Rushmore is otherwise famous for its uncommonly confrontational waterfowl and… um…
Did we mention the sport?
The term Rushmore has certainly been used to refer at least to the west of the region for centuries but, such are the vagaries of fluid time, it is almost impossible to establish definitively from where and when the term emerged, nor the original application and meaning thereof. Etymological hypotheses that have been postulated for the name Rushmore include:
- Nethertopia’s Lake Rushmore, more probably named for the region than vice versa.
- The former village of Rushmore on Candelaria, now a suburb of the town of Lavange. Though certainly a particularly early British settlement in Branta-Oygruppen, named for the settlers’ Wapentake of origin, no explanation has been provided for its appliance to the region as a whole.
- The city of Rushmore, Delamawaria, certainly named after the word came into common usage and never in any case a sufficiently important settlement.
- The town of Rushmore, Ancharmunn. Certainly a venerable settlement, but far too far from the west to represent a realistic option.
- From a family name such as Rushmore, Rushmer, Rushmor, et al, taken from a patron, explorer or settler now lost to history.
- A topographical name from the Irish Gaelic Ros Eó Mór, “the great yew woods/peninsula”, such locales existing in lower Lussolavizzovia.
- Similarly, from the English “place of the rushy moor”, such locales existing in the acidic lowlands of the eastern Timonium.
- Similarly, from the form Rushmere, “pool where the rushes grow”, referring to the many ponds and pools across the Branta and Goose Coast inhabited by the region’s famed waterfowl.
- From the aboriginal settlement of Ruzmo (derivation unknown) in modern-day Wigu. Though widely perceived as an administrative capital for the proto-Wiguese ‘empire’, little archaeological evidence exists to support this notion, and the settlement had certainly long since ceased to be a major population centre by the time of the colonial period.
Populist thinking across the region appears to favour the ‘Rushmere’ theory, but unless significant new documents emerge in the future it is unlikely that the matter will be resolved for certain.
Rushmori history may be divided into four broad sections. It may also be divided into twelve sections, or three, or four hundred and eighteen. But nice girls don’t talk to people like that. We have four epochs, and you’re just going to have to like it.
Though the terms aboriginal, ethnic, first nation, indigenous and native Rushmori are generally used more-or-less interchangeably, the earliest inhabitants of the region represent a far from homogenous bloc. Genetically as well as culturally, many of the different tribes and ethnicities grouped together under such banners have been shown to be no more closely related to each other than to the mostly European colonists of much more recent times, with waves of ‘aboriginal’ settlement of Rushmore occurring over the course of several millennia.
For the most part, sheer distance as well as treacherous terrain kept many of these tribes separated and isolated, though others were able to spread their influence much further. The most successful in this regard are generally also considered one of the more mysterious owing to the near total absence of written records of their history and society. Linguistic study, assessment of shared cultural elements and more recent DNA comparison point to a vast territory – far larger than any single nation in Rushmore today, in land if by no means in population – carved out by a people thought of as the proto-Wiguese, emanating from settlements on the far western coast of the Branta continent.
By land, their influence spread, in pockets, as far to the south-east as the northern shores and islands of Lake Branta, where they appear to have lived side-by-side for a time with exponents of the Amserican culture (Lake Branta’s primitive Tateh Bizenteh people, of Trambis Tateh island, are considered by many anthropologists to represent the closest extant models for proto-Wiguese society). By sea, the proto-Wiguese were able to settle the Cotdelapomais peninsula, having earlier interbred with both the Hureci and Ofraic peoples of Mytannion, and may even have spread further south to mingle with the indigenous people of Lonaga. To the north they became the Bkyka and Kolani of the Candelarias, and even made landfall as far east as Nieuwe Sleeswijk and the Kytler peninsulae. That the oldest human bones in Rushmore can also be found in modern-day Wigu further underlines that nation’s widely recognised status as the birthplace of Rushmori civilization.
Despite the wide dispersal of proto-Wiguese culture, there is little evidence to suggest their society ever progressed beyond the Palaeolithic. Few signs even of settled agrarian communities have been found, and their distant descendants were almost universally found still living as hunter-gatherers in Branta’s forests upon the commencement of the colonial era. Further to the south, a second and smaller process may also have involved the spread of certain similarly primitive Carmadese tribes to islands as far west as Corinthina and Elmonia.
Over the course of the following centuries, much more developed but largely isolated societies arose across Rushmore. The white pyramids of Monolithia stand as testament to the wealth and planned systems of the land of Al Ittijab, while ruins in the Sargossan archipelago betray the one-time existence of an advanced society based around banking, poor sods. The ancient desert kingdom of the Phoenigetz developed in the distant Vatmark; the troglodyte but culturally rich Ectovian civilization would rise and fall in present-day Chenkorya; while the Canary County desert people of Albertasby would leave their own caves to found a sophisticated culture that would develop along distressingly similar lines to parts of faraway Europe.
Probably. Temporal instability, mutable continuity and creative accountancy have left much of the precise particulars of Rushmore’s history wholly unclear, while parallel cultural development has made it not always easy to differentiate between certain aboriginal cultures and nations, and those of a much more recent vintage.
Elsewhere, the importance of waterways was very much in evidence; Astograthian culture emerging between the Araxes and Leizaran rivers, the Mto valley bursting with human life near to the east, while Euran aborigines and later Euran Caucasians flourished along the Holden. The Astine and Valladar peoples built their twin city-states either side of the Danubio and thrived for a thousand years. Such endeavours were generally made possible only when tribes coalesced however, and for the most part the region remained sparsely populated with great swathes of land left unknown to humankind, or trampled only by pastoral nomads driving their mouflon or mammoths to new grazing sites, or whatever it is such dreadful people do with their days.
By some reckoning, the colonial period in Rushmore began rather more than a millennia ago (long enough that certain Caucasian communities could well claim as much right to call themselves ‘indigenous’ as some of those more commonly afforded the term) and remains an on-going process. At any one time, groups of explorers from lands beyond Rushmore will still be venturing into uncharted greylands, founding new colonies just waiting for the right time to emerge blinking into the harsh sunlight of international politics, and such.
The earliest settlements that can be established with any degree of certainty are those founded in the ninth century AD by the Balts, a beardy people with helmets that, if they weren’t horned, certainly damned well should have been. In the Modraine coast lands that would become Somewhereistonia and Toyur, the Balts established a collection of small states of fishing ports and settled farming villages, and over the ensuing decades pushed inland into modern Kyrinskaia. In both numbers and technology, the largely proto-Wiguese hunter-gatherers of the forests to the east were no match for the Balts; the aborigines’ early attacks repelled and their people permanently displaced from the area save for the hardiest communities in Kyrinskaia’s darkest east. The Baltic peoples would no doubt have come to dominate most of the Branta and Goose Coast continents over the following centuries, were it not for infighting between the various distinct groups that had emerged among them; the Kyrin people ultimately achieving a degree of hegemony long after most of the rest of the two western continents had been colonised or local tribes had united. Around this time Eurans from the Endemian region had settled in the lands of eastern Rushmore that were largely devoid of life, clashing with ethnic Sameban migrants from the north - this would be the beginning of hundreds of years of brutal conflict between the two.
Elsewhere, the twelfth century brought Francophone incursions into eastern Branta, with the remote monasteries and parishes that would ultimately form the nations of Oberour Ar Moro and Saugeais. Lost, religious, Norwegians were responsible for the establishment of the city-states that would eventually unite as Darmen during the same period, while the following century saw the settlement of Mapletish during that land’s Wyas Period. Probably. Possibly.
By the eighteenth century, Europe’s colonial phase was well underway and great swathes of Rushmore had been claimed by distant crowns – the British (heralded by the great explorer Captain Sir Michael Ransome, whose charts of the region were still considered among the most authoritative until mere decades ago) and Spanish foremost among them – colonists had established free republics, and trading ports were rapidly turning into sovereign nations in their own right. Where westerners encountered Rushmori locals, the fortunes of the latter were mixed. As in the Gulf states, some were certainly slaughtered in their tens of thousands, or succumbed to unfamiliar diseases. Others interbred into obscurity with the newcomers, or were afforded sufficient protections and status within the colonies to still exist as distinct communities and ethnic groups to this day. While there are little more than a dozen true aboriginal nations still independent today, more than double that number maintain at least a limited native population. For the most part however, the new nations simply arose on land previously home to barely a person or two per square kilometre.
The following centuries saw many Rushmori nations follow the social and technological developments of their counterparts across the multiverse but, despite the emergence of mass communication and trade, temporal and metaphysical wibbliness caused many countries to continue to tie themselves to the far-flung empires of which they were part, while other long independent nations remained all secluded and lonely. Not until the late twentieth century would anything approaching a true Rushmori consciousness begin to emerge.
