weclome vistior

welcome to the home of Oronegro, a land that not so long ago was a peaceful and prosperous place but by the mid 2020's it was engulfed in a violent civil war! The whole world watched doing their bit in the conflict. the story is one of a small country stuck in superpower politics

Friday, November 23, 2012

colonisation and expansion part2

in the previous installment of Colonisation and expansion we looked at the early days of Oronegro and how "los Desperados" set up a colony of equality and peace, separate but not free from Spain and her kings and queens. in this installment the time of the securing of the colony and the foundation in the 16th and early 17th centuries comes into focus. Also a key story comes into focus at this time the tale the children of Oronegro's founder Juan Carlos.

Colonisation and expansion part2 section A

the Year 1523 will always be known as the year of passing for the colony! Though not yet known as Oronegro the colonials came together united and mourned the death of the founder of the land. For on the 3rd of March 1523 Juan Carlos de Costa y Andalucia passed away at the age of 67 he was survived by his 8 children, of whom those born in Oronegro had names from the different nationalities that made up the colony.
  • His eldest son Juan Carlos Segundo born on the first day of April 1479 inherited the farm they owned near El Pueblo Antiguo south west of La Ley.  He would in 1555 declare the state of Oronegro he was 76 at the time he lived 7 more years until he died age 83 in 1562. he had 2 sons
  • His eldest daughter Maria born 1483 was the last child he had before coming to Oronegro.  She went onto become something of a free spirit never marrying and becoming an author of great renown her books on Murders and romances were to become all time favourites for the people of Oronegro for hundreds of year to come. she died in 1591 at the astonishing age of 108 she had no legitimate children but rumours persist that a love affair with a noble gentlemen from France ended in the birth of a son and two daughters.
 Then came the twin brothers who were his first children born in Oronegro they born in 1496
  •  Alberto named after the Italian merchant who brought his hometown to the colony. Alberto married the daughter of the merchant and inherited the business. he grew wealthy and powerful and sailed many times to Europe. visiting his sister in Germany multiple times. he played a critical role in supplying the Prince and his troops in their struggle for his rightful crown. when the prince regained his crown in 1534 the 36 year old Alberto was knighted by Lord Wolf the Rightful for his services to the crown. Alberto died in 1548 age 52 a wealthy man and his sons were to become some of Oronegro's most powerful traders
  • Pierre named after the french expedition leader. he was a very sensible man, he married and had a child however this was overshadowed by his work in Forming the Oronegrean Navy. he set up many shipyards in La Ley, made the ports more efficient and with some of his brothers money he helped the Italians build La Ley's central quarter on the Island. he died after his brother in 1551 leaving his son a house boat that was almost as grand as the large townhouses in La Ley.
the remaining 4 children were
  1. Then there was Elizabeth born in a warm sunny day in 1500 was named after the wife of the English merchant who brought his native town to the Colony. She lived most of her life in the family house somewhat of a recluse. Her farther worried that she may never leave the home started looking for a possible husband. she married, against her will in 1513 to the young explorer Ben of La Ley who was the son of the same English merchant whose wife she was named after. Ben took her out of her comfort zone time and time again as he went exploring the jungle near La Ley... in safe territory of coarse. they both died together of natural causes in 1561.
  2. Juan's most notable child Emir Born on a stormy night in 1502 named after the Moorish captain who brought the first Arab settlers to the Colony. Emir Became the first man in Oronegro to take part in a Native canoe race which he won, receiving the respect of the Nakwaztec tribe. He also became the first man to organise the Conquistadors and old soldiers into Oronegro's first army, though not very well made he based it off the roman system, his command and division structure would remain nearly the same until the present day. he died in 1553 in a hunting accident.
  3. Taxtecohi born in 1504 named after the chief of the Mehobeck tribe which the colonists first encountered. He married the chiefs daughter in 1526, she was 14 at the time. in 1534 he fought the chiefs son for the leadership, he won the duel and was popularly proclaimed chief. he ruled happily until his death in 1558.
  4. Eliza born in 1510 was Juan's last child. Named after the Jewish woman who had helped Juan find and aid as many Jews forced underground in Spain. Eliza married an exiled German prince in 1523 aged only 13 her father saw her get married in the original church in La Ley a few days later he passed away. Eliza lived a great life and enjoying the wealth her husband brought from his homeland. they even went to Germany with an escort to fight for the princes crown. and in 1533 her husband regained his families lands from their foes and was proclaimed Lord Wolf the Rightful. she died in in Germany with many children in 1593 age 83 a German aristocrat. 
an Oronegrean ship enters port in Germany ready to aid the prince in his fight for his crown

