I mean I suppose it's possible that a country with a rock solid class and racial hierarchy, radical focus on "traditional" gender roles and extremely entrenched bunker mentality would cultivate by default a sexual culture extremely cognizant of power dynamics within relationships, although it would boil down to an incredibly unhealthy scenario where a small class basically runs roughshod over a large population of powerless social inferiors. Not unlike a far more extensive form of slaveowner depredations OTL combined with some over the top classist prima noctis thing, but not something that I think would add to the fun of the TL if gone into at length. I'm fine if it's never really focused on but just a constant background of disquiet to add to the Drakian bouquet, honestly.*
That's aquite right, and we've even touched on some sex stuff in the form of the Dragon's Nest. But I hardly think my coverage of it is inappropriate or fetishized. We're talking about crimes against humanity here.

He does have a tendency towards space-filling empires, doesn't he?
Indeed. I've set myself the challenge of trying to make some of them exist- USA with all of North America, Japan with integrated Korea, etc.- to a certain extent.

I’ve really been enjoying this thread; thank you for writing this!
Gracias.:)

If you don’t mind me asking, did the Baptist Church in TTL schism over support of slavery the way it did in OTL, or is that position more-or-less taken by churches popular in Drakia? And do Drakian churches have any influence in the US?
Yes, but the schism wasn't to the same degree that it was OTL. The pro-slavery Baptist churches largely ended up fading away or reuniting with their northern cousins except for a few very small sects. Keep in mind how a lot of the most pro-slavery types immigrated to Drakia after the Last Crusade.

If you think this is so bad then write your own. Most of us are enjoying this TL.
Thank you.:)

Probably less than that OTL in 1914.
Counting British dominions there were 65 countries in 1907.

Personally, this TL doesn't really meet my sniff test when it comes to plausibility, but it's entertaining enough for that to be forgivable. (Trying to make it a "cover" of S&M's scenario, I think, limits how plausible the story _can_ be) It's an issue I'm dealing with myself: to complete the current installment of my "wanks" series, I have to do a big South Africa, but while I don't want to bind myself too much to what is _likely_, I don't want to wander off into Stirlingesque improbability. I figure the original POD can be pushed back a ways if we say that "South Africa is an African state colonized by the Dutch and then the British" without bothering to specify dates, but there is a limit to how much one can change things up without getting something unrecognizable. There are some serious possibilities in a Portuguese-settled South Africa, but it's too different from OTL to really count as a "South Africa" for wanking purposes - it will have to go in the Portugal-wank.
It's a hazard of the scenario, I think. As long I'm more plausible than Stirling, I think I'm doing okay.

What is Drakian stance towards the Geoists?
Ideologically? Strongly opposed. In practice? What for the next chapter.


______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So life is... I'm not in the best place right now. There are things about being a teacher that really suck. Anyway, I've started the next chapter but it may be a while before it's ready. Sorry all.
 
We can hope: there aren't that many TLs where the US and a never-conquered Japan form a Dynamic Duo. (It comes up in SF, but usually in the form of some sort of dystopian cyberpunk merger)
It would be a fascinating study of divergent types imperialism that's for certain. Japan if given a free hand at China would risk getting assimilated by the greater Han culture. Wheres as the Americans seem to be finally transitioning to the melting-pot model of assimilating peoples. Granted America seems to be dealing with a Ceasar like situation with the Navy right now. An extremely popular Admiral that has the support of the masses and is able to finance his forces independently of Federal support.
 
So, I just finished binge reading this TL at an ungodly hour last night, and I have to say that it's absolutely amazing! Awesome job, and infinitely more plausible than the source material. Now for a couple questions:

1. It sounds like American hegemony is in serious danger. Will it survive or dissolve permanently? One thing I consider a possibility is America temporarily loses footing for a bit before reclaiming its position.

2. How much real potential to the Drakia have? On the one hand, their system is inefficient and always on the verge of collapse. On the other hand, they have a truly mind boggling amount of resources.

