rvbomally: This is one of our stranger artifacts, purchased from a merchant near one of the Great Hubs. It depicts a Europe which has been colonized. According to what the merchant told our agent, in this world, the Mongol Hordes successfully invaded Western Europe, but their weakened forces were repelled by the Song Dynasty, which kept China fractured for centuries. The merchants referred to the Mongols and their dynasty in northern China as "Saracens," indicating that the Mongols have converted to Islam en masse. This would certainly account for the continued division of China, even after the fall of the Mongol Empire. It appears that more than one Chinese state has arisen from southern China, judging by the separate Chinese states holding dominion in eastern and western France. As for Europe, the merchant made a point about the destruction of Rome and the "thousand years of darkness" that followed Mongol rule. After the Mongols, the Chinese "fled the Middle Kingdom by the sea, and found new lands." It is unlikely that these are what we consider the Americas, it is likely the archipelagos in Southeast Asia. This is likely where the Chinese received their knowledge of seafaring. The merchant did refer to the colonies in Europe as "new," and indicated that the Japanese have dominated the Americas, akin to the Spanish of our timeline. The Japanese do have some colonies in Europe, particularly Ireland and Valencia, but these may have been taken past the height of the Japanese Empire. It is interesting to note that this world is also home to a thalassocracy centered in Luzon, where the merchant says this map came from. They have possession of northwestern Spain, the Balearics, and Sardinia. These two seem to have been eclipsed by the Chinese state, particularly the "Nanking Empire" the merchant mentioned. Apart from the Asian colonies, there is a Mongol Empire which has taken the place of our world's Russia, a "Roman Khanate" centered in Anatolia, a "Norse Kingdom," and what the merchant referred to as the "Allemanian Khanate." While it is clear that this is the German state in the center of Europe, it is unclear if it is a descendant of the Holy Roman Empire or is another German state entirely. There are a few independent European states in the West, likely buffer states maintained by the Asian powers, and an independent Hungary. Then there is the "English Empire," which is evidently a militaristic aggressor towards its neighbors, Asian and European. Given the sheer distances involved, it is unlikely that the Asians have colonized these areas of Europe thoroughly. Based on typographic comparison, there is no difference between the nomenclature of independent states and some of the European states. A system of protectorates and nominal sovereignty, akin to the princely states in our own British India, may be at play here.