Mali Ax Empire

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Information

Mixtec.gif
Foundation: 1603-date
Capital: Ax Mixtlan
Religion:

By Rob Pierce and Martin Helsdon

Description

Mali-ax image.jpg

Also known as Mixteca. Though the Mali Ax Empire is an African nation, it owes its origins to North America - Azteca in particular. During the Aztec civil war of ????, the Mixtecs of Central America fought a vicious and devastating civil war for independence from imperial Azteca. As the tides of war turned against the Mixtecs, they fled the fighting and put to sea from America for the Niger River coast of Africa. Once established in Africa, and with the aid fellow Catholics in Sud Afriqa, the Mixtecs conquered the floundering Ifen Empire and began rebuilding a Catholic nation in Africa on the ruins of Muslim Ife.

The bitter memories of the civil war lingered long in Aztec memories, however. The Aztecs went to great lengths to quietly assist their Viceroyalty of New Mexico, also in West Africa, in plans to crush the fledgling Mixtec Empire. Unfortunately, their plot was uncovered too soon, and the resulting New Mexican War (one of four campaigns of the wider Great African War) ended in the destruction not of Mixteca, but of New Mexico.

In 1707 (T190) Lloigoitor, disgusted with the weak, ineffective, and leeching Roman Catholic Papacy declared that the entire nation would convert en-masse to Lencolar Christian as espoused by the Sisters of the Rose. This went over like a lead-draken and the entire nation rose in revolt necessitating much military action to quell. Many regions bolted the empire, particularly in the far west where the organized opponents of Lencolarism united with aging Danish West African colonists to form the Principate of Vastmark.

The History:

Still to be written.

NewsFax Entries

1739-1740 (T205)
Mali Ax: Diplomacy: Onogui in Teke(nt), Xuicaxl in Zerma(nt), Soro(f), Gagnoa(down to t)
Entirely unconcerned about the travails of the world (for, really, there was no one nearby who could cause them harm), the Mixtecs were busy as bees - a road was started from Ife to Yoruba, new cities were built (Ax Aztlan on the Gagnoa coast, and Ax Popopoyotl in Soro on the marshy shore of Tchad).

Work also continued in every workshop, office and palace to adopt the queer, non-traditional and annoyingly Eurocentric Lisbon Conventions. Prince Quimchetl came of age (and having passed the test of adulthood, and not having died) was declared Nine-Jaguar's heir. The counting-men in the Court of Coins were happy to learn trade with the Masai had begun again. Missionary work continued apace among the Moslem of Teke (without even a rebellion!)

After a bit of diplomatic bickering, the Sud Afriqans convinced the Mixtecs to abandon control of the province of Uige (so, presumably, the RSA to assert control over the region). Dutifully, the Mixtecs withdrew their garrison. And then waited... and waited some more. The Afriqans never showed up. The Catholics of Uige went about their own business, electing a prince to lead them and getting on with life.

1741-1742 (T206)
Mali Ax: Diplomacy: Gagnoa(f), Xiucaxl in Zerma(t)
The Emperor - despite his advanced age, and the muttering of his advisors - continued to pursue a dizzying array of projects and initiatives. Swedish scholars continued to throng the streets of Accra, and the Mixtec students in the school there heard a lot of wild ideas and crazy notions. Efforts to break down the intricate system of tribal clans also continued, as did work on the Lisbon accords. Great progress was made on the new highway connecting Ife and Yoruba.

Despite stringent efforts to restore normal relations with the Gagnoans, the local councils adamantly refused, and garbage and bricks were thrown at the embassy. However, after the arrival of the lord Five-Rabbit, and a great deal of talking, the locals decided the Empire was not so bad after all. Missionary efforts in Teke went much better, with the province accepting the Lencolar rite.

RSA: Vergeranon's mission to Uige ended on a sandy beach, hacked to death by tribesmen who attacked his party as they came ashore in boats. Only the intercession of a Mixtec hunting party saved the rest from certain death. General G'mar arrived soon afterwards and thrashed the natives soundly, pacifying the province.

1743 – 1744 T207
Republic of Spain: And, while the Largoista armies had been entirely busy in the north and west, a daring force of African volunteers (mostly students attending the Universidad de Sevilla from Carthage, Mixteca, Vastmark and other southern nations) had marched up the eastern coast of Spain, capturing the provinces of Grenada (and the city of Cortez) and Valencia (and the city of Tortosa), which are now in SRC hands.

Mali Ax: Feeling his age, the old Emperor set his son Quimchetl at his side as prince, heir and his co-emperor. Then the sixty-two year old Nine-Jaguar retired to his residence to write a book of philosophy and his memoirs. Quimchetl – then only eighteen – was quite eager to take up the reins of power, and soon proved himself to be impetuous and even reckless in his use of the authority vested in him. Luckily, the bureaucracy had enough spare capacity to run around and clean up after him.

Reports of a Jesuit agent among the natives of the Teke coast were confirmed after the local only-recently Lencolar chiefs stopped paying tribute to the Empire. The governor of Onogui sent a letter to the Dark Lord, requesting troops to suppress this insolence. A Mixtec embassy – under the wise hand of the Feathered-Lord – attempted to rectify the situation, but failed.

Missionary work continued among the citizens of Xuicaxl (in Zerma), where there were still Catholics hiding out. The Green-Eyed Lord’s mission to the oases of Arauane ended badly. Unlike the lucky William Casimir, he was not able to overawe the Moslem nomads, and met a sticky, uncomfortable end.

