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MattyG

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Here is the (un)official alternative history of the world as developed through the Interregnum mod. Included here are the country descriptions which appear when you select a playable nation. In addition, a number key events have been included which answer some of the commonly asked questions about the Interregnum world.

Some have suggested that this ought to have been posted ages ago, and I can understand the desire to have this history out there as a guide, but the truth is that it has been written in the course of developing the game, rather than the other way around. Hopefully, the wait has been worth it. I have only recently put the finishing touches on the whole matter of England and a fair bit of research has gone into it. I hope everyone enjoys what we have done here.

Please don't post in this thread. Instead, post ideas in other threads and I will update this as ideas develop.



The Albigensian Crusade and the Survival of Occitan Culture

At the outset of the Albigensian Crusade, called to supress the Cathar heresy, much of the Provence region was under the control of members of the Trencavel family.

The 10 000 strong crusader force under Simon de Montfort headed towards Montpellier and the lands of Raymond-Roger de Trencavel, aiming for the Cathar communities around Albi and Carcassonne. Raymond of Toulouse, excommunicated for his support of the Cathars, promised to act against them the Cathars, and his excommunication was lifted. Like Raymond of Toulouse, Raymond-Roger de Trencavel sought an accommodation with the crusaders, but Raymond-Roger was refused a meeting and raced back to Carcassonne to prepare his defences. The city of Béziers was sacked in July and its population massacred. Here is where the alternate history begins in earnest. Having provided the crusaders with a battle to justify the crusade, the Pope lifted the ex-communications on other nobles who agreed to supress Catharism. The 'perfect' were to be burnt, but cities would be spared. The Inquisition nonetheless saw over 300 000 people killed. While Raimond-Roger de Trencavel was spared, the south of Provence and Languedoc came under the control of Peter II of Aragon, who permitted the inquisition to flourish and rescended many of the old rights of the semi-independent cities.

The fall of Catalan to the moors ended the Aragonese dominion over Provence and Languedoc. The regions had been granted to Garcias of Aragon, the fallen kings second son. While formerly heir to Aragon, he chose to establish instead the Duchy of Languedoc, fearing that to reestablish Aragon in Languedoc would challenge the moors and bring war. Garcias' only son Garcias-Alphonse married the daughter of the future Louis II of Anjou. Garcias-Alphonse went to war with Cordoba, striking quickly while the moors were already engaged against Portugal. Garcias' able commander was Estotz de Trencavel, great-great-grandson of Raymond-Roger. His victories over the moors and the recapture of the province of Gerona earned him the title of Duke.

With the death of the childless Garcias-Alphonse, Louis II of Anjou was set to inherit the principality, but Charles refused to accept his claim, and with the support of the King of Savoy instead chose to recognise the old claim of Duke Estotz de Trencavel. Estotz was coronated in 1379 and the Trencavel family found themselves once again masters of the the region. The Trencavels have ruled Languedoc since, as vassals first of France, then of Savoy following the collapse of France.


Crusades in the Levant


In the Interregnum history, the Second Crusade was a success, not a failure. It not only repelled the attacks against the crusader stronholds, relieving all of the sieges, but extended the territory controlled by the various duchies and principalities. The third crusade, fought between 1247 and 1249, began as a crusade to connect Damascus with Armenia.

Armenia had, at the time, fallen under the control of the Seljuks, but the true aim was to secure Armenian gold. Although Armenia was later wrested from Seljuk control, it was as much due to Armenian rebellion as the crusaders. Soon after their arrival in the Levant, the Mongols under Hulagu began requesting crusader aid in destroying the Caliphate and the threat of Islam. Instead of allying with the Mongols, the crusaders - largely Breton, Sicilian, Bavarian and Savoyard forces - came to the aid of the Caliph in exchange for tacit recognition of the crusader state. As a result, the Christian/Islamic forces repulsed the Mongols for the first time, outside the gates of Baghdad, in one of the bloodiest battles to date. Since that time, the middle east saw a succession of alliances that came together and dissolved as the caliphate, Il-Khanate, Jerusalem, Byzantium and the many smaller kingdoms and emirates vied for ascendency and the spoils of trade. Damascus changed hands no less than twelves times between 1250 and 1419, an example of the see-saw nature of the simmering conflict in the region.

With the saving of Baghdad and the lack of a fourth crusade that devestated Byzantium, both these great cities remain in Interregnum in unabated glory.


The Rise and Fall of Lithuania

The Lith were one of the many peoples in the Baltic region who remained defiantly pagan well into the middle ages. The Teutonic Order and their allies crushed Lithuania during the late 1200s and began the process of conversion to Christianity. However, during the period of 1315 to 1340 the Teutonic Order was rent by internal conflict and plague, and the pagan Lith rebelled under Jurgis Granauskas. At his death in 1342 he was undefeated and had spread Lithuania to cover much of Belarus and Poland. While his son, Povilas, kept the duchy together, the end of conflict between Hungary and Byzantium enabled the organization of the Lithuanian crusades of 1371-74 and 1379-81. The subsequent Treaty of Lazdijai saw the end of Lithuania, and the reformation of Poland.


The War of English Succession and the Partition of England

With the death of Edward III and his son at the disasterous battle of Crécy in 1346, England's fortunes began to wane. The heir, Lionel of Antwerp, was in minority and out of the country, and leading nobles fought for the regency. The Regency War was a precursor to the War of English Succession in that it further weakened English power and provided for a period in which conflict with England was unlikely, permitting England's enemies to prepare for war. Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick, and one of the few surviving nobles of Crécy, was victorious in securing Lionel and establishing himself as regent.

Pleshey proved an able replacement for Edward III. France and England remained at war throughout the Regent's War period and had retaken almost all of the English possessions on the continent, except for Calais. Beauchamp never dismissed his army and instead left England immediately after Lionel's coronation, surprising his allies and foes alike. He swiftly retook Normandy, capturing castles and towns and promising each the status of a free city if it provided supplies, gold for his soldiers, and did not rebel against him. Instead of suffering the normal high rates of attrition, Pleshley's army actually grew from his landing at Calais to the siege of Orléans. Fearful that Pleshley would capture Orléans before the winter, Charles IV sued for peace, conceding Picardie and Normadie to England. Pleshley, though urged by some to press the French further, was now more concerned with consolidating power, and so accepted the peace.

Beauchamp returned to find the royal finances in predictably poor shape following decades of conflict, and with several towns in revolt over the taxes imposed to finances English aspirations on the continent. Beauchamp quelled dissent and raised revenue by ceding greater authgority to the Parliament and particularly to the House of Commons. By 1356, Beauchamp's position within the realm was supreme, and with Lionel's majority approaching, Beauchamp proposed an invasion of Wales to conquer it for England and to provide the young king with his first experience of war. It would also fulfill Beauchamp's long-held desire for vengeance against the Welsh, whose departure prior to Crécy was blamed for the death of the King and the Prince. Beauchamp miscalculated not only Welsh capablility and resolve, but also the diplomatic situation England was in. Beauchamp believed that France's involvement in Iberia would prevent it confronting England so soon after the Peace of Orléans, and that the long peace with Scotland would hold, where Lionel's aunt was maried to King David II.

