Time on My Hands Chapter 60 - 408-411 CE: Cancun Colony

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Time on My Hands
Chapter 60: 408-411 CE: Cancun Colony

“DO YOU FORGET I AM THE DEMON SLAYER?” Raben replied with disdain. “I will not be threatened by scum like you! I will return to Cancun to gather my warriors. We will return tomorrow. You and Red Jaguar have the night to prepare for your deaths!” With that Raben turned and walked away.

As he did so he heard the twang of numerous bowstrings. Instantly he pivoted to face the Maya warriors. Instantly he saw 200 arrows heading his way. With cat like reflexes he began to swing and wave his hands and arms striking the in-flight arrows easily deflecting them. To the stunned awe of the Maya, they watched in disbelief as he hacked away the cloud of death they had unleashed.

“FOOLS!” The untouched Raben chided. “When I return tomorrow, I will offer you a chance to prostrate yourselves before the Demon Slayer! Those who do so may live. Those who do not will die or be enslaved. Prepare yourselves!”

With that Raben once more turned and jogged down the causeway to Cancun. The warriors were clearly scared. A few had witnessed and the rest had heard how the Demon Slayer had been speared through his gut when he first came to Coba, ignoring the injury to pull the weapon from his body then show those who witnessed how the wound closed and healed. Seeing him do the impossible by deflecting 200 arrows with his bare hands sapped their nerve. None wanted to face him the next day.
Red Jaguar had watched the event, having ordered the archers to kill the invader. Instead the Demon Slayer had demonstrated his abilities frightening him and his warriors. Even worse, many of the lower class common people had watched. Many of those who had been scared of offending the king by going to Cancun decided to leave the Mayan capital.

Once out of sight of the Coba, Raben dispatched a raven messenger ordering the 2 divisions of Raven Raiders with their animal support to immediately set out for Coba. Raben stepped off the road and waited. Shortly after night fell a trickle of people approached Raben’s location. They were the common Maya citizenry. Raben spoke to them as they passed, assuring them they would be welcomed into the Clan Corvo and fed while he took care of the king and the warriors. He warned them that they had nothing to fear from his soldiers who would be coming down the road riding large animals they controlled. As the night progressed the trickle of people grew into a flood. Raben added a warning for them to step off the road to allow his soldiers to pass.

Needless to say the king was livid when he awoke the next morning to discover most of his servants were gone. Ranting and raving he promised they would all be sacrificed to the Mayan Gods. The warriors were also unnerved by the lack of lower class people. The few who remained were clearly terrified. Even worse was that none of them knew how to prepare food. Those remaining lower class people were abused and beaten in retaliation.

It was near lunch when the vanguard of the Raven Raiders column reached Raben. Word was spread to rest and eat, nap if they could, for 3 hours, then he would lead them into Coba. When the rest was over, Raben mounted a horse and led the mounted troops into Coba. The column of Raven Raiders was 3 men wide and stretched out of sight. T

The Maya warriors were gripped with fear when they saw the mounted men. The idea men could ride an animal was foreign to them. They feared they were some sort of monster. As they drew closer the Maya realized the monsters were actual some sort of animal with men riding atop them. When they realized the Demon Slayer was in the lead, riding a great black beast, their fear grew as they realized the men following him on their beasts were his warriors. Upon seeing the column of Raven Raiders stretching down the road the officer in charge realized they were tremendously outnumbered. Then as they grew closer they realized Raben was well ahead of his troops. Between him and the troops were 162 wolves. Beside him were 2 huge black striped orange cats. The local big cats were only 3/4 the size of these monsters. Overhead 18 eagles circled along with thousands of ravens. Totally intimidated, the normally brave and arrogant Maya warriors withdrew to the walls of the imperial palace.

Mayan warriors were an elite privileged class. One of the main goals of wars was to acquire high status sacrificial victims. Human sacrifice legitimized the ruler by intimidating rivals and awing the common citizens. Sacred fluids were obtained through decapitation and cutting out hearts. Certain events such as the death of a leader or birth of an heir required sacrifice. War was fought by and for Maya elites. Because of the lack of beasts of burden and the wheel, traveling long distances created difficult logistics for large bodies of warriors. The city states each fielded professional armies of between 500-1000 men on the battlefield. The armies would line up facing each other posturing and intimidating their enemy. The fighting began with the use of long range weapons like arrows, spears, and slings. Then as they advanced on each other military discipline declined, allowing individuals attempt personal feats of bravery. The common people were seldom active in most conflicts since their low status made them unsuitable sacrifices.

