Medieval America Tk II: Discussion Thread

So remind me, what's to the North again? My recollection was that the Pacific Northwest was fairly populous and developed.
That's right, and based on the original Medieval America source material, the PNW maritime republics are capable, when they get together, of completely blockading California and controlling its trade. But that's almost entirely by sea. For one thing, they're maritime republics, after all. For another, the northern end of California is guarded by its own rather imposing mountains - and those are thick with forests.

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.
True. And even given that most trade is by sea, the overland passes to LA are going to see much more traffic than the dangerous route to Utah. That's convinced me 50% is coming down. For land forces, now I'm thinking about 35% to the south, 25% to the east, 15% to the north, 25% in the center at the capital. And, of course, the navy. Sound good?

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.
The threat really only comes when there's a breakdown in central authority. Maybe I need to revise some of my writing in this part, too - the central authorities fear not just the possibility of being usurped, but also feudal fragmentation. If the border GUardians get too much autonomy, some of the tight central control that keeps the Republic running would be lost.

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.
That was the idea, yes. California can provide more luxuries than Utah, and do a much better job of it. Certainly enough of a comparative advantage that it might be the source of luxuries for an even wider area, kind of how Chinese silks were consumed so far away that they became, for example, the standard costume for saints in Western Christian icons. California wines, and other specialties, are probably highly prized in very faraway places.
 
That's right, and based on the original Medieval America source material, the PNW maritime republics are capable, when they get together, of completely blockading California and controlling its trade. But that's almost entirely by sea. For one thing, they're maritime republics, after all. For another, the northern end of California is guarded by its own rather imposing mountains - and those are thick with forests.



True. And even given that most trade is by sea, the overland passes to LA are going to see much more traffic than the dangerous route to Utah. That's convinced me 50% is coming down. For land forces, now I'm thinking about 35% to the south, 25% to the east, 15% to the north, 25% in the center at the capital. And, of course, the navy. Sound good?
OK. I can buy that. My only thought is that actually giving a percentage breakdown may not even be necessary. If you keep with the spirit of the original project, its more thematic.

A couple of thoughts are that the *amount* of trade with LA is going to be more, but the trade to Utah may be more lucrative because its all high value stuff (Utah actually probably makes quite a bit of coin just by passing on California luxuries further East).

So, I'm skeptical that the barbarian populations can be any kind of threat to California, even in times of breakdown. I am also skeptical that the Guardian would ever be *assigned* enough troops to be a threat. But in times of breakdown the Guardian can probably accumulate lots of wealth that he can use to hire mercenaries and raise troops. *That* makes him a threat. Same with the barbarian tribes. They don't have the population to do anything. But when California external control over the routes gets weak, some tribe or other can capture a definitive middleman position, start skimming, and get the wherewhithal to hire mercenaries and etc. So I see the Soros tribe as having an army large enough to be a threat, but one that was mostly mercenaries, including Californians.
 
Donner pass is tough. But the real killer road even in our modern times in California is Walker's pass.
If the Guardian can maintain the access to Donner Pass, perhaps using the pre-fall roadbeds to maintain access, or using the railroad beds to do the same, he's likely to have more power.

I'd imagine that if he can maintain Macadam roads from the Central Valley through Donner Pass and to Reno, then he can have quite a bit of power. I'd also think that whomever controls the Route 50 pass from Carson City around the south of Lake Tahoe would also be powerful in California.
 
OK. I can buy that. My only thought is that actually giving a percentage breakdown may not even be necessary. If you keep with the spirit of the original project, its more thematic.
They're vague round numbers, yes, but our discussion is what drew them out.

So, I'm skeptical that the barbarian populations can be any kind of threat to California, even in times of breakdown. I am also skeptical that the Guardian would ever be *assigned* enough troops to be a threat. But in times of breakdown the Guardian can probably accumulate lots of wealth that he can use to hire mercenaries and raise troops. *That* makes him a threat. Same with the barbarian tribes. They don't have the population to do anything. But when California external control over the routes gets weak, some tribe or other can capture a definitive middleman position, start skimming, and get the wherewhithal to hire mercenaries and etc. So I see the Soros tribe as having an army large enough to be a threat, but one that was mostly mercenaries, including Californians.
That's more or less what I had in mind, except for the bit about Californian mercenaries. Another good idea; if there is any kind of final version I'll make sure to mention them.

If it wasn't clear, I'm trying to make the Nevadans into analogues of the Bedouin - nomadic herders and traders who share the religion of the great empires and can either be used by them or go against them.
 