The campaign in Wales confronted Llewelyn (later 'the Great'), who had recently united the north of the country and in conditions which were less like summer than autumn. The heavier rains of spring abated little, which played greatly into the hands of the Welsh tactics to remain mobile and use their archers to best effect. Beauchamp concentrated his army in the north, knowing that the less unified south would fall more easily if Llewelyn was brought to heel first. However, Beauchamp's failure to capture significant castles and make progress against Llewelyn, losing the battle of Llandderfel on July 29, meant that the princes of Gwent and Dyffd began to favour supporting Llewelyn rather than suing for peace with the English, as had been expected. Beauchamp pulled back to the marcher castles and focused on the coronation and preparing for a late spring campaign in Wales in 1357. The dry spring seemed to herald am imminent victory for Beauchamp, who entered the North Powys region in late April with 20 000 men, hoping to confront Llewelyn early, and knowing he had gained the support of the southern princes, at least temporarily. Llewelyn's army, though boosted with Breton troops, was still smaller (9 000) and with few cavarly, less heavily armoured, but with more longbowmen. The armies met at Caer Bladwyn and Llewelyn inflicted a massive defeat on the English, when the rain of arrows into the massed cavalry crushed peasants and knights alike and divided the force in half, and allowing the Welsh cavalry and foot soldiers to engage paert of the army, and the longbowmen to continue to hail arrows upon those pressed against the river.in King Lionel was killed along with 42 ther nobles and almost all foot soldiers were either killed or deserted the field.

With Lionel dead and his army defeated, Beauchamp's options and resources were limited. With no issue from Lionel, there would be many potential claimants to the throne. Beauchamp could not hope to secure it for himself, having no substantial familial link. Moreover, with England and Beauchamp both weakened, their enemies decided to move against them. David, King of Scotland was married to Joanna, the youngest of Edward II's remaining two children, and decided to move south with an army into York and claim the throne from there. Eleanor, Edward's elder daughter, was Duchess of Gueldres and Zutphen, and her eldest son, Reinoud, could claim the throne through her. Beauchamp left for Geldre to recruit him to his cause. Charles V, sensing the time was right, declared war, hoping to retake Normandy, Picary and Calais. He could also claim the throne through his sister Isabella, wife of Edward II. The King of Brittany, not wishing to see French power grow, decided to back a fourth claimant, Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent, whose claim came through marriage to Joan Plantagenet, great-granddaughter of Edward I and Marguerite of France. Holland, one of the commanders at Crécy, had long opposed Beauchamp, but could not stand in the way of him while he was successful. Pleased to have Breton backing, his claim would at least not permit England to become part of the French crown nor the Scottish crown, nor permit Beauchamp to remain England's de facto ruler. With Wales still at war with England and Llewelyn sieging castles in the marches, the War of English Succession had begun.

The English War of Succession lasted four years and saw battles fought between each of the four 'sides'; France, Scotland, Beauchamp with his Dutch and Norfolk contingents, Thomas Holland with his allies Brittany and Wales. With each of Holland and Beauchamp alligned most of the English nobility, although the Duke of York sided with Scotalnd. In the course of the conflict, a fifth protagonist emerged, the Parliament, or at least the Commons, through its defence of the City of London against the French and refusal to open its gates to either Beauchamp or Holland's forces. The conflicts resolution one was of the most complicated in Europe's history, involving nascent international diplomacy and deal brokering, with the Pope in Rome as an eventual aribiter, something that would occur again in 40 years with the collapse of France. The Pope revoked the title of King of England in an effort to force a peace, and vowed that any of the protagonists which claimed the title would subject their country to an immediate injunction and suspension of mass. The Peace of Hainault sought to give each of the surviving factions something they could walk away with with honour. Wales gained the midlands and had Llewelyn recognized as King of Wales. Brittany gained Cornwall and prevented France from taking either the English crown or, directly, all its continental possessions, instead seeing the rebirth of Normandy. France regained Calais and Picardy, while Scotland gained the Northern Marches. The Duchies of Wessex and York were recognized as independent, though their effective vassalage to respectively Brittany and Scotland were no secret. And the City of London was made a free city under the its parliament, but as a direct vassal of the Duke of Normandy.


The Salic War and the Partition of France

The critical alternative history of the region begins in earnest in 1380 with the death of Charles V, King of France. Charles and Jeanne had many children, the males becoming counts and dukes of many of Charles’ possessions late in his reign. The daughters were prized marriages and given to influential dukes and foreign kings to cement the power of the French court. Charles imagined at his death that his first son would work to inherit not only France but also Burgundy, parts of England and also Navarre. Events did not unfold as he foresaw.

Close to the death of Charles, war and revolts marred his reign. Louis, Count of Anjou – a loyal vassal – died and his son Louis II was set to inherit the Duchy of Provence as well. The King of Savoy refused to accept his inheritance and claimed the province. When Charles V did not back Louis in his claims, Louis rose in revolt, sensing Charles’ age and weakness. Backed by the Duke of Brittany, Louis II raised an army and claimed the royal lands within Anjou, capturing the royal castle at Angers and defeating the French army in their attempt to cross the Loire and lay siege to the city.

When Charles the VI came to the throne, he was under the regency of his uncle Jean, Duke of Berry. Jean’s early campaigns as regent were disastrous, being defeated by the forces of Brittany and Anjou at Baugé, by the Navarese and Savoyard forces at Liborne and had to accept peace terms dictated by Raymond Longbow of Normandy, in which Caux was ceded to Normandy. Charles VI died during a fit, and with Jean still regent he claimed the throne in place of Charles’ brother, Louis, Duke of Orléans, who was also young. This triggered the Salic War.

The Salic War pitted Jean of Berry and nobles loyal to him (with much to gain from his victory) against his rival claimants, Louis, Duke of Orléans and Louis of Anjou, Jean’s brother. Louis, Duke of Orléans was supported by his uncle Phillip the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy. To the south, Guillaume, the Duke of Bordeaux and husband of Jeanne, daughter of Charles V, supported Louis once the young heir promised to make him Duke of Guyenne, re-establishing the former duchy in the provinces of Gascony, Guyenne and Poitou.

Jean enjoyed early success in the battles of Ingraninas and Mehun-sur-Yevre and by 1389 he controlled Orléans. That year, Louis married Marie-claude, daughter of Phillipe the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. In the south, the new Duke of Languedoc, seeing Phillipe as the eventual victor and desiring his to recognize his ownership of Languedoc, rallied to his cause, assisting in defeating the forces of Guyenne and Brittany in the battles of Plaisance and Liniers. The war was eroding support for Jean and he moved on Paris to attempt to force a treaty with Louis and Phillip. The siege of Paris lasted 2 years and only ended with the death of Jean of Berry. A temporary peace was made with Louis of Anjou and his backer the King of Brittany. The new King Louis II would not accept the former’s claimed inheritance on Languedoc, as he had received crucial support from the new Duke and he and Phillip needed to ensure peace with Languedoc’s liege, the King of Savoy.

The Kingdom of France seemed secure again, and there followed a period of peace until the death by drowning of Louis II in 1408. Louis IIs wife, Marie-Claude, had by this time borne him a daughter, Genevieve and son, Charles. Phillipe immediately appointed himself regent of the young prince and made permanent peace with Brittany, guaranteeing them Anjou at the death of the ailing and childless Louis of Anjou (his brother) in exchange for recognition of Charles as king and himself as regent. In the south, the Dukes of Guyenne and Auverne also swore allegiance to the Charles VII. The new peace confirmed the salic inheritance laws for the kingdom. Phillip ensures the marriage of Genevieve to his son Robert, the future Duke of Burgundy. At Phillip’s death in 1411, Robert assumes the role of Regent to the young King of France, Charles VII.

In February of 1416, Charles VII dies, childless at 13 years of age. Robert, Duke of Burgundy, is pressed to claim the throne by many of his nobles. This would effectively unite the Kingdom and the Duchy for good and create a powerful realm that would be a significant threat to its neighbours, especially Savoy and Brittany. War would in all likelihood ensue.

Robert nonetheless claims the throne of France and prepares for war. The King of Brittany allies with the young Francois, Duke of Guyenne, who claims the title of King through his father, the brother of Charles VI and the rightful claimant under strict salic law. The King of Savoy, already concerned with a growing conflict with Genoa and Swabia, offers little support, but does not prevent the Dukes of Languedoc and Auverge from siding against Robert.

