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

dcharleos

Donor
The PoD isn't any particular moment in time. Rather, it's the development of a more advanced culture in the Mississippi River Basin earlier on. The two big notable differences however are the domestication of manoomin (wild rice) and the Three Sisters arriving in the region thousands of years earlier.

I can dig some soft AH.

Carry on.
 
They don't, strictly, need gunpowder to be militarily competitive. Gunpowder weapons are themselves still in their infancy, and handguns in particular are rare and not terribly advanced. They're a shock, certainly, but they're manageable.

If Misian metallurgy is up to the task of competing with European weapons and armor. The first two posts don't answer what state Misian metallurgical knowledge is in. That was the bigger disadvantage in this time period.
Basically the main advantages held by the conquistadors are guns, germs, steel and horses. The Misians, who have iron armor and weapons, are highly advanced in their metallurgy. Diseases were able to spread quite rapidly due to cities and greater interconnection, but at the same time the Misians managed to survive their first major wave of diseases with 16 million people to spare, a little over metropolitan France in the same period. The Misians currently lack guns and horses, which could be extra detrimental given the wide flat terrain.
 
Basically the main advantages held by the conquistadors are guns, germs, steel and horses. The Misians, who have iron armor and weapons, are highly advanced in their metallurgy. Diseases were able to spread quite rapidly due to cities and greater interconnection, but at the same time the Misians managed to survive their first major wave of diseases with 16 million people to spare, a little over metropolitan France in the same period. The Misians currently lack guns and horses, which could be extra detrimental given the wide flat terrain.
Iron is good. And since they're likely getting it from the Lake Superior deposits it's really good iron. Like, seriously, this is possibly the purest iron ore on the planet.

They should have time to adapt their tactics and start horse-breeding programs. With Cabot selling horses, they'll start to proliferate around the continent, and in any case disciplined armored heavy infantry can stand up to cavalry with the right tactics. Guns are trickier, but historically European powers were not averse to selling guns for trade goods, so they'll trickle into Misian territory as well.
 
Also I will admit some of my plans, particularly on the west coast, aren't entirely fleshed out and I may develop those as I go. That being said, I have pretty good long-term ideas for Misia, the eastern states, Mexico, Oasisamerica, and the Taino people, as well as a few other places that I think will make for excellent storylines.
 
Chapter 3: Guama's Lamentations
Chapter 3: Guama's Lamentations

37ed78b70633236518d0dc929ea4c5a6.jpg

“The men. The pale men who came from the Great Eastern Ocean. What did you say they were called?”

“Isapanoles, your majesty. That’s what they called themselves. The Isapanoles.”

“Tell me, what did they do again?”

“At first they came to trade. They established a little village in Ayiti. On the shore. To trade with us.”

The Taino man froze up. His eyes widened. He seemed like he was about to tear up, yet his face was bone dry.

“And, then what happened,” the emperor asked. “Why are there now thousands of Ayitian refugees on the shores of my kingdom?”

The man was shaking. His lips were open, but they were stuck quivering. The emperor rose from his throne and stepped down from the platform upon which it sat. He approached the speechless Taino man, sitting down on the cushion next to him and, placing his hand on his shoulder.

“My friend,” he said. “Guama, is it?” The Taino man nodded his head. “It is ok. You are safe here. You are under the protection of the emperor of the Kilsu, ruler of all of the Great Kingdom, protector of the Great River. Men of all nations know that there is no greater power. And now I must ask you, what did the Isapanoles do?”

“Y-y-your majesty. There may be no greater power in our world, but these men are not of our world. These men crossed the Great Eastern Ocean and landed in Ayiti. They rode giant antlerless deer and carried sticks that made smoke and fire that could kill you in an instant. Their armor and metallurgy is nearly as fine as Misian craftsmanship. After we wouldn’t accept their god they destroyed our island. A few dozen men brought Duhozemi to its knees, and countless more arrived on boats to destroy the rest of Ayiti. He committed terrible atrocities in the pursuit of our wealth. They enslaved and slaughtered and massacred countless innocent men, women, and children. They were the ones who started the disease that ravaged our world.”

The emperor paused for a moment. He needed to take a moment to absorb the information.

“Recently, from Sandusti, on the northern seas, we heard reports that there was a group of pale men settled among the Haudenosaunee who called themselves Ihnelish, men with sticks of fire and great antlerless wapitis. It is believed that they live and work peacefully with the Haudenosaunee. Do you think these men could be the same men?”

“I don’t know, your majesty. I was just a humble merchant of the Southern Seas before Kolombo arrived. They killed most of my family. I was lucky to save my daughter and bring her with me to Shawasha. I’ve only rarely heard stories about Haudenosaunee. I wouldn’t know what’s going on there, but if your descriptions are true, I would beware.”

***

“A series of great marble steps leads up a great mound to the grand palace. The palace appears to be made of wood, being painted mostly red and green with many details of blue and gold. Two golden statues of eagles adorn the entrance, which lies just behind a series of great red pillars. The inside is no less magnificent, with sunlight pouring through the great glass windows and fine silk carpets and curtains decorating the surfaces of the interior. The throne, a wide seat with satin cushions, sits atop a dark brown polished wooden platform. The emperor, a man who is rather youthful in appearance, is dressed in a gold robe of the same material. As he welcomed us into his throne room, he invited us to be seated on crimson cushions in front of a long dark wooden table with golden details. His servants, dressed similarly fancily, set down ceramic cups in front of each of us and filled them with a cup of yaupon. […] Indeed, all of the wealth, power, and glory of this great continent can be found here in the great city of Cahoqua.”
–Diary of William Brampton, first diplomatic mission to Kahoquah

***

With the return of Cabot to England after his second voyage, both King Henry VII and the Parliament were impressed by the goods brought back from Misia. Shortly after, the crown established a charter for the Misia-Takamcook Company, a joint-stock company designed to control the English outposts in the New World and manage their trade and economic activity. In March 1498, Cabot was sent once more to the New World, this time with a fleet of 20 ships, including settlers destined for the colony of St. John’s and the outpost of Cheektowaga, explorers and diplomats meant to venture further inland to establish greater ties to the Misians, and a five ships that would remain under Cabot’s command assigned with the task of exploring down the eastern coast of the continent. The entire fleet would stop at St. John’s on Takamkuk, where three of the ships would stop, leaving more settlers. These settlers included artisans, smiths, priests, and farmers, but most importantly included administrators as well, since this was to become the primary administrative center on the North American continent for the Takamcook-Misia Company. Twelve ships would make their way up the Wepistook River to Lake Ontario. The first stop was made at Irodenquah, a port in the Cayuga territory of the Haudenosaunee. At the port, more horses and firearms were unloaded and given to the Haudenosaunee. After satisfying the needs of the locals, the ships would make their way to Ongniara.

As some of the English would settle in Ongniara and Cheektogawa and others would board ships on Lake Eriron bound for Misia, the Haudenosaunee would make their own plans. Expecting the arrival of the Misians, the Haudenosaunee Grand Council had, in secret, made plans for war with the Wyandot on the other side of the lake, mainly occupying the peninsula to the west of the Ongniara River. Haudenosaunee forces had, with the horses and firearms from the first visit, begun training with the weapons, sharing the relatively small amount of supplies between them. Now, with more horses and more firearms, the Haudenosaunee could defeat their main military and economic rival once and for all.

The casus belli came on July 12. Five Englishmen had ventured across the Ongniara river into Wyandot territory looking to go hunting. Believing that their land was being intruded on, three of the men were shot to death with arrows. One would be wounded in the leg, and the one man who remained unharmed helped his friend back to the town to tell the news, with the wounded man dying from infection a few days later. This event would come to be known as the Ongniara Massacre, and it would provide the Haudenosaunee with the justification that they needed.

On July 16, 1498, before the sun had risen, Haudenosaunee warriors with support from vengeful Englishman rafted across the river with their horses, matchlocks, and even a few canons, and launched a surprise attack against against the Wyandot, easily capturing the towns of Nageah and Erige directly across Ongniara River. From both of these towns, the Haudenosaunee troops marched west to Sicantar located in the middle of the Wyandot Peninsula, attacking several smaller villages on the way. They would besiege the city on the twenty first and easily capture it. Following this victory, the force split up, with one half marching northwest through the center of the peninsula to attack Wawanosh in the northwest on the thirtieth while the other half marched southwest, attacking Sanoyane on August 5.

