Medieval America Tk II: Discussion Thread

It will eventually. The problem with the previous thread was there was no real organization - thus why entries are being examined by region. Latin America will be discussed when the former US is almost finalized, and your ideas will be very welcome (my idea is to go - Former US/Canada, Latin America, Oceania/Australasia, Subsaharan Africa, and then we can deal with the Old World)
I see, thanks! I will try to collaborate as I can, my knowledge of american culture is not that great but maybe I can provide some ideas...
 
Entry thread is now up, with the Tribal entries included (save Iowa, which will go with the Feudal Core)


So does anyone have any further suggestions on the two hydraulics we have (Deseret and New Mexico), or should we move on the 700 pound gorilla in the room that is the Californias?
 
While I do think doing it on a region by region basis is best, we have to remember that the regions aren't going to be surrounded by impenetrable boundaries, and that there is going to be quite a lot of communication.

I am concerned that we aren't considering the structure of the world as a whole before we are adding in all these details. Like I said in my first post, we need to establish exactly how much long-distance communication, travel and trade there is, in particular the degree of trans-Atlantic contact. The difference between a New England which is a big trading partner with Europe and a New England with no contact with Europe will be huge.

Also, technology level. Yes, we generally have medieval tech levels, especially when it comes to military. But exactly how advanced are transport (in particular sailing), medicine, astronomy and mathematics?

The first links in to the above, as without caravels or something similar (or better) long distance travel will be very difficult.

The second is something that will add flavour to the world, and I for one can't see people going back to theories about humours and such; a basic knowledge of germ theory, and of surgery, may well remain.

The third and fourth will link into navigation and construction. While some of the more in depth maths may be lost, I can see them still having, at least, calculus and such. Same with astronomy; I don't see a return to geocentrism.

In other words, while technology may have been lost, I don't think all knowledge will have been.

There are a few more minor things to worry about with regards to a world as a whole, but the important thing is that we discuss it. My original post just got ignored, which I found rather annoying, to be perfectly honest, because I think this is something we do need to discuss.
 
Very well, White did have some general topics, so I'll put of California so that we can discuss them instead.

The topics are: Trade, Population and Race, Warfare, Nations, and Language. Trade and Populations are detailed pretty thoroughly on his site (I will point out that the Trade map shows salients going to Havana, Anchorage [and presumably to Asia] and Iceland), so I don't think they need to be discussed overmuch. That leaves Warfare (which I'll expand to Technology and Warfare), Nations (which presumably dealt with diplomacy and whatnot) and Language (all we have to go on is this weird map)

So let's start with Tech and War, as that will be the easy one:

In general, I see the tech progress as such - Sailing and Astronomey are 17th Century due to transcontinental trade, Medicine is 18th Century (they know what causes disease, but they lack the modern equipment to properly treat it), and everything else is roughly mid-14th Century (growing literacy and middle class, primitive steel and gunpowder, centralizing authority, the works)
 
Well, there seems to be a good deal of trade with South America, so limited trade with Europe does not seem that of a stretch. It probably would be limited to fine goods, given the distance and dangerous, much like porcelain and silk of medieval China. And, if there are still catholics in Quebec (and in some other places in America, I imagine) they'll probably want to keep contact with the pope*. Strange that the trade routes seem to fade into Mexico though...

On health... some basic concepts would remain (doctors washing hands before aiding birth, regular baths are good for health, smoking is bad for you, basic CPR and first aid, etc.) so I'll expect people would live a bit longer, compared to our middle ages. Alternative medicine should be very popular, but most people would trust "doctors", equipped with herbal medicine and what remains from modern techniques (bone casting, by example).

And on science... given creationism popularity in the US, I would say that most people would treat evolution and modern genetics as a fairy tale, but the concept is basic and evident enough to last. I would imagine that scholars would still use it, and Mendel's laws of heredity would be very useful for farmers. The heliocentric model would remain, as would a vague idea of other stars and planetary systems, but constellations would be different maybe (except those of the zodiac, astrology would be still around.) Other concepts of science, like the atom and chemistry would remain of utility only to scholars; most peasants would not care that much.

