Empires

Additional notes for the latter part of the campaign

Two empires are at war in the New World. Neither empire knows where to find the people of the other but each knows where their armies and navies will clash. Military commanders in Rome know their enemy only as the “Maya”.

Tollan

  • Perhaps the first fact to know about the Maya is that they are only a small culture within a larger empire, much as the Greeks are a culture within the Roman Empire.
  • As the sole greater power on their continent, the Toltec Confederation of cities is an empire stretching from the Isthmus of Pakal in the south to the Mi’zibi Riverplains in the north [Panama to the Midwest]
  • Originally known as the Puh’am, the Toltec trace their origin to the unification of the great cities (kuhul puh) under the living god Kich’en C’onle, formerly the ruler of the Kingdom of Mutal centered on the great city of Yax Mutal.
  • Kich’en is a central figure in Toltec history and culture, at once fulfilling the roles of an Aristotle, an Alexander, and a Prometheus. Near the start of the 9th b’ak’tun, Kich’en was raised by his people to the kingship for the gifts of his providence to the city (notably, gifts of logic, the “Way”, concrete, gunpowder, and various simple machines). As his land prospered, other cities were brought together under his rule through diplomacy and war.
  • With most cities united in one kingdom, Kich’en dubbed this collective the Puh’am (People of the Reeds ). These words from the old tongue have been supplanted by words from Nahuatl, from which comes the world Tollan (city ) and a new identity for the People of the Reeds (Toltec).
  • For the Toltec, the word Tollan implies civilization or the civilized world_, much as the word Rome does in the Roman Empire. Similarly, as Romans speak of the Populus Romanus (Roman Republic_), the Toltec speak of the Tlah’tocaque Tollan (Toltec Confederation) as their collective empire.
  • The emperor (kuhul ajaw ) of the Toltec descends from Kich’en C’onle in an unbroken dynastic lineage – the k’inich (divine ) dynasty. After the death of the previous emperor, the lords (talhtoani ) elect a new emperor from among his direct children, using the meritocratic criteria laid down by Kich’en. During his reign, an emperor has no name and is dubbed instead by his successor, often with a descriptive name.
  • Toltec culture within a city is extremely hierarchical and rigid. The tetecoltin (nobility) are untouchables within Toltec society, regarded as uniquely capable of ruling and as protectors of knowledge gathered through the Way.
  • The Way is a proto-scientific method similar to Greek Skepticism but more quantitative in its applications.
  • Political power is technically separated from wealth. Neither the emperor nor the lords of cities possess currency in any form – except for land and property., which the nobility are uniquely allowed to control. Most business is conducted by the pochectah (merchants), who own no land but manage the operations of farms, mines, markets, banks, etc.
  • Everyone else are the macehualtin (commoners) ranging from skilled artisans to mere labor. The lower ranks of soldiers are drawn from this caste while the upper ranks are exclusively drawn from the nobility, with pochectah excluded from military service.
  • With its strict hierarchy, Toltec society places heavy demands on its members. Rather than owing a tribute or tax to the emperor, a Toltecah owes his loyalty and service. As the descendant of a god (a true bringer of fire) and the choice of the best (best by divine rules of selection) from among those living descendants, the emperor is revered in a way with no equivalent in Roman society (beyond a Pope or Augustus).
  • The present emepror is regarded more as a god than any other since Kich’en C’onle. He has eternal youth and the power to control the earth itself. When he deigned to involve in warfare a few decades ago, he destroyed an entire rebellious city.
  • Under this ruler, the tradition of obedience to the emperor has never been stronger.
  • Outside of cities, imperial zeal is a less significant part of life but everyone lives on land owned by some tetecotli and everyone still owes this revered man service to some degree.
  • Outside Toltec society are the vassals of the Confederation, who owe not only a material tribute but also a vital tribute in the related forms of human sacrifice and indentured servitude.
  • There is little love lost between master and vassal within the confederation.
  • War for the Tollan is slow, methodical process. They seek only slaves and sacrificial victims (there is no formal distinction) but their reach is wide enough to never lack in either. War with the ‘Romonin’ has captured the attention of the average Toltecah. People on the street hear tell of countless cities from which to exact vital tribute – unlike any tribe ever subjugated by the Tollan.
  • Conquest of the Mi’zibi settlements has occupied the tollan for the last few centuries. Recent conflict with them has been heated as the local wildlife now (last ~60 years) supports them and they have united somehow with a vast assortment of other tribals.
  • Tollan see neither the Mi’zibi nor Rome as a threat – the eventual defeat of both is seen as inevitable – not in the way that a general sees victory but in the way that a geologist foresees the advance of a glacier. The very concept of a ‘military loss’ is foreign to the Toltec.

Rome

  • Founded 2016 years ago, Rome is today [2016 AUC] the uncontested great power in Europe, Africa, and Arabia.

Empires

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