The population of the city rallied around the committee, which eventually retitled itself as the Corvallis Faculty Senate. The government was broadened to include an assembly of people not affiliated with the university. Corvallis had a population density unusually high for the post-Change world, with around 9, souls residing within the walls by CY 9, a population surpassed only by Portland for lands west of the Rockies.
Weaponry is not illegal within the city walls, but edged weapons over 10 inches are required to be "peace-bonded", being wrapped in copper wire, sealed with a lead disc stamped with the beaver-head symbol of the city. The purpose of this was not to impede drawing or using a sword, merely to make it obvious if a weapon had been used within the city walls. City law required residents to keep their militia weapons at home and ready for use, but the presence of a City Police force meant that it was unusual to see people walking with long blades, as the city had low rates of such crime.
At night, the city is lit by lamps powered by methane from the city's sewage works.
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By the time of , Corvallis had become known as a trade centre and for technology manufacture, with Mike Havel and Peter Jones discussing quick-loading crossbows on Havel's arrival in the city early in CY9 and Aaron Rothman visiting with the Bearkillers ' party in order to purchase medical supplies. In the War of the Eye , elements close to the Portland Protective Association tried to keep Corvallis neutral by tying up the Senate, but the assembly authorized citizens to participate voluntarily.
After the war, Corvallis became the home of the Meeting , at which the nations in the Willamette Valley discussed grievances. First, much of the population of Portland—the largest city in the region—was forced out by the Portland Protective Association PPA and either died en masse or joined the tens of thousands congregated in large refugee camps around Salem. Second, the Oregon state government prevented refugees from foraging in the rural areas without government approval.
This protected the rural areas from losing their food and supplies, especially since rural citizens tended to fight off the foragers successfully. Third, large numbers of people living in refugee camps with limited medical supplies became susceptible to disease, including the bubonic plague. Thanks to strict quarantine methods, the rural communities in Oregon were spared the worst effects of the plague.
Post-Change Oregon history is then marked with the PPA's attempts to conquer the entire Willamette Valley, but the southern communities—led by the Bearkillers and Clan Mackenzie—successfully opposed them. The end of the war saw the end of the PPA's attempts at southern conquest, and the creation of "The Meeting", a United Nations—like organization dedicated to keeping the peace among the different factions in the valley.
The new word "Montival", from the title of the novel High King of Montival , refers to the area of Oregon where most of the series is set. The nation follows medieval Norman customs and practices.
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The nation builds castles to protect its farming communities and serve as the centers of regional government. The PPA aristocracy often refers to its members as Associates. Knights are the strength of the PPA military, and are trained from childhood to fight as armored horsemen, often on barded horses. Since the death of Norman Arminger at the end of the War of the Eye, Sandra rules for her daughter Mathilda as a regent.
Tolkien 's The Lord of the Rings.
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A military organization founded by former Marine Mike Havel, the Bearkillers is composed of refugees from the Change. The group emigrated from its beginnings in Idaho to a base at Larsdalen the former Larsson family ranch in Oregon. Havel saved the wealthy Larsson family from death after crash-landing their light airplane in the mountains of Idaho; they later formed the nucleus of the Bearkillers.
The lands held by the Bearkillers are divided into thorps , outlying farms centering upon a fortified settlement with a smithy , mill, and other utilitarian buildings. These thorps are usually the estates of "A Listers", on which live an "A Lister" family and those families and individuals who are under their protection. Membership in the A List is open to men and women who are able to meet the rigorous physical requirements and have passed the requisite training regimen. At their graduation, new "A Listers" are sworn onto the rolls, and branded between the eyebrows with a small vertical line.
The Bearkillers' military is noted for its use of pikes and horse archers , but are most feared for their skill with the backsword. The Bearkillers are governed by a leader, titled Lord Bear , and a democratic council. The heraldic symbol of the Bearkillers is a red or crimson snarling bear's head on brown.
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Bearkillers celebrate the day of the Change March 17 as a holiday known as Gunpowder Day. Festivities include the Lord Bear setting a bowl of gunpowder on fire to test whether the laws of physics have been restored to their original condition, a feast with representatives from local nations attending, and the induction of new members into the Brotherhood of the Bearkillers. Clan Mackenzie is a Georgian Wiccan clan founded by folk-singer and High Priestess Juniper Mackenzie and members of her Singing Moon coven who fled to her country home.
The Clan includes several other Duns that were built as the population expanded, as well as the walled city of Sutterdown, which is based on the town of Brownsville. Clan Mackenzie's weapon of choice is the longbow , but in hand-to-hand fighting they use the gladius and buckler. The Clan practices religious freedom, but there are few non-Wiccans in the population, mostly due to mass conversions after the Change.