*Did Islam fade away? If some communities are still around, making the Hajj would be a whole lot more difficult.
 
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This takes the prior discussions of Mormonism and attempts to make a coherent whole:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormons Post-Regression)

One of the few institutions to survive the Regression in North America was the Church of Latter-Day Saints - Mormon doctrine advised its parishioners to stock dry foods and supplies in the event of an emergency, and boy, did they come in handy when emergency came. Combined with Utah's relative isolation, flanked by the Rockies to the East and the Bonneville Salt Flats to the West, and the Mormons managed to whether the chaos in decent shape.

With the disintegration of influence from DC, or even Sacramento, the LDS Church came to be viewed as the only legitimate authority, and Deseret transformed from a de facto theocracy to a de jure one. The President of the Church was the President of the State, and Deseret truly became a Hydraulic Empire. The rigid structure of the church lent itself well to bureaucratic needs, and the congregations - Wards - dictate much of daily life, from courtship to diet to labor.

From the Regression to the Yaeger Conflict, the LDS church changed little. Alcohol is now allowed, so long as it is domestically produced (even before the Regression, Utah produced a significant Barley crop), although non-alcoholic bevearage like goat milk is still preferred, but tobacco is still banned - although more pragmatic Presidents have allowed foreign vintage and tobacco to travel along the trade routes that pass through Salt Lake City (after taxing the bejeezus out of them, of course). Influence from the compounds and the desire to be populous have lead to a reinstatement of polygamy.

The President is voted on by the ruling family (currently the Reids), who are often quite numerous. He is, officially, advised by 12 Elders, but the President wields considerable temporal and spiritual power, and over-ambitious Elders will often find themselves walking into Nevada, to put themselves at the tender mercies of the Heretics.

Mormonism thrives on conversion, and this makes the faith expasionist - a theme that has only increased since the Cowboys and Columbians were driven out. Conquered areas, called Stakes, are carved out from Deseret's neighbours to spread the Book of Mormon. There are currently only four Stakes, based off the pre-Regression states - Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nevada (and Nevada only exists in a theoretical state) - but plans are in motion for new Stakes all the time. Stakes are formed when the Danite Templars move into the territory. Menfolk who refuse to convert are put to the sword, women are given as prizes to the victors, and children are to be inducted into the Church. After eighty years of oppression and persecution by the Cowboys and Columbians - the so-called 'Diaspora', Mormonism has become increasingly 'hardline.' The once-vaunted Zion's Legion may be only a shadow of its former glory, the Salt Lake Temple is now a ruin that is only slowly being rebuilt (the Logan temple , and the Statue of Moroni now decorates some Columbian nobleman's garden, but the Church has survived, and it plans to keep on doing so.

Unlike the other three faiths of the Irrigators, Mormonism explicitly forbids castration.
Works for me; though I still think the usage of "Templars" is kind of stupid (not blaming you, just pointing out that Mormons have never used Templar as a title in any organization. Danites, sure, but Templars not so much.)
 
Works for me; though I still think the usage of "Templars" is kind of stupid (not blaming you, just pointing out that Mormons have never used Templar as a title in any organization. Danites, sure, but Templars not so much.)
How about the Danites be the official name, but all non-Mormons call them Templars (both groups are defunct religious military groups who are targets of conspiracy theories today, so it'd make sense for people unaware of such nuances to blur them together)
 
How about the Danites be the official name, but all non-Mormons call them Templars (both groups are defunct religious military groups who are targets of conspiracy theories today, so it'd make sense for people unaware of such nuances to blur them together)
Alright, that works. Makes sense, as well. Non-Mormons could lump the Danites in with a whole bunch of otherwise forgotten conspiracy theories.
 
How about the Danites be the official name, but all non-Mormons call them Templars (both groups are defunct religious military groups who are targets of conspiracy theories today, so it'd make sense for people unaware of such nuances to blur them together)
It doesn't matter much, but 'Danite' is also an unlikely name for Mormon Regulators to call themselves. The average Mormon belief if that the Danites were apostate rebels against Church authority who brought us grief and also that 'Danite' is mostly a smear used by anti-Mormons. It would be like a police department adopting the name 'Jack-Booted Thugs' or something.

But both Danites and Templars are atmospheric, so I vote for keeping them.
 
Well, there seems to be a good deal of trade with South America, so limited trade with Europe does not seem that of a stretch. It probably would be limited to fine goods, given the distance and dangerous, much like porcelain and silk of medieval China. And, if there are still catholics in Quebec (and in some other places in America, I imagine) they'll probably want to keep contact with the pope*. Strange that the trade routes seem to fade into Mexico though...

On health... some basic concepts would remain (doctors washing hands before aiding birth, regular baths are good for health, smoking is bad for you, basic CPR and first aid, etc.) so I'll expect people would live a bit longer, compared to our middle ages. Alternative medicine should be very popular, but most people would trust "doctors", equipped with herbal medicine and what remains from modern techniques (bone casting, by example).

And on science... given creationism popularity in the US, I would say that most people would treat evolution and modern genetics as a fairy tale, but the concept is basic and evident enough to last. I would imagine that scholars would still use it, and Mendel's laws of heredity would be very useful for farmers. The heliocentric model would remain, as would a vague idea of other stars and planetary systems, but constellations would be different maybe (except those of the zodiac, astrology would be still around.) Other concepts of science, like the atom and chemistry would remain of utility only to scholars; most peasants would not care that much.

*Did Islam fade away? If some communities are still around, making the Hajj would be a whole lot more difficult.
There are still Catholics in Quebec - and Mexico, for that matter. Quebec is, in fact, the primary base for Catholicism in the Americas due to its connections to Europe.

I think most of your ideas hold merit.
 
The Church of Scientology

Definately one of the weirder developments in Post-Regression culture, especially from an Eastern standpoint, is the growth of Scientology as the de jure faith of the Californias. And yet, it is relatively easy to see how this happened, if not why. The old ways had clearly failed, and something new was needed. Scientology had been embraced by many wealthy and charismatic figures, and when all was said and done it proved to be a relatively easy sell, albeit one that took several generations to be fully ingrained in California.

In the modern, neo-medieval world, Scientology is synonymous with the Californias - it is the state faith of the Republic, and the Free Zone is an out and out theocracy. While the more ... controversial ... aspects of Scientology have fallen to the wayside, many concepts remain the same. Scientologists still believe they are reincarnated souls called thetans, sent to Earth millions of years ago by the galactic tyrant Xenu, and forced to wear physical bodies. The central focus of Scientology is, then, to achieve spiritual enlightement, and thus Apotheosis. Neomedieval Scientology is, thus, not really different from Gnosticism. There's no real secrecy about their beliefs like there was before, but access to the holy works is still strictly regulated.

Since the average dirt farmer can't focus on spiritual enlightement, he is allowed to increase his OT levels by helping his ruler increase his. The average Scientologist peasant's (clear's) life is focused around making sure Those Who Rule are content and well off, and in return his own spiritual well-being is cared for. So if the Duke of San Bernadino wants his physical remains to be interred in an opulent mausoleum, then so be it.

The holy days for Scientology are All Heroes' Day (February 22), Hubbard Day (March 13), Childrens' Day (March 24), Exhibition (April 20), Dianetics Day (May 9), Integrity Day (May 25), Auditor's Day (2nd Sunday of September), and Freedom Day (December 31, Oi!)

Politcally, the faith is heavily tied in with the Californian nobility. They serve as rulers and priests. That said, the nobles are still warriors first and foremost, so the day to day minutiae of governance, both secular and religious, is performed by eunuchs.
 
Hello, everyone. I followed the Co-Op project for a few pages of the original thread, but fell behind on the reading and never had the chance to post any ideas. I'd like to get involved now, but I don't know or remember anything that was in the old thread but not in the original Atlas.

The Church of Scientology

Definately one of the weirder developments in Post-Regression culture, especially from an Eastern standpoint, is the growth of Scientology as the de jure faith of the Californias. And yet, it is relatively easy to see how this happened, if not why. The old ways had clearly failed, and something new was needed. Scientology had been embraced by many wealthy and charismatic figures, and when all was said and done it proved to be a relatively easy sell, albeit one that took several generations to be fully ingrained in California.
Since California is a Hydraulic Empire, it also has a centralized structure that would have made it relatively easy for a dynasty to impose a new state religion. I imagine a traditional monarchical dynasty creating the empire and setting up its basic parameters, including state-sponsored Scientology. The Church itself later usurps state power. How's that?

* * *

I'm interested in my own region, the Great Lakes. The area between Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior is labeled as a Littoral Region, making it the likely seat of some kind of thalassocracy or trade league. And in colonial times that was indeed a hotspot for Indian and French population growth and trade. Was anything created in the old thread for that part of America? This would be northwest of the states labeled Michigan and Ontario on the maps.

[EDIT] I've looked a little through the old thread and see that the entire region seems dominated by Michigan, but that Chicago was re-imagined as a mercantile city-state despite what's in the original source material. But the point of this thread is that we don't have to abide by the old one, correct?

[EDIT2] Here is what I had in mind: a league of city-states. The size of the dots gives an idea of their relative importance and relative independence. The furthest-flung dots are really just trading enclaves within (or just outside) bigger ports. The central city (its Lübeck, if you will) is Sault Ste Marie, by now certainly just called Su.

soo league flat.jpg
 
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Since California is a Hydraulic Empire, it also has a centralized structure that would have made it relatively easy for a dynasty to impose a new state religion. I imagine a traditional monarchical dynasty creating the empire and setting up its basic parameters, including state-sponsored Scientology. The Church itself later usurps state power. How's that?

* * *

I'm interested in my own region, the Great Lakes. The area between Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior is labeled as a Littoral Region, making it the likely seat of some kind of thalassocracy or trade league. And in colonial times that was indeed a hotspot for Indian and French population growth and trade. Was anything created in the old thread for that part of America? This would be northwest of the states labeled Michigan and Ontario on the maps.

[EDIT] I've looked a little through the old thread and see that the entire region seems dominated by Michigan, but that Chicago was re-imagined as a mercantile city-state despite what's in the original source material. But the point of this thread is that we don't have to abide by the old one, correct?
On Part the One - That seems likely, but fits more with the California entry than the Scientology one, so I'll look into it.

On Part the Dos: This is a clean break from the old thread - it makes things easier to keep track of if we just start clean with only White's own website as a framework. The Lakes will be part of the Fuedal Core portion, which will come after the next portion (the Northwest), so if you have any ideas, start generating them! And post them when you feel they're ready, not when the relevent section is 'open' - just be aware that I probably won't comment until then.

I will say that Michigan seems to be the granddaddy of the Lakes, and Chicago would have considerable influence. That said, the maps of the East US should be considered rough guidelines - real medieval kingdoms were not nearly so blocky, so while the big names will still be there, the final situation will likely be different..
 
I will say that Michigan seems to be the granddaddy of the Lakes, and Chicago would have considerable influence. That said, the maps of the East US should be considered rough guidelines - real medieval kingdoms were not nearly so blocky, so while the big names will still be there, the final situation will likely be different..
My idea is to basically take the Hansa and put it in the Great Lakes. So some of the member cities would be fully independent, while others owe allegience to one (or more?) feudal sovereigns. Together, the league is a commercial power that easily rivals any of the kingdoms that trade in the Lakes. Occasionally it has gone to war, but the cities prefer to avoid it unless it's absolutely necessary for business.

