the Deseret rulers' demand for luxury goods that they cannot produce in their desert home: wine, fruit, fine textiles, clocks, furniture, musical instruments, and other fine things to increase the comfort of the elite. The Desereti lords mostly pay for this with money made from the eastern salt trade; it has little else to offer California.

Slaves are the only commodity that can balance the trade a little; these are mostly captives from the mountains surrounding Deseret or rebels from Wyoming. Eastern slaves fill an important niche at the very bottom of Californian society, and a steady supply of them is necessary as older slaves buy or bargain for their freedom. The military once featured all-slave units, some of them with rather elite training. This changed when one order of army troops, the Byiners (named for their indentures of one billion years), mutinied and seized the throne for a short while. Since then, enslaved troops are divided among regular units of the army and navy.

Warfare


The third governor of the Scoro dynasty, not yet entirely out of touch with his father's barbarian past, got it in his mind to launch a war against Deseret to conquer it for California. He rode east with his army, gathered units of barbarians on the way, and burst into Deseret with fire and sword. The Californian army was successful, but supply lines were too long. The campaign, supposed to be a conquest, became a raid, and the Californians turned back to get home before the heat of summer, laden with captured booty. This was the last time California or Deseret tried to invade each other, and it is generally looked on as a folly, because the spoils barely covered the cost of the campaign. However, the two empires do have confrontations every so often. This stems from California's projecting its power over the desert through its client clans and small oasis garrisons. Inevitably, this infringes on lands or peoples that Deseret considers its own. Proxy wars and desert skirmishes are therefore quite common. Occasionally, at least once in a generation, a round of fighting will be disruptive enough to prompt the Governor to ride forth and deal with it himself. These little wars rarely achieve much but they allow the Governor to put up monumental columns and walls showing him smiting the barbarians and wisely arbiting between allied chiefs and bosses.

The Guardian

The man responsible for all of California's dealings in the east is a powerful official called the Master and Guardian of the Eastern Mountains and Deserts, or more simply, the Guardian of the East. He is responsible for carrying out the Republic's foreign and military policy toward Deseret, the Nevadans, and other eastern barbarians. He has wide authority to make decisions, subject always to the governor's veto.

Installations and Personnel



The Guardian's base is the Donnerfort, a vast fortification high in the Sierra Nevada spanning the Donner Pass. The fortress is believed to be impregnable. No one has ever passed through it who was not invited to do so. From the Donnerfort, the Guardian sends out patrols and raiding parties to defend the Republic from any who might disturb its peace. Just as important, he engages in constant rounds of diplomacy with allied clan leaders, who are often peevish and difficult to please. Generous gifts to favored tribes, along with the bestowal of grandiose titles, are important tools of the trade and keep the Nevadans connected in friendship with California.

Besides the Donnerfort, the Eastern Mountains and Deserts include a number of smaller strong places that are of far less importance. These include forts in some of the lesser passes across the mountains, little used except by local hunters and herders. Most of these are manned by auxiliaries. Also included are the small forts in certain oases and caravanserais along the trade route to Deseret. These are remote, lonely stations whose forces generally serve for terms of two years before being replaced and reassigned to the mountains.

All in all, the eastern army represents close to 50% of the Republic's military strength on land. Adding the nomadic warriors probably puts it at more than 50%. Most units are a mix of aristocratic officers, well-trained Lifers from the peasant class, auxiliary attachments for scouting and reconaissance, enslaved Byiner soldiers with elite training, enslaved laborers, a handful of eunuch officials to manage logistics, and a staff of professionals who assist them drawn from the lower aristocracy and ambitious middle-class families. The exact composition of a unit varies depending on its location and purpose. Desert garrisons consist of at least 50% auxiliaries with some attached nomadic warriors; desert patrol groups are almost entirely made up of nomads with a few officers and Lifers who join them occasionally.

Authority

The Guardian has the responsibility to recruit, maintain, and supply all of these troops and fortifications. He has the authority to enlist troops from designated districts that amount to nearly half of the southern valley. During times of unrest on the borders, he must increase these levies considerably. It is interesting to note that whenever the peasants protest unreasonably large troop levies, they almost always appeal to the Governor to rescue them from the tyrannical actions of the Guardian; the system allows the Governor himself to avoid blame for costly defense projects. The Guardian also is the Republic's main representatives to its subjects dwelling in the free mountain villages of the Sierra Nevada. He collects tribute and coordinates recruitment from these villages for his auxiliary forces.

The one area where the Guardian does not have much independent authority is finance. California's taxes are collected and allocated based on careful central planning in Sacramento. Past Guardians who handled their own finances either allowed the defenses to go into disrepair, or else amassed large private armies and used them to threaten the capital. Therefore, today the central government handles the money to keep the Guardian under control. However, a new Guardian at the start of his term is expected to dip into his own wealth to provide gifts to favored client chiefs. This show of generosity is considered essential to keep the loyalty of tribes who have build strong personal ties with the outgoing Guardian and may be suspicious of the newcomer. Though he has all the power of the Californian state behind him, much of a Guardian's influence comes down to these personal relationships.

Notes
[1] As Californians use it, the name "Nevadans" refers to eastern peoples who practice Scientology, whether they live in the mountains or the desert, and whether they live inside the old borders of Nevada or not. Other more recently arrived tribes who inhabit the land of Nevada but come from different religious traditions are not called by that name.
[2] Boss and Chief are formal terms in Californian diplomacy and indicate chieftains of different ranks.
 
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The Five States of Islamistan

Well, here are the five areas in which I think my idea of a "Dar as-Islam" among the Colorado Rockies based off of escapees from the Supermax outside of Florence. The most strict of the five "states" is along the headwaters of the Arkansas river, and is based out the fort built of the ruins of the Supermax itself (the bluish-green in Lake, Chaffee, Custer, and Freemont counties). The furthest south, and a cultural blend with the Southwestern Hydraulic culture is in the San Luis Valley (the light green headwaters of the Rio Grande to the line between San Antonio Mountain and Ute Mountain, the with portions of San Juan, Hinsdale, Mineral, Saguache, Rio Grande, Conejos, Alamosa, and Costilla in Colorado and Rio Arriba and Taos County in New Mexico). Above the Arkansas State is South Park (the brown-green in Park County), which maintains the most of its pre-Fall character, though like all of the Muslim Rockies, is officially Muslim, though a majority are Dhimmi (non-muslims in a muslim state). Middle Park (the teal in Summit and Grand counties) is closest in culture to Deseret, though as they are along the old I-79 corridor, act as a secondary trade route (as opposed to the primary through South pass) between the Cowboys and Deseret. North Park (the blue of Jackson county and a bit of Carbon County Wyoming) is closest in culture to the Cowboys, and is farthest from the cultural center of the Arkansas state, so it's only the fact that it's a primarily agricultural area, with about twice the population as it had before the fall (at 3000 versus 1500), though the wild game (deer, elk, and beefalo) is quite thick, giving the area it's even older name of "Bull Pen" some weight.

Unlike many of the areas in the new America, the Five States of the "Dar as-Islam" in the Rockies have people with ancestors from all over North America (as well as even further afield, such as Afghanistan), who had immigrated to the region when they heard about the "Islamic Sanctuary" there. While Muslims are a majority in Arkansaas, they're only a plurality or the ruling minority in Quiddis Luis, Hadīqa al-Janubíyya, Hadīqa al-Wásat, and Hadīqa al-Shamalíyya. One of the important things to remember about Islamistan is that all "people of the book", including the descendent religions (so those descended from Judaism and Christianity, though not the Scientology of California), are afforded certain permissions under the law, though they are taxed a bit more than muslims would be. Due to the distances involved, the months of the Islamistan lunar calendar are based on the first sighting of the hilal from the minaret of the main mosque in Florence (though due to the Rockies, and the weather in general, it's been "standardized" to the Tabular Islamic calendar, making things predictable when storms threaten to isolate the Five States of Islamistan).

FiveStates.png
 
I did consider it - mainly because I don't like the direction the Phoenix Fire mod is taking, when it goes anywhere at all - but lack any real modding skills beyond adding new characters.


All your stuff does look good, and makes me want to add in the two (well, four) known Cowboy families.

There was a map made of Cowboy influence, which I added to. I'll upload it, with all the Cowboy groups (your's and White's) added.
Nice map! I imagined the Danvurs are a bit farther north and east but as a general overview it works well, after all these are people in flux! I may add more tribes later as well!
 
Notes
[1] As Californians use it, the name "Nevadans" refers to eastern peoples who practice Scientology, whether they live in the mountains or the desert, and whether they live inside the old borders of Nevada or not. Other more recently arrived tribes who inhabit the land of Nevada but come from different religious traditions are not called by that name.
[2] Boss and Chief are formal terms in Californian diplomacy and indicate chieftains of different ranks.
So are these Nevadans seperate from those around Las Vegas that practice heathanism?
 
Deseret

Trade

The main function of the trade is to meet the Deseret rulers' demand for luxury goods that they cannot produce in their desert home: wine, fruit, fine textiles, clocks, furniture, musical instruments, and other fine things to increase the comfort of the elite. The Desereti lords mostly pay for this with money made from the eastern salt trade; it has little else to offer California.

Slaves are the only commodity that can balance the trade a little; these are mostly captives from the mountains surrounding Deseret or rebels from Wyoming.
Fruit and grapes grow quite well in Utah. The foothills of the mountains are especially productive areas for fruit-growing. The old orchards have mostly been paved over for suburbs, but even today there are a number of commercial operations.

Historically, slaves were an extremely valuable trade good. If there's a robust slave trade, its unlikely that the Desereti lords are only 'balancing the trade a little.'

All in all, the eastern army represents close to 50% of the Republic's military strength on land. Adding the nomadic warriors probably puts it at more than 50%.
That seems really unlikely to me. Unless California's northern and southern neighbors are extremely, perpetually pacific. Even then I would have doubts. The area west of the Sierras is extremely inhospitable. It won't support any appreciable population to speak of, and it won't allow much in the way of transit of Desereters or of Cowboy nomads rolling west. And the Sierras are one of the all-time natural ramparts. How many legions did Rome have in North Africa? Would the number have been much greater if there had been a middling Empire south of the Sahara's?
 
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So are these Nevadans seperate from those around Las Vegas that practice heathanism?
Definitely. And this is only the term as Californians use it. It's entirely possible that others use the term differently.

Fruit and grapes grow quite well in Utah. The foothills of the mountains are especially productive areas for fruit-growing. The old orchards have mostly been paved over for suburbs, but even today there are a number of commercial operations.
Thank you for reading. :) I was afraid nobody would look at something so long.

I really had no idea about Utah as a fruit grower. So I will take fruit off that list. But I think it's entirely possible that the Desereti elite would prefer Californian wine - whether the quality is better or not, there is conspicuous consumption and all that.

Historically, slaves were an extremely valuable trade good. If there's a robust slave trade, its unlikely that the Desereti lords are only 'balancing the trade a little.'
I don't imagine the demand for slaves as being too terribly high in California. So this would not be enormous groups of slaves... but I see your point, a few slaves would be enough to balance a low volume of luxury goods.

That seems really unlikely to me. Unless California's northern and southern neighbors are extremely, perpetually pacific. Even then I would have doubts. The area west of the Sierras is extremely inhospitable. It won't support any appreciable population to speak of, and it won't allow much in the way of transit of Desereters or of Cowboy nomads rolling west. And the Sierras are one of the all-time natural ramparts. How many legions did Rome have in North Africa? Would the number have been much greater if there had been a middling Empire south of the Sahara's?
All of California is pretty sealed in by the mountains. The eastward pass is the only one with much traffic at all; most trade (and most attacks) are by sea, and the navy and coastal defenses are going to be the predominant branch of the armed forces. (This also fits in very nicely with Scientology's history, so I'm looking forward to writing it.) That is why I deliberately said 50% of the land forces. The army exists almost exclusively to deal with barbarians, and the Eastern command has to deal with more of them than the others.

The only neighbor of consequence by land would be the Free Zone of Los Angeles, and I think they know better than to attack the Republic - they would be crushed in the all-out war that followed; besides which, the deeply conservative (conservative, not radical) theocratic elite would rarely want to so upset the status quo.

That is where I got 50%. Now that I've explained my thinking, does it sound better for you, or do you still think I should change it?
 
Re Islamistan: wouldn't the northern Rio Grande be part of the New Mexican hydraulic state? Seems natural.
I put it in Islamistan because it didn't make sense to put it in the Cowboy culture, since there are way too many passes to connect it with plains. If you'll note I noted that the San Luis Valley was hydraulic influenced but the pass from the Akansas valley to the San Luis Valley is fairly low, comparatively, and so it'd be easy enough for the more Muslim Arkansaas to hold power over Quddis Luis.
 
Definitely. And this is only the term as Californians use it. It's entirely possible that others use the term differently.



Thank you for reading. :) I was afraid nobody would look at something so long.

I really had no idea about Utah as a fruit grower. So I will take fruit off that list. But I think it's entirely possible that the Desereti elite would prefer Californian wine - whether the quality is better or not, there is conspicuous consumption and all that.



I don't imagine the demand for slaves as being too terribly high in California. So this would not be enormous groups of slaves... but I see your point, a few slaves would be enough to balance a low volume of luxury goods.



All of California is pretty sealed in by the mountains. The eastward pass is the only one with much traffic at all; most trade (and most attacks) are by sea, and the navy and coastal defenses are going to be the predominant branch of the armed forces. (This also fits in very nicely with Scientology's history, so I'm looking forward to writing it.) That is why I deliberately said 50% of the land forces. The army exists almost exclusively to deal with barbarians, and the Eastern command has to deal with more of them than the others.

The only neighbor of consequence by land would be the Free Zone of Los Angeles, and I think they know better than to attack the Republic - they would be crushed in the all-out war that followed; besides which, the deeply conservative (conservative, not radical) theocratic elite would rarely want to so upset the status quo.

That is where I got 50%. Now that I've explained my thinking, does it sound better for you, or do you still think I should change it?
So remind me, what's to the North again? My recollection was that the Pacific Northwest was fairly populous and developed.

Also, with respect to the Free Zone, even states that have structural reasons for gettin along fairly well usually maintain large military establishments sitting there looking at each other.

Now, perhaps you're right, and the low number of troops needed to maintain a defense along the Sierras is still 50% because of the low number of troops over-all. But if that's the case, it seems implausible that the Guardian is really a significant military threat to usurp rule. Because if there isn't a lot of force needed to maintain the frontier, then it should be fairly easy for the dynasty to maintain a central reserve of troops that significantly outclasses what's available to the Guardian. By the same token, I doubt that barbarians are much of a threat to decapitate the dynasty either, simply for lack of numbers.

On the fruit, you may be right about the wine. The thing here is that California just has way more productive land of all types than the Great Basin, so there should be luxuries available simply because California can afford to sustain a critical mass of a number of niche products and specializations that the Great Basin can't.
 
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