Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cascadia


Now we have the northwest, a rather slender section of the continent, but a very vital one. However, this may be the region we have the least information on, as no countries or other aspects of life here have their own page. At this point, it's pure conjecture. All we know is that the cultures may have an effect here and there on Northern California to the Bay Area.

Interestingly enough, White doesn't give an independent "lifestyle" icon for the northwest--it shares the "Yankee" icon. Perhaps there's not much to elaborate on. It's the mildest climate on the continent, neither summers nor winters getting particularly extreme. In fact, in a lot of ways, the Northwest mirrors the Northeast, although cosmetically one could easily tell the difference between someone from New England from someone from Vancouver sound. The northwest's most distinct aspect however, is the vast amount of rain. Metals and woods are often cured to be water resistant, and they usually gravitate towards the resistant resources to begin with. Cloaks are probably not made from wool. And much of the architecture includes water spouts and various designs for expelling the rain. But other than that, the region is so well-suited to support life that it's surprising that the population is this low. Proportionately, it's a good drop-off from the current population, but one can't help but think this corner of the map would suffer much less than say, the Atlantic seaboard. Perhaps the environmental dogma has prevented them populating too much.

I've mentioned several times I think the Northwest is stridently environmentalist. And whatever caused the destruction of civilization probably helped convince people respecting the earth and living simple lives would not have gotten America in this mess. The religion seems to be Buddhism, or at least an on offshoot of it. It can kind of mean several things at this point, as it's kind of the non-religion religion, and put in the context of holy wars, it could mean many different things. Perhaps the forces of the earth are more sacred to its worshipers, or it has its own rules and pantheon, just with much less rites and Sabbaths than other faiths of the continent. Green may be the signature color of the area--with the environmental dogma combined with the almost everlastingly green colors of the wilderness. The Pacific Northwest may very well challenge Ireland for emerald identification. Variations do probably exist more, should totem poles still be prevalent. Totem poles have been perhaps the most well-known symbol in this part of the country, and the American Indian influence is probably the most valued (if not co-opted) around here.

In the upper northwest, we pretty much have the crux of its population, which White has simply labeled "Pacific Northwest". Maps display that it's a patchwork, probably of various independent city states that share languages, religions and lifestyles, but are constantly competing. They're probably very much mercantile states like the US, just much more divided. It may in fact be something of a "Hippie" version of the US. I wouldn't be surprised to see White have mentioned Hippies when talking about the region's culture. I do wonder how often they have had common goals. On the California page, White mentions every now and then San Francisco is conquered by the Northwest armies. This has probably led to merging of cultures every now and then, with the Bay area serving as a buffer between two otherwise quite different cultures.

The other region is The District of Colombia--a feudal state on the other side of the continent. The name probably derives from the Columbia river, though I've used the setting sun of BC for its flag. There are no cities evident in this region so far, so it may simply be a large collection of castles and villages that support the cities of the west. I'm not sure what their relationship with the merchant cities must be--probably not bad, though east of the Cascade mountains,t hey might not even think about them much. However,. there does seem to be an intense rivalry with Deseret. I don't have the best idea where one nation ends and the other begins, but I imagine the conflicts are too new for there to be a major blurring within borders. With the Asian influence and mountainous, sometimes volcanic terrain, you're left to wonder if it might at times resemble feudal Japan. Ultimately, the area has been too shaped by the European and Native population to completely go that way (especially since its Asian immigrants probably don't know that much about Japanese sword-melding), but a lot of the aesthetic could bear a passing resemblance. However, this seems to be something of a blip in the grand scheme of things--no major cities are even shown under its jurisdiction. Maybe Portland, as a relatively inland city, is its capital. It's hard to tell as White simply didn't give a link to this area on the main atlas.

2 comments:

  1. It still my opinion, that Columbia represent a Knight Order, and that its a territory comparable to the State of the Teutonic Knight. If I remember it right, Columbia was original represented through the stylized cross at the left side of the religous map. We have this stylized cross also at the South-west-map. Some years ago, if you went with the cursor on this cross, it was shown that the name of the symbol was Columbia. Today it doesn´t seemed to work anymore, so you propably havn´t seen it, but original Columbia is part of the Religion map.
    But I must partly correct my theorie, that the Knights came to protect a christian enclave. I had more the example of the crusader states in mind, with large christian Minorities and christian Holy places. But the Teutonic Knights seem to be a better example,where the goal was conquering of "pagan" lands. So, there is no Christians shown in this area on the Religionmap, because:

    1. they are represented through the cross of Columbia
    2. they are still a small minority of feudal overlords (Knights, priest) ruling the buddihst peasants with a iron fist.

    For the Buddihsts in the North-west I had always the theorie that they are not so much the result of a mass conversion but that they are the descentens of refugees from Japan and China.

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  2. Hmm, I had no idea White changed the maps at all at the time. In any case, I was largely working with that I had--area where Columbia would exist seems to be under the Buddhist sphere. Likewise, the Deseret page shows that they've been at war with "Buddhists from the North".

    I think the thing about Christian bulwarks in the west is....New Israelite and Mormonism are in amny ways, Christian nations themselves. Certainly not enough by many standards of the time, but simply that any holy order might want to prioritize by moving out west as opposed to east.

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