Even today, textbooks handed out at some of north-west Rushmore’s less well-funded schools will featured maps of the region that consist of little more than the Oygruppen archipelagos and western Branta, that which remains featuring often wildly inaccurate guesswork at coastlines and random islands plonked haphazardly to represent those far-off places of which their artists really did know nothing. Further south and east the picture was literally even worse, with most countries wallowing in their own insular ignorance. Such are the challenges of cartography in Rushmore that a nation such as Taeshan was not formally identified as belonging to the region’s far east until decades after its arrival on the international scene.
Similar occurrences with lands such as Cassadaigua and Krytenia defy rational explanation, with many authoritative figures in the latter instance in particular swearing blind that the country sat opposite Starblaydia on the banks of faraway Lake Bekk for thousands of years until roughly last Tuesday. Fleets of sinister black helicopters airlifting entire nations between regions have been mooted, but frankly that’s just silly. Previously unacknowledged countries simply turning up out of the grey has become a recognised phenomenon however, and their genially baffled new neighbours generally simply bring round the standard gift of sweet biscuits, cheap plonk and a packet of tiny rubber dinosaurs (because Tradition) and get on with their lives. There’s bigger things to worry about at the end of the day, isn’t there? Washing to get in, that sort of thing.
By general accord however, the era of Rushmori emergence began in Oygruppen and, like so much else in the region, centred around sport. For convoluted reasons best known to themselves, the bifurcated nation of Candelaria And Marquez entered the twenty-third Baptism of Fire tournament for national football (which is to say soccer, which is to say football) teams. C&M’s traditional trading partners Nethertopia soon followed and, over the coming years, a steady trickle of countries to involve themselves with international sport developed into the beginnings of what would become an unending torrent. Rivalries begat international travel and, with the coming of the internet and budget airlines, the first glimmerings of a sense of regional identity began to form.
The supercontinent itself took time to fall for international sport’s charms in the same way as the northern islands, but the winds of change were sweeping south all the same. The coming years saw a period of democratization (Saugeais, Somewhereistonia), unification of smaller states (the CNCR, Tentalon), the end of civil conflicts (Albundania, the Cotswalds, the FSSO and Sameba, Union Isle), uprisings against external powers (Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuk, Western Cuba), and a general emergence from the self-imposed isolation of centuries (Amserica, Camwood, Darmen). In time, a new era would emerge – one in which nation after nation would announce their presence on a regional and global level alike by signing up to kicks balls around.
Not all nations were willing to simply play football until their metaphorical bedtimes, or remain wrapped up in their own internal concerns – prompting fears from others that a new age of interregional relations could spill over into conflict. What was more; Rushmore was now a name with global recognition, and in danger of attracting imperial attentions from across the multiverse.
Rushmore Defence Treaty
Amid this atmosphere, many would have expected the CNCR to emerge as regional power-brokers. The bloc’s most enthusiastic member-states had failed to bring any of the prominent northern island nations into their number upon its foundation, but had still been hopeful of expanding steadily across Branta. That even their nearest neighbours refused to join the fold, instead remaining in the Nethertopian bosom, stymied their progress and the CNCR soon became a virtual by-word for inefficient bureaucracy. Instead, twenty years after breaking free from decaying, communist, Kyrinskaia, it was the eight states of Somewhereistonia that attempted to establish themselves as the leading diplomatic and military power in the region, with the signing first of a mutual defence pact with Queer Poco el Mono Ara, and soon after inviting much of the rest of the north-west to join a wider Rushmore Defence Treaty.
After a period of wrangling over such tangential matters as the upholding of aboriginal rights and the mysterious Appendix B, and a brief but fortuitous interlude in which the forces of New Tterra (no idea) attempted an invasion of Lussolavizzovia; the RDT was agreed with the creation of a Foreign Defence Force principally comprising Sargossan and Somewhereistonia troops, a Rushmori Defence Council to be based in the Nethertopian capital Peregrinus City, and further signatories from the CNCR, the Nethertopian Eagle Islands, Pasarga, West Zirconia and soon-to-be Pocoan vassal state Dansak Minor, with Candelaria And Marquez and the Bostopian province of New Fenton granted observer status. All the delegates had a nice big lunch, everyone copped off with each other, and the whole business was promptly forgotten.
The fullest implications of the RDT were brought home within months however, following a period of deteriorating relations between the Baltic powers. A Mujeongbu bombing in Kyrinskaia, blamed by the country’s government on a Somewhereistonian citizen, led to a revenge attack on Qasarian. Somewhereistonia’s subsequent arrest of the alleged Kyrinskaian bombers and refusal to return them to their homeland led to a border skirmish and, refusing to accept Commissioner Cheklomovski’s terms by which the two nations could continue peaceable relations, Somewhereistonia declared war.
The conflict proved relatively brief, with Kyrin forces ill-equipped and low in morale. Somewhereistonia rapidly achieved air superiority, while their ground offensives were assisted by the presence of Bostopian, Pocoan, Sargossan and Zirconian troops. The war was not without controversy, with the invading force receiving international condemnation for their use of airdropped armoured alligators and llamas, and Sorthern Northland entering the conflict in support of Kyrinskaia. RDT forces easily defeated the combined Kyrin-Sorthern navies, the latter forced to scuttle dozens of their ships and abandon their valuable shipments of bourbon biscuits before hundreds, including Fleet Admiral Drinkwater, were taken as POWs. Bostopia withdrew their troops following the incident, in solidarity with their occasional Sorthern allies, while Pocoan support for the war wavered after Kyrin bombs killed hundreds in a surprise attack on a Pocoan port. Cheklomovski died soon after in an attack on his palace, and what remained of Kyrinskaia’s government signed a treaty that left Somewhereistonia in control of several liberated states.
A number of these ultimately elected to become full members of the Somewhereistonian federation, with three others uniting to form the breakaway Malak Free State. This would not represent the end of the redrawing of the now familiar Brantan map. The aftermath of the war saw thousands of Kyrin refugees flood into the largely aboriginal territory of Anseriska –a land of canoes, bows and arrows, and interpretative dance previously controlled by a loose grouping of tribes – which had allied with Malak. Somewhereistonia, meanwhile, abruptly withdrew from international politics as the pressures of policing and democratising Kyrinskaia began to take their toll, and the sprawling, crumbling old country to the east once more became a law unto itself with an attempted invasion of Malak and a briefly successful takeover of an increasingly divided Anseriska. In desperation, the Free State employed Briggs Company, the Virabi private militia, to join the fighting after six months of deadlock and the tide soon turned – with northern Kyrinskaia, suffering from severe food shortages and believing that the Volodinski regime had been favouring the south for too long, rebelling and plunging Kyrinskaia into civil war.
A new era of Rushmori colonialism began. Indebted to Virabia, Malak became all but part of the UDR, with its southernmost state of Balbak going one better and formally joining the confederacy. The Virabi further attempted to carve out an empire by claiming the uninhabited Angry Islands north of Sargossa and even asserting their control of a vast, goose-shaped territory south of Lake Cygnus until the prospect of enraging an army of a hundred undersexed cartographers armed with trundle wheels saw Vonghurst relent, and limit themselves to stretches of terrain known as Brantaland and Brantaland Sur.
They were not the only ones, for greater contact between west and east Rushmore had brought the eastern powerhouse of Valladares to the regional fore. Fresh from their annexation of the Westlands, the Valladar Royal Oil Commission purchased Anseriska and, together with colonies south of Lake Branta, proclaimed the state of Brantalentia. The move, rapidly followed by the formal renaming of the largest aboriginal settlements, caused a diplomatic snit with the CNCR, with the bloc taking the rare step of asserting its own control over a number of islands as the Branta Aboriginal Protectorates, but the unwillingness of the union’s Caucasian nations to countenance deploying their armed forces in an effort to uphold native rights put the kibosh on any chance of conflict, and Valladar assurances in this regard softened relations. The former Kyrin, and now breakaway Somewhereistonian, province of Oaków opted to throw its lot in with Civil Citizenry, meanwhile, alongside the new state of Norkyrin – which in months had passed into the hands of the Whirl Islands. Rushmore’s westernmost archipelago also purchased the aboriginal territory of Ayocucho from Sirain. Nobody really minded very much.
The Goose Sea Conflict
- Main article: Abdian-Fidishwan War
No sooner had all this Brantan dust settled did another power with colonial ambitions emerge, that of Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuk, a land known to most as ABK, and to some as Alphabet Soup. Only in recent times had the country gained its own independence under Potente Swift, before conquering the aboriginal archipelago of Lonaga. No-one really noticed this, but their next endeavour would result in the second great Rushmori war of the modern era.
We-ell, kinda. All rather fizzled out, really.
