The next update (or the one after it) might be an appendix of ethnic groups listing their names (endonym, Japanese/Chinese exonym, and if needed other exonyms) and a brief description of their culture just to make things a little less confusing (since I regularly switch between East Asian and native Fusanian names for various groups, i.e. Aihamu/Aipakhpam for TTL's Sahaptin equivalent) and serve as a good recap. But I'm also working on two other entries, one for the cultures of the Imaru Basin/Whulge (a quite diverse region culturally/linguistically, much like Mesoamerica) and the other about the emergence of state societies (and comparable entities) in Fusania focusing on Wayam. I've briefly referred to some of this, but I'll be presenting it in more detail in these entries. It is funny that this timeline hasn't dealt much with the "civilised" Fusanians of the Imaru Basin and Whulge since Chapter X, although I've dealt with raids on them and the evolution of their agriculture and pastoralism in subsequent chapters.

One thing's for sure, we'll be dealing a lot more with the Imaru Basin and Whulge region soon and I'll be trying to approximate translations of works our friend Gaiyuchul from the intro wrote. I'm also finding it fascinating how a "hydraulic empire" in the OTL Columbia Basin might evolve, since it shares many similarities to the Loess Plateau of earliest China
Great and Wonderful update!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you. It was quite a fascinating dive into archaeology to produce last update to refresh my memory and gain additional insights, although the linguistic part was a bit more challenging. Siouan languages are well-documented and not too hard to learn as far as American Indian languages go, but others are a bit harder like Yuchi with its complex contractions--I imagine the Choyaha from TTL as an extinct cousin of OTL's Tsoyaha (who still exist TTL and are hanging about the Upper Tennessee River and tributaries in OTL East Tennessee) and speak a related language in a "Yuchian" family--"Tsoyaha" is the endonym adopted by OTL's Yuchi and obviously from the same root as my ATL Choyaha. It's likely that other Mississippian-related "language isolates" like Natchez or Tunica had extinct relatives or significant internal dialectual variation. Muskogean languages are complex but it's fortunate they contributed a huge amount of toponymy to the modern United States so making toponyms in that language isn't hard. Natchez and Tunica are rather challenging languages though. And then some sources I've relied on in the past like a Caddo dictionary seem to have suffered the curse of link rot but I try not to let technical difficulties detract from my research. The Southwestern/Oasisamerica part was quite interesting too of course.
 
Appendix A-Peoples of Fusania
-Appendix A-
Peoples of Fusania
The following is an appendix of various cultures and ethnic groups which existed in Fusania in the early 2nd millennium, organised by region and listed by their endonym. Some alternate names are listed as well. A brief description of their culture and lifestyle is provided.

Far Northwest

Hlinkit (endonym)/Ringitsu (Japanese exonym)
The Ringitsu are a people of the Far Northwest who were at the forefront of the so-called Fusanian Agricultural Revolution. They culturally fused their traditional sedentary fishing/gathering economy with Dena pastoralism and earthwork construction which in time led to intensive horticulture and eventually true agriculture, although the Ringitsu considered it the work of slaves. At the same time, the Ringitsu developed whaling traditions as a means of prestige and with it became expert seafarers. Their homeland was known as Ringitania.

The expanding Ringitsu population combined with the relative poverty of their homeland and occasional natural disasters like the eruption of Kerutsuka [1] in 838 produced numerous migrations. Blocked in the south by the fierce Khaida and blocked in the north and east by both geography and the Dena, the Ringitsu migrations focused westwards along the coast, conquering and driving out numerous local peoples and settling islands like Kechaniya (natively Keilchaniya). Finding the trade in ivory even further west to be equally rich and gaining knowledge of new whale migrations, the Ringitsu pressed even further west and settled places like Khutsleinaan on the Ringitanian Sea and even further north on the Yaigani Peninsula [2]. Other Ringitsu raided to the south as one of the Coastmen raiders.

Unangakh (endonym)/Guteikh (Ringitsu exonym)/Aritsu (Japanese exonym)
The Unangakh are the indigenous people at the coastal fringes of the Far Northwest on the Anasugi (natively Anaaski) Peninsula and Manjima Islands [3], distantly related to other Arctic peoples like the Inuit and Yupik. The Ringitsu called them the Guteikh, evidently comparing them to a related people they conquered during their expansions west. The Unangakh are a fishing and whaling culture, but their isolation and poorer land prevented development along the lines of the Ringitsu.

Yupik (endonym)/Hanashaku (archaic Japanese exonym)/Kh'adassak (derogatory Ringitsu exonym)
The Yupik are an indigenous people of the Arctic, living on the coastal tundras and along the rivers. Their lifestyle changed immensely thanks to the arrival of reindeer pastoralism and the increase in trade that brought. However, the Yupik still are largely a culture of small-scale herders, fishermen, whalers, and sealers.

Like the Unangakh, they faced pressure from both the Ringitsu and the Dena who wished to expand into their lands for additional pastures and for ivory and seal pelts. The Unangakh themselves began expanding across the Strait of Ringitania into North Asia, where they clashed with the local Chacchou [4] people. Further, the Unangakh absorbed a wave of Inuit immigrating for similar reasons. With their reindeer and muskox herding they pressed along the coast against the Chacchou, often taking lands even the hardy Chacchou didn't want as they expanded north along the coast of the Arctic Ocean.

Inuit (endonym)/Hanashaku (archaic Japanese exonym)
The Inuit are a culture of pastoralists and whalers living along the Arctic Sea coast. Few people live in environments so harsh, yet the Inuit thrive in this land. The Inuit initially lived along the Straits of Ringitania and adjacent Arctic Coast yet in the 7th century the Inuit began migrating west and in the course of a few centuries pushed all the way to Greenland, displacing, absorbing, and destroying the previous Kinngait culture. [5] The Inuit in the 12th century live across thousands of kilometers of Arctic, inhabiting numerous different ecological niches from pastoralists to whalers to even sedentary horticulturalists in the case of the Tetjo Delta [6] Inuit. They became one of the most important trading partners of the Norse thanks to their access to gold, ivory, and above all, muskox pelts which could be rendered into an extremely soft and warm fabric called oxwool.

Dena (endonym)
The term Dena (or variations like Dine, Dene, etc.) is the endonym for numerous Dena-speaking peoples living in the hills, valleys, forests, and plateaus of the Far Northwest and areas immediately south. They lived a wide variety of lifestyles, with the Dena in colder and harsher environments living as reindeer pastoralists, the Dena at the northern fringes of the Imaru Basin living as farmers, to the Plains Dena living as bison hunters and the coastal Yatupah'en Dena living as fishermen and whalers. Although the Dena languages were very similar thanks to their recent mid-1st millennia expansion out of the Hentsuren basin, their lifestyles vastly differed.

The Dena hold a special role in the history of the North America thanks to their domestication of the reindeer along the Hentsuren River starting in the 1st century AD, supposedly accomplished by a figure named "the Lord of the Ground". Along with it, they began more intensive horticulture of plant resources to feed their new herds eventually leading to sedentary trading centers like Nuklukayet and Taghatili (or Nukurugawa and Tachiri [7]. This began the process that led to agricultural civilisation all along the West Coast in Fusania as domesticated plants and reindeer spread south alongside migratory Dena. These Dena, alongside non-reindeer herding Dena who were quickly acculturated by them, settled these southern lands becoming the Tanne people (Coast Dena) and the ancestors of the Inde (Southern Dena). Against the peoples they met along the Imaru and Furuge (or Whulge) [8], they culturally fused with them and served as a ruling class. Some Dena in this area settled in the mountains but by the 12th century increasingly assimilated into neighbouring non-Dena cultures.

As Dena languages formed a dialect continuum, distinguishing individual Dena groups was typically done by both language and cultural practices. Notable Dena peoples included the Khwadzih'en (or Hawajin to the Japanese) near the headwaters of the Shisutara, the Tsetih'in (or Sechihin to the Japanese) in the American Divides, the Sayisi as the furthest east Dena group, the coastal whaling Yatupah'en (or Yatsuppen to the Japanese), and the sedentary agriculturist Yilqhanin (or Ieruganin to the Japanese) along the Gangou River [9].

Ts'msha (endonym)/Tsusha (Japanese)
"Ts'msha" or Tsusha is the common name given to speakers of Tsimshianic languages who live along coastal fjords and in the interior in some river valleys. They were considered by neighbouring peoples to be spiritually powerful and the creators of many cultural traditions. The Sibling Twins, a god and goddess claimed as the originators of North Fusanian dualistic, were traditionally believed to be Tsusha by nearly all groups who practiced those traditions. The Ts'msha were a Coastman group and embarked on numerous raids, but the Ts'msha were mainly traders, known for trading vast quantities of eulachon oil, shells, and other coastal products to the interior in exchange for jade, precious metals, and livestock.

Khaida (endonym)/Dekina (Ringitsu/archaic Japanese exonym)/Kaida (Japanese exonym)
The Khaida lived on the island of Qhwai, or Kuwai, and parts of the mainland immediately to the east. They were early adopters of pastoralism and horticulture and despite their rugged island home, among the most powerful of the Far Northwest peoples. Like many Coastmen groups, the monopolisation of land for use as reindeer pastures and an ever-expanding population created the conditions for a raiding culture to arise, and with their skill at whaling and seafaring, Khaida raiders struck far to the south starting in the mid-8th century, notably sacking the Namal city of Tlat'sap in 857 [10]. They continued these raids for many years afterwards, becoming among the most feared Coastmen people.

Hailtsaq (endonym)/Uikara (Japanese exonym)
The Hailtsaq are a group of Coastmen living along the central and southern fjords north of Wakashi Island. [11] They lived among the most rugged and mountainous part of the coast and were among the least agricultural peoples in the area as a result, instead practicing pastoralism and especially fishing and whaling. They were a Wakashan-speaking people with their language related to Lik'wil'dak and more distantly related to the Southern Wakashan or Atkhic languages and had similar culture and traditions. While smaller in number and poorer in resources than their neighbours, they made up for it with their skill in combat and seafaring.

Wakashi Island

Southern Khaida/Dekina (Ringitsu/archaic Japanese exonym)/Kaida
The Southern Khaida are an offshoot of the Khaida who settled on the northwestern tip of Wakashi Island. The most rugged and harsh part of the island, they transplanted their lifestyle from their homeland and practiced pastoralism, horticulture, and whaling. During the 9th century, Khaida settlement increasingly penetrated this part of the island as they conquered and displaced the ancestors of the Lik'wil'dak who migrated south.

Lik'wil'dak (endonym)/Rigadaku (Japanese exonym)
The Lik'wil'dak are a Northern Wakashan people although their culture has many similarities to the Atkhs to their south. They mostly live off the sea but have significant herds of reindeer. A Coastman group, the Lik'wil'dak often raid the coasts for personal prestige and fortune.

The Lik'wil'dak once lived to the northwest of their present location in center-east Wakashi, but the Khaida drove them out of this land from the 8th - 10th centuries. Hardened by this constant fighting with the Khaida, the Lik'wil'dak pushed southeast and drove out a group of Whulchomic people.

Atkh (endonym)/Attsu (Japanese exonym)
The Atkh people are a Southern Wakashan people and one of the most notorious of the Coastmen groups. Their culture lived on the rough and rainy western coast of Wakashi Island and evolved to focus on pastoralism, limited agriculture, and significant mariculture with seaweed and shellfish farming, in addition to traditional fishing and whaling activities. Whaling, restricted to nobles, granted great prestige to successful whalers and was of crucial importance to their culture and economy.

Faced with Coastman raids and an expanding population, the Atkhs increasingly raided the coast themselves starting in the 8th century and formed the spearhead of the Wakashan Expansion south. Atkh raiders and warlords and their followers conquered numerous coastal lands, spreading the innovations of their homeland and gradually assimilating the local populations or otherwise "Wakashanising" them. Some of these offshoot cultures of the Atkhs ended up highly distinct.

Not only raiders, the Atkhs are also extensive traders, and Trade Wakashan is a common pidgin spoken from Ringitania to South Fusania.

Northern High Plains

Gunahu (endonym)/Teftjahen (Norse exonym)
The Gunahu are a group of Plains-dwelling pastoralists who live along the Keskatjeven River [12] which they called the Teftjahen, a synonymous term but one often given in particular to the eastern branch of the Gunahu. They are culturally and linguistically linked to the Ringitsu of the coast, but split from them no later than the 5th century AD and adopted many Dena customs as they migrated inland. They are thus heavily influenced linguistically and to some degree culturally by the Dena.

Plains Salish
The Plains Salish are a Salishan people who live on the High Plains. They separated from the Mountain Salish in the 10th century thanks to drought and conflict with the Dena and moved onto the High Plains. They are a pastoralist people herding reindeer and towey goats. but the most crucial animal is perhaps the bison they hunt which forms the basis of their trade and a significant part of their diet.

Although considered barbarians by other Salishan-speaking peoples, their links to Fusanian culture proved essential in introducing Fusanian crops and agriculture to the Plains and beyond.

Ktanakha (endonym)
The Ktanakha are a pastoralist people who live on the High Plains at the foothills of the American Divides. They once mostly lived to the west of the mountains but due to conflict with the Dena fled east. Strong rivals of the Dena, they continue to contest the trade routes over the mountains. The Ktanakha live much as their Dena rivals as they raise reindeer and towey goats and rely heavily on the bison for trade goods and food.

Imaru Basin and Furuge

Whulchomish (endonym)/Tlaasatkh (Atkh exonym)/Furusattsu (Japanese exonym)
The Whulchomish ("People of Whulge") are a Whulchomic people living on the coast of the central and southern Whulge and immediately inland. They lived mainly as fishermen and farmers and were said to be the best at farming and building earthworks in all the Whulge. Like all Whulchomic peoples, they had a defensive outlook thanks to constant raids by the Coastmen and Dena.

Tlatlechamish (endonym)/Tlaasatkh (Atkh exonym)/Furusattsu (Japanese exonym)
The Tlatlechamish ("People of the Islands") are a Whulchomic people living on the peninsulas and islands of the Central Whulge coast and in the southeasternmost corners of Wakashi Island. They lived mainly as fishermen and farmers and were skillful at building boats. Like all Whulchomic peoples, they had a defensive outlook thanks to constant raids by the Coastmen and Dena.

Lelemakh (endonym)/Tlaasatkh (Atkh exonym)/Furusattsu (Japanese exonym)
The Lelemakh ("People of Salt [Water]") are a Whulchomic group living near the mouth of the Shisutara River and the lowlands around it. A separate yet related branch, the Island Lelemakh, lived immediately across the straits on Wakashi Island and practiced a similar culture. They lived as farmers and pastoralists, having likely been the group who domesticated the mountain goat into the modern towy goat due to their famed blankets made from goat wool. Like all Whulchomic peoples, they had a defensive outlook thanks to constant raids by the Coastmen and Dena.

Shlpalmish (endonym)/Soramishi (Japanese exonym)/Furusattsu (Japanese exonym)
The Shlpalmish are a Whulchomic people of the Imaru Basin. They speak a Whulchomic language but due to stronger influence by the Dena, Namals, and Aipakhpam, practice different traditions than their brethren to the northwest. For instance, they have a much greater tradition of reindeer and mountain goat pastoralism than other groups which they are known for. The Shlpalmish once lived on the coast alongside related Whulchomic peoples but constant raids from
the Wakashans forced them inland.

Shilkh (endonym)/Shiruhi (Japanese exonym)/Chiyatsuru (Japanese exonym)
The Shilkh are a Chiyatsuru people of the upper Imaru Basin. They are the largest and most widespread grouping of Chiyatsuru and as a result have significant internal divisions. They are mostly farmers who irrigate the river valleys in which they reside but some rely heavily on pastoralism. Like all Chiyatsuru people, they are skilled metalworkers.

Schits'uumish (endonym)/Chiyatsuru (Japanese exonym)
The Schits'uumish are a Chiyatsuru people who live near Lake Khanch'amqinkwe [13] at the edge of the Imaru Basin. They are small in number and territory thanks to repeated conflict with the Dena. The Shilkh irrigated their river valleys to farm in but also relied on much reindeer pastoralism. Like all Chiyatsuru people, they are skilled metalworkers and their land in particular is rich in silver.

Skowatsanakh (endonym)/Chiyatsuru (Japanese exonym)
The Skowatsanakh are a Chiyatsuru people who live in the mid-Imaru Basin. They are a defensive people thanks to frequent warfare with the Dena to their northwest and the Aipakhpam cities to their south. They lived off fishing and irrigated farmland. Like all Chiyatsuru people, they are skilled metalworkers.

Qhlispe (endonym)/Chiyatsuru (Japanese exonym)
The Qhlispe are a Chiyatsuru people at the eastern fringe of the Imaru Plateau who live in the river valleys there. They are closely related to the Schits'uumish in language and culture but possess many distinctions of their own. They farm in their river valleys but also rely heavily on pastoralism. The Qhlispe culturally value camas, hence their name often translated "camas people". Like all Chiyatsuru people, they are skilled metalworkers.

Nhlekepmkh (endonym)/Chiyatsuru (Japanese exonym)
The Nhlekepmkh are a Chiyatsuru people of the Shisutara River and Chiguta River [14]. They live under the control of the Dena but otherwise retain many Nhlekepmkh customs unlike some other Chiyatsuru people. They irrigate their river valleys to farm and supply food to the Dena. Like all Chiyatsuru people, they are skilled metalworkers.

Stl'atl'emkh (endonym)/Chiyatsuru (Japanese exonym)
The Stl'atl'emkh are a Chiyatsuru people of the Upper Shisutara River. Some live under Dena control while others remain self-governed, although like many Chiyatsuru their nobility is of Dena origin. They are somewhat influenced by the Whulchomic people downstream unlike other Chiyatsuru. Like all Chiyatsuru people, they are skilled metalworkers.

Slet'ewhsi (endonym)/Chiyatsuru (Japanese exonym)
The Slet'ewhsi are a Dena-ised group of Chiyatsuru. They are intermediate in culture and language between the nearby Qhlispe and the Mountain Salish but have clear Dena influences in both language and culture. They are small-scale agriculturists but are mainly reindeer and goat pastoralists living in the valleys of the American Divides. Like all Chiyatsuru people, they are skilled metalworkers.

Mountain Salish (endonym)/Chiyatsuru (Japanese exonym)
The Mountain Salish are a Dena-ised group of Chiyatsuru, most closely related to the Plains Salish who split from them. They are small-scale agriculturists but derived most of their livelihood from reindeer and goat pastoralism. Like all Chiyatsuru people, they are skilled metalworkers.

