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Discussion: Tlaloc Empire

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With Metz moving his country to Xio, I would like to propose making the role of the historic Tlaloc Empire more clearer within the context of Aurelian and Mesothallasan history. Thought I'd put it here so everyone could have their own say in the matter, particularly @Xio(considering that Metz was originally there), @San Castellino(considering their geographic location), along with other nations in Mesothallassa and Aurelia (that could potentially have been impacted by the migrations of the !Nahua peoples to the area early in their history).

So, in my history I have the Tlaloc people first appear in the archaeological record in the area of Volta round the 3rd century. However, at this point they were just a bunch of hunter-gatherer tribes (known as the Totec tribes by historians). It wouldn't be until the 8th century that they move away from their nomadic lifestyle and start settling down, and by the 11th century they would have established many city states, particularly along a lake they called Lake Tlatelolco and along the inland parts of the Volta River. In the year 1152, a ruler named Tlacotzin takes control of a city state in the lake also called Tlatelolco, and begins abandoning it. By 1162 he has unified the area around the lake, and begins expanding their empire. This is the origin of the Tlaloc Empire.

Now, from here is things that I'm proposing be changed, assuming we're keeping the Crescent Empire at all.


The Tlaloc Empire, as I currently envision it, would appear as in the image below at its greatest extent. keep in mind that I did not include hard lines detailing the exact hard borders and instead chose to highlight the general areas in different colors and outline the level of control the Tlalocs would have over each one. This is because borders in the modern sense of the word probably would not exist during this period of time (see this video for more details of how borders were in ancient times).


The yellow highlight is both the city-state and the lake Tlatelolco (probably has a different name now, but at the time that would be its name), the central power-base of the Tlaloc Empire. The red/orange highlight is the area which they either solidly controlled or had solid influence over. These areas would be solidly Tlaloc, both in language and culture, even if they are ruled by tributary states and not Tlatelolco (I'll get into that in a bit).

The pink/purple area is where they would have had some influence over, but not solid control. Most likely this area would be controlled by tributary states that are nominally loyal to the Empire, but would probably turn on Tlatelolco if they think they could get away with it and that it would be advantageous for them. The pink/purple area to the south would also likely not be !Nahua in culture, but a different native culture. Perhaps some form of Amerindian from what rl is Northern Mexico/the Southern US (I dunno about that, just throwing out random ideas, it can be any culture that would fit in the historical lore of that part of the wurld)?

The blue area is the area that would be contested with neighboring civilizations, be it actual empires or simply nomadic tribes. Perhaps to the south and west there could be conflicts with the peoples that the !Nahua peoples displaced when they migrated there, and to the east there could be conflicts with other !Nahua peoples that are building civilizations of their own. In any case, this area would never have been under the full control of the Tlalocs, but they would have been trying to gain control of them when the Tlaloc Empire falls.


Now, I'm thinking of having the Tlaloc Empire be slightly further along in terms of development scale. This isn't really being changed much from my current lore, to be honest. It would be very similar to what the rl Aztec Empire achieved, but with slight advancements in terms of economy. Most notably, the Tlaloc Empire will actually have a system of hard money, in the form of axe-money. Probably this axe-money originally would have a ceremonial use, but the fact they were commonly used in trade means eventually it develops from a single ceremonial object traded around into one form of axe-like objects used for ceremonial purposes and a smaller version that's actually used as currency throughout the Empire, with a value fixed to a certain number of Cacao beans depending on size and composition. (Rl, this form of money probably wasn't used by the Aztecs themselves but it WAS used by other cultures in Mesoamerica and South America.) This money probably would have also been used mostly by the elites and nobility, with the common folk still using regular cacao beans as currency. Furthermore, they would also have a unique writing system that combines pictographic and ideographic elements with phonetic logograms and syllabic signs. I would go into more detail about their writing system, but I'm not an expert on the native Aztec script and from what I understand even experts on this subject don't fully agree on what exactly it is and how exactly it works so I'm just going to leave it at that.


Now, this Empire would NOT have the governing structure you might expect from an ancient empire. It would not be ruled by a single all-powerful Emperor, in the way that say the Roman Empire was. Rather it would be reliant upon a network of tributaries that are largely self-governing in terms of the day-to-day internal matters, but expected to pay regular tribute to Tlatelolco and contribute soldiers to any war that the empire gets involved in. In return, these tributaries would gain the protection of the entire empire from any attack, political stability, and access to an integrated and wide economy. As such Tlatelolco would not really have supreme authority over the entirety of the empire, only the area closest to them.


So, after Tlatelolco unifies their lake, they go on a campaign of expansion, until they reach their empire reaches the areas that I outline in the image I showed you previously. Their greatest territorial extent would be in the mid-1300's. From here their history can take two shapes, depending on whether or not we're keeping the Crescent Empire in some form or another.

The first option is to have the Tlaloc Empire start to decline in the 1400's, until its ultimately conquered by the Crescent Empire (or whatever replaces them). This would keep history largely in line with what had happened previously.

The other option, and my personal preference, is to have the Tlaloc Empire survive until the Dolch arrive, albeit in a stagnant state. They would not have been able to expand beyond the range I outlined. Not out of lack of trying, but rather a huge slew of other factors (the people they try to conquer are too powerful, the Tlaloc method of indirect government makes it difficult to organize large armies across huge landmasses, their not-so-loyal tributaries occasionally causing trouble, etc). When the Dolch arrive, their population is hit by old-wurld diseases, that has a huge toll on their population, which is what pushes their empire from stagnancy to decline, and allows whatever Dolch Conquistador equivalent there is to conquer the area.

So, what does everyone think? Could these ideas potentially be adapted into the lore in some way? Any suggestions? Or maybe there's some canon thing I'm not aware of that I need to account for.

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