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

@JSilvy nice to see you making another Native American timeline. Adding to @traveller76, have to ask will there be any New World diseases that will be introduced to the Old World? I’m curious because the spainish conquered some of the more populated cities that happened to be near mosquito infested wetlands, America has more animal domesticates ITTL, and there are and will be lot of spainish interactions with natives.
I honestly don't have much planned in the way of plagues going from the New World to the Old.
Regarding the nature of mosquito-infested swamplands and the issue of malaria spreading in the Americas, I do plan to discuss that more when I dive deeper into the slave trade.
Chapter 11: An Anticlimactic Ending to a Poorly Conceived War
Chapter 11: An Anticlimactic Ending to a Poorly Conceived War

The Battle of Nicota is often mythologized in modern media. The recent box office success of Mamantwensah featured the legendary battle as a group of downtrodden underdogs who united to stop the mighty Spanish, winning in desperation. The story stands as a testament to the will of the Misian people in the face of adversity. In reality, despite their previous success, the crusaders were never all that likely to win the battle.

For one thing, Cortes had miscalculated. He foresaw the English attack on Spanish garrisons at Shawasha and Mabila, and therefore reasoned that seizing the Misian capital as quickly as possible and subduing the empire would protect him against the English. He correctly recognized that the governor in Cuba would do little to aid the Spanish force. However, the English force was quite small, and had he turned back south, it would not have been very difficult to beat back the English. By contrast, going north was effectively a death sentence. The number of Misian soldiers far outnumbered the Spanish by an absurd margin. The Spanish had managed to build an army of tens of thousands. The Misians had built one of hundreds of thousands, all gathered at Nicota.

On the evening of October 31, the Spanish had camped south of the city and sent scouts north to report a Misian garrison that was alone more populous than the entirety of Shawasha. The prideful Cortes, however, did not believe he could turn back and must press forward, having faith in the superiority of his men. He had to devise a plan. The Misians likely would have expected him to attack at daybreak. Instead, he would send cavalry into the camp late at night, setting fires to scatter them and kill as many as possible.

The initial attack was successful. In the middle of the night, the Spanish at Nicota successfully made their way into the camp, setting fires and killing hundreds of sleeping soldiers. However, the sheer number made the possibility of victory difficult. The Misians and their allies arose from their sleep to fight back against the Spanish force, which began to retreat. Cortes had counted on the burning of the camp to distract the Misians such that they would be unable to counterattack. Instead, they were chased down by native cavalry, composed primarily of Misian soldiers from the Inoka plain and Haudenosaunee regiments.

At the camp in the south, the unprepared Spanish hastily arose to fire their cannons at the incoming Misian troops, hitting a number of their own men in the process. Still, the Spanish infantry marched forward, shooting the native men off their horses, pushing the Misians back on retreat until the remainder of the Misian forces showed up, forcing the Spanish to abandon their camp.

Just when the Spanish thought the situation could not get worse, the Misian conscripts in the Spanish army who could see the writing on the wall began to attack the Spanish forces. Confusion broke out among the Spanish ranks, due to both infighting as well as the darkness of the night that was just slowly starting to give way to daybreak. With the Spanish invasion forces falling apart, they were surrounded by the Misians. Eventually, a south Misian conscript who had rebelled against the Spanish emerged, bringing emperor Mamantwensah Hernan Cortes’s head. Mamantwensah ordered for the fighting to stop, but with a force numbering over a hundred thousand, the emperor’s orders were not heard until a few hundred European Crusaders remained standing.

Meanwhile in the south, the English had been bombarding Spanish garrisons on the coast for about a week. Ironically, the English had failed to push out the Spanish, who would only surrender after news of the Battle of Nicota arrived in the south, fleeing to the Pikate peninsula. When word reached Havana, the governor agreed to send forces to defend the Calusa against the potential Misian invasion, which would never come. Still, the Pikate peninsula would remain militarized for decades to come.

While all throughout eastern North America the locals celebrated their triumphant return home after defeating the Isapanoles just in time for the late autumn harvest, the Spanish saw that their position was precarious. Contrary to their experiences in the Caribbean, they could not simply conquer and subjugate every heathen nation they encountered, and they had now wasted resources making an enemy out of the most powerful one. If the Spanish were to maintain their power in the New World in the face of an angry giant to the north allied to their British rivals, they would need a powerful ally of their own.​
It's still 1522, yes? Henry VIII is king of England, but is yet to break with the papacy. If he still does that and this alliance with heathens is only a singular additional reason to do so, then Mary's reign, assuming her birth has not been butterflied, might come packaged with a breaking of the current treaties.

