The House of Palaiologos, Against the Tide: An Eastern Roman Timeline | Page 37 | alternatehistory.com

The House of Palaiologos, Against the Tide: An Eastern Roman Timeline

Epic! though Milan is doomed now, abandoning the Crusader army on the eve of battle, well that has never happened before, definitely doesn't compare to bohemond in the 1st, that is, wow, seriously "call a crusade/ summon the emperor over the mountains" teach him a lesson, kinda deal. I think that John annulling his marriage is a bit harsh, even for that crime, but even with the legitimization, it still seems a bad move, also due to the whole bderoom/dungeon scene,
Is the new Hospitaller deal, an expansion of the old commandery system or something else entirely?
Expansion of the commanderies? that would be very interesting indeed,but how do you envisaged that happening and in what direction?
 
Just curious, does anyone have any suggestions for other TTL characters for me to attempt to draw? I'm attempting to practice drawing in general for its own sake, but if there is anyone who you guys would be interested in seeing, then I would consider adding to the TL to be an added bonus.

Update! This time with a heavy colonial focus.

1499

"On that day I died. Never again could life be simple, not after that."-Benedetto di Syracusa, speaking of the day he discovered Chichen Itza


Little military action takes place during 1499. In Georgia, King Alexander II dies in the Battle of Ahar, just short of his goal of taking the Azerbaijani capital of Tabriz. His death does not leave an empty throne, and his adult son George succeeds to the throne as King George IX. George is immediately left with a difficult decision, namely whether to press on against the Azerbaijanis or not following the defeat at Ahar. The battle was close, and George has more reserve troops than his opponent, but he is unsure if fighting his way into Tabriz is worth the cost, and in June peace terms are signed in Georgia’s favor, ultimately with the Azerbaijanis paying an annual tribute to Georgia and ceding some northern Territory along the Caspian, including Baku.

Despite the territorial losses, the Azerbaijanis have won a moral victory. Their leader, Yaqub ibn Hassan, has fought an uphill battle against his older brothers and the Georgians from the beginning, but with the victory at Ahar and subsequent peace treaty with Georgia he has finally managed to outlast all of the enemies that have stood against him. Together with his older brothers Ogurlu and Khalil he becomes the third and last of the seven sons of Uzun Hassan to form a lasting successor state from the remains of the Ak Koyunlu Sultanate. By 1499 three uneven states have been formed, a western Bagdad based successor under Ogurlu that retained the name and titles of the Ak Konyulu and contained all that remained of the Ak Konyulu under Uzun Hassan west of the Zagros mountains, a larger eastern Persian state run by Khalil and administrated from Isfahan, and Yaqub’s Azerbaijani Sultanate based around Tabriz. Although his was the smallest of the three, Yaqub’s Sultanate controlled his father’s capital, and his position as sultan was unmarred by internal disputes, unlike his brothers’ respective nations.

In France, Gaston Moreau de Foix returns home after five years in exile spent in England. His “Charlottean” movement has made some inroads in England, where clerical corruption is still relatively high, but rather than focus on his burgeoning community there he chooses to leave the English in the capable hands of his associate William Scrivener, while he returns to the land of his birth to further spread his spirit of reform. Although technically barred from reentry into France, Moreau is not considered an important threat, and his reentrance into the kingdom through Gascony in late October is neither recorded nor prevented by the local authorities. Surprisingly, Moreau fails to make a scene during his first few months back in France. He does proselytize, but in private indoor sessions in the homes of friends and local people of a like mind. Perhaps having been influenced by Scrivener, a man used to hiding his religious affiliation, Moreau’s movement becomes a largely underground one in France. That is not to say it lacked popularity. Particularly in Occitania, where the people had become both resentful of the domineering of the north and politically aroused by the Charlotte of Savoy’s insurrection, those people with any grievance against the church or its local representatives would flock to the Charlottean meeting places, though it is also noteworthy that the number of genuine converts paled in comparison to those caught up in the mob appeal of Moreau’s fiery preaching. Meanwhile, a lack of powerful authority figures in the south of France leaves the movement largely untouched, and for every local priest who condemns the movement another sympathizes with it.

In Anatolia, the homeward bound crusaders, having passed through Ottoman lands with minimal incidents, albeit at a terribly slow pace. Despite being the first to leave Outremer, with the Castilians not leaving until May, and many of the French and Italians electing to stay indefinitely, the crusaders still receive a warm welcome, especially compared to the fiasco that was the Milanese branch of the crusade. First travelling through Smyrna, King Matthias himself makes a rare return from Hungary to greet the victorious crusaders. After Smyrna, the crusaders pass through Roman Bithynia before being ferried across to Constantinople.

It is worth noting the considerable ramifications of the Emperor David I inviting the crusaders into his capital. Although on a personal level David’s commitment to the ecclesiastic union with Rome is still a matter of debate, on a political level circumstances had forced him to become a zealous supporter of the union. The death of his father at the hands of the anti-unionist supporters of Manuel III and his subsequent need of Catholic aid to return to power had all but crystalized David’s political stance on the matter by the time he had returned to Constantinople. Having burned his bridges with the anti-unionists, David then threw himself wholeheartedly behind Alfonso XII’s crusade, even going so far as to send his heir presumptive to Jerusalem. All of this had cost him his ability to appear neutral, but the successful and positive outcome of the crusade had by and large vindicated David in his decision to support the crusade in the eyes of the masses. By inviting the crusaders into Constantinople, he could further remind the people that his support for the crusade had paid off. It also provided an excellent opportunity to show off in front of the young English Prince Thomas, in the hopes that he might remind the people in every country that he passed through that Constantinople was back on its feet.

Constantinople, February 9th, 1499

Thomas rode along down the streets lined with spectators. He was nervous. It wasn’t about meeting an emperor. He’d seen men more powerful than his father before, and they had universally failed to inspire awe in him. Rather it was the throngs of people. So many foreign voices, talking, cheering, yelling, roaring. It reminded him of battle, and each direction he looked he had to double check just to be sure that the crowd hadn’t suddenly turned into hostile soldiers. Suddenly he felt something shove his right arm, and he instinctively grasped his sword.

“You look like you going to throw up,” said a familiar voice in broken French.

Thomas relaxed his grip on his sword. Turning his head, he looked at Giorgios and said, “How do you deal with it? I still can’t get Jerusalem out of my thoughts.”

Giorgios looked around thoughtfully for a moment, idly waving to the crowds. Finally, in a voice that gave the impression of asking a question, he said, “Strong drink and strong women.”