WTRF- Haudenosaunee-Wyandot War.png

Meanwhile, in Ongniara, the Haudenosaunee and their English allies had been preparing for another attack. Making use of the English ships left at the town, on July 31, the united English and Haudenosaunee force sent ships to blockade the city of Tecaronto to the north, a major Ontario port for the Wyandot. From the lake, English cannons were easily able to bombard the city walls, and the combined force landed on the beaches, easily pushing the Wyandot back and seizing the city, slaughtering many of the local inhabitants. More ships would arrive further east the following day at the nearby port of Oshawa, which would fall the same day. Following this success, the forces at both Tecaronto, Oshawa, and Wawanosh would march to the city of Ossassane, the Wyandot capital located in the north of the peninsula near Lake Karegnondi, which they attacked on August 7. The Wyandot would put up their largest defense of the war. They allowed the invading force to enter the city so that they would be forced to fight in the tight streets and alleyways, depriving the Haudenosaunee and English of the advantage they had in both guns and horses. The siege would last about a week to the fourteenth, at which point the consuls of the confederacy came forward to surrender over their starved and bloody city. In the end, the Haudenosaunee reigned victorious, controlling the entirety of Lake Ontario, the northern shores of Lake Eriron, and now had access to Lake Karegnondi to the west, providing them total control over the trade routes between the Misians and themselves as well as the northeastern coast.

As the Haudenosaunee expanded their empire and established Lake Ontario as their Mare Nostrum, the English fleet made their way through Lakes Eriron, Karegnondi, and Michigami, following Misia’s northern shores the whole way to the city of Shicaqua. Reaching the city, just like at any other Misian city, they were stopped and had their boats inspected by dock workers before paying in silver coins to dock at the port and receiving approval to wander the city and trade their goods.

The crew found easily the largest city that they had encountered on the continent thus far. However, much like everywhere else over the past several years, the city felt quite empty. The harbor seemed to stretch on for miles, yet only a rather modest amount of boats appeared to fill the docks, hinting at the greater splendor the city once held. Usually only a few dozen boats passed each day through the grand canal connecting the lake to the Misian hinterland. The market seemed to have room for twice as many colorful stalls as there were in actuality. However, not all was bad. A lot of food was quite cheap. Meat, most commonly in the form of a strange chicken-like bird known as wapipilia, and sometimes in the form of rabbit, duck, goose, or wapiti, was relatively inexpensive, as was a particular type of minnow (1).

A couple days later, the expedition met with a bureaucrat who worked for the Sipikapia, the “river keeper” who dictated who could or could not pass through the river into inland Misia. The leader of the expedition was William Brampton, an Englishman who had been staying in Cheektowaga and had become near fluent in the local dialect of the Haudenosaunee language. By Brampton’s side was Deganawidah, a talented Haudenosaunee man of the Onyotaka nation who was fluent in Misian and near fluent in English who was able to translate for Brampton.

“My crew and I request passage to the city of Cahoqua.”

“What is your name?”

“William Brampton.”

Wiliyam Pwameten, the man wrote down.

“And from which country are you sailing?”

“My crew consists of men from both the Haudenosaunee and England.”

“We receive frequent visitors from the Haudenosaunee Federation,” said the bureaucrat. “The same cannot be said for Ihnelan.”

“We come from across the Great Eastern Ocean.”

“Well, do you have a passport?”

Cabot had been told by the Haudenosaunee that anyone entering the land would need a certificate from the leaders of England to prove his identity and origin in order to travel upstream from the seaport. Out of his pocket, Brampton pulled out a piece of paper in English writing that had been delivered to him from England attesting to who he was, carrying the seal of King Henry VII. He handed it to the confused bureaucrat.

“I have never seen such writing.”

“It is written in English.”

The bureaucrat paused and thought for a moment.

“I cannot approve your entrance into the Great River. Stay here. I will have to consult with the River Keeper.”

After a few hours of waiting, the Sipikapia of Shikaqua arrived at the customs office. The Sipikapia and the bureaucrat spoke with one another while Deganawidah explained what was being stated to Brampton.

“These men? Who are they?”

“They call themselves the Ihnelish. They claim to come from Ihnelan, across the Great Eastern Ocean. They travel with the Haudenosaunee.”

“I heard of these men. Last year they were at the port of Sandusti. They were traveling with the Haudenosaunee and sold giant wapitis and powerful weapons.”

“Weapons?”

“Yes. Sticks that create loud noises and smoke and fire and shoot a little metal ball like an arrow. Fortunately there were not too many and the imperial government managed to buy them all out. Who knows what could have happened had they ended up in the wrong hands. Could have ended up with another Mikaquah.”

“Can we trust these people from this strange land?”

“They haven’t caused much harm here in the north so far, but according to the Tainos there are a bunch of similar pale men from the east with big wapitis and firesticks in the Southern Seas who destroyed their kingdom. They slaughtered and enslaved them all!”

The bureaucrat really did not know what a Taino was. He had heard of them in passing. But he understood the potential threat.

“And these are the same men?”

“Those men call themselves Isapanoles. These men call themselves Ihnelish. Perhaps they are of different clans, but we have no way of knowing.”

“Then what do we do? Should we not let them into our river?”

“The other Sipikapiaki and I have instructions from the Emperor of what to do should the Ihnelish, Isapanoles, or any similar pale eastern men come our way. They will not receive a Sipikapia’s seal on their passport. We are to escort them personally to Kahoquah. We are to thoroughly search these men and their belongings, and any weapons or armor that they possess will be placed on a separate boat. Their animals will be placed on another boat with only a caretaker brought along with them. These men and their ships are not to leave our site. If they wish to establish relations with the emperor, they will be able to do so. If they wish to spread their death and destruction, they will be unable to do so.”

The Sipikapia turned to Brampton.

“So, Wiliyam Pwameten, I know you understand the Haudenosaunee language, and so I will address you in it. You and your men will be given passage. However, you will be under strict imperial oversight. We will again search through every single one of your belongings to remove all weapons, armor, and animals and place them on separate ships that will be under our control. Imperial guards will be present on all of your ships. Whenever you leave your ships, you will be required to stay within our sights at all times. You will be escorted directly to the emperor in Cahoqua."

Two days later, the expedition was able to continue through the canal and down the river under strict imperial oversight. The Englishmen often sat on the deck and watched the scenery pass by. All around them were great fields of maize and manoomin paddies, crops that the English had grown used to seeing in Haudenosaunee land but were nonetheless fascinating. They passed by impressive towns and cities such as Peorua, cities that seemed far larger than most of the cities back home in English, albeit far emptier.

After only about two days on the Inokaspi River, the crew finally reached Cahoqua, the Great City at the heart of the Great Kingdom. After docking for the night and going to sleep, the crew woke up the following morning to see a massive city– one which stretched along the coast of the river and further inland, a city larger than any city that any of the crew had seen in Europe. Still, like the other cities, it was still relatively empty and quiet. Although there were a relatively small number of market stalls in the clean and beautifully cobbled plazas, they were incredibly well-stocked, and food prices were low like everywhere else– in fact, they were even lower here. As one travelled the cobbled streets up and away from the river, great mounds arose in the distance, on top of which stood great temples, mansions, and other important buildings. And in the middle, on a mound rising above the rest, was the imperial palace.

A series of great marble steps leads up a great mound to the great wooden palace, painted mostly red and green with many details of blue and gold. Two golden statues of eagles adorned the entrance, which lay just behind a series of great red pillars. The inside was no less magnificent, with sunlight pouring through the great glass windows and fine silk carpets and curtains decorating the surfaces of the interior. The throne, a wide seat with satin cushions, sat atop a dark brown polished wooden platform.

“Welcome,” said emperor Mamantwensah, whose words were translated into English for the crew by Deganawidah as he sat in his throne. “Please, take a seat,” he said, gesturing to the crimson cushions. “I was told of your arrival last night and I went to bed quite intrigued for this meeting.”

