Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×




Details

Submitted on
June 30, 2012
Image Size
422 KB
Resolution
769×831
Submitted with
Sta.sh
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
4,141
Favourites
59 (who?)
Comments
47
Downloads
30
×
Iron to Dust by Kurarun Iron to Dust by Kurarun
This is a map I made for the Map of the Fortnight contest on AlternateHistory.com.

The basic premise is that the Quaternary Extinction Event, which killed off most of North America's unique megafauna in our timeline, is less severe in its effects. Several species survive in small numbers, before regaining their numbers once environmental pressures abate. The now-agricultural Native Americans experiment with domestication early, starting with small, llama-like camelids (which are bred for wool and meat), Equus Scotti (the American horse - too small and weak to ride, but a good pack animal nonetheless), and eventually the Camelops.

The Camelops is large and strong enough to ride, being seven feet tall at the shoulder (larger than any modern camel), and it's not long before they're heavily integrated into the society of many Native American groups. They're used by farmers as draft animals, by merchants for carrying their wares (as well as a form of transport), and eventually by soldiers.

Soldiers mounted on Camelops found it too tall to effectively attack foot soldiers from its back, so its main use is as a mobile archer platform. Its size and strength allow it to carry two riders with ease - sometimes with one directing the camel and the other shooting, sometimes with both shooting and one using their feet and legs to direct the camel.

Overtime the use of a rideable animal allows Native Americans to develop large empires. The Hundred Provinces (they use a base 20 counting system, so it should technically be "The Four Hundred Provinces" but the term is used poetically rather than literally) or the Kawek Empire ("Kawek" is derived from the Kawakahe - the Heron Clan - who ruled the empire at the time of the first European contact) - is perhaps the greatest of these.

Founded in roughly 500VA ("Vulgaris Aerae", Latin for "Common Era") the Kawek Empire rapidly expanded across central North America - sometimes conquering those who stand in their way, but more often allying with them and drawing them into the empire through sustained trade and diplomacy.

The Kawek Empire is notable for its many feats of engineering. Its society is based around clans, with each clan having a specific role - among them clans of labourers, who work to maintain the empire's roads and bridges; who level hills and mountains to make fields of golden corn; who raise huge, square and circular mounds upon which are built the palaces of the powerful, and the temples of the gods.

The above map is from a textbook detailing the Kawek Empire's history, showing the extent of the Empire and its allies at the time of their first contact with Europe in 1602VA ("Vulgaris Aerae", Latin for "Common Era" - it's the same as CE and AD). Columbus' voyage sailed off as it did in our timeline, but it never returned, delaying European discovery of the Americas until the 1600s, when an enterprising Frenchman with nothing to lose convinces the King to fund a fateful expedition across the Atlantic, and into the unknown.

Modern history of the Kawek Empire remembers their rulers at the time of this first contact as being part of the "Iron II Dynasty", so called because they ruled over a fledging iron age in the Empire, with iron rapidly becoming the most used metal for things such as luxury items, weapons, and armour. The Iron II Dynasty would maintain their hold on power until the final fall of the Empire in the 1800s, when Europe's technological edge finally became too much for them.


If you have any questions about the Kawek Empire or relevant allohistory please feel free to ask - I've thought about this quite a bit, but I've left some bits out to try and cut down the length of this description. :)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
I wish someone would make a movie out of all of these alternate history concepts.
Reply
:iconkcammy:
KCammy Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
This is awesome, my good sir, if I may be permitted to use an Americanism this once. :)
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!

I hope one day you will use the term "awesome" to refer to one of my maps, and have it mean what it originally meant. :D
Reply
:iconkcammy:
KCammy Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2012
Oh, but of course. If you can make it 10,000 pixels by 10,000 pixels, and focused on the HREmpire. :p
Reply
:iconammonoidea:
Ammonoidea Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012
Sweet map. Do they have much contact with the Mesoamericans?
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A fair bit. The Mesoamericans and South Americans are a fair bit more developed too, with trade taking place between Mesoamerica and the part of North America east of the Rockies via land routes over what in our timeline is now Texas (which is generally less developed than the Mississipi, East Coast, and Great Lakes regions) and occasionally by ship (ships are generally relatively small, and driven by oars and one or two sails - they rarely do battle, but when they do it's generally using rams and archers).

