The RDNA-verse: A Strange, Worldbuilding TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by mdc_1957, Nov 25, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Introduction; A World at the Precipice (c.2022)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    Way back in 2010, I conceived of an original character for a roleplay thread on AH.com involving personified countries ala Axis Powers Hetalia: The Royal Dominion of New Austria (RDNA for short, or if you're inclined, Francesca), hailing from a timeline where New Spain was handed to the Austrian Habsburgs early on (among other changes). As that RP went on, it inspired me to begin fleshing out the character, country backstory, culture, etc. until the seeds of a distinct setting began to emerge. While the bulk of the worldbuilding petered out within a couple of years, it always seemed to remain at the back of my mind. It also wouldn't be surprising if it has influenced some of my writing and work over the years.

    Fast-forward to around 2015, I began revisiting the TL and decided to really flesh it out as a setting that could stand on its own, though it wouldn't be until recently (2019) that it's really taking steam. Yet while the lore's been significantly expounded and various elements were retconned, some aspects remain rather consistent: the Dieselpunk-transitioning-to-Fallout-style aspects, Cold War motifs and Orwellian undertones, to name a few. I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of personified entities ala Hetalia and other magical realism elements, though national embodiments are a recurring cultural constant.

    All things considered, it's been more than a pleasant surprise delving into this once more.

    So without further ado, welcome to the main, proper thread for the RDNA-verse on AH.com.

    --o--
    And what better way to start off than an overview on the wider world?

    A remake of sorts of 2011's The World of 2024, this map is the first time since then that I've done a "worlda"-type scenario rendition for the RDNA-verse itself.

    Also, the map is partially based on a commission cover on DeviantArt. While said cover does have some deviations, much of it remains fairly consistent enough that parts of it served as a basis for this particular work.

    As for the monitor/vidscreen look itself, this is intended to reflect the rather curious technological development of the setting: at once old yet sophisticated. While also pointing to outside sources looking into the world in question.

    Lastly, just to be sure, this is a work of fiction. This is not meant to be a political or ideological screed.

    All that being said, hope you enjoy! And for those who are seeing this for the first time...welcome.

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    A Basic Introduction to the RDNA-verse:

    Imagine, if you will, an Earth at once familiar and strange. Where history played out similar yet rather different from your own. And one that, warts and all, seemed poised to welcome an age of prosperity and better tidings. Now, picture all those dreams of bright progress be drenched in blood. Despite the warning signs, few saw coming the years of chaos known in that world as the Terror. No one saw how far-reaching the consequences of those bleak times would be, from the spread of the ideology called Collectivism to the deep scars among those still fighting it.

    It has been a century since then. For generations, a Cold War has simmered between the so-called "Free Nations" and the Collectivist Internationale, with seemingly no end in sight.

    The New World holds firm as the largest region left on the globe where the Free World's might predominates, and where many of the remaining great powers reside. Here be the "Three Crowns": the Royal Dominion of New Austria (under the Habsburg Throne-in-Exile), the Loyalist Dominion of Canada (true leader of the British Imperial Commonwealth under the unified Windsor-Romanovs) and the struggling yet resilient Legitimate Union of Brazil (nominally under the Braganzas before the current junta assumed emergency powers). Alongside these prominent Royalists are the mighty "Twin Republics": the vast American Federation and the resilient Sovereign Federated Republic of Gran Patagonia, both doing whatever has to be done for the future of democracy.

    Europe, by contrast, is almost entirely "Red." Among the few remaining nations outside of the Internationale's grip are the United Kingdom (now a glorified Canadian "protectorate"), the Kingdom of South Italy (a borderline fortress-state under the Savoia-Siracusas), and the Sovereign Knights of Malta (a South Italian "protectorate" that answers more to the Vatican-in-Exile in New Austria). While the survival of these countries could be said as being due to luck, costly sacrifices, outside aid, the fact they even exist or thrive at all remains testament to their defiance to what lies across their borders. A similar situation exists in Asia, with only the powerful Empire of Japan (still under the Yamato) and a vestigial yet potent Sovereign State of Free China, standing in the way of complete dominance over the entire landmass. While in Africa, the United African States (a republic forged from the remnants of colonies and native kingdoms after the Terror) continues to stand as a firm buffer against further Collectivist expansion alongside its Republican allies.

    Not every Free Nation is considered part of the Free World, however. Several states over the intervening years have since adopted various strains of Reactionarism, which could be described as a group of ideologies comparable to myriad fascist and authoritarian regimes as observed throughout history. Together, they form the League of Neutral Defiance, a loosely-tied coalition that's led by the "Anglo-Mosleyites" of the Free Republic of Australia as both a foil to the other Free Nations (which they see as decadent and impure in various degrees) and a potent force against Collectivism.

    Lastly, there's the Collectivist Internationale itself. While much of the specifics remain clouded and left to speculation, there's enough to paint an ignoble portrait. Comprised of various "ColMem Domains" and territories encompassing a disconcertingly large part of the global population, it is dominated by the Party through the Supreme Politburo. The Collectivism espoused is known to be a radical and paradoxically theocratic form of Socialism that glorifies the "Will of the Workers" and the transformation of mankind itself. Granted, the sheer size of the Internationale and the varying interpretations of Collectivist principles mean that it has seen several bouts of infighting, though it's speculated to be at least partially deliberate to sustain the regime. Such flaws, however, do not diminish the threat posed, or their efforts at destroying entire cultures and peoples to remake them in their image. So effective were such purges that after a century, all that remain of the so-called "Lost Nations," insofar as anyone's aware, are the descendants of refugees and exiles scattered across the world (known colloquially as "Revivalists"), as well as whatever could be saved by the countries of the Free World. Only the risk of utter atomic holocaust, it seems, holds back immediate plans for a Final Revolution...for now.

    Know that this is a world that stands on the precipice. Where old and new converge, alongside powerful technologies to help maintain the balance of power. Amidst the madness, the peoples and nations of the Free World struggle to push onward, both for their sanity and in the hopes of one day emerging triumphant over the ever-present menace. No matter the cost.

    Know as well that this is a world where, among the myriad peoples that make up humanity, are figures that from the outside resemble their fellow men. Yet at the same time they embody within their very essence whole cultures, societies and countries, such that they are them...

    - Recovered fragment from "An Introductory Primer to Other Worlds." Unknown. 2022 Edition.

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    For added trivia, the text is a substantially expounded and updated version of The Visitor's Pamphlet. Similar to it, this particular fragment is written in-universe with those outside the timeline in mind. Whether it's from the people behind An Examination of Extra-Universal Systems of Government or the Agency mentioned in other maps...I'll leave it for the reader to decide. As is the case for the meaning of what's crossed out. [​IMG]

    The template used for the monitor is modified from a Vintage CRT TV screen base provided here, courtesy of YouTuber BLTV Photoshop. As far as I'm aware, the base is free to use.

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    [​IMG]

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  2. Pen A lot more down to earth now, I suppose.

    Joined:
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    Good fuck, this came from an anime RP?


    Christ, that explains why everything in this TL is so wacky
     
  3. mdc_1957 Still present here

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    Believe you me, it was a lot crazier in its earliest form.
     
  4. Pen A lot more down to earth now, I suppose.

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2018
    Location:
    A Land Down Under
    I can't tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing.


    What was the difference? Did NA have even more land?
     
  5. mdc_1957 Still present here

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    There were more implausibly OTL elements (from borders to details regarding the American Federation) among others. As well as stuff like militarized spacecraft.

    Long story short, the setting has long since been overhauled.
     
  6. Threadmarks: The Californias (c.2022)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    A History of the Californias.

    Originally named by Spanish explorers exploring the southern peninsula in the 1520s, the Californias were originally inhabited, if sparsely by nomadic ancestors of present-day American Indians and Mesoamerikaners. As part of Spain’s fledgling colonial empire in the New World, the budding colonies were handed over with the rest of “New Spain” in 1554 to the Austrian Habsburgs, whose interim rule over what had become known as New Austria was made official by 1611. It wasn’t long before colonists, nobles and missionaries from Mitteleuropa – including a number of adventurers from Bohemia – began settling the southern half of the large expanse, trickles of daring souls seeking opportunity that grew in number with each generation. It was in this context that the Margraviate (later, Crown Province) of Kalifornien was formally established by Imperial decree in 1681, ruled from Neu Wien. Due to its relative distance, it was largely left to its own devices, the peninsula still known unofficially to this day as Südkalifornien made its own territory in 1712 to keep the new Markgrafs from becoming too powerful in court.

    And for a time, the arrangement went well enough. By the late-18th Century, more of Kalifornien was explored and settled, the scattered Mesoamerikaners remaining in the territory either integrating in the growing townships and homesteads or intermarrying with the colonists. But the northernmost frontiers remained largely unpopulated, attracting nomadic natives and increasingly, pioneer-settlers from the newly independent American Federation. Not even the infamous civil war in the 1840s among the Americans did much to quell the simmering tensions and clashes as they intensified in scale.

    All this culminated in 1859 with the War of the Western Frontiers, also known as the President’s Crusade. What started as skirmishes between the Markgraf’s militias and isolated outposts quickly escalated as A.F. military expeditions from their Eastern heartland threatened to overrun all of Kalifornien, if not Neu Wien itself under the auspices of Continental Destiny and “liberating” the royalists. New Austrian forces under the direct command of the ruling Habsburg Archduke however managed to stop the American advance, even if it led to a vicious stalemate until reinforcements arrived from the Austro-Hungarian Crownlands in 1864. The action startled the officials in Franklinton F.D.C. as much as it risked further European intervention in what had previously been coined a “war between colonials,” in turn prompting the British in Canada to mediate a peace settlement.

    The Treaty of Ottawa in 1866 thus settled the dispute once and for all. The Americans went on to claim – and settle –the northernmost New Austrian territories. The State of North California in particular was formed in time from most of the lands ceded from the Margraviate, the remainder made part of the Western Indian Territory (the State of Dine-Utah from 1917); the completion of the First Trans-American Railroad in 1873 further accelerated the new territories’ assimilation and development. While the Margraf’s remaining territories were reconstituted into the Crown Province of Kalifornien in 1874 as part of the wider reforms sweeping across the now Royal Dominion of New Austria. By the time Südkalifornien was absorbed 16 years later, the domain not only recovered but also had, similarly to its northern neighbors begun using its plentiful oil and gold deposits to foster a stable, modern economy. In the process, attracting more migrants from across the Atlantic.

    The Terror’s legacy in the 1920s-30s however left its own impact on both sides of the border, as with much of the world. Food shortages, socio-economic breakdown and mass influxes of refugees from Europe became widespread in the New World as much of the Old were purged by what became the Collectivist Internationale. The Habsburg Throne-in-Exile placed all of the R.D.N.A. under martial law in order to survive the “Upheaval,” a sordid period that lasted until 1934 and reflected in the riots and lawlessness that wracked Kalifornien’s major cities. The Americans meanwhile responded to the region’s turmoil by sending Federal Guard reserves from nearby States to quell unrest, delegating emergency powers to local officials and further militarizing the frontiers with New Austria. Such a state of affairs persisted until relations were normalized and cross-border trade reestablished in 1949.

