TLIGGT: A Giant Leap For Mankind

Oceans. The global frontier. These are the voyages of European enterprise. Their defining mission: to seek spices and Christians, to discover India and China, to find gold and silver and control their sources, to explore strange New Worlds and civilizations, to thwart the eternal Muslim menace, and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. They boldly go where few Europeans have gone before.


Oh, a TLIGGT. What in the hell is that?
A Timeline In God's Good Time.

Couldn't you just call it a timeline, you pompous ass?
I suppose I could, disembodied voice, but it sounds more dignified. And it let's me kind-of hop on the trend.

And aren't you an atheist?
Yes, but it sounds nicer than having to shoehorn in "Providence" or some other Deist phrase.

What about your other work- that one in the signature? Letting it die like the late Roman Empire?
I will get back to it- in God's good time.

Ooh, a title drop, how fancy.
Kindly fuck off.

No you. Another timeline about Europe doing well? Wasn't real history enough?
Alternate colonialism is interesting too...

And (early) focus on Portugal? You're not Reagent or Viriato, and they have, like, language proficiency and statistics and research.
Off-screen PODs solve all problems.

Oh, that tired old canard. Just go make a one-off map and be done with it.
MFW I remember I suck at graphics -____-

So, what are the points of departure?
Complications in early-13th century Iberia. Castille has decades of political turmoil, an Aragonese Crusade half-succeeds, Galicia secedes to the Kings of Portugal, and the Portuguese get more of Andalus. And that's before we get to the Mongols...

Wow, actual detail and planning! It's a first!
Once again, kindly fuck off.

Getting back to my points, isn't kind of ridiculous to have yet another Euro-wank in the face of rest-of-the-world timelines paucity?
From a certain point of view, sure, but not all native states get screwed, OTL or TTL.

Still completely unable to write dialogue scenes?
You bet your ass.

Probably not, I suck at graphics.

What's the over/under for the "time of abandonment" on this?
It will get done- in God's good time.



It is the 1400th year of the Lord in Europe. Little do the people know, in the midst of cultural rebirth in the cities and the collapse of feudalism in Western Europe, amidst wars and continuing disease and Church corruption, that a greater change is coming.

The common man knows little of his continent's potential, and little of lands outside of Europe. To many, even Russia seems like a place conjured less out of reality than out of myth; they do not even know the myths of places like India and Cathay. Among the growing urban classes, there is at least knowledge of those places, gleaned from 14th century travelogues, Arab merchants, and the scant remembrances of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.

And of all these nations, poor and ignorant, there is but one that has begun tentatively reaching into the inky blackness of the great ocean void- Portugal. The Ilhas Azuis have been settled for 63 years, the initial monastic settlement on São Erasmo complemented by those fleeing plague. Madeira, the newest acquisition of Lisbon, has already begun producing sugar, despite its youth at 31 years.

Portuguese ships have already passed Cape Bojador, and rumors of fishermen in the far west persist. The treasures and people of Africa await, and beyond them, perhaps Asia, full markets waiting for European customers.

Europe is in the twilight of an old age. Intellectual renewal and urban growth are but the kindling for the spark of greatness that awaits. This great leap, these brave and bold treks across the unknown oceans, shall provide the embers of a dominance Europe cannot even dream of.

Last edited:
The offscreen POD is an early discovery of a reliable route around Bojador?

Actually, it's originally a slightly different Navas de Tolosa. There continues to be periodic succession struggles over Castille and Leon, and so the crowns are not reliably united as early as they were OTL.

Aragon falls to a Franco-Castilian Aragonese Crusade that ends up succeeding, and TTL Galicia's attempts to secede into Portugal actually works (as opposed to OTL). Castilian instability and a brief Almohad resurgence distract Castile enough for Portugal to seize more of Andalusia- Sevilha, Badajoz and Merida are all Portuguese TTL, although Cadiz and Gibraltar still end up being Castilian.

Along with these is a slight increase in navigational exploits- monks accidentally discover the OTL Azores (TTL Ilhas Azuis or Blue Islands) and spark the slow beginnings of Portugal's interest in exploration.

It's less Bojador is surpassed earlier and more technology is bumped up a few decades in some areas plus earlier royal interest. So I suppose that statement still ends up being correct, yes.

In Asia and North Africa, we have different Mongol invasions- the Dar al-Islam is hit even worse than OTL, with recognizably Mongol hordes striking as far as Tunis in Africa and as far as the Bengal/Deccan in India, to say nothing of the total conquest of China.

We also have an African parallel to the invasion of Java with the very ill-fated attempts of Mongols to invade Nubia and Abyssinia.

The other early POD is a different Fourth Crusade. The Latins are less successful (land is seized, but Constantinople avoids the sack) and Kaloyan ends up coming in to stabilize order, beginning the Bulgarian Empire (of the Romans). The Latins persist in Hellas proper, although they too have a short remaining lifespan.

