Rememberences of Map Contests Past

XO Maenadicus:

A map of Indo-Europe, 2084

Capital: Moscow
Language: Neo-Indo-European, based on a reconstruction of PIE
Currency: Euro

I made this map for an earlier contest, but didn't finish it in time. But it fits for this contest too :) Behold, the Habsburg World-Empire! The PoD is that Charles V managed to also inherit the throne of France, and cement Habsburg domination of Europe and the Americas. With this power base, the Habsburgs took their tactic of marrying into local elites and sticking an oar into other folks' disputes global, aligning with Kongo, Dai Viet, Persia, and a Christian Daimyo in Japan, to name a few. For those states they couldn't marry into, brute force sufficed: though only in the last century has the World-Empire achieved domination of China - a Habsburg brother was finally placed on the throne, inaugurating the Ximing (Western Ming) dynasty after a brutal 15-year war, 1860-1875. Inland Africa was also difficult to control, and rebellion still simmers there and in the rump Sultanate of Rum, as well as in India. But in A.D. 1900, Charles XIII is the undisputed ruler of the world, in the twelfth year of his reign. Technology is about 50-75 years behind our world in most fields, and industrialization for nonmilitary purposes proceeds slowly. Since about 1700, the Habsburgs have mostly only provided lip service to the Church's goal of crushing the Protestant heresy and converting the heathens of the world, though missionary efforts continue and it's difficult to rise to high office if one is not a Catholic.

Zek Sora:

This map is from the world of The Century, a world-building project of mine, in the year 1890. Here’s a quick reminder of the structure of the British Empire ITTL in the 1830s from The Kingdoms of North America:

The Great Convention of 1829-30 came at a very difficult time for the British Empire, but then again it was because the Empire was having difficulties that the Convention was necessary. After many disastrous events, one thing became plain for anyone to see: the Empire was massively, disgustingly, overstretched.

The build up to the Great Convention began with the Cape Wars of 1802-1809, an total disaster for all parties involved. Despite the fact that neither of the rebelling factions actually managed to capture anything and were generally characterized by gross incompetence and panicked disorganization, it still took British forces seven years to regain control of the entire Cape, a worrying sign.

The next major event worrying away at Parliament were the Western Revolts. The Revolts were not exactly wars, closer to a prolonged period of intense unrest in the less-settled west of the American colonies. The King had banned settlement beyond a certain line, but his proclamations were mostly ignored by American colonists hungry for all the land they could get. Unfortunately, this meant they had to set up effectively independent governments, which aren’t exactly taxable. Quite a few Royal Governors eventually got tired of tax revenues slipping out of their fingers, and began clamping down in the west, establishing their own authority and formalizing the governments there. Of course, there was the small problem that the colonists weren’t supposed to be there in the first place. Both the King and Parliament told the colonial governments in no uncertain terms to stop formalizing western settlement. The colonial governments acknowledged this and continued to do it anyway. The central British government was completely unable to do anything, with tensions in Europe holding its attention.

Then, of course, came the War, lasting for nearly eight years and leaving Britain in possession of all the former Dutch colonies across the globe, as well as several other spoils of war including effective control over most of the Indian subcontinent. Needless to say, this was a lot to handle for anyone. Thus, while at first glance, the British Empire seemed to be at its highest peak, it was in fact an overstretched house of cards ready to collapse at the slightest provocation.

Most everyone in positions of power in Britain saw this, and realized that if the Empire was to maintain its power, something would have to be done. Thus, the Convention was called to determine the future course of Britain all over the globe. What finally came out of it, after a drafting and ratification process taking over a year, was a complete restructuring of the British Empire: the Charter.

The Empire would be divided into several categories of state:
  • The Colonies would be ruled in much the same way as before, with an increased role for Companies under Crown charter like the East India Company being the only significant change.
  • The Provinces would be given some measure of self-government; on the local level mayors and representatives would be elected, and Provincial Assemblies existed in an advisory capacity. However, the Royal Governor appointed by HM would have final say on most matters of importance. The various provinces would have their own militias, but any standing armies would be a part of the British military structure.
  • The Kingdoms would be effectively independent, ruled in Personal Union by HM, free to run their own domestic and some of their foreign policy. They were so independent they were allowed to write their own Charters or Constitutions, if they so pleased (and most of them did). On military matters, they were allowed to keep their own standing armies and navies, but they still had to co-operate on the broader strokes of foreign policy, and were a fully integrated part of the Empire’s economic sphere.
Though the first Kingdom created would be that of the Cape, the vast majority of the Kingdoms would be in North America, hammered out of the former Colonies during the Great Convention. They were, of course, fully allowed to settle their western lands (if they had any) and determine their own form of government. Despite this, Pennsylvania was the only Kingdom that really adopted a radical system, having a unicameral parliament with no upper house and no voting requirements. Slavery is still prevalent in many of the southern Kingdoms, though the slave trade has long been abolished and the land is beginning to grow tired in many states. The current hope of HM’s Government is that it may die out on its own in the Kingdoms soon, but no one can be certain.