Red Jaguar was shocked when the general reported the Demon Slayer approached with a vast army of warriors riding strange animals accompanied by 2 strange huge cats, 162 wolves 18 eagles and thousands of ravens. Red Jaguar knew he had no choice but to face the Demon slayer. Steeling himself, he arrayed his warriors before his palace.

Raben rode into the ceremonial plaza before the main temple and king’s palace. The 2 tigers strode by his side. The eagles circled low overhead as the 162 wolves lined up on either side. The 13,572 Raven Raiders poured into the plaza, forming in 6 brigade sized units. Behind them came 36 horse pulled wagons forming in twin lines.

“Red Jaguar, many of your people have asked to join the Clan Corvo,” Raben called out. “Thousands have fled their homes heading to our base in Cancun. They see there are no elites in Clan Corvo. All Clan Corvoians have the same rights. None are above others. All are treated with justice and respect. I have granted their request to join the Clan Corvo, thus they are now under my protection. That means the lands they tended now belong to the Clan Corvo. You and those with you have 3 choices. You too can join the Can Corvo and become one of the many. You can stand and fight. Or you can leave. The choice is yours. Decide.”

Red Jaguar and the elite gathered with him were incensed. They were also clearly intimidated by the Corvoian show of force. The 848 Coba warriors were outnumbered 16-1. They could not leave nor could they join the Clan Corvo. Their pride and arrogance left them no choice but to stand and fight. “We will fight! Our Gods will drink your blood!”

“So be it,” Raben answered. “I grant you a few minutes to pray before we destroy you with thunder.”

“We have no need to pray,” Red Jaguar snarled as he signaled his men. The warriors picked up their bows prepared to inflict maximum damage when the Corvoians attacked.

Raben spoke to the animals. The eagles and ravens cleared the airspace, the wolves and tigers sat on their haunches. “Artillary, fire at will,” Raben declared.

The 18 onagers and scorpios launched smoking ceramic balls that arced over the Raven Raiders. When the balls were above the Maya, the balls began exploding. Loud BOOMS echoed over the plaza. As the ceramic balls blossomed in flame quickly fading to a puff of black smoke. The shattered jagged ceramics rained hell upon the stunned Maya, cutting dozens of men down. Those wounded wailed in pain. Before they could grasp what was going on, a second set of ceramic smoking balls soared overhead to explode amongst the terrified Maya warriors. After 5 volleys the Raven Raiders fired their arrows. The Raven Raiders were beyond the range of the Maya bows, but the Maya were withing the range of the more powerful Raven Raider bows. The sky darkened above the disorganized Maya as over 13,000 arrows struck. Four more volleys followed. Over half the Maya were dead. Most of the survivors were wounded. Raben tilted his head back and howled. The tigers roared and the wolves howled, the eagles screamed and the ravens raucously krocked as they charged into the staggering Maya warriors. Within four minutes none of the Maya warriors still drew breath. It was a total massacre.

Raben sent some Raven Raiders to secure the city. Others he led into the royal quarters. The women and children had watched the confrontation. The explosions had terrified them and they saw the carnage wrought. The arrows blanketed the warriors with death. But it was the attack of the animals that chilled them as they watched the warriors torn to pieces. They fully expected the animals to feast upon them.

“You will not be harmed,” Raben announced to the terrified women and children as he entered the crowded royal quarters where the women and children huddled. “I offer to you the same deal I offered your men. You can join the Can Corvo and become one of the many. You can stand and fight. Or you can leave. I do not expect you to fight nor do I want to fight you. If you want to leave we will let you pack, give you supplies, and escort you to the next city. We would much prefer you join us. You will lose your elite status because we have no elite. Nor you will be low class because we have no low class. In the Clan Corvo, everyone is equal. None are better than others. None are superior to others. The choice is yours.”

