Lt. General
Mar 22, 2008
Tonga - the Quest for Civilization


Tonga 1337-1357 Humble Beginnings

In 1337 Tonga was only a shadow of the great Tongan Empire of the twelfth century. Cut off from the rest of the world by vast oceans and by islands full off hostile natives, time had been standing still in this last refuge of Polynese civilization and the island was little more than a chiefdom. There was shell trade with the neighbouring Fijians and Samoans, who were degenerated Polynesians uncapable of any form of organisation, and highly aggressive. But noone really knew what trade was, or how it was properly conducted. Usually the one with the bigest boat got the biggest supplies, as Polynesians dreaded emptyness.
Apart from the Fijians and the Samoans, Tongan society was familiar with the island of Niue, but it was believed cannibalism was still pra ctised by its inhabitants, and the island was therefor left unvisited for the time being by the Tongans in their canoes.


All this was about to change. In february 1337 Tongan society underwent a revolution as the secrets of trading, taxing and organised warfare were unveiled for them. The scarce surplus previous generations had generated was invested in promoting a tax collector. Careful study of the possibilities of this new knowledge proved that trade was the way to get rich and that it was something that had to be conducted in the trade center of Wismar, but noone was sure where it lay.


Wismar... the very name became synonym to paradise in Polynesian culture. It was said wealthy merchants went there after they died. It was supposed to be a great village with over a thousand huts in a great, white lagune where one could find the biggest and most beautiful shells. It was believed in Wismar people traded according to common principles, which led to great wealth and civilized manners. Some located it in the east, others believed one should sail westwards to find it. Everyone agreed the time had come for Tonga to try to go and find it.


The voyaging was all the more remarkable in that it was done in canoes built with tools of stone, bone, and coral. The canoes were navigated without instruments by expert seafarers who depended on their observations of the ocean and sky and traditional knowledge of the patterns of nature for clues to the direction and location of islands. The canoe hulls were dug out from tree trunks with adzes or made from planks sewn together with a cordage of coconut fiber twisted into strands and braided for strength. Cracks and seams were sealed with coconut fibers and sap from breadfruit or other trees. An outrigger was attached to a single hull for greater stability on the ocean; two hulls were lashed together with crossbeams and a deck added between the hulls to create double canoes capable of voyaging long distances.
The canoes were paddled when there was no wind and sailed when there was; the sails were woven from coconut or pandanus leaves. These vessels were seaworthy enough to make voyages of over 2,000 miles along the longest sea roads of Polynesia, such as the one between Hawai'i and Tahiti. And though these double-hulled canoes had less carrying capacity than the broad-beamed ships of the European explorers, the Polynesian canoes were faster: one of Captain Crook's crew estimated a Tongan canoe could sail "three miles to our two."

By 1357 large parts of ocean were uncovered, but no contact was established with the merchants of Wismar, nor with any other significant center of civilization. However, the wind began to blow from another direction in the Southern Pacific...

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Lt. General
Mar 22, 2008
Now this is a interesting choice of a country! I'm surprised to see 50 000 people are living on the tiny island. Better find some new islands so your populations can increase even more. ;)

Good luck sending your merchants to Wismar! :D

:eek:o and i wanted to keep it a secret i cheated during this game... verdorie toch!


Lt. General
Mar 22, 2008
Tonga 1357-1400 First Steps

The following years, Tongan society got somewhat divided as to what course to fare. Litterally. Nuku'Alofa was split into three factions. The Northerners, the Easterners and the Westerners all representing the presumed shortest route to Wismar. First the Westerners got the upperhand as a great body of land was discovered, but it proved arid, inhospitable land, something of which the Eastern faction took advantage by discrediting the Westerners and diverting scarce funds to a Eastern expedition, only to be discredited themselves when finding nothing but more salty blue ocean. The Northern then took initiative, but their expedition was corrupted because of Coco M'Nori, the captain of the expedition, who was bribed by the Western faction to drift off westwards.

By the end of the '60s it seemed like the Western faction had provailed. They sent King Tonga a gift of 100 golden ducats, which doubled his treasury, effectively making him having to build a new hut. The loss of two expedition fleets in 1367 and in 1370 proved the difficulties of rounding Cape Sorong, respectively Cape Whangarei, but it was demonstrated that both New Guinea and New Zealand were an islands, separate from the arid Terra Occidentalis, equally inhabited by strange creatures. They showed, however, also no signs of organised civilization, let alone of the golden city of Wismar.


The giant moa, along with other moa genera were wiped out by human colonists who hunted it for food. All taxa in this genus were extinct by 1500 in New Zealand. It is reliably known that the Maoris still hunted them at the beginning of the fifteenth century, driving them into pits and robbing their nests. The most important factor was farming, however, for which the forests were cut and burnt down and the ground was turned into arable land.
The moa seems to have died out at the end of the fifteenth century.

Around '73 some disturbance occurred in Tongese society as a group of fishermen dissapeared who were fishing in the South Pacific Ocean square Tonga shared with the Niue'. Supposedly eaten by the Niue' they were never seen again. The Niue' denied any involvement, stating that they detested cannibalism just as much as the Tongese, and that they were at least as civilised as them. The incident led to a military presence on the island nevertheless. An attempt was made to establish a colony, but the first settlers mysteriously dissappeared, and after that funds were depleted anyway, so King Tonga settled for military occupation alone. This did not bring any revenues to his coffers though.

King Tonga kept financing his beloved expeditionary missions and in 1379 the Americas were discovered. In '80 the expeditionary fleet rounded Cape Horn. The year after the fleet returned to discover the Falklands, but the absense of civilized nations gave the Western faction the wind in their sails and in '83 they announced the official discovery of Australia. Pity it was so dry and deserted. Maybe once Polynesians would bring civilization to these realms, but for now, it seemed wiser to leave it to the strange creatures that inhabited it.



In 1387 the Niue War started as the King intended to exterminate the local natives to make room for Tongese settlers. The war lasted for two years, and although Tongese casualties were limited, the army lost many battles to the native Niue'. The army consisted of roughly 1100 infantry and 500 cavalry. The Niue' counted 2500 men and 250 horses. When the war was finally over no funds were left to provide settlers with the basic accomodations, so the project of settling Niue was temporarily frozen until new funds were available. In the mean time, the quest for Wismar, and civilization in general continued.

Still no signs of civilization...


Aboriginal Rock

In the spring of '94 a group of shelltraders heading back from Tahiti were shipwrecked by a storm and forced to land on Niue. They decided they wanted to live there, since it was closer to Tahiti, so they let their families come over and in no time a little village of 100 people arose on the Rock of Polynesia.



Meanwhile, back in Tonga, they invented the Tanga... Both the King and his wife were immediately sold to the idea.

Both the King... (who traditionally ate the surplus Tongese farmers produced)


...and his wife.

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Lt. General
Mar 22, 2008
Anyway, after meeting hostile tribe upon hostile tribe, the King felt the need for civilization more than ever. He was tired of always having to deal with the stuck up peasants and fishermen from the neighbouring islands, or even the arrogant international shelltrader class as if they were his equals. Tonga was the Heart of Pacific Civilization and King Tonga stood at the head of it. None other than he could claim to be a beacon of light in the darkness of the unknown surroundings. By '95 a new expeditionary fleet made contact with a new civilization on the island Ternate, the rich spice oligarchy of Ternate, led by the wise and wealthy Amir (good stats).
The first thing the fleet reported was that they had no army. Secondly they had maps to the entire region. When asked, the name Wismar didn't seem familiar to them, they claimed to know of only one great city that could compare with it and that was the city of "Djangalla", the capital of the Javan -based Majapahit Sultanate. But the Indonesians of Ternate didn't seem to think of it as a mythical place. To them it was very real, and a way to provide income for their families.

King Tonga started preparing for an invasion. Being the seventh poorest nation in the world, with a monthly income of 1.71 didn't help. Income-wise, Tonga was situated between Kongo, who was poorer and Iroquois Federation, which was slightly less poor. The fact that Tonga wasn't aware of the existence of many civilizations helped keeping morale high. Ternate had a monthly income of 8.22, more than four that of Tonga. But the King was determined to either destroy the Indonesians as he had done with the Niue, or else to rob them and subjugate them. The fact that they had no army showed that they expected no war. They would be unprepared.

The King decided to mint more money to make haste with the army, fearing someone else might have set their eye on Tidore. From now on every 5 shells were worth one crayfish, and every 10 crayfish a pig or 3 chickens. Also naval investments were halted and trade went up, seeing that this was also the Indonesian lifestyle, which already began to influence the Polynesian way of life.


(a tasty dish to some, a lot of money to others...)


Lt. General
2 Badges
Sep 30, 2007
  • Divine Wind
  • For The Glory
Tongas explorers have been busy! Not bad reaching the Falklands in canoes... :)

I hope you will manage to beat Tindore. It must be a pain for your economy though, raising enough troops. Is Tindore fortified, so you at least have to bring 5 000 men?


Lt. General
Mar 22, 2008
Tonga 1400-1445: Indonesian Affairs

In 1402 both the fleet and the army were ready and via Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, and then along the northern coast of New Guinea, they sailed to Amir in Ternate, who waited unsuspecting, rich and undefended. This was to be the begin of a new era for Tonga.
Sadly, all the minting and consequent inflation proved a waste of resources as Tidore was rebel held and the army and fleet were decimated on the long voyage. This first encounter with civilization hadn't brought Tonga any of the hard sought for wealth and prosperity, but as with the Niue' before, the Indonesians would also finnally be subdued. At least they were aware of his existance now. Polynesia counted again.

Ternate refused white peace, but in the end their government fell and a peace was agreed upon. King Tonga started building a new fleet. Sadly the three transports had sunk near Kiribati, and due to limited resources an all-galley fleet was constructed. Another state gift from the Western faction, which renamed itself to Western Company helped the King a lot, but it also obliged him to further neglect the Eastern Hemisphere. The Western Company insisted on the subjugation of Tindore.
The King's rigorous militarization program made 5000 infantry enthusiastics spawn in Niue. On a population of 120, that's quite an achievement. Historians assume they were surviving indigenous Niue', but considering the massacre executed there by the Tongese army, this is highly improbable. The King used the enthusiasm to further enserf the peasants. Efforts to tie fisherman to their fishing zones proved more difficult, but infantry got cheaper anyway, so it didn't matter much in the end.

Further investigation of Ternate and the Maluku islands as a whole showed Tongese scholars they were definitely dealing with a civilisation here, maybe even the oldest in the region.

The earliest archaeological evidence of human occupation of the region is about thirty-two thousand years old, but evidence of even older settlements in Australia may mean that Maluku had earlier visitors. Evidence of increasingly long-distance trading relationships and of more frequent occupation of many islands, begins about ten to fifteen thousand years later. Onyx beads and segments of silver plate used as currency on the Indian subcontinent around 200BC have been unearthed on some of the islands. In addition, local dialects employ derivations of the Malay word then in use for 'silver', in contrast to the term used in wider Melanesian society, which has etymological roots in Chinese, a consequence of the regional trade with China that developed in the 500s and 600s.
Maluku was a cosmopolitan society where spice traders from across the region took residence in settlements, or in nearby enclaves, including Arab and Chinese traders who visited or lived in the region.

(fossil coral stones and onyx beads)
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Lt. General
Mar 22, 2008

(the island of Ternate, where Tidore and Tindore were located)

Ternate was far more advanced than Tonga. It was anxiously kept a secret from the public, but a fact nevertheless. Scholars disagreed on wether it was the Maluku Sunni interpretation of Islam, which made them superior, or the contact with mainland civilisations. They knew, after all, 83 provinces that Tonga was unaware of. Occupying them would make new lands that were currently out of reach open for Polynesian influence.


(Polynesian fashion was heartly welcomed)

Dangerous thoughts were coming from Ternate. According to the Indonesians, there was more land than water in the world, and Trade Centers were just provinces like any other, be they richer. To a Polynesian that sounded like outright blasphemy! Surely there was more water than land in the world, even natives knew that. And had the Indonesians ever seen Wismar? Had they ever sailed into the prosperous lagune and witnessed the riches that were there? Had they come to know the courtesy of the people who lived there, for whom friends were worth as much as family and where a given word was never taken back, in chivalrous, peaceful Europe?

By 1419 an army of 7000/2500 and 22 galleys were assembled and the second invasion of Ternate began. Resistance was little as the Ternati refused battle and instead hid in their forts. The army had been to severely decimated on the journey to Ternate, and without a safe harbour to resupply, the fleet attritted away to one ship before it reached Niueport. Before reinforcements returned, a force white peace was signed, due to inactiveness, but King Tonga didn't agree and immediately broke the truce and continued the siege. The reinforcements arrived and the city was properly besieged.
In January 1427 Tonga took control of Tenate, gaining maps of the region, and one warship and four transports. Isolation was over. 300 years went off trade 2 research, naval and land tech reached level two instantly. To the west and south there lay more islands, mostly inhabited by unorganised native Indonesian tribes, but further to the west lay the mighty Sultanate of Majapahit. To the north there was a vast continental landmass, with the prominent Khmer Kingdom of Cambodja.
Just south of Ternate lay Tidore, which supervised some Malukkan colonies and would be an easy target if attacked at once. The Western Company convinced the King to do so without hesitation. This was a great oppotunity to spread Polynesian culture. In february Tonga declared war. Again the present forces proved incapable of a succesful siege and reinforcements were sent for in the motherland. The fact that Tonga now had an Indonesian harbour, and decent maps of the region made the operation somewhat easier than the war on Ternate had been.
Late August 1431 Tidore was annexed. The entire Island was now under Polynesian control, as well as the colonies on Sula and Ambon. The entire two wars, with the truce-breaking and the minting cost Tonga 12,7/39 badboy and 4,1% inflation. An additional 3 warships and four transorts were captured in the Tidori ports, before they had the chance to sink them.

During the war another gift to the state was received from the Western Company, worth 75 golden ducats. It came in the form of 87 lobsters 33 oysters and 5 kauri shells. With this sum a new tax collector for Ternate was acquired. There were many lobsters and oysters left, however, and the new tax collector was to greedy to throw a feast. (Which proved he was the right man in the right place.) The new tax collector stored all the food in his secondary hut. One can imagine what the tropic sun does to a stinking pile of seafood in a matter of days.When the whole thing started to rot, the people started revolting and King Tonga decided to adopt the Indonesian gold standard. Also pro-muslim legislation was passed to reassure the new subjects of the New Empire of Tonga they could continue their religious practices.
This meant gold was needed. The Fijian gold mines were close, but 7000 fierce Polynesian natives lived on the Islands, and Tonga had no resources to fund any colonisation programs.

In '33 the people of Ambon revolted against the use of gold as a means to do the groceries, which led to the extermination of the indigineous people. The natives of Sula, were also, in the light of recent events on Ambon, pre-emptively obliterated. King Tonga may have been looking for civilisation, but organised nations were always tough nuts to crack; natives were easier to subdue, and the Tongese military was not yet ecquipped to take on larger Empires.

After the Maluku operation the army was sent to Fiji to prepare the islands for colonisation, following the familiar recipe of destruction. In the absense of strong forces Amir landed in Ternate with an 11k tebel force in late '36. The next year the rebellion spread to Tidore, but sufficient forces were present to immediately quell the insurgency, and government kept strict control of the fortress of Tidore while Ternate was under siege. The rebel force was to large to assault head-on on with an offensive strike, so the Polynesians dug in and awaited the Muslim attack that would inevitably follow when the fortress in Tindore would fall.

Ten thousand fierce Jihadis assaulted Tongese positions in Tidore. The Imperial army only counted six thousand, mostly fresh recruits. The Tongese were routed, but inflicted enough losses on Amir's part to prevent him from being able to completely blockade the garrisson of Tidore. It was not the first, and would probably not be the last time that Tonga's 11k support limit would hamper it's development into a world power.

In the last days of 1441 Tindore (Ternate) was freed from rebel control. But it wasn't until locally recruited forces, in 1443, beat the remnants of Amirs Mujahedeen, that the island was free from rebels. The operation in Fiji continued, but half the army was left behind to police the Spice Colonies. Coinciding with the ultimately succesful establishment of a civilian presence on Fiji, the Empire decided to abandon the idea of a far flung, unreachable Wismar, and joined the Djangalla Free Trade Zone. Wismar remained alive as an idea, but the more realistic merchant ways of the Indonesians had permanently changed Polynesian culture. For better or for worse, this remained to be seen.


