|1038-1194 (285-441 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)||1194-1269 (441-516 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)||1269-1310 (516-557 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)|
Rise of the Atacama and Mapuche
TastilIn what is present day northern Argentina, the Atacama people clustered into a small region which they named Tastil. This settlement existed from as early as the year 1000 (247 AD) but never had much contact with any further civilizations. The Atacama in Tastil fell into an economic slump which was believed to be caused by a crop failure in the region. A man, who was simply named Yisodini or ‘savior’ by the people, rose to leadership by bringing in many large amounts of food from over the Andes mountains. He came with such bounty that the people of Tastil made him their leader, though they had no idea of his origin. Yisodini, being in control of a large supply line of food in the region, moved out into neighboring city states and brought them under his hegemony. This leader also brought the kinds of weapons that had been common place in lands in Central America to the north but were completely unfamiliar to these people. Yisodini, who brought rule and subsistence to the people of this area though it was through warfare, became a mythical figure even during his lifetime. Yisodinin rose to power at around the year 1196 (443 AD) and had his origins in the Chimu Kingdom. Yisodini was a military general who ranked such a prestigious reputation for his tactical brilliance that he wanted to be named the Prince and heir to the throne of the Chimu Kingdom. This ambition led to his ousting by many of his peers and he was exiled, a punishment coming with mercy which his judges believed that he deserved for his service. Despite this mercy, Yisodini, whose original name was unknown, and his sympathizers continued to support him and many members of the military defected alongside him. This was what allowed him to bring in food and weapons to the people of Tastil. He wished to start his own nation and to lead it as he believed was his right. His control of the Atacama people was solidified in the year 1203 (450 AD) when much of Northern Argentina and southern Chile fell to him. His Empire, which spread across the southern Andes and to the sea, was named the Atacama Empire and it would embark on bringing a new idea to the people of the continent. An idea that any person should be able to pursue their dreams no matter what is in their way.
The Mapuche rose to power much differently. While Yisodini and his Atacama were conquering, others were making trade and spreading the knowledge of agriculture and of course the knowledge of mining and weaponry that they had gained from leaders like Yisodini. One of these areas that received this knowledge were the Mapuche in what is OTL southern Chile and southwestern Argentina. The Mapuche were a much less cohesive group than the Atacama but they managed to unite under a provisional government, which ceded substantial powers to the minor lords and rulers of the member cities. The first “Lonco” or “Chief” of the Mapuch rose only ten years after the arrival of the technologies that Yisodini had brought. Lonco Cancique, meaning Chief Cancique, was the first to have control of the capital of the Mapuche in Mapocho (Santiago, Chile). The city of Mapocho is also the origin of the name of the Mapuche people and nation.
The Mapuche took the Atacama as a great enemy and knew that if the Mapuche became to outstanding in the area near the Atacama, war was inevitable. They similarly understood that the Atacama would remain ignorant of them for as long as they could make themselves rather inconspicuous in anything but their trade. The Mapuche, in this concern, developed a paranoid feeling about outside people. They maintained that other tribes were only fit for specified trade or for conquest. The only time immigration was allowed was when the small and large scale leadership accepted their entrance. This unique characteristic made the Mapuche military something to be feared by the surrounding tribes. Their strict discipline made security a non-issue and their bottom up organization style made each area fairly protected. The Mapuche were, statistically, one of the most well governed people and strongest but they were also the most reluctant to ever exercise that power. This was a truly remarkable quality and their security was so well established that their trade was more robust than was ever seen among the cultures of what we call South America. By the year 1240 (487 AD) the Mapuche and Atacama enjoyed a symbiotic relationship the kind rarely seen by nations.
The Rise of the Aztecs
Early DaysThere were seven tribes who immigrated from the land of the seven caves, known as Chicomoztoc, to the area named Aztlan. After this, the Aztecs moved to Lake Texcoco and established seven separate city states along its shores. These tribes immigrated in the following order: the Xochimilca, the Tlahuica, the Tlaxcalan, the Tepaneca, the Chalca, the Mexica, and lastly the Alcohua. The first six established tributary empires among the smaller states that turned up behind them. These states were established early on, as early as the year 1050 (297 AD) and for nearly one hundred and fifty years the states grew steadily and slowly. The Alcohua were the last to immigrate and because of this they were rejected by the other tribes until the Tlahuica decided to give the Alcohua a modest amount of swampy lands.
