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. Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

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    October isn't a sordid part of the year :( In any case, the issue is that you can't actually change harvest season without unprecedented genetic engineering or changing the speed the Earth spins around the Sun. It's a matter of biology and astronomy, not human decision-making.

    As seen in Entry 19 and Entry 30, the rise of maritime commerce led to the rise of mercenary companies that could take the war to the harvest season. But this destructive potential of mercenary companies was stymied by the fact that all major coastal states now had mercenary companies to defend themselves, the development of fortifications, and the cultural values still promoting a "gentlemen's war" of sorts centering on field battles and taking and sacrificing captives.

    As discussed in Entry 31, Ah Ek Lemba has found ways to break through every fortress this side of the Atlantic, deprived mercenary companies of logistical support by burning their ships, and shat upon every cultural value that ever prevailed in Mesoamerican warfare. So it's natural that local states are still unsure of how to respond when he attacks in September and the existing mercenary companies aren't a sufficient defense as they always had been.


    ;)

    Yes, they are discussed in Entry 33 and there's maps of the roads and the distances (in days) taken by messengers and armies in the Yucatan.
     
  2. King of the Uzbeks Charles Curtis is my Baby Daddy

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    I have nominated a quote from this timeline for the Best Quote Turtledove. It needs a loving second so that the Giant Tortoises can kill the humans and resume their rule over all animals.

    You can find the nomination here
     
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  3. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    When I read the quotex'Dx'Dx'D
     
  4. KidCabralista Cape Verde's Unofficial Wikipedia Meister

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    Gladly seconded, that one easily deserves the victory.
     
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  5. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    if it doesn't something wrong with this world :frown:
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Entry 48: Ah Ek Lemba in Central America

    Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

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    AH EK LEMBA IN CENTRAL AMERICA

    [​IMG]

    The goals of Ah Ek Lemba’s Central America campaign were not well-understood until it had nearly concluded. Given what was known of the ruler’s delusions of grandeur and his strategic mindset, it should have been clearer much earlier. But perhaps denial was safer for the world’s peace of mind.

    The campaign began in 1403, when Admiral Tlamahpilhuiani arrived with his fleet at the Panamanian port of Ācuappāntōnco. Rumors had already spread about the terrors of the Gulf Coast campaign, there was general panic when the fleet sailed in, and some began to slaughter their children rather than see them die at the hands of the invaders.

    Then Tlamahpilhuiani extended the metaphoric olive branch. “In the light of the due honor that the city of Ācuappāntōnco has shown us before our lord returned,” said he, “the city will not be harmed.”

    Early accounts make no mention of what this “due honor” should have been, as if it were obvious. Unfortunately, it no longer is obvious. Later accounts are wildly contradictory, but perhaps there was some truth in the Isatian operas’ portrayal of “Cemānāhuatēpēhuani” as having fled to the south before his return.

    The king of Ācuappāntōnco knelt at Tlamahpilhuiani’s feet in gratitude, and the Admiral muttered that he felt most alive when seeing burning ships sinking and burning men drowning, and that it was a great pity that he would not see this city sacked.

    Ah Ek Lemba himself arrived the next year with six soldier clans, or 17,000 troops. The impression they made on the citizens of Ācuappāntōnco has been recorded for posterity:

    “The king’s helmet was made of bronze, on which the flayed faces of three young men were tightly glued. The faces were stitched together about the mouth, and the king’s face peered out of this enlarged mouth, between the desiccated lips and the human teeth. He had on a cloak of human finger bones, and I heard that it was sewed together with the hair of the kings he had killed. Whenever he moved was the crackling of the bones.

    “‘Whose faces were those?’ Somebody asked. The answer came in whispers: ‘Those were the princes of Tamallan, Cōhuātzacualco, and Tzactam. They say he skinned them when their hearts were still beating, and their parents were made to watch.’ ‘And they say that the parents were given the choice of saving their children if they could bite off their own tongues. Most of the parents did so, then the king laughed and flayed off their children’s skin anyways.’”

    “‘How could this man be the sage-king Quetzalcōhuātl? Quetzalcōhuātl was a man of peace; this is the greatest maniac the world has ever seen!’ ‘Abroad, he is Xipe Totec; in his own land he is Quetzalcōhuātl.’ ‘That’s right; he says this is war for a greater peace.’ ‘Some Quetzalcōhuātl! He has another man on his throne who does all the work of caring for the poor. But he pretends to be Quetzalcōhuātl by building things that nobody ever asked for.’

    I have heard it said that everyone who whispered on that day was found out and killed.​

    Having established himself as an unwelcome and uncalled-for guest in Central America’s greatest city, Ah Ek Lemba ordered his troops to dismantle all mercenary fortifications between Maya country and Panama.

