Map 10-North Fusania in 1244
After many issues both technical and personal ("mapmaker's block"), here is the map of North Fusania in 1244 with the various states, tribes, and prefectures of the Wayamese Empire (including those dominated by warlords). As always, borders can be fluid and are rough approximations

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Thanks to Wayamese development, I wonder if that going to lead to the rest of north America native American cultures to developed at the same rate as well?

How is Europe doing and will they have a part to play in this timeline?
 
Chapter 75-The Sun-Baked Coast
-LXXV-
"The Sun-Baked Coast"

The further south one travels along the Fusanian coast, the less verdant the land becomes. In the far southern reaches the summer grows ever hotter and cloudless, lacking even sporadic rainfall, while the rainy winter lacks the constant downpours, bringing mainly clouds and fog. The rivers dry up in this climate, lessening or eliminating the great runs of salmon found further north. Scraggly trees and shrubs replace the great forests of the northern and central coasts of Fusania and the land itself seems barren. Such is not the case--for the indigenous Fusanians of the far south the land and its resources proved nearly as bountiful as the country to its north and in time a civilisation developed.

Culturally and geographically, South Fusania divides itself neatly into two segments--a northern segment, dominated by the Central Valley with far more culturally, historic, and linguistic links to North Fusania, and a southern segment, dominanted by local cultures and influences from the rest of South Fusania, Oasisamerica, and even Mesoamerica. Climatically and geographically the areas show much difference, with true deserts and dry conditions prevailing in much of South Fusania. For geographic, cultural, historic reasons, the boundary within South Fusania lay at the southern end of Shahang Mountains and followed the ring of mountains around the Central Valley. Tall mountains, a rugged coast, and prehistoric and historic migrations helped make this division a reality long before the arrival of East Asian explorers [1].

The civilisation of Far South Fusania sprouted late, much later than even the Kuksuist civilisation of the Central Valley, for the land itself lay in isolation. The hottest desert in the world [2] lay at the eastern borders while to the north lay nigh-impenetrable mountain ranges that blocked the local peoples from their neighbours. These mountain ranges divided the people from each other and made travel between the many valleys challenging and arduous.

Yet human ingenuity always find a way. Since prehistory the people of Far South Fusania traded amongst each other and shared in innovations. They traded, married, and fought with people from far away and learned much of each other's stories and ways of life in the process. They added these innovations to their knowledge and produced a succession of related cultures over the millennia. It seemed natural that the spread of agriculture and complex civilisation from north and east might reach this land in time as had so many innovations in the past.

Civilisation in Far South Fusania derived from two sources. Agricultural practices first appear in Far South Fusania following disruptive flooding in the early 7th century, building on increasingly productive trade with the Central Valley. This appears to be the same reason that accelerated the adoption of agriculture further north in the Central Valley--the destruction of oak trees and disruption of seasonal cycles led to experimentation with growing food instead. They grew omodaka, river turnip, and wokas in suitable wetlands while in drier areas preferred the hardier crops like nut sedge and goosefoot. Cultivation of tules and tehi provided new and plentiful sources of fiber.

The most preferred crops in this region during this period remained the native crops, for many plants like camas that grew well even in the Central Valley struggled in areas further south. These native crops included ricegrass, fish sage (or peixi), and kushi (a relative of the agave). Milkweed, a common source of fiber, was also grown. Like in areas north, cultivation of these native plants started by the increasing management of wild patches by clans that assumed ownership over them. It appears the domestications and semi-domestications of these native South Fusanian plants owed nearly as much to Far South Fusania as it did areas north.

Only one plant appears to have been domesticated in Far South Fusania, the Fusang grape (Vitis fusanensis). A larger, tame form of the wild desert grape [3], the domestication of this plant appears to have started in the 7th century imitation of more northerly plants such as the soringo or particular manzanitas which produced berries used for food, medicine, and wine. The wine from the Fusang grape served all Far South Fusanian peoples as a powerful sacramental beverage, consumed at religious rituals.

Cultural ideas transmit over long distances, and the concept of oak cultivation rituals emerged in the south as well, culturally adapted to South Fusanian religious and social views. As in the Central Valley, acorns formed a staple of the diet and much effort was spent pruning the oaks and storing the acorns in large granaries. Among a few South Fusanians, these rituals were adapted to the Fusanian fan palm and especially the four-leaf pinyon, two plants which held a myriad of uses to the Yiweidang, Yuweidang, and Haiyic peoples of the desert oases [4].

These early agricultural practices full spread and evolved around 750 AD and remained relatively stable until about 1000 AD. They caused a rapid growth of the population from perhaps 60,000 people at the emergence of agriculture around 600 AD to about 150,000 people by the end of the period. Larger clusters of villages centers developed around the coast where mariculture and fishing added to the nutrition. The interior, with its drier climate, remained less developed as even irrigated agriculture only provided a portion of the diet. Yet in both areas, tribes grew larger and genuine confederations began forming over this period to deal with matters of warfare and increasingly larger earthworking projects.

