Medieval America Tk II: Discussion Thread

There is no Alabama anymore, there is only the Commonwealth of Mississippi :p. Unless your county is up near Huntsville, in which yes, there is an Alabama.
Oh God the horror that our sister state could envelope the beloved county of Baldwin :(....:D
 
Better yet, have we agreed on anything for the Great Lakes Region?
I'll quote jm from last year:

What we do know about New York State is such - it is feudal, has around 2,000,000 people, uses lancers (knights) as the primary soldier, is Non-Denominational, and exports wine, timber, and textiles.

White appareantly planned to break NY up pretty badly - we have New York proper based around Syracuse, a US-controlled NYC, and Gennesee County, based around Buffalo (which seems to resemble Hamburg), plus Albany County and what I can only presume are Ulster and Columbia Counties as mini-kingdoms. However, unlike the West Map, the East Map should only be a guideline to show us who the main players are, so you can feel free to ignore those borders when the time comes.
This is the East Map. Detroit and Buffalo appear to be the two largest cities and capitals of kingdoms. Toronto appears to be a kind of ecclesiastical state, and Rochester a lesser kingdom. The rest of the Lakes region looks like either small states, or peripheral parts of larger empires. There is plenty of room to develop smaller local powers and a unique "Lakes" culture.

Last year, I also contributed a basic sketch of a league of cities on the upper Great Lakes, in which Sault Ste. Marie plays the role of Luebeck, Chicago is London or Novgorod, and Detroit is a royal city that competes with the league, like Copenhagen. I think that overall, the medieval Baltic would be a good reference point for the Great Lakes. Matthew White's original, however, did not look at them as a distinct region.
 
One more post. I'm looking to combine everything on the Californias into a coherent whole. What's definitely missing is a more organized description of the governments of both empires. Both are hydraulic empires, which means they have much in common: a very powerful ruler, a nobility of great families who comprise the highest levels of government, etc. But they have some important differences, as well. Their differences can best be summed up like this: in the Republic, the Church is essentially a department of the State. In the Free Zone, the whole of State government is considered almost as a department of the Church.

I also need a more generic overview of military tactics (as opposed to military command structure and geographic reach, which I have explored probably too much. :eek:) According to the map, the Republic seems to rely on both lancers and horse archers... this tells me that heavy cavalry, probably mostly aristocrats, form the backbone of the defensive army, while horse archers are the most important part of the army units that go on patrol.

Beyond that, I was looking into the "Second Look (discussion free)" thread to review the officially accepted material. I want to very belatedly comment and add to some of the general info on Irrigator cultures, as it relates to California.

Irrigation

Clothing:
Wool and Cotton are the main textiles, and the single most universal piece of clothing is the wool poncho. A man's poncho is his most important possession, and will often be decorated with symbols representing his family. Women will wear a similar garment, the serape. The more ornate a poncho or serape, the more powerful the wearer likely is. Under these garments, a person will often wear a simple loincloth or skirt, breeches being too restrictive in the hot sun. Sandals serve as footwear, and only the most destitute beggars won't wear makeup to protect their eyes. Men will wear a wide-brim straw hat, while women will wear a simple veil.
Isn't cotton a very wasteful crop? Even Today it is notorious for depleting soil and water resources The Aral Sea disaster is an extreme example... not a good idea for an Irrigator society concerned with saving every drop. I have seen flax mentioned as an alternative fiber, and I suggested that California relies on hemp. Either way, when I wrote about Californian farming I imagined that the peasants wear something very similar to traditional Mexican peasant costume... something like in this mural, but not in a plantation context.



Housing:
Houses are built from mudbrick, mixed with straw to strengthen it. Such houses prove to be durable in the arid climes, and keep the bright sun out. Only the wealthy build houses out of stone, and they build them for ostentatious reasons. Only in California is wood-based housing common, and even then they leave the Sacred Redwoods alone.
I'll add that like everything else, housing follows a north-south gradient in the California Republic. Building in the far north is almost entirely of wood, and in the far south most buildings are adobe. In the middle-south, half-timbered frame houses are most common, with the space between the timbers filled up with adobe.