Robert wins a major victory at Hézy, but his general, Count Benoit of Boucher, is soundly defeated at Pont de Gouchard. Smaller conflicts dominate the campaigning season of 1417, hampered by poor weather and heavy rains in much of central Gaul.

In July 1418, despite a limited victory at Aix-la-montagne, Robert is wounded and dies a week later. Amedee, King of Savoy, convenes a peace treaty that sees the throne of France ceded neither to Francois, nor Phillipe III, the future Duke of Burgundy. The Kings of Brittany and Savoy, settle what was for them a long-standing question of avoiding the growth of the Kingdom of France. Along with Phillipe’s regent, the Count of Jura, they decide upon the division of France, and the end of the old kingdom. Francois, having no powerful backer, retreats to Guyenne, accepting lordship over three provinces but recognising no leige.

And so the game opens in 1419. Burgundy is ruled by the regent, Jacques, Count of Jura. Soon Phillipe will become Duke of Burgundy and face the difficult question of the direction his new realm should go. The crown of France remains for someone to claim it, but it will only happen through force of arms. The claimants include the Dukes of Burgundy, Bourbonnais, Auverne, Orléans and Guyenne.
 
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MattyG

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Here now are each of the country descriptions, as they appear in game.

Adal
The Sultanate of Adal rose to prominence in the late 1300s, one of many Somali and Afar muslim city states. Adal led the break with the Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia, extending its territory from Zeila, its capital, through the fertile valleys of the Jijiga and the Harer plateau to the Ethiopian highlands. The Sultanate has strong ties with the Islamic states to the north from which it received considerable aid during its war with Ethiopia. It continues to confront expansionist Christian Ethiopia.

Al-Andalus
Following the defeat of the Almohads in the battle of al-Iqab (Navas de Tolosa) in 1212, the Muslim kingdoms and emirates were soon threatened by the advancing Christian armies attempting to 'liberate' central and southern Iberia, which had become Muslim at the high tide of expansion in the eighth century. In that hour of crisis, a warrior monk by the name of Mohammed al-Ahmar (the first Nasrid) captured by the force of arms the cities of Cordoba and Seville, where he proclaimed a new regime, and initiated a series of military reforms aimed at stopping the already-weakening tide of Christian warriors. Inflicting further defeats upon the Christian opponents on the field, he was able to lift the siege of Cordoba. Upon entering the city he relocated his administration to the Rusafa and declared his Kingship over all of al-Andalus. By the fourteenth century, Al-Andalus had returned to another period of corruption and internal dispute, and the Christian dukes made significant progess, securing the important cities of Barcelona and Lisbon. However, Al-Andalus returned to the offensive under the leadership of Sultan Mohammed al-Gani, and these cities quickly fell back into Muslim hands. As the fifteenth century opened, only four Iberian states - Porto, Leon, Asturias and Navarra - remained between the Sultan's territories and those of the disorganized independent duchies of southwestern Gaul.


Armenia
Dating back to the 6th century B.C, Armenia is one of the oldest nations in the world and also reckoned as the oldest Christian state. Armenia was conquered and ruled in turn by Alexander the Great, Syria, Rome and Persia until it could enjoy a period of autonomy under native rulers . Armenia's conquest by the Seljuk Turks in 1232 and their subsequent siege of Antioch urged Pope Gregory IX to call for a third crusade, inpart to build strong relations with the Byzantines, who were hard-pressed by the Seljuks. Initially granted as a principality to Ansèume de Toulouse, the later separation of Armenia from the rest of the Kingdom of Jerusalem led to local revolt against the foreign dynasty, leaving Armenia fully independent since 1358.

Ashanti
Sometime prior to the 13th century, Akani tribes migrated into the forests of present-day Ghana, establishing small states in the hilly country near modern Kumasi. By the late 17th century the states had been welded together by the Oyoko clan into the Ashanti confederation, with its capital at Kumasi and the Oyoko chieftain as king. After subduing various neighboring states the confederation eventually came into conflict with British settlers on the coast, although treaties of friendship were negotiated in 1817 and 1820.

Auvergne
The Duchy of Auvergne was formed in 1360, a reward to the younger brother of Charles V and incorporating counties speaking langues d'oil and langues d'oc. Auvergne played only a minor role in the Salic wars that destroyed France, despite having a claim upon the throne. Preferring to remain neutral and to support a winner when he should emerge, the stalemate equally profitted ther duke, as the peace of 1418 ensured Auvergne's independence.

Azteca
Azteca rose to prominence in the 14th century through agrarian success married to a militarist cultural elite. Through careful alliances and military succes, their alliance with the Ben Zaa ensured the demise of the dominant Maya Empire. Turning on their Ben Zaa and Tlaxcalan allies, the Azteca established a new empire. It was to be short lived, the Zaptoec defeating the Azteca and Mayan under their king Cosijoeza.

Baden
The Baden region was actually a confusing jigsaw puzzle of petty margraviates and ecclesiastical states until the magravaines abandoned the Wittelsbachs in favour of marriages and alliances with the Habsburgs of Swabia. This brought both additional claims and the political sway for the establishment of Baden as a Grand Duchy in 1394.

Bavaria
Once a minor duchy under the Holy Roman Emperor, the Duchy of Bavaria expanded quickly in the time of the Crusades, as its dukes found themselves heirs to several other territories when their brides were the last survivors of crusading families. With the absence of French and English knights, Bavaria, along with Savoy and Brittany, played the major role in the successful 3rd crusade, and the subsequent defence of Baghdad against the Il-Khanate. Combined with skillful marriages, the Wittelsbach family became the most powerful in Germany and effective came to 'own' the title of Emperor.

Benin
Benin served as the capital of a kingdom that was probably founded in the 13th century, and flourished from the 14th century until the expansion of Malian power in the late 1300s. Benin remains independent but pays considerable deference to Mali. While its northern neighbour maintains military superiority, Benin has the more advanced administration, with a highly educated and literate bureaucracy.

Ben Zaa
The Ben Zaa are a collection of city states united by a similar pantheon of gods but which were often divided and at war. Easily dominated by the Maya Empire of the 12th and 13th century, they were part of the Azteca and Tlaxcalan alliance that overthrough the Maya in the late 1300s. The Azteca turned on their allies and dominated the region until 1407 when the new king Cosijoeza led a brilliant campaign to overturn the Azteca and bring the Zaptoecs to prominence. As 1419 begins, Cosijoeza has been dead three years and the new emperor ponders the future for his young empire.

Bohemia
The legendary founders of Bohemia, or Cechy, were Premysl and the princess Libuse of the Czechs, who was told to marry a man she would see building a threshold (Praha) in the middle of the forest. Bohemia became a part of the Holy Roman Empire in 950 but kept internal freedom and still enjoyed the status of kingdom inside the Empire. The Golden Age of Bohemia came with the reign of the Emperor Charles IV ) who made Praha his residence. Bohemia would see the first serious attempt of religious reformation with the Hussite wars in 1434.

Bosnia
In the early 11th century the Eastern Roman Empire lost its grip on Bosnia, which became a vasal state of Hungary. During the 12th century, the rulers of Bosnia started acting independently, which caused subsequent Hungarian raids of the country. The next century saw Bosnia gaining independence from Hungary and enter a period of great territorial expansion which ended with a civil war over succession in . While peace has been restored, Bosnia has neither the economic might nor the manpower to consider the expansion it had begun prior to the civil war.

Bourbonnais
The current Duchy of Bourbonnais was formed in 1417, one of the successor Duchies from the dissolution of France at the close of the Salic War. The dynasty comes from John, Duke of Berry and is a claimant to the crown of France.