Around 1000 AD begins the "Puebloization" of Far South Fusania. Although the Three Sisters and other Puebloan crops like beeplant and mesquite began being adopted by the late 9th century in parts of Far South Fusania, by 1000 AD many artistic, architectural, and engineering features of Puebloan civilisation spread westward from the Patayan culture of the Anquon River [5]. Three Sisters crops replaced partially or entirely many Fusanian crops while canal-building styles changed from simplistic local variants of Central Valley canals to those found among the Hohokam. The homes of the elite took on a Puebloan form while the priests directed workers in carving religious centers into hillsides or cliffs.

The Puebloization led to a population explosion based on the superiority of Three Sisters crops to most native crops (aside from oaks) which relegated them to a secondary role. Ceremonies related to maize cultivation arose in religious and social life, often associated with consumption of a corn beer akin to chicha. Iconography related to maize cultivation appeared in sacred lodges and the homes of the ruling class, symbolising fertility and the source of their power.

Puebloization started around Lake Pang [6], a lake that alters between freshwater, saltwater, and intermittent desert over the centuries depending on climate. In addition to the giant oasis formed by Lake Pang, the area possessed great wealth in obsidian, a vital material used for tools, weapons, and religious goods. When it filled in the late 9th century, the lake disrupted the flow of the Anquon River's mouth and drove the local Patayan people westward where they interacted in war and peace with the local Yiweidang. Intermarriage, cultural fusion, and cultural emulation radiated from this region starting during that time.

The increasing cultural complexity and population growth provided a niche for new domesticated animals, introduced from the Central Valley. The 11th century saw breeds of ducks, geese, and towey goats, and domestic squirrels arrive to this far southern land, where they served as increasingly important sources of meat. Dog breeding became increasingly specialised in this time, resulting in herding dogs, guard dogs, and in some places, meat dogs (as some Far South Fusanian peoples lacked the otherwise universal taboo on dog meat found in Fusania). Towey goats did not prove as revolutionary in other places, as they had trouble surviving in the hot summers and only became common in the more cosmopolitan cities as well as among groups who resided high in the mountains.

Perhaps in competition from towey goats, some native dog breeds already used as drafting dogs grew larger and larger. The most famous were the Yue Mountains Dog [7], a large breed created by the inland Jiqi as pack animals that doubled as guard dogs. In many ways they resembled Old World mastiffs but for their distinct ears and facial shape. On average, the male of this breed stood at around 75 cm tall and weighed about 80 kilograms and typically pulled travois. Loyal to their owners and noisy and wary of outsiders, these dogs were exported throughout South Fusania as guard dogs and war dogs.

Despite this Puebloization in many aspects of life, Far South Fusania remained culturally distinct from the larger Puebloan world. In particular, their religious practices and social organisation still bore the distinct South Fusanian characteristic of a powerful and widespread religious societies. Membership in these societies was expected for anyone who wished to achieve anything, and these societies controlled various guilds related to craftsmanship and training in occupations.

Far South Fusanian religion centered around ceremonies related to consumption of datura, a powerful psychoactive substance [8]. By consuming datura under proper guidance, all manner of visions both good and bad revealed themselves to the partaker. While beliefs varied by ethnicity, the Far South Fusanians believed datura visions granted guardian spirit power, promoted healing, and prophecised the future. Without periodically partaking of datura, one stood no chance of gaining success in the chaotic world. As priests and shamans held the exclusive power to handle it, they gained great power in society.

The production and ritual consumption of sacramental wine formed a distinct component of the rituals. The coastal peoples made their wine primarily from the Fusang grape, while the Patayans, Yiweidang, and Yuweidang consumed palm wine from their tall groves of fan palms. The people consumed it in capricious amounts, once again under the supervision of shamans and priest. These shamans and priests controlled the production of the sacramental wine. Culturally, Far South Fusanians discouraged drinking outside of these rituals and many societies criminalised it, yet corrupt priests and guilds often sold it in secret for profit.

Far South Fusanians conducted their rituals in open air inside walled off enclosures located near the home of the lodgemaster. They raised up tall posts made from trees gathered in the mountains which they decorated with paint, carvings, and feathers. Inducted Quaoarists used these as dance grounds for rituals. In the center of most enclosures sat a small shrine (often built from stone) wherein sat regalia and an idol of the god worshipped where only high-ranking lodge members were permitted. In front of the shrine lay a sand-painting, a sacred representation of the universe painted by a shaman that served to channel energy toward the god. Everything in the enclosure and shrine was burnt in grand ceremonies at the death of the lodgemaster, leading to these structures being far more transient than Kuksuism.

Yet the most renowned religious centers of Far South Fusania lay carved into cliffs and mountains, a borrowing of the Puebloizing period. In these locations, the enclosure lay at the base or top of the cliff and the shrine lay inside the hole on the cliff marked by a fantastic doorway. They carved impressive religious reliefs and colourful geometric symbolism into these doorways that thanks to the arid climate lasted for many centuries and served as a perpetual reminder of the old religion of Far South Fusania.