The Lencolar leader, sister Elizibeta, was attacked twice by brigands in the provinces of Nupe and Mixe. In both cases she managed to drive off the attackers with her “hittin’ stick” and Old Reliable, her .31 caliber Pocket Remington revolver. She’s a crusty one, is Elizibeta.

A powerful fleet and army were placed under the command of Mixcoatl and the Serpent, then dispatched to the north in aid of some Alliance business in the Mediterranean. However, the fleet only made it as far as St. Georges in Morocco by the end of ’44.

Swedish Russia: At the end of ’44, a large fleet of Mixtec warships and troop transports arrived in St. George-the-Defender in Morocco and everyone swarmed into the port for shore-leave. Both Swedish and Mixtec military police patrols were heavy, but inevitable breakage occurred.

1745 – 1746 T208
The War Against the Daemon Sultan: Early July: Unexpectedly – at least for the locals – a sizable Mixtec fleet appears off the coast of Bithnia in Asia and proceeds to land 27,000 Mixtec (black African/Aztec) Jaguar and Eagle knights.
September: In Isauria, Neya of the Isles has come to the conclusion – after exchanging letters with Mixcoatl of Mixtec – that all the action is away south of her.
October: The Mixtec army in Bithnia (under the command of the famed general Mixcoatl) finishes subduing the province and installs a garrison. The fleet and army enter winter quarters. “It’s cold here!” The Afriqans discover to their horror. “What’s that white stuff falling out of the sky?”
March: The Mixtec army operating on the western Asian shore advances south into Lydia. They are unopposed by serious resistance of any kind.
Late June: The Mixtec army in Lydia finishes smacking the local garrison around, secures the last of the towns and begins building winter quarters by the beach, near the town of Ephesus. Many of the soldiers make their way in pilgrimage to the House of Mary on Mount Pindos. There they lay wreathes and offerings for the Mother of God. The nuns who watch over the ancient shrine are a little surprised to see so many bronze and black faces, but they know faith when they see it, and welcome the strangers.

Vastmark: Finally, a low-key diplomatic note was circulated to all foreign embassies in Chihuahua City – a formal armistice had been declared between Vastmark and the Mixtec Empire. The two realms were now officially at peace.

Mali Ax: A quirk of the prevailing winds had kept the dust from the Hell Hammer and the Venice asteroid from afflicting Mixtec in ’44, so the bountiful fields of the Empire were rich with grain, corn and yams. All this surplus was immediately shipped off to assist the Swedes and other allies, meaning the starving children in Sweden would have something on their plates. Only the old farmers and the wise men noticed the sky – even over sunny Mixtec – was steadily darkening and the most recent harvests were turning poor…

Back in Mixe, the Emperor emerged from his meditative retreat and called prince Quimichetl to the throne room. “We must discuss the future,” the old man said, beckoning his whipcord-lean son to him. The prince was finely attired in gold and silver and a cloak of brilliant feathers. His face – those who sought his favor called him handsome, others found it weak and cruel – was pensive. Why does the old fool return? I have no need of his advice!

Nine-Jaugar watched his eldest son, his heir, approach with a thoughtful expression. When at last Quimchetl sat beside him on the jade seat reserved for the prince of the realm, Jaguar looked him up and down, old white eyebrows beetling in consideration.

“Ruling suits you, does it?” There was a thread of mirth in his voice. “You find our power a heady draught?”

“Yes, father,” Quimchetl responded, trying not to sound surly.

“I was sad,” the emperor said, suddenly changing the subject, “when I thought of your youth wasted in these cold, dreary chambers. You should be in the field, with Mixcoatl, in the great war. There is work for a brave warrior! Aye, to plunge among ones’ enemies and test your skill and strength against anothers…”

“Of course,” Quimchetl replied, hiding a sickly smile. He had not taste for war, for battle, for the ‘flowery combat’, for the spilling of the divine liquid. “My heart yearns to join the eagles and jaguars in contest against the four hundred enemies.”

“So it does,” Nine-Jaguar said, thrusting an obsidian dagger from beneath the folds of his golden cloak. Quimchetl gaped, his entire body stunned by the blow, and stared down at a thick red flow of blood spilling from just beneath his left breast.

“With our darts, with our shields,” Jaguar said softly as he stood, watching the body of his son slump to the floor. The jade chair fell aside with a clatter. “The city lives.”

Guardsmen appeared from behind nearby curtains and a priest. “Take this body away,” Nine-Jaguar commanded, a thin stream of blood spilling from the edge of the ehecatl in his hand. “And bring my son Tenoch before me, for this day he is a prince of the realm and heir of my body.”

Another expedition into the northern sands failed to return.

1747 – 1748 T209
Mali Ax: Though the Concord of Ar-Raqqah called upon the Mixtecs to abandon the province of Bithnia to Albanian control (which they did, very scrupulously, though the merchants failed to send in their own troops, leading to a very feisty and independent-minded Sultanate of Bithnia), they did not give up Lydia. In fact, the Mixtec army and fleet gathered there undertook extensive construction efforts and built a brand new town of Ephesus (the old Greek city having become landlocked as the Cayster river silted up) on the coast. At the same time, efforts were made to build a serviceable road up Mount Prion to reach the ‘House of Mary’, where the Mother of God had spent her last days on earth.

Excavations down in the valley also uncovered a massive temple – identified as one of the lost Seven Wonders, the Artemision – and work began there to rebuilt the grand edifice (architects’ painting shown below.)