“You will not sacrifice us?” Red Jaguar’s top wife asked.

“No, we will not,” Raben declared. “The Clan Corvo is Christian. Jesus Christ sacrificed his own life to forgive all our sins so we no longer sacrifice. Obviously, Jesus is far stronger than your gods or we would not have so thoroughly destroyed your warriors, king, and high priest. We will explain our faith as we incorporate you and all your former people into the Clan Corvo.”

Over the next month Raben spoke to all the Coba Maya bringing them into the Clan Corvo. He explained they would all be trained as militia to defend their homes and that women were equals to men. As they grew into their freedom they realized the Mayan elite in the other city states would not like the destruction of their traditional class system and would unite to destroy the cancer of equality. The Raven Raiders scouted the roads to map the area. They also set up checkpoints on the borders with raven mail messengers. The 10,000 colonists settled amongst the 65,000 Maya to help them adapt to their new lives. The Raven Raiders began training the Maya as militia. It would take a few years but the incorporation of the Maya into the Clan Corvo was going well. Raben understood he would need to send colonists and troops to hold the area. Neighboring Maya would abandon their servitude to join the Clan Corvo. There was no doubt in his mind that he’d have to conquer more Mayan city/states.

The other 10,000 colonists 1 Raven Raider division and 2 Pathfinder divisions landed at the base in Colon, Panama. There were many villages and a few towns but no cities in the region. The Pathfinders promptly widened the paths into roads and built bridges over the streams. Others crossed the paths to the Pacific Coast. A town was begun as well as a shipyard. The plans and equipment they brought would enable them to build 54 feet long by 12 feet wide single mast 24 ton no deck Norse clinkers and 52 feet long by 17 feet wide 2 mast 100 ton single deck with forecastle and quarter deck caravels to explore the new coast.

In northern Italy local Roman citizens took advantage of the conspiracy that ended Stilicho’s life to seek revenge against the barbarians who had been repeatedly rampaging through northern Italy. They rose up massacring the families of Stilicho's federated troops. This caused 30,000 troops to defect en masse to Alaric. Honorius in Ravenna was left without any significant military power thus providing an opportunity for Alaric to once more invade northern Italy unchecked.

When Constantine III's envoys arrived to parley, the fearful Honorius recognized Constantine III as a co-emperor in charge of Gaul, Raeta, Britannia and Iberia while he retained Italy and North Africa. Constantine III was thus able to use the troops he’d been gathering to fight Stilicho to finally go after the Ostrogoths, Alans, Suebi, Vandals, Quadi and Burgundians. By then the Quadi had been subsumed into the Suebi. The Burgundians agreed to become Foederati settling in the area of the Vosage and Jura mountains to the western bank of the middle Rhine. One of the two tribes of the Alans aligned themselves with the Burgundians while the other tribe stayed with the Ostogoths, Suebi and Vandals.

In 409, Alaric returned to Italy, finding little effective opposition in the field. Alaric had no choice but to allow the 30,000 former Foederati to exact their revenge upon those who murdered their families. Alaric’s forces then moved south to besiege Rome, cutting off supplies. The walls of Rome were 12 miles long, 11 feet thick and up to 52 feet tall. Unfortunately there was no way the garrison of 25,000 men could hold the walls against a concerted assault. At first the Visigoths were confused by a smaller walled fortress just west of Rome. The massive 4 mile long walls were 50 feet tall and 40 feet thick, a third of it atop the Mons Vaticanus, with only one gate that was clearly designed to be a death trap. Even worse was it was surrounded by a 50 feet wide by 50 feet deep moat with stone glacis of 250 feet to the water and 200 feet on the other side to the walls. The walls were manned with well armed soldiers. But it was the hundreds of ravens that alarmed the Visigoths. After questioning the locals they discovered the fortress was the base of Corvus Scriptorium, the Rome base of the Clan Corvo and that the soldiers on the walls were the much dreaded Raven Raiders. By this time a dismounted brigade of Raven Raiders were stationed in both Mazbar and Zamrab, 2256 men, 927 ravens, 3 eagles, 27 wolves and 3 mobile artillery squads in addition to the artillery based in every watchtower.

