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Old 08-31-2018, 01:12 PM   #3601
GreatWyrmGold
 
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

On the other side of the world, the same general beats of history played out. Christianity survived and prospered after the destruction of the Second Temple, and became the dominant religion of a great Mediterranean/European empire before half of it collapsed; Europe became a fractured land, full of marauding tribes looking for a place to settle and settlements trying to drive off marauders, eventually settling into countless little fiefs which slowly coalesced into larger kingdoms. There were, of course, differences; over the course of the Middle Ages, tobacco became a valuable commodity from the Orient alongside the likes of silk and porcelain, with tobacco being available to only the most obscenely rich Europeans.
So imagine the surprise of a group of Norse colonists, stuck on Greenland, when they sailed a bit south and discovered a powerful, centralized Beothuk (well, technically not Beothuk, but I can't find a name for the ancestors of the Beothuk) proto-state in OTL's Newfoundland. These were not the wretched scraelings our Greenland Norsemen met; they were more organized and numerous, with horses, plows, and iron weaponry. The initial meeting with the Beothuk went about as well as OTL's version, but the aftermath went even worse for the Greenlanders; the Norse were better sailors than the Beothuk and had better ships, but this didn't stop the enraged Beothuk from going north and searching for signs of these pale, craven beasts.
Eventually, a party of Beothuk discovered the location of Greenland Norse settlements, and sent a small army up there to avenge the deaths of their kinsmen. The Greenland Norse were a colony of Scandinavia's poorest country, just getting off the ground and struggling with no shortage of issues; they were no match for the wrath of the Beothuk army. Norse Greenland surrendered, with many of its people (including Lief Erikson and the local priest) being taken back to Vinland as prisoners or slaves.
The news shook Europe. First of the fact that there was a land beyond the setting sun; then the fact that its inhabitants had defeated a (mostly) Christian settlement and taken its clergy prisoner; and finally, that it had tobacco. (It wasn't common in Vinland, but since it was imported from kingdoms down the coast rather than having to travel through several feuding empires around 2/3 or so of the globe, it was much more common there than in Europe.) A "Northern Crusade" was organized to free the Christian captives, get vengeance on those heathen bastards, and also establish an easier trade route to get tobacco.
The Northern Crusade went...better than the People's Crusade. More crusaders were brought to Greenland than supplies, causing no shortage of conflicts between them and the local Greenlanders. Before anyone could organize more supply ships to be sent, thousands of crusaders were killed from starvation, fighting with locals, and fighting with each other. But they eventually made it to their destination, managed to more or less come out ahead overall (thanks to good commanders, steel, and metal armor being more common among crusaders than Beothuk), and didn't accidentally start a millennium of organized anti-Semitism.
The Northern Crusade didn't establish any lasting states in the region like the then-recent First Crusade had; it was too far from Europe, with too many hostile heathens around. But some of them who weren't sick of the cold and wanted to shield Greenland from further such incursions (or get some land) set up fortresses in and near the Greenland settlements, which were surrounded by farms and pastures which they had claimed.
While early relations between the native Americans and native Europeans were...rocky, things got better. The Northern Crusade forced the Beothuk to accept trading vessels from Greenland, but they swiftly discovered this to be a boon; the Europeans had many valuable goods which could be traded to southern traders at great profit. The trade made the Beothuk wealthy and powerful, and did the same for Greenland and Iceland. In the 12th century, the Beothuk accepted Christian missionaries, converting many (including their leaders). Of course, tensions remained; some descendants of the Northern Crusaders harbored a grudge against the Beothuk and their ilk, which was mirrored by some descendants of the Crusade's victims.

It's the early 13th century, and times are a-changing. In the Pacific, Suzushigai has recently lost much of their support from Japan, a fact which Shuten is looking to exploit; already, some of Suzushigai's inland allies have defected to Shuten. Meanwhile, the Beothuk are looking to expand their power and influence further; newly-baptised firebrands are calling for crusades of their own, to force their neighbors to accept Christianity and the new Beothuk way of life. But Europe has interesting changes as well; the Northern Crusade taught Europe the importance of logistics and supply, lessons which are being used by British and Scandinavian kingdoms (with their impressive navies, funded by the tobacco trade) to flex their muscles in European politics.
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:31 PM   #3602
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

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It's the early 13th century, and times are a-changing. In the Pacific, Suzushigai has recently lost much of their support from Japan, a fact which Shuten is looking to exploit; already, some of Suzushigai's inland allies have defected to Shuten. Meanwhile, the Beothuk are looking to expand their power and influence further; newly-baptised firebrands are calling for crusades of their own, to force their neighbors to accept Christianity and the new Beothuk way of life. But Europe has interesting changes as well; the Northern Crusade taught Europe the importance of logistics and supply, lessons which are being used by British and Scandinavian kingdoms (with their impressive navies, funded by the tobacco trade) to flex their muscles in European politics.
This is a much better response than your last one. It's a lively and highly creative world. I like the complexity. Mu-2 was meant to be simple, I think it was a good simple. Your Zealandia-3 went for complexity and achieved a fine and lively complexity.