Brittany
The Kingdom of Brittany emerged from the Celtic tribes that lived in Gaul prior to the Frankish migrations. The dukedom was conquered by first Charlemagne and later the Normans, but has been independent from French control since 1203. The Interregnum history of Brittany begins with the third crusade. With France failing to provide more than a token support to the Pope's request for men, the significant support provided by both both Savoy and Brittany led to their elevation by the Pope to kingdoms. Brittany, still a lesser power, played the English and French off against one another successfully, and made the most of her oppostunities, Gaining cornwall from England during the War of the Saints, and Maine from France following the Salic Wars. By 1419, Brittany stands as one of the great powers of western Europe. With close ties to both French and the English, expansion is possible in either direction, but it is its position as a western seafaring nation that holds the most promise for Brittany, when the age of exploration arrives.

Bulgaria
The history of the Bulgarians begins in the 7th Century, when a group of tribes of Turk-Altaic origin established a Kingdom in the old Roman province of Thracia. At its height the Bulgarian Kingdom rivaled the Byzantine Empire, but it fell into decline in the 10th Century and was eventually conquered by the Byzantines in 1018. Although the Bulgars successfully revolted in 1185 and established a new kingdom, they never quite managed to regain their former power.

Burgundy
Once the most powerful duchy within the Kingdom of France, Burgundy can trace the lineage of its rulers back to the sons of Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor in the early ninth century. The duchy grew in strength steadily and eventually was a vassal of the King of France in name only. The Salic Wars provided the Burgundians with their opportunity to usurp the supremacy of the French crown in Gaul and, later, to secure the crown for themselves. However, the Salic Wars inevitable drew in the Kingdoms of Savoy and Brittany, turning the tide against the Burgundians and their allies. By 1419, the young heir, Phillipe has been presented with an offer from the pope to recognise Burgundy as a separate kingdom, if it concedes its claims to the French throne.

(Abbasid) Caliphate
The decisive battle of Ayen al-Bugdadiya that saw the Mongol Hordes repulsed from Baghdad should have propelled the Caliphate to continue in its role as the world's tower of scientific study, progressive thinking and artistic genius, but instead it loosened the social and religious cohesion maintained by the Caliphate in the Middle East. Locked between the furtive Il-Khanate and the Outremer, the Caliphate entered a period of economic stagnation, poor military fortunes and cultural strife due to a wave of Orgiz, Persian and Turkish refugees. This was followed by the black plauge of 1278 that decimated the population of Iraq, further weakening the state. The Caliphate found itself locked between foes, on its guard against invasion and consumed by continuous border disputes. The 1300s became a period dominated by palace factionalism, military coups and the usual malaise of court-based political systems. Although the Abbasids continued to preside, they no longer governed. Such circumstances were fertile ground for the Turkish Mameluki guard and Persian beuracrats to sieze control of the court, pushing the traditional polity to the fringes and fragmenting the Caliphate into semi-independent territorial emirates. Despite this political malaise, Baghdad continued to be a centre of philosophy, mathematics, art and astronomy. And Mecca, as the holiest of holy cities for the Islamic world, continued to grow in size and beauty as the words of the prophet spread.

Cossack Hetmanate
The Cossack Hetmanate was a tool of the Golden Horde. For centuries the peoples west of the Volga had paid tribute to the Blue Horde and accepted them as overlords, albeit ones who took little interest in the affairs west of their fortress in Donetsk. The wars which proceeded the formation of a united Golden Horde in 1380 saw rebellions in the west. The future great khan offered semi-independence to the cossacks in return for military support, and upon his victory established the Cossack Hetmanate. While little changed in the life of the ordinary cossack (or magyar, turcoman etc) it was the first stirrings of political activity and nation building that might one day give rise to something the Horde could not control.

Croatia
Croatia's power reached its peak in the 11th century, but internecine strife facilitated its conquest in 1091 by King Ladislaus I of Hungary. In 1102, a pact between his successor and the Croatian tribal chiefs established a personal union of Croatia and Hungary under the Hungarian monarch. Although Croatia remained linked with Hungary for eight centuries the Croats were sometimes able to choose their rulers independently of Budapest. In personal union with Hungary, Croatia retained its own diet and was governed by a ban, or viceroy.

Danishmend
The Danishmend dynasty was a Turcoman family ruling in eastern Anatolia which arose in the 11th century. The dynasty was established by a man whose name is not known, but who held the Persian title Danishmand, or 'learned man'. The Danishmend state was a gazi state, a mercenary despotate, not a monarchy like their Seljuk neighbours. They established themselves in Anatolia in the aftermath of the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, in which the Seljuks defeated the Byzantine Empire and captured most of Anatolia. The Danishmends at their peak ruled territory between Sivas and Melitene and were at various times allies and opponents of the Seljuks, Byzantium the Abbasid Caliphate and even the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Reduced to the region of Kurdistan following a defeat at the hands of the Seljuk in 1182, Kurdish beys rose to prominance within the vassal Danishmend, eventually revolting against the Seljuks and aiding in the break-up of that empire following the third crusade. The Danishmend continued to struggle against most of its neighbours with a strong Kurdish-dominated military culture developing. The Danishmend reached a new cultural and military height in 1414 under the leadership of Nawshiran the Great, but whose son, elected to become the chief bey, has proven to lack his father's ability and confidence.

Danzig
Danzig was formed in 1381, one of the successor states formed from the Treaty of Danzig following the end of the crusades against Lithuania. The Emperor was unwilling to see this important coastal town be granted to either Poland or the Teotonic Order, and so granted it as an independent city-state under his direct protection.

Dichali
The Dichali developed an advanced culture in the desert regions of South-western North America. Developing pottery, architecture, the wheel, paper and irrigation systems enabled them to dominate or defeat surrounding tribes. The discovery of metalworking in the 11th century ensured that the invading Navaho were beaten despite superior numbers and aggression. The Dichali were otherwise isolationist and peaceful, and absorbed the Navaho in to their culture, as they had with previous invading groups.

Eire
Eire's unique political and legal structures faced numerous threats from the 9th century onwards, and her suvival greatly influenced the political direction of the mainland. Viking raids brought about greater regional cooperation for defense and enabled the development of a more cohesive polity and military which enabled Eire to defeat Henry II's army at Ros Mhic Triúin in 1171. This secured not only Eireann heritage, it also broke Norman power in England and enabled the other Gaelic/Celtic peoples to roll back Norman gains, and would lead eventually to the collapse of England in the late 1300s. This greatly reinforced traditionalism in Eire, especially the importance of an army unified under the command of the Ard Ruire.

Ethiopia
Legend states that the Ethiopian royal line descends from the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba of the Bible. Isolated for many centuries after the decline of the Roman Empire, Ethiopia has remained Christian, despite being confronted to the north my the Arab-Egyptian muslims of the Mameluke state and to the east by the muslim somalis of Adel, whom they have long sought to dominate.

Finland
The people of Tavastland, Hämäläiset, gave so strong opposition to the swedish crusades in the 12th and 13th century, that catholicism never took root in Finland, except for the Åbo area (province Finland). Instead the orthodox missionaries converted the Karelians to orthodox faith and they created an orthodox ugric kingdom. Åbo area still remains in scandinavian hands, but the rest of Finland and also the ugric lands all the way to Arkhangelsk and Finnmark are united into an orthodox kingdom.

Friesland
In the early Middle Ages, Friesland extended from the Scheldt River in the south to the Weser in the east. Later, it was partly conquered by the counts of Holland. Friesen's involvement as a supporter of the English crown in the War of the Saints saw its power wane considerably, leaving it open to both internal conflict over the succession, something exploited by the Bavarians, who took the country of Holland in 1368. Having lost Holland, the remaining cities joined the Hanseatic League during its expansion in the period 1360 to 1410, prior to the conflict with the Emperor. As forces aligned against the League, the cities of Friesland were divided over how best to remain at least partially independent, believing that the League would be unable to defend them against their Wittelsbach neighbours. In the insuing political uncertainty - and amid ongoing family disputes - the wealthy Holkemas took control of Friesland using mercenary soldiers and Bavarian allies, and established a dukedom. Their rule remains tenuous, as Friesland has centuries of independent and semi-democratic self-governance, but with their imperial support there is no immediate threat.