Thomas smiled, but then said, “No seriously, I can hardly sleep. You’re younger than I am and you don’t even seem to care. Something is different about you.”

“It wasn’t a lie,” said Giorgios, “but maybe is not the whole truth. I’ve been fighting too long, maybe I’ve forgotten how to worry.”

“Well that’s no good for me, I can’t start a new war just to get used to fighting,” Thomas replied. “Figures that I can only forget good things.”

“Then try the drink and women,” said Giorgios smiling. “When used together they can be almost as frightening as war.”

“Alright, now I’m half expecting this woman of yours to be some kind of horrible monster,” said Thomas smirking.

A bemused look crossed Giorgios’ face as he said, “You won’t find it so funny when I tell her you said that.” The two laughed, and for the rest of the procession Thomas found it easier to avoid thinking of Jerusalem, as his thoughts turned towards the happier prospects of what entertainment might await him as a guest of the emperor.

* * * * *

Evidently Prince Thomas is quite impressed with his time in Constantinople, for he stays there for a solid two months before moving on, this time taking a return route through the Adriatic, which allows him to sightsee in Venice as well. Back in the British Isles, a marriage occurs between the twelve year old King James V of Scotland and Cecily of York, the youngest sister of King Edmund I of Ireland. Perhaps the most surprising of royal births is that of Leopold of Austria, only surviving child of Emperor Christoph I of the Holy Roman Empire and his wife Amalie of Brandenburg. His birth is surprising for a number of reasons, including the advanced age of his parents at thirty seven and thirty eight, the supposed infertility of his father, and the fact that his birth was preceded by only a single stillborn sibling almost a decade prior. Indeed, the emperor Christoph himself is remembered on this occasion for saying, “I can think of no one more surprised than myself, save perhaps my Amalie.”

The year 1499 plays host to a number of important colonial activities. First among these is the deployment by the Aragonese of the second expedition of Louis de Valois (son of Louis XI, not the son of King John II). Although officially barred from exploring the new world by the Treaty of Chambery, their interest in the west, by this point still thought to be just a stopping point on the road to China, is great. As an important ally of France in the Iberian Peninsula they are allowed the use of French ports on the Atlantic by King John II, who is not altogether pleased by the cozy relations between Portugal, Brittany, and Castile. By sponsoring Aragon, he hopes to create some serious competition for the Portuguese, in a place where he can far more closely influence events. Although working with a potential contender to the French throne is hardly John’s first choice, Louis has largely gone native in Aragon, and has shown little interest, and gained little support in France since his exile, instead preferring the exploration of new lands in the west to political pastimes.

The second expedition of Louis de Valois gains its greatest historical significance from the fact that it is the first non-Venetian mission to the new world with settlement as its motivator. An excellent cartographer, Louis de Valois was able to learn quite a bit during his first new world expedition, and his maps of the area are the best of the area for at least twenty years to come, and far better than those owned by the Venetians, despite their holding of actual colonies in the area. One particular piece of information that Valois holds is the knowledge of the large continental landmass to the northwest of the Sugar Islands. Rather than squabbling over the islands, Valois thinks that the expedition and ultimately the Crown of Aragon would be served better served by staking a claim on the mainland. Choosing a sight on a peninsula to the north of Venetian San Marco (1), Valois and an expeditionary force of four hundred persons, including one hundred soldiers, forty women, nine priests, and the rest being a mix of artisans and unskilled workers, land on July 6th. A bay area on the peninsula’s eastern coast is chosen, and Valois christens the new settlement as New Valencia (2). The location is not unknown to Valois, who is aware of friendly natives in the region, and diplomatic relations are established with the Tequesta tribe early in the colony’s existence. Unlike the Venetian colonies, which are primarily built around plantation farming, New Valencia’s purpose is to keep the Venetians out of the mainland, and to establish a forward base for future colonial ventures. For this reason, the colony puts great emphasis on becoming self-sustaining, and cultivation of food crops and construction of earthen defenses are the primary focus of the colony in its first year.

In the Venetian colonies, a new exploratory mission is sent forth, this time under Francesco Colleoni, to explore the landmass to the west of the Sugar Islands. His expedition lands in Maya territory, in what is now simply known as the Maya Peninsula (3), and goes some ways inland, pillaging villages and taking captives along the way. The expedition will later be criticized by imperialists and native supporters alike for failing to establish or even attempt to establish diplomatic relations with the natives. When they are some ways inland, encamped in a thick jungle area, the locals strike back. In a night ambush, the natives take the expedition totally by surprise. Those who live long enough to get to their feet run for their lives, and while some escape and make it back to where the ship is anchored, most are captured. Among the captured are Colleoni himself, Giambattista Vasari, the expedition’s chaplain, and Benedetto di Syracusa, who after the failure of his career as a plantation owner on San Elmo chose to liquidate his remaining assets and set sail with the expedition when it passed.

Cenote Sacro, Chechen Itza March 23rd, 1499

Benedetto struggled against his bonds holding his hands. The rope was strong, but he could feel it weakening. If he could just break it before they got wherever they were going, he could escape. He’d tried his best to remember his way back towards the coast as they walked, and he reasoned that he had a fair chance of making good his escape in the huge expanse of jungle.

Just then one of the Cipans (4) guarding them looked in his direction, and Benedetto abandoned his attempt to break his rope and attempted to look frightened and confused like most of his comrades. The Cipan didn’t seem to buy his act, and Benedetto was sure that he was about to be punished for his feeble escape attempt, but then one of the Cipan’s near the front of the column yelled something, and the man who had been staring at him reluctantly disengaged from him. For just a second Benedetto felt relief, but he was quickly overwhelmed by something new. He smelled something peculiar, but unmistakable. Dirty water, he thought.

He looked to his right, and all of a sudden he could see it, a massive pool, not more than twenty feet from them, and surrounded by sheer cliffs on all sides. Here and there small manmade stone structures could be seen about the tops of the cliffs. Below, the water looked almost as green as the forest, but glassy smooth and reflective. As they trudged onwards, Benedetto realized that they were following the curve of the pool. After several minutes following the pool’s rim, they stopped abruptly, and new voices, one of them distinctly older than those of the men who had captured them. After a moment of discussing among the Cipans, Benedetto and his comrades found themselves brought closer to the pool.

When they had reached some stone ruins very near the edge of the cliffs, the Italians were lined up single file. About thirty had been captured, and looking down the line Benedetto recognized several of them. Most were fidgeting nervously, while the chaplain and a few others were silently mouthing words of prayer with their bound hands clasped tightly together. Most of them were still wearing some or all of their armor, although Benedetto himself and about half of them had lost their helmets. Around them a great multitude of Cipans had gathered, at least two hundred, but Benedetto guessed even more. Before them, several men stood. One, whom Benedetto assumed to be the leader, wore a large woven hat, and a large stone and wooden necklace. Hovering around him were four men, each partially colored in what Benedetto could only assume was some kind of blue paint.