Charles V, presuming that his life up until now has not been changed by butterflies, became the most powerful man in Europe OTL and likely still has the inheritance, willpower and skills to achieve that position. If Spain treats this native empire as a serious rival to put down, this was only the start, caused by some greedy murderhobo-type adventurers.
It's still 1522, yes? Henry VIII is king of England, but is yet to break with the papacy. If he still does that and this alliance with heathens is only a singular additional reason to do so, then Mary's reign, assuming her birth has not been butterflied, might come packaged with a breaking of the current treaties.

Charles V, presuming that his life up until now has not been changed by butterflies, became the most powerful man in Europe OTL and likely still has the inheritance, willpower and skills to achieve that position. If Spain treats this native empire as a serious rival to put down, this was only the start, caused by some greedy murderhobo-type adventurers.
It is still 1522, and politics in Europe are as of now still more or less the same, with the violence of the Protestant reformation on its way.

Regarding Charles V, America is seen as a sort of side theatre he was pulled deeper into by Cortes. Still, obviously the fact that a large crusading force was sent to the New World will not be without its consequences. As for the dynamic in the Americas, any alliance the Spanish will form will also be with "heathens".
Next chapter is in the works. Here is a teaser.

Chapter 12: Rise of the Meshica
Chapter 12: Rise of the Meshica


Misia was unique in the Pre-Columbian history of the Americas. Despite the lack of horses and other draft animals, its relatively flat land and many navigable waterways allowed for the facilitation of trade, travel, and communication with ease from the Awansachi Mountains and Atlantic to the east and the Great Plains and Assinwati Mountains to the west, and from the Great Lakes to the north to the South Misian Sea to the south. It only made sense that over time, the Misians would unite both politically and culturally, allowing for centuries of peace across the vast watershed of the Mississippi and beyond, with occasional threats from nomadic barbarians and smaller kingdoms. While times of division, dynastic collapse, civil war, and successful conquests could often be brutal, many Misians had the privilege of living in times of peace.

Mesoamerica was the exact opposite. Like the Misian heartland, Mesoamerica was also an independent cradle from which great civilizations would arise. However, unlike Misia, Mesoamerica would for most of its history remain politically and culturally divided between many states and tribes separated by mountainous terrain and dense jungles. War and conquest were parts of daily life, with subjugated peoples becoming human sacrifices at the temples of the victorious. Of course, Mesoamerican civilizations had seen many great accomplishments, from the great craftsmanship of the Olmecs to the science and mathematics of the Classical Mayans and the construction of great cities such as Teotiwakan and Tulla that served as the centers of those great empires that did arise. Mesoamerica was a center of trade, connecting North to South and Central America, and connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Still, the landscape was one that was often more divided, and hence, more violent. To carve a successful empire out of such a tumultuous landscape required skill, good statesmanship, and a society of strong warriors capable of overcoming the odds– all of which could be found in the Meshica Empire.

According to legend, the Meshica, known by many others as “Aztecs”, were one of the many Nawa peoples who migrated into the Valley of Anawak in the centuries prior to European contact, of which the Meshica were one of the later groups to emerge. According to Meshica legend, an ancient prophecy foretold that the wandering Meshica would find a site to settle and build a great city where they saw a golden eagle perched atop a cactus with a snake in its mouth. The wandering tribes would find such a site on a swampy island in the middle of Lake Tetzcoco, founding the city of Tenochtitlan. Although initially the island was small and unimportant, the Meshica built up the land of the city through the construction of chinampas, or small rectangular areas of arable land built up to grow crops on shallow lake beds. This large amount of reclaimed fertile land as well as the protection and ease of transportation provided by the surrounding lake allowed the city to thrive, and granted it significant autonomy, although for its history it was still subservient to other cities.

