Land of Sweetness: A Pre-Columbian Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Every Grass in Java, May 31, 2018.

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  1. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    I think I would prefer keeping both the quasi-Abrahamic perspective of Entries 24-26 and the Plato's-Republic perspective of the Letters to Spain. Both symbolize divergent but no less authentic ways in which the followers of the Taiguano faith view their faith-- the former being the commoner perspective (as stated in the Letters to Spain), the latter being the "refined" view-- and Entry 28 is there to serve as a bridge between them. I think that having both the "Prophet born amid rejoicing and destined for victory" and the "that's just a noble lie we tell to keep the Politeia going" viewpoints make the Taiguano faith feel as complex-- and as likely to develop sectarian dissension-- as an OTL religion/philosophy. After all, nothing stopped the more "philosophical" Confucian and Buddhist traditions from developing vast spiritual cosmologies-- why would the Taiguano faith be any different?

    Plus, the action's stalled for too long. I want to see Ah Ek Lemba kicking down Panamanian walls :evilsmile:
     
    tus3, Al-numbers, Soverihn and 3 others like this.
  2. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    The greatest city in the world burnt to the ground :evilsmile:
     
  3. Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    I have made the following revisions to the Taiguano Prophetess entries:

    0) General improvements to format and style throughout.

    1) Entry 24 is entirely rewritten. This is the original version for future reference:

    From Bird-Canoes, World-Conquerors: Commerce and Revolution in America in the Long Fourteenth Century:

    The Taiguano Prophetess, our sources say, began her carrier as a petty Haitian noble girl.


    Her birth (traditionally dated to September 17, 1342, the date 11.6.0.0.0 in the Maya Long Count calendar) was miraculous, of course. One sixteenth-century hagiography recounts:

    The moment Our Lady was born, songs were raised up to the sky and scattered down on earth, more precious than the sweetest songbird’s call, softer than the sough of sea on sand. Some say that the musical bow was first heard on that day. And petals and feathers were everywhere, blood-red, gold-yellow, tree-green, sea-blue, and they came together on Our Lady as a ruler’s cloak. And some say that there were patterns of geometry written on the dome of the heavens, that the Theorem of the Triangle [Pythagorean Theorem] was first revealed on that day.
    The name of Prophetess’s family goes unmentioned in any of our sources, probably intentionally. The early Taiguano elite must have wanted to avoid anyone other than the Prophetess’s direct descendants (the dynasty of the Camaicids) from claiming hereditary authority. We do not even know from which kingdom of Haiti she came, and all five claimed her birthplace.


    Taiguano hagiographies recount a series of incidents throughout her childhood and adolescent years. Of note is her rejection of the Sweetness effigies of her family, mentioned by among the earliest hagiographic accounts:

    When Our Lady was but seven years old, her family made sacrifices to the idols, offering up human hearts in exchange for Sweetness. Our Lady told them,

    “Honored mother, honored father, do not worship the idols. They are liars with glib tongues. They have no Sweetness—the power of the human heart is the only Sweetness on earth—but they lie and say they do, to rob us of our food and Sweetness.”

    And the witch-priests of the idols said,

    “This child has been bewitched. She should be sacrificed.”

    And so Our Lady’s parents tied her upon the pyramid and took out the obsidian blade. And Our Lady said,

    “Honored mother, honored father, I will die as you demand.”

    And they did not sacrifice her.

    And the witch-priest of the idols said,

    “Why did you not kill her? I told you that you should!”

    And Our Lady’s parents said,

    “We loved her so, we could not do it.”

    And the witch-priest of the idols said,

    “Your lineage will be most cursed among all the lineages of the world!”

    But he erred and the idols erred, for the Camaicid dynasty has been not the most cursed but the most blessed among all the lineages of the world.
    The next stage in the Prophetess’s life was her capture by slavers at the age of sixteen. According to the hagiographers, this was a valiant act of sacrifice on her part:


    In the Age of Caciques, even Yucayans were taken prisoner as if they were mere Caniba… There was no knowledge of taiguan [civilization], no appreciation of taiguan.

    When Our Lady was sixteen years old, the slavers came. They took an entire border village of pentasrix [serfs] captive, one hundred forty-seven men and one hundred one women and two hundred seventy-two children. Because the captors already had enough serfs for their own purposes, they decided to sell them to Mayapán.

    The nitaino who owned this village presented himself to the royal court and said, “My honored king! I have been dispossessed of my possessions.”

    The king said, “I will compensate you for what has been lost, with a ring of gold and a town of serfs, so that you do not complain against me.”

    Our Lady was at court and said, “A murderer is not compensated if another murders his victim.”

    The next day, the lone refugee from the stolen village came. He said, “My honored king! I have been dispossessed of my companions and my home and my family.”

    The king said, “How dare such a vile, filthy, lowly creature come to my royal court!”

    He said, “My king, can you do nothing?”

    The king said, “There is nothing I can do; less than nothing you can do. It is the invariable principle of the world that the strong take and the weak are taken, that the strong possess and the weak are possessed.”

    Our Lady was at court and but said, “I will go as a slave instead.”

    Our Lady’s mother said, “No! We did not disobey the will of the gods to sacrifice you so that you would be a slave, so that you would be worked to death in some corn plantation, so that you would be thrown aboard, a rotting corpse, on the ocean road to the Maya land, so that you would end up some bruised-blue concubine to some swollen warlord there.”

    Our Lady said, “They are five hundred and thirty, I am only one. The Maya pay much higher for noble slaves.”

    Our Lady’s mother and father said, “You will be abused beyond your imaginings! You will starve, you will know torture and death, there on the endless sea.”

    Our Lady said, “And so will five hundred and thirty otherwise.”

    As a slave in ropes she went. And the five hundred and thirty slaves were freed by her sacrifice, and most of them lived to see their emancipation by the Prophetess, and they lived long and healthy lives.
    And so the Taiguano Prophetess went across the sea to Mayapán as a sixteen-year-old slave. In the Age of Caciques, Taiguano sources claim, it was customary for every woman slave to be raped soon after their capture. And so they cut up scars onto the Prophetess. But the hagiographers say one man was different:


    For one man, it was different. When he looked at the violation of the Prophetess, how the men indulged in her blood and guffawed at her pain, he felt sick to the core of his heart and his eyes blurred and his hands shook with rage and he said, “This is not right; I will not touch a hair of her.”

    The other men teased him at first, saying, “Aren’t you a man, my boy?”

