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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

zenphoenix

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Now that you mention it, Neurhomaina probably won't use the colonial flag since they want break off from the Reich. Otherwise, good idea, like the idea of the Nsolorian and Quechua/Amazonian separatist adopting the other flag in opposition to European descended Neurhomainans. Nsoloria would obviously have a communist variant of the flag, while the Amazon would be more Twantinsuyu based.
Those are some good ideas. Maybe Nsorala's flag could take inspiration from real life left-wing black nationalist groups? I'm not familiar with them though. Meanwhile the Amazonian flag could focus on forest, river, and sun imagery because of Tawantinsuyuan influences.
That right there is pretty much the reason why I reacted so strongly to the red flags surrounding Wilhelm Karl since Chapter 451, because Otto has been pretty hands off and neutral as a ruler, allowing liberal traditions to prosper under a meritocratic government, something Wilhelm Karl probably won't do. Not to mention that Wilhelm Karl will probably break the unconditional trust the Roman people have had in the monarchy so far one way or another, though the people no longer seeing the Kaiser as an infallible leader might be for the best tbh considering how reliant the Reich has been on Hohenzollern leadership in the past.
Otto's upbringing also affected his attitudes towards civilian representation and meritocratic reform. He lost his father at a young age and watched as his regents struggled to hold the country together or, in Angelos' case, intentionally inflame tensions and exploit weaknesses. His childhood was full of clear demonstrations of how the Metternich system was falling apart, telling him he needed to replace it with something. And his experience meeting the Muslim shop owner and his first meeting with Adenauer alerted him to the problems the common people had that were being ignored by the Metternich system. The outbreak of the war and Angelos' rebellion was the nail in the coffin for the Metternich system. If the Reich continued on its current path, another Angelos would inevitably have risen up if the people didn't get tired of people like him using them as cannon fodder first. So when the war ended, Otto established the Ottonian system. To avoid the hypercentralization the state experienced under Franz Joseph and his chancellors, he delegated power to the civilian government and the federal states. He stayed neutral for the most part except to provide a moderating force when political extremes arose again. This preserved the image of the monarchy as a guiding force essential for the success of meritocracy and a guardian of the people's rights and livelihoods.

And yet in doing all this, he inadvertently repeated the same issue that plagued Franz Joseph. The whole system assumes the Kaiser acts like Otto as a fair and impartial neutral party who moderates the excesses of government. The decentralization, which was intended to avoid the chaos between 1918 and 1944, only creates another problem when someone decides they want to micromanage again. As you will see, Wilhelm Karl has no desire to be like his father...

It's kind of a miracle the Hohenzollerns have gone for so long without tyrannical rulers for the most part. But unfortunately nothing lasts forever. There will be major consequences moving forward into Stellaris.
Like I said before, as much as I like Otto (him and Anne are my two favorite characters in this AAR), the idea behind Wilhelm Karl is very intriguing. Hohenzollern Kaisers throughout this megacampagin have been very competent and benevolent rulers so far, with Reinhard "the Mad" being the exception (Bethune and Arbon don't count because they're pretenders) so having an Hohenzollern be an antagonistic figure like Angelos or Valentin would be fascinating.
It's easy when the enemy is an outsider and other you can easily label. It's different when the enemy is not.

I also liked writing about Otto and Anne. Their character arcs spanned decades and many eras and it was great to see how they were shaped by the Reich and in turn shaped it. But in the end, they are still human.

I will say that you probably shouldn't trust everything you read about Wilhelm Karl...
So I was watching this video about world building tips for fictional monarchies when I thought about the interesting things about the Hohenzollern monarchy's relationship with liberalism. On one hand the Hohenzollerns were more progressive than most real life societies, leading to backlash from reactionary groups like the Iconoclast and Puritains heresies, the Maxmists and the Angeloi. On the other hand, the monarchy still remains tethered to old ideas like male preference primogeniture despite the Pragmatic Sanction having been abolished for the decades, or the fact it's still technically a dejure absolute monarchy, a left over from the absolutist Metternich system I imagine, even through its more of a de facto constitutional monarchy at this point, not to mention the Reich still practices Caesaropapism with the Kaiser as head of both church and state. Those were the interesting tidbits about the Hohenzollern Kaisers I've noted as a result of the video below, I feel like the role the Hohenzollerns have had in being both promoters of progressive ideas like Romanitas and liberal meritocracy and the old cultural links to the Reich's feudal past, as well as the general shifting of monarchies and republics on the political spectrum between liberal open societies and authoritarian regimes, would make an intriguing topic for a lore update in itself IMO, through whether or not you do want to write said update is your decision.
I actually used his videos on worldbuilding to help write those "essay questions" and responses. His videos helped me work on another series of essay questions where I worked out how exactly Friedrich the Great united the Reich and kept it together. What communication methods he used, what industries he focused on, what branch of the military was prioritized, what made up the majority of troops, how those troops were transported, where fortifications were prioritized and how the Sunset Invasion changed that, how the Sunset Invasion changed Roman foreign, military, economic, and colonial policy to shift to a naval focus and look overseas, and so on. I've been folding most of the information I gathered into the history class segments though they will need some tweaking.

The Hohenzollerns were definitely very progressive especially compared to many contemporary societies, which Friedrich the Great used as a strength when he united the nation. By drawing the different peoples of Europe together against a common threat and under a regime where all could be treated fairly, he provided an alternative to the other feudal realms at the time, which were slowly subsumed into the growing Reich. Naturally, there was only so far he could go. His reign still relied heavily on powerful nobility, but with the help of loyal noble houses like the Habsburgs, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringens, and Schweinfurts, he succeeded in reducing their powers and increasing his own. Although the political power of the nobility was decisively ended when the Metternich system was replaced with the Ottonian one, their influence remains, as evident by their convincing Otto to name Wilhelm Karl as his heir. Old habits die hard.

The Reich is still technically a de jure absolute monarchy, although it's closer to a constitutional monarchy at this point, with meritocratic examinations filling in for democratic elections and the Augustinian Code and other uncodified laws and customs filling in for a true constitution. Otto still kept the Metternich idea of sovereignty being derived from the Kaiser, only now granted to the people, as well as the old idea of divine right of kings, which ties in with the caesaropapism of him also being the head of the Church. There is an informal separation of church and state being practiced, but it is effectively only enforced by Otto as he is on the line between them.

I might work on your suggestions as part of the school arc I'm working on.
That's really interesting. The Origins of Modernity were some of my favorite chapters from EU4, so I'm exicted to see more updates in their style.
Not really an Origins of Modernity-style update unfortunately but more of students just working on history projects and stuff like that.
I did find it interesting that the Orgins of Modernity were written from an universe perspective as well, a professor from Neu Brandenburg called Reinhard Markos IIRC. Maybe you could have him narrate your future lore updates, or even introduce him as a character in the story arc updates, that would be cool.
I could add him in future updates as a university lecturer. I did say or at least implied he wrote those texts from around the present day.
Although, now that you mention the colonization of Japan, I'm now really tempted to rewrite this Sabaton song about the Satsuma rebellion into a song about a last stand of an alliance of Christain and Shinto daimyos making a similarly desperate last stand against Ming and Korean armies for the fate of Japan. I get the feeling that such a battle would resonate strongly with the two Japanese countries and the cultural conscious of post colonial Sinosphere and Roman sphere, even more so than the real life battle of Shiroyama.
That would be cool.
I'd also like to flesh out the Battle of Mobile between the UPM and the Eimerican Equalists during WW3 in a similar update as well. Maybe I could talk about how the effect the battle had on causing the collaspe of the Eimerican Equalist regimes, due the humiliation the Equalists had in losing the war, while the battle strengthened the UPM's long term posistion in the Eimericas while also causing short term instability at home due heavy causalities the Mitteleimericans took to win the battle (I remember the 80s update mentioned a civil war that occurred in the UPM after WW3 from 1986 to 1992).
Maybe I'll add that as an essay question. The Battle of Mobile would definitely have humiliated the CSSA, as they sent much of their army to retake the port, and even with the Eimerican Commune's support they couldn't do it. Maybe it was Atoc Sopa Atoc's (the UPM general) tactics, or maybe it was the equalists' incompetence and arrogance. But the end result is that the CSSA's and EC's armies are severely weakened by this diversion and their governments' prestige is tarnished, allowing separatist and nationalist groups to gain reputation and strength.

At home the UPM's economy was likely put under heavy strain due to all the military excursions around the Caribbean, leading to massive unrest. And with most of the military deployed overseas, there wasn't much domestic forces could do to stop the insurgencies.
It makes for a really tragic story as well. The Neurhomainans tried hard to avoid the same fate the mainland Reich went to, only for it to be for naught due to the the consequences of several circumstances, some self inflicted and some outside its control.
Whatever happens, Neurhomania definitely won't be the same after the war.
Despite the best efforts of Samrat Chakravartin Purandaradasa to rebuild India’s economy and stability, there remains great economic inequality in Indian society due to the outdated caste system, and India’s meritocracy remains deeply influenced by traditional nobility, corporate interest groups and old guard generals from the Weltkrieg.
So there would be the potential for coups from different internal factions I guess? Maybe Bose could try to pull the same thing he did in the main continuity. And since Purandaradasa is already really old at this point, I doubt he will live much longer. Maybe he would die much like George V did in 1936 due to the strain of the war and the effects of the peace.
However, there is hope for India to emerge triumphant from the oncoming storm that will be the Second Weltkrieg. The collapse of India’s Roman ally into revolution and civil war, while tragic, has opened up the possibility for India to exert its geopolitical sovereignty by creating a sphere of influence through the support and protection of the Indochina and Sudafrikan secessionist governments and other states who could grow to have sympathies with India. There is even the potential of an alliance and cooperation with the Tianxia pact of the exiled Ming dynasty to take down the Communist threat, as tempting as it is to turn the constituent dynasties of the Tianxia against Ming leadership. Should all else fail, there is always the option of fostering an internal power struggle in the Nationlist Union of China’s leadership and support Puyi’s faction of populists, at the risk of angering the Communist Party. All of that is speculation, for anything can happen in the dark days to come. All we know is that the sun hasn’t set on Mother Bharat’s empire yet and it’s not about to let it set now.
Maybe India could reform the Central Powers, only centered on itself now, or join the Tianxia pact against the communists in exchange for China making some major concessions. You could also focus on the sun themes and symbolism since Purandaradasa styles himself as the son of the sun god and was heavy on such symbolism.

Like the ideas, and I'll edit the table of contents later.
Hoffman is on the move again I see, and quite scary too considering he's now targeting Muslims and Jews at the same time, kinda nice for all the loose ends back in HOI3 being addressed here again, especially since I've quite forgotten most of the characters in the HOI3. And I quite agree with CaptainAlvious, Hoffman being so approachable to his victims really makes him creepy as hell. A worthy antagonist for the X-Division that's for sure.
As important as Engelbert was to HOI3, I also find myself forgetting him and his family sometimes. Conrad and Hans and their families' story has completely overshadowed him. It's actually really hard to envision Conrad and Hans as Inquisitors and Resistance fighters after all they've been through since then.

Yes indeed. X-Division has faced down shadowy global conspiracies, aliens, demons, and literal eldritch entities, but Hoffman is perhaps more terrifying than them in his...normality. Unlike them, he appears to be just a regular man, but his deranged ideology and arsenal of weapons of mass destruction makes him a dangerous threat nobody can expect. Especially since he's supposed to have been dead for decades and the world has since moved on from the Angeloi.
Thank you for the compliment and positive feedback, I’m looking forward to finishing the last few Volkerschalt updates I have planned. I’m putting in some work on the last update in particular, which I believe will be a fitting conclusion to the Volkerschalt story up until 1936. After that, I might take a break in between the Kaiserreich interludes to hammer out my Tianxia lore ideas, through I am open to posting other interludes besides the KR related ones in the meantime when the ideas come up.:)
Interesting. Looking forward to it.
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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On paper, they certainly were poised to become arguably the second strongest nation on the map.
 
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CaptainAlvious

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I actually used his videos on worldbuilding to help write those "essay questions" and responses. His videos helped me work on another series of essay questions where I worked out how exactly Friedrich the Great united the Reich and kept it together. What communication methods he used, what industries he focused on, what branch of the military was prioritized, what made up the majority of troops, how those troops were transported, where fortifications were prioritized and how the Sunset Invasion changed that, how the Sunset Invasion changed Roman foreign, military, economic, and colonial policy to shift to a naval focus and look overseas, and so on. I've been folding most of the information I gathered into the history class segments though they will need some tweaking.
That's great! His videos and the topics discussed in them are really informative and interesting, so I'm happy to hear that they were useful to your world building. :)

If you want any more videos for inspiration for worldbuilding, I've recently stumbled across an interesting channel that discusses interesting ideas about future technology and society in theoretical futuristic societies, with some dabbling in Sci Fi ideas, maybe it could be useful to fleshing out your world building ideas for Stellaris.
I might work on your suggestions as part of the school arc I'm working on.
You could do an essay question about the influence Saint Gundhilda had on Wilhelmina during her upbringing, or the gradual decline of the Catholic Church's authority and power before Saint Wilhelmina mended the Schism under Orthodoxy. I think Saint Gunhilda coverted to Orthodoxy in opposition to the Pope due to a feud between them, so I imagine during her tutorage of Saint Wilhelmina, Gunhilda bought her under her Orthodox values and would have had some influence in Saint Wilhelmina's decsion to declare Catholicism heretical and unite Christianity under the Orthodox church. Plus, Eastern orthodoxy already promoting of Caesaropapism or the autocephalous hierarchy of the clergy were things that I imagine would have been one of many things that convinced Saint Wilhelmina to choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.
Maybe I'll add that as an essay question. The Battle of Mobile would definitely have humiliated the CSSA, as they sent much of their army to retake the port, and even with the Eimerican Commune's support they couldn't do it. Maybe it was Atoc Sopa Atoc's (the UPM general) tactics, or maybe it was the equalists' incompetence and arrogance. But the end result is that the CSSA's and EC's armies are severely weakened by this diversion and their governments' prestige is tarnished, allowing separatist and nationalist groups to gain reputation and strength.

At home the UPM's economy was likely put under heavy strain due to all the military excursions around the Caribbean, leading to massive unrest. And with most of the military deployed overseas, there wasn't much domestic forces could do to stop the insurgencies.
You could also talk about how the battle affected the collapse of the UTR as well, since I think they tried and failed to help the CSSA drive out the Mitteleimericans like the Eimerican Commune did. I imagine it would would have also harmed the UTR's naval capabilities and supply lines to their invasion force in Mayapan, further worsening their economic strain and bogging down their invasion.
So there would be the potential for coups from different internal factions I guess? Maybe Bose could try to pull the same thing he did in the main continuity. And since Purandaradasa is already really old at this point, I doubt he will live much longer. Maybe he would die much like George V did in 1936 due to the strain of the war and the effects of the peace.
I initially was thinking of replacing Bose with someone else, but that is a good idea, very close to what I had in mind.
Maybe India could reform the Central Powers, only centered on itself now, or join the Tianxia pact against the communists in exchange for China making some major concessions. You could also focus on the sun themes and symbolism since Purandaradasa styles himself as the son of the sun god and was heavy on such symbolism.
Good idea, I'll edit in something about Purandaradasa's claim to be Suyra's son into the update.