Neither has ever really invaded the other, of course, but they're certainly aware of one another, and it would be relatively easy for a person to make their way from the Great Lakes to Mesoamerica, or even to South America, without any real trouble.
Reply
:icontodyo1798:
Todyo1798 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is madness, the good kind of madness, but madness noentheless.
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had hoped for nothing less, and want for nothing more! :D
Reply
:iconalt-reality:
Alt-Reality Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a marvelous idea and map (wish I had come up with it!). I love the idea and would like to see more!
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! :D

I'm thinking of doing maps of Central or South america next or perhaps the North East/Great Lakes region, but I need to do some proper research, which might take a while, I'm afraid.
Reply
:iconalt-reality:
Alt-Reality Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
North East/Great Lakes!! :D
Reply
:iconrarayn:
Rarayn Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
Awesome to finally see a new Kurarun map. Fine work as usual.

I am assuming that after a relatively brief period of European domination (say, 100-175 years) it will regain its independence in some form much like India did OTL?
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You assume correctly! :D

I'm not sure exactly how decolonisation and independence would work, though - I need to work out the history of the Americas between here and there first to say for sure whether it's more like that of India (people put aside their differences in order to form a few, large states), or that of certain parts of Africa (ethnic tensions galore). Chances are it would happen differently in different areas, with some places turning out better than others.
Reply
:iconkyronea:
Kyronea Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
The real question I'm curious about is, what kind of cultural legacy does this leave? I imagine the Native Americans of the Kawek Empire are going to be a lot hardier than the ones in OTL, so we're naturally going to see a lot more survivors. Makes me wonder what the world is like in 2012VA.
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey Kyro! :)

I've been discussing it with a couple of other people in the comments, and it's definitely the case that Native Americans in this world are more able to deal with smallpox than they were in ours (though mortality rates are still rather high in some areas - possibly as high as 30-50% - at least initially). I also like the idea of the disease exchange going both ways, so Europe will get a nasty surprise that would level the playing field a bit more. Even after colonisation the Native Americans would be numerous enough to make up a majority of the Americas' population!

I'm not sure what the world would look like after decolonisation, though. It would obviously have different effects in different areas, with some areas turning out more like India, and some turning out more like Africa. I really need to figure the history between here and there before I can say anything for certain, though!
Reply
:iconkyronea:
Kyronea Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
I would definitely like to see a map of the world at the height of Kawek Empire, if nothing else.
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'll see what I can do - but there won't be many real changes in the Old World. :)
Reply
:iconaenek-lycaon:
Aenek-Lycaon Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012
I really love this. A buff of the Native Americans is an alt history scenario I've always wanted to do, but for various reasons I've never been able to make it. Excellent work!
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconlamnay:
lamnay Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012
Very nice indeed. So what other creatures survived?

Does it get conquered piecemeal or get divided up?
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!

The creatures that I had survive - alongside the Camelops, a couple of smaller camelids, and the American horse - were the Short-Faced Bear, the American Lion, Pampatheridae (large armadillo-like animals), Stag-Moose, and Teratorns. There's no real logic to this - I'm just picking and choosing what seems interesting to me, without just letting everything survive. A number of animals survived in South America, with some greatly reduced populations in North America too, such as Toxodons (large rhinocerous/hippotamous-like mammal), giant ground sloths, Macrauchenia (long-necked llamas), and Cuvieronius (elephant-like gomphotheres - because *Incas and *Aztecs riding elephants is just too awesome to pass up).

In terms of how European domination of the Americas develops, I think it would develop somewhat different depending on the region, but for the most part no place is just divided up and entirely conquered by a European power. The Native Americans and Europeans are on a more equal footing in this timeline, and smallpox - while still deadly and endemic - wouldn't have quite as much impact as it did in our world (plus, I'm thinking of having an American disease make its way back to Europe, to level the playing field a bit more).