Hereditary CustomsAmong these six kingdoms the only way for their families to continue a noble lineage was to marry the children of their royalty to those of others. During the century and a half that the Aztecs developed their cultural practices the six kingdoms developed diplomatic marriage strategies that created alliances between certain nations. The Xochimilca and the Tlaxcalan Kingdoms were a very strong alliance and grew very close to each other. The Chalca, who appeared to have a proclivity towards giving birth to daughters mostly, married off their girls to both the Tlahuica and Tepaneca. The latter two also maintained a few notable marriages amongst themselves also. Lastly, the Mexica had the largest number of tributary cities around them and thus gave out marriages as rewards to the leaders of these cities and villages that existed within them as well as in order to gain new ones. The Alcohua were not really their own kingdom and thus were not very likely to marry into any outside tribe.
This system began to degrade when in the year 1200 (447 AD) there was a severe drop in the number of daughters that the Kings and Queens of these tribes were having. The culture of the Aztecs prevented them from considering marriage of another group at this time. The idea of marriage outside of the other tribe’s royal families would have seemed repulsive to most of the powerful Aztec leaders. The only solution that was available to the Aztecs was the one princess of the Chalca that remained at this time. The Alcohua also had a daughter that they were willing to marry off but their tribe was themselves seen as the underclass. The six Kings came together to reach an agreement about their lack of apparent heirs and the final settlement had the Chalca princess give one son to each kingdom by having five concurrent marriages. This agreement was signed on Tlahuac Island in the Chalca potion of Lake Texcoco.
The Great Aztec WarThe King of the Xochimilca died soon after the Treaty of Tlahuac was signed. After this his son, Prince Acamapichtli who was one of the five wives of the Chalca princess, rose to the throne of the Xochimilca. With this power Acamapichtli asserted his own right over the Chalca princess and sought to keep her for himself and demanded that the other kingdoms recognize their marriage. Similarly, the other princes believed that theirs was the only true marriage that the Chalca princess had and that they were her true husbands. The treaty of Tlahuac was overturned and war spread out across the six kingdoms. Beginning in the year 1217 (464 AD) the war would progress for around a decade until a solution was reached within the coalitions that formed. The Xochimilca and Tlaxcalan who had been making marriage agreements with each other for years found that sharing the princess between the two of them was a more attractive and realistic option that one kingdom fighting off all others. The Tlahuica and Tepaneca, remembering that the Tlahuica also technically had the Acolhua, also formed an alliance between themselves. The Mexica, lastly, were in a strategic position to choose which side they would enter and thus decide the fate of the war. The problem with this came when the Mexica Prince fell in love with the Acolhua princess that he met while on a trip through the Tlahuica kingdom. The Mexica Prince proposed leaving the Chalca princess to the Xochimilca and Tlaxcalan and then the Tlahuica and Tepaneca can marry the Acolhua princess that had been living among them for so long. The Mexica Prince decided that ending the war was more important than his personal feelings and shared the bride with the two other tribes. The Xochimilca and Tlaxcalan were surprised at this turn in circumstances but were grateful for the victory, if the war had progressed any longer then these nations would have likely been bankrupted.
According to the agreement reached by the Xochimilca and Tlaxcalan when they forged their coalition, the first nation to conceive an heir would be give full and unmitigated rights to the Chalca bride. This provision was put in place in secret and when the Xochimilca conceived a son and asserted this clause the Tlaxcalan were outraged. Without a bride, the Prince of Tlaxcalan chose to marry a wealthy noble woman in the area and break off their ties with the Xochimilca. Expecting tremendous backlash from his people, the Tlaxcalan Prince was received quite favorably and so was his princess. They became icons for the Tlaxcalan poor, they embodied the idea that any person can move up in the world, despite the fact that the wife of the Tlaxcalan Prince had come from wealth and not from the bottom of society. The Xochimilca and Chalca combined with the birth of this son and the Tlaxcalan chose to have little to do with them.Conversely, the Mexica and Tlahuica also combined under a single ruler as the Prince of the Tlahuica died before conceiving a child, presumably from the heart disease that had been carried through his family. The Tepaneca on the other hand would not combine with the Mexica and Tlahuica, though their prince did die childless. Rather their nobility chose a different path. The Tepaneca republic was started in the year 1221 (468 AD) and was led by a conference of nobles and wealthy people from the tributary cities. They had been clamoring for such representation for years and now had the opportunity to run their country without the interference of a monarch. Thus the six kingdoms were reduced one kingdom, the Tlaxcalan, one republic, the Tepaneca, and two Empires, being the Mexica and the Xochimilca.