Gelre
The Duchy of Gelre has rarely been genuinely independent, having been a vassal in recent times of Friesen, Burgundy and France and before that to various germanic and Frankish kingdoms. With the collapse of France, Gelre has found itself its own master for the first time, and has begun to carefully build friends throughout Europe.

Genoa
The merchants of Genoa gained the status of a Free Imperial City within the Holy Roman Empire in the eleventh century, while the Emperor was busily mobilizing his troops for the First Crusade and was sorely in need of the gold tribute that the merchants were offering for this declaration. After a century of careful diplomacy, Genoa bought its independence. Once out from the Emperor's hegemony, Genoa engaged in a series of military operations against the disorganized tribes of the islands west and south of Italy, some of which had not been subject to outside rule since the fall of Rome, using these as way stations and as markets for its growing trading empire. Economic disputes, including the refusals to accept one another's coinage, led to repeated wars with Venice through the fourteenth century. Finally, in 1381, the armies of Genoa and its Northern Italian allies conquered Venice, and forced its entire merchant class to relocate to Genoa, thus consolidating the two trading centers which dominated the region into one. The Republic of Genoa having thus become the strongest power in Northern Italy, now looks to expand its influence, and has built strong relationships with the Byzantine emperors, financed the Kingdom of Savoy in the Salic Wars and seek at every turn to confront the Kingdom of Sicily for influence in the rest of Italy and the Mediterranean.

Golden Horde
The Golden Horde was one of the successor states to Gengis Khan's enormous empire. It occupied most of the Mongols' European territory and held all of the Russian principalities east of the Teutonic Order. The state went through a slow but steady decline due to willful neglect of the western possessions, with the Russian principalities becoming vassals only in name and rarely paying tibute. The

Guyenne
Guyenne is an independent duchy which arose from the Salic wars which broke apart France in the period 1380 to 1418. Formed by Charles V in exchange for his son-in-law Guillaume's support in the war against Maine and Brittany. Guillaume's heir, Francois, became a principal claimant to the French throne on the death of Charles VII, but the peace brokered by Savoy and Brittany saw France divided and none of the claimants recognized. Francois has not given up his claims and war may soon engulf Gaul once more with the ascension of Phillipe as Duke of Burgundy.

Halych-Volhynia
Halych-Volhynia was created by Prince Roman the Great of Volodymyr-Volyns'kyi after he conquered the Principality of Halych and united both lands into one state at the end of the 12th century. With the help of wealthy burghers, some loyal boyars and Polish princes, he created a relatively strong power, and increased Ruthenian influence in Lithuania. He also signed a peace treaty with Hungary and developed diplomatic relations with the Byzantine Empire. Later subjugated, by 1221 Mstislav the Bold had liberated Halych-Volhynia from the Hungarians, but it was Danylo, son of Roman, who re-united all of south-western Ruthenia, including Volhynia, Halych and Kiev. Danylo defeated the Polish and Hungarian forces in the battle of Yaroslav in 1245, but at the same time he was compelled to acknowledge, at least nominally, the supremacy of the Tatar Golden Horde. In 1245, Pope Innocent IV allowed Danylo to be crowned king, although his realm continued to be ecclesiastically independent from Rome. After King Danylo's death in 1264, the kingdom was weakened, being nominally ruled by Danylo's sons, but in fact controlled by the boyars. The rise of Lithuania threatened Halych-Volhynia. Halych-Volhynia found itself in a common position, stradled between east and west, and another struggle between Catholics, Orthodox and pagans. In typical fashion it nominally supported Lithuania to avoid the wrath ofJurgis Granaskauskas, but was later instrumential in bringing together the alliance to end Lithuania. The Halych-Volhynian general, Jacenty the Homeless, was the commanding general in the two most significant battles, and oversaw the final siege of Kaunas. In part because of the Halychian involvement in the conflict and in part to foil the ambitions of the Order and Hungary, Halych-Volhynia was granted the Podlasia region as part of the Treaty of Lazdijai.

Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League is not a true nation in the traditional sense, but rather a perpetual alliance of a growing number of city-states. It began as a trade union of the Free Imperial Cities of the Baltic and North Sea coastal regions, though four important new members have been accepted over time. The League sought ever for expansion, believing that only though economic and military strength would their (semi-)independent status remain. The growth in Hanseatic trading power attracted additional cities to apply for membership, and careful diplomacy, married to hefty payments in gold to the Emperor, saw the incorporation of Novgorod and Flanders. In the early 1370s, following the collapse of the Kingdom of England and its subsequent demise at the hands of Scotland, the southern half of the Kingdom made a last stand under the Earl of Wessex and the Lord Mayor of London at the Battle of Cambridge, and forced Scotland to halt its conquest. The City of London preferred membership in the League to the lordship of Wessex and while the League voted to accept it, states began to align themselves against the League, whose mercantile prowess had grown too strong for many, and whose banking interests had ensnared many foreign nobles. By 1417 the League was at war and attempting to defend a far-flung and loosely organised League against the armies of Bavaria and her allies.

Haudenosaunee

The Haudenonsaunee were undoubtedly the fiercest warriors to roam the St. Lawrence and the northern New York state. They called themselves the, meaning people of the long house, but their enemies referred to them as the Iroqu, an insult meaning 'rattlesnakes'. The French added 'ois' to make it Iroquois. The Iroquois Confederacy consisted of six nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and (later) Tuscarora. They maintained a wide trade network which the Europeans found useful, and subsequently became leading in the fur trade.

Hedjaz

Emerging as a weakened state from the wreckage of the great battle of Bugdadiya, the Abbasid Caliphate was unable to exercise any control over the rebellious Sharif family of Mecca, who immediatly took the route of independence. Healing from the wounds of the bloody Mongol conquest, the Abbasids soon re-affirmed their spiritual hold over the Hedjaz as Masters of Islam.

Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary was formed before the crusades, as a Christianized version of the tribal councils of the warlike Magyar peoples, who emigrated to the Danube River valley during the fall of the Roman Empire. Hungary was kept busy for centuries, fighting small border wars against its Germanic, Polish, and Slavonic neighbors, as well as conquering the Slovaks. Hungary was not directly involved in the crusades to the Holy Land, instead supporting the Teutonic Order in its campaigns westwards. The reinvigoration of the Byzantine Empire consumed Hungary during much of the 1300s, as the borders and lesser powers in the Balkans played games to gain advantages and independence. As a result, Hungary was ill-prepared to stem the rise of pagan Lithuania and its conquest of Poland and parts of the Teutonic Order. However, once peace was made with Byzantium in 1369, Hungary was instrumental in the Lithuanian Crusades of 1371-4 and . Following the defeat of Lithuania, Hungary had hoped to secure much of the Polish territory for itself, but the intervention of the Emperor saw the re-emergence of the Grand Duchy of Poland as a mere vassal of Bavaria. Hungary nonetheless entered the 15th century as a power to be reckoned with, not only in the region, but in all of Europe.

