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. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    Feb 3, 2018
    All the great world conquerers have a destroyed city on their resume, plus the blood feud between Ak Ekh and Cholola runs deep. I got a feeling after he Helugus Cholola, he’ll probabaly be content with life and pass on his power.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  2. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

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    Oct 30, 2014
    Better to be remembered as a builder of cities, in the mold of Alexander. Though I suppose he did begin his career with a sack of Thebes...

    At any rate, given how many mercenary forts he's destroyed, he's probably already displaced one Cholollan's worth of Nahua from their homes :p
     
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  3. Vuu Resident Serb expert Banned

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    May 11, 2018
    Eh, you know how it is, out of the ashes something even nicer can appear

    Not in the case of Belgrade, though. But on the other hand being a military base on steroids for most of existence isn't good for aesthetics
     
  4. EnvarKadri Well-Known Member

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    Being on a hostile frontier of two competing grat powers for centuries is the worst thing that could happen to a great city.
     
  5. Vuu Resident Serb expert Banned

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    It's one of those places that either dominates over the entire area, or is hotly contested. In a world domination scenario one of the few cities where actual global administration could be cheaply managed (the 1st place probably being Istanbul)
     
  6. rocke Well-Known Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    or just any coutnry
     
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  7. Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

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    Aug 27, 2017
    More ink (pixels?) will be spilled on Taiguano gender norms, especially with regards to the descendants of the Prophetess. In general, though, the Taiguano are slated to carry on the OTL Chicoid tendency for men to hold practical, political power while their wives were associated with ritual and prestige goods (e.g. when Columbus arrived, it was customary for the cacique/chief to bring out the food and the cacica/chief's wife to sponsor the ritual exchange of gifts with the strangers; see Samuel M. Wilson's Hispaniola: Caribbean Chiefdoms in the Age of Columbus).

    Ah Ek Lemba has already put wheels to practical use on his battering rams, but I'm skeptical about wheelbarrows arising in the less than a century we have before Spanish contact.

    As mentioned in this post, inland Mississippian societies are in general collapse from Missouri to Georgia, a double whammy of OTL droughts (the 1359—1377 crop failures that brought down Etowah IOTL and the 1407—1476 drought that shattered Moundville) and intrusion from coastal powers seeking slaves to sate Yucayan and Mesoamerican demand. So there's a huge "Vacant Quarter" of underpopulated territory stretching across inland North America (there was a similar OTL "Vacant Quarter" in the middle Mississippi Basin in the early sixteenth century, but TTL's one is much larger).

    I believe the Cumberland and Tennessee areas were part of the Vacant Quarter even IOTL, and if anything, TTL has gone worse for them.

    As you probably know, Mississippian chiefdom societies were hugely unstable and would break down in the face of sustained stress, with thousands of people abandoning former population centers wholesale (e.g. the systematic abandonment of most of the Savannah River Valley in the fifteenth century described in Anderson's Savannah River Chiefdoms). Under the unprecedented pressure the coastal chiefdom-states are placing upon inland Mississippians, very few inland chieftains are able to stop their subjects from packing up and leaving.

    It's true that most of the Vacant Quarter would be good farmland, but the American Southeast was underpopulated IOTL and remains so ITTL, so this isn't as serious an issue as leaving good farmland unoccupied would be in, say, Mesoamerica.

    Thanks for telling me about this! I agree with everything you've said about yaupon, really, and to be honest I hadn't really thought about it much before (though I really should have).
     
  8. EnvarKadri Well-Known Member

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    Jun 9, 2018
    I wonder of the andinian polities could get their hands on yerba mate before the spanish arrival? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerba_mate
    In fact, now that in ttl we have an interconnected world of trade and communications stretching from the incas and the aimaras to otl now a days southern USA do people outside this range also get affected and change in ttl? Like the Mapuche, guaraníes, tupi, tehuelches, ranqueles, querendies and other peoples from Patagonia and Pampas and also nothern american first nations that werent covered yet in ttl. How far have the butterflies reached yet?
     
  9. FossilDS lanfang republic best republic

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    Wonderful to see you back!
     