Trade:
Salt. The entire trade economy of the Southwest runs on salt. It is the most valuable commodity on the continent, and most of it comes from Deseret and New Mexico. The great salt mines produce that which is more valuable than gold to send it to the somewhat salt-deprived Feudal Core in the east.
An important addition: Californian luxury goods are key drivers of the salt trade. Without Californian wine and craft goods, Deseret would have nothing to buy with the gold and silver gained from eastern salt buyers. It is demand for Californian luxuries that keeps Utahn salt makers working hard.

Society:

The scarcity of water means that Irrigation politics is much more simple than others. In contrast to the heavily structured and layered nature of the East's feudalism, Westerm society has only two real groups - those who have, and those who have not. It is this nature that allows the Hydraulic Empires to exist. The main dividing lines are those of religion - the Mormons of Deseret, the New Agers of New Mexico, the Scientologists of the Californias, the Nevadan Heretics. Religion determines the differences amongst the empires - Mormonism, for example, does not endorse using eunuchs (officially), while New Agers believe women have innate healing properties and teach their womenfolk herbology. However, from the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City to Roswell, where the World of Man and the World of Elsewhere meet, to the Heretics' infamous City of Sin, one rule remains constant: He who rules the water, rules the people.
I need to do more with the Great Basin tribes. Their basic culture is like other Herdsmen, but their location between empires of different religions has affected their own belief structure very much. I mentioned that the ones called "Nevadans" (by the Californians) practice a variant form of Scientology, live in matrilineal clans but have male chiefs, and carry much of the trade goods between California and Utah. I think we need to do a little more exploring to find out what it means to live in a tribal region surrounded by empires that practice such different religions. Probably a lot of syncretism despite what California's officials would like to think... many Basin herdsmen probably change their religious practice from day to day.
 
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I just found this thread this morning and love it! Is the feudal core open now? Since Shelby County is apparently a kingdom with some influence, I'd like to write about my home West TN
 
Regarding the Great Lakes, I'd like to sketch out a possible political balance. Feel free to pick apart any pieces that don't make much sense:

In the Great Lakes, there are multiple powers, all feuding for the valuable trade between the northern wastes of Canada and the more civilized feudal core. In these valuable trading points, alliances and conflicts are prone to change every few years.

The Commonwealth of Michigan is the prime power of the Great Lakes, being the single largest challenger to the Lakeleague's commercial dominance and holding a central position from which it can project military power more than any of its aspiring rivals. Detroit is not a member of the Lakeleague, and as such, the Commonwealth of Michigan usually acts in opposition to League interests. The only exception to this is when league interests would be useful against Michigan's two other rivals: the Commonwealth of Ohio(Michigan's primary land rival and enemy), and Genesee County, whose control of the Eerie canal has always been a danger to more westerly laker nations. Michigan remains the top dog, for now, but must constantly strive against the subversive interests of the Lakeleague in its own territory and act to keep Ohio as isolated from this prosperous trade as possible to maintain that dominance.

Genesee County, through its control of the Eerie Canal, is constantly in a state of low-level conflict with at least one of the Lakes' powers. Trade wars or actual military conflicts make that control hard to maintain, but the sheer value makes their position worth the expense, especially to maintain political independence from their supposed overlords in the State of New York. It's most common enemies are its nominal overlords in Syracuse, Michigan and her allies, and on occasion the Lakeleague itself will pull together the will to oppose their control of trade. They have lost and regained control of the canal several times now, and though they have currently regained it, Genesee must watch all of its rivals very closely or risk losing it once again.

The Lakeleague itself, a collection of small cities ranging from independent northern outposts to middle or small-sized nominal vassals of the States, Governates and Presidencies that surround the Lakes, is a rarely unified entity. The simple reality of their vast range of membership and allegiances means that, outside of making arrangements to keep money from trade flowing, there is seldom a united front that the Lakeleague takes against the various powers of the Lakes. When actions against that economic prosperity are taken, however, the Lakeleague has the power and influence to act as the ultimate kingmaker in any conflict in the Lakes. They are not to be underestimated in any conflict.