    Thus despite the turmoil, the Californias rose once more to the challenge, becoming for both sides prosperous gates to the Free World well into the 21st Century.

    The Californias Today.

    Even after centuries of development on both sides of the border, and in spite of still-controversial Atomic tests in uninhabited preserves, the Californias remain a varied, diverse land. Be it the wintry, classical resthouses in the Kalifornisch Alpen (“Californian Alps” in the American Federation), the redwood forests of the northern fringes or the pristine Südkalifornien wineries and beaches, there are bountiful opportunities for both the curious tourist the prospecting settler.

    Under the ruling Graf of the Eisenbach-Walenstein line, the Crown Province of Kalifornien today is one of the wealthiest and most indispensible domains in the R.D.N.A. The ornate metropolis of Engelnstadt is home to a number of industrial complexes and prominent manufacturing companies, some of which were reestablished by Czech and other Mitteleuropan refugees after the Terror, as well as a media scene rivaling Neu Wien in terms of studios and reels. Sankt Franz meanwhile is a thriving border metropolis that serves as both a cultural gateway into the R.D.N.A. as well as an entry point for Pacific-borne and American immigrants, though the so-called Pazifischen Festung’s walls still bear the scars from the Siege of 1864 and the Collectivist Riots of 1929. Much like the rest of New Austria and unlike the Markgrafs of old, the nobility wield largely ceremonial power, the appointed Governor sharing power with an elected Governor-Premier.

    The State of North California meanwhile is often considered Kalifornien’s “rival brother” as well as one of the leading States in the Union. From the bustling city of Portland (formerly Nordhafen) and historic home of the American Fourth Fleet to the vineyards of Napa-Richmond Valley and the border markets near Fort Stanton, it lives up to its reputation as the A.F.’s prime gateway to the Pacific. As most its population tends to live along the coastline, one can still glimpse outside the cities the original “Old World-towns” set up after the Terror and the rural frontier settlements of their pioneer ancestors. The latter is even more true for the State of Dine-Utah, which as known more for its rugged “cowboy” atmosphere and large minority of American Indians than for hosting an orbital complex and its share of gambling towns. And though most are fond of riffing on the persistent “mongrel Krauts” that continue to be the lingering legacy of their New Austrian origins, the locals are largely integrated albeit differently from their neighbors to the south.

    Old grievances, traditional rivalries and cultural grudges, of course, remain very much alive. But amidst the at times heated debates and competitions, the clashes between Monarchism and Republicanism, the once-bitterly contested Californian frontiers now see some of the busiest trading, shipping, rail, automobile and aeronautical lines in the Western Hemisphere. All signs of a thriving, vibrant environment and continuing reminders of the Free Nations’ vitality against the Collectivist “Reds.”


    - "The Westinghouse Atlas of the New World." American Federation. 2023 Edition.

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    As a bit of trivia, this is the very first map made for the reworked TL back in 2015 on DeviantArt, which all things considered still holds up.

    I intentionally tried to retain some similarities to our own history, which extends to a degree with some of the German-derived placenames. Also, in part to contrast with and compare with Mexico's past, the story of New Austria incorporates some inspirations from the (Austrian-controlled) Holy Roman Empire.
    The Navajo tribes exist in the RDNA-verse but without significant Spanish influence are referred to as Naabeehó or Diné.

    The Kalifornisch Alpen/Californian Alps are known in OTL as the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. Threadmarks: The Duchy of Kuba (c.2022)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    An introduction to Kuba.

    The Duchy of Kuba (Ducado de Cuba, Herzogtum Kuba) is an autonomous realm in the Royal Dominion of New Austria. Named after a term from the long-extinct Taino natives, the island is situated in the Caribbean, with the Crown Provinces to the west and the New Austrian protectorate of Hispaniola to the east, with the American Federation’s States and Territories surrounding the rest of it. Kubanos/Kubaners however are also unique compared to their mainland brethren in their predominantly Spanish culture and heritage. An enduring legacy of their rather distinct past.

    Discovered by Spanish explorers in the 1500s, the island soon became one of the first European territories in the New World. But even as settlers and conquistadors made headways into the Americas, it soon began to set its toll on the Crown in Madrid, which would become one of the reasons behind the decision to delegate rule over “New Spain” to the Austrian Habsburgs in 1554 and formally pass sovereignty of what was by then “New Austria” to them in 1611. As a compromise, Spain held on to Kuba. Many of the remaining Spanish colonists left from the mainland were “enticed,” willingly or otherwise to relocate, which further helped guarantee the colony’s survival.

    Thus for a time, what was called the Governorate of Cuba served as a crucial waypoint and mercantile hub between Spain and the burgeoning Viceroyalties in South America. As the 17th Century ended however, the colony’s growing rivalries with New Austria could no longer be ignored. By 1700, the island, for all its budding plantations and ports had also become more dependent on trade and food with its much larger neighbor. Coupled with the growing clout of what would later become Gran Patagonia and Spain’s own weakening position in Europe, it increasingly made sense to cede Kuba to sympathetic powers and keep British and American interests at bay, as much as the local Audiencia begrudgingly acknowledged it. With the Treaty of Seville in 1726, a new era began for the colony as it was absorbed as New Austrian territory.

    Much was made to guarantee the loyalty of – and order in – the newly christened Barony of Kuba, from preserving the local hacienderos and granting noble titles for landed families to generally allowing Kubans to run some of its own affairs. But as generations passed, it wasn’t unknown for the fierce competition between local trading companies and those newly arrived from Mitteleuropa or the mainland to turn cutthroat. Nor were accounts of bitter disputes over religious, cultural and social differences unheard of, especially involving the infamous Sugar Cane Question and the decision to permanently outlaw the use of slaves all across New Austria in 1793. But despite the tensions, mutual respect and fire-forged solidarity prevailed. The island’s growing integration into the intricate Habsburg system granted its people much prosperity, while Kuban regiments served with distinction in fending off raiders from the American Federation and even fighting in Kalifornien during the War of the Western Frontier.

    The simmering disputes between the Kubans and the mainland, however, never went away, which not even the plebiscite and Imperial Decree elevating the island to a Duchy in 1884 could quench. Ultimately, it boiled over in the wake of the Terror. Amidst a collapsing economy and a mass influx of refugees in the 1920s as well as disgruntled figures promising a new path from the chaos, it all culminated in 1928 with what‘s now called the Kuban Insurrection. New Austrian forces, at that point stretched to near-breaking point in both evacuating the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Crownlands and keeping some semblance of order close to home, were forced to rely on local resistance and hacienderos to stop the self-proclaimed Gaudillo-Kommandants from assuming full control. It wasn’t until 1931 and the breakdown of diplomatic efforts that the Habsburg Throne-in-Exile reluctantly approved a full military response to aid the besieged loyalists, resulting in a grueling campaign that cost the lives of many even as it undermined the rebellion’s support. As the last of the ringleaders surrendered in 1933, heated debates arose over the fate of the devastated island, resulting in the Carriedo Compromise the following year. In exchange for armed protection, mutual aid and equal representation in the Reichstag, the Duchy was granted near complete autonomy, for all intents and purposes a country separate from yet remaining part of the R.D.N.A. This arrangement helped Kuba prosper over the 20th Century and continues to this day.

    Contemporary Kuba.

    Now under the ruling Montalban y Bergener line, in fealty to the Habsburg Throne-in-Exile, Kuba in the present is both a showcase of New Austria’s diversity and a success in its own right. From Havana’s historic and restored center to the famed plantations and picturesque beaches found across the island, this thriving, if stubbornly independent piece of the Caribbean has much to offer.

    Its history and cultural heritage, for good or ill remain ever present, which is most evident in the people. Although some of the population claim lineage to Mitteleuropan settlers, African slaves or Spanish refugees fleeing the Terror, the majority, full-blood or otherwise still traces its descent in one form or another to the original colonists and conquistadors, whose arrival is celebrated in lavish fiestas. Indeed, most Kubans continue to speak a form of Español that is unique to the Duchy thanks to its incorporation of Deutsche and other influences, in contrast to Gran Patagonia and the remaining Free Nations that make up Hispanoamérica. This extends as well to its Spanish-derived dances and music, which have reached even the ballrooms of Neu Wien.

    The island realm’s economy meanwhile continues to showcase just how far it’s come since the worst days of the Terror and Kuban Insurrection. Generations of modernization have helped make its factories and plantations among the most state-of-the-art in the Caribbean. Kuban cigars, sugar and fabrics are exported across the New World, and are especially popular among in the A.F. States of Florida and the Bahamas. And though traditional, albeit updated competition between the various hacienderos and companies continues to this day, all find a mutual foe in keeping “der Americanos” from getting too ambitious in expanding. These have contributed to standards of living comparable with much of the Crown Provinces and leaps above the ruin brought about by failed revolution.

    In fact, one could say with pride that despite old grievances, the bonds between Kubans and “mainland” New Austrians are stronger than ever. Long considered a “half- sibling” realm, Kuba is firmly represented in the Reichstag and maintains a fair say in running the R.D.N.A., with local nobles and commoners alike having risen to powerful positions in government. While as part of the Carriedo Compromise and in return for the Duchy’s continuing loyalty to the Throne-in-Exile, it hosts a number of military bases for some of the Reichswehr-Honvédség’s most distinguished regiments and fleets as well as some of New Austria’s vital defenses. All these, with the consent of its over 18 million inhabitants, helping keep the specter of the Collectivist Internationale and other would-be adversaries at bay while guaranteeing the island’s continuing prosperity.

    There is little reason to suspect then, short of global war or massive “Red” incursion that this state of affairs will falter in the near future. Welcome news indeed for tourist and local alike.

    P.S. I pray Kuba appreciates that my people did this rather than that Amerikaner. - Fraulein F.

    - “The Knowledgeable Traveller’s Guide to North America.” Royal Dominion of New Austria. 2023 Edition. English Edition.

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    As a bit of trivia, I made a point to retain at least certain elements of Cuba's real life past and went off from there. In fact, the coat of arms used is the historical CoA for Havana before independence from Spain, though justified in-universe as a nod to the island's Spanish heritage. Not to mention how the socio-economics would be like without something like Fidel Castro's Communist rule or significant American intervention as in our world.

    Also, as an added disclaimer for said CoA despite it being common use:

    "Coat of arms of Havana (Colonial)" by Heralder - [1]. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil…

    And as a little bit of an easter egg, the text has a certain annotated note scribbled on it.

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Threadmarks: Kuban Insurrection (c.1928-33)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    ...Few at the time expected how extensive and tumultuous the Terror’s impact was despite attempts to mitigate the damage. With the collapse of international trade and the intricate Mitteleuropa socio-economic system, as well as growing fears of Collectivist infiltration, New Austria was forced to resort to both rationing and strict measures to keep order. Even as social tensions simmered to unprecedented heights, the continuing flow of incoming refugees from the Atlantic and a need to maintain whatever commitments still mattered – such as the decision to aid the Canadians in their “Dominion War” against Collectivist and Reactionary groups – pushed the realm to near-breaking point. By 1926, “exceptional” civil unrest began plaguing the R.D.N.A, becoming more widespread by the following year. Whether in the countryside or in major cities like Engelnstadt, riots and banditry were no longer unheard of. The Polizei, reserves and the handful of regiments left behind found themselves under tremendous strain just ensuring that the “exceptional” civil unrest didn’t escalate into full-anarchic lawlessness. While in Havana, dissidents and rebellious elements took advantage of the disorder to stage what is now called the Kuban Insurrection in 1928, promising freedom even while persecuting the loyalist populace. To live in such times must have been akin to seeing hell.

