Guachiman Territory old map


Among them, there were White, Black, Mexican, Indian, Asian, Russian, and even a former Quaker, who would shoot not to kill. Collectively, they were called “Los Poncheros” for the colorful ponchos they wore.

Los Poncheros were celebrated frontier explorers and adventurers, who used their skills to become pathfinders, bounty hunters, and armed escorts. When they are commissioned by the U.S. Army to escort thousands of captured Navajos to a reservation three hundred miles away in the middle of winter, they become fugitives themselves. Disgusted by the journey’s gruesome conditions, the tragic “Long Walk” of the Navajos becomes “The Great Escape” when Los Poncheros renege on their commission and run away with the Navajos. They take a nearly 2,000 mile journey up the West coast and settle on a disputed peninsula in the Pacific Northwest where they create The Bat Colony Republic. It quickly becomes an odd, multiethnic experiment in direct democracy with equal rights men and women. Canada and the U.S. claim the land to be their own, but they can do nothing about the new occupiers until after the Civil War.

In the interim, Los Poncheros’ egalitarian Republic swells with newcomers – thousands of Indians, Socialists, Shakers, Quakers, troublemakers, and all manner of gallivanters flock to The Bat Colony Republic. To unite their diverse citizenry, Los Poncheros must experiment with Utopian philosophies, direct democracy, Quaker practices, and Native American traditions. Deemed traitors by the U.S. Government and racist President Andrew Johnson, their three-year experiment on the Salish Sea comes to a tragic end. Eventually Los Poncheros are pardoned for treasonous acts, but they must now navigate a hostile environment without guns, ponchos, or each other as punishment.

Los Poncheros is a Western that is not another sedentary shootout affair set on a single-streeted frontier town. Instead it imagines a West that is more dynamic, diverse, and mystical. Like a lightning Comanche raid, the story follows Los Poncheros’ early exploits from the trapper’s paradise of the Upper Missouri to the desolate reservations of the Southwest to the founding of their Republic on the Salish Sea. Like a skilled Navajo storyteller, the story can drift from past (Los Poncheros as heroic explorers and nation-builders) to present (Los Poncheros as outlaws and easy marks), and future (The Second Great Awakening of Los Poncheros).


Present days – Former Poncheros must navigate Guachiman Territory, the smallest Western territory that perforates the larger territories of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. It encompasses portions of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, and desert southwest with ancient volcanoes, canyons, spires, and shrubland in between.

Past days – During early adventures, Los Poncheros explore and trap the infinite fractal waterways of the Upper Missouri. The declining fur trade forces these loosely associated individuals to organize into what will become known as Los Poncheros. They hire out their unique skills to entrepreneurs and the Federal Government, which lead them on adventures from the Great Plains of the U.S. to the Sierra Madre of Mexico.

The Bat Colony Republic – Accompanied by thousands of fugitive Navajos, Los Poncheros and their followers make a home on a contested peninsula in the Salish Sea of the Pacific Northwest. The Mediterranean microclimate is a verdant paradise compared to the arid Southwest. The new residents are awed by the endless beaches, the abundance of salmon, and the giant blackfish that frequent the area.

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