First: An' the gobble-uns 'll git you ef’n you don’t Watch Out!
Previous: Gobble-uns: Ethnic and political boundaries
Now, as I have mentioned kingdoms, you might be thinking the Gobble-uns are located in Europe, or Africa, or southeast Asia. Not so. They exist on the North American continent. They are named for the various human cities and states in their area; however, they have their own borders, not once taking the exact shape of their namesakes -- not even in the case of islands.
They are as follows:
Yocáhu -- an island located somewhere south of San Salvador and north of Hispaniola. Possibly corresponds to Tortuga; The Gobble-uns keep its exact location a secret.
Olmec -- just north of Guatemala; forms southernmost border of Gobble-un civilization on the continent. The Gobble-uns alone know what the big stone heads are about.
Tehuantepec -- roughly corresponds to the isthmus of Tehuantépec, not including the areas claimed by Olmec. Capital city is Vera Cruz.
Acapulco: a city-state based around a metropolis of the same name; travellers from Tehuantepec or Olmec must pass through Acapulco's roads if they do not wish to brave the human-controlled lands surrounding Mexico City. Makes much money from its toll roads; currently the bane of travellers as the tolls continue to increase.
Corrientes:Cape Corrientes, and inland to the border of Mexico City. Has no large cities. Residents believe they have a king and royal court, but everyone who claims to have seen the nobility turns out to be completely mad.
Tampico: North of Corrientes and Mexico City; This kingdom is a ragged band stretching from one coast to another and playing here until thursday.
Chihuahua: A land sandwiched between Sierra Madre to the west, Matamoros to the east, and Tampico to the south. Records from the eraly 1700s have it as a kingdom, with numerous diplomatic delegations and a border war with Sierra Madre; however, modern travellers will find ruined buildings overrun with tiny dogs. Nobody is sure what happened; communications with Chihuahua ceased around 1750 and nobody dared to venture in for a very long time. Now a supply of tiny but vicious guard dogs to the wealthy and/or foolhardy.
Matamoros: Claims a territory just south of the Rio Grand, from the coast inland to Chihuahua; most of the kingdom is filled by the Sierra Madre Oriental, which suits the Gobble-uns just fine.
Sierra Madre: In human terms, this kingdom is basically northwestern Mexico, including the Sierra Madre Occidental but excluding the Baja peninsula. Also includes some land within the Continental U.S., extending to an area just north of Tucson. I was raised in this region.
The Ascent of Stan and Stan's Descent: two regions on the coast of the Sound of Sound (the Gulf of California) that seceeded from Sierra Madre twenty-five years ago. Sierra Madre sent in the troops, but the two fledgling nations managed to get the enemy army on their side by offering to double their pay. Then Sierra Madre made a counter-offer of triple pay. The bribery quickly escalated into heights unattainable by either country. The offers are ongoing; recent bids are more than the entire amount of money within Gobble-un lands. The soldiers just sit there, gathering dust.
Monte Rico: bordered by Sierra Madre to the southwest and Rio Grande to the east, Matamoros to the south, and Santa Fe to the north. This kingdom is essentially the mountain range where the Rockies become the Sierra Madre Oriental, i.e. the northwestern part of the Rio Grande valley.
Rio Grande: just above the Rio Grande; claims the southeastern part of the valley and certain lands northward. Probably where I was born, although my human parents kept moving all over the place so I'm not sure. They said something about escaping from the Pale Riders. I thought they were just making things up to comfort me, but see the entry for St. Anne.
Galveston: Just northeast of Rio Grande. Unusual in that it does not actually contain the city of Galveston within its borders. In most cases this would be due to a war or some such; in this case it was the mistake of the surveyors, who wound up putting Galveston in Texas. Texas, enjoying the profits of the city (as it is the major port for Gobble-uns seeking to travel the Turtle Gulf) decline to give the city back. Galveston would fight Texas over this, but their soldiers are all stuck in Stan's Descent listening to offers and counter-offers. Gobble-uns are remarkably greedy when it comes to money.
Texas: Controls the remaining area of the Gulf Coast up to the Mississippi River, and areas inland north of Rio Grande and Galveston, south of Santa Fe and Oklahoma, extending to the eastern border of Monte Rico.
Oklahoma: A region north of Texas, extending territory into a southern portion of the Mississippi Valley. Bordered to the west by Santa Fe. Gobble-uns in Oklahoma import most of their food, finding the bedrock strangely infertile for growing crystals.
Santa Fe: West of Oklahoma, north of Monte Rico; most of the population is in the foothils of the Rocky mountains. Originally just the city, it managed to gain territory from surrounding kingdoms by bribing and sabotaging surveyors.
Utah: West of Santa Fe, north of Sierra Madre. Gobble-uns from this kingdom appear to be missing, at first, but really they just don't want to talk to anyone. Including each other. Who knows how they reproduce here. The learned scholars do: they say Utahnian people are grown out of the rock-gardens. We're starting to wonder why we call the scholars "learned" when it seems like they just make shit up.