Temple.jpg

The Mixtecs were not alone in their efforts, for the Sisters of the Rose arrived in numbers (several hundred) and set about establishing a school, an orphanage and a hospital near the site of the ruined temple. Concurrent with these good works, the nuns circulated a letter from Mother Kelly:

Beloved Sisters and Brothers: Our Blessed Mother has, in her great goodness and mercy, allowed our brethren of Mali Ax to become the protectors of the province of Lydia. Lydia is a sacred land to us – it is the place Our Lady spent her last days on Earth, praying for the salvation of our souls. To this end, we will go to this holy land and restore to her name the shrines and monuments which have lain in ruins for so long. We will establish a school there to teach the young, so their spirit and mind may grow and mature in truth and love. All peoples, all faiths, will be welcome. We come in peace and love to make this land, so torn by war and hatred, a kinder, gentler place to live. We do not seek converts, only sisters and brothers who wish to join us in bringing peace. May the love of Our Lady of Tepeyac shrine upon us all.
~ Kelly, Mother Superior of the Order of the Rose of Christ

Much like everyone else involved in the fighting against the Daemon Sultan, the Mixtec fleet and army in the middle east returned home. General Mixcoatl arrived at Ax Idah to be met by cheering throngs. His soldiers and sailors were very, very glad to be with their families again. Leaving his fleet in the port, the victorious general marched to the capital, his men’s armor burnished bright as the sun, their rifles and muskets gleaming.

Outside of Ax Mixtlan the general made camp and received a constant stream of visitors and well-wishers as he prepared to enter the city and receive the acclaim of the Emperor and the Court. The night before his entry, Mixcoatl returned from church services to find a cloaked figure waiting in his tents.

“Who are you?” Mixcoatl – alarmed at the absence of his guards – drew a long-barreled pistol from his belt. “Reveal yourself!”

“It is treason,” the old man said, drawing back his hood, “to draw a weapon in the presence of your Emperor.”

Mixcoatl stared in alarm and surprise at the gnarled old face of Nine-Jaguar. For a moment the pistol wavered away from the Emperor, then steadied and drew back upon him. “You murdered your own son,” the general grated through clenched teeth. “Mayhap I should keep a weapon between us, for my own safety.”

“You,” Nine-Jaguar said, rising and indicating stacks of letters on the general’s camp-desk, “should not have been so free with your words in correspondence with the lamentable Quimichetl. Treachery seems to have been mother’s milk to him…”

Mixcoatl’s finger tightened on the trigger, but before the pistol could erupt in flame and a stunning blast, a leaden cosh crashed against the generals’ head and he fell like an oak, solidly, to the floor.

“Clean up this trash,” Nine-Jaguar declared as his Eagle knights poured into the tent. “He must be alive to stand upon a shield tomorrow, flanked by two strong men, as he enters the city in ‘triumph’ but not a moment longer.”

The Emperor’s face was graven stone, merciless and hard, as he looked down upon the traitor. His nostrils flared once, and then he turned away and disappeared out into the night.

Sisters of the Rose: An expedition was also dispatched to old Asia to assist the Mixtecs in their reconstruction efforts at Ephesus and the Artemision in Lydia.

1749 – 1750 T210
ARF: Their trade network to the new world restored, ARF ships once more plied the sea-lanes to Iroquois, Vastmark, Mixtec and many other strange, fabulous lands.

Mali Ax: The Mixtec capital sweltered in the sub-Saharan heat, the night filled with the tramp of Eagle knights on patrol and the distant wailing of priests in the temples of the Dying God. At the heart of the sprawling palace of the Dark Lord, old Nine-Jaguar continued to plot and plan… his mind was ever busy, driving his subject peoples to work, to build and to expand. News came from the north – the great Temple of the Virgin at Ephesus was at last done. Reports from the provinces indicated the size and location of all chicken coops now met the standards of the Accord.

Two fleets were dispatched, one to Itacare on the coast of Sud Amerika and one to the desolate wasteland of Ovambo in the far south, near the Bay of Shining Stones. Two cities were raised – Ax Luwa in Itacare and Ax Eyahue in Ovambo – to provide safe harbor, water, fuel and food for the ever-increasing number of Mixtec merchants plying the waters of the Atlantic.

1751 - 1752 T211
Vastmark:

The Edict of Minden, AD 1751
Following the recent Conclave of the Church, and the worthy efforts of the Pope to encourage dialogue between adherents to the Church and the Lencolar Faith, The Stadholder has elected to follow this example, and invite discourse with the Sisters of the Rose in the hope that misunderstandings between our two peoples can be avoided in the future.
In the tumult that followed the birth of Vastmark some years ago, most of the people who chose to defect from the Mixtec nation retained their Roman Catholic beliefs. However, not all did so. The people of Minden in Ghana elected to abandon the Faith as set out in Papal Doctrine and adopt the ways of the Lencolar faith. Since then, their existence has been an uncomfortable one, as Vastmarki law has prevented access to clergy of their faith to minister to them.
In recognition of the peace that has held in West Afriqa for many years now, Vastmark has resolved to overturn years of mistrust, and has written to the Sisters offering the hand of friendship.
The people of Minden will no longer be forbidden access to the leaders of the faith, and the Sisters of the Rose now have leave to establish a presence in Minden to better minister to their followers.
This access is not, however, unfettered; for the years have not passed that all of the people of Vastmark can forget the suffering inflicted upon them by adherents of the Lencolar faith. The Sisters may only establish a limited presence in Minden, and may not use that presence to increase their influence - either secular or religious - in any part of Vastmark outside Minden. Only ordained servants of the Order and their administrative support may enter Vastmarki territory, and naturally the presence of military units on behalf of the Order will invite a swift and harsh response.
Vastmark is gratified that the Sisters of the Rose understand and have accepted these conditions in good grace. It is sincerely hoped that this initiative will open the door to further discourse, and ultimately friendship between the adherents of Catholicism and their Lencolar neighbors in West Afriqa.