The apparent terrorist bombing of Abdian government offices, or an embassy, or something, came days after the country had welcomed the ambassador from King Valk I of the dirt-poor aboriginal nation of Fidishwa, and this figure was soon publicly blamed for the incident. ABK duly declared war against the ‘terrorist state’ of Fidishwa, and initially received considerable support from the international community with Darmen and Mangolana soon adding their weight to an invasion attempt. Despite initial claims of neutrality, Carasatoga joined the Abdian Alliance within days, while Fidishwa’s limited ability to hold its own in the face of such overwhelming numbers was assisted only slightly by the hasty establishment of the Southern Rushmore International Treaty of Defence with its sister nations of Carmadin and Elmonia.
Darmen’s air attacks on the Fidishwan capital Naswaif killed hundreds, with the only response the kingdom could muster being sharpened trees hurdled into the sky and a rather sweet pedal airplane. Capitulation appeared imminent, but not all of Rushmore seemed willing to accept Abdian claims at face value. Virabia urged a peaceful solution; Achtklan went one further and requested an international investigation team carry out an independent study of the bomb site – a request dismissed out of hand by the Abdians. As Carasatoga began a bombing campaign of Fidishwan villages and claimed territory vacated by fleeing villagers, ABK abruptly declared war on Erathore (no idea… down south somewhere) and the Kiaser Colonies in response for alleged spying activities and the murder by a Kiaser agent of Abdian Secretary of Defence William Burns. Achtklan issued a much-feared Order of the Finger Wag over the Alliance’s attacks on civilian targets and called for the Rushmori community to join them in blockading Fidishwa.
And then, all of a sudden like, Darmeni Prime Minister Scat Peari announced his intention to withdraw all troops, adopt a neutral position and send financial support to Fidishwa – in a statement that also claimed new information to the effect that the Swift bombing had been of wholly Abdian making. The loss of their most valued allied saw ABK fold, their leader publicly admitting to a shockedish Rushmore that the bombing had indeed been a hoax, designed to provide an pretext for an invasion of resource-rich Fidishwa as ABK’s economy imploded. For its part, Carasatoga expressed its sorrow for actions based on a lie, but came out of the conflict rather well – signing an economic and military alliance with Fidishwa, they began a first Western exploration of the tribal jungles to the north-east. Where they were presumably eaten by snakes or locals or something, because that all went nowhere.
ABK continued to press the Kiaser Colonies for reparations of their own, General Delgado of Sargossa ordering the Trans-Branta Canal System closed to both nations whilst they continued to bicker. Travelling alone, the Colonies’ President Andrew White took it upon himself to journey to the Abdian capital and meet Potente Swift face-to-face and… Well, we don’t know. No doubt caviar was consumed. Lobster.
Also around this time, the population of Miceland was decimated (in the perfectly proper modern sense, it was more than ten per cent, alright? alright?) following the release of a large pack of feral cats onto the island as part of a jolly jape and/or wizard wheeze by Mytanar street hoodlums. The island was subsequently incorporated into Cotdelapoms as the Île des Souris, which enacted harsher laws on cat ownership.
In more recent times, the Shogunate of the Yorozuya disappeared from the regional map – and, while that sort of thing happens all the time these days, their absence none the less provides a salutary lesson. It came after the nation had been involved in two fairly pointless conflicts. The first, a border war with northern neighbours Mangolana, left more than 200,000 dead between the two sides but resulted in cheerful exchanges of territory, strong bilateral ties, dual citizenship in border areas… the sort of thing that makes one wonder why those two crazy cats didn’t stop fighting and realise they loved each other years earlier. Hankering for more, the rare example of a Rushmori nation of predominately East Asian extraction bombed the Virabi city of Atalanta. A war ensued which, as far as we can tell, the Shogunate lost; Mangolana and Virabia absorbing what remained of its earthly realm.
That another major flair-up of intra-Rushmori warfare has thus far been avoided (as far as anyone has noticed, anyway) can probably be put down in part both to the Fidishwan crisis and the defeat of the Yorozuya, as enlightened leaders wake up to the idea that sport > war. Not that there haven’t been a few near misses.
The building of the Nova Cambrian canal could have proven a flashpoint. A grand undertaking between that nation and Achtklan, the canal would link north-east and south-west Rushmore, opening up trade between the Goose Coast and the vast, little understood, lands of the east. What was more, completion would, in an instant, break the Sargossan stranglehold over shipping between the two halves of the supercontinent via the Trans-Branta Canals – and that, potentially, meant Trouble.
With the eyes of Oygruppen’s favourite military dictatorship still focused on the Santazuelan insurrection, Achtklan pressed ahead with its twin missions – the building of the new canal, and the creation of a brand new artificial island from the spare soil for the people of Sofnikos Anaxaux to live on, after the two nations had accidentally found themselves occupying the same chunk of reality (eh, it happens). Alleklannen efforts did not progress entirely smoothly, with the construction site seemingly sabotaged in an attack officially blamed on militant geese (eh, it happens) but unofficially believed to be the work of Sargossan agents. Achtklan opted to subcontract the diggeriggering process to Darmen – coincidentally a nation far more capable than they of threatening Sargossa military dominance, should it have come to that – before the Citiz added their weight to the effort. The Camian government expressed the view that the Alleklannen government had no place in an unwilling Nova Cambria, then realised they’d got the wrong end of the stick and offered design help.
Before too long (although who knows? Pfeh, fluid time) the process was complete and Rushmore was opened up to trade and diplomacy like never before, despite early concerns over piracy along the region’s busiest new shipping route. Rumours persist, meanwhile, that the Darmeni government went on to form a formal alliance with the aforementioned geese, although that’s just silly.
The wider Rushmori community also declined to get too involved in other potential conflicts thereafter, with only the FSSO providing modest military support to the Astograthian government following the death of Aitor IV and the subsequent uprisings in a number of would-be breakaway duchies. These rebellions were put down, save for independently-minded Iturributa which entered into a protracted stalemate with Astograth until it was granted full autonomy and pronounced itself a free republic. Not far to the west, the Citiz and Mytnar governments were involved in a war of words alone over the once disputed island of Victorwick, the Citiz claim to which had been recognised following the Victorian War decades earlier. With the island’s Mytanar minority disenfranchised and increasingly fearful for their futures in the face of hostility from the majority population; Bartewick, under international pressure to find a peaceful solution to the island’s plight, opted to attempt to wash their hands of it entirely and hand Victorwick an independence referendum – a chance that the island’s voting public seized gratefully. The new state remains deeply divided, but peace between the greater Citiz and Mytanar nations was maintained.
Which is nice.
Categorised by the World Assembly as ‘enormous’, Rushmore at its peak was home to at least one hundred and fifty recognised sovereign national entities and today stretches across eight time zones. Though fluid time causes days, months and years to tick by at considerably differing rates between different countries, hours seem to be pretty regular. No-one knows why this is, although if you dare suggest that it’s ‘probably quantum’ you’re going to get a clip round the ear, arright?
With the benefits of modern cartography, the ‘continent’ of Rushmore is now considered a supercontinent, much of which remains uncharted. Such areas are referred to colloquially as the Gooselands or Greylands, and appear in much contemporary thinking as untamed jungles and wildernesses, home to savage creatures and even more savage people. In reality, much of this land is certainly controlled by advanced nations who are simply yet to announce themselves on the regional stage. Such is the pesky nature of fluid space that others may yet be active in multiversal affairs without having any idea who their neighbours are, much less having ever actually spoken to them. A similar phenomenon can also be observed in many of Rushmore’s urban environs.
The region is now subdivided into eight further continents, all but one of which contain at least some land on the eponymous supercontinent itself. Though the terms given to the continents have typically been in use for decades, their official application is a recent development and refers to human (and, indeed, non-human) geography rather than geology. These are:
- Branta – Named for the mighty Lake Branta, this continent was once at the heart of regional affairs and can be considered, with Oygruppen, to constitute Olde Rushmoree – within living memory, the area was still routinely referred to as ‘Southern Rushmore’ by locals and Oygruppens. Its status has declined in tandem with the gradual withdrawal from regional life of once major powers such as Queer Poco el Mono Ara and Somewhereistonia. The north-west of Branta is dominated by the Confederated Nations of Continental Rushmore (the CNCR, also known elsewhere as ‘Brantinental Rushmore’), the make-up of which reflects Branta’s mix of aboriginal and colonial states and which, combined, is Rushmore’s largest single ‘nation’ by geographic area. Prrrrrobably.
- Goose Coast, The – Named, as with Branta, for the region’s most feared and respected local lifeform; the Goose Coast comprises the region’s south-western peninsula and numerous islands in the Goose and Modraine seas. Home to such powers as Astograth, Civil Citizenry, Cotdelapoms, Mytannion, Virabia and the Whirl Islands, the Goose Coast has in recent times taken up the mantel of Branta-Oygruppen in placing itself at the centre of regional diplomatic, economic and sporting life, fed by Rushmore’s most integrated transport network and significant migrant communities.