The largest religion in Far South Fusania was Quaoarism, a hero cult that worshipped the god Quaoar (sometimes called Chingichngish). The cult appears to have emerged among the Jiqi people, although the exact details remain lost to myth. The focus of the religion, Quaoar, was a primeval force who created the universe and later incarnated himself as the son of the supreme god Weywot who set himself up as ruler of the fifth world following the departure of the primeval gods. Yet Weywot's tyranny turned the world to chaos and Quaoar killed him, leaving Quaoar to organise the funeral as the first act of righting the chaos in the world by allowing things to die. Soon after, Quaoar created modern humans and set them above the animals and plants and then lived among the people as their first ruler, teaching them hunting, fishing, building, agriculture, and spirituality before he returned to the sky [9].

Quaoar's instruction on the proper rituals for medicine, farming, hunting, and funerary rituals formed the basis of Quaoarist rituals (many of which venerated other gods and spirits). Although the religious society formed around him remained a Far South Fusanian phenomena, Quaoar's cult in general proved popular and spread to much of Far South Fusania by 1100 AD as well as to the Central Valley and parts of Oasisamerica where he existed as a minor demigod in Kuksuism and Oasisamerican religions. The Xi Wakashans regarded Quaoar as a foreign southern god, yet some worship of him occurred in the context of growing maize. Similarly, evidence of Quaoar worship appears in a few northerly cities of Aztatlan, likely transplanted by merchants and slaves. Some Chinese regarded Quaoar as Xu Fu, who visited Far South Fusania in ancient times and taught the local people the basics of civilisation [10].

Quaoarism held much internal diversity. Among some desert peoples, they restricted their membership to 12 or 20 (a borrowing from the Chuma Antap society, whose members traded in the area), although in their small villages this number included nearly every single elite. Datura ceremonies and veneration of Quaoar still formed the centerpiece of their society, however. Because of the smaller scale of these cultures, it is difficult to say if these societies truly dominated the villages and people or if they functioned as merely a tool of the elites.

As with Kuksuism, Quaoarism and other societies formed the governance of society. Far South Fusanians recognised no unit of territory larger than that of individual village, yet the society of that village and its lodgemaster or director permitted organisation on far greater scales through linking itself to other lodges. Unlike Kuksuism, these lodges only rarely crossed ethnolinguistic lines due to often stark differences in ritual and custom. Thus, there were several grand lodgemasters of Quaoarist lodges who rarely met and occasionally clashed over the rights to conduct certain rituals. The most prestigious Quaoarist lodge lay at Povuunga, considered a sacred city to Quaoarism, but Povuunga's lodge held far less sway over both the religion, its practitioners, and distant villages than its Kuksuist equivalent at Koru [11].

All Far South Fusanian groups organised themselves on the basis of the village which was ruled by a captain, closely assisted by a shaman. At least one of these two men was always the lodgemaster or director of the local lodge. Often both of these men participated in a larger, "grand lodge" that often shifted based on the relative prestige of captains in the region. The captain who controlled the grand lodge was elected the confederation leader while the shaman became the high priest.

Unlike the strict anti-slavery codes of the Kuksuists, Quaoarism permitted slavery and the slave trade. This naturally endeared them to the Wakashans who visited these ports to purchase and sell slaves. Slavery developed culturally along Wakashan lines, where slaves made up a significant percentage of society originated as prisoners of war, debt slaves, and increasingly hereditary slaves who were viewed as subhuman (as a true human would be impossible keep as a slave). Slave raids became increasingly common as the economic and social importance of slavery grew.

The Far South Fusanians were not as warlike as North Fusanians, but conflicts occurred periodically. Typically the cause lay in insults, but by the 12th century slave raids became the dominant practice. The Tayuan of the southern coast [12] were regarded as the most warlike of South Fusanian societies, constantly clashing with the Jiqi and Payi over land and slaves. This seems to have stemmed from the relatively poor ports in their land that hindered access to trade goods. From 1000 - 1200, they carved out a sizable portion of land along the coast and interior and frequently beat back the Jiqi and Payi before their confederation fractured into a northern half centered at Akhachmi and a southern half centered at Qeish [13]. Their relations with coastal to the north and south enabled access to trade goods and a market for slaves as well as imports of weapons and armour from the Wakashans.

Slave raiding precipitated another great imbalance in Far South Fusania, that between the coast and the interior. Lacking access to trade from the Chuma and Wakashans, by the 12th century the poorer interior people in the hills became effectively subordinate of coastal peoples. Interior peoples joined in confederations of coastal people, but because of their poverty lacked the ability to affect policy and even their leaders only rose to the rank of lesser functionaries.

Desert peoples such as the Yuweidang and their neighbors remained poorly incorporated into this regional economy. In many ways they resembled the lesser-organised peoples of the mountainous Oasisamerican fringe and lived in small villages along the arroyos and streams of the region. They subsisted on what small groves of oaks, mesquite, pinyon pines, and palms they could raise as well as irrigated fields of hardy desert plants like chia, ricegrass, and agave from the meager arroyos and streams of the region. Hunting and gathering from wild sources was always necessary to expand the resources of the village. Culturally they were greatly influenced by their fellow desert dwellers, the Nama, who expanded from the north yet retained elements of Puebloization.

