Hello! Just found this story and binged it in a couple of days, as a native of the Pacific Northwest I am always interested to see my home show up in timelines.

I just have a couple of questions, mainly what's going on in the Lake Sammamish area? It's not shown on the map and the area it is in is under the control of Tultkhw, but they have their capital along the Snoqualmie river, which are separated by some decently large hills. How effective is their control of the region relative to the areas they can more readily access along their own river, and do their neighbors take advantage of this to push in and try to sway the tribes around the lake?

Also, as a native of Everett I am disappointed that it isn't bigger, I always thought the geography was decently suited for a sea port, a geographically large rise looking over the estuary of a navigable river that forms a moat to the north and west with the sea itself blocking the east, leaving only the south as an easy approach on land with the same river linking it to a decently large river valley that can serve as a hinterland for farming, but when raiders from the sea constantly raid for decades on end I suppose sea-side settlements don't tend to last very long.
Of course you thought of driving dozens of drunken moose into battle as a shock tactic. Of course you did.

Gosh darn it.
Long overdue thank you for these comments.
Hello! Just found this story and binged it in a couple of days, as a native of the Pacific Northwest I am always interested to see my home show up in timelines.

I just have a couple of questions, mainly what's going on in the Lake Sammamish area? It's not shown on the map and the area it is in is under the control of Tultkhw, but they have their capital along the Snoqualmie river, which are separated by some decently large hills. How effective is their control of the region relative to the areas they can more readily access along their own river, and do their neighbors take advantage of this to push in and try to sway the tribes around the lake?
Thanks for reading!

Lake Sammamish was not on the map because it wasn't on my base map, but it would of course have a substantial population. If I recall my mindset when I was making the map and discussing this particular bit of information, their control would be fairly minor, even by regional standards. The area around Lake Sammamish would probably be an example of smaller leagues and villages voluntarily joining with them based on the prestige of their leader. Their control may not last long and they might (semi-)freely shift allegiance to a nearby league of siyams.

Also, as a native of Everett I am disappointed that it isn't bigger, I always thought the geography was decently suited for a sea port, a geographically large rise looking over the estuary of a navigable river that forms a moat to the north and west with the sea itself blocking the east, leaving only the south as an easy approach on land with the same river linking it to a decently large river valley that can serve as a hinterland for farming, but when raiders from the sea constantly raid for decades on end I suppose sea-side settlements don't tend to last very long.
Correct, most seaports in that area are somewhat inland and located on rivers with an area like Everett being mostly used for watchtowers and temporary sites for fishing, herding, and gathering although some might be year-round villages.
Chapter 45-Eternal Struggle for Balance
"Eternal Struggle for Balance"

Chateshtan, September 820 [1163]​

The rainy season arrived once more in the land, and Imolakte felt it safe to return to his home in Chateshtan. As he stepped through the doors of his grand wooden palace flanked by his bodyguards into the dull, smoke-filled hall of the palace he called home, a thousand voices cheered him as the sweetflag and other smells of the palace smoke hit his senses. Hail Imolakte, hail the protector of our homes and peace, hail to the great hero of our people! He ignored these boastful voices. I am only doing my duty as atlanakh of Chateshtan, he thought. The dull iron crown on his head felt suddenly heavy, weighed down by the spirits who it slew when it was the axe of that Coastmen warlord they called Sachaqiha. I shall protect people like these, people who so easily are stricken down by evil. That justice shall preserve balance. Certainly the sneers and grimaces of the gods and heroes carved in the pillars holding up the room agreed.

After his chancellor spoke a grand introduction for him, he sat down in his ornately carved cedar throne, the armrests on either side carved with the visage of an ancient elk spirit that reflected the ancestor who gave him his name [1]. Immediately a serving girl brought him a brass goblet of cider and a quick snack of baked acorn flatbread filled with camas spread [2] and shredded bits of smoked salmon. He ate a quick bite, approving of the suitably dark and nutty, yet creamy taste as he stared out at the men and women assembled in his hall, dressed in fine cloaks of towey goat wool emblazoned with the geometric lines of clan emblems and necklaces and bracelets of shells and gleaming copper as befit their status.

"The Siege of Ayayash continues to be a success!" Qats'ehlkhak, the ashambak of Chatilkwei [3], proclaimed, his young face bright with joy. "Our great lord has returned for his inevitably victory!" The bald eagle [4] on his leather-clad arm flapped its wings in disturbance. A few men let up a shout of victory, yet became silenced by the staid look on Imolakte's face. Let them cheer my supposed victory, I have returned for other reasons. Much work was left to be done at Ayayash.

Yet Imolakte decided to announce his success regardless. He needed to inspire them in this war so he rose from his throne.

"My friends and people, we are soon to conquer Ayayash," he proclaimed. "The high walls of that Namal fortress occupied by those warriors of Wayam will not hold out beyond the rainy season. They shall lose hope and surrender." He announced those words with as best faith as he could. Perhaps he was right, yet he never underestimated his opponents, be they that Coastman warlord from Tinhimha, the Namal warlord of Katlaqmap, or now this Wayamese so-called "Pillar King".

"They remain at war with themselves," his son-in-law Lelisho added. "We need only continue to fight them and they shall fall!" If that were not the case, I would not be here, Imolakte thought to himself. He thanked the people of Wayam for revolting against their warlike so-called Pillar King who no doubt sent far too many men to their deaths in the name of his beliefs. Had they not revolted against that tyranny months ago, he'd still be sitting underneath that hill where that wooden fortress sat. Now there should not be a single attempt to relieve the fortress in the winter.

"We should thank the Wayamese for that!" Imolakte continued. "Were they not fighting amongst themselves, we here tonight would still be sitting in the canyon looking up at their fortress! Their is no good food there!" Although his men laughed, Imolakte never minded the food he ate on campaigns much. A clever cook might turn the dried camas, acorns, berries, salmon jerky, fat, and whatever might be foraged into surprisingly good meals.

"The punishment of Wayam is nigh!" Qats'ehlkhak said.

"Their fortress shall burn, their town shall be destroyed, their men and women slain, and their children ransomed," Imolakte continued. "Three times they invaded us, three times we fought them back, and no more shall they invade our sacred lands after this punishment. The voices of the spirits cry out at the wickedness of our enemy, so wicked their ruler's own spirit fled from him. Death will soon be upon them!" The hall cheered once more, and Imolakte grinned, relishing once more in the news of the death of that man Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh who caused him so much grief at Katlaqmap decades ago. Imolakte sat down in his throne, preparing to eat.

As he finished his quick appetizer and awaited the slaves to bring out the main course--reindeer and salmon--Lelisho walked over.

"It is good to see you have returned," he said. "I have nothing to report but the women and children speak your name in the highest regard. They're confident of your utter victory."

"Tell me, do they speak of you like that in Chantatawa?" Imolakte asked. Lelisho hesitated in speaking, trying to understand the meaning of the question.

"N-no, although I try my hardest to rule with justice in that city and over those loyal to me," Lelisho replied. Imolakte smiled at his answer, finishing his cider. He truly is a brilliant mind and well fit to be my son-in-law.

"It truly must be unusual for you to hear such words. No matter, as long as an atlanakh or ashambak is not detested by those who follow him, all is well. Some are more fit to cause anger and despair in their enemies, others are more fit to cause peace and happiness in their friends. You have done well in watching Chateshtan while I was not here."

"It was an honour," Lelisho said. "Will I be watching the city again when you campaign in the spring?" Imolakte froze up for a moment, feeling Lelisho's spirit discerned his thoughts.

"I hope there will not be a campaign in the spring," he replied. "I hope that before the rainy season truly begins we will have sacked and burned the city. Yet I cannot know that. Many wise and brilliant shamans seem unsure and have warned the people that there may be much longer than two months."

"So you believe we will need to fight once more?" Lelisho asked, and at that Imolakte nodded.

"We certainly will. Yet this time you should help me as well and lead much of my army. You said yourself your oldest son would like experience in battle."

"That would also be an honour," he said. "Yet my son is not even 15 years old, I wasn't serious when I said that." Imolakte shook his head.

"I killed my first man when I was perhaps 10 while I tried to find my spirit in the mountains and by 15 I already fought several battles." The memories came to Imolakte fast, from the anguished face of the greedy Namal raider bleeding out to the men twice his age running away from him as he swung his war club and cracked their skulls. "It is good for a man to learn from an early age of the horror of war, so he might hate war, and turn that hatred of war into his drive for victory so he might never have to fight again."

"I suppose so then," Lelisho said. "Yet who of these men will watch over Chateshtan if both of us are gone?"

"I would like a younger man like Qats'ehlkhak to gain experience and he should stay behind and watch our garrison. Men like him have promise and right now he'd likely throw it away and get himself killed." Imolakte glanced over to where Qats'ehlkhak sat, entertaining a slave woman with the eagle on his shoulder. As boorish as he seemed, Imolakte knew his inspiring spirit well, and knew how much of a terror he was in battle as the many Wayamese and Namals he slew attested to.

"I hope that fortress will fall," Lelisho said. "Too many people die in wars. Evil really does never rest."

"Of course it doesn't," Imolakte replied. "The world has already been destroyed four times after all. Yet just as evil never rests, justice should never rest either, and that is the task for every person. The balance of the world is up to all of us."

A few serving girls brought out the first course of the feast, goose cooked in a fragrant and sweet sauce of several types of berries and pine syrup alongside diced camas served alongside cooked amaranth grains and leaves. Lelisho stood up, returning to his table, yet Imolakte motioned him to wait.

"I hope you remember this conversation," Imolakte said. "For I feel much will change in the near future." His faith in his followers and warriors remained strong, and no matter how much he believed to win, his innate instincts clawed at his mind. When he was but 20 years old, almost 30 years ago, the Namals led by the warlord Lamagayaqtaq of Katlaqmap and his ally Kawadinak of Tinhimha and all his other cruel Coastmen allies like those of Ts'ahaptas and other havens of their kind nearly destroyed Chateshtan. As a young man he took command of that siege and won a miraculous victory over those evil rulers.

Yet surely the enemy believed the siege was a certain victory and Chateshtan fall like any other city of the Irame Valley. He looked over the proud nobles and their servants in that hall and felt like they believed in the same inevitably victory. Yet Imolakte knew the spiritual forces of the world were never so predictable. It should have been obvious to them that Raven and the other powerful spirits always played tricks on people and expected people adapt to them, but they ignored this.

"Nothing is inevitable, my son, prince of Chantatawa. No more than we can tell the spirits to bring rain to our land, no more than we can tell our soliders they must capture that fortress. We must always prepare for a moment when the spiritual force is not on our side, no matter if we are the forces of justice." Imolakte continued. Lelisho left him with a fleeting glance, approving of his words. But the apprehension continued to fill Imolakte, and he hoped from the bottom of his heart he was wrong about the strength of the Wayamese and the spiritual forces that powered them.


In 1163, the Wayamese faced a desperate situation, torn by internal intrigue at home, and the emergence of a powerful enemy in Imolakte. Their great fortress and foothold west of the Grey Mountains Ayayash remained under siege by a powerful army led by Imolakte who intended to punish the Wayamese for their continued intransigence toward his people and allies. Internal conflict in Wayam over the factions who supported the line of Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh and the factions who still supported Plaash-Nawinatla threatened to spill over into civil war. Yet the powerful senwitla Plaashyaka the Younger schemed as his befitted his ideology so Wayam might grow great. According Gaiyuchul, the time of the Siege of Ayayash marked the "moment fate permitted the Pillar Kings of Wayam in fulfilling their great destiny to the world." The end of the Fusanian Chalcolithic had begun.

Ayayash ranked among the greatest fortifications of the Wayamese, for it helped secure their influence west of the Grey Mountains. Constructed on a bluff in the foothills of the mountains overlooking the point the Nakahani River flows into the Imaru River [5], the fortress was surrounded by a high palisade on top of a sturdy earthen wall and guarded by numerous watchtowers. The easiest point of attack faced the higher hills and mountains to the east, which the Wayamese positioned numerous watchtowers and scouting parties. The cliffs below held terraced farms and included numerous qanats and wells for water supply as well as points to ambush the enemy in the canyon below.

Imolakte's position was less than advantageous. The trails he used to supply his encircling forces traveled a substantial distance around the cliffs, giving ample opportunities for Wayamese ambush. The Wayamese shot arrows from trees or appeared from qanats to kill individual enemies or small groups. To make matters worse, many Amims feared they traveled too far from home thanks to inauspicious signs in the river. Morale plummetted over the course of the months spent besieging the city, especially after failed assaults on both the qanats and city walls.

Yet the affairs of Wayam dominated the region at this time, for the Wayamese authorities fell paralysed by the sudden death of their Pillar King Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh. The senwitla Plaashyaka the Younger immediately began to scheme as to who might succeed him given Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh's favoured son perished in the defeat against the Amims and delayed the nobles of Wayam from electing a new ruler. He feared the sons of Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh might squabble amongst each other or become pawns of powerful noblemen such as the North King Alawahayakt thus needed a better choice of successor.

Plaash-Nawinatla, the previous Center King, was still held under house arrest despite nominally being the co-ruler of Wayam. He appeared in public under only heavy guard and held few remaining allies. Despite this, Plaashyaka sought to use him to further his intrigues and purge Wayam of hostile influences from within. Therefore, in 1163 Plaashyaka ordered him freed from house arrest and appointed to succeed his deceased half-brother as Pillar King. He sent messengers around announcing Plaash-Nawinatla renounced his indolent ways and committed himself to fulfilling the expansion of Wayam. He inherited his half-brother's position, including that of Pillar King, at a potlatch not long after. To keep the nobles pleased, Plaash-Nawinatla ensured the election of Witkw'aawi, a younger and more pliant son of Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh, as co-ruler at Wayam.

The North King Alawahayakt and the East King Quikh-Kwaama refused to attend. As a son of Q'mitlwaakutl himself and under the influence of anti-Wayamese nobles from Chemna, Quikh-Kwaama decried Plaashyaka's schemes and wanted to seize the position for himself. Alawahayakt rooted his own refusal in his mistrust of Plaash-Nawinatla out of fear Plaash-Nawinatla might punish him for the coup against him. This marked the first major rebellion within the Wayamese Empire, the North and East Rebellion, which decisively changed the nature of the Directional Kings within Wayam.

Yet Plaashyaka calculated wisely when he made such a drastic move. The West King Ahawaptas executed the followers of Alawahayakt at his court and mobilised his warriors against Alawahayakt. Having grown up under the thumb of these men, Ahawaptas wanted nothing more than Alawahayakt's downfall.

Even more importantly, Alawahayakt's important ally Snkalip of T'kuyatum found himself increasingly enthralled by Wayamese state ideology, in part to deal with hostile Dena tribes and shore up his own position. Related to both Alawahayakt and Plaash-Nawinatla by blood, Snkalip chose to stay neutral at first. However, Plaashyaka made a daring visit in person to T'kuyatum to appeal to Snkalip to support Wayam. Despite the assistance Alawahaykt rendered T'kuyatum in the past, Snkalip became convinced Alawahayakt acted injustly toward the Pillar King. Nch'iyaka of Wapaikht describes this scene:

"Plaashyaka spoke unto Snkalip 'Come and join us so you might be granted even greater power.' Yet Snkalip was swayed not by these words and held fast to the cause of his father-in-law Alawahayakt. Plaashyaka spoke thereafter to Snkalip 'Come and join us so you might be granted even greater wealth.' Yet Snkalip was not swayed by these words and held fast to the cause of his father-in-law Alawahayakt.

Plaashyaka spoke unto Snkalip 'Come and join us so you might be granted even greater justice.' Now Snkalip thought of the injustice Alawahayakt wrought upon the Pillar King his uncle. Plaashyaka spoke unto Snkalip 'Come and join us so you might be granted even greater harmony.' Now Snkalip thought of the harmony an alliance with Plaash-Nawinatla might bring. At that moment he did choose to join the cause of his uncle the Pillar King of Wayam so that justice and balance might enrich his land and people."

For Quikh-Khwaama, he had to deal with another challenge--the Tenepelu. Although nominally he held the allegiance of Tenepelu cities like Kikhlish and Siminekem, these cities rejected Quikh-Khwaama's demands to take up arms against Plaash-Nawinatla as they believed him to be the rightful Pillar King as elected by Wayam. The Tenepelu considered this action nigh-blasphemous for it disturbed the balance of the civilised world for little gain.

Outside of the realms of the East King and North King, few nobles supported the rebellion. Plaashyaka arrested the majority (including the sons of Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh) and placed them under house arrest, although a few such as Luts'ashashik escaped to the courts of the rebels. They likewise received little outside support, with only the miyawakh of Ttakhspa joining the rebels, allegedly in the belief his assistance would keep Ttakhspa independent.

Plaash-Nawinatla aimed to crush the rebels before they might link up and split his army in two. He sent a larger force of 4,000 men to link up with Ktlatla's army and lay siege to Winacha while he led a smaller force of 2,000 men to cross the Imaru River north of Chemna and link up with the Tenepelu. He intended to visit the Tenepelu in person to commend their loyalty while tricking the rebels into attacking the larger army by spreading information that was the force he was commanding. He placed his second son Tsanahuutimna as nominal leader and used him as a body double, hoping his charisma and strong guardian spirit might make up for any discrepancy in appearance.

The rebel forces fell for the deceit and aimed to eliminate each force separately. Nch'iyaka of Wapaikht states 4,000 from Winacha, and 2,000 men from Ttakhspa tracked down Tsanahuutimna's force and engaged them at a canyon on the banks of the Imaru River somewhere north of Imtanam Ridge [6], letting Plaash-Nawinatla cross undetected to the east. At a great disadvantage, Tsanahuutimna retreated deeper into the canyon, setting up ambushes from which he peppered the enemy with arrows and stones. Alawahayakt, a master at scouting and skirmishing, ordered his army broken into segments to uproot the enemy skirmishers.

Unfortunately for Alawahayakt, the miyawakh of Ttakhspa opposed his battle plan and viewed it as too costly and time-consuming compared to linking up with Quikh-Khwaama and marching on Wayam. He was only convinced to stay in the battle through Alawahayakt convincing him how easy his isolated forces might be destroyed. Regardless, the warriors of Ttakhspa would play little role in this fight much to Tsanahuutimna's benefit.

Alawahayakt's skirmishers claimed initial successes yet Tsanahuutimna's forces lured them deeper and deeper as his men gradually combined their warbands. At dusk, they attacked Alawahayakt's men, slaughtering his units piecemeal before marching back and attacking the warriors of Ttakhspa, killing their miyawakh. As night fell, chaos ensued and the enemy soldiers attacked each other in the dark before Tsanahuutimna ordered they all surrender. Alawahayakt fled to Winacha with the remnants of his warriors while the important nearby cities of P'na and Shaptilik [7] immediately surrendered to Tsanahuutimna when they heard the news.

The Chemnese heard of this defeat and broke off trying to link up with Alawahayakt and instead tried to chase the smaller force they learned evaded them in the east. Yet Quikh-Khwaama likewise walked right into a trap with his 4,000 warriors. Warriors from the Tenepelu cities under the Prince of Siminekem Pakhat-Saq'antaikh already joined forces with Plaash-Nawinatla and ambushed the Chemnese. Tenepelu warriors from within the Chemnese forces defected and added to the chaos with Quikh-Khwaama falling against the force of these warriors. As the Chemnese tried to escape, Plaash-Nawinatla arrived to corner them and accept their surrender.

Subsequent opposition to Plaash-Nawinatla faded quickly after Plaashyaka issued a proclamation of amnesty for all but the leaders of the rebels. Many of the senwitlas and payiktla (bureaucrats) of the rebel realms agreed to this, leaving the rebel nobles and princes without aid to their own vassals. By the end of 1163, the rebellion ended, with the last holdout villages being captured by mercenary forces during the start of the rainy season. Ttakhspa, the main outside supporter, faced internal revolt which was pacified by the city pledging allegiance to Plaash-Nawinatla.

Despite this internal victory, substantial opposition remained outside the direct control of Wayam. At Paskhash, numerous rebel nobles congregated with the miyawakh there, the last remaining Aipakhpam leader of any note independent from Wayam. Many others fled even further beyond to the Welhiwe Valley and Mat'alayma towns while those men of Winacha, including Alawahayakt, escaped across the Grey Mountains to the Whulchomish cities where a lesser league of siyams subject to the more powerful Tultkhw League elected him their ruler. A similar fate awaited Luts'ashashik, the giant of a man who also achieved influence among the Whulchomish. It seems likely few, if any, joined forces with Imolakte, likely due to their allegiance to Imolakte's arch-rival Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh.