This state of subservience would change with a great war in the Valley of Anawak that challenged the existing balance of power. A number of nearby cities had declared war on the dominant city of Azcapotzalo, capital of the Tepanec Empire, including the cities of Tlacopan, Tetzcoco, and of course, Tenochtitlan. After these three cities emerged victorious, they would form an alliance. In 1430, these three cities, known as the Triple Alliance, would expand rapidly throughout Anawak, forming an empire stretching from the South Misian Sea to the Pacific Ocean and obtaining sacrifices from prisoners of war and as tribute from conquered lands. The control of lands stretching from coast to coast meant that the Meshica were easily able to facilitate trade and become quite wealthy. While many of these conquered lands were initially brought under the rule of the alliance as tributaries, the empire would soon come to rule these lands more directly, and just like in the conquered lands, power within the alliance would consolidate as well, with Tenochtitlan increasingly becoming the hegemon.

This process of expansion and consolidation would be expedited by the Great Plague. Awitzotl, the Wei Tlatoani, the ruler of Tenochtitlan and effective emperor with power over the other Tlatoanis, was one of the rulers who survived the plagues of the 1490s. With Tetzcoco and Tlacopan in disarray, Emperor Awitzotl was able to march his military into both cities and install puppet rulers who were entirely subservient to him, and declared most of the remaining portions of the empire to be directly under his control without much resistance, providing stability to the vast lands under his control. The lack of leadership also led to infighting among longtime Meshica rivals in the Zapotecs and Tlashcala. The reign of Awitzotl and his successor, Moctezuma II, also known as Moctezuma the Great, saw the conquest of both Tlashcala and the Zapotec lands, conquests that allowed the Meshica to continue, albeit on a smaller scale, the practice of sacrifice that had been essentially been paused since the plague first hit.

As the Meshica Empire steadily continued to rise as the dominant player in Mesoamerica, the dominant player in the Caribbean, the Spanish, was going through a crisis after being defeated by the dominant player in East America. Although the colonies in the Caribbean were bringing wealth to Spain in the form of sugarcane plantations as well as certain amounts of precious metals, spices, cocoa, and yaupon, the miserable failure that was the invasion of Misia had resulted in a major loss for the empire as well as a need for both new prospects for wealth and a strategic ally in the region to counter the Anglo-Misian alliance.

When Columbus had landed in the West Indies in 1492, he learned of two supposed great empires from the natives– one to the northwest and one to further to the west, lands he had mistaken for China and India when he first heard about them. Indeed, the bridge had recently been burned with the West Cathay, but the West India was by comparison quite open, with only some minor trade missions to the independent island city of Cozumel and the rather disunited Mayapan League, which was mostly carried out by Taino converts because many of these cities did not allow the Spanish to dock their ships. Seeking an opportunity for access to new riches, the Spanish would set out from Cuba led by Francisco Pizarro with the support of Taino and Calusa conversos to the west, hoping to find the Meshica port city of Zempoala.

Pizarro landed in Zempoala in February 1524. The city was primarily constructed from a combination of coastal limestone as well as stone from the nearby river. He saw that the city included a number of temples, with one great stone pyramid towering over the rest. He could see a series of vegetation-covered arches carrying an aqueduct, not entirely unlike those in Europe. Pizarro, who had been around the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and Pikate but had not gone to Misia, had not seen a native settlement quite like this one. Tekesta being the closest comparison, was still quite a bit smaller.

Shortly after Pizarro docked his ship, he was greeted by Pitalpitokeh, the local governor and diplomat appointed by the emperor. They would meet outside the Great Temple of the Sun in the city center. With the help of a Mayan merchant by the name of Akhkai who could speak and translate Nawatl, they were able to communicate.

“Señor Pizarro, your friend here tells me you are one of the Isapanoles, yes?”

“That is correct.”

“Well, as it happens, there is a significant Taino population here in this city and others in the lands of the Triple Alliance. While we do welcome foreigners in our ports, most of those here who are knowledgeable are aware of the actions of the Spanish on the Eastern Seas, and even more recently about the invasion of Misiwak. If you attack and show such brutality to the Great Kilsu, then how do you expect us to trust you will not do the same to our great kingdom?”

Pizarro pondered the question. He then turned to his translator and answered.

“Your excellency, do you know how the Quilso were able to defeat us when no one else could?”

“The answer seems quite obvious. It is like asking why it is more difficult to fight a jaguar than a turkey.”