The heraldic symbol of the clan is a crescent moon above silver elk horns on green. The Mackenzie tartan is colored green, brown, and black, with thin orange piping. After the Change, the Benedictine monks of Mount Angel Abbey aided the local town and refugees through the worst of the crisis. Similar to organizations like the Knights Templar , the monks and sisters of the Abbey now maintain martial skills to protect their nation. Mount Angel Abbey itself was rebuilt into a large fortress that is considered the strongest in the area. The head of the Abbey is also the most influential leader of Mount Angel , though the town elects a mayor to govern it in secular matters.
The Mount Angel banner carries the image of Virgin and Child. Corvallis is a city-state at the southern end of the Willamette Valley. The former faculty of Oregon State University governs the city as the Faculty Senate, which holds public assemblies in the Gill Coliseum. The traditions of the university have been adopted by the new nation, with the school fight song acting as the national anthem and the school mascot as their flag.
It serves as the headquarters of The Meeting. The Corvallis military prefers jointed pikes as their weapon of choice, bolstered by catapults, ballistae, and other siege engines. Tolkien—which they refer to as "the Histories"—even to the point of requiring all members to learn the Elvish language.
Rangers are also required to learn sign language as part of their training.
The Rangers' flag features a silver tree and seven stars, similar to the royal standard of Gondor as depicted in The Lord of the Rings. The Central Oregon Ranchers Association is a confederation of independent ranchers and farmers located in Central Oregon. After the Change, the ranchers and farmers of the area took in refugees who now work in exchange for settlement land. CORA's warriors prefer to ride horseback and wield bows , sabres , and javelins. The capital is located at Bend. Warm Springs accepted refugees from the Change to settle in their territory and help with farming.
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Many of these refugees adopted the local customs and traditions of the tribes. Shortly after the Change, the town of Pendleton and the local ranchers became embroiled in a civil war against a nearby Native American reservation. By , there was a nominal government located at Pendleton, but the local ranchers continue to exercise influence during the annual Pendleton Round-Up. The area is lawless and slavery is still practiced.
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After the Change, millions of North Americans were denied the technology upon which they had been dependent. The Eastern United States , most of Texas and California were some of the worst hit, as starving urbanites ate the remaining food in the area before resorting to cannibalism. Pockets of civilization, mostly around the Great Plains , survived where there were no large cities around. Several new nations sprang up to keep order in the changed world.
The new governments were organized along a feudal structure, with American terms adapting to describe medieval concepts. Memory of the United States continues to affect the culture of these nations. Many of these nations continue to fly the US flag , and several leaders take the term " President of the United States " along with their other titles. The Sioux and Haida also carved out sizable nations in North America.
The Haida returned to the practice of slavery, raiding the Oregon coast for new slaves. The Sioux live a nomadic lifestyle, taking care of their herds and hunting buffalo , though also raiding their neighbors unless they are paid protection money. The Sioux made an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Fargo and Marshall, and fought a war with the Church Universal and Triumphant that led to a peace treaty seen as somewhat unfavorable to the Sioux.
The island produces coffee, a rare commodity in post-Change North America. Prince Edward Island also survived relatively intact, becoming a part of the British Empire , compared to most of the rest of Canada , which also became a Death Zone.
Mexico and Central America , including the Caribbean , were almost completely depopulated by overlapping Death Zones. South America adapted to post-Change life much as North America did, with rural areas far from large cities maintaining much of their population and adapting to the new laws of nature.
Chocolate was imported from the Caribbean Sea , but only after trade routes were reestablished by settler populations from the south and from the British Empire. By , Britain laid claim to the east coast of North America and Jamaican merchants traded in British ports. Under the leadership of a mysterious madman, known as the Prophet, the CUT aggressively spread their religion, often resorting to conquest to do so. The Prophet has since died, leaving his son Sethaz to continue as Prophet. Soldiers of CUT are commonly called "Cutters".
Founded by President Thurston in Boise , the United States of America claimed all of the territory of the old United States, vowing to once again reunite the country. Although they called themselves the United States of America, they were commonly referred to by their neighbors as the " United States of Boise ". The nation follows the military practices of the Roman Empire. It is nominally a democracy, though elections have not been held; President Thurston promised to hold elections after a battle with the CUT.
He was purposely killed late during said battle by his eldest son, Martin Thurston, who assumed leadership of the country. At the beginning of the Change series, the nation was in a losing war with the CUT. By the end of The Scourge of God , they were occupied by the CUT, although bands of rebels continued to offer resistance.
Iowa managed to weather the Change, thanks to its rural economy, low population, and the fact that the Governor closed the bridges across the Mississippi River so starving refugees from the eastern states could not enter. By the Change tetralogy, the Provisional Republic of Iowa was one of the largest and wealthiest nations in North America.