Colorado, High Kingdom of
Foundation: 1657-date (T165-date)
- Three Crosses in Navajo (since ????)
- Sancta Fiera (to ????)
Religion: Lencolar Christian
By Rob Pierce, updated by Martin Helsdon
Rudolf FitzHugh purged the country of Roman Catholic influences and converted the nation wholesale to Lecolar Catholic over the course of 1699-1700 (T186). His untimely death a few years later (1703, T188) plunged the nation into a divisive civil war. Although Morgan Sackett was the ultimate victor in the capital, Juan Najera, a Zacatecan prince, led a groundswell of Catholic opposition in the south into the founding of the Northern Citadel (aka Yaqui Zacateca). Morgan was killed in battle with Najera in 1706 (T189), but his son Jethro was relieved of the Yaqui threat when negotiations arranged for Najera and the Catholic faithful to migrate to Europe and found the Divine Kingdom of Israel (1708, T190).
Still to be written.
ARF: Jessica, aboard her flagship Marguerite, attempted to inspect the company holdings in Itza on the Aztec coast. Unfortunately, the Imperial government had recently issued a very stern series of edicts banning her, her ships, her agents and anything to do with her and the ARF from Aztec lands. Indeed, while Jessica was arguing with the port authorities in Itza, the company offices, funds, factories, farms and so on throughout the Empire were being seized. Disugsted and disturbed by this turn of events, the Signeur returned to Arawak to fulminate.
Upon her return, she learned the Company holdings on Ciguayo had been summarily ejected from the island.
Colorado: Things had settled down enough for der Grosse to think of something other than casting more cannon and placing more men under arms. An arrangement was struck with the Aztec Empire for the defense of Unita and the Holy Tower. New plantations of high-mountain cotton were started in Navajo and many men who had served under "Iron" Wilks were pensioned off.
A number of merchants petitioned the king to build a royal highway from Moache to Tiwa, but the cost seemed very high to all concerned. Der Gross thought the idea a good one, though. A rather daring experiment in regional autonomy was also launched, with direct Royal control over the provinces of Shoshoni, Hopi, Capitan and Coahuila being withdrawn. The entire province of Apache was granted as a personal fiefdom to the DuPlain family, as a reward for services rendered. Der Grosse retained garrisons and tax collectors in the cities, however.
The Sisters established one of their public schools in Unita, well within the protective embrace of the fortifications at Mesa Verde, to see to the education of the children of the soldiers stationed there, and the local ranchers.
Following the political rhetoric emanating from New Jerusalem, the High Kingdom declared a ban on all parties, contracts, embassies and merchants associated with the Catholic-devil-spawn known as the Aeronautical Research and Fabrication company.
(1) Though Fredrik would not have minded owning a few of those clever ships of the air.
Azteca: Tired of looking at the map and seeing such a tiny portion of California under his control, Trákonel established a penal colony in Mohave (making the region a 0/10 desert.) Too, this helped defend the passage along the Colorado, particularly since they also secured governance of Unita (and protection of the Tower) from the Colorado.
This settlement was only part of a larger effort by the Empire to expand into the desolate lands around the Colorado - the Smoking Sun and Jaguar Legions were fighting a campaign of suppression against the Moapa and the Paiute at the same time. Though the soldiers were hot, dusty and footsore by the time they were done, the scattered Shinto tribesmen were driven away or killed. The Eagle Legion was also busy along the coast, gathering up garrisons and marching them north.
Colorado: Trying to avoid being strangled by a complete lack of trade, King Fredrik approved a charter for the construction of a new port city, Corpus Christi, in the province of Karankawa on the Gulf coast. Through this new entrepot, he hoped the goods produced by his merchants and craftsmen would find foreign markets, and all would profit thereby.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Aside from breeding, the Coloradans continued to work industriously at recovering from the loss of the lands (and shipping ports) taken by the Arapaho. The cities of Bullhead (in Hopi) and Corpus Christi (in Karankawa) expanded.