“Perhaps that is true,” Pizarro stated. “And from what I hear, the Mexica are just as great. But the people of Misia have tools which you lack, tools that have also allowed us to build an empire on the Eastern Seas. You are familiar with the stories about us that have been spread by the Taino, yes?”

“Of course. We know of how you came in riding giant deer with sticks that could create lightning and great metal beasts that spit rocks from their bellies that can topple entire fortresses.”

“Well, how would your emperor like it if we could trade for all of the same things? Your kingdom has plenty of gold and spices and cacao, does it not?”

“And why would you seek to arm us with your weapons?”

“It’s quite simple really. Much of our time in your world has been spent making enemies. Now, we have made the biggest enemy of all. It seems about time that we found a friend.”

“Are you asking us to fight the Misiwecs?”

“Not at all,” Pizarro answered. “I’m giving you the tools to be just as powerful. They may call their country the Great Kingdom, but if you accept our alliance and trade with us, we can make your realm even greater.”

Several months later, after debate within the imperial court, Pizarro was finally escorted into the city of Tenochtitlan. As he rode the canoe on the way to the Meshica capital, his jaw dropped in awe. Zempoala was indeed impressive, but it had nothing on Tenochtitlan. It was easily the largest city he had seen on the continent, with its great pyramids towering towards the sky. With the many canals cutting through the chinampas which grew bountiful crops of maize, he could not help but be reminded of the great descriptions of Venice. He was walked by imperial guards to the city center, and saw around him the Great Pyramid that towered over the rest of the city as well as the great palace. But this was not where he was to meet the emperor

“The zoo? Quite an interesting choice for this meeting.”

“Yes, well the House of Serpents happens to be my favorite, but I figured the jaguar pit would be a much more fitting place to hold this meeting.”


“Well, they haven’t eaten yet today, and I would like to confirm that you will not seek to overthrow me.”

Pizarro was taken aback.

“We came here unarmed. We are no threat to you.”

“Is that what you said on the Eastern Seas and in Misia?”

“Our purpose in those lands was conquest. Our purpose here is to trade and to forge an alliance. In fact, as I am sure you have heard, we are here to bring you the tools to avoid conquest and become even greater conquerors yourselves. The great deer, the lightning sticks, the metal beasts, it’s all here. All we ask in return is to be able to trade, to forge an alliance, and to not be sacrificed.”

Moctezuma summoned forth a servant who handed him a turkey. He threw the bird into the enclosure with the jaguars, one of which immediately pounced onto the bird, sinking its teeth into its flesh and ravenously tearing it apart.

“Well, you do make a compelling case. I suppose we could continue to talk in the palace.”

And thus, Pizarro presented the emperor and his court with guns, canons, and horses, and was not eaten by the jaguars. Pizarro returned to Cuba with boatloads of gold, silver, cacao, and spices, and further trade was facilitated. Initially, trade was constrained only to the port of Zempoala to ensure Tenochtitlan had control over the supply of weaponry, although the Meshica would eventually allow the trade of other goods at other ports as well starting in 1530. As a result, the Meshican ports of Zempoala, Atzaccan, and Tushpan grew significantly in population as did the capital city. Following the start of trade with the Spanish, the Meshicans went on a new wave of conquests. By 1525, the Meshica had fully conquered Michwakeh to the northwest, seizing the capital of Tzintzuntzan, and would complete a number of other conquests by the time Moctezuma II died in 1534. Most notably, in 1529, a number of northern tribes formed together into the Chichimeca Confederation following the adoption of the horse and began raiding Meshica towns, leading to a campaign of scorched earth against the nomadic tribes that saw the sacrifice of countless Chichimeca. He would move in Meshica settlers and force those who defected from the confederation out of fear to settle and assimilate to Meshica culture, leading to the conversion of much of the Chichimeca grasslands to cattle country. Montezuma would be succeeded by Wei Tlatoani Cuauhtemoc I, who would lead a series of campaigns mostly against the Mayans, seizing the city of Mayapan and bringing an end to the Mayapan League in 1539. Perhaps most impressively, under the reign of Cuauhtemoc, the Meshica would build a large navy with the help of the Spanish, allowing them to besiege and conquer Cozumel by 1545.