Their settled neighbours regarded the desert peoples, in particular the Yuweidang, as thieves and bandits, as they most commonly encountered them lurking on the trails leading to key mountain passes, namely the ones at the southern end of the Central Valley. Many villages sprang up in this large desert valley, hence the common name for the region, the Valley of Thieves. The Nankama town of Taheich and Chuma town of Kashtiq [14], heavily reliant on trade over these mountain passes, occasionally mounted attacks deep into the desert in a never-ending struggle to root out bandits.

The emergence of the Turquoise Road and the end of the 12th century created a great trade route linking the furthest reaches of the Americas. The emergence appears to be the result of Wakashan trade routes stretching south, increased trade with Aztatlan in the south, and the emergence of stable confederations via the cooperation brought by the religious lodges. Named for the gemstone sought after by peoples in both the Imaru Basin and Mesoamerica, the Turquoise Road functioned as an "American silk road". Its northern terminus is said to be either Tahsis or Pasnomsono, while several Mesoamerican cities lay claim to being the southern terminus. Merchants and ships traveled along this road, bringing rare stones, shells, whalebone, ivory, animal pelts, and incense south in return for sending chocolate, parrot feathers, jaguar pelts, copal, and rare dyes north.

As the barren Chingan Peninsula was far too long to sail past [15], merchants traveled by sea with two sailing portions, the first being the shorter trip in the Gulf of Anquon between the Anquon Delta and Aztatlan [16], the second being the longer route from Far South Fusania north to Tahsis. They portaged across the desert and mountains from the Anquon Delta to the coast. Known as the Turquoise Desert, this area grew immensely wealthy from travelers crossing the desert carrying these valuable goods. The culture of the villages and cities on this route shifted to a more cosmopolitan lifestyle that differed markedly from those villages off the route.

Crossing the portage was not easy, as all routes across it stretched around 250 kilometers across arid desert and two rugged mountain ranges where temperatures might reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius in the summer. Travel often took eight to ten days of arduous voyages with goods transported by porters and dog travois, as Far South Fusania had few towey goats until the 15th century. During the early 13th century, many merchants stopped at Lake Pang near the halfway mark and sold their goods at the large city of Khwanimat [17] which grew in a generation from a large village to thriving center of perhaps 2,500 people.

At the end of a long journey, three major ports awaited travelers depending on which path through the mountains they took. The first was the Jiqi city of Povuunga, a major draw for its sacred shrine to the god Quaoar which commemorated his birthplace and the site he supposedly gave a grand speech teaching the people the ways of the world. Archaeologists note this shrine grew enlarged around 1200 in correlation to offensive warfare undertaken by Povuunga's rulers, perhaps driven to warfare by Tayuan incursions. As Povuunga successfully crushed rivals and showed off its wealth in grander and grander fashion, its ruling class and lodge society legitimised their innovation in Quaoarist belief that assigned Povuunga as a sacred center for Quaoarism [18].

Povuunga grew into a sizable center from this success. The city's wealth, merchants, and religious promotion greatly influenced culture, and eventually most Quaoarists considered the city the site of Quaoar's birth. As a result, it became perhaps the largest city in Far South Fusania by the early 13th century with around 4,000 people. The confederation centered at Povuunga dominated much of the Jiqi world, although it faced periodic attacks by land from the Tayuan and by sea from the Wakashans and Chuma which kept the city's forces constantly vigilant.

The second of these ports lay at the city of Kosai, situated on the finest natural harbor on the rugged coast of Far South Fusania. Further, the travel to Kosai involved a less strenuous route than that to Povuunga and thus found preference for that reason alone. The local Payi people of Kosai were closely related to the Haiyi of the Lower Anquon, helping ease cultural shock and communication for the travelers coming from that direction. At Kosai, a vast quantity of goods found their way to the north and it became the second largest city in the region with perhaps 3,000 people.

A third port, Patai, emerged around this time as well to the south of Kosai. Also inhabited by the Payi, Patai appears to have led its own confederation separate from Kosai and often clashed with it. Yet Patai's real source of wealth lay in its turquoise mine, the only source of that precious stone along the coast. Patai thus found itself capable of exporting directly to the north as well as selling the stones to passing travelers, ensuring the city thrived economically.

Only the lack of freshwater constrained Patai from growing larger, and the city grew to only perhaps 2,500, still the largest city on the Chingan Peninsula. It served as a favorite port of both the Tsumash Confederacy and their Wakashan rivals of the Northern Tugang Islands thanks to both cheaper turquoise than other ports and how they often were cut off from trade with closer ports due to conflicts with local rulers [19]. Trade with these groups introduced an extensive industry of manufacturing fog nets and fog plates, as well as new practices of preserving water.

Drought of the 13th Century in Far South Fusania

This incipient civilisation in Far South Fusania suffered a severe challenge due to the drought of the 13th century, sometimes called the Great Drought for its severe effects in Fusania and all Western North America. This great drought lasted over sixty years and caused a near-collapse of civilisation in the region. In particular, the second half of this drought from 1270 to 1300 was uniquely devastating to Far South Fusania (alongside the Puebloans). The collapse of agriculture brought famine and disease that resulted in around half the population perishing or dispersing by 1300.