On another note, I read history, including Asian history and I've had coursework in African History went I was in Grad School. I know about the complexity of other cultures and I do respect their achievements.
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:33 PM   #3603
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On another note, I read history, including Asian history and I've had coursework in African History went I was in Grad School. I know about the complexity of other cultures and I do respect their achievements.
Neat. Why not use that more when designing reality seeds?
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:31 PM   #3604
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Neat. Why not use that more when designing reality seeds?
If you look back over this thread I do use non-Western events and cultures as changepoints. The problem is the details. Example: Before the Islamic invasions of the middle ages Hindu Indian society didn't have a tradition of writing history. Which makes changing India's history before the year 1000AD tricky at best. Indonesia has had a problem of survival of historical records, one neat changepoint there might be the introduction of a durable cheap material to write on. They're certainly better placed than Britain to be a sea-based world empire.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:01 PM   #3605
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Actually, that may be technically incorrect, though it depends on your definitions, as what we call Hinduism was not technically a unified religion until the British helped form Hinduism from the pre-Hindu faiths in order to unify them for easy governance (the book Was Hinduism Invented? by Brian K. Pennington goes into greater detail about the formation of Hinduism from the pre-Hindu faiths). Before the Muslim invasions of India, Buddhism and the pre-Hindu faiths that eventually became Hinduism were involved in a struggle for dominance. Even in places dominated by pre-Hindu faiths, however, Buddhists formed much of the educated class, and the destruction of Buddhists by the Muslims pretty much destroyed fifteen hundred years of scholarship. In fact, the Muslims actually encouraged the pre-Hindu faiths to a certain degree, as they wanted to make sure that Buddhism went extinct in India.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:19 PM   #3606
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Neat. Why not use that more when designing reality seeds?
Why donít you do that and let hm do what he does?
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Old 09-04-2018, 12:11 AM   #3607
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Why don’t you do that and let hm do what he does?
This. Astromancer's thread, here, has more than 3,600 replies and more than 611,000 views. It's one of the most popular threads on these boards.

While he does have his quirks, (you just learn to expect the occasional, "America! Heck yeah!" idea...), Astromancer comes up with interesting notions more often than he squibs out.

Discussion of the ideas with an eye toward improving them, or riffing off them to create something different -- or even just coming up with your own stuff -- is what this thread is about.

Criticism of the guy who comes up with such of huge number of ideas (good, bad or indifferent)... isn't.
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:42 PM   #3608
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Let's give the Nok culture of Nigeria an ancient asteroid impact that makes the region rich in natural nickel-iron alloys. Their early experiments with ironworking go even better, resulting in a ironworking culture in the region circa 2500 BCE (The earliest meteoric iron deposits), which reinforces the cultural practice of metalworking. As the meteoric iron runs out, the culture gradually learns to replace it with fresh-made iron, and in an attempt to reproduce the strength of the ancient blades, they develop steelworking by 1000 BCE, which puts them slightly ahead of the curve. It's now a century or so after the development of a cheap steelmaking process, and Nok is in an expansionist period under a reasonably competent monarch.
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Old 09-04-2018, 03:32 PM   #3609
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For a dominant Africa, or even an Africa that isn't everybody's punching bag you need three things. !) Better crops, the Columbian exchange brought in a fine set of crops, perhaps some improved trade between Ethiopia and the rest of Africa could establish some other useful crops elsewhere. 2) A less brutal disease climate. The Swahili Coast (or the area we now call the Swahili Coast) was growing rapidly in the period before the 535 event. But the sudden climate change made bubonic plague endemic in the area if you got more than ten miles from the coast. The Tsetse Fly both brings disease and restricts food supply. 3) Africa had, and still tends to have poor transport. Seagoing cultures they had but little useful wood for shipbuilding and few good ports and inland river traffic was often problematic.

To build a strong Africa you need to deal with all three problems.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:32 PM   #3610
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Arhat-3

In Arhat-3, Alexander the Great encountered a group of Buddhist nuns of the Mahāyāna during his time Punjab and invited them to attend him after they defeated a group of his soldiers without using any weapons. They convinced him that it would be futile for him to continue his conquests and accompanied him as he returned to the west. When he decided to settle permanently in Alexandria and take as his wives a number of the women of the old dynasties of Egypt, they established a monastery with his patronage and began to spread the religion of Buddhism throughout his Empire. When he died fifty years later, he had long been a practitioner of Buddhism and was declared an Arhat by the nuns of the Alexandrian Buddhist Tradition.

With a strong Empire to the east dominated by the grandchildren of Alexander and unified by the Buddhist faith, the Romans and the Carthegenians vied for the western half of the Mediterranean Sea. Since the Alexandrian Empire had no desire to see either nation gain predominance, it has played them off against each other for 500 years while it has focused on maintaining its possessions. While Christianity did make a brief appearance over 100 years ago, it faded because the Alexandrian Empire refused to make martyrs of the Christians and because the teachings were too similar to Buddhism for the common people to tell the difference.

Buddhism has been making inroads into Africa and Europe following the trade routes of the Alexandrian Empire. The elites of the Romans and the Carthegenians find it unappealing, but it is popular among the masses, and the Alexandrian Empire tends to object if Buddhism is officially suppressed. The Alexandrian Tradition of Buddhism is recognized as one of the great traditions and, while its female focus is considered a bit odd by the other Buddhist traditions, they are acknowledged as dedicated practitioners of the teachings of the Buddha.
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