And now, some of the events in the intervening years:

After a few fixes here and there, the relation of the British Parliament to the various Provinces and Kingdoms was decided. An Imperial Parliament was created, where each Province (as well as Britain proper, which itself effectively became a set of Provinces under the Charter) would send voting members, and the Kingdoms would send “advisory” ones, who effectively acted as lobbyists for their homelands. The Imperial Parliament would decide matters of foreign policy and inter-Provincial/Colonial trade, somewhat akin to the early OTL American federal government. The Great Convention allowed the British Empire to largely overcome its massive overextension by devolving many powers to local authorities, but the Empire proper still had its hands full enough that it was mostly unable to expand for a few decades.

This inability to expand, however, did not extend to the Empire’s various Provinces and Kingdoms. The Hudson’s Bay Company would continue to expand across the western plains, their traders and settlers often illegally entering French Louisiana. Their illegal entries, however, paled in comparison to those from the North American Kingdoms. By the early 1840s, the largest group (with a nearly two-thirds majority of the population) in French Louisiana was settlers from the various Kingdoms. After numerous small-scale and a few not-so-small-scale Anglo settler revolts, the French king recognized the untenability of the situation and elected to sell the relatively unprofitable colony to the British, who created a Province of Louisiana (thanks to the mixing of the Kingdoms’ settlers effectively eliminating their various local identities) after carving off the parts of it above the 50th parallel and adding it to the territory of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was shortly before merged with its rival, the North West Company, into the Province of Rupertia.

Another region that had been subject to heavy Anglo settlement in the 1840s and 50s was the New Spanish provinces of Alta and Baja California, thanks to the discovery of gold in the region. During the Spanish Rising and subsequent civil war that had followed the Great War, New Spain had become effectively self-governing, with the Viceroy of New Spain taking de facto power while still remaining de jure subordinate to the Spanish king. After the civil war, however, with the only remaining Spanish king being the infant pretender in Peru, it was clear a choice had to be made between monarchy and republic. The Viceroy, of course, opted for the former. Much of the populace of New Spain…disagreed. In the subsequent civil conflict, the Californias broke off and formed the Anglo-dominated Republic of California. Unfortunately for the young Republic, the conflict in New Spain was brief, and the winners soon wanted the two breakaway provinces back. So, to preserve their independence, the Californians technically gave it up, becoming the Kingdom of the Californias under the British monarch, with the same privileges and responsibilities as any other Kingdom in North America. This, of course, angered the New Spanish to no end, and there remains animosity between the two powers.

The next great crisis that faced the British Empire came from the jewel at the center of its crown—India. In the Great Revolt of the 1850s, populations across British India rose in rebellion against local and general colonial mismanagement and oppression. While eventually the revolt was put down, it required massive amounts of blood and money to do so, and like OTL, the British government realized that a new approach was needed in India. Unlike OTL, however, the East India Company was not removed, merely reformed. (It was deemed unwise to dissolve it, thanks to its relatively effective governance of possessions in the East Indies, and the sheer cost and effort it would require to set up new government across all of its possessions.) The Empire also did something it had never done before: created non-white Kingdoms. However, these Kingdoms differed distinctly in structure from the ones in North America and the Cape. First of all, most of them were federal in nature, as well as mostly being absolute monarchies with little to no room for democracy. Effectively, what they did was give independence to local princes to run their own affairs, as long as the money kept flowing into Company coffers and the Sepoys kept coming into the Company’s army.

The final major event before 1890 was the Division of Africa. With the rise of new technologies that allowed for the colonization of the previously untamable Africa, representatives of the various colonial powers (the Empire, France, Brazil-Portugal, and to a lesser extent Scandinavia, Sicily, and the various German states) convened in Amsterdam. When the delegates left, they had hammered out a plan for the division of Africa. The Empire, of course, took the lion’s share as not just the premier world power, but the one with the most African territory already held. Construction immediately began on the much-hyped Cape-to-Cairo railway, and was complete within just a few years.