Polynesia is generally defined as the islands within the Polynesian triangle. The term "Polynesia", meaning many islands, was first used by Charles de Brosses in 1756, and originally applied to all the islands of the Pacific. Jules Dumont d'Urville in an 1831 lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris proposed a restriction on its use.
Geographically, and oversimply, Polynesia may be described as a triangle with its corners at Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island. The other main island groups located within the Polynesian triangle are Samoa, Tonga, the various island chains that form the Cook Islands and French Polynesia. Niue is a rare solitary island state near the centre of Polynesia.


The name Indonesia derives from the Latin Indus, meaning "India", and the Greek nesos, meaning "island".
Ideal agricultural conditions, and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the eighth century BCE, allowed villages, towns, and small kingdoms to flourish by the first century CE. Indonesia's strategic sea-lane position fostered inter-island and international trade. For example, trade links with both Indian kingdoms and China were established several centuries BCE. Trade has since fundamentally shaped Indonesian history.
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Lt. General
Mar 22, 2008
The known World in 1437:


Red - Tonga
LightBlue - Majapahit
DarkBlue - Atjeh
Magenta - Makassar
Bordeaux - Brunei
Purple - Cambodja
LightGreen - Ayuthaya
Green dots represent areas still affected by the Tongan-native shell-trade
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Lt. General
Mar 22, 2008
Tonga 1445-1510 Calm Before the Storm

The second part of the 15th century was mostly spent in peace. The Indonesians seemed to have accepted Polynesian rule, Islam being the most favoured religion next to Paganism, and Sharia still implemented in the rural parts of Ternate and Tidore.. In march '58 5000 people moved from Tonga to Ternate, where now lived over 20 thousand people in the city of Tindore. Eight years later they showed their loyalty to the Crown by providing five warships for the Royal Fleet, stationed in Tonga.

In 1460 Tonga received 100 golden ducats and 5% deflation from the Bank of Djangalla, as a token of gratitude for expanding their market, bringing vast stretches of the pacific in culture. In the mean time all available funds were put into the Fijian colony, in order to get the needed gold revenues. Exploration continued from the new bases in Ambon and Sula and by 1470 diplomatic ties were established with the Chinese government, Australia was circumnavigated, and the Phillipines were proven not to be a part of the Asian landmass.


View of the fine natural harbour of Ambon.

King Tonga was somewhat displeased with the results of the explorative ventures of his subjects, as they had so far been unable to establish contact with the advanced civilisation of Wismar, in the White Lagune. Indonesian and Malay seaman believed the land was to be found in India, because all good things came from India. India had been very influencial in the region in previous centuries, hence the Javan Hinduism, but communications had been broken with the emergence and subsequent fragmentation of Islam. Trade was conducted via all sorts of middle men, who all sought to maximize profits, which led to superinflated prices for everything that crossed the Indian Ocean, in either direction. Even if Wismar was not to be found here, surely India was worth a closer look. So with the completion of the Fijian colony in sight, Tonga bult another fleet and sent it round Cape Madurai. The nations of Sri Lanka and Vijayanagar were discovered and embassies were set up in these two Hindu nations. By 1485 the world had gotten much bigger than any Polynesian could have imagined 150 years ago. With a monthly income of ten point something, Tonga was the 55th poorest nation in the world, right between Portugal, who was poorer, and Champa, who was poorer only to a slightly lesser degree.



Hinduism in Java

Both Java and Sumatra were subject to considerable cultural influence from the Indian subcontinent during the first and second millennia of the Common Era. Both Hinduism and Buddhism, which share a common historical background and whose membership may even overlap at times, were widely propagated in the Malay archipelago.
Hinduism, and the Sanskrit language through which it was transmitted, became highly prestigious in Java. Many Hindu temples were built, including Prambanan near Yogyakarta, which has been designated a World Heritage Site; and Hindu kingdoms flourished, of which the most important was Majapahit.
In the sixth and seventh centuries many maritime kingdoms arose in Sumatra and Java which controlled the waters in the Straits of Malacca and flourished with the increasing sea trade between China and India and beyond. During this time, scholars from India and China visited these kingdoms to translate literary and religious texts.
Majapahit was based in Central Java, from where it ruled a large part of what is now western Indonesia. The remnants of the Majapahit kingdom shifted to Bali during the sixteenth century as Muslim kingdoms in the western part of the island gained influence.
Although Java was substantially converted to Islam during the 15th century and afterwards, substantial elements of Hindu (and pre-Hindu) customs and beliefs persisted among ordinary Javanese. Particularly in central and eastern Java, Abangan or 'nominal' Muslims were predominant. 'Javanists', who upheld this folk tradition, coexisted along with more orthodox Islamicizing elements.



During the late '80s, economic analysts reported the Fijian gold mines were causing inflation of 0,1% per year. This new threat to the Empire's economy was countered by rapidly expanding the spice producing colony in Ambon into a fully taxable colonial city. With yearly growth rates of over 12%, the Fijian colony would soon follow. In 1492, at the very same time Columbus was (hopefully) bizzy discovering America, in his wake bringing great suffering to that continent and others, in Ambon 10 warships spawned, as if deforestation was a word of the future, yet to be invented.

By the turn of the century, Tonga was the 49th richest nation, Genoa being the 48th, and Khazak the 50th. Monthly income varied around 12 - 13 golden ducats. Polynesian culture was prevalent in the Empire of Tonga once agin, as Ambon and Fiji were true Polynesian colonial cities now, and the culture in Sula had also changed to Polynesian, by sending Polynese settlers to the formerly Indonesian island.

Ten years later two 100 $ state gifts were received from the Western Company, which had recently changed her name into Western Polynesian Group, to further cloud their role in the subjugation of the Indonesian muslim population of Tidore/Tindore. The money was put to good use by expanding the colony in Sula as well into a taxable colonial city.


Lt. General
Mar 22, 2008
Tonga 1515-1535 Calm Seas, Troubled Waters.


Around 1515 the Chinese accused Tonga of secretly funding the agressive shell-smugglers who pirated their coasts, and demanded all Tongan trade should further be conducted via either Kuangtung, or Shangai. Both centers of civilisation were terra incognita to the King's diplomats, but backed by Malay and Javan reasurrances, they negotiated that only the main island of the maritime empire were forced to do so. Products east of Tonga had to be shipped to Malacca, namely goods from Niue and the new spice colony on Tahiti; the western colonies could continue trading in Djangalla. This is called the Treaty of Eternal Harmony in Chinese history books, and is painted as an act of bringing civilization to the Pacific region.


Japanese pirate.

Tonga was upset about this seemingly random fluctuations of the economic fields. The decision to operate from Djangalla, instead of the illusive Wismar, had seemed logic and autonomously taken, but now it turned out nations could enforce economic dependence on eachother. A scientific expedition was subsidized to investigate the economic zones of China, and to secretly establish communication lines with the northern shell-smugglers, to make them more succeptable to the Polynesia way of life.


In the process of exploring the coastline of China, Japan was accidentally discovered in 1519 when the fleet pursued a shell-smuggler to his homebase in Satsuma, Kyushu. Tonga was not unfamiliar with state financed shell smuggling and Japanese head-of-state Go-Nara and King Tonga got along fine as Go-Nara was a great fan of Sumo-wrestling.
By 1535 both Shangai(1528) and Kuangtung(1530) were discovered. The Japanese fought a war against China which resulted in the revision of the treaty of Eternal Harmony; capital trade was now to be conducted from Kyoto. Rooms cost four golden ducats, which was cheap compared to the twenty-four it cost in most countries. The results of the expedition fascinated Tonga, and he started making plans to capture one of these trading centers, and see what he could do with it.
Also trading post technology was adopted and Tonga for the first time in her history sent merchants to a Tradecenter. This honour was reserved to the Japanese, who kind of raised their eyebrows in disbelief upon seeing the merchant canoe fleet. Trading posts were set up at Buru and Ceram, and new gold mines were exploited on the island of Aru, which soon would become another colonial city for the Kingdom of Tonga.


Jungle books Snake Kaa (Chondropython viridis): The Green Tree Python is a species of tree-dwelling python native to New Guinea, various islands in Indonesia, and the northern tip of Eastern Australia (Cape York Peninsula). Between localities, there are several supposed patterning differences; for example, species from Aru Island, Indonesia typically have more white spotting than species from say, Papua New Guinea