- Oygruppen – The ‘island group’ is Rushmore without Rushmore and before Rushmore, consisting of nine-or-so archipelagos and stretching far to the north to take in the Polar Islandstates. It was the nations of Oygruppen that first announced themselves onto the international scene – as Rushmoris, at least – and still retain considerable influence as part of the region’s ‘old guard’ (though other island nations, such as Charruterra and New Sydney, have emerged from obscurity only in much more recent times) despite the emergence of the continental lands to the south. Notably, the powerful Rushmori Cartography Institute remains based in the region, having moved its principle base of operations from Albrecht, Candelaria to Axel Heiburg in the polar region.
- Pavola – Which is probably a bastardisation of Pavlova, with the continent named in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, famed star of The Dying Swan, and thus keeping the waterfowl theme. Or possibly not. There’s not an awful lot one can say about Pavola, home to handful of sparsely populated, largely English-speaking nations and great expanses of unexplored greylands. Here lurk uncontacted tribes; strange bestial men with the legs of cats, bodies of cats, and heads of cats; vast plains of snoring dormice, etc, etc. There aren’t even any water features to speak of. It’s as dull as owt.
- Tempalia – A continent of random bits, comprising the north of the eastern half of the supercontinent and some of the northern islands too far away from the heart of Oygruppen to be considered a cultural part thereof.
- Terranea – Rushmore’s most easterly outpost, home to some excessively large and economically handy nations speaking a slightly more unusual set of colonial languages than most, appears to have spent the last few centuries bubbling away quite happily to itself without any westerners being aware of its presence or vice versa. With intraregional trade and communications being what they are now, analysts might expect this once isolated land to emerge as Rushmore’s centre of mass industry. Or not. As you please.
- Terramidia – The closest chunk of New Rushmore to Old Rushmore, and as a result the most closely linked to the Oygruppibrantigoosicoastian part. The only part of Rushmore where a love for popular music can challenge competitive sport. Not to be confused with Terranea, although I don’t suppose anyone would mind if you did.
- Vatmark, The – Rushmore’s wetlands, so named by the denizens of Baltskandio, or Svendogardd, or some other generically skando types that settled the area of the Great and Lesser inland seas many a moon ago. It’s just generally a very damp place, really. Known civilization clings in clumps; with colonials from mostly tinky-tiny countries setting up camp next to the big ol’ lakes, or seas, or whatever they are, far away from the bigger and scarier nations to the north, east and west, spending their time merrily hoppípolling and trying not to get noticed; while others countries try to pretend they’re part of more hip and happening continents without really fooling anybody.
Even less officially, Rushmore also extends beyond this mortal world of hurt into a variety of other places What Man Was Not Meant To Know What Of. These include the unearthly realm of the mysterious Hidden Paw, and… other places, where gribbly things with tentacles live. People don’t go there much, unless you’re into tentacles.
Also, there’s a whole other bleedin’ planet, nay, interstellar empire, name of Falconfar. Feeling lonely up there, they built a space bridge in south-east Civil Citizenry. Bring a packed lunch.
Oh, and there’s Eastfield Lodge as well, a Dread Portal to which can be found on an island on Oygruppen’s easternmost fringes, or possibly Tempalia’s westernmost ones. Bring a banana. Full of potassium.
Rushmore presumably has a longest river, highest mountain, largest lake, and that sort of thing. But frankly, what with Fluid Everything, you’d be an absolute nitwit to try and actually measure any of it.
Just as time and space is fluid, so Rushmore’s weather cannot conform to any rational model. Sure, it tends to get chillier around Christmas in most places and sticky during the summer months, and the region experienced a shared ice age about eight thousand years ago, but each country tends to organise its personal microclimate exactly how it wants it, ta muchly. As a general rule of thumb, the norths of many nations tend to be colder than the souths, even when said norths end up being colder than the souths of the nations to their north. Lands inhabited by Scandinavian types can get quite nippy; those colonised by the Spanish seem to end up warmer than those of largely British extraction. No-one knows why this is, but it’s probably silly.
Besides Phoenigetuzstha, which manages to be a desert kingdom in the middle of the Vatmark, perhaps the best example of this can be found on the unnamed island home to Côte de Platine, Swartaz and mainland Mytannion, where subtropical Côte de Platine squats in the north-west, looking down towards Swartaz and northern Mytannion as they freeze their winter balls off. Another clash of extreme weather conditions occurs in Sameba, where the mountainous border regions with FSSO meet with an extremely damp climate, and then a more moderate climate to the north.
Rushmore largely avoids other extreme weather phenomena, though high waves can be experienced in any coastal areas after the apparent arrival or ceasing of island states. There’s the occasional earthquake, but there’s got to be, really, hasn’t there? It’d be dull otherwise.
Aside from a few of the most remote islands and areas such as the Namyt Strait, Rushmore exhibits a relatively low level of endemism, with most of the more successful species having loped over from elsewhere in the temperate, Indo-European world over the previous few millennia, or else been introduced by Silly People, and have long since wiped out the delicate local lifeforms. Certain species believed to be Rushmori originals still thrive, including the elephdonkey of ABK, squirrelsdeer of Virabia and the Tanakan wolf of Weatherdon, while others such as the Aquillian aquioran and the dissident squirrel of Santazuela are considered critically endangered. The brown bear, the domain of which once spread across the region, holds out only in a few small areas, but other large predators flourish, including the polar bear (including in non-polar regions), babər and bengal tigers, blue wolf and the rabbit of Caerbannog. Antelope, deer, llamas and wild horses of various kinds can be found all over the place. Purple-stinging nellies are getting everywhere, the buggers.
The lack of conservation efforts and regulation organised at a regional level is considered to have contributed to the downturn in fortunes of many species, native in particular, including those many that have already been lost. Many nations are however home to nature reserves and national parks, with Phoenigetuzstha a leading light in giving formal protected status to nearly a quarter of its total territory, while the most drastic attempt has been launched by Virabia in their administration of the Goose Coast Conservation Area, a country-sized chunk of land in the east of the former Sirain.
Elsewhere, fish swing in the treetops, spider-monkeys swim in the oceans, or possibly the other way round, it’s been a long day. Bees buzz, frogs croak, and Rushmore’s numerous species of falcons and hawks flap around in pursuit of more innocent birds and try to keep out of the way of the geese.
Uncommonly Confrontational Waterfowl
By far Rushmore’s most famous (and infamous) living creatures – a title that could arguably stand the inclusion of mankind – are its members of the family Anatidae. Rushmore’s geese flock in their millions, with local species having long since lost all fear of humans and thinking nothing of attacking them for food and laying waste to crops and marketplaces and, comfortably worst of all, disrupting football matches. North and east, swans hold the balance of power – being fewer in numbers but no less dangerous. Easily surpassing mosquitos and marmosets as the region’s deadliest animals, the waterfowl reside in the region all year round – though occasional lulls in activity, and subsequent, seemingly targeted, attacks add weight to the general conviction among Rushmore’s human denizens that The Beaky Bastards Are Plotting Something.
Despite this, Rushmoris have come to view their feathered foes with a certain affection, even pride, and the Goose in particular (not any specific one, just a generic goose) has emerged as a symbol for Rushmori unity.
There are probably some singularly quarrelsome ducks about too, but they don’t have the same PR.
Not all of Rushmore’s lifeforms live such active lives. Some have taken to plonking themselves in the soil and refusing to budge for years at a stretch, spreading themselves over a wider area only in order to breed, in a manner that is frankly really quite disgusting. Some of these so-called ‘plants’, known as ‘trees’, grow taller than a man, or a particularly tall woman. Some shoot up even higher still, towering over human buildings (apart from towers). If these Leafy Bastards Are Plotting Something, however, they’re taking an awfully long time about it. They’re mostly harmless.
Some even produce edible goodies, that can be eaten raw or baked in pies, so they’re not all bad. If you feel like trying some out, Felingstone Fruit Market, in Swantana, Albertasby, is the largest single fruit emporium in Rushmore. Or so they say, anyway, and you wouldn’t want to argue with them. You can do real damage with a projectile pear. The market sells fruit from across Rushmore, and there are indeed many famous Rushmori fruits. Among them are the nearly two hundred varieties of apple indigenous to Cotdelapoms (the most famous being the Morrissette and Soleil-Noir), Whirl Islands' famous coconuts, Taeshan's equally famous coconuts, San Vicente Lagoon and Sarrbia's more tropical fruits (melons, grapefruits, oranges and such).