Since you've mentioned the modern Wolfenstein in this arc, I wonder how different the games would be from OTL? This video essay below makes an interesting point about Wolfenstein's commentary about pre WW2 America and how its white supremacy inspired Nazi ideology, so maybe the TTL Wolfenstein games could talk about the Reich's cases of relgious intolerance and islamophobia, like the persecution of Muslims during the restoration or the suppresion of heretics in the Fifty Years War, inspired the Angeloi in their discrimination of Muslims and other people, despite the Reich building itself on the promoting of equality and fairness under Romanitas officaly. I also like this video's idea about BJ embracing his Jewish roots in opposition to fascist antisemitism and possibly raising his daughters into his culture, that might make for a cool character arc in a third or fourth game.
I also wonder how a skit similar to this one would go in the Hohenzollernverse? Maybe a skit like this could instead be about the Great Synod of Sich that empowered the Inquisition and began their brutal crackdown of heresies throughout the war. With how secular modern Roman culture is, I imagine the skit would portray Mansur Shah Mukhtar as a bloodthirsty lunatic and the other bishops and clergy men in the synod as being too weak willed or buffoonish to stop him. Granted, most Romans probally see the heretics in equal light to the Inqusistion, I imagine they would point out their atrocities as well, especially to non Christians.
On paper, they certainly were poised to become arguably the second strongest nation on the map.
Even then, India still won't be able to take on the NUC on its own, hence the necessity of it to get allies by either forming its own version of the Central Powers alliance or joining sides with the Ming exiles to take down Communist China.
 
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On paper, they certainly were poised to become arguably the second strongest nation on the map.
I'm getting a lot of KR Germany vibes from India.
If you want any more videos for inspiration for worldbuilding, I've recently stumbled across an interesting channel that discusses interesting ideas about future technology and society in theoretical futuristic societies, with some dabbling in Sci Fi ideas, maybe it could be useful to fleshing out your world building ideas for Stellaris.
I'll save those videos for future reference, although I likely won't build any ecumenopolises in Stellaris.
You could do an essay question about the influence Saint Gundhilda had on Wilhelmina during her upbringing, or the gradual decline of the Catholic Church's authority and power before Saint Wilhelmina mended the Schism under Orthodoxy. I think Saint Gunhilda coverted to Orthodoxy in opposition to the Pope due to a feud between them, so I imagine during her tutorage of Saint Wilhelmina, Gunhilda bought her under her Orthodox values and would have had some influence in Saint Wilhelmina's decsion to declare Catholicism heretical and unite Christianity under the Orthodox church. Plus, Eastern orthodoxy already promoting of Caesaropapism or the autocephalous hierarchy of the clergy were things that I imagine would have been one of many things that convinced Saint Wilhelmina to choose Orthodoxy over Catholicism.
That would be really good for an essay question.
You could also talk about how the battle affected the collapse of the UTR as well, since I think they tried and failed to help the CSSA drive out the Mitteleimericans like the Eimerican Commune did. I imagine it would would have also harmed the UTR's naval capabilities and supply lines to their invasion force in Mayapan, further worsening their economic strain and bogging down their invasion.
I remember the UTR focused on Mayapan, and most of their navy was destroyed in several engagements around the Caribbean. Most of their land army probably was diverted to Mobile and destroyed there. This would have dealt a massive blow to the UTR's war effort and domestic reputation, increasing the relative power of separatist and Kanatan annexation movements.
I initially was thinking of replacing Bose with someone else, but that is a good idea, very close to what I had in mind.
Okay.
Good idea, I'll edit in something about Purandaradasa's claim to be Suyra's son into the update.
Maybe you could also talk about his children and heirs, who weren't killed by Abyssinians here and thus still stand to inherit. Sita and Jayasimha would be minor royals far from succession.
Since you've mentioned the modern Wolfenstein in this arc, I wonder how different the games would be from OTL? This video essay below makes an interesting point about Wolfenstein's commentary about pre WW2 America and how its white supremacy inspired Nazi ideology, so maybe the TTL Wolfenstein games could talk about the Reich's cases of relgious intolerance and islamophobia, like the persecution of Muslims during the restoration or the suppresion of heretics in the Fifty Years War, inspired the Angeloi in their discrimination of Muslims and other people, despite the Reich building itself on the promoting of equality and fairness under Romanitas officaly. I also like this video's idea about BJ embracing his Jewish roots in opposition to fascist antisemitism and possibly raising his daughters into his culture, that might make for a cool character arc in a third or fourth game.
Yeah, although I never played those games, I noticed in an LP how the second Wolfenstein game didn't hesitate to talk about American racism and how it inspired and neatly overlapped with Nazism. Wolfenstein here would likely be about an Angeloi victory where they followed through on their ideal of Imperium Sine Fine and took over the world, turning on their former Axis allies as well. Despite its traditions of tolerance, the Reich does have a long history of discrimination and cultural/religious tensions. For centuries, heretics were harshly suppressed, and such laws still remain on the books, although unenforced now. The early versions of the Augustinian Code excluded Mexica and Mongols from its tolerance protections, and Muslims were persecuted until well past the Fifty Years' War. The Maximists heavily suppressed non-Germans and non-Greeks, as well as non-Christians in general, and the Angeloi probably continued that as they initially claimed legitimacy from supporting the Maximists, though Angelos would've deposed them once he was firmly in power. The games would draw on these historical examples to flesh out the Angeloi regime's racial agenda.

The first two games would be set in the Reich. The first game has BJ waking up from his coma but in the Middle East this time (perhaps he is Muslim and Arab as well here). The game has him wandering around the eastern Reich, fighting Angeloi as he goes, and ending up in Constantinople to fight the final boss. The second game has him go to the western provinces, where he sees just how much the Angeloi embraced the undercurrents of intolerance and racism that have been simmering under the surface of Roman society for centuries. The third game would not be set in the future with his daughters (that might work better as a spinoff) but continue his own story, particularly his character arc of embracing his own culture in opposition to the Angeloi.

Naturally one of the final bosses will be mecha-Angelos in a robot suit.
I also wonder how a skit similar to this one would go in the Hohenzollernverse? Maybe a skit like this could instead be about the Great Synod of Sich that empowered the Inquisition and began their brutal crackdown of heresies throughout the war. With how secular modern Roman culture is, I imagine the skit would portray Mansur Shah Mukhtar as a bloodthirsty lunatic and the other bishops and clergy men in the synod as being too weak willed or buffoonish to stop him. Granted, most Romans probally see the heretics in equal light to the Inqusistion, I imagine they would point out their atrocities as well, especially to non Christians.
I'm pretty sure the skit will portray Frederica Augusta and Mansur Shah Mukhtar as conniving bloodthirsty schemers eager to kill heretics, with the Japanese shogun in attendance as the audience surrogate and lone voice of (ignored) reason, while the other bishops and patriarchs are too scared to say otherwise.

Though you're right in that most modern Romans don't have a positive view on the heretic movements. While the heresies themselves are generally seen in a neutral light, the movements that spread them are considered violent intolerant mobs that discredited any chance of peaceful religious reform.
Even then, India still won't be able to take on the NUC on its own, hence the necessity of it to get allies by either forming its own version of the Central Powers alliance or joining sides with the Ming exiles to take down Communist China.
This could tie in with Romanitas and Friedrich the Great's ideal of uniting peoples under one banner. Purandaradasa and his successor could take up Friedrich the Great's banner and rally the Central Powers or Tianxia remnants under their leadership to take down the NUC, a new Hassan. India could even adopt an ideology much like Romanitas, thus becoming the true guardian of Roman ideas (at least until Sudafrika reunites the country).
 
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CaptainAlvious

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I'm getting a lot of KR Germany vibes from India.
Ironically I did use Kaiser Cat Cinema's Germany video as a base of inspiration for this update, so that's probably why India shares some vibes from KR Germany. I'm also citing this other KR video below as inspiration for the Tianxia update for China as well, with several significant tweaks I've made to fit Tianxia China of course, some of them original and some from other sources, like your 1900 China summary in Vicky 2 and other one in NWO.
That would be really good for an essay question.
I imagine some people would consider Saint Gunhilda role in Saint Wilhelmina's education and paving the way for the mending of the schism to be Gunhilda's true legacy, rather than her decorated military career. I imagine Nikephorus' distinguished military career would similarly be slightly over shadowed by his role in the Pragmatic Sanction and the creation of the Siegfriedists and Maximist divisions by some, tho he'd still be well remembered and studied by modern historians.
Maybe you could also talk about his children and heirs, who weren't killed by Abyssinians here and thus still stand to inherit. Sita and Jayasimha would be minor royals far from succession.
Your suggestion made me realize something, I'm pretty Captain Nemo would still be alive in this timeline since he wouldn't have to sacrifice himself during Bose's coup to save Sita and Jayasimha after WW1. I imagine he'd be about as popular if not even more so than Pundarassa or his intented heir, so maybe there could be a succession crisis between the line of Pundaradasa's oldest child and Nemo's line after Purandaradasa dies, which could parallel the Pragmatic Sanction that separated the Hohenzollerns into the Maxmists and Nikephoiran-Siegfriedists branches. I'm not sure which family line they'd support, but I could have Bose and other conservative generals and corporations support one side, while liberal meitrocratic reformers and moderate socialists could support the other. And of course the NUC would take the opportunity to back radical communists who want to abolish the monarchy entirely.
Yeah, although I never played those games, I noticed in an LP how the second Wolfenstein game didn't hesitate to talk about American racism and how it inspired and neatly overlapped with Nazism. Wolfenstein here would likely be about an Angeloi victory where they followed through on their ideal of Imperium Sine Fine and took over the world, turning on their former Axis allies as well. Despite its traditions of tolerance, the Reich does have a long history of discrimination and cultural/religious tensions. For centuries, heretics were harshly suppressed, and such laws still remain on the books, although unenforced now. The early versions of the Augustinian Code excluded Mexica and Mongols from its tolerance protections, and Muslims were persecuted until well past the Fifty Years' War. The Maximists heavily suppressed non-Germans and non-Greeks, as well as non-Christians in general, and the Angeloi probably continued that as they initially claimed legitimacy from supporting the Maximists, though Angelos would've deposed them once he was firmly in power. The games would draw on these historical examples to flesh out the Angeloi regime's racial agenda.

The first two games would be set in the Reich. The first game has BJ waking up from his coma but in the Middle East this time (perhaps he is Muslim and Arab as well here). The game has him wandering around the eastern Reich, fighting Angeloi as he goes, and ending up in Constantinople to fight the final boss. The second game has him go to the western provinces, where he sees just how much the Angeloi embraced the undercurrents of intolerance and racism that have been simmering under the surface of Roman society for centuries. The third game would not be set in the future with his daughters (that might work better as a spinoff) but continue his own story, particularly his character arc of embracing his own culture in opposition to the Angeloi.

Naturally one of the final bosses will be mecha-Angelos in a robot suit.
Great breakdown of Hohenzollernverse Wolfenstein. I like the idea of BJ being muslim and arab, through he should probably keep his Caucasian appearance to look appealing to the Angeloi, which would juxtapose his oppostion to Angelism and Muslim heritage.
This could tie in with Romanitas and Friedrich the Great's ideal of uniting peoples under one banner. Purandaradasa and his successor could take up Friedrich the Great's banner and rally the Central Powers or Tianxia remnants under their leadership to take down the NUC, a new Hassan. India could even adopt an ideology much like Romanitas, thus becoming the true guardian of Roman ideas (at least until Sudafrika reunites the country).
Great idea. I can see Indian positioning itself as the new leader of the meritocratic world, while it could frame the potential Tianxia remant-Reformed Central Powers alliance as democracy and meritocracy, two pillars of free and open civilizations, joining together to take on NUC tyranny.

I just remembered Jane Austen actually worked in Frederica Augusta III's court late in EU4. I wonder her work would be different from OTL due to influence from her time in the Kaiserin's court?

I also wonder how modern Roman feminists would view the Reign of Women as well, since aside from the string of female rulers, I remember some women advancing to prominent positions of power in military and civilian institutions, like Julie d'Aubigny or Jane Austen for examples. I know that alot of Romans don't like the Reign of Women for various reasons, like the Fifty Years War and other overseas military wars for example, but I can see some Feminists note that some progress towards Women rights was made in that time period before gender rights declined after the Pragmatic Sanction and then making a recovery with the Women suffrage moment and culminated with Otto passing the Equal Rights Provision and officially abolishing the Pragmatic Sanction in the pre WW3 80s, even if succession was still based on informal male preference primogeniture.