Both Plaashyaka and Plaash-Nawinatla knew well of this danger of outside interference and moved quickly to destroy their support base. In what became a consequential move for the remainder of Fusanian history, in 1164 they forbade the cities of Chemna and Winacha from electing a new directional king and instead granted the title of East King to Pakhat-Saq'antaikh of Siminekem. Following negotiation. Historian Gaiyuchul describes this in his Saga of the Four Corners:

"In oldest times the Directional Kings ruled at will according to their personal whim and faced not a single challenge if they sought to hand power to a son. Yet the scheming of these men wearied the great ruler Plaash-Nawinatla for he despised intrigue and much the same it wearied his senwitla Plaashyaka. Plaashyaka in his wisdom knew the dangers in letting these men build personal power bases for their families for it detracted from their mission in protecting Wayam and defending against the barbarians.

The year 820 [1163] showed the Wayamese well the dangers posed by the Directional Kings as they existed. The rulers of Wayam, foremost of them Plaash-Nawinatla, prayed unto the heavens so they might find spiritual guidance and find new men able to defend Wayam as directional kings. At last in 821 [1164] they found two men, Pakhat-Saq'antaikh the Prince of Siminekem and Snkalip, the Prince of T'kuyatum and descendent of both that great foe of Wayam Chelkhalt and that great founder of Wayam Q'mitlwaakutl Shapatukhtla. Thereafter Pakhat-Saq'antaikh assumed the mantle as the East King of Siminekem amd Snkalip assumed the mantle as the North King of T'kuyatum.

We hear of some foolish nobles speaking unto Plaash-Nawinatla 'Oh great lord, why do you disturb the system so eminently crafted by your father whose name we are unfit to speak?' And Plaash-Nawinatla answered them 'My father appointed wise and strong men so they might protect us all from the barbarians. Never did he intend such protectors battle each other over matters and such I know for his guardian spirit spoke unto me in a vision. Should these Kings of the Directions be unable to carry out their sacred duty replacing them shall be a task for the King who Sits Above Them [8].' From this point forward the position of the Directional Kings rotated between those strongest and most fit so long as the ruler himself remained strong and fit."

Appointing Snkalip as the North King implicitly meant Snkalip accepted Wayam as an equal or even superior, an immediately controversial move among those who refused to accept Chelkhalt's defeat to the Wayamese. Many conservative nobles already disliked him for his introduction of Wayamese and Aipakhpam customs and reliance on the Wayamese for advice and some alleged to remain in power. Disturbed by yet another move at bringing in the Wayamese, the nobles immediately began scheming and plotting.

The months of internal warfare prevented any force from being assembled to relieve Ayayash and the siege dragged on through the winter. Namal mercenaries hired by Imolakte helped keep the fortress isolated as many Amim warriors gratefully returned home, including Imolakte. Conditions in Ayayash became quite poor as stockpiles of food and fuel ran low, and the garrison could expect no relief until spring. However, Stlich'qid's efforts kept morale high, and he personally led several ambushes using the qanats to great effect.

Although urged to abandon the fortress, both Plaashyaka and Plaash-Nawinatla refused to let the city fall and spent much of winter bringing nobles to Wayam and instructing them what they would do in spring. Planned months in advance, the Wayamese raised eight thousand warriors led by Plaash-Nawinatla himself to relieve the besieged forces in Ayayash. Raised with unusual speed, they hurried through the Imaru Gorge and came to Ayayash days earlier than Imolakte expected them.

Regardless, Imolakte still managed to move thousands of warriors to Ayayash at the start of spring and sources suggest outnumbered the Wayamese. Although some nobles urged him to assault the fortress, Imolakte refused, unwilling to risk the lives of his men when he was so close to victory. Noticing the Wayamese advance was coming on the south side of the river, Imolakte sent many Namal mercenary skirmishers forward into the Imaru Gorge to use the advantage of the high ground.

Reputedly, the Wayamese vanguard leader, the West King Ahawaptas, noticed this and kept the bulk of the Wayamese army back. There, the Wayamese loaded as many of their soldiers onto ships and canoes as possible, about half the army, and sent them downstream using the cover of darkness. Ahawaptas likewise advanced his soldiers (along with those who would not fit on the boats) in darkness, having them carry torches and arranging their formations so they might appear far larger in number than they really were. Few ambushes occurred thanks to the dark, cloudy night, thus the skirmishers retreated and warned Imolakte the Wayamese would attack by the next day.

However, the Wayamese attacked much sooner. At dawn, the Wayamese landed a sizable amount of soldiers at the mouth of the Nakahani River where they surprised the Amims, who quickly retreated through the canyon of the Nakahani to assemble their army for battle. Imolakte knew he would be trapped by the convergence of Wayamese armies and instead of abandoning the siege he chose to destroy each Wayamese army separately.

Beneath the walls of Ayayash, thousands of Amims attacked the Wayamese on the narrow path in the canyon. Many on both sides drowned in the river, swollen by spring flooding. The Amims shot arrows and rolled boulders and logs from the terraces and killed many Wayamese. Among the casualties was Plaash-Nawinatla himself, severely wounded by arrows while rallying his men. Nch'iyaka of Wapaikht discusses this phase of the battle in Saga of Wayam.

"The Amim warriors shot thousands of arrows and thrust with thousands of spears and this ferocity did drive the Wayamese back. The great Pillar King Plaash-Nawinatla did fall before this same assault he did struggle to reverse and the Wayamese lost faith. At this moment Tsanahuutimna the son of Plaash-Nawinatla took up the armour and dagger-axe of his father and carried on the task of encouraging the captains and warriors of Wayam. He shouted unto his warriors 'I have been struck with many arrows and javelins yet I still live!' and their guardian spirit power awoke and Amims fell before them."

Not long after a thunderstorm began, allegedly the result of Tsanahuutimna's guardian spirit. The Amims, still frightened by the sudden appearance of the Wayamese soldiers and with morale low from the sudden and long march from the Irame Valley, began to retreat en masse in panic at the inauspicious sign. For the Wayamese, this seemed a perfect spiritual intervention and the forces from inside Ayayash broke out of the fortress and joined the battle and cut down the skirmishers.

Imolakte attempted to keep the retreat organised yet many Amims drowned or made easy targets for archers as they tried to ford the river to safety. Worse, Ahawaptas's men arrived and continued the pursuit as the other forces became too tired, capturing and killing many hundreds of more men. Only a few hundred Amims found their way back to Tlawiwala, led by a wounded Imolakte and his chief ally Lelisho, the prince of Chantatawa--both men lost several sons in battle. Wayamese casualties were light, dampened only by the wounds suffered by Plaash-Nawinatla.

This great victory against such a deadly foe of the Wayamese enlivened the spirits of the Wayamese nobles and people and Plaash-Nawinatla redeemed himself for his earlier failures in the eyes of his people. Plaash-Nawinatla recovered from his wounds, although he remained permanently crippled by them. He concluded peace with Imolakte, regaining the land which Imolakte conquered and the return of much stolen property. Although Plaashyaka credited the Pillar King with the victory, many whispered it had been his son Tsanahuutimna's strategy and powerful guardian spirit that truly won the battle, earning Tsanahuutimna a certain degree of note as a powerful commander.

The victory at Ayayash demoralised the foes of Wayam. Those who supported the line of Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh found themselves facing a hopeless battle against an undistracted Wayam with a popular ruler, while the enemies of the North King Snkalip feared the Wayamese might move against them and impose even more direct rule on T'kuyatum. For this reason, they bided their time, plotting schemes against Plaash-Nawinatla from the shadows.

At peace once more, Plaash-Nawinatla devoted his efforts toward healing his country from the series of wars with Imolakte and bringing new territories such as T'kuyatum and Siminekem into line with common Wayamese practices and bureaucracy. Bureaucrats in these regions intensively studied Aipakhpam while Plaash-Nawinatla organised the training of new scholars. In other aspects of his rule, he continued the reforms and laws of Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh, ensuring they were evenly applied and suitable numbers of sapuuskakitla around to make sure of it.

Despite his injuries, Plaash-Nawinatla still engaged in successful campaigns against barbarians. In 1165 he attacked the Amorera and Nihyoui Dena to some success, while in 1166 he clashed with the Laqapelu and Grey Mountains Dena while protecting Katlaqmap from a Coastman attack. Although likely not large in scope, such campaigns earned him legitimacy as Pillar King, for as became the pre-requisite, his men captured slaves and livestock and executed war leaders of each of the Hillmen of the Four Directions.

Plaash-Nawinatla's second time at ruling ended as fast as it began. Although he spent an eventful three years in his restored rule as Pillar King, in 1166 he suddenly became violently ill and died not long after. While he may have died of lingering wounds from battle or a sudden illness, once again the nobles and clergy of Wayam blamed black magic used by his many enemies to assassinate him. They blamed many for it, including Imolakte, Alawahayakt, Quikh-Khwaama, anti-Snkalip nobles within T'kuyaktum, and even Plaashyaka who himself amassed many enemies.

Ever the clever one, Plaashyaka moved immediately against these accusations. He strengthened the penalty against witchcraft and black magic while guarding himself from accusations of misusing the office of senwitla or scheming to rule Wayam through puppet rulers. Instead of electing a son of Plaash-Nawinatla, he ensured the Wayamese nobles elected a son of Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh to restore the rival line to the throne. They chose Witkw'aawi to rule as Pillar King and Center King, with Tsanahuutimna as his co-ruler and Prince of Wayam.

Why Plaashyaka chose this decision remains unclear. He may have attempted to gain favour with the faction which supported Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh, or he may have viewed Witkw'aawi as the weaker candidate rather than the strong-willed Tsanahuutimna and thus wished to dominate him. It may also be linked to the phratries society was organised into. The two lines represented opposing halves of a moiety and thus to ensure balance neede to alternate. Similar systems existed in some Aipakhpam city states as well as elsewhere in the Imaru Basin, so Plaashyaka had many examples to look toward.

For Witkw'aawi's part, he gratefully accepted his role as ruler and aimed a peaceful transition of rulership. Although Nch'iyaka of Wapaikht judges him as a man "of middling temperment in all regards," Witkw'aawi moved quickly against potential threats to Wayam. Records suggest he assisted Snkalip in the arrests and assassination of hostile nobles within T'kuyatum and ensured the invitation of many rulers of the Gitlawalamt to Wayam so they might receive gifts and return to being subjects of Wayam.

Such provocations may not have been from Witkw'aawi alone. Sensing a moment of opportunity, the nobles and lesser princes of T'kuyatum sprang into action in spring 1167, calling upon foreign aid from neighbouring Chiyatsuru states so they might appoint their own ruler in place of Snkalip. This sparked a conflict that dominated Witkw'aawi's rule and laid yet another obstacle in the path of the growing Wayamese Empire.

Author's notes

This entry covers a few very important years for Wayam. It is based on the semi-legendary history of Wayam as told in oral histories and the earliest TTL written history (i.e. Gaiyuchul and Nch'iyaka) and thus holds some exaggerations. I will explore the historiography and archaeology of the Wayamese empire in an update very soon.

The next entry will cover Witkw'aawi's rule and continue to discuss Imolakte as well as Tsanahuutimna. My current plan is to cover until the early 13th century with a focus on Wayam and its rulers and their exploits and challenges before discussing other parts of Fusania, tentatively starting with Wakashi Island and the Wakashan peoples (and those Whulchomic peoples who live there) and the Far Northwest (i.e. Ringitsu, Khaida, etc.). I do want to also discuss a few cultural elements of society under the Wayamese Empire, like a scene of a typical Aipakhpam village of the late 12th century (which TTL's archaeology could easily verify as fact) and perhaps with a map to show a bit of their lifestyle.

I will likely do an entry for South Fusania around that time, with a focus on the Wakashans. Other parts of the Americas (like the Puebloans, Plains peoples, Mississippians, and the Norse in their trading posts) will mostly have to wait until later since I only intend to do overviews of those regions.

[1] - "Imolakte" means "like the elk" in Namal, the prestige language of the Amims. He would have an indigenous Amim name (and possibly several), but his Namal name is how he is best known to his people and in history
[2] - One of the many uses of camas is rendering it into a paste which is then mixed with various spices and oils to form all manner of spreads--this is an OTL use of camas in traditional indigenous culture as well as in modern attempts to revive that cuisine.
[3] - Chatilkwei is Lafayette, OR
[4] - Bald eagles were traditionally considered inferior to golden eagles among many indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest as they mostly fed on fish and carrion. However, they'd be natural targets for falconry, as that tradition has developed in this part of the world.
[5] - The Nakahani River is the Sandy River of Oregon. It is derived from the Japanese interpretation of the Namal exonym for Ayayash, Naq'ekhanikh, which gave its name to the river in both languages
[6] - Imtanam Ridge is Umtanum Ridge in Yakima and Kittitas County, WA, a more faithful rendering of its native name
[7] - Shaptilik is Mattawa, WA
[8] - An alternative terminology for "Pillar King"
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What spices are used by the people here?
Some variety, although their food is rather bland compared to Mesoamerican cuisine. The most common are a few cultivars of chili peppers (initially imported from South Fusania, but later cultivars suitable for the climate emerged and some are locally grown), a domesticated garlic cultivar (and often wild onions for the less fortunate), devil's club (OTL it's sometimes called "Alaskan ginseng"), and Fusanian ginger (Asarum caudatum, not related to ginger). The wealthier will import bay nuts and bay leaves from South Fusania as well as spiceshrub (aka Fusanian allspice). Imports from Mesoamerica are unheard of in this era.

Like OTL peoples of this region, a lot of their "spice" comes from fish oil, especially eulachon oil. It's culturally beloved, especially in inland regions.
Some variety, although their food is rather bland compared to Mesoamerican cuisine. The most common are a few cultivars of chili peppers (initially imported from South Fusania, but later cultivars suitable for the climate emerged and some are locally grown), a domesticated garlic cultivar (and often wild onions for the less fortunate), devil's club (OTL it's sometimes called "Alaskan ginseng"), and Fusanian ginger (Asarum caudatum, not related to ginger). The wealthier will import bay nuts and bay leaves from South Fusania as well as spiceshrub (aka Fusanian allspice). Imports from Mesoamerica are unheard of in this era.

Like OTL peoples of this region, a lot of their "spice" comes from fish oil, especially eulachon oil. It's culturally beloved, especially in inland regions.
If they don have contact with Mesoamerica how did they get peppers? Is their some Californian species am unaware of?
If they don have contact with Mesoamerica how did they get peppers? Is their some Californian species am unaware of?
It is indirect contact of the same manner in which Mesoamerican crops spread OTL to the area of the modern United States. All sorts of crops spread this way, and it's safe to assume that if indigenous Californian culture chose to use irrigated farming, they too would farm plants like cotton and chilis as the Puebloans did. That's basically the state of this TL. The peoples of the Imaru Basin associate chili peppers with South Fusania as only relatively recently were cultivars developed that tolerate the cooler, wetter climate. Those who can import them still prefer cultivars from further south however.

One of the updates I have planned will introduce the Chuma [ATL Chumash equivalent], Jiqi [ATL Tongva equivalent], and various other cultures of the area I term "Far South Fusania" (basically Southern California and bits of the coast north of there). These are the peoples most in contact with Mesoamerica via both overland trade and occasional sea trade with the peoples of the Aztatlan region from modern Sinaloa southwards. The biggest problem for sea trade, of course, is the Baja California Peninsula which is hundreds of miles of mostly empty desert and few ports.
It is indirect contact of the same manner in which Mesoamerican crops spread OTL to the area of the modern United States. All sorts of crops spread this way, and it's safe to assume that if indigenous Californian culture chose to use irrigated farming, they too would farm plants like cotton and chilis as the Puebloans did. That's basically the state of this TL. The peoples of the Imaru Basin associate chili peppers with South Fusania as only relatively recently were cultivars developed that tolerate the cooler, wetter climate. Those who can import them still prefer cultivars from further south however.

One of the updates I have planned will introduce the Chuma [ATL Chumash equivalent], Jiqi [ATL Tongva equivalent], and various other cultures of the area I term "Far South Fusania" (basically Southern California and bits of the coast north of there). These are the peoples most in contact with Mesoamerica via both overland trade and occasional sea trade with the peoples of the Aztatlan region from modern Sinaloa southwards. The biggest problem for sea trade, of course, is the Baja California Peninsula which is hundreds of miles of mostly empty desert and few ports.
okay are they aware that Mesoamerica exist I imagine inoder to get peppers the Californians got pepper they must of had some contact and they probably tolled the northers about the strange peoples of the south .
Chapter 46-Inexorible Rise
"Inexorible Rise"

Wayam, April 823 [1167]
Witkw'aawi gazed at his half-cousin Tsanahuutimna, young, handsome, and clad in ceremonial wooden armor carved from cedar painted with glyphs of animals rich in spiritual significance. The cedarbark cloak he wore trailed around him on the floor as he walked into Witkw'aawi's personal quarters. Based on his martial garb, Witkw'aawi assumed trouble continued to be abrew in some place Wayam needed to rule, even on a cool spring morning such as this.

"What brings you to me, cousin?" Witkw'aawi asked.

"The need for order," Tsanahuutimna replied. "The land cries out for order what with all the people who reject your rule. I cry out for order for I do not know where you wish to send me."

Witkw'aawi cracked a smile. Eager and eloquent as usual. A man like him made ruling easier, yet answering the question would no doubt be more challenging. He just needed to ask any of those nobles who gathered in the main hall what the concern of the day was. All sorts of Hillmen continued to plague the land as their kind often did, yet just as obnoxious were those rebel nobles trying to undermine the authority of himself and the Directional Kings, the cities and towns on the fringes yet to accept Wayamese rule, that Amim prince Imolakte who helped kill his father, and perhaps worst of all, his half-brothers trying to rally the Namal cities against him.

"May I suggest something, cousin?" Tsanahuutimna asked. "I believe that if you send me north toward the Shilkh cities, the greatest threat to your rule would be eliminated."

"Do you believe that?" Witkw'aawi asked, dressing himself in the golden necklaces and bracelets expected of a man of his status. "I trust your judgement, yet surely my half-brothers pose a greater threat to the stability of the land. That powerful man who served my father so well, Luts'ashashik, leads their forces."

"They are not your main priority," Tsanahuutimna replied. "They are fighting a war that was lost years ago for a man whose time tragically passed and for men whose time shall never come. To bring peace and order to the Shilkh, especially the land of the North King Snkalip, that shall ensure that many deserving men shall achieve their proper status in this world and that your might as Pillar King shines ever further in this world."

"I suppose you have a point," Witkw'aawi said, leaving his quarters and motioning Tsanahuutimna to follow him. "Even if you sound like Plaashyaka." The two men, co-rulers, started to talk and walk alongside each other, walking through the well-illuminated wooden corridors of the grandest palace in Wayam. Pillars in the hall marked with all sorts of carvings held up the high ceilings, and periodically a slave stopped in their duties, moving out of the way and bowing before their rulers.

Tsanahuutimna chuckled. "I suppose it is good I sound like that man then. I find him a strange and peculiar man, as if he has no concern in this world but this city." Witkw'aawi wished he shared the same optimism toward Plaashyaka that Tsanahuutimna did. Although he greatly appreciated the man's talents, he found his influence overbearing.

"Some say he's too concerned," Witkw'aawi said. "He is not well-loved among many here, yet no one speaks it openly lest they be exiled."

"There are many fools in Wayam," Tsanahuutimna noted. "Men who grow lazy off the prosperity and wealth of this city. I prefer to spend more time elsewhere, and thanks to you, I am happy that I might bring order and with it prosperity and wealth to T'kuyatum and the cities around it."

"That brings me back to my concern," Witkw'aawi said. "Who might deal with my half-brothers and their Namal allies?"

"None other than the West King of course," Tsanahuutimna replied. "Is that not his duty to uphold the righteous balance of Wayam in the west?"

"He is still young," Witkw'aawi commented. "That more experienced Whulchomish man Stlich'qid still has many warriors at Ayayash, perhaps he should lead."

"He is not much younger than either of us," Tsanahuutiman replied. "It is important a man with a task as heavy as his learn leadership in battle early on. He has fought well in previous battles from all I have heard."

"I trust your decision on this," Witkw'aawi said. "Yet I do not believe we have many warriors to spare for him. If you do not consider my half-brothers much of a threat, then I do not believe a warrior like Ahawaptas needs many warriors."

Tsanahuutimna remained silent, no doubt aware he was overruled, or perhaps scheming for himself what he might do with the additional warriors Witkw'aawi would no doubt end up giving to him. No matter--everyone seemed to trust Tsanahuutimna in military affairs despite his age, and Witkw'aawi certainly did. Far more important to him was dealing with the people.

Two palace guards stood in front of the heavy cedar doors to the main hall emblazoned with the grimacing sneers of old mythological figures painted in the thick lines and opened them. Before them stood a hall with a few courtiers and hanger-ons who arrived so early.

