Medieval America Tk II: Discussion Thread

White's site seems to be working fine for me. :confused:

But I just now realized that he was the same person responsible for the Historical Atlas of the 20th Century. :eek: He is/was a truly remarkable person.

I don't think there needs to be any Quebecois conquest to explain a gap on the old website. The website was full of gaps. New York could be anything at all.
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Poor Erie Canal, always gets forgotten. :(
How do you mean?

The original White site, anyway, suggested that trade across the Appalachians would be smallish because you can produce the same kinds of goods on both sides, more than because of transport issues. If we accept that, then I think the Erie Canal could be an important local waterway but not a major trade route.
How do you mean?

The original White site, anyway, suggested that trade across the Appalachians would be smallish because you can produce the same kinds of goods on both sides, more than because of transport issues. If we accept that, then I think the Erie Canal could be an important local waterway but not a major trade route.
I meant in the Linguistic map, there would be a similar language along a continuous waterway.
I meant in the Linguistic map, there would be a similar language along a continuous waterway.
Aha. And even if the Canal itself stops functioning, that's still a wide, important valley that would be the main east-west route.

The original Trade map actually reflects this:
Okay, so all of this is mere conjecture until we get to the Feudal Core and hash it out. But what I did was layer the language map with the Eastmap to get an idea of who spoke what, then labeled the language map. So to wit:

  1. Quebecois - Descended from Quebec French
  2. Maritimish - Descended from Maritime English
  3. New Englander - Descended from Boston accent
  4. Vermonter - Descended from Upper New England accent
  5. Ontarian - Descended from East Canadian accent
  6. Eriean - Descended from Upstate New York accent
  7. Jerseyese - Descended from 'Joisey' accent
  8. American - Descended from the accents of the Cheasapeake, New England, DC, and NYC
  9. Virginian - Descended from Virginian accent
  10. Appalacheese - Descended from West Virginia drawl
  11. Pitter - Descended from Pittsburg accent
  12. Heartlander - Descended from Heartland accent, used to be more widespread before formation of Iowa
  13. Iowan - Related to the Plains languages with Heartlander influences
  14. Michiganer - Descended from whatever the Michiganers sound like
  15. ???
  16. Superiese - Descended from Yonkers accent
  17. Wisconsean - Remnant descended from Wisconsin accent, being replaced by Iowan
  18. Minnesotan - Descended from Minnesotan accent
  19. Carolinian - Descended from Carolinian accents and Gullah
  20. Georgian - Descended from Southern drawl
  21. Mississippian - Like Georgian, but conjugates verbs differently
  22. Cajun - Descended from Cajun English and Cajun French
  23. Tennissian - Descended from Tennessean accent
  24. Misorian - Descended from St. Louis accent, Tennissian influence
  25. Nebraskan - One of the Plains languages, descended from 'Cowboy' accent
  26. Arkansawic - Descended from Ozarkian drawl
  27. Rivertongue - Descended from a mix of Louisianan, Ozarkian, and Oklahoman accents
  28. Floridian - Descended from Southern drawl, influence from American and Cajun languages
  29. Floridese - Descended from the accents of retirees and stranded tourists
  30. Miamese - Descended from Creole and Caribbean Spanish, some English loanwords
  31. Kansan - Plains language, related to Iowan
  32. Philadelphic - South Joisey meets West Virginia
  33. Texian - Descended from Texan drawl
EDIT: Forgot to correct the numbers - the 31 in New Jersey should be 32, and the 32 in Texas should be 33

just for my edits that I would suggest, a Hudson-Mohawk Dialect, and a Scottish Highlander people analogue in the Adirondacks.
Would there really be that many different languages? Or are they like dialects OR really big accents?
After 900 years, yeah, I'd see that many languages. People in adjacent zones would likely be able to talk to each other, but the further away, the less they can understand, such that someone from Boston would be pretty much unable to understand someone from Iowa.

Think of how much change there is between 13th century languages and today. Heck, there's a lot of change between 18th century English and 21st century English, and that's without the fall of civilization in the mean time.
For the record, here's the comparison map I made (it's a gif becuaes that's the only file that would fit).

Well, I cleaned up my entry of Sagas and writed about Geeks: Please tell me what do you think!

Also, anyone knows where I can find both political maps of Medieval America? I might convert them into a Worlda if I find time...

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.