In fact, I remember several Enlightenment era writers and philosophers, like Voltaire, Immanuel Kant and and other famous thinkers served in the courts of various Reign of Women era Kaiserins. I wonder how this concentration of intellectualism in the Reign of Women's courts would have played into the reforming of the Roman government into Metternich meritocracy? I guess the philosophers would have a major role in the shaping of the Enlightenment Absolutism ideology the Hohenzollerns adopted during the Enlightenment, eventually seeing their ideas implemented into Roman meritocracy under both the Metternich and Ottonian systems.
 

zenphoenix

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I imagine some people would consider Saint Gunhilda role in Saint Wilhelmina's education and paving the way for the mending of the schism to be Gunhilda's true legacy, rather than her decorated military career. I imagine Nikephorus' distinguished military career would similarly be slightly over shadowed by his role in the Pragmatic Sanction and the creation of the Siegfriedists and Maximist divisions by some, tho he'd still be well remembered and studied by modern historians.
Historians would focus more on how Saint Gunhilda mentored Saint Wilhelmina over her military campaigns. Same goes for Prince Nikephoros, whose main legacy is inadvertently causing the Maximist/Siegfriedist split.
Your suggestion made me realize something, I'm pretty Captain Nemo would still be alive in this timeline since he wouldn't have to sacrifice himself during Bose's coup to save Sita and Jayasimha after WW1. I imagine he'd be about as popular if not even more so than Pundarassa or his intented heir, so maybe there could be a succession crisis between the line of Pundaradasa's oldest child and Nemo's line after Purandaradasa dies, which could parallel the Pragmatic Sanction that separated the Hohenzollerns into the Maxmists and Nikephoiran-Siegfriedists branches. I'm not sure which family line they'd support, but I could have Bose and other conservative generals and corporations support one side, while liberal meitrocratic reformers and moderate socialists could support the other. And of course the NUC would take the opportunity to back radical communists who want to abolish the monarchy entirely.
Without the Paramaras in danger, Nemo has no reason to go back to India or even set foot on land. But maybe there would be an event chain if India goes down a certain path which leads to him being the last or only appropriate heir.
Great breakdown of Hohenzollernverse Wolfenstein. I like the idea of BJ being muslim and arab, through he should probably keep his Caucasian appearance to look appealing to the Angeloi, which would juxtapose his oppostion to Angelism and Muslim heritage.
Most likely so he can actually not be immediately spotted by Angeloi guards and taken away.
Great idea. I can see Indian positioning itself as the new leader of the meritocratic world, while it could frame the potential Tianxia remant-Reformed Central Powers alliance as democracy and meritocracy, two pillars of free and open civilizations, joining together to take on NUC tyranny.
That would also cause some issues with Sudafrika and other allied Roman remnants though.
I just remembered Jane Austen actually worked in Frederica Augusta III's court late in EU4. I wonder her work would be different from OTL due to influence from her time in the Kaiserin's court?
Probably not. I've only read one of her books for a class, and it seems like something that can still be very similar.
I also wonder how modern Roman feminists would view the Reign of Women as well, since aside from the string of female rulers, I remember some women advancing to prominent positions of power in military and civilian institutions, like Julie d'Aubigny or Jane Austen for examples. I know that alot of Romans don't like the Reign of Women for various reasons, like the Fifty Years War and other overseas military wars for example, but I can see some Feminists note that some progress towards Women rights was made in that time period before gender rights declined after the Pragmatic Sanction and then making a recovery with the Women suffrage moment and culminated with Otto passing the Equal Rights Provision and officially abolishing the Pragmatic Sanction in the pre WW3 80s, even if succession was still based on informal male preference primogeniture.
Mainstream feminists acknowledge that a lot of talented women were raised to prominent positions during this time, but the Kaiserins themselves had a mixed record. Some didn't do much during their reigns, like Sophia, while some spearheaded continent-wide repression like Frederica Augusta during the Fifty Years' War. It was a mixed record for women's rights as these advisers and leaders were more of exceptions than norms, and in any case it came to a close with the Pragmatic Sanction.
In fact, I remember several Enlightenment era writers and philosophers, like Voltaire, Immanuel Kant and and other famous thinkers served in the courts of various Reign of Women era Kaiserins. I wonder how this concentration of intellectualism in the Reign of Women's courts would have played into the reforming of the Roman government into Metternich meritocracy? I guess the philosophers would have a major role in the shaping of the Enlightenment Absolutism ideology the Hohenzollerns adopted during the Enlightenment, eventually seeing their ideas implemented into Roman meritocracy under both the Metternich and Ottonian systems.
The Enlightenment did lead to early liberal movements, some of which were adopted by Metternich and others which became the foundation of later liberal movements that the Maximists and later Siegfriedists drew from. Early on they were the key players in shaping enlightened absolutism and its gradual transition to Metternich-style meritocracy.
 

CaptainAlvious

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Völkerschalt-Legacy of the Weltkrieg:
Nationalist Union of China

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The Mingzhong Restoration saw the Chinese Empire ascend to a superpower status on par with the Daquin Empire. By the turn of the century, China had a vast colonial pacfic empire to rival and possibly surpass the colonial empires of the Romans or Indians. It seemed like China’s good fortune would only increase when the 20th century dawned, but history has a way of proving an optimistic and hopeful vision of the future wrong. When the Reich launched an invasion of Lithuania in retaliation for the assassination of their crown prince Franz Federaind, we intervened in the hopes of overturning Daquin hegemony by christmas and regain ancient China’s preeminent place in world politics, but all hopes of toppling the Reich quickly were dashed by years of grueling losses and the relentless advance of Roman forces into our homeland. The failure of the Jinyiwei to covertly cripple the Central Powers or even to prevent Roman intelligence services to do the same to our Eimerican allies was the final nail in the coffin and with Roman troops occupying Nanjing and an exhausted and war warry populace, it wasn’t long until China was forced to sign a humiliating peace with “honor” with the western barbarians, forcing China to hand over frontier provinces in the west and South China Sea colonies as concessions to the triumphant Central Powers nations, dismantle a large chunk of the military, heavy and ridiculous war reparations as payment to the victors and even a false confession of guilt for the role Chinese nation had in starting the war.

A peace this humiliating was an unacceptable attack to the pride of the glorious Chinese people, so when the Imperial Army was sent to quell rebellions in Siberia and Manchuria, the army and left leaning members of the Guomindang party would instead defect to the alliance of the Manchurian Aisin Gioro clan and Communist cells in Beijing, allowing us to push the corrupt Ming dynasty all the way to the Pearl River Delta, were they were only saved from destruction by incompetent and treacherous generals and timely intervention of Penglai, Vietnamese and Fusang divisions at the battle of the Pearl River. For now, we are in an uneasy peace with the imperialist Tianxia alliance, but we remain watchful for any opportunity the treacherous Ming loyalist and their Tran, Jin and Song lackeys could use to attack us. The Tianxia Alliance aren’t the only enemies to our new revolution. In the midst of our broken empire, our young nation is surrounded by reactionary forces on all sides, with only Korean and Japanese client republics and distant revolutionary movements in the Eimercas as support. Parts of the Empire that didn’t align with the Tianxia Alliance declared independence, or worse, fell to the spheres of the Roman and Indian Empires. Even internal enemies with our great Union threaten to overthrow the Communist Party and replace it with a reactionary government. Even worse, the hated Indians have taken it upon themselves to spread lies and propaganda against us in the wake of the outbreak of the Daquin Civil War, with the intention of drawing sympathetic capitalist states from Central Asia and a few Roman breakaway states into a reformed Central Powers, with India at the head of this new alliance to keep down the Chinese proletariat.

Yet it is not the Chinese who fear. Even now, Communist revolutionaries have risen up and the Reich and are battling against reactionary forces, and it won’t be long till we will muster the grand armies of the revolution to crush the insidious Indians and the treacherous Tianxia, assuming the Tianxia doesn’t tear itself apart from the arrogant Ming’s petty disputes with their aristocratic Song, Jin and Tran dogs. Even potential traitors within our own ranks should not sleep easy at night, for there will come a time when we have no need of them and we will be free to do away with their pestilence, fulfilling the revolution at home. Tragically, the coming conflict will necessitate the strengthening of the state's power over its citizens to protect the values of the Communist revolution, a necessary and temporary obliteration of the self to protect the whole of the Union's proletariat from the poisonous influence of the Tianxia monarchists, potential internal traitors and foreign capitalist regimes for the foreseeable future; a lesson we learned the hard way from failure of the old and weak capitalist democracy to stop the Athanatoi's sabotage of Chinese national unity.

Even now, as the Indians are busying themselves with a petty succession crisis, there is a call ringing out to every soot covered factory, dirty city streets or the homes of many commoners, read through illegal flyers and presses denouncing feudal serfdom and wage slavery the people are subjected to in nations not touch by the enlightened Communist revolution. It is a call to the downtrodden and underclasses, waking them up to their oppression under capitalism. It is the call to the workers, toiling under cruel industrialists and land owners, to rise up to their oppression and break the chains of their slavery. It is the red call of communism, a chant against despotic the world order the Daquin and the plutocratic barbarians have built, and the dawn of a revolutionary new world rightly lead by the Chinese people; one of peace, freedom and strength. Death to the reactionary enemies of China, long live the revolution!

For modernity, for equality, for the people!
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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China viewing all its neighbors and fellow superpowers as enemies: not a great stance.
 

CaptainAlvious

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China viewing all its neighbors and fellow superpowers as enemies: not a great stance.
But it is an understandable one, given how harsh the post war treaty was to China, a bit like how OTL Germany turned to Nazism as a response to the treaty of Versailles, Hohenzollernverse India embraced the Rasas to make up for its defeat, and Britain and France turned Syndicalist in Kaiserreich. Even the paranoia and totalitarianism of the NUC makes sense since its surrounded by countries who are fearful of it. Granted, the NUC is still the main antagonist of Volkerschalt at the end of the day, but China does have some understandable motives for the otherwise morally questionable choices their regime takes.

I must admit tho, I did get a lot of 1984 vibes while writing this update, hence the references to 1984 I put here. Doesn't help that I was listening to this song while writing this interlude, it's kinda fitting in a morbid way. :D:eek:
Since Dreamworks is still apart of Disney and Pixar is owned by Apple here, how different would their movies be from OTL? I think that most of their movies could reasonably be the same, as they probably wouldn't be affected too much by the change of owner ship from OTL, but certain movies like Shrek would probably be different from OTL. I guess Shrek in particular could still be popular for pointing fun at classical fairy tale tropes and subverting them, but it probably wouldn't have any direct jabs at Disney that OTL Shrek has.

I actually noticed you left the descriptions of the Shrek movies in the 2000s update blank, which I think means that you agree that the films would be pretty different. Regardless, I think we could keep plots of the Shrek movies similar to OTL (if only so we could still have Shrek memes:p), with the exception of Shrek 3, which would have a plot similar to a scrapped plot outline for Shrek 2, only instead of replacing Far Far Away's monarchy with a democratic republic, it would be about the establishing of an Ottonian style meritocracy.

Having read TV Tropes article on Romanticism vs Enlightenment, which I thought was very interesting, I wonder how that debate would affect Roman historiography and culture here? Perhaps the Romantics would play up the role pre existing Christain ideals had on the lead up to the development of Romanitas after the medieval period. Meanwhile the Enlightenment camp would focus on the progress the Reich towards liberalism and meritocracy but also touch on some cases of oppression during Roman history, like the persecution of Muslims, French and Polish people during the Restoration.

With Hello Future Me’s world building videos about class structures on my mind, I wonder what the Reich’s social class is like in the Ottonian System and how different it is to Roman class structure under the nobility influenced Metternich System? I know the Ottonian system grants more power to an American style commoner based middle class and an economic upper class than to traditional European style nobility, but the Dynatoi and Aristoi do seem to still have significant status and wealth in Roman society. Given the nature of the Byzantine theme system where the Old Aristoi and Dyanatoi weren't tied to their land in the same way as Western European feudal structures, and the growth a new aristoi class of industrialists and urban elites (some non hereditary and some descended from the medieval merchant republics) during the industrial revolution who acquired their titles with their wealth and power, I imagine there was some social mobility under the Metternich system, but probably not as much as the Ottonian system.

Anyways, I've got a couple more Volkerschalt updates coming up, an Roman Indochina update and a Ming exiles update, with the Ming update as the last Volkerschalt interlude. Hope you'll like them.:)
 
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zenphoenix

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Völkerschalt-Legacy of the Weltkrieg:
Nationalist Union of China

Flag of the Nationalist Union of China
The Mingzhong Restoration saw the Chinese Empire ascend to a superpower status on par with the Daquin Empire. By the turn of the century, China had a vast colonial pacfic empire to rival and possibly surpass the colonial empires of the Romans or Indians. It seemed like China’s good fortune would only increase when the 20th century dawned, but history has a way of proving an optimistic and hopeful vision of the future wrong. When the Reich launched an invasion of Lithuania in retaliation for the assassination of their crown prince Franz Federaind, we intervened in the hopes of overturning Daquin hegemony by christmas and regain ancient China’s preeminent place in world politics, but all hopes of toppling the Reich quickly were dashed by years of grueling losses and the relentless advance of Roman forces into our homeland. The failure of the Jinyiwei to covertly cripple the Central Powers or even to prevent Roman intelligence services to do the same to our Eimerican allies was the final nail in the coffin and with Roman troops occupying Nanjing and an exhausted and war warry populace, it wasn’t long until China was forced to sign a humiliating peace with “honor” with the western barbarians, forcing China to hand over frontier provinces in the west and South China Sea colonies as concessions to the triumphant Central Powers nations, dismantle a large chunk of the military, heavy and ridiculous war reparations as payment to the victors and even a false confession of guilt for the role Chinese nation had in starting the war.

A peace this humiliating was an unacceptable attack to the pride of the glorious Chinese people, so when the Imperial Army was sent to quell rebellions in Siberia and Manchuria, the army and left leaning members of the Guomindang party would instead defect to the alliance of the Manchurian Aisin Gioro clan and Communist cells in Beijing, allowing us to push the corrupt Ming dynasty all the way to the Pearl River Delta, were they were only saved from destruction by incompetent and treacherous generals and timely intervention of Penglai, Vietnamese and Fusang divisions at the battle of the Pearl River. For now, we are in an uneasy peace with the imperialist Tianxia alliance, but we remain watchful for any opportunity the treacherous Ming loyalist and their Tran, Jin and Song lackeys could use to attack us. The Tianxia Alliance aren’t the only enemies to our new revolution. In the midst of our broken empire, our young nation is surrounded by reactionary forces on all sides, with only Korean and Japanese client republics and distant revolutionary movements in the Eimercas as support. Parts of the Empire that didn’t align with the Tianxia Alliance declared independence, or worse, fell to the spheres of the Roman and Indian Empires. Even internal enemies with our great Union threaten to overthrow the Communist Party and replace it with a reactionary government. Even worse, the hated Indians have taken it upon themselves to spread lies and propaganda against us in the wake of the outbreak of the Daquin Civil War, with the intention of drawing sympathetic capitalist states from Central Asia and a few Roman breakaway states into a reformed Central Powers, with India at the head of this new alliance to keep down the Chinese proletariat.

Yet it is not the Chinese who fear. Even now, Communist revolutionaries have risen up and the Reich and are battling against reactionary forces, and it won’t be long till we will muster the grand armies of the revolution to crush the insidious Indians and the treacherous Tianxia, assuming the Tianxia doesn’t tear itself apart from the arrogant Ming’s petty disputes with their aristocratic Song, Jin and Tran dogs. Even potential traitors within our own ranks should not sleep easy at night, for there will come a time when we have no need of them and we will be free to do away with their pestilence, fulfilling the revolution at home. Tragically, the coming conflict will necessitate the strengthening of the state's power over its citizens to protect the values of the Communist revolution, a necessary and temporary obliteration of the self to protect the whole of the Union's proletariat from the poisonous influence of the Tianxia monarchists, potential internal traitors and foreign capitalist regimes for the foreseeable future; a lesson we learned the hard way from failure of the old and weak capitalist democracy to stop the Athanatoi's sabotage of Chinese national unity.

Even now, as the Indians are busying themselves with a petty succession crisis, there is a call ringing out to every soot covered factory, dirty city streets or the homes of many commoners, read through illegal flyers and presses denouncing feudal serfdom and wage slavery the people are subjected to in nations not touch by the enlightened Communist revolution. It is a call to the downtrodden and underclasses, waking them up to their oppression under capitalism. It is the call to the workers, toiling under cruel industrialists and land owners, to rise up to their oppression and break the chains of their slavery. It is the red call of communism, a chant against despotic the world order the Daquin and the plutocratic barbarians have built, and the dawn of a revolutionary new world rightly lead by the Chinese people; one of peace, freedom and strength. Death to the reactionary enemies of China, long live the revolution!