The 1540s would see an arguably even more important shift in the Meshica empire. Increasingly, Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries had been arriving in coastal cities alongside the Spanish traders, leading to conversions among many who disliked the Meshica religion. With many of those who feared sacrifice, the concept of a merciful deity who instead sacrificed his own human form for the salvation of humankind was one that was meaningful and relatable to their fears. A conflict emerged in 1549 in Zempoala where, when demanding tributes to be sacrificed in Tenochtitlan, the Spanish refused to allow any Christian convert to be taken as such a tribute. In response, Cuauhtemoc issued the 1550 Edict with Regards to the Christians, in which he agreed not to sacrifice any Christian in his empire, but also banned anyone else from converting and prohibited any form of proselytizing.

Still, the merciful message of Christianity in comparison to the harsh rituals of the Meshica was one that resonated throughout the empire, and underground Christian communities soon emerged, moving beyond the coastal cities and into the hinterland. The Meshica Empire was a great kingdom that controlled virtually all of Mesoamerica from the deserts to the northwest to the jungles of the southeast where it would butt up against the Spanish Central American colonies, and all across that land, pockets of Christianity would secretly practice their religion. The Meshica would often hunt down these “illegitimate Christians” to be sacrificed, with the Spanish mostly looking the other way despite the pleas of the local bishops. The Spanish would eventually reach a deal with Tenochtitlan with the 1562 Compromiso, allowing a number of Christians to escape to the Spanish colonies, with most settling in Cuba and Central America. The Spanish were able to continue ignoring the situation, while Meshica saw this policy as sufficiently alleviating the potential pressure on their empire, believing that their other efforts to crack-down on illegal Christianity were successful. Still, over the centuries, Christianity would spread throughout the mighty hegemon, setting the seeds for what was eventually to come.​

A tale of two great empires has started, which will ultimately clearly end up at loggerheads with each other at some point in time. How has Mesoamerica fared through the period of pandemics? How do Misia and Meshica compare population-wise?

If we take Chinese and Japanese history as an analogy, a few converts are certainly plausible. Bishops? Like, real Catholic bishops ordained in full accordance with the Roman provisions? That begs the question of how the papacy views all this...?!
I am waiting to see some sort of Native-Catholic Hybrid show up. Also the knowledge of powerful native states to the west should interest Europe.
Wait, if Cortes tried to conquer Misia, and Pizarro is trying to turn the Aztec Empire into an ally... who's going to cross the Andes, and how are they going to approach the Incas?
The fanatically religious Spaniards being willing to trade with human-sacrifice-happy Aztecs is a surprise. I do suppose that they swallowed their pride after the defeat they suffered against the Misians, but still...
The fanatically religious Spaniards being willing to trade with human-sacrifice-happy Aztecs is a surprise. I do suppose that they swallowed their pride after the defeat they suffered against the Misians, but still...
Better to be allies with a wealthy, powerful empire than to have someone else (England) have it. Plus they are (somewhat) Christian since they only sacrifice prisoners of war and non Christians (we think). However, the King and the Court and the Church are way across the ocean and as long as we are successful who cares.
Better to be allies with a wealthy, powerful empire than to have someone else (England) have it. Plus they are (somewhat) Christian since they only sacrifice prisoners of war and non Christians (we think). However, the King and the Court and the Church are way across the ocean and as long as we are successful who cares.
Politics makes strange bedfellows. If you piss off the big guys to the north who are the wrong type of monotheist, better go make friends with the warmongering human-sacrificing polytheists to the south.
Chapter 13: The Wooly Wild West
Chapter 13: The Wooly Wild West

Most of the Hopi people had never before seen a horse. Yet now, there were countless men parading them into the sacred city of Orayvi. The horsemen wore robes of thinly-spun wool covered with plates of iron armor carrying banners of black, white, turquoise, and yellow, representing the four clouds of creation from the Dinei sect. Some of the men carried long, iron-tipped spears which were pointed upward, some held curved swords in their leather belts, and some held bows with quivers of arrows strapped to their backs. The man riding at the front wore a headwrap of what was unmistakably Ileni silk, dressed at the front with a number of large eagle feathers. Marching forward to meet him was a man dressed in a colorful maize-linen tunic with a similar eagle-feathered headdress. The man on the ground stood directly in front of the horse, which came to a halt. The man on the horse came down and stood in front of the Hopi chieftain and high priest.

“Ha’uh,” said the Nabeho man, addressing the Hopi in their own language. “I am Ahiga, Naat’aanii of all of the Dinei and Indei.”