    But he continued to refuse. And finally the other men were angry. Deep in their hearts they knew that what they were doing was evil and bestial, beyond the pale of humanity, and the man's words invoked their guilt. So the other men beat the man near to death, and with the permission of the captain of the ship they castrated him.

    The man was near bleeding to death that night when he saw something in the sky. It was inexplicable, indescribable; it was Night and Wind, it was the Great Mystery, it was the Great Paradox.

    The Mystery said, “I am Lord Bacocolon. I know you well, though you do not.”

    The man said, “I am about to die, and I do not know who you are.”

    The Mystery said, “I am Lord Bacocolon, I am your god, and I have helped you and you me, though you knew it not. And I will help you and you me, though you know it not.”

    And it was as Lord Bacocolon decreed. For this castrated man entered the service of the mercenary king Tēzcatl in Mayapán, and he conquered the world in the glory of Bacocolon. And the Mexicans call him Cemānāhuatēpēhuani, World-Conqueror.​

    This is the current version:

    Birth

    The hagiographies say that the Taiguano Prophetess was once the daughter of a petty Haitian nobleman.

    The name of Prophetess’s family goes unmentioned in any of our sources. The early Taiguano elite must have wanted to avoid anyone other than the Prophetess’s direct descendants, the dynasty of the Camaicids, from claiming hereditary authority. We do not even know from which kingdom of Haiti she came, and all five claimed her birthplace.

    Her birth—traditionally dated to September 17, 1342, the date 11.6.0.0.0 in the Maya Long Count calendar—was miraculous, say most hagiographers. The moment she was born, ghostly songs issued from the dust of the air and petals descended like rain from the sky. The feathers of exotic birds whirled around her parents, and a stylus of light hovered above the clouds, inscribing patterns of geometry on the dome of the heavens.

    This miracle birth was doubted by some of the more learned theologians, who pointed out that Lord Bacocolon, the Taiguano god, was no conjurer who would resort to the supernatural. But no matter how much they decried these superstitions, the common people continued to believe.

    However, even the most cynical of the theologians accepted as gospel one incident in the Prophetess's infancy. Soon after her birth, everyone knew, her mother was visited by two old men. One had tears in his eyes; the other, smile lines around them.

    "Lords, why do you cry and why do you smile?" The mother asked.

    "The fate of your child will be most wretched among all people on earth," the crying man said, "and I weep for her."

    "That is true," said the other man, "but it will be a life as noble as it is wretched, and I smile for her."


    Childhood

    The Prophetess was a prodigy. She learned to speak at the age of one month, read and wrote by the age of six months, and composed perfect poetry before she was two years old.

    Like all little girls, the Prophetess delighted in her parents, and they delighted in her. Every time guests came to her household, her parents would talk of nothing but their daughter: see how smart she is, how beautiful she is, how eloquent, how elegant, how unique... And even the most skeptical of their guests could only marvel when they came face-to-face with the child, the three-year-old girl who spoke to them in metered rhyme. "This girl has been blessed by the gods," everyone said.

    The Prophetess had only one sibling, a brother older by eight years. The boy's name was Guaiqui. Had Guaiqui been a meaner boy, he would surely have been jealous of his little sister, but the child's heart was too tender for that. The boy loved the Prophetess as much as her parents did, feeding her sweets and laughing to see her laugh, marveling too at how intelligent his little sister was. Whenever the other boys bragged about what they had, Guaiqui would always say, "But you don't have a little sister like mine!"

    When the Prophetess was seven years old and Guaiqui fifteen, her parents showed her the idols and took her to the blood sacrifices. She was terrified of the priests and their blood-reeking attire and the ugly idols they served and how they tore the heart out of the poor man. As the priests raised the still-beating heart on the stool, the girl ran out the temple.

    Her parents and brother found her cowering under a rock, and her face was in tears.

    "Mother, father," she whispered, "don't worship the idols, don't sacrifice for them ever again—look, mother, they're just stone and wood, they can't move themselves, can't feed themselves, they are nothing like what people are—the gods in the temple are incapable of anything on their own, don't sacrifice people for them."

    Her parents said, "You will understand in time."

    She said, "No! I wish I'll never understand."

    And Guaiqui stood silently. When his parents left, he hugged his sister and she hugged him back, and the Prophetess knew that things would be alright.


    Adolescence

    After her flight from the temple, the guests no longer thought that the Prophetess was blessed by the gods. They began to whisper that perhaps she was possessed by the ghost of some foul heretical scholar, some phantom who had chosen to possess a poor girl's body rather than slink off into the land of the dead.

    Her parents and brother were undaunted. They always spoke of the Prophetess as the best daughter and sister they could have, no matter how much the people whispered. One day, when Guaiqui was seventeen and married, his new wife asked him, "Why do you love your sister so much? They say bad things about her."

    "She is my little sister," he said, "How could I not love her?"

    By the time the Prophetess was fourteen years old, she never went to the temple at all and never spoke of the gods. Instead she talked of another god, one she called Bacocolon. This god, she explained, was the patron of humanity. A long time ago, the world had no humans. Because there were no humans, there was no generative force; everything was either stagnant or being destroyed. The god Bacocolon had mercy on the world and created humanity, so that they could create anew and thus maintain the world.

    Humans were therefore the most noble thing on earth, and it was a terrible sin to be sacrificing human lives for false gods.

    The idol-priests heard her words and were outraged. They began to barricade her house, telling her parents to drag her out in chains so that she could be sacrificed for her blasphemies. Otherwise the gods would curse them terribly. Her parents were still idolaters, and the gory detail of the curses that the priests shouted out unnerved them to the core of their bones. But her father said,

    "Even if, as the priests say, our feet were to be burnt black and our eyes were to sink in sea water—even if, as they say, we will be buried alive in earth—we cannot give up our daughter."

    And her mother said,

    "That is right; we love her."

    And together the parents climbed up the roof of the house and shouted, "Sacred priests! We know we are doing a grave wrong in the face of the gods, and we will take whatever punishments the mighty gods dole out, but we cannot dare sacrifice the daughter who we love."

    Eventually the priests dissipated.


    Captivity

    In the Age of Caciques, say the hagiographers, even Yucayans were taken slaves as if they were mere savages.

    When the Prophetess was sixteen years old, the slavers came. They took an entire border village of serfs captive, one hundred forty-seven men and one hundred one women and two hundred seventy-two children. Because the captors already had enough serfs for their own purposes, they decided to sell them to Mayapán.

    The nobleman who had owned this village presented himself to the royal court and said, "My honored king! I have been dispossessed of my possessions."

    The king compensated him with a new town of serfs.