For modernity, for equality, for the people!
Great update! I really liked it a lot.
China viewing all its neighbors and fellow superpowers as enemies: not a great stance.
But it is an understandable one, given how harsh the post war treaty was to China, a bit like how OTL Germany turned to Nazism as a response to the treaty of Versailles, Hohenzollernverse India embraced the Rasas to make up for its defeat, and Britain and France turned Syndicalist in Kaiserreich. Even the paranoia and totalitarianism of the NUC makes sense since its surrounded by countries who are fearful of it. Granted, the NUC is still the main antagonist of Volkerschalt at the end of the day, but China does have some understandable motives for the otherwise morally questionable choices their regime takes.
Yep, the NUC leadership understandably distrusts its neighbors, which would play a lot into their personal mentalities and what policies they may try out.
I must admit tho, I did get a lot of 1984 vibes while writing this update, hence the references to 1984 I put here. Doesn't help that I was listening to this song while writing this interlude, it's kinda fitting in a morbid way. :D:eek:
I wouldn't put it above the most radical NUC factions (after purging Puyi) to carry out something like Ingsoc.
Since Dreamworks is still apart of Disney and Pixar is owned by Apple here, how different would their movies be from OTL? I think that most of their movies could reasonably be the same, as they probably wouldn't be affected too much by the change of owner ship from OTL, but certain movies like Shrek would probably be different from OTL. I guess Shrek in particular could still be popular for pointing fun at classical fairy tale tropes and subverting them, but it probably wouldn't have any direct jabs at Disney that OTL Shrek has.
I guess it could still be a jab at Disney, though more of Disney-affiliated writers taking aim than competitors.
I actually noticed you left the descriptions of the Shrek movies in the 2000s update blank, which I think means that you that the films would be pretty different. Regardless, I think we could keep plots of the Shrek movies similar to OTL, with the exception of Shrek 3, which would have a plot similar to a scrapped plot outline for Shrek 2, only instead of replacing Far Far Away's monarchy with a democratic republic, it would be about the establishing of an Ottonian style meritocracy.
I honestly didn't know what to do with Shrek since it's been so long since I watched the movies and I don't know how to change them.
Having read TV Tropes article on Romanticism vs Enlightenment, which I thought was very interesting, I wonder how that debate would affect Roman historiography and culture here? Perhaps the Romantics would play up the role pre existing Christain ideals had on the lead up to the development of Romanitas after the medieval period. Meanwhile the Enlightenment camp would focus on the progress the Reich towards liberalism and meritocracy but also touch on some cases of oppression during Roman history, like the persecution of Muslims, French and Polish people during the Restoration.
They could also lead to the emergence of the early political right and left, with the Romantics forming the conservative/classical liberal camps and the Enlightenment groups spearheading the early liberal meritocratic movement which would split into the modern political center (CMU) and the socialist/social meritocratic movements (SPR).
With Hello Future Me’s world building videos about class structures on my mind, I wonder what the Reich’s social class is like in the Ottonian System and how different it is to Roman class structure under the nobility influenced Metternich System? I know the Ottonian system grants more power to an American style commoner based middle class and an economic upper class than to traditional European style nobility, but the Dynatoi and Aristoi do seem to still have significant status and wealth in Roman society. Given the nature of the Byzantine theme system where the Old Aristoi and Dyanatoi weren't tied to their land in the same way as Western European feudal structures, and the growth a new aristoi class of industrialists and urban elites (some non hereditary and some descended from the medieval merchant republics) during the industrial revolution who acquired their titles with their wealth and power, I imagine there was some social mobility under the Metternich system, but probably not as much as the Ottonian system.
The Dynatoi and aristoi are more like British aristocracy at this point, with immense wealth and lavish estates but limited political power. They still exert social influence in the imperial court and participate in political circles at times. Without anything to do, they set up think tanks and other political research institutes which many Diet politicians consult, though they cannot directly influence Diet policy.

The Metternich system did allow for some social mobility, but in practice most of the industrialists who became aristoi were the exception and not the norm, as many of them were either from the merchant republics or aristoi families who had the money to help them start their ventures. The lower and middle classes remained very separated from the upper classes, who ran the economy and the upper rings of government. The SPR was the first commoner-formed faction (and later political party) to gain enough traction that they were eventually given an alliance with the Schweinfurts' faction. Though I don't think I've gone over this.
Anyways, I've got a couple more Volkerschalt updates coming up, an Roman Indochina update and a Ming exiles update, with the Ming update as the last Volkerschalt interlude. Hope you'll like them.:)
I'll look forward to them.
 
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Valkyrie, Part 6


7:00 PM

Walter and Anna remained in the station wagon, watching Anna’s laptops for results from the cup scan in between a heated argument. Meanwhile, Diana and Olga walked down the street. The entire street was now deathly silent like Diana had never heard before. The police sirens had turned off. First responders spoke in hushed tones. The news crews kept their distance as coroners wheeled out yet more bodies, both from the deserted mosque and the synagogue. They entered the synagogue, where coroners were still cataloguing the crime scene, placing markers around even more bodies still in the pews and pulpits.

“I…I remember this place,” Diana said, “That pew in the back. Mom and I used to sit there. That’s Rabbi Reuven at the pulpit. I recognize his glasses. He’s been preaching here since I was a kid. That’s Janine over there. One of my neighbors. Always a cheerful old lady. So energetic. That basin over there…that’s where we did our tevilah every prayer. Alex always tried to drink out of it as a baby. We tried our best, but Alex davka kept doing it.”

She stopped in the middle of the aisle and sighed.

“This just feels wrong,” she said, “This is a place of life, not of death. These people…they didn’t deserve to die like this.”

“What was the death toll again?” Diana said.

“Well over three hundred,” Olga said, “Every Muslim and Jew in both buildings. Three people who weren't either survived. They're...not saying much...”

Diana punched a wall. “Damnit! Why does this keep happening?!”

“It’s not your fault,” Olga said, “Remember that.”

“You don’t understand,” Diana said, “It’s as if the killer’s taunting me. He attacked this synagogue alongside the mosque. He killed people I know in a place from my childhood. He played Ride of the Valkyries, taunting them with music they associate with Mom. It’s my fault. They died because they knew me.”

“Why don’t we head back to the car?” Olga said. “Anna’s probably found something by now.”

They walked back to the car, where Walter and Anna were still arguing.

“Your grandfather would not have appreciated your actions!” Walter said.

“I thought we reached an understanding, Walter!” Anna said. “For the last time, I’m sorry!”

“Apology not accepted,” Walter said.

He looked up and saw Diana and Olga.

“Oh, hello,” Walter said, “Thank you for coming here. I need you to beat some sense into my fiscally irresponsible reckless daughter!”

“Uh, are the results in yet?” Olga said.

Anna checked her computer. “Oh, yes, it is.”

“Of course, your description of the buyer does not match the description of the perpetrator,” Walter said, “Was he disguised?”

“I’m pretty sure he wasn’t,” Anna said, “He didn’t seem the kind to sell those books. He paid me way too much to be reselling. Probably worth sitting through the terrible catchphrase.”

“So we can assume our killer didn't get the formula from the books,” Walter said, “Then how on Earth did he recreate the formula using my grandfather's signature, no less?”

"Perhaps the seller sold it to him," Diana said.

The computer beeped.

“No match on the killer's DNA,” Anna read.

“Great, more bad news,” Walter said.

“Where did you get his DNA?” Olga said.

“We got some from the partial fingerprints, from the skin cells in the oil,” Anna said.

Walter read the results.

“Not my best work, I'm afraid,” he said, “The telomere degradation here suggests our killer is over a hundred years old, which is fascinating, but not enough to figure out who he is, though.”

“I know who our killer is,” Diana said, realizing something.

“Who?” Olga said.

“I didn’t want to believe it,” Diana said, “But it all adds up. I never considered a motive. Who would want to kill Muslims and Jews I know, in places I know, while playing music I know. Remember, the victims’ faiths aren’t the connection in these cases. I am. So the killer must be someone I know…or someone who knows me. Someone who has a history with me.”

“Well, who is it, then?” Anna said.

“Alfred Hoffman,” Diana said, “Angeloi officer and scientist. A murderer. The man who killed my grandparents and terrorized my mother when she was a child.”

“Hoffman…” Walter said. “I remember that name. He was one of my grandfather’s colleagues during Project Mjolnir and Gungnir!”

“What a coincidence,” Anna said sarcastically, rolling her eyes.

“But that’s impossible,” Olga said, “Hoffman is dead. You told us youself. You told me your mother killed him in Neurhomania sixty years ago.”

“He could’ve faked his death,” Diana said.

“Even if he did, it’s been sixty years,” Anna said, “He’d be way too old to be running around carrying out Angelos’ will. If not dead.”

“But not impossible,” Diana said, “Take a look at those telomeres. They suggest our killer is over a hundred years old. That gave me an idea. If Hoffman faked his death, that’s how old he would be today. That’s what his telomeres would be like.”

“Say you’re right for a moment,” Olga said, “Say Hoffman’s doing all this. What does he want with you?”

“Mom defeated him sixty years ago,” Diana said, “Maybe he wants revenge. And since Mom’s been dead for fourteen years, he’s going after me instead.”

"Why didn't he do all of this sooner then?" Anna said. "We didn't have the technology to handle an attack like this twenty years ago."

"I don't know," Diana said.

“Hey, Walter, so this toxin was programmed to target Muslims and Jews, right?” Olga said.

“Yes,” Walter said.

“Well, could it be programmed to target even more groups?” Olga said.

“Yes, I suppose it could,” Walter said.

“What are you thinking?” Diana said.

“If we’re talking about Hoffman here, it stands to reason his research, aside from getting revenge against you, might be towards creating...” Olga said.

“Das Herrenvolk...” Walter said, again lapsing into his childhood Rhineland accent, “The master race. The Angeloi's ultimate goal. The purification of the Aryan people and white Christendom.”

“So Angeloi science for an Angeloi agenda,” Anna said.

“All of Angelos’ and Gandhi’s dreams in one little toxin,” Diana said, “If that’s the case, we have to stop the next attack. He’s going to escalate.”


Tesla Dynamic - November 8, 2015, 8:00 AM

A group of rats, some black and some white, ran around in a glass container. Walter pushed a button and filled the container with Hoffman’s toxin. Anna entered the lab just as the white rats fell over and died.

“Walter, what are you doing to those rats?” she said.

“Killing them,” Walter said, “Well, hopefully only the white ones. Don’t take it the wrong way.”

“I thought you were trying to block the toxin,” Anna said.

“I am,” Walter said, “But I have to replicate it before I can figure out how to stop it.”

Diana and Olga walked into the lab after Anna.

“So, I ran a search on all companies which purchased chromium trioxide in the last six months,” Olga said, “Nothing. But a friend of mine at the Bureau for the Environment suggested we search for sodium chromate instead.”

“Of course,” Walter said, “It's a sister compound.”

“You treat it with sulphuric acid, you get chromium trioxide,” Olga said, handing Walter a list, “Now, here are three local buyers. Do you recognize any of them?”

“Those two pharmaceutical companies…” Walter said. “Tesla Dynamic subsidiaries. Dreadful customer service.”

He pointed at the last address on the list. “This one I’ve never heard of.”

“That is…Sentinel Biological,” Diana said.

She ran over to a desk, where she dug out her copy of Irene’s Sentinel files.

“It’s all in here,” she said, “Sentinel Biological. One of the shell companies serving as a front for Sentinel’s research. It was right in front of us all along!"

Olga read the address. “It’s conveniently located right here in Frankfurt. A residential address.”

“That must be where Hoffman is,” Diana said, getting her coat, “Let’s move!”


Hoffman’s house - 9:00 AM

Hoffman sat in a lab, surrounded by canisters of his toxin. Walter’s notes, painstakingly reassembled after being torn from the pages of the old novels (which had been tossed in the trashcan nearby), lay on his desk, open to schematics for deployment mechanisms and chemical formulas of the toxin as well as the specific changes needed to target it to certain people. Classical music played softly over the loudspeakers. It was Wagner. The Ring, to be exact. Hoffman was busy fixing an antique 1940s Angeloi-issue pistol, adding a silencer to it. His benefactor spared no expense getting him back on his feet these last couple years. On top of giving him his colleague’s files and all of his equipment, he’d even dug his old gun out of wherever it had been. Hoffman didn't think it was possible, but he couldn't forget how the grip of his gun felt and how it fired. Soon, he would get his revenge. The so-called Valkyrie and her spawn would yet be brought down. The Angeloi would yet rise again, like a phoenix.

His state-of-the-art sensors beeped urgently. He checked his computer monitor. These new machines were very unfamiliar, but his benefactor had set up the security cameras, so he didn’t have to learn much. He could now see Athanatoi vehicles rolling up in the driveway, a tactical team getting out and approaching the front door. Athanatoi…Hoffman chuckled to himself. In his time, the Athanatoi were idiots. Everybody knew how badly they did in the Great War, failing to stop the Jinyiwei from toppling so many allied governments and murdering the traitor Kaiser's father. It was also not fair that the traitor Kaiser was still alive, after all these years, while the Valkyrie was not. Perhaps once this was done, he would finish the Volksfuhrer's Operation Otto.

He noticed Diana leading the tactical team. This was where she was wasting her talents? With a failed intelligence agency instead of on a worthy cause? She really was just like her mother, fatal flaws and all. This was going to be fun.

Outside, the tactical team took up firing positions around the door and put on gas masks.

“On you,” Olga said to Diana.

Diana drew her gun and kicked down the door. She and her team stormed inside, fanning out to secure each room.

“Are we clear?” Diana said.

An agent held up a scanning device. “The air is safe. No traces of the toxin.”

The team commanders reentered the hallway.

“All clear!” they said.

They took off their gas masks and continued searching the house. It was empty. Not only was it empty of inhabitants, but it was barely furnished. There were no decorations. The chairs and tables were plastic. There were very few appliances.

“This guy Hoffman,” Anna said, “He doesn’t have a life, does he?”

“He’s supposed to be dead, so technically yes,” Diana said.

Entering a utility room, she noticed a painting leaning against the wall. It was of the mythological Valkyries riding through the skies. Not only was this painting out of place in a house with very few furnishings, but she recognized this painting. It had hung in her late Aunt Rita’s (and later Mina's) estate since the war. This was the painting which inspired Anne to become the Valkyrie. Hoffman probably broke into the estate and stole the painting, if only to spite her.

Getting closer to the painting, she felt a draft coming from behind it. She removed the painting and found a switch. She pushed the switch, revealing a secret entrance. Hoffman wouldn’t have been so stupid. If he wanted to keep his secret entrance a secret, he would’ve done so. He made it too obvious just for Diana to find, marking it with a painting he knew she knew. Olga, Anna, and Walter entered the utility room and noticed the passage.

“Nice find,” Olga said.

“Let’s get going,” Diana said.

They descended the hidden staircase and arrived in a deserted lab. In contrast with the rest of the empty house, this lab was filled with modern technology. Not just modern technology, cutting edge technology like those found in military bases and research labs. A computer displayed security camera footage of the driveway and backyard, while advanced lab equipment lay on the floor. A refrigerator sat in the corner, filled with vials of the toxin. A trashcan next to it was filled with old books, several pages torn out. Walter’s notes lay on the desk.

“Makes the Strasburg lab look downright homey,” Anna said.