Colonial tension 1555-1625

La Ley was the Capital of the new Land of Oronegro but still there were problems. La Ley was being rebuilt in in brick and tile. the Island on the southern bank of the Oronegro river was built in the Italian Renaissance style. very beautiful it was a great tourist attraction bringing many native tribesmen into the city to marvel at the incredible architecture and the twisting turning streets. However there were problems as a land where nearly all nationalities could live in peace La Ley found itself the target of Pirate raiders. These raiders knew that the port was harbouring the trade ships of their homelands enemies. Spanish privateers attacked the English ships in harbour, the English Buccaneers the Spanish all depending on the political situation. La Ley could not defend itself its navy although already organised by the Noble Pierre Carlos de Costa y Pizarro. The shipyards were mostly turning out merchant ships for Alberto y Maria Oronegro's largest trading company. all that was available were boats of the line and a couple of old Carracks.
So in 1561 the Mayor of La Ley Juan Carlos Trecero ordered that La Castillo de La Ley be built. it Incorporated 2 fortifications a Wall around the old district, the southern part of La Ley on the island, and a fort on another island at the narrowest point of the Oronegro river before the city. the fort was rebuilt many times and was the site of many important battles. it was finally made into an imposing star fort in 1613 one of the strongest fortifications at the time it would become the heart of a great battle in 1625.
the mayors palace for La Ley was in the town of Pueblo antiguo, a fine building it was beloved of the Oronegrean people

However during the 1550's and 1560's Oronegro was at peace Coco beans were grown in plantations on the jungles edge and the great planes to the west of La Ley began to be cultivated as the tribes slowly lost their power due to disease or joined the Colonials in alliance. the reason for the tribes willingness to ally themselves would not become known until the 1580's. Oronegro was little bothered by pirates during this period also a few raids brought the fleet in La Ley to its knees the Army was strong enough to stop them plundering the city and after the wall was built around the old district in 1561 the cities banks and government buildings were safe. though the port and the Muslim and Jewish quarters were still raided the British in their quarter nearby would respond with their guards quickly enough to prevent any serious damage.
meanwhile in La Esperanza peace was constant the valley in which the city was based was fertile and crops were grown, an irrigation network aided the growth of many other crops and cattle and sheep could be reared in peace and security. the tribes around La Esperanza were not as eager to ally as those around La Ley but after the wave of disease had swept though them and gone they began to seek help from the white men. Friendships were built and the catholic priests began to convert the local population, another difference in the practices around La Ley, With La Esperanza far up river and it's navy already set up it was too far and too strong for most pirates and those who were powerful enough were not able to bring their large ships up the river... only Boats of the line could fit up the river.
During this time a few explorers ventured up the Oronegro river, not too far the city of Santiago de Oronegro became the furthest port of call for the time being the large island of El Pollo was also settled by farmers who used rafts to get from the defensible island too the farming fields. which although not attacked so far, were left unsettled, this was because the local tribes who gave land warned that there was a power in the hills and jungle behind the plane. still the land was at peace and farmers, traders, explorers and woodsmen all went up the river in search of new land and new opportunities.
During this period Oronegro's population boomed from 9,500 people to 33,500 people mostly from overseas but also because of the good sewer and water systems in La Ley and La Esperanza which prevented outbreaks of serious illness. Also with all the new settlers came more soldiers and sailors who were able to defend the outlying territories and increase the trade between Oronegro and the rest of the world. Oronegro was becoming known for peace, health, happiness and opportunities.

the 1570's were the beginning of the wars that would secure European control over the lower Oronegro river valley. the Warnings of tribes came true as out of the forests marched the armies of the Kaxad an empire that would threaten Oronegro more than any pirate fleet or terrible storm could. the Kaxad empire was a powerful nation based in a large valley that would one day be the place where El Granproyecto would be established. the Kaxad had suffered from the wave of disease that came with the arrival of Europeans but they had benefited also! Kaxad city had been terribly overcrowded the people were seriously unhappy the plagues that had come had killed off the people in the cities slums making it a more secure place. Now with the empire in possession of a few gunpowder weapons since sending a few spies and traders to acquire knowledge about the settlers and gain some of their technology. The empire secure and armed was now ready to make its presence felt they marched down the selva river valley and came out into the plane to the horror of the settlers and native tribesmen alike. the town of San Antonio was leveled the island of El Pollo was isolated the City of Santiago de Oronegro was besieged. the Oronegro river was the only was that La Ley could supply the towns. La Ley was attacked the Port and the surrounding districts were taken and the old district and its walls were the only safe haven. La Esperanza was also attacked, Kaxad troops marched over the mountains that separated the valleys. La Esperanza had a palisade around the whole city and with the loyal tribes all rushing in to defend the city it held out far better than La Ley.
The sieges were not well implemented and the Kaxad troops often went away for festivals in their capital, what troops remained were well trained but too few to keep the Oronegreans inside the cities. La Ley was was fully recovered in 1575 after a year of partial occupation while La Esperanza was too strong for the besieging forces to attack and in 1576 they retreated back over the mountains. Santiago de Oronegro was still surrounded and the Oronegrean boats of the line were the only things stopping Kaxad troops from taking the city from the river. El Pollo was unassailable with the bridges destroyed and the Kaxad boats were no match for the Oronegrean warboats that came up from La Ley. The sieges lasted until 1583 when the troops were all withdrawn for no apparent reason.
the view across from el Pollo looking at the palm covered river bank.

The Colonists rebuilt their towns and improved their fortifications more effort was put into exploring south of the Oronegro river and a series of watchtowers and outposts was set up along the jungle edge. however in 1590 the Kaxad troops returned but now the Oronegreans were ready their armies formed up upon the planes and at the battle of Selva y Campo the Oronegrean army under the command of Centurions Ray and Fran set up with 600 men in front of the small town of San Paulo. facing them were 30,000 Kaxad soldiers armed with bows axes and primitive, crude swords made by Kaxad blacksmiths who had just discovered the art of forging metal from the towns taken during the last assault. the Battle lasted the whole day 5 times the Kaxad troops assaulted the Oronegreans 5 times they were sent back under a hail of lead. finally the Kaxad army retreated. 231 Oronegreans had died but  over 21,000 Kaxad men never returned to their wives. For this San Paulo was renamed San Ray and Fran who later fought in the south of Oronegro outside the town of San Diego had the town renamed in his honor. So were San Ray and San Fran created, they would become very important later on but for now they were just relieved to have survived the invasion.
The Kaxad were battered but not broken and their armies marched over the great farming plains for years to come it was not until after the war had seen many incredible victories and crushing defeats on both sides that in 1603 the imperial troops withdrew. Losses on both sides could only be guessed at Oronegro loosed between 3000-5000 people while the empire lost around 86,000-87,000 warriors. The Empire was crushed it would never again hold the power it did then. their capital city fell into decline and instead the Kaxad people left the large city and built a few towns in the jungle... the empire was weakened but the towns were still loyal to the emperor even though they lived far away from him.
the fate of the Kaxad empire was to become a series of Jungle villages loosely controlled from the inpierial capital

the great Pirate raid of 1625.