After speaking with the painted men for a moment, the leader pointed at one of the prisoners, and Benedetto looked down the line to his left to see who they were pointing at. Two of the painted men stepped forwards and grabbed the captain, Francesco, and roughly shoved him towards their leader. Dressed in a large cloak and a feathered helmet, Benedetto could see why Francesco would be singled out. No doubt they know his father is rich, you can smell the gold on his veins. They brought Francesco before their leader, and he said something in his strange language to Francesco.

Francesco himself was getting nervous, and he desperately tried to reason with the leader, despite knowing nothing of their language. “Stop this at once! You won’t receive any payment if I’m harmed! My family can make sure you never see sunlight again if you give them a reason to!” The Cipan leader predictably understood none of his words, and instead turned his attention to Francesco’s helmet and breastplate. One of the painted men curiously knocked on it, and was surprised by the sound of its metallic chink. For a few moments the painted men busied themselves with Francesco’s armor, evidently attempting to remove it, all the while ignoring Francesco’s frantic threats and pleas. At last they discovered the leather straps about the shoulders, and one of them produced a knife, which they used to cut away first his cloak, and then the leather bindings holding his armor in place. Then, more surprisingly, they began to cut away the rest of Francesco’s clothing as well, and Benedetto watched in fearful confusion as Francesco was stripped of every stitch of clothing, and Francesco began struggling with all of his strength against his captors. This reminded Benedetto of his own bindings, and he began to struggle with them again, biting at the ropes while keeping his eyes fixed on the macabre scene before him.

Despite his struggles, two of the painted men were able to force Francesco over to a stone slab near the edge of the pool, while another gathered up his clothing and armor. Upon reaching the edge of the pool, the painted man threw Francesco’s possessions into the pool, and then all four of them attempted to force Francesco to lie down on the stone slab. Although he struggled mightily, there was no way for Francesco to resist all four of them with bound hands, and soon they had him pinned to the table, with one painted man holding each leg down, one on each arm. Then their leader stepped forwards. He was holding the knife that had been used to cut off Francesco’s clothes, and he stepped up to the altar stone from Francesco’s left side, and slowly cut away the rope binding Francesco’s hands together. His hands free, Francesco made one last strong attempt to escape, and he managed to free his right leg and kick the face of the man who had been holding it before he was restrained again.

By this point Benedetto had forgotten his own attempt to escape, and was, like most of his comrades, staring mesmerized at the scene before him. Only Father Giambattista was still praying now, but his hoarsely whispered prayers added to the unreal trancelike feeling that had engulfed the Italians. The painted men and their leader began chanting, and many of the other Cipans joined them in doing so, and then Benedetto saw their leader raise his knife, silhouetted by the sinking sun, high over Francesco’s midsection, and an unearthly yell that slowly turned to a bloodcurdling scream came from Francesco as the knife was brought down. Benedetto now tried to run forwards, now filled with the realization that they had all been brought here to die, but his feet failed him, and he tripped on an uneven stone after only two steps. One of the Cipan warriors grabbed him and roughly stood him up, and he stared in horror as Francesco’s screams stopped, and the man with the knife raised something dripping and quivering up into the sky. He then walked over to the edge of the pool and dropped it in. After this, he returned to the unmoving form of Francesco and, taking a tool resembling a crude sword from one of the painted men, he decapitated Francesco with three blows. Where at first there was shock and horror, now screams and outrage came from the Italians, and one man made a more successful attempt than Benedetto to run to Francesco’s aid, only to be taken down by a warrior with a spear, killing him instantly with a blow to the head. The man with the knife took Francesco’s head, and once again reverently dropped it into the pool, while two of the painted men did the same with his body, and two more went for the corpse of the man who had run to Francesco’s aid, and did likewise.

Then Giambattista’s voice rose, crying, “Lord God in heaven, have mercy on us! Christ have mercy on us! Holy Ghost, have mercy on us!” Unnerved by his shouting, one of the Cipan warriors clubbed his head with the side of his spear, and the shocked priest stumbled before falling to his knees.

“We are alone,” Benedetto whispered to himself, “God isn’t coming for us.”

(1) In OTL, Florida.

(2) Appriximately where OTL Miami is.

(3) OTL's Yucatan, TTL named for the native tribes of the area.

(4) TTL Cipan (pronounced like the common English words sip and an) is the equivalent term to Indians in OTL, and is commo slang for all native Americans. It is based on the European name for Japan in the renaissance, Cipangu.
 
Egads! How will Benedetto get out of this fix? And how will Venice respond to this fiasco?

Interesting to see things stabilizing in Georgia and the eastern Islamic world. Wonder what seeds you are planting along the Caspian shores.

Hmm, seems Johns france i going to continue religious troubles. I am guessing the Roman papacy stepping in had not satisfied as many as King John would have liked.

And the Crusade officially wraps up. The end of an era as you have pointed out. OTL we know what came next to a degree, but with this longer lifespan and very different ending we can hardly predict with conviction now.

So Giorgios and Thomas get along eh? I can see that. War has certainly left its mark on the man who dragged his feet and was called a Florentine. I take it Giorgios ad David showed the Englishman a good time those two months. What kind of reputation is Prince Thomas walking away with from the Crusade?

Louis de Valois is starting a new colony and exploring. Neat, though he will likely never sit the throne f his ancestors, he will have a page in history in his own right it would seem. Aragonese Florida, Catalan dialects in America very cool.

As for the picture, might I suggest the late Alfonso the Catholic of Castile?
 
Just wondering, would it be possible to focus on the personal relationships between leaders of major nations throughout the ages and the effect this have of their respective countries diplomatic situations?

Also, excellent as always.
 
Herr Frage, I'm intending to expand the scope of the TL into Asia, so the Caucasus and Middle East seems like a natural starting place. China, India, and Japan will probably be given some recap, since they've largely been ignored since the PoD.

France was pretty much tailor made for an interesting reformation TTL, what with the antipope situation and its associated rise in priestly abuses, and then the Charlottean Insurrection. The return of the Roman Papacy was a step in the right direction, but the church in France needs time to regain the people's trust, and Gaston isn't intent on letting them recover.