Firearms and the "Blessed Nations"
With the prospect of marrying noble women rather than exclusively the daughters of other kingdoms, as well as the fact that there was now a general mistrust among the Aztec nations, marriages were no longer the only source of political capital. The Xochimilca, who resided on the border of the Zapotec land, requested that this great superpower to their south give them some of the fertile and resource rich lands just on their border. This land was sparsely populated and the Zapotecs and Xochimilca had been trading partners for some time and in exchange for a military alliance should the Zapotec call on them, the Xochimilca expanded slightly southward. It should be mentioned that though the firearm was a common weapon of war among the Maya states, like the Zapotecs, the Uaxactun, and the Maya Union, it had not reached the Aztecs. Wars between these kingdoms were still waged with the obsidian weapons and other tools that had been used for some time. The news of firearms would be as much of a surprise to them as it was to the Maya landscape when it was discovered there.Surprisingly the first of the Aztec nations to gain firearm technology was the smallest of the nations. The display that the Tepaneca Republic had made to that area, the display of bringing power away from the monarchs and distributing it back to the people, though in reality it simply went from a monarchy to a de fact oligarchy, made them very popular in the stories that circulated in the Maya states. The Zapotecs, who had recently given a chunk of their territory to the Xochimilca, began extensive trade with the popular Tepaneca. These people seemed much more mysterious than their neighbors and the common people were very interested in learning about them. Because of this sudden spike in interest the Tepaneca Republic had an explosion in its population and one of the many things traded between these nations was their military strategies. Though the Tepaneca would not allow other nations to learn of the new weapon, as the Uaxactunese did not want to Maya to learn about the firearm many decades ago, the Tepaneca republic was making a large amount of expansions and conquests in their surroundings. The Tepaneca began making demands to their neighbors. The only reason that they gave the Tlaxcalan, the Mexica, and the Xochimilca was that they were blessed by the gods. The God Xiuhtecuhtli, god of fire, became a symbol of the Tepaneca who rolled uncontrollably into surrounding villages that previously were beyond their possible reach. Some of these nations considered uniting with the “Blessed Republic” but in the year 1235 (482 AD) the Mexica had successfully learned the secret of the Tepaneca. Rather than make this obvious, the two nations considered themselves both “Blessed by the Gods” and thus expanded and conquered as they saw fit while keeping up the cherade of being in the favor of the gods. The Fire God, Xiuhtecuhtli, of the Tepaneca and the Water God, Atlaua, became principal in the mythology of the Aztecs.
By the year 1247 (494 AD) the Xochimilca and the Tlaxcalan had seen through this rouse and they too had a powerful weapon that they would employ for the purposes of taking as much land as they could.
After the MythThere were several groups of people that surrounded the Aztecs and who lived an uncivilized and nomadic lifestyle. The largest group nearest to the Mexica Empire was the Tarascans. The largest real city of the Tarascans was Tzintzuntzan which had been managing itself very well for nearly a century. The Mexica, however, wanted this city, and therefore the largest stronghold of the Tarascans. This city was very far away and the small independent cities in between, cities like Xocotitlan and Cuauhtitlan, fell to Mexica in order to advance this goal. To the north the Tlaxcala Kingdom moved into cities like Axocopan and Atotonilco in order to reach the Meztec peoples centered around Metztitlan. To the east the Tepaneca Republic wanted to move all the way to the coasts. There were no large groups of people in this area and the Tepaneca moved in very quickly to the sparsely populated areas.
Lastly the Xochimilca move into cities that were established on or near the edge of the Zapotec territory. Ocuilan, Cuauhnahuac, Malinalco, Oztuman, and Malinalco to the west and the cities of Oaxtepec and Huexotzinco. The Xochimilca went as far as the city of Cihuatlan on the southwestern coast by the year 12 68 (515 AD). By this same time all the other nations had at least one settlement on the coasts with the exception of the Mexica who continued to look north.
