Where the River Flows: The Story of Misia: A Native American Superpower

Considering that the Inca and the Muisca's civilisation is much more apparent, I wonder if the Spanish and the French will appreciate potatoes much more earlier than IOTL and likewise adopt it into their diets.
 
Realizing it would be necessary for future updates, I decided to map out the current imperial provinces. I've been using watersheds as a rough guide, and here's what I came up with, although I'm not entirely sure about it and may adjust it. Thoughts?

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Chapter 23: Rumble in the Jungle
Chapter 23: Rumble in the Jungle

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Tenochtitlan was perhaps the wealthiest city in the world. It was the capital and largest city of the Meshica Empire, a state that played a crucial role in the global spice trade. Power was concentrated in the temperate highlands. The Central Plateau of Anawak and the Kiche highlands in the southeast allowed large populations to live relatively comfortably, and possessed ideal soil for growing a number of useful crops and hosted a number of useful minerals. Still, much of the empire’s wealth came from the lowlands by the South Misian and Caribbean Seas. This fertile land was particularly ideal for rubber as well as tropical fruits and spices, and especially for cacao, which was still growing increasingly popular on European markets. Plantations were developed on cleared jungle land in order to satisfy the increasing demand, bringing more profits to Tenochtitlan.

In the autumn of 1641, lowland farmers began to notice that cooling climates were leading to crop failures on the Rubber Coast and Yucatan Peninsula. While most staple food crops would have been able to deal with the dropping temperatures in Mesoamerica, many of the lowland farmers relied on the sale of rubber, fruits, spices, and cacao for access to other forms of food. Many farmers wrote to their local governors, asking for permission to clear more land, including some of their existing plantation land, to grow maize and sweet potatoes. With Tenochtitlan not wanting to lose out on their annual profits, they refused to allow any plantation land to be cleared, and Montezuma VI himself implemented further taxes on the lowland farmers. That winter, hundreds of thousands of lowland farmers starved due to the legally enforced monoculture in the Meshica Famine of 1642.

A large factor that allowed many farmers to survive, however, were the churches. Christianity in the empire still operated in secret. In some areas further from the imperial core, churches were able to bribe corrupt officials to remain open. In other areas, they remained completely underground, sometimes hidden in caves, thick jungle, or unsuspecting houses. Christianity had spread rapidly in the lowland regions, and many churches organized to provide food to those in need. The aid provided by the church allowed Christianity to grow even more popular among the lowlanders.

That March, after countless had starved, many had felt that enough was enough, and that the time of the Meshica had come to an end. On March 20, Yosep of Mayapan led an attack on Meshica tax collectors in the city of Mayapan. The plan was only to kill the tax collectors and make a statement, thinking he would probably die soon after. However, the locals ended up joining him, overthrowing all of the authorities and declaring the city to be a new Christian Dominion with him as its Chief Apostle.

That spring, what came to be known as the Josephan Rebellion spread throughout the lowlands of the northern Yucatan peninsula. The Christian Dominion lacked a real standing army, instead relying on locally organized militias. Recognizing that they lacked an advantage on the open battlefield, the Christian militiamen mostly hid in the jungles and plantations, cutting supply lines and attacking traversing troops, keeping the city of Mayapan protected. Nearby towns all fell to the revolt in a matter of weeks, very often the result of the locals themselves rising up against the government. On Good Friday, the Christian Dominion took Sisal, a small port in northwestern Yucatan that was home to a significant Taino community. The local Taino population, which had a historically antagonistic relationship with the Christians and lived rather relatively securely under Meshica protection, viewed the rebels with suspicion, and were massacred by the locals who saw the mercantile population as imperial agents. Appalled by the violence, Yosep stated that Easter that all Christian militias were now to answer to him directly, officially forming the Salvation Army.