Aipakhpam (endonym)/Aihamu (Japanese exonym)
The Aipakhpam, meaning "people of the plains" are a people of the mid-Imaru River and its tributaries. They emerged thanks to influences from Wayam [15], their greatest city, where the cultures of the Namals and the Aipakhpam met and fused. They built irrigation channels to farm in the arid Imaru Plateau, and increasing build terraces--they are regarded as perhaps the best farmers and traders in the Imaru Plateau. Much of the Fusanian culture and lifestyle owes its existence to the Aipakhpam and especially Wayam.

Namal (endonym)/Namaru (Japanese exonym)
The Namals live in the lower Imaru Basin amidst its valleys, hills, and forests. They live under the control of powerful rulers who tamed the rivers and forests in which they reside. The Namals are farmers and expert silviculturists, and also great traders thanks to their control of the Lower Imaru River and the passage to Wayam. As such, the Namals are wealthy and numerous, and also powerful as they organised to defend their land against Coastmen and Dena raids. Because of their links to Wayam, they are often considered as one of the groups at the root of Fusanian culture.

Amim (endonym)/Amimu (Japanese exonym)
The Amim live in the Irame Valley, the fertile valley of a large tributary of the Imaru River [16]. They are a diverse group of farmers and pastoralists and among the most numerous of Fusanian ethnic groups thanks to the fertility of their land. The Amim are often raided by the surrounding cultures such as the Amorera, Tanne, Atkhs, and Namals for slaves and have frequently come under the control of nearby Namal city-states. The Amim are among the finest at forestry in Fusania and readily adopted oak silviculture spreading from the south.

Valley Tanne
Although they do not live in the Imaru Basin, the Valley Tanne are usually grouped alongside them for their similar culture and great distinction from nearby Hill Tanne people. They live in the valleys of the Kanawachi and Yanshuuji [17] and appear to be a cultural fusion of sedentary groups culturally related to the Amims and invading Tanne. Their language is distinct from other Tanne languages and has a large substrate of a Penutian language. Unlike many other Dena, the Valley Tanne are farmers who irrigate their valleys and pastoralism plays only a minor role in their culture. They are known to be skilled traders and play an important role as middlemen in the trade routes of Fusania.

Central Fusanian borderlands and coast

Amorera (Japanese exonym)
The Amorera are a hill people of the Imaru Basin, herding reindeer and towey goats for their lifestyle in the Grey Mountains [18] at the fringe of the Plateau. They often cross between the mountain passes as raiders and traders, but contend with the Liksiyu and Dena who they often compete with. They are enemies of the Amim people in the Irame Valley and the Aipakhpam along the Imaru.

Hill Tanne
The Hill Tanne live in the mountains and hills north and west of the Central Valley to the headwaters of the Irame River. They are an offshoot of the Dena and arrived early in the American Migration Period. The Hill Tanne lived much like the Dena and herded reindeer and goats for a living. They frequently traded with neighbouring people, but also often raided them for slaves or livestock.

There are numerous Hill Tanne peoples, although they all practiced similar customs and spoke closely related languages.

Coast Tanne
The Coast Tanne live in the coastal hills and cliffs of the rugged coast between the area of Tappatsu and the Yanshuuji River. They are related to the Valley Tanne and Hill Tanne peoples as offshoots of the Dena people of the north, having settled in their homeland in the early 1st millennia. The Coast Dena are distinguished from their kin by being heavily Wakashanised thanks to settlement during the Wakashan Expansions. As a result, they are mostly a fishing people living off the sea with some reindeer and towey goat pastoralism, and are ruled by prestigious whaling nobles.

Onekwol (endonym)/Dachimashi (Japanese exonym)
The Onekwol are a coastal people in the borderlands between North and South Fusania, living at the mouth of the Ueno River [19] and nearby mountains. They are a heavily Wakashanised maritime culture, living as fishermen and pastoralists under the rule of whaling nobles.

Notably, they speak a language distantly related to the Algonquian languages of the Northeastern Woodlands and at one point lived near the Imaru River before migrating far to the south around the start of the American Migration Period

Hanis (endonym)/Kusu (Japanese exonym)
The Kusu are a coastal people living around Minugichi Bay (or Minukwits in their language) [19], one of the few safe harbors in that portion of the Pacific Coast. They were heavily Wakashanised over the centuries and practice a similar culture to other coastal people, living as fishermen and pastoralists with a prestigious whaling nobility. They are largely clustered in their city state of Hanisits. [20]

Maqlaqs (endonym)/Maguraku (Japanese exonym)
The Maqlaqs are an interior people living by Lake Hewa and the headwaters of the Ueno River at the fringe of the desert. They live on the trade routes of the region and as a result became the first agricultural group in the region although they still raise many towey goats and reindeer. They are known for being slave raiders, with the slaves either sold at their central city of Ewallona [21] or marched up the river to sell at Wayam. Powerful and expansionistic, the Maqlaqs expanded into the Upper Mowa River [22] and displaced the ancestors of the Natsiwi. The Maqlaqs who live here are known for their groves of sugar pines as much as the Maqlaqs of Lake Hewa are known for farming the wokas lily, a culturally preferred food first domesticated there.

Liksiyu (endonym)/Uereppu (Japanese exonym)/Ancestral Cayuse (historiographical term)
The Liksiyu are a group of pastoralists in the mountains at the northern fringes of the Great Basin. They are reindeer and goat herding pastoralists who occasionally farm. The Liksiyu are frequent raiders of the Aipakhpam settlements to their north along the river, although they just as often serve as traders of metals, animals, and salt. The Aipakhpam envy parts of their land and seek to expand into it.

Northern Nama (endonym)
The Northern Nama are a diverse group of Numic-speaking peoples who live in the deserts of the Great Basin and surrounding regions. They are horticultural pastoralists who grow hardy desert crops along the washes and rivers of the desert to feed their flocks of towey goats and ducks. Like many in the desert, the Nama trade salt, livestock, metals, and slaves to peoples at the fringes, but are also notorious raiders.

Natsiwi (endonym)
The Natsiwi are a people of the Great Basin who live in some of the harshest deserts in North America. They originated on the Upper Mowa River but became displaced eastward by constant Maguraku slave raids over the centuries. They venerate the sugar pine for its sweet sap, wood, and pine nuts. The seeds they brought to their new desert homeland became the ancestors of the disjunct population of sugar pines which grow in the highest mountains of the Great Basin.

Washiwa (endonym)/Woshu (Chinese exonym)
The Washiwa are a people living at the fringe of the Great Basin in the mountains along the lakes and rivers near Lake Dahuo [23]. They are sedentary pastoralists, venerating their groves of pinyon pines which hold a place of high importance in their Kuksuist faith. Their towns are important trading centers, although their wealth often attracts raids from the Nama and others.

South Fusania

Central Coast Atkhs/Xi (Chinese exonym)
The Central Coast Atkhs is the term for those Atkhic peoples who speak Central Atkhic languages. They share many traits of their northern kin, from being prominent whalers to their skill at seafaring, but adopted greatly from peoples they conquered due to both intermarriage and environmental conditions. Notably, they nearly abandoned reindeer pastoralism due to the local conditions and instead focused heavily on towey goat herding. Similarly, they venerated the redwood in place of the red cedar. The Central Coast Atkhs were some of the most prominent raiders in all Fusania, attacking villages and towns throughout South Fusania under famous Coastmen like Chakhwinek and Khutsaayi.

They were called the Xi by the Chinese thanks to a misinterpretation of the name of one of their principle city, Tahsis, located on Daxi Bay [24], which took its name from their city. The Chinese applied the name Xi to many of the Central Coast Atkhic peoples they met.

Knokhtaic peoples (historiographical term)
The Knokhtaic peoples are the term for those speaking Knokhtaic languages, who shared a similar culture. They lived in the coastal hills and mountains between the Pacific and the Central Valley, and are so named for their veneration of Mount Knokhtai [25]. A Kuksuist people, the central Kuksuist lodge in the area often held sway over most of the Knokhtaic peoples in the form of a very loose, village-centered confederation as common in much of South Fusania. They were herders of towey goats and silviculturists and often faced raids from the Tanne and Wakashans.

The five extent Knokhtaic groups were called by the Chinese Poma, Kaiya, Daiya, Xiaoya, and Xiaomi, although these were mostly linguistic groupings typically not recognised by the Knokhtaic peoples themselves.

Micha (endonym/Chinese exonym)
The Micha are a group inhabiting the northern shores and hills of Daxi Bay. Kuksuist in religion, they are a group of fishermen and silviculturists mostly tending to their groves of acorns and flocks of towey goats. They are related to the larger and wealthier Miwa people of the Central Valley.

Muwema (endonym)/Menma (Chinese exonym)
The Muwema (among other variations) are a group of related peoples living along the South Fusanian coast or in the valleys nearby. They lived mainly as silviculturists, tending to their acorn groves alongside fishing and some agriculture. In the valleys, the Muwema relied more heavily on agriculture. Religiously they practiced Kuksuism although their practice was often different than that of the Central Valley.

Ch'arsel (endonym)/Beikama (Chinese exonym)/Qatmaqatkh (Atkh exonym)
The Ch'arsel live in northern parts of the Central Valley and are among the Kama peoples. Their central city, Pasnomsono [26], is known for its high-quality smithing and is a major trading center, and many Ch'arsel work as miners in the hills nearby. A Kuksuist people, Pasnomsono's lodge is among the most influential. The Ch'arsel also farm great quantities of food to supply this industry.

The Patwin, or Southern Ch'arsel, are sometimes considered a separate group although they live a similar lifestyle. In their territory lies Onolaitol, a sacred mountain rising high above the floor of the Central Valley. This is the holiest site of the Kuksuist religion, where the Restorer was born, where he reshaped Kuksuism into an even more potent force, and where he successfully protected the world from being destroyed during a eclipse at the cost of his life. The city of Koru [27] at the foothills hosts the holiest lodge in the otherwise decentralised Kuksuist faith. The Patwin grow great quantities of food amidst their earthworks to feed the many pilgrims and traders who come to Koru.

Miwa (endonym)/Xikama (Chinese exonym)/Qatmaqatkh (Atkh exonym)
The Miwa, often called the Xikama, are a Kama people of the Central Valley. They lived toward the central and western parts of the valley. A Kuksuist people, the Miwa built earthworks for flood control and irrigation in order to tap the rich soils of the Central Valley.

Maha/Dongkama (Chinese exonym)/Qatmaqatkh (Atkh exonym)
The Maha, often called the Dongkama, are one of the Kama peoples who live in the Central Valley of South Fusania. They live on the central-eastern edge of the valley, living in villages and towns around the streams and rivers as farmers building great earthworks to tame the waters of the area. They are Kuksuists like the other Kama groups.

T'ahat'i (endonym)/Nankama (Chinese exonym)/Qatmaqatkh (Atkh exonym)
The T'ahat'i, often called the Nankama, were a Kama people of the Central Valley and adjacent foothills, living in the south of the valley. They lived in the driest part of the Central Valley so practiced irrigation and earthworks more extensively, necessary to tame the intermittent streams and vast swamps and lakes on which they lived. Like other Kama, they were farmers and practiced the Kuksuist faith.

K'ahusani (endonym)/Sani (Chinese exonym)
The K'ahusani lived in the Yuliu Delta [28] and eastern edge of Daxi Bay. They were farmers and fishermen and experts in building earthworks and waterworks, and culturally (for instance, they did not practice Kuksuism) and linguistically distinct from neighbouring Kama peoples and the Muwema thanks to their ultimate origin in the Waluo people from North Fusania. In the floods and warfare of the 11th century, they split from the related Kahosadi and arrived in their current homeland after migrating across the Central Valley. They were rich and powerful thanks to controlling the flow of trade in and out of the Central Valley.

Nimi (endonym)/Monuo (Chinese exonym)
The Nimi, often called the Monuo, lived in the deserts to the west and southwest of the Central Valley, preferring the deep valleys at this fringe of the Great Basin which were among the hottest places on Earth. They were among the first agriculturists in South Fusania, irrigating their desert with the rivers and lakes there, and were culturally related to other Numic-speaking peoples. Although they were not Kuksuists (and held a deep enmity with the neighbouring Nankama, their society had similar customs and social organisation like the Kuksuist lodges.

Mai (endonym)/Mayi (Chinese exonym)
The Mai people live in the mountains at the eastern edge of the Central Valley. They are pastoralists famed as towey goat herders and follow Kuksuism. They often raid the valley below and are disliked by many there both for this and for cheating merchants and travelers with exhorbitant tolls to pass through their territory. The Mai are perhaps the most powerful group in these mountains. The Mai are linguistic and cultural kin to the Dongkama.

Yana (endonym)/Yayi (Chinese exonym)
The Yana people live in the mountains near the Central Valley, preferring remote parts of the land where their enemies find it difficult to travel. They are a pastoralist people who occasionally raid the valley below, although they are much poorer than the Mai due to their poorer land.

Kahosadi (endonym)/Walkh (various groups' exonyms)/Waluo (Chinese exonym)
The Kahosadi live in the mountains at the eastern edge of the Central Valley. Their ancestors once lived far to the north along the Yanshuuji and Ueno Rivers before being pushed south by the Tanne and often being absorbed by them. The Kahosadi live as pastoralists in the mountains, trading with and raiding the valley below. During the chaos of the 11th century, some Kahosadi tribes split off and migrated to the Yuliu Delta to become the Sani.

T'epot'ahl (endonym)
The T'epot'ahl are a people living in the coastal hills, mountains, and valleys. They are pastoralists and silviculturists tending to their groves of oaks which gave them their endonym which meant "people of the oaks". They are rivals of the Muwema who seek to expand into their land. The T'epot'ahl, like their neighbours, practice the Kuksuist faith.

Far South Fusania

Chuma peoples (Chinese exonym)
The Chuma peoples live along the coast at the traditional northern borders of Far South Fusania. The Chuma are perhaps the greatest sailors of the South Fusanians, building fine-quality ships for fishing and coastal trade. Many Chuma also live in the interior valleys of this region, mostly tending to groves of oaks and their towey goats. The Chuma practiced the Antapist faith which centered around a society whose leaders communed with the gods through consumption of the psychoactive datura plant.

Kizh (endonym)/Jiqi (Chinese exonym)
The Kizh live along the coast and in nearby valleys, harvesting from the orchards of oaks they tend and fishing the waters offshore. Like the Chuma, they are great sailors, although perhaps not as good of boat builders. The Quaoarist faith originated in Jiqi lands. Similar to Kuksuism, it worships a legendary culture hero and is organised into a powerful network of lodges.

Ivitam (endonym)/Yiweidang (Chinese exonym)
The Ivitam live in the deserts and mountains of Far South Fusania near Lake Pang [29], a dry lakebed which often turns into a large freshwater lake and then a saltwater lake for decades or centuries at a time. They are a Quaoarist people and especially prize the orchards of pinyon pines they tend to which hold great spiritual significance to them in addition to their practical value. The Ivitam are mostly pastoralists and farmers.

Yuhaviatam (endonym)/Yuweidang (Chinese exonym)
The Yuhaviatam live in the interior mountains and valleys of Far South Fusania living mainly as pastoralists and horticulturalists. They are followers of Quaoarism and like their cultural kin the Yiweidang, they zealously guard their groves of pinyon pines.

Mutipi (endonym)/Payi (Chinese exonym)
The Mutipi live along the coast and coastal hills of Far South Fusania, mostly as sedentary fishermen, acorn gatherers, and farmers. They are linguistic kin of the Haiyic peoples to their east, but culturally are much more similar to the nearby Jiqi and Yiweidang. Like many in Far South Fusania, the Mutipi are Quaoarists.

Haiyi (Chinese exonym)
The Haiyi and other Haiyic peoples live at the far southeast of Fusania along the Anquon River [30] and in adjacent areas. Their cultural realm was known as the Patayan culture. Culturally they are transitional between the Puebloans of Oasisamerica and the cultures of South Fusania, and farm a mix of crops like maize and beans but also Fusanian omodaka. In addition, they cultivated mesquite groves which were linked to rituals in their religion. The Haiyi placed great value in dream interpretation, far more than most societies, and practiced a distinct form of Quaoarism. They were an important community on the trade routes between Fusania and Oasisamerica.

---
Author's notes

The point of this appendix is to serve as a handy reference material that can be read at any point in the TL so I've tried to avoid putting in material from anything but the first few entries. I've also tried to avoid spoilers so the description of the groups is often pretty brief and basic, although some groups are more lavishly described for a variety of reasons. Much of this entry reproduces Map 2 and Map 3 (I finally uploaded the corrected version) in text form, so to follow along see those maps.

There's a couple groups which will have a minor role in Far South Fusania that I've missed but otherwise this is every group I've mentioned so far. I'll continue to update this appendix when I get around to those groups and likely make a note of it in this post when I update. I will also update as I include a bit more information on some Imaru Basin peoples I otherwise haven't mentioned much, but it won't include spoilers. A few groups which would exist in this time period (a couple of Dena groups transitional between Northern Dena and the Tanne, some coastal Western Hillmen and some South Fusanians well into the process of being assimilated by various groups) are also not listed here.

I don't plan on including non-Fusanian groups (i.e. Puebloans, Mississippians, etc.) in the appendix at this time, simply because they aren't the focus here. I've reproduced all the notes on alternate terminology, toponyms, etc. since this is an appendix and meant as a useful resource.

I can also answer any questions on the fate of any particular archaeological culture or ancestors of any OTL group in this region.