The State of Wisconsin once acted as the primary power of the western Lakes, with near total control of Lake Superior and as a stopover point for the fur trade from the Minnesotan and Canadian wilds beyond it. However, after the invasion of the Iowans and the conquest of the traditional powerbase of Madison, internal divisions have weakened this position. The governor currently resides in the city of Green Bay, and intends to extend gubernational control over the Superian trade through his control of the northeast and the peninsula of Superior. Milwaukee, a prominent member of the Lakeleague threatened by possible incursions of Iowan-sworn Chicago, Michigan, and even Ohio, is reluctant to surrender its own role in this trade as well as resenting the increased focus to the north at the expense of the southern former center of the nation. To the west, in the lands that we would call Minnesota, local small settlements and trading posts also feel alienated with Wisconsinite rule, and occasionally rebel or cause problems for the Governor. On the border, southern nobles clamor for an end to the tribute paid to Iowa and a war to reconquer the traditional capitol and lands of the State, hoping to return to their eminent position as the center of administration and trade through the state and church's power. Until these divisions are settled, Wisconsin can only act as a reactive player in the great political game of the Lakes, rather than an active player.

Iowa is only tangentially related to the Great Lakes trade, through its territory of Chicagoland, which traded allegiance from the Governor of Illinois to Iowa in a bid to avoid being sacked(partially successful). Chicago had always been the edge of the Lakeleague's trading range, and still retains a measure of independence from its influence as a result. Though it still remains a valuable market for the Lakeleague's selling of goods, it is only with the recent conversion of Iowa into a "civilized" nation focused on the former Illinois and its valuable trade and culture that it has begun to regain its influence in southern Lake Michigan. As Iowa shifts its focus away from destructive internal conflict of conquerors and conquered, Chicago could potentially become its own center of power in the Lakes. Unless, of course, the other powers act to cut it off before it becomes a threat once again...

Other powers include the Commonwealth of Ohio, County of Allegheny, and State of Ontario. Ohio, despite its large amount of territory on the lakes, rarely concerns its national government with the Lakes' problems. Ohio is generally more focused on its conquered lands to the south and holding the line against Iowan advances in the west, and is content to let the Lakeleague control its northern shores so long as money continues to flow into the Governor's pockets. The County of Allegheny also tends to favor the Lakeleague, but has several times made common cause with Michigan against the County of Genesee for control over Lake Eerie. Finally, Ontario, a state ruled by the Bishop of Toronto usually concerns itself more with the northern shores and other former Canadian states, but will occasionally choose a side in Lake politics for its own benefit.

Lastly, the northern shore of Lake Superior is full of local Canadian tribes. Some peacefully cooperate with the Lakeleague, but others act as commercial raiders, seeking plunder in the rich southern lands to bring home. These raiders make effective weapons by the various powers whenever war starts, and they are happy to take money from whoever is willing to pay the most if it so suits them.

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So, basically, I tried to keep with False Dmitri's Ideas: Lakeleague as a *Hansa, with Detroit as a royal competitor like Copenhagen, and Chicago as an edge-city of the trade range. I chose to explain the war map's warfare circle between Michigan and western New York as the conflict over Genesee's natural choke-point control over the lakes, with Michigan and Genesee having shifting alliances with the Lakeleague and neighboring minor powers as each war starts.

Wisconsin would act as the ultimate end-point of the trading system with near total control of the northwestern overland trade routes coming into the Lakes, but its isolated position surrounded by barbarians and raiders is as much of a curse as a blessing, plus I thought the loss of the traditional capitol and large centers of population(including La Crosse based on the map) would have a destabilizing effect on politics that others would take advantage of.

Ohio and Iowa, with their vast land-based realms, I imagined as more of a France/HRE/Poland analogue: focused more on land issues and willing to accept free trade city control of their northern shores the majority of the time as long as money keeps coming in. Plus, they should be far more involved with conflict with claimants over their conquered lands and not as willing to tangle with powers on another front as well.

