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Donde todo comienza (Chronicles of a New wurld, 1630)

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  • 3 weeks later...

By the grace of God, on Friday the 5th of April in the year 1630,

Men, weary of staying in Puerto Montega, ventured into the depths of the New Wurld, a land stretching as far as the eye could see, offering an unknown lushness, both enchanting and perilous. It appeared to be Eden, a paradise hidden from our eyes by divine light.

The first whispers of this enigmatic land reached us. Here, there are towering trees resembling giants' feet; the forest appeared majestic and impenetrable. The songs of brightly colored birds and the cries of unknown creatures filled the air with a strange and enchanting symphony. We advanced cautiously, seeking answers to the mysteries of this virgin land, our hearts a mix of fascination and apprehension. Despite the claims of some of our companions, no natives were spotted at that time.

Sadly, a handful of men succumbed to fierce, unknown beasts that occasionally manifested, reminding us of the fragility of our existence in this hostile paradise. Here, there are snakes as long as several men, capable of swallowing a whole horse.

After seven days of marching, we stumbled by chance upon natives fishing near a freshwater river. Far from the image of barbaric and wild people we witnessed with Admiral Deiargon moons ago, these natives were adorned richly for savages. Upon spotting us, there was initially a long moment of mutual observation, each scrutinizing the other's intentions. I would lie if I said fear didn't knot my stomach. Many tales of cannibal tribes had chilled our innocent hearts.

After the observation phase, both parties dared to approach each other. The natives were particularly intrigued by our espada ropera and muskets, which our comrades held onto carefully. Diego de Montega attempted to explain our expedition to them and inquired about their lord, if such a lord existed. Their language appeared highly varied and greatly piqued my interest; I noted a difference in accent among them.

They left us, having offered numerous exotic fruits, one of their cleverly crafted fishing rods for a savage, and some of the strangest seeds. We bequeathed them two doubloons of the Iberic Empire and a pair of our boots.

Montega ordered the construction of a barracks at this location and stationed a dozen men to stay until our return for a more profound expedition. We bid them farewell and returned to Puerto Montega.

— Christiano Davegga, chronicler in Puerto Montega.

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  • 3 weeks later...

By the grace of God, on Tuesday the 25th of February in the year 1631,

We had encountered a handful of savages until then, and we soon underestimated the civilization that lived in this Eden. They erected great buildings atop mountains so high that we could not see their summits. They skillfully cultivated a most peculiar edible fare, which they consumed as their main dish. It is a truly unique wheat that could sustain many men. It would also be desirable to sow this New wurld wheat throughout all the provinces of Europa, to provide sustenance and nourishment for the abundantly poor. With a bit of this wheat, we could easily feed and sustain them as well as the savages, who are of the same nature as us. Thus they would not suffer from scarcity nor be compelled to beg through the cities, towns, and villages, as they do every day. Besides, this wheat greatly nourishes and satisfies, requiring no sauce, meat, fish, butter, salt, or spice. We quickly learned that they call this fare “Maize,” and we were soon introduced to the manner of its cultivation.

Their gods are of such repulsive ugliness that they nearly terrified our men. They are represented in grotesque manners, and we refused to perform any pagan rites, much to the discontent of the populations we encountered. Father Antonio de la Cruz attempted in vain to teach them the tenets of the Tacolic faith, to no avail. Then came a most strange occurrence; we were traversing a road skillfully paved for savages when we encountered a pagan procession: numerous women dressed in white and men adorned in absurd attire, crowned with blood-red feathers, came singing before our company. They quickly knelt before our sight and kissed our feet while offering a thousand gifts. It was evident that they mistook us for their pagan gods, or at least their messengers. This phenomenon of adulation recurred several times during our journey.

One fine morning, we received the visit of what appeared to be a representative of the emperor of the natives themselves. He introduced himself as Azelca, a representative of the lord of the lands we trod upon, richly attired in colorful patterns. He stayed with us for a few days, contenting himself with observing us and occasionally conversing with the officers. However, Montega remained cautious and addressed him only on rare occasions. Azelca departed one fine day, having apparently completed his mission, and none knew what it truly entailed. I had the opportunity to speak with him before his departure, and I learned that their people are called the Tuachecs, and their lord is, in reality, an emperor. When I informed him that we were en route to meet his lord, he cast me a look filled with suspicion and doubt before ceasing to speak to me thereafter. After his departure, we quickly noticed among certain savages, especially the pagan priests, the beginnings of distrust and even hostility. It seemed that our so-called divinity had been unmasked by the natives' elites, and the aforementioned Azelca was not a stranger to this revelation.