Conflict tore the land as people struggled over increasingly limited resources. This exacerbated the existing water crisis, as labour needed to maintain irrigation sites vanished. Warriors often poisoned the wells and trenches and chopped down groves of oaks in the name of thoroughly annihilating their enemies, making those areas nigh-uninhabitable for decades.

Chickenpox, mumps, whooping cough, and above all seal flu tore through this weakened population in repeated epidemics in the middle of the 13th century. As elsewhere, reliance on sweathouses for healing illnesses simply spread the illness and caused excess death from the inappropriate treatment. Like elsewhere in North America, rudimentary methods of epidemic control evolved to combat the routine reappearance of these illnesses. The death and crippling of so many--perhaps 20% of the population in only a decade--contributed much to cultural upheavals within Far South Fusania. For instance, houses burnt while full of goods mostly vanish from he archaeological record around 1300, likely because customs on death changed so that it was no longer taboo for most personal objects to be inherited.

Unlike in much of Oasisamerica where overutilisation of canals caused soil salinity issues that crippled agriculture in that land, in Far South Fusania this issue was mitigated by the readoption of water crops in naturally wetter areas. Omodaka and its relatives river turnip and especially heat-tolerant valley turnip were less susceptible to salt infiltration than maize. Salt marsh vegetables grown in coastal areas spread inland to brackish waters, likely due to the salination of Lake Pang in this time. These vegetables were especially critical, as they grew on those salinated land with little problems and helped feed domesticated animals such as ducks and geese.

As a result, Far South Fusanians readopted flooded fields to what degree they could despite the endless drought to some controversy. This decision appears related to the end of Puebloization or potentially even a backlash against it. With Wakashan settlement in the abandoned areas that appeared successful, people emulated their lifestyle to what degree they could. Supportative elites forced this change, while supportative peasants often overthrew the elites--either way, violent conflict resulted that added to the chaos.

Puebloization ended in the late 13th century due to the great decline in Oasiamerican civilisation and the aforementioned crash in maize agriculture. Far South Fusanians carved few new cliff shrines and palaces and those that remained became exclusively used as funeral grounds and tombs. Often the people sealed them up when they perceived them as too full of spiritually powerful bodies. Pottery styles changed as well, moving away from Puebloization toward a more indigenous style.

Rituals shifted to exclusively open air, often atop hills or in some places raised platform mounds, all marked with the prior enclosures and central shrines. These appear to be an indigenous innovation despite occasional attempts to connect them to Oasiamerican, Mesoamerican, or even eastern North American or Amim moundbuilding [20]. Because these platform mounds needed to host dozens or hundreds of villagers in ritual dances and support a shrine, only the largest cities had them and they tended to be wide and low, never higher than 2 meters before the 14th century.

Wakashan and Chuma attacks devastated the coastal areas as these people themselves suffered from the drought and poverty. They seized great numbers of food and slaves and allegedly committed frequent acts of cannibalism against coastal villagers. Aside from Povuunga, the Wakashans or Chuma sacked every major coastal city in mid-late 13th century, sometimes repeatedly. Stories tell that in some places slaves became so worthless the Wakashans killed even young women and boys--otherwise prime slaves--in the street rather than abduct them. Many coastal areas became deserted and people moved further into the canyons and arroyos of the hills, marking a reversal of the prior coastal domination.

As in other coastal areas that fell under the Wakashan scourge, new Wakashan settlement took place. Chuma and Wakashan nobles took over and married into the clans of coastal towns, acquiring them as their property. In these areas they largely assimilated into the local culture as a result of the diversity of the Wakashan raiders, and even adopted the religion of the Quaoarists.

This drought resulted in Lake Pang returning to dry desert, yet not before causing immense suffering in the process. By the 1230s, the lake became too salty to drink, resulting in a rapid decline in the population of Khwanimat along with many other villages, yet people remained in the area subsisting on evaporated water and what little rainfall remained. The lake grew increasingly saline and receded faster and faster, gradually killing the fish in the lake and making anything but a sparse nomadism impossible as the lake vanished.

Desert peoples suffered greatly as with little water, their already marginal fields fell abandoned and their herds of animals competed for what greenery remained. The decline of trade destroyed opportunities for banditry, further impoverishing the people. They traded whatever they could--notably slaves and minerals--for food and other outside goods in an attempt to sustain their way of life. Many groups escaped this slave trade and retreated deeper and deeper into the desert where they lived little differently than their pre-agricultural ancestors did.

The city of Khwanimat vanished no later than 1250, enjoying barely a generation of prosperity (1200 - 1220). It left an impressive set of adobe ruins on the former shoreline of Lake Pang. Myths sought to explain the city's rapid rise and sudden decline, blaming the collapse of the city and vanishing of the lake on their excessive greed and adopting foreigners's morality that caused them to neglect proper ritual conduct. The spirits thus took away the lake they gifted to the people.