Thomas and Giorgios became good friends after Alfonso's death, and yes, Thomas did have a good time in Constantinople. As for his reputation, he did what was expected of him in the crusade, and that gives him a respectable repuation, as well as erasing any negativity associated with him from his pre-crusade shenanigans.

For some reason, I really liked the idea of disinherited or low on the line of succession royals doing other things with their lives than pursuing the throne, and explorer is both fun and has historical precident. I may do that another time or two in the future, but at the very least I had to have Valois in America:D

Grouchio, in general, I would think that a small country like Venice discovering the New World would be good for the Natives, in case you're interested;)

Tongera, Thanks:). In general I've tried to mention the relationships between royals when it seems relevent, but if you have anyone specific you want to know about I can give you a rundown, just ask.

And now for the 1500 Map!

Palaiologos 1500 Names.png

1. Kingdom of Portugal
2. Kingdom of Brittany
3. Principality of Wales
4. Republic of Florence
5. Papal States
6. Sicilian Bishopric
7. Republic of Venice
8. Kingdom of Naples
9. Duchy of Austria
10. Electorate of Bavaria
11. Electorate of Saxony
12. Electorate of Brandenburg
13. Voivodeship of Wallachia
14. Voivodeship of Moldavia
15. Empire of Trebizond and Theodoro
16. Kingdom of Smyrna
17. Knights of St. John
18. Kingdom of Cyprus
19. Kingdom of Jerusalem
20. Kingdom of Georgia

Forgot to mention in the update, I've accidentally blundered up in my explaination of Edward of Naples' family situation, and it's too late to edit it. To clarify, he has four sons, Rene, Henry, Edward, and Nicholas (I accidentally forgot about Rene and named another son the same thing).

Palaiologos 1500 Names.png
 
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For now just a few things that could possibly be explored in future updates:

Personal relationship between current Emperor of the Romans and the King of Smyrna, King of Hungary, King of France and the Holy Roman Empire. Also, future ties between Byzantium and Russia.
 

Soverihn

Banned
Nice map! :)

Quick question, what do other countries think of the Empire of Trebizond? I don't think you've touched on that before
 
quick question: is number 18 supposed to be the kingdom of cyprus? and i thought it got attached to the byzantines during/following the crusade due to the whole manuel rebellion thing? or was it just kinda lying low and staying in the backround. Either way, its good to have a map :)
So i noticed that the Teutonic knights have done well in retaining so much of samogitia/lithuania/baltic coastland whatever its called, always good to see the knightly orders doing well. If i could, i would love to hear more about the current state of affairs in the HRE and the Ordenstaat, is poland still rocking the boat or did its defeat in the war and then the defeat in the south mean its a little more pacifist than before?
And Hey! theirs an heir to the HRE! more importantly his name is leopold, always a good name for an Austrian emperor
hmm just noticed, but Royal prussia should still be Teutonic, since they didnt lose as much territory in the what was it, 16 years war?
 
Say, what kind of relationship exists between the Kings of Ireland and England; and how do the respective peoples view each other right now?
 
Tongera, Most of them will probably be explored or expanded upon in the near future, but I'll give a quick list of the things you asked.

King of Smyrna, David isn't much of a fan, epecially as he was pressured into marrying his daughter because of Matthias' dominance in Hungary. He can tolerate him, but if he had an opportunity to have him removed, and it was a sure thing without a chance of being discovered, he would do it.

King of France, the two have a mutual understanding and respect for eachother's accomplishments, both having had to fight hard to get where they are. David also sees John as a potentially useful ally against any possible Italian foes, given that Milan is a French Vassal, so he's interested in pursuing a posetive relationship with John and his family. They might even be able to comiserate over their marital issues:D

The King of Hungary is still a boy living under his great uncle's regency, so David has no personal opinion on him, although he does prefer him to Matthias because he doesn't have any claims in Anatolia and because he is unlikely to be as domineering. As for Christoph von Habsburg, David has little opinion on him, since he has few similar or conflicting interests and Christoph is somewhat mentally infirm. At the worst, he would think of Christoph as a lucky SoB, since he gets to be an emperor while his brother and wife do most of the work.:p

I'll let Rus-Byzantine relations explain themselves as they go along, but David and Dmitry are first cousins, so things are generally good between them at this point.

Soverihn, true, I have neglected the subject a bit. In general despite the fact that Trebizond is more powerful than ever before they are looked down upon, and sometimes ridiculed for holding an imperial title that neither their history nor their size and power have earned them. The ERE likes them because of their close ties and special relationship level alliance, but they are so culturally and politically tied to the ERE that most other nations think less of them because of it. In addition, the fact that Theodoro and its ruling family control over a third of Trebizond's lands is a negative too. That said, the Trebizondian rulers often prefer the low profile, so they are in no hurry to build up their reputation, and Venice and the Ottomans have lost enough to Trebizondian opportunism to begin to take the little empire seriously.

Andristan, I may edit the map to give more of Royal Prussia to the Teutons, but I'm assuming that the Poles were unwilling to part with Danzig, as their best Baltic port.

You're right, it was supposed to be (and has been edited to) the Kingdom of Cyprus. They were able to lie low and survive because Alfonso wanted to use Cyprus as a supply base and by fighting the Cypriots he would have destroyed Cyprus supplying capability. Also note that King Andreas of Cyprus wasn't officially involved in his brother's attempt on the throne, so it would have taken some doing to justify taking him out, and his offer to supply the crusade as a kind of unofficial pennance removed any incentive to kill him anyways.

Poland is quiet because King Alexander is a weak willed man put in place by people who feel that Poland-Lithuania should be looking inwards rather than beyond her borders. As for the HRE, I'll try to do so. I imagine you'll remember that Bavaria has been reunited under the Munich line and made an Electorate, Brandenburg expanded south to the Elbe at Saxony's expense, and the Palatinate has been divided in four and stripped of its electorate status. Also, Brandenburg has become very close with the Habsburgs following the war with Charles VIII of France. The Teutons are in general attempting to modernize and deal with the fact that there isn't a pagan threat on the Baltic anymore, although change is coming slowly, and finding a new purpose without giving up their Baltic territory is easier said than done. They also are coming increasingly under the sway of the General Conrad von Eisleben, who is a man promoted through the order's ranks on merit and one of the best generals of the era.

Herr Frage, England and Ireland are less concerned with eachother than one might think. Edmund is still interested in his father's kingdom, but barring the fortuitous death of King Richard III's son and grandson he seems unlikely to be able to take control. Richard on the other hand isn't too concerned over Ireland because it's still something of a backwater, and because holding England together is a little harder than he'd hoped while a Lancastrian heir is alive. Furthermore, Edward Lancaster has the French king's ear for his plans to retake England, even if he doesn't have any real support yet, and that is worrying for Richard far more than any half baked schemes from Ireland.