Brampton noticed that the emperor was a young man, no older than 25 (he was, in fact, 23). He was dressed in a gold satin silk robe. His servants, dressed similarly fancily in crimson, set down ceramic cups in front of each of us and filled them from a ceramic pot of hot yaupon sweetened with a tiny bit of maple syrup and a squeeze of raspberry as was custom.

“I am not trying to poison you. You are my guests, after all. I’m sure you will find our yaupon to be far finer than that which you have found in the Haudenosaunee lands,” the young emperor smirked.

Brampton cheekily grinned at Deganawidah as he sipped his tea. Deganawidah shrugged the teasing off and drank as well. Brampton immediately understood what the emperor was talking about. Haudenosaunee yaupon and even the yaupon closer to the Great Lakes were a bit more syrupy, not as fruity, and not as fine a quality. Deganawidah, as much as he disliked to admit it, found the same. There just was no competing with imperial quality.

“Now, I acknowledge that rules I laid out regulating your journey may have been restricting, but perhaps you were not all aware of a series of events in the Southern Seas that were, well, alarming to say the least.”

Brampton had learned, mostly from Cabot and his fellow crewmates, about Columbus’s adventures south in the Indies, learning about the great riches that had begun to pour into Spain, but not much else.

“I do not know much about it. I do know that the Spanish have launched several expeditions further south.”

“The Sapanish?” he pondered. “We have recently heard about a group of people called Isapanoles in the Southern Seas led by a man named Kolombo. They have big boats and came from across the Eastern Ocean. They ride large beasts like deers without antlers and carry sticks of fire. We heard that you have been selling these same things on the Northern Seas, yes?”

“Yes. Yes we have. We also come from across the ocean, but that’s not us in the south. That would be the Spanish. They come from Spain. I believe their efforts are being led by Columbus, this Colombo you speak of. We’re English. We come from England.”

“Well,” said the Emperor, “according to our sources, the Sapanish from Sapeyn have slaughtered, massacred, and enslaved countless people on the island of Ayiti. Their refugees now live all over our southern shores. We have been told that they have spread plague throughout our land as well.”

“Well I don’t know about all that, but I certainly don't rule it out.”

“Well then, was that you or not?”

“I already said, we’re English.”

“How can I trust you? How do I know that you’re not allies or spies? How do I know that you’re not just gonna do the same thing to me as you did to Guacanagari? That Kahoquah won’t burn like Duhozemi? That Mihsiwahk won’t just become another big Ayiti?”

“Look at me,” Brampton said. “I’m unarmed. All of our guns and armor are in your boats. We’re here to trade. How do we know we’re not here as your prisoners? As your slaves? After everything we risked when we left our families behind in England!”

“Well then, we shall see. Guama!”

In a purple satin cloak entered a man with much darker skin than any of the people Brampton had seen thus far. He could see that the man had a stern look and a hardened face covered in red paint and beads around his neck. The man took off the robe, revealing his muscular, shirtless body underneath. He realized that the staff he had carried in was actually a painted, iron-tipped spear. The man came up to the table and examined the faces of the men.

“¡Voy a matarte!” he shouted. “¡Voy a matarte! ¡Tú y todos los demás infieles!”

“What is he saying?” Brampton asked his men.

“I don’t know,” the Onyotaka responded. “I assumed this was something in your language.”

Brampton didn’t flinch. He wasn’t scared. The language sounded familiar, but he was not quite sure what the man was saying. If anything, he was confused. Maybe even sympathetic. He didn’t know what he was shouting, but he saw the hint of tears in his eyes. Guama noticed that there was no apparent fear or horror in his pale face, paler than even the pale men who destroyed his home. His hard expression melted.

“It’s not them,” Guama stated, starting to break down. “It wasn’t them, he said, tearing up. These were not the men who killed my people.”
_______________________________________
1- The smaller population meant that there was an overabundance of food. Minnows are frequently used in manoomin paddies as mentioned in Chapter 1. Because the demand for manoomin had gone down, many manoomin farmers found it more profitable to sell their excess fish.
 
Last edited:
Oooooh, this is really, really good stuff.
Absolutely top-shelf entertainment. I'm already addicted.

While I believe you have everything planned out well, and I must say I cannot fathom what all of this - including the last turn - means for Misia in the short or middle run, I have been wondering what this easy and thorough conquest of the Wyandot, and the influence of their English allies, might mean for the internal political structures of the Haudenosauneee. Much as I like their "democratic" structure IOTL and probably here as well so far (there were talks about councils meeting and deciding at least), such fast conquest and inspiration from ambitious monarchic England might mean their political model could go down the "Roman path", centralise with imperialism and autocratise... But this probably depends on their relations with Misia, too, and with how apparently quite China-like monarchic imperial Misia as the continent's role model is going to fare in all this.
 
Oooooh, this is really, really good stuff.
Absolutely top-shelf entertainment. I'm already addicted.
Thank you!

While I believe you have everything planned out well, and I must say I cannot fathom what all of this - including the last turn - means for Misia in the short or middle run, I have been wondering what this easy and thorough conquest of the Wyandot, and the influence of their English allies, might mean for the internal political structures of the Haudenosauneee. Much as I like their "democratic" structure IOTL and probably here as well so far (there were talks about councils meeting and deciding at least), such fast conquest and inspiration from ambitious monarchic England might mean their political model could go down the "Roman path", centralise with imperialism and autocratise... But this probably depends on their relations with Misia, too, and with how apparently quite China-like monarchic imperial Misia as the continent's role model is going to fare in all this.
Keep in mind that at this point the English monarchy isn't directly involved in the war. It's not even the whole of the Misia-Takamcook Company. It's basically the Haudenosaunee and the Englishmen living among them. The Haudenosaunee at this point have a pretty similar political structure OTL despite being more technologically advanced with a higher population, although it labels itself as a Federation rather than a Confederacy. That being said, the conquest of the Wyandot and their incorporation into their state is something to look out for. I plan to go more into the countries east of Misia soon and expand upon how everything effects the Haudenosaunee.
 
I think this particular update is one of my favorite things I have written on this forum. At first I was unsure how to handle the initial confrontation between the English and the emperor, and particularly how word of the Isapanoles in the Caribbean would effect Mamantwensah's treatment of the Ihnelish. I think Guama provides a crucial element to the story that I think was missing from Tahkoxia. One of my goals in this TL is to be able to both create an effective TL about alternate native civilizations while also incorporating and portraying actual indigenous narratives, including the pain faced by groups like the Taino, who are often just seen as a footnote in American history books as the people who met with Columbus. While obviously my account is a fictionalized version of the actual events, I think tying in this often overlooked element of reality is important. I think one of the best parts of alternate history is being able to re-contextualize actual historical events and put them into perspective. While the passages involving Guama at the beginning and end of the chapter are brief, I think they are absolutely crucial, both narratively for the timeline and for accomplishing a goal of what alternate history should do. At least that's my perspective anyway and why I wrote this the way I did.

For the next chapters I'm not sure exactly what order to go in. Several things I want to discuss are as follows:
-Cabot's journey down the Atlantic Coast and the politics of the Haudenosaunee and the rest of the region.
-Further developments within Misia following English contact.
-The development of Takamcook.
-A more in-depth exploration of the Taino diaspora.

Again, I'm not sure which order to go in, so feedback is appreciated.

I do have plans both for Mexico and Europe, but for now I see that as sort of being part of Act II.
 