    The next day, the lone refugee from the enslaved village came and said, "My honored king! I have been dispossessed of my home and companions and family."

    The king said, "How dare such a filthy and lowly creature come to my regal court! His stink is too much to bear; have him carried off!"

    The man wept and asked, "My king, can you do nothing?"

    The king said, "It is the invariable principle of the world that the strong take and the weak are taken, that the strong possess and the weak are dispossessed."

    The Prophetess heard the news and went to the slaver ship. She traced her noble lineage before them, and they were astonished of her lofty pedigree. Then the Prophetess said that she would willingly enslave herself if the five hundred and thirty were set free. She knew that the Maya paid much higher for noblewomen. The slavers accepted. The serfs were emancipated.

    The Prophetess's family heard the news and rushed to the ship, tumbling on their tears. Her father said in a shaking voice, "I will buy her back for six hundred of my serfs."

    The slavers considered the proposal when the Prophetess shouted, "I refuse, father! I am one person, not six hundred."

    The Prophetess's father cried, "Girl, you barely understand! Do you not know what they do to women on the slave ships?"

    The Prophetess said, "I know, father. I have read about it all, and I have seen it all with my own eyes: the abuse, the bruises, the broken voices, the bodies thrown into the sea. I know as much as you do," and her voice cracked as she said this .

    The Prophetess's mother said, "So you know, my daughter. You know, so how could you do this to yourself?"

    The Prophetess said, "Because I knew. And they were one hundred and one women, and I was one."

    And the Prophetess's mother could not say another word. At long last her father spoke again, asking the slavers for a final moment with his daughter. The slavers acquiesced. The Prophetess's father gave his daughter a single nightshade berry. She looked at it, wondering, and her father said, "This is a special breed of nightshade. It kills swift and painlessly."

    Guaiqui had been silent all the while. And as the ship left, Guaiqui finally shouted out, "I love you, sister." And the Prophetess said that she loved him too.


    Abuse

    The hagiographers usually describe in detail the physical and sexual violence that the Prophetess endured at the hands of the slavers. This cruelty was central to later Taiguano theology; even after such trauma at the hands of her fellow humans, the Prophetess did not lose her faith in humanity and in the god of humanity. As this text is not a Taiguano hagiography, we see little reason we should list the gory details.

    One night, following days of soul-breaking abuse, the Prophetess lay chained and contemplated the berry she had hidden away. It looked very appetizing. She opened her mouth, painfully—her face was all bruised—she regretted everything. She remembered her mother and her father, and her brother Guaiqui, who had said he loved her. She wept bitterly.

    Her tongue rolled out and touched the glistening black of the berry.

    Then the god Bacocolon was before her. He did not speak. But she understood and cast the berry aside.

    The next day, the ship arrived at the port of Mayapán.

    2) Entry 25 now includes the following paragraphs and some other edits to accommodate them:

    The Prophetess's days in Mayapán were idyllic ones. She rose every morning with an embrace with her loving husband who doted on her day by day, even though she was not a virgin and had been despoiled. Every other day he would tell her in a marveling voice, "I am the happiest man in Mayapán, not because I am king but because you are with me. If I was usurped and they blinded and castrated me and threw me out to beg, if you were there in my beggar's hut, I would still be happiest." Sometimes he would whisper in her ears, "Let me blaspheme too. I go to the pyramids, but I don't worship the idols there. You are my only idol." And they laughed together at how un-kingly the king's words were.

    And the Prophetess would respond, "When I was sold and thought of death, the god Bacocolon told me to live. And now I know why he told me that: because of you."

    Sometimes the two breathed in the scented air of Maya gardens, or bathed in the streams that ran beside the royal aviaries. Or, when her husband was dealing justice, the Prophetess would sit down and giggle as her twins crowded around her, competing to see who could hug her the most. And in these moments the Prophetess would sigh softly and remark on how everything and everyone was lovable here, from the tenderness of venison to the pyramid's coiling shadows to the melody of the Maya tongue.

    But from time to time she would feel that something was missing, though she could not say what.

    It was 1361 when Bacocolon came to her again. He did not speak, and yet she understood.

    She wept again. "You are the cruelest of the gods! You do not allow me a single second of happiness, a single moment of respite—you rejoice in my tears—"

    Bacocolon said to her,

    "I give you the right to disobey."

    And for a year she disobeyed. But the fact that men in her homeland were still being enslaved and sold weighed down her heart, and the image of the sacrifice she had observed in childhood shimmered like a mirage in her eyes. She understood why she had trained the freemen, and Tēzcatl saw that his queen was no longer happy as she once had been.

    3) Entry 26-1 now includes the following paragraphs and some other edits to accommodate them:

    The Cacique said, “This is blasphemy. Repent, or know that I will kill your family cruelly.”

    The Prophetess was struck silent, remembering her mother and her father and her brother Guaiqui, and the Cacique smiled, knowing that he had prevailed. Then she said, in a broken voice,

    “I cannot repent. My god is Bacocolon alone.”

    The Cacique ordered the Prophetess's family to be brought in chains before him. Guaiqui managed to escape, but her parents were too old. They were dragged before the Cacique through a rope that the idolaters had sewn into the palms of their hands.

    “Your daughter has committed blasphemy and treason. What do you have to say?”

    But the parents were silent.

    “See if fire will make them speak.”

    They brought fire and burned crisp the soles of their feet, but the parents were silent.

    “See if water will make them speak.”

    They poured salt water into their eyes, but the parents were silent.

    “See if earth will make them speak.”

    The parents were buried alive under earth, with only a small hole where their mouths were. The Cacique said, "Speak."

    “We love our daughter. And even though it has all passed as the gods said it would—with fire and water and earth—our love has not changed.”

    The Cacique shook his head and ordered that their mouths be sealed, and they were covered up in earth and died.

    The Prophetess heard the news as she retreated, and she wept, and wept again, and pain rolled all over her, but it was a pain that steeled her resolve.

    Every night the Prophetess saw the bodies and wept and prayed. She shooed away the vultures, even from the bodies of the Cacique's men, and gave every body the most honorable cremations. Most of her people could not understand why.

    The third night, the Prophetess saw her men mutilate the enemy corpses and raise their heads over the battlements to intimidate the enemy. She cried,

    "You are as bad as they!"

    The soldiers were chastised, while she personally took down the heads, prayed, and cremated them with dignity.

    4) Entry 26-2 now includes the following paragraphs and some other edits to accommodate them:

    Tēzcatl's men urged him to leave. "I cannot," said Tēzcatl, "I love my queen."

    His soldiers said, "You are happy here, my lord, but we are not. And we are eight thousand, and you are one."

    Tēzcatl asked the Prophetess what he ought to do, and she wept again. She wanted to say, "You should remain here, of course," but the words would not come out of her mouth. She knew, deep down, that they were not the right thing to say. Her husband was responsible for his soldiers; a king is like a father to his people, and a father has no right to force his eight thousand sons to wallow in sickness.

    The Prophetess did not speak. But Tēzcatl understood, and he cried too. And finally he said, "Love of my life, I understand why you left without a word."

    Together they prayed a final time, both asking Bacocolon why he had made them kings and queens, the most burdensome fate in the world.

    5) Entry 26-3 now has the following conclusion to the entire Prophetess arc (besides a single sentence saying nobody found the Prophetess's brother Guaiqui):

    * * *

    The End

    The following text is adapted from a late Taiguano hagiography.

    It was 1416, and the Prophetess was old. Her twins already ruled in her name.

    They called her the Prophetess now, yet there were still things she did not know. What had become of Guaiqui? Was he still alive? Probably not—she was old and he was older than she—but nobody knew.

    She looked back on her life, the choices taken and sacrifices made: her childhood terror in the idol-house, her adolescent rebellion against the gods, the slave ship, the black berry and Bacocolon, her husband and Mayapán, the return, her parents encased in earth, Huihozemi, her husband's return and departure, the reforms, Ximani, everything.

    She had wept and doubted, too many times to count, and it seemed momentarily that Bacocolon had cursed her more than blessed her.

    She closed her eyes and heard the crowds of Cocopan praise her name. Had she not made so many choices and so many sacrifices and shed so many tears, would they remember her name so? No—she had lived a wretched life, as they said that an old man had said upon her birth, but the wretchedness was the price of her virtue. Now she was immortal in the memory and the taiguan of her people, and thus in the embrace of Bacocolon. A few decades of heartbreak seemed a trifle compared to immortality.

    She had persevered. She could have ended it with the berry in the ship, but she had not. She could have ended it in happiness at Mayapán, but she had not. She could have told her husband to stay, but she had not. That was a noble thing, a taiguan thing, to pursue the duty that the god allots us, no matter how many our tears. And at the close of her life, "I regret nothing," murmured the Prophetess.

    She saw Guaiqui next to her, and she realized that he had died after all and that she was about to die. Her brother spoke to her, and his voice was the voice of Bacocolon.

    "Tell me your last request, sister."

    "Tell me one last revelation to give."

    There was a silence, then Bacocolon whispered,

    "I reward men and women by the number of their tears."

    * * *

    So what's the point of this?

    The prose has been streamlined, and Entry 24 is much better to read now.

    The Prophetess has been made much more of a tragic figure, which is more in line with how I interpret Taiguano theology. The Prophetess is supposed to undergo hardship, and the central importance of her character to the religion is not that she was a prophet who received revelation, but that she represents what the Taiguano see as the best in the human condition: the capacity to make the right choices no matter what, knowing full well that she will suffer because of them.

    This is a tenet of Taiguano religion that will be tested to the full extent following 1492.

    The conclusion attempts to make some sense of her role, and the final line will no doubt offer some consolation to post-Columbian Taiguanos.

    The Prophetess's family has been fleshed out, and besides the Prophetess herself, her parents also stand for this human ability to fight on in the face of suffering. A new character is introduced, her brother Guaiqui, whose ultimate fate is left intentionally vague because I think his character has some potential for interesting mystical developments in Taiguano religion (cf. al-Khiḍr).
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Krishna123, Lenwe, tus3 and 10 others like this.
  4. KidCabralista Cape Verde's Unofficial Wikipedia Meister

    Joined:
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    The Front Lines of the Second Aroostook War
    Every time I think this TL can't get any more beautiful, you manage to prove me wrong. I loved the insight into the Prophetess' thought and as a fan of Islamic mysticism, the idea that there might be a Taiguano equivalent to the Green One (hopefully Guaiqui has a sardonic, counter-intuitive, surreal vibe like Al-Khidr does; seriously, reading the part of the Qur'an where he travels with Moses is so jarringly different from the rest of the discussions on the Prophets that you could easily see how he entered folk mythology) is really exciting.

    Do you see there being a noticeable divide in "folk" Taiguano belief and the noble scholarly understanding at this point or does that come later? Once again, fantastic job, fam.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  5. Threadmarks: Entry 46: Ah Ek Lemba's Fingers and Gulf Campaign, 1396—1402

    Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    THE FINGERS OF AH EK LEMBA

    Mahpilli in Cemānāhuatēpēhuani

    Ah Ek Lemba had four fingers on his right hand. We do not know when or why his fourth finger was lost, but there was only a stump between his middle and his little fingers from the earliest accounts we have of him.

    So the four-fingered conqueror’s four great lieutenants were called his Fingers, and they were nicknamed after the finger they were most thought to resemble. All four are believed to have accompanied the king in his mercenary years.
    • HUĒYIMAHPILLI (“Thumb”, born 1351). Lord Huēyimahpilli is the first of the Fingers to emerge in the historical record; he is briefly mentioned as remaining in Tiho as regent during Ah Ek Lemba’s Cuban campaign in 1393—1394. As Ah Ek Lemba’s campaigns grew more difficult and more extended, Lord Huēyimahpilli became the de facto ruler of Maya country. Most internal policies, including the centralizing drive begun in 1395, were Huēyimahpilli’s personal initiatives. From the perspective of the Maya, Ah Ek Lemba was a wannabe foreigner who only demanded men for war and architectural projects. Huēyimahpilli was a much more conventional Maya lord, with enough compassion, understanding, and interest in his subjects that he reportedly learned all thirty Mayan languages. Huēyimahpilli was called Thumb because, like the thumb, he was different from the other three Fingers by virtue of not being a military man.
    • TLAMAHPILHUIANI (“Pointing Finger”, born 1353). Lord Tlamahpilhuiani first appears during the Tamaltec campaign of the late 1390s, although he probably led the Conqueror’s fleets from the very beginning. He was Ah Ek Lemba’s Admiral of the Fleet, responsible for implementing the radical innovations in naval warfare that the Conqueror envisioned. Following the Cuban campaign, Ah Ek Lemba rarely led the fleets himself, and Tlamahpilhuiani became ever more important. Tlamahpilhuiani was reputed the most intelligent and strategic of Ah Ek Lemba’s men, and it was said that observers would point their index finger in marvel whenever they saw his naval maneuvers. For this reason he was called the Pointing Finger, an Isatian name for the index finger.
    • MAHPILHUĒYAC (“Middle Finger”, born 1348). Lord Mahpilhuēyac was an infantry commander who commanded the left wing in the Gulf campaign. Renowned for his intrigue, he did not become an important figure until he led his own army in the Cholōltec campaign. Mahpilhuēyac was called Middle Finger because he was the oldest and tallest of the Fingers. He was also the first to die.
    • MAHPILXOCOYŌTL (“Little Finger”, born 1354). Lord Mahpilxocoyōtl was an infantry commander who conquered the Mam Maya simultaneously with the Tamaltec campaign. For many years thereafter until the Cholōltec campaign, he campaigned primarily in the southern Maya highlands and the Pacific Coast. It is said that Mahpilxocoyōtl was called Little Finger because he was a dwarf; whether this is true is disputable, but he was certainly the youngest of the Fingers. Much like Mahpilhuēyac, his rise to prominence appears to have come from the Cholōltec campaign.
    * * *

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The Gulf Coast and the Isthmus, 1382 and 1402.


    THE GULF CAMPAIGN, 1396—1402

    The following is almost the entirety of a unique document: a personal narrative in the Tamaltec script discovered hidden in a ceramic vase in a cave. The paper has been radiocarbon-dated to c. 1400. The author excuses himself for using the syllabary because he had to write “hastily,” and the language is indeed very terse.
    May I be pardoned for writing in a rude script, and hastily.


    [​IMG]

    In the year 6 Rabbit [1394], the isle of Cuba was conquered.

    In the year 7 Reed [1395], the King in Tiho [Ah Ek Lemba] said,

    “I will bloody the fields of Tzactam and Potonchan and Cōhuātzacualco and Cempoala.”

    At this time I was Court Astrologer and Mathematician in the city of Cempoala, which is in Tamallan, and there were twelve mercenary companies in the land.


    [​IMG]

    In the year 8 Flint [1396], the King came to Tzactam.

    He had two generals: the one on the left they called Mahpilhuēyac, the one on the right they called Cuauhpatlān. Together his armies were sixteen thousand men.

    His fleet was led by Tlamahpilhuiani. Before the King had even crossed the border, Tlamahpilhuiani's fleet sailed in. They hurled flaming slingstones and shot fire-arrows, and within instants the fleet of Tzactam was no more.

    The ruler of Tzactam begged the ruler of Potonchan for help. There was no help.

    There was a battle between the mercenary company of Tzactam and the army of Tiho. Many people died and the King in Tiho won. Afterwards, the King brought ladders and sappers and siege rams and destroyed the mercenary fortress, which they had said was impregnable.

    Most of the mercenaries died. Some of them fled to Cholōllān.

    When the King came to Cempoala, I saw drums made from the skin of the Tzactam mercenaries.

    And there were eleven mercenary companies in the land.


    [​IMG]

    In the year 9 House [1397], the King came to Potonchan.

    The ruler of Potonchan groveled in submission and helped the King in Tiho evict his mercenaries. The mercenary fortress was occupied by the men of Tiho.

    The surviving mercenaries of Potonchan crossed the sea to an unknown land.

    In doing this, the ruler of Potonchan believed that he would be spared.

    The King in Tiho then told the ruler of Potonchan,

    “You must cede me your kingdom. But because you have surrendered, I will give you your life.”

    And the ruler was dragged away to Tiho and replaced by a governor.

    And there were ten mercenary companies in the land.


    [​IMG]

    In the year 10 Rabbit [1398], the King came to the city of Cimatan with Mahpilhuēyac and Cuauhpatlān.

    The people of Cimatan had been conquered by the ruler of Cōhuātzacualco only twenty-seven years ago, and they were rebellious. They welcomed the King in Tiho with open arms.

    There was a company of mercenaries off Cimatan who held the mat of Cimatan [i.e. supported Cimatanese independence]. This company also supported the King in Tiho, and in return they were not killed. The King in Tiho integrated them into his army.

    The ruler of Cōhuātzacualco was very alarmed by the fall of Cimatan. He only had two mercenary companies, together thirteen thousand men, but the King in Tiho brought twenty-five thousand men.

    Then Tlamahpilhuiani swooped in and burned down everything in the harbor. The Tiho ships were like coyotes, the Cōhuātzacualco ships like rabbits. All the wealth of Cōhuātzacualco—lost in a single day.

    They say that the ruler of Cōhuātzacualco cried like a little girl.

    My lord [the king of Cempoala] heard the news. He asked me:

    “Are the stars propitious for war?”

    I read the conjunctions and said, “There will be definite victory—but whose, I cannot tell.”

    “A fifty-fifty chance; I will take it.”

    Seven mercenary companies were subject to Cempoala, and my lord raised all of them. Together they were twenty-three thousand men. But before we could go on war, we learned that Cōhuātzacualco had already been sacked. The mercenary companies were destroyed and their fortresses reduced to rubble, and the King in Tiho had many thousands of new skull-flutes in his music houses.

    And there were seven mercenary companies in the land.


    [​IMG]

    In the year 11 Reed [1399], the King came to us with Mahpilhuēyac and Cuauhpatlān.

    Tlamahpilhuiani came, and we tried to ambush his ships. We shot fire arrows at the Tiho ships, but they were covered in wet deerskin and our arrows did not ignite. They shot fire arrows at us, and our ships were wood and burned well.

    When Tlamahpilhuiani left, the harbor was a ghastly sight. We went and wept to see what had been so beautiful black and ruined.

    Then Mahpilhuēyac came and we drove him off.

    The King in Tiho was outraged and told him,

    “I will kill you.”

    But Mahpilhuēyac lied and said,

    “Cuauhpatlān misled me so that I would lose and he would have all the fame.”

    Cuauhpatlān was interrogated and the King in Tiho mistakenly thought him guilty. So he set up a gladiatorial fight between the two: Mahpilhuēyac with a bronze shield and an obsidian-tipped spear, Cuauhpatlān with a tortilla-wrap shield and a feather-tipped spear.

    Cuauhpatlān died.


    [​IMG]

    Later in the year 11 Reed, the King himself came. We fought and we lost. The mercenary captains were killed. The mercenaries were disarmed and their fortresses reduced.

    It is the greatest desire of this King to extirpate all mercenaries from this world.

    My ruler asked the tlalchiach and the aquiach [priestly rulers of Cholōllān] for help. The aquiach was brave and wanted to help us. The tlalchiach was cowardly and said that it was unwise to anger the King in Tiho, and that in any case my ruler had not been crowned by them.