In North America, at least, the colonisation would resemble that of India. Initially the Europeans would be restricted to trading posts, but they'd want to make more and more money out of the Americas, so they'd fund and arm revolts, deposing anti-European leaders and putting more favourable rulers in place. At various times they would come to the conclusion that a native ruler can't control an economically vital region, or that a region is economically worth annexing, and so would invade and expand their territory that way. Eventually you'd end up with a British India-type situation, with large swathes of land held by European countries, with small and weak native states allied to the colonial powers.

Depending on the place, though, I could see large areas being annexed and colonised by Europeans (e.g. the Amazon region and Patagonia), and in other places native countries might be able to maintain their independence, at the expense of a number of outlying territories, and control over their own economy (similar to China and the Unequal Treaties).
Reply
:iconlamnay:
lamnay Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
Cuvieronius? Cool, I've seen a few cryptozoological/conspiracy theory type things suggesting they did survive long enough for native peoples to use them.

No ground sloths? Some of the Caribbean ones might have hung on just long enough for the Spanish to encounter.

Thanks for the information, I imagined the might be more of what we saw happen with the Incas and Aztecs, with Europeans just taking over the reins of the former government, rather than hit and miss all-European colonies like Jamestown.
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I listed giant ground sloths under the species that didn't survive (at least not in great numbers) in North America, but survived in South America. I don't really know that much about where they lived and in what environment to speculate on where precisely they would've survived (you definitely seem to know more about this sort of thing than me!).

The takeover would be more like that of the Inca and Aztecs from our timeline, though it still wouldn't be anywhere near as bloody or severe! Even after colonisation Native Americans would still make up a majority of the population in the Americas in this world, even without counting mixed race people. I'm still not clear about the exact nature of the colonisation (or the decolonisation) though, so some of this might change as I develop this world!
Reply
:iconlamnay:
lamnay Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
Whoa, missed that. In reality they seem to survived longest where they could avoid humans, in the far south in Patagonia Mylodon clung on until 10,000 BC, perhaps a little later and in the Caribbean. Whoever wrote the Wikipedia article was an awkward bastard who used Before Present, but smaller sloths survived in Cuba and Hispanolia up until...2000 years ago? I really hate BP.

So 4190 minus 1950 equals 2240, add 62 equals 2302. 2302 minus 2012 equals 290 BC, or BCE if you for some reason want to use a Christian calender but a squeamish about calling it that. So the last ground sloths confirmed were around during the Warring States era and Punic and Pyrrhic wars. That's well after the first humans came to Cuba, so perhaps a few did manage to survive until the Spanish showed up.

It might be interesting to have pockets of mostly European migrants as well, like Costa Rica.

So how did this affect slavery?
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So ground sloths are most likely to survive in Patagonia and the Caribbean, I see. I'm not hopeful for their survival once European settlers appear on the scene, but in this world they'll definitely survive long enough for European settlers to see them!

There would definitely be a few areas with a European majority, probably in regions where smallpox hit the hardest, or in economically important regions controlled by European powers. You'd definitely get a few Caribbean islands with almost entirely European populations, or majority European populations with the rest made up of Native or imported slave labourers.

As for the slave trade, in our timeline the slave trade (from Africa to the Americas) was driven by a labour shortage - a labour shortage that does not exist in this world due to the greater numbers and resilience of Native Americans. I have no doubt that some black slaves will be brought across, particularly to regions with less organised and developed native states, but the slave trade would be no where near as huge as it was in our timeline.

Europeans would most likely use Native Americans for manual labour, sometimes outright enslaving them, and otherwise treating them as second-class citizens. This wouldn't win them any friends among the remaining native countries, as slavery is rare (or at least rarer) among Native Americans in this world - especially in the Kawek Empire where the clan-based caste system designates who will be a farmer or labourer - but most native countries won't be able to do anything about it.

Slavery is sometimes used by the Kawek Empire to force someone to pay back debts or taxes in the form of labour, and on rare occasion they may force many people to provide the state with labour (though again said labourers would gain an exemption from a certain amount of future taxes) with these occasions getting more common as smallpox reduces the number of people in the farming and labourer castes, but there was never any real slave trade - at least not in eastern North America - and whether forcing people to do labour in lieu of paying taxes counts as real slavery is debatable (as said labourers are never actually owned as property).

So, to summarise, less slaves are brought across from Africa, many Native Americans are forced into slavery or other forms of servitude, and there's little to no real systematic slavery or slave trade in eastern North America before Europeans start moving in.
Reply
:iconlamnay:
lamnay Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
Indeed, some people have theorized the natives may have farmed ground sloths to some extent, but the dates don't seem to march up, perhaps you could have them doing that ensure some survive?
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's an excellent idea! It's certainly possible for people in Central and South America to domesticate and farm some for their meat and fur in this timeline.

Oh, another animal I wanted to survive in the Americas was the Saiga Antelope - mainly because it looks so alien!
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconamongthesatanic:
AmongTheSatanic Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I take it colonization will be vastly different then, with the remaining megafauna and more centralized Amerindian states in North America.
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes indeedy. In our timeline the European colonisation of the Americas was vastly different from, say, their colonisation of India or Africa, because the Americas were underpopulated (they weren't always like that, but introducing smallpox to a population that has no defences against it tends to end badly) yet fertile. In this timeline the Native Americans have more defences against disease, due to having a much higher population (population density = people living much closer together = higher spread of disease = only the people resistant to disease survive) and having more contact with unhygienic environments (what with all their domestic animals that can't clean up after themselves). They still suffer from smallpox, but not quite to the apocalyptic extent that they did in our timeline, and... well... maybe the exchange of diseases wasn't quite so one way in this world. ;)

Though the Americas do come to be dominated by Europeans, Natives still make up the majority of the populations in most areas. They do eventually gain their independence, though I've not decided how just yet!
Reply
:iconamongthesatanic:
AmongTheSatanic Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Hmm, so would France end up taking over this empire similar to how the Spanish took over the Aztecs?
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nothing quite so bloody - I think the conquest would look more like the European colonisation of India than that of other parts of the Americas. Since the Native Americans are more developed and Europe gets its fair share of some nasty disease that some French sailor brought back, they'd be on a much more level footing, but with Europe still having a definite advantage.

At first the Europeans would just set up trading posts and religious missions, but over time they'd come to dominate the Americas economically. Of course, with economic domination also comes economic reliance - Europe would go crazy for beaver pelts in this timeline as they did in ours, and having closer control of the beaver pelt supply would be desirable (not that beaver pelts are the only thing they'd be after, but it's a good example).

They'd destablise the native countries by funding and arming rebellions, coups, pretenders - anyone who would promise to offer more favourable terms when it comes to trade. In cases where they think native rulers can't keep control of their own populace, they'd just outright invade and probably annex whatever economically important bits they want and need.

Basically you'd end up like British India; swathes of land owned directly by European countries, with small and weak native countries dotted about allied to the colonial powers.
Reply
:iconamongthesatanic:
AmongTheSatanic Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
So which Europeans would get which territories?
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've honestly no idea, I'm afraid! Britain and France would obviously be players, but I can't say which bits they'd get nor what other countries would exist to get other bits!
Reply
:iconamongthesatanic:
AmongTheSatanic Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Make a map of North America after it's been colonized? :P
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm, maaaybe. I'd have to work out a lot of the history (both American and European) first - there'd be a lot of maps inbetween here and there (not that that's a bad thing :) ).
Reply
(2 Replies)
:iconfenn-o-manic:
Fenn-O-maniC Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Never seen Native American wank before... Good work!
Reply
:iconkurarun:
Kurarun Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconfenn-o-manic:
Fenn-O-maniC Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem! :)
Reply
Add a Comment: