The Cascadia Independence movement has its roots in the far-liberal hippy movement of the 1970s, but was regarded as a curiosity at best and a joke at worst up to the turn of the century. In 2010 the growing Green Movement sparked fresh interest in the idea of creating an ecologically friendly Pacific Northwest nation. In 2027 the Cascade organization began, a league of far-left liberals tired of trying to convince the USA government to face reality through peaceful means. Through terrorist bombings and mass riots across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho they managed to, in 2037, force their respective governments to secede. In the decades that followed they spread their influence into British Columbia and eventually annexed the rogue Canadian province. While Cascadia was busy trying to cushion the blow of global depression the Priesthood of Technokrats formed and spread throughout Cascadia. When the Priesthood gained sufficent power it joined with the Stranger's private army and took over in 2079. Over the next two decades they continued to spread their now state-sponsored faith to all corners of Cascadia, successfully taking over the nation everywhere except the South Rockies. In 2096, the 'Year of High Winds' as it was called by the citizenry, three hurricanes struck Vancouver Island in succession and tornadoes ripped apart a good chunk of the South Rockies.
The geography of Cascadia has largely been spared the massive changes that have inflicted the rest of the world. Shifting weather patterns have left the region between the Cascade Mountains and the Rockies a veritable desert, savanna grasses overruning ruined vinyards and wheatfields. Rising sea levels swallowed many docks and shipyards, but the steep shorelines left the coast pretty much the same. The Columbia and the Fraiser Rivers both have greatly reduced amounts of water flowing through them and the resevoirs are all much lower then they were a hundred years past.
Officialy the government is a constitutional socialist state, with the government theoretically having near total control over the lives of the subjects, but this power is rarely exercised. The Priesthood of Technokrats dominates the government, virtually everyone above a county level is a clergyman. While the populace has little say in the larger government, anyone can, through diligent study and sponsorship from a Priest, join the Priesthood and gain political power.
On the lowest level, within a town or village, there are elected mayors or councils who make most local decisions. While these people may not always be priests, nearly all are worshipping members of the Technocrats. Local priests tend to have significant amounts of clout with their governments.
On the county level you get officials who are appointed by the Combine and who are charged with making sure that the local governments remain honest and occasionally representing their county in debates and elections. They tend to have a hands off approach of governing, content to let the local governments run things while they plot their way to greater power within the Priesthood.
At the state level the officials become much more involved, masterfully politizing with hundreds of local mayors and clergymen across their territory. There are a hundred and twenty officials in the Provincial Senates, twenty in each province, and thousands working under or alongside them in the myriad jobs required to keep the government running. These senators have a much higher turn-over rate then their county counterparts due to the dramatically increased competition. Heading each of the Provincial Senates are the Governors, individuals with almost dictatorial power over their Provinces, that were handpicked by the High Priestess herself. Until the death of Governor Andrea of the North Rockies every governor had fought alongside the Priestess during the second Cascade Revolution, and with the exception of Governor Brian of Vancouver they fought in the first as well. The current Governors are Leslie of West Columbia, Betsy of Puget, Brian of Vancouver, Aimee of Coast, Zach of the North Rockies, and the Stranger of the South Rockies.
Over all the lesser governments stands the Combine itself, the glue that holds together a nation. The Combine has a single ruler, High Priestess Rachel, who dictates policy to the rest of the government. She is adviced by a council of cardinals, each chosen for their expertise and political clout, as well as the Governors of each province. The populace is devoted to her, seeing her as an immortal visionary who delivered them from the destruction that wracked much of the world in the past century. The government has popular support from the masses, in large part due to the Priesthood's influence. The only place where the Combine's power is less then absolute is in the South Rockies, where the Stranger's power base is secure enough amongst the people that he can openly defy the Combine and the Priesthood, though he does so only when the freedoms of his people are threatened.
The Cardinal Council functions in a similar manner to the Cabinet of the United States, acting both as advisors to the High Priestess and as instruments of her will as well as leaders of their own agencies. Every Cardinal has significant influence within the Priesthood and are generally picked by and from the upper echelons of the Priesthood. There are currently ten Cardinals, each in charge of a different governmental department. Like the Governors, several of the Cardinals fought alongside the Priestess in the first and second Cascade Revolutions, though the percent of them that have is significantly lower.
Political power is often associated with one's rank within the Priesthood, but as often as not prominent politicians will have little standing in the Church while high-ranking Priests wouldn't be able to get as much as a straight answer from their secular counterparts.
West Columbia is the most influential province, what with being the home of the Priesthood. Its borders stretch from the California border to the Columbia River and west of the Deschutes River. The Columbian economy is based largely on farming and it sells food throughout Cascadia. Power is mostly gained from the Reed Research Reactor, a greatly expanded Thorium Reactor located at Reed College in Portland. Its current governor is Leslie.