If you are more interested in tubers, Mytannion, Princess Béatrice Island and Cotdelapoms all grow some delightful potatoes. The three nations are sometimes referred to as the "potato crescent", or even more informally "The Living Pierogi". In a similar vein, the three eastern nations of the CNCR are famed as Rushmore’s "turnip corridor" (and literally nothing else).
Herodotus had his Fountain of Youth, the Tibetans had their Shambhala, the Ancient Greeks had their Hyperborea, New Age types their Lost City of Atlantis, the Spanish had their El Dorado (the city of gold, not the Cafundelense football club). For the Rushmoris, it is the quasi-mythical land of Rothera.
That it exists, and does so in Rushmore, appears beyond doubt. The World Assembly certainly thinks so. And what a place it is! Under the guiding hands of the enigmatic Premier, it is the most ecologically sound country in the region, with the most beautiful environment and the best weather, with the smartest, longest-lived and healthiest citizens. Its people are compassionate and pacifistic. They are nice, they are nude, and they are happy. And the self-styled empire they call home is the most popular tourist destination in all Rushmore.
But as for the location of this country, none know. It does not appear on any map, its people nor government do not communicate with the outside world. They do not play international football. And they have not done any of this for centuries, maybe millennia, as twitching amateur archaeologists of the Rotherite school plough through ancient papyrus and analyse cave paintings in a decades-old attempt to find some clue to the location of this ancient shining utopia.
Perhaps it is not on this earth at all. Perhaps it is where good Rushmoris go when they die. Or perhaps, given its apparent disinterest in sport, it is where bad Rushmoris go to live out eternity in a sportless hell.
Or perhaps not.
Don’t even ask us about East Zirconia, by the way.
Rushmore lacks any manner of intergovernmental organisation, outside the world of sport and beyond free trade deals and mutual defence pacts between limited groups of nations. Even the prospect of establishing a regional talking shop promising fact-finding missions to sunny locales and big dinners has been repeatedly met with a united shrug of disinterest, which shows remarkable powers of restraint on behalf of the region’s political leaders.Pan-Rushmorism also holds considerable weight in Darmen. Sporting rivalries with other regions and institutions such as the Capital of Culture ultimately tend to be the only means by which a shared Rushmori identity unites the region’s billions of citizens behind the ol’ black, cerulean and medium turquoise.
The system as it stands however appears relatively successful in avoiding armed conflict, encouraging economic prosperity (in a recent sample, the WA rated some 80% of Rushmore’s economies as Good or better) and political freedoms (60% rated Good or better). Most prominent Rushmori nations practise some form of representative democracy, flawed or otherwise, though there are certainly exceptions. Military-backed dictatorships include those of Djocoranga, Sameba, Sargossa and Zandistan, while there are numerous absolute monarchies of varying degrees of benevolence. The region is also home to a number of constitutional monarchies, duchies and the like. One assumes their heads of state all get together every now and again for a group photo and to swap scale polish.
|Monarchies of Rushmore|
|Astograth||Grand Duke Lastur I||Absolute|
|Côte de Platine||King James||Absolute|
|Darmen||Duke Francisco Lyons XX||Constitutional|
|Fidishwa||King Valk I||Absolute|
|Greater Cotswalds||Grand Duke Josef-Kristoff II||Constitutional|
|Logria||King Richard IV||Constitutional|
|Megadia||King Wilfred I||Constitutional|
|Nethertopia||King Hendrink I Ooran||Constitutional|
|Phoenigetuzstha||Queen Laodice I||Absolute|
|Queer Poco el Mono Ara||King Mohammed Hasan Bakhiri||Absolute|
|Sicoutimont||Emperor Jean III||Constitutional|
|The Holy Forden Church||Holy Pupá Matthew Wilkerson I||Elective|
|Toyur||Emperor Kristian VII||Absolute|
|Urszag-Csatoria||Csar László XVII||Absolute|
|Valladares||King Charles V||Constitutional|
|West Zirconia||HRH The Grand Duke||Constitutional|
|Whirl Islands||as Valladares|
|Worszary||Grand Duke Leon||Constitutional|
A similar little conclave may exist among an even rarer Rushmori species – the female head of government. Current members of that group include Taoiseach Briana O’Hislenane of Ancharmunn, First Minister Kirsti Lillo of Baltskandio, President Natalie van Dijk of Candelaria And Marquez, President Maria Lopez of Corinthina, President Eva Johansson of Swartaz, and President Amira Paulini of the Whirl Islands. Former members include the first Premier of Cotdelapoms, Françoise Martin.
Rushmore includes a good number of small, autonomous nations that could qualify as microstates. While most of these are breakaway states (such as Iturributa or Western Carasatoga) or independent island nations (Bleak Rock, Ocaterra, Princess Béatrice Island), there are also a number of often rather wealthy city-states, among them Gordon Bay City, Gouda, the Holy Forden Church, Pontinur and the Free State of Sillimus.
Following Aquillian’s independence from Osarius, the only Rushmori nations known to be still part of a foreign empire or commonwealth are Azerxurade (an incorporated state of Euskirribakondara) and New Fenton, part of the Bostopian Empire. Make sure you drive on the left if you ever find yourself there.
Rushmore and the World Assembly
With most Rushmori nations considered WA-sceptics, the position of WA Delegate in the region is principally one of regional leadership rather than the recognised representative of Rushmore to the General Assembly, though in rare instances the nation holding the delegateship may be lobbied to vote on items of legislation considered of key importance to one or more national governments.
Following an early era of control under the stewardship of now long since vanished Switzalandian people of the far west; Rushmore was successively represented at the former United Nations by Ambassadors Michael Sunderland, Oran Shehata and Alejandra de Almeida of Candelaria And Marquez, as the only country at the time with any remotely significant presence on the international stage. The Mental Asylum Delegation of Sofnikos Anaxaux organised a mildly controversial ‘coup’ after several years (immediately after which then President Robyn Morton of C&M pulled her country out of the organisation altogether – history debates whether this represented a fit of pique or a wily move to free the nation from the 100% taxation rates that were the result of one of the WA’s more spendthrift periods).
Subsequently, Rushmore has seen CNCR, Zirconian, Pocoan and, for a long period, Citiz delegacies. Cotdelapoms is currently in its second stint in the role. With the Cotdelapomais preferring for a named figure to hold the position of delegate, the current recognised ‘leader’ of Rushmore is Mme. Karine Lessard. Rumours do exist however that the Darmeni WA Delegate, who shall not be named for reasons which shall also remain unnamed, has staged several attempted coups against Lessard, although the Darmeni Government refuses to acknowledge the fact, or lack thereof.
For many years, Rushmore was overlooked for the WA’s ‘Featured Region’ status, a condition many of its denizens came to view as a source of regional pride and were left most perturbed when the honour was finally bestowed in March 2012. That it was featured twice more soon after (and in the same August week, at that) engendered howls of derision and protest marches across eight time zones.
There have been repeated efforts throughout recent history to put together a free trade agreement between Rushmori nations, but they have usually been rebuffed by the group as a whole. The lack of a strong, centralised Rushmori Union has also put forth repeated roadblocks in these efforts, but it seems clear that free trade is not something that will be coming to Rushmore any time soon. Many nations engage in Most Favoured Nation tactics, giving certain other states preferential treatment with regards to trade.
Rushmore has made use of a number of different symbols of regional unity when compelled to do so over the decades (including, for a lengthy period, a large block of Edam), but finally settled on an official flag during the signing of the RDT. The sole and winning entry, put forward by the Somewhereistonian government, featured a design based upon the flag of Wigu (in a blatant but highly successful sop to aboriginal sensibilities) with the addition of a no doubt highly symbolic black orb-moony-sun thing.
Despite the disagreeability of its colour scheme, the unnamed regional flag has proven popular with the Rushmori public; narrowly winning a more recent vote to be retained as such against four other candidates.
As a result of Rushmore’s colonial heritage, the majority of its population are of White European extraction, with a substantial minority being decedents of indigenous peoples of various and diverse ethnic groups. The provision of more precise statistics than this would be considered a mammoth task. Even for the mammoths.
Few countries are truly ethnically homogenous. Besides the substantial communities from certain Rushmori nations residing in others (such as Swartazians in Cotdelapoms, the Cotdelapomais in Saugeais, Djocorangans in Ossidiacqua, Mytanars in Michael VII, etc), many have long opened their doors to immigrants from other backgrounds, be it out of an inherent belief in the free movement of peoples, the value of multiculturalism or multiethnicism, the acceptance of large number of refugees on humanitarian grounds, or the need to balance aging White populations. As a result, there are a great many Rushmoris of South or East Asian, Arab, Black African and other such backgrounds. With notable exceptions such as Rhodesiah, few states still practise formally racialist policies at a governmental level.
The merging of peoples and cultures across Rushmore has meant that the primary divides among nations – or at least those of predominantly non-aboriginal extraction – are linguistic.