As a result of this chaos, the trade on the Turquoise Road greatly diminished. As the drought struck Aztatlan in addition to Fusania, few buyers remained for those goods that could be acquired. The port of Kosoi declined to a mere fishing village, supplanted regionally by other centers. Villagers who once hosted travelers turned to banditry and gained the name kwetkhal (ancestors of the infamous huixian [21] gangs of later centuries), a brotherhood of thieves in the mountains who preyed on travelers at first for survival but soon for enrichment and organised themselves into powerful confederations that repelled attempts to defeat them. These predatory activities alongside the natural disaster practically shut down the Turquoise Portage for nearly a century.

The city of Povuunga survived this crisis thanks to the sheer number of resources available to its leaders. While the population declined by half, the city led numerous successful wars and repelled numerous raids from the Wakashans, Chuma, and Tayuan. They pushed back to the Tayuan and rival Jiqi, seizing their wealth to aggrandise Povuunga even further despite the population decline. This strength and continuing prosperity in the face of collapse undoubtedly strengthened the city's claim to the centrality of Quaoarism. Wakashan legends claim the leaders of Povuunga in this era held "craftiness and spiritual power unlike any other" suggesting the presence of a human element. Even so, many members of Povuunga's confederation defected out of the city's constant demand for resources and soldiers.

Patai suffered even worse. Legend told that around 1260, corrupt rulers of the city rationed water to the commoners, but instead of dying of thirst, the people revolted and burned their own city to kill their oppressors. Its people dispersed into the desert and south along the coast where they pushed south into the lands of the Jinwu and Zhuban, groups they considered barbarous desert dwellers [22]. They subsisted thanks to their fog nets and plates, obtained through trade in slaves and by harvesting the few plant resources of their harsh desert land. Patai itself remained a small village until the end of the next century.

Ironically, the collapse of Patai and dispersion of nearby villages opened up much of the Chingan Peninsula to outside traders. Social connections formed before Patai's fall carried on even afterwards. The poverty of these people as well as the native Jinwu and Zhuban ensured a high price paid in coastal villages for simple goods such as food or preserved beverages. They sold their children and what little wealth they had--often turquoise--cheaply, with more foolish villages even selling their fog plates. Soon enough, the Tsumash Confederacy and Wakashans discovered the Chingan Peninsula's vast population of grey whales and inevitably started seeking bases for whaling [23].

The great drought of the 13th century dealt a brutal blow to an incipient and promising civilisation, yet it failed to destroy it. The people adapted to these conditions in whatever way they could, from new technologies like fog nets to new social structures that encouraged moderation in peace and war. The resources of this area and its location between Oasisamerica and Fusania ensured trade never fully died. Civilisation in this region merely grew dormant, awaiting better conditions that might allow it to truly blossom and fulfill its potential.

---
Author's notes

At long last, I FINALLY have completed the full introduction on the last area of Fusania, over 2.5 years after I started this timeline, although I've mentioned many elements of their culture and history in the past. The reason I waited so long is because it's a late-developing area that emerges because of largely external factors. Far South Fusania is of course Southern California, which has many diverse environments from the hottest desert in the world (Death Valley) to well-watered, relatively temperate riverbanks to high mountains.

This entry continues from Chapter 74 and covers most of the same material. It was split from the previous entry early on, which I decided to post first. The Chuma are a little insular compared to the other groups, but still very much Far South Fusanian in culture.

I've touched on the Patayans before, but I will cover them more in my subsequent chapter which will cover the Puebloans.

My Chinese transcriptions of South Fusanian indigenous names and toponymy are mostly Mandarin readings of Hokkien (except in pre-2021 chapters where I transcribed it in Mandarin), since I figure southern Chinese groups would be the ones to first encounter various Fusanian cultures.

As an interesting side note, this entry cover the only area of all Fusania that myself the author has ever visited in person (over a decade ago). It's a beautiful, yet harsh (all that desert and sun) environment for a civilisation to evolve in.