Wow, I haven't kept up to date with this thread! This is looking awesome! California seems mostly done, but I was thinking of some concepts, tell me if they sound too silly:

The Sagas:



Apart of Scientology, the Sagas are one of the major staples of California culture. Epic tales of ancient heroes, the Sagas are long, complex and fantastic stories from ancient times, kept alive by written tradition, annual plays and enforcement of the Canon by the Writers Guild.

Sagas are unrelated to each other, and the exact number of Sagas is up to debate. The four most famous Sagas are that of The Star Wars, the Ring, Indiana (not related to the geographical region) and Potter, but there are dozens, if not hundreds of minor ones, some based in tales of the rest of America (for example, the tales of Supers are written down, though the Canon is often hard to enforce). While the Sagas have no common setting, all of their settings are fantastical and seldom located in real life.

What differentiates Sagas from other literature (and indeed, other forms of art) is that they originate not in the mind of an artist, but in a state organization. The Writers Guild of the California Republic is the only organization authorized to write, edit and distribute Sagas. Any deviation is considered “Non-Canon”. The Canon is the framework where a Saga is written: it is rigidly enforced by the Guild. Old stories are untouched, and any new one must conform to The Canon, or else be shunned by the Guild and its followers outside it (called Geeks, who keep their favorite sagas alive by retelling them outside the main presentations). Distribution of a Script is also illegal; copying a saga is compared to theft and is a crime punishble by death.

The Republic organizes public theaters every summer, where all people can watch the ancient stories come to life by highly paid and respect actors. Popular ones have a “Wide Release”, with multiple repetitions over all summer. While the Sagas are not explicitly part of the Scientologist religion, lessons and parables from it are often sneaked in, and to be an Actor is to be a highly respected profession in Scientology. Some mythological characters are even sneaked in: In the Star Wars saga, the evil Darth Vader is said to be Xenu's henchman. Despite that, the Writers Guild makes clear that the Sagas are fictitious: after each play the following disclaimer is recited by the presenter of the Saga (the Narrator): All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
 
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Wow, I haven't kept up to date with this thread! This is looking awesome! California seems mostly done, but I was thinking of some concepts, tell me if they sound too silly:

The Sagas:



Apart of Scientology, the Sagas are one of the major staples of California culture. Epic tales of ancient heroes, the Sagas are long, complex and fantastic stories from ancient times, kept alive by written tradition, annual plays and enforcement of the Canon by the Writers Guild.

Sagas are unrelated to each other, and the exact number of Sagas is up to debate. The four most famous Sagas are that of The Star Wars, the Ring, Indiana (not related to the geographical region) and Potter, but there are dozens, if not hundreds of minor ones, some based in tales of the rest of America (for example, the tales of Supers are written down, though the Canon is often hard to enforce). While the Sagas have no common setting, all of their settings are fantastical and seldom located in real life.

What differentiates Sagas from other literature (and indeed, other forms of art) is that they originate not in the mind of an artist, but in a state organization. The Writers Guild of the California Republic is the only organization authorized to write, edit and distribute Sagas. Any deviation is considered “Non-Canon”. The Canon is the framework where a Saga is written: it is rigidly enforced by the Guild. Old stories are untouched, and any new one must conform to The Canon, or else be shunned by the Guild and its followers outside it (called Geeks, who keep their favorite sagas alive by retelling them outside the main presentations). Distribution of a Script is also illegal; copying a saga is compared to theft and is a crime punishble by death.

The Republic organizes public theaters every summer, where all people can watch the ancient stories come to life by highly paid and respect actors. Popular ones have a “Wide Release”, with multiple repetitions over all summer. While the Sagas are not explicitly part of the Scientologist religion, lessons and parables from it are often sneaked in, and to be an Actor is to be a highly respected profession in Scientology. Some mythological characters are even sneaked in: In the Star Wars saga, the evil Darth Vader is said to be Xenu's henchman. Despite that, the Writers Guild makes clear that the Sagas are fictitious: after each play the following disclaimer is recited by the presenter of the Saga (the Narrator): All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
I like this idea but I feel it too closely resembles modern ideas and the main sagas seem to all be early late 20th and early 21st century films, I see no reason why these would fair any better than older films, also I think a point needs to be maid that these are reinterpreted to fit the medieval world, LOTR works well but Star Wars less so people without even gunpowder will not have tales of blasters and light sabers however mystical beings with swords of fire or some such thing might exist.
 
*snip Sagas*
Okay, that was fairly awesome, though I'd think there would be more than just The Star Wars (are there three, six, or perhaps nine parts?), The Ring (three or six?), Indiana (three or four?), and Potter (seven or eight?). Perhaps the Star Trek (though how would that work as a mostly serialized story aside from the nine or more long-form pieces), the Battlestar, and the story of Babylon would also be around. I could see California getting upset if they discover illicit productions of the Sagas performed outside of California.
 