Puget, formerly Western Washington, is the region between the Cascades and the Pacific north of
The Coast, named after the Coast Mountains that run through it, runs from Vancouver City to Alaska and stretches between the coast and the Rockies to the Fraiser River. The economy of the Coast is based on its mighty forests and the slowly recovering salmon runs. Its governor, Aimee, was brought up in poverty and knows its rigors. She has reformed the state's welfare system to ensure that noone else has to go through what she did.
The North Rockies comprises of the British Columbian territory between the Washington border and the northern branch of the Fraiser River. Like the Coast its economy is based on its massive temperant rainforests as well as some metal mines buried deep in the mountains. It is the poorest province and the least populated by a significant margin. Zach is the governor and heads the local branch of the Priesthood.
Vancouver used to be one of the most prosperous states, but the massive destruction in 2096 by the hurricanes have severely crippled its power and its become very insular, working to repair the damage. Much of the people work in the fishing industry, whether as fishermen or in the processing plants. The capital remains the city of Vancouver, damaged by the hurricanes but still intact. Victoria has been almost entirely flattened and is currently abandoned. It contains the area around Vancouver City, Queen Charlotte's Island, Vancouver Island, and the islands in between. The primary source of power are a series of well mantained tidal plants, but several were destroyed outright in the hurricanes and the power infrastructure hasn't been fully repaired yet. Brian is the Governor and is focusing entirely on repairing the hurricane damage.
The South Rockies is the most independent of the states. The people here are often nomads, driving herds of cattle and horses across the plains that border the Walla Desert. The few towns here are in the Rockies and are based on mining metals and creating goods. Here is the industrial center of Cascadia, its people producing the farming equipment and machinery that keep the nation running. This is the only state that the Priesthood is the minority religion and many refugees have fled here from the rest of Cascadia or even other nations. The Confederate Communalist Ecology Movement has roots here, as do most other 'undesireable' idealogical groups. All of this is possible through the efforts of its governor, the Stranger. His rather large mounted 'police force', a private army called the Strange Men, mantain order throughout the region and crack down sharply on any who disturbs his 'Pax Advena'. His popularity within the military and the common peasants is enough that the Combine doesn't risk cracking down on his people. Despite this there are upper members of the Priesthood that have spoken on record that he should be removed, by force if necessary, but the High Priestess has ignored their demands.
Most scientific knowledge and technical expertise within the Combine is firmly in the hands of the Technocrats. To be licensed to do more than the most basic of repairs requires active membership in the Priesthood and to make a living doing so requires church sponsorship. In exchange for this the Priesthood provides many repairs and maintenance 'free' of charge, the costs of doing so being part of the tithes every citizen pays.
While the common manmay see technology as arcane and mystical, members of the Priesthood view it as a religious experience. The Technocrat colleges resemble the technical institutes of old more than a theological university, with thousands of students being immersed in the mysteries and wonders of Physics and Chemistry, of Geology and Biology. Admission requires endorsement by a local priest, each of whom can only endorse a single student a year, and is followed by a rigorous education in the Sciences, as originally written out by the High Priestess.
This has had the effect of concentrating 'high' technology such as automobiles and most personal electronics in the hands of a minority of the population, while the rest make due with tools and equipment that wouldn't have looked out of place in the early years of the twentieth century. While this might normally breed resentment in the disadvantaged majority, in Cascadia the Priesthood takes care to maintain community pieces of technology, like local pieces of farm equipment and public lighting, while simultaneously keeping their more obvious pieces of high technology out of sight. This also makes the occasional display of technological magic all the more impressive, such as the use of fireworks on Cascade Day.
The primary religion in Cascadia is the Priesthood of Technokrats, more commonly called Techism. The vast majority of the populace are Techists and don't see a significant difference between the religion and the government, as most high govenrment officials hold rank in the Priesthood and vice versa. Outside of the South Rockies the only other religion with significant influence is the Green Gaia Movement, but they keep a low profile and avoid interfering with the Priesthood as much as they can.
The South Rockies is a massive hodgepodge of different religions, united only in their desire to be independent from the Priesthood. Most major religions have representatives here, with the highest concentration being the assorted Christian faiths and Judaism. The largest religion by follower is Judaism, the children of hardy refugees who fled the American Midwest and South during the twenty-first century. They have a great deal of influence in local politics and are the Stranger's main support amongst the populace.