Diana opened the fridge and checked the vials. The labels were written in an archaic writing style.

"Schwarzes haut, braunes haut, grune augen…" Walter read, "My father would always write like this when I was a kid."

“These are all genetic traits," Diana said, "Eye color, hair color, skin tone…there are also more vials targeting Muslims and Jews and other minorities. He’s creating the master race by process of elimination.”

She noticed a nearby stove was still on. A beaker was being heated. She walked over. Meanwhile, Olga checked the desk and picked up a map.

“I think I found something,” she said, “He circled two locations in Frankfurt. Looks like he’s headed to the airport. It’s pretty close by. Maybe he prepared an easy getaway if he was found. I’ll call ahead. Anybody know about the other place?”

Anna fished the books out of the trashcan and gathered up the notes.

“Walter, I found your books,” Anna said, “Hey, your notes are here too. Looks like he did get the notes after all. I’m really sorry about this. There seems to be a manifesto here as well. Ranting against Robert Bischoff, of all people. Says he’s a traitor to the Angeloi cause. And it says Hoffman killed him for that.”

"My grandfather," Walter said, "My God, that's who killed him."

Diana realized too late what the beaker was. She clutched her throat, unable to breathe. She began hacking and coughing, gasping desperately for air. Her legs gave out, and she fell, flopping helplessly on the floor. Olga noticed her immediately.

“Di!” she said.

She ran over and punched the beaker off the stove to stop more of the toxin from activating. Then she pulled Diana away from the stove. Diana continued coughing and choking, curses flying through her grunts every now and then.

“Damn—it!” she coughed.

“We need some help downstairs!” Olga shouted. “We need that oxygen, now!”

She turned to Diana. “Breathe... Just breathe, Di. Breathe. Breathe.”

“I’m—not—dying—here!” Diana said.

Olga dragged Diana up the stairs and outside through the back door. Slowly, Diana recovered her breath, and she relaxed, her coughs dying down. She took in a deep breath.

“Di, how are you feeling?” Olga said.

“You got me out just in time,” Diana said, “I knew you would make it. Thanks, Olga.”

“Anything for my friend,” Olga said.

Anna and Walter joined them in the backyard.

“Why did Hoffman target you?” Anna said. “That toxin targeted you. And only you.”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Diana said. “He wants revenge against Mom. He doesn’t just want me to die. He wants me to suffer.”

“Did you send the map to Burt?” Olga said.

“Yeah, he’s sending it out wide,” Anna said, “Hopefully he has an idea of his next move. Maybe what the other location was.”

“The other location…” Diana said. “Let me see that.”

Anna handed her the map. Her eyes widened.

“Oh, no,” she said, “I recognize that address.”

“What is it?” Olga said.

“That’s where Mom’s childhood home used to be,” Diana said, “They rebuilt it as a museum.”


Airport - 9:30 AM

Hoffman watched as Tobias pulled up to the curb, Alex riding shotgun. They were listening to light rock music and talking about something. He couldn’t hear them. He didn’t care. Tobias cut the engine, and he and Alex got out to open the trunk. Hoffman approached them, one hand reaching into his jacket.

“Guten morgen, sir,” Hoffman said, again in his archaic Rhineland accent, “Catching a flight?”

“Yes, just dropping off my nephew here,” Tobias said, “He’s flying to Constantinople to meet up with his dad.”

“Ah, flying alone, at your age?” Hoffman said. “You must be a brave young man.”

“Thank you,” Alex said.

"In the end, we must all leave the nest," Hoffman said, "Whether we like it or not, we set out on our own. Forging one's destiny is one's to accomplish alone. Do you need any help?”

Tobias took out the last of Alex’s luggage. “No, we’re good.”

“Good,” Hoffman said, smiling, "That is good to hear."

He drew his gun and without warning shot Tobias in the chest. Alex screamed as Hoffman grabbed him and tossed him in the trunk, which he locked shut. As Alex continued screaming, pounding and kicking the trunk hatch, Hoffman took Tobias’ keys, got in the drivers’ seat, and sped off. He had work to do.
 
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Diana really dogged a bullet there, I was actually worried for a second. Good thing Olga was there for her, she really is a true friend.

Poor Tobias, guess Hoffman is really committed to burning down Anne's legacy and killing everyone associated with her. Let's hope no more lives are claimed by that madman.

Given the scale of Hoffman's killing spree so far, what are the odds this can get a reference in the next gameplay chapter? I'm pretty sure most people would recognize these deaths as murders due to their level of violence, even if they wouldn't know how they were committed.
Great update! I really liked it a lot.
Glad you enjoyed it, out of the Volkerschalt updates I’ve written so far, this is probably my personal favorite aside from the future Ming update.
I wouldn't put it above the most radical NUC factions (after purging Puyi) to carry out something like Ingsoc.
I guess I could make “Death Worship” the Volkerschalt equivalent of Totalism, to sell the NUC’s Orwellian vibes even more. Then again, that term is very specific to East Asian Buddhist philosophies (which is probably why Orwell called it that in 1984’s “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” chapter), so maybe I should stick with the Totalist term for Tianxia at least.
I guess it could still be a jab at Disney, though more of Disney-affiliated writers taking aim than competitors.
I honestly didn't know what to do with Shrek since it's been so long since I watched the movies and I don't know how to change them.
Fair enough, I won't push it.
They could also lead to the emergence of the early political right and left, with the Romantics forming the conservative/classical liberal camps and the Enlightenment groups spearheading the early liberal meritocratic movement which would split into the modern political center (CMU) and the socialist/social meritocratic movements (SPR).
Nice idea, I like the idea of the Romantics forming classical liberal and conservative parities while the Enlightenment groups form the Reich's neoliberal parties.
The Dynatoi and aristoi are more like British aristocracy at this point, with immense wealth and lavish estates but limited political power. They still exert social influence in the imperial court and participate in political circles at times. Without anything to do, they set up think tanks and other political research institutes which many Diet politicians consult, though they cannot directly influence Diet policy.

The Metternich system did allow for some social mobility, but in practice most of the industrialists who became aristoi were the exception and not the norm, as many of them were either from the merchant republics or aristoi families who had the money to help them start their ventures. The lower and middle classes remained very separated from the upper classes, who ran the economy and the upper rings of government. The SPR was the first commoner-formed faction (and later political party) to gain enough traction that they were eventually given an alliance with the Schweinfurts' faction. Though I don't think I've gone over this.
I like the idea of the Schweinfurts being the SPR's early patrons. I did note the fact that the Schweinfurts always associated itself with progressive, social meritocratic movments, in contrast to other dyantoi who remained either conservative or reactionary, something that probally contributed to the Schweinfurts keeping their political party like the Hohenzollerns while the other Dynatoi got striped of their political power.
I'll look forward to them.
Me too. Out of curiosity, for how long did the AOG exert influence on the colonial government of Indochina and when did they stop having that power? I'm kinda thinking about Indochina be a pseudo mega corporation, where the AOG wouldn't exactly be in charge of the government but would have considerable influence over its policies.

I was watching a couple of interesting videos, one of which I'll link below, about how Ancient China saw the Roman and Byzantine Empires from their perspective and vice versa, which got me into thinking about the state of the Reich and China's relationship in TTL. Despite the number of times they've come to blows on several occasions, notable the first two World Wars and the Cold Wars, China and Rome did express a willingness to work together against a common enemy, notably the Soviets in WW3. Chapter 451 did mention Chinese civilians saw the Hohenzollerns in a similar light to their own monarchy, which indicates a level of respect between Romans and Hohenzollerns. That's not even mentioning how the two civilizations influenced each other in multiple ways, particularly governing philosophy; think to how the Reich borrowed the concept of meritocracy from medieval China, or how the Chinese adopted democracy from Ancient Greece and the Roman Republic. Just an intresting topic I've pondered on, really makes you wonder how Chinese and Roman historians would look at the history of the two civilizations and their interaction with each other.
 
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Diana really dogged a bullet there, I was actually worried for a second. Good thing Olga was there for her, she really is a true friend.
They've come a long way since trying to kill each other in Vienna thirty years ago. Their mothers would be proud of them.
Poor Tobias, guess Hoffman is really committed to burning down Anne's legacy and killing everyone associated with her. Let's hope no more lives are claimed by that madman.
Weirdly enough, it's probably Hoffman's fixation on Anne and her legacy that's keeping him from doing way more damage. Yes, he did target Aliya Hussein's family and all those people in the subsequent attacks, but all had a connection to Anne and Diana one way or another. He's so preoccupied with trying to tear down Anne's legacy that he doesn't go after the more appealing targets like Otto the "traitor Kaiser" and other minority groups elsewhere.
Given the scale of Hoffman's killing spree so far, what are the odds this can get a reference in the next gameplay chapter? I'm pretty sure most people would recognize these deaths as murders due to their level of violence, even if they wouldn't know how they were committed.
I dedicated a major part of the gameplay chapter to talking about Hoffman, although I intentionally didn't mention him by name. I wanted to emphasize that the media does not want to give him the recognition and publicity he seeks with each brutal attack. Instead, they focus on the victims and those trying to stop him, giving them the respect they deserve. It's quite obvious it's Hoffman though as I directly mention the Aliya Hussein murder.
Glad you enjoyed it, out of the Volkerschalt updates I’ve written so far, this is probably my personal favorite aside from the future Ming update.
You also mentioned Korean and Japanese client republics in the NUC update. Any ideas on what they'd be like?
I guess I could make “Death Worship” the Volkerschalt equivalent of Totalism, to sell the NUC’s Orwellian vibes even more. Then again, that term is very specific to East Asian Buddhist philosophies (which is probably why Orwell called it that in 1984’s “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” chapter), so maybe I should stick with the Totalist term for Tianxia at least.
Orwell also said "Death Worship" was a very approximate term for an Eastasian term that couldn't be directly translated (like how a lot of phrases in languages like Chinese and German can't be directly translated to English), and it sounds really out of place in a mod like Volkerschlact. Maybe Totalism still works.
Fair enough, I won't push it.
I can say that I'm working on a series of Fire Emblem updates since I recently finished playing through the whole series, and I might post them after the gameplay chapter depending on how far I get with them.
Nice idea, I like the idea of the Romantics forming classical liberal and conservative parities while the Enlightenment groups form the Reich's neoliberal parties.
Just a heads up, I wouldn't describe all of the Enlightenment-inspired parties as neoliberal as that is a rather new term which encompasses policies such as economic liberalization, deregulation, globalization, free trade, austerity, and reduced government spending. It best applies to the CMU and the right wing of the SPR (which Schröder increasingly embraced as his term went on). The CMU is better described as centrist currently, though it does have a neoliberal wing which chancellors like Roland Wilson were part of and Kohl and Merkel drew inspiration from. The mainstream SPR is a firmly left-wing party descended from late 19th and early 20th century labor movements and socialist/social meritocratic parties. The KRA is in the Romantic camp with its firm stance on traditional classical liberalism, while the Romantic-descended Hohenzollern Faction is a conservative faction and the Schweinfurts bridge the gap between the two camps.
I like the idea of the Schweinfurts being the SPR's early patrons. I did note the fact that the Schweinfurts always associated itself with progressive, social meritocratic movments, in contrast to other dyantoi who remained either conservative or reactionary, something that probally contributed to the Schweinfurts keeping their political party like the Hohenzollerns while the other Dynatoi got striped of their political power.
The early Schweinfurts were conscious of Saint Gunhilda's origins and made sure they did not lose sight of that even as they became one of the most powerful dynatoi families. While the extent to which they supported progressive movements varied depending on the individual, on average the family was mostly in favor of such movements, seeing it as a way for more people to follow in Saint Gunhilda's footsteps, being raised from peasants to the highest rungs of Roman society based on merit.

The Schweinfurt and Hohenzollern factions were the only two Metternich-era factions which survived the war and transition to the Ottonian system, but over time they also steadily lost power to the new parties. The SPR split off from the Schweinfurts and quickly eclipsed them, while the Hohenzollern Faction only retained relevance by caucusing with the CMU and sometimes supplying them with candidates. At this point, the Schweinfurt Faction is more like a group of Diet seats designated for members of the Schweinfurt family which usually caucus with the SPR, while the Hohenzollern Faction is more like a branch of the CMU which happens to have most of its (also designated) seats filled with minor Hohenzollerns or their supporters. Examiners generally don't like the idea of noble families being treated on the same level as political parties, as the SF and HF were founded with their families in mind, creating a potential conflict of interest, as opposed to the parties, which are intended to be class neutral.
Me too. Out of curiosity, for how long did the AOG exert influence on the colonial government of Indochina and when did they stop having that power? I'm kinda thinking about Indochina be a pseudo mega corporation, where the AOG wouldn't exactly be in charge of the government but would have considerable influence over its policies.
I honestly don't remember as I had intentionally tried to sideline them since I was making a KR gag back in EU4 and it was incompatible with the shift to realism. I think it was nationalized when Indochina was decolonized, but before that it wielded significant power over the colonial government due to its economic clout, having several seats in the the colonial Diet from which it could influence legislation.
I was watching a couple of interesting videos, one of which I'll link below, about how Ancient China saw the Roman and Byzantine Empires from their perspective and vice versa, which got me into thinking about the state of the Reich and China's relationship in TTL. Despite the number of times they've come to blows on several occasions, notable the first two World Wars and the Cold Wars, China and Rome did express a willingness to work together against a common enemy, notably the Soviets in WW3. Chapter 451 did mention Chinese civilians saw the Hohenzollerns in a similar light to their own monarchy, which indicates a level of respect between Romans and Hohenzollerns. That's not even mentioning how the two civilizations influenced each other in multiple ways, particularly governing philosophy; think to how the Reich borrowed the concept of meritocracy from medieval China, or how the Chinese adopted democracy from Ancient Greece and the Roman Republic. Just an intresting topic I've pondered on, really makes you wonder how Chinese and Roman historians would look at the history of the two civilizations and their interaction with each other.
I'm going to keep this to post-reunification China because going over the history of Sino-Roman relations from 1066 might be too much for me to handle right now. Between 1868 and 1914, the new Chinese Empire focused primarily on industrialization, urbanization, and modernization to become a world power on par with the Reich, with the goal of reestablishing the pre-Mongol Sinocentric world order. China engaged in great power rivalries with the Reich, constantly intervening in crises to improve their geopolitical standing (with varying results). They would rather not fight the Reich as they knew a war would be incredibly destructive, but they wouldn't hesitate to fight back if they or an ally were attacked. Seeing a threat from Franz Ferdinand's visits around the world helping draw the Roman allies together into a single military bloc, the Chinese did the same with their allies. The two factions went to war in 1914, and tensions spilled over. The Reich became the enemy of China, the one obstacle to China's new Sinocentric order which had to be overcome at all costs. This was built on by Wang Jingwei and Chiang Kai-shek who retained the same mentality and saw the rising Axis and Angeloi as means by which to weaken the Reich and split its alliance, thus allowing China to sweep in and assert its superiority over the remains. The result was an increasing militarization of society to prepare for the final showdown with the Reich. Any dissent was crushed as being anti-Chinese and pro-Roman, because the Reich was still the enemy. The Angeloi invasion was a convenient excuse for Wang to do away with the last vestiges of democracy and bring the country under military rule.