Now, the Empire spans the world much as the Cape-Cairo railway spans Africa. The King-Emperor’s word may not be law in its every corner, but so long as the people there take tea, sing God Save the King, and send (at least observatory) members to Parliament, nobody really minds too much.
Upvoteanthology: [1]

(As a note, I'm aware how ASB this is, but the prompt was kinda ASB to begin with. Sorry if it's too weird, though! :p Also, sorry about the lack of editing, I didn't have much time! D:)

PoD: King John of the Angevins dies during childbirth, leading to the rebellions against Richard the Lionheart never occurring.

Scenario: After the return of Richard the Lionheart to the Angevin Empire, he continued to consolidate his rule and ownership over England until his death in 1221. With John never having been in the picture, Richard had been free to continue his conquests over the Holy Land with little to no resistance from his family back home. His brother, Phillip, was weaker without the encouragement of John, and after Richard's ransom was finally taken care of, he was free to return back to his homeland without having to defeat a royal rebellion. And, without any precedent for successful rebellion in the Angevin Empire under Richard's rule, any protests by Occitan lords were put down with quick and easy force. Of course, there was a bit of a revolt against him in 1199, but he was able to survive and spent the former part of the next decade fixing up his reputation as an "Oc e No" (a yes and no). By the end of his reign, he had completed military conquests against Navarre, making it swear fealty to the growing Angevins, and absorbed the lands held by the French king a bit more. In addition, even though he spent more time in Vascony and Foix, he preferred to act as if he was English. While his family was originally from Anjou, Richard was a bit of an Anglophile, and the rest of his family was too. He died in 1221 after being killed in a battle against the Scottish.

His successor kept up the military might of his father, but responded a bit less to any orders from the Pope. With his father spending the last 25 years of his reign on the homefront, he thought it necessary to not romp around the Holy Land. He wasn't benign, though. While the lords of Wales and France all tried to use him for money or power, he was sometimes described as being harsher on that kind of manipulation than any king before him. As time went on and the 13th century came to a close, Richard and his successors all kept up the similar pace of growth the Angevins had worked hard to achieve. Of course, as time went on and the Empire grew, it became more and more authoritarian. In 1259, a royal marriage with Aragon forced Castile into begrudgingly declaring war, which in turn lead to a stronger unification of the various knights and nobles in England and France. In 1306, Portugal also allied with the Plantagenets, and full unification finally occurred in 1333. And, while the culture was becoming more homogenous with time, the languages spoken by the king was forced to constantly grow. So, new policies were made to bring the Angevin Empire together, and they had to be harsh.

The first policy involved the class system. For years, the feudal hierarchy within the Empire had been King>Clergy>Nobles>Knights>Peasants. The King believed that this allowed for too much rebellion again
';<L:>, especially because he still sometimes let himself be controlled by the Pope. So, the King, along with the nobles he felt were closest to him, became known as the Partie Intérieure (Inner Party), and the Knights and rich Peasants slowly amalgamated themselves into the Partie Extérieure (Outer party). The clergy wasn't allowed any more influence over the Empire, which involved a bit of excommunication on the part of the Papal States. Most of the priests became members of the Outer Party, kept on careful watch by the king. That didn't mean they banished religion, quite the opposite. Instead, the Angevins used religion and the entire concept of feudalism to keep the peasants, or Prolétariat, from getting smart enough to overthrow the monarchy. The rigid class system had kept the majority of the population from reaching literacy for centuries, but the king assured they'd never get the chance to educate themselves. This way, all he'd have to do was focus on reprimanding the Outer Party members, as the Proles barely knew their own language.

Meanwhile, the outside world was becoming just as royally fucked as the Angevins themselves. The Papal States extended their reach to the HRE, as well as the rest of Catholic Europe, using similar tactics to the Plantagenet family in order to actually gain an empire. Plus, with the king of the largest empire in Europe banishing Papal control, the Pope felt it necessary to create an empire large enough to counter that. The Byzantine Empire fell in 1377 to the Eshrefids, after multiple failed crusades lead to their speedy demise. The Muslim states were also turning themselves into a force to be reckoned with, and pushed any and all Christian influence out of the Holy Land.