Considerable trouble disturbed the always-fragile peace on the island of Taino (a noted refuge for mercenaries, pirates, scallywags and rough types of all sorts) where the investigations of a plucky girl reporter had revealed the tenacious influence of the notorious Aztec quimichtin among the company captains. There was great unrest among the soldiers as a result, and many war-captains found themselves without troops! However, almost immediately afterwards the famous Jessica Orozco arrived in Taino with a squadron of ARFW ships and entered into negotiations with the condotierri to represent them as a brokerage service. As of press-time, there were still some matters outstanding, though an agreement was reportedly close.
Arapaho Texas: Ayoel burned, a quarter of the city roaring up in flames as forces loyal to Ugraima were hunted down and massacred by Nemukare’s men. Messengers were sent to Tecolote Azarama and Okmulge Nevershy Horse (the remaining two great chiefs of the Arapaho), demanding their fealty to Nemukare. Paulain of Chitimacha had already repudiated the kinslayers and sent a frantic letter to Fredrik of Colorado, seeking his aid against the usurper.
Sisters of the Rose: Sister Ruth, traveling in the frontier districts between Aztec and Colorado, found herself subjected to constant, harassing attacks by Apaches, Krorist slavers and other neer’do’wells. She escaped no less than four attacks, but failed in her mission to bring the word of peace to the barbarians in those lands. She also ran out of ammunition for her Remington double-action and lost the rifle (cracking the stock over the head of an Apache as he swarmed onto the top of her armored carriage).
High Kingdom of Colorado: Diplomacy Apache(ea), Hohokam(t)
Despite all the trouble in the south and east, the High King made sure to mind his own darned business and see to his own darned knitting, which mostly consisted of trying to squeeze enough taxes from his citizens to pay the army.
Though Fredrik was hoping to escape the destructive chaos swirling at the borders of his domain, he did not. In the summer of ’45, there was a flare-up of trouble in Chiricaua. Apparently a strong force of Iroquois had been hiding out in the mountains and they suddenly raided a whole string of haciendas along the river. An attack was even made on St. Lukes, supported by (of all things) an airship. Many were killed, and later rumors pointed to the dead families being worshippers of the Locust God.
Aztec Empire: A raid on a ministerial office in Sion yielded unexpected and stunning news. The cult of the Lord of Eyes was not headquartered in Shawnee (or Colorado, or some other possible locations) but within Aztec itself! Immediately, Trákonel imposed a complete quarantine on the capital and fresh orders leapt like a thunderbolt to every corner of the Empire.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Diplomacy Hohokam(a)
The Coloradans ignored all the strange comings and goings in their realm and concentrated on restoring some semblance of central rule over the fractious and divided barons, dukes and counts who ruled what passed for provinces in the High Kingdom.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Diplomacy Apache(a)
Having bestirred himself from sloth, the High King had his minions running to and fro in great haste – the Coloradan fleet began patrolling the sea lanes between Corpus Christi and Kasar, suppressing piracy and protecting trade. The Sisters began a vigorous campaign of proselytization in Comanche, concurrent with a settlement program financed by the king. The abandoned town of St. Luke’s in Chiricaua was repopulated and many land grants were made in the province itself. New Royal way-stations (fortresses, really) were built all across the land and the High King’s knights were much in evidence.
Grain was shipped to the Aztecs.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Diplomacy Jumano/Anhuac(t)
While the king closeted himself in Three Crosses with some "internal matters", and mysterious wagon-trains crawled along the main highways under heavy guard, Admiral Cannell was busy in the Carribean, showing the flag off Kasar and the coast of Colon. After a brief 'friendship' visit to the Nisei settlement at Takari, Cannell and his troops essayed to raid, pillage and subdue the natives of the Colonese forests. Unfortunately for his dreams of glory, Cannell and his columns of infantry wandered aimlessly, found nothing but abandoned huts, and suffered hideously in the tropical heat. The natives attacked by night or surprise, disease ravaged the Coloradan troops and eventually (near dead from malaria) Cannell was forced to withdraw. His return to Corpus Christi was not triumphant.
A vigorous series of raids and arrests were made throughout the Kingdom as the King attempted to stamp out the last of the so-called "infestation" which had lately troubled his councils. A great deal of salt beef, lumber and other raw goods were sent to the Aztecs.
Aztec Empire: The voracious hunger of the Empire for agricultural products continued, with shiploads by the job lot coming in from the Ghost Dancers, the Knights of Saint John, Bolivia, Colorado and Great France.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Diplomacy New Colorado in Comanche(f)
The fleet took to sea again, this time to deliver General Shosin to the island of Ciguayo, where he was proclaimed the new governor and set to the task of guarding the sea lanes and generally watching over the Kingdom's interests in the Carribean. Princess Yesobelle accompanied the fleet, showing keen interest in all things of a martial nature.
Despite attempts by the King's agents to keep their presence quiet, quite a number of Shawnee officers turned up in Sancta Fiera, where they were apparently involved in training exercises with the Coloradan artillery corps. Missionary efforts in Comanche failed, as the Catholics there were in no mood to accept the 'damnable heretic rite' of the Lencolar Church. Work on a postal road from New Colorado down to the port of Corpus Christi, however, was quite successful and promised to soon be expanded into a real highway.
Aztec Empire: Further financial arrangements swelled the coffers of the New Granadans, the Caquetio, the Bolivians, the Colorado and the Ghost Dancers in exchange for the shipments of preserved foodstuffs which then were hauled up into the mountains of Zacatec.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Diplomacy Hohokam (^f)
Disgusted by the boasting of other nations, the High Kingdom launched a program to build the largest military draken ever. Plus, of course, where was a popular hot-air balloon festival every year in Three Crosses. In an effort to control costs, King Fredrik also began a reserve militia program to provide reserves for the active army. Prince Gunthar, meantime, was packed off to try and settle the restive Catholic of Comanche down (a few wags in the court said he was riding east so fast because his father was arranging a Hohokam wife for him in the east).
Princess Yesobelle, now popularly termed “Iron Skirt” for her tendency to wear half-plate mail all the time, toured the countryside with an ever-swelling retinue of knights, which certainly impressed the yokels.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Missionaries dispatched to Comanche to try and convince the Catholics there to accept female priests failed miserably and were whipped out of the province with sacks on their heads. Only the presence of a strong Colorado garrison in the region prevented outright revolt. After this sorry state of affairs, in an attempt to improve the religious prowess available to the High Kingdom, Fredrik granted the Knights of the Flowering Sun official recognition and set aside certain lands and properties for their maintenance in the kingdom.
Then, of course, the Sisters of the Rose missionaries arrived and the entire province was Lencolar by the end of ’58. Haw!
Back in Three Crosses, lord Paudron arrived with a cavalcade of horses, wagons and carriages from Hohokam, escorting prince Gunthar’s bride. A huge wedding followed (one not afflicted by poisonous birds or other calamities) and then the High King stepped aside to let his son take a direct hand at ruling the kingdom. Unfortunately, within the year the new princess was dead of complications of birth. Gunthar was outraged and complained to his father, who had no answers.
Order of The Flowering Sun: While there were successes to be had on the diplomatic front (gaining the patronage of the High King of Colorado and the continued support of Malinal of Caquetio), Chikietl also turned his attention to expanding the capabilities of the central authority and raising a new regiment of Order Knights.
High Kingdom of Colorado: The King’s tenants continued to potter about, grubbing in their fields. A new castle was built in Ute to protect the northern passes and several fresh irrigation canals were dug in Hohokam. King Fredrik – getting tired of siting in Three Crosses all day – took the army out for a tour of the country, which made the soldiers grumble, but got them fit and in fighting trim again.
Much to the surprise of most of his citizens, the High King also instituted an AeroPost Service between the main cities of the kingdom, using a fleet of locally-built and manned zeppelins. This startled several foreign observers, who had assumed from the archaic dress and local penchant for carrying swords that the Coloradans were a backward and poor nation.
Efforts to establish cordial relations (that is, other than at gunpoint) with the Comanche continued with two lords of the realm in constant negotiations and administration in the province. Princess Yesobelle visited as well, showing off two Royal AeroCorps zeppelins as well. But it promised to be a slow process. Missionaries were dispatched into Leoti to bring the word of the Sisters to the heathen Catholics savages there.
Official status was granted to the Knights of the Flowering Sun and they were invited to establish a presence in the kingdom. Substantial gold deposits were found in the mountains of Shoshoni, causing the town of Matincus there to expand rapidly as people flooded into the province to seek their fortune.
Aztec Empire: Grain was imported from Bolivia and Colorado, as the savants at the Imperial Office of Maize had predicted consumption of tortillas would rise markedly in the coming years.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Suffering an unexpected weakness of the heart, King Fredrik pitched over at mass in the great cathedral of Three Crosses and was dead before a doctor could reach him. Wasting no time, prince Gunthar had himself crowned High King in the same cathedral on the very same day. His sister Yesobelle was outraged by this, as she had hoped to challenge him to single-combat for the kingship, a maneuver the wily Gunthar had neatly sidestepped. However, as the new king lacked an heir of suitable age, Gunthar declared Ysobelle to be his heir until such time as a boy-child of his loins came of age. This mollified her somewhat.
Efforts to bring the word of the Sisterhood to the Leoti clansmen failed miserably, leading to massacres, burning settlements and general religious ill-humor. Back in Coloradan lands, the newly crowned King immediately took his army into the field – to search out and destroy rumors of an infestation not of the Kror cult, but of their reptilian brethren, the Yigites. Raids were made by the King’s Men in various rural townships in Apache, yielding an apparently huge haul of covered wagons which were sent to the University at Three Crosses.
A Sisterhood priestess, Frances, was wounded in the course of one of these raids in Navajo, where a Yigite fanatic tried to lop off her arm with a woodaxe. This unfortunate event prevented Frances from visiting the faithful in Three Crosses and Tiwa.
In return for the continuing good favor of the Aztec Empire, Gunthar saw fit to dispatch Ysobelle Iron-Skirt off to parts unknown, along with every other knight, captain or trooper who had earned the new King’s enmity.
High Kingdom of Colorado: The High King, having spent a little time discussing the sate of the kingdom with his brother Charles and dallied with his wife, set out with the King’s Army to inspect the provinces along the Royal Highway, and then returned, refreshed from a tour about the countryside, breaking in the boots of his troopers. A postcard came from Princess Yesobelle (off serving with the Aztecs) declaring she was “having a wonderful time.”
While surveying sites for a new King’s Road and provincial garrisons in Capitan, General Shosin was bitten by a rattlesnake in his boot and died rather gruesomely. As a result, Prince Charles and the Prince’s Own Horse Guards had to strain themselves to reach Capitan and see about Shosin’s tasks – which then devolved into suppressing a rural feud between the local ranchers and new immigrants – which wore out a lot of horseshoes and spent quite a bit of powder and lead.
Rumors of some kind of civil unrest in the Aztec fortress city of Mesa Verde, up north of the Big Ditch, circulated through Colorado for most of the winter of ’63-’64, but then died down.
Down in south Texas, several years of drought had created a dangerous situation – and a stray lightning strike in the summer of ’64 ignited a vast series of wildfires which charred most of the province, drove thousands from their homes and filled the sky with a black pall of smoke.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Tragically, the popular and lively prince Charles (II) (younger brother of King Gunthar, and namesake of their father, was killed in a horrible house-fire in Three Crosses… one fierce enough to melt stone and sublimate brick. Luckily, the mansion was on the outskirts of the city, and surrounded by a large garden, which reduced the damage to neighboring houses.
A Lencolar hospital was opened in Karankawa, particularly to treat the victims of recent wildfires.
Nisei Republic: Completely embarrassed to have the lowly Colorado beat them to something, the Republic hastily and quietly instituted an AirPost service between the great cities of the nation – sixteen speedy zeppelins were built amidst all of the preparations for war – and set about their business.
High Kingdom of Colorado: When a messenger arrived in Three Crosses bearing news of the Shawnee and Arapaho invasion the GhostDancer homeland of Quapaw, Gunthar addressed his commanders: “As you know, for years there has been a balance of power along our borders. The Catholic nations of Shawnee and Arapaho on one hand, and the Lencolar nations of Colorado and the GhostDancers on the other. With the brutal subjugation of the GhostDancer homeland by the Catholics, this balance has now shifted in their favor. Should this new state of affairs be allowed to continue, it is obvious that once the Catholic warmongers have made good their losses, Colorado would be their next victim!”
“You speak truly,” stated one of the staff officers in attendance upon the High King, “what is your plan, my lord?”
“We shall restore the balance,” Gunthar replied, “we shall crush the Arapaho. We have lost an ally, and now so shall the Shawnee be deprived of an ally. The Great Snake will be the border between Catholic and Lencolar.”
“What of the creatures from another world?” asked another officer, a Northlander with distinctly Japanese features, “the ones called the Tzitzimime?”
“We would be marching even now to join the fight against them, had Valeria Mother-Killer not sent her army and that of her Arapaho lackeys against the GhostDancers. But given her actions, we dare not leave the Catholics in such a position of power. Surely the mad Valeria would come at us next! We must first avenge our Lencolar brothers and sisters before we dare weaken ourselves to send an army far from home.”
Gunthar paused to look around the table, and saw his staff in full agreement with him.
“Mobilize the Army,” ordered Gunthar, “we strike for God and Honor!”
The High King then marched his army east, gathering garrisons and levies as he moved, and in June of ’67 slammed across the Arapaho border into Tonkawa. At the same time, Princess Yesobelle Iron-Skirt was marching her ‘Expeditionary Force’ up out of Aztec, reaching the town of St. Michaels in August…
Ghostdancers: Faced with the prospect of annihilation at the hands of the despicable Shawnee, Prince Waylo acceded to the urgent suggestion of embassies from both Nisei and Colorado. “This is the final struggle,” he growled to his lance-commanders. “Death and ruin to the Catholic dogs!”
Arapaho Texas: Unaware of the violence planned by the Colorado, Arroweye remained at his administrative capital of Natchez, seeing about the muster of fresh troops to garrison the provinces newly won in the north. General War-Eagle was dispatched to bring up the new levies, which had mustered at St. Michael’s in Tonkawa…
Apparently heedless of the risk of inciting a trans-Snake war, Lencolar missionaries infiltrated back into Quapaw to contest the efforts of the Catholics to recapture the faith of the province. The Arapaho, meanwhile, were similarly attempting to stamp out the Lencolar heresy in Caddo.
Gunthar’s Coloradans attacked Tonkawa in June of ’67 – met no resistance – and plowed on into Atakapa in July. The city of Ayoel – lacking any walls or garrison – was captured in August without a shot fired. The Arapaho prince Speardancer – who had watched the Colorado march past St. Michaels in outrage – had meantime evacuated as many Arapaho from that city as possible into the presumed safety of Caddo.
Also in August, General War-Eagle (who had learned of the invasion and turned his small force around) arrived on the north bank of the Arkansas and took up defensive positions. Messengers tore up and down the windy forest roads, trying to keep the Arroweye apprised of events. Lacking the strength to essay a crossing of the river, War-Eagle waits for the Shawnee and Prince Hophea to join him.
Princess Yesobelle Iron-Skirt of the Colorado and her Expeditionary Force captures St. Michaels in Tonkawa in September, having marched up the Aztec coast as fast as humanly possible to join the invasion. Both her and her father now go on the defensive behind the barrier of the Arkansas, expecting a counter-attack…
While the humans sniped at each other across the river and sat drinking homebrew in crude bunkers in the Arkansas forest, the thriving river-port town of New Orleans woke one October morning to the muffled whoomp! of a merchant snow in the harbor bursting into flame as its cargo of cotton bales and safflower oil ignited explosively. Firecrews rushed towards the docks, only to be met by the thooonk-thoonk-thoonk of black smoke canisters bursting on the cobblestone streets. Second later, two bat-winged machines swept over the city, incandescent eyes setting warehouses, factories and churches alight.
The greater War had come to Amerikan shores. The tzitzimime rained poisonous black smoke onto the city with abandon and fired all the shipping they could find in harbor. Then, with the city a burning ruin behind them, they vanished out to sea again
At much the same time, Prince Hophea and his lancers reached the Arkansas and joined up with War-Eagle’s infantry. Ordered by the Arroweye to recapture the Arapaho capital at Ayoel, the Prince sent a flotilla of commandeered boats down the Snake to fake a landing opposite Kohan and then forded the Arkansas with his main force, catching King Gunthar by surprise.
Skermishing ensued at Pine Bluff as the Arapaho army cut behind the High-King’s force (Gunthar was wheeling his regiments to face the real attack) and ran directly into Ysobelle Iron-Skirt’s corps. Hophea did not expect to encounter the Princess, and his 9,000 Arapaho were almost immediately outnumbered by the 37,000 Coloradans as they came swarming across the wood-lots and grain-fields. Hophea cursed, ordering his men back, and the Arapaho disappeared into the trees at a quick pace.
Despite her best efforts, Yesobelle could not catch Hophea before he was back across the river. And so things stood for ’68 as the Colorado were content to hold onto their new lands and await the arrival of the Ghost Dancers from the north.
Down in the Carribean, a Coloradan squadron commanded by the ancient Admiral Cannell attempted a landing on Taino island (which had recently allied itself with the Arapaho) but turned back after lightning raids by the islanders upon his squadron cost him two frigates.
Shawnee Empire: This revealed ill news – they were Apaches out of the far west – and known agents of the High Kingdom of Colorado. Iron-Hand immediately dispatched messengers to the Queen, though he knew the main army of the Empire (under Prince Drakon and lord Tecumseh) had already sailed off down the Snake to join the Aztecs in their war against the semi-legendary Tzitzimime.
A few months later, an Arapaho messenger came galloping up the road from the south to tell Iron-Hand that Colorado had attacked the Protectorate – but Nakos had only some four thousand men and keeping control of Infni was far more important… particularly with the Ghost Dancers on the move. He stayed put.
High Kingdom of Colorado: Though there were many distractions in the wide world, the Coloradans focused on one primary effort - to adopt the displaced Ghostdancers as their own. To this end, the High King signed a variety of treaties and swore many mighty oaths with the 'Dancer captains and leadership. In addition, arrangements were made with the Arapaho to 'stabilize' the eastern frontier of the kingdom.
Particularly the provinces of Tonkawa and Atakapa were returned to the Catholics, while Colorado gained the swampy, uninhabitable lowlands of Mescalero. Many migrations were thus put in motion… the first being Gunthar himself, who marched back to Three Crosses with most of his victorious army, the ringing tramp of his soldier's boots drowned out by cheering crowds filling the streets of every city, village and crossroads.
Princess Yesobelle (the well-monikered "Iron Skirt", see picture right) remained in the east, overseeing the evacuation of the Arapaho from Mescalero, escorting Averana's Ghostdancers to safety in the west and sealing the alliance - in her own inimitable way - by wedding the young prince Cold-Iron Averana. This blessed event was marred, unfortunately, by the open revolt of Gukkukun Averana and the chieftains of his 'faction' (that is, those 'dancer warleaders who had no stomach for a humiliating peace and exile in the west) including Blackhawk and Bishop Panukan (the Sisterhood legate) against Waylo Averana and Cold-Iron's leadership. As Gukkukun and his allies controlled the vast majority of the 'dancer army, Waylo did not attempt to oppose them. When Iron-Skirt offered to lead her Coloradans against the rebels, Waylo politely declined. "Gukkukun has his own destiny, and those who follow him have yet to learn wisdom. The Stormdragon will teach them, I think."
Admiral Cannell, who had reached a surpassingly vast age for the Coloradan (noted for their poor eating and bathing habits), tottered into Corpus Christi with his fleet in 1770 before falling over, dead as a doornail. His liver was later used as a doorstop in the city morgue and was a wonder to see.
The High Kings
- Gunthar Grosse 1761-date
- Fredrik Grosse 1739-1761
- Jethro Sackett 1706-????
- Morgan Sackett 1703-1706
- Rudolf FitzHugh 1696-1703
- Morgan FitzHugh 1667-1696
- Llyr FitzHugh 1657-1667
- 1447-date (T209-date) Richard Lloyd
- 1739-1746 (T205-T208) Dan Garrison
- 1657-???? (T165-????) Mitchell Mock
Last updated: 29 January 2005
© 2002 Robert Pierce © 2005 Martin Helsdon