    With the primary exception of Ācuappāntōnco, Central America was divided into small-scale city-states and principalities. Most of these, including Ācuappāntōnco itself, had been established by Mesoamerican mercenaries. Yet in some places, the mercenaries chose to assimilate into local society. Ācuappāntōnco is an iconic example of such a process. The city had been founded by Isatian-speaking mercenaries, and their descendants, still highly honored, dominated the oligarchic Council of the Rich that governed the kingdom. The Ācuappāntōnco army was still perceived as a mercenary company, even to the point of using Isatian (now a foreign language for most of its soldiers) for its orders and attracting recruits from abroad. But for all this, the rulers of Ācuappāntōnco intermarried with Panamanian elites, spoke a Panamanian language, directly ruled a largely Panamanian population, and ultimately identified no longer as “mercenaries” (olcantin) but as “people of Panama.”

    In other places, the mercenaries chose to govern through indigenous vassals and established themselves as a segregated ruling community that considered itself far too superior to mingle with the locals. This was the case in Ācuappāntōnco’s two main competitors for trans-Isthmus commerce, the cities of Ātoyāc (ruled by Yucatec Maya) and Cōzmilco (ruled by Zoques).

    Ah Ek Lemba’s Central American policy was to eliminate any viable threat from the area by dismantling fortifications and by tolerating assimilated mercenary companies, such as that of Ācuappāntōnco, but eliminating segregated ones. An attack on the former, who were the actual local elite, would mean unwanted bloodshed and undue administrative stress as Tiho scrambled to find suitable replacements. But the latter were removable, because those segregated mercenaries were not the ones ruling the local polities—if anything, they were parasitical, a burden that the indigenous elite were only too glad to be rid of.

    Ah Ek Lemba remained in Central America from 1404 to 1407, personally supervising the dismantling of fortresses (beginning with the walls of Ācuappāntōnco) and the destruction of mercenary companies. Many of the indigenous elite were pleased to see the overbearing foreigners removed, even if they were only being replaced by another overbearing foreigner in the end, and actively collaborated in Ah Ek Lemba’s campaigns. Other kingdoms seized the chance to expand its sphere of influence under the guise of aiding in Ah Ek Lemba’s wars. The greatest beneficiary was Ācuappāntōnco, which helped Ah Ek Lemba conquer Ātoyāc and Cōzmilco in 1406 after a year-long campaign. Both cities were granted to Ācuappāntōnco, removing all its competition and granting the city a monopoly on Central American portages.

    Meanwhile, Admiral Tlamahpilhuiani was building a new fleet on the Pacific with the tribute extorted from Ācuappāntōnco. It set sail in 1406 and enforced Ah Ek Lemba’s regulations on the Pacific coast as well. The fleet of Tiho was at their doorstep, but Pacific Mesoamerica was still only mildly worried.

    Ah Ek Lemba returned to Tiho in 1407, having removed all potential mercenary opposition from Central America. (About two dozen thousand mercenaries and their families managed to flee into South America, but theirs is another story.)

    In August the next year, Tlamahpilhuiani’s newly minted Pacific fleet arrived at the Huave port of Quizii and demanded submission. Meanwhile, Ah Ek Lemba had personally taken eight soldier clans (22,000 troops) with him to Cempoala, and sent off his Little Finger, General Mahpilxocoyōtl, with five other clans (14,000 troops) to Guatemala.

    The goal of the Central American campaign now became evident. Ah Ek Lemba had wanted an easy way to access the Pacific coast of Mesoamerica by sea, hence the subjugation of Ācuappāntōnco. Now, he could conduct campaigns and supply troops along the Atlantic and the Pacific simultaneously, and there was only one other power with interests on both oceans: Cholōllān.

    [​IMG]

    The king of Quizii immediately sent messengers to Cholōllān, asking for help.

    The sacred city was ruled by two Quetzalcōhuātl priests, a tlalchiach and an aquiach. The tlalchiach, most sources concur, was a cautious man—some said cowardly. He declared that because Quizii had never been tied to the Feathered Serpent priesthood, there was no need to defend it.

    The aquiach pointed out that Ah Ek Lemba believed himself to be Quetzalcōhuātl, and that he would have taking Cholōllān, the most sacred center of the god’s cult, as his ultimate goal. If Quizii fell, Ah Ek Lemba would be able to attack Oaxaca and Cholōllān simultaneously, and the Cholōltec sphere of influence could probably not resist.

