La Serenissima: Venice, Dawn of a New Power 2.0

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Franciscus Caesar, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Lol, definitely not! As Alex and Doodle have pointed out, these Slavs (majority of Polish descent) were brought over by force, harvested en masse by the Crimean Khanate which facilitated the world's largest slave operation anywhere at that time IIRC.

    These may make an appearance soon enough, pending on the butterflies. A stronger TTL Crimea will definitely kick some things around.

    As Irene said, not likely. The Venetians were quite jealous of their prized press, I can't see them spreading it so much of using it as a means by which to further centralize Venice and its power ("we've got a printing press, what do you have?") over its external territories.

    That may be fun to watch.

    Thanks! No problem, enjoy.

    On an end note, though I'll be periodically checking in, I'll be away from the board until the 11th. I've considered going fishing (probably what I should do..), but I like keeping the option to post open. After that though you'll all be getting Christmas gifts in the form of many new updates to sustain you through the holidays :cool:
     
  2. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    Looking forward to the updates! Good luck on your endeavors until then.
     
  3. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Same here. Good luck on what you're doing! :)
     
  4. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the double posting (and you don't have to immediately answer this), but will there be a King Edward VI of England in this timeline? Looking through his history, he seems to be one of those monarchs who could make quite a splash had he lived longer.
     
  5. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Thanks, now time to get back to the important matters at hand. We're in the middle of a war after all ;)

    Any bumping in my absence is totally fine aha. That could be interesting, but there is still lots that may happen with regard to Edward's father. We'll have to wait to see Edward's role in this history.

    A new part will be up shortly!
     
  6. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Part 29, Word from Pechino

    Late December:
    Francis begins to prepare for war with Spain. He is weary to openly attack Charles first because of Henry’s announcement of his intention to intervene against the first party to break the peace in the continent. Instead, he turns to more covert support for incursions into Imperial and Spanish territory.

    In the east, by the glory of God the Portuguese armada reaches India from Zanzibar without encountering another Otto-Venetian attack. They’re given the latest update on the situation in the region, which is significantly dire. Without reinforcements, the Portuguese forces haven’t been able to replenish after each assault, and their defenses in the region are considerably weakened. The newly arrived armada however has proven more than capable at defeating the enemy, and intends to quickly break the Venetian stranglehold on the vital trade route.

    January, 1521: The Veneto-Malaccan diplomatic mission arrives in the port of Canton. The Malaccans board the shore first and explain to the local administrator the situation. The official address of the Malaccan Sultan is taken to the Chinese Emperor. The Chinese administrator of the port is fearful to make any decision by his own accord, and the Venetians are instructed to wait in the harbor area until word from the Emperor.

    February: As Manuel learns of the tremendous success his forces had over the Venetians off eastern Africa, his confidence in Portuguese victory in the Indian Ocean is restored. Convinced that further events in the region will follow a similar fate, he orders a smaller reinforcement fleet to depart Lisbon for India this February instead of another large and costly oceanic armada. Using the rest of the moneys that would be spent for another large Indian Ocean fleet, Manuel opts to send a large galley force into the Mediterranean as retribution for Venice’s stunt in the Far East. The vengeful king promises many boxes of treasure from India for any captain whose ship manages to strike the lagoon city itself.

    Late February: The Emperor’s word arrives back in Canton from his court in Pechino (i). The Chinese blatantly refuse to entertain any requests for trade with the new arrivals. They are cynical in the Venetian request for trade as their sole intention in the region, as the Portuguese had said the same thing upon their arrival. Initially the Venetian request to enter into joint military action was refused by the Emperor as well, but he was finally swayed at the insistence of his many influential Muslim eunuchs (ii).

    The Venetians are frustrated with the Emperor’s decision, but quickly rationalize that breaking the Portuguese monopoly on the republic’s rightful trade route is of primary importance, and Chinese assistance is expected to expedite the process. Further diplomatic and economic ties desired with the Chinese will have to be thought about after the war.

    March 11: The weather is clear in the Ionian Sea off the cost of Cephalonia. Antonio Grimani, commander of the Venetian Mediterranean fleet, is alerted of the nearing Portuguese brigade. The commander takes a long time to think about how his fleet will proceed. His fellow commanders advise that they wait for an Ottoman fleet scheduled to meet with them tomorrow. Though they believe that meeting the Portuguese attack now will ultimately end is victory, they argue that any losses, however small, should be shared with the Ottomans.

    Holding out until the very last minute, Grimani decides that he will attack the Portuguese now. Assured of victory, Antonio’s decision is made with the intent to capture some of the glory that the great seafarer --and his Ottoman counterpart--, Hayreddin Barbarossa seems to seamlessly always achieve; the Venetian commander also obviously still harbors feelings of jealousy towards his role of being Marco Maranazzo’s subordinate.