"You manage the affairs of the military, I will manage the affairs of the people, cousin," Witkw'aawi said. "For now I shall eat breakfast with these people and learn their troubles. Not everything in life can be settled through force, after all."


In 1166, the Wayamese nobles elected Witkw'aawi, son of Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh to succeed to the title of Pillar King of Wayam. Some regarded this as an attempt by the powerful senwitla Plaashyaka to continue dominating Wayamese politics by putting in power a weaker ruler. Those who viewed Witkw'aawi as weak attempted a coup against the North King Snkalip, a supporter of the Wayamese government and supposed traitor to the Shilkh people of T'kuyatum, believing the government response would be weak. They planned to install his half-brother as ruler and reduce demands for tribute while increasing the amount of gifts the government of T'kuyatum gave to them.

Witkw'aawi, Plaashyaka, and the strong co-ruler of Wayam Tsanahuutimna prevented the coup before it even began, using loyal soldiers of the garrison villages to arrest hostile noblemen and disarm their followers. Tsanahuutimna led an army of 6,000 men to T'kuyatum, ready to attack any city which declared allegiance to a ruler other than the North King. Those loyal to Snkalip took the opportunity to settle scores with rivals, murdering them in feuds and seizing their property for their own. Only a few hostile nobles escaped, relying on loyal bandits to cause havoc in their territories amongst their enemies.

Numerous Chiyatsuru cities nearby aided these rebel nobles, each and every one eager for a rematch against T'kuyatum since their defeat at the Battle of Nk'mip in 1160 and each seeking to claim more villages and land from T'kuyatum. Npwilukh, Nkhwemine, Nspilem, Zutsamen, and Pentik'ten joined forces against T'kuyatum and Wayam and invaded in spring 1167. Along with them came a host of Dena allies from the Imaru Mountains and Grey Mountains. With their loyalties torn, many of the North King's forces defected or deserted, refusing to fight in these battles, forcing Tsanahuutimna to alter his strategy.

Tsanahuutimna permitted the enemy to raid T'kuyatum, setting ambushes along trails where they might escape. He sent Snkalip to attack the Dena using similar strategies, fulfilling the North King's role as protector and Witkw'aawi's duty to campaign against barbarians in the north. No major battle occurred and the war in 1167 and 1168 devolved into countless slogs. T'kuyatum suffered devastation along its fringes, a casualty Tsanahuutimna did not mind for it weakened a potential rival and kept Snkalip dependent on Wayam.

The Mimanashi Plateau and the hills to the east along the Harusu River [1] served as the greatest prize for the war. Occupied by small villages and seasonal herdsmen, the area remained as distant from control of powerful cities as it had for centuries even with the changes around it. Tsanahuutimna endeavoured to change that for the sake of Wayam and his new ally Snkalip. With T'kuyatum mostly secure, in 1169 Tsanahuutimna laid siege to the city of Nspilem. Using new siege tactics he learned from Whulchomish advisors, Tsanahuutimna conquered the city within three months.

Taking Nspilem divided the enemy allies in two and secured Tsanahuutimna's supply lines for his assault on Npwilukh and most importantly the conquest of the Mimanashi Plateau and Harusu Hills. The East King Pakhat-Saq'antaikh led the attack from the south with his Tenepelu warriors, subduing numerous towns and villages in the Harusu Hills with a pro-Wayamese message inspired by the prophet Qiilekhnikh and then raiding into Chiyatsuru lands to distract and divert attention.

In August of 1169, the Chiyatsuru and Dena attacked Tsanahuutimna at the village of Kahlpusp'usten [2] as he moved to besiege Npwilukh. Outnumbered nearly 2-1, Tsanahuutimna's forces took position close to the river and arranged themselves in a dense shieldwall. With their backs against the river, the pananikinsh fought and overcame repeated charges of Chiyatsuru White Robes. Tsanahuutimna's skirmishers and archers cleared the hills and high ground above his heavy infantry and allowed them nearly free reign against the Chiyatsuru. In the final phase of the battle, Tsanahuutimna's forces gradually pulled back into a narrower passage, funneling the enemy into this point where their numerical advantage collapsed. The skirmishers charged, cutting the enemy units into pieces and resulting in an enemy rout. The Wayamese killed thousands of enemies and took many more prisoners at a light cost.

Gaiyuchul discusses this battle in his Saga of the Four Corners:

"Those wise captains of the battlefield teach us that the army with greater numbers shall triumph and the army with inferior numbers should do well to retreat yet a titan of the battlefield like the great Pillar King Tsanahuutimna followed none of that advice. Such wisdom requires wisdom to understand for neither Coyote nor any other great spirit gave the spirits of this world such a law so as to enforce this wisdom. No doubt the men of Npwilukh and their allies fell prey to this lack of wisdom for their overconfidence failed to drive back the skirmishers of Wayam and fell as animals in a trap against the spears of the pananikinsh.

Yet I believe a greater reason lies behind the enemy's foolishness for the scholars of the Shilkh and of Npwilukh tell how strong the princes of that city in that age. How then might Tsanahuutimna drive out such grievous errors in their fighting prowess? Nch'iyaka of Wapaikht tells us that upon becoming co-prince of Wayam, Tsanahuutimna dressed himself for battle in only cloaks of cedar and humble wooden armour based on the advice of his guardian spirit. Tsanahuutimna wisely followed this advice and victory and protection likewise followed him. His enemies including no doubt those men of Npwilukh failed to notice this spiritual protection and foolishly targeted the leader dressed so distinctly and seemingly poorly and with that perished against unstoppable spiritual might."

Although the Chiyatsuru suffered a great defeat, enough men survived to retreat back to Npwilukh and keep the high earthen walls strong with defenders. So late in the season, they expected Tsanahuutimna to simply pillage the countryside and retreat. Instead, Tsanahuutimna settled in for a lengthy siege, using the White Robes of T'kuyatum as his main force alongside several hundred mercenaries to keep the city blockaded. Attempts to probe the strength of Tsanahuutimna's force failed thanks to cleverly placed ambushes that killed dozens of scouts.

Wayam won a string of great victories in 1170. Npwilukh surrendered at the end of winter as food supplies ran low. Pakhat-Saq'antaikh sacked many towns and villages loyal to Nkhwemine and destroyed a remnant army--he advanced northwest, uniting his forces with Tsanahuutimna. The final group of enemies from the cities of Lake Antekketsu met their defeat at the hands of Snkalip. Stumbling across the enemy army unprepared, Snkalip's men charged screaming out of the hills and caused a great panic in the enemy despite their superior numbers. Many fled or were cut down by their own men as none of the enemy leaders could control their soldiers.

Faced with the plunder and pillaging of their territory, the Chiyatsuru cities sued for peace, handing over nobles accused of treason and much property to the Wayamese nobles. Wayam forced them to permit many towns and villages to submit to them for labour. Even the powerful nobles of Npwilukh surrendered to Wayam. With this great victory, the Wayamese greatly increased the territory under their rule. As always, a great number of payiktla and other bureaucrats were sent from Wayam to collect tribute from this land and establish Wayamese rule while loyal soldiers were settled in the area to police it and guard it against rebels and Hillmen. The North King Snkalip took great interest in developing this land and through his propaganda won great appeal.

War in the Lower Imaru

At the same time, yet more trouble brewed up for Wayam. In 1167 several half-brothers of Witkw'aawi assembled in the Gitlawalamt cities centered on Matsunuma Island [3] and attempted to rally their own force to attack Wayam and overthrow him and Plaashyaka. Many who formerly supported Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh against Plaashyaka joined this effort, assembling a force of exiles at the city of Tlanakhwakh [4], not far from where Wayamese control effectively ended. In countering this force, Witkw'aawi dispatched the clever young West King Ahawaptas and his general Stlich'qid to deal with these cities who sheltered rebels.

It seems likely the root cause of the Gitlawalamt's alliance against Wayam lay in their fear of Wayamese domination. The wars against Imolakte damaged their land and killed many of their people and the legacy of Lamagayaqtaq's dominance over the Gitlawalamt and nearby areas provoked nostalgia among them for when they were powerful. Opposing Wayam by propping up these half-brothers of Witkw'aawi thus became their means of resistance against the Wayamese. Yet even with this, the Gitlawalamt implicitly accepted a certain primacy of Wayam amongst them and never denied the ever-increasing power of the Wayamese state.

Gaiyuchul describes this event in his Saga of the Four Corners:

"Foolishness and avarice possessed the half-brothers of Witkw'aawi when they left their homeland to rebel and wisdom and justice lay on the side of the young West King Ahawaptas and the exile general Stlich'qid. The cities of the island from Tlanakhwakh to Matlnumakh [5] and those downstream as far as Katlap'utlakh [6] lent their men so these rebels might seize power in Wayam. Even the friend of their father Luts'ashashik joined this alliance of misguided fools and with this strong general came many Whulchomish warriors. Yet in their greed they made a grave error for they promised the continuation of that fruitless struggle against Imolakte Keshpekhspukh. The force of that Amim prince may well have brought victory in their battles but their greed denied them of such an opportune alliance."

The rebellion of these princes decreed to the Gitlawalamt cities under Wayamese domination that they would continue the war against Imolakte of Chateshtan ("their father's grudge" quotes Gaiyuchul) and gain them much land, animals, and slaves. These cities led by Sketsut'khat rose up against Wayam, sparking the conflict known as the Gitlawalamt War. Several lesser Shlpalmish and Whulchomish towns contributed warriors as well, under the leadership of the exiled Wayamese general Luts'ashashik who assumed command over the entire force numbering around 8,000 warriors.

Although they had not recovered from their wars against Imolakte, the Gitlawalamt, in particular those of Matsunuma Island, still proved to be a potent foe against Wayam. In the many sloughs and rivers of their country, they knew river warfare unlike any group in Fusania, developed through many centuries of fighting other Namals, the Dena, and the Coastmen. They used large galleys as fighting platforms with shallow draft easily able to be refloated if ran aground. Their sails and steering oar allowed them to be swift and manueverable in the face of danger, while their experienced crews innately knew the currents of the Imaru River and its tributaries. It is said the wealth of the Wayamese exiles allowed the Matsunuma Islanders to construct many additional galleys for this conflict.

These river galleys played havoc on Wayamese operations. With their control of the river assured, they destroyed the weaker Wayamese river fleet and drove their canoes from the water, confining the Wayamese to one side of the river. Responding to this threat, Ahawaptas crossed the river in the night with his men disguised as driftwood and combined his army into a fighting force of 4,000. He marched on the cities on the southern side of the river and ravaged the land outside before stopping to besiege the first significantly fortified city in his way, the city of Katlawatlatla [7], nominally under the rule of the prince of Sketsut'khat.

Luts'ashashik's force crossed the river in two groups and converged on Katlawatlatla, forcing Ahawaptas to retreat toward Ayayash in the east. Here, it is said that against Luts'ashashik's orders, half of his own army once again embarked on the ships and sailed upstream, attempting to use the cover of darkness. Ahawaptas discovered their movement and set an ambush for this force, destroying or capturing most of the enemy force and sending the rest fleeing downstream. With the losses he took, he retreated to Ayayash for the winter. Luts'ashashik dared not laid siege to Ayayash, contenting himself with control of the river and pillaging villages still loyal to Witkw'aawi.

Faith in the rebel princes and Luts'ashashik faded after this defeat that winter among the Gitlawalamt. Many warriors had been killed or captured in the defeat against Ahawaptas and the cause of the rebel princes increasingly was viewed as untenable. When Luts'ashashik called for more warriors in the spring of 1168, he raised only 3,000 men. Regardless, Luts'ashashik felt confident to continue the attacks on the Wayamese, hearing of their other issues against the Chiyatsuru cities and knowing he controlled the river.

Ahawaptas also faced difficulties as the Wayamese refused to send him any reinforcements and called many of his soldiers elsewhere, leaving him with only 2,500 men come spring. Knowing control of the river meant the success or failure of the campaign (as well as his personal ambitions), he instead spent much of the winter and spring ordering his men to build ships in imitation of the Matsunoma Island river galleys. Reportedly, defectors and prisoners aided the Wayamese in replicating these designs. Knowing his deficit in both numbers and river warfare experience, Ahawaptas altered the design of the ships to emphasize size and utility as a fighting platform.

By doing so, Ahawaptas invented the tukhunawitsat [8], a basic design of war galley that Fusanians used for centuries to come. Built from red cedar, the vessel was about 22 meters long and 4 meters wide with twenty oars on either side as well as a single sail. In addition to the forty oarsmen, the ships carried ten skirmishers on a raised fighting platform in the rear who used bows, slings, or large stones wrapped in burning cloth as weapons. The officers consisted of the captain, his navigator, and several men responsible for discipline and other tasks--on average, these ships contained 55 men. Although slower than some other river galleys, they provided a stable and lethal fighting platform.

Ahawaptas set out from Ayayash in September with 20 of these ships as well as several smaller canoes and galleys to transport supplies. On land, he ordered Stlich'qid to lead around 1,000 warriors on the southern bank of the river to raid villages and draw out the enemy. Predictably, Luts'ashashik and the Gitlawalamt emerged to challenge him as Ahawaptas laid siege to Katlawatlatla once more. Despite being outnumbered 2-1 in terms of warships, Ahawaptas still gave battle, marking the first known river battle in Fusanian history.

Ahawaptas's basic strategy would be a common one--drive the enemy to shore using ranged warfare where they would be butchered by warriors waiting there. Although outnumbered, Ahawaptas's fleet contained more purpose built warships of a single type and class, a fact he knew well. Using the speed advantage of the current, he targeted the largest ships of the enemy first, cutting off their escape routes and killing their archers and then proceeded to push them toward shore. Such a tactic proved immensely successful. Not a single enemy ship escaped the battle, while on shore only a few lucky warriors escaped. The majority were captured or killed, including Luts'ashashik who it is said took twenty men to kill him even in his advanced age. Losses on the Wayamese side were light. The city of Katlawatlatla surrendered immediately after.

With their own ships captured and faced with a powerful foe, the Gitlawalamt rebels had no choice but to surrender to the Wayamese. Late in the campaign season, the Wayamese consolidated their gains that autumn and winter, punishing the rebels of many of the cities through exile and confiscation of land and property. Yet Ahawaptas remained unsatisfied. Using the resources that remained to him, he continued his campaign in 1169 and conquered those cities of the Imaru River never subject to Wayam as far downstream as Katlap'utlakh. Matsunoma Island with its rich farmlands fell under Wayamese domination.

Little resistance occurred in these cities, for they already lost hundreds of warriors and the Wayamese held many of their nobles hostage. Only Tlanakhwakh attempted to resist Ahawaptas, an act that resulted in the sacking of the city and dispersion of its populace. Ahawaptas returned to Ktlatla in triumph and staged a great potlatch with many Gitlawalamt submitting to him.

Finding the internal politics of Ktlatla unsuited to him and wary of Snkalip to his north, Ahawaptas instead spent much of his time in the Gitlawalamt cities, now thoroughly beaten down by him. He rebuilt Tlanakhwakh and resettled it with several clans of loyal Wawinknikshpama from Ayayash to use as a new powerbase. From Tlanakhwakh, Ahawaptas raided Dena villages in the Grey Mountains and Coast Mountains, freeing many captives and distributing the plunder to allied villages nearby.

End of Witkw'aawi's rule

Dominated by his co-ruler Tsanahuutimna and his senwitla Plaashyaka, Witkw'aawi's main role became taking credit for the accomplishments of others. He rarely left Wayam, although held impressive potlatches and obtained the submission of many of his nobles through his own efforts. The campaigns against the Chiyatsuru in the north and the Gitlawalamt in the west resulted in great victories for Wayam that brought back much plunder and seized much land. Lesser noted yet equally important (for the sake of Witkw'aawi's legitimacy as Pillar King) victories occurred in the east and in the south over tribes in the mountain and desert.

Aside from military success, his greatest achievement appears to have been domestic--alongside Tsanahuutimna, he helped stop the conflict between the lines of Plaash-Nawinatla and Kw'aawinmi-Tlamtekh as both men brought rebel princes to heel and established a more codified succession system. The two lines were to alternate the positions of Pillar King and co-ruler of Wayam. Through persuasion and occasional bouts of violence, this resulted in a cooling of the deadly intrigues within Wayam.

The main historical sources on Witkw'aawi remain silent on other accomplishments of his rule although Nch'iyaka's Saga of Wayam claims him to have been a popular ruler.

"The great king Witkw'aawi did increase the wealth of the people and the land did prosper. He gave unto his nobles and followers the justice they did demand of him. The land lay peaceful in spiritual harmony and produced many fruits and salmon and cursed not the people with either drought or flood. The people feared not the barbarians for the Kings of the Four Directions did force their submission and obedience. All through Wayam the people spoke unto each other 'Who might not love our great Pillar King?'"

Although young and popular, Witkw'aawi's rule ended quickly. In 1172, a boat he was traveling on allegedly sank in the Imaru River during a sudden storm which the shamans of Wayam attributed to hostile spirits attempting to turn the river against Wayam. Tsanahuutimna promptly replaced him as the Pillar King and embarked on a mission legendary in Fusanian history--so that none might suffer the fate of Witkw'aawi, Tsanahuutimna sought to conquer the entire Imaru River.

Author's notes

As you might guess, this entry is the last of the "early Wayam" entries as we have finished establishing the major players and themes that set the Wayamese Empire into motion. I will continue writing about the historiography of the Wayamese Empire alongside this as well as Tsanahuutimna, perhaps the most consequential Wayamese ruler, who will dominate the next few entries. While I planned to have more on Imolakte, I decided to save that for a later chapter since he doesn't figure much in this chapter.

As always, thank you for reading.

[1] - The Harusu River is the Palouse River of Washington, a Japanese derivation of its Sahaptin name
[2] - Kahlpusp'usten is on the banks of the Columbia River about 7 kilometers west of the mouth of the Sanpoil River in Ferry County, WA
[3] - Matsunuma Island is Sauvie Island in the middle of the Columbia River, downstream from Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA. Its name come from Matlnumakh, a city on the island. This is the same as the OTL Anglicisation "Multnomah"
[4] - Tlanakhwakh is on the central part of Sauvie Island, downstream from Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA
[5] - Matlnumakh is a little south of Tlanakhwakh, closer to where the Willamette River flows into the Columbia.
[6] - Katlap'utlakh is roughly at Woodland, WA
[7] - Katlawatlatla is located at the site of the modern Portland International Airport--OTL there was a Chinookan town of a similar name at this site
[8] - Something like "boat for shooting in" in Sahaptin. Traditionally this would've referred to several types of ships used for war, but from this point forth exclusively refers to a warship of this name
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If Tsanahuutimna is more consequential than the reincarnation man himself, then he either completes the Wayamese mandala by taming the Imaru or overextends and leads to a period of decline. Interested to see where it goes, but also interested to eventually move on from Wayan
Chapter 47-Forging the Wings
"Forging the Wings"

Wayam, 831 [1174]​

The man dressed in the humble cedar bark cloak wandered through the streets of Wayam on the cold and grey autumn day. A blustery wind chilled him, yet he focused on his powerful guardian spirit to warm him. Merchants sold all sorts of wares in this market, from essentials foods like dried camas and biscuitroot and omodaka to exotic spices and nuts from lands far to the south. A few sold livestock ready to slaughter, from ducks and geese and squirrels shoved in their cages while others had endless piles of bones laden with uncooked meat. At every merchant's table, shells chained together piled high. He smiled--it was prosperity, a sign all was well in Wayam, even after the death of so many men in the war with Imolakte the other year.

The smell of people, animals, and fish permeated the air, and the noticed with approval at the counters piled high with fish, especially salmon. The salmon run at Wayam was rich this year, a welcome sign in a year marred by the death of the Pillar King Witkw'aawi. Dried fish of other types hung on racks along with counters full of many other common fish like trout, whitefish, sucker, and lamprey as well as the smaller fish raised in fishponds and irrigation channels the peasants ate [1]. He noted a few types of fish unfamiliar to him brought in from the ocean such as halibut and even whale meat. One merchant even had an entire sturgeon, a most untasteful fish [2], and surprisingly to him, a few people seemed interesting in buying meat from it, although by the strange robes and stranger language, they were clearly outsiders.

One look around the crowd showed few noticed him, despite him being the most powerful man in all the known world, Tsanahuutimna, the Pillar King of Wayam. Most people at the market were women or slaves buying things for their families or masters, wearing simple robes and cloaks of tehi and other common fabrics and with only the most bare of adornments. He blended in well, exactly as he wished to, so he might overhear conversations of people. And overhear conversations he did. Aside from daily concerns, he learned interesting information on his walk through the marketplace.

"I am worried about the harvest this year, I have heard of too many ill omens. My master's shaman spoke of bad taakh in the fields around here."

