Medieval America Tk II: Discussion Thread

Commonwealth of Louisiana
System of Government: Secretarial Republic
Head of State: Governor
Population: 600,000(mainland), 44,000(Mobile Bayou Territory), 23,000(Santo Petersburg Territory), 107,000(San Jacinto Bayou Territory), 84,000(Corpus Christi Territory).
Religion: Louisiana Voodoo
Totemic Symbol: Pelican

Religion: Voodoo is the state religion of Louisiana. However, Voodoo is a relatively tolerant religion, so there are large religious minorities of Non-Denoms, Catholics, and New Israelites. The Non-Denominationals are in the mainland, Mobile Bayou, and Santo Petersburg. Most of them take their orders from Baton Rouge, so Louisiana tries to keep the Non-Denoms placated by keeping Natchez County friendly. There is also a large Catholic population in the mainland and in Corpus Christi. In the mainland, they are concentrated in Acadiana. There are three Catholic Dioceses in Louisiana: New Orleans, Houma, and Corpus Christi. Santo Petersburg also has a large population of Haitian Voudoun. Religion has a big influence on Louisiana's politics. In New Orleans, charismatic Voodoo "Queens" will often organize large amounts of followers into voting them into civic positions. They then use their civic positions to embezzle money, paying for extravagant temples and luxuries. These merge with shady businessmen and random populists to make up a raucous and extremely corrupt New Orleans municipal government.

Foreign Relations: Louisiana is one of the most powerful states in the entire Caribbean. They have multiple large colonies on the Gulf of Mexico, and trading posts scattered around the Caribbean. Closer to home, Louisiana has an intense rivalry with Mississippi and Red River. [1] Because of this, they have to be careful to tread carefully with other countries, to avoid triggering a war. Louisiana also has to deal with trading partners across the Caribbean. Its biggest trading partners are the Vera Cruz coast (Where Louisiana gets cumin, oregano, poppy, and chilies), Cuba (A source of coffee, cocoa, tobacco, and fruit), Texas (salt and beef), Florida (oranges and beef), and the Sea Islands (Sea Island cotton and tea). In Texas and Florida, Louisiana has taken advantage of political fragmentation to put colonies there. In Texas, it is leading the effort to re-civilize the Cowboy lands. To do this, the Louisianan government has started a series of settlements along the Nueces, Brazos, and Colorado rivers. Farmers from the mainland are transplanted into the settlements, to raise crops and herd cattle. These settlements also serve as a market for nomadic Cowboys. By building up relations with the tribes and providing examples of efficient sedentary ranching, territorial officials hope that they can make the tribes settle down and farm. Failing that, they hope that they can mobilize the Texan cowboys to cross the San Jacinto and invade Red River Territory when the next war happens.

[1] See Commonwealth of Mississippi Part 1
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How about a Scientologist holdout in Clearwater, Florida that becomes a kind of Prestor John myth for the ones in California?
Florida in general can serve that role for the Californians, but the Tampa region is controlled by Louisiana, and any surviving Scientologists would have been wiped out in some way or another by the Voudonists.
Anyone think the current rival New Yorks situation would be better served as something more... Medieval? (It's currently NYS[Albany] and NYS[Syracuse])
Florida in general can serve that role for the Californians, but the Tampa region is controlled by Louisiana, and any surviving Scientologists would have been wiped out in some way or another by the Voudonists.
Actually, Louisiana only controls Santo Petersburg Territory (roughly equivalent to Pinellas County).
Hi :) I am not going to read through this enitre thread so I apologise if this subject was covered already; I am writing notes for my own "extension" of White's Medieval America, and these are my preliminary thoughts on California and Scientology, purely for purposes of sharing/entertainment ;)


Rise of Scientology in California

Like most of the U.S. during the final days of the Collapse, California too abandoned market capitalism for a state-run, planned economy in order to survive. However, unlike in most of the collapsing America and similarly to other surviving communities in the American South-West, the government actually managed to keep a large degree of control despite the massive population drops and general misery. This was a result of environmental necessities: California was a dry country requiring irrigation, i.e. water transported over large distances, for the crops to grow. Before the Collapse, the State government subsidised the construction of large desalination plants powered by huge solar plants in the desert to supply California’s agriculture. Those broke down and fell into disuse with the collapse of the industrial civilization, yet the inertia of top-down, state-run environmental management remained.