After the war, Chiang realized that with the Reich weakened, the Soviets had emerged as the third major power, which worried him, because while the Reich had no problems with China's system of government, the Soviets certainly did. So while he outwardly still considered the Reich a major rival and obstacle to the final Sinocentric goal, he didn't try to directly oppose them, instead forming an uneasy partnership against the Soviets. It was to be a temporary alliance of convenience at most, with the old pre-1914 tensions resuming once the equalists were swept away. Indeed, Li did try to start a war in Yavdi to assert Chinese supremacy in the former Soviet sphere after 1986, hoping to spark a war with the Reich to make them the new bogeyman after the Soviets collapsed. But this failed because many Chinese were not ready to turn on the allies they had been fighting alongside just months ago. The war had demolished the military propaganda that the Romans were the enemy. Chinese soldiers had fought side by side with Roman ones, who treated them with respect and friendliness. How could they be the enemy?

At home, Chiang liberalized or decolonized parts of the empire to lessen the financial strain on the mainland and allow for the "testing" of reforms to see if they were viable on the mainland without threatening his rule. This allowed for limited economic and social engagement with the outside world, through which the Chinese people could see Roman culture, in particular Otto and his family. As the Ming imperial family were rarely seen outside their palaces "for their own safety," they latched onto the Hohenzollerns as an ideal. Otto was a stalwart defender of Roman values, much like Chiang claimed to be, only he was genuine in his desires and fought for them effectively. They wished the same could be said about the Ming, which turned out to be true during the 1989 protests which toppled the military dictatorship, where the Mingzhong Emperor played a pivotal role in the restoration of democracy, publicly saying Otto was his inspiration. From that point on, the two countries were allies. Later chancellors abandoned the Sinocentrism tainted by Wang and Chiang's rule in favor of working together with the Reich to maintain the current peace and international order.

I should mention that I have a series of updates in the next story arc where Prince Georg and the next chancellor of China get together and have discussions over tea about the relationship between their two countries, among other things.
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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Lots of candidates for Hoffman's unknown benefactor. Of course, I'm assuming we know the person already.

Tobias could still live from his wonders, so there's hope there. Alex, however, is a different subject.
 

zenphoenix

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Lots of candidates for Hoffman's unknown benefactor. Of course, I'm assuming we know the person already.

Tobias could still live from his wonders, so there's hope there. Alex, however, is a different subject.
I left a hint about the benefactor somewhere in here...;)

Remember what generally happens to supporting characters in this story arc?
 

TWR97

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Seems Hoffman's vendetta against Anne, her family and her legacy has made him forget everything else, the X-Division better step up especially now that Alex is in danger. Anders is not gonna be happy about this.

By the way love the update on the NUC, makes them a rather interesting threat, especially their rather dangerous mindset of seeing everybody as their enemy. The Orwellian stuff was a nice touch too. On the whole Chinese-Roman diplomacy thing, it's indeed nice that both country began to regain trust with each other especially after WW3. I'd think that's why the Godzilla movies also shifted to a more Western/Roman viewpoint, more so after WW3 occured. Just the kind of idea I had implemented for Godzilla vs Gamera.
 
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CaptainAlvious

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You also mentioned Korean and Japanese client republics in the NUC update. Any ideas on what they'd be like?
I haven't thought much about them, but I think they'd be independent on paper, but would be more like semi-autonomous satellite states to the NUC in practice. The Korean satellite state would be deeply unpopular with the population and would have an underground pro Tianxia resistance movement fighting against it. I think the Japanese client republic would be lead by a shogunate that renounced the Japanese emperor, who would run a separate Tianxia aligned Imperial Japan in the south, and allied with Communist movements in simlar fashion to Puyi's alliance with the Communists against the Ming. I'm not sure about Ainu Monsir, maybe they would be under the control of either Tianxia aligned Imperal Japan or NUC aligned Communist/Shogunate Japan, with the Ainu people obviously not happy to be under their overlords. I know this is different from my previous outline for Japan before this update, with the Shogunate being neutral, Imperial Japan still being a Tianxia satellite and Ainu Monsir being communist, but I think this outline is better than that one, through you are free to suggest changes.
Orwell also said "Death Worship" was a very approximate term for an Eastasian term that couldn't be directly translated (like how a lot of phrases in languages like Chinese and German can't be directly translated to English), and it sounds really out of place in a mod like Volkerschlact. Maybe Totalism still works.
Fair enough, I'll stick to the Totalist term in both mods, makes more sense.
I can say that I'm working on a series of Fire Emblem updates since I recently finished playing through the whole series, and I might post them after the gameplay chapter depending on how far I get with them.
Oh, that's exciting! What other pop cultural updates are you considering at the moment as well? I'd personally suggest cultural updates for pre rapture Annionaverse media to highlight the cultural differences between the Hohenzollernverse and Annionaverse discussed in HOI3's Visitor arc, but I understand if you don't want to touch @dragoon9105 's Annionaverse lore any further until Stellaris.
Just a heads up, I wouldn't describe all of the Enlightenment-inspired parties as neoliberal as that is a rather new term which encompasses policies such as economic liberalization, deregulation, globalization, free trade, austerity, and reduced government spending. It best applies to the CMU and the right wing of the SPR (which Schröder increasingly embraced as his term went on). The CMU is better described as centrist currently, though it does have a neoliberal wing which chancellors like Roland Wilson were part of and Kohl and Merkel drew inspiration from. The mainstream SPR is a firmly left-wing party descended from late 19th and early 20th century labor movements and socialist/social meritocratic parties. The KRA is in the Romantic camp with its firm stance on traditional classical liberalism, while the Romantic-descended Hohenzollern Faction is a conservative faction and the Schweinfurts bridge the gap between the two camps.
There's also the recently formed Religious Right parties of Baudet's Forum, who run on Romanticist platforms like environmentalism and Christianity, but have an Enlightenment mentality towards the Roman political process.

I honestly don't remember as I had intentionally tried to sideline them since I was making a KR gag back in EU4 and it was incompatible with the shift to realism. I think it was nationalized when Indochina was decolonized, but before that it wielded significant power over the colonial government due to its economic clout, having several seats in the the colonial Diet from which it could influence legislation.
Thanks for informing me, I'll keep this mind for the Indochina update.
I'm going to keep this to post-reunification China because going over the history of Sino-Roman relations from 1066 might be too much for me to handle right now. Between 1868 and 1914, the new Chinese Empire focused primarily on industrialization, urbanization, and modernization to become a world power on par with the Reich, with the goal of reestablishing the pre-Mongol Sinocentric world order. China engaged in great power rivalries with the Reich, constantly intervening in crises to improve their geopolitical standing (with varying results). They would rather not fight the Reich as they knew a war would be incredibly destructive, but they wouldn't hesitate to fight back if they or an ally were attacked. Seeing a threat from Franz Ferdinand's visits around the world helping draw the Roman allies together into a single military bloc, the Chinese did the same with their allies. The two factions went to war in 1914, and tensions spilled over. The Reich became the enemy of China, the one obstacle to China's new Sinocentric order which had to be overcome at all costs. This was built on by Wang Jingwei and Chiang Kai-shek who retained the same mentality and saw the rising Axis and Angeloi as means by which to weaken the Reich and split its alliance, thus allowing China to sweep in and assert its superiority over the remains. The result was an increasing militarization of society to prepare for the final showdown with the Reich. Any dissent was crushed as being anti-Chinese and pro-Roman, because the Reich was still the enemy. The Angeloi invasion was a convenient excuse for Wang to do away with the last vestiges of democracy and bring the country under military rule.

After the war, Chiang realized that with the Reich weakened, the Soviets had emerged as the third major power, which worried him, because while the Reich had no problems with China's system of government, the Soviets certainly did. So while he outwardly still considered the Reich a major rival and obstacle to the final Sinocentric goal, he didn't try to directly oppose them, instead forming an uneasy partnership against the Soviets. It was to be a temporary alliance of convenience at most, with the old pre-1914 tensions resuming once the equalists were swept away. Indeed, Li did try to start a war in Yavdi to assert Chinese supremacy in the former Soviet sphere after 1986, hoping to spark a war with the Reich to make them the new bogeyman after the Soviets collapsed. But this failed because many Chinese were not ready to turn on the allies they had been fighting alongside just months ago. The war had demolished the military propaganda that the Romans were the enemy. Chinese soldiers had fought side by side with Roman ones, who treated them with respect and friendliness. How could they be the enemy?

At home, Chiang liberalized or decolonized parts of the empire to lessen the financial strain on the mainland and allow for the "testing" of reforms to see if they were viable on the mainland without threatening his rule. This allowed for limited economic and social engagement with the outside world, through which the Chinese people could see Roman culture, in particular Otto and his family. As the Ming imperial family were rarely seen outside their palaces "for their own safety," they latched onto the Hohenzollerns as an ideal. Otto was a stalwart defender of Roman values, much like Chiang claimed to be, only he was genuine in his desires and fought for them effectively. They wished the same could be said about the Ming, which turned out to be true during the 1989 protests which toppled the military dictatorship, where the Mingzhong Emperor played a pivotal role in the restoration of democracy, publicly saying Otto was his inspiration. From that point on, the two countries were allies. Later chancellors abandoned the Sinocentrism tainted by Wang and Chiang's rule in favor of working together with the Reich to maintain the current peace and international order.

I should mention that I have a series of updates in the next story arc where Prince Georg and the next chancellor of China get together and have discussions over tea about the relationship between their two countries, among other things.
There's also the two Siam Wars, which started with Roman aligned meritocratic Siam pitted against Chinese aligned authoritarian democratic Thailand, and ended with both governments collapsing and Rome and China joining forces to stop an Equalist takeover of Southeast Asia, leading to the overseas interventionist wars Helmet Schmidt and Roland Wilson went on that probably had an affect on the escalation to WW3 after Gorbachev's death. That probably would have had quite a role in Sino-Roman relations and foreign policy until WW3.

I wonder how much the early Kaisers affected Rama I's unification of Inda, especially once Saint Wilhelmina started encouraging trade with India during the Wilhelminan Renaissance? Jayasimha seemed like he was a very similar ruler to the two Fredrichs and Saint Wilhelmina in a lot of ways in the first place, which was probably something that lead him enacting mass cultural and religious assimilation programs similar to the ones implemented after the Roman restoration once befriended Saint Wilhelmina, something that would inspire the Rasa regime in WW2. I don't think India would've been able to assimilate all the cultural minorities despite what the 1900 India summary said, since India in OTL is as culturally and ethnically diverse as Africa, but I can see the Pamaras focusing on spreading Rajput culture to a large part of India and peacefully incorporate the rest of India's ethnic minorities into the wider Indian identity, like how the Hohenzollerns incorporated minorities into the boarder Roman culture with Romanitas. It's probally this early relationship with the Romans that lead to India quickly joing the Roman camp against China in later centuries. I also imagine Saint Wihelmia's focus on trade would have also had the shift away from the Chinese silk road towards the Indian Ocean Trade, along with the Mongol and Timurid invasions and Zheng He's voyages.
 
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Seems Hoffman's vendetta against Anne, her family and her legacy has made him forget everything else, the X-Division better step up especially now that Alex is in danger. Anders is not gonna be happy about this.
Believe me, Diana is out for blood now. This is now very personal for her.
By the way love the update on the NUC, makes them a rather interesting threat, especially their rather dangerous mindset of seeing everybody as their enemy. The Orwellian stuff was a nice touch too. On the whole Chinese-Roman diplomacy thing, it's indeed nice that both country began to regain trust with each other especially after WW3. I'd think that's why the Godzilla movies also shifted to a more Western/Roman viewpoint, more so after WW3 occured. Just the kind of idea I had implemented for Godzilla vs Gamera.
Yeah, both Romans and Chinese realized during the war that they had a lot in common and they were better off as allies. China's leaders abandoned Sinocentrism, while the Reich's leaders welcomed the peaceful end of that major rivalry meaning they could spend more money at home instead of on the military.