"My husband seems so on edge these days, I am happy for his success and especially his survival in the fighting but I'm worried he won't come home, or worse."

"Well I served under our new Pillar King back when he was a mere prince and his skill in battle seems miraculous. Imagine if he applies that skill not just to soldiers, but all of us!"

He smiled at the last one, noticing it came from a salmon merchant with a missing eye covered by a copper eyepatch discussing with a merchant selling mussels and clams in a tank of water. He wished to continue onward in his walk through the city, yet decided on staying around to hear the men talk. Witkw'aawi associated with the nobles and learned their concerns, yet I will associate with the common people and learn theirs. After all, if he truly wished to tame the Imaru River, many of these men could easily end up his soldiers after all, the women mothers and wives to soldiers, and the slaves serving soldiers.

"Oh he'll apply that skill all right, skill in taking your money!" the other merchant said, holding up a leather thong with five long shells on it. He ripped off four of the shells and held up the last one. "This is what you'll be keeping if he's really that successful! The nobles are too greedy! Especially the damned senwitla!"

"Certainly Plaashyaka is greedy but there are tricks to making a profit off these nobles," the man said with a smile. "Buy salmon and trout, not mussels and clams, the nobles love those fish! Or leave Wayam and sell to soldiers in Ayayash or Tlanakhwakh or wherever the West King is holding his feasts these days."

"Nonsense," the shellfish merchant said. "I have made much profit in the past, no other reason besides the nobles and the senwitla I am not making more now!"

"Maybe you should consider the taakh for why your business is no good." The salmon merchant noticed him. "Ask that man over there in the cedar bark robes, he seems devout."

"Ah, maybe I should ask him," the shellfish merchant growled. "How might I make my business work? How might I make spiritual forces work so I might be wealthy despite the greed of the nobles, Plaashyaka, and our Pillar King Tsanahuutimna?"

Tsanahuutimna winced at the man saying his name with such venom directly to him, yet calmed himself and smirked.

"Perhaps you should be more careful with your tongue. The guardian spirits of our leaders are powerful and in regular communion with other spirits. Slandering a good noble, let alone the Pillar King, often brings misfortune on you and your clan."

"Th-the hell does that mean?" The shellfish merchant demanded. Tsanahuutimna merely gazed at the man with a light smile, and the merchant's face slowly turned pale. Perhaps the man didn't know who he was, yet at that moment he began to understand a spiritual truth.

"As for you, my good fishmonger," Tsanahuutimna spoke, "the same advice applies as well. Speak truth and harmony with every sentence and praise those who are just while rebuking those who are injust and the fortune of balance will come to you and your clan."

Perhaps for this man it would come sooner than later. He committed to memory the salmon merchant's location--the quarter of Sk'in [3]--and made a note to send men to bring him to the palace in Wayam to see about his skills. As for the other man, he assumed the fear he placed in his heart would suffice as punishment.

It does not seem many like Plaashyaka, Tsanahuutimna thought as he returned to his palace. Perhaps that was a good thing. In ancient times when Coyote taught man how to govern themselves, the prideful First Senwitla demanded all the power for his skilled voice. Coyote gave him wealth and power but said that for his pride he would never rule, only speak for the ruler and by doing so take on all the hatred the ruler garners. That old story always rang true in his mind.

He walked to the riverfront and approached the network of rope bridges that crossed the vast Imaru River. Sturdy cedar piles anchored them to rocks in the river at the lip of the roaring falls and rapids of Wayam where men stood fishing with nets and spears. The wide bridges swayed in the wind blowing out of the east and as custom Tsanahuutimna muttered a silent prayer to the East Wind and the Imaru River so the bridge might hold. His cedar bark cloak fluttered in the breeze as he inched his way around the other people crossing. After he descended from the last bridge at the southern bank of the river in Wayam proper, he returned to his palace.

Later that evening as he sat for dinner, one of his nobles presented the merchant from earlier.

"This is Niiptwashash," his noble introduced. "Inheritor of the name of his father and grandfather, a humble merchant who sells fish and once sold copper and lead. May he be of service to you, my Pillar King."

"I am pleased to meet him once again," Tsanahuutimna said. "I believe he knows who I am already." He looked over the man whose face seemed wide with both apprehension and awe. Perhaps he thought he was being arrested and due for execution only to find out the ruler of the civilised world wished to speak with him. Despite being a mere fishmonger, he wore fine woolen clothes with brilliant dyes.

His servants brought out a plate of thick salmon and camas stew spiced with the pungence and heat of imported pepper flakes and shavings of bay nut and spiceshrub bark. He noticed his guest trying hard to suppress his surprise at the strong spices.

"You were a warrior, I take it?" Tsanahuutimna said. "And then you became a merchant?" Niiptwashash nodded, seemingly too shy to speak.

"I--I fought for almost twenty years as a warrior, I nearly died in battle, and then I sold copper goods to soldiers before battles." He stood silent, worried about what to say next. "Th-then some corrupt bastards from the senwitla's office drove me out of business, took all my goods, and now I could only sell fish back in my birthplace at Sk'in! Taxes are so high now I can scarcely claw my way back up."

"Hmm, do you remember anything about these men?" Tsanahuutimna didn't expect to get anywhere with this line of questioning, although he always loved to discover corrupt officials.

"One of them was a short, fat Namal, the other was an arrogant young nobleman," Niiptwashash said, feeling more comfortable discussing the injustice that happened to him. "This was about 12 years ago. The other guy spoke with a Chemnese accent, claimed his father was a prince of some city and in charge of finances at Wayam and was friends with both the Pillar King and the senwitla." Tsanahuutimna cracked a smile, knowing exactly who the man referred to. The son of Apapma-Tukhunani. It seemed natural, although tragic, that such a brilliant man like that Prince of Kw'sis had a son so corrupt.

"I will have to look into the fat Namal yet I do know of the arrogant young prince of which you speak. He fled into exile among the Whulchomish several years prior, no doubt with many stolen goods. I would like him to return everything he stole, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to bring men like that to justice."

"H-how will you do that if he is so far away from here?" Niiptwashash asked. Tsanahuutimna smiled.

"Simple. The merchants of Wayam will find him and inform me of the land he resides. I will demand the ruler of that land bring him to Wayam in chains along with everything he stole. Should that ruler not comply, I will burn that ruler's town and my warriors will bring him back in chains. My duty as ruler is maintaining balance in this world and rooting out the wicked wherever they may be, and no place is beyond my reach."

Niiptwashash sat silent, wanting to believe in Tsanahuutimna's words as he sipped the stew from his silver spoon.

"Perhaps you do not believe I am capable of that," Tsanahuutimna said when he noticed the merchant's facial expression. "I wear nothing but cedar bark clothing until the Imaru and beyond falls under my shadow and protection. This will soon come to pass, for I saw Coyote grant me this land in a vision."

"I will trust in you," Niiptwashash said. "You are strong in spirit, I am sure you have seen a glimpse at what the spirits of the world hold in store for us all."

"Indeed," Tsanahuutimna said. "Until that time comes, remain steadfast in your morality. Now then, on a lighter note, how would you like to work for my household buying and selling copper?" Niiptwashash's eye widened in shock, and Tsanahuutimna smiled with approval. Few skills are more valuable than knowing a skilled man when you meet him.

From Overview of Fusanian Historiography

In the year 1172, Tsanahuutimna, the most consequential ruler of the Wayamese Empire, ascended to the position of Pillar King following the untimely death of his cousin and senior ruler Witkw'aawi. Under Tsanahuutimna, the Wayamese Empire was to win a string of grand victories, collect tribute from much of the known world, and bring about the origins of classical Fusanian culture through the reconstruction of society that was to occur under his rule.

At the start of his rule, the Wayamese Empire already was by far the most powerful state in Fusania, with the only feasible challengers being strong confederations such as the Coastmen of Tinhimha and those associated states or the Amim city-states who looked toward Imolakte of Chateshtan for protection. Wayam itself used a codified system of hierarchies and personal relationships to extract and redistribute large amounts of tribute through the office of the senwitla as well as a similar system to train warriors for battle and organise them into armies. Other states only did this on a much smaller scope, or even not at all. While nominally a confederation between the four Directional Kings and the Center King and Pillar King at Wayam, in practice Wayam held both political and spiritual authority over its entire realm.

Economically and demographically, the Wayamese ruled over 110,000 square kilometers of land. Although much of it was semi-arid shrubland, the constant improvements to the irrigation networks and rivers and creeks of the area permitted an ever-increasing amount of land to be farmed providing for the rapidly expanding population who relied on the Wayamese and their subject nobles to provide them with livestock and tools. Around 520,000 people--nearly one-fifth the population of the Imaru Basin and Furuge--lived under Wayamese rule, supported by the networks of nobles redistributing food and supplies for the maintenance of irrigation networks.

Archaeologically, the agrarian strength of the Wayamese and evidence of the social structure remains well-preserved yet evidence of its rulers do not. All rulers before Tsanahuutimna are poorly attested, if attested at all, before the 13th century. Yet under Tsanahuutimna, new art styles and means of conveying imperial power develop allowing him to become one of the best attested rulers of Fusania. His name glyph--a thunderbird clutching a heart [4]--has been found on several preserved totem sticks and likewise occurs on pictoglyphs, jewelry, and other artifacts and inscriptions that date to around the time he supposedly ruled.

The grandest attestation of Tsanahuutimna's rule comes from the Ktlatla Tapestry, a woven Whulchomish tapestry dating to around 1200 AD discovered in 1872 after an earthquake revealed previously hidden chambers in a cave nearby. Although fragmentary, the tapestry tells a story of Tsanahuutimna arriving in the city and conferring a great honour on the ruler of that city, the West King Ahawaptas, following Ahawaptas's campaigns in the north and west in defending the Whulchomish people from the Coastmen. This tapestry's depiction of Tsanahuutimna dressed in humble wooden armour and cedarbark clothing (despite the abundance of feathers and gems elsewhere on his clothing confirming his elite status) confirms Gaiyuchul's description of him.

Although practically all historians accept Tsanahuutimna's existence, the accomplishments during his rule are much disputed and form the nucleus of the Imperial Wayam Debate that has raged since the late 19th century. According to the maximalist, or "Neo-Katlamat School" for its perceived reliance on Gaiyuchul and his Katlamat School as a source, the Wayamese Empire indeed conquered most or all of "civilised" Fusania during the rule of Tsanahuutimna. Great gains in technology, logistics, and agriculture occurred that opened a generation of unprecendeted prosperity. If such claims are true, then Gaiyuchul would be very right in deeming Tsanahuutimna "second only to Q'mitlwaakutl in the splendor and achievements of his rule."

The minimalist, or "Easternist" school (for its associations with archaeologists from countries east of Fusania as well as viewing Wayam as only dominant east of the Grey Mountains) contradicts this version of Tsanahuutimna's rule. The Easternists believe Tsanahuutimna's achievements lay in engineering, stability, and prosperity on the Imaru Plateau. He conquered and directly ruled little but the Lower Imaru and the great campaigns of conquest during his rule are instead best seen as one-off raids and enforcement of a temporary submission on foreign rulers. The archaeological evidence for Wayamese conquests is best explained as trade from the powerful Wayamese economy.

Both schools have fallen in and out of favour, with the maximalist and minimalist viewpoints long discredited. At times they have been associated with local nationalism and foreign politics, with adherents of the Eastern School accused of diminishing accomplishments of past heroes while adherents of the Neo-Katlamat School were accused of ignoring true history in the interest of a romantic nationalism. New archaeological discoveries have caused significant paradigm shifts in this debate over the decades, many of which confirm a more maximalist interpretation of Tsanahuutimna's Wayam without a complete dismissal of the minimalist interpretation.

Regardless, each school agrees that Tsanahuutimna's rule proved significant in the political, economic, and cultural history of Fusania. Under Tsanahuutimna, all manner of artforms and cultural innovations spread around the Wayamese Empire and beyond to the rest of Fusania. The economy thrived and population rapidly expanded thanks to the unprecedented construction of irrigation works and political stability. And no matter the nature of Wayam's rule over the more far-flung areas of Fusania, the Wayamese engrained in the area a political legacy that was still being felt centuries later in the era of Gaiyuchul and the first contact with outsiders from Japan.


In the year 1172, the Pillar King of Wayam Witkw'aawi drowned in a sudden storm on the Imaru River. The senwitla Plaashyaka moved immediately to elect his co-ruler Tsanahuutimna as Pillar King with Witkw'aawi's eldest son Aanwaakutl appointed as Tsanahuutimna's co-ruler. With Aanwakutl lacking much in the experience or prestige, Tsanahuutimna effectively ruled unchallenged. New succession laws promulgated by elites from Wayam kept violence and bloodshed to a minimum, although Tsanahuutimna placed many princes under house arrest as a pre-emptive measure.

The Wayamese blamed Imolakte for Witkw'aawi's death, believing black magic conjured the storm that drowned their Pillar King. While some, including Tsanahuutimna himself, urged caution, the public mood in Wayam once again pushed them to war against the Amim ruler in no small part due to Plaashyaka's anger against the man. Although Tsanahuutimna wished to direct this anger at other worthy targets or if possible avoid fighting a war, he realized the golden opportunity to harnass the anger of his people.

Therefore, Tsanahuutimna planned a campaign against Imolakte for the year 1173. In the first year he planned numerous raids into the Irame Valley followed up by the main invading force. Unlike previous campaigns, Tsanahuutimna planned to lead forces over the mountain passes instead of the more direct route through the heavily fortified areas around Tlawiwala. There they would pillage the area, separate Imolakte from his allies, and destroy the enemies before they might link up. The mountain pass they found most useful would serve as their main invasion route for 1174.

Although weakened from his defeat in 1164 at Ayayash, Imolakte of Chateshtan still commanded a substantial amount of respect and power. He had destroyed several large raiding parties of Coastmen and Dena and the Amims continued looking to him as their foremost defender. Even princes of rival states of Chateshtan came to rely on Imolakte for aid. Conflicts among the Amims mostly halted, although the Coastmen, Dena, and Namals frequently challenged the stability Imolakte brought and kept the Irame Valley from knowing peace.

Tsanahuutimna's raid in 1173 garnered mixed results. He split his 8,000 men into five groups, two under the command of Stlich'qid which crossed over the Anbarachi Mountains [5] west of the Irame, two under Tsanahuutimna himself which crossed east of the Irame in the foothills near Mount Mishibato, and the final one under the South King Wiyatpakan Mekhishmi-Apapkhlakhla [6] which crossed the Grey Mountains far to the south near Mount Nichikkurima. These light and mobile forces intended to cause as much damage as possible and convince the Amims that Imolakte could not defend them.

Wiyatpakan Mekhishmi-Apapkhlakhla's small force gained the most success. They crushed a Grey Mountains Dena ambush and captured several leaders among them before sacking a nearby village and seizing the livestock. Displaying the loot and prisoners from this Dena tribe who plagued them, he convinced the princes of Changondwefti and Chawilfmefu [7] to ally with him for a raid against Chantatawa. With hundreds of additional warriors from these cities and their subject towns, the Wayamese burnt many villages in the central and southern Irame Valley.

Stlich'qid's force of 3,000 men won several victories as well, sacking several villages in the valleys of the Anbarachi and Ayamaru and allegedly coming within sight of Chateshtan itself as they captured slaves and livestock in the hills around the city before the Imolakte's ally the prince of Chatilkwei Qats'ehlkhak destroyed several raiding parties and forced a retreat. However, Stlich'qid abandoned his campaign thanks to the imminent arrival of a large force from Chateshtan.

Imolakte still claimed one dramatic victory in this series of raids as he decisively defeated Tsanahuutimna himself and his force of 3,500 men. Attempting to take an indirect path to link up with whatever force he pleased, Tsanahuutimna tried gaining the allegiance of the Namal city-state of Ap'sukhichalkham [8]. He believed Imolakte would focus on Stlich'qid first of all, yet Imolakte ignored that force and attacked Tsanahuutimna instead. Ap'sukhichalkham reluctantly requested aid from Imolakte who arrived with over 8,000 warriors.

Gravely outnumbered, Tsanahuutimna chose to conduct a fighting retreat yet poor communication led to the Wayamese nearly being encircled. Imolakte's army arrived much faster than Tsanahuutimna expected and his men were forced to fight for their lives in a great defeat. According to Nch'iyaka of Wapaikht, "only 400 did escape the terrible blows of the Amims and Namals." Tsanahuutimna was forced to retreat over the pass near Mount Mishibato during a spring blizzard, where the survivors won a costly victory against a Dena ambush. The only success in the campaign came when the Wayamese pillaged a Dena winter village they stumbled across on their way back to Wayam.

Half the Wayamese forces perished in this campaign, including many elite pananikinsh who fought alongside Tsanahuutimna and according to Nchi'yaka of Wapaikht, Tsanahuutimna mourned bitterly.

"The great Pillar King Tsanahuutimna gazed upon his weary men and mourned 'For what good is all the wealth I have gained when I have lost half of my men!' The great prince Tsanahuutimna gazed upon his weary men and mourned 'For what good is all the victories we have gained when I have lost half of my men!' At that moment he did resolve the destruction of Imolakte at the moment fate decreed, but no sooner."

Regardless of this loss, the Wayamese returned once more in 1174. Large war parties of Wayamese soldiers scoured the passes and valleys south of Mount Mishibato and captured five Dena chiefs along with destroying several villages. Following this, 8,000 Wayamese under Tsanahuutimna captured the villages and towns along the Nikkimashi River and its tributaries before laying siege to Ap'sukhichalkham. Believing Imolakte would fail against such a large Wayamese force, the Prince of Ap'sukhichalkham capitulated to the Wayamese who promptly removed him from power out of distrust for his loyalty. Tsanahuutimna then advanced to Tlawiwala, once again attempting to capture that strategic city.

Imolakte wasted no time in response and moved an army of equal size to the city. Tsanahuutimna planned for the immediate intervention of Imolakte, devising a plan to infiltrate the city during the height of the fighting. A confused melee ensued between the shieldwalls of the Amims and Wayamese and during the battle the gates to the city were opened and the Wayamese stormed the breach. However, sudden indiscipline among the Wayamese led to the Amims taking advantage of the situation and slaying many. Imolakte eventually retreated as the Wayamese entrenched themselves within Tlawiwala by nightfall and sacked the city.

Tsanahuutimna claimed victory over Imolakte and took a highly strategic city yet won a pyrrhic victory. Nch'iyaka of Wapaikht discusses the aftermath of the battle and effect it had on Tsanahuutimna.

"The great Pillar King Tsanahuutimna gazed upon the ashes of Tlaliwala and mourned 'I have lost half of my men and have only ashes to gain.' The great Pillar King Tsanahuutimna gazed upon his celebrating warriors and mourned 'I have lost half of my men and have only their joy to gain.' Tsanahuutimna spoke unto the high priest at Tlaliwala 'Be it though I win or be it though I lose I seek to never again lose half of my warriors.' The high priest replied unto him 'If your warriors achieve spiritual balance and harmony they are invincible.' Tsanahuutimna pondered the meaning of these words five days and five nights before he discovered the truth that victory lay not in battle but in peace."

With this victory the Wayamese conquered the strategic Irame Falls and Tlawiwala yet found their forces too exhausted to conquer Chateshtan. Their army exhausted itself of manpower compared to the seemingly limitless reserves of Imolakte. Tsanahuutimna found this victory hollow, having lost many of his men and failed to defeat his powerful opponent, despite the conquest of Irame Falls being a massive gain for Wayam. Wayam and Chateshtan once again concluded peace in 1174, although neither ruler believed the peace would last.

The conflict made Tsanahuutimna painfully aware of the deficits in the Wayamese military at every level, allegedly in part after an encounter with the sacred rock [9] at the Irame Falls and the shaman who guarded it. Tsanahuutimna now noticed that supporting the Wayamese military required reforms at every level of society. This meeting sparked the major theme of Tsanahuutimna's rule--the transformation of Wayamese society from an overgrown city-state into a true empire and the ramifications thereof.

Such reforms could not have come at a more opportune time. The civil wars and warfare in general left regional opposition to Wayam gravely weakened. The hundreds of thousands of new subjects and new land added to Wayam in the past 15 years gave Wayam a new tax base free from entrenched bureaucrats and new populations to recruit labour from. Such populations also looked to gain status within Wayam and formed a natural powerbase. Finally, Tsanahuutimna held personal friendships with all four of the Directional Kings thanks to having fought alongside them, sharing similar values, and his personal charisma. All of this ensured Tsanahuutimna gained lots of political capital.