Other tidbits include (with the eradication of the Mamluks by Mongols) a longer-surviving Crusader state. Cyprus falls, but Beirut and Acre and environs lasts until alt-Timur (not his name TTL, but similar impact) comes and compels them to surrender. This Crusader survival for a century longer will have impacts on later *Lebanese nationalism.
Last edited:
So.... another failed venture.
Not yet, specter.

You went back on the whole Leonese thing and still don't have a post. Looks like failure.
Castilian is easier to work with, meum culpa.

What have you been doing all this time on weekends? Certainly not writing Twilight of the Ancients.
I've been reading, for your information. Freyre's Masters and Slaves is not exactly a short book.

You're actually doing research? Why, the old dog does learn new tricks!
Still your barbed tongue. That's not the only book I'm reading.

How did you access these works?
For free, on the Internets.

Technical lawbreaker.
Oh well.

And I heard other books as well?
Yes- books on the Portuguese Empire, articles on the Kingdom of Kongo, some stuff about sugar production in the Caribbean...

Portugal? Just as Reagent restarts his TL? Great timing, buddy.
Yeah, yeah I know. But Portugal here doesn't colonize Canada, so there's that.

And what of the fact that all this reading will just delay actual writing further?
Updates will come in time, don't you worry.

I'd say I'm waiting, but I'll probably die in the mean time.
And nothing of value would be lost.
Last edited:
Ooh, a Euro-wank where that happened OTL, so double Euro-wank. Subscribed, can't wait to see the inevitable Portuguese Raj that rules over all of Asia south of the Himalayas:p
Oh, not that much of a Eurowank relative to OTL. As for Portugal, all empires decline; early success may not last forever against native or European foemen...

Nonetheless, glad to have another reader.

Spain butterflied: divided Aragon, Castille in anarchy, a bigger Portugal.:(

Christian presence in Middle East: survivor Crusader States.;)

Worst Mongol invasions , burned to ground to the Dar el Islam...:confused:

Well, I must have said : it's a interesting beginning....:D
Point by point:

Spain butterflied- yes. With Aragon divided at the Ebro between France and Castile (with Sicily going independent under the remaining cadet branch of the House of Barcelona), there is no Spain to form. I'm still deciding whether or not Castille declares itself Spain anyway (since it controls most of Hispania outside of Barcelona, the Basques and TTL Portugal). I am still deciding that.

Castille, by the way, never gets to anarchy levels, but the decades of fighting between Leon and Castille (often given to different heirs) continues until about 15 years before the Aragonese Crusade. This distracts them from the Reconquista; the Almohads instead lose land to Portugal. Ultimately, Portugal ends up with Galicia (which tried to defect to Portugal OTL because the nobles preferred the Portuguese king at the time), Badajoz and Merida (which is close to TTL's border), and then in Andalus mainly Seville, with some hinterlands. Cordoba, Cadiz and Gibraltar all end up as Castillian.

The Crusader state (capital in Beirut, controls what amounts to Lebanon plus change) survives as a Mongol vassal after the conquest of Egypt and the end of the aborted Mamluk dynasty. Even after the Mongols convert (both the Cairo branch and the Shiraz branch, to different sects of Islam), they are kept as a vassal. When the Mongol Khanate in Cairo falls, they have an endgame similar to that of OTL Granada and Byzantium, and similar to TTL's Mursiya and Byzantium. After the fall of the Crusader state in the mid-15th century, Christian presence in the Middle East consists of civilians under Muslim rule.

The Mongol invasions are worse, which is what allows for a slightly greater Eurowank: Mongols sack cities as far as Tripoli in Libya, and also penetrate into India. The destruction in Egypt and in Mesopotamia is a devastating blow to Islam, even moreso than OTL.

And I'm glad you liked the beginning; more will be on the way hopefully on Sunday or perhaps Monday (unless I find more time in between work, commuting and reading for this TTL).
Last edited:
It is asumed

Although apparently already decided / drafted the course to take this TL...

I must question ... because it's assumed (or at least me so it seems), which in this scenario that the elimination of all Islamic states of the Middle East, with the loss of a lot of their ruling elites in the destruction and looting of its most prestigious and important cities.

Would be subject hopeless for years, perhaps generations, the domain of the Mongols, with the immeasurable loss of prestige for Islam and cultural trauma suffered by Muslims as important after Otl. Baghdad would be more serious, for the conquest of Egypt and its political and cultural consequences.

With no Islamic states survivors to lead the counter reaction to the Mongols and serve to recover and refuge to Muslims, with at least a portion of the Mongols or positions of power under his rule, whether followers or to become Christianity, Western or native.

In these much more attractive and serious circumstances released by the States Crusaders and Christian native populations, which freed from religious oppression would be the safest and willing to work with the Mongolian conquerors.