[1] - Kerutsuka is the Ringitsu name for the volcano Mount Churchill, meaning "ash mouth" after its massive eruption in the early 9th century which I have assigned to be the year 838.
[2] - Kechaniya (or Keilchaniya in its native language) is Kodiak Island, while Khutsleinaan is Naknek, AK. The Ringitanian Sea is the Bering Sea, while the Yaigani Peninsula is the Seward Peninsula.
[3] - The Anasugi/Anaaski Peninsula is the Alaska Peninsula and the Manjima Islands are the Aleutians
[4] - Chacchou is the Japanese term for the Chukchi
[5] - The Kinngait Culture is the Dorset culture, similar to OTL but named for the Inuit name for Cape Dorset, Kinngait
[6] - The Tetjo Delta is the Mackenzie Delta, where the Tetjo River enters the Arctic
[7] - The Hentsuren River is the Yukon River, Nuklukayet is Tanana, AK, and Taghatili is Nenana, AK
[8] - The Imaru River is the Columbia River and the Furuge is the Japanese term for the Whulge, or Salish Sea (including Puget Sound)
[9] - The Shisutara River is the Fraser River, the American Divides are the Rocky Mountains, and the Gangou River is the Kootenay River, called Kwunkoh in Yilqhanin
[10] - Kuwai is Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands, and Tlat'sap is Astoria, OR.
[11] - Wakashi Island is Vancouver Island, so named for the common expression in Nuu-chah-nulth (TTL's Atkhs/Attsu) roughly pronounced "wakash" meaning "good" which OTL gave us the name of the Wakashan language family
[12] - The Keskatjeven is the Saskatchewan River
[13] - Lake Khanch'amqinkwe is Lake Coeur d'Alene
[14] - The Chiguta River is the Thompson River
[15] - Wayam is Celilo Falls and refers to the villages on either side of it, the present day locations of Celilo, OR and Wishram, WA near The Dalles, OR.
[16] - The Irame is the Willamette
[17] - The Kanawachi is the Umpqua River and the Yanshuuji is the Rogue River
[18] - The Grey Mountains are the Cascades
[19] - The Ueno River is the Klamath River
[20] - Minugichi Bay/Minukwits is Coos Bay (the body of water), while Hanisits is the city of Coos Bay, OR
[21] - Lake Hewa is Klamath Lake and Ewallona is Klamath Falls, OR
[22] - The Mowa is the Pit River
[23] - Lake Dahuo is Lake Tahoe
[24] - This particular Tahsis (it's a common toponym meaning "gateway") is San Francisco, CA, while Daxi Bay is San Francisco Bay
[25] - Mount Knokhtai is Mount Konocti in California
[26] - Pasnomsono is Redding, CA
[27] - Onolaitol is the Sutter Buttes and Koru is Colusa, CA
[28] - The Yuliu Delta is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and refers to the Yuliu River, or San Joaquin River
[29] - Lake Pang is Lake Cahuilla, the ancestral Salton Sea
[30] - The Anquon River is the Colorado River
 
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Maybe, but I'd argue my inspirations like Lands of Red and Gold, Lands of Ice and Mice, and Land of Sweetness must be higher than this one.
Maybe in terms of Politics but only Red and Gold touch on the amount of detail and quantity you put into agriculture and such.

Though I get the feeling you'll go further into discussing political and other topics now that it seems you've explained much of agricultural developments.
 
Chapter 20-The Heart of the Four Corners
-XX-
The Heart of the Four Corners

---
Eishou-ji, Ishikari Province, 1499
Jikken could not put down the Soui prince's book. Although he was sure he was missing many metaphors, clever prose, and even the finer details of the text thanks to the nigh-impenetrable Namaru language and the strange script it was written in, just the details he understood filled his mind with amazement. In this book, that man described tales of a world so different from his own, full of people with strange customs, a place different than anything he'd read, far different than China, Korea, or even India. So fascinated he was he barely even heard the door slide open.

"You've been fascinated with my books I see," Gaiyuchul noted as Jikken rose to his feet to bow,

"So fascinated you rarely seem to wish to hear me tell the story instead! Perhaps those men who taught you the Namaru language made a mistake!"

Jikken smiled, staring at the tall and ancient Soui prince with the scarred face.

"It has been very busy these days, and besides, you yourself seem to be busy with your companions now." Jikken had noticed several new Soui monks arriving in Eishou-ji over the past few monks, monks who seemed closer to Gaiyuchul. The old prince shook his head.

"They are much like you, men enthralled with a relic of the past and seeking whatever wisdom they can learn from him," he replied.

Jikken assumed from Gaiyuchul's voice he didn't know any of those monks beforehand. Certainly the monks appeared much younger than him, but Jikken wondered who those monks had been in Fusania. Gaiyuchul took the book from Jikken's hands to examine it. He squinted at the pages and looked at the binding on the cover of the codice.

"Ah, Saga of the Four Corners," he remarked. "Yes, one of my oldest. Written at a time the world looked to be heading toward a new prosperity and full of my own naivety! But a very interesting work indeed."

"How old is this?" Jikken asked. "I notice you always use an odd dating system in here and rarely date it by the ruler's era."

"Because in the end, most rulers are nothing more than someone with the right friends and the right enemies and thus are often ephemeral and fading despite their might," Gaiyuchul replied, smiling at the confused look on Jikken's face. "The ones who rise above that are the only ones worthy of dating something by." He glanced to the stack of books beside Jikken. "I believe I've written that down a few times in fact."

Jikken let the words sink in, pondering what the Soui prince said even if it didn't relieve him of his confusion.

"In any case, I wrote it in Koutoku 9 [1] as my first attempt to discuss how things came to be in Fusania, in the Four Corners of the Civilised World and the Four Corners of the World itself. All the knowledge I knew, knowledge I learned from visiting so many places and listening to so many intelligent people."

Gaiyuchul handed the book back to Jikken. "I would hope you are translating this work as well, although I suggest you ignore anything I've written down and instead write down more on my own memories of how things came to be."

"Do you have anything related to this book?" Jikken asked. Gaiyuchul laughed.

"Many things, in fact, and here is an interesting story long passed down, told by those at Wayam." Gaiyuchul paused, scratching his chin. "Perhaps this will even tell you why we in Fusania dislike to date things by the ruler's era."
---
Prince Gaiyuchul of Katlamat, Saga of the Four Corners (1470, translation 1970)​

Every man knows this story, from the princes to the barbarians, this story of sorrow that led to triumph, the one so elegantly repeated by the Aipakhpam as the Saga of the Pillar. So few details of the story vary anywhere I go that I conclude this must be a true record of a great incident at the pillar of the world itself. Those that change I believe must be the product of minds ruined by age, tricksters, or poets foolishly seeking to make their mark in an undeserved place. Yet what few realise is this event may be the oldest known event in all memory no matter how many times people claim events of greater antiquity. Only in recent decades has the debate on the glorious year it took place finally come to an end as astrologers have determined the cycles of the sun and moon and predicted it back in time to that fateful night 1,127 years ago. It is curious why during the Time of the Transformers, let alone in the days after it, the gods felt fit to scatter our memories so all the peoples of the world disagree with what happened and how things came to be, yet a story of far less significance is so widely agreed to have happened. With this antiquity, I believe this event must have been the method through which the gods made their vision of what the Four Corners of the World should be come to pass. I will repeat what most likely is the factual description of this event as I have heard from learned men at Wayam, Chemna, and many other cities.

In times long ago, the people of the civilised world faced a threat greater than ever. The Hillmen of the North raided their lands without end, driving out the people from their villages and taking everything they owned. The Hillmen took all the game in the forests, all the plants in the hills and all the fish in the streams for their own use and left the people of the civilised lands nothing. The Hillmen had such great disregard for the spirits of the land the animals and fish refused to return and give themselves to people. Suffering and evil filled the land as everything fell out of balance. The seasons became distorted in this era as droughts and floods ravaged the land and the summer froze with snow and ice.

On a night not long after the solstice, the moon vanished and turned red. The people feared this signified a final sign before the imminent destruction of the world. Q'mitlwaakutl, the Prince [2] of Wayam, led his shamans and closest followers to a nearby hill to await the end. Coyote appeared before them at the top of the hill, wishing to speak with the Prince of Wayam.

Q'mitlwaakutl, Prince of Wayam, asked Coyote the meaning of the imbalance and impending destruction of the world. Coyote replied to the Prince of Wayam that it was a sign the world would soon change. He told the Prince of Wayam that should he do battle with the Hillmen, Wayam might rise to greater prosperity than ever before, and that the Prince himself would sit atop this. The Prince of Wayam, a great warrior, now felt eager to do battle with these Hillmen that he might fulfill this prophecy.

Few men in the world were as wealthy and wise as the Prince of Wayam and men from all over the civilised world followed him. An even greater number of men knew of him and sought the wisdom of the Prince and his followers so that they too might become wealthy. In that winter, the Prince of Wayam sent his followers to the princes and nobles of the Four Corners of the Civilised World so they might tell them the words Coyote spoke to him. His shamans called upon ravens to spread the word even further so that all might hear of the coming events. That winter, an alliance formed against the Hillmen with only a few towns and villages of Swanamish refusing to support it [3]. Warriors danced and shamans prophecised of all the glorious events that may come of this fighting. The women and children gathered and hunted without fear, knowing the end of hard times drew near.

Thousands gathered and feasted at Wayam as the lords and nobles of many lands discussed the strategy of the coming war. So many gathered that Wayam nearly ran out of stored food. At the beginning of autumn, eight thousand men marched from Wayam up the Imaru River with the Prince of Wayam at their head. Never before had the land seen a force this great assembled in one place under one leader. In village after village they passed, they feasted with the women, children, and elders.

The Hillmen feared this great force and sought to assemble their own. They called upon endless groups of Hillmen eager to seize the land for their own, men with endless lust for plunder. They called upon those Swanamish allies who valued greed more than morality. They called upon powerful spiritual forces so that their warriors might fight to their utmost strength. Coyote appeared to a council of Hillmen lords and told them they must do battle against the Prince of Wayam, for if they fought with courage they might rule the known world. Destroying the army of the Prince of Wayam would bring untold prosperity. And beyond everything else, balance might be restored to the world. The Hillmen lords, great warriors, now felt eager to do battle with the Prince of Wayam that they might fulfill this prophecy.

Thousands of Hillmen gathered and marched down the Imaru River, looting and plundering as they went to feed themselves. Never before had the land seen a barbarian force this great assembled. They brought misery to everyone they passed, even their Swanamish allies. In village after village, people whispered when might the army of the Prince of Wayam arrive so they might be free of this torment.

The army of the Prince of Wayam and the army of the Hillmen encountered each other at a creek between Wayam and Ktlatla. For four days the armies clashed with spears, axes, arrows, and daggers with neither side gaining the upper hand. Each time before a great blow might be decisively struck and one side routed, the armies pulled back due to their shamans seeing omens of defeat. Even so, many men had already fallen in the skirmishes that took place.

On the fifth day, Raven himself came to the battlefield at sunrise and spoke to all the leaders present on either side. He decreed that by sunset, a great torrent of blood would flow as the battle finally ended. Both the Prince of Wayam and the Hillmen lords asked Raven who might win the battle, to which Raven replied that both sides would claim victory. The Hillmen lords boasted of their victory yet not the Prince of Wayam's to their men to encourage them, while the wise Q'mitlwaakutl, Prince of Wayam kept this knowledge private so his men might fight like their lives depended on it.

All day the men fought harder than before. As each side fell to exhaustion, a thunderstorm brewed up pelting the men with hail. Q'mitlwaakutl, Prince of Wayam used this chaos to charge right through the enemy lines. Many of the Hillmen fell at the feet of his army. Yet the moment he became confident of victory the Prince of Wayam did notice the Hillmen surrounded him! He ordered his men to never lose their faith and never stop fighting until they gained their promised victory.

Perhaps the moment Q'mitlwaakutl, Prince of Wayam let his men know of Raven's promise was the moment his forces were vanquished. His men became confident in their impending success and gave into a spirit indulgent in the knowledge of victory. The Hillmen took advantage of this and pushed harder against the Prince of Wayam's forces. Although a few of the Prince of Wayam's men continued to fight with spirit and slaughter many Hillmen, by sunset the last men, including the Prince of Wayam, fell to enemy axes and arrows.

All about the battlefield men lay dying. The creek they fought by turned into a raging torrent of blood that sunk deeper and deeper into the earth and became a canyon formed from the blood of the slain. The storm ceased and moonlight shone on the bodies of the dead and dying. And all across the land from the Imaru to the Whulge, the people wept bitter tears for the men who died defending their homes.

Next Coyote appeared on the battlefield at the side of Q'mitlwaakutl, Prince of Wayam in his final moments. The Prince of Wayam asked how Wayam might prosper since the Hillmen had won. Coyote laughed and told him that soon men would learn new ways to be wealthy when the Hillmen taught them how to tame wild animals and melt stones. The Prince of Wayam asked how he might be ruler of Wayam when his time of death drew near. Coyote laughed once more and told the Prince of Wayam he would not die for many years. The Prince of Wayam asked Coyote why he spoke lies about everything to him.

Coyote told Q'mitlwaakutl, the Prince of Wayam he spoke not a single lie. He transformed the Prince of Wayam into stone and placed his spirit at the Falls of Wayam. Coyote told the Prince of Wayam that he would not die until the prophecy might be fulfilled. When the time was right, the Prince of Wayam would arise from stone to rule his city and bring it to its greatest height of prosperity.

Such is the story of this ancient battle, the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind. The Aipakhpam and Namals call it the Battle of Endless Blood while the peoples of Whulge call it the Battle of Many Tears. This event truly marks the beginning of the world as we know it, for the ancestral people after the Time of the Transformer now became the ancestors of those people we identify as living in the civilised world and beyond in this day. And from this tragedy the fires of civilisation arose brighter than ever!
---​
With its great mosaic of cultures and languages, Fusania's human diversity equalled or even exceeded its environmental diversity. Perhaps because of the rugged landscape inhibiting communications and travel, and perhaps as the first place in the Americas reached by ancestral humans, many distinct peoples and cultures lived in the area. To survive and prosper in this land, these groups struggled against the inherent challenges presented by the landscape and through frequent cooperation produced many common elements shared amongst their cultures.

For all the diversity found in Fusania, Fusanians themselves shared plenty in common beyond simply some common technology and exploitation of the same sorts of plants and animals. In the Imaru Basin and along the shores of the Whulge, the people shared similarity in lifeways, religion, social structures, kinship, and political organisation, in some cases considering this a mark of civilisation. Without generalising too much, analysing these common elements produces a fine picture of the Fusanian worldview that influenced the lives of every person living there from the youngest to the oldest, from the most base slave to the wealthiest of rulers.

A great deal of Fusanian ideology reflects the dualism found in all things. When it came to human societies, many Fusanians when examining the diversity of cultures in their land separated the peoples of the world into civilised and non-civilised, the latter often translated as "Hillmen" as a calque of its meaning in Aipakhpam. To a civilised Fusanian, the Hillmen exhibited a range of impure, barbaric, and degenerate traits while still possessing many good and vital skills. They complemented and balanced the civilised people, who while being spiritually clean and living positive lives could easily fall into decadence.

As a further division, the Fusanians separated the peoples of the world both civilised and uncivilised into quadrants reflecting their four phratries and corresponding divisions. These four quadrants centered around the Imaru River--life-giving, a connection between people--flowing east to west and the Grey Mountains--hostile, impassable--running north to south split Fusania into four distinct regions, a distinction both geographical and practical and one that influenced Fusanian cultural and political thought for many centuries. There were thus four groups of civilised people whom they ascribed certain qualities to, and four groups of barbarian Hillmen who they likewise ascribed particular traits to. Ideologically, the Fusanians believed that other groups of civilised people and Hillmen who lived outside the known world but still within the four-cornered world, making two groups of Hillmen and two groups of civilised people. The nature and identification of these groups proved a frequent topic of debate to Fusanian philosophers and other scholars.

The origin of so-called civilised Fusania in the Imaru Basin and Furuge Coast lays in the cultural fusion of the indigenous sedentary fishermen and root diggers and the horticultural pastoralist Dena and Far Northwest people migrating southwards that started in the 4th century AD and largely completed by the 9th century AD. Yet this only produced the current incarnation of Fusanian society. Sedentary living had a long past in Fusania going at least to 500 BC with many traits of it appearing thousands of years before that thanks to the rich harvest of fish and marine life possible along the rivers and coast. Even centuries before the Fusanian agricultural revolution and the evolution of the Western Agricultural Complex, civilisation in this area already existed in quite complex form. Few other so-called "hunter gatherer" civilisations exhibited the population densities of pre-agricultural Fusania with the exception of places like coastal South America or Early Jomon period Japan.

In their cosmology, the Fusanians believed their world to be flat and square (although a few groups believed it to be round) and surrounded by water, held up by four pillars. On top lay the sky, where many deities lived. Around, below, and above all of this lay nothingness, to which one could forever fall, touching nothing. Reflecting the phratries and moeities, Fusanians eventually came to believe that at the center of the world lay four pillars propped up two pillars which held up a single pillar that carried the sky.

Typically, the Fusanians believed in a mythological figure known as the Transformer who created things as they were. This Transformer was known by different names and identities (for instance, he was known as Khals by the Whulchomic peoples but identified as Coyote by the Chiyatsuru and Namaru) and performed different deeds according to different peoples, but the rough basics of the story remained the same. The Transformed changed people into animals, plants, or geographic features, often as either a punishment or a reward. Fusanians often considered the people transformed as their distant ancestors. Similarly, some believed the Transformer set social systems in place, such as the institutions of slavery and nobility, although others attributed this to other figures of the past like Coyote or another god. The "Time of the Transformer" referred to these ancient times, the times when gods walked the earth as humans and the animals all lived as people.

Fusanians held an animistic worldview, believing all humans and animals and some natural features and phenomena held souls which influenced the world around them. Their religion focused on pleasing these spirits so they might continue to supply humans with food and supplies. Priests, medicine men, and shamans intervened in this spirit world to cure disease, ensure good hunts and harvests, predict future events, and perform magic to bless or curse humans. The religious classes were related yet distinct, with shamans feared by many thanks to their ability to perform curses, speak with the dead, and manipulate souls at will. Typically, those with strong spirits (usually gained through dreams and meditation as a child) were called to these religious groups.

Fusanian societies shared the practice of the vision quest, an initiation ritual where a youth gained a guardian spirit. In Fusanian belief, this meant a spirit lending part or all of its power to a human. Practices varied immensely depending on the era and group in question, but typically a pubescent boy or girl would be taken into the forest or hills under the guidance of elders to meditate and fast. Boys would be left alone and told to make their way to sacred mountain sites where they might complete some task an elder told them to. They ate and drank little and ritually purified themselves until they saw in a vivid dream their guardian spirit which gave them power. Typically they made or purchased ornaments which contained this spirit power which they guarded well. Wealthy individuals often underwent lengthier and more arduous vision quests than the poor which typically granted them stronger spirits according to Fusanian theology.

The acquisition of spirit power determined much in an individuals' life. Some spirit powers, such as that of the sun or of certain mountains, were stronger than others or specialised toward certain tasks in life. Spirit powers might call an the individual to professions like that of a warrior, merchant, medicine man, or farmer. Those called to become a shaman typically became feared and shunned. Some individuals might have multiple guardian spirits gained through various events in life. Those with powerful spirits became both feared and worshipped and a frequent target of assassination by both physical and spiritual means.