Mali Ax: The Dark Lord continued to cling to life, showing no sign of slowing down (or trusting his sons with even the smallest scrap of responsibility or power). Prince Tenoch disappointed his father by failing to begat any more sons… and princess Luwa contracted some kind of fever and died. A cavalcade of Swedish 'visitors' continued to swelter, sweat and die of tropical diseases at the University of Accra, but they seemed to be toughening up a bit.

A Lencolar sister engaged the Catholic priesthood in Xiucaxl in a lively series of debates in '51, though her attempt to establish a local rectory failed and very few adherents joined the Sisterhood. Onogui in Teke, however, became Lencolar. At the Emperor's direction, a huge number of fishing boats were put to work on the rivers and coastal seas of the realm, hoping to offset the generally poor harvests plaguing everyone. The dim, thin-seeming sun had yet to brighten, even in Afriqa.

A more serious matter devolved in the south, where territorial disputes between the Mixtecs and the Republic of Sud Afriqa led to a trade embargo on the part of the Empire on trade with the southerners. Further, Captain N!dgato - who had been commanding a squadron on the Ovambo coast - received orders to evacuate the trade towns of Ax Mixcoatl and Ax Eyahue. To this end he sailed to Uige and attempted to force the settlers there onto his ships at gunpoint. The pochtecas working there responded violently and a riot spiraled into an open battle between N!dgato's marines and the civilians. N!dgato himself was killed while attempting to rally his men and the squadron withdrew to Ax Eyahue down the coast.

Two-Crow arrived a few months later and took command of the Mixtec forces in the area. After taking some care with the settlers at Eyahue, he sailed back north, avoiding the now-hostile guns of Mixcoatl.

Republic of South Afriqa: Unfortunately, his first crisis was already at hand - the Mixtecs had embargoed trade with Afriqa and their naval squadrons were vigorously patrolling the West Afriqan sealanes…

1753 - 1754 T212
Mali Ax: [Minded his own business] (even with the trouble in the south).

Republic of South Afriqa: The tense situation with the Mixtecs on the western coast continued to be troublesome. General G'mar (supported by Mbeki's fleet) marched along the barren shore, rousting Mixtec settlers out of their farmsteads and kraals. Despite assurances by the Mixtec government, no efforts had been made to remove the populations of the settlements.

This resulted in the Republican army besieging the fortified settlement of Ax Mixcoatl for three months in '54 before the Mixtecs surrendered. After this the population of the town was forcibly relocated to the port of Onogui in Teke.

1755 - 1756 T213
Mali Ax: Having slept for a time, the Mixtecs bounded back into the fray with a vengeance – the cities of Ax Mixtlan, Ax Calibar, Brass, Timbuktu, Ax Idah and Zugero all expanded. A massive forest-clearing operation was started in Togo, with an eye to putting several hundred thousand acres under cultivation. The trade embargo on goods from the Republic of Sud Afriqa came to an end, which promised to revive a semi-moribund economy.

The local Sisters continued to practice their winning ways upon the citizens of Xuicaxl in Zerma, with steadily increasing success. Lord Four-Tortoise, however, did not have good luck among the Moslem tribesmen of Douala. He was seized on the road, dragged to a nearby tree and hung out to dry, throat cut. A similar fate met the charming Kikili the Ikeo, who was captured by Burkinan headhunters and roasted alive while a Catholic shaman watched, chanting the Ave Maria.

The Sisters of the Rose opened a large school in Gao, Sudan. Bad news came from Kebbe, where Sister Betsy had been attempting to establish a cathedral. Apparently the very elderly woman had succumbed to a heart attack.

All of the trouble in the west drew a response as well. General Six-Leopard – simply by means of gathering up idle garrisons – arrived in Songhai with an army of 13,000 men to reinforce the border defenses. Who knew which way the winds of war would blow?

Late in ’56, the old Emperor Nine-Jaguar fell ill and finally passed away, his son Tenoch perched by his bed like a particularly mangy vulture. Even after the nauallis had declared the patriarch dead and closed his eyes with chips of jade, the prince did not believe. When, at last, Jaguar was ash and billowing up into the sky from the highest pyramid in Ax Mixtlan, then Tenoch believed he was Emperor and his hated father was dead.

Shockingly (and despite Tenoch’s generally poor showing at anything resembling work) the generals and clerks accepted his accession to the throne and there was no civil war. Breathing a sigh of relief, the nation went back to work.

1757 - 1758 T214
Mali Ax: The general economic expansion of sub-Saharan Afriqa continued with the Mixtec cities of Brass, Timbuctu and Ax Mixtlan growing.

Vast new state-of-the-art fortifications were also built ringing Timbuctu, De La Roche and Ax Mixtlan. Veritably besieged by Lencolar missionaries, the Catholic city of Xuicaxl in Zerma finally succumbed and became Lencolar.

A careful watch was maintained on the northern frontiers (considerable sums were wagered, lost and won on the matter of which way the Mauritanians would go…) and everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the war-storm broke to the north rather than the south. The cozying up of the Vastmark with the Sharif did not go unnoticed, however, and was cause for considerable grumbling.