    The people of Cholōllān followed the opinion of the tlalchiach, and the greatest city in the world left us to die.

    My ruler came to me and said,

    “It was a fifty-fifty chance. I do not regret it.”

    And he destroyed his own palaces so the enemy would not.

    And there were no more mercenary companies in the land.


    [​IMG]

    By the year 12 Rabbit [1400], it was finished.

    They say that they have destroyed the library of Cempoala, saving only the books they had use for. There were many books of mathematics in that library, and I fear they are all gone.

    In the remaining margins of this page, I offer some principles that should not be forgotten:
    • Any circle can be made into a triangle of which the radius is the height, the circumference the length. The area of a circle is therefore half the product of its radius and circumference.
    • The length of the circumference of a circle is very slightly greater than the length of its radius multiplied by 311, divided by 99 [311/9 = 3.141414…].
    • 3 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 / 4 · 12 · 8 · 24 · 15 / 5 · 13 · 10 · 15 · 17 [Hastily drawn right triangle]
    May these not be forgotten. And I was Court Astrologer and Mathematician in the city of Cempoala, which was in Tamallan.


    [The rest of the page is blank.]



    Other lines of evidence suggests that the conquest of Cempoala was completed only in 1402.

    * * *

    The next entry will discuss the mechanics of this almost implausibly large empire, and how it manages to somehow operate even for the few short decades it’s going to be around for.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019 at 6:19 AM
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  6. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Sep 10, 2013
    Location:
    Between Gensokyo and Berk
    If the Taiguanos ever hear of Shia Islam, and they about the other, I think they will be amazed at how similar are their prophetic cores: To make the right choices no matter what, even if it comes with pain.
     
  7. KidCabralista Cape Verde's Unofficial Wikipedia Meister

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    The Front Lines of the Second Aroostook War
    Indeed - even though the noble Taiguano scholars might scoff at the thought of the Imams acting as "conjure-men" performing miracles, I can't help but imagine a beautiful sort of stoic understanding between the two faiths at a spiritual level: the Prophetess' last revelation - "I reward men and women by the number of their tears" - seems reminiscent of the words spoken by Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib at the death of his beloved Fatimeh: "God washes away sins with the tears of his beloved, so endure!" There's also the obvious connection of the Prophetess' steely resolve upon learning of her parents' murder and Husayn ibn Ali staring down his soon-to-be killers at Karbala.

    Though the two faiths may be very different, one hopes an ITTL Haitian and a Shi'i Muslim in Najaf could each find some "sweetness" as the author says in the other's philosophy.
     
  8. SenatorErnesto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Great update, but I think you switched the names of two fingers from the summary to the story implementation. Specifically switching the Maya govenor with the fleet commander.
     
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  9. Flashman A Real Go-Getter

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    May 14, 2011
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    The United Fruit Company, Arkham Office
    While I doubt that Every Grass in Java would go this route to lower similarity to Islam, but it would be cool if there were a more mystical sect of Taiguanists that are led by an impostor Guaiqui who claims to be the legitimate successor to the Prophetess. He leads his followers to Florida and spreads a more mystical version of the faith to the Indians.
     
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  10. Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

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    Aug 27, 2017
    Wow, I can't believe I didn't see that. Fixed, thank you.
     
  11. I'tikaf Mufti of Rome

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    Jan 13, 2016
    Location:
    Singapore
    It's quite a common theme among the Abrahamic Religions in particular the glorification of martyrdom and of " material world vs spiritual self ".
     
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  12. MbokDarmi Titisan

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    Ngisor Langit
    Isn't all Axial or post-Axial religion like that?
     
  13. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    after Christianity post axel before pre axel
     
  14. Threadmarks: Entry 47: The nature of the Ah Ek Lemba administration

    Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    ADMINISTRATION UNDER HUĒYIMAHPILLI
    Ah Ek Lemba’s incessant campaigning was supported by the large-scale mobilization of resources on unprecedented scales, itself made possible only because of the centralizing efforts of Regent Huēyimahpilli, Ah Ek Lemba’s “Thumb.”

    The Mesoamerican historical tradition is still woefully inadequate to accurately reconstruct the contours of Huēyimahpilli’s regency, except for its very end. Nonetheless, we have a reasonably good understanding of how the administration of the empire functioned upon Ah Ek Lemba’s death.


    Maya society before Ah Ek Lemba

    Before the fall of Mayapán, the Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula were divided into autonomous towns and villages called cah (pl. cahob). The cahob were ruled by a class of hereditary lords titled the batab (pl. batabob). The batabob themselves swore allegiance to the ruling dynasts in Mayapán (Mayapán, remember, was a confederacy of lords from many dynasties), and indeed, many—perhaps most—batabob belonged to the same dynasties as the central power-brokers in the capital.

    The batabob and the central Mayapán lords relied on each other. Mayapán confirmed the batabob’s authority, and in return the batabob provided the center with the resources of their localities. At the same time, the batabob jostled among themselves to maintain the allegiance of their subordinate cah communities. Clan and dynastic linkages cut through the borders of different batabob’s territory as another nexus of local loyalties; all Yucatec Mayas belonged to about 275 different patrilineal clans, whose members were scattered across dozens of villages but nonetheless identified each other as kinsmen.

    The Mayapán system was utterly destroyed in the Yucatec civil war of 1342—1382. At the top of the hierarchy, Mayapán was no more. At the bottom, the conflict, which reduced the population of the peninsula from more than three million to less than half of that, resulted in the destruction of many cahob and the merger of many more. With such profound dislocations, most batabob lost their power and their dynasties were forgotten. The clans—whose importance was ingrained on the Maya from the very moment of their naming, for all Maya names identified the father and mother’s clans—were the sole key component of the pre-war social order that survived more-or-less intact, even though they too underwent transformation, as specific clans were selected for extermination and other clans became politically advantageous to claim membership in.

    The clans were Huēyimahpilli’s tool to rebuild Yucatec society.


    [​IMG]

    The Xōātl Cozticatepētl

    In Isatian, xōātl cozticatepētl means “blue water, yellow hill.” Mesoamericans were aware that blue and yellow are complementary colors and used them to denote completion, and “water and hill” were widespread metaphors for “city; country.” The phrase, then, has the implicit meaning “country of everything.” A fitting term for the heartland of Ah Ek Lemba’s empire.