The Great AllianceDuring the years 1194-1225 (285-472 AD) the southern portion of the Maya Alliance expanded into OTL Central America. The Mayans believed that if they could gain enough territory to furnish a large scale attack on the Uaxactunese then their war would be over. With the Zapotecs on the other border of the Uaxactunese they had little prospective area to expand into. By 1226 (473 AD) The Maya controlled the area and tribes reaching as south as the modern day northern departments of Colombia, those being Antioquia, Choco, and Valle de Cauca. The city of Copan dominated this area and the blockade that the Uaxactunese set up between the two halves of the Alliance made communications very difficult as ships needed to traverse am much longer stretch of water in order to avoid the Uaxactunese or they needed to fight through their blockade ships. In 1229 (476 AD) the Zapotecs mad an offer to the Maya Alliance. In exchange for uniting in a common cause against the Uaxactunese the Zapotecs would maintain communications between all the areas around Uaxactun as well as agree to agreeably split the Uaxactunese territory in half and to guarantee a “Freedom of the Seas” and “Non-Aggression Compacts” with each other. The Maya believed that they were getting a great offer and the Zapotecs were making an earnest offer to take down the Uaxactunese. With that the Maya and the Zapotecs entered into a large Alliance that threatened Uaxactun from all sides.
The Plague of Lamanai or Xibalba's Fury
Reacting to this action by the Zapotecs and the Maya Alliance, the Uaxactunese prepared to take actions to protect themselves. In the city of Lamanai, on the eastern coast between the two parts of the Maya Alliance, was the center of the naval blockade that separated the two Maya areas. The Uaxactunese had been experimenting with biology for some time. They used people that they conquered as subject for their experiments and found a combination of a common disease that spreads quickly as well as another affliction that causes a debilitating, painful death through their repeated tests on their prisoners. They infected a group of clothes, blankets, and other textiles with this virus and sent them to the border areas of the Zapotecs and the Maya. In these undefended areas they were able to smuggle in small scale goods but not enough to move an army of them. Despite this limitation, the Maya and Zapotecs were infected in small populations by the year 1234 (481 AD).It took no more than five years for the Zapotecs and the Maya to both be infected with a plague that was killing thousands every day. Maya and Zapotec militaries suffered the most. The disease proved to be easily transmitted and the tight and often less than sanitary quarters of soldiers proved one of the best breeding grounds. This was an unintended advantage by the Uaxactunese and they were very reassured after reports of drastic, dramatic deaths were circulating through Mesoamerica. By 1250 (497 AD) the Maya had been reduced to around half and the Zapotecs had been reduced by two thirds. Despite this, birth rates sored as when people retreated back into their homes with their families and loved ones there was often nothing else to do for fear of leaving their homes. The Maya tracked the spread of the disease into small border areas, the same that the Uaxactunese targeted, and the people in that region were almost entirely wiped out. Only in small pockets were there deaths in Uaxactun.
The city of Lamanai itself suffered a small outbreak the hurt the city greatly but it was contained. The Zapotecs in their weakened state chose to give some of their territory to the Aztecs in order to avoid war with them. The rumor that the Uaxactunese had caused this great-dying would only enrage them even further. All moves and preparations had been made towards war and it was not long until it would befall these nations. One of the effects of the plague in the Maya Alliance and the Zapotec territory was an increased focus on the mythical place of Xibalba, ruled by gods of disease and death. People began to be sacrificing in droves in order to please the gods of Xibalba and stop the plague. It was rumored that more people were being sacrificed than were dying of the disease, but this is considered and exaggeration.
The Cannon, the Warship, and the Flamethrower
In the years during the Plague the Maya and Zapotecs developed defenses that would protect them better and with less people. The Cannon, which was developed from the same design as the firearm just scaled larger, began in the Zapotec lands and they first used them on a small, unsanctioned raid by Uaxactunese bandits which sent them running from the buildings that they had retreated into. The Uaxactunese government who were equally startled by this development chose to develop their own cannons hastily, but they were known to not be as effective as those of their neighbors.
The Maya, who despite their Alliance still battled with Uaxactunese blockades, put cannons on large ships designed to sink enemy ships quickly and were controlled by a small group of men in the lower decks. These Warships were fearsome and a much more effective method of taking down blockades than any previous strategy that they had. In one instance of these battles, the distilled agave liquor that was common among sailors in Mesoamerica (OTL Taquila) was thrown onto a ship with a burning cloth inside of it and lit the ship aflame and stopped the Maya from evading the blockade. This invention was eventually expanded and used with quicklime collected from limestone quarries as well as resin from trees. It was shot out from ships and was not extinguishable with water. These developments in weaponry would make the war all the more troublesome for the Maya, Zapotecs and uaxactunese when it was declared in the year 1269 (516 AD).
|1038-1194 (285-441 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)||1194-1269 (441-516 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)||1269-1310 (516-557 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)|