Moroni: Just west of Utah and north of Arizona; separated from Utah in the Great Schism. There was a rumblin' and a shakin' and a weepin' and a wailin' and suddenly there was a new kingdom. I'm sorry I can't be more specific than that. Nowadays, Moroni is famed for its simultaneous record-holding of most prostitutes and most preachers per capita. Seems like everyone there is one or the other.
Arizona: Between Sierra Madre and Moroni; centered around the Grand Canyon, one of the places hypothesized to be the birthplace of Gobble-uns.
Salt Lake: North of Moroni, west of The Fertile Lands, east of Cascadia. One of the more populous Gobble-un states; residents find the Great Salt Lake extremely useful for growing Halite crystals, which fuels a booming trade on the scale of Galveston, Texas.
The Fertile lands: East of Salt Lake, north of Utah and Pike's Peak; this region is entirely made of a section of the Rocky Mountains. The produce grown here is so large and tasty and nutritious that when it was first settled, a Grand Gobble was quickly called to prevent any squabbling over the area. The kings were able to confine their fighting to the meeting itself; the Grand Vizier of Denver was the only survivor. A second Grand Gobble was called; this time a system of joint rule was set up, with the profits to be divided equally.
Pike's Peak: Just south of The Fertile Lands, centered around the titular mountain; this region is, in fact, the largest and most densely-populated city within all the Gobble-un lands. They have managed to make the most profit from The Fertile Lands; nobody is sure how this happened, because the profits were to be shared equally. But the city's rock gardens are so charming, and the place is so prosperous, that few people wish to see the place forced to make reparations. Pike's Peak wields a huge amount of influence over Santa Fe, Denver, Colorado, and the Fertile Lands.
Denver: Just east of Pike's Peak and south of Colorado, this kingdom maintains a protected reserve of Bison. Or they did, until someone informed them that the bison they had were, in fact, long-horn cows. The call was put out to find some actual Bison. Results have been inconclusive. Recently a Gobble-un walked in leading a string of coyotes; they examined his head but found nothing.
Colorado: Just north of Denver. Has a large population of people from some place called "Spain"; we've never heard of it. Our "Learned" "scholars" maintain that there is no such land, because beyond Bermuda and the Sea of Tranquility is the edge of the world. Whatever the case, these strange immigrants sure know how to dance. It shocks the morals of even the most debauched of Moroni whores, who are, actually, fairly prudish compared to humans.
Kansas: Just east of Colorado and Denver. Flat. Boring. The king of Kansas City is currently trying to bore nto the center of the earth, in order to make use of the iron fabled to be there. Given the radioactivity of the Earth's inner parts (radioactive decay is what makes everything hot down there), Kansas city is becoming slowly more radioactive. But none of the Gobble-uns there notice.
Also Useless!: Gobble-uns here mostly found in the Ozarks; they have strange devices called "rifles," which manage to kill at long range. This is how they avoided being conquered by Oklahoma. The geniuses of Idaho marvel at these thunder-sticks, for although they have invented the Digital Egg Beater and similar devices, they had never thought to devise a way of killing at long range.
St. Paul: What? Nobody cares about St. Paul. You go away now.
Iomaha: Just north of Kansas, this kingdom is home to Omaha, one of the hippest, most happening cities on the continent. You'll revel in the E Street bar scene, scream with delight on Skippy Park's rollercoasters, and thrill at the realism of the period actors dressed as muggers. Be sure to give them a substantial tip, as they are working hard. In fact, why not give them your whole wallet? You're just going to spend it on stupid souvenirs anyway, you disgusting, lazy, insensitive tourist.
Missouri: North of the Missouri river and west of St. Paul. A suprising number of musicians come form this place. it may be they are inspired by the Ringing Rocks of the Red River of the North, but more likely it's because of Ely's music scene. Everybody inspires everybody in Ely. Come feel the noise.
Montana: West of Missouri. The second-most despotic kingdom in all of Gobblonia; King Gorg rules with an Iron fist. Literally. His fist is made of iron. He enjoys hitting people with it. It's also good for knocking on heavy wooden doors, in case any nobles begin to act uppity. Not a kingdom recommended for tourists unless you're the type who steals artifacts and bits of stone from ancient walls, in which case, by all means visit Montana.
Helena: West of Montana. From the high peaks of the Rockies, queen Helena looks down on her people and despairs, for they have a crippling addiction to Gramophones and kazoos. Both of these devices are fatal for Gobble-uns in the way that alcohol is fatal to humans: it is the slowest poison.
Idaho: North of salt Lake and The Fertile Lands, this is the kingdom where the most royal money goes towards scientific discovery. Generous grants have produced the Self-folding Tie, the combination foot massage and steam iron, and an airplane engine that produces little heat and almost no noise -- as well as an ingenious metal tube that is propelled high into the air by the burning of liquid fuel. These are the projects that remain unclassified; the rest is pretty spicy stuff, let me tell you! Wait, no, I shouldn't be telling you. Never mind.