The Lord of the Blue Cloak returned from a diplomatic mission to the jungled hills of Douala – much to the surprise of most of the favorites in the court, everyone had expected the particularly vicious Moslem tribesment there to have lopped off his head as soon as he arrived – and made a brave showing of his failure to temper the choleric attitudes of the southerners. The reason for his return was soon revealed, however, when the Blue-Cloaked one managed to surprise Emperor Tenoch at a garden party and nearly cut his throat with a tecpatl of antique design.

There was a huge ruckus, guards swarmed all over the party, Blue-Cloak was forced to kill two of them, Tenoch escaped blubbering, and then the murderous lord was gone over the garden wall. An extensive search in the city failed to discover his hiding place but everyone agreed the Emperor had been gambling a bit too much…

1759 – 1760 T215
AEIC: Close by, the Mixtec governor of the Shrine of Mary at Ephesus was reported to have suffered a fatal heart-attack while hunting wild boar on the slopes of Mount Prion. He was carried home and buried with honors in the cemetery of the massive new temple of Mary, Mother of God.

Mali Ax: Having managed to get enough machine tools, skilled metalworkers, craftsmen and silk weavers together, Tenoch christened the first airship factory in his realm. Everyone breathed a big sigh of relief – the Emperor was very testy these days, seeing plots and assassins everywhere. Of course, he was right... the diabolical Lord of the Blue Cloak was lurking somewhere, plotting and planning to destroy Tenoch and bring ruin upon his family. And why not? Hadn’t Tenoch sent the Blue-Cloaked One into certain danger, hoping his rival would perish?

After hiding in his palace for several months, Tenoch finally agreed to attend church services at the Lencolar cathedral and take confession. The Blue Lord was waiting (aided, indeed, by several of the late princess Luwa’s brothers, one of whom was a priest) and as Tenoch knelt in the confessional, the Blue Lord stabbed him through the grate, transfixing the Emperor’s throat. Tenoch choked to death and the Blue Lord made a swift escape.

Confusion followed. Luwa’s brothers attempted to form a regency council to rule in the name of Prince Eyahue. The young prince himself defeated this effort, driving them into exile. There were arrests and the appropriate executions and disappearances. The Blue Cloaked Lord was not among those seized.

Word came by packet boat soon afterwards that the Serpent Lord had been assassinated in Lydia by a Moslem agitator. Eyahue considered punishing someone – but there was no one in reach who seemed to be at fault. Efforts in the east to obtain the allegiance of the Catholic tribes in Kam failed miserably, with Lady Xochiquetzal fleeing for her life and the tribesmen swearing undying vengeance on the Empire.

Further south, in the wilderness of Douala, the Moslem tribesmen there (who had previously attempted to eviscerate the notable Lord of the Blue Cloak) were flattened by a massive Mixtec army of 43,000 men who overwhelmed the scattered tribes, shot a lot of nobles out of hand and suppressed the Moslem priests.

Kieta was interested in what might have turned the Blue-Cloaked Lord against the Emperor, but soon learned the truth. And in any case, by that time, Tenoch was dead.

1761 – 1762 T216
Trebizond: The Mixtec ‘outpost’ in Lydia saw a massive degree of investment in rural grain combines, mills, irrigation canals and reforestation. The House of Mary was also very busy, as the Mixtecs implemented a ‘free passage’ program to allow throngs of pilgrims from sub-Saharan Afrika to visit Ephesus and the cathedral there, as well as the stone house on Mount Prion which had been the last dwelling of the Holy Mother. A very substantial number of Vastmarki matrons took advantage of this generous offer.

Catholic Sharifate of Mauritania:

The Treaty of St. Pauls

In the shadow of Mount Teide, delegates from Carthage, Al’Haggar and Mauritania gathered at the Mali-Ax city of St. Pauls in the Canary Islands, off the West Afriqan coast.

Despite the accommodation and facilities provided by the Mixtec diplomatic service, the different parties kept their distance until the conference sessions were set to begin. Ambassador Stilicho conferred with his aide, Adnan Khalaf, Duke of Qasfah, and silently watched the arrival of Prince Ameur of Al’Haggar, surrounded by his orange-garbed tribesmen. On the same ship Magda of Mauritania had arrived, and she briefly paused to greet a delegation from the Sisters of the Rose.

In the cool of the following morning, the conference began. Slowly over days of wrangling and private debate the Treaty of St. Paul, named for the host city, was hammered out.

All parties agreed that all hostilities, including military movements, and intelligence and religious operations of all types directed at any of the treaty nations would cease, until such a time as the agreements were broken. Prince Ameur insisted that Carthage, in regaining all territories owned by that state four years previously by diplomatic means, would not seek to convert or punish those citizens who had adopted the Orange Catholic faith. In return he vouched to relinquish all claim to the territories ceased by the Jihad, including the city of Nador, once the peace was secure. Magda requested, and received assurances that her cousin Jafar (commonly known as “the Goat”), languishing in prison would be released and returned to Sayyida Ifni.

In return for the security of the western Carthaginian provinces and borders, Ambassador Stilicho recognized the oases and grasslands bordering and within the Sahara as the domain of the Al’Haggar. After further wrangling, the desert uplands of Al'Hauts were acknowledged as belonging to Al’Haggar, but with the proviso of the construction of a fortress of the Carthaginian Desert Legion. Carthage would also withdraw from the Swedish-Russian Exarchy of Afriqa.