Jerusalem
In the 11th century the Caliphate began to hinder Christian pilgrims and their destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher helped bring on the Crusades. Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders in 1099 and became the capital of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The kingdom was expanded upon during the second crusade but in 1240 Armenia fell to the Seljuks. The Pope, seeking to build bridges with the resurgent Byzantium, called for another crusade into the Levant to liberate Armenia (or, at least, Armenian gold) and push back the Seljuk threat to Antioch, which was under siege. The King of France sent only token assistance, England was in turmoil and the Iberian princes were under attack from Cordoba, so the majority of the crusaders came from Savoy and Brittany. The campaigns were a success, not only recapturing Armenia, but through supporting the Caliph against the Il-Khanate and preventing the capture of Baghdad by Hulagu in 1249. Despite the new found friendship between the two long-time enemies, war between itself and its Muslim neighbours was an ever present threat and almost annual reality. The Kingdom remains larely muslim in its faith, though the eastern orthodox church is the dominant faith in Damascus and Judea has seen a sufficient influx of pilgrims to swell the Catholic churches there. Nonetheless, the kingdom's delicate balance of internal political, cultural and religious forces cannot long remain in check by mere force of crusader arms alone, and with Jerusalem now long held in Christendom, the military orders that once ensured a supply of young men from Europe have lost much of their lustre and purpose. Should the politically weak Caliphate ever renew itself, the Latin Kingdom would face a grave threat, as the era of crusading young knights has almost ended.

Jolof
Buur-ba Jolof, the Jolof Empire, arose in the 1300s among the Wolof people, spread outward through migration, war and trade to dominate the region west of Mali. Through a combination of astute diplomacy and acassional tribute, Jolof has maintained its independence from its far wealthier neighbour. Recent advances in seafaring have seen the Jolof begin to trade along the coast north to Morocco, and to begin to develop the capacity for trade with North Africa independent of the Malians. The recent arrival of Berber missionaries has not yet begun to effect the empires pagan traditions, but the kings of Jolof have in the past entertained Islamic clerics.
 
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MattyG

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Lorraine
Lorraine, or Lothringen, as its name indicates, was originally part of the kingdom of Lotharingia, and became a duchy under the Holy Roman Empire.

Luxemburg
The city of Luxemburg was founded in the 10th century on the ruins of a Roman settlement. The duchy grew in prestige and wealth, adding additional holdings through the 11th and 12th centuries. On the death of Waleran III, his son Henri was in minority and refused to involve Luxemburg in the third crusade, taking the advice of the French king, whose daughter he was expected to marry. Henri's death before majority and the success of the third crusade saw Luxemburgs fortunes decline and it was absorbed into the French crown briefly from , when the Salic war provided the opportunity for the heirs of Theobald of Bar, who had refused to renounce their claims when Luxemburg was briefly enfeoffed by the Emperor in 1196. This returned the house of Namur-Luxembourg to the duchy, which they have ruled since, having claims also upon Namur and other parts of Brabant.

Maya
The Maya dominated the peninsula in the 12th and 13th centuries, extracting tribute from cities as far north as Tenochtitlan. They were innovators in agriculture, architechture, writing and seafaring, and they explored and colonised the islands to the west. Their defeat at the hands of the Azteca and their allies hastened their development of a naval culture and emigration to island cities. The Maya are now at a turning point: revive their old cities and retake their empire, or continue to move west and explore the ocean?

Mali
Mali had been a relatively small but wealthy association of pagan city states until the arrival of Islam in the 1370s. The conversion of the Mansa was in part to gain the aid of Moroccan mercenaries to begin a period of conquest that would expand Mali to an empire and centralize greater authority in the Mansa. Mali controls the Gold and Salt trade and the welathy cities of Timbuktu. Relations with Morocco soured with the Mansa's refusal to force Islam, and for its support of the Marrinids in the Moroccan civil war.

Mamelukes
In 1250, the Mamelukes replaced the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt and their first dynasty, the Bahri (Sea) dynasty would rule Egypt for the next 130 years. Named for their barracks on Roda Island, the 'Bahri'. The Bahri dynasty proved as skilled in warfare as they were inept at administration. Their period was known for many revolts from the Egyptian population and it only became worse. Although having a few successful sultans, Nasser Mohamed Ben Qalawoon being one of them, the final blow came in the middle of the 14th Century with the Black Death. Turmoil continued under his sons and relatives, who were either ineffectual or incompetent. The only one of his ten sons that ruled after Nasir and managed to leave anything behind is Hasan. He built what is still possibly the most impressive madrasa in Cairo, which is the Mosque of Sultan Hasan. The Madrasa-mosque is considered to be the finest existing monument of Egyptian Islamic architecture. The body of Hasan lies in a marble tomb inside the mosque. None of Nasir's sons reigned for long. The Mameluke emirs kept murdering the sultans as one faction would become more superior than another. Lacking strong sultans to control them, the Bahri (Sea) and Burgi (Tower) Mamelukes were continually at loggerheads, using their local wars as excuses to plunder the civilian populations. In 1382 an egyptian general, Faruq, took the throne and forcefully crushed what was left of the Bahris and Burgis. Instead Faruq became the head of the new al-Sharay dynasty. Even if the Bahris and Burgis were crushed, the Mameluks had not lost all their power and were still a large part of the army.

Morocco
The Wattasids, an old vizier family of the Marinid dynasty, took over formal control of Morocco in 1419. Truth be told, the Wattasids had been the de facto rulers for more than 50 years already, mastering and maintaining the gold and salt routes of the desert whilst ruling the Maghrib. Indeed, in 1400, Yahyâ al-Wattâsî took advantage of Marinid weakness and started a formal regency in Marrakech. The country was divided into a Southern Wattasidi sphere and a northern Merdinandi sphere. The fighting escalated to a high pitch in 1411 with the battle of el-Basta, where the last Merindi ruler, Abu Sayfun was killed with the bulk of his army. However, Yahya did not enter Fez until 1418 due to the rebellion of Emir Hazim el-Tangi, who carved a small princedom for himself on the Tizi Wozo cross. Yahyâ feared the loss of Timbuktu to the Emir's forces, and thus, rushed to the south where he fought Hazim in a phoney war in the mountains and deserts of the Sahara. Luckly for Yahya, the Emir's rebellion came to an abrupt end when he was killed by his own guards in a general mutiny of the Berbers. The forces of the Emir quickly fell into disorder, and Yahya was able to subdue the south and enter Fas in tiumph. Morocco was united once again, and this time, under competant rule.

Normandy
Normandy was created out of the Peace of Hainault which ended the War of English Succession. The title, traditionally used by the Kings of England, was granted to Reinoud of Gueldres and Zutphen, a claimant to the English throne. It was later inherited by Guy Lodbroke, through marriage to his only daughter. William Lodbroke is the current Duke of Normandy whose sole daughter, Caroline, is engaged to the crown prince of Brittany.

Norway
The kingdom of Norway, united in the Viking era, reached its greatest strength in the 13th century, when Iceland and several islands in the North Sea were still under Norwegian rule. However, after the ravages of the Black Plague in 1349 and 1350, the population in Norway was greatly reduced. The Norwegian nobility was greatly weakened by the catastrophe, and became international rather than national in its orientation. In 1397 Norway entered the Union of Kalmar as Queen Margrete became queen of Norway following the death of the last Norwegian king, Olav IV. Claims to the Norweignian crown from the old Norweignian families of Galloway received support from many of the Norweigian nobility who opposed Norway entering the Union of Kalmar. With Donald MacKendrick elected king and with Scottish backing, the Union backed away from conflict on the assurance that the crowns of Norway and Scotland would remain separate.

Oman
Virtually cut off from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula by vast deserts, the Omani developed their own culture and skewed version of Islam. They declared that the Abbasid hold on the Caliphal title was invalid, citing religious scripture as proof. Mostly for political gain, the Omani Sultans cultivated their animosity to the Abbasid Caliphate by forcefully conquering the al-Hassa region and (for a time) the island of Bahrien during the Mongol invasion. The Sultan of Oman, Abu Lurd even approached Hulagu Khan in the hope of establishing a worthwhile alliance. Attacking the city of Basrah, the expected support from the Khans army, which had fled after the battle of Ayen al-Bugdadiya, never materialised. Alone and defenceless, the Sultan fled southern Iraq to the saftey of his dominion. Despite this 'treachery' the successive Sultans of Oman maintained good relations with the Ill-Khan in hope of one day overcoming their rivals - the Abbasids.

Orléans
The Dukes of Orléans were long prominent within the kingdom of France. The independent duchy of Orléans was established in 1417 following the Peace of Vézelay. The Duke of Orléans is one of the principal claimants to the crown of France.

Papal States
'Lo Stato della Chiesa', or the Papal States, was from 754 to 1870 an independent territory under the temporal rule of the popes, also called the States of the Church and the Pontifical States. The territory varied in size at different times, but began a period of growth in the 16th century when Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI, conquered the petty states of the Romagna and Marche.

Poland
Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the tenth century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first historically documented ruler, Mieszko I, was baptized in 966, adopting Catholic Christianity as the nation's new official religion, to which the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next centuries. In the twelfth century, Poland fragmented into several smaller states, which were later ravaged by the Mongol armies of the Golden Horde in 1241, 1259 and 1287. In 1320, Wladyslaw I became the King of a reunified Poland, but the independence was to be short-lived. The sudden rise of Lithuania under Jurgis saw Poland conquered once more by amies coming out of the east. The Lithuanian Crusades of the 1370s and the subsequent Treaty of Lazdijai saw Poland liberated at the insistence of the Emperor, but with territorial concessions to Halych-Volhynia and under the vassalage of Hungary.

Qarluk
Qarluk are a Turkmen tribal federation which was granted a semi-independent principality by the Mongols for whom they fought, having repulsed the Muslim-Christian alliance which moved east after the Mongol defeat at the gates of Baghdad. The Il-Khanate prevented Islamic missionaries from visiting Qarluk, but permitted Bhuddist monks and missionaries from Armenia. The Turkmen subsequently converted to Christianity, establishing the Church of Qarluk in 1307. Qarluk has steadfastly remained allied to the Il-Khanate, fearful of muslim reprisals.

Ragusa
The City of Ragusa was probably founded after southern Slavs and Avars raided and destroyed the Roman city of Epidaur in the year 614. It is mentioned for the first time in the year 1189 in the trade agreement between the Bosnian ruler Kulin Ban and the Ragusan republic. Subsequent trading agreements with the Bzantines ensured independence and prosperity for a city which was becoming increasingly Italian in its cultural make-up, and which attracted a large jewish population. Ragusa remained a peaceful state until the rise of the Seljuks, when Ragusa hired mercenaries to re-capture Corfu, which it has retained.

Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was formed when the Celtic tribal kingdoms of northern Britain were finally united in the 1040s, in response to a percieved threat from both the Vikings and the newly united Irish. Scotland remain highly decentralized until after the arrival of the Normans. While the Vikings raided, the Normans instead planned to conquer. The Scots hired Breton mercenaries to augment the clan forces and to develop improved organization and tactics. The Scots repulsed a number of Norman invasions and pushed their frontier south into Northumberland. Scotland's fortunes waxed and waned in the succeeding centuries as it engaged in wars against Norman England, Eire and various raiders from Scandinavia. Disputes among clans typically prevented Scotland from extending its territory or infleunce until the advent of the Stewart Dynasty in 1358. The Stewarts consolidated power, diminishing clan power by transferring all clan-owned land to the crown.

Sicily
The Hohenstaufen dynasty, originally from Swabia, has ruled Sicily and its mainland possessions since 1194, although there remains little connection between the Swabian and Sicilian branches of the family and intermarriage with Italian and Sicilian families have sundered even the linguistic connection. Under the Hohenstaufens, Sicily has steadily regained much of the importance and welath it had attained under Norman rule, when it was one of the most prosperous regions in Europe. However, tensions associated with the crusades and the expulsion of arabs had gravely affected the administration and mercantile strength of Sicily until more recent times. Sicilies involvement in the second and third crusades enabled it to gain an advantageous trading relationship in the Levant, but Sicily's Genoan rivals have been more successful in building an effective relationship with Byzantium. Sicily has long sough to extend its influence in Italy, but the Papacy has effectively played Sicily off against its rivals, Genoa, Milan and (formerly) Venice. The destruction of Venice has solidified Genoa as the principal Christian power in Italy and the Western Mediterranean, and Sicily ponders how it might best meet this threat.

Teutonic Order
The 'Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Ierosolimitanorum', or Order of the Teutonic House of St. Mary in Jerusalem, is a German Roman Catholic religious order formed at the end of the 12th century in Acre in Palestine. A crusading order, they established a monastic state in the Baltic following the first of a series of successful campaigns in eastern Europe, originally in Prussia. The Order's combination of urban wealth, military prowess and political strength enabled it to expand under successive crusades into the Baltic and against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Internal troubles hampered the Order during the early 1300s, and with Hungary engaged in wars with Byzantium, the Order was defeated by a resurgent pagan Lithuania. The Order managed to rally Hungary and Halych-Volhynia and defeat the Lith in a series of crusades in the late 1300s, only to face another internal conflict over succession. By 1419, the Order has rebuilt its finances, consolidated its authority and is preparing to enforce Catholicism in its eastern holdings.

Tlemcen
Losing his holdings in Al-Andalus and Morocco to rebellion after the legendary battle of Navas de Tolosa, the Almohad Caliph al-Mansur took refugee in his sprawling citadels in northern Algiers. There, the Tashfinian King attempted to gather and marshal to his new regime what little support remained, and succesfully carved out a new domain from the bosom of his crumbling empire. The Tashfin dynasty continued to preside until it's overthrow by the eminent Emir Qays ad-Din's armies in the battle of Jalaqiya before the gates of Naqfur (Western Orania). The triumphant prince was descended from the Zenata tribes of lower berberia, but claimed to be of Arab extract from the Zayyanid Clan. From then on, his descendents were called the 'Zayyanidiya'. The new dynasty would reach the pinnacle of it's strength during the fluctuating years of the 14th century, where the vast navies of the Moors terrorized the coasts of southern France and Sicily, supported the Cordoban invasion of Aragon against Count Beringer, and defeated the crusader navy off the coast of Bari. Later on, the lucrative pirate trade would be strangled by the offensive of the Christian navies, and Tlemscen would not be spared from a wave of bubonic plauges arriving via Egypt and Italy. The Zayyanid Kingdom would enter into a long period of decline, and one can only summize that her collapse is imminent. But of course, Allah is more merciful.


Swabia
The once strong Habsburg family are sundered. Friedrich of Swabia rules over the rump of the former swaben lands of the Habsburg ancestral lands, while his brother Ernst der Eiserne rules the rich areaas of Steiermark, and the two great strains of the Leopoldine line of the Habsburgs line remain estranged. And while both have claims over Tirol, rogue feudal nobles controlled the Tyrolean mountains. The void presented in german lands due to the weakness of the Habsburgs is filled with Swabia's dynastic rivals, the Wittenbergs of Bavaria, who dominate them diplomatically and militarily. Their only surety was the loyalty of the nobles and burghers of the swiss mountains, whose attempt at independence in the late 14th Century failed utterly at the Battle of Sembach. But the future offered hope to the swaben people. A good marriage by the otherwise undistinguished Sigismund to the Viscontis in the early 1400s gave them considerable clout in Italy, and the Protetant Reformation in the early 1500s saw them take advantage of the political unrest to make several good alliances and military victories. By the late 16th Century Swabia had a real chance of dominating Germany, and Europe.