Thoughts? Concerns?
 
Well I'd say: Genesee County, State of New York (Syracuse,) Republic of Hudson (Albany,) Champlain County (Burlington,) Watertown County (Watertown.)
 
Is there a map of this lake league stuff? Seems like a lot of small states are independent, how can they survive in such a cutthroat environment
 
Is there a map of this lake league stuff? Seems like a lot of small states are independent, how can they survive in such a cutthroat environment
I really hate the name, so I need to change that. I can't think of anything better, though. League of Three Lakes. The Trilakes League. Nothing sounds good.

But the league is centered in the area where Superior, Huron, and Michigan meet. The two lead cities are Soo (Sault Ste. Marie) and St. Ignace. Both are in the border region between Wisconsin and Michigan territory, so I think there is room for them to eke out an independent existence. The basis of their wealth and independence is Soo's control of Lake Superior's fisheries, and St. Ignace's control of the passage through the Mackinac Straits.

Other members are shore cities that might technically belong to one or the other, but are far from the centers of power so they are fairly autonomous; so for them, the municipal governments have joined the league, while still belonging to their respective kingdom.

Most Lake Superior members are not part of any kingdom and are fully independent city-states.

I suppose if we want to be fully Hanseatic about it, it would be the merchant guilds, not the cities themselves, that are members of the league. But there's no reason for this to be an exact copy of the original Hansa. In this case, I think a proper confederation of cities makes some sense. We'll have to explore it further.

Another important thing to remember about the Lake is that, as Jord says, it's not a united power. Each of the three Committees might focus policy in a different direction, while the cities themselves have individual interests, as well. This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that each of the two lead cities is a member of 2 Committees. (St. Ignace belongs to Michigan and Huron, and Soo belongs to Huron and Superior.)

I did make a map. I think the purple spaces might be over-generous, especially in Wisconsin. If Green Bay and not Milwaukee or Madison is Wisconsin's capital, then the purple area definitely should be reduced. But some of it fits with the idea of the Iowan Invasion that weakened the territorial powers; the cities could rise in the resulting power vacuum.



Finally, I made a flag.

 
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Ahhh much more sense, I live near St Ignace and that makes sense to me, Love the flag, and you're right the name needs changing, but I have no clue either way. Great Lakes Alliance? or the Laurentian League(Wikipedia list Laurentian Great Lakes as a way to differ it from the Great Lakes in Africa)
 
Ahhh much more sense, I live near St Ignace and that makes sense to me, Love the flag, and you're right the name needs changing, but I have no clue either way. Great Lakes Alliance? or the Laurentian League(Wikipedia list Laurentian Great Lakes as a way to differ it from the Great Lakes in Africa)
That's an awesome name. Laurentian League it is.

If you're from the area, feel free to add to or change my ideas. I'm just someone who always liked the Hansa and who has a bit of a thing for Great Lakes regional identity at the moment. I have a lot more reading to do about it, especially specifics about how the Hansa worked and some of the early maritime history of the Great Lakes.
 
I really hate the name, so I need to change that. I can't think of anything better, though. League of Three Lakes. The Trilakes League. Nothing sounds good.

But the league is centered in the area where Superior, Huron, and Michigan meet. The two lead cities are Soo (Sault Ste. Marie) and St. Ignace. Both are in the border region between Wisconsin and Michigan territory, so I think there is room for them to eke out an independent existence. The basis of their wealth and independence is Soo's control of Lake Superior's fisheries, and St. Ignace's control of the passage through the Mackinac Straits.

Other members are shore cities that might technically belong to one or the other, but are far from the centers of power so they are fairly autonomous; so for them, the municipal governments have joined the league, while still belonging to their respective kingdom.

Most Lake Superior members are not part of any kingdom and are fully independent city-states.

I suppose if we want to be fully Hanseatic about it, it would be the merchant guilds, not the cities themselves, that are members of the league. But there's no reason for this to be an exact copy of the original Hansa. In this case, I think a proper confederation of cities makes some sense. We'll have to explore it further.