These ideas are still vague because I don't want to write up a detailed thing that I have to throw out because it wildly contradicts the established world.
 
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On Part the Dos: This is a clean break from the old thread - it makes things easier to keep track of if we just start clean with only White's own website as a framework.
Will anything be salvaged from the old thread? I've been reading some of it these last couple of days (more than I ever read when it was active), and a lot of it is quite good. I especially love your treatment of the Trucker clans. Some other material is a little more forgettable, but some would be a shame to lose.

The Lakes will be part of the Fuedal Core portion, which will come after the next portion (the Northwest), so if you have any ideas, start generating them! And post them when you feel they're ready, not when the relevent section is 'open' - just be aware that I probably won't comment until then.
OK.

It looks like in the old thread, the idea for a league of trading cities was raised but never really explored. Chicago was mentioned as part of that; but I see Chicago as an important 'destination' - it has lots of power and riches as the port connecting the Lakes and the Rivers, but it does not send out very many of its own ships. Something like London's relationship with the medieval Hansa.

The Lakeleague, as I'm tentatively calling it, formed around an axis of three cities in the littoral zone between Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan. The city of Soo has a natural near-monopoly over the fisheries of Lake Superior, and over the wood and furs from the lake's watershed. Though not large, Soo's power and wealth have made it the Lakeleague's leader. The city of Saint Ignace is second in the league and owes its status entirely to its location. As it controls the heavily traveled route between Michigan and Huron, it has access to goods from across the continent, even though it does not contribute many natural resources. The final piece is Manistee, home to a valuable salt mine. This was necessary for Soo to preserve its fish for export. The mines are by no means the largest in the Lakes (those are in Detroit); but, together with Soo's resources and St. Ignace's commanding position, the Manistee mines allowed the northern cities to form a self-sufficient league that could compete with Detroit's merchants that had hitherto dominated lakeborne trade.

The Lakeleague is a diverse organization. It consists of cities, not independent states. In Lake Michigan and southern Lake Huron, nearly all the members owe their allegiance to one suzerain or another Michigan, Wisconsin, Ontario, and a few smaller Presidencies and Governorates. In the northern reaches, the member cities tend to be independent. Some are little more than trading posts where members of the surrounding tribes come to sell their furs. In the northeast, Sudbury bears mention. It is an old city with a venerable history, but it has little anymore to drive its economy. With all its neighbors being Lakeleague members, Sudbury is less a member of the League than a colony of it. Chicago itself has been an occasional league member, but has never been a very faithful participant. The league maintains a post on the North Side and a few groups of Chicago merchants are associated with it.

The league is governed by three committees, one for each lake. Soo is a member of both the Huron and Superior committees, and St. Ignace a member of Huron and Michigan. Two member cities lie on Lake Winnebago and are considered part of Lake Michigan. The Triple Committee for the entire league meets sporadically at St. Ignace or Soo.

The symbol of the Lakeleague, a banner of blue and yellow stripes, is known throughout the Great Lakes. The different members use different versions of the banner. Sometimes they vary the number of stripes, other times they deface it with the arms of the local ruler.

That turned into rather a lot of text, but it's actually quite vague. I'll add more detail as the thread moves into that region.

I will say that Michigan seems to be the granddaddy of the Lakes, and Chicago would have considerable influence. That said, the maps of the East US should be considered rough guidelines - real medieval kingdoms were not nearly so blocky, so while the big names will still be there, the final situation will likely be different..
Basically, I'm imagining the Lakeleague cities in the role of some of the smallish cities that were Hansa members, banding together in order to compete with the bigger powers. Detroit here plays the role of Copenhagen (it's been compared before to medieval Scandinavia), and Chicago the role of a city on the periphery of the Hanseatic zone and part of a bigger kingdom, like London or Novgorod.

lakeleague.png
 
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And people can replicate and rebuild. The seasonal basis for the Medieval America is a collapse of energy resources that move modern civilization. Medieval Railways existed.
Alright, looking at the 'Things that look like Alternate History' thread, I'll concede your point - Medieval America has railroads, though they are primarily in the Southwest.