    It was no surprise that the press, or what still remained active amidst the chaos, dreaded that in spite of martial law across New Austria, the country was about to suffer the same fate as its counterparts across the Atlantic. But that horrid fate was not to be. When the Polizei were incapable, overstretched or non-existent, locals and refugees alike strove to take back their home from the bandits and feuding cliques. A sense of solidarity among the realm’s peoples, their continuing loyalty to their suffering monarch and the persistence of institutions like the Catholic Church meant that even during the worst movements, the social fabric still held firm. And as the last of the New Austrian expedition returned with what remained of the Crownlands, order and some degree of normalcy soon restored, one Crown Province at a time. Before long, the same valiant souls who saw nations die and faced down their foes with their Canadian comrades-in-arms came to the rescue of the loyalist Kubans. The fierce campaign that ensued ended the Insurrection in 1933, led to the Carriedo Compromise the following year and helped put a dark chapter to a close once and for all.

    All while the government, under the more direct intervention of Franz Ferdinand I continued to function despite the dangers. It was during this difficult time that the 1927 Papal Concordat was signed with what remained of the Holy See, the now Vatican-in-Exile’s sanctuary being the religious community of Mariazell-am-Meer. The Archduke himself, soon after a discreet coronation ceremony and still traumatized from his ancestral domain’s downfall, addressed the Reichstag in 1928. The Succession Address, as it came to be known, was broadcasted to every corner of the R.D.N.A., at once reaffirming the now Throne-in-Exile’s common struggle and personally assuring the public that they would prevail. More importantly, it was this speech, unprecedented for the period that both proclaimed New Austria as the legitimate successor to the Crownlands and led to the ratification of the present Constitution.

    - Snippet of "Upheaval" chapter from “The Knowledgeable Traveller’s Guide to North America.” Royal Dominion of New Austria. 2022 Edition. English Edition.

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    As a bit of trivia, the flag used for the Insurrectionists is that of the Club de la Habana from the 1840s.

    While the text and visual segment used is actually a relevant snippet from another map, which is a bit of a spoiler.

    (EDIT: Updated flags to be consistent with more recent content)

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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  9. Threadmarks: North America (c.2022)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    North America: A Basic Introduction

    It has been said by many an immigrant and settler in the 19th Century that the New World was not only an opportunity for building something new, but also a sanctuary from the Old, where freedom could ring true. A century on from when the Terror began, however, such musings have proven to be much more poignant. Especially so for North America.

    The third largest of the world's continents, North America extends for more than 8,000 kilometres, much of it straddling between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer, and has an east-west extent of over 8,000 km. Covering an area of 24,230,000 square km., or approximately 16.5% of the globe's landmass if including the Caribbean and Greenland, it is also where three of the leading "Free Nations" are situated.

    Situated at the southern half is the Royal Dominion of New Austria, under the Habsburg Throne-in-Exile. A legacy of Old World glory and New World resilience, its people both revere and surpass their former homelands' shadow. The north, meanwhile, is under the sovereign rule of the House of Windsor-Romanov. For the Loyalist Dominion of Canada has long taken the place of the United Kingdom as the heart of the British Imperial Commonwealth. While neighboring both Crowns and dominating the remainder of the continent is the American Federation. A powerful bastion of freedom and democracy, it continues the work of its Founding Fathers while standing in defiance to the growing insanity elsewhere.

    These states, alongside their Gran Patagonian, Japanese and Free Chinese allies are among the major powers of the "Assembly of the Free World." It is through, at least in part, them that the besieged South Italians and British have been able to hold the line. It is thanks to their combined efforts that, despite the loud noises from their Reactionary rivals in the "League of Neutral Defiance," that the enduring Cold War against Collectivism has not led to the total triumph of its so-called "Will of the Workers" even after a hundred years. Despite the constant threats from the Collectivist Internationale, uncertainties over the future and growing turmoil, they persisted. For these countries, to uphold the legacies of their fallen friends, families and other "Lost Nations" even while going forward with honour is in myriad ways an act of defiance onto itself.

    There is much, then for any enterprising and informed traveller to savor. Nonetheless, to truly understand this corner of the globe, one requires looking into the diverse peoples, cultures and nations that comprise it. While he or she still could, in times like these.

    - “The Knowledgeable Traveller’s Guide to North America.” Royal Dominion of New Austria. 2023 Edition. English Edition.

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    As a bit of trivia, the flags for New Austria, Loyalist Canada and the Collectivist International were reworked somewhat as a retcon beginning here. While still being very much recognizable, I made a point to have them look more professional and in line with the setting. This is also a very distant descendant of this early map from 2010.

    Several New Austrian and Canadian placenames have different forms that, in-universe, the Americans either don't use or tend to ignore. Such as Ville de Quebec (Quebec) and Kuujuaq (Port Mackenzie) for Loyalist Canada, or Neu Wien (New Vienna), Uj Kismarton (New Eisenstadt) and Novosedlice (New Austrelitz) for New Austria.

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  10. Threadmarks: The Royal Dominion of New Austria (c.2022)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    Manila, Philippines
    The R.D.N.A.: A General Overview

    The Royal Dominion of New Austria is considered one of the predominant powers in the Free World. A constitutional monarchy under the long-reigning Archduke Franz Ferdinand II of the ancient Habsburg line, it is also a pluralist “Societal Democracy” whose cultural and socio-political clout make the realm a major power in North America alongside its Commonwealth allies and the republican American Federation. Its heritage, diversity, and traditions likewise serve as living reminders of a Mitteleuropa now lost to time and the so-called Collectivist Internationale.

    Although New Austria’s present state dates to the signing of its current 1928 Constitution, the realm has evolved over centuries, derived from both the old Holy Roman Empire and former Austro-Hungarian Crownlands. The R.D.N.A. itself is comprised of 14 Crown Provinces – previously a varied collection of margraviates, duchies, baronies and other colonial territories until the 1874 Reforms – with the historic city of New Vienna (Neu Wien) as the capital. The Reichstag is the realm’s democratic legislature, its elective Chamber of Deputies representing a host of political parties and associations, including Revivalists. But while actual power rests firmly in the hands of the Prime Minister, both the Habsburg monarchs and nobility still retain significant formal as well as informal influence in public affairs. Also notable is the Vatican-in-Exile, which has been granted semi-autonomous rule over the religious enclave of Mariazell-am-Meer as a result of the 1927 and 1938 Papal Concordats. The Duchy of Kuba, which in addition to its predominantly Spanish-based culture is also unique in being independent in most respects while remaining a loyal, integrated domain within New Austria; an enduring legacy of the Carriedo Compromise of 1934.

    The realm’s economy matches Loyalist Canada in terms of prosperity. Its reliance on specialized agriculture, flexible industries and cultural output, has guaranteed wealth for the 130 million people calling the R.D.N.A. home. From the vineyards of Kalifornien to the factories in New Burgenland and Kuba’s vast plantations, each Province offers its own specialties. While the influence of “Societal Democracy” and generations of labour reforms have ensured that both noble and commoner alike benefit in some manner. Such is New Austria’s wealth that New Austrians are capable of supporting a handful of protectorates, a sizable military and even their Brazilian allies in South America. In fact, it also bears the honourable distinction of being one of the only Free Nations with both orbital and atomics access.

    Compared to the realm’s neighbors however, the R.D.N.A. is decidedly “mixed” and home to a diverse, integrated population. “Full-blood” or otherwise, much of the citizenry outside of Kuba in general claim descent from Europeans, whether German, Hungarian, Czech or other colonists from Mitteleuropa. Mirroring their ancestors’ homelands, this is reflected in the myriad cultures, traditions, tongues and communities that make up the New Austrian identity. The indigenous Mesoamerikaners meanwhile, though a small proportion, have at large integrated into wider society over generations and since ascended to positions of influence. All are united, however by common languages (New Austrian Deutsch in particular), a shared history, religion (the majority remain Roman Catholic with sizable groups of Jews and Protestants) and sense of solidarity. In addition to the consistent popularity of the monarchy, this also fostered a blend of meritocracy and Noblesse Oblige that seems unique to this part of the world, regardless of one’s status or descent.

    At the same time, the turmoil wrought by the Terror has since left a lasting mark on New Austrians, long after chaos the forged the Collectivist Internationale subsided. A sizable number are descended from refugees escaping the Crownlands in the 1920s as the Danube crumbled, Most of the “Non-New Austrians” among the population meanwhile include the Spanish groups in Kuba and Swiss communities across the Crown Provinces. In fact, the countryside still bears preserved traces of the Upheaval that ensured, which threatened to destroy the realm at its darkest hour. Combined with the clout Revivalist organizations have in government and society as well as the constant threat from the Internationale, there is little wonder as to why the monarchy to this day is still referred to as the Throne-in-Exile. Or why, despite unpopular objections from some politicians and fringe republicans, the R.D.N.A. considers itself as such rather than the independent “Archduchy” that it would be in practice.

    As certain foreign journalists claim, the desire to reclaim the former Crownlands continues to haunt the national zeitgeist. But against tremendous odds, New Austria continues to persevere. Both as a memorial to a lost world and a beacon for carrying Mitteleuropa’s legacy into a better future. Perhaps in the hopes in outlasting those who have torched the Old World in the flames of Revolution.

    A Brief History of New Austria

    Although one could point to the ancestral kingdoms of today’s Mesoamerikaners or the Spanish conquistadors of the early 16th Century, New Austria’s origins can be traced to 1554, when the budding settlements of what was called “New Spain” were delegated to the Austrian Habsburgs. This proved to have tremendous consequences, as it opened up potential opportunities for nobles, missionaries and aspiring colonists from across Mitteleuropa. By the time New Austria was formally placed under Imperial sovereignty in 1611, German had become the lingua franca among the educated and the remaining Spanish settlers had either moved to Kuba or married into the growing number of new arrivals. The stage was set for the burgeoning colony’s rise to prominence in North America.

    Over the course of the 17th Century, the growing territories of New Austria were organized into a varied patchwork of fiefs, margraviates, duchies, and baronies that, with the approval of the then-Holy Roman Emperor, swore fealty to both the Habsburgs in New Vienna and their counterparts across the Atlantic. In contrast to the French and English settlements being founded further north, both mutual co-existence and intermingling were at the very least tolerated (the latter made into official policy in 1697) to ensure order as well as further stabilize colonial rule. Thus, as the realm’s territories began to prosper and more colonists arrived, its demographics likewise began changing, gradually defining New Austrian notions of ethnicity and in time, rendering issues like the color of one’s skin irrelevant. And while scattered uprisings from rogue nobles or disgruntled bandits weren’t unknown, New Austria’s growing clout and loyalty to its liege in Mitteleuropa meant that by the 18th Century, the colony was considered an Imperial domain. A status further solidified with the absorption of the Spanish Governorate of Cuba (now the Duchy of Kuba) in 1726.

