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GangsterSynod

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Empire of the Bear: California, Reconsidered
Prof. Harvey Z. Stackbean, University of Portland Press, 3602.


Students of ancient medieval or post-Event medieval history are taught to remember the old adage: “Empires are swiftly built under good emperors and wither just as quickly under the bad”. Nowhere was this truer than the Celestial Empire of California, born in strife and disunity and ended in the same manner. Every history textbook has the basic outline of Empire, from Elton the Lawgiver’s philosophical conquest of the warring states of California and his subsequent crowning as Emperor in Sacramento; to the dying days of Chad the Boneless as governors and prefects overthrew Imperial authority to rule in their own right; to the steady, quiet consolidation of strength amid chaos and Imperial vulnerability under Elton III and Reuben I; to the reign of Matthew the Theologian and his descendants; to the crowning glories of the reign of Presley II the Uniter or the Magnificent, genetically unrelated to Elton I and Matthew but embodying their spirits more than any other; to the slow complacency and rot at the heart of the Imperial court and bureaucratic state in the reigns of the Stephens; and finally the sudden collapse at the hands of Empress Karen the Mad and the resulting end of the Yudkow dynasty.

The period of the Nine Good Emperors is famous, and justifiably so. It was a time when arts and culture flourished in Sacramento and beyond, where artifacts of the ancients were lovingly restored to usable states by Imperial artisans, where Americans rediscovered some of the peoples beyond the seas. It was a time of great religious zeal and turmoil, as many faiths died out among the continent’s nobility entirely, yet simultaneously heavily syncretizing with others in the general population. It was a time of ever-increasing prosperity, interrupted only by the all-encompassing system shock of the Red Death, or, as it was called in the Empire, the Thrax.

Looking beyond the pomp and glamour of the Imperial court, however, and treating the development and disarray of Empire less as a result of big personalities making big decisions and more as a logical extension of inexorable, unavoidable trends may be a less exciting endeavor than pruriently recounting the syphilitic insanity-filled intrigues and scandals of the post-Presleyan court, but it makes for better history. That said, it is most certainly no coincidence that, virtually the second an unworthy heir sat the Celestial Throne, the overextended empire collapsed under its own weight. It is important to explore and bridge both of these dynamics if we wish to truly understand the Empire of the Bear. As such, while this history will take the form of, broadly, a series of biographies, I will attempt to undermine and complicate this simple tale as I tell it, bringing out the “stories behind the stories” that we all know.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hey folks. While this is not my first try at writing an AAR, it's the first time I've gone beyond an introductory post with basically nothing but a concept towards actually playing and writing the thing, I've already finished the game, but I didn't decide to make it an AAR until I was done and I don't have many good saves to look back at, so all the pictures that will hopefully come in future will be taken from just before the end of the game. It's also worth noting that I used all DLCs except for the Ruler Designer, which I do not have, and that this was not an Ironman game. I ran some console commands in a few places, but nothing really egregious. Some gold here and there, mostly. I made one very important figure Quick because they already were getting super-high base stats (an 8-10 in everything; it was nuts). Other than that, there wasn't a ton that I did. The impetus to write this came a few days after I'd finished rereading Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, a really fantastic book. I'm trying here to make our friendly narrator a much more pompous, longwinded version of her. More (and longer) posts should be coming soon. I really want to be the first person to actually finish an AtE AAR here. Hope you guys enjoy!
 
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HistoryDude

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Hmm, I'm not normally interesting in AtE, but that introduction has me hooked.

Subbed!
 
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DensleyBlair

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This looks good fun. I'll have to reacquaint myself with After the End – I'm sure I knew what it entailed once upon a time, but I've only a vague idea now.

Good luck!
 
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Chapter II- Religious Background