I like this idea but I feel it too closely resembles modern ideas and the main sagas seem to all be early late 20th and early 21st century films, I see no reason why these would fair any better than older films, also I think a point needs to be maid that these are reinterpreted to fit the medieval world, LOTR works well but Star Wars less so people without even gunpowder will not have tales of blasters and light sabers however mystical beings with swords of fire or some such thing might exist.
You're right about the films... I just noted those who seemed to have the largest fan following, I would welcome suggestions. And of course, stories are adapted to the medieval era: Star Wars has swords in place of lightsabers and boats instead of spaceships for example (it was based in japanese samurai stories, so there might not be much of an stretch). The title may reference other things instead of space travel... Not sure which though.

Okay, that was fairly awesome, though I'd think there would be more than just The Star Wars (are there three, six, or perhaps nine parts?), The Ring (three or six?), Indiana (three or four?), and Potter (seven or eight?). Perhaps the Star Trek (though how would that work as a mostly serialized story aside from the nine or more long-form pieces), the Battlestar, and the story of Babylon would also be around. I could see California getting upset if they discover illicit productions of the Sagas performed outside of California.
Thanks! When I wrote Sagas I meant the collection of all works related to a single tale written in books (as LOTR) or in several plays ordered and connected to each other (somewhat like a smaller Bible, a collection of several books). Those fransiches sound good... but they may be even harder to adapt than Star Wars... And yes, I was about to make a reference to piracy, but I thought I went too far already... :D
 
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I love it!

This might fit better in the California Free Zone (Los Angeles) rather than the Republic (Sacramento and the central valley). Of course, a thousand years might be enough time for the two to cross-pollinate, so Sacramento might have started its own Writers' Guild in imitation of Los Angeles. I've written before that Scientology spread to the Republic from LA. My next big post will be about relations between those two empires, but I do imagine that northern Californians see LA as the old place where the culture and history comes from, but which is now mostly a decadent has-been.

So far I've only done two largish posts for California, so it's not done at all. A few pages back I did a culture/history post (the Virgen de Guadeloupe adapted to state scientology), and on the last page I began a series of posts on the (northern) Republic's foreign relations.
 
I love it!

This might fit better in the California Free Zone (Los Angeles) rather than the Republic (Sacramento and the central valley). Of course, a thousand years might be enough time for the two to cross-pollinate, so Sacramento might have started its own Writers' Guild in imitation of Los Angeles. I've written before that Scientology spread to the Republic from LA. My next big post will be about relations between those two empires, but I do imagine that northern Californians see LA as the old place where the culture and history comes from, but which is now mostly a decadent has-been.

So far I've only done two largish posts for California, so it's not done at all. A few pages back I did a culture/history post (the Virgen de Guadeloupe adapted to state scientology), and on the last page I began a series of posts on the (northern) Republic's foreign relations.
I've read those posts! Good job, very detailed!

Yeah, I kind of forgot that LA is the capital of the Free Zone... But it's no big deal, I could simply retcon it to fit your explanation. Perhaps there even may be two different Canons between the two states (for example, California may insist that there are nine books on the Saga of The Star Wars, but the Free Zone may insist that there are only three :D) but since they're mostly entertaiment, those differences don't amount to much.

I'm doing some other concepts for California. Geeks are supposed to be *bards* that are no part of the Writers Guild, but are allowed to keep books of Sagas and retell them when there aren't theater performances (they have to paid the guild for the books though). I thought of making a "Jedi Order" of a few hundred members who took Sagas too seriously, but that seemed too silly.

In a more serious note, I'm also thinking of some Latin influences in the region, but that's all on my head for now... And perhaps some cowboy tribes (there is still a lot of free space there last time I checked)

(BTW, how's language in Medieval America? It is all English with local dialects, or there are some totally *new* languages? Spanglish and Cajun come to mind)
 
(for example, California may insist that there are nine books on the Saga of The Star Wars, but the Free Zone may insist that there are only three :D)
Awesome. Yes. Star Wars purists still existing in Medieval America. They don't ever stop, do they.

I'm doing some other concepts for California. Geeks are supposed to be *bards* that are no part of the Writers Guild, but are allowed to keep books of Sagas and retell them when there aren't theater performances (they have to paid the guild for the books though).
I can see that. California is so wide-open (the central part, at least) that it would be a perfect place for travelling entertainers of all kinds. It would help make peasant life more tolerable, certainly.

I thought of making a "Jedi Order" of a few hundred members who took Sagas too seriously, but that seemed too silly.
State Scientology is more than silly enough already, I think.