As for their people, the PoD is before the worst of the English attrocities in Ireland, so enmity between the two peoples is relatively tame. The Irish don't like the English, but they tolerate them because the English often increase profits. The Irish are also divided on King Edmund, because he is quite definitely English, and although he has allies among the Irish nobles and is relatively charismatic he hasn't made a particular attempt to embrace Irish culture or traditions. Not many see Ireland's independence as some sort of a nationalist victory. They've just traded an English king in London for an English King in Dublin. On the English end, the Irish are barbarians who don't really matter, but can be tolerated as long as they aren't too violent. As far as the English are concerned (and there is some truth to their view) Ireland is just an English splinter state that happens to have a lowest rung of society that speaks a different language.
 
Thanks for the HRE summery, i had forgotten that part about the palatinate.
Just wanted to say, the Teutons got Danzig in 1411 with the 1st treaty of thorn, and kept it till the 13 years war end in 1466, when Royal prussia was succeeded to the poles. Now in between the city and the order gave special privileges to the poles as it was their main export spot.
 
Avitus, I've been out of the board for half a year but now I'm back and the first thing I've done is reading your thread up to the end. I must say that your writing style has improved greatly over the period as some other people have already noticed and I think you’ve managed to find a perfect balance between narrative and history. The past twenty years of TTL brought us a lot of action, drama and unexpected twists. We have seen an Ottoman Civil war, endless civil wars in England, civil war in France and HRE that developed into almost all-western Europe conflict, birth Charlotte’s Reformation, Manuel’s rebellion transforming into Civil War in HRE, another Ottoman civil war, The Last Crusade and Mamluk Civil war(in fact this twenty years can be called an Age of Civil Wars) .

I have several questions and a small piece of critique for you however.

1. I have the same question as Andristan about Royal Prussia. In OTL Poland didn’t possess a Baltic shore before the Thirteen years war. In TTL after the end of Sixteen years war, as you wrote in the post #317(it is on page 16), the lands of Prussian Confederation were returned to Teutons. Since Danzig was an active member of Prussian Confederation looks like it should remain Teuton in TTL. Moreover in post #460 on the page 23 your confirmed that Teutons have OTL pre-1453 borders in Prussia and control Danzig and the mouth of Vistula(here is the map http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Teutonic_Order_1466.png ; Teutons shall control all the Pomerelia including Danzig, Thorn, Kulm, Marienburg and Elbing) So looks like Poland shouldn’t have their piece of Baltic shore and all the costal territory between Teutons and Brandenburg shall be in hands of Teotons).

2. This is a map question agian. On the 1500 map Brandenburg does controls a large portion of Baltic shore. So looks like Brandenburg has managed to annex the Duchy of Pomerania(which in OTL was partitioned between Sweden and Brandenburg in the middle of 17th century) and probably even the Duchy of Mecklenburg(which in OTL remained independent before the unification of Germany ). While both is certainly manageable in TTL since Brandenburg became really strong after the war of two emperors in HRE and has strong ties with mighty Teutons and Maximilian Habsburg who effectively controls the Emperor, it is a big deal and I wasn’t able to find any notions of Brandenburg annexing Pomerania or Mecklenburg in the thread.

3.Third question is about a border between Rus’ and Lithuania. The main question is how much territory did Russia gained. In OTL there were four wars between Russia and Lithuania in 1492-1522(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscovite%E2%80%93Lithuanian_Wars ). There were several decisive factors in these wars. First one is massive defection of Russian-speaking Lithuanian nobles with their lands and retainers from Lithuania into Muscovy. The most notable ones are Semen Bielsky, Semen Starodubsky, Valili Novgorod-Seversky(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Ivanovich_Shemyachich ) and Michael Glinsky(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Glinski). In TTL the prestige of Grand Princes of Muscovy is even higher than it was in OTL due to heroic victory over tartars by Ivan III so the defection will hardly be smaller than it was in TTL. The second OTL factor is tartars that harassed both Lithuanian and Muscovy borders is gone in TTL. The third factor is Livonian order – in all four wars they supported Lithuania and more or less successfully distracted Muscovites in the North section of border. I TTL this factor is reversed – Teutons are Russian allies and participate in a war against Poland and Lithuania. Given all these we can assume that Russian gains should be bigger than they were in OTL. So as it was written in the TL all the Ukraine east of Dniepr – Severia and Chernigovschina - should be ceded to Russia(historically the term Ukraine is incorrect; in 15th-16th century it means frontier; people said “Chernigov Ukraine”, “Kiev Ukraine” etc. meaning “Chrenigov frontier” etc. and by 17th century Ukraine gradually became a proper name). This is exactly the result of first two Lithuanian-Muscovite wars. But there remain several important questions. First one is who controls Kiev? While the city itself is on the right(western) bank of Dniepr it has a huge historical and symbolic importance and Russia is keen to take it(in OTL after the truce of Andrusovo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truce_of_Andrusovo Russia got Kiev although all other territorial gains were on the left bank of Dniepr) . The other two questions are who controls Smolensk and Polotsk? In OTL Russia had difficulties taking them mainly because of Livonian and Tartar interference and in TTL both cities are much easier targets. And if both are taken then all the territory east from Berezina is likely to fall to Russians given that it doesn’t have strong fortresses and big towns other than Smolensk and Polotsk and that it is owned by Russian-speaking nobles many of them are willing to join Russia. Given all these I propose the following border between Russia and Lithuania: Russia controls the Left bank of Dniepr from Black Sea to the confluence of Dniepr(including or not including Kiev) and Berezina and then the Left bank of Berezina up to Teuton border. If so the border should be more or less parallel to the one on 1500 map but shifted to west – from the small gulf to the west of Crimea that looks like crescent(that is actually the mouth of Dniepr and Bug) to the angle on the Teutons- Lithuanian border where a vertical part of border becomes diagonal (that is Dinaburg or modern Daugavpils). The modern cities roughly on the proposed border are Kherson, Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev, Bobruisk, Borisov and Daugavpils.

4.In the post #560 on page 28 you mention Qasim and Kazar Khanates that is vassal of Rus’. While Qasim Khanate is probably enlarged OTL Qasim Khanate Kazar Khanate is something entirely new. It name resembles OTL Khazars they are gone for 500 years . Can you say a few words about it?