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To understand the Celestial Empire, we have to first understand the Cetic religion, for the two were inseparable. Our knowledge of the pre-Event world is not perfect, but to our knowledge, pre-event America was divided up into several broad cultural and geographical regions: the Northeast, Southeast, Heartland, Southwest, and Northwest. The three coasts of America, the West, East, and Gulf, were all more cosmopolitan and urban, in contrast to the more sparsely populated, rural Heartland. The East was the political and financial center, the West a cultural and technological center, and the Gulf broadly a service and light-industrial center. The West Coast, comprising the states of California, Oregon, and Washington (confusingly, the capital of ancient America was also named Washington), was always more religiously syncretic than any other region in America, and this dynamic only strengthened and grew more prominent after the Event, as the religions prominent in the major cities of the region—Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego—underwent significant changes. The idea of an approaching “New Age”, connected through means that we do not fully understand to the ancient zodiac symbol of Aquarius, was a common theme across the residents of California at the time, and the arrival of the Event only solidified that idea among the broader population. The Indian notions of reincarnation and its endless cycle, broken only by the most perfected soul, entered into this heterogenous mixture, as did remnants of Indigenous traditions, both genuine and imagined, particularly as regarded nature and environmentalism more broadly. Though the pre-Event West Coast did not always live up to its environmental ambitions, the broader populace had accepted the theory of “Spaceship Earth”, Earth as a closed system where all people had a role to play in maintenance, by the time of the Event (though the scholarship on this is dubious, resting more on the evidence of old soap containers than a historian might wish). Moderation of action and religious harmony were very much common themes in the region as well, unlike in the Heartland or the South more broadly. Religious strife post-Event, while present, more so than many acknowledge today, was not nearly at the level of much of the rest of the continent. The conditions, in short, were ripe for a grand synthesis of the faiths post-Event, which would likely have happened sooner or later even if Elton the Lawgiver had never lived. Others with talent could have found the moment and seized it, uniting the Pacific faiths through pen and sword, but Elton’s unique genius was that he bound the faith, state, and ruler inextricably together as had not existed since the days of Muhammad and the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs or Constantine’s endowment of lands to the Christian Church, perhaps outdoing even those. In doing so, however, he sowed the seeds for his line’s ultimate demise, his empire’s collapse, and his faith’s total destruction. In binding all parts together, he ensured that if one failed, all would fail.

The religion itself is instructive as well, and close study of its tenets and schools provides clues for consideration of the empire itself. Like any religion and/or philosophy, Ceticism was primarily concerned with living rightly and organizing society rightly. What did it mean for someone to be a “dude”? How was one supposed to remain “chill” when one was beset on all sides by injustice? How could one avoid falling to Mammon and becoming “The Man”? What, if anything, awaited after death? What wisdom could a person take from the Great Teachers (Muhammad, representing the bellicose Way of the Fist and the city of Sacramento; Jesus, representing the pacifistic Way of the Dove and the city of San Diego; the Buddha, representing the scholarly Way of the Book and the city of San Francisco, Henry David Thoreau, representing the Gaian-syncretic Way of the Branch and the city of Portland; Elron Hubbard, representing the pragmatic and manipulatory Way of the Cowl and the city of Los Angeles; and the First Emperor, supposed to embody all of those ways) and the Minor Teachers (an official tally in the 2880s ran to about eighty names, the most famous among them including Carl Sagan, Plato, Moses, Marcus Aurelius, and Joseph Smith) and what aspects of their teachings should be avoided?

On a more concrete level, how should one go about in the world? Given that greed was to be shunned at all costs, should one be profiting from one’s labor? If so, what percentage approximately would be extortionate, and in what profession would profit be most meritorious or least harmful? Should one patronize the business of someone you know to be inconsiderate towards others when fairly easy alternatives exist? What is one’s obligation to a family member who steals from you? Can you fraudulently sell or trade a product, even when you know it to be of better quality than what was asked for? How can one best care for a sickly child who lashes out at others? Is it problematic to eat meat and/or dairy products, and if not, would it be more meritorious to abstain? We know of these last few questions, and their answers, from Imperial Opinions, which were essentially crosses between a fatwa and a formal law. Citizens, from the most noble and wealthy to the poorest and humblest, could write in to the Imperial Court and the Emperor would evaluate their query, eventually distributing an answer to the entirety of California, an opinion that at once had the force of secular law and religious precedent. Since many of these queries were about purely personal, ethical matters, enforcement was rare, but it did occur.