When the dust of the post-Collapse chaos finally began to settle, California’s governors emerged as the unquestioned rulers of the Central Valley and the surrounding areas. With tight control over the remaining sources of water and the means of its transportation, opposition among the populace was kept at bay and governors were free to strengthen the government’s authority and pursue their own self-aggrandisement. Up to a point.

When several unusually dry years hit the Republic and the acting governor was foolish enough to simultaneously impose higher taxes and public labour quotas on the starving populace, his subjects at last began to riot. The governor ordered his private military contractors to quell the unrest in the usual way, but their leader saw at once that this uprising was too strong and popular to be defeated by a traditional show of force. Promptly switching sides, he captured the governor and members of his cabinet and had them executed in front of the State Capitol after a brief show trial. Choosing to interpret the cheers from the crowd as acclamation, he declared himself the new governor and took to the task of restoring order throughout his new domains.

Nevertheless, the new governor was acutely aware of the possibility of a coup similar to the one he staged himself. The Republic was reasonable stable for now, but he needed more control over the population than he could gain by strength alone. Being a resourceful cynic, he soon found a perfect partner to help him achieve his goal.

The Church of Scientology weathered the Collapse better than most other organisations. When things started going south, it converted its considerable assets to land on which it established self-sufficient shelter communities for celebrities and members of the corporate aristocracy, provided they brought in more assets and observed its doctrines. Yet, even with these advantages, the Church was vulnerable to external enemies. Now, however, the Governor himself approached it with an offer it couldn’t refuse.
Realising the potential of the Church – with its well-honed indoctrination and inquisition mechanisms – the Governor offered to convert to Scientology and make it the religion of the State. Members of his administration as well as the rank-and-file of the bureaucracy were now required to submit to regular auditing by the Church’s auditors, their children were raised in Scientologist cadet schools and blasphemy was made punishable by death. The Church, now serving as the religious arm of the State as well as its secret police was given southern California as its fief and the Republic promised to preserve and protect its independence in perpetuity. Within a few generations, most of the peasantry was converted (those who did not were asked to leave for the desert to consult their God) and Scientology became the dominant religion in California.

While the new governor’s dynasty was eventually overthrown by another usurper a hundred years later, his legacy in the form of a marriage of the State and the Church lasts to this day.
With the Bubonic Plague outbreaks in California in Yosemite and now elsewhere because of the government lab breaches, I think a big expansion with a new Black Death and its effects should be considered. The Black Death was one of the big events of medieval times and it is endemic to the American Southwest.

If the theme is medieval, I just thought what's more medieval than the Black Death? Staph disease is an interesting variant though. I considered Ebola and calling it the Red Death in a Poe reference.
Some of the ideas I had were:

It starts with some war with either the heretics of Las Vegas or the nomads or cowboys flinging dead animals. The Free Zone and Republic, the Nuager Southwest and maybe Deseret and Oregon are the worst hit, but it affects other major MA population centers like Florida and the American imperial remnant in DC with population loss as well.

I was thinking there could be some sort of Scientology flagellants, maybe calling it "purification rundowns".

Pseudo scientific explanations like "bad air" and persecution of religious minorities as scapegoats too.

Non-Denominational and Scientologist or New Age clerics writing parchments as if they are the last men on Earth and this is the End Times.
"I returned from a voyage by sea to patrol the Isle of Catalina on a ship of the Great Western Shore to find the lands surrounding Ellei beset by a pestilence of great horror, surely set upon the land by Xenu. It was said to hath cometh from a siege of Las Vegas by the Desereti, in which the corpses of the slain and slain beasts were used to sicken the Mormon hosts outside the city of the Heretics. Thenceforth, it did spread among our lands as the survivors of the battle fled.

I came unto land in Santa Monica's piers and found the blackened bodies of the stricken, great sores upon their flesh, being thrown into the waters by men in ghoulish masks like those of a great condor. An Operating Thetan stood before a terrified crowd, speaking in a great ardor of how our sins had let Xenu smite us with this plague.

The hovels of the peasantry and adobe houses of Shoremen both stood grim and silent, the dead being brought out into piles and upon carts to be rid of amid the waters.