after the Kaxad empire had withdrawn the land of Oronegro was slow to recover, they feared another attack was imminent. However in 1625 La Ley was once again threatened the Pirate Captain Samuel the Black heated came down from the Caribbean with 32 ships and 2800 pirates. He had heard that the land was weak and the Banks of Oronegro were without guards. they sailed past la tierra del diablo and up the Oronegro river. they reached the starfort and 1200 pirates disembarked to assault the fort while the rest of the fleet carried on up river. The Pirates headed for the seemingly unguarded walls only to find that when they were 100 meters away that hundreds of helmets and muskets appeared over the parapet. cannons from the ships fired at the fort and the forts own guns responded in kind. the rest of the pirate fleet carried on towards the port bombarding the old district along the way. Then the La Ley fleet mostly made up of 3rd rate and 2nd rate boats of the line went against the pirates sloops and brigs the battle was fierce many ships were lost and the river was not wide enough for either side to utilise their numbers or their maneuverability. the Starfort was being heavily bombarded but the defenders did not waver, instead they fired back twice as fast. the battle lasted 5 days until the pirate fleet was surrounded when a fleet came down from La Esperanza to relieve the shattered city. the Pirates surrendered and their ships taken. the pirates were not executed but put straight to work only one was killed Samuel was ceremonially shot by the mayor of La Ley and then clubbed by the native tribesmen if the bullet did not kill him. Samuel has gone down in history of one of the most daring and brave pirates of his day, the only problem is that his name was hidden with Oronegro.
Oronegrean ship and marines looking across at the fort after the battle in 1625

And so this second installment comes to the end. In the next installment the 17th century is covered along with the discovery of Gold in Oronegro. the Story of Oronegro was now in motion.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

colonisation and expansion part1

in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue... unaware that his ideas about the size of the world were completely wrong, leading to native Americans being known as Indians. However he was not the only one to set sail that year. Juan Carlos de Costa y Andalucia, he was from a group known as "Los desperados" (the desperate ones) they were made up of atheists, Jews and Muslims and other "heretics" who since the end of the riconquista had been hunted and prosecuted by the inquisition. Hoping that perhaps they could reach the east indies they set out after Columbus half expecting that they would have to donate him food once his supplies ran out, knowing that he had underestimated the size of the world. instead one night they travelled under an aurora in a tropical region, when dawn came the next day they passed by a large volcanic island but did not land assuming that it would be devoid of life so far out in the ocean, then they saw land and lots of it. they headed for wide river mouth that came into view before them, it was almost wide enough for the 13 ships to sale abreast however the 13th the one in which the old pagans and witches sailed in grounded itself on the spit, this land would become known as "la Tierra Del Diablo", because of the practices that went on there, and its wind swept nature.

the fleet sets out across the sea

of the remaining ships there were several groups
  • 3 carries Muslims from the south of Spain and Morocco, El Árabe, El moro and El Profeta
  • 2 carried Jews escaping from persecution these were Israel and Solomon
  • 2 carried catholics who were unhappy with the churches policies in Spain, the ships were the El Jesús and the El San Martín
  • 3 for the atheists life away from Spain was becoming more and more inviting! their ships were La Ley which was the largest ship on which Juan sailed, El Pobre and El Futuro
  • 2 smaller ships carried christian soldiers and the sons of soldiers who had fought alongside the moors in Spain and now were being hunted down. these were El Mensaje and El Caballero
the ship that got grounded was La Fuerza.

then when they came to a great bend in the river behind the long spit they decided to set up a settlement. The ships then landed in several places on the western bank of the river the Catholic ships and one of the smaller ships landed on a large island. while the Jews atheists and Muslims all sailed behind another island to set up a camp on the mainland. From this day forth the city of La Ley was established. the catholics took apart their ships and built houses and a church on the island. this was the beginning of La Ley's old district. while in the mouth of a small tributary river the Muslims and Jews took apart their ships setting up a town that would become the major port of La Ley for many hundreds of years to come.

