Friday, July 10, 2009

The Lakes

I talked extensively about the Feudal Core, so I felt I had to talk about the lakes separately. Even though it's only a couple of nations, it's very distinctive from a lot of the Southern Kingdoms. (Ohio is something of an "in-betweener") The winters are longer and harsher, the agriculture more limited. It may. in general, resemble more what we recognize as Europe, due to ancestry and climate. What also makes this distinct from the Southern Kingdoms is, of course, the lakes themselves.

The area today is sometimes referred to as "The Third Coast", because the vast size of the lakes (as well as the connecting rivers and canals) have allowed it to operate as a de facto sea, with their own waterways, ports, and peninsulas. and  the Lakes probably have something resembling a maritime culture. Since it's freshwater, the boats can only carry so much, and they can also freeze in winter, but naval warfare and trade are probably an integral part. The Lake Kingdoms may interact mostly with each other, and the Canadian tribes. They may also concentrate more on minerals. While iron and steel are not as instrumental a resource in a non-industrial world, it's still very useful for a warrior society. (Sparta in fact conquered the helots for their iron deposits) The trade page shows  metal, as well as metalwork is a big part of the region's economy. The Lakes are probably renown across the continent for their metallurgy

The most northern country is Wisconsin. It doesn't seem to have a flag, but the Iowa page indicates it is its own nation and Milwaukee is depicted as a decent-sized city. The nation has about a million people, and though it lost some territory to Iowa, it has also absorbed Michigan's upper peninsula, as well as some of Minnesota's population. (where the Twin Cities population center once was) Minnesota, fr its part, has largely withered, either due to the cold conditions, or because of raids from cowboy tribes.

We then move on to Michigan. Most of the population is located in the lower part of the peninsula, and the population in the neighborhood of two to three million. Because of its excellent soil, and ability to connect the lake routes, Michigan is possibly the top dog of the Lake Kingdoms, and Detroit is a major city. I'm not sure what the flag is, but it's either a  a beaver or a wolverine. The last two makes the most sense. Beavers are certain both a useful and a clever animal, and that motif might make sense in the context of a lakeside nation. The wolverine is associated with the University of Michigan, and I have a feeling it may have a particular totemic significance What animal strikes more fear in the frozen north?

We then move Eastward, to what may possibly be the flag for the Allegheny County. Its flag is recognizable to a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, but it's actually a logo for the steel industry. Probably same difference, as Lake Eerie Pennsylvania has thrived on steel-making. We also have Genesee County, which has in its borders the very important port of Buffalo, one of the largest cities on the continent. It's no surprise these places have been cut off from the Pennsylvania and New York of the coast. The Appalachian mountains are a very good divider, and people would remark about Pennsylvania being "Alabama in the middle". I wonder if these two counties have a relationship with each other, and are descended from Steel or other business barons.

And finally, we have the "peninsula" of Ontario. It just calls itself Ontario, but it has the maple leaf flag. Much of Industrial Canada's population was centered here. It may actually be the last vestige of Canadian culture, as Vancouver has more or less melded with the Northwest republic, Quebec has become its own distinct entity, and the rest of the country has reverted into Barbarism. Officially. It seems to be a trader of wheat, which makes one wonder who it sells it to--possibly New England or Quebec, or maybe the wilder tribes of the north, who in turn sell furs. Here's something interesting to ponder; The area that was once Ontario clearly as two million people. I wonder how much is still Ontario, though? The Ottawa metropolitan area borders Quebec, and has a very strong francophone influence. Quebec has likely tried to move south to expand its nation. So the entire area that borders Lake Eerie could be anglophone, francophone, or a strange mix of the two.

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