A delegation of 10 men exited the fortress under a flag of truce accompanied by three wolves with an eagle and ravens flying overhead. Alaric and his generals met the Raven Raider general. The Raven Raider general declared the fortress, like the province of Barmaz, was neutral, neither favoring nor opposing the Visigoths. They only wanted to be left alone by both sides to conduct their scriptorium business and maintain their trade. Since they didn’t favor one side over the other they did volunteer to act as mediators if needed. It wasn’t necessary to say Raben would be furious if the Goths attacked. Wisely, Alaric agreed to allow Mazbar to remain neutral.

After much bargaining, the famine-stricken citizens of Rome agreed to pay a ransom of 5,000 pounds of gold, 30,000 pounds of silver, 4,000 silken tunics, 3,000 hides dyed scarlet, and 3,000 pounds of pepper along with freeing 40,000 Gothic slaves. The Senate also negotiated an agreement for Alaric to support the usurpation of senator Priscus Attalus in Rome in order to depose Honorius. The Visigoths headed back north to the Po valley.

The Ostogoths, Suebi and Vandals were still ravaging through Gaul but were feeling the pressure of the pursuit by Constantine III’s forces. Upon reaching the Pyrenees they broke through Constantine III's garrisons and entered Hispania. Constatine III appointed his son, Constans, as Augustus, charging him to take over the troops who had been pursuing the Ostogoths, Suebi and Vandals to follow them into Hispania and wipe them out.

General Gerontius, already in Hispania had already stopped the invaders. Feeling he was about to be replaced by Constans, he made a pact with the Ostogoths, Suebi and Vandals to rebel against Constantine III. He raised Maximus, a relative, as an usurper emperor. With the support of the barbarians, the forces of Gerontius fought the forces of Constans. In the north along the Rhine, the Franks took advantage of the internecine fighting to rebel against Constantine III.

In 410, the Eastern Roman Empire sent 6,000 men to aid Honorius. In turn these 6000 Byzantine troops were sent from Ravenna to defend Rome, but were ambushed on the way by Alaric's men, and only a handful of them reached the city. To counter the usurper Attalus, Honorius tried to negotiate with Alaric while simultaneously restricting grain shipments to Rome from North Africa. Since Rome was entirely dependent upon North African grain for its survival, Honorius hoped to make the people lose faith in Attalus.

From the time of his first invasion of Italy, Alaric's primary goal had not been to undermine the Empire, but to secure for his people a regular and recognized position within the Empire's borders. His demands were certainly grand: the concession of a block of territory 200 miles long by 150 wide between the Danube and the Gulf of Venice to be held probably on some terms of nominal dependence on the Empire and with the title of commander-in-chief of the Imperial Army. Faced with growing frustration and pressure from his own people to sack Rome and settle down, Alaric withdrew his support for Attalus and again headed to Rome.

The city, already short of supplies due to Honorius’ grain embargo, was unprepared and disorganized. On August 24, 410, Alaric and his Visigoths burst into the city by the Porta Salaria gate on the northeast walls of the city. The city of Rome, for so long victorious against its enemies, was at the mercy of its foreign conquerors. Wisely, the Visigoths did not rampage through the city. Most Christian churches were saved along with the vast multitudes both of pagans and Christians who took refuge inside. Rome was not entirely spared the horrors usually accompanying the storming of a besieged city. Only the Gardens of Sallust, close to the gate the Goths had entered, were burned. The city was plundered, but not devastated. The usurper Attalus knew he’d be killed by Honorius arranged to stay with the Visigoths as an advisor. Many political prisoners were taken, among them was Honorius' half-sister Galla Placidia. Once again, Mazbar was wisely bypassed.

Gerontius advanced from Iberia into Gaul with the support of his barbarian allies. At about the same time Saxon pirates raided Britain, which Constantine III had left defenseless. Distressed that Constantine III had neglected them in his efforts to establish his own empire and had failed to defend them against the assaults they had hoped he would prevent, the Roman inhabitants of Britain and Brittany rebelled against Constantine III’s authority and expelled his officials. Britain would never again be part of Rome.