Last edited:
Hey guys!
So I just wanna say I am really pleased with the popularity of this new TL. I wrote chapters 1 and 2 a while ago as well as parts of chapter 3, which I decided to complete after seeing the success of this TL thus far. I am currently working on the next chapter, but unfortunately I have a busy weekend ahead of me, so the writing of this chapter will be on hold. In the meantime, here's a teaser/rough draft of what I have so far:

***

Tekesta was one of the largest cities on the eastern seaboard, and perhaps the most diverse on the continent, primarily competing with Shawasha in that respect. It sat near the tip of the Pikate peninsula between the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the South Misia Sea. It was built on a relatively flat piece of land between the swamps to the west and the hurricane-prone coastline to the east. The city is believed to have been founded by the Hileni Dynasty in 109 AD as an outpost, although the dynasty would come to conquer the entirety of the peninsula around 80 years later. Still, the swampy peninsula was often difficult to control and was never fully assimilated to Misian culture. Throughout the history of the Misia, the peninsula would go through periods of Misian control, partial Misian control (often centered around either the far north of the peninsula or just near outposts around Tanpa and Tekesta), or full independence, in which local tribes would fight for dominance. As of the time of European arrival, the Timuqua controlled the north and the Calusa dominated the south. While the Calusa tribe originated in the southwest portion of the peninsula, they moved their capital to Tekesta around 100 years prior, using their advantageous position to become quite wealthy. Although now the plurality of the population was ethnically Calusa, there were also significant populations of Misians, Tainos, Timuquas, Mayans, and even various Algonkian coastal peoples. And finally, Cabot was about to arrive at its coast.
As he rounded the barrier islands, he noticed that, like every other port city he had visited on the continent, the colorful docks of Tekesta seemed to be far larger than they needed to be for the number of boats that it held. And as Cabot pulled up to the dock as he did elsewhere on the east coast, he heard shouting in a language that he did not understand.

“Nutaq,” he asked his Beothuk companion, “ask Atemus what they’re saying.”

Nutaq turned to their multilingual Lenape friend, asking him in Wabanaki what the men at the dock were shouting in Calusa.

“They say we can’t dock here. They say no Isapanoles are welcome.”

“Why not?”

The Beothuk Nutaq asked the Lenape Atemus in Wabanaki, who asked the Calusa-speaking men in their native tongue, who then answered him, prompting Atemus to turn back to Nutaq, and Nutaq to say to his Italian friend in English:

“We know what you are doing in Ayiti and Cubao.”

“What are Ayiti and Cubao?”

“They’re big islands in the Southern Seas that grow a lot of spices. They’re ruled by the Taino.”

“Who are the Taino?”

“They live all over the sea on a bunch of islands. Cubao and Ayiti are the two largest. The Taino sail all over, selling their spices everywhere and trading across the Southern Seas. You can find them in basically any southern port.”

“And who are the Isapanoles?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never heard of them. But they sure seem to have bothered a lot of people, and they sure left much of an impression. A lot of people down here usually don’t hold much sympathy towards the Taino. They’re kind of seen as greedy merchants by some, so whatever the Isapanoles did must have been really frightening.”
 
Loved the teaser!

I don't have feedback on what you should do first because I'm eagerly and patiently awaiting all of it :) whatever suits you best.

But there ARE some thoughts that crossed my mind. One appraisal that chimes in with your reflection on your last update, and a question.
First the appraisal:
What I loved (and the next update shows more hints of that) is how you managed to convey very palpably how people's perceptions and judgments are constructions, based on what they have and can grasp the world with. Language, knowledge frames etc.: While the joke about how the Misians write down names in their own orthography has become a bit of a running gag, it's still funny, but you really managed to convey that perceptions of the "Ihnelish" or "Ispanaoles" are not just translations of "English" and "Spanish", but carry different - and not yet entirely determined - meanings and associations, just like the first explorers grasped only very vaguely what was ahead of them. Even though this is "soft AH", as one board member aptly called it - and I think that's right, because by hard academic measures of plausibility, one might question whether a PoD so deep in time would not butterfly e.g. the Haudenosaunee federation/confederacy and scatter the tribes in completely different parts of the country unrecognisable to us, including their namings -, you were able to show us very convincingly how we often construe / misconstrue others, and how first contacts across such wide cultural gaps are of course even more of this quality.

Now the question:
How are Misian social microstructures shaped?
The reason why I ask is another interesting aspect of your tale and the underlying logic I reconstructed (misconstructed? correct me if I'm wrong!):
You spoke about food being very cheap across Misia. And you've told us about how the Misian Emperor keeps on allotting the land of those who died of the pandemic to other (presumably landless) peasants.
Now, I could construct the latter as the cause of the former, in terms of a very simplified economic policy:
Because land keeps getting allotted anew, the deaths do not cause land to lie fallow in great quantities, therefore keeping the supply side of agriculture stable while lower population levels cause the demand side to decrease. That would be an explanation for the low prices.
Now, this is a very oversimplified view of course, and I don't know if this is underlying your reasoning here. Certainly, it is a dynamics which would slow down and stop at some point in time, but we need not have reached that yet. But for it to work at all in the first place, we must assume that
a) either the pandemics always kills entire wider families / smalles economic agent units or
b) land is being taken away by the Emperor's administration from families / smallest economic agent units who still have people who could work it (albeit fewer than before) and allotted to others who have more workforce.
I assume b) would be highly controversial, so I'll go with a).
Therefore my question:
How are Misian social microstructures shaped?
Because if we assume that they are similar to OTL's of that region and space - which of course we should not! for their society is hugely different from OTL's... -, then pretty large clans would dominate. This means that either entire lineages are wiped out for the above-mentioned policy to work - or social microstructures are much smaller than IOTL. If Misians are, for example, basically organised around "core micro-families" like in OTL's 20th century US (parents and children mostly), then the above works smoothly (except that you also need someone to look for orphans etc.). The larger their core social units, the more the above-mentioned policy runs into trouble.
But let's detach this from the question of agricultural policy, and just leave the question standing as it is, because it is interesting in and of itself.
 
Hey guys. Just thought I’d put this here: does anyone have any experience/advice when it comes to writing battle scenes (especially in the colonial period). A lot of the specifics of warfare and tactics are admittedly a weak spot for me so any words of advice are appreciated.
 
Woah, loving the idea of this so far. It'll be really interesting to see if any colonialism takes place or if they can successfully repel the Europeans, and I was wondering if you have thought about the situation of the West Coast of America and whether it has sufficient resistance to avoid colonialism.
 
This is my attempt at a Mississippian Cradle of Civilization timeline. Thoughts?
Very good I hope that Spain gets its arse kicked and England has good relations with the locals more broadly provided viable states survive plagues don't always turn out badly for the survivors. The loss of population in Europe led to consolidation of land and wealth for investment and increased the value of labour and its mobility. All of which helped economic growth and agricultural reform. In the longer term
 
Last edited:
Chapter 4: The Savages
Chapter 4: The Savages

WTRF- Eastern North America in 1492.png

(yeah I know I already used this image just felt like it would be useful to throw up again)
While the Haudenosaunee conquered the Wyandot and Brampton’s expedition set out to explore what was still believed at the time to be Cathay, Cabot’s third expedition brought him down the east coast of the continent.

Arriving in St. John’s in the Spring of 1498, he brought more settlers to the colony. While staying in the town, he met with a man by the name of Nutaq, a Beothuk man who had learned English over the past two years living among the English and also had strong knowledge in several of the nearby Wabanaki dialects of the mainland. After toasting at the English tavern over a small glass of maple liquor, the Italian and the Beothuk went off to lead the expedition of Englishmen down the eastern coast.

While most of the far northern coastal towns were relatively small, the first sizable yet modest port cities could be found at the Mikmaq town of Eelsetcook and the Peskotoma town of Sipayik. Using Nutaq as his translator he established relations with the people who lived in the towns. From there, he made his way to the larger cities of Cadeskit and Machigon further south, engaging in the same outreach. Cabot noted that the region had vast forests and was rich in lumber. Additionally, it was noted that while some staple crops like manoomin were grown, the region seemed to specialize primarily in fish, lumber, maple syrup, grapes, berries, and furs, which it frequently sold to those living further south in exchange for staple food crops, tobacco, manufactured goods, and more. It was this trade that brought men like Atemus, a multilingual Lenape merchant from further south, to the port of Machigon. After much persuasion and a bottle of musky wine, Atemus agreed to join Cabot and Nutaq on their journey south.