Sagas are unrelated to each other, and the exact number of Sagas is up to debate. The three 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 Free Zone and the Writer Guild of the California Republic are the only organizations 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. Distribution is also illegal; copying a saga is compared to thief.

The first Guild was that of Los Angeles, in the Free Zone. Los Angeles has a long tradition of theater and literature, and the workers of those “industries” (in California, they are considered big enough to call them industries) organized in guilds. Over time, these guilds were absorbed by the Scientologist Church, but kept much of their independence. Those who felt constrained by Scientologist interference migrated north, to San Francisco, and established the Writers Guild of the California Republic. There are major differences in the Canons of both guilds: for example, the Saga of The Star Wars only reaches to three books and plays in Los Angeles, but it reaches as far as six in the rest of California. Since the Sagas are considered mostly entertainment by both the people and the government, these disputes don't amount to much.

Both the Republic and the Zone organize 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. Scientologist influences run deeper in the Los Angeles Guild, while the Californian Canon is often modified for fun and profit. 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.


Sagas are important to Californian life, however they're limited in time. Because of both tradition and economy, the “box offices” of the theaters are opened during summer. People want to be entertained all year long, however! Here the Geeks come into play.

Equipped with a prodigious memory, Geeks attend plays of Sagas religiously and remember even the most trivial of characters and the most convoluted of plot lines. When there aren't any Sagas on billboards, Geeks organize themselves in small clubs on pubs and taverns, often named by organizations in sagas (the Fellowship of The Ring, the Jedi Order, etc.) to discuss the Canon of their sagas and their favorite characters, settings, etc.

Geeks often remember key quotes, or memorable scenes of their favorite plays, and reenact them on taverns and farmhouses, for a free meal and some tips. Some are traveling performers, either alone or with a small group. Others are on the employ of nobles or rich merchants, to entertain their children.

Since Geeks often perform just part of the Sagas, and do not write them down (in fact, many of them are illiterate) their performances fall under the arcane laws of Fair Use, and the authorities allow them. In fact the Writers Guilds often encourage them, since they promote the main plays in summer and keep alive otherwise unprofitable Sagas. The Writers Guild often sells “special editions” to Geeks; these are resumed editions of the Scripts stored in the guilds, often containing instructions on how to perform their characters and useful background information. These “special editions” are expensive: Clubs take pride on how many of them own, and the Guilds make a tidy profit through them.

Geeks come from all walks of life. Some are peasants unable to work or from big families so that they may dedicate their free time to their clubs, making peasant life a bit more bearable. Others are drinking clubs on taverns and pubs. Even others are sons of petty nobility or merchants. Some of the most successful Geeks may be even invited into the Acting Guilds, or even better, the Writer Guilds and write their own sagas. Some traveling Geeks may stray far from California, even into the West Coast: there are treated as curious storytellers at best and Scientologist propagandists at worst.

Geeks are huge defenders of Canon, some say even more that the Guilds themselves. To enter a Los Angeles bar and start reciting from The Saga According to Jar-Jar is the best way to start a barfight.
^ This is wonderful. I'm incorporating it into what I am writing about relations between the two Californias.

[*]Michiganer - Descended from whatever the Michiganers sound like


[*]Superiese - Descended from Yonkers accent
Michigan has no specific accent right now, but if the interior is isolated its English could certainly diverge in weird directions. It looks like the lake shores have a different language/dialect than the interior, which fits in with that idea. It also works quite well with the "Great Lakes Hansa" I had started (and will return to, once we get there).

By Yonkers, do you mean Yooper? The Yoopers definitely have their own accent, though it's basically the same as northern Minnesota and North Dakota.

Here is a good English dialect map for today. Keep in mind it's based only on pronunciation and accent (mostly vowel sounds), so it doesn't reflect differences in vocabulary. It also ignores Black dialects/AAVE, which would sort of overlay the entire map. Same with the emerging "Hispanic English" dialect or the less numerically-strong Asian-American English dialects, which again are more about separate subcultures than regions and can't be mapped as easily.

