Zion, People's Republic of

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Foundation: 1731-1736Dead.gif
Capital: n/a
Religion: Lencolar Christian

By Martin Helsdon


A short-lived nation arising from revolts within the realm of the Knights of Saint John in South Amerika.

The History:

Still to be written.

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1731-1733 T201
Knights of Saint John: Meanwhile, in the southern agricultural heartland, trouble was brewing. Ships from North Afrika often called in Zaragoza and Cuiaba and somehow, from one of them, a book – little more than a pamphlet – was smuggled into the cane plantations. This was Muhammad’s “Little Green Book” and it carried a revolutionary message of freedom. In slave-holding Granada[28], this single spark flew into dry, dry tinder.

The northerly province of Timbira blew up in late ’31, with the slaves rioting and burning the mansions of their masters. With the Royal Army gone, there were only local militas and police to try and suppress the insurrection. As a result, the Grand Master Antonio went north with his household guard to try and broker a settlement. Unfortunately, he died in his sleep while camped outside of Juazerio del Norte at the age of seventy-nine. Under his long and brilliant reign, New Granada had become a great power.

With the Grand Master dead and his son, Nicholas, very far away in Alaska, the revolt of the Timbiran slaves quickly spilled over into the neighboring provinces of Potiguara and Shoco. Worse, the slaves (under their leader Alfredo Nucomenbaro) embraced the Lencolar Church – for the Sisters preached an end of slavery and the chattel of man to man – while the Catholic clergy (strictly controlled by Antonio and the Knights of St. John) supported the status quo and slavery.

While the northern provinces burned, filled with fire and slaughter as the slaves ran wild, hacking down any man or woman who held the key of an owner, things were not much better in the capital. All of the powerful generals were far away, which left the mice to play… Miguel Lopez and Indigo Montoya (long disfavored by the Grand Master, but of good families) plotted to seize the capital and rule as a diumvirate. To this end, they conspired against Manuel Artiz, a loyal general commanding the garrison of Acroa. Their supporters caught Artiz in the halls of the Ministry and stabbed him to death. The next day, having secured the allegiance of the Capital Guards, they proclaimed themselves Emperors of the South. Purges followed, with those loyal to Prince Nicholas going against the wall.

Still, the fleet and army were at Belem in the north, taking on water and supplies. The news reached Admiral Alverez with astonishing speed (but then, when ever has bad news not flown, while good must tramp in the dust?) The admiral immediately sent the word on to Prince Nicholas, summoning him home from Alaska, and turned his fleet around. Before he could set sail, however, General Artiego who proclaimed him a traitor and an enemy of the two Emperors arrested Alvarez. Artiego, it appeared, intended that there be three Emperors. This supposed triumvirate did not last very long – Gimoc of Aburra, supported by his own soldiers (now that he had been kindly provided with a powerful army), seized the fleet and Artiego was killed in a day of bitter fighting in downtown Belem. When the dust had cleared and the gutters were washed clean of blood, Gimoc held the fleet and the army in his hand.

Back in the south, Miguel Lopez – seeing that the slave rebellion in the Timbira was threatening to tear the Kingdom apart – raised a mercenary and levy army from the slave-holding nobility. With a rabble of some six thousand men (stiffened by the Royal Artillery Guard and the Royal Air Corps), Miguel marched north. The slaves, meanwhile, had run riot in Terembembe and Shoco and were also pressing south in a huge mob towards Juazerio del Norte. When the two armies met in the green cane fields around that critical road-hub and center of industry, there were nearly eight thousand freed slaves. Given the disparity in firepower, Miguel should have easily shattered the mob and his knights should have reaped a terrible harvest in the stubble fields and wood-lots.

Unfortunately, the putative Emperor proved a disaster on the battlefield, while the freed-men were reckless with hate. The Royal army was driven from the field in disarray. Worse, Miguel was thrown by his horse in the first moments of the retreat and cracked his head wide open. After that it was a rout.

This left Indigo Montoya the sole Emperor of the South, and as fate would have it, he died of a heart attack in late ’32. This left Montoya’s nephew and heir, a scholar and scientist at the Universite de Acroa as the unexpected Emperor of the South. Samuel Mendez de Montoya was, in fact, the cousin of the missing Prince Nicholas and in the eyes of the landed nobility an acceptable candidate for the Mastership of the Knights of Saint John. Thus, he was crowned Emperor, King and Grand Master on Christmas Day, 1732.

His realm was sadly reduced from its once great state.

[28] Unlike in Libya, where slaves are restricted to households and dangerous occupations; Granada is built on slavery from top to bottom, with an enormous slave-driven agricultural industry in sugar cane, rubber, timber, cotton and hemp.