5.The fifth remark is concerning Georgia(here is OTL map of Caucasus in 1460 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Caucasus_1460_map_de_alt.svg . ). It is really interesting to see active Georgia but any Georgian holdings or vassals north of Caucasus is ASB(by the way this land is not poor at all; its soils are very fertile – even more fertile then OTL Sothern Ukraine). There are only three passes in Caucasus that are available for most part of year – namely Mamison Pass, Roki Pass and Krestovy Pass(the last one in Darial Gorge). All of them are firmly controlled by Ossetians who are very warlike and were not conquered even by Mongols. The territory modern Abkhazia(the north-western part of Georgia on a map) was covered by almost impenetrable swamps until they were drained in 1930s . So before both Ossetians decided to join Russia in 1770th and the roads via three passes were build all the movement of armies through Caucasus was through Caspian Gates( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspian_Gates) and Derbent or via sea. So before Georgians control Derbent they cannot be present North of Caucasus. In TTL the got Derbent(and all the coastline from it to Baku) from Ak-Koynu in 1500 so no Georgian territory or vassals can be North of Caucasus. Moreover the territory North of Caucasus is mostly steppes populated by nomads(in 1500s Nogays were migrating to there and before Nogays there were Tartars). Georgia is a relatively small kindom that is located in highlands and steppes warfare that requires a lot of light cavalry is totally unknown to Georgians. So any Georgian influence or settlement North of Caucasus can appear after Georgians will be able to prove their strength in steppes and that cannot be done quickly. So in the north of Caucasus there should be a nomad Khanate either independent or vassal to Rus’(the second option is IMHO more plausible since Rus’ controls both Don and Volga and have proven itself the greatest power in steppes).

Sorry for critique Avitus. I like your TL very much and I want it to be as plausible in Eastern Europe as it is in Western.
 
Any chance of the Teutonic Order setting up colonies in the New World? it would be a way to renew their old mission of acting against pagans and their neighbors woud appreciate the knights sending soldiers overseas I think.

The Kalmar Union also has possibilities for colonizing I imagine.
 
Andristan, switched Royal Prussia in the map, although I'm gonna assume that it still shares a special relationship with the Poles, since nobody will object to mutual profit.

Shnurre, thanks for the C & C, I've looked it over and it seems reasonable and correct on all counts. Also glad to have you back, and thanks about the writing style:). Now, on to specifics.

1. Changed in the above map. Hadn't actually mentioned that bit much in the text, so it should present minimal changes in the story thus far. Also narrowed out the chunk of Lithuania that the Teutons were given.

2. Total mistake on my part. I should have noticed, since I actually do know a bit about Pomerania, but no matter. Thanks for bringing it to my attention before the editing time limit ran out.

3. This one I may need a little more info to be sure about. The land grab was minimal, and mostly focussed on getting some Black Sea coast under Muscovy's control. They didn't go for such a major aquisition primarily because the King of the Rus, Dmitry, was still underage,but if you feel that there is no way for a smaller landgrab to reasonably occur, or if you have a better border for a smaller landgrab (which I imagine there must be), then I'd love to have that info.

4. Oops:eek:, I meant Kazan, and now realize that there was another similar state in the same area five centuries prior. Still, I'll get an update focusing on the Rus and their vassals up soon, I was just holding off during Dmitry's minority, but that's ending now so the east will be getting more active again soon.

5. After reading that, I agree, a change is warranted in Georgia. I would like some advice as to what to do exactly. Firstly, I just want to clarify that you see nothing impossible with their recent aquisition of northern Azerbaijan. It didn't seem so, but I figured I'd make sure. Secondly, are coastal settlements on the Black Sea also out of the question. Similarly, is any and all vassilization of tribes north of the mountain impossible? I'm working with a rough 3-4 million people in Georgia, based on slightly earlier medieval statistic of five million and the avoidance of the more destructive civil wars and loss of territory in the later 1400s, which makes them about half of Muscovy, and combined with the relative wealth of the Georgian region I'd assume they could do a smaller scale capitalization. The other possibility is that some tribes nominally submit to Georgia in order to avoid Muscovite domination, but again, you would know better than I as to whether such a thing could happen.

Another thing to consider would be the old Genoese colonies in the Western Caucasus, which could reasonably be claimed by Venice, Trebizond, or Georgia with the events of TTL, although there is relatively scant information on them that I can find.

Again, no worries about criticizing it. It is some very constructive criticism and I'm glad to have it.

Herr Frage, definitely some possibility, given that Sweden and Courland had short lived colonial stint's in OTL, and this Teutonic order is at least on par with the former and miles ahead of the latter. The Kalmar union also has that possibility to be sure, and is probably in a better position to do so than any of its component nations were in OTL, but they still have a little bit of buisiness to take care of in the near future.
 
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Andristan,

Herr Frage,The Kalmar union also has that possibility to be sure, and is probably in a better position to do so than any of its component nations were in OTL, but they still have a little bit of buisiness to take care of in the near future.
You are speaking of Sweden being conquered by the Danes aren't you? Drat.
 
thats sounds really reasonable, and something that could very well have gotten into the peace treaty, "we get good deals on export through said port" kinda thing :) . I am a big fan of the knightly orders and it would be awesome if the teutonic knights worked out a deal with one of the colonizers to "provide security" or something, in the new world, though with the oceans in the way, the Hospitallers really come to mind, even if they are busy in the east with the turks/mamluks. One problem, if the Teutons do anything like that, then the Ordenstaat will probably fall to the Poles and the Russians fairly quickly.
 
Avitus, thank you for quick response. Now some comments on your answers.


1. Andistan proposed that a fair trade treaty between Teutons and Poland can be a result of the peace treaty after Sixteen Years war. While this is an interesting and plausible possibility I’d like to offer another one. After either Sixteen Years war or the first war of the Cold Alliance Teutons begin not allowing Polish merchants to sell their grain(and other goods but grain is by far the most important of them) to anyone except for Teuton merchants who in their turn sell it to foreign traders(mostly Dutch), acting as middlemen(in OTL such approach was applied to Russian traders by Livonians; I believe the only thing that saved Poles from being oppressed likewise is their control of mouth of Vistula after OTL Thirteen Years war). If done so the Polish grain trade will be much less profitable and while the Poles will be definitely pissed off this ironically may make Poland state much stronger. In OTL Poland suffered greatly because of their lack of centralization which was mainly caused by the fact that magnates(higher aristocracy) were often more powerful and wealthy than Polish kings. Most wealth of magnates came from extra-profitable grain trade where Vistula was a simple and cheap trade route from fertile lands in South Poland to Baltic coast. In TTL this major factor can be reduced and Polish kings can have much more power than they had in OTL. I’m not either I like this variant more or the variant proposed by Andistan, but if you want to have a strong and centralized Poland this is one of the most plausible options I see.