In 1175, Tsanahuutimna formalised the division of Wayam into five provinces called tutiyaunalipama ("land that is stood watch over", usually translated as province), each ruled by one of the Directional Kings and including a sizable province directly under Tsanahuutimna's rule as Center King. Within these provinces, Tsanahuutimna ordered the Directional Kings to empower "those miyawakhs and their lineages both worthy and capable" with permission to collect tribute from other miyawakhs and miyuukhs, a position that came be known as the pawititamatla ("Numberer"). The pawititamatla co-ruled alongside another noble titled patwanatla who supervised military affairs and local defense. Each Directional King as well as Tsanahuutimna appointed four of these princes who ruled over a sub-province later called a pawititamalipama ("land under the census", usually translated as "prefecture").

The pawititamatla acted as a key lieutenant of the Directional King. Unlike the Directional King who nominally only controlled military and spiritual affairs in their realm, the pawititamatla functioned purely in the economic realm in order to centralise the collecting and distribution of tribute and labour in their region for the benefit of Wayam. It eliminated the challenging task of coordination between nominally equal princes and meant the Wayamese government need only deal with one of these lesser princes to whom this duty fell upon. They coordinated the census within Wayam (hence their name, literally meaning "Numberer") which in early times communicated the number of men, women, and children using string records--allegedly Tsanahuutimna took the first census including the entire Wayamese Empire in 1177.

The patwanatla ("he who others follow") played a similar role in the military sphere. Responsible for arming, training, and organising warriors, the government required the patwanatla to always be able to provide the number of experienced warriors demanded, typically 1,600 to 2,000 warriors. He also led these forces in battle, commanding one wing of an army in a unit called a pakhanmi ("fifth"). The patwanatla also commanded the garrison villages and forts (except for the largest fortresses) within a province and was responsible for policing the area. The patwanatla drew these funds and resources from the pawititamatla yet also the central government as he was intended to act as a check on the pawititamatla's power and be able to arrest anyone in the prefecture for corruption or treason. To prevent corruption from the patwanatla, they served only five years in a single prefecture and retired after no more than 20 years.

This system of territorial arrangement appears to evolve directly from Q'mitlwaakutl's use of loyal officials from Wayam alongside his garrison villages of loyal soldiers. The archaeological record notes that garrison villages become remarkably uniform and centralised by the end of the 12th century. The Wayamese built new constructions to particular patterns while providing them with similar equipment and tools. No doubt this comes from the shifting personnel at these villages who ensured a semblance of uniformity throughout the entirety of Wayam's territory. Smaller garrison villages under this system shrink or are mostly excluded from these changes, demonstrating the redistribution of resources toward the subprovincial centers.

Villages at the border of Wayamese society in the mountains or fringe of the desert proved an exception to these changes. At the end of the 12th century, these become larger as they served an increasing population of assimilated Hillmen pastoralists as well as ethnic Aipakhpam and other pastoralists. These were intended as the first line of defense and were built with taller walls and more watchtowers in addition to an increase in houses and other buildings within the village. These changes appear not provided by the central government so much as provided by local authorities as construction here wildly differs throughout the Wayamese Empire. The amount of animal remains found in these villages suggest the size of animal herds and poultry flocks increased due to general prosperity.

These changes brought great social changes within Wayam. Previously, many larger villages of between 500 and 1,000 people existed and served as local seats for a miyawakh. Under Tsanahuutimna's reforms, the villages not selected as provincial seats shrank to the typical village size of between 60 to 150 residents. Economies shifted as lesser nobles and officials migrated to these new centers and merchants and hanger-ons followed them. Those who stayed behind in the old villages claimed land rights (and often houses) of those who left, increasing the wealth of these landlords. To maintain the same amount of irrigation improvements and economic wealth, these landlords demanded proportionately more slaves and corvee (attl'awitpama) than before, "goods" the pawititamatla procured.

Truly, an age of urbanism and "civilisation"--"those who live in cities"--occurred in North Fusania in this era. This system increased the amount of food delivered to regional centers. Archaeologists note a spate of granary and storehouse construction in the late 12th century under Wayamese-ruled areas. In 1180, at least 10,000 people lived in Wayam and 25,000 more lived in the outskirts of the Upper City on the plateau above the cliffs of Wayam, making Wayam larger than even the grand Misebian center Mihithega as the largest city north of Mesoamerica. The seats of the Directional Kings in 1180--Ktlatla, Imatelam, Siminekem, and T'kuyatum--all held around 5,000 people, with the latter the second largest city at about 7,500 people. Three other cities, Chemna, Winacha, and Timani, also held around 5,000 people. Prefectural centers typically held between 1,000 and 3,000 people.

Tsanahuutimna also instituted military reforms based on his political reforms and his personal experiences in battle that changed the very nature of Fusanian warfare. Previously, military formations organised around soldiers from the same village and clan fighting together under captains appointed by the commanding general or ruler. Only a few professional formations like Q'mitlwaakutl's pananikinsh or Chelkhalt's White Robes existed, although nearly all men periodically drilled. Nearly all professional soldiers in Fusania worked as mercenaries or bodyguards, often living with families in specific autonomous fortified villages. Under Tsanahuutimna, a professionalisation and organisation of warfare occurred.

Tsanahuutimna based his military organisation on both the base-20 number system used in Fusania and organisation of clans and phratries. The building block of these forces was the pashiktawsh ("those selected"), a group of eighty men led by the shikhtawtla ("selector"). Long responsible for selecting men of a village to send to battle, under Tsanahuutimna the position of shikhtawtla became instititionalised and professionalised and a key part of Wayamese military organisation. These eighty men came from nearby villages and were chosen and sorted based on skills, clan affiliation, and phratry--the Wayamese preferred to place men of the same phratry in the same sub-unit. The shikhtawtla's key lieutenant was the chawiluukshmi ("of the flag") who carried the unit's banner and was responsible for signalling and inspiring soldiers.

Five of these pashiktawsh formed a papttl'kawaas ("fist") which consisted of 400 warriors. They were led by the patwanatla's chief lieutenants, the shaptiwitla ("he who causes warriors to fight"), who normally supervised the training and supplying of weapons and defense within a prefecture. These experienced men functioned as the equivalent of staff officers and played a crucial role in Wayamese military organisation as they were held responsible for logistics and communication between the patwanatla and lower ranks. The papttl'kawaas formed a common detachment for larger forces and often acted as a large raiding party, hence its common name meaning "fist" which appears to derive from poetic references where miyawakhmi papttl'kawaas ("miyawakh's fist") meant a unit of several hundred executing the will of the miyawakh.

Armies were organised on a regional level. Each patwanatla commanded one wing of an army and between 1,600 and 2,000 men depending on forces available, forming a pakhanmi. The patwanatla served the pachututatla ("head of the center"), the commander of the center with the most experienced troops and chief lieutenant of the Directional King who led an additional 2,000 men. This formed an army of at least 8,000 men led by the Directional King himself. Under Tsanahuutimna, Wayam had five of these armies under the leadership of the Pillar King for a total of 40,000 soldiers.

The strongest forces of Wayam lay in the elite pananikinsh units. In 1178, Tsanahuutimna created five papttl'kawaas (totalling 2,000 men) using the most elite and trustworthy warriors he and his men could find in Wayam and beyond and paid them to permanently fight for Wayam. This consisted of Wayam's standing army rather than levied forces and formed the nucleus of Wayam's professional soldier class. Soldiers from this unit included the Pillar King's personal guard as well as those men he'd fight alongside in battle. By Tsanahuutimna's decree, no more than 400 of these men ever traveled more than a day from him so as to prevent plots and keep his personal forces strong. These men swore to never retreat and hold the line at all costs, even

When this organisation emerged is uncertain, although epigraphy, pictoglyphs, and tapestries point to at least the early 13th century. It clearly evolved out of previous systems of procuring soldiers and organising them for battle as the names of ranks and units seem to have existed for some time beforehand. While traditionally cited as occurring in 1175, it likely would've taken many years to put the organisation in place and thus evolved over the course of his rule. Lack of evidence decisively dating it to the era of Tsanahuutimna means it may have fully emerged under one of his successors.

It seems probable that Wayam did not strictly follow this system under Tsanahuutimna as it did in later eras. Although the population was rapidly increasing and the Wayamese often recruited soldiers from allies, vassals, and even the Hillmen, the number appears extraordinarily high as 40,000 soldiers consisted of nearly 10% of the Wayamese population and over 25% of the population of men of fighting age. More likely this number in the early days consisted of numbers theoretically available to the Wayamese government as well as men who at some point conducted some military operation, even one as simple as fighting bandits or raiding the Hillmen.

Diplomatic and spiritual outreaches occurred as well. In these years, Wayam increased their outreach toward neighbouring states, relying on their propaganda as the spiritual center of the world and defense against barbarians. This produced some success--in 1175, the Namal city-state of Tlakalama [10] submitted to Wayam. In 1177, a coup in the city-state Tatkhinma by followers of the prophet Qiilekhnikh resulted in that strong Tenepelu city-state also submitting to Wayam [11]. Most importantly, in 1178 the Aipakhpam city-state of Pashkhash and nearby towns in its wealthy river valley submitted to Wayam following the death of its elderly miyawakh. This final holdout against Wayamese rule over the Aipakhpam people submitted, bringing its wealth and manpower to the Wayamese Empire.

Despite the centralisation occurring within Wayam in this era, the central government permitted Directional Kings much control over their own realms and their own affairs. In 1179, the West King Ahawaptas whose province contained much of the Lower Imaru invaded the Irame Valley using the forces available to him. Even though the reforms were barely in place by the end of the 1170s, in 1179, Ahawaptas mobilised nearly 10,000 men using the manpower of his realm and allegedly several Dena tribes. This grand force marked the fifth Wayamese invasion of the Irame Valley, and with control over the fortress of Tlawiwala it held a good chance of success. Tsanahuutimna lent few warriors to it out of personal caution and his focus elsewhere, although he wished the best.

Author's notes

The historiography section at the start of this certainly spoils some of the events of Tsanahuutimna's life, but it's only a small loss since the topic is something I wanted to explore. Although I do include many details in my chapters which historians TTL would consider exaggerations or legendary accounts, I will try and sum up the size and scope of Tsanahuutimna's Wayam as a modern historian TTL might understand it. I would consider Q'mitlwaakutl an equivalent to Menes or Narmer with Tsanahuutimna someone like Djoser, Sneferu, or Khufu. Sargon and ancient Mesopotamian conquerers were also an influence on Tsanahuutimna, especially in the "universal empire" ideology held in Mesopotamian belief.

There are more developments and reforms accomplished or attributed to Tsanahuutimna, but these are better discussed in later chapters. Overall, it's important to note that Tsanahuutimna is simply codifying, centralising, and putting together the pieces of ideas devised by previous rulers in Fusania, some of which date back centuries before this time.

The Sahaptin/Aipakhpam terminology is my own construction based on my limited knowledge of the language and I'll use ATL language development and semantic drift as an excuse for why it might not match OTL Sahaptin. Changes in meaning are inevitable given how different TTL's Aipakhpam are from OTL's Sahaptins. There is a lot of Aipakhpam terminology in this update, but I like it because it gives a feel to this entry like you'd see when discussing other ancient/medieval civilisations and how they functioned. I'll try and alternate between using that and a reasonable translation like I switch between "prince" and "miyawakh" (or other local forms).

I will make charts displaying Wayamese military and political organisation and eventually a map of the provinces and prefectures of Wayam (although their borders are somewhat fluid). It is a topic I could (and might) do a full entry on at some point later down the road.

Next entry I'll discuss Imolakte and his final years as well as more of the Wayamese.

[1] - Mostly Cyprinidae (the family containing carps and minnows)--I'm uncertain which would be optimal for the sort of low-oxygen, stagnant waters common in aquaculture but odds are several species are raised. They are not prized among the Fusanian elite.
[2] - Sturgeon are not traditionally eaten by the Aipakhpam for they are believed to be man-eaters and thus are taboo. However, other civilised Fusanian peoples such as the Whulchomish eat them
[3] - One of the four quarters of Wayam, located on the northern bank of the Imaru River in OTL Washington
[4] - "Tsanahuu" is the Sahaptin word for condor which is associated with the mythological thunderbird, "timna" means "heart".
[5] - The Anbarachi Mountains are the Tualatin Mountains west of Portland, OR
[6] - A descendent of Q'mitlwaakutl's friend and ally Wiyatpakan who inherited his name--one of his other names "Mekhishmi-Apapkhlakhla" ("golden fingers") distinguishes him
[7] - Changondwefti is Sweet Home, OR and Chawilfmefu is Lebanon, OR
[8] - Ap'sukhichalkham is Estacada, OR
[9] - This is the Willamette Meteor, although it won't be known as a meteor for many centuries.
[10] - Tlakalama is Kalama, WA and Tatkhinma is Moscow, ID
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Chapter 48-An Iron Legend
"An Iron Legend"

From Overview of Fusanian Historiography

While traditionally considered an historical figure, Imolakte is best understood as a legendary warrior prince of the Amim people of the Irame Valley. He may be several unknown Amim princes amalgamated into a single character for the sake of literature, mythmaking, and political legitimacy of numerous Amim princes of later generations who traced descent from him. Many stories of Imolakte exist in traditional oral history and oral tradition, including works which no longer survive but were used as sources by early historians such as Gaiyuchul. Despite this, the search for the real Imolakte (often called by Nehantqah, the Amim calque of his Namal name) remains a tantalising goal to historians of Fusania.

Aside from Amim tradition, Imolakte figures most heavily in Namal tradition. In those traditions of his other enemies such as the Coastmen or the Wayamese, Imolakte goes unmentioned--his alleged Aipakhpam name "Ttl'alkwaakutl" (a calque of his Namal name) appears only in translations and works using Namal sources. The Namals record him as a tenacious enemy, one capable of defeating both their own powerful prince Lamagayaqtaq and even defeating the Wayamese on numerous occasions.

Two archaeological artifacts are commonly used as evidence for Imolakte. The first, the Keshpekhspukh Medallion, is a tumbaga disc uncovered in the Anbarachi River not far from the hypothesised site of Chateshtan somewhat downstream from the mouth of the Ayamara River. A pictoglyph of a man with a prominent forehead, as if wearing a thick crown, marks this disc, corresponding to Imolakte's other known name "Keshpekhspukh". This sort of symbology corresponds with the names of attested Amim nobles of later years also found in similar remains. The second, the Imolakte Stick, is a barely legible remnant of a totem stick carbon-dated to the 12th century and unearthed in a cave in the Imaru Gorge. A glyph of an elk lowered into the stick commonly represents the name "Imolakte" in later totem writing while its affinity with the Irame Valley is noted by other glyphs.

Each is commonly taken as evidence that Imolakte existed as a prominent figure of 12th century Amim politics, although many other explanations occur. Both "Imolakte" and "Keshpekhspukh" may have been common names amongst several Amim and Namal clans (as they are among those who claim descent from Imolakte). Further, the interpretation of each artifact as reading Imolakte's name is questionable as examples of 12th century totem writing are rare and show distinction from later centuries. Medallions with totem writing etched on them occur infrequently in the archaeological record while the Imolakte Stick is worn down by age so that any interpretation is questionable at best.

Imolakte's capital Chateshtan remains little known to archaeology. Gaiyuchul describes Chateshtan as hosting a great citadel of wooden and earthen walls rising from the valley along the river with a total population of 8,000. No city matching this description has been found, and no population estimate of 12th century Amim cities every suggests more than 5,000 people in a single site. According to Gaiyuchul's Saga of the Amims, Imolakte's descendents burnt the city down in an act of defiance to the Wayamese and in the great inferno burnt to death 2,000 Wayamese soldiers. In the chaos of later years, the location became confused with other places nearby hence several Amim villages named Chateshtan. However, many sites within the Irame Valley display similar histories as regional centers that suffered repeated fires or even abandonment thanks to their wooden construction.

The current theories suggest that Imolakte may have existed and may have been a prominent prince of his people that he is mentioned as far as the Imaru Gorge. Based on oral records, he clearly was accomplished enough to have entered into legend. Yet little else can be stated about his life or his times, other than that his era was a time of war. As all Amim princes of his time did, he likely formed confederations with other Amim lords to protect his people against raids and invaders from outside the Irame Valley.

What prompted the myth of Imolakte to form? The likely cause lies in great change of Amim society in this era. An increase in warfare in the 12th century throughout Fusania, prompted by a number of factors both economic and social caused a dramatic cultural shift in the Irame Valley. A weaker economy, less trade, and sharp increase in Namal, Coastman, and Dena raids typifies this era, which marks the end of the Chapunmefu Culture (800 - 1150) and the beginning of the Chamikiti Culture (1150 - 1300).

Great changes swept Amim culture in this era. The Amims stopped constructing new mounds and older mounds like the Great Chapunmefu Mound were no longer added to. Burials changed to sacred oak groves marked by cairns, with the dead in coffins befitting their social status. The effort formerly spent on building mounds switched to high earth walls and tall palisades to meet this challenging new era. Settlements consolidated as the people abandoned smaller villages. Wealth inequality greatly increased and the beginnings of later Amim social structures and hierarchies form. The amount of weapons buried greatly increases, and skeletons of men typically show physical scars of battle and early deaths.

In this era, it comes as no surprise that the people might elevate a figure like Imolakte to mythological proportions. In an uncertain age, Imolakte's legend spread, grew in exaggerations, and became used for political legitimacy among later rulers. The Amims composed many songs and poems of Imolakte, conflated him with other men of his time, and created a figure of legend they drew inspiration from and looked upon as a model ruler. The steadfast Imolakte became the ideal ruler, never surrendering nor giving ground to the enemy while always maintaining a cool, collected outlook on the situation. He led his forces into battle, never cowering behind walls or sending other men to die for him. That the Amim found in Imolakte a role model and inspiration to survive in a troubling era etched his legacy into history.


Seeking yet another triumphant victory, in spring 1179 the Wayamese West King Ahawaptas and his trusted captain [1] Stlich'qid invaded the Irame Valley with a force of nearly 10,000 men. In addition to his own forces, thousands of mercenaries and even Hillmen and Coastmen flocked to the banner of this young and successful general as they believed he might allow them to obtain the endless plunder of the wealthy Irame Valley. Above all Ahawaptas sought the great moral reward gained by expanding the borders of Wayam.

Using the recently conquered city of Tlawiwala as his base, Ahawaptas's men quickly seized the villages adjacent to the city that had remained under Imolakte's rule in the peace several years earlier. The speed and ferocity of their attack took the Amims by surprise and much was looted, whetting the appetite of the invading force for more. Gaiyuchul suggests this may have been their undoing.

"The West King Ahawaptas descended like a thunder upon the Amim villages so near Tlawiwala and gained much property. So fierce and hungry they were for loot that they became as those Hillmen some scholars say fought alongside them. Men cried out 'If we become so wealthy here, how much more might we gain there?' Indiscipline rooted among this army and their true mission, that they bring the land under the protection of the Pillar King, fell away in their heads as treasure became all they sought. The wise West King took little action for his wrongly believed his men held more discipline and training. Yet he knew not the hearts of the Gitlawalamt Namals so recently allied to the Wayamese cause."

Imolakte mobilised with his usual lightning speed. Despite his setback at Tlawiwala and defeat at Ayayash, many Amims still revered him as the finest chance they had against the Wayamese. Even age old enemies of Chateshtan like Chapunmefu sent warriors to fight alongside him as they viewed Wayam an even greater threat. All throughout the Irame Valley as far south as Milpu, Amim nobles and peasants assembled for the fight against Wayam. This Amim force totalled around 12,000 warriors according to Gaiyuchul.

Much of Ahawaptas's forces devoted their efforts toward pillaging much of the left bank of the Irame River and its tributaries, especially the Hanjuuku and Tachimawa [2]. They ransacked every village in their path and carried off much livestock, slaves, treasure, and even food in the form of acorns. They destroyed many sacred oaks of the Amims and turned them into firewood. A few larger towns fell victim to the Wayamese on their rampage through the northern Irame Valley such as the city-state of Champkweh [3]. Once a thriving local center with several tall burial mounds, the Wayamese sacked and looted the city and uncharacteristically of invaders in Amim lands supposedly even looted the burial mounds. This spiritual disturbance ensured the city was never rebuilt and a much exaggerated version of Champkweh entered into legend as a lost city.

Imolakte initially sought to lure the Wayamese into besieging a major city and crush them, yet Ahawaptas avoided the major fortifications on the Irame River and instead attacked the towns and villages of more remote, poorer allies of Imolakte. The Wayamese cracked these fortifications far more easily, albeit lost many soldiers due to recklessness during assaults and battles. Imolakte responded by detatching groups of warriors to deal with the Wayamese raiding parties, harassing them at every step of the way yet despite the attrition this caused it barely held back the Wayamese.

Believing the Wayamese overextended themselves, Imolakte switched strategies and chased down the Wayamese forces laden with plunder and engaged them near the ruins of Chanyemiden [4]. Thanks to Ahawaptas's skilled scouts, he caught word of Imolakte and managed to escape with the bulk of his army and some of his loot. However, Imolakte's warriors killed a significant number of the Wayamese rear guard as well as those groups still laden with plunder.