  10. Threadmarks: Entry 63: Ah Ek Lemba's Oration at Cempoala, 1413

    Every Grass in Java Well-Known Member

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    AH EK LEMBA’S ORATION AT CEMPOALA, 1413
    By the March of the year 1413, the World-Conqueror’s army was a thoroughly demoralized lot. The Maya had thought themselves invincible, and had suffered four defeats—Huēcalpan (1409), Ixtlacāmaxtitlān (1411), Quiyahuiztlān (1412), Ocoyōcān (1413)—in the course of as many years. There were whispers, mutters, glances askew. Ah Ek Lemba knew and had little he could do.

    The Maya army spent the rainy season of 1413 in Cempoala. Later Isatian sources claim that the clans were about to desert for Tiho until their king, now an old man, gave a speech to the assembled clansmen: men, women, and children all. This Cempoala Oration (Cempōhuallān huēhuēhtlahtōlli) survives in as many versions as there are chronicles. The following account comes from a seventeenth-century history.

    You jaguar clans, you eagle lineages! But I do not stop there. For there are many among you who have not been jaguar knights, who will not be eagle knights.

    You men and women! You archers who bleed out the foe from afar, you slingers who break in their skulls from afar, you spearmen and swordsmen and pikemen and scouts, and you women who make the tortilla that is our blood and flesh, you women who dress the men for war! You fathers and brothers and sons of the dead, you mothers and daughters and wives of the dead! I see your faces. I hear your voices. I honor your works.

    It is custom, when kings and commanders utter words of recommendation and praise, to speak to the good and courageous men. But now I speak to the men and women among you, to those of you who mutter, “I am no great warrior,” those of you who go and say, “I will never amount to more than mud and earth.” I speak to all of you.

    This army is an army of the dead. The men who fought in Cuba are dead and burnt, their ashes scattered in directions, their breaths gone twisting up. And you who stand before me, though living yet, live with the dead. The shades of your mothers and fathers march with you. They lodge in your dreams, reside in your memories.

    You have eyes to see and ears to hear. And when you pay due reverence to your ancestors, you ask them, “What is the end to these wars, this profane shedding of blood so unlike what our grandfathers used to do? Is it in vain that you have died, honored fathers? In a dream that your deeds have been, honored mothers?”

    I have eyes to see your grimacing faces, ears to hear your whispering words. Is it indeed in vain that they have died and you will die, in a dream that their deeds have been and yours will be?

    Hear my words, warrior men, warrior women. And once you have heard, walk away if you will. I do not stop you.

    Life is like a tapestry. The weft goes up and down, and down and up, and down again, and in such a way is the tapestry made. The Sun goes up and down, and down and up, and down again, and so is time allotted out; generations of men upon men and women upon women are born and give birth and die—are made and make and are ruined—are forged and forge and dissolve.

    And nothing is woven without ups and downs. There is no day without the night. No life can exist without death, no death without life. In the uppermost heaven, God is in pairs.

    And from the cycle of opposites and oppositions, something greater is made. From the weft’s ups and downs are the beautiful tapestries hung. From the days and nights that follow on, the endless count of days and years. And from the navel strings that hang and the bodies that burn, all the work of a human life. There is no sweetness that is not bitter, no bitterness that cannot be sweet.

    And the world is like a river. Still a river, and it will rot. Without change, there is decay. Nothing can last, and nothing must last. There was a world where the Sun did not die. There was no night with its loathsome dark, and so the people rejoiced. Yet they did not understand until the sweltering heat scorched the world away.

    Humans are the midwives of the world, the battering ram-pushers of the universe. You were born on this slippery earth—the gods have given you life—so that you may push forth the wheel of alternations, so that you may keep the world in flux. When life is ripe, you must pluck it away; when death is old, you must sweep it out. Bring life from death, and death from life.

    It is not a coincidence that the greatest of deeds a person can do is to kill, if he is a man, and give birth, if she is a woman. To kill and renew is the fate of man.

    I have said that I am Quetzalcōhuātl, who is the generative god of the morning star that guides the Sun to its daily round. But look at me. I wear the skins of my enemies. I am also Xīpe Totēc, who is the Lord of Flayed Men, in whose name men’s flesh is torn away. And look at my hands. I am deformed. I am also Xolotl, the twin of Quetzalcōhuātl, the god of deformities. I am Day and Night. I am Life and Death.

    And I say that time is ripe, and the years have done their wheeling underneath the sun.

    Did your friends die in vain, o men and women? Will you die in vain, o Maya and Nahua?

    No. They have died and you will die for the greatest cause of all: killing the old world and giving birth to a new one.

    You ask why we have been defeated—and yes, I admit, I have been defeated. I say that nothing old dies without struggle. If they did, how less valiant, how less meaningful our lives would be!