Tenets: Techism is strongly rooted in the liberal culture of the Pacific Northwest, drawing influence from many far-left ideals. At its most basic level it supports communalism, the idea of a village working together for the benefit of all its members. The maximum size of a single congregation is about a hundred people, if more people join the church splits into two smaller groups. Each church chooses a representative who is sent to the state government to vote
High Priestess Rachel: The High Cardinal of the Cardinal Council and High Priestess of the Priesthood of Technokrats, Rachel has near complete-control over the Cascadian Combine and its territories. She is over one hundred and ten years of age as of 2100, but has retained her youth and health due to being given the Longevity Vaccine in its initial trials. Her companions, most almost as old as she is, are in high positions in the Combine, generally earning their positions through decades of work. Her stated goal is to bring peace and stability to the world and she blames the world's collapse on short-sighted free market systems and the close-minded religions of the old. The Combine and the Priesthood are her responses to the old and, despite setbacks, have proven to be a workable system.
The Stranger: Apparently also a recipient of the Longevity Vaccine, there are reports of him from as far back as 2023. Rumors exist of some sort of relationship between him and the High Priestess, but nothing has come up to substantiate them. He has fought for decades to keep the South Rockies a relatively free and independent state, much to the ire of the Cardinal Council and the Priesthood. He has the distinction of being the only governor to not be a member of the Priesthood and in fact seems to despise them and religion in general. He is surrounded by a band of fanatically loyal horsemen called the Strange Men, but has few close companions. He has access to advanced weaponry caches buried in the Walla Desert, hidden from the prying eyes of the Priesthood and the Combine. These caches provided the Combine the firepower it needed to wrest control of Cascadia from the official government, but their full content remains unknown. His official residence is in the remnant of Idaho City but is rarely there, spending much of his time wandering his state.
Department of Foreign AffairsEdit
Arctic Pact: The Cascadian Combine founded and is a member of the Arctic Pact, a defensive alliance of several nations near the Canadian Empire. This was made in response to a training program initiated by the Canadian military in the Alberta Rockies in 2100, making the nations surrounding the power feel threatened. This has also closened ties between Quebec and Cascadia.
Pan-American Communist Alliance: The Cascadian Combine joined the Commie Alliance in 2104 in response to Canada's alliance with Brazil in the form of the AAN.
2012: The future founder of the Combine, Rachel Cole, graduates from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She tries her hand at local politics, getting experience that would prove vital in later events.
2017: Rachel becomes the Mayor of Portland
2021: Rachel refuses to go up for election again and starts her pilgrimage through the desolate countryside with some fellow Reedies, spreading knowledge of organic farming to help farmers cope with demechanization.
2022: Despite the best efforts of Rachel and her fellow Reedies, there are thousands of farms that fail in the Pacific Northwest, leading to a small famine.
2023: The first recorded appearance of The Stranger. He wandered from college to college gathering the political activists who would form his core support.
2024: The Stranger moves east into the Midwest, gathering disaffected farmers. Nation-wide famine from the Ogallala Aquifer’s failure doesn’t hurt the Pacific Northwest as much as other parts of the country.
2025: As the lands of Eastern Washington and Oregon begin to feel the early pangs of drought, farming cattle and horses becomes increasingly common. Many shipyards along the coast close down because of the economic downturn. The few that remain switch entirely over to producing wooden-hulled sailing vessels for the fishermen.
2027: Rachel joins the embryonic radical group known as Cascade. Cascade is primarily made up of angry college students and far left liberals who are sickened by the USA’s recent imperialist tendencies and perceived lack of domestic help.
2028: The Longevity Vaccine, which retards the aging process and enhances the immune system, is first developed. Initial trials are promising, but plans to develop it further are canceled due to loss of funding.
2030: Oregon’s famed health system collapses from lack of funding and high pressure. Cascade grows immensely.
2031: Agricultural assistance from Canada starts flowing into America, but little is sent to the Pacific Northwest due to low priority
2034: The states of Washington and Oregon break into full-blown riots, largely provoked by Cascade. The Stranger makes his second appearance on record, leading a black block in the riots across eastern Washington. He overruns several military bases and strips them of all equipment.
2035: Cascade forces the state governments of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to all declare independence from the United States and become the nation of Cascadia. Rachel becomes the duly elected representative of Portland. All Navy and Coast Guard vessels based in Cascadian ports are seized or destroyed by the newly formed government. A carrier and three destroyers are destroyed by shore launched torpedoes when they refused to surrender. Cascadia demands the Stranger hand over all equipment he seized, but he disappears into the Olympics of western Washington. The Midwestern Jewish population begins their exodus to the south, eventually circling back west and then north up through California in their avoidance of the pogroms.
2037: Cascadia signs a nonaggression pact with China, saving its small navy from nuclear annihilation. Pacifists agitate for the conversion of the rudimentary fleet into trade and fishing vessels. California declares independence and signs a peace treaty with China. Envoys are sent from Cascadia to the Crosshairs Corporation.