A citizen, one Carlos F. of Redding, wrote in during the early reign of Terpen the Timekeeper (2743-2781) to ask whether officials who were claiming extra taxes in the name of the Emperor were telling the truth and sending it on, and in any case whether an unannounced double tax of that kind was justifiable, given the state of the peasantry there. Surprisingly, this scandal had not previously come to the attention of the Imperial Court, and its retribution was swift. The officials responsible were rounded up a day before the publication of the Opinion, made to read it and take responsibility for the lie in front of the Imperial person, then taken through every subprefectures of the Kingdom of Jefferson and do the same in front of the jeering crowds, visiting the subprefecture of Redding last. It was there that they were hanged, their corpses burned, and their families made to watch. It is somewhat unsurprising in this context to note that, for much of the reign of the Nine Good Emperors, graft and corruption in the Imperial Bureaucracy simply ceased to exist. The combination of a constant ear to the populist ground, strong scrutiny of the bureaucracy, and a willingness to be harsh to subordinates in order to maintain Imperial authority and order both physical and metaphysical would prove to be the toolkit that made the Emperors simultaneously awed, feared, loved, respected, and venerated for generations.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hey guys, thanks for following along! I'd appreciate any feedback if you have it. One big problem that's going to come up a little more in future that I didn't anticipate going in is that I have no idea how to write about Scientology while not getting sued, because the makers of the mod decided to put Hubbard up there with Jesus, Muhammad, and the Buddha in prominence for Ceticism. I guess that makes some sense considering Los Angeles, but still... Also, like I said in the first post, I'm trying to make this a little pompous and long-winded, but I'm worried it's a little too much so. Thoughts?
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hmm, I'm not normally interesting in AtE, but that introduction has me hooked.

Subbed!
Excellent, glad to have you on board.
This looks good fun. I'll have to reacquaint myself with After the End – I'm sure I knew what it entailed once upon a time, but I've only a vague idea now.

Good luck!
It's apparently somewhat inspired by A Canticle for Liebowitz, if you've read that. In any event, the world experienced some unspecified cataclysm some time after the late 40s/early 50s, throwing the population back to essentially the medieval era by the 27th century. So there are literal Minnesota Vikings, the Amish, as the ones best prepared to survive a global shock, took over New York and Pennsylvania, Brazil has become an empire akin to China, things of that nature.
 
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HistoryDude

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Hmm, interesting religious overview.

As for the Scientology problem, be really vague, I guess?

Also, nice to know how pre-Event America’s remembered in California.
 
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Chapter III: The Legend of Emperor Norton

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We have already talked somewhat about the religious development and syncretization of Ceticism, but that knowledge, while useful, does not prepare us for or explain to us Ceticism’s focus on the Imperial person, one of its defining features. We know from what scholars today call “meta-archaeological research” (an admittedly controversial term) that many cultures thousands of years before the Event regarded their leaders as more than or as something other than human, particularly notably in ancient Egypt and parts of pre-Columbian South America. This is an odd quirk of human nature, and even in societies where this leader-as-deity discourse was long dismissed, traces of it creep back up. There seems to have been a trend in the pre-Event United States to treat the Founders and Framers as a sort of civic pantheon, as flawless creatures with great foresight and unimpeachable judgment. While this discourse seems to have faded somewhat over time, it was resurrected in the years after the Event by the so-called “Americanists” on the East Coast, who sought to reinvigorate the America of the Founders and continue their legacy, thriving for hundreds of years before succumbing to slow Anabaptist and Evangelical conquest. California was, after all, a crucial part of the United States, so it is possible that the leader-as-deity discourse was an American inheritance that simmered quietly there under the surface before being exhumed by Elton I. Californians may have had need for a god-king long before Elton wrote his famous Invincible Letter.

The folklore in the Bay Area gives some credence to this view. We do not know much about Norton I, Emperor of the United States, and what we do know is very hard to square with the political realities that we do know existed at the time. Sifting through myth and legend for nuggets of truth is a hard, almost an impossible task, but several commonalities in the legend emerge. Norton, the folktales agree, was a Jewish immigrant from South Africa who lived in San Francisco in the 19th century. He became a merchant and for a time was wealthy, but was bankrupted by bad luck. Norton lived in poverty, but one day, he declared to the city (the various versions of the myth differ regarding the method; the most common version has him writing letters to the various newspapers in the area, and some versions have Norton sending his declaration to all the newspapers of America, which likely did not occur. Even with our scarce documentary record of pre-Event newspapers, such a seemingly important event would have had some perceptible coverage) that he was the first and only legitimate Emperor of the United States. The details of how he lived after this declaration are somewhat fuzzy. The legends agree that he clashed with the civic authorities at first, but later entered into a partnership with them; that he had a special relationship with the peoples of Chinese descent in San Francisco; that he lived in poverty but promulgated a currency that was widely accepted by many businesses in the city. They agree that he became a symbol of the city and of California, and that many important people traveled from all over the world to seek his advice.
1596073848492.png