2. That’s settled now. But given right possibility Brandenburg will definitely try to grab Pomerania since Brandenburg itself lacks a Baltic Sea port.


3. In post #679 on page 34 about the first war of Cold Alliance you wrote that Rus got most of the lands East of Dniepr. It is very plausible indeed but it can’t be called a small landgrab – it is roughly one third of Lithuanian territory. In OTL practically the same territory was taken by Muscovites in the course of the Second Lithuanian-Muscovite war(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscovi...ithuanian_Wars) that occurred in 1500-1503(here is the map of eastern Europe in 1505 in OTL; Russia before the second war is light green, Lithuania before the war is brown in the center of map, the territory lost from Lithuania to Russia is encircled by red line). And this territory wasn’t conquered by Russians – total majority of nobles (I’ve mentioned some in the previous post) on this territory decided to defect to Russia with their lands. Lithuania was obviously not happy and tried to take this territories back but this attempt were repelled by local nobles who were helped by Souther Army of Muscovites. It is the activity on the Northern front that took 3 years and that we are most interested about. Here the main army of Muscovites took(without much fighting – local nobles wanted to join Muscovy as much as the ones in the South) some minor towns and besieged Orsha and Smolensk(which the only had the garrisons of people loyal to Lithuania ) in 1501. The main Lithuanian army was in this part of the Lithuania(because it is on the shortest way to Lithuanian capital Vilna and the estates of main Lithuanian nobles) but was defeated in the battle of Vedrosha(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vedrosha ). So in 1501 it looked like Muscovites will have the same successes on the Northern part of front as the had in the south. Many nobles from the territory up to Berezina river sent envoys and were ready to defect to Russia when Smolensk and Orsha would be taken. But in the Summer of 1501 Livonian Order joined the war on the side of Lithuania. The main troops of Northern Muscovite army had to lift the siege of Orsha and Smolensk in order to defend Pskov, but were defeated by Livonians in 1501 and 1502 in the battle of the Siritsa River(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Siritsa_River ) and the battle of Smolin respectively. So it was the Livonian Order that played the main role in checking Muscovites ambitions in the North in OTL. In TTL I believe that Russian-speaking nobles of the East Lithuania will be even more eager to defect to Muscovy(the prestige of Rus is higher in TTL due to heroic victory over Tartars; in OTL these nobles were a bit scared of Ivan III who was long known for his well-known toughness and centralizing efforts(but defected anyways); in TTL Rus’ is governed by teenager Dmitry II who can be much more easily manipulated(or at least nobles should believe that he is) ). In the South all this defection went smoothly and in TTL the same should happen(thus giving Muscovites the lands East of Dniepr) . In the North the same was planned in OTL but failed because of the Livonian interference. In TTL Teutons if not directly helping Rus’ on this theatre of war will definitely not help Lithuania. So I honestly believe that there is no plausible way of not giving Rus’ all the lands east of Berezina and Dniepr( Lithuanians are lucky that Ivan III had died before the war in TTL; had he been alive he would definitely try to grab most of Russian speaking land West of Dniepr and Berezina(Kiev, Minsk, Turov, Pinsk, Slutsk, Zhitomir etc.) where while nobility was much better integrated into Lithuanian society most people still felt themselves Russians and wanted to be a part of Russian state). Kiev however can plausibly remain Lithuanian – in order to take it the ruler must have certain experience in diplomacy and Dmitry II lacks it.



4. That explains a lotJ. But to be honest I don’t think that Kazan Khanate that is vassal to Rus’ is the most plausible thing (or at least that it can remain such for a substantial period of time). The land of OTL Kazan Khanate are rather rich and fertile and are very easily accessible from the most populated lands of Rus’ by Volga and its tributaries Oka, Kama and Vyatka(here is the map of the region in English http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/shepherd/russian_growth_1300_1796.jpg ; the borders are approximate at best but it is the towns and rivers were are looking at). So these lands along with ones near Don and its tributaries are first targets of Russian colonization of Steppes. On the map the best plausible places for vassal Tartar states are 1)between Oka, Volga and Don(not all the territory Probably the territory between Kasimov and OTL Penza, Saransk and Tambov); that is probably extended Qasimov Khanate that was described in TL 2) the territory between Samara River, Volga, Ural River and Caspian Sea(according to the 1500 map the land is controlled By Russians; if so the main population of this Khanate are Nogaians so the Khanate shall probably be called Elder or Greater Nogaian Khanate) 3) The land between Manych River ,Volga and Don, probably extending to Kuban River and Terek River(that is where “Khanate of Astrakhan” is written on the map). This land is also populated by Nogaians that are slightly distinct from the ones between Volga and Ural river and so the Khanate can be called Lesser or Smaller Nogaian Khanate. This Khanate can be either independent or formally vassal to Rus’. In any case the influence of Rus’ will be rather rapidly increasing because Nogaians historically had a lot of trade ties with Rus’ but now Rus’ is the only border state that can sell a products of settled nation such as weaponry, clothes, ceramics etc.