The most commonly spoken language in Rushmore is English, an official language in the majority of nations and the most widely spoken – in various dialectical forms – in dozens. In becoming arguably the region’s accepted lingua franca it has supplanted Spanish, formerly the traditional language of Rushmori trade and politics, though the latter retains its all-important status as the language of sport and is commonly spoken in a significant number of nations.
Other important languages are French and, to a lesser extent, Dutch, while a large variety of other European tongues are spoken to a greater or lesser extent, from the Azeri of Azerxurade to the Aels Welsh and to the notable German influence in Taeshan. The true Rushmori polyglot would be expected to have at least a basic handle on a number of native tongues, as well as creoles and dialects of mostly European languages that have developed over the centuries into distinct entities in their own rights – key examples including Abdian, Carmadese, Legonian, Mytanar, Qas, Swartazian and Valhallan – and important international languages such as Latin, Pacitalian and Rejistanian.
Many Rushmori nations are home to at least a small percentage of individuals who claim the majority of their ancestries back to pre-colonial era tribes, while there remain a significant number in which aboriginals make up the majority of the population. Some of those who live in mostly ethnically European states are otherwise fully integrated into them, but many others retain distinct traditional lifestyles based on subsistence agriculture or as hunter-gatherers. The conflict between the wish to retain their culture without falling behind their neighbours in life expectancy, quality of health, education and general standard of life opportunities remains a significant one, though in even majority aboriginal countries may certain groups find themselves purposefully or inadvertently on the side-lines of society, such as the Na Thale Yipsi sea gypsies in the Cynocephali Isles, Ni-Kulan communities in the Arcadian Islands and certain tribal groups in Carmadin.
Modern aboriginal Rushmoris speak hundreds of languages, with speakers numbering from dozens to millions, and derive from a myriad different ethnic groups, with skin tones ranging from as white as Europeans (with questions often asked to their true origins as a result) and the sallow-skinned Astograthians, through to the ‘black’-skinned Mto valley nationals (Djocorangans and Mwembambans) and Kolou-speaking natives of the Kiaser Colonies. Though there are cultural similarities and similar concerns, it would be widely considered a mistake to too readily assume that Rushmore’s aboriginals would present a united front on any particular issue or feel automatic bonds of kinship.
Generally recognised (though sometimes disputed or otherwise uncertain) members of the so-called ‘Aboriginal Caucus’ of nations with a majority of indigenous-origin citizens include:
Nations known to be home to a noteworthy indigenous community (with, where available, population estimates) include:
Though dominated both politically and in sheer numbers by humankind, Rushmore is also home to a non-human population. In common with a generally progressive attitude towards human diversity, numerous nations permit the presence of small numbers of representatives of other species and few show open hostility towards such beings – though one or two national governments have gone to considerable lengths over the course of decades to keep knowledge of non-human sapience from the general populace.
The only known large nation with a non-human majority is the secretive, not-wholly Earth-bound, realm of the Hidden Paw, whose denizens are part of the multiverse-spanning sapient ursine community. The native inhabitants of the no less insular Ocel0ti islands are sapient ocelots, who now make up 35% of the Spanish-speaking theocracy’s population.
Besides the diverse populations of Eastfield Lodge and Falcofar, only peripherally considered part of Rushmore proper, other nations with known non-human populations include Achtklan (a minority of miscellaneous non-humans), Chesapeake Bay (non-humans make up slightly less than 1% of the population according to official census data), Cotdelapoms (the small surviving sapient mouse population on l’Île des Souris), Darmen (with humans comprising only 85% of the population, other major species include elves, dwarves, ursines, sapient penguins and sapient ponies, because they had to pop up somewhere eventually, right?), Nethertopia (a third, unconfirmed, Rushmori population of sapient bears in the forest of the Old Duchy, along with a small number of rarely seen, socially integrated non-humans), and Sofnikos Anaxaux (small minority undead and other non-human population). There are also believed to be alligator war veterans still earning livings as acrobats, professional wrestlers and country musicians in the Malak Free State and neighbouring countries.
Of further particular note is the microstate of Gordon Bay City which, besides a Candelariasian and aboriginal population, is home to members of some fifty distinct sentient species, including among the multiverse’s largest public communities of alans, alven, corrandonnets, panotti, thuss and singing beans, the latter a species also present in some numbers on Achtklan and Marquez.
From humble beginnings, both professional and amateur sport has become central to the Rushmori psyche in a manner shared in the modern era only with the regions of Atlantian Oceania and Esportiva. While an obsession with competitive physical activity is not shared uniformly amongst all national governments, media and populaces, for the most part it has become a principle focus for a nation’s attentions, and its pride in and view of itself. In many countries, the quest for a measure of sporting glory dictates government policy across areas such as education, technological development and foreign relations. When a Rushmori nation chooses to announce its presence on the regional and world stage, the formation of national sports teams and entry into an international tournament is almost invariably the first step. For small states, particularly those that have become recently independent or are otherwise of a questionable status of autonomy, competition against more established nations in Rushmore or beyond has become one of the surest ways of establishing their sovereignty, but even the largest and oldest of countries may derive much of their national identity from the fortunes of their sporting heroes.
What we’re trying to say is… Rushmore likes sport, alright? Right.
For most nations, association football is far and away the most popular sport for spectators and amateur players alike, on occasion to the point of being almost synonymous with ‘sport’. The sheer numbers of teams entered for the World Cup every cycle from across the multiverse limits the opportunities for glory, but over the last few decades Rushmori teams have become, if not the most collectively successful, then certainly among the most regular and enthusiastic of entrants. For smaller and less developed nations, every and any qualifying victory may be cause for national celebration.
Though forms of football have been played in Rushmore since the pre-colonial era – ancient cave painting from indigenous Mangolanite tribes attesting to that – the region was later than some to launch an assault on the world stage. Television viewers across the region cast covetous eyes towards the World Cup without believing for a second that it would ever be possible for their little homelands to compete at anything close to such a level. A few of the Oygruppen nations from which the codified sport had, in the main, spread to the rest of the region were organised enough to play the occasional international friendly over the years, but it was not until Baptism of Fire 23, prior to World Cup 36, that one such nation, Candelaria And Marquez, took the plunge.
The early exploits of C&M and their Nethertopian neighbours steadily convinced other national FAs to follow suit (or form in the first place), with West Zirconia and Somewhereistonia winning the BoF in its twenty-ninth and thirty-third outings respectively. The history of that tournament shows how Rushmore’s many subsequent entrants, with their often relatively small populations and player bases (that’s our excuse, anyway) often struggled in their earliest years – another BoF title would not be added to the region’s collective trophy cabinet until Zandistan at BoF 49 – but this also speaks to their sheer enthusiasm, with hastily assembled Rushmori outfits finding themselves up against teams finally entered after years of meticulous planning. The true impact of the region on international football can still be identified from the Baptism of Fire in the form of the competition’s host countries, with Rushmori nations having hosted or co-hosted the event at least nine times, depending on exactly how one counts these things, since BoF 35.
Only C&M and Cassadaigua have thus far won the biggest trophy of them all, the World Cup itself, and the latter Queendom’s two titles came prior to the nation’s formal recognition as a Rushmori land. There have, however, been close competitors – Albundania and the FSSO as defeated finalists; Nethertopia and the Polar Islandstates winning the third-place play-off; Astograth as semi-finalists. Astograth, C&M, Cassadaigua, Nethertopia, Queer Poco el Mono Ara, Pasarga, the Polar Islandstates, Saugeais and Somewhereistonia have all co-hosted the tournament, with World Cup 53 held wholly in Rushmore.Cup of Harmony, meanwhile, also include Astograth, Darmen, Sargossa and Swartaz, following the lead of C&M at CoH 33. At a younger age level, the Candelariasians rate as the jointly most-successful nation at the Di Bradini Cup, and Queer Poco el Mono Ara, Pasarga, the Polar Islandstates, Sargossa and Taeshan have also been successful over its history, with Civil Citizenry serving as hosts at DBC21.
Regional International Football
There is one tournament where Rushmore can claim a monopoly of success however – its very own Copa Rushmori. Apart from that time Isla Pilsen won. Awkward.
Held on an increasingly regular basis, and treated with ever increasing seriousness by the region’s FAs, the Copa showcases the modern region’s depth of talent with nations such as the Arcadian Islands and Western Cuba having won the tournament against much more successful international sides – and Niuewe Sleeswijk winning Copa Rushmori VI despite never entering World Cup qualifying before or since.
Under the auspices of the Confederación Rushmore de Fútbol, with 3 headquarters based in Metropolis, Valladares (which organizes the Copa Rushmori), Franz Josef City, Polar Islandstates (in charge of the Copa de Campeones), and Rumiatzi, Astograth, the region’s international football schedule has increased to include two youth tournaments, the Campeonatos Rushmori Juveniles Sub-20 and Sub-17, which are organized from the CRF's offices in Rumiatzi.
The rise of Rushmori football began at a time when the international club game was itself just beginning to reorganise after a lengthy lull. The CMSC proved among the leading lights of the new Champion’s Cup, with multinational sides representing neighbouring giants Albrecht FC and Albrecht Turkish winning five titles between them. Though other leagues from Oygruppen and Branta competed within the UICA structure, another Rushmori outfit was not able to make the ultimate breakthrough until El Nacional at TQCC33 and, with Ciudad Soluca’s victory four seasons later, the SuperLiga appeared well-placed to pick up the baton for regional success from the abruptly defunct Candelariasian league.
The Sargossans just as quickly dropped it again and Rushmore struggled for a short time for competitiveness. Experiments were made in unifying local divisions, with Nethertopian giants NAPPC and Tenderville United leaving the CMSC system in which they had thrived to join the short-lived Rushmore Overseas Football League; Malak and Virabi sides leading the establishment of the South Rushmori Premier Division before joining with a number of Goose Coast clubs to form the equally short-lived Unity League. Pasargian and Pocoan sides formed the Liga de Fuego, the latter having previously been part of the somewhat anachronistically named East Rushmore Premier League before being replaced by Sargossan outfits. In the Liga de Fuego, that is, not the ERPL. It was a confusing time.
Eventually, however, a number of national leagues would emerge to render the region competitive once more. With four Champions’ Cup finals and two titles in seven seasons, Fontvielle Impact of the Valladar Super League would establish themselves as comfortably the top-ranked club in the UICA rankings, while the Astograthian First Division became the top-ranked league after Urbizania Wanderers took Champions’ Cup 43. Polarian side East Franz Athletic took the trophy five seasons earlier, league rivals FC Axel Heiburg the forty-forth, while the Impact’s 1-0 victory over SK Franz Josef City in the fortieth editon of the competition was its first ever all-Rushmori final. The West Zirconian National League and the Whirl Islands Premier League remained relatively competitive, the former producing Globe Cup 33 winners Bradley Hornets. The depth of talent in the FPIFA Federation League was shown recently with three SBCC titles in four seasons, following an example set by the CMSC2 years earlier.
The modern rebirth of Rushmori club football was also certainly assisted by the creation of the sporadically held Copa de Campeones and, beneath it, the Copa de los Principes.
While the sport may struggle to hold a candle to soccer in regards to weekly spectators or media interest, there can be little argument that Rushmore has established itself as the home of all three popular codes of rugby.
Inevitably, it was C&M that led the way; winning two Rugby World Cup titles in the fifteen-man form of the game during a four tournament period that also saw Taeshan and West Zirconia as defeated finalists. Though these nations would fade in competitiveness or from the event altogether, the last four cycles have seen the tournament hosted in the region – by Mytannion, Swartaz, Darmen and Saugeais – and won by Rushmori competitors – Kernansquillec, the Kiaser Colonies and Rhodesiah – in the past three.
In rugby league Rushmore can go one better, the RLWC hosted in Rushmore for five straight cycles and the Polar Islandstates, Somewhereistonia and Virabia among the winners. Only the mildly annoying red blob of Sorthern Northland can spoil the rolling Rushmori vistas of success, and some regional patriots might wish to claim them too given that there are more Sortherners in Rushmore than their homeland nowadays. That’s probably a bit of a stretch, though.
The more recent Rugby Sevens World Cup has thus far run true to form – hosted successively by Western Cuba and Polar Islandstates, won by Khabarovsk Krai and the Kiaser Colonies. Rugby Union also saw three Rushmore Six Nations championships with Saugeais’ wins split by a Swartazian title. It then died off, on the basis that it was hardly needed, was it? Without wishing to sound smug or anything.
The international club game took a little longer to organise itself, but the now healthy Rugby Union Championship Trophy has echoed this dominance with Rushmori clubs winning ten of eleven editions. The inaugural International Rugby League Challenge Cup saw Tynelean side Caernankry Miners Welfare top the final standings, the second won by Darmeni club Johnho.
Recognised Rushmori nations have taken part in major international events since the abortive third Winter Olympics, with increasingly degrees of success; Polar Islandstates finishing second in the medals table at both the seventh summer and seventh winter games, with other consistently successful nations including the Citiz and Virabia. Summer golds at the last games included blue-ribbon events such as the men’s and women’s 100m on the track, won by Dante Felchard of Saugeais and Maribal Varga of Sargossa respectively.
A wide array of other team sports are also played across Rushmore, often professionally and/or internationally, and including many that can be covered under the general use of ‘football’. Several nations have their own unique football codes, with Birolik Football and Nova Cambrian Football holding ‘national sport’ status in those countries. The domestic football code of the Babbage Islands has also spread to Rushmore to achieve popularity in a number of countries, most notably Darmen). Balú is the national football code of Darmen.
Darmen’s national sport is beach soccer, one of a number of variants of association football to have achieved widespread popularity (albeit seldom on the scale of the classic form of the game), with Rushmori nations having frequently both hosted and won the World Indoor Soccer Championships, and Mashiki among the leading lights of Swamp Soccer. Gridiron has by contrast struggled for attention, though Civil Citizenry were both hosts and winners of World Bowl XVIII, ten tournaments following a Dagan triumph.
The popularity of ice hockey, particularly though not exclusively in those nations with the coldest climates, is such that it is one of the few sports in which a dedicated Rushmori tournament (la Coupe Coutu) has taken place, won by Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuk. It is the national sport of Camwood and the most popular in Cotdelapoms; the latter country winning the eighteenth World Cup of Hockey and unfancied Birolika the following edition. Public appetite for field hockey is much more modest, being played to a significant standard only in Candelaria And Marquez (a two-time World Championship in Field Hockey winning nation), Carmadin and Nethertopia.
Baseball has a significant if inconsistent following, being the national sport in nations including Carasatoga, Civil Citizenry and Western Cuba – that country in Rushmore’s far south-west having established itself as arguably the dominant force at the modern World Baseball Classic. Taeshan was also a baseball power, and is relatively so still, in its pre-Rushmore days. Several Rushmori nations (notably including the Kytler Peninsulae, where the game is the national sport) have been among the leading powers of international lacrosse), while the region is a hotbed of handball with professional leagues in a number of nations. The World Volleyball Expo has been a permanent fixture in Rushmore without great sporting success.
Basketball is the most popular sport in Taeshan and maintains modest popularity elsewhere; curling the national sport of Virabia and popular in Carasatoga, Carmadin, Cotdelapoms and other countries beginning with C. Cricket is found principally as a recreational pastime, but the region can still count Birolika, Darmen, Michael VII and Saugeais among the multiverse’s test-playing nations. Much less common national team sports include lockey in Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuk and kleptochase in Gordon Bay City. Motor sport’s popularity is largely limited to the World Grand Prix Championship, with several nations routinely playing host to races, and Candelariasian Joe Allon winning the drivers’ title at WGPC7.
Outside of the Olympics, participants in individual sports typically struggle for state, media and spectator support, though exceptions exist. Tennis is widely played and followed at a domestic level (and is in particular considered the most popular sport in Civil Citizenry) and sailing is unsurprisingly well-regarded in several of the northern island nations. Other sports of national interest include mountain biking (Astograth), bobsleigh (Baltskandio), archery (Union Isle) and roller skating (Valladares).
Rushmoris are culturally influenced by its indigenous peoples, historic connections with principally European colonial forefathers, waves of subsequent immigration, and the impact of mass culture from the English-speaking multiverse in particular. Parallel social and cultural development, alongside the internet and other forms of mass communication, has further ensured that most Rushmori nations can claim to culturally influence others to a greater or lesser degree, though there remains isolationist states maintaining distinct societies. Some of these, in common with other more open nations, are yet to fully embrace the information age and may even be considered pre-industrial – alongside several aboriginal states; countries such as Kaledor, Ossidiacqua and Seunem (and, to some extent, Mytannion) may be thought of variously as pre-modern, pre-enlightenment or otherwise trailing behind the majority of Rushmore in many social and technological developments.
Most nations maintain a principle affection for their own domestic musical output, be it ‘folk’ music or that influenced by the wider multiverse, but certain countries have seen their popular music scenes break though to become a major export. Of these, Cotdelapoms and the Polar Islandstates have proven the most successful, with Poplisabeth! recognised as Rushmore’s largest popular music festival (rivals include the Highroyds Festival of Music, the Thessia Music Festival and the Onwere Festival of World Music). The two nations have a friendly rivalry in all things, and music is no exception. Polarian acts such as Björn & the Gladiolis, Half Man Half Jaffa Cake, The Flow! Team and Walrus are Top 10 artists across the region, as are Cotdelapomais groups like Bonnezhule, Chat Island and Nous Sommes Ours Polaires. The Modraine Sea region is also responsible for increasingly popular genres such as Abdipunk (pioneered by Fire Valley), Virabi death metal and Citiz hip-hop. Other popular western Rushmori musicians include glam-rock-horror-punk band Dr. Vile's Surgical Consult (Queer Poco el Mono Ara), who entered WorldVision 10 and finished dead last, alt-pop duo Birth of the Butterfly Child (Candelaria And Marquez) and aging rockers The Burinators of Heaven (Nethertopia).
The Nova Cambrian Canal provides a dividing line between the musical cultures of west and east Rushmore, with many westerners perceiving eastern pop music as middle-of-the-road, kitsch, or otherwise ‘uncool’. Several eastern nations have been enthusiastic participants in the WorldVision Song Contest, with singers Ebba and Odo winning for Chenkorya at WorldVision 19 and 21 respectively to achieve international stardom, while the nation has also twice won the rival World Hit Festival. The west has not been entirely without interest in such events however, the Home of the Dragon in Nethertopia even hosting WorldVision 8.
The region’s own Song for Rushmore contest is a little observed and contested affair, rendered farcical by CNCR bloc voting. There is no RushmoreVision. Alright?
In other cultural spheres, the literature festivals of Jan Mayen Island are among Rushmore’s oldest and most respected, while the Outremont International Film Festival in Cotdelapoms is the region’s largest. It was at OIFF that the legendary Southern Cynocephali film Seven Totems debuted, where it swept the awards. Popular Cotdelapomaise actress Amélie David has started to appear in more English language films and as a result has become quite popular all across Rushmore.
Rushmori cuisine is derived from a broad mix of influences. Few countries are truly famous for their particular culinary output – an exception being Civil Citizenry, which is renowned for its desserts and baked goods. Several states, such as Cotdelapoms have largely vegetarian or pescatarian diets. With Virabia being notable as having a 100% vegetarian diet.
Capital of Culture
The Rushmori Capital of Culture is a city designated by voting states to hold the role for a calendar year, or until anyone can be bothered to set up the whole process again. Merely bidding for the high-profile title can bestow considerable attention on a city, improving its image abroad and generating cultural, social and economic benefits. Apparently.
Rushmoris follow a wide variety of religious beliefs, though its long history of European settlement ensures that most nations are predominately Christian or post-Christian in character. Relatively few countries have an establishment church or official national religion however, and waves of immigration have brought numerous Christian denominations as well as communities practicing many other internationally significant faiths. Traditional religions survive among certain aboriginal populations, though many were converted during the colonial period (in some nations, a degree of syncretism exists between indigenous and imported faiths). Recent decades have seen considerable growth in the numbers of Rushmoris expressing no religious affiliation, as well as the uptake of a number of more recent creeds, such as the adoration of the fortune goddess Margaret.
Aside from a handful of true or virtual ecclesiocracies and theocracies (such as Ocel0t and Toyur), most states exhibit the standard limited tensions between faith groups as well as with those of secular and irreligious inclination, but outbreaks of religiously instigated violence either within or between countries are rare. Significant divides also exist within denominations with, for example, Rushmore’s Roman Catholics recognising numerous different Popes.
Certain nations keep records of stated religious affiliation, though such statistics must be treated with caution owing to the ease with which they may be manipulated by significant sections of the populace choosing to play silly buggers; self-selection or other biases; and by a lack of clarity in distinctions between forms of agnosticism, atheism, non-religion and ‘cultural’ or atheistic Christianity and other faiths.
|Religion in Rushmore|
|Nation||Approximate Religious Affiliations of 1% or Greater of Rushmori Populations|
|Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuk||No Religion/Atheism 88%, Christianity 9% (Roman Catholicism 5%, Protestantism 3%, Orthodox 1%), Islam 1%, Judaism 1%|
|Albertasby||Naturism [State Religion] 68%, No Religion/Atheism 14%, Christianity 12%, Buddhism 3%, Hinduism 3%, Judaism 2%, Confucianism 1%, Islam 1%, Taoism 1%|
|Astograth||Christianity 49%, Islam 22%, No Religion/Atheism 16%|
|Baltskandio||Christianity 98% (Lutheranism [State Religion] 82%, Orthodox 11%, Mormonism 4%)|
|Birolika||Birolik Church of Margaret 47%, No Religion/Atheism 28%, Bahá'í 12%, Javerti 7%, Islam 3%, Christianity 2% (Orthodox 1%, Anglicanism 1%), Hinduism 1%|
|Candelaria And Marquez||Christianity 61% (Anglicanism 29%, Roman Catholicism 24%, Lutheranism 2%, Methodism 1%), No Religion/Atheism 35%, Islam 1%|
|Civil Citizenry||“Overwhelmingly Atheist”|
|CNCR||Christianity 60%, No Religion/Atheism 25%, Indigenous Beliefs 10%, Neo-Paganism 1%|
|Côte de Platine||Christianity 99%|
|Crolacia||Christianity 71%, No Religion/Atheism 11%, Buddhism 9%, Islam 5%, Judaism 3%|
|Darmen||Christianity 90% (Inter-Denomination Born-Again Evangelicalism 30%, Lutheranism 25%, Forden [State Religion] 17%, Roman Catholicism 11%, United Church of Christ 6%), No Religion/Atheism 5%, Buddhism 1%, Cowaphobianism 1%, Karmaism 1%, Mitchell Shuulte Cult 1%, Vegitarianism 1%|
|Eura||No Religion/Atheism 88%, Christianity 1%|
|Kaledor||“Overwhelmingly Druidic Wiccanism”|
|The Kiaser Colonies||Roman Catholicism 59%, Islam 30%, Violetism 3%|
|Mapletish||Taolism 30%, Christianity 20%, Buddhism 10%, Judaism 10%, Taoism 10%, Hinduism 8%, Islam 8%, Confucianism 4%|
|Megadia||Christianity 89%, No Religion/Atheism 7%, Jakloqoanism 3%|
|Nethertopia||No Religion/Atheism 85%, Christianity 13% (Orthodox 8%, Roman Catholicism 4%), Islam 1%|
|Ocel0t||Cult of Followers [State Religion] 99%|
|Pasarga||Zoroastrianism [State Religion] 75%, No Religion/Atheism 9.5%, Greek Orthodox 8.5%, Islam 7%|
|Phoenigetuzstha||Semitic Paganism [State Religion] 83%, Zoroastrianism 12%, Islam 5%|
|Queer Poco el Mono Ara||“Overwhelming No Religion/Atheism”|
|Saugeais||Christianity 91% (Roman Catholicism [State Religion] 81%), Buddhism 6%, Islam 2%|
|Somewhereistonia||No Religion/Atheism 76%, Christianity 21% (Lutheranism 8%, Orthodox 7%, Roman Catholicism 4%)|
|Taeshan||No Religion/Atheism 50%, Islam 17%, Judaism 17%, Christianity 11%, Hinduism 3%|
|Valladares||Christianity 92% (Roman Catholicism 75%, Protestantism 15%, Orthodox 2%), No Religion/Atheism 4%, Judaism 2%|
|Virabia||No Religion/Atheism 98%, Roman Catholicism 1%|
Rushmori newspapers of record (if not universally high repute) include:
- Albastru City Gazette (Antoletia)
- The Albrecht Herald (C&M)
- The Arcadian (Arcadian Islands)
- The Bastion Emplor (FSSO)
- The Daily Herald (West Zirconia)
- The Daily Post (Camwood)
- The Eagle’s Eye (Falconwhereveryouare)
- The Exchange (QPeMA)
- Havana Tribute (Western Cuba)
- Indican Morning Herald (Southern Cynocephali)
- The Island Chronicle (Sargossa)
- The Iturributan Chronicle (Iturributa)
- Kaz Post (Kazzoria)
- Mangolana Gazette (Mangolana)
- The Maudraiska Mirror (Ancharmunn)
- Montréalais (Cotdelapoms)
- The Mytannion Gazette (Mytannion)
- The Nanticoke Tribune (CNCR)
- National Journal (Saugeais)
- The Navel Post (Whirl Islands)
- The Nethertopian Times (Nethertopia)
- Nieuwe Antwerp Dagblad (Nieuwe Sleeswijk)
- Paradisian Times (Boring Paradise)
- The Rumiatzi Sentinel (Astograth)
- St-Simeon Post (Sicoutimont)
- Swartaz Today (Swartaz)
- Torgos Tribune (Pasarga)
- The Valhallan Herald (Polar Islandstates)
- The Vonghurst Star (Virabia)
- X Island Inquirer (Taeshan)