    The Venetian forces, while well trained and possessing a Mediterranean fleet that rivals that of the Portuguese in every way, lack one thing as the battle develops: proper leadership. Despite a strong start, Grimani’s inexperience of command quickly begins to throw the Venetian position into disarray. Discipline quickly breaks, and Portuguese forces begin to recover initial losses while some petty Venetians are looting their captured ships. By mid day the battle that looked to be in Venice’s favour just hours ago looks to now be a disaster. The situation deteriorates further as Grimani’s ship is hit, and a falling piece of wood seriously injures the captain. The Venetian forces then retreat north towards Otranto, followed in hot pursuit by the Portuguese.

    March 12: The two fleets are northeast of Lefkada as the sun rises. By late morning the Portuguese, now again within reach of the Venetian fleet, renew their attack. Venetian resistance is strong, but the loses are great.

    In this pocket of the Ionian Sea, it would be previously unimaginable that the boost to Venetian morale would come from where it does, considering the events here just over 20 years ago. As smoke begins to rise from the back of the Portuguese flotilla, St. Mark’s sailors breathe a collective sigh of relief. The Ottomans have arrived. As the Portuguese flotilla reorients itself to face the threat attacking from behind, the wounded Grimani gives the order for his fleet to push on against it. Being attacked from both sides as the ships turn, the hammer and anvil that forms around the Portuguese is dooming, especially facing the marvelously capable Barbarossa to its rear flank. By day’s end the badly beaten Portuguese retreat west, followed by Hayreddin and the remaining Venetian ships. Grimani is shipped to Otranto to receive further medical help.

    March 15: East of Catanzaro the Portuguese and Ottoman forces face off once again. The fierce struggle ends in a stalemate, with both sides having incurred large amounts of damage in the last week’s worth of fighting. Barbarossa routes his forces to Algeria as the Portuguese head back to Lisbon.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (i): Venetian for Peking.

    (ii): Emperor Zhengde, the current ruler of Ming China, is infatuated with Muslims and all things Islamic, just as IOTL. He holds his Muslim eunuch’s opinion in the highest regard.
     
  7. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Yay another update! And just as I thought; the Emperor would be more cynical to the Malaccans than to the Venetians thanks to the whole Portuguese affair, and any deals done with the Republic would have to be as fair as the Chinese can allow it. With the main armada now in India; things are going to heat up fast around the Indian Ocean now!

    I do wonder what happened to the Venetian ambassadors in Spain and the Comunidad movement, though. If I am correct at reading this, Portugal might have to watch its back for the next few years, and the deal with Henry VIII not giving aid to the French/Spanish is also intriguing too...
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  8. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    The Venetian ambassadors in Spain wouldn't be touched by the riots. The spread of malicious rumours against Portugal is being undertaken by the republic's espionage network, so as long as things are kept covert they shouldn't have to face any sort of backlash. Yes, regardless of the result Portugal's image in the eyes of Spain is considerably more tarnished at the moment than IOTL.
     
  9. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Part 30, Housekeeping

    Late March:
    The arrival of Grimani to Venice, along with the news of the wrecked Venetian fleet by the Portuguese in the Ionian has the Council of Ten well panicked. The war is dragging on and costing money that the republic simply doesn’t have. Between the losses in east Africa and the latest defeat just weeks ago, this year’s military budget for action against the Portuguese is already being burned through at an alarming rate.

    While the Council continues to waste time panicking about finances, the militarily inclined Gian Paolo Baglioni believes that the end of the war will depend on assistance from Europe. He proposes to the Council that the republic escalate its degree of involvement in Spain’s current internal conflict. The intricate Venetian espionage network has already been spreading poisonous rumours to damage Charles’ and his court’s relations with Portugal. Baglioni suggests they increase this involvement and begin sponsoring Comunero attacks under the banner of Portugal against Spain, taking the maneuver straight out of the French playbook. The Council rejects the idea immediately, citing that no alliance can be struck with Spain given the looming war in Europe, in which the republic will be taking the side of France against Charles.

    Baglioni leaves the chambers of the Council headed for the home of Gabrielle Vendramin, to report on the Council’s decision. At the luxurious home, he is met with Vendramin and other high-ranking Venetian merchant nobility. The assortment of wealthy individuals are brimming with anger at the council’s decision, and take it as what has become the usual occurrence of short-sightedness by the powerful governing body. The men at the Vendramin estate can’t afford the war against Portugal to be prolonged for much longer. The wealthy merchant class is reeling after expensive contributions to the war effort, and incredible competitions of wealth at home. While much of the money invested into the building of the Ptolmeic has been returned, the Ptolmeic itself has not fulfilled its promise of getting Venetian merchants direct entry to trade in the east, and cannot do so while the Portuguese remain a threat. Any means to end the war as soon as possible is essential, and turning the goliath that is Spain against Portugal seems like the best option at the moment. The men begin to formulate a plan…

    April 16: Martin Luther arrives at Worms, Germany, in an Imperial diet of the Holy Roman Empire. The meeting will be presided over by Charles V, and will address the issue of Luther and his beliefs towards the Church.