2038: Military bases in the deserts of Nevada are found by Californian forces, but the majority were already burned to the ground by an unknown force of heavily armed guerrillas. The Mexico-California war starts. Cascadia initially agrees to support California, but when bioweapons are used they break off diplomatic relations. Los Angeles is destroyed by a nuclear warhead by an unknown terrorist. The Confederated States of America are formed.
2039: Cascadia deindustrializes. The lack of heavy industry softens the blow a bit. The USA declares war on the CSA.
2040: The Heartland Union secedes from the USA
2041: Parts of Canada attempt to join the Heartland Union. Heartland Union gains territory
2042: The Priesthood of Technocrats (Techism) is officially established at Reed College, Portland. Rachel becomes the High Priestess. Peace is made between the CSA and the USA. Slavery is reinstituted in the CSA. Relations between the CSA and Cascadia grow cold.
2043-7: Technocrat priests spread across the countryside, slowly converting scattered hamlets with their extreme handiness.
2043: The ‘Atlantic Republic’ is formed. Heartland Union immediate offers food aid to the nascent nation. Expansions are made to the Reed Research Reactor.
2044: Alaska holds referendum and joins Canada. Cascadia begins reinforcing its eastern border, setting up outposts and anti-aircraft emplacements at the major passes through the Rockies.
2049: The Atlantic Republic abolishes democracy and establishes a military junta. Cascadia begins stockpiling what little petroleum products it has left.
2050: Atlantic Republic invades Canada’s province of Quebec to try and claim the hydroelectric projects that lie there. Cascadia offers support to Canada and the Cascade organization begins to infiltrate British Columbia.
2051: Canada’s deindustrialization cuts off Cascadia’s main source of manufactured products.
2052: The global Influenza pandemic kills many in Cascadia, exhausting the remnants of Cascadia’s medicine.
2058: The exhaustion of the world’s remaining oil supplies has little effect on Cascadia, in part due to its stockpiling of petroleum products. Canadians homesteaders, desperate for energy to fuel their remaining industries turn to burning forests for charcoal. Cascadia patrols its northern border to keep out illegal loggers.
2059: British Columbia, ignoring Canadian federal laws, outlaws deforestation practices. Canada initiates ‘martial law’ in rebellious province. Cascadia begins to sneak supplies to the revolutionaries. The Heartland Union ceases food aid to the Atlantic Republic.
2060: Peace is signed between Canada and the Atlantic Republic. Quebec gains autonomy.
2061: Canada, still smarting from its efforts in Quebec, is held off by fanatical British Colombian irregulars operating in the rocky mountain interiors and supported by Cascadia. Negotiations regarding union of Heartland and Quebec fizzle out despite agricultural and financial support for the secretive terrorists within Quebec by the Heartland Union. Relations between Cascadia and Canada start to cool.
2062: British Columbia joins Cascadia, damaging relations between Canada and Cascadia further.
2065: Cavalry units are formally introduced into the Cascadian military.
2079: A massive rebellion by the Technocrats occurs. The armament difference between the official military and the rebels quickly is decided in favor of the rebels, who are armed by the Stranger’s weapon stashes. The technocrats take complete control of the government, remaking it as a socialist theocracy. The country is renamed the Cascadian Combine and the official capital is moved to Portland, Oregon. Rachel becomes the head of state. The Stranger is given governorship of the South Rockies (formerly Idaho and eastern Washington and Oregon).
2080: The Cascadian region has a net population rise for the first time since the 20s, in large part due to immigration from California. World population reaches its lowest levels in four hundred years (~750 million). End of worldwide economic contraction and slight beginning of recovery
2080-95: The ‘silent years’. Priests continue to spread Techism across Idaho and British Columbia and relative prosperity is had by the Combine citizens. All non-Tech religions are passively forced from the West Coast and British Columbia, many fleeing to the South Rockies province. The Combine devotes its energy to fixing the dams along the Snake River, rebuilding the reservoirs that were so badly depleted by massive droughts. Non-Techites start disappearing from their homes, never to be seen again. The Combine government denies culpability.
2084: An abandoned saltpeter is reopened by enterprising techpriests, allowing the production of gunpowder.
2096: The Silent Years end in the Year of High Winds. Three hurricanes strike Vancouver island and the Olympic Peninsula in rapid succession while tornadoes move all across the South Rockies. Victoria is mostly flattened, but Vancouver and Seattle come through largely intact. Seventeen thousand are missing or dead. There is a mass movement east, straining the region’s limited agricultural capability. The last of the large American ships, a cruiser named the Merrimac, is grounded to be used as a dock in Vancouver to replace a dock destroyed in a hurricane. The navy is now entirely made up of sailboats and a pair of Merrimac-class Missile-Ironclads that patrol the Frasier River.