Despite being outnumbered thanks to the many losses he took, Ahawaptas continued his campaign regardless on advice from Stlich'qid. According to Gaiyuchul, Stlich'qid proposed Wayamese resistance would quickly crumble should they attack Chateshtan itself.

"Stlich'qid approached the West King Ahawaptas not long after the clash at Chanyemiden and spoke to him "Oh great King of the West, we might end this war in a single day should the Irame be crossed and Chateshtan sacked. The Amims shall lose faith and bow before us and the light of the Pillar King shall illuminate this valley. We must be vigorous to be victorious.' The West King Ahawaptas looked upon his elder's plan and believed it useful and demanded his warships be portaged at the Irame Falls so to invade the valley."

Although a solid, if aggressive, plan, things failed to go Ahawaptas's way. Despite the Amims having few river galleys, let alone the purpose-built warships used by the Wayamese, the Wayamese and their Namal crews lacked expertise at sailing in the Irame River past the Irame Falls. Their aggressive tactics and lack of a solid naval plan allowed the Amims to lure them in range of ambush sites along cliffs or within range of riverside fortifications. According to legend, the commander of the Amims was the ship captain Yak'atikh who took up this mission upon a shaman telling him that doing so ensured his family line eternal success. Although Yak'atih perished in battle, his deeds gave his family the prestige to become nobles.

This destruction of Wayamese naval crews and their vessels played havoc on the Wayamese plans. Ahawaptas abandoned the mission to send his navy down the Irame, instead choosing a new plan--cross the Irame in secret on canoes and rafts while appearing to attack Chimapuichuk, a powerful fortress which held great significance for Imolakte as he came to fame defending the city. With 1,000 men and the remainder of his fleet, Ahawaptas entrusted this task to Stlich'qid and continued onward with 5,000 men to Chateshtan.

Imolakte misjudged the situation and believed the bulk of the forces aimed at Chimapuichuk, thinking the enemy not foolish enough to gamble like that. With a token force left at Chateshtan's high earthen walls, he moved to eliminate the enemy once and for all. At Chimapuichuk, Stlich'qid's forces hastily built a contravallation using captured prisoners and used it to constrain enemy movements so that the fleet might pass.

Neither side made progress at Chimapuichik. Low water and enemy attack funnelled the Wayamese into killing zones, so much so the fleet broke off their attack after several costly attempts to pass the fortifications around Chimapuichik. As for the land battle, Stlich'qid's bold counter-charges and retreating to his defensive positions protected his men from the far greater Amim numbers. One of the key Amim commanders, Qats'ehlkhak, perished in the fighting in this phase. Yet exhaustion set in and the superior forces of the Amims destroyed Stlich'qid's force to nearly the man. According to legend, the elderly Stlich'qid slew five men and fought the equally elderly Imolakte in single combat before Imolakte overpowered him.

At Chateshtan, Ahawaptas invested the city and proceeded to make several attempts at infiltration, deception, and straightforward assaults on the walls of Chateshtan to little avail, losing many men in the process. Realising his fleet was not coming to aid him and Imolakte was fast approaching, Ahawaptas's men slipped away in the night in great disappointment.

Here began several weeks of skirmishes as Imolakte tried to complete his encirclement. Scouting parties clashed with each other several times a day as Imolakte tried to bring his opponent to battle. Imolakte used local Amim forces as well as clever placement of his men in his attempts to pin down the Wayamese. Some of these skirmishes involved hundreds of men on either side and came close to fully encircling the Wayamese but for chance breakthroughs.

Yet mobility helped the Wayamese escape. Ditching all of his loot and essential supplies, Ahawaptas's army had considerable mobility. They stopped only for short periods of rest and to loot villages of food and necessary supplies. Finally, after twenty days of pursuit, Ahawaptas crossed the Irame River and fled from more of Imolakte's forces for another twenty days. By October, he finally reached the gates of Tlawiwala with a ragged, starved remnant of his forces. Barely 800 men returned with him, carrying very little loot

Knowing the value of propaganda, Ahawaptas sent word around the Wayamese Empire of the fierce and powerful Amim forces who failed to defeat him even as he destroyed their towns. Gaiyuchul describes his efforts as such in Saga of the Amims:

"Ahawaptas knew the value men place on words, even if they may be half-truths. To those weary warriors who survived the disaster against Chateshtan the West King assigned them a new mission: sing praises of the valour and skill of their foe. So all in Wayam heard of the great Imolakte Keshpekhspukh and heard that even the efforts of a warrior as mighty as Ahawaptas came to naught [5]. The Pillar King chose not to punish Ahawaptas when he heard the name of this foe yet instead chastised Ahawaptas saying 'Had you not been so foolish in fighting such a great warrior then thousands of men would yet live.'"

Surprisingly, Ahawaptas continued the fight against Imolakte, perhaps judging him weakened or attempting to salvage his reputation. With 3,000 men (mostly mercenaries from abroad hired at great expense) he sent several raids against the Anbarachi Valley and areas formerly burned over, sacking several villages. Once again the Wayamese proved merciless, and Ahawaptas brought back 20 ashambaks in chains. A few indecisive battles occurred against Chateshtan or other large Wayamese forces, including against Imolakte himself, yet neither side claimed victory as Ahawaptas once again fled from any large force, this time making a special effort to keep his plunder. In November, Wayam concluded peace with Chateshtan.

Despite lasting only 19 months, great destruction befell the affected parts of the Irame Valley and left permanent scars and changes on the people of the Irame Valley. The rapaciousness of the Wayamese forces killed many Amims and hauled off many more in chains while causing famines for two successive winters. A great number fled their home villages, moving further west or south. To repopulate their land, the remnant Amim nobles of the area invited in new settlers, finding a number of Namals and Aipakhpam willing to migrate to the area. Many of these Namals came from areas outside Wayamese rule while the Aipakhpam came in as opportunists. This furthered the cultural assimilation of the Amims to these cultural dominant groups.

The Amims of Chateshtan and nearby areas suffered grievously. As the most recruited from group in the wars of Imolakte as well as the target of invasions by the Wayamese, these populations suffered great losses, especially in their men. Further, they focused great effort on building defensive fortifications, more than even other Amims, to the detriment of other economic pursuits. Nobles in the area and their overlords, including Imolakte himself, received less in tribute and thus gave out less in return at potlatches, leading many to seek alternatives.

The human toll of this invasion affected not just the Amims, but the Namals and Dena as well. The Dena allies of Wayam lost many fighting warriors, further crippling their already waning influence in the region. This only served to increase Wayamese interest in conquered the Southern Grey Mountains Dena tribes who guarded the mountain passes. For the Namals who also lost many warriors, this crippled their final chance to overthrow Wayamese hegemony. Aipakhpam immigrants filled their void, producing increasing cultural fusion in the Lower Irame and at times even local dominance [6]. Their men married widowed Namal women, and their offspring ended up being raised culturally Aipakhpam.

In the near-term, the severe defeat Imolakte inflicted on Ahawaptas curtailed Wayamese activities in the Irame Valley and Lower Imaru. The remaining forces there existed primarily for defense against Dena and Coastmen raids. Tsanahuutimna believed fighting Imolakte to be a foolish affair, yet took great interest in conquering the lands of this great enemy of Wayam. He believed that if such a campaign had to take place, he had to rule the Lower Imaru to the ocean before the Irame Valley would submit.

However, Tsanahuutimna took little interest in such a campaign in the early 1180s. He focused on ruling the Imaru Plateau and expanding the network of Wayamese tributaries in that region with the aid of his North King Snkalip who dominated Wayam's foreign policy and proved effective at forcing villages and towns to submit by both diplomacy and military means. The Lower Imaru remained yet another area to force submission from rather than his primary goal. In this era Tsanahuutimna focused on achieving submission from the city of Shonitkwu, over a thousand kilometers upstream on the Imaru River.

In all this fighting, Imolakte had grown old. Although legends say his mind remainded sharp and he could outfight men half his age, his aging must have weighed on the minds of his followers and vassals. An Irame Valley without a figure like Imolakte seemed unthinkable as even those as far away as Milpu benefitted from Imolakte's defensive efforts. What he accomplished following his victory in the fifth invasion is told by the many folk stories about him, of which Gaiyuchul claimed "the deeds of Imolakte in the twilight of his life number equal those he accomplished elsewhere in life" and discarded them as contradictory. However, the number of tales shows he continued his activity in mediating peace and development in the Irame Valley.

In 1184, Imolakte Keshpekhspukh suddenly died at the age of 70. The cause of death remains unknown and disputed between several stories, yet one popular story suggests he went into the Coast Mountains to defeat a Dena tribe, yet came into a spiritual confrontation with servants of the god Amhulukw, the god who kept the Amims from leaving their valley (perhaps reflecting the weakening of the taboo in later centuries). Soon he met Amhulukw himself and the god sent a great flood to kill Imolakte's people, yet Imolakte held fast for the sake of his people's future and continued reasoning with him while battling his spiritual minions.

In the end, Amhulukw relented his curses and taboo and permitted "those Amims pure in spirit" the freedom to leave the Irame Valley, yet in return required Imolakte's spirit to wander blind in darkness with only a small flame to guide him, away from the powering light of the sun and forever fighting Amhulukw's minions until it found the afterlife. Imolakte would be unable to find the afterlife until the end of the Fifth World. Yet his iron crown (which vanished with his physical body) protected him and ensured in every battle he would emerge victorious until the end of the Fifth World.

Many believed Imolakte would return some day, either in the Fifth World or the Sixth World, a legend perhaps inspired by Q'mitlwaakutl's return from stone. Some legends held Imolakte would return as the god Keshpekhspukh in the Sixth World while others held this return would be earlier. Others claimed his spirit would continue to protect the Irame Valley so long as men did not turn wicked and ward away invaders and natural disaster. Over the centuries, claimants to Imolakte's legend caused no shortage of headaches for rulers both Amim and non-Amim in the Irame Valley.

The mythological ultimate sacrifice of Imolakte aside, the Irame Valley shuddered at his death. Legend tells his sons all died in battle, leaving his eldest grandson to be elected ruled of Chateshtan. Yet all nobles knew his trusted lieutenant and son-in-law Lelisho, the prince of Chantatawa, to be his true successor. Lelisho won his fame through his tenacious success in battle both at Imolakte's side and leading his own forces as well as personal wisdom that reminded many of Imolakte.

Historians debate what powers Lelisho (and by extension, Imolakte), truly had among the Amims in the 1160s onward. Some postulate the existence of an "Irame Confederacy," a mutual and democratic alliance of cities led by Chateshtan and later Chantatawa which held some governmental functions. Yet evidence is limited mainly to questionable interpretations of glyphs on amulets and totem sticks as well as lines in Gaiyuchul and other sources. Unlike other governmental structures of this era like Wayam or the leagues of Whulchomic peoples, there is no evidence Imolakte or Lelisho ever held potlatches establishing his authority over the rulers of the valley and their control over "dissident" city-states who allied with Wayam or other enemies remained extremely limited.

Although Lelisho's city-state of Chantatawa was wealthy and undamaged, ancestral rivalries between Chantatawa and nearby city-states lingered. Resentment of Lelisho as Imolakte's successor no doubt existed among many other Amim nobles. These factors kept the Irame Valley disunited and ensured that any future response as successful as Imolakte's campaigns required far greater tenacity on the part of the Amims.

In all this the Wayamese continued disseminating propaganda regarding their indisputable right to collect tribute from all Fusania in the name of defending against the Hillmen. Wayamese merchants, some of whom served as spies or informants, tended to spread word of the Pillar King wherever they went. Exogamous marriages between clans and potlatches of nobles further contributed to this spread. Even though Imolakte won the Irame Valley a great reprieve for many years, it seemed the Wayamese engine of conquest through diplomacy or warfare would one day come for them so they too would bow before the Pillar King.

Author's notes​

This entry finishes up Imolakte's life as well as his last victory over Wayam while also seeking to explore just who Imolakte was. I focused on a more dramatic account for the entry rather than a more likely in-universe version of who Imolakte was. Of course, the legends associated with him are a "king in the mountain" type myth of an inevitable return.

While I will continue Tsanahuutimna's story for the next few entries, the immediate next entry will be a little Christmas-flavored interlude more focused on the Dena and some cultural notes than anything else.

Thank you for reading.

[1] - See previous entry. Stlich'qid is an example of a pachututatla.
[2] - The Hanjuuku River is the Pudding River and the Tachimawa River is the Molalla River, historically both tributaries of the Willamette River in Oregon
[3] - Champkweh is slightly northwest of Silverton, OR near the mouth of Abiqua Creek
[4] - Chanyemiden is Woodburn, OR
[5] - Gaiyuchul exaggerates the spread of this myth, as I noted at the start of this entry Imolakte is a more important figure in Namal sources and mostly unheard of in Wayamese sources
[6] - OTL a similar phenomena happened in this region involving Sahaptin-speaking peoples intermarrying with Chinookans and Salishan peoples, a process that resulted in gradual cultural assimilation in some areas (although ethnicity is always a hazy thing and many of these people were multilingual from birth), made even quicker by local epidemics. How far this phenomena will go TTL is yet to be seen.
Chapter 49-Bringer of Gifts in Peace and War
"Bringer of Gifts in Peace and War"

Eishou-ji, Ishikari Province, 1499​

The winter chill of Hokkaido never failed at chilling Jikken to the bone. Snow blanketed every roof of the monastery leaving only the edges peaking out while overnight the ground became a white sheet. Only the highest fountains and stones of the courtyard of the temple remained visible to him, covered in sheets of ice. Grey skies blocked out the sun and a few flurries gently fell to the ground as a cold breeze blew snow dust around.

As Jikken clutched his robes to keep in warmth, he noticed Gaiyuchul and a middle-aged monk, one of the other monks from Fusania, idly chatting in their native Namal anguage as they gazed out at the snow.

"Does it always snow this much here?" the man asked Gaiyuchul, to which he laughed.

"Year after year you will see snow like this," Gaiyuchul replied. "In this country many people live in this frozen land, land that in our country only the barbarians dwell in. Although in centuries past barbarians once dwelt in this land as well [1]."

"So cold," the man complained. "Yet I will learn to endure it."

"Had you been older you might have visited many places this cold and covered in snow in your life," Gaiyuchul mused. "Many places, yes. I think that was around the time you were born, wasn't it?"

He continued staring out into the snow, before gradually rising to his feet. "Good morning," he said, making no eye contact with Jikken yet clearly knowing he was there. "I believe you should make us some tea as penance for eavesdropping on our conversation."

"Y-yes," Jikken grinned sheepishly, surprised Gaiyuchul noticed him. "Certainly!" Even in old age his instincts as a warrior remain sharp. He walked away from the men into the monastery's kitchen and began preparing hot tea for the three men to drink. He poured it into the simple cups and brought the steaming drinks on a tray out to the two monks. Gaiyuchul drank the tea and smiled immediately from the warmth.

"A hot drink on a cold day is always wonderful, yet I know few things more wonderful than this drink you call tea," Gaiyuchul commented. "It truly fills one with vigour yet not in a way that makes one foolish and corrupts the spirit like alcohol!"

"Yeah," the other monk replied. "I wish we had tea in all my younger years. You could almost say I came here to find cheap tea!"

"Ah, I do not believe you have met my younger friend here," Gaiyuchul said to Jikken although I suppose he is older than you. He is the honorable and brilliant Qats'ehlkhak, son of Pelkenuwakshomak, grandson of Qats'ehlkhak the Prince of Chimapuichuk [2] from whom he inherited the name. May the meeting be of value to you."

"Does your friend even know about that formality?" Qats'ehlkhak pointed out in Namal. "The people of Japan are very different from us civilised people of the Pillar King's realm."

"He knows much about our people and culture and although he fails to speak it well, he understands our language," Gaiyuchul replied. "Much better than you with his I will say. In any case, this is my friend, the monk Jikken." Qats'ehlkhak nodded, staring Jikken over.

"I guess people who sell a drink this good might produce a smart scholar or two like your friend seems to be," Qats'ehlkhak said, and Jikken and Gaiyuchul laughed.

Gaiyuchul settled into his usual habit of staring into space, watching the snow still gently falling.

"It's a nostalgic sort of day," Qats'ehlkhak said, breaking the silence. "It reminds me of sitting in my family's garden on a snowy morning, waiting for the servants to return home from the market with the pine sugar and the pine syrup. The pinebread that old slave woman would make afterwards is a taste I'll never forget."

"Pinebread?" Jikken asked.

"A Namal treat," Gaiyuchul said. "You mix flour of acorn or buckwheat with pine nuts, fry it in a stone pan with pine syrup, and sprinkle it with pine sugar and as much pine syrup as you please. I have not tasted that in many years. For the best as well since it seems a very worldly food."

"And not just that either," Qats'ehlkhak continued. "The incredible sweetness of the pine candy, the strange unearthly taste of the chocolate, the arrival of the servants with those bulky chests on days like this brought so much joy."

"It wasn't like that in my day," Gaiyuchul said. "But I was unfortunate enough to grow up away from my home. Yet fortunate enough to lead men in conquest of the lands of pine syrup, so I suppose you can thank me in part for those fond memories." Qats'ehlkhak laughed, and went back to sipping tea and staring out into the snow.

"Memories drift away like the wind-blown snow," Qats'ehlkhak muttered. "And now I'm in this land so far from home by my own choice."

"Spiritual conviction told you how hollow your life was," Gaiyuchul said. "Fate guided you to this monastery so you might find truth. That is why all three of us are here. As memories drift away, new memories will be born, just as new snow replaces the snow blown away."

As the three men mused on existence and memory, a novice monk approached them.

"A man donated a gift from far away and he says the one who brought it to him wished to give it to the Fusanian monks here." Gaiyuchul's frowned.

"It is but a temptation I am sure," he commented. "Yet we should certainly accept it and confront it."

Two other novice monks wheeled out an elaborately painted chest with the thick lines and sweeping curves distinctive of Fusanian art forming a two men with a tall tree in the center. Jikken marveled at seeing such an interesting chest sent all the way from Fusania. Sealed with a simple lock, Qats'ehlkhak opened the chest and the room immediately began to smell strongly of pine. Inside lay a viscous dark substance coating the walls of the chest.

"I--impossible!" Qats'ehlkhak stuttered. "That's pine syrup!"

"Your piety has been rewarded," Gaiyuchul said. "Consider it proof you have made a wise choice in life by coming here." He poured over the box, seemingly wondering where it came from.

"Didn't you once say it doesn't snow in Fusania until after the New Year?" Jikken asked Gaiyuchul.

"Indeed I did," Gaiyuchul replied. "Perhaps it is a very cold year this year or perhaps this is not the variety brought from the south by the great reindeer sleds like our friend here recalls." Gaiyuchul continued to analyse the box. "Either way, it is remarkable to see such a good here. We should instruct someone on the making's of pinebread, even if we will not have many of the ingredients."

Jikken smiled, intrigued on tasting that bit of Fusania and the memories behind it. Even on such a cold day, the warmth of knowledge and experience kept the fire in his heart going. And with Gaiyuchul and other Fusanian monks here, Jikken hoped the gift of knowledge would keep on giving for many years to come.


Faster than any other means of land travel in pre-contact North America were sleds. As long as snow covered the ground and animals stood ready for the task, sleds made highly effective tools of travel, trade, and even warfare. The Dena, Innu, and other northerly peoples of North America expertly used these sleds in shaping their resilient and powerful societies.

The ancestors of the Dena invented sleds many thousands of years ago and bred specific varieties of sled dog to tow these sleds. The domestication of the reindeer thousands of years later changed the importance of these sleds very little. The sleds swelled in size as larger "reindeer sleds" entered into common use among the Dena people and their offshoots. These reindeer sleds helped carry the Dena far to the south of their homeland along the Hentsuren River, following the mountain ranges as they went.

These sleds varied in size from utilitarian transports for a single hunter and musher to massive cargo transports several meters long and carrying several tons of cargo towed by a team of large draft reindeer. Some small and sturdy sleds saw use in times of the year without snow, but usually the Dena preferred strapping their cargo on the backs of animals in this time of year or using dedicated travois. Regardless, this Dena skill at sled-building allowed them to become fine cart builders in the era after the introduction of the wheel.

Sled trails proved essential for the livelihood of Dena peoples. The Dena communicated and traded with their neighbours during the winter season using these trails that crossed many mountains and ridges in Western North America. The speed of a sled over snow lacked comparison in a society that lacked use of the wheel and had no concept of riding on the backs of animals. With good weather and animals and an experienced crew, over 100 kilometers a day might be covered by a team of men, dogs, and reindeer.