    By then, even as the Habsburgs’ New World lands continued to expand, more challenges – and opportunities – emerged. While New Austria’s southern borders with the colonies in so-called Mittelamerika had always been relatively stable, the Caribbean Sea and the sparsely-populated, let alone explored northern frontiers remained vulnerable, especially from its burgeoning neighbors to the north. Skirmishes with American privateers and settlers grew in intensity, culminating in the War of the Western Frontiers in 1859-66; fierce resistance from New Austrian regiments as well as reinforcements from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Crownlands and British intervention contributed to the Treaty of Ottawa and present day borders with the American Federation. Closer to home, controversies like the infamous Sugar Cane Question in Kuba (which led to the outlawing of slavery across New Austria in 1793) and growing clamor for civil representation from both commoners and nobles continued the drive for further reforms. While the New Austrians at large remained loyal to their sovereigns, the foundations were laid for both the colony’s democratization and its elevation into a Royal Dominion in the 1820s. By the 1874 Reforms, which among other changes consolidated the various territories into Crown Provinces, the R.D.N.A. had already become all but equal to the realms of Mitteleuropa and was well on the road to becoming an Archduchy independent but united with the Crownlands.

    The events of the Terror in the 1920s, however, proved to be one of the darkest moments in New Austria’s history. While the origins and initial events leading up to Collectivism’s horrid notoriety remain muddled and disputed to this day, what is certain is that over the course of less than a decade, entire countries and empires were erased from the map by a warped ideology promising the salvation of labour and Revolution through the so-called “Will of the Workers.” As the Crownlands crumbled, the R.D.N.A. escaped the worst of the chaos. But food shortages, simmering social tensions and the influx of refugees fleeing the “Reds” across the New World contributed to a horrid period of disorder known only as the “Upheaval;” in the midst of which Archduke Franz Ferdinand – one of the handful of surviving Habsburgs left from the Crownlands – ratified the 1928 Constitution. It wasn’t until 1934 with the signing of the Carriedo Compromise, itself the consequence of the bloodied Kuban Insurrection that the last traces of those riotous times were put to rest.

    A sense of normalcy began to return in the 1930s-40s. But the trauma of those years took longer still to mend. The United Kingdom, one of the few isolated European realms that escaped the clutches of what had become the Collectivist Internationale, was attacked in late 1942. Alongside the Americans and British Imperial Commonwealth forces in Loyalist Canada, R.D.N.A. soldiers with the Throne-in-Exile’s approval were sent to Britain the following year to stop the invasion. While the campaign was successful in throwing Collectivist influence back across the English Channel in 1944, it was a pyrrhic victory. For the brutal “scorched earth” and “pacification” tactics employed by the New Austrians contributed to the U.K.’s reluctant protectorate status under the Canadians as well as the Throne-in-Exile’s realm being made a pariah. A tragically low point in their history next to the Terror that forced New Austria to re-evaluate itself until Canadian delegates renewed the long-standing alliance between the two dominions in 1949.

    Despite such chaotic episodes, the R.D.N.A. refused to give in to self-destruction. Soon it rose back into prominence, eventually rejoining the other Free Nations as a great power in its own right even while keeping vigil over the Collectivist territories in what was once Panama. A distinguished and honourable position that the realm has maintained throughout the 20th Century and to this day.

    P.S. Concise but blunt as always, Matthew? At least it is coming from you... Fraulein F.

    - “Atlas Sans Frontieres: The Gaspereau-Thomson Guide to the New World.” Loyalist Canada. 2023.

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    As a bit of trivia, I made a point to incorporate some elements of Mexico's real history if altered (the clashes with the Americans, the issues with slavery, Cuba, etc.) as well as Germanized versions of certain cities that also exist in our world, though some aren't as obvious as others. For instance, Sonnentalstadt is a reference to Pheonix, Arizona ("Valley of the Sun") while Braunfelstadt in Texias (itself an alternate spelling of Texas) is a nod to the German settlements in OTL Texas (New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, etc.).

    The Mayan and Nahuatl peoples in particular have benefited considerably from New Austrian "peerage" and have a sizable population in certain Crown Provinces.

    The coat of arms in the background of the text is that of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and in-verse, the Austro-Hungarian Crownlands. It's likewise inherited by the "Throne-in-Exile" as New Austria's coat of arms since the Terror.

    The image used for the Coat of Arms (which has been used for New Austria ever since) is by Sodacan. This vector image was created with Inkscape. [CC BY-SA 3.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/b…)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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  11. Threadmarks: The Habsburg Throne-in-Exile (c.2019)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    The House of Habsburg

    Known colloquially as the "Throne-in-Exile," the House of Habsburg is among the Free Nations' oldest dynasties and the oldest reigning one left from Europe. Ruling from the Royal Dominion of New Austria through Archduke Franz Ferdinand II since his coronation since 1991, they have come a considerably long way from their feudal origins in the Swiss Alps.

    Historically, the Habsburgs have been associated with adages such as "AEIOU" and "While others wage war, you happy Austria marry." With their socio-political acumen and remarkable longevity in retaining power amidst nigh-constant turmoil, it seems unsurprising in hindsight how they maintained their rule over their Danubian domains for centuries, from which emerged the Austro-Hungarian Crownlands. Over time, primarily through intricate diplomatic maneuvering, competent administration and occasional covert activities, their influence came to spread across much of the old Continent. Among many things, the family had bore witness to the rising colonies that became New Austria, religious tolerance (the so-called "Linz Edict") in the 18th Century, the Consensual Accord and "Inseparable Union" with Hungary. Indeed, by the 1820s-30s, there was even a move to democratization, awkward and pragmatic as it was, which would help preserve the monarchy's prestige well into the early 20th Century. A peculiar paradox of tradition and modernity.

    Then came the Terror and its unnatural spread. At first, Emperor (later Archduke) Franz Ferdinand I sought to further build on anti-Collectivist reforms and measures already present in an attempt to maintain a semblance of stability. But as the chaos worsened and tore the Crownlands apart, he found himself increasingly pressured to flee with his family to New Austria. Although he insisted on remaining behind in vain hope of pushing back what would become the Collectivist Internationale, he was forced to leave on one of the last refugee ships in 1927. He was known to have looked on helplessly as his remaining siblings and those still loyal to the Imperial Throne, chose to stay behind to defend those vessels. Few members of the Habsburg line beyond the monarch's immediate family survived as the the curtain closed forever over Austria and Hungary.
    The soon to be called Throne-in-Exile faced a New Austria being ravaged by the Upheaval. In spite of such turmoil, however, Franz Ferdinand I proved to be a rallying figure for those seeking a return to order. More than the 1928 Constitution and his bold proclamation of the RDNA as the legitimate successor to the Crownlands, his efforts helped make the monarchy among the few symbols of authority strong enough to bring the country back from the brink, even as it began undertaking several changes to ensure its survival.
    Those efforts continued after his grief-stricken death in 1936, through the efforts of his son and heir, Maximilian IV. The last ruling Habsburg born in Europe, his reign would see his people's disgraceful ostracization following the Liberation of Britain. It also saw not just their reconciliation, beginning with their long-time allies in the Loyalist Dominion of Canada, and the Vatican-in-Exile being granted indefinite semi-autonomous control over Mariazell-am-Meer after the expiration of the 1927 Papal Concordat (which originally provided the Papacy a 10-year lease). For it would likewise bear witness to economic reforms, the last vestiges of Salic Law being repealed in favor of absolute primogeniture and the dynasty itself becoming more intertwined with New Austrian society.

    Today, the Throne-in-Exile presides over a democratic constitutional monarchy and is generally seen as almost inseparable from New Austria. While the Habsburgs, continuing an old tradition, take part in several military, academic and charitable ventures, their comparatively modest image has made them as almost approachable to the average citizen as to the local nobility. The dynasty's ties to both the Papacy and its Loyalist Canadian allies, among others, also remain as powerful as ever, with some members even known to have married into the Windsor-Romanovs. Whether it be their connections with myriad elements of society (including clergymen, politicians, scientists, Revivalists, and so on) that help maintain their influence in political affairs, the loyalty of their people or the power of the Evidenzbureau, however, it is a dangerous thing for enemies to underestimate them or their heritage. A lesson they hope to prove to the Internationale one day, should the time come to at last reclaim what was lost.

    - Snippet from "The Primer on Ruling Monarchies in the Contemporary World." American Federation. 2019 Edition.

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    For added reference, Mariazell-am-Meer is a religious community (whose significance is comparable to Mariazell among Austrians in OTL) situated in the OTL Mexican State of Veracruz. And is the primary site of the Vatican-in-Exile.

    The wikibox entry is also a substantially reworked update on a 2011 lore fragment.

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  12. Threadmarks: The Vatican-in-Exile (c.2022)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    The Vatican-in-Exile: An Introduction

    "By the rivers of Babylon there we sat weeping when we remembered Zion," as written in Scripture.

    For over two thousand years, the Holy See has stood firm against the tides of the world. Despite the loss of Rome and St. Peter's Basilica itself to the Collectivists in 1928, however, the Catholic Church endures still. Currently under the guidance of Pope Pius XIII from the New World, the Vatican-in-Exile continues to keep true to the promise of Scripture that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.

    A direct successor to the Papal States (which endured as the autonomous Vatican State in the Kingdom of the Two Italies after 1863), the Vatican-in-Exile is based from the traditionally religious city of Mariazell-am-Meer, a semi-autonomous enclave jointly administrated with the Royal Dominion of New Austria since the 1938 Papal Concordat. While the Holy See possesses a number of scattered properties mostly found across the Americas, however, ever since the Second Vatican Council convened in 1951, it has recognized special sovereignty over the São Bento Papal Territory in Rio de Janeiro (a Brazilian concession), and the Sovereign Knights of Malta (nominally a South Italian protectorate). Each of these territories, where the formal line between Church and State are heavily blurred, has its own particular story.

    Mariazell-am-Meer, in particular, has lived up to its name almost from its founding in 1564 as a religious community by Benedictine monks from the distant Alps. By the 18th Century, it had already become a pilgrimage site for Catholics across the burgeoning Habsburg and Spanish colonies. By the 1874 Reforms, it was the site of myriad alleged miracles and increasingly served as a major trading center rivaling the older Portkreuz. Combined with long-standing connections between the Papacy and Habsburgs (through old Imperial patronage going back to the Holy Roman Empire), it came as little surprise that following the Terror, then-Pope Leo XIV and much of what was left of the Roman Curia found sanctuary there even amidst the chaos of the Upheaval; those left behind opted to administer to the doomed Italian soldiers who sacrificed themselves (as part of "Case Rubicon") to defend what's now the Kingdom of South Italy. Not only were the 1927 Papal Concordat (originally granting a 10 year lease) and the subsequent one in 1938 signed there, but it also came to be host to several relics, artifacts, precious works of art. To this day, the city remains the closest thing to a "capital" the Holy See has, with a rather Italian flair (owing in part to refugees and clergymen hailing from the Italian Peninsula), its own legislature (the reconstituted Roman Curia), a security force (the Guardia Pontificia or Päpstlichegarde) and even its own laws, albeit heavily influenced by New Austrian standards.