3. I notice you've mentioned a certain tolerance for male homosexuality in Drakia. Is that ending now that the "Christ is King" Societists are in charge?
 
So, I just finished binge reading this TL at an ungodly hour last night, and I have to say that it's absolutely amazing! Awesome job, and infinitely more plausible than the source material. Now for a couple questions:

1. It sounds like American hegemony is in serious danger. Will it survive or dissolve permanently? One thing I consider a possibility is America temporarily loses footing for a bit before reclaiming its position.

2. How much real potential to the Drakia have? On the one hand, their system is inefficient and always on the verge of collapse. On the other hand, they have a truly mind boggling amount of resources.

3. I notice you've mentioned a certain tolerance for male homosexuality in Drakia. Is that ending now that the "Christ is King" Societists are in charge?
I agree with the latter of point one, I think they'll get caught on the back foot and come roaring back after a little soul searching and a massive fascist surge at the ballot box. As for point 2, as the cooperation with the martial races matures I think having deputies to help police subjugated ethnic groups will help greatly. The Martials will of course be eager partners in this, because if Drakia falls then the minority despotisms are suddenly at the mercy of a repressed majority. As for question 3 I think the Dragon's Nest system offers a way out. As long as you're discreet and impregnate a ward of the state a few times I imagine it would be seen as personally quirky but not undermining social function.
 
I agree with the latter of point one, I think they'll get caught on the back foot and come roaring back after a little soul searching and a massive fascist surge at the ballot box. As for point 2, as the cooperation with the martial races matures I think having deputies to help police subjugated ethnic groups will help greatly. The Martials will of course be eager partners in this, because if Drakia falls then the minority despotisms are suddenly at the mercy of a repressed majority. As for question 3 I think the Dragon's Nest system offers a way out. As long as you're discreet and impregnate a ward of the state a few times I imagine it would be seen as personally quirky but not undermining social function.
Agree with point 2,the Martial races,whether African or from India,will be motivated to keep their place,sort of like the Loyalists in Ulster,more British than the British.
 
Chapter 19

Chapter 19

Lindsey Stoker ruled Drakia with an iron fist.

The Societist dictator had rebuilt Drakian society so that the influence of his party and ideology were omnipresent. Every Citizen child was enrolled in the Agoge schools, spending two months of the year and every second weekend during the other ten months, away from home and undergoing programs of intense physical exercise and political indoctrination. Somewhat of a cross between the Hitler Youth and child soldiers, Agoge students sang Societist songs, read Societist books, and watched Societist films that stressed loyalty to “Autocrat Stoker”, the supremacy of Societism over all other ideologies, the inferiority of non-Drakian cultures and political systems, and the absolute importance of ensuring the Empire’s survival… even if it cost their own lives. Boys received weapons training and courses in basic tactics, training that culminated in a group exercise at age 18 when- together with the same group of boys that they had come to know for years- they would collectively beat to death an Enemy of the State (in theory political dissidents or captured guerrillas, but often just Bondsmen who were accused of common crimes). Both boys and girls wore uniforms and were organized into units within a semi-military hierarchy under adult supervision, both participated in concentrated physical exercise designed to enhance the abilities of the next generation of the Noble Race. The children of Honorary Whites were not excluded from the Agoge, although their indoctrination was different, and from age 15 “units” of White Citizen children and Honorary White Citizen children engaged in co-operative competitions that pitted them against similar mixed groups (mixed racially perhaps, but never mixed genders).

This is of course on top of the indoctrination children received in their regular schooling.


Young Drakian boys in the Agoge. It wouldn't work so well if they didn't get chances to play and have fun amid the training to be loyal, to fight, to kill, and to die.