The fifteenth century was an age of growth for every major empire on the planet. The Plantagenets were strong, and finally defeated Scotland as well as absorbing the Italian states who resisted the Papal takeover. While English culture had taken over in some regards, French was still the lingua franca of the Empire. So, the Kingdom of England demanded autonomy from the Angevin Empire itself, plunging itself into civil war before the Plantagenet King caved in. The nobles who rebelled created their own little duchies in Cornwall, Wight, and many other places who preferred direct rule rather than risking the destruction the Inner Party. After seeing the rebellion in England, the King changed his system slightly. France, Aragon, and Portugal had had their own separate kings for a while, and he applied this system to Navarre, Chambery, and Scotland in hopes the knights of the Outer Party wouldn't rebel and break away. The kings he appointed were just figureheads, though, and it lead to the creation of a new title; Grand Frère (Big Brother), the leader of the entire empire. The King of the Angevins was synonymous with being Grand Frère, and the other kings were seen as people who carried out His orders. This system lasted for hundreds of years, with the Proles never even learning the name of their King; the Grand Frère had no need for a name, as whoever held the title might as well have been immortal.

In 1461, a French ship landed on the island of Arsenault (OTL Marie-Galante), alerting people to the New World for the first time. There wasn't much of a race for it, though. The Castilians had been tamed by the Plantagenets, and the rest of the Empire fearfully listened to the Grand Frère when it came to colonization plans (he HAD stepped up his torture game, after all). France took a few islands, Portugal took large parts of the southern continent, while the Angevins took most of the rest. Castile was eventually given the Middle Islands (Cuba and Dominica) as well as a colony they named New Salamanca (OTL Eastern Venezuela) out of appreciation (and vassalization).

Time passed, and the Eshrefid Caliphate grew, feeding off holy war with the Papal States. The Russian principalities fearfully joined the Christian Empire as the Eshrefids took Bulgaria and Crimea and the Pope took Warsaw and Budapest. After there was no more land to be taken, war became a thing of life. Sides constantly flipped, people were constantly killed, and sometimes there was said to be a war even when no fighting was occurring. The Plantagenets, who took to calling themselves the "Empire of Oceania" due to their quad-continental status (Europe, North America, South America, and Africa), sometimes allied with the Caliphate out of sheer hatred for the Christian rite, and other times they allied with the Pope who had fought so hard with Grand Frère just centuries earlier. From the declaration of "La Guerre Pour Mettre Fin à la Domination Étrangère" (The War to end Foreign Rule) in 1501 to 1784, there was war. It was said by some to be not one war, but a collection of many. However, most saw it as an ongoing world struggle with ceasefire from time to time. Big Brother vs. the Pope of Eurasia vs. the Muslims in Westasia in a war with no end, fueled by the bodies of millions of uneducated Proles. In 1784, there is nothing but Big Brother.

[1] Man, I miss their maps.
MotF 146: Atlantis Reborn

The Challenge

Make a map expanding on the world of Atlantis (yes, it's meant to be broad :p).

(Note: I do not own or claim to own any of the work produced by Harry Turtledove.)
This TL actually diverges from Turtledove's 'Atlantis' timeline, whose original POD is somewhere 85,000,000 years in the past, where the east coast of OTL North America breaks off and forms it's own mini-continent (much akin to OTL's New Zealand). This being said, this scenario diverges during the French and Spanish War of Turtledove's TL. In 'Opening Atlantis', the British successfully defeat the French and Spanish in several theaters, including the Atlantean theater. This results in France ceding its territory in Atlantis to Britain. These territories would later rebel and form the 'United States of Atlantis,' purchasing Spanish territory in the south as well so that the USA controlled the entire mini-continent.

In this scenario, the French and Spanish War is fought to a stalemate. While Britain and their Prussian allies are technically the winners, less territory is exchanged. This results in France maintaining its hold on its Atlantean colony.

Flash forward to the mid-1900's. Europe has reached a tipping point and lines are being drawn. The Allies, (Britain, Germany, and Moscow) are facing down the Entente (France, Italy, and Austria-Hungary). For the second time in history, Europe has sparked another global conflict.

In Atlantis, the full effect of the war is not felt right away. French Atlantis begins building up their military forces to assist their motherland. Though the United States has a 'special relationship' with Britain and has much more Anglo-German leanings, the Consuls both assure the nation that they will do everything in their power to keep the US from war.

This all changed on May 7, 1942. French airships launched a surprise attack across the mouth of the Stour River (OTL Potomac River) into southern Freetown, the southernmost state in the Union that shared a name with its capital city. The airships bombed the Blackpool Naval Yard, where a sizable portion of the United States' Atlantic fleet was stationed. Three Hannover-class battleships, two Avalon-class battleships, two Destroyers, and thee cruisers, as well as numerous other smaller ships were damaged or sunk.

