Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Plains

This is the area White seems to have spent the most time on, perhaps owing to the idea that when we think "America", we think "Cowboys". He gives us information on the lifestyle, religion and combat of the nomadic herdsmen. Two of the three nations he specifically talks about are ones significantly shaped by them, and which have a significant cowboy minority. The only one he left incomplete was the "Tribes" page, and to be honest, we know so much about how the herdsmen live from the other three pages there weren't a lot of gaps to fill.

It's probably best described as cowboys and Indians rolled into one, with a little bit of the Mongol empire, and maybe a dash of Viking. Some say White was inspired by the Horseclan novels, but the lifestyle does make sense. In many ways, it's just a reversion to the pre-industrial free-grazers, Oregon Trail-style settlers and natives, but with a little bit of a technology relapse, most notably the lack of guns.

The biggest unanswered question is the two "territories" shown on The West Map, dominated by the Rizzini clan, and the Anderson clan, respectively. It might be worth looking at tribes so powerful, they have a label, despite the herdsmen's distaste for settle nations. The Anderson have dominated central Texas, which makes you ask. Are they occupiers? Patriotic Texans? Is Texas considered more of a vague idea in this era? It's very interesting, because modern day Texans are the most dedicated to the idea of Texas as a nation unto itself.

The other tribe, Rizzinis certainly cut an imposing figure, and even have their own flag, which could be the skull of a deer, or the mythical Jackelope. They may conjure the idea of Hell's Angels bikers as much as they do cowboys.

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