The stop was Mashowomuk, a town larger than any of the previous ones they had visited, in the land of the Massachusetts, one of many small independent states in the area. Most of these smaller states to the northeast of the Lenape had their own dialects, most used the Munsey dialect of Lenape as a lingua franca due to the historic dominance of their neighbor throughout history. Further west were the lands of the Lenape which were dominated primarily by two states– the Munsey in the north based out of Manhattan and the Unamy in the south based out of Sakimauchin. Both cities were some of the largest on the eastern seaboard, sitting on the mouths of two rivers that led to a vast, fertile hinterland. With both rivers going north, they also both provided a means by which to trade with the Haudenosaunee, especially in the case of the Munsey. The fertile lands controlled by the Lenape were also useful for syrup and fruits, but were also suited to an even wider variety of crops, including corn, beans, squash, barley, and a wide variety of other foods.

The lands further south, by comparison, were more swampy by the coast. While these wetlands were useful for specialized manoomin cultivation, most of the population was concentrated in a highly dense hinterland, primarily growing tobacco and the three sisters, importing their wine and syrup from further north. The two largest coastal cities in this region that Cabot visited were the city-state of Chesapeake at the mouth of the bay of the same name and the city of Werocomoco, the capital of the Tsenecommoca federation, one of the most populous and powerful of the coastal states.

While much of the coast as he continued south he found to be largely swampland, he found larger cities where the small coastal states gave way to the Misian portion of the Atlantic coast. In this area, he found that Kiawah and Yamacraw were two large cities. In these cities, had found large quantities of any good he could want– yaupon, cocoa, wine, fruit, syrup, spices, and all of the riches he could possibly imagine. While at the port of Yamacraw, he showed a passport, hoping to be allowed up the small river of the same name, but after being unable to gain access, decided it was a waste of time to bother with customs and continue south after more trading.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating destinations he would explore, however, would be the Pikate peninsula.

Tekesta was one of the largest cities on the eastern seaboard, and perhaps the most diverse on the continent, primarily competing with Shawasha in that regard. It sat near the tip of the Pikate peninsula between the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the South Misia Sea. It was built on a relatively flat piece of land between the swamps to the west and the hurricane-prone coastline to the east. The city is believed to have been founded by the Hileni Dynasty in 109 AD as an outpost, although the dynasty would come to conquer the entirety of the peninsula around 80 years later. Still, the swampy peninsula was often difficult to control and was never fully assimilated to Misian culture. Throughout the history of the Misia, the peninsula would go through periods of Misian control, partial Misian control (often centered around either the far north of the peninsula or just near outposts around Tanpa and Tekesta), or full independence, in which local tribes would fight for dominance. As of the time of European arrival, the Timuqua controlled the north. After a brief stay Osachit, Cabot would recount in his journals that the city was quite similar to the nearby Misian cities, even possessing a large Misian population. The Calusa, meanwhile, dominated the south of the peninsula. While the Calusa tribe originated in the southwest portion of the peninsula, they moved their capital to Tekesta around 100 years prior, using their advantageous position to become quite wealthy. Although now the plurality of the population was ethnically Calusa, there were also significant populations of Misians, Tainos, Timuquas, Mayans, and even various Algonkian coastal peoples.

And finally, Cabot was about to arrive at its coast.

As he rounded the barrier islands, he noticed that, like every other port city he had visited on the continent, the colorful docks of Tekesta seemed to be far larger than they needed to be for the number of boats that it held. And as Cabot pulled up to the dock as he did elsewhere on the east coast, he heard shouting in a language that he did not understand.

“Nutaq,” he asked his Beothuk companion, “ask Atemus what they’re saying.”
Nutaq turned to their multilingual Lenape friend, asking him in Wabanaki what the men at the dock were shouting in Calusa.
“They say we can’t dock here. They say no Isapanoles are welcome.”
“Why not?”
The Beothuk Nutaq asked the Lenape Atemus in Wabanaki, who asked the Calusa-speaking men in their native tongue, who then answered him, prompting Atemus to turn back to Nutaq, and Nutaq to say to his Italian friend in English:
“We know what you are doing in Ayiti and Cubao.”
“What are Ayiti and Cubao?”
“They’re big islands in the Southern Seas that grow a lot of spices. They’re ruled by the Taino.”
“Who are the Taino?”
“They live all over the sea on a bunch of islands. Cubao and Ayiti are the two largest. The Taino sail all over, selling their spices everywhere and trading across the Southern Seas. You can find them in basically any southern port.”
“And who are the Isapanoles?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never heard of them. But they sure seem to have bothered a lot of people, and they sure left much of an impression. A lot of people down here usually don’t hold much sympathy towards the Taino. They’re kind of seen as greedy merchants by some, so whatever the Isapanoles did must be really frightening.”
Isapanoles. Spagnole? Spaniards? Caboto had heard tales of the Genoan sailor leading the Spanish expeditions into the (still thought to be East) Indies. Was it really Columbus of whom they were so frightened? He had to find out. This city at the southeastern tip of the continent compelled him.
“Here’s the plan,” he said. “We’ll sail away for a bit and then anchor by barrier island at night. We’ll row to the docks and I’ll buy some local clothes as soon as I can to blend in. I want to know what’s going on.”

***
In the cover of night, Cabot rowed to shore with Nutaq, Atemus, and two other Englishmen. After making landfall just south of the city center wearing a plain brown cloak to disguise, the five men made their way north.

At night, the city was still busy. Lanterns lined the limestone streets, lined with limestone buildings and colorful curtains and tapestries. At this time, spices, fruits, yaupon, silks, and other goods were no longer being sold, but several market stalls remained open belonging to street food vendors seeking to serve the nighttime crowd. Cabot couldn’t stop looking around him as he passed by the port, seeing all of the people and sights and colors and cultures and–

“Are you ok?” Atemus said in the Calusa language, helping up the man who had stumbled as Nutaq bumped into him.

The stumbling man stood up. He seemed relatively disheveled with bloodshot eyes. All of a sudden, the man locked eyes with Cabot and charged towards him, shouting at him as he grabbed his cloak. Cabot was really only making out the word “Isapanol”, which he said with rather slurred speech. The man began trying to punch Cabot, although did not have enough strength for the punches to land significant damage. At that moment he pulled out a small knife from his pocket, when all of a sudden another hand came forward and held the knife-wielding hand back.

“Agwey!” the other man shouted, followed by several other words with which he was first reprimanding before speaking to him in a kinder, gentler tone.
He then turned to the three men, speaking in Calusa, which would be translated by Atemus.
“Please forgive my brother,” he said. “Agwey hasn’t been the same since Duhozemi fell to the Isapanoles.”
Cabot thought for a second.
“I’ve heard mention of the Isapanoles. I’m not one of them. I am a man from Venice, sailing on behalf of England. Who are the Isapanoles? What did they do?”
After Atemus translated the sentence, he heard a lot of shouting coming from Agwey and his brother trying to quiet them.
“How about you join us at the tavern? It will take some time to explain.”

The seven men sat together on cushions surrounding a low palm wood table. In the center of the table was placed a small bowl of fluffy-looking whitish objects. Abey, Agwey’s brother, explained that they were covered in sea salt with the intention of making the customers thirstier to buy more drinks. Abey ordered a round of drinks for the table (except for his brother, for whom he ordered a cup of yaupon with honey), which were brought back in rather plainly-painted ceramic cups.