Once a Citizen turned 18 they were enrolled in different local chapters of the Societist Party and usually (this part was voluntary) one or two of its different subsidiary organizations. These groups had their own meetings and events, many of which were held in churches- clearly pairing the Party and the State with faith and the Empire’s titular heavenly ruler. There was a list of approved religions, most notably the Church of Christ the Savior, the Drakian Church, and the Sedevacantist Catholic Church (which of course simply regarded itself as the Catholic Church). The later two played an increasingly secondary role, the result of confusion among the faithful and the holy echelons stemming from the Drakian Church severing from the Church of England and the Sedecantist leadership being largely installed by the state (Stoker held Catholics- regardless of flavor- in suspicion and nixed a proposal to let them create a Capetown-based antipope). The Autocrat (his official title) himself was a Saviorite espousing the belief that the Drakians were the true Israelites, a people divinely chosen to rule the world, and he gave his religion government sponsorship and sanction. There were a couple of other minor approved faiths- a Drakian Chief Rabbi parroting the state line for instance- but the Anglican Communion, the Protestant churches of America, the Living Church of Geoist Russia, and the Roman Catholic Church were banned along with most forms of Islam (the Princely States had a considerable amount of autonomy in this area, Kurdistan and Egypt kept their brands of Islam, Judea allowed multiple versions of Judaism, etc.).

All able-bodied Citizen men were automatically enlisted in the Reserve if they weren’t on active service, as were about a third of able-bodied women (in non-combat roles of course). Every house had a picture of Stoker in pride of place, as did every business and every government office. All media was supervised if it wasn’t an outright product of the State. The archaic “hello” had been replaced as a greeting, now one called out “Service to the State!” and the subject of their salutation replied “Glory to the Race!” Drakia had long defined itself through its loyalty to Britain and British culture, now that this was no longer possible the Societists looked back one generation- Drakia had been British colony, but Britain had been a Roman colony, and Rome itself a Greek Trojan one (I mean, not really, but that’s what they believed). The result was a Greco-Roman revival in art, fashion, architecture, poetry, and even names for newborns.


The new Drakian architectural style mixed 20th century lines with classical elements like these pillars.

Dissent was strictly policed by the Bureau for Social Defense and the BSD’s feared “Patriotist” agents who could look no different from anyone else until the moment they produced their infamous purple badge. Now that things were quiet the Euthanasia program picked up once more, targeting individuals with physical and mental disabilities within the ranks of Citizens, Nationals, and Bondsmen and the threat of having a child deemed a burden on society remained a powerful tool for social control. The number of its victims since the program had begun could now be counted with seven digits. There were projects under the Bureau for Technical Progress aimed at improving the physical superiority of the Drakian people through the use of science (or simply the temporary performance of Drakian soldiers in combat)- they experimented with anabolic steroids, stimulants, and crude blood doping, as well as different physical exercises and the influence of altitude on physical capabilities.

It’s telling that whatever Societism’s views of foreign political and social systems it had no problems with accepting the validity of scientific discoveries made in other countries- even when such discoveries contradicted previously held views in Drakia- and rapidly integrating those discoveries into their own understanding of the world. Scientific conservatism had little presence in the Country of the Dragon, outside of anthropology, social science, and some very niche fields within theoretical biology.

Most of the opposition to Societism within Drakia came not from liberal or pro-democracy groups, but from Drakian conservatives hostile to the idea of a greater role for Honorary Whites (and even a few mixed or non-White full Citizens) and the end of political dominance by the Drakian aristocracy. Most white Citizens genuinely supported Societism, almost all Honorary Whites did for the improved rights and powers it offered them- even if that was only as junior partners instead of as servants. It was no secret what fate non-white Citizens could expect if Drakia was ever defeated, they had just as much to lose as the whites if they ever found themselves facing the Bonded masses, newly freed and vengeful. The Nationals remained a potential source of dissent however, a small population exploited to fill a niche doing jobs that could not be done with forced labor but which were now considered below Honorary Whites. The Nationals were technically free, but most sat just on the edge of penury, poorly paid and heavily tax, controlled by the threat of becoming Bonded if they left the jobs they were trapped in. And that was a frightening threat indeed.

