Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It seems jmberry on the Alternate History Boards discovered a stash of images on White's site that he never got around to using. Needless to say, this cuts down on a bit of my speculation, and some major revisions are in order. In some respects, I was probably not as off on the mark as I would have thought, in others, very. I don't know whether I should go back and revise past posts, or start new ones. In any case, the discoveries have given me a lot to think about.

The borders for the East of America, and the West half. Also, this here gives you a good idea on the various borders around the continent. White pointed out that the forest zones could be a disparate patchwork, but I had no idea how much. It seems most balkanized around the Appalachian and Ozark Highlands, though it's also that way in both the Northeast and Northwest. (No surprise there, as they operate as mercantile city-states. I'm most surprised to see New York and parts of Canada have fragmented so. It has caused me to think a lot about Quebec's expansion. Quebec proper is safely tucked away where it has been. But I would think Canada's being broken up might make it subject to conquest. If cowboys can conquer everything in site, I don't know why Quebecois wouldn't. This map displays the language of the region, and while it doesn't confirm anything about Quebec, I do notice New York seems to have a similar gradient as the Ottawa metro-area, so I wouldn't say the theory is shot down. The New York flag has the statue of liberty, which is an American symbol, but it's also a french statue, so...part of me is tempted to abandon the French New York thing, but I don't have anything to truly shout it down yet.

There's a sub-map for the Pacific Northwest, which is titled "Cascadia". The weird thing is, the file name is "pac-northwest", which is what you get from clicking on cities like Seattle and Portland. But it also has the flag for the District of Columbia inside that so...while it doesn't raise an insane amount of questions, I am left to wonder about the formatting, if not the content. I do wonder what the Columbia page is, though, since it seems to be this country without any major cities in it. Also, more of Medieval Texas is explored. White himself has an image for Texas, although I'm unsure what page it would have appeared on. Perhaps the tribal page? In any case, the most eastern of Texas is fused with some of Louisiana and Arkansas to form "Red River Territory", the most western absorbed by new Mexico, and the bulk of it under a tribe named the Andersons, who have nevertheless kept Houston up and running. Generally makes sense for the competing (Dixie, Latino and Plains) cultures,, although I am curious to know how "Texas" plays into any sense of nationalism for the region.

Perhaps the one thing I was way off the mark on about was the Yankees. I think I'm generally correct about what culture is like in the Northeast, but apparently I was incorrect in interpreting the Yankee symbol as a boat (it's a plow), and extrapolating it to be mostly a maritime culture. This probably remains true for the three Northeast nations, it's just that I'm incorrect in assuming the Northeast is distilled "Yankee" culture. Or maybe not, as the icon isn't any further west than Pennsylvania. I do think Ohio and it's four District HQs does give it something common in the Northeast, but it's still arguable as a "Yankee nation". I'm assuming this map would go to that particular page. Unfortunately, there are no other pictures for that "How they would" dress, no for the "Irrigation" (Desert-Dwellers) page, which is unfortunate. I suppose very little I've said on the subject has proven to be wrong, but I do have doubts.

I've mentioned very little of it on this blog, but White does have a page for the Jackelope, which led me to believe other American folklore monsters had one, and I was correct. There are images for Bigfoot, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, and Roswell aliens. That covers most of the American folklore monsters (I suppose Wendigos and Men in Black could be mentioned as well), although I have myself wondered about what other folklore would exist in Medieval America. Christmas Elves? Tooth Fairies? Movie monsters? I do think White covered the most he could while 1) Remaining exclusive to America, and 2) In the public domain. My next post is actually going to touch on how popular culture would fit into American folklore. Interestingly, there is also a file image for Elvis, connected to the confederate flag. (Though I would think him attached to a Tennessee flag) I was also thinking about Elvis before I saw that--he's both a entertainment legend and an urban legend, as he's often mentioned in the same publications as Bigfoot and UFOs, so he probably has some folklore status as well.

The only figure I did find from White is a Knight, probably for the Lancers page. I...kind of doubt we'd see pastels like that, but I think I see what he's going for here. The armor reminds me a little bit of the Asian grid designs , which combined with some elements we see in European armor, is something pretty unique. Actually, it reminds me of the look the villains from the film version Prince Caspian. I don't know what nation this is from in particular, (Though I imagine it'd be one from the feudal core) and if the knights look different in the desert, in Quebec, if one some of them have more native American motifs, but I have actually been doing some sketches. In any case, it's nice to have a taste of something that obviously plays a big part in the continent.

In general though, this will lead me to go back and clarify questions, and revamp some ideas. At first I was on the mission of suggesting, not telling. Then I got it in my head to just tell, now I may go back and suggest. I suppose I've done as much as I can without actually doing to nations per se. What I'm thinking of doing is creating a wiki for all this. I was hesitant because White hates Wikipedia, and it would feel a little disrespectful, but I think I may have taken this as far as it can go in blog form (at least until I do illustrations), and it's obvious I will have to retouch things over time.

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