“So what is this?”
“It’s called balche. Popular drink on Ayiti and across the Southern Seas. It’s made from tree bark and honey. We used to drink it in Duhozemi, and for Agwey here it’s how he remembers home.”
“Where is Duhozemi?”
“To the south. It was the capital of Ayiti, a great island kingdom and a great center of trade, culture, and our way of life.”
“And what was that like?”
“Peaceful. Don’t let my brother’s drunken anger fool you. Ayiti and the other Taino lands were peaceful places. Sure, we sometimes had a dispute here and there and had to fight over trade routes. Sure, there was a bit of a slave trade. But in general, we resolved everything peacefully. There wasn’t that much crime. We all knew that the zemi were there watching over us.”
“And the Isapanoles? They ended it all?”
“Yes. Kolombo arrived a few years ago. Six years I believe. He was their casecua. Originally the Isapanoles came in peacefully. We got along. Then they started trying to make us abandon the ways of the zemi and Yucahu and Atabey and push their own religion onto us. We resisted, and so Kolombo overthrew our casecua and slaughtered and enslaved countless innocents across the island.”
“Where did they come from?”
“They called their homeland Isapanya. They claim it’s somewhere across the Great Eastern Ocean. They travelled on big ships with sails and flags. They rode big deer-like beasts called cabayos and carried long, fiery weapons that created smoke.”
Cabot paused for a moment.
“I know the people of whom you speak. I have corresponded with Kolombo. I used to live in the land of Spagna for several years before I left for England. I’m not one of them though, and if what you say about them is true, then that is horrible.”
Abey’s eyes looked up for a moment, contemplating. He then turned back to Atemus and Cabot.
“Who did you say your people were again?”
“Well, I consider myself a Venetian, but now I am sailing with the English.”
“Are the Inlis friends with the Isapanoles?”
“I mean, it depends. They do trade and have relations with one another although they have fought in the past.”
“Do you think that the English could go to war with the Spanish again? Do you think they could help us return home?”
Cabot paused again.
“I don’t think so. I don’t think the king of England is interested in starting a war with Spain over your homeland.” In truth, he knew that the English by and large would not care about a pagan people being conquered by a Christian kingdom and that even if the English did seize any of the islands captured by the Spanish that they would sooner take it over themselves than return it to the Indians.
“I thank you for your sympathies,” Abey said. “It’s been a difficult several years. Agwey lost his wife and children. We’ve been outsiders in this strange new land. Even though the Calusa are taking the possible Isapanol threat seriously, the Taino refugees still aren’t treated like everyone else. Unfortunately you will probably have to leave. The Calusa are not taking very kindly to foreigners.”
Cabot pondered for another moment.
“Can I ask you for one favor then?”
“Depends what it is?”
“Do you know where I can purchase a map of the Southern Seas?”

***
Cabot was now far from the mainland. He had sailed southeast from Tekesta through the Bahamas towards the island of Ayiti, sailing against the prevailing wind currents as he had been doing along the coast. He soon saw a large group of gulls above him flying off into the direction of the rising sun. Not long after, he saw two great limestone pyramids rising in the distance, not too dissimilar in color from the architecture he saw in the Pikate peninsula. A minute later, he saw a ship bearing a flag that he immediately recognized as a symbol of the united crowns of Castile and Aragon. The ship passed by his own, and he soon landed at the harbor of Duhozemi. He shouted in Castilian:

“My friends! I sail on behalf of the King of England. I come in peace to speak and to visit your settlement.”
The ship was able to dock at the harbor, resembling those found along the coasts of Spain. It was soon boarded by Spanish men.
“And who are you?”
“Juan Caboto. I come from Venice although I lived in Spain for a number of years. I now sail on behalf of the English crown.”
“You’re coming from England?”
“Yes. We have a colony up north– the settlement of St. John’s on the island of Takamcook. I have actually corresponded with Admiral Colombo about it.”
“Well you’re in luck. The admiral has actually returned recently from a journey and is at the harbor today if you wish to speak to him.”
Cabot suddenly perked up. He was pleasantly surprised.
“I appreciate the opportunity.”

Cabot was led through the streets. While in the distance he could see the limestone pyramids, he noticed that the area he was passing through was distinctly Spanish, containing houses and shops and streets and plazas reminiscent of those that he had seen during his time in Valencia, Seville, and Lisbon. This gave way to an area of limestone buildings reminiscent of Tekesta. Past these buildings he finally reached a large, limestone palace, entering it and being led into what must have been the throne room. There, he saw a group of dark-skinned female servants held in shackles with palm-frond fans, and on the throne in the middle, sitting on what appeared to be the skin of a great spotted beast, sat a light-faced man, not too dissimilar from those in his native northern Italy.

“So, Giovanni Caboto. I’ve been receiving your letters. What a pleasure it is to finally meet you.”
“Who are these women?”
“It’s rather hot here. I figured I’d have a few of the locals help me out.”
“I must say,” Cabot said, “I’m impressed with what you have done with this place.”
“Of course. Conquering the city was quite easy. But breaking through the savage nature of these pagan brutes was quite difficult. We’re still waging a campaign across the island to deal with the Indio problem. All the while we’re beginning to establish ourselves on several other islands.”
“Have they been turned to Christ?”
“Many yes. But not most. They’ve been forced to go the way of the sword. Although it seemed that the Lord had already smitten most of the pagans himself. Of course, some such as the whorish women around me are becoming Christianized and civilized as we speak.”
Cabot felt his gut turn. He knew that there was no greater cause than spreading the word of Christ. But he remembered the two Taino men, the two pagan men, the two human men that he had spoken to at the tavern in Tekesta. He remembered the pain and suffering in Agwey’s eyes. He remembered his fond interactions with the non-Christian Midewins of the mainland, men who were just as kind and soulful as any Christian man in Europe. He could not stand against Christ, nor could he get behind the enslavement of the Tainos.
“Are there more of them here? The Tainos?”
“Ah the Indios? Well here most of them have been killed, some have abandoned their pagan ways and found Christ, and many have fled to other lands. Although we do have some slaves here and are capturing more every day as we continue to conquer the eastern portion of the island.”
Cabot didn’t respond.
“But that’s enough about me. Tell me about your expeditions. You claim to have discovered an island called Takamcook, established a settlement called St. John’s, created outposts in the land of the Haudenosaunee, and are beginning to initiate trade in Cathay. How is that?”
“I visited a port called Sandusti on their northern shores on my previous voyage. I recently visited parts of the eastern coast and another expedition is currently seeking to establish contact with the emperor of Cathay.”
“I see.”
“And on my journey I have actually met a couple of people up north who call themselves the Taino. They claim they come from this island. I met them in a kingdom called Calusa.”
“Oh really?”
“Yes. The kingdom did not allow us to enter the harbor because they thought we were Spaniards. It seems that you are really making a reputation for yourselves.”
“Good. They should learn to fear Christ.”
“They don’t fear Christ. They fear you. On this island you’re successful, but look around. These people despise you! They won’t let you anywhere near their ports! Do you really think the crown of Castile and Aragon will accept this?”
Columbus slowly stood up from the throne and then walked towards Caboto.
“Listen. I am here for three things– to spread the word of Christ, to spread the glory of Spain, and most importantly, to find gold and harvest spices to sell. The world revolves around wealth. As long as I keep supplying bullion to the Spanish treasury and selling spices to Europe, everything that I do will be righteous. Do you understand me? I don’t care how many of these worthless infidels die! These pagans have been given a chance again and again to accept Christ. Those who have done so have been shown mercy. Those that resist will be put to the sword. And to those that survive, their choice is either to submit to Christ or submit to the Christians. That is the choice I give them.”
Cabot turned to leave and began to walk away.
“Going so soon?
Cabot froze.
“Will I be receiving another letter?”
Cabot turned around, walked over to Columbus, and spit in his face.
“Burn in hell, scum.”
He turned again and left.

He made his way back to the harbor. He noticed that working by the dock were several children with dark faces. They were shirtless, and he could easily see their ribs..
“Would you like passage on my ship?”
“We’ve been told to stay here and work?” one of the children answered in broken Spanish.
“You won’t have to take their orders any more. Come. We’re going to Tekesta.”
“Where is that?”
“Far away from here and far away from the Isapanoles.”

The four children agreed to hop on board the ship. Cabot stopped briefly at Tekesta, brought the children over in the night, and told them about the tavern where they could find other Taino exiles.
As he watched them run off in the distance, Cabot was still conflicted. It was the nature of the Christian man to be better than the other men of the Earth. But was this right? The cruelty? Slavery? Slaughter? Was it right to release these children in a place far from the Spanish but damn their immortal souls to eternity in hell?
Cabot did not know the answer.
 
What a difference appearing "civilized" makes. To Cabot, these are clearly a civilized, if pagan, people, and as such what Columbus is doing turns his stomach even as he worries about their immortal souls. I think that's going to be the reaction of many back home in Europe, which can only be a good thing.
 
The first half of this chapter was excellent but the second half with columbus felt a little empty, the conversation was a little lacking on the what was happening, it felt like I was reading a script rather than a scene in a book if that makes since, I would also recommend you space out the sentences a bit because currently the words the characters are speaking are blending together with the non spoken words.
 
