Alternate History

Ríonegro (The Sky Filled With Stars)

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Timeline: The Sky Filled With Stars
Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 1.18.11 AM No coa
Flag Coat of Arms

Unidad de la división (Spanish)
("Unity out of division")

Capital (and largest city) Costa Rica
  others Cherokee
Religion Catholic (78%), Traditional Animist (16%) Atheist (5%)
Ethnic Groups
Spanish (40%), White Cherokee (31%)
  others Yellow Cherokee (22%), Creek (5%) Other Native American (2%)
Demonym Río
Legislature Congress
President (Currently unoccupied)
Area 142,110 km2
Population 2,500,000 (2010 est.) 
Established 1699
Currency Río Mark (RM)
Internet TLD .rn
Calling Code +12
To do - Write something about Spanish immigrants coming to the area (OTL Georgia) in the mid and late 17th century to escape Europe, attempted coexistence with the natives, eventual civil war in 1730, another one in 1738, a military coup in 1803, suppression of native tribes (sort of like 1930's Germany and the Jews) between 1802 and 1827, a coup in 1827 and the restoration of limited rights to the natives, native uprising in 1840 leading to massacre of Europeans, counter massacres led to the proclamation of a Cherokee monarchy independent of the Spanish that collapses in 1865 due to instability and agents hired by the Europeans, further suppression of natives (especially their religion) ensues. Military coup in 1909, leading to civil war in 1910. Current constitution adopted after a coup in 1955. Attempt to expand south fails in 1962 when the army is trapped in the mangrove swamps of southern Florida and massacred by the natives. This failed invasion leads to mass riots and eventually revolt, entire government is violently removed and replaced with more populist candidates. Attempt by deposed officials to return to power leads to massacres, many problems are blamed on the natives, murders become common, Cherokee and Creek begin conducting guerrilla campaign against any European who comes into the west. This comes to a head in 1966 when the government officially abolishes the currency because it's completely worthless, at this point the chance of surviving childhood due to the disease, poverty, and war is under 20%. In 1973 the international community decides to intervene, some measure of order is restored, but the country collapses after the withdrawal of international troops in 1979 when the white and the yellow Cherokee start butchering each other, the north secedes, and three coups occur in a single month with the military eventually gaining control of the government. The nation (CREATE NAME SOON) to the south sees the instability, invades, and obliterates the few local militias that stand in its way. A puppet government is established in the capital, which is moved from Pologua to Costa Rica. The invading troops invade the west and make good progress until the two Cherokee camps settle their differences and expel the invaders. International troops once again intervene in 1982, the country is liberated, the economy is restored, and hospitals are constructed. In 1984 a civil war breaks out, the international troops withdraw to regroup, and eventually the major cities are bombed into rubble. Hyperinflation once again makes the Mark effectively worthless, and the nation once again collapses. This time, the largest group is composed of the Creek and White Cherokee who dominate the south and northwest of the country, the rest is split between competing factions, city-states, and terrorist organizations. In 1999 one of the nations claiming to be the true Rionegro finally captures Costa Rica and declares that it has ended the decade and a half of strife, at which point agents from other organizations start riots which last for weeks, culminating in the burning down of 60% of the city. In 2005 a foreign syndicate begins hiring White Cherokee mercenaries, and in Late December they capture the East of the country. Trade is reopened, schools and hospitals are constructed, unemployment drops to a manageable 45%, the rule of law is enforced, and the occupied region manages to attain the rating of fourth-world nation. In 2008 another foreign syndicate began hiring Spanish and Yellow Cherokee mercenaries, and the two syndicates became locked in a proxy-war played out between their rival governments with the mercenary armies, as well as hired gangs in the cities, and city-states or local organizations bribed to fight each other. As of 2015, both foreign-backed nations are claiming to be the true Rionegro, Yellow Cherokee forces are rapidly advancing on Costa Rica, the west is in complete chaos, and in the entire region unemployment and disease is rampant, education is nonexistent, the largest trade is in drugs and arms, and the population is divided between the jungles, where the people spend their times huddling in squalid huts, and the cities, where overcrowding is rampant, the majority of annual deaths are from violence (with Malaria a close second), the streets are crowded with charred rubble from terrorist attacks, bombings, or invasions, pigs are regularly traded in the street, and the populace considers living in a tin shack as a luxury, or indeed sleeping an entire night without being awakened multiple times by screaming.