Fusanians ate similar diets, placing the highest cultural value on reindeer and salmon for meats and omodaka and camas for staple plants. They ate most any food they might farm, gather, raise, or trap in and around their villages, streams, and coasts, but typically held taboos on certain foods. Few were universal--for instance, the Aipakhpam shunned sturgeon for they considered it a man-eating fish, yet the Chiyatsuru ate the fish (albeit with reservations). Typically, food taboos dealt with avoidance of cannibalism which included eating animals which might in theory eat people, which included large carnivores like wolves, bears, and cougars. Dog meat was a universal taboo in the civilised parts of Fusania, although archaeology suggests this taboo only developed in some northerly areas after the 11th century. Civilised Fusanians also shunned eating insects as they viewed it as a habit of the Hillmen.

Isolated from the rest of the world, the Imaru Basin and Furuge Coast independently innovated many technologies found elsewhere. The need for engineering and irrigation resulted in the fairly early development of simple cranes and levers (no later than 800 AD) for more efficient construction. Fusanians likewise discovered helpful mining techniques, such as setting fires at cliff faces and then dousing the rock in cold water to weaken it. They similarly learned the techniques of building simple dams from wood, mud, and stone to hold back flood waters or alter the rate of flow of the stream for flood protection, irrigation, and even mining. They built large networks of canals, including some lined with stone or wood, to bring water where they needed it. Fusanians used techniques like this to shape cliff faces into terraces for additional land starting by the end of the 9th century AD. Underground channels akin to Middle Eastern qanats appear around the early 12th century to further the efficiency of irrigation and water management.

Metallurgical knowledge in the Imaru Basin and the Furuge Coast was among the most sophisticated in the Americas, matching that found in parts of the Mesoamerica or the Andes. Since the arrival of metalworking in the 8th and 9th centuries, Fusanians discovered efficient processes to seek out new ores, mine them, and refine them as needed. They distinguished lead, mercury, tin, silver, gold, copper and iron knew how to produce and isolate all but the latter which they knew of only in meteorite deposits, from shipwrecks, and from extremely rare imports from the rare trade between the Far Northwest and North Asia across the Ringitanian Strait. They used cupellation since around the 10th century to separate gold and silver from other metals like lead for further refinement and processing. They employed metal casting to make objects like jewelry, sculptures, and arrowheads and often plated many objects with copper, silver, or gold for ornamental value. The people of the Imaru Basin and Furuge Coast often alloyed these metals together, with the most common being alloys of copper, gold, and silver akin to Mesoamerican tumbaga, although the extreme rarity of tin throughout Fusania ensured bronze remained unknown in this era. Brass likewise was a rarity in this period.

The people of the Imaru and Furuge took great interest in astronomy and astrology for ordering their lives, although the cloudy winter months greatly hindered this activity. They recognised the classical planets and identified numerous constellations, although they believed the morning and evening star were separate. They used a lunisolar calendar to track the year and for intercalary days counted additional time immediately before and after the first salmon run and divided it into a rainy season consisting of autumn and winter and a dry season consisting of spring and summer. They generally considered the calendar and current history itself to begin with the battle between the civilised peoples under Q'mitlwaakutl, the Prince of Wayam, and the Hillmen, but in earlier centuries attempts at dating this battle varied wildly. Fusanians monitered astronomical signs such as comets and supernovae so they might predict the future. Eclipses of the sun and moon with their relative regularity played an even greater role as omens. They considered these astronomical events either good or bad omens depending on the interpretations of shamans and viewed them as particular manifestations of spiritual power.

Like in Mesoamerica, Fusanians knew of the wheel yet considered it a toy or mere decoration and put it to no real use. They did however know of the techniques of cart building and employed sleds and sleighs towed by dogs, reindeer, goats, or other pack animals to more efficiently and quickly move cargo around in a manner superior to simply strapping packs to the animal. This was especially effective during winter where cool temperatures and faster transportation made valuable and perishable goods like pine syrup easy to move great distances.

Fusanian mathematics developed in large part thanks to their religious interest in dualism and numerology. Fusanians held the number five to be represent a sacred whole, the number four to represent the four phratries of society, and the number two to represent dualism, including the two moieties found in society. This likely led them to develop a vigesimal (base 20) numeral system, akin to those found in Mesoamerica. They tabulated these numbers with a system of tally marks and taught mnemonic devices to perform calculations on the fly.

With a more complex society necessitating keeping track of more people and units of account, Fusanians developed two systems to do so, the first carved and painted posts and sticks called totem writing, the second the knotted string bundles, to record information and other important data. While neither could be called a true writing system, and each are uniquely three-dimensional in nature, both served an essential purpose economically and culturally to keep society functioning. The origins of each systems seem to be very old, but they did not come into their own to record information (outside of a very limited use) until at least the end of the first millennia. Aside from the much later Japanese-derived script, all indigenous Fusanian writing was semasiographic, a useful trait in an area with such huge linguistic diversity.

Totem writing remains a visible symbol of Fusanian civilisation and are just as much works of art as they are writing. An import from the Far Northwest (potentially from the Khaida or Tsm'sha), these tall totem poles are segmented, carved, and painted with a set of meaningful pictures, usually gods, animals, people, or natural symbols. The arrangement, colors, and figures on the post used communicated a particular message to whoever understood the meaning making it a semasiographical system akin to Mesoamerican codices. Fusanians trained boys to understand the messages although perfect knowledge remained the domain of those who carved the posts and the nobility who commissioned them. Totem poles commemorated ancestral deeds and histories of clans and places, told mythological tales, established treaties, and communicated the law amongst other functions. Remarkably, the conventions of totem writing remained relatively standard from the furthest parts of Ringitania to the Kuskuskai Plain, a testimony to its usefulness. Totem poles first arrived in largescale in the Imaru Basin and Furuge coast by the end of the 1st millennia AD and became increasingly complex in terms of message communicated over the subsequent centuries. These were carved by men and thus known as men's writing.

Totem sticks evolved around 1000 AD as a smaller version of totem poles meant to communicate messages between people as an equivalent of letters or where carving a tall post wasn't needed. Typically weighing between five and twenty kilos and of variable length and width, these were carved from smaller red or yellow cedar branches in a similar fashion to their larger brethren and read much the same way. These were most common on the Imaru Plateau due to lack of quality wood.

Akin to the Andean quipu or similar devices found in Hawaii and Shang Dynasty China (among other places), Fusanians wove long strings from towey goat hair or tehi fiber and placed knots of varying sorts at regular intervals. This might mark anything from a date to a particular number. They also added stones, bits of metal, fabric, or shells and often dyed the strings varying colours to further distinguish the message being communicated. A crucial unit of accounting, they stored the strings in dry boxes or vases away from moisture. These knots appear in the Imaru Plateau around the 9th century and spread from there, gradually developing in complexity, size, and length. Some might be attached to wood or even small totem sticks to further distinguish their message, while the simplest were large pieces of string woven up in a ball when not in use.

These were woven exclusively by women, and their economic importance provided women a critical role in the Fusanian economy as they were responsible for managing household finances. Noblewomen likewise played a great role in the economic life of their village, city, or state, typically under the direction of a treasurer whose own wife (or other female relative) along with a female relation of the headman or prince held the true power in ensuring finances were accounted for. Society expected women to know how to weave these knots, a skill taught by a mother or grandmother, and a woman not knowing how to do so or being poor at it resulted in mockery and poor marriage prospects. Most educated men knew how to read the knots although nearly every woman held that knowledge.

The Fusanian economy relied on barter and commodity exchange with the most important and common medium of exchange being shell money, in particular the tusk shells of oceanic mollusks called scaphopods. Several species were used, each being worth different value depending on culture and location, but commonly Fusanians preferred longer shells more than anything else. The decorative purpose of these shells often tended to be secondary to their value as a proto-money (although the wealthy used them in jewelry and other ornamentation) and they could be exchanged for nearly anything. A belt of long shells woven together often tended to be enough to buy its owner a herd of reindeer or even a few moose. Control of the shell harvesting grounds near Wakashi Island kept the Coastmen a wealthy and powerful force, as did those who controlled the Imaru Gorge and the mountain passes and thus the trade in shells between the Furuge Coast and the Imaru Plateau.

All Fusanian societies in the Imaru Basin and Furuge Coast before the 15th century possessed a strict hierarchy of nobles, commoners, and slaves (although the Whulchomic people held a fourth class of serfs). The nobles typically made up about 5-10% of society and derived their status from their ancestry, typically five generations or more of nobility. Nobles might be poor or rich, but even poor nobles held higher status than the wealthiest commoners. Commoners made up most of the rest of society and lacked this illustrious ancestry but usually also lacked descent from slaves. Some commoners gained great wealth and married noblewomen, a practice which over time led to their ascension into the ranks of nobles. The proportion of slaves varied depending on region and made up between 5% and 35% of Fusanian society. Fusanians believed these slaves to not be fully human and to have been created differently than other humans.

Fusanian societies were typically polygamous as men married more than one wife if they possessed the wealth to. Usually, the subsequent wives were sisters of the first wife, and these wives were treated equally and considered socially equivalent. In the case they were from different families, one wife and her sisters (if present) were considered the "primary wife" of the leader and the others regarded less favourably. A few societies came to discourage polygamy, restricting men to only two or four wives, but this remained regional and rich men still had many concubines. They tended to guard their women, forbidding adultery and premarital sex. They often punished both man and woman for these crimes with the penalties ranging from exile to death through a variety of methods, with drowning in the river or ocean being particularly common. Their families typically arranged marriages based on a variety of concerns, usually involving the propagation of the bloodline for wealth and power and the family's good name.

Among so-called civilised Fusanians, kinship tended toward being patriarchal, unlike the more matriarchal and matrilineal societies found amongst the Dena, the Far Northwest, and on much of Wakashi Island. However, much of Fusania deferred to the highest rank of the spouse of either sex in terms of which household they'd reside in and trace descent from, although those born to slave mothers always either became slaves, serfs, or commoners depending on the society.

Generally, in the Imaru and Furuge Coast, Fusanians maintained a patrilineal and patriarchal society. They typically reckoned descent in the father's line and a father passed his possessions to his sons, brothers, or nephews. However, if he married a higher status woman, he'd join her family and his brothers-in-law and their descendents would take priority over his own. Further, daughters and sisters of men with no male heirs served as highly eligible spouses and typically propagated their father's line in much of Fusania. While women never ruled in their own name in Fusania, a powerful woman might easily hold more sway than men who inherited their positions.

All societies of the Imaru Basin and Whulge Coast practiced exogamy and married outside their communities. Even in major cities like Wayam or Katlaqmap, the wealthy sought spouses from outside the community, although the poor typically married people from different quarters of their city. They held to strict incest taboos, sometimes up to the fourth cousin, often banishing or even executing offenders and condemning their children to illegitimacy. This practice arose in time immemorial to ensure strong kinship bonds from groups outside their community to maximise support during trying times. The exogamous tradition in Fusania which cut across cultural boundaries and even that between the civilised world and the Hillmen promoted integration and exchange of ideas both cultural and otherwise between separate groups of people.

Aside from the enslaved, Fusanians almost universally lived in longhouses alongside their extended family. These houses were typically made from red or yellow cedar along the coast and occasionally inland as well although in the dry southwest of the Imaru basin only wealthy families could afford importing the wood. Most Fusanians in this area lived in pithouses sunk into the earth with tule roofs held up by wooden posts with stone and mud between them--such pithouses were common elsewhere but used only for storage, workshops, or (rarely) slave quarters. Although the exact styles depended on culture, the wealthy lived in palatial complexes of multiple longhouses adjoined together hosting their household, often including many slaves. The exterior of these buildings typically featured wooden carvings, paintings, and other artistic works often representing the deeds of their ancestors or occasionally with symbolism of their guardian spirits.

Flooding and earthquakes served as the most common threats to buildings. Rivers periodically broke through even the sturdiest levees while powerful earthquakes struck on average every few decades, often causing tsunamis in coastal areas. Fusanians almost never built in stone for this reason due to its inferior earthquake resistance and associated mud-brick buildings with the homes of barbarians like the Southern Hillmen. The rot-resistant wood used in house construction lasted for decades even on the rainy coast, thus about as a long as a stone dwelling might before erosion or an earthquake damaged it. Fusanians believed it impossible that any structure last forever. When a building needed repair or someone (aside from slaves) died inside, Fusanians renovated and reshaped the entire building. Fires often struck Fusanian towns and cities as a result of their wooden construction, further necessitating frequent construction. Thus, few buildings older than a century or so existed in even the largest communities.

Much else can be generalised about the peoples of the Imaru and Furuge Coast, who existed in constant contact, communication, and contention with each other and thus shared many similar traits. The greatest distinction perhaps lay in the Grey Mountains which separated the wetter coast from the drier plateau, which influenced the beliefs, traditions, and societal organisation of people on either side. For instance, despite being linguistically related to the Whulchomic peoples, the Chiyatsuru possessed many traditions similar to those of the Aipakhpam to their south rather than their linguistic kin. The same applies to the Whulchomic peoples and the Namals or Amims to their own south. Yet to obtain the best picture of Fusania's diversity to understand its history, generalising the area as a whole is not enough. One must analyse the individual cultural subregions to understand the grand mosaic of humanity that is Fusania.
---
Author's notes

Much of this chapter is drawn from ethnographies both past and present. I have borrowed various traditions and cultural elements of OTL cultures in this area and presented a scenario on how they might have evolved in the face of the changes presented ITTL. Some elements would likely remain similar and common despite the great changes presented. Others certainly would evolve along far different lines or even totally be abandoned.

I was pleasantly surprised at the parallels between Mesoamerica and the Andes that cropped up when I was writing this. Like many peoples around the world, a few groups in this area OTL did use knotted string records for various purposes. Totem poles OTL had a set of conventions and standards that could be read by people across linguistic boundaries which inspired me to figure out a 3D writing system based on that fact. The Base 20 system was IIRC used by a few groups on the West Coast, but TTL I've justified the system evolving in that way thanks to the numerological aspects of it.

Originally I was going to describe all four quadrants of Fusania and their cultures, but that would make this entry colossal so I described the cultural area instead which does the job just fine. That means the next four entries will discuss culture and history of those regions instead. This entry also originally was a bit more detailed or rather different in parts until I lost about a week's worth of work thanks to my file getting corrupted and had to restore from a backup.

As always, thanks for reading.
---​
[1] - As in the intro, I'm using alternative eras for East Asian rulers here. In this case, Koutoku is 1461 - 1471 and succeeds the Chouso Era, so Koutoku 9 is 1470.
[2] - Miyawakh, translated here as "prince"
[3] - Swanamish is a Whulchomic exonym referring to Interior Salishan peoples, essentially the same as "Chiyatsuru"
 
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Maybe in terms of Politics but only Red and Gold touch on the amount of detail and quantity you put into agriculture and such.
I did get carried away there I guess with reading the Plants for a Future Database. It was interesting reading and made me think of the possibilities with this TL I had in mind. Certainly the notes on forestry were necessary.

Though I get the feeling you'll go further into discussing political and other topics now that it seems you've explained much of agricultural developments.
Certainly am. An important portion of the second part of this TL will deal with the legacy of Q'mitlwaakutl, the legendary ancient ruler of Wayam.

Well I’m glad they didn’t go too overboard in their anti polygamy movement and allowed at least a handful of wives.
A lot of history involves the careful balance between making good marital alliances and not pissing off the almighty.
 
Chapter 21-To Give It All Away
-XXI-
To Give It All Away
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Katlamat, December 1100
The embrace of winter gripped Katlamat, shrouding the city in a light mist amidst yet another endlessly grey morning. The spirit of summer long since vanished, refusing to bequeath its warmth and dryness upon the land for months to come. Qwalis, Ikanakh of Katlamat [1] shivered at the blustery and rainy chill, walking back inside his grand wooden palace with the walls and pillars painted with animal and plant and beast symbols of the memories of his ancestors from as far back as the Time of the Transformer. He wrapped himself in a thick blanket of oxwool dyed with his clan crest he'd once purchased from the Coastmen far to the northwest and returned to gazing at the town before him and the vast and churning Imaru River, so sluggish and grey.

Beneath him from the hill, Qwalis saw a few of his people in the muddy streets amidst the drab workmanlike buildings and businesses of the town working hard even on such a miserable morning. No doubt they were preparing for the potlatch as much as he and his household. Many important guests from towns and cities as far downstream as Wimahlgikshat and Swapapani at the Imaru Gorge had been arriving in these past few days and a few richly painted ceremonial canoes lay beached in the distance. Those invited considered themselves beyond fortunate, for few honors might be greater than to be invited to potlatch by the Ikanakh of Katlamat, the ruler of the Namal city closest to the great ocean itself. [2]

His stomach rumbled, and Qwalis went to find a slave to fetch him food and drink. He glanced over his shoulder and saw a withered slave man leaning on his cane, the oldest living man in his household. No youth himself, Qwalis remembered capturing this man as a boy during a raid near Tlat'sap in his youth over sixty years ago. He raised his hand and nodded toward the man.

"Understood, I will bring you your food," the slave croaked as he hobbled off. His accent sounded strange as ever, but according to his many slaves of diverse heritage, he spoke every language with a strange accent. Qwalis always thought the man must've been taken captive as an infant by the Atkhs of Tlat'sap. Poor fellow, perhaps I will free him at the potlatch. He'd served Qwalis and his household long enough and deserved a fitting gift for his work--few slaves were finer than him! He'd be sure to sacrifice a son or grandson of his though, since this man's bloodline must be very powerful for a slave.

After a time spent peacefully watching his people go about their work, a serving girl brought him a nice and warm meal, a steaming porridge of camas, pine nuts, and smoked salmon sweetened with the sharp taste of pine syrup. Along with it she carried a boiling hot goblet of water tainted with jointfir [3], a potent medicine from the deserts far away that filled his spirit with energy. He smiled at the young girl and sent her away. The flavours in his breakfast all melded very well together, a perfect balance and harmony. Looking back at his people, Qwalis wondered if they'd have enough food until spring, until the salmon runs restored prosperity. They'd harvested well in omodaka and camas and salmon, but those only stored for perhaps a few months to a year. Their harvest in sunflowers and amaranth went poorly and a windstorm destroyed many of their best oak trees. I must consult with her after the potlatch, he thought, thinking of his oldest wife and best record keeper he had.

After he ate, Qwalis started to go about his day and prepare for the potlatch. He could've had his wives, his slaves, and his followers do this, but Qwalis always led things himself unlike many other men in his position. That is why Katlamat prospers, he thought to himself as he ran his fingers along the knots, shells, and beads of the coarse string records in the coldness of the storeroom. Good, there will be enough food for over a thousand people, and hopefully our guests will bring more, he observed after a good length of time examining the records in the storeroom. He made sure to place the record back near the jars and pots containing the food.

