Sundry Sovereigns: An Exercise in Random Empires
Hey, does anyone ever finish a map, and then take the next year to work on a write-up? Well, this is one of those...
This was an idea I got a long time ago, which consisted of creating a handful of space-filling empires in odd places, then trying to fill in the gaps. And yes, it's a bit funky as a result. The world ended up getting really detailed in my head, as I tried to justify my choices, and the write-up just kept getting longer and more tedious until I realized there was no way it was ever getting done. So, what follows is a shorter version that gives a brief overview, with more details as annotations on the map. I'm willing to answer questions, but bear in mind that I didn't get to flesh out the course of events in the 20th century like I wanted to.
Great Britain is very similar to OTL, only its power is based more in its industrial output than the strength of its navy. In Eastern Europe, the most powerful country is Vyatka, a wealthy, Turkic-influenced East Slavic nation that exports a lot of popular culture to the rest of the world. Between them, weird stuff is going on, with the Bohemian Crown and Sweden playing around with non-Westphalian systems of influence, and the Later Roman Empire being Horseshoe Theory made flesh. France, unfortunately, has been stuck in a cycle of autocracy and militarism keeps causing problems and keeps it from staying a great power. Meanwhile, Portugal has found its place as the world's center of business and finance.
South Periecia is a battleground between the Aragonese Empire and the Republic of Atacama. Ever since Atacama declared its independence from Aragon, it has been leading an anti-imperialist crusade against it, alongside its heavily armed native allies in the League of Independent Periecian Republics. Meanwhile, to prevent further secessions, Aragon integrated its colonies as viceroyalties, whose leaders are chosen by electors and share power with the Emperor in Zaragoza.
North Periecia, on the other hand, is more complex. One of the most powerful countries in the region is Tirtanger, an otherwise diplomatically isolated former English colony in the northeast. While it is secular, the same can't be said for Icaria, another English colony in the interior, which is theocratic and follows its own branch of Christianity. Icaria is much less powerful, mainly on account of being beaten by the other regional power in North Periecia, Corencacas. This country, in the south, was formerly a Portugese colony, settled by another Christian sect called the Timoteans. After gaining independence, it spread its influence and its religion to many of the surrounding peoples.
The weirdest thing going on in Asia is easily the State of Bhaddadesa. It follows the teachings of Soun Samnang, a Buddhist philosopher who believed that mankind was destined to build a purely enlightened civilization, and founded a puritan sect that grew popular as the kingdoms of mainland Southeast Asia declined due to endemic warfare. Once the Sultanate of Demak tried to take over the whole weakened region in the 1850s, a Sounist rebel leader named Chey Sopheap emerged and rallied all the nations against it, vanquishing Demak and creating the unified state of Bhaddadesa. Like in OTL, China was down on its luck in the 20th century, and Bhaddadesan ministers were quick to take a bite out of its territory. As times improved, China would form the East Asian Circle with Japan and Korea, working to fight Sounist influence. In South and West Asia, the Multan Sultanate is top dog, although what's left of the once-mighty Persian Empire is fighting to take back the role they believe was stolen from them.
Africa is currently dominated by two nations: the Sofala Sultanate to the south, and the Alzuari Kingdom to the north. The former is a successor to the Kilwa Sultanate, established in 1635 by Emir Abd al-Aziz with Persian aid, and its location along vital trade routes made it a nexus of European, African, and Asian cultures. It began expanding inland in the 19th century, eventually almost overextending itself, and undergoing political and social changes as a result. The Alzuari Kingdom is more recent, emerging in the 19th century when Hafiz al-Zuar unified the Tubu people and conquered Egypt. It has since tried to expand its influence to much of Africa and the Middle East, creating friction with both Aragon and Sofala.
Lastly, what we would call Indonesia and Australia is, in this world, dominated by the Sultanate of Java-Barifog. This is a successor state to the Sultanate of Demak, which took advantage of the power vacuum left behind by Persia as it receded from the Indian Ocean. It seized control of the spice trade and began establishing forts in Barifog (OTL Australia), but after their invasion of the mainland failed, the country went through a civil war, and in 1873 a coalition of planters and traders replaced the sultanate with a constitutional monarchy that gave them special privileges. Though careful not to make too many enemies, it has a long history of militarism, making it a useful ally for other countries to have.
It's over... It's finally done... I'm free...