5.
1) A conquest of Northern Azerbaijan(though the area was already populated mostly by Azerbaijani it was called Shirvan where Azerbaijan was mostly used describing the area around Tabriz) and Northern Armenia is definitely possible. It is however a highly populated territory with hostile to Georgians Islamic population so Georgia will have a hard time integrating this region.
2) Costal settlements are already a part of Georgia(Batum, Poti etc.) but any settlements to the North of Tskhumi (modern Sukhumi, Sukhum-Kaleh in the times of Ottomans) are virtually impossible because of the swamp situation I’ve described in my previous post(Tskhumi itself is an outpost with some territory to the South of almost unsettled).
3) The population of Georgia in the beginning of XIII century is indeed estimated to be around 5 million people, but Georgia was heavily pillaged by Mongols and almost destroyed by Tamerlane (who invaded Georgia 8(sic!) times). I wasn’t able to find any assumes of Georgian population in XV-XVI centuries but all the sources describe even pre-civil war state of Georgian economy as ruined. Agriculture which was backbone of Georgian economy was heavily damaged by Tamerlane. Many fertile regions such as Mukhrani(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukhrani ), Javalkheti Plateau(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javakheti_Plateau ), the lands along Kura River(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kura_River ), Iori River and Alazani River were abandoned and were not cultivated. Invaders tried to enable the nomad stile of life in the border regions of Georgia. Many towns were under populated, turned into villages or even destroyed (for example Rustavi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rustavi or Khornabudji were destroyed by Tamerlane ). When joining Russia in the late XVIII century the population of Georgia was around 2 million people and since after Tamerlane the were no major massacres I would say that the population of Georgia in 1500 cannot exceed 1 million people(it is around 5 million people today so Georgia only recently restored the pre-Mongols population) .
4) Neither Georgia nor Rus’ can control the tribes of the Greater Caucasus and will not be able to do in the foreseeable future(in OTL Russia had nominally controlled only Kabarda before XVIII century and all other regions of Caucasus were claimed in the second half of XVIII century and were totally submitted only in 1860s when Russia owned Armenia and Azerbaijan for more than a century). While a several generations long war can bring Ossetians(who are the only major tribe accessible from Georgia via passes) I don’t see any reasons why Georgians will try to do it since Ossetians live high in the mountains where there are no valuable resources. In Georgia-proper however and in newly-acquired Shirvan there are plenty empty fertile lands.
To sum up Georgia probably have around 1 million people in Georgia-proper and several hundred thousand hostile Islamic population in newly acquired Shirvan. Georgia has neither means nor the motivation for expanding over the Great Caucasus. In the next 50-100 years Georgia will probably be occupied resettling the territory of Georgia proper and integrating Shirvan and Northern Armenia and will not be able to settle anything north to Derbent(and this is the only possible way of penetrating into the North Caucasus). If in this period Georgia will not face major difficulties such as foreign invasion, civil war or epidemic Georgian economy will flourish since the land in Georgia-proper is fertile and now it cannot be pillaged by nomads since the border of state is far from it and since Shirvan is on the only possible land trade route over Caucasus. If by the end of this period these lands will still be unclaimed and settled only by local tribes and nomads Georgia can start colonizing north. In the next 50 years Georgia will have to learn who to beat nomads in steppes and hardly be able to move further than Terek.


6. Long time ago I’ve promised you to write some Russian and Lithuanian population stats and here it is. Russia has something around 5-6 million people, the part of Lithuania east of Dniepr and Berezina has around 1.5 million people(with approximately 750 thousand east of Dniepr and 750 thousand between pre-war border with Muscovy and Berezina ) and other part of Lithuania around 2.5-3 million people(with 2-2.5 million people North of Pripyat River and around 0.5 million south of it). The main cities in Rus’ are Moscow that had around 75-100 thousand people(30 thousand houses), Novgorod with around 50-75 thousand people and Pskov(if it is already annexed into Rus’) with around 30 thousand people Vladimir, Yaroslavl, Tver, Ryazan and Nizhny Novgorod had around 10-15 thousand people and all other had less than 10 thousand people. The total number of towns in the last years of Ivan III was 96 in OTL(and most of these times are just fortresses with a few hundred houses). In Lithuania towns over 10 thousand people are Polotsk(around 20-25 thousand people), Smolensk, Vitebsk, Mogilev, Pinsk, Slutstk, Berestye( modern Brest-Litovsk) , Grodno ( which was probably still called Gorodno in 15th century) and Vilna. All of these towns except for Polotsk had between 10 and 15 thousand people and all of them except for Vilna and probably Grodno are totally Russian speaking. The total number of towns in Lithuania is 530 but most of them again are just fortresses with a few hundred houses and less than 1000 population.



7. Now a few words about colonization of Steppes by Rus’(here this map is also useful http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/shepherd/russian_growth_1300_1796.jpg ). It’s been 25 years since the end of Golden Horde and the beginning of colonization. The main colonization should be done around major rivers – Volga and its tributaries Kama and Vyatka, Don and Donets. Area around all the rivers is fertile(especially the area between Ryazan and Black Sea centered around Voronezh) and is likely to be divided into small estates of gentry who are obliged to serve in army in exchange for this estates(and due to Ivan III reform only a certain part of estate is inheritable and only in case the heir is serving as well) . The new towns of Donkov, Elets, Voronezh, Oskol( all four in Don and Donets valley), Samara, Simbirsk, Tetyushin, Laishev, Sviyazhsk, Cheboksary, Vasilsursk( named for Vasily III; in TTL shall probably called Ivansursk or just Sursk in TTL) all of them in Volga valley. Almost all the names are from the local names of rivers and places so probably shall be the same in TTL. The lands on Volga from Nizhny Novgorod up to Samara or even Saratov shall already be settled by large amount of people as well as the lands among Don and its tributaries up to Voronezh. Out of this regions there should be a few towns-outposts without much rural population around and between this. Among these outposts there should be such towns as Perm, Ufa, Vyatka(earlier called Khlynov) on Kama and its tributaries, Saratov, Tzarytzyn (modern Volgograd), Astrakhan on Volga and Cherkassk and Azov on Don. All of the towns except for Cherkassk and Tzarytzyn are again local names of rivers and places so probably shall be the same in TTL. Cherkassk and Tzarytzyn can have some interesting TTL names. Around this time(1500) in TTL there shall begin the first expeditions over Ural Mountains but expansion there shall probably not begin before 1515-1525. Given that the newly claimed lands in steppes are extremely fertile(even more so comparing to the territory of Muscovy proper) and that Muscovy proper is overpopulated(in mid XVI century Russia had more population it could feed) the total population of Rus’ can double by 1525-1550(2 generations since the beginning of settling steppes) in case no major difficulties like civil war or epidemic occurs.


8. Genoese colonies on the eastern cost of Black Sea are Tana, Mapa, Copa, Matrega, Bata, Layso, Mavrolaco , Abcasia, Chacari, Santa Sophi, Pesonqa, Cavo di Buxo, Niocoxia, Sebastopolys and Lo Bati Sebastopolys(Sukhumi) and Lo Bati will probably was annexed by Georgia after the end of Genoa. Likewise Tana(Azov) will probably fall to Rus’. Matrega is an important one for it controls the eastern part of Kerchen strait that connects Azov and Black sea. Whether Venice will still have it or will Trebizond be able to conquer is the matter of strong fleet (since it has no land connection to Crimea). Venice certainty can preserve it if they spend enough resources on it but I’m not sure they want to do it since their main interests are now shifted to Atlantics. All other settlements didn’t were more a place of exchange than a town and didn’t have proper fortresses. I think Mapa, Cop, Bata, Layso, Mavrolaco , Abcasia, Chacari, Santa Sophi, Pesonqa, Cavo di Buxo, Niocoxia will probably be abandoned since trade there wasn’t really profitable and they were claimed by Genoa more for not allowing anybody else to trade in Black Sea than for any real commercial value.


Sorry for such a long post. I have to restrain myself
 
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