Despite this more direct control, some attacks against the Taino were still carried out. when Campeche fell in May, seeing the writing on the wall, the Taino agreed to side with the Christians, feeling that the Meshica were being too oppressive with their taxation anyway and believing that it was in their interest to side with Yosep. However, after the Salvation Army lost the initial battle, the Taino were instead raided and taken by the Meshica authorities to be sacrificed. When the Salvation Army succeeded the following day, they came to find that the entire Taino ghetto was liquidated.

At the start of June, the Christian Dominion had only controlled the northern Yucatan, including Campeche, Mayapan, Koba, and Tulum. The presence of the Meshica navy on Cozumel meant that the Meshica were frequently able to raid the coasts. However, as the toll of occupation grew heavier, locals came to oppose the large military presence and rebelled, allowing the Salvation Army to make it onto the island. Over the course of the summer months, the Salvation Army would continue to push south, taking Chaktumal, Calakmul, Tikal, and Lakamha, doubling the area under their control. To the west, more rebellions were breaking out. In August, a Meshica force had to fight off a number of rebels in the area around Zempoala who had pledged allegiance to Yosep and the Christian Dominion.

In December, the Salvation Army launched one of their most ambitious attacks yet, a siege against the port of Coatzacoalcos. Hiding in the surrounding swamps and forests, they began by attacking Meshica troops. Realizing what was happening, extra troops were sent by sea. On Christmas, the Salvation Army attempted to storm Coatzacoalcos and were greeted by a far larger force than was expected, which included a number of angry Spaniards who did not wish to see their trade being disrupted. The Meshica retreated, but the Christians were left severely weakened and took a far greater number of casualties. The Meshica then surrounded the city with the weakened Christians inside and easily destroyed them on December 27. Most fell in battle, with the rest being captured for sacrifice in Tenochtitlan.

With a huge portion of the Salvation Army destroyed, they were sent back on the run through the countryside. Throughout the next year, the Meshica fought off guerilla soldiers as they marched through the lowlands towards the Mayan lands. They easily retook Cozumel on March 4, 1643. The following month, they landed in Tulum, and were able to begin their push into the Yucatan peninsula. To deal with the rebels, they massacred entire rebel villages and burned down jungles where they were expected to be hiding. On May 18, the Meshica retook Mayapan, where the whole war started. In September, the Meshica retook Calakmul, which had since become the new headquarters of the rebellion, and captured Chief Apostle Yosep. He was brought to Tenochtitlan to be sacrificed on the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. According to legend, he stated “My death is not the end, for Christ himself will return to deliver the Christian people from the tyranny of the Meshica”.

Fighting continued in the jungles for another several months, not really ending until January 1644. Although the Josephan Rebellion had been crushed, the existence of such a rebellion proved to Tenochtitlan that the Christians were a threat to their empire. Montezuma VI ordered that all remaining Christians be hunted down and sacrificed and that corrupt officials that allowed churches to exist be killed and replaced. A small Christian presence would be allowed to remain in the old port cities such as Zempoala and Coatzacoalas, but anyone suspected of proselytizing or supporting illegal Christians would be executed.

Still, the fact that the rebellion had gotten as far as it did proved to those watching that the forces of Christianity could resist the power of the Meshica. Christianity would continue to spread rapidly throughout the empire among those who opposed the rule of the Meshica.​
 
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Originally I was working on an update continuing the story of Maquah in Misia. Instead I decided to take a break and discuss events in Mesoamerica. I hope you enjoyed.
 
I wonder how much gaming will the Montezumas do before they, or someone else finally pulls the Constantine.

Also, the Spanish being angry at proselytisation, lol; what has this world come unto?
 
Realizing it would be necessary for future updates, I decided to map out the current imperial provinces. I've been using watersheds as a rough guide, and here's what I came up with, although I'm not entirely sure about it and may adjust it. Thoughts?

View attachment 707695
Haven't they also expanded into the Missouri and Arkansas basins though?
 
Haven't they also expanded into the Missouri and Arkansas basins though?
They have somewhat, although not as far.
I wonder how much gaming will the Montezumas do before they, or someone else finally pulls the Constantine.

Also, the Spanish being angry at proselytisation, lol; what has this world come unto?
The Spanish here are far more concerned with their alliance and their bottom line.
 
They have somewhat, although not as far.

The Spanish here are far more concerned with their alliance and their bottom line.
At this rate, the Spanish, or at least their Hapsburg Monarchs, are ought to be totally disillusioned with all organised religions within two generations as they realise their non-universality and dubious eschatologies.
 
At this rate, the Spanish, or at least their Hapsburg Monarchs, are ought to be totally disillusioned with all organised religions within two generations as they realise their non-universality and dubious eschatologies.
While there are some who are appalled by the barbarity, most of Europe in general isn’t too concerned about the politics of the New World beyond their strategic interests.
 
I know that Indigenous traditions aren't victimized to the extent that they are IOTL, but I still find it hard to have sympathy for the persecuted Christians ITTL based on what happened in ours.
 
I know that Indigenous traditions aren't victimized to the extent that they are IOTL, but I still find it hard to have sympathy for the persecuted Christians ITTL based on what happened in ours.
While I understand the feeling thats like me saying I hardly find sympathy for the native "pagans" because christians were killed by likes of the Tang and the japanese or Nero & Diocletian IOTL
Or to be more accurate to what you said, someone from the Civilisations TL where Europe is constantly raided by the aztecs for human sacrifices saying they couldnt care less about what happened to the natives IOTL at all because of how theirs went
 
While I understand the feeling thats like me saying I hardly find sympathy for the native "pagans" because christians were killed by likes of the Tang and the japanese or Nero & Diocletian IOTL
Or to be more accurate to what you said, someone from the Civilisations TL where Europe is constantly raided by the aztecs for human sacrifices saying they couldnt care less about what happened to the natives IOTL at all because of how theirs went

Yeah, I realize it's an irrational feeling. I'm just worried that if a Native polity pulled a Constantine it would mean the end of indigenous spirituality.
 
Yeah, I realize it's an irrational feeling. I'm just worried that if a Native polity pulled a Constantine it would mean the end of indigenous spirituality.
I think they might avoid that, the christians here are considerably more revolutionary than in Rome
 
Plus, even in OTL with a much more thorough Christianization at the point of a gun, syncretic indigenous traditions still live on in Latin America. I expect TTL to be even more syncretic even if Christianity becomes the official faith of Meshica.
 
Plus, even in OTL with a much more thorough Christianization at the point of a gun, syncretic indigenous traditions still live on in Latin America. I expect TTL to be even more syncretic even if Christianity becomes the official faith of Meshica.
They can also relate it to Meshican mythology and historiography ITTL considering that it became popular due to Christ supposedly "substituting" for their human sacrifices, especially now that the Catholic clergy is not only unsanctioned, but routinely purged as well.
 
I think this was probably only the first big Christian rebellion. If the next one manages to get a European patron, things might go differently. Spain might value their commercial interests more at this point, but if, say, France comes to a different conclusion it might be interesting.
 
Chapter 24: Mourning Dove New
Chapter 24: Mourning Dove
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Settling down with Wapimohsa was perhaps the best decision Maquah could make for his mental health. Her loyalty allowed him to feel that he could once more trust in people around him, and with the death of the eunuch the following year, his obsession over him and the whore had begun to fade, and he started to mellow. He began to consult a midewini, a Mide cleric and medicine man, about undergoing a process of spiritual healing. He received physical treatment in the form of tobacco, wine, yaupon, and a number of herbs as well as massages and other physical therapies. He began to meditate, spend time in nature, and pray to the Great Spirit Keshiwia to restore him. And in the spring of 1633, his daughter was born.

The palace was loud with the frequent screams of the newborn, who had yet to be named in accordance with Misian custom. Maquah found peace in the gardens of the palace grounds where plethoras of flowers and herbs and fruits and vegetables grew from the soil. He sat on his favorite marble bench, surrounded on all sides by a series of tall hedges with sunflowers winding their way up them and reaching towards the sky while directly under the sun. Sometimes, he went out to read Mide scriptures, histories, novellas, treatises and whatever other documents were of interest to him. Today, he had a bag of sunflower seeds, munching on some but tossing most to the calmly cooing mourning doves that knew to gather around his feet as the warm sun and pleasant breeze graced the opening.

Caring for the doves was easy. All they needed was a few seeds and they would be happy and want to be around you. Then they would be able to take care of themselves. People were a lot more complicated, Maquah thought. Their appreciation was more fickle. It could not simply be won over in the same way, and no man could look after oneself without a community. For humans, fear was like seeds to the pigeons– they could be kept in line, but you could not guarantee they would ever really care. And now, he had a loving wife and a newborn daughter, two people he could not simply win over from fear.

He shut his eyes and allowed his head to fall back, basking in the sun that beamed onto his face and reflected off his satin robes.

All of a sudden, he heard someone step towards him. He immediately sprung up, dropping the bag of seeds and causing several of the doves to flap their wings and dash to the safety of the hedge. He pulled a jade dagger with a golden handle out of his belt, aiming it in the direction of the noise.

“Who is it? Who dares to sneak up on Maquah Kilsu?”

From behind the hedge his wife stepped forward dressed in pale blue satin.

“I thought by now you would recognize my footsteps.”

He lowered the knife.

“Wapimohsa, I–”

“You what? You thought that I was here to kill you?”

“I didn’t know.”

“My beloved, you don’t have to pull a weapon on me. The garden is guarded.”

He stood frozen for a moment. She grabbed his hand.

“I know you’re still scared of betrayal, but look how far you’ve come.”

“I’m not scared. I take precautions. There’s a difference.”

By his arm she led him to sit back on the marble bench amongst the sunflower hedges and the mourning doves that had since returned cooing in full force to pick at the seeds that had been spilled from the bag.

“When I was a child, my mother told me that when you have a child, for many days you are haunted by dark spirits and are in a deep need of healing. It’s been a month, and I feel those dark spirits around me. I’ve gone to the midewini, but what we need right now is each other.”

The doves had finished most of the seeds before them and were poking at the sack on the ground. Wapimohsa picked it up, reached into the bag, and threw several more.

“The weather’s nice. I should join you at this spot more often.”

“I usually come here to get away from everything.”

“And I’ve come here to see you because you can’t get away from everything. There are people in that palace who need you. Including your daughter.”

He heard more footsteps coming.

“Beloved, get down!”

They both stood up, her more slowly than him. He pulled out his knife and extended his arm across her body in the direction of the sound. A nurse in a pink robe came forward carrying their newborn.

“Oh that’s enough already!”

She grabbed his knife hand, bending it and hurting his hand so that he dropped the jade dagger. She caught it by the golden handle and tossed it, sending it flying over the hedge.

“Thank you,” she said, taking her daughter and forcefully passing her into her husband’s arms. Both sat down as the nurse left.

“Really?” she said. “A dagger at your own child?”

“I didn’t know she was coming.”

“I asked the nurse to bring her here so you could spend some time with your daughter.”

He looked into the infant’s face. The baby was awake when she was carried over, but almost instantaneously she fell asleep in his arms to the sun on her face and the peaceful cooing of the doves. He looked at the doves and looked back at her. In earlier years, he had been a monster, someone who faced great pain at the hands of others and dished out even more pain in response. He did not know what the future held. He did not know if he would really become a better man or if dark forces would continue to bring him down. But the chaos of the outside world did not matter. Now, there were sunflowers. Now, there was sun. Now, there were doves. Now, there was peace.

“I know what we should name her,” he said to his wife, who was still throwing seeds at the mourning doves.

“What?”

“Mimia.”​
 
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