    Meanwhile, the São Bento Papal Territory in the Legitimate Union of Brazil can trace its origins to the founding of its namesake monastery (formally called the Abadia de Nossa Senhora do Monserrate) in 1590. Although originally situated in Rio de Janeiro itself, it was moved further north in the 17th Century, where it expanded through a combination of charity and sugarcane profits. Eventually, the complex became the heart of a network of colleges, seminaries and others institutions scattered through the city by the 1860s. The advent of the Terror changed everything. While many surviving European cardinals fled to New Austria (among them the man who became Pope Pius XII), some found sanctuary in what had come to be called the São Bento District, bringing with them as much of the old Vatican Secret Archives as could be saved. After contact was made with Mariazell-am-Meer, the Brazilian and Portuguese clergy soon appealed to the newly coronated King Afonso VII of the Braganza dynasty to recognize "Pontifical jurisdiction" in 1932. With the Second Vatican Council, this arrangement has been formalized as an indefinitely leased concession, with the Pope having a second residence in the abbey itself. Despite the "Military Interregnum" following the 1992 Belem Incident (that all but killed the Lusitanian Throne) and growing clout of republicans backed by Gran Patagonia, the ruling junta still respects the arrangement.

    Then, there's the Sovereign Knights of Malta, often considered the last of the so-called "Crusader Kingdoms." Nominally a South Italian protectorate since 1870 (as the Kingdom of the Two Italies), it is ruled by Grand Master Alfonso Zimmerman and is a direct continuation of the famed Knights Hospitaller. While their origins could be traced to the 11th Century, they established themselves on Malta in 1530 through Imperial Decree and Habsburg support, in response to threats posed by the Ottoman Empire. Though initially seen as occupiers by the locals, over time a sense of fire-forged solidarity emerged between subject and liege. The end of the 19th Century, in fact, saw the small island realm become as known for its seafaring position in the Mediterranean as its piety and strategic value. The Terror, however, would see the Knights reaffirm their fealty to the Holy See even while upholding their Italian ties. The turmoil endured by the Maltese as more fled the Continent, however, combined with the harrowing experiences as Case Rubicon reached its bloody conclusion (ending with the brutal defense of Napoli in 1937), helped spur a militant fervour unseen in centuries. Thus, while their zealotry and calls for a final Crusade tend to be seen as excessive by those in Palermo or even by some cardinals in Mariazell-am-Meer, few would deny their dedication to the Faith or their vital role in helping keep what remains of the "Free World" in Europe intact.

    As invoked more than once by clergymen, Scripture may preach peace. But when Christendom itself is threatened, it is every Christian's duty, Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant, to defend all that is holy. Undoubtedly, the Vatican-in-Exile has done its part in living up to such words in the continuing stand against Collectivism. Amidst the changing tides, there's a certain reassurance in knowing that the Almighty is still with the faithful. Nonetheless, the memory of what was lost remains. As does the threat posed by the heretical "Will of the Workers."

    So it is written, "Desolate Daughter Babylon, you shall be destroyed, blessed the one who pays you back what you have done us!"

    - “The Knowledgeable Traveller’s Guide to the New World.” Royal Dominion of New Austria. 2023 Edition. English Edition.

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    For added context, the São Bento Monastery is an actual institution in Rio de Janeiro, though in real life, it remains in its original spot in the heart of the city. Similarly, the Sovereign Knights of Malta are a real Catholic order (whether as the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem or simply the Knights Hospitaller) and for centuries also ruled Malta.

    The (infamous) Psalm 137 is often classified as a "communal lament," in context reflecting the Babylonian exile and the Jewish yearning for what was lost. Commonly known as "By the rivers of Babylon" (aka that Bible passage from Fallout: New Vegas), the notoriety tends to come from the final verses (including "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones"), which are a vengeful plea against the foe. Or alternatively, the psalm's writer venting anger against the enemy. Whichever way, the prevalence of this and similar passages among Christians in the RDNA-verse says a bit about just how tense the century-long Cold War truly is.

    Apart from the Latin, the Italian and German translations for Psalm 137 are derived from Catholic Bibles in said languages.

    The map-profile is a heavily expanded and updated take on this entry from 2010, which all things considered has held up rather well.

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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  13. Sicarius yeeeeehaw

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    This is weird. I like it.

    I have a random suggestion/contribution/idea: Klemens von Metternich was certainly one of the most interesting Austrians (and, indeed, Europeans) of his time. For his services against Napoleon, in a rather precious denial of reality, King Ferdinand of Spain granted him the purely de jure title of Duke of Texas. One can imagine an actual Duke Metternich in this timeline - and it would be extra funny for him to be in charge of a place named Austerlitz.
     
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  14. mdc_1957 Still present here

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    Thanks! Glad you like it.

    As for a Metternich being a Texian Duke, well, that is very much a possible idea worth exploring further. Coincidentally, this version of Texas isn't exactly as OTL, given how you have an even more pronounced German element, alongside Poles and Czechs. If there are any Anglos, they'd very much be a minority.
     
  15. Threadmarks: New Austria at the Upheaval (c.1927-34)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    The Upheaval: An Introduction

    While the exact origins and chronological timeline of the Terror still remain muddled to this day due to the chaos of those times, what is unmistakable is the rationale behind the so-called Collectivists. Following a skewered and particularly zealous mix of older ideologies – the surviving remnants of which include Societism – these adherents offered salvation to labor and sought to free mankind through Revolution, as their so-called “Will of the Workers” dictate. What began as waves of turmoil across Europe in 1920-22 soon tore apart nations and empires that had lasted centuries. Even as the collapsing realms tried to respond, the foundations of what is now the Collectivist Internationale were already being laid over the ashes. But though the New World largely escaped the initial Collectivist waves that emerged around 1920-22, it would prove to be a temporary respite even for the most isolated countries compared to what happened after.

    At first, despite the dark clouds over the horizon, the New Austrians sought to send a military expedition to their besieged relatives in Mitteleuropa, which by 1925 had shifted to a desperate defense as more of the Austro-Hungarian Crownlands crumbled before the Collectivists. Nothing symbolized this more than the Fall of Vienna and Budapest. Whatever ships and aircraft could be spared, let alone deemed usable were brought into service in order to evacuate as many as possible over the next few years, commoners and nobles alike. Eventually, what remained of the Imperial Army either deserted or were brought under direct command of the New Austrian armed forces. But not even the most stubborn resistance could hold back the advancing militias of the nascent Internationale. Surviving accounts and records from the Crownlands’ final days still speak volumes of the tragic desperation amidst it all. Among those boarding the last ships in 1927 were Emperor (later Archduke) Franz Ferdinand I (1863-1936) and his family, whose testimonies on the bloodied end of the Danube and those who opted to stay behind continue to haunt New Austrians.

    Domestically meanwhile, conditions worsened as the decade dragged on. Few at the time expected how extensive and tumultuous the Terror’s impact was despite attempts to mitigate the damage. With the collapse of international trade and the intricate socio-economic system set up by the Crownlands, as well as growing fears of Collectivist infiltration, New Austria was forced to resort to both rationing and strict measures to keep order. Even as social tensions simmered to unprecedented heights, the continuing flow of incoming refugees from across the Atlantic and a need to maintain whatever commitments still mattered – such as the decision to aid the Canadians in their “Dominion War” against Collectivist and Reactionary groups – pushed the realm to near-breaking point. By 1926, “exceptional” civil unrest began plaguing the R.D.N.A, becoming more widespread by the following year. Whether in the countryside or in major cities like Engelnstadt, riots and banditry were no longer unheard of. The Polizei, reserves and the handful of regiments left behind found themselves under tremendous strain just ensuring that the “exceptional” civil unrest didn’t escalate into full-anarchic lawlessness. While in Havana, dissidents and rebellious elements took advantage of the disorder to stage what is now called the Kuban Insurrection in 1928, promising freedom even while persecuting the loyalist populace. To live in such times must have been akin to seeing hell.

    It was no surprise that the press, or what still remained active amidst the chaos, dreaded that in spite of martial law across New Austria, the country was about to suffer the same fate as its counterparts across the Atlantic. But that horrid fate was not to be. When the Polizei were incapable, overstretched or non-existent, locals and refugees alike strove to take back their home from the bandits and feuding cliques. A sense of solidarity among the realm’s peoples, their continuing loyalty to their suffering monarch and the persistence of institutions like the Catholic Church meant that even during the worst movements, the social fabric still held firm. And as the last of the New Austrian expedition returned with what remained of the Crownlands, order and some degree of normalcy soon restored, one Crown Province at a time. Before long, the same valiant souls who saw nations die and faced down their foes with their Canadian comrades-in-arms came to the rescue of the loyalist Kubans. The fierce campaign that ensued ended the Insurrection in 1933, led to the Carriedo Compromise the following year and helped put a dark chapter to a close once and for all.

    All while the government, under the more direct intervention of Franz Ferdinand I continued to function despite the dangers. It was during this difficult time that the 1927 Papal Concordat was signed with what remained of the Holy See, the now Vatican-in-Exile’s sanctuary being the religious community of Mariazell-am-Meer. The Archduke himself, soon after a discreet coronation ceremony and still traumatized from his ancestral domain’s downfall, addressed the Reichstag in 1928. The Succession Address, as it came to be known, was broadcasted to every corner of the R.D.N.A., at once reaffirming the now Throne-in-Exile’s common struggle and personally assuring the public that they would prevail. More importantly, it was this speech, unprecedented for the period that both proclaimed New Austria as the legitimate successor to the Crownlands and led to the ratification of the present Constitution.

    Nonetheless, the legacy of both the Terror and Upheaval continue to echo into our own times, alongside the ever-present threat from Collectivism. It is evident in the population with a sizable portion of which is directly descended from those refugees who fled the Crownlands and beyond, the Swiss being among the most independent-minded of the Non-New Austrian groups. It is seen in media and culture, be it in a deep sense of solidarity, a fascination with the dead or the haunting reminders preserved for posterity.

    More visible still is Revivalism. Like in other parts of the Free World, the Governments-in-Exile established by the handful of nobles, politicians and diplomats who escaped their countries’ collapse gradually disbanded over the decades that followed, dispersing among the refugee-descended groups, yet it was not a sign of resignation or defeat. For in their place rose the various Revivalist organizations, seeking in one way or another to not just keep the memories of their “Lost Nations” alive but also one day reclaim those fallen lands from the Collectivist Internationale. Such is their support - more so than compared to their counterparts in the American Federation – that these movements have both influence in the Reichstag as well as the favor of the Throne-in-Exile; none more so than the Austro-Hungarian League. In fact, among New Austrians, it can be summed up by a simple phrase that is as meaningful as the old Imperial motto of Viribus Unitis.

    “Never again.”

    P.S. “Never again,” yes. It shouldn’t have happened…Mama…Papa… - Fraulein F.

    - “The Knowledgeable Traveller’s Guide to North America.” Royal Dominion of New Austria. 2022 Edition. English Edition.