Unlike most forms of historic slavery (such as the peculiar institution of the American South), Bonded Laborers in Drakia weren’t valuable investments, instead they were individually disposable much like slaves in modern-day OTL human trafficking. If a Bondsman was injured or sick then it was more cost-effective to simply kick him to the curb and get another than it was to help him recover. Traditional methods of force and violence kept the Bonded in line, but there were other tactics also used to incentivize loyalty and hard work. Even among the Bonded there was a hierarchy with special privileges, the chance to buy small luxuries and ease your personal situation in exchange for occupying the role of a “chain dog”, helping keep the rest in line. For the gullible there was religion thrust down the throats of the Bonded and the lie of potentially paying off one’s bond eventually, but the Empire’s most powerful tools for keeping Bondsmen obedient were drugs. Provide a Bondsman with regular doses of meth, cocaine, or (less commonly) an opioid of some sort, and now you had a slave whose own addiction would prevent him from running away and would motivate him to work harder in exchange for the promise of a hit. By modulating the doses carefully the owner of a factory or a mine or some other concern that employed Bonded Labor could delay the physical degradation that accompanied substance addiction, and when said degradation grew too severe to be economical anyway they could simply dispose of the worker by “freeing” them and either acquiring another or passing on their bond to the worker’s next of kin.

These practices were not universal by any means- for some being Bonded simply meant having your name on a list hundreds of miles away and a yearly visit to collect part of your harvest. For others in domestic work or who had valuable skills, the yoke could rely on positive reinforcement of a less addictive kind. But for millions within the largely state-run industrial complex it was a fact of life.


Bondsmen work to manufacture methamphetamine for use by Drakian private and public industrial concerns.

With such practices the Drakian Empire industrialized further, building more infrastructure, more factories, and exploiting more of the resources at its disposal. Theirs was not a system that lent itself well to innovation, but a willingness to quickly adopt the technology of others at least partially allayed that and by 1929 the Empire was stable in a way it had not been since the World War. To be sure there were still guerillas in the deep forest and isolated places where state authority was weak or theoretical, not to mention disorganized low-level resistance from the masses of pacified Bondsmen, but none of this was more than an annoyance to the Country of the Dragon. When trouble reared its head the Empire was capable of mobilizing large, highly mobile forces capable of swamping an uprising before it could mature. If an ambush struck outside a village then they eliminated the village, if a tribe rose up then they eliminated the tribe. More Bondsmen were always desirable, as were more victims for the Agoge.

Opposition remained however, and there was still the possibility that with foreign help it could resurge again.

The Black Chamber remained active in its efforts to subvert Drakian rule. He might be operating with fewer resources than he had during the Crucible, but Franklin Richardson retained agents within the Empire and cultivated contacts with the remaining resistance groups. For the most part American aid was aimed at simply keeping anti-government guerrillas alive and operating in the face of genocidal pressure by Stoker’s regime, but if circumstances changed the possibility existed that they might be able to rise up in force. American influence was strongest where Imperial rule was weakest, and Imperial rule was weakest in the Near East.

In order to retain control over the Near East during the Crucible, General Saxon had made a variety of promises to non-Arab minorities that both he and Stoker’s Empire had done a decidedly mixed job of fulfilling. The military government had encouraged Kurdish, Druze, and Assyrian nationalism as a counter to the Arab majority, vowing to grant those ethnic groups their own Princely States once the fighting ended, they had also allied to the Near Eastern Christians and the Zionist community in the Holy Land. The Kurds were mostly happy with what they had received- the Sultanate of Kurdistan had a fairly long leash autonomy-wise and included most of the territory that they regarded as historically Kurdish that fell under Drakian control- but the Muslim Kurds were also alienated by the state-enforced Christianity and suppression of Islam that prevailed in most parts of the Empire. Like the Egyptians they were concerned about sending their children to the Agoge which they feared could be used as a tool to direct the next generation towards Christianity. The Assyrians had received a small Princely State without all of the territory their nationalists wanted, the Druze had received status as a martial race and freedom to practice their religion, but Stoker had reneged on Saxon’s promise to grant them a Princely State of their own. The non-Assyrian Christians of the Near East were all Honorary Whites, except for the Armenian Christians who were White Citizens, but like the Druze they were had not received political autonomy. Meanwhile all of the nationalist groups that Drakia had supported at least had wings that were dissatisfied with autonomy within the Empire and wanted nothing less than full independence- if their movement wasn’t pro-independence in general. Of course, the Arabs, who had been ground down through massacres and outright ethnic cleansing continued to mutter with discontent.