The first half of this chapter was excellent but the second half with columbus felt a little empty, the conversation was a little lacking on the what was happening, it felt like I was reading a script rather than a scene in a book if that makes since, I would also recommend you space out the sentences a bit because currently the words the characters are speaking are blending together with the non spoken words.
Thanks! I understand the feedback. I admit that I kinda rushed through that last part as I was writing it. I'll probably go back and revise that section to make it better. I felt like something was missing when I wrote it and I'll probably go back and change it.
 
Chapter 5: Separation and Consolidation
Chapter 5: Separation and Consolidation

In the aftermath of Cabot’s third voyage, word began to spread about the treatment of the Taino people under the Columbian regime. At the time of the voyage, most mainland North Americans were still not aware of the actions of the Spanish. With several natives of the northeastern seaboard on board the ships that went south to Tekesta and the Caribbean, they came into contact with the Taino and their stories. Atemus of Sakamauchin, the multilingual Lenape merchant who travelled alongside Cabot’s crew, returned to Tekesta, where he interviewed several members of the Taino diaspora and wrote a pamphlet titled The Tragedies and Turmoils of the Taino of Ayiti at the Hands of the Spanish, more commonly shortened to The Taino Tragedies. The work, originally written in Calusa, was soon after translated into Lenape, Misian, and English. Meanwhile, word of Columbus and his abusive practices in the Caribbean made it back to Spain, and so he was brought back to Toledo in chains in 1499. Still, just a year later, he would return to the New World, just in time to be tortured to death by Taino militants in 1501.

Still, even with the finger-wagging of the Spanish monarch, the great number of Spaniards that had moved to the New World, as it was recognized to be following Amerigo Vespucci’s 1500 voyage to South America, had grown accustomed to the tactics that had been used and developed in the conquest of the Ayitians. In 1501, a conquest would begin of the nearby island of Puerto Rico. In 1505, the Spanish would invade Cuba, an island which had become increasingly unstable following first the population loss due to plague followed by the largest wave of incoming Ayitian refugees. By the time the Spanish arrived, the island had erupted into conflict between several minor casecuas, all of which were incapable of fending off the Spanish. The Bahamas and Jamaica would also be invaded not long after. While there had been Taino refugees on the mainland, particularly in Tekesta, Tanpa, and Shawasha, 1505 would really be when the Taino refugee crisis would hit the mainland in full force.

The largest portion of the Taino diaspora lived in the Pikate peninsula, and especially in the Calusa kingdom. The peninsula had for centuries possessed a large Taino population, with several small temples dedicated to the zemi alongside the larger Midewin temples. This population was, as elsewhere, concentrated along the coasts in port cities such as Tekesta, Tanpa, and even further north in the Timuqua city of Osachit. Tekesta, the largest city on the peninsula with the largest Taino population, saw its population swell even further after 1505 to the point where some believe that the Taino population had increased to more than half of the local population. Fortunately for the incoming Taino population, there was plenty of room due to both food surpluses and the availability of housing. Still, a large number of the city’s Midewin residents (mostly Calusa and Misian) disapproved of this influx of foreigners, and the city saw several lynchings against local Tainos, who had already been stereotyped as greedy merchants. Despite being a large portion of the population, the Taino residents were mostly peaceful, taking the abuse on the chin, hoping to not provoke any further retribution, and just being thankful it was not the Spanish.

However, this period would be short lived. In 1516, the Spanish would show up to the Pikate peninsula. By this point, their approach had become more moderate, and rather than slaughter or work the locals to death, they demanded the Calusa king and his court convert to Christianity and become part of Spain’s growing empire in exchange for not having Tekesta destroyed by cannon fire. The result would be a caste system with the Spanish at the top, local converts beneath them, and everyone else at the bottom. The Taino in particular were treated extra poorly, both by the locals and by the Spanish.

While the peninsula retained some portion of its Taino population, the majority fled to Misian lands, where there was already a significant diaspora. A small portion was found along the east coast, particularly in the city of Yamacraw, although the largest populations could be found in the ports along the South Misian Sea, particularly in Shawasha and Mabila. These two cities had always had Taino communities present, being the largest ports of the Misian heartland at the mouths of the Mississippi and Tumbikbi Rivers respectively. While these cities were fairly diverse by Misian standards, hosting modest populations of Tainos, Mayans, and Nawas, the region as a whole was still overwhelmingly Hileni Misian. The Tainos, most of whom were seen as outsiders who lacked passports, were forbidden from moving inland, although a small community had been allowed to settle in Cahoqua as early as the 1497 (in large part fueled by the emperor’s desire to understand who the mysterious pale men from across the ocean were). Still, the Taino were mostly confined to the coast. While they were faced with bigotry from the natives, the emperor ordered that peace be maintained at the empire’s ports and that the refugees be treated with respect and protected (Emperor Mamantwensah was personally rather sympathetic to the struggles faced by the Taino). In their homeland, the Taino historically mostly grew corn, beans, and squash as well as yuca and batatas. Manoomin, which was mostly a mainland crop commonly grown in paddies near bodies of water and wetlands, was not as common. However, the excess minnows that were farmed in the paddies alongside manoomin could easily be sold to the Taino, who had historically consumed very fish-heavy diets. As a result, minnows became a large part of the Taino-Misian diet. While batatas were still grown on the mainland, yuca was not, and so often Taino recipes that had historically used yuca began to replace the plant with other starches. Certain starchy variants of maize as well as little barley were ground up and made into flatbreads or fried in an attempt to mimic the classical style of cuisine. While peppers and other spices had always been used in Misian cuisine, they were still less common than in the cuisine that existed further south. As a result, the influx of Taino refugees caused South Misian cuisine to become significantly spicier. Additionally, with cacao less common, many switched to drinking yaupon and would spice it similarly to those drinks produced from cacao in their homelands. With its unique food, art, and music, the Little Ayitis of Shawasha and Mabila (and to a lesser extent Cahoqua) would become the epicenters of unique cultural movements within the mostly ethnically Hileni Misia.

Still, not all Taino refugees went north to the mainland. A large number, particularly those from Jamaica and many from the western portion and southern shores of Cuba traveled west to Mesoamerica. The Mayapan League, which once ruled the entire Yucatan peninsula and stretched even further south into the Southern Mayan Highlands, now only encompassed the northern portion of the peninsula, although still included prominent cities such as Chichen Itza, Mani, Ushmal, and the capital of Mayapan. Most of these cities had small Taino communities which would expand following the expulsions from Cuba and Jamaica. Still, the two largest communities were probably at Cozumel, an independent island city with a long tradition of maritime trade, and Chetumal, a coastal city on a large harbor with a similar tradition. In many ways, life in Mayan lands shared many similarities with life on the islands they were forced to leave behind. They ate similar foods (although deer and poultry made up a slightly larger portion of the diet) and wore similar clothes. In addition to the Yucatan, a small community of Taino also found themselves in Zempoala, a coastal city and the primary port of the Meshica Empire. In both Mayan and Meshica lands, the Taino were welcomed as economic assets due to their mercantile traditions, but often lived in separate communities. This separation was actually created for the benefit of the merchants– the Mesoamericans practiced human sacrifice, and the Taino in their separate communities were protected from the practice (although it is worth noting that, following the spread of diseases, many kingdoms slowed or temporarily paused sacrifice due to the population loss, claiming that this loss was itself a form of divine sacrifice).

Meanwhile, as the Taino people scattered across the mainland shores of the South Misian Sea, Misia itself would see further changes. While the English were mostly confined to the ports, a small presence of unarmed English scholars and explorers were welcomed into Cahoqua. With the world rapidly changing around him, Emperor Mamantwensah wanted to ensure that Misia would retain its status as the most dominant civilization on the continent. Most valuable to the emperor were books, which he had translated into Hileni Misian. Mamantwensah was highly interested in reading the history of Eurasia, the sciences, and how to best utilize the new crops and livestock brought over by the English. Most important to him, however, was learning about warfare. Mamantwensah quickly learned strategies on how to best utilize cavalry and firearms in battle, as well as how to produce his own gunpowder and even basic firearms (although these were both still more commonly purchased from the English, particularly the latter).