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So, maybe Georgian (or Jawjahn), would sound like this:

Or Fatha in heabin,
holy be you name,
you kingdom come,
you will be done,
on earth anin heabin.
Gibe we today or vidils.
Forgibe we or sin
a we forgibe those who sin against we.
Sabe we fro the time of judgimint
and deliba we from ebil.
[Fo the kingdom, the powa, an da glory ah you
now and fo eber.] Amin.
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Foreign and military relations of the Republic of California
Part 3 (of 6): The South

The Republic's chief neighbor to the south is, of course, the other California, the Free Zone, in which a theocratic President and a bewildering labyrinth of officials rule the Los Angeles basin from the capital city of Ellei. There are three main routes into the Free Zone. The wide Tehon Pass is the main route by land; it leaves the south end of California's central valley and descends through the hill country surrounding Los Angeles, entering the Free Zone from the northwest. Another route is the trecherous road that hugs the coast, where rockslides and bandits alike threaten travellers who are not well-armed. Finally and most importantly is the sea, the route that carries the greatest volume of trade between the two empires.

Beyond the Free Zone is harsh desert. Unlike the Nevadan desert region, the land of the Mohave and Death Valley has no major tribal confederations, and few people live in groups larger than an extended family. Distant from the capital, they are mostly ignored by the Republic's government which sees in them neither worthy allies nor worthy threats. The main route into this desolate country is the Teachapi Pass.

Further south are the states of coastal Mexico. The Republic's dealings with them are limited and usually conducted through the navy.

The Republic also considers two internal regions in its calculations of southward foreign relations. These are the inner barbarians of the Temblor and Diablo Mountains, and the partly autonomous Four Towns of the Arguello. The Guardian of the Southern Reaches is responsible for managing the Republic's relations with these special regions as well as defending the southern frontier and regulating trade with the Free Zone.

The Free Zone

Californians (of the Republic) are not sure how to feel about the Free Zoners. Most people know they were once part of the Republic, but they went off on their own so long ago that they seem more like a distant relative than a wayward son. The Free Zone shares with the Republic a scientologist religion and certain cultural institutions like the Sagas. But the two sides of any religious schism often have more hard feelings toward one another than toward complete outsiders. Peasants and townsmen in the Southern Reaches are taught to beware of the heresies that traveling merchants and entertainers might bring from the south. Whether a Free Zoner will be welcome among Republicans will vary from town to town, and from person to person.

The average Californian peasant or trader, even among those who have contact with people across the border, knows nothing about the reasons for the schism or how his religion differs from the other side's. Even those with some education tend only to know about a few broad differences; so a Republican might know that the Free Zoners pray to many "false clarises" that his state church has not approved. Most of the theological debate happens only at the highest level, and by now, after a couple of centuries of arguing, most Californian theologians from the two empires have stopped addressing the controversies and have moved on to other topics. In reality the differences are more cultural than anything else; the Republic's state church tends to be more orderly and regulated, while the Free Zone church has spawned innumerable religious orders and societies, all of which play some traditional role in government, to the point where few people could explain how it all fits together.


Despite various religious misunderstandings, the Free Zone remains the Republic's biggest outside trading partner in terms of volume of goods. The lively trade in food allows the south and the north to specialize in different crops. The Republic makes meat and other animal products not widely produced in the Free Zone, and the south makes up the balance with warm-weather fruit and certain specialty crafts, in particular glassmaking.

By sea, this trade is carried out largely by the Republic's merchant marine, a body closely associated with the Great Western Shore, the Republic's navy. By land, most of the carrying is done by merchant companies based in either empire; Bakersfield is known as the base for many such companies. The companies own the wagons and pack animals and hire teamsters to take them over the Tehon or other mountain passes. A few independent merchants exist as well, but it is hard to earn a profit making the long and risky journey through the mountains, and a trading company reduces the risk that one rockslide or bandit attack could destroy one's entire operation. The most powerful trading companies are very old institutions indeed; they may own a lot of land and compete with the landowning nobles for attention and favors from the Gubernatorial government.

Merchant teams often subcontract guides and bodyguards from among the "biker" clans of the mountains. The bikers are horse-riding nomads who do not keep large herds like the Cowboys of the plains, but instead earn most of their subsistence either as guides or as highwaymen - frequently as both, depending on how much a customer is willing to pay for services. Other biker groups migrate within the Republic where they similarly engage in trade or plunder depending on the group and the circumstance, but this is a topic for another time.


A few times in history, the Republic has invaded the Free Zone by land or sea. This has almost always been an extension of diplomacy through force, an attempt to coerce the southerners into modifying some trade or other practice when they could not be persuaded otherwise. Conquering the Free Zone outright is considered impractical.

When the Republic has been at the height of its power, its governor has at times coerced the FZ and its president into recognizing his suzerainty, making the FZ a vassal state. When this has happened, it has gone together with talks about religious unification that always ended up drowning in the details and provoking a backlash that damaged the Republic's influence over its neighbor.