Although Raben was unable to return to Cancun in 409 and 410, he had dispatched 5 more divisions of Raven Raiders, 38,430 people, and 30,000 colonists by taking an extra 34,091 colonists from Barmaz. The Clan Corvo Maya added 15,000 indigenous members each year, most of whom fled from the neighboring Maya city/states when they saw there was an option other than submission to arrogant demanding elite. The Clan Corvo Cancun Colony was thriving. Freed from the repression of the elite, coupled with the introduction of metal tools and Corvoian conservation and agricultural practices, agricultural productivity soared. This freed thousands of workers to build paved roads and canals. The introduction of draft animals and the wheel revolutionized the transportation allowing easier and quicker movement of people, food, and supplies. European manufacturing was instituted. There was now plenty of food, the amount of protein in the diets of the common people increased. They grew stronger and more disgusted with how the elite Mayan had abused them. They spread word of the new much better life to their neighbors, many of whom slipped away from their masters for the freedom of the Clan Corvo. The nearest Mayan city/state was Chichen Itza just 56 miles northwest of Coba. {The Maya at this time were still 200 years from the beginning of their peak classic historical greatness of 600-900 CE when their great pyramids were built}. There were 4 other growing cities near Chichen Itza, Dzibilchaltun was 127 miles away from Coba and 72 miles northeast Chichen Itza, Mayapan was 112 miles away from Coba and 56 miles west of Chichen Itza, Oxkintok was 144 miles away from Coba and 90 miles west of Chichen Itza, and Uxmal 132 was miles away from Coba and 81 miles west of Chichen Itza. The kings of the 5 cities understood the danger the Clan Corvo presented to their way of life. They put aside their petty disagreements to begin uniting to face their common opponent.

After sacking Rome, Alaric decided to sail to North Africa to seize the bread basket of Rome which was the key to controlling Rome. The Raven Raider general in Mazbar dispatched disguised scouts to discreetly follow the Visigoths as they marched further down the Italian peninsula. Using their ravens, the scouts were able to remain unseen while watching the Visigoths. Ordering ships to meet his forces in Reggio Calabria, Alaric marched southwards into Italy’s toe. Unfortunately a winter storm battered his ships into pieces and many of his soldiers drowned. In late 410 Alaric died of fever in Cosenza. In accordance of Visigoth pagan beliefs, his body was buried under the riverbed of the Busento River. The stream was temporarily turned aside from its course while the huge grave was dug in the riverbed. The Gothic king and much of his most precious spoils were interred. When the work was finished, the river was turned back into its usual channel and the captives by whose hands the labor had been accomplished were put to death so that none might learn the exact burial location. They had no idea the Raven Raider scouts were watching their every move. Alaric was succeeded in the command of the Visigothic army by his brother-in-law, Ataulf.

Constantine III's response to this tightening circle of enemies was a final desperate gamble. Encouraged by entreaties of disgruntled officials of the western court, he marched on Italy through the passes of the Eastern Alps with the troops left to him. They wanted to replace Honorius with a more capable ruler. Constantine III, though, had too few forces and retreated back into Gaul in the late spring of 410. Gerontius defeated his forces at Vienne in 411 where Constans was captured and executed. Besieged in Arles. Constantine III's position grew untenable.

In 411 Honorius finally found an able commander, Constantius. Leaving Ravenna by sea, he landed at Arles and quickly put Gerontius to flight. Gerontius committed suicide and many of his troops deserted to Constantius, who took over the siege. Constantine III held out, hoping for the return of a general who was raising troops in northern Gaul amongst the Franks. But on his arrival the general was killed in an ambush. Constantine III's hopes evaporated when his troops guarding the Rhine defected to Jovinus, a Gallo-Roman senator. Constantine III surrendered. Despite the promise of safe passage, Constantius had him beheaded in September 411.

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I thought that Coba would be

Beoca's picture

I thought that Coba would be either another Olvishaugen or another Dakar. Look like it was both. Hopefully Raben can get back in time for when the other cities make their decisive move.

The clan's spot in Europe is safe, at least for now. Rome's in no position to do anything, and the various other tribes seem to have thought better of it.

Proper Deligation

Wendy Jean's picture

keeps things running on multiple fronts when the poo hits the fan.