Ríonegro derives its name from the Black River (in Spanish; 'río negro'). It is unknown where the Black River itself got its name; the most common story is that a native legend told of a time directly after the asteroid impact, when the river was choked with ash and charcoal from the fires, and loamy earth from soil erosion after the mass vegetation die-offs, giving it a black appearance.[1]


Before European contact, Native American cultures are divided into four lengthy archeological time periods: PaleoArchaicWoodland and Mississippian.[2]

The Mississippian culture, exemplified by a people known as the mound builders, lasted from 800 to 1430 AD. This culture developed urban societies distinguished by their construction of truncated earthwork pyramid mounds, or platform mounds; as well as their hierarchical chiefdoms; intensive village-based horticulture, which enabled the development of more dense populations; and creation of ornate copper, shell and mica paraphernalia adorned with a series of motifs known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (SECC). The largest Mound Builder site surviving in present-day Ríonegro is Kolomoki in the south-west of the country, as it has been successfully preserved by the remains of the Creek provisional government. Two other similarly sized sites were recorded by visitors to the country in the 19th century, but they have since been destroyed.[3]

This mound building civilization met its end in the chaos following the Balawi asteroid impact. What limited archaeology that has been conducted shows evidence of massive fires at most of the mound locations corresponding with the impact, and for the next 50 years there appears to be little human settlement in the area. The same archaeology also shows a great change in the flora and fauna of the area; rains become more common and the entire area heats up, leading to denser, more tropical forests and extensive marshes throughout the south-east of Ríonegro. Around 1480 AD the Cherokee migrated into the north and west of the country, and soon they divided into two groups between the Black River, the White Cherokee in the north, and the Yellow Cherokee in the west. The region was discovered by Galician explorer Hernando de Calabra in 1678, and groups of Spanish immigrants began arriving in 1691, founding Pologua that year, Victoria and Sant Joan (founded by Catalan immigrants) in 1693, and Costa Rica in 1696.[4] [5]
Cherokee painting

A portrait of Cherokee visiting the port at Costa Rica.


In 1699 a congress was called in Pologua, and it was attended by 88 representatives from the various settlements in the territory. A constitution was drawn up, establishing a monarchy led by Gernando de Pologua, a fellow immigrant as the king, and a congress, which could veto any of the king's act by a unanimous vote. The same congress claimed over 250,000 sq km of land for the new nation, most of it unexplored. In 1720 the first explorers ventured into the west, discovered the Cherokee people living there, and informed them that they were citizens of Ríonegro.[6] Over the next decade Spanish settlements slowly pushed westward, and the settlers generally lived in harmony with the natives they encountered. In 1730 the king passed a measure giving the eastern coastal cities almost total control of the western settlements. He encountered stiff resistance in congress, both from westerners who didn't want their liberties infringed upon, and easterners who felt that this new bill didn't agree with the spirit of liberty their country was founded upon. Nevertheless, the measure passed, and a column of 1700 troops departed Pologua to enforce more stringent control over the rest of the country.

However, one of the members of congress, Juan "el Vasco", or "the Basque", returning home, got news of the advance, called a meeting in one of the principle new western towns; Nueva Murcia, and urged his compatriots to take up arms against this terrible injustice, starting the War of Western Secession. Shortly afterward the royal troops were destroyed in an ambush, and seven western cities seceded alongside their Cherokee allies. The easterners responded in force, and over 20,000 ethnically Spanish soldiers began invading the west, methodically working their way through the rebels' territory. After they were defeated in several open engagements, the various armies of the west took to the jungles, setting up ambushes and traps. This took a heavy toll on the royal troops, who eventually withdrew in September.

The next year they returned, their ranks bolstered by fresh recruits and soldiers from the southern Creek tribes. This time the various eastern commanders set up forts and supply posts as they went. In April the first of the revolting towns surrendered, and in June the royalist forces captured and executed Juan el Vasco. This broke the back of the separatist movement, and by the end of the year every town in the west had capitulated and agreed to a harsher administration.[7]

Eleven Years' War and Revolt

In 1738 the Confederation of Westfalia declared war on the Kingdom of France, sparking the Eleven Years' War. There were many pro-French sympathizers in Congress, and when the king announced his intention to stay neutral in the conflict, several of them attempted a coup, which failed, leading to their arrests. When the city of Saint Joan heard of the arrest of its delegates, the local government demanded their release; when this failed they declared their intention to secede from Ríonegro until their demands were met. The city's gates were barred, its docks were boarded up, and when the Pologuan tax collectors arrived on their annual March route, they were met with a hail of stones from the walls, starting the Second Río Civil War. Outraged, the king (Alfonso de Pologua, Gernando's grandson) raised an army and personally took charge of it. The city was surrounded and a siege set in. The city's leaders sent a desperate request for aid to the French, who at this point were winning their war. The first French ships arrived in January of 1739, and were met by the Ríonegro flagship; El Castello, as well as several members of the Ríonegro merchant marine. When the French ships refused to turn back, they were fired upon by El Castello. The various ships exchanged sporadic shot for several hours before the French turned around and sailed back for home, having suffered two damaged ships. The French sent a declaration of war to Ríonegro, who responded by launching three ships across the Atlantic. The ships landed on the coast of Aquitaine in late July, and a few hundred mercenaries disembarked and began ravaging the countryside, though they were quickly driven off by the local lords.[8]