“What is it that the Nabeho want with Orayvi? Are you another tribe who has come to raid the land of the Hopi which we were given by Maasaw?”

“My friend, you misunderstand me. I am your brother under Maasaw and the Creator, and I come to honor your peaceful ways.”

“And this has led you to march an army into the City of Peace?”

“This has led me to offer my protection to the City of Peace and to all those who honor your peaceful ways. Since the time of the Great Death all of the lands of Maasaw have been thrown into disarray. We know we are not the first to bring an army to your people’s cities, but we will be the last. I can assure you that Orayvi will be under our protection.”

“And what do you ask in return?”

“I ask that the Hopi join my new kingdom. I believe my mission is to bring peace to a warring land, Maasaw willing. Allow me into your Great Kiva and grant me Maasaw’s blessing, and I will forever ensure the sacred peace of your people.”
Misia was a land that was geographically vast, densely populated, and geographically diverse. Across the cool and temperate regions of the Great Kingdom, the annual problem that had to be resolved was the struggle to stay warm. While one could hunt for wild leather and furs, one had to be careful to avoid overhunting. From the peoples of the more lightly populated northern forests and high plains, the people of Misia were able to trade for thick furs and bison hides respectively. Of course, wild game was not the only resource for material to be used in the production of warm, comfortable clothing. Turkeys, geese, and ducks provided their downy feathers. Some dogs and rabbits were bred for their wooly fur which could be sheared and spun into cloth. Although not as common, the hides of semi-domesticated deer and elk were also used. Cotton was also grown in southern Misia as well as in Mesoamerica, although such material was rather expensive. Even more expensive was the silk worn by the Misian nobility. Llama and alpaca wool, although not difficult to produce, often saw its price marked up significantly by the time it reached the port of Shawasha. However, in the past several centuries, a new popular source of wool emerged– this time from the far west, and when the Misian population would collapse making local resources more available, it would have a profound economic, social, and political effect on West American societies.

Millennia ago, prior to the formation of the Hileni Dynasty, Misian legends told of a western land known as the “Cliff Lands” that lay across the Great Plains– lands that would be known in the Misian language as “Ashipewahk”. According to the legends, the cliff (or “Ashipe”) people had built great cities into rocky canyons and cliffsides. Of course, as we know from archaeology, most of the settlements that existed at the time, while impressive, were not so large, boasting generally a few hundred people and at most a few thousand. Still, the accounts were otherwise quite accurate– between nomadic desert tribes dwelt settled people living in great stone and adobe structures with farms watered by surprisingly advanced irrigation systems drawing water from the Kotsui and Haquat Rivers. Of course, the region also benefited from trade with the Misians, eventually allowing for the spread of technology such as writing and metallurgy. As the Hileni Dynasty was established and closer contact became more frequent as the Hileni were more easily able to manage both land and river routes to the west, a cultural revolution began within the Cliff Lands. Populations exploded. Settlements grew into larger cities. Small amounts of locally written records begin to emerge. Although the emerging kingdoms were kept small by the harsh terrain and lack of horses, they nonetheless thrived in the oases.

The most advanced civilization in this region would by far be the Kutsan. According to the archaeological record, the Haquat River delta and the region of confluence between the Haquat and Haquasail Rivers did not feature the same early architectural achievements as the neighboring regions to the northeast, but did feature a rather humble farming culture that was able to take advantage of seasonal flooding to ensure a regular bountiful harvest. In the middle of the first century BC, the population would expand rapidly– faster even than any of the surrounding regions. The locals managed the wetlands of the delta and irrigated surrounding desert land, allowing for the cultivation of the three sisters, cactus, and a number of other crops– notably manoomin, of which recent varieties had begun to arrive from the east. Some time shortly before 300 AD, the Kutsan people would unite the Haquat River Delta with significant portions of the lower Haquat and Haquasail rivers to form the Kingdom of Kutsan. A number of large, sandstone pyramids not dissimilar in shape from those in Mesoamerica, rose towards the sky. By 400 AD, the Kamya Channel was completed, ensuring the water of the Haquat River would be split between the Aztlan sea to the south and the endorheic Kamya Sea to the northwest, further expanding the available farmland by draining some of the wetlands and bringing life to the desert. While a number of cities would each have their turn as capital, the two most common sites were Paruk, where the Kamya Channel split off from the Haquat River, and Yuum, located at the confluence of the Haquat and Haquasail.
Kutsan Kingdom map.png

As the population of Kutsan grew, demand increased for resources such as meat and cloth to make clothing. Around the same time as the completion of the Kamya Channel, there is the earliest documentation of the maintenance of herds of bighorn sheep under the reign of King Numet II. Around two centuries later, evidence first appeared of the nomadic peoples living in the nearby mountains and deserts also maintaining herds of sheep. Taking advantage of the vast tracts of land unsuitable for agriculture, the nomadic herder population was able to sell their meat and wool to the settled Kutsan in exchange for grain. This practice would gradually spread throughout Oasisamerica and to the west coast, but would never catch on to the south or the east.

Meanwhile, back in the Cliff Lands, smaller tribes and kingdoms were frequently vying for power. Tribes like the Zunis, Keresians, Tiwas, Tewas, Piros, Tanos, Nuchus, Havasupais, and others frequently fought one another for land, water, and other resources, which would eventually also include grazing land for sheep. Outright conquests were not uncommon, but attempts at empire building did not last long across the vast arid, mountainous terrain. One tribe, however, remained above the rest– the Hopi. The Hopi tribe, as much as possible, preferred to stay out of wars, resolve disputes peacefully, and try to gain the protection of other powers. Over time, the other Ashipe tribes came to acknowledge the Hopi as a neutral party which could be trusted to facilitate peaceful interactions. Due to its peace, Orayvi, the Hopi capital, was able to thrive as a center of trade, bringing people from all over. Over time, they came to be seen as a spiritual people not to be messed with. According to the Hopi religion, Maasaw, the caretaker of the Earth who guided the Hopi people to their homeland and instructed them to build a great Kiva to him at the city of Orayvi, had instructed the Hopi to follow in his peaceful ways.

Before long, Maasawism, a religion based on worship of the god of the Hopis and its many variants, would spread from the kingdoms around the upper Kotsui River all the way to the West Coast. Thaampo I would implement the religion in Kutsan when his popular dynasty took over from the previous unpopular and oppressive one in around 550, at which point the religion was already quite popular. Paruk had been the capital of Kutsan since the Kamya channel began construction, but Thaampo would move the capital north to Yuum, representing the theological shift towards the great city of Orayvi. Yuum would become the site of the Pyramid of Maasaw, the largest in Kutsan, which had a large kiva within. Still, with such a diverse and disconnected landscape, religions varied significantly from the original Hopi practice. Other tribes would often merge their own traditions with the new faith, forming their own sects. The Maasawism of the Hopi differed from that of the Zuni, which differed from that of the Kutsan, which differed from that of the Tiwa, which differed from that of the Dineic tribes that would eventually migrate into the region from the far north. And before long, this religion would spread even further west along with other aspects of Oasisamerican culture.

The west coast, despite its proximity, was an entirely different realm from the inland cultures to the east for much of its history. Unlike Oasisamerica, which contained settlements centered around irrigation-based agriculture with nomadic desert tribes in between, the west coast was a lush and temperate landscape– so much so that large settled populations could exist even without agriculture. Prior to the rise of agriculture in the Americas, the Far West was the most densely populated region on the continent. Plentiful fruits, nuts and wild grains filled the valleys. Deer and wapitis ran through the grasslands and forest, and there were plentiful fish in the rivers and seas. Naturally, when the three sisters and other crops cultivated by the Kutsan entered the Dadacian valley and the land known to the locals as “Daadaaktak” (literally “The Valley Land”), the population skyrocketed. The central valley as well as many of the smaller valleys between mountains of coastal Dadacia proved perfect for agriculture. Squabbling city states would emerge between the mountains, while at any given time the river systems of the Central Valley would be home to a number of small kingdoms. Maasawist missionaries would convert most of Dadacia by around 900, seeing the religion mix with the local Kuksu cult forming the Kuksu sect, with most of the Pacific Northwest converting in the following centuries. Of course, the religious practices of these regions would differ significantly from those of distant Orayvi.

The most prosperous city-states of Dadacia were Ohlone cities located around the Ohlone bay and further south. Two of the most prominent Ohlone cities were Yelapu, one of the northernmost Ohlone cities that sat at the mouth of the bay, and Socoisuka, a city at the southern end of the bay with a large well-protected fertile valley as its hinterland. The bay served as a key point in trade both north and south and between the coast and the Central Valley, making the region as a whole quite wealthy. In the Ramaytush Wars of the early 1300s, an alliance led by Socoisuka crushed one led by Yelapu, which allowed King Apsen of Socoisuka to establish the united Ohlone Kingdom.

When the plague hit Dadacia 200 years later, much of the political leadership in many states died, leading to scrambles for power. King Daraten of the Ohlone Kingdom, however, survived. To his east, the nearby Yokuts, a related people, had broken into a complex civil war. Daraten, whose mother was a Yokut princess, would march east from the mountains into the Central Valley claiming that he, blessed by Maaso as the most powerful survivor of the plague, was the rightful ruler of all Yokut lands, a campaign he won rather quickly. In 1506, he married Queen Tukuli, who had just finished her own campaign to unite the Miwoks, another related people, to the north with his aid. The Miwok warrior queen would join her husband and rule from Socoisuka, forming the kingdom of Ohlones, Miwoks, and Yakuts, which would quickly come to be known as the Kingdom of Daadaaktak, or Dadacia.

Still, the victories of King Daraten and Queen Tukuli were not enough to bring peace to the region. While the population had taken a hit due to the plague (and to a lesser extent due to war), the demand for sheep wool had disproportionately fallen, with those to the east instead relying more on other more local options for clothing that were now less scarce relative to the population. For many tribes, particularly in the mountains and the grasslands, the wool trade was rather important. A driving factor in Daraten’s invasion of the Yokuts was the desire to bring trade back through the Ohlone ports. Still, the wool market was in shambles, and so the Dadacian kingdom came under the attack of economically desperate herding tribes in all directions. Raids were frequent on the frontiers of the kingdom, which fought back by marching into the mountains and slaughtering sheep, in the process hoping to help their own wool market.

The wool market crash affected Oasisamerica even more so than the Far West. It was bad enough when the king of Kutsan died, leading to a civil war, during which the Kumeyai people of the west coast who had lived under Kutsan control seceded to form separate kingdoms, that in turn continued to fight each other. The situation in Kutsan quickly got even worse when a branch of the Yavapai would attack, motivated by their economic desperation. Akwathek, the leader of the Yavapai attackers, would install himself as the new king in 1508 and ban anyone except for him and his new noble caste from selling wool to merchants. Meanwhile, other desert tribes, including other Yavapai, would attack the kingdom, raiding cities and villages for excess grain, taking wives to revive the population, and slaughtering populations of sheep. Meanwhile, both the raids and the prohibition on the sale of wool led to revolts against Akwathek’s reign, which were brutally suppressed. Similar events happened in the east, with nomadic tribes, mostly the Nuchus and Dineic peoples attacking the settled Ashipes.

The status quo, of course, would not last. Like the Eastern Seaboard and Mesoamerica, the deserts of the west would also be changed by the introduction of horses to Oasisamerica, most likely by Nawa merchants or plains tribes to the west. The Dinei, also known as the Nabeho, and their fellow Dineic Indei tribes, would quickly master the horse. In 1535, the Dinei, led by Ahiga the Great would do the unthinkable by conquering the Hopi homeland. Fortunately for the Hopi, the Dinei were benevolent leaders and agreed to protect the Hopi from raids by other tribes. This conquest granted the Dinei legitimacy in the eyes of some tribes, while angering others. During the Indei Wars, the Dinei would align with subservient Indei tribes while attacking those that refused to subjugate themselves to him. In 1537, knowing about the precarious political situation, Ahiga and his allies would invade Kutsan, ousting the unpopular Akwathek II and declaring Kutsan to be part of his empire and securing a valuable source of grain. The following year, the Kumeyai campaign would see the Dinei quickly subjugate the Kumeyai along the coast. By the mid 1540s, Ahiga would conquer the Zuni, Keresians, Tewa, and Piro kingdoms. Perhaps the most notable of these conquests would be that of Tuf Shur Tia in 1542, the great Tiwa city that served as a major trading hub in the region and was even featured on Misian maps for its legendary status. The Dinei Empire now stretched from the Upper Kotsui to Kutsan, with the Nabeho city of Natani Nez on the Sa Bito River, a tributary of the Haquat River, as its capital.​