Another important thing to remember about the Lake is that, as Jord says, it's not a united power. Each of the three Committees might focus policy in a different direction, while the cities themselves have individual interests, as well. This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that each of the two lead cities is a member of 2 Committees. (St. Ignace belongs to Michigan and Huron, and Soo belongs to Huron and Superior.)

I did make a map. I think the purple spaces might be over-generous, especially in Wisconsin. If Green Bay and not Milwaukee or Madison is Wisconsin's capital, then the purple area definitely should be reduced. But some of it fits with the idea of the Iowan Invasion that weakened the territorial powers; the cities could rise in the resulting power vacuum.
More or less what I was thinking. Many members are sworn to various actual states, but are still members in one form or another of the Laurentian League(I like that name by the way).

One thing that I did forget to take into account is that Detroit's control of the route from Lake Huron to Lake Eerie would limit the League's size and membership. I'll probably go back and change that to keep them more focused on Lake Superior, Huron, and Michigan. The removal of League influence will change the political situation with Michigan, Ohio, and Genesee County, though. Perhaps Ohio is actually involved actively in the battle for control and influence along that Lake and forms its own faction in the continuing conflicts in that area?

Finally, regarding Wisconsin, I'm kind of torn where the capitol would be. According to White, Madison's been conquered by the Iowans, which leaves Wisconsin without both their traditional political capitol and religious center for the Nondenominational Church, so there's no obvious solution of where to go. Milwaukee is closest and most powerful on its own, but is also very close to the border and probably has an established powerbase that the Governors might be unwilling to anger by setting up there. On the other hand, moving the administrative focus to the north gives potential trade benefits through the Superior trade and is a reasonably powerful place that can allow the State to hold onto its Yooper and Minnesotan territories more easily by tying them to the rest of the realm. Basically, Milwaukee's the obvious choice, but Green Bay is the second choice and can offer potential long-term benefits. Think of it as using Washington instead of New York, a compromise to various regional interests that are probably predisposed against Milwaukee's dominance of the State's trade and wealth. I could go either way, though, depending on other people's input.

Here's what I would suggest for Wisconsin as a state: lost most of the southwest, including Madison and La Crosse, to the Iowans. The main axis of power runs in the east from the Milwaukee area(perhaps minus Racine and Kenosha which could fall into Chicago's orbit in Iowa?), through the Fox Valley(Oshkosh, Appleton, et. al), to Green Bay which is where most of the population is now and is still likely to be in this scenario. Other more distant strongholds are going to be the traditional alliance of the three main Central Wisconsinite cities along the Wisconsin River (Wausau being the biggest and a rock in holding the Northwoods, Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point being its more southerly allies), Eau Claire(which will likely be smaller than one would expect given modern size: it's on a tributary, not on a major river and dangerously close to raids from across the Mississippi), and some cities in the west of the UP(I see the rest being more likely to be in the League as mostly independent trading cities like in your map). The eastern axis would be the strongest supporters of the Governor, with other cities acting as more independent vassals within the state and so having a larger degree of internal control.

Nominally sworn to the State is whatever remains in Minneapolis and Duluth/Superior. The former is close to Cowboy cultures and beyond the Mississippi, so is going to be difficult to control considering Wisconsin's main focus is to the east where most of the easily navigable rivers and population are, and the latter is in a similar position but with the additional presence of the League and valuable fur trade, which makes me think those two cities will act together as a de facto independent city state along the western shore of Lake Superior.

I don't see it really changing much of the exportation habits of the modern state, though. Livestock, for meat and milk, will be the mainstay of the State, plus potatoes and cranberries in the central portion of the state among other food products. And, of course, it's still prime country for creating beer, which will be another major expert. All valuable in their own way, but not likely to make the State rich in the way Deseret will be getting off the salt trade. I think the analogy to Novgorod/Russia, being the largely agricultural land on the far reaches of the major trading systems, both the League's and the Feudal Core's land-based routes, is the closest to expect.