Drakian Syria, 1928.

The Black Chamber had many Near Eastern contacts, with the Arab resistance, with radical nationalist elements in Assyria and Kurdistan, with other unhappy voices among the Honorary Whites, but Franklin Richardson’s greatest success came in Judea.

The State of Judea was not the only Drakian Princely State that wasn’t a monarchy, there were a handful of others including a couple of Boer and Griqua republics, but it had far more in the way of democratic elements than any of them. True, there was no chance of the Nation of Zion Party losing any election, and the government in Haifa was quick to follow the orders of the Drakian Resident when ordered to suppress anti-government speech or break up organizations whose existence was deemed unacceptable, but opposition parties existed (even if they were neutered) and there was a degree of political competition that would be familiar to an inhabitant of OTL Singapore. Most of the Arab community within Judea’s borders- a piece of the Israeli Coastal Plain with less than 3,000 square kilometers (smaller than Rhode Island)- had been killed or forcibly relocated during the Crucible, but those who remained now had Judean citizenship and enjoyed cultural and religious freedom that their relatives elsewhere in the Drakian Near East lacked. Public dissent might be silenced by order of the Resident, but small groups met in private homes to express views that would have been unthinkable in directly-ruled parts of the Empire. The Jewish Princely State’s continued survival could be attributed to its creation under the Saxon government, and Stoker’s concern that abolishing a pre-existing Princely State that wasn’t in rebellion ran the risk of alienating loyal Princely States whose support the Empire needed.

The Drakian dictator was otherwise actively hostile towards Zionism, partly for religious reasons as a Saviorite (he considered the Jews collectively guilty of Christ’s murder and the Drakians the true descendants of the Hebrew), and partly because unlike General Saxon he regarded minority nationalism as a threat rather than a useful tool. His policies followed his views, using the Agoge in an attempt to replace ethnic and religious identities with a broader Drakian identity loyal to him, and the BSD’s Patriotists to crush political voices he considered dangerous.

But Judea had been founded by a movement whose goal had been total independence from the start- Zionist leaders justified Drakian collaboration solely on the grounds that said collaboration brought them closer to this goal. Even Premier Bogdan Mninsky, who regarded the existence of the State of Judea as a victory, remained dissatisfied by its small size, its lack of sovereignty, and the fact that almost none of the important Jewish holy sites were under its control. Most of Judea’s inhabitants were Sephardim or Mizrahim, Middle Eastern Jews who could acquire Honorary White status only by becoming Judean Citizens, and as Drakia would never allow one of its Princely States to extend a blanket citizenship to communities scattered across a large region, they had come to cram themselves into the coastal enclave in search of protection. Not all had successfully avoided Bondage- some who did were purchased and freed by Judea, but many remained trapped the Bonded Labor System. Judeans who still had enslaved co-religionists, or even were ex-Bondsmen themselves, were not inclined to be loyal towards Drakia. They did not like their children being enrolled in the Agoge, they did not like the idea of swearing oaths of loyalty to a government whose official head of state was Jesus Christ, and they resented Stoker’s policies to curtail their autonomy. All of the officers of the Judean Army were Drakian Christians, all ordinary law-enforcement were subject to direction by the Bureau for Social Defense, and all education- whether religious or secular- had its curriculum set in Aurica. Immigration by Jews elsewhere in the Empire was permitted, but immigration from elsewhere had been shut off.