Naturally this would lead to their cultural spheres overlapping. Toho had shifted its primary operations to Japan to gain access to the Roman markets, and now with the mainland democratized, they can bridge the gap between the two nations.
I haven't thought much about them, but I think they'd be independent on paper, but would be more like semi-autonomous satellite states to the NUC in practice. The Korean satellite state would be deeply unpopular with the population and would have an underground pro Tianxia resistance movement fighting against it. I think the Japanese client republic would be lead by a shogunate that renounced the Japanese emperor, who would run a separate Tianxia aligned Imperial Japan in the south, and allied with Communist movements in simlar fashion to Puyi's alliance with the Communists against the Ming. I'm not sure about Ainu Monsir, maybe they would be under the control of either Tianxia aligned Imperal Japan or NUC aligned Communist/Shogunate Japan, with the Ainu people obviously not happy to be under their overlords. I know this is different from my previous outline for Japan before this update, with the Shogunate being neutral, Imperial Japan still being a Tianxia satellite and Ainu Monsir being communist, but I think this outline is better than that one, through you are free to suggest changes
The puppet Shogun would probably still support the emperor in secret but is biding his time until he can free himself from the NUC, maybe until Puyi launches his coup. Although the emperor technically remains "Emperor of Japan," he is confined to his palace in Kyoto (having been captured before he could escape) and is treated as a foreign dignitary by the puppet Shogun's regime. The Ainu might be integrated into the NUC proper (and would rebel with Puyi and the Shogun), while Tianxia loyalists control Kyushu and are propped up by Chinese naval power; the Chinese promised them independence in exchange for their support. There is a massive buildup of Tianxia forces on Ryukyu, a strategically important island from which Tianxia naval and air forces can strike at Japan, Korea, and the Chinese heartland.
Oh, that's exciting! What other pop cultural updates are you considering at the moment as well? I'd personally suggest cultural updates for pre rapture Annionaverse media to highlight the cultural differences between the Hohenzollernverse and Annionaverse discussed in HOI3's Visitor arc, but I understand if you don't want to touch @dragoon9105 's Annionaverse lore any further until Stellaris.
Honestly I am still burned out of everything else. I don't know what else to do and the Fire Emblem updates look like they might take 17-18 installments if I do one for each game. That's not even counting the spinoffs, possible anime/manga adaptations, and maybe even the Annionaverse version of a couple games. I might fold these into other updates.
There's also the recently formed Religious Right parties of Baudet's Forum, who run on Romanticist platforms like environmentalism and Christianity, but have an Enlightenment mentality towards the Roman political process.
Baudet really doesn't adhere to any of these labels. He takes ideas from both camps. There's the environmentalism of the Enlightenment-derived parties, but incorporated into a Christian framework derived from Romanticist platforms. It's another reason why The Forum can't be classified as either a right or left party (though due to gameplay limitations The Forum's successor party will be considered a right-wing traditionalist party in-game). Baudet hopes that this can bridge the ideological gap and tear down the old political system in the process, bringing together people from all walks of life in service of a greater goal.
Thanks for informing me, I'll keep this mind for the Indochina update.
I also don't think the name AOG even fit in the context of Hohenzollern Empire although the KR name translates to "General East Asian Society" if I got it right.
There's also the two Siam Wars, which started with Roman aligned meritocratic Siam pitted against Chinese aligned authoritarian democratic Thailand, and ended with both governments collapsing and Rome and China joining forces to stop an Equalist takeover of Southeast Asia, leading to the overseas interventionist wars Helmet Schmidt and Roland Wilson went on that probably had an affect on the escalation to WW3 after Gorbachev's death. That probably would have had quite a role in Sino-Roman relations and foreign policy until WW3.
Chiang's policy in Southeast Asia was to decolonize it because those provinces, although they were fully integrated into the empire, were a drain on military and economic resources and had many independence movements, especially the Tran. He reasoned that he could control the new regimes through China-friendly juntas, but it wouldn't hurt if the Chinese sphere of influence could be expanded to formerly Roman Indochina. Although that was successful, it led to the Khin Thai takeover and equalist insurgencies in Burma, which worried the Chinese leadership immensely. They temporarily set aside their differences with the Romans, agreeing to cede a united Siam to the Roman sphere, to take out the equalists. Back in the Reich, final success in Siam led to Schmidt and Wilson becoming overconfident in their crusade against equalism, leading to adventures overseas and a jingoistic foreign policy that worsened tensions with the Soviets. Going into the 1980s, the two countries were ready to work with each other against equalism but still distrusted each other to some degree.
I wonder how much the early Kaisers affected Rama I's unification of Inda, especially once Saint Wilhelmina started encouraging trade with India during the Wilhelminan Renaissance? Jayasimha seemed like he was a very similar ruler to the two Fredrichs and Saint Wilhelmina in a lot of ways in the first place, which was probably something that lead him enacting mass cultural and religious assimilation programs similar to the ones implemented after the Roman restoration once befriended Saint Wilhelmina, something that would inspire the Rasa regime in WW2. I don't think India would've been able to assimilate all the cultural minorities despite what the 1900 India summary said, since India in OTL is as culturally and ethnically diverse as Africa, but I can see the Pamaras focusing on spreading Rajput culture to a large part of India and peacefully incorporate the rest of India's ethnic minorities into the wider Indian identity, like how the Hohenzollerns incorporated minorities into the boarder Roman culture with Romanitas. It's probally this early relationship with the Romans that lead to India quickly joing the Roman camp against China in later centuries. I also imagine Saint Wihelmia's focus on trade would have also had the shift away from the Chinese silk road towards the Indian Ocean Trade, along with the Mongol and Timurid invasions and Zheng He's voyages.
Although I didn't really focus too much on him, Jayasimha was very much like the two Friedrichs. His goal was also to unite India and end the cycle of violence plaguing the subcontinent while also restoring the empire of Chandragupta . He styled himself the successor of Chandragupta and Friedrich the Great as the successor of Alexander the Great, since Alexander had invaded the region just before he began his conquests. I like to think that all of the religious conversions were done as part of an aggressive Hindu proselytization effort by Jayasimha which would be used as propaganda by the Rasas. As for cultural conversion, I admit I used console commands for most of that, as for a lot of the CK2 world. It obviously didn't happen immediately, it obviously wasn't total, and I'll either chalk it up to biased historians or a younger me putting gameplay over story which I'm still trying to fix. I've done similar retcons with the Reich. In CK2 I mention how entire populations willingly converted to Orthodoxy and German/Greek culture when this probably wasn't the case (I have no idea how to explain the Malians in Portugal and other bizarre culture conversions). I did say how Saint Wilhelmina is viewed in a different light for the mass persecutions and forced conversions she ordered, either directly or indirectly (and there will be a part of the school arc which talks about this). Now obviously my old claims that the French, Arab, and Polish cultures and languages were completely eradicated have been retconned. Same goes for India's cultural and religious groups. Perhaps the "Rajput" identity is more like a unified Romanitas-style identity the Paramaras encouraged in addition to local cultures and religious practices, which has the benefit of reducing separatism. Jayasimha did collaborate closely with Saint Wilhelmina, and the two exchanged a lot of ideas. Their friendship began an alliance between the two countries that has lasted since then and spurred India's turn towards the Reich as a major trading partner and China as less important. Indian Ocean trade would be emphasized over land routes to China.
 
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CaptainAlvious

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Naturally this would lead to their cultural spheres overlapping. Toho had shifted its primary operations to Japan to gain access to the Roman markets, and now with the mainland democratized, they can bridge the gap between the two nations.
Maybe this would also had an effect on the emergence and popularity of Anime with Roman audiences here, with most Chinese Manhua and Donguha rejecting the Sinocentric, collectivist imperialism of the dictatorship in favor of liberal values like tolerance and individuality. That sounds like something that would be a common theme among Anime stories here.
The puppet Shogun would probably still support the emperor in secret but is biding his time until he can free himself from the NUC, maybe until Puyi launches his coup. Although the emperor technically remains "Emperor of Japan," he is confined to his palace in Kyoto (having been captured before he could escape) and is treated as a foreign dignitary by the puppet Shogun's regime. The Ainu might be integrated into the NUC proper (and would rebel with Puyi and the Shogun), while Tianxia loyalists control Kyushu and are propped up by Chinese naval power; the Chinese promised them independence in exchange for their support. There is a massive buildup of Tianxia forces on Ryukyu, a strategically important island from which Tianxia naval and air forces can strike at Japan, Korea, and the Chinese heartland.
Great idea, I'll try to find a place to incorporate it into the Ming update.

In the more character focused Ming update, I'm thinking of having Kim Il-sung as an exiled Korean solider in a division lead by the POV charcter planning a naval landing on China. I remember there was a chapter were Kim was a Korean solider that fought in the Mitteleimerican war and captured the Equalist dictator of northern Mitteleimerica, so I thought I'd reference that here.
Honestly I am still burned out of everything else. I don't know what else to do and the Fire Emblem updates look like they might take 17-18 installments if I do one for each game. That's not even counting the spinoffs, possible anime/manga adaptations, and maybe even the Annionaverse version of a couple games. I might fold these into other updates.
Sorry to hear that you're still burned out, I know from experience how rough writers block can be, hope it improves over time. Looking forward to the Fire Emblem and the Essay updates , I'm sure they'll be fun.:)
Baudet really doesn't adhere to any of these labels. He takes ideas from both camps. There's the environmentalism of the Enlightenment-derived parties, but incorporated into a Christian framework derived from Romanticist platforms. It's another reason why The Forum can't be classified as either a right or left party (though due to gameplay limitations The Forum's successor party will be considered a right-wing traditionalist party in-game). Baudet hopes that this can bridge the ideological gap and tear down the old political system in the process, bringing together people from all walks of life in service of a greater goal.
I'll put my response in a spoiler tag, as it does relate to my original character for the Forum arc. Hope you like the ideas for the next arc I've come up here, even if you decide not to use them. Let me know if this idea is or is not appropriate or works with what you have in mind for my character.
This just made me think of something. Since my OC would've grown up as an outsider to the Ottonian system in the Occupied Territories, coupled with possible interactions he could have with Wilhelm Karl, I was thinking that maybe he could try to take the Forum's goal of bridging the current Roman political gap one step further and would want to tear down the Ottonian system itself, seeing problems in the system other Forum leaders like Baudet wouldn't see due to having grown up within Roman establishment, and are thus are more considered with taking on the current political parties rather than the system itself. Whether or not he's successful or how far he goes with this would probably be determined on what happens in the game play arc of course, but I imagine some would support him and agree with his ideas for reforming Roman meritocracy and political system even further, while others would see him as a radical and a Caesar or Angelos like ambitious demagogue.
I also don't think the name AOG even fit in the context of Hohenzollern Empire although the KR name translates to "General East Asian Society" if I got it right.
I see. If I can help it, I'll try not to directly mention the AOG by name, but I could mention powerful corporations with sympathies towards either the Indian or Tianxia camps, and the NUC supporting anti colonial nationalist groups among the indigenous populations.
Although I didn't really focus too much on him, Jayasimha was very much like the two Friedrichs. His goal was also to unite India and end the cycle of violence plaguing the subcontinent while also restoring the empire of Chandragupta . He styled himself the successor of Chandragupta and Friedrich the Great as the successor of Alexander the Great, since Alexander had invaded the region just before he began his conquests. I like to think that all of the religious conversions were done as part of an aggressive Hindu proselytization effort by Jayasimha which would be used as propaganda by the Rasas. As for cultural conversion, I admit I used console commands for most of that, as for a lot of the CK2 world. It obviously didn't happen immediately, it obviously wasn't total, and I'll either chalk it up to biased historians or a younger me putting gameplay over story which I'm still trying to fix. I've done similar retcons with the Reich. In CK2 I mention how entire populations willingly converted to Orthodoxy and German/Greek culture when this probably wasn't the case (I have no idea how to explain the Malians in Portugal and other bizarre culture conversions). I did say how Saint Wilhelmina is viewed in a different light for the mass persecutions and forced conversions she ordered, either directly or indirectly (and there will be a part of the school arc which talks about this). Now obviously my old claims that the French, Arab, and Polish cultures and languages were completely eradicated have been retconned. Same goes for India's cultural and religious groups. Perhaps the "Rajput" identity is more like a unified Romanitas-style identity the Paramaras encouraged in addition to local cultures and religious practices, which has the benefit of reducing separatism. Jayasimha did collaborate closely with Saint Wilhelmina, and the two exchanged a lot of ideas. Their friendship began an alliance between the two countries that has lasted since then and spurred India's turn towards the Reich as a major trading partner and China as less important. Indian Ocean trade would be emphasized over land routes to China.
I also remember that Jayashimha army was made up of a lot of people from different castes, which reminds me of how diverse the troop makeup of Roman standing armies in Ck2/EU4 was described, with British legions made up of English Longbowmen, Roman Calvary being a mix of Byzantine Cataphract, Arab/Berber camels and Polish Hussars, and Roman infantry being a mix of French and German swordsmen and Lombard pike men. For my Tianxia lore, I'm actually planning on exploring the sub identities that have developed in each of the Reich's provinces throughout the centuries, like the Carthaginian or Gallic local identities,and how they could evolve in the Tianxia timeline with no Reich to unify them, hence the possibility for an Islamic restoration I've discussed before, among other cultures that could make a resurgence.

As for the rapid cultural/religious conversions in CK2/EU4/Vicky2, I personally saw those cultural/religious maps as very rough approximations of where certain groups tended to live in, mapped out by biased provincial and colonial authorities, and really just indicated who were the most powerful groups in those regions rather than the actual cultural makeup of those provinces. at least, that's my head canon for things like Africa becoming mostly German and other things like that.

As for groups that previous segments said were exterminated but probably weren't, I doubt the Inquisition ever truly wiped out the heresies and just said they did as propaganda to make themselves look successful. Granted, they did successfully snuff out all known and open heresies after the war, but there's probably a lot of heretics throughout the Reich who understandably aren't open about there beliefs due to the anti heresy laws still in place and the violent persecution inflicted on them, not to mention negative social stigma associated with them due to the actions of heretic mobs in the Fifty Years War. IIRC, there were a few small and sporadic heretic activities that popped up long after the Fifty Wars War, mostly in Illyria, and Franz Ferdinand’s ghost mentioned something to Gavrilo about some heretics who fled to Lithuania to escape persecution. Now the exiled heretics in Lithuina is interesting, because aside from the heretics likely adopting Romuva traditions and getting absorbed into the Antras šansas faith after WW1 to avoid the Inqusitions' crackdowns, I like imagine they would've had a significant affect on Lithuania's foreign policy leading up to the forming of the Commonwealth and the Palemonaitis' rivalry with the Hohezollerns throughout the Commonwealth Wars. Before the Fifty Years War, Lithuania had a pretty cordial relationship with the Reich, but only with Lithuania subordinate tributary to the Reich, which was one reason why Roman-Lithuanian relations broke down when Queen Girdre's formation of the comonwealth threatend Roman interests in Eastern Europe. When the heretics started fleeing on amass to Lithuinia, Perhaps they could've not only did given Giedre enough support to begin her massive invasion of Russia, it also could've spurred her to adopt an anti Reich mindset, eventually leading to the Palemonatis claiming to be the true heirs of Roman legacy rather than the Hohenzollerns, with the reasoning being that the Hohenzollerns turned their back on Romanitas by allowing the religiously intolerant Inquisition free reign to massacre heretics for political power, while the Palemonaitis upheld Romanitas by welcoming and tolerating the religious refugees fleeing the Reich, thus making the Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth more worthy of being Roman than the Reich from their point of view.

I get the feeling that Lithuania's anti Hohenzollern claim would've inspired later Soviet deromanization policies, through the Soviets obviously took it much further to attack Romanitas on grounds of denouncing the forced assimilation polices the two Fredrichs and Saint Wilhelmina implemented. I also get the feeling that Deromanization evolved from the Soviet equivalent of Deangelifcation initiatives, where Molotov would take advantage of war time Soviet nationalism to pin the rise of the Angeloi on Roman society itself, painting Roman culture as inherently fascist and oppressive. I think there was a mention in either late HOI3 or early Vicky 2 about how Soviets went as for to empower certain minorities, like Hungarians and Romanians, over the Greco-Germanic majorities as a way of supplanting the Occupied Territories Roman identities with pre Restoration identities, In that case, how do you think those minorities are doing in a post Soviet Occupied Territories? I get the feeling that those minorities the Soviets tried to promote to positions of power would be some negative social stigmas against them in an anti equalist Reich after WW3 unfortunately.:(

This discussion about where Lithuanians got its claim to be the true Roman empire came from has opened up another idea for Tianxia I think could be interesting, maybe Victoria Louise's Prussia and August's Lithuania could both claim to be the successor to the Reich, which would naturally lead to conflict between them. I'm thinking Poland could be a buffer state between them, either lead by puppet Habsburgs loyal to Hohenzollern Prussia, or a client republic of Lithuania.
 