    Yet we will prevail in the end, for the gods are on our side. It is the obsidian law of the sacrosanct gods that all that is old decay, and break away, and cede the ground for a newer thing. Try as he may, the aquiach cannot stop us: no more than the evening Sun can flee from the bowels of the earth, no more than the dry season can shoo away the rain-bearing clouds, no more than today can halt tomorrow’s arrival.

    I have read that there once was an old man in Cholōllān, in his fifth twenty. And he would always say, “Death cannot touch me!” [This is followed by a series of puns on the names of the battlefields where the Maya were defeated: Huēcalpan, Ixtlacāmaxtitlān, Quiyahuiztlān, Ocoyōcān.]

    Once, he was sleeping in a big house [huēyi calli]. The roof bricks fell down that night, but because he was poor and housed in a faraway corner, he was not killed. And he said, “See, this is proof that I have vanquished death.”

    Another time, this man went to a fight against the Tlaxcaltecs to encourage the young men, but the Cholōltec army was annihilated by the forces of Camaxtli [auh īxtlātīlōqueh in yāōquīzqueh Cholōltēcah, īyāōquizcāhuān quimīxtlātih Camaxtli; Camaxtli was the patron god of Tlaxcallān]. The man was as craven as he was old. He fled as well as any Cholōltec can [another pun; choloa is “to flee” in Isatian], leaving his trainees to die. Back in his hovel, the people scorned his cowardice. But he said, “See, this is proof that I have vanquished death.”

    Then again, there was rain [quiyauh] that became a thunderstorm, and he was not hit. The gods did not see him fit for Tlālocān [the Mesoamerican paradise for those killed by drowning or lighting]. And again he said, “See, this is proof that I have vanquished death.”

    And when this old man was crippled and despised, and his sons had left him and his daughters forgotten him, and his neighbors took pity on him [īca tlaocoxqueh], he only laughed and said, “See, I do not care, because I have vanquished death.” And his good neighbors shook their heads and wept.

    His neighbors came back the next day and found him dead.

    Do you understand?

    Cholōllān will die. I swear by it, as a god may swear. And we will destroy it, as the Suns were destroyed—we will ruin it as with jaguars and hurricanes, we will destroy it with water and fire. And in the blazing destruction of my city, the city of Quetzalcōhuātl, we will together create another world. It will be as when the Fourth Sun had grown old and was destroyed, and I went into the Land of the Dead and brought back the bones of men.

    The days and years will henceforth be counted from the destruction of Cholōllān. And when you are old, and the children forget there ever was a different way to number their years, remember that it was you who brought the new count into being.​
     
  11. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    Wow that was amazing reminds me of the speech Alexander have at opis
     
  12. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

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    Oct 30, 2014
    The Mayans have their mojo back! And Ah Ek Lemba's pun game is still strong. In another life he would have been quite the standup comic...

    Cholollan being due for destruction in about 4 different ways is cause for some grief, but so is that bit about forgetting the old year count. I get that it's more hyperbolic than literal, but it's a little too reminiscent of the Taiguanos' burnings of histories. Promising to create something lovely in the future doesn't make what you destroyed any less valuable...
     
  13. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    Feb 3, 2018
    “When they ask you why you came back, tell them you left your king back at Cempoala”
    I got a feeling this’ll be his last ride, and we’ll soon see a Diadochi war amongst his generals as expected.
     
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  14. Death's Little Helper Well-Known Member

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    Oct 5, 2012
    Wow that was a hell of a speech. Great to see this back!
     
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  15. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    His hubris is impressive, but he clearly needs a take down. Go Team Cholollan!
     
  16. vlitramonster Member

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    Aug 26, 2016
    Bacocolon willing he shall raze up to the great plains
     
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  17. Vuu Resident Serb expert Banned

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    Boy this Ah Ek Lemba guy really wanna get Latinized
     
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  18. EnvarKadri Well-Known Member

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    ?
    You mean that his actions would make things easier for the spaniards? Or he's acting like Rome on Carthago? Or something else?
     
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  19. Vuu Resident Serb expert Banned

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    The Spaniards are gonna hear his puns, what follows is probably obvious
     
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  20. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    Feb 3, 2018
    He sounds like Cato the Elder on cocoa substance, but to be honest you can’t really blame him, Chollolan has been messing with his whole campaign for several years.
     
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