He went to the next storeroom, damp and full of winter chill. Many more elaborately painted and colourful jars and vases filled the room alongside a few string records. Qwalis picked up a few and felt his way down them. Quantities of alcohol remained high, with much cider, beer produced from amaranth and omodaka, and berry wine remaining so plenty to keep his guests entertained. Hopefully they won't drink too much of it, he thought to himself. When people drank to excess it disturbed the spiritual outcome of the potlatch. And the immediate effects could be damaging as well. He'd seen too many good warriors maimed in foolish fights and seen people gamble away nearly everything they had.

Qwalis then went outside to the slave in charge of his animals, a bulky, vicious looking man standing beneath an awning to stay dry who bowed in submission to his master upon seeing him.
"Tiatlukha, how well are my reindeer doing?" Qwalis asked. "Will we have enough healthy reindeer of either sex to slaughter and give away." He looked around the enclosure and noticed only a few older, tired animals and a few pregnant does lounging beneath overhangs subsisting off reserve grain with a few ducks and geese pecking at the muddy ground.

"Very well, master, your herdsmen are ensuring your reindeer and moose have enough quality food for the winter and they will be back shortly. But these animals here are the weakest of the herd, your herd is very healthy with few weak or ill reindeer." Qwalis nodded with approval at his slave's report.

"And my goats?" Qwalis asked.

"Much the same with them. No ill animals and plenty of fat and pregnant goats." Qwalis once again nodded with approval.

"And my waterfowl?" Qwalis asked.

"We killed a goose yesterday because it seemed ill, but otherwise your flocks are healthy."

"Ensure it all stays that way, your men do their job well."

At last count Qwalis knew he had hundreds of reindeer and goats each, thirty moose, a few hundred ducks and geese, and more squirrels than he could count. Yet knowing the number of animals was nothing compared to seeing the numbers with his own eyes. At that moment dozens of reindeer trotted out of the forested hills, their coats a mix of brown and grey and their antlers long. A few large and dark moose trotted alongside them interspersed with a few of his slave herdsmen armed with whips and crops to keep the animals in line.

"As you can see master, your herds are quite healthy," Tiatlukha said as he monitered the slaves driving the animals. "A few more groups should be coming in throughout the day." Qwalis nodded, leaving the smell and mud of the outside behind as he returned indoors.

He spent most of his day continuing to make preparations with his household, and eventually grew tired. The majority of the work had already been done, and he had worked his entire life so that others might follow his example. Returning to his personal chambers, Qwalis laid himself down, meditating and falling asleep to thoughts on how successful the event would be and the sheer awe provoked at the wealth he would give to his followers.
---
From Prince Gaiyuchul of Katlamat, Saga of Katlamat (1464, translation 1969)​

Many potlatches have been hosted in Katlamat yet I know of few as great as that hosted in 757 [1100] [4] by Prince Qwalis. Before my forefathers rose to power in Katlamat, Prince Qwalis hosted a potlatch larger than perhaps any that came before him or would come after for over a century. It is said that he gave away so much that men became lazy and worked little, for they had everything they needed. For his effort, this grand event led to decades of prosperity for Katlamat.

The elderly Prince Qwalis, perhaps around seventy-five years old, decided to host a glorious potlatch in winter near the solstice to commemorate the marriage of a younger son. In his long life Prince Qwalis hosted numerous potlatches where he demonstrated himself as a giver of wealth without equal. How few could give things away as well as this leader! Much the same, the Ikanakh was a producer of wealth without equal. His eye for good slaves, his careful management of his household, lands, and animals, his close eye on his people, and his unceasing work ethic created this great wealth. Yet in this period the Prince of Katlamat had not hosted a potlatch for quite some time, although his eldest son and successor certainly had.

In November Prince Qwalis sent out his messengers through the land, including his sons and the highest nobility of Katlamat and nearby villages. Far up the Imaru River they traveled, as far as the Falls of Wayam, as they visited the ikanakhs of every city, town, and village. With their strong message and the well-known reputation of Prince Qwalis, many ikanakhs sought to attend this potlatch with all but those under the direct influence of the Five Cities of the Passage [5], Katlaqmap and other Namals of the Irame, and the Ihlakhluit of Nikhluidikh [6] attempting to meet with the Ikanakh's messengers. And not only Namals nobles and ikanakhs but also Aipakhpam, Shlpalmish, and even a few minor Atkh headmen arrived to this great gathering.

By December, four hundred princes and nobles, the majority from well outside Katlamat, with their households totaling over two thousand people arrived at Katlamat. Some stayed in lavishly decorated tents, in the halls of their distant kin, or for the most honored guests from afar in the hall of Prince Qwalis himself. Their lesser followers stayed in more common hunting shelters while their slaves shared ruder accomodations or even mixed with the slave quarters elsewhere in the city. My own ancestors reported housing numerous nobles from distant villages, connections that served them well in the future. The same must be true with other great families of Katlamat whose ancestry can be traced that far back.

Nearest the solstice, the festivities began. Prince Qwalis delivered his opening speech and exhorted the men and women gathered to be mindful of their ancestors, watchful of their actions, and diligent in the care of their descendents so they might leave the best example for harmony in society. At this his slaves produced innumerable quantities of food including the most flavorful dishes of camas and omodaka, vast amounts of amaranth, nutsedge, and so many other staple foods, brilliant dishes incorporating all the vegetables and mushrooms of the mountains and plains, and meats of nearly every animal, waterfowl, and fish under the sun, including many reindeer and goats and the greatest being the most prized moose of the Prince of Katlamat slaughtered for this feast. Rare spices from far to the south flavored these dishes. They brought out many herbal drinks, ciders, and wines from near and far including many rarely seen along the Imaru. His men served the guests on copper, gold, silver, and wooden dinnerware and mats of sweetflag, all of which became the property of those assembled. Whether every guest received the same gifts I am unsure, but certainly fine implements must have been given out as my family retains possession of a few utensils from that. Each guest did not receive the same food as it is said only the most important men dined on the moose which in later years caused some level of resentment against the descendents of Prince Qwalis.

Over the next ten days Prince Qwalis delivered to his guests vast amounts of his wealth. He gave away many fine implements of metal including a few of his rare iron adzes and whalebone for daily life and work, so many that it was not an unusual sight for slaves and poor commoners alike to be working with tools crafted from fine metals. The Prince of Katlamat gave away slaves from his household to each of the ikanakhs present with nearly a hundred slaves being given away over these days. From his vast herds of reindeer and moose and goats and his flocks of geese and ducks nearly everyone present received at least one animal with a few ikanakhs closest to him receiving many moose. All of the crafts of Katlamat and far beyond the Prince owned such as fine turquoise and strange colorful birds from far to the south to wonderfully woven cloaks of qiviu and walrus ivory from far to the north he gave to his guests And all throughout this he gave away so many strings of money shells that in some villages the shells came to be worth barely anything.

Much exaggeration is told of the shinny games such as stories of a single game lasting five days with four hundred players on either side, but most accounts, especially from families descended from the losing side, claim two hundred or so on either side with the game length from dawn until dusk, and not all at once! Other stories tell of the five leading scorers taking part in a final game in the mountains on a frozen pond but this may be a confusion with an earlier potlatch held by Prince Qwalis or that of his sons. Regardless of this, all agree one side came from Katlamat and surrounding villages with the other side consisting of those from further afield. Several of my own clan played in this tournament and performed admirably during the game. It seems the men of Katlamat claimed victory in this game by a very narrow score, a point widely disputed by other Namals who claim the men of Katlamat cheated and severely injured several of their men.

The Prince of Katlamat was not the only man to be giving away his fortune. Some recipients of these gifts lost them on the same day they received them through the many games played at the potlatch. Several of my ancestors with their skill at the bone game won reindeer and shells while leaving these other men including an ikanakh from far away with nothing.

As tribute for his great fortune, Prince Qwalis held a great sacrifice on each day of the festival. His shamans offered up from his herds and flocks twenty goats, twenty reindeer, many ducks and geese, and five moose over these ten days. From his household he offered up five slave men each exceedingly strong and five slave women each exceedingly beautiful. The guests remarked many times how endless the Prince's wealth seemed only to be amazed when he gave away yet another fortune or sacrificed another fine animal.

Few sources agree on how much wealth Prince Qwalis gifted away or gave to sacrifice. A popular legend claims he only owned a four reindeer, four goats, two moose, and twenty geese and ducks and only a few slaves. He owned only five small baskets of money shells and barely enough stores of food to last the winter. Others claim he gave away only half of his total wealth during this grand potlatch, a claim popular amongst us men of Katlamat to further exaggerate the Prince's wealth and also in Katlaqmap to dampen the Prince's legacy.

At the end of the potlatch, after the final sacrifice of man and animal, after the final speech from the Prince of Katlamat and his invited speakers, the people departed Katlamat to return to their homes. Even before they left word of the grand potlatch spread widely and it is said bandits attacked a few parties of travelers so that they too might partake in the Prince's wealth. Upon hearing of this, the Prince dispatched warriors from Katlamat and nearby villages to hunt down these bandits even during the rainy winter. Not a single one survived and not one bandit appeared in the country for many months.

It can be seen the power demonstrated by Prince Qwalis greatly affected the rulers and affairs of the entire Lower Imaru for years to come. Although the Prince of Katlamat lived only five more years, during that time nearly every village and town from Katlyashgenemakhikh to Tiakhanashikh [7] pledged their allegiance to Prince Qwalis and contributed much to his coffers, so much that when the Prince of Katlamat died he was wealthier than ever before. Legend holds that four hundred marriages were arranged at this potlatch, while many clans trace important events in their history to alliances and enmities formed at this event.

They also pledged their warriors to the Prince's campaigns as he resolved to retake the city of Tlat'sap so long coveted by Katlamat. With several Atkh nobles rebellious against the Prince of Tlat'sap they entered his lands in spring of 758 [1101] and plundered his land. Sqamaqwaya [8] fell by the rainy season after a siege and a younger son installed as ruler. The Atkhs of Tlat'sap rallied their troops and called upon their allies, including the Prince of Katlaqmap and a group of Coastmen from the south led by the young Atkh warlord Chakhwinak. At the Battle of Tiyaksamikh [9], perhaps a thousand men on either side clashed on land and water with great losses on either side. The rainy season arrived and raids from Katlaqmap increased so Prince Qwalis agreed to peace with the Atkhs of Tlat'sap, returning their property and slaves in exchange for overlordship of Sqamaqwaya and its valleys.

The campaigns and affairs after this are less remembered but I have heard accounts that Prince Qwalis respected the treaty with the Atkhs of Tlat'sap and embarked on no more campaigns aside from a few raids aimed at the Dena of the mountains. When he died peacefully in 762 [1105] he was respected by all and many gifts sent for his funeral. The legacy of his grand potlatch and other lesser events held in the years after secured the succession of his eldest son who inherited the support of many of his followers to great acclaim. Indeed, it is said this younger prince hosted a great potlatch in winter of 762, one nearly as great as his father's.

It is ironic and tragic how few remember the Prince of Katlamat's youngest son and his wife in the wake of all of this. It seems the woman died in childbirth the following year while the son died at the Battle of Tiyaksamikh not long after. I can find no one who claims that man as an ancestor. It is fascinating that what remains of the legacy of this event is little of the purpose of it, not the commemoration of ancestors, the living, and those not yet born but instead the endless celebration and great display of wealth and power. Greed truly makes a powerful mark on history and memory, a force nearly as great as the spiritual bonds between people.

---
From Ke Jiang, Society of Giving: The Potlatch in Fusania (Jinshan [San Francisco, CA] University Press, 1950)​

A critical feature of economic and social life of North Fusania was the gift-giving festival conventionally known as a potlatch after the Trade Wakashan term for the ceremony. These ceremonies, traditionally held in the cooler and rainier months, involved rulers and nobles gathering clansmen, other nobles, commoners, and even rivals to demonstrate their wealth by giving away as much of their possessions as they might. Ceremonies might be held to mark any important event, but typically these events included naming ceremonies, presentation of an heir, marriage ceremonies, ceremonies celebrating a boy or girl's initiation, and ceremonies to mark a treaty. The one commonality in all these was the emphasis on continuity from the ancestors and ancient times during the presentation of gifts, a trait which restricted who might host a potlatch as typically only nobles possessed the illustrious bloodline that allowed them to trace that descent.

Potlatch ceremonies occurred throughout Fusania in several variations and typically were classified geographically as Far Northwest potlatches, Wakashan potlatches (which spread south along the coast with the Wakashan expansion), Furuge-Lower Imaru potlatches (which spread to groups like the Amimu and Valley Tanne), Plateau potlatches, Dena potlatches (also encountered amongst the Coast and Hill Tanne). These traditions of course varied within these categories, but these areas typically shared similar customs of organising and hosting a potlatch, the entertainment provided, the dances and rites expected, the type of speeches given, and the sort of wealth given away and implications of it. This system likely emerged in distant antiquity but the increasing complexity and population of Fusania by the end of the first millennia caused it to evolve into its current form.

Potlatches were exclusively held by the nobility. A non-noble permitted to host a potlatch was essentially promoted into their ranks by that very act. They further varied between potlatches hosted by nobles within a village or town and those hosted by rulers of villages, towns, or cities. The former was an important event which helped solidify that noble and his family's place in society and offered new social connections. Often a relative of the village leader might be present here to offer his blessings and sanction the event.

The latter event was of huge importance in external relations, as it reinforced alliances between towns and villages and redistributed resources accordingly, including gifts in slaves, tools, animals, and food. This gave an incentive to keep hard at work and to pay tribute to strong leaders as those resources inevitably ended up returned in some form, particularly if the leader's projects from canal and earthwork building to warfare proved successful. At the leader's potlatch, titles would be passed out conferring various rights to their holder, marriages arranged, and business conducted in between the general festivities.

Accepting gifts from the potlatch host marked one as a subject or follower of the host. Typically until the next potlatch, the host expected homage to be paid in some form, be it labour, tribute, or some other offering. In external relations, this served as a mark of vassalage to the potlatch host, and that noble or headman would be expected to repay the host in the form of tribute and labour. The earliest Fusanian states arose out of this concept. In some cases, a leader might fall into the debt of a subject noble, often out of economic difficulties, in which case he risked granting that noble and their clan undue control over the state.

A person might be subject to multiple potlatch hosts in this manner. In this case, he was liable to fall deeply into debt although he might just as easily benefit from the protection and support of two powerful masters. For leaders, this meant their village or town paid tribute to two masters, and needed to ply the waters of diplomacy carefully and choose the correct side should their master's interests clash. Powerful nobles and leaders often used threats, intimidation, or even outright violence to keep important followers in line.

Archaeology and the historic record suggests potlatch systems evolved and diversified over the centuries. The historian Prince Gaiyuchul of Katlamat remarks on this fact (in the context of criticising contemporary society) in his oldest surviving work, the 1464 Saga of Katlamat:

"How curious is it that in our times that between rulers, the obligations of the potlatch can so easily be avoided while to our ancestors nothing could be more important! Perhaps that is why the potlatch gifts during my own time as ruler and even those during the rule of my uncle and father seem so light compared to those during the days of old. We hold these ceremonies and give them such importance because our ancestors did, yet we take little from them. We have given away all the purpose and true solemnity of this ancient festival into other ceremonies. What is the potlatch in these current times compared to the ceremonies of peace or of alliance or of tribute? Such a grand occasion is now little but the purview of idle nobles to pass out trinkets while trying to reap the benefits as if they gave away everything!"

Gaiyuchul refers to the fact ceremonies for peace treaties, vassalage, and alliances evolved from the potlatch over the centuries and came to be known by different terms and gradually lost many of the rituals associated. The rise of powerful states in Fusania by the start of the 13th century likely altered the nature of the potlatch and these cermonies, as the increasingly powerful central rulers attempted to regulate and restrict for both secular and spiritual purposes who might host a potlatch, what might be given away, and the manner by which it might be conducted. Still, it took until the 15th century and the era of Gaiyuchul and his immediate ancestors to erode the nature of potlatch in defining politics, and during Gaiyuchul's era and well beyond, potlatches remained events of crucial importance in determining social relations between nobles and commoners within a society, with Gaiyuchul's critique arising from miserly nobles refusing to give away as much as they should yet still attracting a following.

Entertainment at a potlatch was quite diverse. A variety of gambling events for both men and women occurred from a shell game involving discs of cedar bark to the more famous bone game where competitors guessed where in the hand of the opponent the bone was held. They likewise played similar shell games and guessing games, although the bone game was the most popular and the event that attracted the largest wagers.

Many people gambled at potlatches, often using that which they'd been gifted. Men and women might lose or gain fortunes in hours and many stories are told of the greatest (or worst) gamblers, such as a poor commoner who in just a year gambled his way across the land toward a massive fortune in reindeer, slaves, and other possessions and became a nobleman while financially ruining many nobles in his path, or that of a noble who inherited a vast fortune from his father and gambled it away at a single potlatch causing the eternal financial ruin of himself and his descendents. Gambling also served as a common cause of arguments and fighting. While considered greatly disrespectful toward the host, fights frequently broke out over allegations of cheating or other misconduct, and not infrequently did severe injuries or death result over these arguments. The ideal host knew how to settle arguments before they turned violent without giving either side an advantage.

The most popular game played however was commonly called shinny, a similar game to field hockey [10]. In cold winters, potlatch hosts demanded their warriors compete on frozen ponds (often in flooded fields) in a sort of ice hockey competition. Both men and women competed in games held at potlatches, with the most skilled women competing alongside men. These competitions often involved dozens of men (or women) on either side. Shinny games were found throughout the Americas, but only in Fusania were they taken as events of critical importance. They wrapped a wooden ball in reindeer skin and used long sticks of maple, cedar, or other wood to beat it into a goal for points. Played by younger men who sought to win glory on this field, the game was intensively physical and players often suffered injuries. Older men and women looked upon their kinsmen with pride during these games and often gambled on the outcome of the events. It is often said modern Fusania, Japan, and East Asia as a whole derives their field hockey and ice hockey tradition from this folk sport.

An important component of the potlatch were the speeches given by the host and honoured guests. These speeches invoked tradition, reasserted status, and determined the future course of events by setting a policy the host encouraged his guests to follow. Listening to a potlatch speech proved helpful for predicting the actions of rivals, which led many hosts to couch their language in metaphors, mythological references, and ritualistic language to confuse those who didn't need to be listening in.

---
From Ni Qian, Festive Killings: Sacrifice in Old Fusania (Jinshan [San Francisco, CA] University Press, 1970)
Human sacrifices often took place at potlatches, especially during times of prosperity. To ensure prosperity and ward away even worse spirits, the host ordered a slave ritually killed, typically by a shaman thrusting a dagger between the shoulder blades and letting the slave bleed out. Sometimes they sacrificed multiple slaves, usually a family of slaves starting with the husband and wife. They incinerated the corpse on a blessed fire and disposed of the ashes in the nearest body of water. In any human sacrifice they made offerings of alcohol, food, and possessions committed to ritual fires and burial, both to appease the spirit of the slave as well as other evil spirits so that they might feast on that rather than draining the prosperity of the host through some worse method. They sacrificed animals such as reindeer separately from humans, not deeming slaves worthy of receiving gifts such as these.

Early Japanese and Chinese accounts of potlatches focused greatly on the aspect of human sacrifice at these events, but these accounts typically dealt with the potlatches found amongst the Hlinkit and Khaida whose long-range trading networks and raiding operations resulted in a surplus of captives and slaves. Culturally, Far Northwest potlatches as well as Wakashan potlatches sacrificed more people than elsewhere in Fusania, but even in this area the amount of human sacrifice paled in comparison to Mesoamerica, in contrast to common belief. Potlatches on the Imaru Plateau and amongst the Dena and the Tanne sacrificed much less often and in smaller number, while even on the Lower Imaru and Furuge human sacrifice could be fairly infrequent, if more common than further inland. Further, the amount of human sacrifice varied based on material conditions (in bad times, few, if any, people might be sacrificed thanks to Fusanian religious beliefs) and on social restrictions which changed over time.

Sacrificing a slave at a potlatch was a dramatic event and one that truly demonstrated wealth. Only the wealthiest of nobles owned the number of slaves to justify sacrificing one. Further, many societies in Fusania sacrificed slaves at funerals to accompany their masters so slave owners reserved slaves for this purpose as well. These considerations restricted the amount of human sacrifice that occurred in any given year, as well as kept human sacrifice more closely associated to funerals than potlatches. Yet this association of human sacrifice granted additional solemnity and spiritual power to the potlatches of the wealthiest nobles and rulers.

Surveying known potlatching grounds and fires where human sacrifice and associated grave goods occurred produces a clue as to the volume of human sacrifice in Fusania, partially corroborated by early writings from both Fusanian writers and Asian explorers and demographic data on the number of nobles, recorded potlatches, and number of slaves in Fusania. This produces a rough estimate of those sacrificed in a given time in a given region by giving a formula of percentage of nobles and slaves, frequency of potlatching, and frequency of human sacrifice, dependent on culture and economic conditions at the time. Since human sacrifices usually occurred at only the potlatches of wealthier nobles and there only at certain sorts of potlatches or similar festivals, the number of people sacrificed remained low, perhaps no more than half a percent of the total population in a given year.

---
From Ke Jiang, Society of Giving: The Potlatch in Fusania (Jinshan [San Francisco, CA] University Press, 1950)
From their origins in deepest antiquity to the great festivals of Copper Age Fusania to the noble gatherings of Classical Bronze Age Fusania to the cultural festivals seen today in modern Fusania, the venerable tradition of the potlatch carries on. No matter how distinct in form it may be regionally or how divorced from its roots far back in Antiquity, this tradition of gatherings and gift-giving continues to be an important part of Fusanian social life. The people of Fusania continue to benefit from this rich history as echoes of it still determine and have influenced many aspects of their culture. And just like in old days when the potlatch is over, the guests--the Fusanians--bask in pleasant memories and anticipation of what is to come as they eagerly await the arrival of the next invitation.
---
Author's notes
This would be a Christmas update, since it's all about giving gifts and features reindeer, and a bit of a morbid note on the element of human sacrifice here and some fighting. Some of this was meant to be in the last update but the hardware failure I mentioned messed up those plans and Christmas was coming so I decided to make a Christmas-y update to incorporate this information instead.
As described, the term "potlatch" covers a variety of similar ceremonies. TTL, many of the basic elements are still in place, but there's some homogenisation of the different traditions as well as a general evolution toward more complex forms similar to those found amongst Northern Wakashan groups OTL. In general, the potlatch has evolved to fit the needs of society TTL and will continue to evolve in that role over the course of this TL.

The next updates will be on the four cultural groups of "civilised" Fusania in the period leading up to the 12th century although I'm not sure which group I'll feature first. Some content from this update will reappear when I cover the Namals in an upcoming chapter. And yes, there will be more maps soon, I'll clear out that backlog of content sooner or later.

I'll occasionally post excerpts from the works I've attributed to Gaiyuchul, but I should note that like all historians he has his biases (and is relying on similarly biased oral history and legend for most all of his sources).

Thank you for reading and have a good holiday season.

[1] - Roughly means prince, an equivalent to the Aipakhpam miyawakh. This is the historian and monk Gaiyuchul's title by the way, although this ruler is not his ancestor.
[2] - IOTL it is attested that the Lower Chinookans considered the nobles and rulers of the cities further downstream on the Columbia by the coast as higher in dignity than those upstream. There are no real cities downstream from Katlamat in this era aside from Tlat'sap which is ruled by the Atkhs. More on this in a future update.
[3] - Jointfir is better known as Mormon tea, a relative of Chinese ephedra (source of ephredrine). It contains a very different mix of alkaloids but does have trace amounts of ephedrine (far less than commercial sources), pseudoephedrine, and related substances--it was used as a medicine by American Indians OTL.
[4] - 757 is 1100 AD in the Western calendar--the Fusanian calendar dates 343 AD as its starting year. In sections like this I'll place the Western date in brackets next to it.
[5] - Five cities in the Columbia Gorge--two on either end of the Gorge (one north bank, one south bank) and one near the middle. These towns are wealthy as they control a key trade route. West to east they are Wimahlgikshat [North Bonneville, WA], Swapapani [opposite shore to North Bonneville, WA in OR], Qikhayagilkham [Carson, WA], Itlkilak [White Salmon, WA], and Ninuhltidikh [Hood River, Oregon].
[6] - The Ihlakhluit are a Namal group akin to the OTL Wasco-Wishram and live in the same general area (the eastern Columbia Gorge to Celilo Falls). Nikhluidikh is Dallesport, WA, a powerful city-state a bit downstream from Wayam
[7] - Katlyashgenemakhikh is a little above on the Columbia River from Skamokawa, WA, while to Tiakhanashikh is Kelso, WA
[8] - Sqamaqweya is Skamokawa, WA
[9] - Tiyaksamikh is Rosburg, WA
[10] - Shinny and field hockey games are found amongst many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. In North America, many of these games are associated with women, but in some groups both sexes or solely men competed in these games--this was the case on the West Coast. This description is based on a few accounts of OTL Indians in this region combined with other folk sporting events found globally. I will refer to this game as shinny.
 
Chapter 22-A Country of Watchtowers
-XXII-
"A Country of Watchtowers"

Beneath an endlessly grey sky lay a great gash in the otherwise rocky and solid coast of the Pacific, a gash cutting deep into a land marked by rivers and vast forests providing shelter from the stormy seas. Inside this gash, this inland sea known as the Whulge (or Furuge in recent centuries) lay an endless maze of coves, bays, fjords, and passages and endless islands dotting the sea, a product of the last ice age. Humans arrived to this land in time to witness its formation along with many other great changes. Over ten thousand years later, a group of people who claimed descent from these ancestral humans still lived in this land, exploiting it in ways much different from their ancestors yet still recognisable in many ways. Collectively these people had no name, identifying themselves locally rather than based on language or religion or shared ethnicity, but they all practiced similar traditions, lived similar lifestyles, and spoke languages of the same family, the Whulchomic languages, named for the sea they lived by. For this reason, in later eras they became known as the Whulchomic peoples. A fractitious group by nature, they clustered themselves into four divisions based on shared traditions and similar background--the Whulchomish in the south, the Tlatlechamish in the center, the Lelemakh in the north, and the Shlpalmish in the interior south.

They were so-named since the majority lived on the shores and islands of the Whulge, an inland sea which produced a great bounty in fish, shellfish, and sea plants. They lived along the rivers, ponds, and lakes there, and within the marshes, where they harvested fields of omodaka, camas, and numerous other plants amidst a setting of thick trees. In the interior, they tamed the mountain rivers with weirs and earthworks to harvest further yields of their key crops. Regular burning and clearing produced patches of Imaru oak savannas enjoyed for their acorn yields and fertile land for fields of camas, as well as pastures for their reindeer, moose, and towey goats. Traditionally, the Whulchomic peoples considered the interior Shlpalmish to be the best herders, the Lelemakh to be the best weavers and traders, the Tlatlechamish to be the best fishermen and seafarers, and the Whulchomish to be the best craftsmen and farmers, although disputes on this matter were a common part of all societies.

Constant rain and clouds marked their land during most of the year, with the only respite coming in the summer. Like many Fusanians, they structured their lives around this seasonal pattern, conducting great ceremonies and working on tools and crafts in the rainy season and traveling, fishing, hunting, and farming in the dry season. They lived in large communal longhouses built out of red or yellow cedar as their main dwellings where an extended family and their slaves (if they owned them) lived which they grouped into villages. Other buildings near these housed their animals, workshops, and religious shrines, although typically only the elite owned longhouses exclusively for animals or workshops--commoner longhouses shared spaces with their animals or workplaces.

The Whulchomic peoples were perhaps the greatest dog breeders in North Fusania. They raised several varieties of dog, including the small terriers for pest control, bulky drafting dogs for pulling sleds and moving packs, hunting dogs, and livestock guardian dogs, but the most distinctive were the wool dogs they raised. These dogs, fed on a diet of exclusively fish, grew thick wooly goats which their owners harvested and used for weaving. Whulchomic peoples distinguished between wool from dogs and wool from goats, considering them opposites of each other and assigning dog wool aggressive and masculine qualities and goat wool domestic and feminine qualities. For garments and blankets meant to connotate balance they wove both goat and dog wool together.

Like all Fusanians, the Whulchomic peoples held the totem poles raised individually or as house posts as the highest form of art, with fine carving with told stories through the arrangement of people, animals, and natural phenomena. Yet second to this the Whulchomic peoples valued their woven goods, the capes, blankets, and especially the distinctive tapestries. Their distinctive style might be simple or complex, the latter of which often narrated a story of historical or mythological origin using similar conventions to totem writing albeit inherently limited due to the lack of three-dimensional surfaces in the weaving. Their nobles clothed themselves with the capes and blankets during ceremonies and distributed these blankets and capes during potlatches, considered great gifts and worth an unusual amount in Whulchomic country.

The long tapestries they wove on the other hand served a purpose akin to totem writing. These were cut into pieces and worn as blankets and capes, but never given away except as a whole unit. When not in use, the owner displayed the pieces in the appropriate order which told a coherent story. Legend told the tapestries originated from the wife of a brilliant totem pole carver amongst the Lelemakh who suddenly received spiritual inspiration to copy his storytelling with her blankets. Only the wealthiest nobles might afford to commission a tapestry, and tapestries might be worked on over the course of decades. As the Whulchomic peoples, those they gifted them to, and occasionally those who plundered them took good care of these tapestries and kept them indoors, tapestries (particularly those traded to the dry Plateau) are the oldest historical documents surviving in Fusania. Fragments of possible tapestries date to the early 10th century and two partially surviving 11th century tapestries depicting apparent mythologic events survive. The oldest near-complete tapestry dates to about 1100 and depicts the story of the life of a great leader (siyam) of the powerful Kwatkach'ked League of the Whulchomish which culminates in his final victory over the Skowatsanakh city-state of Kawakhtchin by Lake Chlhan [1]--the vengeful people of Kawakhtchin confiscated this at a later date and displayed it as a symbol of triumph. As totem poles tended to rot and collapse after a century or so (and thus none survive from early Fusania) and string records ambiguous and mostly simple records, tapestries serve as an important record of early Fusanian history and culture.

The Whulchomic peoples worshipped the moon as the symbol of the Transformer god, named Khaals (and cognates depending on language) [2]. He was born from a union of a primordial woman from the earth and a dull red star (the identity of which varied from group to group). After his birth, his mother returned to earth at the behest of her sister through a rope made from cedar--as they descended on it, the coils of the rope became a mountain, the identity of which was debated. As an infant, Khaals was kidnapped from his grandmother by two Dena women from the north who used a cradleboard of rotten wood to fool the old woman. Distraught, they created a brother also named Khaals out of this cradleboard as a replacement and raised him well--together, the two are spoken of as Khekhaals.

Many years later, Khaals returned from the north, bringing with him his tools like arrows and knives and his wisdom in the form of moral precepts. He spread righteousness and justice throughout the land, punishing evil men and evil gods alike. Khaals took away their spirit powers, reserving them only for men who properly followed a righteous way. He transformed people into animals, plants, and certain landmarks as punishment or reward for their deeds, these animals and plants essential to the daily life of the Whulchomic peoples and rearranged the rivers and lakes of the world to their current state. He granted his younger brother the power of transformation to assist him and help the people, for he was closer to them. In essence, Khaals prepared the world for modern people to thrive in it. At the end of his life, he and his brother visited the mountain made from the cedar rope he descended on as an infant. There, Khaals climbed the mountain into the sky to become the sun, but his spirit was so powerful he scorched the land. To solve this, Khaals instead transformed his weaker brother to light the day while he lit the night as the moon, keeping the people safe. Khaals carried his wife and possessions alongside him as he traveled the night sky which humans could see as the shadows and blemishes on the moon.

The Whulchomic peoples came to revere Khaals and his brother as gods, worshipping at a variety of sacred mountains. As lunar and solar deities, they gave and took away light as needed, preserving the balance of the world. They governed the spirits of the world in this role, having banished and sealed evil and granting humans magic. Like most Fusanian religion, worship of these deities took place outside, usually by sacred trees, rocks, or especially on sacred mountains. Often they worshipped Khaals and his brother by proxy, offering their sacrifices to the holy places they blessed or to particularly powerful ancestors (often associated with people transformed by Khaals) to intercede on their behalf rather than pray directly toward the gods.

Equally important in Whulchomic religion was the general conception of spirits, mostly shared with other North Fusanian peoples. Natural events were explained as being caused by powerful nature spirits, spirits which shamans might attempt to manipulate for human benefit or ordinary people might acquire portions of their power as guardian spirits. Rain, snow, winds, floods, and disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis were explained by spiritual creatures like the Thunderbird or the evil twin-headed serpents called ahyahos, powerful spirits normally sealed in boulders and cliffs who controlled earthquakes and landslides. A shaman might gain an ahyahos spirit, but such a spirit was dangerous and normally these men were relied on to keep other ahyahos sealed. Like all Fusanians, they sang songs of praise and danced in ceremonies to these spirits to keep them appeased and so the spirits might grant them even more of their power. Rituals such winter dances and the crucial First Salmon Ceremony, in the common form of ritual gutting and offering back of the first-caught fish to ensure the fish might forever return, of spring marked major yearly events.

The Whulchomic peoples recognised four classes in contrast to three commonly recognised by most Fusanian peoples--the nobility, the commoners, and the serfs, or st'ekhem. The latter served as a caste of outcasts and often referred to as the "Forgotten Men", as they "forgot" their lineage and origins, in contrast to nobles who descended from ancestral nobles and commoners who descended from the poor and enslaved. They lived in separate communities typically owned by a noble from a nearby village and paid tribute to him. Unlike slaves, the Whulchomic considered the st'ekhem fully human and not property and granted them rights, but considered cursed by the Transformer Khaals and his brothers for the haughtyness of their ancestors. In contrast to commoners, the st'ekhem were forced to perform rites of purity to even go near nobles and tended to hold certain low-status occupations. The origin of the st'ekhem appears to lay in the daughters of slave women by their commoner or noble owners. Their status was too high to become slaves themselves but their illegitimate status forever tainted their lineage. Other st'ekhem appear to be runaway slaves who managed to arrive in a place which forgot their origins as slaves. While st'ekhem-like classes existed amongst commoners elsewhere, only in Whulchomic lands did the st'ekhem fully emerge into their own class, a reflection of the more complex laws governing social and familial relationships.

Of these classes, the leaders of the Whulchomic people came from a small subset, the siyams (or siyabs, etc. depending on language) of the nobility. These represented the nobles of the highest lineages, nobles who found it inherently easy to gain the respect of followers provided they live a proper life befitting their status. Only siyams might be elected to rule over larger communities. A siyam might fall in rank back to being a noble should they become too poor or too wicked, and likewise a noble might ascend into the rank of siyams by their wealth, leadership qualities, generosity, and powerful spirit.

The Whulchomic people looked toward outside communities for marriage, a common practice in the region. To marry a relative closer than a fourth cousin fell under the incest taboo, as geneologies were regarded as essential parts of oral history and only slaves and the poorest of commoners lacked the ability to recite them. The Whulchomic people regarded their most distant ancestors as having been brothers and sisters of those the Transformer (known by various names such as Khaals by the Lelemakh) made into plants, animals, and landforms essential to their life, in effect the separation of man from animal. These ancestors founded the clans common to Whulchomic people since their arrival during the American Migration Period, clans formed by their nobleman leaders and the commoners and serfs bound to them.

Whulchomic inheritance practices allowed for the inheritance of nearly anything, including sections of land far away. Those siyams who married well might inherit entire villages by inheriting the name(s) assigned to them which when applied to politics created situations akin to European concepts of personal unions, as such a siyam would be responsible to the local nobility there and expected to act as a member of that community when he was there. The daughters of siyams often acted as powerful heiresses and became highly sought after spouses who at times held their own potlatches in order to show off their power. Siyams who wished to expand their power needed to rely on intrigue just as much as warfare.

Like many in coastal Fusania such as their Wakashan enemies and southerly Namal neighbours, Whulchomic nobles held great potlatch feasts. In these ceremonies, the highest of nobles called siyams [3] (or siyabs, etc. depending on language) transferred their wealth to their followers from all around with the implicit assumption that accepting their gifts made them dependent on them. Indeed, the siyams often received great amounts of tribute from their followers throughout the year. Yet potlatches did more than this, since it signified the noble was wealthy, generous, and capable of taking care of his followers.

Not every good given away at a potlatch might be physical. Individual ownership and rights to plots of land often also were transferred at these festivals, although most siyams granted free use of their land to their followers. Like the Tsm'sha, Atkhs, and other groups, they also transferred inherited names at these festivals. Some of these names referred to legendary figures who first owned a certain plot of land, while others may refer to great heroes whose deeds were elsewhere and thus "owning" that name carried a great deal of prestige. A Whulchomic siyam might carry over a dozen names and be known by a different one in every town or village, in addition to the posthumous name they might inherit on death. A commoner being privileged to inherit a name from a noble often marked their ascension into that upper class. This gave the new owner the spiritual power that name possessed and by extension adopted one as part of the lineage which carried that name.

Along with the potlatch ceremonies, council rule formed the basis of government in this region. Councils of nobles ruled each and every community from small villages of only a few longhouses to large cities like Sqhweyemehl on the Shisutara River. Typically, these councils elected or invited siyams to govern community affairs like fishing or construction. Only landowners in a given area sat on the councils, and in councils governing large areas, dozens or more might assemble for these meetings. The most powerful member elected by these councils was the Stomekh, or war leader. While they expected every man to fight, the Stomekh came from the warrior class, typically chosen on the basis of their spiritual power. They were regarded as brutish and prone to violence, but essential in protecting the village in times of war. People disliked the stomekh for their spiritual impurity and often harsh demands, but still firmly trusted them when it came to defense.

The Whulchomic peoples took the brunt of the Coastman raids, facing serious incursions since the 8th century from Far Northwest peoples like the Khaida, Hailtsaq, and Tsm'sha and soon after Wakashan peoples like the Atkhs and Lik'wil'dak. Similarly, they faced raids from the north and east in the form of Dena herdsmen living in the mountains who preyed on Whulchomic reindeer, and also from the south in the form of Namal raiders seeking more slaves to sell downstream to the slave markets at Wayam or for tribute to the Coastmen. The raids only ever stopped when the villages and towns of the Whulchomic people paid tribute to the raiders. Numerous Whulchomic peoples vanished entirely in this maelstrom of conflict (usually as the Atkhs settled on their land), their existence known only by archaeology, linguistics, and in the oral history of their descendants.

Yet perhaps the greatest deterrance came from the Whulchomic skill at engineering and city planning. The Whulchomic people placed great value in palisades and watch-towers since early on, yet as the decades passed with no end in sight to the raids, they began to build these more and more. Nearly every village of more than a few dozen people had a tall palisade and watch-towers made from red cedar or similar sturdy trees, while larger villages often had a ring or two of these and usually a smaller palisade to corral the village's animals when needed. Regional centers like the Tlatlechamish city of T'khwinas [4] often built their palisades typically wide enough soldiers might stand on them, on top of earthen walls with multiple layers of defense with central keeps in the interior. The city of Sqhweyemehl went a step further around 1100 and constructed stone walls to bolster its defenses. Similar fortifications started appearing throughout the 12th century in the region decades before they appeared anywhere else.

These walls often held specific notches and skewers for mounting the heads of enemies on them. While nearly every Fusanian group took the scalps or the entire head of their enemy, amongst the Whulchomic people a traditional headhunting practice arose where the warrior took back the heads of enemies they killed to their own settlements and mounted them on the walls with the spiritual assistance of shamans as a form of deterrance to enemies both physical and spiritual and a show of force to allies that the settlement held strong warriors. They preserved these skulls to retain human features as long as possible. Occasionally they ransomed these heads and skulls back to kinsmen, sometimes even in exchange for live captives.

Traditional Whulchomic warfare evolved as defensive in nature and for wounding enemy warriors for capture, although in their less frequent offensive wars and raids they fought to kill. They regularly laced their arrows with poisons to incapacitate and attacked from their walls or from ambush sites. Their warriors likewise often laced their daggers and spears with poisons for this reason. Upon capture, these men were fated for slavery or for ransom--unlike other Fusanian peoples, the Whulchomic peoples captured adult men for slavery. Except for nobles who were worth more whole, they always mutilated these men by hacking off a foot or a hand and often their nose to further mark them and diminish the number of potential enemy warriors. Those men they could not ransom they castrated and used as a separate class of slaves used for very menial tasks which did not involve implements which might be turned against their masters. These slaves were at the bottom of the hierarchy and usually supervised by other slaves.

Other methods of defense emerged amongst the Whulchomic peoples in this time. They built villages amongst the sloughs and bogs in their land to cause enemy canoes to run aground and be easy targets for archers in watch-towers. In a case of covergent evolution amongst cultures, they constructed stone and wooden pathways like the European kulgrinda of the Samogitians and other Baltic peoples across bogs and other wetlands whose paths were known only to nearby villages in question as they were invisible on the surface. These became frequent battlefields where more mobile Whulchomic skirmishers defeated numerous raiding parties.

With all these fortifications, the Whulchomic villages and towns posed a formidable challenge for aggressors, and that included ambitious Whulchomic rulers as much as raiders. Unlike elsewhere in North Fusania where flood control and coordinating defense from the Coastmen and Dena prompted the rise of strong rulers and states, in Whulchomic lands this process stopped with no real states established. While ruling dynasties held control in each village, town, and city, that ruler's control typically stopped not far from their walls. Even the siyam of a large and prosperous city like Sqhweyemehl held hardly any influence over the dozens of villages within a few kilometers of it. This promoted the division and fragmentation of Whulchomic culture into not only overarching ethnicities (defined in centuries after based mainly on language on some cultural elements) like the Whulchomish or Lelemakh but also smaller ethnicities centered around collections of villages, a chief town, or a section of river, such as the Dkhdawhamish who lived around Sqwuhalqwu. A few groups became united under one lineage, but generally the many siyams in the region contended for influence.

Regardless of origin, siyams organised into leagues to coordinate activities with siyams in other communities and act as defense against enemies. Although often portrayed as alliances of towns and villages, a league was properly an alliance of siyams, usually focused around the siyam wealthy enough to own most or all of a major city. Leagues met at the cities of their founding and made their decisions in council of their siyams. The head of a league was called the yewal siyam (loosely translated as "high siyam"), who coordinated the activities of the league yet had little power otherwise. The league councils elected the yewal siyam for a term of five years. Yet the true paramount ruler was the yewal stomekh they elected to coordinate their military affairs, as he held extraordinary powers in intervening in local affairs. He acted as the military leader of the league and coordinate the raising and supply of soldiers and construction of fortifications. However, if he overstepped his boundaries he might be removed from office to prevent villages or towns from leaving the league. Typically, the council elected the yewal stomekh for five years.

A league collected taxes from their members in the form of tribute paid to the league council. Tribute usually took the form of goods, but just as often took the form of labour by commoners or especially slaves loaned from wealthy citizens. The labour was used mainly to repair fortifications and agricultural earthworks and levees to keep the economy functioning. The league nominally used this labour where needed but typically used the labour to bribe valuable members. Further, the leagues demanded their members send at least a few warriors to the capital of the league for a few weeks to a few months to conduct training exercises and serve in the capital garrison. The yewal stomekh was in charge of collecting dues from league members--he delegated the position to a chief tax collector who in turn appointed subordinate tax collectors. Usually the dues were not particularly high thanks to the common dislike of paying them. Those leagues who demanded too high of dues or misappropriated them fell apart.

The potlatches held by the yewal siyam were essential in redistributing resources to league members in addition to confirming his power and authority. At these events, held once a year or so on an auspicious occasion, the yewal siyam spoke before nearly every siyam of the league or their representative and gave gifts from two sources--tribute from members and his own personal wealth. The latter was crucial in cementing the yewal siyam's authority and by extension his closest backers. A yewal siyam often invited siyams or other rulers from outside the league to these events in the hopes of seeking new members and conducting diplomacy. This potlatch functioned as a council meeting in of itself for the league and in some years might even be the only time the full league council assembled. By custom, the yewal siyam hosted or attended no other potlatches than these. Due to the number of siyams assembled and amount of wealth gifted, these potlatches were usually among the largest held every year in Fusania and it is reputed that some of these potlatches may have been the largest ever.

Membership in a league fluctuated over the years, typically known by the siyam in question's attendance or lack thereof at major potlatches. While voluntary, economic or even military coercion often occurred to keep members in line. In this sense the leagues possessed a greater level of centralisation than the Kuksuist confederations of South Fusania. The Whulchomic peoples considered leaving a league a great insult and a potential cause for war or retaliatory raids. For this reason, siyams considered leaving a league an option of last resort if their concerns about domestic and foreign policy of the league went unheeded. Typically they tried to work within the system and back allies for the posts of yewal siyam and yewal stomekh.

At any given time, four to six major leagues operated alongside a few dozen smaller leagues, some of which were consisted of only a single town and a few subordinate villages and were dominated by a single lineage of siyams. The smaller leagues often had many siyams who paid tribute to siyams in larger leagues yet still guarded their independence and carried out independent policy. Further, familial links crossed the boundaries between leagues which further reinforced the connections.

Leagues occasionally fell apart or dissolved entirely, often out of mutual hatred between the most powerful members or because of external forces (usually the Coastmen). For the former, simply leaving their league wasn't a good enough option for some siyams--they demanded control over their league and used trickery and violence to get it. These sorts of aggressive actions invariably resulted in the collapse of the league, either due to losing its most important members or because the league was now reconstituted in a new city. For the latter, Wakashan raids easily might destroy smaller leagues as they no longer trusted the yewal stomekh to protect them. Occasionally it might be less violent as siyams pledged themselves to stronger leaders, leaving the league so weak that even the yewal siyam pledeged himself to another league.

Traditionally, the Whulchomish people served as a typical example of a Whulchomic group, hence why they lent their name to their linguistic and cultural kin. They lived in fortified villages farming the river valleys and swamps for camas, omodaka, and other plants and periodically set out into the forests they managed to gather plants and seeds and hunt game. Their most essential ceremonies revolved around the salmon runs, where many Whulchomish gathered to catch the seemingly endless fish moving upriver to spawn. Their villages grouped under the rule of siyams who held the titles to them, titles which may be traded or inherited, and the nobles beneath the siyams whom they were most responsible to.

Yet the Whulchomish innovated many of these systems alongside the Lelemakh due to the richness of their land and need for social organisation early on. To keep social interactions peaceful as their population grew and began to overharvest local game, people looked to the nobles and especially the siyams more than ever to ensure their prosperity and success. In turn, the siyams needed to gain the support of each other to ensure this wealth to their followers. The siyams thus organised horizontal leagues of semi-free association, an innovation which spread in time to neighbouring Whulchomic peoples. This system worked quite well--the Whulchomish produced a large surplus of food and crafts and thanks to their central position along the Whulge served as important centers of trade. With all this, the Whulchomish numbered as the largest Whulchomic group consisting about half of the total population of those groups.

The strongest of the Whulchomish Leagues included the Kwatkach'ked League, the Spuiyhalep League, the St'ech'as League, and especially the Sqwuhalqwu League [5]. These leagues (starting with the Kwatkach'ked League, traditionally the oldest league in the land) organised around growing trading centers somewhat inland from the mouths of important rivers, as the raids of the 8th and 9th centuries resulted in the near-abandonment of the coast in favour of watchtowers and temporary fishing camps. Mutual self-defense served as an essential component of the leagues as did the reinforcing of familial bonds and the bonds of followers and masters. This successful social structure spread via intermarriage throughout the entire Whulge Coast by the early 10th century.

The Sqwuhalqwu League ranked as the strongest and wealthiest of the leagues. Although weakened heavily by a powerful earthquake and tsunami around 920 AD which struck the entire Whulge area, it recovered faster than its southern rival, the Spuiyhalep League. [6] Further quakes in the southern area in that timeframe fell disproportionately on Spuiyhalep and southerly Whulchomish leagues, and the eruption of Teqwubeh [7] around 940 caused devastating lahars that flooded villages, killed many livestock, and destroyed the salmon runs for over a year causing famine in the area. With its southern rivals weakened, the Sqwuhalqwu League gained the support of interior siyams and their leagues by the Grey Mountains and significant control over the trade routes crossing into the Tabachiri Valley [8]. Sqwuhalqwu and a few core members of its league controlled a large fleet of both fishing boats and warships which prowled the waters of the rivers, the Whulge, and the nearby Lake Hikwqhachuh [9] to ensure security as well as intimidation of siyams who might otherwise wish to leave. Because of its advantageous position for trade and its good lands, since the 11th century Sqwuhalqwu was the largest city in Whulchomic lands--around 1100 it had a population of perhaps 3,000 people, one of the largest cities in Fusania.

The Whulchomish and the Dena were surprisingly friendly. Many Whulchomish leagues used alliances with the Dena to prevent local rivals, especially the Namals, from controlling the mountain passes between the Plateau and the Whulge coast. Similarly, they took advantage of the Dena raids on the Shlpalmish, Tlatlechamish, and mainland Wakashans to further weaken rivals and to receive good terms of trade for livestock. Much of this friendliness traces to older wars with the Shlpalmish and especially the Tlatlechamish as well as a general desire to not worry about another group of potentially dangerous raiders. As a result, the Grey Mountains Dena grew exceedingly wealthy in the 10th-12th century as intermediaries and buffers.

A Wakashanisation process of the Whulchomic peoples occurred in the 8th through 10th centuries during the height of the Wakashan raiding. All of the Whulchomic groups (of closest affinity to the Shlpalmish and the Tlatlechamish) on the Pacific coast fell victim to Wakashan raids and settlement. Many people fled the coast entirely, others stayed under Wakashan rule and formed the base of the lower classes in these societies and gradually came to lose most of their Whulchomic heritage, including their language and became indistinguishable from other Wakashan peoples, a process complete by no later than the start of the 12th century. For other groups like the Tlatlechamish and Lelemakhs, they regularly intermarried with the Wakashans and many of their siyams and other nobles descended from Wakashan raiders. The Whulchomish held the least amount of Wakashan influence, but even here many of their nobles descended from the Wakashans. True to their Wakashan influences, the Tlatlechamish as well as the Lelemakhs of Wakashi placed a great emphasis on whaling and seafaring, in contrast to other Whulchomic peoples, and with this were considered fearsome warriors by other Whulchomic peoples.

Early Tlatlechamish history was a harbinger of what was to come for the history of the Whulge Coast, for they bore the brunt of the Wakashan Expansion. Alongside the enigmatic Kwidit'atkh (their Atkh exonym) who based on toponymy, loanwords, and substrates in succeeding languages spoke a language unrelated to their neighbours, they lived along the exterior arms of the Whulge on both the mainland and the islands immediately across from Wakashi Island and became the first victims of Wakashan settlement during the late 8th century. As a result, the local Tlatlechamish people especially those on the Hitadaki Peninsula called the Nehwstl'ayem [10] developed perhaps the most warlike and militarised culture of all Whulchomic peoples, shared by the Whulchomic peoples of Wakashi Island itself. They countered the raids on their land by attacking Wakashi Island itself, raiding Atkh villages. This provoked many reprisals from the Coastmen due to their long-standing tradition in punishing those who harmed their kin and as a result, the Tlatlechamish and especially the Nehwstl'ayem suffered disproportionately compared to other Whulchomic people. For the Nehwstl'ayem, during the 9th through 10th centuries their warriors fell in battle after battle, their women and children were abducted as slaves, their villages were burnt, and their lands were settled by Atkhs and other Coastmen.

This caused many migrations of groups of Tlatlechamish east into the Whulge and inland. Some settled peacefully with other Tlatlechamish and Whulchomic peoples, others violently dispersed them from their lands and took it for themselves. A few migrated into the Hitadaki Mountains to join the Qsultene'ni Dena who lived there. The last remaining Kwidit'atkh group seem to have met this fate as their lands fell to invading Nehwstl'ayem and became the nucleus of the Nehwstl'ayem city-state of Qatai and its Qatai League which emerged around 950, a relatively centralised and powerful state and (after 1000 AD) the last holdout of the Nehwstl'ayem people. Other Tlatlechamish groups acted as Coastmen, raiding villages Whulchomic and Wakashan alike. By the 11th century their main area of settlement focused on Khwatqam Bay where they clashed with the local leagues and gradually drove them inland.

The Tlatlechamish were the most Wakashanised of the Whulchomic peoples due to many nobles having Wakashan ancestry and possessed numerous cultural elements of them as a result. They prized whaling and whaling nobles and possessed innovative ship designs and tactics to best hunt down the whales. They actively cultivated salt marsh plants for food, fuel, and salt and were skilled mariculturalists. Their limited usable land kept agricultural and pastoralism to minimal activities--as a result, the Tlaltechamish specialised in forestry for silviculture, toolmaking, and shipbuilding and imported what food they needed (mostly acorns and dried camas and omodaka). The Tlatlechamish often served as intermediaries between the Wakashans and the mainland peoples, trading tools, whaling goods, slaves, and canoes in exchange for additional food and animals. They were skilled navigators, knowing the many straits, coves, and safe harbours of the Whulge.

The Tlatlechamish lived on both Wakashi Island and the mainland in addition to their centers in the islands. The Island Tlatlechamish lived mainly as farmers, fishermen, whalers, and merchants, owning few reindeer or goats thanks to the depredations of Atkh raiders from further northwest. These Atkhs rarely made serious attacks on the Tlatlechamish by land, preferring to make lightning raids by sea. To counter the Atkhs as well as the powerful Tlatlechamish Smayekh League of the Waragutsuru Islands, the Tlatlechamish here organised under their two most powerful cities to create the Qemasen League and the Sesinah League [11] which by virtue of their fortifications and powerful counter-raids became by far the largest cities amongst the Island Tlatlechamish.

Yet the most powerful group of the Tlatlechamish were those who lived on the Waragutsuru Islands between the mainland and Wakashi. The aforementioned Smayekh League dominated this area. They initially formed as a defensive alliance from the invading Wakashans and in turn sought to conquer the coastal areas around Khwatqam Bay []. Their own raids and settlement on the coast were as damaging and vicious as the Wakashan raids, and they occasionally functioned as the proxies of emerging Wakashan states, raiding the coast to pay the tribute the Wakashans expected. The 9th and 10th centuries accelerated the pace of Tlatlechamish displacement at the hands of the Wakashans, so the league had an ample supply of warriors to call upon and many people left seeking new land.

The Shlpalmish, dwelling along their rivers in the prairies and hills north of the Imaru, possessed the most distinct lifestyle relative to the other Whulchomic people, a lifestyle rather recognisable to the Namals. They relied much more on farming and especially herding and built only smaller canoes, and their lords owned far more reindeer and towey goats than neighbours. They extensively traded over the mountains to the Imaru Plateau and offered the best alternative to the Imaru River trade routes for the Whulchomic peoples and Wakashans. Much Shlpalmish land consisted of prairies and as a result they became among the first to intensively cultivate the Imaru oak in their lands using a method perhaps learned from Kuksuist oak cultivators far to the south.