Wales
The Cymry (or Welsh), like their close kin the Irish and Scots, are a Celtic people with a separate tradition from that of its Belgae-Celtic neighbors in present-day England. The Anglo-Saxon conquest of eastern Britain in the late 5th century did not seriously affect the Cymry, and neither did the Viking invasions. Not even the Normans could bring the hardy Cymry to their knees. The Marcher lords advanced the borders of England little in the succeeding two centuries. Nonetheless, the various princes of Cymru were erstwhile vassals of England, paying a degree of respect and providing longbowmen for the English armies. The departure of 2000 longbowmen prior to Crécy in 1346, ensured Edward III's defeat at the hands of the French, led to Pleshy's campaign in Cymru in 1357 which precipitated the War of English Succession and the demise of England. When the conflict was over, Cymru had been unified under Llewelyn the Great and occupied much of the Midlands of England, a final revenge against the Marcher Lords.

Wessex
With the death of Edward III and his son at the disasterous battle of Crécy in 1346, England's fortunes, first through the Regency War and finally through the War of English Succession in the 1370s that led ultimately to England's partition. The English War of Succession lasted four years and saw battles fought between each of the four 'sides'; France, Scotland, Beauchamp with his Dutch and Norfolk contingents, and Thomas Holland with his allies Brittany and Wales. With each of Holland and Beauchamp aligned most of the English nobility, although the Duke of York sided with Scotalnd. In the course of the conflict, a fifth protagonist emerged, the Parliament, or at least the Commons, through its defence of the City of London against the French and refusal to open its gates to either Beauchamp or Holland's forces. The conflicts resolution one was of the most complicated in Europe's history, involving nascent international diplomacy and deal brokering, with the Pope in Rome as an eventual aribiter, something that would occur again in 40 years with the collapse of France. The Pope revoked the title of King of England in an effort to force a peace, and vowed that any of the protagonists which claimed the title would subject their country to an immediate injunction and suspension of mass. The Peace of Hainault sought to give each of the surviving factions something they could walk away with with honour. Wales gained the midlands and had Llewelyn recognized as King of Wales. Brittany gained Cornwall and prevented France from taking either the English crown or, directly, all its continental possessions, instead seeing the rebirth of Normandy. France regained Calais and Picardy, while Scotland gained the Northern Marches. The Duchies of Wessex and York were recognized as independent, though their effective vassalage to respectively Brittany and Scotland were no secret. And the City of London was made a free city under the its parliament, but as a direct vassal of the Duke of Normandy. Holland and his heirs ruled the duchy wisely, steering a course which avoided being overly dependent on Brittany, but which also would not appear to suggest Wessex would attempt to recapture the crown of England. That is, until the young, dunamic Henry II inherited the duchy. Determined to unburden Wessex of Breton influence, he has made no attempt to hide his desire to expand Wessex's importance in the region.

Yemen
Yemen's strategic location and its importance as a commercial centre long made it a coveted conquest for its rapacious neighbors. Muslim Arabs held the region since the the 7th century.The Imams of the numerous Yemeni dynasties - the Ruslids and Bazluks had always been supportive of the Caliph, perhaps due to the fact that they needed protection from their more greedy neighbours in Oman. Even after the devestating battle of Ayen al-Bugdadiya they remained loyal to the Abbasids - an indispensible tool to the crown of Abbas.
 
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MattyG

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Interregnum is an alternative history mod with a focus on a balanced multiplayer environment.

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Traditional English Translation and Definition

An Interregnum is a period between monarchs, between popes of the Roman Catholic Church, emperors of Holy Roman Empire, polish kings (elective monarchy) or between consuls of the Roman Republic. It can also refer to the period between the pastorates of ministers in some Protestant churches, or generally, any gap in the continuity of a government, organization, or social order.

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Another Interpretation

Inter means 'among,' as well as the sense of 'in between' being used for periods between monarchs.

Regnum means "rule, authority, kingdom, realm."

"Among" + "Kingdoms/Realms" = Multiplayer?

Accordingly, we'd like to think that Interregnum would be the Latin term for maultiplayer. :)



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Vision and Design principles for Interregnum


Vision

Design Principles[/URL]

Event Scripting


===================

FAQ

Q: What is the difference between Interregnum and Aberration?

A: Aberration is where Interregnum began and they still share some surface similarities, but they are very different mods. Aberration ceased development late in 2004, sadly without resolving its many bugs and with relatively few complete country files. In early 2005, the Interregnum team took the Aberration scenario into a new direction. Aberration was the nice start, but Interregnum is the great finish. :cool: You do not need to install Abberration to play Interregnum, they are entirely unconnected mods.


Q. What are the differences between Interregnum 1 and 2?

Interregnum 1 has the vanilla map, Interregnum 2 an expanded map. There will be many differences both necessitated by - and made possible by - all these extra provinces. However, Interregnum 2 will also have completely different event/leader/monarch files for some Al-Andlaus, Seljuk Egypt (formerly Mamelukes), Anatolia and the Berber provinces of North-west Africa.

Interregnum 1 will not see many updates after 1.02 comes out, at least nothing MattyG compiles (someone else may take the lead on it if they chose). The creative work of the current team will be almost entirely focused on Interregnum 2.


Q: Is Interregnum also for solo play?

A: Absolutely. It is mostly played in a solo form, and is excellent for solo or multiplayer. But the design has kept in mind some of the specific needs of the MP format to maximise the quality of game play there, to include special event features and options, and is designed to have a large selection of 'balanced' countries to play.


Q: How do I install it?

A: Unpack the .rar file into your main EU2 folder. Open and double click on the .bat file.


Q: Can I contribute to this mod?

A: I was wondering if you were going to offer! Absolutely. We take pleasure in receiving new material, however small in scope. Just remember to read the vision and designing guidelines above and note that much of the history has been written and is set in stone, but there are lots of gaps. Feel free to help fill them in.


Q. What's up with Asia? I can't select any of those countries to play.

A: Asia has only begun to be developed, and nations will become selectable once they lose their generic conditions and have proper leaders, monarchs and some events. This has happened for Wei, Song, Ming and Champa. This may not change for Interregnum 1, but Interregnum 2 will one day ( :rolleyes: ) have a fully-realised Asia.


Q: What are all the different Options for Interregnum?

A: There are currently four options for Interregnum, which can be selected at the beginning of the campaign.

Random Events
Not everyone likes random events, so the core random event files are optional. However, the game requires a certain number of random events to function, so there is a backup file containing meaningless random events. Note, however, that there are many random events in other files which cannot be switched off and which are connected with specific event cycles or conditions, usually for just one country. Toggling off the random events will cause these to occur proportionally a lot more than intended. Random Events is normally set to 'on'.

Colonial Events
There are two versions of the colonial events. One includes cores on the provinces, which is intended for multiplayer play to grant CBs on stolen provinces. However, because having a core grants you increased troop raising in a province, the standard version excludes cores in the events. This is normally set to 'off', and should be turned to on for MP campaigns.

Alternative Reformation
The alternative reformation is the more radical outcome, wherein the Catholic Church reforms itself and Luther becomes Pope. We feel this is a core component of the swath of material we have prepared for you, but because some players might find this too much to believe, we have made the cycle optional. Note that even if you have this option on, the chance of Luther actually becomming Pope is less than 50%, unless, of course, you play the Papal States, in which case you will control the outcome. Normally set to on as an option and must be toggled off.

Cores Events
These events permit you to gain a core on a province once certain conditions have been met. generally, these include the province being on the same continent, having the same religion and your badboy being less than 4. It can also be lost if you lose the province.

Large Nation Events
These events bring in regional revolts for larger empires. A little more finesse might be required for their triggers, and not all players like these kinds of events, so they have been made optional.


Q: Will Interregnum be upgraded to one of the bigger maps?

A: This process is now underway, as evidenced from the thread titles in the forum. But it is a long process. Don't expect Interregnum 2 to have the same depth in events as Interregnum 1 for a long time. Translating any event that has provinces in it effects or triggers is going to take a long time.
 
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