This attack shifted the attitude of the nation dramatically. The next day, Consuls Richard Andrews and Micah Praeger called an emergency Senate session to request an immediate declaration of war against France. They received it, after a moving speech by Praeger, with resounding applause.

The Atlantean Theater ignited with several skirmishes across the Erdre and Stour rivers, mostly ending in favor of France. As France pushed into Germany in Europe, French Atlantis surged north into the United States, quickly taking all of Freetown and much territory in the surrounding states. The 'high water mark' sat west of New Hastings, and north of Honker's Mill and Horsham. By this time, the Atlantean army had fully mobilized and stalled the French advance. From July to December of 1943, the front remained at the 'high water mark,' hampered by trenches, mountains, and foul weather.

Relief for the Atlanteans came in the winter of 1943-1944. General Josiah Radcliff, commander of the Army of the United States, launched a winter campaign into Freetown and successfully took back the city-proper and most of the state. While French troops were diverted away from the western front, Commanders Harem Knox and Carl Hand took back New Grinstead and crossed the Erdre to liberate the southwestern corner of the country. The French Atlanteans sent requests for more troops and supplies to their mother country, but France was finding itself slowly encircled on land and water by Britain and Germany and was unable to send more support.

With the United States-proper liberated, Radcliff launched an attack against the French capital of Cosquer, burning most of it completely to the ground. Most in the US saw this as retaliation for the May 7th attack. He then moved his troops into the interior of French Atlantis, aimed for the fort-city of Nouveau Redon. By this time, the other Allied Powers had enough troops and supplies to send fleets to aid the US. Sailing east from Terranova was an Ontarian fleet under Admiral John Wilme, and west from Britain was another fleet commanded by Winston Endicott. While Radcliff struck down the Loire River in the interior of the continent, Wilme assaulted the major French port of New Marseille and Endicott shelled St. Denis and the Banks.

As Britain and Germany closed in on Paris in Europe, Radcliff continued chasing the remnants of the French Atlantean government. He finally tracked them down in a small village on the banks of the Loire. Radcliff forced the Governor-General of French Atlantis to surrender in the early part of 1946.

Everyone's interpreted the challenge in such creative ways :( Anyway, enjoy a bog-standard generic Atlantis.


Many great and wonderful deeds are recorded of your state in our histories. But one of them exceeds all the rest in greatness and valour. For these histories tell of a mighty power which unprovoked made an expedition against the whole of Europe and Asia, and to which your city put an end.

This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbor, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent.

Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. This vast power, gathered into one, endeavored to subdue at a blow our country and yours and the whole of the region within the straits; and then, Solon, your country shone forth, in the excellence of her virtue and strength, among all mankind.

She was pre-eminent in courage and military skill, and was the leader of the Hellenes. And when the rest fell off from her, being compelled to stand alone, after having undergone the very extremity of danger, she defeated and triumphed over the invaders, and preserved from slavery those who were not yet subjugated, and generously liberated all the rest of us who dwell within the pillars.

But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.

Plato, Timaeus and Critias

One of the things that struck me reading Plato's description is that the chief feature of it is not the island but World War 0.5; the attempted conquest of the entire known world by a mysterious sea power. That connected in my mind to the Bronze Age Collapse and the enigmatic Sea Peoples (I later learned conspiracists have made the same connection) and set about creating an atlas (heh) type map depicting the furthest extent of Atlantean control, prior to being pushed back by Hellenic and Egyptian forces.

In my imagining, the invasion (or rather, mass settlement with military force) happens because Atlantis is sinking; the waves of migration and conquest destablise the delicate web of trade in the Mediterranean in the 18th and 19th centuries BC, leading to the Collapse. The Atlanteans are recorded in Egyptian records as the Sherden (literally means 'sea people' - in reality identified with, variously, Anatolians, Syrians, Philistines, Sardinians, or Etruscans).

Atlantis here was gradually flooded over a period of around 300 years (from 1465BC), with a final sequence of devasting earthquakes from 1175 to 1165 finally sinking the island, together with the remaining infrastructure supporting the invasion. Around 1.3 million Atlanteans were left in the Mediterranean and were gradually integrated (with a lot of bad feeling) into the societies they had tried to conquer, leaving behind lots of loan-words (the derivation of which is listed by our linguists today as 'unknown') and flood myths.