In most versions of the legend, Norton is, after a series of marvelous events of one kind or another, eventually acclaimed by California and the West as the rightful ruler in 1876, in contrast to the corrupt, feckless, argumentative, and decadent Congress. He and his closest companions leave for the District of Columbia, where the people acclaim him in the streets as the rightful ruler. But the President and Congress are jealous of his popularity and seek to hold onto their power. President Hayes welcomes him “with sweet words” and promises to institute a peaceful transition to Imperial rule. The two become friendly and, despite Norton’s companions warning him not to trust Hayes, he accepts the President’s invitation to attend an outdoor Fourth of July celebration, in the heat of the Washington summer. The duplicitous Hayes, however, has poisoned that afternoon’s refreshments, and Norton dies after consuming a large quantity of cherries and iced milk, in what Hayes’ doctors call a “noxious flux”. Having no heirs, President Hayes declares the Empire to be dissolved and the Congress to be reinstated, and the people sadly disperse, but not before holding a gargantuan funeral in his honor. In some retellings, this is where it ends, but in most, his companions are said to come to his grave the next day and dig it up, seeking to transport him by rail to California, where they believe he should lie. They meet a surprise when they touch spade to soil, however: though his grave was undisturbed, the body is gone. Though they do not understand what has happened, they eventually come to believe that he has gone into what amounts to a state of occultation, and will return when he is needed, when California looks at risk of collapse.

This is a fine story, but there appears to be no evidence for any sort of journey to Washington. We know that at the time of Norton’s supposed “reign” that America operated in full governmental continuity from the days of the Founders and indeed fought the Civil War in part to preserve federal, congressional authority over the states. The election of 1876 does seem to have been extraordinarily contentious, for reasons we cannot today completely ascertain, but it seems clear that Norton could not have had any role in them or any sort of authority nationwide, nor does the evidence suggest that he was elected to high office of any kind. If he had political authority at all, it was on a very local level. Perhaps he was mayor of San Francisco and not a self-proclaimed Emperor at all, perhaps he was simply a popular half-mad street-corner figure that the city subsidized out of whimsy, perhaps he did not exist. We may never know. Most of the areas on which the legends are fully in agreement are, while somewhat unlikely, not out of the realm of possibility, however. We do know that a significant number of Chinese immigrants came to California in the 19th century to work on the railroads and that San Francisco was a mercantile hub in the 19th century, and nothing prevented an individual from mailing letters to newspapers declaring he was the rightful Emperor of the United States. The legend of Norton, First of His Name, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico is not remarkable for the details of the story or for Norton the man, but because of the legend's legacy. Something about this story was so persistent that it developed and spread beyond the Bay for centuries, eventually reaching all parts of California. Something about it tapped into the ruler-as-deity discourse that Elton I would draw on and derive imperial legitimacy from, in much the same way that the quasi-Presidents on the East Coast would sanctify the Founders and Framers.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I promise we're getting to gameplay eventually! One more characterless entry, on the geography and production of California pre-Empire, will be coming soon enough, as well as some number of entries on Elton I and his descendants before gameplay starts. My goal is to get to gameplay by the end of August. Emperor Norton was a real guy, by the way, who led a fantastically interesting life and who I was very glad to see depicted as a legendary figure in California's title history. I tried to balance the real facts about him with the embellishments and confusions about 19th-century American history that would inevitably come after 600 years of continuous retelling, and I'm not sure how well I succeeded. Hope you guys enjoy.
 
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HistoryDude

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Interesting to see how certain microstates in the Americans are remembered...

Will we be learning more about Ceticist theology?
 
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GangsterSynod

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Will we be learning more about Ceticist theology?
Yeah, probably. I'm wondering exactly how granular I should go with it and I want to kind of dive into the economic and econo-cultural aspects of the area some first. Plus i really want to get to gameplay soon. A more detailed look will come at some point before gameplay starts, though. The bottom line is that, headcanon-wise, it's not a religion proper in that it has no single defined version of the afterlife. Even though it's been codified a decent amount by the Emperors and learned people in the bureaucracy over time, it's still kind of amorphous and broadly New-Agey, and it recognizes so many prophets as valid and enlightened that it can't really settle on any of their supernatural aspects as truth. It's more of a coherent ideal for living and societal organization a la Confucianism than a religion proper, but there are some... more interesting features about it, some of which I've hinted at a bit here.
 
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I like that retelling of Norton’s story a lot. Funny to imagine how 19th century eccentrics might be regarded by future people with little information to go off.
 