As Misia would devote itself to the study of warfare, the smaller kingdoms and federations of the northeast that began to develop closer trading ties with the English would receive a more hands-on education on the subject. Following Cabot’s third journey, English merchants established themselves across the east coast of the continent. While silk, yaupon, and other goods that the Misians had in large supply were quite useful, perhaps one of the most popular goods sold on the eastern seaboard was tobacco. Naturally, the densely populated lands along the Chesapeake Bay were some of the best lands for the cultivation of such a crop. As a result, the city-state of Chesapeake at the mouth of the bay that shared its name grew increasingly wealthy, obtaining wealth that would make the nearby larger federation of Tsenacommacah jealous. In the year 1510, with the largest army in the region and many horses and firearms, the Tsenecomaccans would invade their smaller neighbor. Fearing Tsenacommacah expansion, the nearby kingdoms of to the north Conoy and Wepemok to the south would both invade their larger neighbor, resulting in a two-front war. Within two months, the Nanticoke across the bay, who had also benefited from controlling the valuable chokepoint, joined the alliance. After a year of fighting, the Tsenecomaccans had completely overrun Chesapeake and fully conquered the Wepemok. With the southern front completely dealt with, the Tsenecommacans turned all forces north towards the Conoy, which would fall by the end of 1511. After threatening to land on the Nanticoke’s peninsula, the Nanticoke agreed to offer control of the Cape of Akomak at the southern tip to Tsenacommacah. Within two years, Tsenecommacah had gone from one of many states of the eastern seaboard (albeit a larger one) to the preeminent coastal power.
Screen Shot 2021-06-14 at 1.20.04 PM.png

However, this was not the only major war to rock the eastern seaboard. In 1513, the Mohicans, an effective vassal of the Munsey to the south living along the Muhekantuck River that flowed through Munsey land, forged an alliance with the Warpinger, another disgruntled vassal, to attack the Munsey for access to the sea. Naturally, the more powerful Munsey kingdom, which had more people and was able to buy more guns and horses with its better ports, was easily able to overpower their northern attackers rather quickly, first pacifying the Warpingers before marching up river to defeat the Mohicans. Fearing that the Munsey were getting too close to their territory and that the coastal states were beginning to catch up militarily with the Haudenosaunee (who had a head start and greater experience with the modern weaponry), the Haudenosaunee invaded south, pushing into the lands of all three kingdoms. As the Haudenosaunee neared Manhattan in early 1514, the Munsey called on Massachusett, Narragansett, and Unamy to join the war on their side. Initially neither of these kingdoms answered the call until the Haudenosaunee themselves pushed east into Massachusett land, fearing that they would join the war and hoping to seize the valuable port of Mashowomuk in the east. This invasion would bring the Naragansett into the war as well. Manhattan would come under siege in early 1515, and the Unamy, who were previously more focused on the potential threat of Tsenacommacah, would officially join the war to prevent the Haudenosaunee from conquering all Lenape lands. While the Unamy forces fought alongside the Munsey and Warpinger forces at the battle of Manhattan, the Tsenacommacans, who had made a deal with the Haudenosaunee, took the opportunity to invade the Unamy from the south, drawing in their Nanticoke ally. Nanticoke managed to successfully push the Tsenacommacans down to the southern tip of the peninsula while the Unamy were able to hold a successful defense on the Siskewahane River, although they had to withdraw troops from the north to do so.
Northeast Seaboard before the Atlantic War

WTRF Before Atlantic War.png

With the Tsenecommacans keeping the Unamy busy, the Haudenosaunee fully seized Manhattan in the middle of 1515 and were able to push all the way east, conquering Warpinger, Narragansett, Massachusett, and even Wampanoag, which had prior to that point been a small neutral duchy. The five northeastern states– Ndakina, Panabskek, Peskotomakaty, Wolastokuk, and Mikmaq– had all formed an alliance against potential Haudenosaunee aggression shortly after the start of the war, and the invasion of neutral Wampanoag was the final straw that brought the newly formed Wabanaki Federation based out of Cadeskit into the war in 1516. The Wabanaki would invade the city of Kawanoteh, but would be pushed back by a combination of Haudenosaunee soldiers and local English traders (ironically, the English were supplying weapons too, and in fact, some Englishmen were fighting on the side of all factions in the war). The two federations would effectively stalemate along the Muhekantuck River and Lake Kaniatara further north.

Meanwhile, as the front remained relatively still along the Siskewahane River, the Tsenecomaccans focused their forces to push north against the Nanticoke, a campaign that was largely successful opening the possibility for Tsenecommacans to encircle the Unamy forces and then march north towards Sakamauchin. However, it would be around this time that the Haudenosaunee, possessing the most effective military in the region, would push south with full force against the Unamy, reaching Sakamauchin in late 1516 before Tsenecommacah could. The Haudenosaunee continued south, reaching the northern tip of the Chesapeake Bay. Desiring hegemony over the bay, Tsenecommacah turned against the more powerful Haudenosaunee, aligning itself with Wabanakik. While the Wabanaki front remained relatively stable, the southern front was quite dynamic as the Haudenosaunee pushed south against the weary Tsenacommacan forces.

Not long after (although not before the Haudenosaunee seized large portions of land), a Misian diplomat arrived at the front and ordered both sides to stop the fighting. The Misians had historically faced enemies from the taiga to the north and the plains to the west, although historically the largest external threat to Misian power and security was a united state to its east. Around the same time, a British fleet arrived in Kawanoteh and demanded that the Wabanaki and Haudenosaunee cease their fighting. In 1517 negotiations led jointly by the Misians and the English in St. John’s, the Haudenosaunee agreed to end its campaigns against the Wabanaki and Tsenacommacans. The borders of the Wabanaki Federation would be preserved, as would the pre-war borders of Tsenacommacah. The Haudenosaunee Federation would maintain control of all land in between, including the valuable ports of Mashowomuk, Manhattan, and Sakamauchin. The Haudenosaunee would also be guaranteed access along the Wepistuk River to the ocean to the northeast. In a matter of years, the many small kingdoms and federations of the east coast had been consolidated into three– the Wabanaki in the north, Tsenacommacah in the south, and the Haudenosaunee in between, whom the former two were now firmly aligned against. Peace, meanwhile, was maintained by an Anglo-Misian axis threatening any state that dared to violate the Treaty of St. John’s.
Northeast Seaboard after the Atlantic War

WTRF After Atlantic War.png

That same year, with Calusa now a Spanish vassal ruled by Christian nobility, a failed assassination by a Midewin noble named Jibaya led the Spanish to purge the remaining Midewin nobles. Jibaya fled north to Timuqua where he received amnesty. After a refusal by the Timuqua king to hand Jibaya over, the Spanish and their Calusa allies marched north in 1518. Timuqua called on the Misians to the north to protect their Midewin brothers. The Misians began to push south, beating the relatively small Spanish-Calusa force at Osachit. The tide would turn once again when Hernan Cortes, a Spanish captain who had fought many successful battles across the Caribbean, arrived with more forces from Cuba. Able to outmaneuver and deceive the Misian forces on the battlefield, Cortes pushed the Misians out of Timuqua completely and fully conquered the territory. The Misians would attempt another excursion south toward the end of the year, but this would be pushed back once more.

Still, the great Cortes, who had now furthered his reputation as a skilled military commander, saw the conflict as far from over. There were over 18 million people living in the so-called “Great Kingdom”, and Cortes knew that Spanish holdings on the mainland would not be safe as long as there was such a powerful pagan empire to the north. Furthermore, if this land was really as vast and plentiful as it was said to be by the natives and indicated by the English, Misia could easily be the crown jewel of Spain’s great empire in the new world. Recognizing the need for a large, well-trained force to deal with such an enemy, Cortes returned to Cuba before setting out for Spain.​
 
Last edited:
This chapter is basically the last one before I get into the climactic narrative that basically everyone knew was coming. It's gonna be a while before I start writing this next one. In the meantime, I'm going to go back and fix up some previous chapters and be more responsive to questions/comments on the thread relating to the TL.
 
Top