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    As a bit of trivia, as with the earlier maps I made a point to incorporate some elements of Mexico's real history if altered (the clashes with the Americans, the issues with slavery, Cuba, etc.) as well as Germanized versions of certain cities that also exist in our world, though some aren't as obvious as others. For instance, Sonnentalstadt is a reference to Pheonix, Arizona ("Valley of the Sun") while Braunfelstadt in Texias (itself an alternate spelling of Texas) is a nod to the German settlements in OTL Texas (New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, etc.).

    Also, I incorporated influences based on both the inter-war period and Cold War with a dash of the novel The Peshawar Lancers, especially in terms of the refugees. Though given the nature of the Terror, the "unprecedented" and chaotic aspects are amplified significantly.

    In addition, a GIF version of the map made in 2019 can be found here.

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  16. Threadmarks: Loyalist Dominion of Canada (c.2022)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    Loyalist Canada: A General Overview

    Situated northeast of the American Federation and at the Atlantic doorstep of the Collectivist Internationale, the Loyalist Dominion of Canada (Loyaliste Canada) is one of the leading Free Nations on this globe. The realm, similarly to its New Austrian allies is a constitutional monarchy under Queen Victoria III of the House of Windsor-Romanov. It is also the defacto centre of the British Imperial Commonwealth, an honour owed as much to the enduring legacy of the Terror and historical circumstance as to its people’s cultural heritage and socio-industrial integrity. From the Arctic frontier to the storied capital of Montreal, Loyalist Canada has much to offer. All presented with a courteous if resolute streak.

    While its systems of governance and law are of the British mold, including the Magna Carta, Loyalist Canada is both unique and in accords with Old World traditions. The Dominion is a federation of seven Provinces and a network of special territories, not counting protectorates and other members of the Commonwealth. The Provinces in particular can trace their lineage to the Francophone and Anglophone colonists who established them as well as the Confederation Act of 1860. Parliament, based in the present capital of Montreal since 1931, serves as the realm’s democratic legislature, split between the House of Commons and House of Lords with the Prime Minister serving as the elected Head of Government, though the various political parties include sizable Revivalist groups. The old aristocracy and gentry nonetheless continue to exert influence in public affairs with a general, informal sense of Noblesse Oblige; a number of whom, including members of the Royal Family distinguishing themselves in the armed services and diplomatic corps. Combined with its status in the Commonwealth meanwhile, the Canadians rival the Americans in territorial expanse and form alongside their dear New Austrian allies lead the prime monarchist bloc in the Free World.

    The realm’s prestige is matched by its prosperity as well. Although more known for its trading firms and economic stability, the 30 Million people calling Loyalist Canada their home take pride of their various industries and harmonious work ethic. Be it the fisheries of Newfoundland, the foundries outside Toronto or the myriad farmsteads, factories and mines dotting the countryside, one can find much proof of Canadians’ diligence. Putting traditions of shared experiences and solidarity into consideration as well as the most comprehensive labour laws among the Free Nations, there is little surprise then why this land considers itself fortunate. Nor is there surprise as to how it can meet its commitments (especially with regards to the indefinitely-recuperating United Kingdom) and maintain its leadership in the Commonwealth with firm distinction, including an orbital presence and foreign outposts at the very frontiers of the Collectivist Internationale.

    Loyalist Canada is, in a similar manner like its American neighbours and erstwhile brothers, a nation of immigrants, home to a variety of peoples, faiths (of which Catholic and Protestant Christianity predominate) and races. Most Canadians are classified as White, majorities of which are of European descent, be it Quebecois Francophones descended from early French settlers, Anglos from across the old British Empire or those hailing from other parts of old Europe. Others such as Blacks and Orientals form a relatively small proportion of the population but nonetheless are respected and treated fairly as honourable citizens of the realm. The indigenous First Nations meanwhile, despite their numbers have long since become recognized as “separate but equal” and reconciled with the rest of society after centuries of at times tense dialogue. All of which are united by common threads like shared culture, a tradition of solidarity, common language (with Commonwealth English and Français Canadien serving as lingua franca) and centuries’ worth of communal experience. And in a similar manner to New Austria’s comparatively more peculiar and racially mixed society, much attention is given to merit, duty and liberty as well as one’s commitments to another.

    Also notable however is the enduring legacy of the Terror, which is found across the realm. A sizable proportion of Non-Anglo Whites as well as certain Orientals claim descent from those fleeing the Terror that ravaged their lost Old World homelands. While a number are of Scandinavian and even Russian origin, many hailed from what had been France and the Ukraine, the former over time becoming largely intertwined with their Quebecois peers while the latter joining their Pre-Terror counterparts in Northern Ontario. And I won’t fail any of them. A number of communities, whether established cities like the old capital of Ottawa or settlements such as New Kiev and New Bordeaux still bear traces of the chaos that defined those times and what came after. Never again. While in Parliament and other aspects of society, Revivalist organizations maintain an enduring presence. The Royal Family as well serves as a living testament to it; King Alexander I (nee Alexei; died 1958) in particular, the first of the Windsor-Romanovs was the last surviving son of Tsar Mikhail II of Russia, who died in the Fall of St. Petersburg in 1925.

    Amidst even the worst of moments, however, there is no question that Loyalist Canada remains firm, strong and defiant in the face of a contemptible, heinous foe. A power truly deserving of its distinction as the heart of Britannia.

    A Brief History of Loyalist Canada

    Although the forefathers of today’s First Nations were among the first to inhabit this land and so-called “Vinland” Vikings traversed what is now Newfoundland in the medieval era, it was only when Englishmen and the French began arriving from the 1580s onwards that Canada took form. But as more landed on what became Nova Scotia and crossed the St. Lawrence, their rivalries from the Old World crossed over as well; most Provinces in fact trace their ancestries to trading posts, farmsteads and settlements belonging to either kingdom as well as the myriad trading companies. Intermittent skirmishes after 1654 amongst the expanding colonies in time led to the infamous Franco-Indian Conflicts of 1693 and 1714. These in turn gave the now-British Crown an opportunity to both earn the favour of First Nations like the Iroquois and the local settlers. By the time the last French territories in Quebec were to the United Kingdom in 1756, there was no dispute as to who held sovereignty over this portion of North America.

    To guarantee order and prosperity, the British granted relative autonomy to the Canadians as well as equal recognition to Francophones and First Nations, allowing the colonies to manage their own affairs, it was during this period that trading with New Austrian houses grew, sowing the first seeds of mutual friendship. Combined with their shared experiences over the generations, these helped foster a sense of solidarity and loyalty to the Old World, which proved decisive in the 1770s as unrest among their southern brethren turned into revolution. The Loyalists, as they began to be known valiantly fended off the “Continental” republicans, even while welcoming those still in fealty to the Crown. It came with a deep cost, yet despite the turmoil that followed the crushing defeat in New York, which led to the Treaty of Philadelphia in 1780 acknowledging the American Federation’s independence, Canada persevered.

    As reward for such loyalty, Parliament in London saw to it that the burgeoning Provinces were properly invested. This meant more infrastructure, more connections to Europe and a growing influx of immigrants from other parts of the British Empire, even as far as the Slavic realms, those of her people the Ukraine being the most significant. While lacking their American peers’ pioneer expansionism, Canadians compensated with a quiet, industrious vigor and distinguished service to the Crown – to the point of sending regiments to aid in the Anglo-French wars of the 1800s. In 1860, the Confederation Act was passed, which united the Provinces and made Canada a self-ruling Dominion. This momentous occasion also helped set a precedent for the Empire’s gradual transformation into the British Imperial Commonwealth, and granted Canadians a much larger say in diplomatic affairs, first shown in the British-mediated Treaty of Ottawa in 1866 that ended the war between their New Austrian friends and the American Federation.

    The dawn of the 20th Century thus opened new and promising opportunities for the realm. But events in the Old World and homeland however poised to destroy all that had been accomplished. Even before the Terror was unleashed in the 1920s, tensions between Collectivist and so-called Reactionary cliques were simmering in the fringes of society for years across the Commonwealth. Still, amidst the chaos and secessionism (the Reactionaries’ nigh total rise to power in Australia, Southern Africa and most of Ireland by 1933 being the most infamous), parts of the old Empire, including the U.K. weathered through with honour. Yet I couldn’t save her. It wasn’t enough however, to hold back the tumult in Loyalist Canada as the renegade cliques’ feuds erupted into anarchic abandon. From 1927 to 1934 in what came to be called the “Dominion Conflict,” civil war threatened to plunge that part of North America in flames. With their British and New Austrian peers fighting their own battles, in a desperate bid to reconsolidate some order, the Canadian Parliament in Montreal conceded to the Americans taking control over the westernmost territories in 1932, now known as the “Lost Provinces;“ even into the present, it should never have happened it is an awkward affair given the Americans’ insistence that the “States” have no intention of rejoining the Commonwealth.

    Despite it all, the Canadians refused to succumb. The relative survival of the Dominion’s infrastructure and industries, as well as a concerted reconstruction effort meant that increasingly, the realm was rivaling the U.K. in economic clout and political power, something recognized in the Commonwealth Reforms of 1938. In 1942, however, the Collectivist Internationale attempted a bloodied invasion of Britain, which led to the “Liberation” in 1944, of which Canadians, New Austrians and Americans intervened on behalf of the besieged British. It was Pyrrhic victory, one which left an surviving Old World realm in shambles and rendered New Austria a pariah (albeit one broken by Canadian delegates offering reconciliation in 1949).

    Nonetheless, there was no doubt by that point that the heart of Britannia had since moved from London to Montreal. Where it remains proudly to this day.

    God save the Queen.

    P.S. Please. Keep it together. For your people’s sake, for me. For her. – Fraulein F.

    - “Atlas Sans Frontieres: The Gaspereau-Thomson Guide to the New World.” Loyalist Canada. 2023.

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    As a bit of trivia, as with the earlier maps I tried to incorporate elements of real history into the context of the 'verse. At the same time, I made a point to imagine what a familiar but different Canada would be like, in particular one that isn't just even more closely entwined with the (British) Commonwealth but has surpassed the U.K. and become the leading power. Likewise, some of the placenames are either based on historical, obsolete variants or on Anglicized versions.

    At the same time however, notice the in-verse text. As it might reveal a bit more about Canada that isn't exactly from the book passage's editor. With all that implies.

    The references to the "Invasion" and "Liberation" of Britain in 1942-44 are from these maps:

    fav.me/d30xqp6
    fav.me/d30j9e3

    Which also explain in part the "bittersweet" triumph that left the UK in shambles as well as calling back to New Austria's darker moments.

    And the Canadian Coat of Arms is by Sodacan, via Wikimedia Commons.

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  17. Threadmarks: The British Imperial Commonwealth (c.2022)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    The British Imperial Commonwealth: General Introduction

    The British Empire was among the premier world powers prior to the Terror, whose reach was so widespread it was possible to claim that “the sun never set” on its myriad peoples and cultures. It has endured to this day as the British Imperial Commonwealth. Led by the Loyalist Dominion of Canada, the bloc remains among the Free World's most prominent royalists, still upholding the solidarity and virtues that had brought Britannia to glory.