In a more serious note, I'm also thinking of some Latin influences in the region, but that's all on my head for now... And perhaps some cowboy tribes (there is still a lot of free space there last time I checked)

(BTW, how's language in Medieval America? It is all English with local dialects, or there are some totally *new* languages? Spanglish and Cajun come to mind)
I wanted to make a general language post. I think English would be in almost exactly the same situation as Latin in Medieval Europe. All the ancient texts, both religious and secular, would be in English, and true English would be the only acceptable language for serious writing. But local descendants of English would be very different from each other.

In the few terms I've made up for California, I've tried to imagine Spanish influencing the local English, but I haven't done anything systematic. (I changed v's to b's a few times, for example, hence the Etrabolta family that introduced Scientology to northern California.) A Spanish-influenced Californian English descendant might be a fun conlanging project.

Another term I've used (on the map) is "Shore," as in "Great Western Shore." The "Shore" is actually the Fleet, not the coast itself; so the "Great Western Fleet". The term Sea Org is ridiculous, so I derived Sea Org > Syorg > Shyor > Shore. That's fairly normal English phonetics, not influenced by Spanish. So in California nautical parlance, "shore" can mean both a fleet and a coastline. I figure that sailors in OTL can use "port" to mean both "left side of a boat" and "place to dock a ship" without getting confused, so two meanings for shore isn't too far-fetched.
 
(BTW, how's language in Medieval America? It is all English with local dialects, or there are some totally *new* languages? Spanglish and Cajun come to mind)
if we take europe as a comparison, look what happen to vulgar latin in a millenium and how they turned into localised language continuum. because there are less outside languages to influence it, you would probably end up, based on comments made before on the history of northa america, with 3 zone:

- Angla (north east): based on the conquest then continued influence of the kingdom of quebec
- Inglis (the south): based on the influence of spanish
- English (in between): a more conservative form of it

within each zone you would have a continuum of dialects so that people from one region can speak to their neighbour but the further they go the more it becomes difficult and while close one would consider themselves dialects, go far enough and it will be as 2 completely different languages.

To give an idea:

medival-english.png
 
Why is the French-influenced part so big? (Other than personal aggrandizement ;)) The Spanish-influenced areas are ones where Spanish speakers are a major demographic influence - not across the border, but right there on the ground. The only parts of the US where French has that kind of presence are right across the border with Quebec. And part of Louisiana, so there may well be an "Angla" that emerges down there. But I don't understand why a majority of New England would acquire a French substratum.

Further north, inside the Canadian border, Angla makes a lot more sense as a widespread descendant of English.

But even in the rest of the US and English Canada, I think the languages would diverge a lot more. The dialects we have today would continue to diverge, and certain mountain ranges would become major linguistic frontiers. There are not many outside languages to influence them, but languages have a way of diverging by themselves.
 
Why is the French-influenced part so big? (Other than personal aggrandizement ;))
what, you need more ?

The Spanish-influenced areas are ones where Spanish speakers are a major demographic influence - not across the border, but right there on the ground. The only parts of the US where French has that kind of presence are right across the border with Quebec. And part of Louisiana, so there may well be an "Angla" that emerges down there. But I don't understand why a majority of New England would acquire a French substratum.

Further north, inside the Canadian border, Angla makes a lot more sense as a widespread descendant of English.
someone mentioned before that quebec was apparently expansionist and conquered a fair bit of land. No idea how that happened though I posted an hypothesis a few pages back.

The point though is that instead of trying to develop new forms of english independently from one another, they probablyshould fit in with a few continuum so they don't appear random.

Cajun however could very well be an isolated language since it would find itself cut off from other langue d'oil speakers and is very concentrated.
 
what, you need more ?



someone mentioned before that quebec was apparently expansionist and conquered a fair bit of land. No idea how that happened though I posted an hypothesis a few pages back.

The point though is that instead of trying to develop new forms of english independently from one another, they probablyshould fit in with a few continuum so they don't appear random.

Cajun however could very well be an isolated language since it would find itself cut off from other langue d'oil speakers and is very concentrated.
The Quebec thing was an attempt to justify why there was no real evidence of New York State on the old website (it appears on neither the Feudal Core map nor the New England map, so the hypothetical St. Lawrence map is the only place to put it).
 
Well, I tried to post the language map, but it seems White's website is truely gone, so this may take awhile.
 
Well, I tried to post the language map, but it seems White's website is truely gone, so this may take awhile.
The French influence should end at the Adirondacks. The trade along the Mohawk/Erie Canal should keep it fairly cosmopolitan. One of the great parts of upstate NY is we are fairly unaccented so it should be one of the least linguistically deviated dialects.
 
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