Mninsky could read the writing on the wall (haha) and recognized that it was only a matter of time before he himself was removed from power, and Judea’s autonomy so undermined that it could no longer be assured of protecting its inhabitants from policies like those that had already been used to suppress Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism.


Flag of the State of Judea. The Zionist movement split after the Crucible, between those who considered collaboration with Drakia acceptable because it meant a step closer to an independent Jewish state, and those who rejected it because Drakia... kept slaves and murdered handicapped babies. There's a still a German-based branch of the movement mostly focused on settling Jews in parts of Patagonia and the northern Great Plains.

Which was why the Judean Premier came to a secret agreement with the Black Chamber.

Klein and Franklin’s plan for a short, victorious war with the Drakian Empire called for the successful liberation, not of Drakia as a whole (which was far too big) but merely the Drakian Near East. It should be a trivial matter to sweep the Drakian Navy from the Mediterranean, and once Aden had been captured from the Red Sea as well. That would leave Drakia only a single land route connecting its Near Eastern possessions to the rest of the Empire, running through the Sinai Desert. If Mninsky could successfully instigate mutiny among the Judean Army against their Drakian officers, then he could secure the ports of Haifa and Yafo which would provide a foothold where the US Navy could offload its land forces without the difficulties of a seaborne invasion. The marines could then advance the relatively short distance south into the Sinai, hopefully meeting up with the forces of allied Arabia, and establishing a line that would (backed by the US Navy Air Corps and the world’s most powerful naval artillery) completely cut Drakia’s supply lines into the Near East. Without resupply or reinforcement, the Drakian Army east of the Sinai would wither on the vine and be finished off by second-line troops, mostly from the Ducklings or American colonial possessions, with the help of the Turkish, Persian, and Arabian armies, plus anti-Drakian insurgents. A swift victory in the Near East would drum up American patriotism and anti-Drakia sentiment, raise the popularity of the Navy and the Black Chamber, and put Arthur Klein’s star on the ascendency. The government in Aurica would be forced to the peace table and the government in New York would be forced to retroactively authorize the Navy’s actions.

At least that was the idea- it relied on certain assumptions, including the belief that once the war started the Grand Alliance members bordering the Drakian Near East (the Kingdom of Arabia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Persian Empire) would inevitably join in to assist the American forces. It also assumed that the United States government would have no choice but to begin actively supporting its own navy in a war that said navy had independently launched. Still, the Klein-Franklin Plan was not a bad plan, it had clearly defined and limited goals, it relied on highly accurate knowledge of the terrain and the placement of enemy forces, and had successfully recruited local allies familiar with the area.

Let’s see how it goes;

The US Navy/Black Chamber;



The Empire of Drakia;



Looks like your regularly scheduled EBR Israel-wank is cancelled.
 
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At that point I wonder if you might have such horrors displayed by the Drakians once off the leash and in enemy territory (seriously the original Spartans with the original Agoge were universally hated for the abuse their indoctrinated and deprived child-soldiers inflicted outside the narrow confines of Lacedaemon, and this happened with other fascists see the Imperial Japanese occupation of Any Chinese City(tm) or the casual way the Wehrmacht would rape their domestic servants and wipe out villages on the Eastern Front), combined with the grapevine spreading the horrors of Drakia in easy-to-communicate narratives, that significant parts of people of the Middle East conclude that they are actually for real getting the Tamerlane treatment and none of them will survive unless the flee en masse, a great diaspora and wave of refugees to any country with a port or connected border and ersatz quilombo settlements hidden in the mountains and the deserts.
 
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The Drakians may also do what the ancient Romans did. "Here, you like them so much, you can have them!." Then they put them on ships in the Mediterranean.
 
While Drakia is having a lot of luck, there’s a lot of very angry people inside their territory, and the bonding of previous allies will reduce Drakia's strength and increase the number of their enemies.
When their luck runs out, things will get really bad for them.
 
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