What they do not have is locomotives - all trains are pulled by horses.
 
New Age (Updated)

In the final days of Pre-Regression civilization, a movement began centered around the belief that humanity would go through a new spiritual phase, the so-called "Age of Aquarius", in the coming years. Called the New Age Movement, they began to congregate in the Southwest as the Regression approached. The new era wasn't the total shift in spiritual conscionous they envisioned, but none can deny the world did change.

In the following centuries, the New Age philosophy and theology obviously underwent revisions. The once freeform nature of the faith became more and more structured as those with water - and thus, power - declared their ideas to be doctrine and opponents' beliefs to be heretical. The indigenous tribes of the Southwest proved to be amongst the most powerful, being used to surviving in the Southwest, and so their ideas and beliefs predominated.

The primary belief is the supremacy of a Sky Father, who rules everything. Below Him are the Earth Mother, who created everything, and the Great Spirits, personifications of nature who are prayed to by the Medicine Men for more specific favors. An observor would claim that this resembles the Catholics' belief in God, Virgin Mary, and the Saints, and would then declare that this is a relic from New Mexico's Latino population, but the New Agers deny any obvious similarities. For example, they point to their most holy ceremony, the Ghost Dance Ritual, or to their belief that gems contain healing properties.

New Age Medicine Men (Male) and Mediums (Female) are believed to have healing powers. While the mediums are simply beleived to heal by touch, the Medicine Men lead their village in rituals meant to cleanse the body - exrcise, meditation, and therapy like herbal teas. Astrology also plays a huge role in the New Age - no one, from the lowliest slave to the most exalted ruler, starts his day without a horoscope reading.

The New Agers believe in reincarnation - everyone has a spirit guide, and the lessons learned from meditating on one's past lives are considered an important step in spiritual porgress. While they do believe women serve an important role in their faith, this is still a Hydraulic Empire, and irrigator society has little room for advancement regardless of gender - Mediums are largely overglorified masseuses who speak in tongues, and other women find themselves as beholden to their caste as the men do.

The New Age Movement has spread to the Oklahoman tribes, who incorporated it's methods with New Israelite beliefs, but is otherwise simply New Mexico's state religion.


Here there be Monsters: The Grey
At the back of every human's mind is the feeling that he or she is being watched. This expands to the faer that these watchers will seduce or kidnap the defenseless, drag them to their homes, and the poor soul is never heard from again. They have many names - elves, fey, sidhe, fairies, the Good Folk, the Gentry. But in the Southwest, one name surpasses all others: The Grey.

New Mexican art is surprisingly consistant on what the Grey look like - grey (obviously) skin, large black eyes, emaciated bodies, bald. They come from Elsewhere to kidnap lone humans and take the defenseless to their citadels. Some times, the human escapes and returns to the world of Man, where they quickly become valued as spirit mediums because of there experiances. But New Age mythology is repleat with stories of those who weren't so lucky.
 
Read a little bit of Whites work tonight and its beyond interesting! I as well would like to get involved with this, I shall comment at length tomorrow since its 3am here in Michigan :eek:
 
Fascinating. Will keep an eye on this.

But please, on Québec, remmember and do not do the same error as Shadowrun did; even in the future, and MORE in the future, with return to low tech and increased distances in proportions and all this,the culture isn't France, no 'snoty knightly types, death penality with guillottines and écus as money' probably. :rolleyes:
 
Fascinating. Will keep an eye on this.

But please, on Québec, remmember and do not do the same error as Shadowrun did; even in the future, and MORE in the future, with return to low tech and increased distances in proportions and all this,the culture isn't France, no 'snoty knightly types, death penality with guillottines and écus as money' probably. :rolleyes:
Snooty knightly types seem to be the ones running the entire eastern half of the continent, so there's no avoiding them, I'm afraid... but yeah, a bunch of France stereotypes probably not the best way to go.
 
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