Perhaps because of their proximity to the Imaru, the Shlpalmish possessed a weaker structure of leagues than other groups. A Shlpalmish league typically was more akin to a city-state and its hegemony than the decentralised leagues found among other Whulchomic peoples. The Awelkintl [12] League, the most powerful Shlpalmish city, was a prototypical example of this. Awelkintl, known for copper mining and dye production and sited on an important trade route between the Whulge and Imaru River, eliminated its only regional opponent by inherting the town of Mat'ap [] after its line of ruling siyams died out and assassinating siyams and nobles opposed to this inheritance. After that, the Siyam of Awelkintl ruled as Yelam Siyam of the whole league with a close male relative as Yewal Stomekh and elections served as only a formality. His state controlled the majority of the valley of the Upper Kashiwamachi Valley, with the only opposition north of Namal lands being the similarly organised Watlakhetkuk League at the titular city. Still, primarily Shlpalmish leagues in the sense of other Whulchomic peoples existed of which the Talal League [13] was the most notable example. Here, a few Shlpalmish and a few Whulchomish towns and villages united in the decentralised structure common elsewhere.

The Shlpalmish allied mostly with the Whulchomish leagues to their north and more rarely with Namal city states like Katlamat or Katlaqmap. Their worst enemies aside the Wakashans were the Aipakhpam city states of the Tabachiri Valley who competed with them for control over the mountain passes and associated pastures and forests. The Coast Mountains Dena also presented a powerful threat until expeditions from an alliance of Shlpalmish towns and coastal Atkh city-state of Hach'apukhwis [14] crushed them as a major force in the late 11th century. Although the Shlpalmish and Atkhs split the loot in slaves and livestock equally, the more centralised nature and determined political goals of the Prince of Hach'apukhwis simply replaced one Shlpalmish enemy for another.

At the mouth of the great Thistalah (later called the Shisutara) River [15] lived the Lelemakh. The fertile plain of the Thistalah provided ample marshy ground perfect for growing omodaka and other water plants as well as good transportation between the towns and villages of the area and upstream to the lands of the Stl'atl'emkh Chiyatsuru and their powerful city-state of Old Khakhlip [16]. The mountains around them likewise provided sufficient quantities of timber, hunting grounds for game, and pastures for reindeer and goats. The Lelemakh grew great quantities of food for both themselves and for their vast herds of livestock, especially their towey goats. While the Lelemakh engaged in mining, fishing, woodworking and other economic activities like other Whulchomic peoples, their textile arts (especially their woven tapestries) and finely bred goats gained them the most note outside their lands.

On one of these mountains, likely on a peninsula somewhere on the north coast of the Whulge, intensive maintenance of the local mountain goat population began to meet the increasing demand for the blankets so treasured by all Whulchomic peoples and their neighbours. Over time, the wild mountain goat became the domesticated towey goat, a far more useful animal and an even greater symbol of wealth. The Lelemakh believed the wild mountain goat and domesticated towey goat came from two twins, one greedy and demanding more and one content and unambitious, who regardless clashed over their inheritance and threatened the peace. The Transformer god Khaals turned the greedy twin into the towey goat, so he may be wealthy, powerful, and always but forced to serve man while the moderate twin became the mountain goat, free and masterless forever so he might learn proper ambition.

Positioned at the northern end of Whulchomic country and controlling the trade routes up the Thistalah River, the Lelemakh imported great amounts of livestock and metals from the countries to their north, especially that of the Stl'atl'emkh. They also frequently traded with the Yatupah'en Dena to their northwest for the same purposes and also for whale products (as whaling was rare among the Lelemakh due to fear of provoking Wakashan retaliation) and occasionally with other Dena up the Shisutara. They held a balanced diplomatic outlook, taking advantage of any group as needed to ensure their merchants might trade unharassed and most importantly their own lands unraided. As such, their neighbours considered the Lelemakh untrustworthy allies, although their relations with the Stl'atl'emkh and Whulchomish often remained on good terms.

Sqhweyemehl emerged early on as the largest center in Lelemakh lands. Sitting near the mouth of the Thistalah, this city dominated best lands for farming and trading in all Lelemakh country thus enabling their Sqhweyemehl League to dominate nearly the entirety of the Mainland Lelemakh. Only a few minor leagues like the Iwowes League, the Leq'emel League, and the Ch'iyaqmesh League in the northwestern mountains [17] competed to any sizable degree, and for the former two their significance declined greatly during the collapse of Old Khakhlip in the 11th century. Lacking local competitors and exceedingly wealthy, it was perhaps the second to only Sqwuhalqwu amongst cities on the Whulge and occasionally even greater depending on the circumstances of regional politics.

The Island Lelemakh represent a divergent branch of the Lelemakh people. They lived in the northeastern corner of Wakashi Island along the coast and into the interior valleys and hills. In this land they encountered frequent conflict with the Atkhs and Lik'wil'dak in addition to raids from further north. Their culture became remarkably martial as a result, and unlike their more defensive Mainland Lelemakh kin (who considered them violent and crude, albeit still civilised, people), the Island Lelemakh much more frequently went to war and raided their enemy, usually rustling livestock. They despised the Lik'wil'dak above all else, having absorbed many Whulchomic refugees from the land northwest of them who had been pushed out by the Lik'wil'dak in the 8th - 10th centuries. In turn, the Island Lelemakh allied with the enemies of the Lik'wil'dak, the Yatupah'en Dena and especially the Southern Khaida who had pushed out the Lik'wil'dak to begin with.

Three powerful leagues--the Samena League, the Sneneymah League, and the Seq'amin League [18]--and several lesser leagues dominated the Island Lelemakh. While neither of the three larger leagues even came close to the Sqhweyemehl League's power and wealth, their economic and military alliances with the Wakashans and other Coastmen let them serve as good intermediaries between those groups and the other Whulchomic peoples. In addition, their frequent intermarriage with the Mainland Lelemakh and other mainland Whulchomic peoples led to their men often being called as warriors to defend their kinsmen.

In addition to other already discussed, several other Whulchomic leagues are notable, such as the oldest league in Whulchomic country was the Kwatkach'ked League, centered around the city of Kwatkach'ked. According to legend, the gods themselves gave advice to the siyams of Kwatkach'ked on how to organise a league. The league further strengthened thanks to the brilliant rule of a particular lineage of siyams descended from the siyam Sts'kanam (c.780 - 863), who inherited or otherwise purchased all of Kwatkach'ked and eventually inherited numerous villages around. The ruling siyam of Kwatkach'ked held in personal union villages and towns from quite a distance afield and with the Kwatkach'ked League united numerous villages to "link up" their territory. Records suggest the Kwatkach'ked League formally organised around 863 AD not long after the death of Sts'kanam. Thanks to this antiquity, the Kwatkach'ked League and its leadership occupied a position of "first among equals" as the seniormost league.

The Kwatkach'ked League consisted of mainly Whulchomish villages but also a few Lelemakh villages as well. In addition to the Wakashans and other Coastmen, they frequently clashed with the Smayekh League. Relations were better with the Sqabahlko League [19], the league immediately south and the two often fought as allies. They occasionally fought with the league to their north, the Khwkhahestam [20] League during the early 10th century over ownership of villages near the border but the Khwkhahestam League weakened so severely that century thanks to these wars, Wakashan raids, and wars against the Smayekh League that the Khwkhahestam League effectively became a vassal of the Kwatkach'ked. Khwatqam [21], its second-most powerful city, succeeded from the league in 954 thus permanently weakening the Khwkhahestam League.

The political sophistication, increasingly defensive nature, and advanced fortifications combined to produce a stable system which served as an anchor in the stormy tides of warfare and raiding in the region. The number of raids dramatically lessened during the 11th century as the typical Coastman leader knew he and his men would only meet death or slavery lest they bring a great host with them. The amount of loot to be gained lessened while the prestige to be gained stayed the same--as a result, many of the most ambitious Coastmen nobles shifted their attention far to the south in this era, leaving more peaceful times along the Whulge.

Great hosts of Coastmen periodically appeared however, as the task of organising Coastmen expeditions increasingly fell to the larger and more centralised states rather than independent nobles thanks to the need to conduct siege warfare. This caused raids to be fewer in number, but more devastating in effect. The Khaida state of Llaginda which came to rule the majority of the islands of Qhwai during the 11th century, mounted a great expedition aimed at the Whulge in 1107. Alongside Llaginda, numerous lesser Atkh and Southern Khaida towns contributed warriors. Notably, this was the first Coastman raid the legendary Ringitsu warlord Khutsaayi took part in, as well as an early battle led by Kawadinak, future lord of the rising city state of Tinhimha [22]. Thousands of men and ships took part in this campaign.

Several leagues of Whulchomish and Tlatlechamish towns provided opposition, with the Kwatkach'ked League leading the way. Practically every coastal siyam contributed warriors, ships, and animals for this defensive army. Evenly matched, they clashed in a large naval battle where many on both sides fell until the wind blew and carried the Coastmen away from the initial target of the raid, Smayekh. At that point, the Coastmen broke off from the battle and sailed toward the mainland and attacked the small T'khwinas League, frequent allies of the Kwatkach'ked League. They utterly destroyed T'khwinas and surrounding villages and marched on Kwatkach'ked itself. The Coastmen then turned back and ambushed the relief force as it headed through Khwchangas Strait [23]. Despite being outnumbered almost two-to-one as he only led a portion of the Coastmen host (no more than a thousand men), Kawadinak's men used the topography and an attack right before dawn to cause utter chaos in Whulchomic host. With minimal cohesion and not knowing the numbers of the enemy, the force of the Kwatkach'ked and other allies was scattered and dispersed with hundreds killed or drowned. However, the survivors regrouped and managed to return to Kwatkach'ked. Kawadinak feigned a siege at Kwatkach'ked to keep their forces inside the city while the majority of his men pillaged the countryside and attacked lesser towns and villages.

Despite little hope of reinforcement and forces far outnumbered by the Coastmen, Khwkhahestam and their allies attempted to resist regardless. They put up tenacious resistance at the Siege of Khwatqam and killed several important nobles of Llaginda in the first botched attempt to storm the city walls. In the end they sacked Khwatqam and moved on to Khwkhahestam itself. Here the resistance was even fiercer, and Coastmen increasingly sated with their plunder. After a few months of sieging the city, Khwkhahestam fell to the Coastmen host and every adult male massacred with the rest becoming slaves to the Coastmen. The remaining towns of the Khwkhahestam League either surrendered in hope they might be spared or fled as refugees to surrounding towns. This resulted in the desolation of that country and the extinction of the Khwkhahestam League, but it came at great cost as the fighting in the area inflicted so many losses on the Coastmen that they needed to end their raid, the greatest in this time period.

Although the Coastmen did not return in numbers for some time thanks to the wealth gained and losses suffered, the effects of this raid on the Whulchomic peoples lingered for decades after. Several leagues were practically annihilated, their lands passing to distant cousins and being actively fought over. The Kwatkach'ked League, despite its status as heirs of Sts'kanam, slipped into terminal decline as internal conflict took hold in the 1110s and 1120s. Even wealthier leagues which remained initially unaffected suffered a decline in these decades. To preserve their wealth, the siyams became increasingly territorial and dictatorial, preventing members from leaving their league by force and strictly enforcing the territorial rights of league members. Dues and tribute demanded increased, and the leagues gradually began their transformation into true states and more centralised republics.

Matters became even worse with events going on beyond the Grey Mountains. The wars of the rising Aipakhpam power of Wayam and Shilkh power of T'kuyatum [24] during this same time period, marked by their unusual intensity, decreased the volume of trade flowing through the Grey Mountains. Fleeing refugees, warriors looking for easy prey, and all manner of other banditry occurred along the mountain passes, further damaging trade in the area. While some cities and leagues managed to profit off these conflicts in the short-term, a general economic crisis set in over the region.

Prince Kawadinak of Tinhimha emerged in this time as the greatest enemy of the Whulchomic peoples. He periodically organised great raids in this area to gain wealth and experience for his men in order defeat rivals at home on Wakashi Island not long after his rise to rulership at Tinhimha in 1115. Peace on Wakashi Island typically meant a great raid within a few months, and during the 1120s and 1130s he conducted three large raids. Raids from Llaginda or further afield might strike too in this era. The worst era of Coastmen raids seemed to be returning thanks to these emboldened warlords with larger armies and better siege tactics. So large were these Coastmen hosts that some villages simply surrendered immediately and let them take what they wanted in hopes the people be spared death or slavery.

In 1139, Kawadinak led another army of thousands of warriors to the Whulge Coast with the typical orders to loot whatever they felt like. However, this time the Whulchomic country was prepared for him. The Smayekh League, lacking both a yewal siyam and a yewal stomekh as they had both died in the months prior, and fearing the imminent onslaught of Coastmen, took the unprecedented step of electing Kawadinak to both positions (after he took the daughters of a few leading siyams as concubines) in order to preserve themselves. Such an arrangement, inviting a barbarian to rule, had never been done before in all Whulchomic history and only emboldened Kawadinak to demand similar arrangements from other leagues. Kawadinak initially set his sights on the Sqhweyemehl League for its wealth, but his initial siege failed thanks to a stampede of moose owned by the nobles of the city caused chaos in his lines. Taking that as a sign (and not leaving without stealing many of said moose), Kawadinak returned home in 1139, preparing the next year to become the ruler of the Kwatkach'ked League and use its prestige to gain further control over the shores of the Whulge.

---
Author's notes​

A rather lengthy entry, attempting to combine ethnographical description of TTL's Whulchomic peoples and continue their history as discussed way back in Entry 10. There's some overlap in the matters discussed. I wrote this one in segments as I went over the information and decided on the basic facts I hope I sorted it all into a coherent entry.

This and the next few entries are in similar style, mixing ATL ethnographical information (rather mutated from OTL but similar in other ways) and historical content, although I might cut back on some of it to regain brevity. There's a hell of a lot of names and geography discussed here, so I'll be providing maps as soon as I can catch up on the maps I already need to give. Until then follow along in Google Maps or similar website/program (it's pretty helpful for reading a lot of TLs here really). Whatever that can't answer I can.

As always, thanks for reading!

[1] - Kwatkach'ked is Skagit City, WA, the Skowatsanakh are an Interior Salish people akin to the Middle Columbia Salish (i.e. Sinkiuse, Chelan, etc.) of OTL. The city-state of Kawakhtchin is Manson, WA, and Lake Chlhan is Lake Chelan
[2] - IOTL, even within Coast Salish country there are many variations on Transformer legends. This story associates Khaals with some common motifs and TTL is the subject of a religious cult hence the more standard form.
[3] - While Coast Salish cultures share many similarities, there are also many distinctions. The titles I'm using here are Halqomelem (TTL's Lelemakh) in origin
[4] - T'khwinas is Anacortes, WA
[5] - Spuiyhalep is Tacoma, WA, St'ech'as is Tumwater, WA, Sqwuhalqwu is Tukwila, WA
[6] - This is the great earthquake on the Seattle Fault in the 10th century, a magnitude 7.5 or so quake which caused a tsunami in the Puget Sound. This quake and similar quakes around the same time damaged many areas of the Puget Sound beyond Seattle with subsidence, tsunamis, etc. Elements of this entered into local Salish legend OTL as they have here.
[7] - Mount Rainier, a more authentic rendition of its indigenous name "Tacoma".
[8] - The Tabachiri (or Taptiil) Valley is that of the Yakima River in WA.
[9] - Lake Hikwqhachuh is Lake Washington, it's name meaning "Big Lake".
[10] - The Hitadaki Peninsula is the Olympic Peninsula, named for the Hitadaki Mountains (OTL's Olympic Mountains) which is the Japanese transcription of a Wakashan term meaning "top of mountain". The Nehwstl'ayem are TTL's version of the Klallam people of that region
[11] - Smayekh is at Garrison Bay on San Juan Island, WA. The Waragutsuru Islands are the San Juan Islands, named for their largest island's name in Japanese, Waragutsuru (San Juan Island). Qemasen is Victoria, BC and Sesinah is Saseenos, BC (near Sooke, BC)
[12] - Awelkintl and Mat'ap are both immediately downstream on the Cowlitz River (TTL's Kashiwamichi, a Japanese rendition of a Chinookan toponym) from Toledo, WA
[13] - Watlakhetkuk is Castle Rock, WA and Talal is Fords Prairie, WA
[14] - Hach'apukhwis is Aberdeen, WA
[15] - The Thistalah/Shisutara is the Fraser River. Like many toponyms for large bodies of freshwater in this area (i.e. Imaru/Wimahl), it just means "Big River".
[16] - Old Khakhlip is the Keatley Creek site near Lillooet, BC, which in the 1st millennia AD was among the largest communities in the region with over a thousand people. I am borrowing the name of the nearby community of Fountain for the place.
[17] - Iwowes is Hope, BC, Leq'emel is Dewdney, BC, and Ch'iyaqmesh is a bit upstream from Squamish, BC
[18] - Samena is Duncan, BC, Sneneymah is Nanaimo, BC, and Seq'amin is Ladysmith, BC, all on Vancouver Island
[19] - Sqabahlko is Arlington, WA
[20] - Khwkhahestam is Ferndale, WA
[21] - Khwatqam is Bellingham, WA
[22] - Tinhimha is Port Alberni, BC
[23] - Khwchangas Strait is Deception Pass, a narrow strait north of Whidbey Island
[24] - T'kuyatum is Brewster, WA
 
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I both love and hate the new word count feature. I know it only counts threadmarks (so some notable TLs like Male Rising are missing) but it really hammers home the point that I write some huge updates. Odds are good that in a few weeks this will show up on the first page if you choose "sort by word count".
Great Update !!!!
Thank you.
Just curious, will a literal horn of bronze crop up as a historical artefact?
Yes, a literal "horn of bronze" will show up at some point, but it may not be what you think.
 
I can't help but wonder how did "Oasisamerica" form as a reference to the Puebloans?

Also, there was precious little on the Plains area - what happened to the Dakota/Lakota and the Chippewa and the other tribes of the region?
 
I can't help but wonder how did "Oasisamerica" form as a reference to the Puebloans?

Also, there was precious little on the Plains area - what happened to the Dakota/Lakota and the Chippewa and the other tribes of the region?

Yeah i am also very interested in the plains nations and how they adapt to a more sedentary higher population density lifestyle, defiitely think this was a key disadvantage they had otl during the american conquest.

Great TL so far ive loved the detail in everything written about, glad someone is giving the pacific native americans a good pre columbian TL.
 
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