FOr these reasons, the Republic keeps a sizeable force in the south to awe the Free Zoners and communicate its own power and wealth, but major wars are rare.


The desert nomads to the southwest of California mostly fall beneath the notice of the Republic's government, both of the rulers in Sacramento and the Guardian stationed nearby. The Republic's subjects who live in mountain villages carry on some small-scale trade with them, and occasionally a party will climb to the pass and raid a trading convoy, but mostly the desert people are ignored. Since they have few permanent chiefs, the Guardian is not able to make clients of them as easily as the Master in the East can with the Nevadan tribes.

Inner barbarians

Also of importance are the "inner barbarians" who live in the mountains separating the Samwakeme (San Joachim) and Salinas valleys. In these ranges there is some irrigated agriculture, but the land is marginal compared to the rich land of the valleys. So most of the people who live there are disconnected from the system of farming and serfdom that is the fabric of Californian society. They live in isolated villages and farmsteads, or in semi-nomadic groups, in relative freedom. Their dialect is distinct enough from the rest of California to mark them as different.

Given that their lands are not valuable and their numbers are few, the Republic is rarely too concerned about these mountain peoples. They are expected to pay tribute in goods, though not in labor, to be collected by the small squads of soldiers that patrol the mountains. They also must contribute recruits to the army, and indeed recruits from this harsh region are highly desirable and often become officers along the frontiers. The more-or-less priveleged status they enjoy means that these groups cause few problems for the Republic, but problems do flare up occasionally. One persistent issue is serfs from the surrounding lowlands fleeing into the mountains.

The Arguello

The Arguello is the coastal region between the cities of San Luis and Santa Barbara, the Republic's last outpost before Free Zone territory. Very isolated from the rest of the Republic, the Arguello also enjoys considerable autonomy, though most of its people are unfree peasants as in the central valley. Its chief landowners and merchant princes, however, have more authority over local government than elsewhere. The region is traditionally divided into four towns, and each town has a Committee of civic leaders who have the power to raise taxes locally and summon a local militia, something not known in other parts of California.

The central government names a Lieutenant Governor, usually a member of the ruling family, to manage affairs here and keep the towns in line. His role is much more that of a constitutional than an absolute monarch; he must always consider the opinions of the four committees in his decisions.

Ultimately, though, the Arguello is defended by the southern army. It stations troops at the border in Santa Barbara and in San Luis. It has the power to draft soldiers in the towns of San Luis and Santa Maria, while the navy can impress sailors in Santa Barbara and Lompoc. The region's division into four parts is a useful check on the aristocracy's power, since joint action is more difficult.

The Guardian of the Southern Reaches

The Republic's delegate for dealing with the Free Zone, the southern overland trade, the desert nomads, the inner barbarians, and the Four Towns is the Guardian of the Southern Reaches. His main headquarters is the mountain fortress of Tehon, built overlooking the main pass, though not spanning its entire bredth like the Donnerfort in the east. A number of other fortifications and ditchworks guard Tehon and other passes to deter attacks by Free Zoners and barbarians alike. He also spends a certain amount of time in Santa Maria in the Arguello.

The nature of the Southern Reaches means that the Guardian must make frequent trips south to Ellei to act as the Governor's ambassador to the Free Zone. As he has a considerable amount of troops at his command, when he makes such a visit he can usually expect to get most of what he wants.

Very far from the capital and the centers of power, the Guardianship is seen as something of a dead-end position for a member of California's high nobility. It has important responsibilities and pays a generous pension, like the other great frontier commands, but it lacks the prestige and the opportunity to participate in court politics that the Northern and Eastern commands offer.
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So, maybe Georgian (or Jawjahn), would sound like this:

Or Fatha in heabin,
holy be you name,
you kingdom come,
you will be done,
on earth anin heabin.
Gibe we today or vidils.
Forgibe we or sin
a we forgibe those who sin against we.
Sabe we fro the time of judgimint
and deliba we from ebil.
[Fo the kingdom, the powa, an da glory ah you
now and fo eber.] Amin.
I like it! I think a good system for coming up with dialect/language regions would be to think of what some common words might be.

For example
The word Yes
in Minnesotan/Dakotan: Youbecha
in Northern Cowboy: Yep or Yup
in Southern Cowboy: Si
in Arizonan: Aoo (from Navajo)