Sant Joan finally surrendered in 1740. Ríonegro's war with France lasted in its De Jure stage until 1749, though no further engagements were fought. In recognition of its contributions, the Confederation of Westfalia forced France to give 3000 gold ducats to Ríonegro.

The First Great Persecution

Throughout the 1740's, 50's, and 60's the nation prospered through its trading contacts with Europe and the Portuguese colonies in Africa. The monarchy by this point had claimed an amount of territory about thrice that of modern Ríonegro, most of the extra being to the south and the west, and Spanish settlers constructed townships throughout this land, with the aid of the natives. However, starting in 1774 with the publication of the pamphlet "El Azote" ("The Scourge") in Pologua, the European settlers began to turn against the natives. [9] In 1775 a group of yellow-hooded Spanish youth attacked Awenasa, a Cherokee village, and in 1776 the same fate befell Yonaguska. The following year all the Cherokee tribes elected a "Wutanv ugvwiyuhi;" the first "Great Chief." This Great Chief, however, was only temporary, and only served a ceremonial role. His duty was to carry a petition signed by every Cherokee chief to the capital, and his presence was supposed to convey that the Cherokee tribes were unified in their conviction. However, the aged and now senile Alfonso de Pologua ordered his arrest, burned the petition in front of him without even reading it, and banished him from the Eastern territories.

Protests immediately broke out in the western cities (the old towns of the War of Western Secession having grown into massive cultural centers by this point), as frontiersman and tribesman united in their anger. The king eventually backed down, and in 1779, on his deathbed, he ordered a division of soldiers into the west, and gave them orders to investigate and harshly prosecute those identified as the attackers.

Alfonso II, Alfonso I's son and successor, was fairly open about his distaste for the Cherokee and Creek peoples, and only maintained the division sent to the west out of respect for his father (and likely also out of fear of rescinding one of his beloved father's last commands). In 1782, though, he pulled it back to the capital again, and the attacks resumed.

On July 3,1802, Aleixo I forced a law through the congress necessitating each western municipality to keep a list of the Native Americans living within its jurisdiction, as previously they had been exempt from the census, and that everyone counted must pay one-third of a Mark upon registration. Many of the western Congressmen came from cities where the tradition of cooperation with the natives was still an immutable fact, and so they came together in a tavern (La Celebración) and agreed to present a petition to the monarch. Said petition made the point that most of the natives didn't use the national currency, and so would be hard-pressed to pay the tax, and that it would take weeks to round up those in the more populous areas and be a very expensive ordeal that would probably need some measure of support from the military to prevent an uprising. The king's response was very similar to that of his grandfather's, he destroyed the petition and banished the congressmen from his palace. The next day most of the insulted congressmen packed their bags and departed the capital for their respective districts.[10]


  1. SPIR International Index; Ríonegro. 3rd ed. Paris: Society for the Preservation of International Relations, 2002. Print.
  2. "History of Georgia." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web.
  3. Opothleyaholo. "The Condition of the Creek Territories." Interview. 13 Nov. 1978.
  4. Rocha, Antón. La Historia De Hernando De Calabra. A Coruña, 1786. Print.
  5. De Calabra, Hernando. Mi Viaje Al Río Negro Y Lo Que Vi Allí. Vigo, 1689. Print.
  6. Watkins, Carlos, and Fern Hahn. Ríonegro; The Founding of a Nation. New Siena: Torkin's, 2004. 1-49. Print.
  7. Francis, Alfons. La Guerra De La Secesión Occidental. 3rd ed. Victoria, 1984. Print.
  8. Schierman, Jonathan. Cherokee in Gascogne; Ríonegro's Little-known Contribution to the Eleven Years' War. 2nd ed. New Dover: New Dover Historical Works, 1991. Print.
  9. Munroe, Alfred. "El Azote." Encyclopedia Americana. 14th ed. Vol. 5. New London: Encyclopedia Americana, 2000. Print.
  10. Kendall, Yugo. "Alfonso II and the Aleixo's; The Beginning of the First Great Persecution." A History of Racism in Ríonegro and Timcua. New Siena, 1978. Print.

External Links

A website dedicated to showcasing the contributions of the Cherokee in Rionegro's history

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