It's unfortunately one of the areas that doesn't have as much potential for interesting and unique developments in lifestyle, probably one of the closest to the stereotypical image of European feudalism.
 
Wisconsin controls it's own Michigan coastline correct? Or the cities are semi-independent?
I think we just decided that Wisconsin is based in Green Bay and so controls its coastline. Later today I can fix that purple map.

I'm still going to give the Laurentians tiny dots in central Wisconsin ports, representing enclaves they have within those cities.
 
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Wisconsin controls it's own Michigan coastline correct? Or the cities are semi-independent?
Yes, or at least most of it. I'd guess that the southern coast-line's almost entirely Wisconsinite in loyalty, but cities nearer the upper peninsula would be Laurentian League members while being sworn to the Governor. Hansa-esque overlap of sovereignity, I guess.

On the note of the League, though, how much inland penetration of influence do we think is possible through rivers? I profess not to know much about how navigable those rivers are for trade based in the Lakes. Also, with medieval technology, how useful would the northern Mississippi be in trade networks?
 
The California Republic: View from the Top

A sketch of the government

The Governor: Quite possibly the most powerful man on the continent... at any rate, he has never heard of anyone whom he would consider an equal. Inside the mountainous walls of his sealed-up realm, his rule is absolute.

The Governor's Household: The ruler's family, wives, concubines, advisors, attendants; in short, all who have a personal connection to him make up the Household. Some members have well-defined roles. The Bodyguard defends the capital, while a staff of palace eunuchs manage expenditures most directly related to the governor's person and residences. The men, also mainly eunuchs, who manage the extensive gubernatorial lands, including the vast forest reserves of the northwest, are also included here. Other members have duties that are more shifting and vaguely defined. Several members of the Council come from the household, and in fact, court politics are largely defined by the rivalry between household members and the career magistrates.

The Council: The governing body of the republic. Consists of administrative positions and some extra advisors, all of them appointed or dismissed at the Governor's whim (though the Council has sometimes used its influence to convince a Governor to eject a member). The positions that make up the council have changed little over the years. They include:

  • Chief Irrigator: maintains the canals
  • Chief of Public Works: maintains roads and public buildings
  • Chief of Sheriffs: Regulates the regulators
  • Treasurer: Manages the purse
  • Chief Collector: Oversees the collection and redistribution of tribute and taxes in kind
  • High Quartermaster: Responsible for supplies and logistics for all three of California's armies. The navy has an independent supply chain.
  • Master of the Central Army: see above.
  • Supreme Justice: See below.
The Council also includes religious officials. There is no single entity which can be called "the Church." Social rank and scientological level are so intertwined that it is not really possible to distinguish the two. In the governing structure of the Republic, ultimate religious authority belongs to the Governor who exercises it through 4 different priesthoods or bureaucratic departments:
  • Highest Dianetician: Supervises the lower priesthood that ministers to local communities.
  • Director of Churches: supervises the maintenence of temple buildings, major shrines, and monastic sites, and the middle priesthood that works in them.
  • Queen: The Governor's lead wife, ex officio head of the republic's female priesthood
  • The Navy's independent nature means that it has no council-level administrator (except the Governor himself). But 2 or 3 admirals usually sit on the Council as advisors. The navy brass is the republic's higher priesthood.

District government: The Republic is divided into a few dozen districts, each centered on a town. The district borders were revised after the accession of the current dynasty, and since then have changed only little by little. Each district is led by a director, a post that is an important step in the cursus honorum for ambitious magistrates. Each director has his own council that mirrors the Governor's Council in miniature, with the addition of members who oversee labor tributes and military recruitment. Most of the actual work of governing happens at this level.

Judiciary: District judges are responsible for conducting trials and hearing civil cases. Appeals and serious cases go to the district director. He has a staff of justices who investigate the case and handle the early stages of the trial, but the director makes the final judgment. The same thing happens at the higher level, where the Governor has a staff of justices who investigate and often try cases that have been appealed to their level. Some cases are taken up by the Supreme Justice, and some by the Governor himself, who at any rate has the final word in any case in which he intervenes.