I was then left with the difficulty of identifying the Atlanteans with a present-day civilisation; after umming and ahing about Semites I opted to go with the Berbers, in whose language 'Atla' means 'mountain' (supplying an interesting suggestion for the derivation of 'Italia'), and who would be the obvious candidates to have settled Atlantis in the first place, around 3000BC. A slight anachronism - 'Amazigh' (which I have tweaked into 'Atamazegh' to furnish a fictional root for both 'Atlantis' and 'Amazon') derives from 'i-Mazigh-en', or 'freemen', and wasn't employed until long after this time period.

The Atlanteans used weapons of arsenical bronze; their signature weapon was a wide, triangular-shaped thrusting sword called the farissa (which became the Berber Flyssa). They were noted for their characteristic helms, which bore two horns; officers having a solar disk of polished bronze between the horns. Their religion initially centred on the worship of a female embodiment of nature, however, her sun-god consort Wanaka gradually became more prominent until he became the primary deity of Atlantean civilisation. Wanaka eventually became Poseidon, whose name in Greek derives from 'Earth-shaker' ('Enosichthon'); his cult in Greece arose as a movement of 'penitent' Atlanteans and was quickly adopted by jubilant Hellenes.

A few Atlanteans made their way to the 'whole of the opposite continent that surrounded the true ocean', enslaving the Mexica, who knew them as the Azteca Chicomoztoca. The stories of the Azteca Chicomoztoca's origins gradually became transferred to their slave people, who, after gradually absorbing their masters, vaguely remembered a homeland called Aztlan.

The last substantial descendent population of Atlantis was the Guanches of the Canary Islands, albeit they are descendents of a group who attempted to return to Atlantis 200 years after the Fall. Guatimac is the last surviving idol of Wanaka; the broadly T or cross-shaped shape of Wanaka's idols influenced Adyghe's Tha which became the Norse Thor.

The Atlantean homelands were below sea level until around the first century BC, when an earthquake raised the Azores (which were Atlantis's mountain tops) above sea level. Joshua Vander Berg's (IOTL almost certainly hallucinated or fabricated) horse statue, which still exists but is overgrown, was the last seen relic of Atlantean civilisation.

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The 10th December 1895 would go down in history as one of the most destructive days in the history of not only Silverland, but of Europe as a whole.

At 23:26 on the evening of 9th December, seismologists working from a lab in Bergheim, Norland detected an unexpected tremor originating 50 miles off the coast in the north German Sea. Another jump in activity followed 23 minutes later. A few hours later, monitoring stations further down the Norlandic coast and across the sea in Pictland reported a drop in the local sea level. Trawlers working out in the sea also radioed in descriptions of a great swell moving southwards towards Silverland. Then, at 04:58 it struck. A massive wall of water hit the northern coast of Frysland island, inundating crops, woodland and turning houses into rafts of floating debris in a matter of minutes. Water rushed up the Natal River, reaching the provincial capital Klausburg at 05:04. The greatwave had now crossed the Silver Sea and reached the mainland, bringing with it continued devastation as town after town, city after city along the coast was hit by the sea's power.

Much of the coastal provinces of Meerland, Zilvedal and Vestvolke were flooded, with the water reaching inland to Hougland and Batava, leaving only Rynmark in the far south untouched. The greatest impact though was on Oesteland, with over two-thirds of the province underwater. The capital city Danstad saw all but its highest rooftops submerged, with the city's historic heart completely destroyed.

The international response to the disaster, by far the largest in peacetime Europe, was unprecedented with donations following in from around the world. People in countries with historic ties to Silverland such as Christsland, Southland and New Meerland were particularly generous as many still had relatives in the "Old Country". Military personnel from neighbouring Sachsland, Lutecky and Belgary were deployed to help with the cleanup operation while Romanian, Espanic and Turcian schoolchildren filled shoeboxes for their Silverian counterparts, many of whom had been orphaned by the wave.

It is estimated that of a pre-Greatwave population of 32 million, 2 million lost their lives on the day of the disaster, while a further 8 million were displaced. The economic damage has been estimated at Fl. 7 billion. The damage wrought by the wave was so great that some land was permanently lost to the sea while others were rendered unusable due to pollution and salt poisoning for many decades afterwards.

Question for those who check here: I am going to try and restore some of the maps where links have died (I've saved a fair number of maps) but some are too big to attach and I don't want to put other people's maps up on my Deviantart. Recommendations for a reliable image hoster which will allow me to post things for free and is unlikely to go away in the next few years?
Question for those who check here: I am going to try and restore some of the maps where links have died (I've saved a fair number of maps) but some are too big to attach and I don't want to put other people's maps up on my Deviantart. Recommendations for a reliable image hoster which will allow me to post things for free and is unlikely to go away in the next few years?