It is unlikely that Islam is gone, but if it is likely to be very weak before his political and cultural situation without state support, with the emergence and strengthening of heterodox sects and the revival of native and Western Christian communities that will benefit from the new order and given freedom to practice and propagate his religion.

It is much assume that given the above context can return to the Status Quo Ante, the Mongolian conquest or the butterfly effect may be limited to certain events or ignore them and that when they finish their more immediate effects ... the situation is very similar to that of before their effects began.
Islam is not utterly destroyed- for one, as in OTL, the Mongols end up converting and help partially rebuild places like Cairo and Jerusalem (but not Baghdad TTL- it's on the frontier between the Shia Blue Horde and the Sunni Ilkhans in Cairo).

Some Muslim states survive as well- the Hashimids in the Hejaz, the states of the Maghreb, and, for a few scant stragglers, the nascent Muslim states in the Sahel. Tunis, Algiers, Fes and Marrakesh all become important Muslim centers for Sunnis, because the traditional urban centers of the Muslim world (Damascus, Cairo, Baghdad, Jerusalem) have all been utterly and completely devastated. The sacks of these cities are brutal in loss of cultural and civilian life, but the Dar al-Islam is not snuffed out altogether. It is, however, weak- there is no Ottomans TTL, and the Turks who end up ruling Anatolia and parts of the Balkans will have no presence outside of Asia Minor (so the post-Mongol state in Egypt remains independent).

Heterodoxy won't have much room to develop, and neither will Christianity- the Mongols convert to Islam from animism/Buddhism/what have you very quickly, and the few Christian Mongols are all Nestorians. Muslim heterodoxy may have a few small undistinguished sects for a few decades, before orthodox Islam is restored by newly Muslim Mongol governance.

There is not a return to the status quo ante bellum by any means- Mongol conquests will have wide-ranging social effects. The situation may end up looking superficially similar to OTL in the long run, because the Crusader state is not ultimately viable forever and because the Mongols would definitely have converted to Islam, as they did in the Middle East OTL.

The people suffer, as does the economy and cultural life in the Middle East, but the religion certainly endures. Mongol patrimony helps some cities recover, but the lack of an "Ottoman" period TTL in the Middle East means the region will remain largely divided and less powerful. And the Mongols pre-conversion were tolerant TTL as in OTL- there wouldn't be the kind of persecution necessary for conversion to Christianity in the Middle East, unless the Mongols converted to Catholicism or Orthodoxy (an outcome which I personally doubt).

I can see why you think the status quo is restored- I can assure you it is not. The social fabric and sectarian breakdown of Islam is much different in this timeline, and the devastation of Egypt will harm it for centuries, as opposed to OTL where it survived as the main cultural center of the Sunnah pre-Ottomans.

The other main social differences are an increase in the Christian population and Jewish population as a whole within the Muslim-majority region. The Christians are spared like in OTL because of the Khan's Christian wife (although neither he or his sons convert), and the Jews are also largely left alone. This means that Christian communities- from the Catholics to the various Orthodoxies of the region- will overall make up a larger percentage of the population. The Mongol conversion and long-standing demographic trends mean that Muslims will still be the majority, but, for example, Egypt in TTL's modern day will probably have Copts making up a good third of the population as opposed to 10% (part of this is that Alexandria surrenders quickly, and part of it is that Christian wife thing. Also divide et impera- Copts prove initially useful in keeping Egypt peaceful, although the Mongols eventually convert to Sunni Islam).


Another wrinkle that will prove huge for TTL's Islam is the lack of a counterpart to Timur. TTL's Timur analogue will devastate Central Asia and then move into India, and TTL's *Timurids become Mughals straight away. The main devastation they provide is to the Indo-Gangetic plain, where regions still recovering from the first Mongol conquests are devastated once again. The Indian khanate, which had been oscillating between Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism, is conquered again. Varanasi is burnt to ash (again), as are the few remaining Buddhist centers in northern India.

The Muslim world, on the other hand, is given time to recover. Although it is still devastated, the second hammerblow of Timur never quite drops. Iran in particularly is very much revitalized (Egypt suffers the worst internal turmoil at the end of the Khanate in Cairo, which further harms its agricultural capabilities and internal economy. Mongol-descended tribes become a new Banu Hilal in what we would call Libya.)


You may question why the khanates convert to Islam if the Muslim world is still so devastated- its because they did OTL. The Ilkhans and the Golden Horde both became Muslim, and TTL the Blue Horde in Persia and the Ilkhans in Cairo convert (to Ismaili Shiism and Sunni Islam respectively). The Chagatayids become the Mongkeids, and are Yuan vassals for centuries- they adopt Zoroastrianism (a variety open to conversion) rather late, and when they fall apart many cities convert to Islam out of fear of the Blue Horde turning north. The Indian Golden Horde converts to Hinduism, then switches to Theravada Buddhism, and then falls apart in time.

The Golden Horde is TTL the Red Horde (the White/Golden Horde conquers India, the Blue Horde is Persia, and the Ilkhanate is a subordinate Khanate in Egypt TTL), and TTL's Sartaq Khan* a) has a capital in Russia rather than in Saray and b) actually converts to Russian Orthodoxy. Russia, already less devastated than in OTL due to cities submitting (the Russian conquest TTL comes much later- more cities submit than OTL due to greater word of mouth) is revitalized by the Red Horde. Its trade, centralization, and the convenient Mongol sacks of Poland and Hungary (and tribute from early vassal states, which don't last forever; Russia ends up being a largely aloof state for much of TTL, exploring the East and trying to stay left alone by the West) help towards that.

If you want any more exposition, I'm glad to give it to you.
Last edited:

If Otl the Mongols became mostly to Islam but perhaps without the separate Islamic remaining in Egypt, and the most prestigious Islamic States in the Middle East, Christians viable States and who are a permanent presence in the political geography of the Region, opportunities of Christianity could have substantially increased, at least that's my speculation.
In terms of impact, the continued existence of the Maghreb states and the current Morocco, politically and culturally given its remoteness would have no greater impact in the Middle East. This situation could allow emerge and could develop latent or manifest heterodoxy and sects that arose in the society of Islam, especially the Maghreb.

But that's just my opinion / speculation that in Otl events unfolded in a certain way does not mean who require it, whether some factor or factors varied the course of historical events causing a chain reaction
increasingly large forward, until it is unrecognizable world, originated in these factors.

Anyway, of course the development of this TL is part of your creative freedom. Also question it is part of the mine as a reader.
If Otl the Mongols became mostly to Islam but perhaps without the separate Islamic remaining in Egypt, and the most prestigious Islamic States in the Middle East, Christians viable States and who are a permanent presence in the political geography of the Region, opportunities of Christianity could have substantially increased, at least that's my speculation.

In terms of impact, the continued existence of the Maghreb states and the current Morocco, politically and culturally given its remoteness would have no greater impact in the Middle East. This situation could allow emerge and could develop latent or manifest heterodoxy and sects that arose in the society of Islam, especially the Maghreb.

I would think the Mongols converted not due to prestige but due to simple demographic superiority. Converting to Nestorianism or another Christianity would lack a suitable demographic base to uphold Mongol rule. The Mongols weren't stupid- they used Muslims all throughout their empire and knew exactly who they ruled. It's kind of like the Vikings- yeah, the Umayyads and Abbasids are much richer and more cultured, but the settlers lived among Christians and traded with Christians.

Prestige also wouldn't have mattered much, IMO. Yeah, Egypt is gone, but the Turks are in Anatolia and converting to Catholicism means submitting the almighty authority of a Khan to the Papacy. Christianity wouldn't have had much more prestige than Islam, esp. considering the Christian currents in Mongol society were Nestorian rather than Miaphysite or Chalcedonian.

OTL, Mongols ripped out the beating heart of the Muslim world, and still ending up converting. TTL that ripping is even more thorough, but even with all the murder Muslims still make up a reliable majority. Eventual conversion is part of the process of acculturation to Perso-Islamic culture and provides a way to shore up Mongol rule.

Besides, not all the Khanates are going Muslim- the Red Horde converts to Christianity, and the Indian khanate stays Buddhist and then becomes Muslim (outside influence from other khanates, pre-existing Turco-Muslim populations from earlier conquests in India...)
I'll be writing some supplemental background updates to better explain stuff I've written about above that doesn't really fall under the Age of Exploration focus this TL will initially have. Some info may slightly contradict what I've written above, but these updates should be considered most canon. Here is a breakdown of the Mongol succession. Jochi TTL is born almost a year later, dispelling paternity questions.

The first written supplemental update will come later day, quem me dera.


Main Mongol Hordes:

Jochids: China. Genghis finishes off the Jin before dying of old age in 1234. Jochi finishes off the Song and largely directs other Mongol conquests as the Great Khan. Upon his death, the Jochid civil war takes place between Batu (supported by Orda) and Berke (supported by Kublai and others). Berke is defeated, and Batu founds the Yuan dynasty officially (he retroactively makes Genghis the first Yuan emperor).
Chagatayids: Mongolia/Transoxania and Volga Bulgaria, later succeeded by Mongke and sons
Ogedeids/Ilkhans: Iran, and then Egypt. The realm is split between two of Guyuk's sons.


Ariq Boke and descendants- India
Kublai- crucified after the Jochid Civil War for being a Berke partisan
Hulagu: Russia
Mongke Khan: replaces Chagatayids
Last edited: