What I learned writing the Chaos TL [essay]

Small but interesting stuff:

- Although it is generally believed that the Mongols left Western Europe alone after Ogadai's death, the Mongols made raids into Poland and the Balcans until the end of the century.
- Bulgaria went through very interesting times in the 2nd half of the 13th century; for some time it was reigned by the former swineherd Ivailo, and for some time by a Mongol prince (of the Nogai Khanate).
- There were a lot of South East Asian kingdoms you never hear about.
- Surprisingly many features of European countries were already (well, almost) determined in the 13th century.
- Germany was quite powerless for a long time, but OTOH, German kings / queens / whatever ruled about every state in Europe for some time.
- Mali once was the (gold) richest country in the Old World.
- Chinese and Indian mathematics were surprisingly far developed some centuries ago (one word: calculus).
- Georgia (in the Caucasus) was very progressed (they outlawed torture in the 13th century frex)
- The muslims knew gunpowder before the Mongols came.
- Russia had river pirates, the ushkuiniki.
- In the kingdom of Granada, there was poetry praising homosexual love.
- German nobles owned fiefs as far as South Sweden.
- The first pope who came to power through a council made sure counciliarism wouldn't last.
- The plague helped Poland-Lithuania and Milan to expand, since they were spared by it.
Max Sinister said:
The plague helped Poland-Lithuania and Milan to expand, since they were spared by it.
I cannot agree with part about Poland-Lithuania... Expansion occured to Lithuania, not Poland-Lithuania (the first union between those states took place in 1387 in Krewo and at that time Lithuania already ruled most today's Belarus and Ukraine - in 1341 Lithuanian borders reached Prypec and Dniepr, and Kiev was conquered in 1363). Also the expansion of Lithuania wasn't helped by the plague but happened thanks to weakening of Russian pricipalties by Mongols...

Now that the Chaos TL is finished: You know what the most difficult thing to consider in TLs is?


There are so many things to consider:
- How fast does a population grow? (Especially important for the settlement of new areas.)
- How fast do new inventions spread - from one country to another, and in a society: From the sophisticated city folks to the last recluse?
- Same with new ideas. How long does it take until the ideas by intellectuals are accepted by a majority in the population? How fast do new religions spread?
- How fast do people and countries acquire wealth?
- In wars: How fast do armies move? And how fast are the resources (men, money, material, morale) used up?
- How fast do people grow discontent with bad rulers? And how long can they be suppressed?
- How fast does corruption in a bureaucracy grow?
- How fast does ecological damage grow?