in between them was a large island they named La Isla Rica which would become a neutral meeting place where people of all religions, cultures and backgrounds could meet under the palm trees, it would remain that way until the 17th century when it was built upon by the wealthy, it would remain a place of wealth until the present day.
On the spit La Fuerza was torn to bits by the crew and its passengers, who had to use it all for setting up some houses as there was very few trees there. Fortunately riders from El Caballero which had landed on the island with the catholics had crossed the river and brought the people much building materials from the catholic ships which were surplus from the constructing of the Church. This moment forever made Oronegro a symbol of equality and tolerance, catholic and witch could talk together while Arab and Jew could live in peace.

A few ships were not dismantled, La Ley was the only real warship a grand Carrack and so it remained in case they were assaulted by the locals who had not been sighted and would not be for a few weeks to come, El Mensaje also was left, it was a fast ship and was crewed and with the plentiful supplies which were not even a quarter used up could be spared for a return journey of the craft! El Mensaje set out the next day passing under the aurora once again that night. when they reached Spain they found Columbus had returned and was being celebrated. This worked to their advantage, they went around in secret and gathered more people, mostly catholics who missed the priests who had gone. Also they ran into a British and Italian merchant who were willing to supply many ships in return for their own place in La Ley.

So the second fleet set out.
a drawing of one of the dhows that was part of the second fleet
the Italian merchant brought the whole of his native village... 137 people who went off in 3 ships. the British merchant went one better and brought his whole town with him, 517 people in 7 ships and not to mention a further 18 ships which came together from France, Spain, Morocco and Italy.  which brought the total amount of people setting out on the second voyage to 2147 people. lead by El Mensaje they set out on the 15th of November 1495 under the cover of darkness. it was called the expedition of Carracks and dhows due to the number of people coming from Morocco.  11 weeks later they arrived in the Colony. The Italians and some of the Spanish joined the others on the island while the people from Morocco went to the port. 3 of the ships that came carried soldiers who were set to work guarding the settlement. However many of the French and Spanish did not like the site and sailed off north to another river mouth. and after sailing inland for a day and a half they settled in a large plain between the hills. this was named after the only armed ship which was able to go up the river La Esperanza. so Oronegro's larger city was founded, and immediately they came in contact with some friendly locals who gifted them with the thing that could cause Oronegro to expand in years to come coco beans

In La Ley the natives had been trading with the settlers for the last few years at first they had been frightened by the strange men, and even more by the fact they spoke different languages to each other, they feared that these were several different tribes which might suddenly fight each other and destroy the forests and plains around them. But after the first month they came mimicking the language they had heard, to the great amusement of the settlers, it was not long before they were able to understand each other and when disease broke in the tribes the settlers helped as best they could to save them, with mixed results but still far better than what happened else where.
In fact the settlers managed to save hundreds, as many of the Muslims had a good understanding of medicine from studying in the great libraries in the Muslim world. this formed a bond between these first tribes and the settlers that would last until La Ley grew so large that the tribes were assimilated into the city.

In 1517 a third fleet from Spain of 15 ships brought the law of the King to the Colony, though shortly after another fleet of ships came from England to bring the law of the English monarch. So began Oronegro's story of Spanish and British co-history. the British decided then that Oronegro was not theirs though they had many settlers there, but Spain was unhappy when they colony said that the king could not control them through force and that he could only rule through advice... the Kings men agreed leaving behind 10 ships full of Conquistadors who were then joined by the British ships and the soldiers on them.
Oronegro would keep this type of hands off government by Spain until the mid 19th century which was the cause of Oronegro's war for Independence in the 1860's. So began the story of Oronegro and on the 15th of November 1555 the Nation was named as such as the Coco plantations of the Natives and settlers produced so much Coco that it replaced gold as currency in La Ley.

in the next installment of Colonisation and expansion we discuss the story of Oronegro in the 16th and early 17th centuries as it starts to establish itself as a strong, democratic power.