    In practice, the xōātl cozticatepētl region was the area which a messenger from Tiho could reach within thirty-six hours and an army from Tiho could reach within five to ten days. This was a large swathe of territory 130,000-km² wide, about the size of England, unusually linguistically homogenous for Mesoamerica (the vast majority of the native population spoke Yucatec Maya, with a small Chontal Maya-speaking minority).

    Following at least 1395, Huēyimahpilli held regular censuses in this area, seeking to enumerate all adult men of fighting age and classify them by their clan affiliation. This was no simple documentary exercise. Huēyimahpilli intentionally transferred the affiliation of individuals from larger clans to smaller ones, seeking to make all clans roughly the same size. Entire clans were moved around and geographically consolidated to streamline administration, many of them settled along a specific road that radiated from the capital at Tiho.

    Once this was done, the central government appointed “dynastiarchs” (Ah ch’ibalnal) from each clan to rule over their clan on five-year terms. The dynastiarchs lived in the capital, appointing local magistrates (Ah cahnal) to the villages inhabited by their clansmen. All appointments of such magistrates were approved by the central state, and excellent performance could mean future appointment as dynastiarch.

    By 1425, the Yucatec Maya population had recovered from a nadir of 1,600,000 in 1380 to 3,100,000. Each centrally appointed dynastiarch thus ruled around 2,800 adult men, scattered in around forty villages. The dynastiarchs organized taxation, corvée labor, and military mobilization. Certain clans were specialized—those settled along the roads between Tiho and its port of Sisal were porters, while twenty clans, amounting to 56,000 adult men, served as full-time soldiers.

    When we consider that the average Chinese county, the lowest level of Chinese administration in 1425, was home to around 50,000 people, the Tiho state appears a very penetrative one indeed.

    Few agrarian societies could support 8% of its adult male population in the army, and Ah Ek Lemba and Huēyimahpilli’s Tiho was no exception. To supplement the agricultural production base, they deported immense populations to the xōātl cozticatepētl. This included 500,000 people from the Gulf Coast, 150,000 people from Cuba, 50,000 people from the southern Maya highlands, and 200,000 people from northern Central America. These 900,000 were made into slaves and distributed among the dynastiarchs, except for about a hundred thousand specialists who were settled under direct central control in the capital city of Tiho.

    By 1425, the population of the xōātl cozticatepētl was 4,200,000, more than twice that of England’s, including 3,100,000 Yucatec Maya and 1,100,000 foreigner slaves. About 275,000 of those lived permanently in the city of Tiho, which was greater than any European city except Paris. And when the soldier clans congregated at Tiho—admittedly a rare event, as they were almost always with Ah Ek Lemba on campaign or in outlying garrisons—the city’s population would balloon to more than half a million and Tiho would momentarily become perhaps the largest non-Chinese city in the world.


    The Outlying Territories

    The next level of Tiho administration was the protectorate, ruled by military officials titled yōcoxcānemītiāni (pl. yōcoxcānemītihqueh), or pacifiers. Unlike the dynastiarchs, the pacifiers did not report to Huēyimahpilli but to Ah Ek Lemba directly. These pacifiers governed on a ten-year basis, commanding permanent garrisons consisting of one or two soldier clans each, and were closely observed by the Mice of the Lord (tēucquimichin), royal agents that kept an eye on potential treason.

    Five protectorates were established, with their garrisons taking up 20,000 professional troops:
    • Protectorate of Huitzlampa, based in Nico
    • Protectorate of Guatemala, based in Q’umarkaj
    • Protectorate of Chontalpa, based in Potonchan
    • Protectorate of Olmecapan, based in Cōhuātzacualco
    • Protectorate of Tamallan, based in Cempoala
    The protectorates supplied Tiho with much of its revenue, as well as auxiliary troops; the Pacifier of Tamallan raised nearly 50,000 Tamaltec soldiers in the Cholōltec campaign.

    Beyond the protectorates, Ah Ek Lemba also exacted tribute and soldiers from and enforced his regulations upon a large number of vassal kingdoms, republics, and chiefdoms. These included Cuba, Central America, Soconusco, and the less populated areas of Maya country. No garrisons were established in those areas, and the only means by which the World-Conqueror’s influence was maintained were the ever-eavesdropping ears of the Mice of the Lord.


    Huēyimahpilli / Ah Na’ K’ab’

    Huēyimahpilli, whose Maya name was Ah Na’ K’ab’, was the man behind most of these reforms. As de facto ruler of the xōātl cozticatepētl while his master Ah Ek Lemba was always on campaign, the Maya remembered him fondly, as the following apocryphal stories illustrate.

    1. When Ah Ek Lemba returned to Tiho with the soldier clans, Ah Na’ K’ab’ saw a woman weep.

    “Why do you weep?”

    “I had a husband and ten sons, and they all died in war.”

    Ah Na’ K’ab’ wished to compensate her, but he knew he could not. It was not a righteous thing, to compensate just one woman when tens of thousands of more had lost their sons and husbands too.

    So he wept with her at her side.

    The next day, there were thousands of butterflies fluttering above the army camps. All the women cried in joy; they knew that butterflies were the reborn souls of family killed in battle, and they wanted to believe that this brilliant swarm above them were their sons returned to tell them that they were alright.

    Late that day, the priests condemned Ah Na’ K’ab’ to Ah Ek Lemba for having stolen thousands of butterflies that were supposed to be sacrificed to the Feathered Serpent. But Ah Ek Lemba smiled, dismissed the priests, and gave Ah Na’ K’ab a guanin earring instead.


    2. Ah Na’ K’ab’ went to the port of Sisal one day. There, he saw thousands of Cuban slaves being brought in chains.

    He spoke to each of them in the Yucayan language of Cuba, which he had learned specially to talk with the slaves. To every passing Cuban, he offered words of consolation and muttered apologies.

    The regent went to the slaver ship and asked to tour its decks. There were many Sweetness artifacts on board. Ah Na’ K’ab’ bought them all with his own money and returned them to the Cuban slaves, personally making sure that each idol was returned to its owner, so that their gods would still be with the Cubans in this foreign land.


    3. Ah Na’ K’ab’ saw a young beggar girl in Tiho.

    “Where are your father and mother?”

    “They were mercenaries at Cōhuātzacualco, and I think they are all dead now.”

    Ah Na’ K’ab’ stood silent.

    I cannot adopt her, he thought at last, It would not be fair to all the other little girls in this world whose parents are no more. But I will see what I can do.

    And he used his own money to found a house for orphans, and that little girl was among its first wards.