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zenphoenix

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Maybe this would also had an effect on the emergence and popularity of Anime with Roman audiences here, with most Chinese Manhua and Donguha rejecting the Sinocentric, collectivist imperialism of the dictatorship in favor of liberal values like tolerance and individuality. That sounds like something that would be a common theme among Anime stories here.
A lot of Chinese RPGs, especially Fire Emblem, would have a very anti-authoritarian stance. I'm working on the Fire Emblem summaries right now, and the ones I'm working on currently all have themes about humanity taking its fate back from either tyrannical dragon rulers or even dragon gods who have mentally declined and have gone insane. There are tinges of Roman-style meritocracy in the new orders some of the protagonists seek to create. The design of Marth himself is based on Friedrich the Great (or rather, I currently picture Friedrich the Great's design as resembling Marth's), while future characters, both protagonists and antagonists, might seek to tear down the rigid social structures of Fire Emblem's medieval settings to create a society where people can advance based on merit. So yeah, a lot of the genre will have these themes.
In the more character focused Ming update, I'm thinking of having Kim Il-sung as an exiled Korean solider in a division lead by the POV charcter planning a naval landing on China. I remember there was a chapter were Kim was a Korean solider that fought in the Mitteleimerican war and captured the Equalist dictator of northern Mitteleimerica, so I thought I'd reference that here.
Yes, I had Kim Il-Sung lead a Korean division of soldiers in the final assault on Kantunil Kin's stronghold. I imagine he would still go into the military here only be even more anti-left than in real life.
Sorry to hear that you're still burned out, I know from experience how rough writers block can be, hope it improves over time. Looking forward to the Fire Emblem and the Essay updates , I'm sure they'll be fun.:)
I just don't feel like writing any other cultural updates besides Fire Emblem and the essay responses, which are more like personal notes for the school arc.
'll put my response in a spoiler tag, as it does relate to my original character for the Forum arc. Hope you like the ideas for the next arc I've come up here, even if you decide not to use them. Let me know if this idea is or is not appropriate or works with what you have in mind for my character.
Your character did indeed grow up as an outsider to the Ottonian system, and I did throw in some interactions with Wilhelm Karl in what I've written so far. But I don't think his main goal is to tear down the system itself as much as use it to advance his own interests. I gave him a backstory which leaves him bitter about the actions (and inactions) of the current government, with events happening in the next gameplay chapter significantly affecting both his outlook and the political landscape and giving The Forum an opportunity to go mainstream. Baudet acknowledges that the Ottonian system is flawed. He always points out that the Diet is "calcified" and has remained stagnant for decades with the same four major parties always cycling power among themselves. In a way, Baudet hopes that The Forum will be the antidote, and by injecting new blood, the Ottonian system can be revitalized to achieve its original goal, of fostering cooperation between the Roman people and those in power and give everyone fair representation. Your character however is technically not a card-carrying member of The Forum and its successor party, at least initially, but rather the leader of a major nonprofit organization which has partnered with Baudet. Having grown outside the system, he doesn't really see it as anything exceptional. He can more easily see its flaws while Baudet, who despite his branding is still a career politician, does not. Baudet cares more about reforming the system by taking on the mainstream parties. Your character has some...very complex goals I don't know how to easily explain right now without giving spoilers. Needless to say he does not care for either system reform or total dismantlement, at least to begin with. He only works with Baudet as their goals and motivations align for now, but he is always considering other options and updating his goals. A lot of people will certainly see him as a radical demagogue because he holds some outwardly controversial views or they stand to lose from some things he supports.

I've already played out the rest of Vicky and know exactly how your character's arc will play out. I just have to figure out how to write his story and the chapters that are affected by it.
I see. If I can help it, I'll try not to directly mention the AOG by name, but I could mention powerful corporations with sympathies towards either the Indian or Tianxia camps, and the NUC supporting anti colonial nationalist groups among the indigenous populations.
That's a good idea. Maybe a few corporations could even try to subvert the government and take it over, considering it hostile to their commercial interests, which could invite a giant strike the NUC takes advantage of.
I also remember that Jayashimha army was made up of a lot of people from different castes, which reminds me of how diverse the troop makeup of Roman standing armies in Ck2/EU4 was described, with British legions made up of English Longbowmen, Roman Calvary being a mix of Byzantine Cataphract, Arab/Berber camels and Polish Hussars, and Roman infantry being a mix of French and German swordsmen and Lombard pike men. For my Tianxia lore, I'm actually planning on exploring the sub identities that have developed in each of the Reich's provinces throughout the centuries, like the Carthaginian or Gallic local identities,and how they could evolve in the Tianxia timeline with no Reich to unify them, hence the possibility for an Islamic restoration I've discussed before, among other cultures that could make a resurgence.
I forgot that detail I gave Jayasimha. His appeal was that like Friedrich the Great, he considered merit as the most important quality of the individual, not place of birth or social standing. Although the Indian caste system wasn't as rigid before British colonization, from what I heard, Jayasimha was one of the first Indian rulers to sideline the idea, and while he could not completely end it, he tried to allow for more social mobility. This appealed to millions of Indians in the lower castes, who made up a large portion of his army.

That's a good touch for Tianxia. Carthage would've definitely developed a subculture, as its legion (the 20th or 22nd?) participated in many important battles throughout the early Reich, and the city is the ancestral home of the Schweinfurt family. The region is mostly populated by the descendants of German settlers sent by Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich, the predecessor of Friedrich the Great, who led a crusade there before the Restoration. Gallia's subculture could focus on the cultural assimilation of the French and its German settlers, who adopted some French culture.
As for the rapid cultural/religious conversions in CK2/EU4/Vicky2, I personally saw those cultural/religious maps as very rough approximations of where certain groups tended to live in, mapped out by biased provincial and colonial authorities, and really just indicated who were the most powerful groups in those regions rather than the actual cultural makeup of those provinces. at least, that's my head canon for things like Africa becoming mostly German and other things like that.
There's also the issue of me saying there were 2 billion Romans in 1900, which is probably impossible with the level of technology at the time. That was probably a major error by official census records. The current Roman population is likely around 1.2 billion, about even with China and India, although I don't want any hard numbers as they will most definitely change in the future.

I definitely agree there were some areas where population counts were fudged by biased authorities. Some were probably overeager and marked a certain population as having 0 members, thus explaining for the "exterminations" I kept talking about in the past. Or maybe the narrator was writing from a biased medieval standpoint.

As for Africa, that is one situation where I would generally accept the Vicky map over NWO's as there really were a lot of German settlers who settled in Africa. But I don't want to fully retcon the NWO map, so I generally assume the "majority culture" shown on the map is really the most spoken language in the area. Still doesn't explain bizarre AI migration habits like the African majority city in northern Korea, but I'll chalk that up to an amusing moment in history.
As for groups that previous segments said were exterminated but probably weren't, I doubt the Inquisition ever truly wiped out the heresies and just said they did as propaganda to make themselves look successful. Granted, they did successfully snuff out all known and open heresies after the war, but there's probably a lot of heretics throughout the Reich who understandably aren't open about there beliefs due to the anti heresy laws still in place and the violent persecution inflicted on them, not to mention negative social stigma associated with them due to the actions of heretic mobs in the Fifty Years War. IIRC, there were a few small and sporadic heretic activities that popped up long after the Fifty Wars War, mostly in Illyria, and Franz Ferdinand’s ghost mentioned something to Gavrilo about some heretics who fled to Lithuania to escape persecution. Now the exiled heretics in Lithuina is interesting, because aside from the heretics likely adopting Romuva traditions and getting absorbed into the Antras šansas faith after WW1 to avoid the Inqusitions' crackdowns, I like imagine they would've had a significant affect on Lithuania's foreign policy leading up to the forming of the Commonwealth and the Palemonaitis' rivalry with the Hohezollerns throughout the Commonwealth Wars. Before the Fifty Years War, Lithuania had a pretty cordial relationship with the Reich, but only with Lithuania subordinate tributary to the Reich, which was one reason why Roman-Lithuanian relations broke down when Queen Girdre's formation of the comonwealth threatend Roman interests in Eastern Europe. When the heretics started fleeing on amass to Lithuinia, Perhaps they could've not only did given Giedre enough support to begin her massive invasion of Russia, it also could've spurred her to adopt an anti Reich mindset, eventually leading to the Palemonatis claiming to be the true heirs of Roman legacy rather than the Hohenzollerns, with the reasoning being that the Hohenzollerns turned their back on Romanitas by allowing the religiously intolerant Inquisition free reign to massacre heretics for political power, while the Palemonaitis upheld Romanitas by welcoming and tolerating the religious refugees fleeing the Reich, thus making the Lithuanian-Ruthenian Commonwealth more worthy of being Roman than the Reich from their point of view.
It's really hard to eliminate an idea, but it can be pretty easy to shatter a group sometimes. The Inquisition's aggressive counter-Reformation campaign successfully destroyed all of the militant heretic movements and made sure that a majority of Christians in all provinces worshipped the true faith. The key word is majority since the Inquisition is an organization like any other. For all of their zeal, the Inquisitors (the non-supernatural focused ones at least) are just doing their jobs and want to get it done. So once they can declare victory, they report to Berlin and move on. Many of the surviving heretics understandably would be very paranoid about their faith, due to the Inquisition's actions and the social stigma afterwards because of the most militant heretic groups. Some might not think it's worth it, while others might think they were wrong to believe in it, and thus secretly convert back. Others would outwardly profess belief in the mainstream faith but practice in secret, while their children would practice a hybrid version of the faith, and descendants would slowly merge the two faiths and effectively become mainstream worshippers with a few added qualities. There were indeed a few heretic movements that appeared long after the Fifty Years' War, and the Inquisition predictably cracked down on them. I assume those were more radical branches of the heresies, led by extremist preachers who outwardly called for rejection of mainstream tenets and militant uprising. In some cases they were genuinely moderate heretic groups which became the majority in the area, but stigma and fear from neighboring areas (as well as the now minority mainstream population) summons the Inquisition. By the 1900s, most of these heretic movements have basically vanished, having lost most of their organized institutions, and been subsumed back into the mainstream as local derivations. So former heretic communities in Illyria would today officially follow the mainstream Church but with a few added (or removed) teachings, mostly minor things. The Church has long since relaxed its stance on heresy, but even when the old laws were still being enforced they probably wouldn't care about something so minor.

The heretics fleeing to Lithuania to escape persecution is certain interesting, as I did mention when Anders and Angela visited a town in eastern Poland that the inhabitants of the town were descended from heretics fleeing persecution in the Fifty Years' War who lived side by side with Romuva and Slavic pagans. It isn't much of a stretch to see some of them go further. Over the centuries, they would've been assimilated into the Romuva faith and after World War I contribute to the development of Antras šansas. Some might have served in the Lithuanian royal court and helped Queen Giedre found the Commonwealth, adding a religious component to the Roman-Lithuanian rivalry which breaks the pre-Fifty Years' War special relationship between the two countries. Giedre personally did not care to claim to be the true heir of Rome, but she welcomed the heretics' knowledge, especially military knowledge, which she used in her war against Russia. Her descendants though would adopt the heretics' anti-regime mentality and turn it into the Roman-Lithuanian rivalry. Meanwhile, the exiled heretic community, slowly assimilating into mainstream Romuva, would inject fringe ideas about how the Hohenzollerns lost the divine right of kings and abandoned Romanitas with the Inquisition's harsh repression. They would bring such ideas of Romanitas with them to Lithuania, which became state policy. This could probably explain why so many Poles were generals in the Lithuanian army when Poles became a minority group and the Commonwealth is not the PLC. Maybe there were a lot of Poles who were heretics, and they fled to Lithuania as well, meeting up with existing Lithuanian Polish communities (who have long since became Romuva) and boosting their standing in the military and politics.

Funny enough in OTL there really was the idea that the Palemonids were of Roman origin, with the dynasty's founder, Palemon, being a relative of Nero. It is likely they never existed in real life and were only made up in the 16th century. Maybe in this timeline it's just a coincidence the Palemonids actually exist with an 11th century Palemon who doesn't have a Roman connection, with all of that made up later.

But really I think the whole idea of Lithuania being the true Roman Empire is just King-Emperor August being downright insane.
I get the feeling that Lithuania's anti Hohenzollern claim would've inspired later Soviet deromanization policies, through the Soviets obviously took it much further to attack Romanitas on grounds of denouncing the forced assimilation polices the two Fredrichs and Saint Wilhelmina implemented. I also get the feeling that Deromanization evolved from the Soviet equivalent of Deangelifcation initiatives, where Molotov would take advantage of war time Soviet nationalism to pin the rise of the Angeloi on Roman society itself, painting Roman culture as inherently fascist and oppressive. I think there was a mention in either late HOI3 or early Vicky 2 about how Soviets went as for to empower certain minorities, like Hungarians and Romanians, over the Greco-Germanic majorities as a way of supplanting the Occupied Territories Roman identities with pre Restoration identities, In that case, how do you think those minorities are doing in a post Soviet Occupied Territories? I get the feeling that those minorities the Soviets tried to promote to positions of power would be some negative social stigmas against them in an anti equalist Reich after WW3 unfortunately.:(
I don't think Lithuania's crazy claim to be the true heir of Rome would've held much weight in the CSSR, as it was associated with August's insanity. Molotov came up with the idea for it after researching how previous enemies of the Reich ultimately failed in the end because they always attacked it from the outside, instead of trying to divide its people from within and make them stop identify as Roman, so that the Reich has no legs to stand on. Deangelification would provide a convenient excuse to carry out deromanization by associating a Roman identity with Angeloi fascism. There would be a nationalist bent to it. In Russia, deromanization would be seen as the new war against the Reich, only waged in the shadows. In the Occupied Territories, the Soviets would claim that local cultures like Hungarian and Czech were prosperous, peaceful, and proletarian until the Greco-Germanic fascist capitalists took over and suppressed their culture. Deromanization was just to set things right and truly bring about racial/ethnic equality, by dismantling the oppressive Roman culture which suppresses the minorities' original way of life. This is why cultures and polities that have not existed for centuries if at all, like Hungary, Bohemia, and Poland, are resurrected as a way to carry out this dismantlement. Taurica meanwhile was subjected to straight up Russification.

As for how these minorities are doing today, I generally think they end up like the former working class of the American Rust Belt and the population of the former East Germany, having lost out on globalization and the technological revolutions of the 1990s and 2000s. There really isn't any social stigma against these minorities for being the leaders of the old regimes, in as much as they are ethnic-based. It's more of a political stigma for those leaders still alive, where they are stigmatized for being former equalist leaders who just happen to be minorities. The stigma is weaker if they were more pro-Roman or outright defected. The average minority citizen though has more of an economic stigma, generally left with low-paying jobs and housing in poor or crime-ridden neighborhoods because law enforcement is either weak or selective in who is defended, though there is a slight ethnic stigma accompanying this. Even citizens of the former DDR are increasingly viewed as a different cultural group from those in western Germania. For the people of the former Occupied Territories, the closest real life analogue I can think of is slightly better than African American and Latino/Hispanic communities in the US and very similar to the fate of many Eastern Europeans and Germans of the former DDR.
This discussion about where Lithuanians got its claim to be the true Roman empire came from has opened up another idea for Tianxia I think could be interesting, maybe Victoria Louise's Prussia and August's Lithuania could both claim to be the successor to the Reich, which would naturally lead to conflict between them. I'm thinking Poland could be a buffer state between them, either lead by puppet Habsburgs loyal to Hohenzollern Prussia, or a client republic of Lithuania.
Having not been deposed here, August would have the opportunity to follow up on his insanity. Under the right circumstances, he might even declare the Commonwealth reformed into the "Roman Empire" and launch an invasion of the former Reich to press his claim. Poland might be divided into two buffer states, one led by the Habsburg dynatoi which remain loyal to Berlin and the other a Lithuanian client state. Both are intended to be annexed maybe a year into the game.
 
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