All parties now studied the maps of North Afriqa, and the borders of Carthage, Al’Haggar and Mauritania were carefully delineated after a number of modifications. All agreed to recognize these borders. The provision of a trade city caused some mild rancor, but at last Carthage was granted a lease on the city of Nuadihbou lasting no less than twenty years. Al’Haggar demanded a reciprocal city, but the arguments ended inconclusively, until in return it was agreed that Carthage would send moneys to Al’Haggar and Mauritania for the same minimum of twenty years.

The Nörsktrad representative Kristján Thórdarson offered a one-off payment to the two Saharan nations to sweeten the deal. A heavy iron-bound crate was provided to the Al’Haggar and Mauritanian delegations.

Before the final signatures were put to the treaty, Mali-Ax and Nörsktrad agreed, acting as monitors and arbiters, to investigate any future violations of the treaty.

Vastmark: Prince Daniel was widely blamed for young Henry’s death, causing him to attack the Coburgs openly, which in turn precipitated a counter-revolt by lord Nkwame and his pro-Mixtec faction in the army. Nkwame and the Eichstatt garrison marched on Chihuahua City and clashed with Daniel and the Stadholder’s Guard at Dioloulou. Despite being outnumbered (Daniel commanded 10,000 men against Nkwame’s 8,000), the general was a capable man and the prince was an idiot of the first water, particularly in military matters. Victory was fumbled and then lost, and the Prince’s army smashed and sent fleeing for the walls of Chihuahua City. Daniel was right at the front of the pack, too.

Chihuahua City was then besieged by Nkwame’s forces – which happened to include three thousand siege engineers. Of course, the capital was one of the most heavily fortified cities in the world – but then, Prince Daniel was once more in command! Emboldened by this, Nkwame launched into an aggressive siege of the city… and immediately got his tiny army badly chewed up. Even with the idiot Daniel in command, the defenders of Chihuahua City could savage any attacker. Fortunately for the Saxe-Coburg faction, Prince Daniel also decided it was a good idea to parade about on the battlements “to inspire the troops” and got his fool head shot off by a sniper.

With Daniel dead, Lord Ixtoc (being a far worse military commander, yet also possessed of some native wit) bowed to the inevitable and surrendered the city to Nkwame and his faction. A marriage was then arranged between Nkwame’s son, Kusar, and princess Raye Casimir of the Stadholder’s line.

Nkwame then declared himself Stadholder, standing on the steps of the Royal Palace, flanked by the Mixtec ambassador on one side and the prelate of the Sisters of the Rose on the other.

Mali Ax: Leaving aside his father’s penchant for societal meddling, Eyahue (now calling himself Ten-Wind) concentrated on an enormous program of economic investment in the agricultural sector. An otherwise idyllic reign was spoiled, however, by the continuing antics of the notorious Blue Cloaked Lord, who now made a career of exposing corruption, bashing evil-doers in the nose and generally making a nuisance of himself in Ax Mixtlan and the other great cities of the realm. The Imperial government made countless attempts to apprehend the masked, cloaked fugitive, and failed miserably.

In the provinces, missionary work continued in Dogamba and Gurma, where the remotest villages were visited by the Sisterhood, just to make sure not one Catholic had been left unconverted. Diplomatic efforts in the grasslands of Kanuri met with the usual response to Mixtec embassies – hurled spears, threats, general violence… A new governor, Lady Two-Rain, was dispatched to guard the House of Mary and the outpost in Ephesus.

1763 – 1764 T217
Jesuits: For his own part, Grayhame was freed by the Taborites into Norsk custody in Ephesus (with a heavy guard of Mixtec Jaguar knights looking on), and then made his way to Lisbon via Norsk packet boat, in time for the fun and festivities underway in Spain…

Vastmark: The Stadholder also signaled his distance from the Mixtecs by converting to Roman Catholic.

Mali Ax: His father’s intrigues had left their mark on young Emperor Ten-Wind, and the continuing exploits of the notorious Blue Cloaked Lord drove him to distraction. “Find him! Seize him! Bring him before me in chains!” Ranted the Emperor, and his minsters devoted enormous efforts to bringing the rebel to justice. Indeed, in ’63, after launching a vast, Empire-wide man-hunt, they managed to corner and capture the Lord of the Azure Raiment after a long struggle in the outskirts of Ax Mixtlan. The noble was then dragged before Ten-Wind to face the Emperor’s justice.

But before this could occur, news came from the northeast – a vast horde of Tuaregs had burst into the Empire, sweeping across Soro and plunging headlong into Kanem-Bornu. The nearest army, under General Six-Leopard, was at Songhai but it immediately marched east to repel the invasion. Ten-Wind turned his attentions back to the Blue Cloaked Lord and…

“This is not the man!” The Emperor shrieked, transported with fury, “this is one of my chamber-servants hogtied in a blue cape!”

Indeed, the lord of the Azure Raiment had made his escape, charming two serving girls into hiding them, then sneaking out of the palace, disguised, amid the new Empress Teepo’s entourage when they went down to have a picnic by the lake. The ministers gnashed their teeth, tore their cloaks and prostrated themselves before the adolescent Emperor, begging his forgiveness.

Meanwhile, the Emperor’s little sister, Princess Zinsa had been put aboard an extravagantly outfitted Mixtec warship, accompanied by the Imperial Eagle Guard and a gaggle of priestess-acolytes of the Sisterhood, and shipped off to the Church of Mary in Ephesus. Their squadron was accompanied by a fleet of transports packed with settlers for the nascent Mixtec colony on the Turkish coast. In the central jungles, the Sisterhood began missionary efforts in Borogou, despite the unremitting hostility of the native tribes.