Several breeds of dog, moose, and reindeer emerged for the task of hauling sleds (towey goats were rarely used for the task in Dena culture). Typically, a lighter, faster breed was used for shorter trips while a heavier, stronger breed was used for longer trips and hauling goods. Dog sleds in general were faster than reindeer sleds but usually carried less due to the logistics of managing the dogs. Because of the rarity and expense of the animal, moose sleds were very rare and typically served as transport for the wealthiest Dena.

A typical sled journey started with consulting a shaman regarding the weather and dangers along the way. Many Dena prayed, fasted, and attempted to achieve spiritual purity themselves before venturing out. In this time, they prepared their animals and supplies, stockpiling enough pemmican and dried meat to feed themselves, and set out whenever a shaman deemed conditions auspicious. Often at least two sled teams went on the same journey, a dog team and a reindeer team.

Many dangers lay in these journeys--avalanches, enemy ambush, blizzards, frostbite, falling through ice--and many men and animals died. While the animals were consumed by sled dogs or their masters, with deceased travelers the Dena conducted surprisingly elaborate ritual burials. They dressed the body well, left it with food, propped it in a tree, carved symbolic glyphs in the tree, and set both body and tree alight. These burials could take hours and were believed to be inferior, hasty versions of the similar and proper burials back at villages, yet the Dena believed them essential in keeping the spirit of the dead away from them and causing more grief. Although only for travelers in many Dena cultures, these mortuary rituals entered into the culture of the Central Dena as the primary way of burial.

The most famous of these sled trails in history and folklore is the Pine Syrup Routes, a series of trails going around the spine of the Grey Mountains. These routes were so named for the main commodity shipped on them, pine syrup, although many others goods came over these routes in the winter and pine syrup came from more typical routes as well, especially the goods that flowed back south. They extended as far north as the Imaru Gorge and Wayam. At the villages they ended in, the Dena met traders of the peoples around them and sold them great quantities.

Traditionally, Dena and Tanne sleds loaded with pine syrup never arrived before the end of November and ceased their journeys at the beginning of spring. This gave pine syrup an association with the winter and made for good eating as it was a chance to sweeten the otherwise bland stored food. Often sugar pine nuts appeared at markets alongside pine syrup and the two often combined into candies and desserts. When chocolate (kegama, traditional Fusanian and Japanese chocolate [3]) arrived in the 14th century, chocolate and various confections sweetened with pine syrup joined this association with winter.

The Tsetihin Dena tribes of the Divides are likewise well known for their sleds. Built similarly to other Dena groups, the Sechihin ruled the American Divides and the adjacent Plains in part on the strength of their sleds and their skill at utilising them. From early centuries, the Sechihin expanded southwards along the mountains, using the snow as transportation routes in winter for essential goods or occasionally for destroying their enemies. Much of the American Divides became the home of the Sechihin and offshoot peoples to the south.

The Tsetihin often traveled far out into the Plains in the winter season, utilising known trails and landmarks as well as navigation by the sun as a guide. Here they once again traded and occasionally raided villages in this area. The coldness and depth of snow in this area in contrast to most of the more temperate Fusania permitted a longer season, allowing the Sechihin good enough relations with the locals to hunt bison on their lands.

The ancestors of the Inde (Southern Dena) traveled along these routes as well. Although those tribes had little Sechihin ancestry, owned no reindeer, and tended toward staying out of the mountains, the Inde still possessed many common Dena skills to the building of sleds and travois. When the wheel first arrived in Inde lands in the 16th century, the Inde peoples quickly adapted to it and built all manner of carts towed by dogs, towey goats, or increasingly horses.

The Far Northwest held many of the longest lasting and most traveled sled routes. The Dena, Ringitsu, Khaida, and Tsusha extensively traveled along these ancient trails. The most famous of these, no doubt because of Japanese explorer Kouri Muneyuki's visit in 1526, was what became known as the Tengada Road that crossed from the Yahanen Peninsula to the great inland trading center of Nuklukayet (or Nukurugawa in Japanese) [4]. This ancient and well-trodden once carried the ancestors of the Yahanen Dena from the Hentsuren and Teneno Rivers to their homeland around 600 AD. From Yahanen to Nuklukayet, the Tengada Road crossed nearly 1,000 kilometers of wilderness and swamp, passing by the highest mountain in North America, Mount Tengada (which lent its name to the road) [5]. While the Yahanen crossed this trail year-round, the winter crossings were famed for their speed. An experienced team might make the journey in only seven days if the weather permitted, and journeys of only ten days was common [6].

Vast quantities of goods traveled along this road. From the south came the goods from the sea including whalebone, fine canoes, goods carved from cedar, rare imports from the Imaru Basin (most notably from the 15th century onward acorns and pine nuts, imported in large quantities), all sorts of other ocean products and foods, and copper. In turn, the inland exported the finest reindeer and moose, weapons, slaves, and in later years tin, mined in several locations in the region.

Archaeology suggests this trade accelerated in the 12th century thanks to the increasing trade links between the Ringitsu of Kechaniya, the Ringitsu of the Ringitanian Sea, and the Yahanen Dena. Undoubtedly the warmer climate of the Medieval Warm Period aided this development. This revived the ancient religious center of Nuklukayet which declined centuries earlier and marked the beginning of the Hentsuren Period (1100 - 1550), the apex of civilisation in the Hentsuren Basin. From a village of perhaps 200 people from the 9th century to the 12th century, by 1200 Nuklukayet held perhaps 2,000 people as it formed the nucleus of the trade routes of the Hentsuren and beyond.

People moved along this trade route as well. In winter, the Dena and Ringitsu often arranged marriages between clans from close to the sea and clans along the Hentsuren. Winter potlatch invitations resulted in much crossing of the mountains and arrival of kinsmen, allies, and potential foes. By this means coastal influences arrived into the interior as never before, including the formation of stronger hierarchal societies that united multiple tribes, beginning the age of the nenkkuskaa, powerful and prestigious tribal leaders who headed strong confederations along the Hentsuren [7].

Fusanian folklore commonly associates the great Dena reindeer sleds and the lesser dog sleds with warfare and brutality. This no doubt reflects folk memory of vicious raids where the Dena appeared without warning out of a snowstorm, their large reindeer and wolf-like dogs towing sleds laden down with vicious warriors ready to kill. This represents a misconception--while it certainly happened on occasion, the Dena, especially the Central Dena and Hill Tanne, preferred to avoid winter raiding because of the many inherent risks as well as their yearly cycles that shunned violence in the winter. When it happened, it likely was the result of low food supplies or often the result of outsiders goading the Dena into conflict. Regardless of this dislike of winter combat, the Dena proved experts at constructing and utilising their sleds on raids.

Tales of war sleds occur among the Dena as well. The Lord of the Ground, or Nenkk'ok'ehaatlyo as the Hentsuren Dena know him as, is said to have driven off rivals while riding his reindeer-towed sled, the first reindeer sled in Dena history. The Sechihen hold a tradition of "dozens" of war sleds speeding warriors to an enemy village in the middle of the night to cut their throats before they even woke. To the Dena, war sleds were regarded as a tool of elite and wealthy warriors who had the resources to risk valuable reindeer in battle.

In Eastern North America, war sleds are better known thanks to the greater snow cover in winter and different cultural use. Here, many different tribal groups used these sleds in combat, most notably Algonquian peoples, Gunahu, and Teftjahen. The 13th century Norse explorer Magnus Eyjolfsson reportedly encountered the Ölurskraelings (the Old Norse name for the Innu [8]) dismount from reindeer sleds and ambush his traveling party in coastal Markland, the oldest European record of reindeer sleds among American natives. Centuries later, the English of colonial America fended off a sudden assault on the settlement of Wethersfield during the Pequot War, reporting Indian braves appearing with no warning from reindeer-towed sleds.

Only the Innu and Northern Dena peoples built and used dedicated war sleds. Towed by a team of large reindeer, these sleds used a far lighter frame and were extremely challenging to control for the unexperienced. The Innu peoples used the most complex war sleds of all, with both a smaller two-man sled used to transport men to and from battle or occasionally one man shooting his bow and a larger three-man sled where one man drove the sled and two men shooting arrows. Three-man sleds among the Dena were used only for transporting warriors in battle. Ethnohistorical records suggest that aside from logistics, the main use of sleds in warfare was as a platform to dismount from rather than for mobile archery. They preferred to stop the sled, take as many clear shots as they could from behind cover, and drive off when the enemy pressured them. Mobile archery occurred mainly during retreats or pursuing fleeing foes.

War sleds gained an exaggerated role in the popular imagination thanks to the dramatic nature of sled combat, comparisons to chariots of Antiquity, and no doubt the success that native peoples had at using them. Among both the Japanese in the west and Norse and English in the east, constant remark is raised on attacks of sled-borne warriors and difficulty at pursuing them. Although winter warfare was never common, when it occurred settler villages and travelers were often attacked by men on sleds, especially in the east. Stories dramaticised these battles and engrained stereotypes of warfare into the popular imagination.

Aside from trade and war, the Dena and others enjoyed several other pursuits with their sleds. They practiced sports ancestral to mushing and raced dog sleds and reindeer sleds over short distances between villages. Their most noted sport and pleasure activity involved hunting from a sled. With a reindeer a few men drove around the snowy countryside and searched for animals, typically snowshoe hare or grouse, which they shot with arrows as they sped by.

Whether for peace or warfare, sleds proved essential in the economy and lifestyle of the sub-Arctic Dena and Innu. It unsurprising that even though they were used only a few months out of the year that sleds became so associated with the Dena lifestyle. Outsiders remained fascinated with the sleds of indigenous American groups for centuries and at times even copied their designs and lifestyle.

Author's notes

This is another Christmas-themed entry--while I don't plan to make this a yearly thing for my TL, but this idea just seemed too good and I wanted to avoid a sole focus on the Wayamese. This entry touches on several different Dena groups not limited to the ones I focused on in Chapter 40 with a particular focus on the sleds and the reindeer teams pulling them, as well as the Innu and other Algonquians and events I have yet to cover or even hint upon. Some of this, like the Norse of Markland and the Hentsuren Dena, will be covered in more detail in later chapters.

The next chapter will return to Wayam with a focus on the Chiyatsuru people, particularly Shonitkwu. Probably the next three or so will cover Tsanahuutimna and the society he creates. I'm trying to make shorter entries than before so there will be more of them.

Thank you for reading, and have a good holiday season!

[1] - Gaiyuchul is referring to the Ainu.
[2] - This Qats'ehlkhak traces his lineage to the same Qats'ehlkhak mentioned in previous chapters and has the right to use that name, yet may not be actually related to him.
[3] - "Kegama" is the Japanese term for chocolate TTL. It's a well-traveled loanword ultimately derived from Purepecha k'ekua ("chocolate") which is the source of most Fusanian words for chocolate
[4] - The Yahanen Peninsula is the Kenai Peninsula. Nuklukayet/Nukurugawa is Tanana, AK and was covered in more detail way back in Chapter 3.
[5] - Mount Tengada is Denali, the name TTL coming from a Japanese rendition of a different Athabaskan language (Deg Xinag) than the one which gave us "Denali" (Koyukon). Both mean "big mountain,"
[6] - This route roughly parallels the Alaska Railway and Alaska Route 3 yet turns northwest instead when it reaches the Tanana River
[7] - "Nenkkuskaa" ("Earth Chief") is a lesser name of the Lord of the Ground (Nenkk'ok'ehaatlyo) which in the 11th and 12th centuries begins its evolution into a title. The function is akin to the title of "khan"
[8] - "Ölurskraeling", literally "Alder Skraelings" is a corruption of "Allak", the name given to the Innu by their Inuit neighbours
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Chapter 50-The Ancient City Slept
"The Ancient City Slept"

Among the Chiyatsuru, no city stood as tall and proud as the ancient city of Shonitkwu. Located at the rich fishing site and portage of Shonitkwu Falls where the Nehoyabetsu River [1] flows into the Imaru, the Chiyatsuru and in particular the Shilkh peoples considered it the first city in the world. In many ways they were correct--thousands of people had congregated together at Shonitkwu for ten thousand years, just as long as Wayam, and like Wayam the site rapidly developed into a permanent city with a stratified ruling class since at least the early 7th century AD. The Chiyatsuru world itself developed here and those from far away came to Shonitkwu to observe and imitate the traditions of the city.

The Shilkh of Shonitkwu took great pride in their heritage. They viewed all other cities and states as upstarts, in particular T'kuyatum whom they considered reflecting all the negative traits of modern society in its false pride and aggression toward neighbours. Shonitkwu's people emphasised their city's role in the development of the world, erecting fine shrines and totem poles near religious sites and hosting a multitude of religious scholars and preachers ready to convince the many outsiders who came to trade. Other Shilkh regarded Shonitkwu as arrogant and sanctimonious thanks to the city's religious nature.

All this brought Shonitkwu power. No matter what others thought of Shonitkwu and its people, the approval of its leadership gave instant prestige to any outside ruler, and an alliance with Shonitkwu carried great currency. Those who traded with the city obtained great quantities of salmon yet also gold, silver, and metals in general, hammered out by the many skilled smiths of the city. Many sought spiritual power at Shonitkwu and it thus formed an important site of pilgrimage.

Shonitkwu preferred peace to war. While they clashed with neighbouring city-states and permitted their warriors and nobles to raid others, Shonitkwu rarely put in great efforts toward warfare. Their network of allies guarded them and their wealth and spirituality ensured they always received favourable peace terms, and since that same wealth and spirituality gained them plenty of riches in peace, they found little need for fighting. In any case, mercenaries flocked toward the banner of Shonitkwu, eager to stake out their own share in Shonitkwu's treasury.

The city continued to prosper even in the unstable 12th century despite new threats emerging in the west like the disruption of the shell trade by the Coastmen and upstart cities like Kawakhtchin and T'kuyatum. Mercenary armies and settlement of refugees kept the city rich and protected. Ilmikhwm Khach'etqen the Elder's pragmatic alliance with Chelkhalt of T'kuyatum allowed Shonitkwu to reap many of the benefits, including the submission of much land to the south once ruled by the defeated city-state of Nkhwemine. Religious revival bolstered the city's traditional spiritual role, while the rising cult of the Imaru River spreading in regions both downstream and upstream brought new sorts of pilgrims to the city.

For this reason Shonitkwu ranked as the largest and most powerful of the Shilkh states after T'kuyatum. Around 5,000 people lived in the city at the end of the 12th century and perhaps 80,000 more lived in areas subject to the city's influence. Many tens of thousands congregated at the city during important ceremonies like the First Salmon ceremony and their labour contributed greatly to the constant building of terraces around the city.

Shonitkwu regarded the rise of Wayam with suspicion, yet believed its victory over Chelkhalt was a sure sign Wayam held at least some spiritual righteousness. However, Shonitkwu adamantly rejected Wayam's claim toward hegemony under one ruler and decried the doctrine of the Pillar King as absurd. In the local belief, the Wayamese built their city as a copy of Shonitkwu using what they learned from the Chiyatsuru, the first people created by their chief god Amotqen (sometimes worshipped as Qelentsoten). Therefore Shonitkwu would never submit to the Pillar King, no matter how much they did not mind working alongside him.

For the Pillar King of Wayam Tsanahuutimna this proved an insurmountable challenge in his quest to rule the entire Imaru Basin. Control of the city would grant him legitimacy he desperately needed from his Chiyatsuru subjects and make it easy to force other cities to submit. Yet taking the city by force would damage that legitimacy and make him look like a brutal conquerer. For Shonitkwu to submit, he needed alternate strategies, and for Tsanahuutimna, that meant chipping away at the edges of Shonitkwu's otherwise stable society.

Ilmikhwm Khach'etqen the Younger ruled Shonitkwu since the 1150s. Having inherited his grandfather's name he sought to copy his foreign policy through allying with Wayam. This predictably brought him great benefits in terms of trade and protection. He stayed neutral in the alliance of Chiyatsuru cities against Wayam and their vassal ruler of T'kuyatum, the North King Snkalip, reaping the usual benefits that peace brought. This war also expanded Shonitkwu's territory as many border villages and nobles from the defeated state of Npwilukh submitted to Shonitkwu rather than submit to T'kuyatum.

Throughout the 1170s, Wayam remained at peace with the Chiyatsuru aside from occasional raiding thanks to Tsanahuutimna's priorities focusing on the Lower Imaru and internal reform. Yet he never ceased considering Shonitkwu in his planning and kept in constant contact with the East King Pakhat-Saq'antaikh of Siminekem and the even more essential North King Snkalip to remind them of the task. Wayamese merchants in Shonitkwu served equally as spies and informants, relaying critical information back to their superiors on the condition of the city-state, its people, and its forces.

The crafty Snkalip devised his own plans of aggression since the 1170s. He stirred up the Imaru Mountains Dena and other Dena groups, providing them with slaves, armaments, and supplies in exchange for raids on Shonitkwu. At the same time he loaned out his mercenaries to Shonitkwu to fight these Dena raids and rebuild villages to persuade nobles of the powerlessness of Shonitkwu and make a profit doing so. These raids and Wayamese aid caused turmoil in areas bordering Wayam's influence and caused outright defection of many local clans and villages.

Snkalip ran a skilled propaganda machine through his loyal sapuuskasitla and senwitla, one perhaps a little too skilled for the taste of the Wayamese elite. He proclaimed through endless totem sticks and totem poles erected that as grandson of both Chelkhalt and Q'mitlwaakutl that he alone was fit to rule the Chiyatsuru people as a whole, and that he was to be next in line to rule all of Wayam. So numerous are these messages that archaeologists discovered two fragmentary totem sticks that record similar proclamations of Snkalip's virtue. Although Tsanahuutimna knew of these messages, he did little about it thanks to personal trust in Snkalip and the need to conquer the Chiyatsuru. For Snkalip, he likely wished to make himself the greatest power in Wayam, whose ideology he seems to have genuinely believed, and enrich his own land rather than genuinely desire to rule.

Snkalip led several minor campaigns in the 1170s as well. He crushed the Grey Mountains Dena and seized much livestock in 1177 while in 1179 he conquered several independent towns along the Merugamin River in the name of protection from the Dena and control of trade routes. From 1179 to 1181 he fought with the Antekketsu cities and Zutsamen in a low intensity war. While the Antekketsu cities lost some land to Wayam, Snkalip devastated Zutsamen and seized the majority of their land and the decline of that city. Faced with Dena raids that Snkalip's forces continued defending against, Zutsamen increasingly allied to Wayam before their official submission in 1185.

Yet Tsanahuutimna grew impatient with the lack of results from persuading Shonitkwu to submit. In 1182 he led an army of 8,000 men against the city-state of Nkhwemine, easily brushing aside their paltry forces and taking most of their warriors prisoner in the few skirmishes. Nkhwemine surrendered and Tsanahuutimna executed the ilmikhwm of the city for his craven behavior, installing one of that prince's distant relatives he found trustworthy as ilmikhwm.

This marked the beginning of a new strategy for Tsanahuutimna in persuading the submission of Shonitkwu--isolation. Allegedly this strategy came from the merchant Niiptwashash, a friend of Tsanahuutimna's whom he previously raised from commoner status thanks to his mercentile skills. Historian Nch'iyaka of Wapaikht quotes the following regarding this strategy.

"So continued the labours of the great Pillar King Tsanahuutimna as he sought the submission of the prince of Shonitkwu. In winter of 838 [1181] his household merchant Niiptwashash spoke unto him 'Oh great Pillar King, surely the prince of Shonitkwu might submit should our forces keep his subjects from buying or selling.' The wise Pillar King Tsanahuutimna did ask Niiptwashash why this might be so. His household merchant Niiptwashash spoke unto him 'Oh great Pillar King, the forces of disharmony did keep me from buying or selling my wares and destitution came upon me! Surely the forces of harmony might act in like manner and force our enemy into destitution!' The great Pillar King Tsanahuutimna found favour in the wisdom of Niipwashash and endeavoured to the submission of Shonitkwu through the fall of their merchants."

How Tsanahuutimna accomplished this is uncertain given the limited knowledge of economics or economic warfare. However, Nch'iyaka suggests that Wayamese merchants with state funding "bought up all the shells and acorns from the merchants in all the cities by the Grey Mountains" and even traveled as far as the Whulge Coast in their quest to deny Shonitkwu these goods. How widespread or how effective this policy was is impossible to tell, although reports suggest storehouses "overflowed" with acorns for years afterward which may point toward food hoarding being the primary goal.