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Californian Agriculture, Horrors from Dimensions our Minds Cannot Understand, & You

GangsterSynod

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I've been having a little difficulty writing this next update, but I should have it out soon. I've had to do some actual research on California's agricultural industry, and I've downloaded several PDFs from California's Department of Agriculture. As it turns out, they may not actually check the PDFs once they put them up? At least, that's the only way I can explain this, which I am presenting here as a little teaser, in a blatant attempt to maintain reader interest until I have the update ready.
1597449811859.png

The rest of the PDF is normal, and I've learned quite a bit, but... yeah.
 
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HistoryDude

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Wow. That’s... hard to understand, at best. I can’t understand it.
 
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GangsterSynod

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Wow. That’s... hard to understand, at best. I can’t understand it.
Yes, I assume it's some sort of PDF uploading error, especially given that the rest is fine and there are spots of legibility on the page. But it's given me some ideas for the future of this AAR, weirdly.
 
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Hootieleece

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Interesting. I just started back into CKII. Enjoying the After the End Mod myself. Just ended an East Coast run as "King of New England" when the "Redcoats" showed up like the Mongols and conquered my desmesne.

Will look forward to more of this AAR.
 
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GangsterSynod

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Interesting. I just started back into CKII. Enjoying the After the End Mod myself. Just ended an East Coast run as "King of New England" when the "Redcoats" showed up like the Mongols and conquered my desmesne.

Will look forward to more of this AAR.
Wonderful! Great to have you on board. I hope to have an update out tonight. Stay tuned...
 
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DensleyBlair

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Specialist290

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Can't believe I've let this one slip under the radar for so long; I usually try to keep an eye out for promising After the End AARs, but I guess I've been slipping lately. I for one thought the Emperor Norton background piece was excellent -- a fantastic blend of half-remembered history and exaggerated legends that encapsulates the spirit of the mod itself quite well.

Definitely going to keep an eye on this one, going forward :)
 
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Chapter IV: Days of Wine and Roses

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1597615766141.png

The regions of California. From top, left-to-right: Jefferson, Gran Francisco, Sacramento (Imperial Capital and its environs), The Valley, Death Valley (never an officially recognized region or Kingdom), Socal, and Baja (not pictured)
California was one of the most developed parts of Old America, and, unlike the East Coast, had two major areas of production: agriculture and technology. The lands of Gran Francisco, the Valley, and of small parts of Southern California (the post-Event region of Socal) are some of the most fertile on Earth and remain so to this day, and many of the crops grown now were grown during the American period. Grapes, strawberries, oranges, almonds, and pistachios were grown through the American period and survived the Event quite well, though yields of all kinds of crops were much lower due to the sudden elimination of the harvesting machinery and the general post-Event drastic drop in population. Cattle, sheep, and goats, used for both meat and milk, grazed the grassy hills and fields of California throughout both the American and Imperial periods. California’s sunny, moderate climate and mild winters made for long growing seasons and consistently good harvests, and its easy access to water and fertile soil made it by far the most productive farmland acre for acre in at least North America and probably the entirety of the Americas, even after the Event. But California was not merely an extremely productive agricultural region, it was the only region in the Americas that could grow many highly desired agricultural goods. After the Event, California held an absolute monopoly on the production of garlic, olives, tomatoes, dates, and figs, and a near-monopoly in that most crucial of products, wine.

A grape-friendly climate broadly existed in only two places in the Americas: the Empires of California and Brazil (with some minor exceptions in Ohio and Western Hudsonia). Wine was desired for several reasons. First and foremost, it was a status symbol, a way of differentiating an American person of means from their inferiors, who largely drank beer or corn whiskey, and demonstrating the drinker’s refinement of taste. Like all alcoholic beverages, it was a drink free from potentially harmful microorganisms, reducing the drinker’s likelihood of getting sick. Its alcohol content also made it a useful preservative, and it was sometimes bought as such. Wine’s geographic scarcity of production (even in California, there were relatively few distinct wine-growing areas), upper-class consumer base, and fairly continuous demand made it a vital revenue stream for California, with Californian bottles being found as far away as the Maritimes and Haiti, and the figure of the Emperor was tied up almost as much with the symbols of wine and the Imperial wine monopoly as with the Californian bear.