Back in the Empire, General Kieta continued the campaign in the south, crushing the tribesmen of Douala and enforcing direct military rule over the restive Moslem populace.

The invasion of the Tuareg Fayen, meantime, had been unopposed by the Mixtec peasants in Soro, and the nomads swept past into Kanem-Bornu, where they found a rich, fertile and well-watered land around the shores of the vast lake Tchad. Still, no one opposed them, so the chieftains fell to arguing… some – still filled with horror – counseled fleeing even further away, to the edge of the earth and beyond – while others (for whom the dread was fading) declared they should take the province for themselves.

Two months later, General Six-Leopard and a Mixtec army of 18,000 riflemen and horse-guards crashed into Kanem-Bornu and immediately attacked the bands of Fayen roaming the region. Surprised, the Fayen recoiled – far faster than Six-Leopard expected them to – regrouped and then assailed his infantry army from all sides, quite near the old city of Ngazargumu. This too was unexpected, but the Fayen were recklessly brave and these were only men they faced, and not the horrors which now traveled the sand-sea. Six-Leopard’s men scrambled to form a line of battle and now the general was really, really wishing he had even one cannon to hand… but he did not.

The Fayen crashed into the Mixtec lines in a wild fury – and the Mixteca riflemen did not flinch. Instead, they lashed the attacking horsemen with a steady drumbeat of volley-fire, rank after rank belching smoke and fire, mowing down the Moslems with brutal efficiency. After a day of increasingly fruitless struggle, the Fayen broke, scattering from the field. Three-quarters of their number had fallen. Two-thirds of the Mixtecs had been wounded or slain themselves… but they held the field.

Their army broken, the Fayen drifted away to the north and west, back into the desert, a tattered remnant of their people huddling beneath implacable desert skies. Six-Leopard restored order in Kanem and then advanced cautiously into Soro, wondering what could have driven the desert people to such headlong flight…

Trebizond: Not so far away, a Mixtec fleet arrived at Ephesus in Lydia an unloaded 15,000 colonists, fifteen pregnant priestess-acolytes of the Sisterhood, and one very seasick Princess Zinsa. The settlers were in no better shape and everyone raised a huge groan when told they would only be spending the winter in Ephesus, before heading on to the Persian Gulf and their new home.

Ethiopia: The frontier watch in Darfur was at first puzzled and then alarmed by a sudden flood of refugees – whole families, clans, herds of goats and all – coming into the Republic from the west. When the garrison commanders questioned some of the fleeing civilians they learned, a “terror” had come upon Kerkoure and Ennedi, making the people flee. The commandant immediately sent a message to the capital, warning of an imminent Mixtec invasion.

1765 – 1766 T218
Vastmark: Religious troubles continued to percolate just under the surface of Vastmarki society as the Orangist faith grew stronger and stronger in the north. Worse, whispers in the coffee-houses and public taverns began to circulate, suggesting that with the tide of Orangist believers, the Sisterhood should be allowed into the Principate, and even (when no one thought one of the Stadholder’s men was within earshot) Mixtec administration.

Mali Ax: Orangist efforts to influence Songhai were stopped cold by the Sisterhood and other Lencolar priests in the region. Eyahue was pleased by this and dispatched riders to every corner of his empire (even distant Ephesus) summoning his finest generals home… war loomed in the east, and nothing less than a total effort would be necessary to save the state. Every possible man was commanded into arms, the fishing fleets laid up in harbor, orphanages empties, the military schools stripped of instructors and students alike.

An attempt to secure the services of the mercenary commander Bey Senghor to a 10-year contract was refused by the noble general, but he did agree to serve the Empire for two years. The gold mines of Togo were exhausted after centuries of exploitation, causing the near-depopulation of Accra (save for the University) as the people moved away to find other jobs.

With practice, the night watchmen of Ax Mixtlan managed to sharpen their skills enough to – after a chase, a fierce battle, a burning building and a stray bullet – capture the wounded and still fiercely struggling Blue Cloaked Lord, who was then dragged off in chains and thrown into the deepest cell of the most fearsome prison in the entire Empire. The hoary and dreaded D’ifcalli fortress – a jagged island off the coast of Ife – from which there is no escape. The Emperor had no time for his foolishness.

Armies began to assemble in Daza, “where the road ends”, with an advance team led by Lady Xochiquetzal. Vast camps were under construction, and many wells were being dug to support the gathering hosts. But despite all this, the eastern frontier remained quiet…

1767 – 1768 T219
Mali Ax: scale war against the power which had come to infest the eastern Sahara, Ten-Wind ordered the full-scale mobilization of his realm – every man, boy and grandfather that might bear arms was summoned up, armed and sent east. At the same time, vast investments were made in Songhai, Mixe and Togo to put more land under seed, that the unceasing hunger of such enormous armies might be properly fed.

In the capital, in a dank corridor far from the sun, four burly men – warriors with a hundred captives each from the testament of their facial tattoos and feather-capes – stood outside a cell holding a single, defiant captive.

“I welcome death,” the Blue Cloaked Lord said, his face showing neither fear nor concern, “for your presence reveals the cowardice of my enemy, and truth of my claims.”

The four cuauhuehueh did not respond (indeed, their ears were stopped with wax, it being the fashion in these uneasy days) and the crashing blast of their pistols drowned out any further words. The Blue Cloaked Lord staggered – did not fall – then slowly slid down the wall behind, his heavy azure mantle soaked with blood. Gravely, his eyelids drooped, then lay closed.

So died a true son of the Tenocha. The four cuauhuehueh grieved, as they climbed the long flight of stairs to the sunlit world, but all well knew the dead man’s reckless, vainglorious plot against the Emperor Ten-Wind could not be allowed in such a dangerous time.

The War Against the Invaders…
March: South of the Sahara, Mixtec scouting parties fan out into Soro, watching for the vanguard of an Invader army heading southwest… among them, Lady Two-Rain leads the most advanced party, which consists of only herself, an askari and a porter named Jojo. Within two weeks, she learns that something “horrible” is happening in Darounga…
April: In the south, Lady Xochiquetzal of Mixtec rides into the Kreda with 800 horsemen to bespeak the chieftains of the wandering tribes endemic to those areas. The Mixtec emperor greatly desires an alliance with the fierce horsemen against the Invaders.

General Kieta and the main Mixtec army march into Soro, where Six-Leopard takes command of 30,000 men (many of them engineers) and begins preparing a defense in depth of the line of attack into the Empire.
June: Kieta and the rest of his Mixtecs swing north, into Njimi, where troops are delivered to the Scarred Lord for a forward defense of that barren province.

In Kreda, Xochiquetzal’s deliberations with the local chieftains are interrupted by the appearance of a vast cloud of dust on the southern horizon – and within days, the panicked appearance of nearly a hundred thousand terrified nomads, all fleeing up from the south.

Riding ahead of the mass migration of humanity are some Daroungan horsemen, who relate a grim tale of entire peoples being driven like cattle by “the hellbats” who stalk the upper air.

Xochiquetzal and her party abandon the region with all speed, riding hard for Soro and the nearest Mixtec outpost. Behind them, the Kreda chieftains attempt to turn the mob west…
August: The Mixtec general Kieta and his “raiding force” attack into Batha, which they discover is well infested with the loathsome maroon weed… efforts are made to burn out the infestations, with varying success.

And then, the huge migration of nomads is spilling across the plains and valleys like a living sea. Kieta’s scouts race south, attempting to divine the damnable mechanism causing such fear.

The General, however, knows only too well what is likely coming up from the south. And such an opportunity is likely never to come again. He orders his men to immediately dig in directly in the line of march of the frenzied mob and to cover their guns…


Amali-ax manta2.jpg

Bey Senghor is given command of the artillery, which include a sizeable number of the largest made by Mixtec hands, and they lie in wait… Kieta himself commands the rest of the army, which falls back trying to stop the vast mass of frightened nomads with rifle and saber… and the hellbats sweep up from the south, harrying the stragglers along and see the migration stalled and swirling, confused, and beyond that the lines of the Mixtec army, banners flying, sun shining from their bayonets, a rock of steel upon which the mob is breaking, spilling aside like brown and tan ink.

Four of the hellish things hiss through the bright sky, each surmounted by a writhing, searching metallic stem surmounted by a blazing greenish eye – there is a brilliant flare – the heat ray speaks – and the ranks of the Mixtec army erupt in flame, entire regiments incinerated in a single breath.

“All batteries – FIRE!” Senghor roars and three hundred and fifty guns belch flame, the hammering roar of their barrage thundering across the plain. At the same moment, seeing the rippling flashes of the guns, Kieta lifts his saber, whirling the bright metal around his head.

“CHAAAARGE!”

Twenty thousand Mixtec lancers surge up over the ridge, riding into the gaping maw of hell at a gallop, carbines and pistols cracking, hurling themselves into certain death, just to gain the battery a second more of life, another salvo into the underbellies of the hellbats swooping in the upper air.

Behind them, the nomads scatter in all directions, and the Mixtec infantry gives way, breaking ranks by company and battalion, racing west at double-time, mixed in among the vast dust cloud raised by the fleeing nomads.

The centermost of the four hellbats staggers, slammed by three hundred high-explosive shells, slews to one side… plunges sickeningly into a nearby mesa and blows apart in an blue-white actinic flare. The other three hellbats to shriek away at high speed. A ragged cheer rises from the batteries.

Then the hellbats swung round, keeping quite a distance, and systematically incinerate the remainder of Senghor’s battery and the cavalry still galloping across the desert floor.

From six miles away, crouched behind a rock, Kieta watched the slaughter unfold, keen eyes fixed on the swooping, darting black shapes and the inferno blazing below. “Like shrikes they are,” he muttered, “but we got one of the bastards.”
September: Kieta and the remainder of the Mixtec army march warily back into Njimi, footsore and lacking any kind of baggage train at all.

1769-1770 T220
Mali Ax: Despite the great troubles elsewhere, in Mixtec lands, peace and prosperity held sway. This was disappointing to General Xho and his mercenary troop, who had lately been retained by the Emperor, but they did not lament forgoing battle against the Invaders.

Mixtec Legions

The following Legions have been named:

  • Blood Lizard
  • Death Jackal
  • Firestorm

Emperors

  • Ten-Wind (Eyahue) 1759-date
  • Tenoch, ne-Axamaloa na-Tochul 1756-1759
  • Nine-Jaguar 1739-1756 (T205-date)
  • Lloigoitor Three Smoking Mountain 1663-???? (T168-????)
  • Kwanza Three Smoking Mountain 1662-1663 (T167-T168)
  • Tapac Thirteen-Coyote 1657-1662 (T165-T167)

Players

  • T205-date (1739-date) Ben Englesberg
  • T192-T193 (1711-1714) Charles Hurst
  • T191 (1709-1710) Warren Bruhn
  • T138-T190 (1603-1708) Thad Plate

Last updated: 26 December 2004

© 2002 Robert Pierce © 2004 Martin Helsdon

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