Deciding it foolishness to go among the city proverb in such madness, I walked south along the One Hundredth and First Road seeing villages emptied of men, or lit afire, perhaps to disposeth of corpses, perhaps that knaves found them and took to robbery and banditry.

Late in the day, I did enter the village of Long Beach, where a quarter of the wandering peddlers Trookers dwelt. I found their quarter lit afire and a great mob besieging them. They shot the bolts of arrows and struck the peddlers with plowshares and pitchforks, blaming them loudly for bringing the Black Plague upon them by foul witchery and communing with Xenu. The unfortunate Trookers, or Teamsters as they doth name themselves, were butchered to a man. I again trod upon the One Hundred and First Road before me and disappeared to safety in the dusk.


Some weeks passed on, and I saw few men alive and few villages with people in great number. I stopped in houses to rest and found rotting black corpses emitting a foul odor and thence slept in the fields, now fallow and untended.

I passed into the Southern Marches of the Free Zone, where the rule of Ellei is weaker. I came upon the palisades of the walled town of Escondido, a days walk into the deserts from the dead villages along the coastal road.

I saw fires, but those of camps and cooking, not corpses and pillaging.

I approached and saw men who seemed to be Operating Thetans and they eyed me.

"Hast thou come to make penance Shoreman?"

"How? Is it our sins that brought this plague? Has Elron deserted us to Xenu?"

"We must punish ourselves to lift this accursed plague. We are Thetans and we have taken upon our number this town and the Thetans of Ellei hath failed us. Come, join us in our Purification Rundowns."

I saw men emerge from sweat houses, weak and wet.

"Yonder are the saunas, which the Scripture sayeth cleanses man of engram, and sin, and the ancient poisons of acid and radiation. Come, drinketh this potion of vegetable oil."

I drank the Flaggelant's foul potion and spat some of it and he chided me.

"Nay, Shoreman. Drink it all. We must suffer to be cleansed of our sins, and our engrams, so this pestilence might lift and the race of man be spared, even in few number."
I want to do one too in Chicago with a conflict between the ruling Daley dynasty and their trying to attack the Grand Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and dissolve their knightly order for its wealth.

I think it was agreed Chicago is ruled by the Daley family as a dynasty, but that might've been the old thread.
I had the plague masks look like condors because I thought after the fall of modern society and reversion to medievalism, the California condor might rebound in number and be more common.
I know this thread has been dormant for a while, but I have been liking what I have been reading.

I might have some ideas about Hawai'i if anyone is intrested.
Well, if no one Objects:

Hawai’i in Medieval America

Located 2,000 miles west of California, the Hawaiian Islands are the most geographically isolated settled areas in the world. To sail there from the Republic’s main port city of San Francisco can take roughly 2-3 weeks depending on the winds over vast, Open Ocean that only a very small number of people have any idea how to navigate. To many scholars in Medieval America (or Menlan as the Hawaiians call it), the idea that old United States extended all the way to these remote islands, and that the ancient Americans actually traveled there for such a trivial purpose as leisure seems to defy credulity.

But they did.

The time immediately after the Event is remembered in Hawai’i as a time of great sorrow and tragedy. Isolated from the rest of the world, the population experienced widespread famine and rapidly collapsed from lack of food and trade. Among those who fared the best in these times were the Kanaka Maoli or Native Hawaiians who around this time were undergoing a cultural revival and beginning to turn away from the old world’s technology. Other survivors gradually adopted the Kanaka ways though not without adding some traditions of their own. Likewise generations of intermarriage among the various peoples of Hawai’i, Natives, Americans, and Immigrants from Asia and the Pacific, have caused racial and ethnic differences to blur to the point of being all but forgotten. Everyone became simply Hawaiian.

Shortly after a semblance of order was restored, groups of brave Hawaiians, using the ancient art of Wayfinding preserved in old records, began to set out only their canoes to seek out and reestablish contact with the outside world. They eventually made contact with other Pacific Island peoples of Micronesia, the Marquesas, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, many of whom were more or less doing the same thing. They also reached California, where they quickly found themselves in audiences with the Governor and high ranking officials of the Church of Scientology. After rather tense negotiations, the Hawaiians agreed to allow some of the Church officials to travel back home with them, and even agreed to teach them the rudiments of Wayfinding (nothing more and nothing less than what would be needed to travel from California to Hawai’i and back again), and to build Shrines on Kilauea in Hawaii Ike to commemorate the Atrocities of Xenu . The Shrines remain a major pilgrimage site for Scientologists in both the Republic and the Free Zone and source of wealth for the Chiefdom.