The aristocracy: California's ruling class are landowning aristocrats with a strong warrior and naval tradition. Since California is not feudal, owning a piece of land is still separate from governing it. But the great owners are always trying to gain control of district directorships for their families, making themselves into regional rulers. Governors in turn are always trying to appoint directors to regions far from their power base to avoid sliding into a feudal-type situation.

Eunuchs: Eunuchs make up most of the government bureaucracy. Some have risen quite high, many even sitting on the Governor's Council. Top administrators - directors, justices, and especially military leaders - tend to be aristocratic career officeholders rather than eunuchs.

-------------------------
On the note of the League, though, how much inland penetration of influence do we think is possible through rivers? I profess not to know much about how navigable those rivers are for trade based in the Lakes. Also, with medieval technology, how useful would the northern Mississippi be in trade networks?
If they bring back trading canoes like the coureurs de bois, they can trade on almost any river, no matter how shallow.

Also, here is a revised map of the Laurentian League. The lines show the borders of the main kingdoms, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. What do you think of making St. Joseph, in Ohioan territory, a full member? It seems about right given your description of Ohio. In Lake Erie, the League has much less influence, so there are no members, just a few tiny enclaves in some of the ports.

soo league flat.jpg
 
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I'm slowly putting together a slightly more coherent post on the South California Free Zone. But one thing that's jumping out at me is that the Zone won't be as isolated as is implied. If nothing else, the Colorado River Delta will be the seat of another state of some kind, quite likely another hydraulic empire. Ensenada in Baja California probably will be, as well.

Tijuana and San Diego are most likely part of the Free Zone but might have a separate existence under an aggrandized noble family/religious order (probably a religious order that is de facto controlled by a single great family).

As I work my way down California, I probably ought to do a general layout of Baja, but that raises questions about what Mexico in general looks like, or at least the norteño parts. What does everyone think?
 
I'm glad to see that some iteration of this kept going after my long absence from the board. Kudos on managing it better than I did as well, jmberry. Seems like it's going well.

As you've opened up the general world a bit, let me put in something I thought about compared to the old thread and Catholicism:

I think that we did underestimate the tyranny of distance and the effects that that will have on the european Papacy's grasp on power. It may retain power in Quebec due to easier contact, but the more I think about it the more I feel it would lose a lot of power the further south you go, which opens up some interesting possibilities for further conflicts.

Considering there are more Catholics in Latin America than Europe currently and their distance politically and physically from the modern center of Catholicism(Francis notwithstanding), I think there's a real possibility of there being at least one antipope residing in Latin America. So Catholics in the Western Hemisphere may be split between a Mexican Pope, the "Quebecker" Pope, and others that drifted closer into the Nondenominational Church.

Here's how I see this happening: difficulty of contact with Rome, losing many members to the Nondenoms, Scientoligists, New Agers, and closer to home Voudoo-ists(who probably include Santeria movements as well), and a clash of temporal interests may lead to one rising state in the south to declaring their own Pope in the New World. It's also possible that the Roman pope could name a "Patriarch of the New World" to act in his stead who simply grows into his own de facto power.
The official term, as far as I understand it, is Papal Nuncio.

How I see it is this:
-Quebec and (core) Mexico are loyal(ish) to the Nuncio and thus to Rome - this is what appears on the religion map of the original website, and should probably be kept. After that, though?
-The Caribbean and Central America are a mishmash due to competing influences from Mexico, the US, and Louisiana and the varied ethnicities of the inhabitants.
-The north coast of South America is likely the same way
-The Andes are Catholic, in the same way as those Armenian guys are
-Coastal Brazil is likely divided between Catholicism and Sairo ... Sairea ... Brazilian Voodoo
-Of all Latin America, the Platinean region is the most likely to go full fledged schism with Rome, and that church is likely expanding into Brazil as well
-The Amazon inhabitants have likely reverted to Animism
 
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