    May: The health of Doge Loredan quickly begins to turn for the worst. Maranazzo returns to Venice by the end of the month to meet with the high councils at this difficult time, in order to discuss the war effort. In his absence, Indian Ocean command is left in the capable hands of the incredibly distinguished Andrea Gritti.

    June 21: A teary populace gathers outside the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo. The sun catches the huge gothic edifice of the cathedral as the Venetian elite and invited commoners make their way into the nave. The closed brown casket at the front of the church is surrounded by flowers, and is quickly draped in a white cloth as those in attendance reach their seats. To the congregation’s spectacle, four members of the Nubian Guard brought with Maranazzo on his return home, placed two at each side, surround the casket. They serve as reminders of the great grasp that Venice now holds on lands far beyond Italy’s shores. To many high-ranking members in attendance however, such a display is insulting, sparking the thought that Maranazzo is attempting to portray himself as the returned Prester John of legend from the Three Indias…

    With the mass about to commence, some altar servers proceed to disperse the crowding around Leonardo da Vinci’s resting place, as many stop to offer a prayer to the great deceased Renaissance man. The bustling and whispers in the church conclude as the organs begin to play. The Patriarch of Venice begins the funeral mass. The man under which Venice has seen its great new age of power outside the Mediterranean begin, has died. Leonardo Loredan has joined The Heavenly Father above, in the true Serene nation. The people of Venice mourn, knowing that these are unsure times for la Serenissima.

    July 6: Recovering from wounds sustained during his valiance in battle, Antonio Grimani rides his newfound celebrity into becoming the newest Doge of St. Mark’s Serene Republic. Though Grimani hasn’t proved successful in the military or political realms in the past, his allure lays in the fact that he will surely prove to be submissive to the Councils of Ten’s administration. This is a crucial characteristic that allowed for Grimani to be victorious over the alternative candidate.

    August 21: In an effort to quell the rebellion in north-central Spain and retake the city of Segovia, royal forces attempt to use artillery in the nearby Medina del Campo to use against the rebels there. Facing severe confrontation, the royal command sets a fire in an attempt to distract the resistance. The fire quickly grows out of control, and ravages the city. News of the events at the city begin to spur a massive backlash against royal forces even in previously neutral cities like Valladolid

    When the tales of the fire arrive on the shores of Italy in the following days, the wealthy merchants of St. Mark spot their opportunity.
     
  10. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Terrific update! For some reason, I imagine tiny Portugal as the disposable character in a horror flick while the entire audience of historians are all shouting "LOOK BEHIND YOU!!" at it. :D

    Loredan's death on the other hand... that is not good. Not good at all. And I wonder if Grimani would be submissive to the Council as they had intended to... :rolleyes:

    I wonder what is Aceh up to at this point. It became an important trading center after Malacca fell, and they may not like their former competitor regaining power with the help of allies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  11. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Hah, I see where you're coming from, but I don't know if I share the sentiment that Portugal is meagre and disposable. Even with Venice going straight for the jugular by cutting off its major source of revenue the Portuguese are still serving up considerable whoop-ass. But Spain can totally be seen as the axe-murderer, should everything work out :p

    A wounded older gentleman seems like it could go either way. Given his track record though, I'd say it was a wise move by the 10.

    IIRC Aceh was quite the regional power or at least on the road to becoming one at this point. Still though, against Venetian, Chinese, Ottoman, and Malaccan forces I don't think any quibbles it may have will pose a serious threat. We'll have to wait and see though..
     
  12. The Undead Martyr Habsburg Delenda Est

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    I predict an assassination. Or a coup. This is 1500s Venice, after all.
    The moral of the story: don't piss the Bourgeoisie, they literally own you.:p
     
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  13. Alex Richards A mapper I, from near Dar-bai. Donor

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    So internal conflict shall follow external by the looks of things.
     
  14. The Undead Martyr Habsburg Delenda Est

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    Isn't it always?
     
  15. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    and vice versa. rinse and repeat.:D
     
  16. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Venice has some strict safeguards against that kind of thing. If it does happen, as you've said, it'll be thanks to pissing off the almighty Bourgeoisie. Yes, they do in fact own you!

    Seems to be the trend!
     
  17. The Undead Martyr Habsburg Delenda Est

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    Like the State Inquisitors?
    ....no one expects the Venetian Inquisition?
    It isn't an assassination/conspiracy if the state does it first.:p
     
  18. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Can we have a map of Italy at around this time? I get the feeling that a lot has changed there compared to OTL now.

    EDIT: and if it's too much to ask, can there be a map of the Serene Republic's towns and travels across the Indian Ocean?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  19. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    That would be nice to see.
     
  20. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Absolutely. I've had the map of the Red Sea/Indian Ocean for a while now that I've periodically been updating with battles as they're fought. Depending on how the next part is going to be split I may have it up for then.

    I'll get onto an Italy one as well. Thanks for the request.

    Just for curiosity, are any readers of the TL avid/capable map makers? My maps are edits of ones found online. While still good in my opinion, I've seen some really talented people on the forum make some amazing maps (MNP's Raptor of Spain comes to mind). I may also post the question on the map-making discussion thread.