OK, slowly working to get my shit together lately, so I shall set up an imgur account by some time this weekend. In the meantime,

MotF 147: Micronation Extravaganza

The Challenge

Make a map of an OTL micronation that somehow becomes a regional or world power. For example, what if Molossia took over Nevada somehow?

The Restrictions
There are no restrictions on when your PoD or map may be set. Fantasy, sci-fi, and future maps are allowed, but blatantly implausible (ASB) maps are not. However, for this particular contest, some ASB is allowed.

If you're not sure whether your idea meets the criteria of this challenge, please feel free to PM me or comment in the main thread. Sometimes it isn't as clear as I intend it to be.

Please try to keep images posted in this thread a reasonable size - feel free to post a smaller version of your image and provide link to a full-size version if you want to.

The concept of a "Marstrand Free Port" goes back to its days as a haven for Swedish privateers during the 1700s. However, it wasn't until 1775 that Gustav III brought the idea to fruition, making the island city an autonomous (but in practice independent) republic. It was intended as a center for free and unrestricted trade, without any kind of tax or obligation to the Swedish government. Its lawless nature made it a destination for various financial criminals across Europe (earning it the nickname "Sin City"), as well as wealthy barons and refugees of the French Revolution, and Gustav's decision to realize it made him very popular among its upper class at a time when mainland Sweden was growing tired of the strict monarchy. It was ruled by a mayor, who chaired an elected "Council of Burghers". Magistrates comprised the judicial branch of Marstrand's government, and the Commandant of Carlsten Fortress (AKA the Governor-General) was given the job of maintaining order.

It was around this same time that another experimental polity, the United States of America, was born. During its war of independence, Sweden remained neutral, earning the nascent republic's respect and bringing plenty of American traffic to the ports of Gothenburg and Marstrand.

The 1790s were marked by crisis in both Marstrand and the mainland. Smuggling and piracy had grown out of control, the Swedish nobility had grown peaved with Gustav III's autocracy, and despite Marstrand's remarkable economic growth, the common folk had hardly recieved any of its benefits. Measures had to be taken to ensure that the Free Port didn't cave in on itself. The governor-general took the first step, convincing the gentry to fund mercenaries to fight the Russian privateers. By the end of the decade, the successful program began targeting smugglers as well, making the situation in the "Free" Port a little bit more complicated. More important, however, was the movement spearheaded by Finnish immigrant Anna Elisabeth Baer. She, along with plenty of other disgruntled burghers, convinced Mayor Ekström to reform the small nation in 1792, changing its qualifications for immigration and providing benefits for those in the lower class. The merchant class instantly feared this would lead to the same taxes that many had came to get away from, and lashed back. By 1800, the Council of Burghers had, for the most part, settled on a compromise between the libertarian merchants and the more socialistic commoners.

That same year, Sweden became involved in the Barbary Wars, along with the USA and Sicily. Marstrand, being a haven for merchants, was sufficiently outraged by the actions of Barbary pirates, and the Carlsten Brigade (as the Governor-General's company had come to be known) launched a crusade of sorts, finding thousands of new recruits, and, all around, making itself heard amongst the kingdoms and republics of Europe.

Following the First Barbary War, Marstrand's growth began in earnest. Following the French invasion of the Netherlands, a number of Dutch merchants and financiers migrated and set up shop in the Free Port. This is also around the time that Marstrand's Jewish community began. Before long, migrants from all around were causing the city to outgrow itself, and in 1814, the Council of Burghers resolved to plan out the city's inevitable expansion -- a difficult task, given how rugged the island's terrain was.

Early industry also blossomed, thanks in part to the German industrialist Johann Jakob Astor. Astor laid the groundwork for Marstrand's future success, lobbying for more reliable contracts, simplifying the nation's economic code, building factories, and creating the North Atlantic Company. Although this company operated worldwide, it was headquartered in Marstrand, and it quickly became the nation's largest company by a longshot. Bernhardsson's brännvin, Marstrand's characteristic export, also began in this era. All the while, Marstrand's neutrality made it a useful port for countries like the United States and Russia, which wanted to avoid getting tangled up in European politics.