[1] - The Shahang Mountains are the Santa Lucia Mountains of Big Sur from a local Wakashan name meaning "southern highland". This line isn't just my own invention--noted California anthropologist Alfred Kroeber drew roughly the same line based on OTL cultures nearly a century ago, although this line between north and south was always in my drafts for years.
[2] - The highest air temperature is disputed in some sources but officially it's at Death Valley which I include in the region of Far South Fusania. Death Valley is routinely the hottest place in the northern hemisphere every summer
[3] - Vitis girdiana, the desert grape. Along with the California grape of the Central Valley (V. californica), it is one of two native grapes of the state. Given California's reputation for wine, it seemed like a natural choice (if a bit of a stretch in plausibility even by TTL's standards)
[4] - The California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera) and Parry pinyon (Pinus quadrifolia) respectively. The Yiweidang and Yuweidang correspond roughly to the Cahuilla and Serrano respectively, while the Haiyic peoples (also called Patayan for their archaeological culture) are equivalent to OTL Yuman-speaking people.
[5] - The Anquon River is the Colorado River
[6] - Lake Pang is Lake Cahuilla
[7] - The Yue Mountains are the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California, named for the Mandarin Chinese name for a prominent peak Mount Yue [Mt. San Antonio] which comes from its native name (Yoat) via a southern Chinese language
[8] - Specifically Datura wrightii, or sacred datura. It's an extremely powerful disassociative known for producing intense and disturbing imagery
[9] - Inspired by several Quaoar/Chingichngish stories of indigenous Californians, and left deliberately vague as the exact details both OTL and ATL would very by ethnic group
[10] - Quaoar as Xu Fu would be interesting for a more ASB TL, especially given that he supposedly crossed the eastern sea in the Qin Dynasty, not long before agriculture arose in Fusania. Needless to say TTL's pseudohistorians will have a field day with the idea that Xu Fu became known as Quaoar to the Fusanians.
[11] - Povuunga is Long Beach, CA
[12] - The Tayuan would be closest to the Luiseños of Orange County and northern San Diego County, sometimes accused of being warlike by neighbouring peoples IOTL. Their Chinese name comes from their word ataakhum meaning "people"
[13] - Akhachmi is San Juan Capistrano, CA and Qeish is Oceanside, CA
[14] - Taheich is Tehachapi, CA, while Kashtiq is very near Tejon Pass
[15] - The Chingan Peninsula is the Baja California Peninsula
[16] - The Gulf of Anquon is the Sea of Cortes/Gulf of California and the Anquon Delta is the Colorado Delta
[17] - Khwanimat is Mexicali, Baja California
[18] - OTL, Povuunga was probably not regarded as the birthplace of Quaoar outside of the general region in precolonial times (as is occasionally cited). This appears to be a 20th century as a neo-Traditionalist belief based on a mix of actual traditions and people rediscovering their heritage through anthropological texts (see this paper, I of course mean to offense to anyone who holds this/similar beliefs as their faith). I believe a phenomena as I describe--military and economic success combined with a cultural meme--could replicate this belief in the contexts of TTL.
[19] - See previous chapter. The Tsumash Confederacy is located on the Southern Channel [Tugang TTL] Islands, but are only a single group of the greater Chuma ethnicity.
[20] - While platform mounds are found in Oasisamerica, this would not be an element of Puebloization but instead an outgrowth of the sacred enclosures that seeks to be "apart" from the rest of the world. Platform mounds are of course a simple yet versatile design, but cultures build and use them differently--for instance, in some Mississippian cultures the top of the mound was (likely) forbidden to all but the priests, but in Far South Fusania the tops of the mounds are dance grounds used by the community while only the shrine interior is truly forbidden to the non-elite
[21] - After being filtered through southern Chinese languages, the native word "kwetkhal" (which TTL evolves to mean "mountain bandit") became "huixian" in (OTL's) Mandarin
[22] - The Jinwu and Zhuban correspond respectively to the OTL Kiliwa and Cochimi of Baja California. Both are Mandarin readings of exonyms (from Yuman languages) transcribed in southern Chinese languages. The former are the earliest offshoot of the Yuman peoples, the latter are one of the extremely distinct and marginal native Baja Californian cultures. TTL they remain similar to OTL due to their marginal, remote homeland.
[23] - The Baja [Chingan] Peninsula historically was a major breeding area for the grey whale--in the mid-19th century, modern whalers decimated this population in barely a decade.
 
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Thanks to Wayamese development, I wonder if that going to lead to the rest of north America native American cultures to developed at the same rate as well?
Somewhat. The Rocky Mountains [American Divides TTL] and the Great Basin hinder spread of ideas and domesticates, but inevitably it spreads. Chapters 16-19 summarise the effects on the rest of North America, but some areas are either too remote or the climate is too arid/tropical for any of it to spread. For instance, the Baja California natives I mentioned in the previous chapter live in too arid of an environment to bother taking up innovations from the north while the Mississippians of Georgia and Northern Florida (and the diverse groups of 1000-1600 Florida) already have a successful way of life that new innovations don't matter.

The most affected are the peoples living in the Plains (not necessarily ancestors of OTL's Plains Indians) who get different sorts of agriculture to experiment with, towey goats (mountain goats, more efficient than dogs and have wool), and for northerly groups (like the ATL Mandan), reindeer. The so-called "Upper Mississippian" (like the Oneota) of the western Great Lakes are also dramatically changed and are starting to farm domesticated Sagittaria (omodaka and river turnip) and other Fusanian crops in addition to Zizania rice. They've herded reindeer and goats for several centuries, since many northerly people of the Canadian Shield do as well.

As for developing at the same rate, I should note this TL is a spinoff from a setting I write hence why I set the POD in the 1st century AD which has the welcome side effect of letting me use at least some recognisable peoples from OTL. I would qualify the rate of development of the West Coast as a wank rather than ASB. My excuse is that OTL archaeological cultures of coastal southeastern Alaska/BC were very complex as they were 2,000 years ago, and if intruded on by something like a horticultural pastoralist reindeer-herding group like TTL's Athabaskans/Dena (who themselves end up pushing reindeer domestication further than either the Sami or Tungusic/other East Siberians by sheer luck), may be stimulated to develop in complexity quite rapidly. As much as I love it, I think Lands of Ice and Mice did the "hyper-development" at least as bad for the sake of artistic license.