1597615954576.png

The Winelands. Before the Celestial Empire's founding, both the Subprefectures of Yolo and Sacramento were considered to be part of the Winelands.
The Emperors constantly strived to show themselves surrounded by the symbols of agricultural abundance, and this is a common focus of scholarship on this period, but what is less talked about is the Emperors’ deliberate linkage with the other major legacy of California’s past, its technological sector. Our knowledge of the exact date of the Event is fuzzy, and all chronologies are doomed to failure in some ways, but what is clear is that California was a center of technology at the time. The government and Stanford University cooperated to fund industry in the area, and soon silicon transistors and computer parts were pouring out of the Bay. The Event hit urban areas particularly hard, though, and the “Silicon Valley” was strangled almost in its crib. All that was left were the burnt-out shells of what was clear were particularly grand structures and many strange devices strewn across the area. These devices, largely calculation tools, became objects of prestige for the local rulers, eventually coming to the same status almost as a crown or scepter for demonstrating legitimacy. If a lord of the post-Event Bay wished to seriously rule, they must at least have owned an Old American calculator. Many rulers had pieces of Old American computers and supercomputers in their treasuries as well, and these were often exhibited at special occasions such as feasts to demonstrate the local lord’s veneration for the past prosperity of California and their dedication to bringing about similar prosperity in the future. When Elton I had finally conquered the Goldengate region, one of his first actions was to visit the ruins of Stanford University and be crowned as King of Gran Francisco with a calculator in his hand and atop a throne of computer parts. Subsequent kings would repeat the tradition.

The Emperors’ focus on the symbols of California’s prosperity contain in plain sight clues as to how Elton rose to power in the first place and shine a little light into the inevitability of a unified California. Agricultural yields, after plunging dramatically in the century or so after the Event, had started to scale upwards over time, and the land was starting to support more peasants. We know, for instance, that the number of taxable homesteads in what would become the Imperial Prefecture of Fresno quadrupled from 2507 to 10,086 over the 24th century, taxable homesteads refer only to those where peasants were living some ways above subsistence level, and a typical homestead would have an extended family group of ten to twelve people in it. This was especially remarkable considering the level of conflict and devastation that was a constant presence in California at the time. This type of growth was not evenly distributed across all of California, however. While the lands of Gran Francisco and the Valley were largely rich, Northern California and much of Socal and Baja was mountainous and poor, and the data we have reflect that. Taxable homesteads in what would become the Imperial Prefecture of North Jefferson stayed almost completely stagnant over the 24th century, rising from 550 to 574. The great disparities between the productivity and populations of Gran Francisco and the Valley and everywhere else meant that any Californian conquests would originate from there. Additionally, the market for wine so vastly outstripped in price and demand every other Californian product that the lands that produced it, the northerly parts of Gran Francisco and the North Valley, were far wealthier than even the other agriculturally productive, populous areas of central California. Once the Winelands were unified, as happened during the Warlord Period of the 2200s-2416, one could say it was almost inevitable that California would eventually follow, even if Elton the Lawgiver had never been born. As it was, however, Elton unified California under the symbol of the Bear, but won it with wine and legitimized it with technology.
1597616074152.png

A rough estimate of the wealth of California in the late 2600s. Green indicates the wealthiest areas and red indicates the poorest areas, with major trade routes in white and gold.
________________________________________________________________
Hey folks, glad to see new people reading. This update was tougher than the others to produce and I'm not super satisfied with it. I was worried about making farming sound interesting, I didn't get to the history-from-below cultural aspects that i wanted to, and I felt like I could have done more to explain the role of pre-Event technology, but frankly it was getting to be a long enough post already and I've been keeping you guys waiting for far too long.
Can't believe I've let this one slip under the radar for so long; I usually try to keep an eye out for promising After the End AARs, but I guess I've been slipping lately. I for one thought the Emperor Norton background piece was excellent -- a fantastic blend of half-remembered history and exaggerated legends that encapsulates the spirit of the mod itself quite well.

Definitely going to keep an eye on this one, going forward :)
I'm very glad you like it and I hope you enjoy what you read going forward!
 

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HistoryDude

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Wine is very valuable, it seems...

Interesting bit about technology...

Let California rise!
 
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DensleyBlair

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So agriculture remains the root of Californian success even into the 24th century. Guess that report was right after all… :p

Writing about technical subjects like these for a broad AAR audience I always find particularly difficult, so it’s fair enough not to be satisfied with the result I think. That said I found this one very enjoyable, and I liked the hints about the scattered remains of Silicon Valley. Sort of had the air of a Father John Misty track, which seems appropriate enough in my eyes.
 
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