Zion: The freed slaves, their hearts filled with religious zeal and boundless optimism that they had cast aside their shackles and chains, named their new nation Zion. Alfredo was elected president of the new state, and a people’s congress was organized to rule each province. They control Terembembe (Thiat), Potiguara, Timbira, Shoco and Shucuru (Juazerio del Norte). All these provinces and cities are now Lencolar Christian.

1733-1734 T202
Sisters of the Rose: Renee also welcomed embassies from Caquetio and Zion to her residence in New Jerusalem, and formally recognized those realms. The Caquetians, in particular, were quite eager to throw off the old colonial shackles of the Catholic Church. The Sisters also issued a sharp edict against slave-holding, or trading with slave-holders, for all Lencolar clerics and lay people.

Zion: President Alfredo raised an elite regiment - the People's Freedom Guard - and marched south with his army, determined to raise revolt and free the slaves in the coastal province of Caete. He also learned, while in the south, that a small fleet had landed at Thiat in Terembembe, bearing Mohammed of Carthage and a strong force of freedom fighters. All this was as foretold - what was not foretold was that Alfredo was killed by Knight assassins as he waited under a spreading palm in Timbira province, watching his army ford a river, while reading correspondence. A Knight sniper put a fifty-caliber rifled musket ball through his chest and El Presidente was instantly killed. The death of Alfredo caused considerable confusion in the ZPLA, and the army stopped in Timbira, arguing about who would be the new presidente.

The Zionists in Shucuru exercised their long-held hatred for the Catholic Church (which had turned a blind eye to their slavery in the cane fields and mills of New Granada), by mercilessly slaughtering any priest, missionary or friar that entered the province from Caete. Despite this, the Catholics made some progress at re-converting the region. An abortive effort by the remaining Catholics in Terebembe to rise up against the Lencolar rulers was crushed by Mohammed upon his arrival.

Knights of Saint John: With the road hub secured, Samuel turned north and marched across Shoco before encountering the 15,000-man slave army at Santa Magdalena del Toledo, a dusty farming village at the intersection of two unremarkable roads. The freshly elected Zionist president, Zhe Guevara, was immediately put to the test on the field of battle! As it happened, Samuel made a deadly blunder in the early going and, despite the considerable advantages of his superior troops, was unable to recover. Zhe fought almost flawlessly, driving off the Knight's cavalry, then getting to grips with his infantry before the southerner's artillery could savage his raw troops.

Still, Samuel managed with withdraw behind his cavalry screen with an intact army, and Zhe caught his breath. Each man thought he had the measure of the other, now. The Knights fell back into Shucuru, where Zhe - pressing hard - managed to bring Samuel to battle again. This time Zhe decisively smashed Samuel's remaining force, slaughtering the fleeing survivors. The Grand-Master, wounded, was smuggled south by priests that found him, crawling away from the disastrous field. Zionist control was restored to Shucuru, though Zhe was unable to undertake the planned campaign against Caete (now garrisoned by a powerful Papal army).

1735-1736 T203
Baklovakia: Despite the incessant barking of a dog that had wandered in the courtyard of the Senate Hall, the protectors of the Workers and the Peasants did not manage to do much of anything. Well, they did manage to polish off an entire wagonload of gifts from the Republic of Zion, so that might have explained the desultory nature of their voting.

The Senate managed to decide that a constitution needed to be drafted, that the bums that were holding out should be banned from chambers, and that the friendly fellows in Zion should be recognized as the first party state of South America, dudes!

AEIC: Despite supplying the Baklovakians with party supplies from Zion, Nikolas was not in a lazy mood.

Church of Rome: The expeditionary force of Templars in South America spent a relaxing two years sitting in Zaragoza, waiting for more Papal troops to arrive. By the time that everyone had reached the tropical city, the Zionist rebellion had been crushed. A pretty slack life for the Templars, drinking rum and chatting up the Brazilian girls.

Carthage: Finally, at the end of '36, news came by courier boat from South Amerika that the Republic of Zion had been destroyed by the combined forces of New Granada, the Papacy and New France. The hermit Muhammed had died during the fighting. All Carthage mourned the death of their teacher.

Sisters of the Rose: Efforts to help the freed slaves in Zion were crushed by the victory of the New Granadans over their rebellious subjects.

Kingdom of Caquetio: Gimoc, though his concience plagued him, turned a blind eye to the events in Zion. He had made promises, many promises, but he fulfilled none of them. The Sisters in his capital vilified him for this, yet the Lord of the North did nothing.

Zion: The fighting among the cane-fields started early; in January of '35, the New French dispatched Baron Francis with large fleet and a very small ground contingent from Varres towards Caete. At the same time, the Emperor of France declared his support for the legal authority of Grand-Master Samuel.

In April of '35, Samuel Montoya entered Shucuru province at the head of an army of 13,000 Knights and eight thousand mercenaries. The Zionist president, Zhe Guevara, was defending the province with there with a motley army of 14,000-odd troops - mostly freed slaves, volunteers from other nations and his own Green Guard.

After two months of skirmishing and inconclusive battles, Zhe attempted to withdraw to the north, but failed. Forced to fight a stand-up battle at Neustroya, the Zionists are defeated. Zhe falls back into Juaizero city with a huge mass of wounded and demoralized troops. Moving cautiously, Montoya subdued the countryside while screening the city. After spies reveal the strength of Juaizero's defenses, Montoya wisely postpones assaulting the city.

During this time, the Order general Hiram de Walker entered undefended Shoco and occupied the region, installing a temporary local government. Walker was careful to leave the status of freedmen and slave ambiguous.

Meantime, Mohammed the Hermit waited in vain until April for Caquetian reinforcements to arrive in Terembere. When it became clear they would not be coming, the Hermit gathered up his small force (about 1,600 men) and traveled down into Zion. Crossing the Shoco/Shucuru boundary moments ahead of Walker's army coming from the west, Mohammed arrived in Shucuru in June of '35. He found Samuel Montoya and the Order army is still besieging the city. Only days later the New French Baron Francis and his ground contingent enter Shucuru.

Fearing encirclement, Mohammed desperately evaded towards Juaizero, but was cornered by the much larger New Grenadan main army and wiped out near the Carmelite monastery at Santa Potente. Mohammed, aided by the nuns, escaped the battle and entered Juaizero. Naturally Zhe is crushed by the absence of expected reinforcements, but at least Mohammed is there.

Montoya, still cautious, proceeded north and found General Walker and his troops celebrating their victory (a little prematurely, but they had looted a rum distillery), and led them all back to deal with the rebels trapped in Juaizero.

Zhe Guevara, meanwhile, had avoided an assassination attempt through a combination of inept New Grenadan assassins and combined Zionist and Sisterhood bodyguards. He was crushed by the news of Caquetio's treachery, but the presence of Muhammed filled all of the men with new spirit. They would have freedom yet! The outright siege of Juaizero began in September of '35, with Montoya commanding 23,000 French and Granadan troops. Inside the city, Zhe had mustered about six thousand defenders.

The siege lasted four months, before the Granadans broke into the city and slaughtered everyone. Both Zhe and Muhammed fell, fighting to the last in the ruins of the cathedral. With their deaths, everyone lost hope and Timbira and Potiguara knelt under the collar again. Only the province of Terembembe and the port of Thiat remain free. But for how long?

Knights of Saint John: Samuel Montoya, speaking from the steps of the cathedral of Saint John the Divine, in ruined Juaizero, after the city had surrendered to him:

Slavery is indeed a way of life that has long been a part of New Grenadan society. However, its time is coming close to an ending, however, New Grenada cannot condone open revolt in order to achieve this end. We would like to see peaceful measures taken to achieve this goal that does not leave its landowners unable to tend their fields.

1737 – 1738 T204
Knights of Saint John: With the collapse of Zion (and the flight of the last of the Carthaginians), the rebellious slaves found an iron heel once more on their necks. Samuel himself led a campaign which returned Terembembe to his rule.

1739–1740 T205
Knights of Saint John: Mindful of the wishes of his Pope, Samuel continued to send armies tramping about the northern cane-growing provinces, intending to stamp out the last of the Zionists and their Lencolar heresy. Black-Robes in abundance thronged the provinces of Terembembe and Timbira, though they made little or no progress upon converting the wayward. Otherwise, things in the southlands were very quiet.

1741–1742 T206
Kingdom of Caquetio: To the entire puzzlement of his ministers, Gimoc began to push legislation which would lead (in time) to the abolition of slavery within the kingdom. To most of them, this was madness as the failure of the Zionist revolt in New Granada had only shown how devisive an issue this was. In addition, anything weakening the nation (like the unaccountable disbandment of two entire regiments of light riflemen) would only lead to adventurism by the Knights of Saint John. However, Gimoc was adamant and entirely supported by the Sisterhood.

The Presidents

  • Zhe Guevara 1734-1736
  • Alfredo Nucomenbaro 1731-1734

The Player

  • John Kuo
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