    The present Commonwealth's origins could be traced back to the early 20th Century. As the emergent Dominions and colonies of the British Empire began asserting their autonomy to greater degrees, myriad plans were laid out over for the eventual transition to a more equal, if not federalized union under the Windsors. Such proposals and initiatives, however, took much greater urgency as the Terror ensured over the 1920s, resulting in several territories and realms breaking away from London. Those that didn't fall to the nascent Collectivists, notably Southern Africa, Australia and much of Ireland, instead succumbed to Reactionary regimes. It is, therefore, not without hyperbole that Loyalist Canada, which had itself barely survived a civil war with Collectivist militias (the so-called "Dominion Conflict" of 1927-34), earned its claims as the last major Dominion loyal to Britannia.

    In 1938, the Commonwealth Reforms were signed in London by representatives, Members of Parliament from both sides of the Atlantic and Alexander I of the then-newly unified House of Windsor-Romanov. It was agreed upon that, in order to survive in the brave new world that was emerging from the Terror's ashes, they had to face the uncertain future together. Yet even as the news was broadcast over the airwaves, the tides of change were already well underway. While London remained the focal point of the consolidating Commonwealth, the balance of power had begun shifting towards Montreal. The watershed moment, however, came during the Invasion and subsequent Liberation of the British Isles (1942-44). Such was the devastation left behind, and the threat posed by the Collectivist Internationale just across the English Channel, that the royal family and several elements of government were forced to relocate by necessity. Thus, the 1945 Canada Accord, which placed the United Kingdom under Loyalist Canadian protection "indefinitely," also formalized this shift with lasting repercussions.

    The bloc today is not without its own issues, such as disputes between the U.K. and their counterparts across the Atlantic over the latter's relationships with New Austria, as well as lingering territorial concerns (notably with the American Federation and Reactionary-run Free Sovereign Republic of Ireland). Those repercussions have made the vestiges of the old Empire stronger than ever. With Loyalist Canada at the proverbial helm, its myriad constituent realms for the most part enjoy high standards of living, liberties and safety. Combined with a potent military force and alliances with the other leading Free Nations, particularly its amicable, long-standing ties with the Royal Dominion of New Austria, they are more than willing to do whatever it takes for Queen, Country and Commonwealth.

    If Red threats constantly persist in their thoughts, however, they are most outwardly evident in the still-recovering United Kingdom (known to some as a "glorified airstrip" due to its strategic military value) and the "garrison-colony" of Gibraltar-Andalusia, which has kept the Mediterranean open despite being almost entirely surrounded by the Internationale. Yet even in Loyalist Canada and elsewhere, the haunting scars of the past century still run deep, especially among those descended from the refugees who fled the worst excesses of the Terror. Be they French, Russian or especially Ukrainian, the memories of what was lost are not forgotten.

    - "The World Almanac of Nations." American Federation. 2023 Edition.

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    For a bit of trivia, the map incorporates elements based on the original 2011 version, as well as smaller nods to some of the much more recent works in the setting.

    The text itself reveals certain a certain subtext involving the British, Canadians and New Austrians that may sound familiar.

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  18. Threadmarks: The Windsor-Romanovs (c.2019)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    The House of Windsor-Romanov

    Formed from the merger between two of the surviving great houses of Europe, the Windsor-Romanovs hold sway over the British Imperial Commonwealth, the last vestiges of the old British Empire. The current monarch, since 2009, is the young Queen Victoria III, by Grace of God Queen of Great Britain, Ireland, the Loyalist Dominion of Canada and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the British Imperial Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith; the traditional title of "Tsarina and Autocrat of All the Russias" is still formally used. It should be stressed, however, that while it still claims the former Russian Empire and retains considerable Romanov influence, it is seen as a continuation of the preceding Windsor lineage, the British side of the house being predominant over the Slavic one.

    The dynasty can be traced to the intermingling of the ruling Hanoverian and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha families during the 18th and early 19th Centuries, most represented by the ascension of Queen Victoria I in 1798. In a move that served to further emphasize their connection with the peoples of Britain, in 1815 the future King-Emperor George V decided to name his line after Windsor Castle, near London, with Parliament's consent. From that point on, the kings and queens of the United Kingdom ruled unopposed on behalf of an Empire that (at its peak) stretched from the increasingly industrializing lands of Canada to regal India and the Australian frontier. Through hardship, reforms and occasional conflict, their line would see Britannia rise as an enlightened world power well into the early 20th Century. Even as internal subversion threatened to tear their vast domains apart, it seemed as though the sun would not set.

    To say, then, that the Terror brought changes in their history would be an understatement. In 1924-25, the Royal Navy aided in the evacuation of several Russian refugees, including surviving members of the Romanov line, amidst the nascent Collectivist hordes. Tsar Mikhail II, however, opted to stay behind in St. Petersburg alongside his remaining regiments to help hold off the so-called "Reds" for as long as possible. Now led by Crown Prince Alexei, the remnants of the old court decided to make good use of their close ties to the British royal family. Thus, as the chaos wrought by the "Terror" became permanent, he was married to Princess Mary, King-Emperor George VII's sole daughter, with the former assuming the name Alexander I upon his coronation in 1935. Despite initial misgivings from both Parliament and the vestigial Russian nobility, the new couple showed a keen desire to reach out to their realm. Their popularity with people across the Commonwealth was further solidified with the family's decision to hold out with the rest of their countrymen during the Invasion of 1942-44, though they too were forced by necessity to relocate to Loyalist Canada.

    Today, the royal family resides in Loyalist Canada, now long the effective heart of a still mighty Britannia, their "official residences" in the United Kingdom, itself since become a Canadian protectorate, little more than symbolic offices at best. Many of its members have left their mark on society, be it in civil and charity ventures or serving alongside the men and women of the Royal and Commonwealth Armed Forces. While many in the local press and Parliament see them as increasingly more Canadian than British, their ties with the Habsburg Throne-in-Exile have also grown stronger over the past decades, culminating in Queen Victoria III's marriage to Prince Rudolf of New Austria. Mirroring the Slavic elements of the nobility, however, there still remains some vague hope of one day reclaiming their ancestors' distant motherland. With the help of Tsarist, Pan-Slavic and Ukrainian Revivalists, alongside connections to Royal Intelligence, it may not as far-fetched a dream as it might appear.

    - Snippet from "The Primer on Ruling Monarchies in the Contemporary World." American Federation. 2019 Edition.

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    For a bit of trivia, the naming conventions deliberately mirror the norms of Russian nobility, at least initially. Though even further down the line, the influence is still there.

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  19. Threadmarks: The Battle of London and Liberation of Britain (c.1944)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    The Liberation of Britain

    By the time the Liberation of Britain went underway in mid 1943, the British were slowly being withered down. With supplies, resources and manpower growing steadily scarce, the Government found it increasingly difficult to cope with the chaos. Even the Valiant Soldier of local repute was reported to have grown increasingly weak. While the United Kingdom's sovereign, King-Emperor Alexander I of the unified House of Windor-Romanov, defiantly held firm with his family in London, Allied leaders knew too well that they couldn’t hold out indefinitely. As several officials commented, “it was now or never.”

    The first to arrive were squads of agents, spearheaded by those of the Royal Dominion of New Austria’s infamous Evidenzbureau; their expertise was crucial in revealing (and sabotaging) Red movements. It was followed on the 10th of July by simultaneous landings in Plymouth (R.D.N.A.), Belfast (American Federation) and Edinburgh (Loyalist Dominion of Canada/British Imperial Commonwealth), or at least what remained of them. Despite casualties, within less than two days, the Allies succeeded in establishing a foothold.

    As it soon became clear, however, fighting only intensified. Even with intelligence and espionage activities, freeing the British Isles proved to be a difficult task. The fact that British, Commonwealth and Allied forces were either stretched too thin to provide any considerable backup or under heavy attack. Nonetheless, they persevered. Land was reclaimed and people were freed, at the cost of many lives and significant collateral damage from both sides. From that point on, records of the conflict grew mired in rumors and conflicting information. Some of the more reliable sources came from the likes of General Quentin Roosevelt, A.F. Field Commander and Field Marshal Harold Wainwright of the Royal Canadian Army, although much remains muddled amidst the fog of war.

    In any case, it became undisputed fact that the New Austrians turned "radicalist," and quickly degenerated into scorched earth tactics and summary "purges." It remains a mystery why they reverted to such a feral “zeal,” symbolized in editorials by a shadowy red woman. There were those who considered the revelation that many of the Red commanders were veterans of the Terror, more specifically those involved with the destruction of Central Europe. Others point to accounts of multiple ambushes and subversions by sleeper agents in the front lines. Others, still, suggest that whatever was encountered in the Devon countryside gave them perceived "justification" for such crass retaliation. Regardless, the war quickly became a bloody vendetta. Whatever control there was among the soldiers (for the most part) quickly broke down; indeed, it seemed as though they were tearing the landscape as much as the Reds. Only more level-headed minds, and increasingly strained Allied “intervention” prevented even worse acts from taking place; some officers even suggested the use of then-experimental nuclear technology as bombs to “drive them back once and for all.”

    Eventually, most of the Collectivist forces were driven back to Southeastern England. Faced with defeat, their leaders soon concentrated their efforts into breaking the British resistance around the besieged vicinity of London, in the hopes of one final push against the Free Nations. This resulted in the Battle of London, one of the last and most costly engagements in the war as Commonwealth, American and New Austrians soldiers pushed back the relentless masses. It was then that, perceiving the very Britons intended to be relieved were "tainted," the R.D.N.A. betrayed their trust and exacted their anger against Collectivism on them. While this was brutally stopped by Loyalist Canadian forces, it would leave a lasting scar on both the city and international relations for years to come.

    Although the Collectivist forces retreated on 23 May 1944, marking the end of the conflict, the Liberation's success was all but assured. It was a Pyrrhic victory, however. Barely anything functioned within the United Kingdom by war’s end; its people, industry and infrastructure were in shambles. With the Government and Crown effectively transferred to Montreal, the islands were designated a Loyalist Canadian protectorate to facilitate rehabilitation efforts, particularly through joint-administered Provisional Centres. Such a state of affairs remains "indefinite" to this day.

    Of the Allied forces, only the Americans considered the conflict something approaching a “heroic” triumph. “V-B Day” (Victory in Britain) became synonymous with moral victory, serving as morale-boosting propaganda for years after. It was an additional moral high ground that of the countries that participated, they claimed the most in “restrained involvement.”

    The actions of the New Austrians, by contrast, rendered that country a virtual pariah on the world stage. This notoriety characterized a period of simmering tensions between New Vienna and the rest of the Free World, which lasted through the rest of the decade. Loyalist Canada was the first to restore normal relations in 1949, though the humiliation and subsequent efforts to restore a proper standing took longer to achieve.

    In the end, the Liberation helped keep the Collectivist tide in check. But in a sense, the Reds succeeded.

    - Snippet from a British history textbook. Circa 2022.

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    The map and lore, in addition to giving a snapshot of the British state of mind, are a substantially updated and polished version of this entry from 2010. Whichever version, the U.K. does not exactly like its status as a "glorified airstrip."