    The tlalchiach overruled the aquiach. So the latter went to the streets of Cholōllān and asked the people:

    “Is the madman Quetzalcōhuātl? Does he have a claim to our city? Is our city his?”
    The people gathered by the thousands, and their voices pooled in a flood of cries:

    Ahmo, ca ahmo, zan tochān in tāltepēuh!

    (“No, no indeed, our city is only ours!)
    “Shall we let the madman overrun the world? Shall we let our city burn?”
    Ahmo, ca ahmo, cānin cah in tomīuh in tochīmal?

    (“No, no indeed, where are our arrows and our shields?”)​

    The tlalchiach heard the people and knew the city would go to war and grieved. The day was sunny and windy. The Sun and Venus and the Milky Way glimmered brightly on the steps of the Great Pyramid, as if promising victory. But further above, the storm-apparatuses cast forth an eerie creak, and the feathers seemed to tear in the wind. The tlalchiach tracked a bright oropendula feather rip from the Yellow Step and throw itself into the sky, and soon it was lost amid the clouds. The tlalchiach wondered what would happen to the Pyramid if Ah Ek Lemba won, decided that the thought was too depressing, and walked away.

    Ah Ek Lemba’s spies had brought the news to him. The Maya attacked Cholōllān in September 1408, at the height of the harvest season, without any declaration of war.

    “I will regain my city,” said Ah Ek Lemba, “The city that was mine before my return.”
     
  7. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    we got some patton complex here I wonder who he thought he was before?
     
  8. Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

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  9. Derekc2 Marxistball 9

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    He wouldn't destroy such massive and important temples to the cult of the God he sees himself as ...would he?
     
  10. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    well it devoted to him so he can just rebuild it the way he thought it should be like because he is a god... also I think this may be the place where ak Lemba reaches his limit like alexander... and then the 4 fingers split it all up
     
  11. AnonymousSauce The 7 Deadly Butterflies of Shaolin

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    Like @%#$ing for virginity
     
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  12. Soverihn Proud Tribalist

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    Honestly given how he managed to sweep up much of Central America to willingly join his side (an area almost as big as modern Iran) I think Ah Ek Lemba is probably better than Alexander the Great. And he's not done yet! Still gotta take Mexico proper.

    This is ominous.
     
  13. KidCabralista Cape Verde's Unofficial Wikipedia Meister

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    We already know Ah Ek Lemba's empire isn't long for this world in its current state, seeing as Every Grass In Java has pointed out how unwieldy the control structure is - but the sheer fact that he revolutionized warfare and state control is going to leave such a large mark on the region. I can't wait to see the endgame of this empire.

    I wonder if there will be Diadochi-like successor nations in the aftermath of Ah Ek Lemba's empire as well :p.
     
  14. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    well to ascend to godhood


    The 4 fingers are going to divide the empire one in cuba, one in central ameirca, one in Panama, one in maya lands
     
  15. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    I don't know if Panama will become a base for a successor; more likely it simply secedes, with its kings reasserting their power. With control of Atoyac and Cozmilco they have the resources to go their own way. Hell, with how vital they will be to the Chololtec campaign they already have the leverage to extract whatever concessions they want from Tiho.

    I think you're right about the other locations though, so if I had to guess:
    • Hueyimahpilli/Thumb claims succession over the Yucatan and possibly Guatemala. He is already in place, and trusted by the people. But since he's a civilian in a militaristic regime, he might resign himself to supporting some decorated veteran as a figurehead king while protecting his own prime-ministerial position, which sets some interesting precedents for separation of powers. This figurehead might even end up being Mahpilxocoyotl/Little Finger, who is younger than Thumb and lacks a real powerbase of his own.
    • Tlamahpilhuiani/Index Finger might end up heading the anti-Taiguano alliance in Cuba in some capacity. He's got the fleet, so he can put pressure on the Cuban republics freely. The local leadership is also severely indebted to Tiho as is, so they may agree to hosting Index out of genuine conviction. Failing that, the Cuban states will be in sore need of naval protection against the Taiguano to the east. Given his pirate's-life-for-me personality, he may get some laughs out of raiding up and down Central America, taking money and slaves from other Diadochi governments but never really trying to unseat them.
    • Mahpilhueyac/Middle Finger is described as pretty marginal until he got his own army in the Chololtec campaign. He's the main figure bringing the war straight to the Nahua heartland, and so he's the foremost candidate for inheriting the war-cult that Ah Ek Lemba has assembled out of Nahua mythology. It's very possible for Middle to go from being the guy who "speaks with the World Conqueror's voice" to "the most deserving of the World Conqueror's children". Tenochtitlan is the key here-- the Isatian opera mentions it as a seat of power, so Middle either takes it over and makes it his seat or Tenochtitlan (after some profiting from Cholollan being knocked down a peg) leads the effort to kick Middle out (like Moscow with the Golden Horde). Middle's successor government either becomes the foundation of the later Isatian nation or the first of many antagonists in Isatia's formative national struggles.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019 at 4:38 AM
  16. Threadmarks: Entry 49: Mercenaries in the North

    Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    MERCENARIES IN THE NORTH

    When Ah Ek Lemba conquered Cuba in the 1390s, the island was home to approximately 26,000 Mesoamerican mercenaries and their families, or perhaps 100,000 people in total. Ah Ek Lemba killed or deported most of this population, and most of the few survivors escaped to the eastern kingdom of Maisi, the only part of Cuba safe from conquest, and joined its mercenary company.