    4. Ah Na K’ab’ never ate meat and never wore capes. He said the money was better used elsewhere.​


    Appendix: The Twenty Soldier Clans in 1425

    These are the names of the twenty soldier clans in 1425, organized by location, then alphabetically.
    • Thirteen clans on the field: BATUN · CEN · CHUIL · IX · NAMON · NAWAT · PAX · PUC · TE · TUYUB · UC · ULUAC · XOL
    • Two clans at Cempoala: KU · OXTE
    • One clan at Cōhuātzacualco: CHIN
    • One clan at Potonchan: CANCHE
    • Two clans at Q’umarkaj: BALAM · POL
    • One clan at Nico: DZIB

    * * *

    The political organization of Mayapán society is historical (cf. Maya Lords and Lordship, Sergio Quezada), as are the names of the Maya soldier clans (which OTL were minor ruling dynasties, taken from Restall’s “The People of the Patio: Ethnohistorical Evidence of Yucatec Maya Ruling Courts” in Royal Courts of the Ancient Maya, Volume 2).

    On population: as mentioned, pre-conquest population estimates are famously dodgy, in the case of the Yucatec Maya ranging from 800,000 to 8,000,000. The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology accepts an estimate of about 2,200,000 Yucatecs as most reasonable (with there being 4,600,000 total Maya), which also concurs with my own ballpark estimate of the entire Mesoamerican population being a little more than 15 million in 1492 with a little less than third of that being Maya. With the increased trade ITTL, I raise that number to about 3.3 million immediately before the fall of Mayapan before crashing it down to 1.6 million in the 1342—1382 civil war. This recovers to 3.1 million in the next half-century thanks to Huēyimahpilli’s stable rule (assuming a high population recovery rate of 1.7% annual growth) and is supplemented by about a million slaves.

    As we approach 1492, I’m going to have to toy with population estimates a lot more…

    The next post will discuss Ah Ek Lemba’s conquest of Central America.
     
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  15. EnvarKadri Well-Known Member

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    Jun 9, 2018
    So, compared to the Mongol empire and it's conquests, how devastated are the places were Ah Ek Lemba saw action?
     
  16. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    yah he more Alexander like or genhis khan type
     
  17. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Odd that even a Central American city of Acuappantonco's stature doesn't have a Pacifier assigned to it. Does it come from an unwillingness to let a Yucatec clan control the riches of that city and potentially challenge Tiho along with other defectors? Or is supplying a Protectorate that distant from the center just difficult logistically? Either way, I suppose one only needs Mice to really keep it in check; Mice have been entrusted to run other areas, even ones as vital as Cuba.
     
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  18. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    I thought it was on the pacific side too and I bet there a smaller city on the pacific that acts as a way station to it
     
  19. Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    It depends very much on the place, but overall, to borrow a phrase from @Wolttaire, he was more of a Genghis (or even Timur, a contemporary). Ah Ek Lemba intentionally focused his campaigns during the harvest season from September 2 to November 21, corresponding to the four twenty-day months Ochpaniztli, Teotleco, Tepeilhuitl, and Quecholli in the Nahua calendar. This was to press his advantage as the attacker with a standing army to the fullest by disrupting agricultural production and provoking famine the following year, and combined with Tlamahpilhuiani's campaign of naval blockades, it brought about appalling conditions in the subjugated areas. The population of places like the Gulf Coast or the southern Maya highlands must have decreased significantly. By contrast, Cuba was much less affected because the conquest of Cuba relied on indigenous allies.

    I'd gauge the overall death toll of the conquests so far as significantly exceeding a million, though almost all due to famine.


    An army from Tiho can reach any of the Protectorates quite quickly (cf. Entry 33):
    • Potonchan: 6 days
    • Cōhuātzacualco: 7 days
    • Cempoala: 9 days
    • Nito: 12 days
    • Q'umarkaj: 19 days
    This is of course in order to rapidly suppress any rebellious activity.

    Now, Ācuappāntōnco, I have to say, is actually really far away. As the crow flies, the distance from Tiho to Ācuappāntōnco is slightly greater than the distance from London to Algiers. Even by sea, it takes approximately twenty-five days for a boat from Tiho to reach Ācuappāntōnco. That's a lot. Even in the Roman Empire, the emperors were incapable of maintaining efficient control over distances exceeding thirty days' travel. (London is twenty-seven days from Rome; the Arab capital of Petra, twenty-three days; the Parthian frontier, twenty-nine days.)

    So Ah Ek Lemba is rightly suspicious of putting any garrison in Ācuappāntōnco, which would be effectively uncontrollable. The fact that relatively close control over Q'umarkaj is being maintained is itself quite surprising, but it's helped by the fact that a message from Guatemala can reach the capital in less than four days, even if a full army does take three weeks to reach the city. Even a message from Ācuappāntōnco will take weeks to reach Tiho.

    Another reason for Ācuappāntōnco not having a protectorate is that it's not strategically necessary to protect the xōātl cozticatepētl heartland. Any potential threat from the south can be defended by Nico and Q'umarkaj. The real strategic importance of Central America is that it's the easiest way to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific without losing a lot of men while crossing the Isthmus, and these transportation needs are better achieved by maintaining local stability by keeping the original rulers around.


    And another important aspect is that Cuba's new naboria regimes successfully overthrew the old Caciques only because of Ah Ek Lemba's intervention, as the entry on the conquest of Cuba notes. So Mice alone are sufficient to control Cuba because the new Cuban rulers personally owe their position to Ah Ek Lemba. The same goes for Soconusco, the Pacific region next to Guatemala, where (as mentioned in Entry 32-2) the new "Viceroy" was personally appointed by Ah Ek Lemba. In these areas Ah Ek Lemba assumes that there's no need for garrisoning.


    Ācuappāntōnco was always on the Atlantic side, but you're right that there's a counterpart on the Pacific where Panama City is today, called Tēmicco. See the map on Entry 15.

    Tēmicco
    means "Place of Dreams" in Isatian/Nahuatl (tēmictli is "dream", -co is a suffix meaning "in; at"), and it's said that the city was thus named when the founder of Ācuappāntōnco crossed the swampy isthmus, saw the Pacific for the first time in his life, and dreamed of a city of the two seas there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  20. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    1 he a timur well that sucks and after his empire collapse will the local states try to rely less on a sordid part of the year to havarat and try to make it more vary so they are never caught at a disadvantage like that again
    2 I think I figured out how his empire will collapse
    3will he try to connect his empire by building something similar to the Inca roads? That way the inland regions are more connected and his armies can get faster to places where there are rebellions
     
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