    As for how the Battle of London played out for New Austria herself...well...
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  20. Threadmarks: The American Federation (c.2022)

    mdc_1957 Still present here

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    A Brief History of the American Federation.

    The American Federation's origins go back to the 16th and 17th Centuries. Whether it was in the name of the English Crown, finding sanctuary from religious persecution or simply seeking a better life, people from across the British Isles crossed the Atlantic to the New World. More specifically, the portions of North America not already being explored or claimed by Spain and, eventually, the Austrian Habsburgs. These settlers weren't alone, however. Contact with the Native Indians grew, even as their numbers dwindled from unforeseen disease; whether violent or peaceful, this soon led to more frequent dealings with the likes of the Iroquois and Cherokee. Other colonial ventures also emerged, such as those of the French (in what would become Louisiana and the Canadian Province of Quebec) and the Dutch (in New Netherland), which led to myriad skirmishes. By the time the Franco-Indian Conflicts came to an end in 1714, the nascent United Kingdom wound up consolidating much of the patchwork that comprised the Eastern Seaboard, which by 1740 had come to be known as the Thirteen Colonies. Though in contrast to those further north, their destiny proved to be rather different.

    Despite a considerable degree of self-rule, ties with the British Crown grew increasingly strained. The long-standing rivalries with France translated into the imposition of myriad unpopular taxes as the 18th Century progressed. A perceived sense that the Canadians and even the Indians (some like the Cherokee openly siding with the British) were being given more preferential treatment over the settlers also fueled animosity. Distance from London, the spread of republican ideas and growing bonds (trade or otherwise) among the Colonies both fostered a national consciousness rather than being subjects of the Old World. Calls for seeking representation in Parliament, only to be rejected, soon turned to more treasonous sentiments. Then, in 1773, a disgruntled polymath from Sylvania named Benjamin Franklin joined the likes of John Adams of Massachusetts, Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia (known later as among the Founding Fathers) in convening the Continental Congress (predecessor to the Federal Congress) as a response to growing hostility. What followed was the Revolutionary War, a grueling struggle between "Continentals" on the one hand, and "Loyalists" (backed by British reinforcements) on the other. Yet amidst this conflict, which over generations has taken a nigh mythic status, the rebels found even more common cause. No longer apart, the sovereign States (as the Colonies declared themselves) would fight and die together. So thus, was this reflected in their Declaration of Independence in 1775. Though the guns would fall silent with the defeated Loyalists signing the Treaty of Philadelphia six years later, the American Federation had already arrived into the world.

    Even before the Founding Fathers could finish ratifying the Constitution, or the aging Franklin could be inaugurated as the first President, the fledgling republic faced its share of birth pains. The 19th Century would see American frontiers expand beyond the original Colonies in pursuit of a "Continental Destiny" (thanks in part to acquiring the sparsely settled Louisiana Territory from the French in 1800 and Alyaska from the Russians in 1854), more immigrants flocking from the Old World, new industries emerging and the rise of new States. It also saw growing competition between the A.F. and Canada, resulting in myriad squabbles that in time barred British expansion towards the Pacific; alongside similar tensions with the New Austrians and their Habsburg rulers, culminating in the War of the Western Frontiers (also known as the "President's Crusade" in reference to then-President Rutherford Lee) from 1859-66, it helped fuel a disdain for monarchy. Meanwhile, the haphazard, if at times hostile efforts to deal with tensions between Native Indians and pioneers (including the forced relocation of the Cherokee and Choctaw over the 1820s-30s) led to heated debates in Franklinton, F.D.C. (founded in 1795) over a more lasting solution, many hearkening to the sympathetic commentaries of Franklin and a Shawnee leader named Tecumseh; within a few generations, these would result in more amicable relations, the prominence of tribes in certain States (such as the Sioux in North and South Lakotah), and them being increasingly assimilated into wider society as citizens. The most trying of these issues, however, involved the power of the Federal Government itself and the "Slavery Question." The ensuing Civil War of 1842-48 (fought between "Federalists" and Southern "Unionists"), however, saw not only the abolition of that institution and the stirrings of equal rights for Blacks. But from the crucible of battle, the country would emerge more united than ever, where freedom would be the sovereign right of every American. Together with the republicans of Gran Patagonia, Americans welcomed an age of new opportunities for those willing to seize them.

    By the dawn of the 20th Century, the A.F. had come into its own as a major, vibrant beacon of democracy. Despite lingering issues like robber barons and debates over universal suffrage, the sky seemed to be the limit. Then, the Terror came. Even as Americans found themselves increasingly in common cause with the Canadians and New Austrians, the blights of Collectivism tended to be seen as an "Old World problem" at first. Such sentiments changed quickly as the 1920s went on, whether through the increasingly harrowing reports from across the Atlantic, the loss of Panama to those adhering to the Will of the Workers, or the growing number of refugees escaping their dying countries. All the while, fringe parties adhering to Reactionarism tried appealing to the frightened citizenry, only to be rejected. Thus, while America wasn't directly impacted in the same way as its neighbors, the socioeconomic strain put the nation to the test. Liberty and order prevailed, even if meant annexing portions of the British Imperial Commonwealth (such as with Loyalist Canada's "Lost Provinces"). But it was the Liberation of Britain in 1944, however, that would instill a peculiar sense of heroism and a fervor against the Collectivist Internationale in the public consciousness, both of which have grown more pronounced over the years.

    In its efforts to combat the "Red Menace," a state of constant readiness came to pervade all corners of society. This helped spur an increasing emphasis on military and research funding, on top of cultivating a need to remain prosperous and innovative. At the same time, however, from the halls of power down to the local malt shop and saloon, it also encouraged a subdued sense of paranoia against anything (and anyone) deemed Collectivist or simply "un-American"; one consequence of this is the paradoxical static tendencies in certain aspects of culture. Nonetheless, they refused to succumb to madness, not only upholding their position alongside Gran Patagonia as the leading bastion of liberty and Republican Democracy in the Free World. But also, alongside their Canadian and New Austrian neighbors, stand at the forefront against the Reds.

    The American Federation Today.


    Striding across the New World from sea to shining sea, the American Federation is one of the leading powers of the Free World. With President Bruce H. Fitzgerald as the present head of state, it continues to hold true to a commitment to life, liberty, solidarity and fraternity. Which these help in making Americans stand apart from their Loyalist Canadian and New Austrian neighbors, they nonetheless offer much to the wider globe. Be it in their industry, culture or the "melting pot" that makes them possible.

    Similarly to the Loyalist Dominion of Canada, the Americans bear the legacy of British law and governance, including the Magna Carta. What makes them stand out, however, is how they had taken that inheritance, transformed it, and through their Constitution, created a form of "Republican Democracy." The A.F. is largely comprised of 48 States and a number of special Territories united under one flag, as well as a network of Protectorates and allies. The oldest States could be traced back to the original Thirteen Colonies that rebelled against the British, with many of the subsequent ones being founded by either Anglophone colonists, rugged frontiersmen or immigrant settlers. The Federal Congress in Franklinton, F.D.C. serves as the legislature (split between the Senate and House of Representatives), which is counterbalanced by the executive and judiciary. The head of state is the President, who is elected every four years through an Electoral College, whereas other political figures such as Senators and Governors are voted in through direct, popular means. The system is not without its flaws, which Revivalists and myriad lobbyists have used to exert growing influence, to say nothing of the extents made to curb any potential Collectivist threat. Nonetheless, it's proven itself resilient time and again, even in the face of the Liberty Party and more extreme New American Party breaking the previous informal dominance of the two Federalist offshoots (the "Whigs" and "Republicans"). This extends to a firm commitment in upholding the Constitution, its timeless words and assorted Amendments keeping it a living icon as relevant now as in the days of the Founding Fathers. Thus, its claims of being the prime bastion of democracy, alongside Gran Patagonia in South America, are far from hollow.

    Its posturing as an industrial and economic power are nothing to scoff at, either. A combination of bountiful natural resources, rugged frontier-influenced individualism, a work ethic derived from Protestant virtues and a pervasive mindset championing technical innovation have made the A.F. among the most self-sufficient of the Free Nations. Americans by and large take pride in their industries and specialties, be the bustling coal mines of Virginia and Appalachia, the "Factory Belt" stretching from Ohio to Superior-Wisconsin, the vast farmlands throughout the Great Plains, or the media companies that call New York and Cascadia home to name a few. Then, there is America's ambitious space program, a joint production between its National Aerospace Agency and various private enterprises that has allowed it to establish an orbital presence and even traverse the Lunar surface.

    Then, there are the over 309 Million people who call America home. Owing to history, it's undeniably a nation of immigrants and settlers similar to yet unique from its Canadian counterpart. The majority of the population is classified as White, albeit split between "Anglo" (those who could trace their lineage back to either the original Colonies or the British Isles in some form) and "Non-Anglo" Europeans (whether descended from earlier colonists or refugees after the Terror). The remainder, meanwhile, is comprised of indigenous "Native Indians/American Indians" (the equivalent of Loyalist Canada's First Nations), Blacks (whether descended from slaves or freemen) and other "Coloreds" like the Orientals in Cascadia. Resolving tensions and discrimination among such a variety of ethnic backgrounds took generations of at times sporadic reform, be it granting equal rights to Blacks or overcoming long-held hostility against the tribes. This isn't to ignore how informal stigma still persists to some degree, especially with regards to mixed-race and Non-Anglo Whites like the "Slavics" (be it over their Revivalist tendencies or reluctance to fully assimilate), as well as overt discrimination certain foreigners (with New Austrians still having derisive monikers like "Mongrel Krauts"). Americans, however, have gone far in making the melting pot ideal of "Out of many, one" closer to reality, be it through equality of opportunity and the unifying use of English in its myriad "American Standard" variations. All bound together by a sense of patriotism, religiosity (primarily of the Judaeo-Christian variety), common culture and an opposition to the spread of Collectivism.

    Even with the clear and present danger posed by the Reds, it is little surprise that one of the nation's traditional Latin mottoes, Per aspera ad astra ("Through adversity, to the stars"), has taken more relevance than the Founding Fathers ever imagined.

    - "The Westinghouse Atlas of the New World." American Federation. 2023 Edition.

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    As a bit of trivia, on top of trying to retcon the American Federation's backstory and internal borders, I also made a point to highlight how some constants persist in one form or another. Whether it's real-life historical figures like Benjamin Franklin (who's the Washington analogue in the RDNA-verse), or the existence of certain cities (e.g. Boston being where it is in our world and "Clarkson City" founded where Seattle would be) and families (e.g. the Lees, Roosevelts, etc.), this is in part due to how New Austria's presence in place of Mexico wouldn't change some events across the New World. Or at least, not have an immediate or obvious effect until further down the line.

    The flag and coat of arms used are all based of various historical US symbols and flags. Though their design is deliberately meant to invoke how in some respects, the America of that timeline bears in some respects more than a passing semblance to the Pre-War USA in Fallout.

    Some of the place-names (such as Sylvania for Pennsylvania and New Archangel for the Alaskan city of Sitka) are alternate or proposed ones that were never used in reality.

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