By the 1840's, most European countries (the United Kingdom especially) were getting tired of the tiny republic recieving special treatment and making money at the expense of everyone else. However, attempts to get Sweden to bring Marstrand back into its fold were foiled by the United States, which found the port to be a useful resource for trade and politics. Image also played a role. Marstrander composer Nathan Travere had become wildly popular at the time, and his works further distinguished Marstrand's culture from that of stagnant, rural Sweden. This period of prosperity, American protection, and overall good feelings would come to be known as the "Marstrandian Renaissance".

However, it wouldn't last. In 1864, the President Edward P. Swayne forced Sweden to sign the Treaty of Gothenburg and recognize the Marstrand Republic as an independent microstate. Shortly thereafter, the US left Marstrand to its own devices so that it could recover from the Civil War of the previous decade. The Republic's upper class began turning a blind eye to its burghers, and most of their social and economic concerns went unchecked. Many ethnic groups (especially immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Italy, Russia, and the US) turned against one another. No group, however, had it as bad as the Jews, as antisemitism began to rear its ugly head. The worst instance of this was the Backudden Riot in 1866, in which over 100 people were killed in total.

While the situation deteriorated for the common folk, the government put on a semblance of success. The Carlsten Brigade and the Navy were revamped after decades of relative peace, and put to work on an enterprise that much of Europe was already involved in -- colonialism. The North Atlantic Company, which already managed a number of industries in foreign countries, did most of the work in taking care of Saint-Barthélemy (1866), the Nicobar Islands (1869), Kåmoe (1885), Amoy (1902), Kuwait (1904), and Little Samoa (1905). The NAC's freedom in managing the colonies reflected the unrestricted industrial growth and massive corruption in Marstrand, where wealthy barons like the Astor Family had the final say in the government's decisions. By 1890, strikes and Collectivist demonstrations forced the upper class to realize that things were not okay, and while unity was largely restored, attempts to fix the country's wealth distribution were only half-hearted.

From 1911 to 1919, Marstrand fought in the Long War, and although they were victorious, losses sustained by the Brigade and bombing runs from pro-Russian Denmark did nothing to lighten the mood. It was a dark time for the whole world actually, and it wasn't until the 1930s that an economic boom in the United States would lift Europe and East Asia out of hard times. The ensuing Golden Age in technology and entertainment would certainly not miss the small Republic, and since the depression removed the corporatocracy from power, a new leftist government was able to address the lower class's concerns, allowing them to enjoy the country's newfound success.

Since then, Marstrand's position on the world's stage has only risen. In 1955, the Great Asian War (the only two-sided nuclear exchange in history) highlighted the need for an international body to mediate conflicts, and the League of Nations was headquartered in the Republic. The Carlsten Brigade was replaced by the League Peacekeeping Force (LPF), and Marstrand played a role in several operations during the Age of Anxiety. Today, companies like Norling & Akerman, Jans, and Python Oil maintain Marstrand's place as an economic focal point, and thousands of European tourists come to visit the little microstate that defied the odds and became an economic powerhouse.

MotF 148: The Sick Man

The Challenge

Make a map of a declining great power.

The Restrictions
There are no restrictions on when your PoD or map may be set. Fantasy, sci-fi, and future maps are allowed, but blatantly implausible (ASB) maps are not. However, for this particular contest, some ASB is allowed.

If you're not sure whether your idea meets the criteria of this challenge, please feel free to PM me or comment in the main thread. Sometimes it isn't as clear as I intend it to be.

Please try to keep images posted in this thread a reasonable size - feel free to post a smaller version of your image and provide link to a full-size version if you want to.

The entry period for this round shall end when the voting thread is posted on Sunday, January 15th.
Another contest with only two replies. A sad time in the history of the map contest. :teary:

(Just throwing them out there for completeness sake)



SO SLOW lately... :tiredface:

(My motivation was getting better, but all of a sudden it's Coronavirus Resurgence II: Electric Bugaloo around here)

MotF 149: Don't Look at Them, My Child

The Challenge

Make a map showing the main population areas/population density of a country (particularly the underclass, but it can really be anything as long as it shows population in some way)

Post World War One Germany is in a state of turmoil as factions all vie for power. The grand plebiscite of Versailles is decided to be enacted. The fate of Germany, Austria and the German speaking world is in the hands of the people. A New Germany Emerges, having lost some lands and having gained some lands. Austria joins Germany as a unitary state by a margin of 4% over the necessary 51%. Other regions such as memel stay within Germany by obtaining the minimum necessary vote. Civil strife ravages the plebiscite regions.

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