|Old Lords of New York|
|Type of Government:||Feudal|
|Motto:||"Fais ce que tu voudras" ("Do what thou wilt")|
|Location(s):||Upstate New York|
|Founded by:||George Shaw|
|Goals:||Institute a new aristocratic society within America|
|Enemies:||Born Again Nation|
The Old Lords of New York are a collection of self-styled kings and queens living in various fiefdoms in Upstate New York. The Old Lords consider themselves the beginning of a new American aristocracy, and look to slowly spread their influence across the United States, starting in New York and branching outwards.
The central philosophy of the Old Lords of New York is rooted in the concept of Pre-War medieval feudalism, broadly defined as a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service. During the Middle Ages, kingdoms and empires lacked the bureaucratic infrastructure and manpower to directly govern large swaths of territory. A system of hereditary rule over allocated land in exchange for fealty to the liege developed. So long as property owners stayed loyal to their monarch, they were given carte blanch to rule their own fiefs of land.
In 2077, the Great War came to an abrupt end when nuclear missiles fired from both sides rained down. Society, which had evolved into a capitalistic free society, collapsed. In the years that followed, those that were not immediately wiped out during the nuclear holocaust or the trials and tribulations that followed soon thereafter began rebuilding the world in their own personal images.
In 2190, a group of wasteland survivors in the general vicinity of what had been Albany, New York gained entrance into ruins of the Fort Orange Club clubhouse. During Pre-War days, the Fort Orange Club was an invitation-only upscale social club. Though most of the considerable amenities of the building had either been destroyed or already looted, one of the wastelanders, George Shaw, discovered a hidden room that contained various documents pertaining to the organization. Reading though them, Shaw became convinced in the importance of social status. After all, if perception of social status could have a profound impact on an individual’s fate during Pre-War days, why wouldn’t it during Post-War days as well?
Noticing on the social clubs’ book of records that there were a few surnames that matched members of the group he was currently in- including a Shaw- George became convinced of his own importance. That he apparently may have had a Pre-War ancestor who was among the upper crust of society meant that, through blood, he too would have been a member of similar social circles if the bombs hadn’t fallen. Along with those who had last names in the ledger, Shaw became convinced of his own superiority. A somewhat intelligent and charismatic man, Shaw convinced others of his own superiority as well, along with that of those whose named were on the Fort Orange Club roster ledger. Thus, the Old Lords were born.
Shaw and the others went their own separate ways, gaining followers as they went. Shaw stayed in the ruins of Albany and eventually amassed enough followers who believed his story to start a small settlement. The other men and women did as well, and various fiefdoms across Upstate New York began popping up. These men and women all stayed in contact with each other, and the network of the Old Lords of New York formed and grew.
For the most part, the Old Lords of New York have been insular and relatively uninterested in the politics of the world since their formation, instead concentrating on establishing their own territories and social order. The biggest move the Old Lords of New York have ever made was in 2231, when Duke of Peekskill had Darius Dursley, Blessed Father of Born Again Nation in Connecticut assassinated. Missionaries from Haven had made their way to Peekskill, and Duke Scott Metsband took offense. In a play to solidify his own power along the coast of the Long Island Sound, he sent assassins to Haven to kill Dursley. Joseph Dalton, Dursley's right hand man and successor, responded in turn, sparking a conflict between the two groups. The other Old Lords of New York disapproved of what Metsband did, but were compelled to support their comrade regardless. The actual fighting between the militias of both sides lasted roughly four years, and saw atrocities comitted, particularly on the side of Born Again Nation, which was fighting a holy war to avenge its prophet. The two groups have maintained a simmering dislike of each other since.
Rank and social status is very important to the organization. All members of the Old Lords of New York are considered peers. The leaders of the group, those that rule the various fiefdoms across Upstate New York are considered nobles.
In order to be a member of the Old Lords of New York, an individual must be given peerage. Once given peerage, an individual is considered an aristocrat and belonging to a fundamentally higher social class than the common man. An individual is given peerage in one of two ways: through blood and through deed.
Peerage through blood is the most common way of obtaining the station. The blood kin on an individual who has already relieved peerage are automatically given peerage themselves. Peerage through deed is much more rare. In order to receive peerage in this manner, an individual must perform some kind of deed or service to an ennobled lord, who then bestows peerage on the individual.
Obtaining ennoblement is much more complex and difficult. A peer must petition his or her noble for ennoblement. In most cases, the petition is denied, but in those cases where the petition is granted, all of the ennobled Old Lords of New York must convene to discuss bringing a new member into the upper echelons of the organization. This rarely actually happens however, as the distances involved generally make such councils impractical. Generally speaking, only the ennobled lords within a certain proximity attend, with others communicating through messengers and couriers. Once discussions finish, the council votes to ennoble the peer or not. In order to be ennobled, the vote must be unanimous.
Lord Brandon Blackham, Count of Underhill
Lord Robert Kernan, Viscount of Bearstead
Lord Scott Metsband, Duke of Peekskill
Lady Jessica Shaw, Baroness of Albany
Lord Bradley Stuart, Marquis of The Orchard
Activities & Interests
The Old Lords of New York see themselves as the heirs of Pre-War aristocratic ideals, and seek to reintroduce such a society back into the world. Nobles rule from fiefdoms, small holdings where their world is absolute law.
The day-to-day affairs of these fiefdoms are as mundane as those of settlements across the rest of Post-War America. Because of the geography of Upstate New York, farming is an important activity- though in fiefdoms further south, closer to New York City, farming is difficult due to the high concentration of ambient radiation still in the air, water, and/or soil from the Great War. Apples, the state fruit of New York, are the signature crop, but other vegetables, as well as wheat and flour are common crops as well.
Members of Old Lords of New York see those that have not been granted peerage as beneath them. The see the world in black and white: those with peerage rule, and those without it obey. As such, most see common wastelanders as nothing more than tools to be used to advance their own agendas. Outsiders that have amassed a great deal of power generally are respected, but are still secretly looked down upon because they are not a member of the fictitious social class that is so important to the Old Lords.
The Old Lords are not a homogeneous organization. Rather, it is loose confederation of men and women that are seen as having superior social standing to the rest of the unwashed masses of the wastelands. There is a great deal of bickering, political maneuvering and in fighting between different noblemen and women, in addition to conflict with outsiders. Different fiefdoms ruled by members of the Old Lords of New York have come into conflict with and gone to war with each other, though when this happens, other nobles are quick to attempt to diffuse the situation for the good of the organization as a whole.
Among the many outside groups and organizations that Old Lords of New York have come into contact with, they have the most history with Born Again Nation. In 2231, the Duke of Peekskill had Joseph Dalton, the leader of Haven, Connecticut assassinated, in a power play along the coast of the Long Island Sound. The move sparked a war between the two factions.
Though the Old Lords of New York have never directly come into contact with the Principality of Queensland, the organization finds that nation’s existence objectable. The Old Lords consider the McTaggarts of Queensland to be pretenders, because they do not play by the complex rules the Old Lords have established. Of course, the two groups have never directly come in contact with each other, so it is through no fault of the McTaggarts that they do not share the same ideas regarding social order that the Old Lords of New York do.