The American Order began long before the United States of America. It began at Roanoke, the Lost Colony. One theory about the fate of the vanished Roanoke colony is that they sought out the Croatan Roanoac Indians, who took them in. This is true. Foreseeing the racism and the struggles against it that would so strongly characterize the moral history of America, the American Principality (whom we now call "Samuel") forged this community into a deliberately hybrid people and made them into the Order for the coming colonial culture. It was some while, though, before these Roanoacs realized they were Sundered and somehow divined their purpose as an Order.
When Jefferson decided to found the Department of the Ulterior, Roanoac hastened to move in. Earlier, they had established the Dare Lodge in Philadelphia; they now established a daughter lodge in Washington, the better to keep an eye on the Ulterior and infiltrate it. The Washington lodge soon became the dominant of the two.
The Ulterior knows about the Dare Lodge as a Sundered branch of the Masons who have taken it on themselves to protect America from supernatural evil, well-meaning but sometimes getting in the way. It knows of the Roanoac as a Cryptic Tribe in North Carolina. It does not know of the connection between the two or about their infiltration. Individual Ulterior agents have learned of it (meaning agents who weren't themselves Dare infiltrators), and occasionally even Secretaries of the Ulterior, but the information has never propagated—the Ulterior agents always found it better to keep the secret—or got into the records. Which is a way of saying the Order is more Sundered than the Ulterior.
Over the years, the Dare Lodge encountered people they wanted to recruit, but who were not ethnically Roanoac. So which is the American Order? Is it the Dare Lodge, which happens to have a special relationship with the Cryptic Tribe of Roanoac and draw most of its members from there? Or is it the Roanoac, who have the Dare Lodge as a front and sometimes recruit non-Roanoac as special exceptions? There is no indication that Samuel cares.
Not only are the Roanoac a European/Amerind blend, around the time of our Civil War a settlement of freed blacks was set up for a short while on Roanoke Island. Some were recruited into the Roanoac, so that now every Roanoac is a blend of European, Amerind, and African.
Not that they haven't had their own race problems:
The Roanoac have the following cultural features:
(Roanoacs who are deeply engrossed in their nautical magic tend to be good for not much else, a trait they have in common with most other thematic mages. Other Roanoacs say their totem has become the otter and call this obsessive focus being "ottery," as in "Don't go all ottery on me, man!")
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Copyright © Earl Wajenberg, 2014