I portray the Wayamese Empire as a half-myth, half-factual story and occasional note counter-arguments that deny the existance of Wayam as an empire (the truth is halfway in-between). Almost all of the characters would be considered by TTL's historians as factual, but subject to exaggeration. My guess is that it's plausible to have a state like Wayam exert regional hegemony on the basis of alliances, ideology, religion, wealth, and sheer innovative military might where even distant peoples subject themselves to the state and its governance simply to serve a prominent ruler. Eventually that facade collapses, but the remnants remain, and people dream of putting it back together in some way they seem fit.
How is Europe doing and will they have a part to play in this timeline?
The biggest impact on Europe TTL is oxwool, also known as qiviu or muskox pelt, which is the primary trade good of Greenland and Iceland alongside walrus ivory. It comes from Markland [Labrador], where the Greenlandic Norse have several trading posts (most prominently Venarfjord in northern Labrador) where they trade iron tools and other goods in exchange for both oxwool and the right to cut timber in the forests. Vinland (Newfoundland/nearby areas) is known but not interacted with much because of both sheer bad luck on the part of the expeditions and because the people in Vinland don't herd muskox compared to the people in Labrador who often trade for it. Helleland [Baffin Island] also has some Norse activity periodically for the sake of oxwool.

Oxwool is popular among the nobles of medieval Northern Europe as a warm and comfortable fur and has had a prominent impact on Iceland in particular where the politics and social structure have ended up rather different than OTL. Europeans mostly know associate oxwool with Iceland and Greenland, although the educated Europeans know it comes from lands west of Greenland. Despite this, there's no real rush for oxwool given the insane risk of braving the North Atlantic and Icelandic/Norwegian politics. Norway of course is enjoying her North Atlantic empire, although some wealth presumably trickles into Scotland as well.

I fully admit I have only vague ideas as to how this impacts medieval Norway (oxwool trade starts in bulk around the same time as the Norwegian civil wars) or Scotland, who had plenty of contentions with Norway in the 12-13th century. I do plan on covering the first impacts on the Old World, since a mercentile group like the Ringitsu who are growing addicted to trading gold and silver in exchange for Chinese/Japanese iron weapons and tools in Kamchatka is going to have an impact on the Ainu and Nivkh which will start the butterflies there much as a wealthier medieval Iceland will start butterflies in Europe.

But the full impact of Fusania's ATL history on Europe will not be seen for centuries to come, although I've hinted at it since I like the idea of marshy areas of Northern Europe like Finland experimenting with omodaka as a root crop.
I think you mislabeled the west and east prefectures. Great map.
I have left-right confusion, as I've mentioned in this thread (making this TL actually made me realize it). I've even found it in old worldbuilding material from years ago (mid-2010s) recently! Right now I can't fix the map (which also fixes an old map I forget to fix) since I've been having internet issues most of this month and get terrible bandwith. Said internet issues are making it difficult to use the USGS "National Map" and Google Earth, two other key tools I use for writing and making maps which is why I'm not using my difficulties with the internet to churn out the other maps I know I need to make.
You forgot to threadmark it. I'll comment more once I read through it again
I was more focused on getting it out. I also mislabeled it Chapter 74 since that's what it was before I split the material on the Chuma into its own chapter.
 
My Chinese transcriptions of South Fusanian indigenous names and toponymy are mostly Mandarin readings of Hokkien (except in pre-2021 chapters where I transcribed it in Mandarin), since I figure southern Chinese groups would be the ones to first encounter various Fusanian cultures.
I would recommend just keeping it in Hokkien or putting the Hokkien reading in parentheses to the side. The presence of consonantal syllable finals will at least feel like it is of greater fidelity to the original word, and so "stick out" less compared to the smoothed out syllables of Mandarin (in a TL filled with transcriptions of consonant-heavy PNW languages)
 
I would recommend just keeping it in Hokkien or putting the Hokkien reading in parentheses to the side. The presence of consonantal syllable finals will at least feel like it is of greater fidelity to the original word, and so "stick out" less compared to the smoothed out syllables of Mandarin (in a TL filled with transcriptions of consonant-heavy PNW languages)
That makes sense, although the Hokkien source I was using was a public domain dictionary from around 1900 so its system is slightly different than Peh-oe-ji. I'll probably spell it without tones because I'm both uncertain which would be most likely used to transcribe the word and because as countless European examples show and Hokkien speakers themselves in Taiwan show, transcriptions of unfamiliar languages by non-linguists always results in un-ideal transcriptions.

If I'm not wrong, the process would (as an example in general, not necessarily the scenario that's canon to TTL which I haven't really detailed in any case) be something like a Hokkien-speaking merchant writing down the names of places and peoples he encounters. Presumably the merchant writes in whatever vernacular he uses to write Hokkien (or maybe Classical Chinese which he'd use the Hokkien reading for) and thus becomes the source of notes a scholar writing in Classical Chinese to an educated audience. People would pronounce the words in their local dialect, with Mandarin predominating among the bureaucracy.

As a related topic, I might just start a thread on the general question of Chinese transcriptions when I have more time since a Chinese Age of Exploration is a common topic on this site.
 
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