Cascadia: West of Idaho, this is the kingdom of the east side of the Cascades; the dry and rocky lands, heavily gouged by ancient periodic catastrophic floods from the breaking of glacial dams has made the place the second-most fertile place in Gobblonia. But few among the other Gobble-un kingdoms care for this place, for it is stark and forbidding. Thus the residents of Cascadia are left fairly well alone, although periodic raids from Idaho have led Cascadians to develop a tradition of geurilla tactics. The coulees make it easier, because the invaders from Idaho have to travel along the Columbia River; defenders can shower them with heavy stones.
Olympia: On the west side of the Cascades and continuing to the coast, the bedrock here is so useless for farming that the population exists in a primitive state, preferring to hunt pebbles and pan for gold rather than settle down and hammer. The high peaks of the Cascades protect them, in the same way that the harsh stones of Cascadia protect that land. However, it's only a matter of time before the people from Idaho invent some kind of flying machine that can get them over those mountains -- and what will happen then?
Klondike: The northwestern coast of North America, extending into the Rocky Mountains. Also: GOLD!
Stargate: Just north of Cascadia and west of Idaho. Another section of the Rockies. Produces a significant number of dancers; they view dance as the highest form of art, because it leaves the fewest marks upon the earth, and is only there in the moment -- the most fleeting is the most sublime. Look for lithe figures sillouhetted on hiltops in the setting sun. You never will see such physical perfection united with such uninhibited self-expression.
Land of Jerky and Dried Fruit: The corridor to the islands of the north, between Alaska and the Wendigo territory. Nearly as uncivlilzed as Olympia, but there is a road, and lone guard on the road says 'e's the king.
Hooker: Just north of Idaho. One of the lands that suffered predation from the Wendigo; the area was nearly depopulated before a truce was reached. It has still not recovered; you can go there and find gobble-un villages empty.
Alberta: Just east of Hooker, and south of Saskatchewan, and north of Montana. The inhabitants of Alberta routinely line up on the border in the hope of seeing King Gorg; those who do start tossing butter his way. He hates butter.
Winnipeg: A large land, forming much of what humans call Ontario, including a significant portion of the coast of Lodestone Bay. Full of bears, and Gobble-uns riding bears. They were the first ones to be effective against the Wendigo. There are few things that can defeat a bear besides really bad singing.
Ontario: Just southeast of Winnipeg. These are the most warlike of all Gobble-uns; every household in this land has a set of armor and a pike, and they are constantly trying to conquer the region just south of them. Their armies vanish each time, but they keep trying.
Ottawa: Just east of Ontario. Home to extensive rock-farms; although not as productive as The Fertile Lands, the rich minerals of the Canadian Sheild provide excellent yields for those willing to brave the Canadian winter.
St. Anne: Just across the St. Lawrence River from Ottawa, this kingdom is noted for its apparitions -- or maybe they're coporeal? Who knows. When you're in a forest at midnight and riders go by, glowing pale in the night, you don't exactly want to chat them up, you know what I mean? The King says he knows about the pale riders, but will only tell if people can tell him the reason for Chihuahua's demise. So far neither question has been answered.
Spooky Island: Across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, roughly corresponding to the human state of Newfoundland. It is likely that the sheer density of ghost stories on that island (there's one for every square mile) is the result of Gobble-uns playing pranks -- but there are some tales that they say they are not responsible for. When the queen of St. Anne hears people wonder about this, he just cackles.
Labrador: corresponding closely to the human region of the same name, although for humans the territory is included as part of Newfoundland. For Gobble-uns, the Strait of Belle Isle is a political barrier; residents of Labrador do their own thing. It is in this region only that Gobble-uns have regular contact with humans, believing that the sparse population is no threat to them. Pale Riders have occasionally been seen atop the snowy hills.
Cold!: Just west of Labrador. Pine forests and brains in jars.
Colder!: Just north of Cold!, this land is the northwestrn part of the Quebec landmass. Most of the population is located about fifty miles inland from the shores of the Bay of Lodestones; they refuse to get any closer. Say the pale riders will come for them. Pale riders have never been seen in that land. They say, see, it works.
Saskatchewan: just south of Wendigo territory and north of Hooker, this land is something of a buffer against the Wendigos; said creatures are premitted to enter Saskatchawan and trade for goods there, but are admitted into no other kingdom. It is believed this will satisfy the desires of the Wendigo. Seems to be working.
Beluga: In the Artic Ocean just north of Land of Jerky and Dried Fruit. The fate of Beluga is complicated enough that it will receive its own later entry.
The remaining lands, beyond these boundaries, have Gobble-un settlements but no centralized political organizations. Gobble-uns in such lands are in constant peril, and are largely on their own. Certain of them have no Gobble-uns whatsoever -- such lands are filled with creatures extremely dangerous to the Little Folk.
Next: Gobble-uns beyond the pale
(Phew! That was a long writeup.
But I'm not out of here yet. There's so much to say.
And some of it is stuff I want to say -- so I'm contributing to my own imprisonment. Funny how that works out.)