A more important source of wealth for Hawaii however is the vast, Trans-Pacific trade network through the Pacific Islands in which Hawaii plays a vital role as the main link between the Americas and Asia.

Food: Seafood, rice, and taro are by far the three most important staples of the Hawaiian diet, with sweet potatoes, potatoes, bananas, breadfruit, and maize serving as supplementary starches. Wheat is grown in the Higher Elevations on Hawai’i Ike and Maui but nowhere else. Coconuts are also very important. Fruits and vegetables are abundant in the Islands, and are as likely to be gathered in the wild as they are to grown in gardens. As stated before most protein comes from seafood with other common sources being beans, eggs, dairy products. Meat is usually eaten only on special occasions except for the wealthy for eat it more often. Most meat eaten is usually chicken, duck, pork, goat, or rarely beef. Though other forms of wild game (wild turkey, pheasant, moulfon sheep, deer, wild cattle) are also found.

Clothing: For men, the Basic article of clothing is the malo a loin cloth made from kapa, a barkcloth derived from the paper mulberry. He may also wear a kihei a cloak worn over the left shoulder and extending down to his thigh, also made of kapa. For women, the basic article of clothing is an ankle length skirt called a pa’u and a kihei cloak. Tapa is the most common cloth, though hemp fiber is also used and many wealthier indivuals also wear cotton, silk and feathers. Ki leaf capes are often worn for warmth and men of the alii class with often wear bright yellow and red capes as a mark of status. Bright colors in general are often used in clothing of wealthy merchants. Necklaces made of shells, flowers, teeth and metal chains, rings, piercings, bracelets and anklets are also commonly used for adornment, as are tattoos.

Housing: Shelters are made frame of wooden poles either fitted and held together by twine or in wealthier homes nailed together and covered with grass for insulation. Most common families will have a single house while wealthier ones will a complex of several buildings with multiple uses.

Trade: As stated earlier, Hawai’i is crucial hub in a maritime trade network, spanning across the Pacific Islands connecting Asia to the Americas, from Hawai’i, great trading canoes sail to the ports of Monterrey and San Francisco in the Republic of California and Santa Barbra and Elei in the Free Zone, where they sell goods from Asia (silk, tea, porcelain, spices), and purchase wheat, California wine, cotton, and various other goods including most importantly, metal. It returns home with these goods, some it keeps for its own small market, the rest it sells to other Nearby Islands groups, The Marshall Islands, the Marquesas, Tahiti, Samoa, The Cook Islands, Tonga, and onward from there until they reach Asia and Australia. Hawai’i itself exports coffee, sugar, dried fruit ,Coconuts and coconut products (oil, rope fiber, copra), and rice.

Society: Hawai’i is currently divided into four Kingdoms based around the Eight Major Islands, Hawai’i Ike (the Big Island of Hawai’i) Maui Nui (which also includes the Islands of Lāna’i, Moloka’i, and the uninhabited island of Kaho’olawe), O’ahu, and Kaua’i, (including the nearby Island of Ni’ihau). Each of these Kingdoms is Ruled by an ali’i nui or High Chief, these kingdoms are divided into various smaller chiefdoms called moku each ruled by an ali’i ai moku who owed fealty to the ali’i nui and who in turn had their land divided into smaller chiefdoms called ahupua’a under an ali’i.
Hawaiian society is organized along a modified, but no less rigid form of the pre-Contact caste system. At the top are the ali’i the warrior aristocracy. Just below them are the kahuna, priests of the local religion who also serve as healers, scholars, skilled artisans, performers, musicians, dancers and perhaps most remarkably, navigators on long distance ocean voyages. Last of all are the maka’ainana. Common people who work the lands, fish the open seas, tend the fishponds, perform manual labor, work the less glamorous trades, and buy and trade as merchants.