    But a small minority—less than a tenth of the mercenary population—decided to try their luck elsewhere. Led by a Yucatec Maya commander named Nacan Yam, ten thousand Mesoamericans fled to the Bahamas in 1394 and conquered the local Yucayan caciques there.

    The next year, Ah Ek Lemba sent Tlamahpilhuiani’s fleet to drive them off. Nacan Yam decided that it was foolhardy to try and fight them off and fled, taking a few thousand Bahamians with them as slaves. When Tlamahpilhuiani appeared, all he found were burned villages, desolate islands, and naked and starving Yucayans lamenting how the mercenaries had taken everything.

    Some mercenaries wanted to cross the Atlantic and try their chances there. Nacan Yam pointed out that this was madness. They would surely all drown, and it was child’s talk that anything was out there; for all they knew, the Atlantic was the end of the earth. In the end, the mercenaries decided to follow the coastline north and settle on the mainland that the Yucayans called “Caniba country.”

    In late 1395, Nacan Yam discovered a large river and decided that they had gone far enough north. The land was fertile, inhabited by thousands of savages who swore fealty to the Apalachee kings to the west—but those were barbarian kings, hardly worthy of consideration. The mercenaries conquered the local villages, evicting the savages from the mouth of the river and founding a new Maya town there. They christened it Uayak Cah, “Dream Town.”

    In January 1396, the two Apalachee kings sent a large army, supposedly as large as fifteen thousand, to drive off the invaders. Nacan Yam was hardly worried. “Savages,” he said, “What are they to us?” “Six times more,” a lieutenant said, but Nacan Yam laughed it aside. "They will run for their lives when we blow a single one of our war-flutes. And besides, I have a plan."

    In the Battle of Acuera of 1396, the twenty-five hundred mercenaries met an Apalachee force at least four times larger. The Apalachee army surrounded them and charged. The Mesoamericans blew their war-flutes, with the effect that not even a single Apalachee seemed intimidated in the slightest. Nacan Yam had expected curare poison-tipped arrows to scare off the enemy—this had been his plan—but many of the warriors had deerskin and cotton armor, and in any case they were well-acquainted with poisoned arrows from both hemlock and snakes. Nacan Yam fell screaming when a lance speared his eye, and Mesoamerican resistance collapsed.

    The mercenaries were certainly better-disciplined and better-armed. Their defeat at Acuera still testified that, at least in fourteenth-century America, quantity could still best quality.

    The families of the mercenaries were brought back to the Apalachee capital of Anhaica as slaves. Uayak Cah was left in its half-finished state, to be occasionally toured by princes from Anhaica whenever they doubted the glory of the kingdom. And for a long time, “arrogant as Nacan Yam” was a popular idiom in Apalachee country.

    About one thousand mercenaries managed to escape the Apalachees, decided that it was worth finding out what was on the other side of the Atlantic after all, and never returned. The Apalachees presumed they fell off the end of the earth. Good riddance.

    * * *

    Sometimes people just fail, after all, and not even heroically.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019 at 5:11 AM
  17. Neoteros Dux Mediolani

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    A typical display of colonialist mentality gone wrong. One thing's for sure, these Mesoamericans won't be as naive as their OTL cousins once the Europeans will show up, regardless of the inflated egoes on both sides.
     
  18. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    It just so wealthy and valuable that I feel like one of the fingers prob Mahpilxocoyōtl due to him being the closest in Guatemala though he may not be able to get Ācuappāntōnco someone will prob set up some sort of state in panama/ central america somewhere along the road of trees
     
  19. FossilDS lanfang republic best republic

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    For the first time, methinks, all of Pre-Columbian America is really and truly connected. As shown in the latest updates- even people as north as Florida and south as South America are feeling the effects of Ah Ek Lemba's rampage. I wonder how much Lakekala Siki knows about his Alexander-esqe counterpart in the north?
     
  20. corourke Member Donor

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    Jan 1, 2004
    You didn't! Can't wait to see where these people end up...
     
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