— Christiano Davegga, chronicler in Puerto Montega.

Edited by Orioni
that date was a Tuesday, not a Monday (see edit history)
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  • 5 months later...

By the grace of God, on Thursday the 1st of March in the year 1631,

I write to you today with a heavy heart and news that, I fear, will only stir storms in our wake. The events of these past days have been both glorious and tragic, and I feel compelled to put them into writing to ease my conscience.

On February 28th, we came into view of what appeared to be an indigenous city. After conversing with the surrounding villagers, we learned that the city was called Tawantinsuyo and that it was the second residence of the Tuachec emperor named Pomatec IV. Montega decided to send a messenger to inform the emperor of our desire to negotiate. However, we were quickly overtaken when the familiar face of Azelca, whom we had met in the past February, arrived. He explained that the emperor was already aware of our arrival but wished to have more details about our purpose. After several back-and-forths that lasted until sunset, with the emperor insisting that only a limited number of us should come, which led to disputes over who would have the privilege to go, a meeting in the city was arranged for the next day.

We arrived at the city walls as the sun was already high in the sky. Our delegation consisted of 50 men, among whom were Diego de Montega, his brother Juan, myself, and 47 brave souls. We entered the bustling city, its walls made of dark and sturdy stones, undoubtedly of volcanic origin. We were welcomed in a large square where the emperor himself sat: a pair of dark eyes and long black hair adorned with a crown of gold topped with exotic feathers. He sat on a throne made of dark wood, which caused some men to smirk mockingly, wondering what kind of respectable emperor ruled his territory on a throne made of such unrefined material. We were surrounded on all sides by the emperor's soldiers, who regarded us seriously, but I caught fleeting curious glances they cast upon us as they scrutinized us. Montega knelt and urged us to do the same, which we did. We were offered, in a very hospitable manner, round straw seats to sit on. Afterwards, we were served beverages that greatly pleased the men.

Discussions began, with Azelca serving as interpreter. Emperor Pomatec IV seemed very curious about our journey and our attire. Montega presented him with his rapier, and the emperor handled it quite clumsily, I must admit. Then, he asked Montega if he could try on his helmet. Montega graciously accepted. The emperor placed the headgear on his head and stood there for a moment, turning his head before a smile spread across his face and a thunderous laughter resonated. He eventually returned the helmet to its owner, and Azelca explained that the emperor found our helmets quite uncomfortable and that they must not be easy to wear during battles. In return, Montega asked him for information about the potential arrival of other white men, but Pomatec responded in the negative, which seemed to satisfy Montega.

The negotiations, conducted with the caution of a predator stalking its prey, seemed to be leading to a fragile peace agreement. But behind the diplomatic smiles and gestures of hospitality, invisible tensions simmered, ready to explode at the slightest spark. And that spark was ignited by rumors of massacres and pillaging in the empire's lands, unjustly attributed to our own hands. Montega suddenly rose and loudly proclaimed that the rumors were unfounded and that it was a tasteless provocation.

(Note from the author: I later learned that the Tuachec emperor was speaking the truth. After the establishment of Puerto Montega, men pillaged coastal villages in a bloody manner, unfortunately I was not witness to these atrocities.)

The atmosphere suddenly grew tense, and I saw some of our men reach for their scabbards. Juan de Montega rose alongside his brother and declared that it would be preferable for a second meeting to take place tomorrow to clarify this misunderstanding as best as possible. The emperor agreed, and we were, more insistently, escorted out of the city.

As we left, Montega looked at the city with a gaze that I had never seen in him. It seemed for a moment that flames were caressing his pupils. We returned to the camp where the rest of the group awaited us. We told them about our meeting with the emperor, but Montega added cruel details and aggressive traits to the emperor and his men in a perverse manner. He belittled the seats and beverages offered. I dared not correct him for fear of being seen as a traitor. I sought in vain the support of the other comrades who had accompanied me, but all I saw in their eyes were flames of revenge and defiance. It seems that the thunderbolt from Heaven is about to strike this inviolate land. I pray to be wrong, but I saw Diego de Montega gather privately with his officers, and I fear the worst. As I walked to my tent, I heard him say: "He will see if our helmets are as uncomfortable as he says." 

May God protect us.

— Christiano Davegga, chronicler in Puerto Montega. —

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