Hawaii is also similar in many ways to Secretarial States of the Caribbean. Families are matrilineal and marriages are matrilocal. Men fight, hunt, fish, perform heavy labor whenever the ali’i demands that they do so. Women stay home, tend to the household, and do much of the farming and gathering. Among the ali’i class, men are full time warriors their lives devoted to training in martial arts. Women are entrusted with the civil affairs of state, bureaucracy, and diplomacy, administration of justice, drafting laws and keeping records. Women in the kahuna class are largely equal to male kahuna in many respects.

Technology: Hawaiians are master seamen, among the finest navigators in the world. Able to navigate over open ocean using the stars, the clouds, the waves, and the migration patterns of birds. The art of Wayfinding is a closely guarded secret of the a small number of the kahuna caste which they have only shared once with Scientologists of California and even than only in part. The Hawaiians sail the ocean in canoes called wa’a , which can either have one or two hulls. A singles hulled wa’a will have a float called an ama attatched to them of the port side to provide stability at sea. The largest wa’a are roughly 60 feet long and are used in merchant fleets.

Another noteworthy technology possessed by the Hawaiians is aquaculture. The Hawaiians keep and maintain numerous fishponds where various types of fish, shrimp and eels are raised for food.
Hawai’i has no native metal resources of any kind. As such it is one of their main imports from Menlan and is thus very expensive. For this reason, Hawaiians use metal sparingly and will most often use native, non-metal substitutes when they will do. (i.e., a Hawaiian household might have a cast iron cooking pot and a wok, but they might use gourds for storage, and stone knives and other tools)

Warfare: Hawaiian warfare is fought on foot or from canoes, limited land making cavalry simply not worth it. At the core of most armies are the koa men of the noble ali’i who train exentsivly in both armed and unarmed martial arts. The koa were usually armed with a javelin, an ‘ihe laumeki or short spear (usually about six feet with either shark teeth, wooden or metal barbs at the end) and a some sort of warclub. War clubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some have are even sharpened, and even some clubs are even fitted with shark teeth, pieces of broken glass or even small metallic blades, some warriors will carry a knuckleduster instead of a club. These also often have shark teeth or other metal studs. All of a koa’s weapons are made from the wood of the koa tree, a native hardwood.
The koa are supplemented by levies conscripted from the maka’ainana class. Some of these men were armed with pikes up to 15 feet long and fought in phalanx formation. Others were used as skirmishers and harassed the enemy with javelins and slings. An open battle will consist of first the Skirmishers harassing the enemy as the koa and pike men advance towards each other, eventually the two lines will meet and attempt to break each other, often while rival koa chant and taunt each other. They may even seek prominent rivals out and challenge to single combat, especially if the battle is ground to a stalemate.

Religion: Hawaiian religion is best described as a syncretic mix of every faith practiced in the Islands at the time. The traditions of pre-Contact Hawai’i are combined with elements of Christianity, Buddhism, Shinto, Western Neopaganism, and New Age Spirituality. Hawaiian beliefs revolve around I’o, the un-manifested source of all creation and mana the divine spiritual energy that pervades everything. The various gods worshipped in Hawaii (Kane, Kanaloa, Ku, Lono, Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Kuan Yin and others) are commonly regarded as being manifestations of I’o understood by different peoples at different courses in history. All things are believed to contain mana in some form or another and are thus worthy of respect. As a result Hawaiians have very deep reverence for nature and the management of land and resources very seriously.

Language: Neo-Hawaiian is the spoken vernacular of the Islands. It is the direct descendant of Hawaiian Pidgin, a Creole language based on Old American English spoken in Hawai’i during the American Era. Pidgin was also strongly influenced not only by the Original Pre-Contact Hawaiian language (now most commonly called Old Hawaiian) but also Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Ilocano, Tagalong and Samoan. During the Second Medieval Era, Old Hawaiian influence began to become more marked upon the language, especially in the speech of the ali’i class, to the point where the language has now largely adopted verb-subject-object syntax. Another notable feature not shared with Old Hawaiian is the fact that Neo-Hawaiian is also the only language in the American Anglic family that is a tonal language.

Old Hawaiian also remains an important language. It is the liturgical language of the kahuna, the language of ceremonies of state and diplomacy. It is also used as a language of scholarship. English also has a place as a secondary scholarly language, analogous with that enjoyed by Greek in Western Europe in the Early Modern Era