What was far more successful was Wayam's wars against Shonitkwu's neighbours meant to enforce this isolation. Striking north of Nkhwemine, the Wayamese under Tsanahuutimna attacked the wealthy and powerful Qlhispe city-state of St'kamhtsi in 1182. The rough terrain, constant enemy raids, and a sudden illness of Tsanahuutimna allowed a "last-ditch defense" of St'kamhtsi to succeed in repelling Wayamese forces at heavy cost. Initially abandoned by their allies, in 1183 the Qlhispe city-states of Qapqapeh, Nstyehlts'eh, and Sq'eihlkwum [2] joined in the defense against Wayam, raising a total of 10,000 men so they might restore an anti-Wayamese prince of Nkhwemine and defend their own lands as well as Shonitkwu.

The nobles of Shonitkwu took immediate notice of this alliance and the sudden illness of Tsanahuutimna, yet Khach'etqen the Younger neglected to act. In his Saga of the Four Corners, Gaiyuchul speculates why and condemns him for inaction:

"Khach'etqen the Younger displays an indolence and ignorance rarely equalled among rulers. He believed himself invincible from the Wayamese for in his pride he viewed his city and people as indispensible for Wayam's place in the world. He swelled with pride and condemned his advisors and nobles for denying the invincibility of Shonitkwu. He claimed that spiritual power lavished favour upon Shonitkwu for it struck Tsanahuutimna with illness. For this reason Shonitkwu need do nothing but wait for fortune awaited them no matter which path fate chose. In his prideful neglect Khach'etqen believed himself setting a righteous example for those to follow in his footsteps yet in truth he displayed nothing but the grandest of indolence."

After the White Robes and mercenaries raided Qlhispe cities all winter, Tsanahuutimna returned in 1183 with an equal force of 10,000 men including his elite pananikinsh. This time Wayamese skirmishers swept the area with far more ferocity and prevented the enemy from hit-and-run ambushes. The Qlhispe cities switched tactics and assembled their forces for an even greater ambush near the town of Nyeyot [3] in an attempt to encircle the Wayamese.

Unfortunately for the Qlhispe, Tsanahuutimna realised their strategy and lured them into a trap. He sent a detatchment of 4,000 elite warriors to Nyeyot and allowed the enemy attack on both sides to continue. With both enemy armies locked in combat against his pananikinsh and other resilient defenders, he divided his forces once again into two groups of 3,000 warriors and enveloped both enemy armies. Few escaped this slaughter and Tsanahuutimna took many prisoners.

Following the victory at Nyeyot, the Wayamese conquered town after town of the rich Andou [4] Valley. A contingent of Wayamese warriors spent the winter besieging St'kamhtsi itself and that city fell by the end of winter due to the exhaustion of the defenders and their resources. Through spring and summer 1184, the Wayamese forced the submission of lesser allies and nobles of St'kamhtsi and made many raids against the other Qlhispe cities.

Only the death of the Wayamese senwitla Plaashyaka the Younger ended the campaign and forced the Wayamese to seek peace. At the age of 76, Plaashyaka spent the majority of his life as senwitla and tirelessly worked at promoting the interests of the Wayamese state as well as its state ideology. Tsanahuutimna and others viewed his death as an omen and returned to Wayam for his grand funeral as well as the challenge of finding a successor. Gaiyuchul describes the result of this search for a senwitla:

"And so the task of finding a successor to that man Plaashyaka the Younger fell upon the great Pillar King Tsanahuutimna. But as so many men discover, brilliant men such as Plaashyaka cannot be replaced. Tsanahuutimna found no man satisfactory for this role no matter how great his search in the offices of the senwitla might be. Until the death of Tsanahuutimna no man served more than five years as the senwitla of Wayam. Some scholars believe Tsanahuutimna indecisive yet I believe he showed a true talent in selecting brilliant men. No man's brilliance eclipsed Plaashyaka and for this Wayam found no man to replace Plaashyaka."

Plaashyaka's death and his weak successors allowed Tsanahuutimna leeway (and essentially forced him) in reshaping the senwitla's office which had become increasingly bloated and unwieldy. He created the office of the itkw'ktla ("straightener") out of the senwitla's office whose duties focused on rooting out corruption within other offices in Wayam. His subordinates, the itkw'ktlanmi, traveled from province to province assisting other officials in their tasks but ensuring they did them correctly. He also entrusted the senwitla's formerly important role in convening potlatch to the new office of the panaqtukhtla ("he who summons them") who led his own ministry responsible for potlatching on behalf of the Pillar King.

Tsanahuutimna further made the consequential decision to not impose direct control on newly submitted areas by adding them to pre-existing provinces. He wished for their peaceful incorporation into Wayam and instead exempted them from a number of tribute of demands. In practice this may have been a way for the central government to save money by appointing fewer payiktla and other bureaucrats to areas distant and far from central control.

These areas he organised under an aikwiyatla, essentially a military governor responsible for Wayamese operations in the region who dealt with local nobles. His title translated as "he sits far away", referring to the garrison village and fortress where he ran the Wayamese occupation. He and his staff supervised political affairs in subjugated areas, and were chosen from the elite of forces the Pillar King loaned to his Directional Kings. With only a few Wayamese soldiers (mostly collaborators) and bureaucrats, these rulers would be encouraged to rule lightly yet have the full force of Wayam to bring down on their territories should things go wrong.

The aikwiyatla held another important role--they reported directly to the Pillar King rather than a Directional King for all but spiritual matters, including the loyalty of their personal guard directly sent from Wayam and their tribute ending up in Wayamese hands. The Directional Kings they bordered only received a portion of their tribute. This balanced the expansionistic tendencies of the Directional Kings. At the same time, the aikwiyatla could never build up a powerbase of his own, for in the end his territories would join the territories of a Directional King whenever the Pillar King and senwitla deemed fit.

The strength of the aikwiyatla depended on how much power Wayam practically exerted in the area. At times he functioned as a glorified ambassador, merely informing local rulers of the Wayamese government's desires. Often he collected a mere pittance of tribute, just enough to keep the Wayamese pleased. The challenge of dealing with uncooperative foreign nobles and the constant threat of assassination made this post difficult and dangerous. Regardless, a few lucky aikwiyatla governed areas that later became prefectures of Wayam, achievements that reflected well upon them and led to personal advancement.

The setback from Plaashyaka's death kept Tsanahuutimna closer to home in managing domestic affairs, leading the campaign against the Qlhispe to fall upon Snkalip and his forces. Raising 8,000 men, Snkalip attacked Nstyehlts'eh and Qapqapeh in 1185 and 1186. Although both city-states suffered heavily in the previous campaigns, continual hit-and-run raids forced Snkalip to innovate his strategies against them.

Snkalip improvised on the watchtower methods used in the southern deserts, creating what became the typical watchtower design among the Chiyatsuru for many centuries to come. His men--and many prisoners and slaves--built tall wooden towers at regular intervals and stocked them with supplies to hold out for at most a few days. He stationed five men at each tower, although a few held twenty men. Soldiers climbed up and climbed down on ropes and ladders from these towers. These buildings held a different design than the ones in the desert--while they had four sides around a tall central pillar for one man to look out from, these towers emphasised height rather than size or defense. Some were even built into the sides of tall trees.

Snkalip spent much in constructing these towers during 1185 and 1186 and used many of his allotted soldiers in garrisoning them, so much that many of his nobles decried him as a fool for wasting so much. Yet they formed a greatly efficient network for keeping supply lines safe, destroying the enemy's ability to resist, and keeping Wayamese forces rested and supplied. His scouting parties and skirmishers hauled in prisoner after prisoner and attacks on supply lines came to a halt. In 1186, Nstyehlts'eh capitulated after a siege and in spring 1187, the depredations of the White Robes under Snkalip's command during the winter forced the surrender of Qapqapeh as well. By the end of 1187, the entirety of this region aside from the distant Sq'eihlkwum was firmly under Wayamese control.

Snkalip never dismantled the watchtowers after his successful campaign, viewing them as a potent sign of Wayamese domination. Some served as prisons, others continued in their original role albeit with reduced garrisons. The sturdy redcedar construction kept even a unmaintained towers standing almost a century later. The areas with dense concentrations of these towers became known as "tower roads" and at various points in history formed residences, village centers, and the nucleus of fortification lines [5]. They became locally important as a part of the identity and livelihoods of the people who lived in their shadows.

Not to be outdone, during this time Pakhat-Saq'antaikh made his own war of conquest and clashed with the Schits'uumish Confederation led by the diarchy of Khant'aqan-Nts'amkinkwi. He aimed to seize the rich hunting grounds and hills between Tatkhinma and Nts'amkinkwi and gain control over local gold, silver, and copper. Unlike others who sought self-aggrandisation and influence among Wayam, Pakhat-Saq'antaikh required it among his own people thanks to the powerful republican tradition within his city and nearby Tsupnitpelu lands.

The Schits'uumish lacked a strong military force and traditionally relied on their wealth to hire mercenaries. Their local forces existed mainly as skirmishers that deterred Dena and Laqapelu raids and lacked organisation. In 1187 the pool of mercenaries available to them ran low--Wayamese efficiency in recruiting mercenaries combined with mismanagement of internal resources prevented the Schits'uumish from assembling as large of force as they might. Recent defeats to the Hillmen caused the message of submission to Wayam to become increasingly attractive among the Schits'uumish, in particular those in the southern and eastern end of their territory furthest from Khant'aqan and Nts'amkinkwi.

Pakhat-Saq'antaikh moved into Schits'uumish lands, advancing his forces over several different routes through the mountains to maximise the plunder. The Wayamese system of unit organisation allowed him to sweep away the skirmishers in his path to which the Schits'uumish lacked any response aside from raiding his rear lines to little avail. After much fighting, the Schits'uumish formed a singular force and engaged one detatchment of Wayamese at St'uhtstahwas [6] where the Wayamese held the line until reinforcements arrived and attacked the rear of the Schits'uumish forces and captured or destroyed their army.

The Schits'uumish held out until autumn 1188, when Pakhat-Saq'antaikh captured both Khant'aqan and Nts'amkinkwi after lengthy sieges. Fearing the reforms of Tsanahuutimna would leave him unable to profit long-term off the land and wanting to increase, Pakhat-Saq'antaikh permitted his nobles to use unusual violence in subjugating the Schits'uumish. They enslaved thousands and murdered thousands more and seized large amounts of livestock and other property. Nch'iyaka of Wapaikht describes this scene.

"One half of the nobles of the towns of the Schits'uumish pleaded unto the King of the East Pakhat-Saq'antaikh 'To Wayam we surrender and to the Pillar King we submit.' One half of the nobles of the towns of the Schits'uumish sneered unto the King of the East Pakhat-Saq'antaikh 'To Wayam we resist and to the Pillar King we defy.' The King of the East Pakhat-Saq'antaikh spared none among the nobles and seized all from them, for his people the Tenepelu did desire much wealth the Pillar King could never grant."


The Great Pillar King Tsanahuutimna did summon the King of the East Pakhat-Saq'antaikh and spoke 'Oh my watcher of the East, why did you treat the Schits'uumish with such cruelty and greed?' Pakhat-Saq'antaikh replied unto the Pillar King 'The people of Siminekem, of Kikhlish, of Tatkhinma, of Qemyekhp, and all the cities of the Tenepelu elect for their ruler whom they please and for the sake of Wayam we must ensure they regard both our clans as worthy. Even if they be misguided in judgement the Tenepelu must never feel they are cheated in land or spoils.' Tsanahuutimna admonished unto the King of the East 'Tenepelu and Schits'uumish are equal in the Pillar King's realm and just as all men must accept balance, all men must reject greed.' The King of the East did ignore this condemnation for he already seized the wealth he wanted yet the sons of Pakhat-Saq'antaikh condemned in silence the consternation of the Pillar King."

This affair demonstrates the difficulties the Wayamese central government had at balancing its own concerns with those of its Directional Kings. Denied of what he viewed as a natural conquest, Pakhat-Saqantaikh took matters into his own hands and caused great devastation in Schits'uumish lands, devastation confirmed by archaeology as the land took two generations to recover its previous prosperity. However, the Schits'uumish remained placid in the aftermath, likely fearing the Hillmen even more than Wayam and its vassals.

Despite the Wayamese "encirclement" increasing, Khach'atqen the Younger continued his policy of peace with the Wayamese while resisting all calls to submit to Wayam. Tsanahuutimna moved toward a new strategy--active conquest. He found a coalition of Shonitkwu's vassals and nobles, some of whom lived at Shonitkwu itself, as well as two relatives of Khach'atqen who grew dissatisfied with their kinsmen's intransigence. In 1188 Wayam attacked Shonitkwu with a force of 10,000 men under Tsanahuutimna himself.

The revolt within Shonitkwu prevented any form of credible resistance. With around 2,000 men, Khach'atqen the Younger attempted to harass Wayamese lines and even made a failed assassination attempt on Tsanahuutimna. Yet he found every advance frustrated by the skill of the Wayamese or often his own revolting nobles. In late September 1188, an advance force of 400 White Robes under Snkalip himself reached Shonitkwu itself with both of the rebel princes at their side. Using hidden supporters from within they opened the otherwise-imposing gates of the city and quickly seized control. Gaiyuchul quotes the following on Khach'atqen's next and final course of action.

"When Khach'atqen heard the grave news of betrayal, he resolved that he should devote all his remaining life to slaying the Pillar King. With his two thousand warriors he marched toward the town of Nchahliwm [7] and laid in wait for the army of Wayam to appear. Khach'atqen gave the order to attack on a cold night as Wayamese camps filled the land beside the town yet not a single man moved against the enemy around them. They raised their daggers against Khach'atqen and slew him and delivered his body to the Wayamese camp. Tsanahuutimna gazed at the fallen body of this bitter enemy and ordered the body receive an honorable funeral while the traitors receive a dishonorable execution. I have heard that unto this day, the Shilkh of Shonitkwu name a rock by the Imaru River 'Rock of the Traitors' as from this rock the Wayamese hurled the murderers of Khach'atqen into the river where they were drowned."

This marked the end of organised Shilkh resistance in the area. With Shonitkwu ruled by loyal puppets, Tsanahuutimna used the long-sought after legitimacy from Shonitkwu's position in forcing the submission of many of the remaining Shilkh and Qhlispe. Wayamese emissaries arrived at every one of these places from the smallest village to the regional state of Ts'aap along the shore of Lake Nts'ilaam [8] and even distant Sq'eihlkwum. A sapuuskasitla accompanying Wayamese soldiers and an aikwiyatla bore a totem stick which they read out a message advising the ruler to submit to Shonitkwu and the Pillar King who ruled it. Few rulers resisted and the rule of Wayam rapidly expanded in all directions.

One last prominent obstacle lay in Tsanahuutimna's path as he sought to conquer the Imaru Basin--the Lakes Shilkh of the Land of Twenty Cities and Five Lakes. These wealthy cities remained committed to preserving their independence. When Tsanahuutimna sent emissaries to the city of Kp'itl'els, where the Imaru widened into a lake, the Lakes Shilkh pulled out their tongues and hacked off their hands and sent them back in chains.

Tsanahuutimna hesitated at taking revenge on the Lakes Shilkh for he heard stories of the vast size of their country and their prowess at fighting outsiders and wished to rest his forces in the region. Yet he did not let this insult go unpunished. That winter, the White Robes of T'kuyatum extensively raided the villages and towns around Kp'itl'els, including a daring nightime infiltration of Kp'itl'els itself by twenty men led by the young son of Snkalip, Chelkhalt (inheritor of that famous name) and his skilled lieutenant Tl'akhtikst. This raid, led by the young son of Snkalip who inherited the name Chelkhalt, burned down the palace of the Prince of Kp'itl'els along with several other buildings and murdered several nobles of the city.

The fall of Shonitkwu in 1188 resulted in an acceleration in Wayamese dominion in Fusania that marked the 1190s. With such power and legitimacy behind them, the armies of Wayam appeared invincible, repaying any setback they faced with crushing victory. Wayamese propaganda swayed more and more into paying tribute out of both fear of Wayam's might and a genuine belief in the spiritual power the Pillar King claimed to hold. Only the larger city-states and those smaller states led by fiercely independent princes resisted Wayamese calls of submission.

In winter 1189, Tsanahuutimna made preparations for the conquest of the Lower Imaru and the Irame Valley. Having long resisted the Wayamese, the replenished armies of Ahawaptas might join experienced soldiers from the Chiyatsuru campaign in conquering this wealthy area. Gaiyuchul describes this moment:

"The Pillar King Tsanahuutimna returned to Wayam surrounded by warriors glowing with victory. Yet he basked not in this grand success against the Chiyatsuru for he sought that which no ruler of Wayam accomplished. The great Tsanahuutimna demanded the remaining cities of the Lower Imaru submit unto Wayam. A crowd of people assembled around him and Tsanahuutimna spoke unto them 'I shall make good the memories of our ancestors and kin for soon the people of the Irame will make offerings in forgiveness of opposing the righteous men sent to carry out the will of the Pillar King.' The people of Wayam cheered when they heard this, for soon silence would befall the enemies who vexed them for so long."

Author's notes

Simply an entry discussing the continued expansion of Wayam along with elements of how it was achieved, not much else to say.

I will later discuss the architectural and engineering achievements of Tsanahuutimna's rule, many of which are in the Imaru Plateau. There will be two or three more entries with Tsanahuutimna and I'll try and make them like this one in that they will equally double as expanding on previous entries of the regions he "visits". Obviously the next one is another look at the Lower Imaru and the Irame Valley as well as a few adjacent areas.

Thank you for reading as always and have a happy New Year!

[1] - Shonitkwu Falls is Kettle Falls while the Nehoyabetsu River is the Kettle River of WA and BC
[2] - Qapqapeh is Sandpoint, ID, Nstyehlts'eh is Lamb Creek, ID, and Sq'eihlkwum is Thompson Falls, MT
[3] - Nyeyot is several miles downstream from Newport, WA
[4] - The Andou Valley refers to the Pend Oreille River, derived from a misinterpretation of the indigenous term for it "Ntkhwe"
[5] - For those curious, this is much of US Highway 2 near the WA-ID state line, parts of Idaho Highway 41 and Idaho Highway 57, and a few minor roads in that vicinity
[6] - St'uhtstahwas is a little south of Chatcolet, ID
[7] - Nchahliwm is Inchelium, WA (an un-Anglicised form)
[8] - Ts'aap is Christina Lake, BC while Lake Nts'ilaam is Christina Lake itself
:love: :love: 👏👏👍👍WONDERFUL WORK!!!!
Are you going to do any updates on Europe? Is there going to be a "Butterfly Net" like in "Lands of Red and Gold"? What's happening in Alt- Nevada, Alt-Arizona, Alt- Hawaii, Alt-Colorado and Alt-South-America?
I planned to mention Europe a little more in the context of the Norse in Markland but currently there is a small trickle in gold, silver, and above all, qiviut (called oxwool in Europe) which joins walrus ivory as trade goods from Greenland. Since Markland is a few trading outposts, most of it is brought to Greenland and Iceland and thus it's associated with those areas. Note that Greenland has its own oxwool trade.

*Nevada has a few sedentary towns of the Woshu in the west near *Lake Tahoe and some sedentary villages high in the mountains near good river valleys of the Natsiwi, but is mostly nomadic settlements of the Nama people, horticultural pastoralists who mostly orient around the wetter river valleys like the *Humboldt River. The Nama and Natsiwi are mostly allied, but they are enemies of the Woshu.

*Arizona is the center of Puebloan culture, including TTL's far stronger Patayans who have the strongest influence from the Fusanians.

*Colorado has Puebloans in the western part of the state. TTL's Fremont culture is far closer to the Puebloans in architecture and economy. Ts'edehege (TTL's Mesa Verde) is a major and emerging center, but so are smaller cities elsewhere.

*South America is pretty much OTL at this point, although by the end of the 12th century there's more contact between the Manteños in OTL Ecuador and western Mesoamerica (especially Aztatlan), so the butterflies are starting to spread. Just a few extra ships, and a few better built ships, but what happens is yet to be known.

No butterfly net, although I've tried playing it conservative with what makes it out of the Northwest and California since the trade routes aren't the most developed. It's worth noting that most of the Imaru Basin is very underdeveloped relative to the Far Northwest where Fusanian civilisation began. This is a PNW wank rather than a Mississippian wank so I aim to make them a little less successful at adapting to outside elements. This is natural too, since they already have a successful system of maize agriculture so Fusanian aquaculture is experimental or limited in use if used at all. Domesticates are a little easier to fit in, but there's the deer parasite issue in Eastern North America and until you can adapt both reindeer and mountain goats (towey goats), they'll be somewhat useless in the summer thanks to the humidity, so there's a slow uptake there too. That's why the areas which are the most changed or will be the most changed are further north at the margins of agriculture like Canada, the northern Plains, Minnesota and Wisconsin, New England, etc.

Hawaii is as OTL, since it's very out of the way.
Is there a current map in chase I missed it?

Unfortunately not. Here is the most recent map (from 1150). I plan on posting a new map in another 2-3 updates.