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1618: Alternative Divergence [AH][OOC-OPEN]

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Alt Div Admin
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Founded: Dec 15, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

1618: Alternative Divergence [AH][OOC-OPEN]

Postby Alt Div Admin » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:14 pm

1618: Alternative Divergence


FLAMES OF WAR AND RELIGION



OOC THREAD






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“There's no such thing as chance, and what to us seems merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.”

~Albrecht von Wallenstein


History is often said to be dictated by destiny and by fate, beyond the control of man, but what if we could dictate fate?

What if we could change the history of an entire nation? What if we could change those moments that end up determining the fate of the world?





Welcome to Alternative Divergence, an alternative history RP where the world is yours to do whatever you wish. For the sake of continuity, the time now is 1618 AD. Europe is teetering on the brink of a religious war, as the Protestant Reformation has turned brother against brother in the Holy Roman Empire, and Catholic and Protestant states are gathering in leagues all throughout the continent, and the Christians and the Muslims fight over the Holy Land. In Asia, the Mandate of Heaven is disputed between two dynasties which are growing ever closer to war, while other nations wish to challenge that worldview and to create their own empires separate from that of the Middle Kingdom. In the Americas, the Europeans quickly expand their colonial empires while the natives are desperately trying to fight back and to maintain their independence. What will be your vision of a world shaped by a nation that you call your own?





Again, for the sake of continuity, we should set a few ground rules.

  • All apps need a point of start and build-up – Whether you start from Antiquity and build it up to 1618 or you simply change a few things here and there from the 1500’s is up to you, but we would like for all nations to have an interesting history behind them, in order to prove that you are a capable alternate history roleplayer.
  • All nations MUST be somewhat original – Let’s try to be a bit more creative than having the Habsburg Empire in all its glory. You can keep the name and title, but you must have some degree of difference between your nation and how it was in real life at this point in time.
  • Everything can be excused with reason – We are willing to let anything be possible as long as it is stated clearly in the app with a full explanation as to why it has come to be like that for your nation. Similarly, we will accept no changes without a proper explanation.

And there should also be a few rules set in stone for claiming:

  • Reservations last by default for 48 hours. – The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in this matter, but generally reservations will last for 2 days and will be removed afterwards. Posting a work-in-progress app can earn you 24 more hours from the moment your reservation would have ended. If it's clear that the player in question is working on their app, and they request it, then an an additional 24 hours can be given, but that is the limit. So at most, a player actually working on their app can have a reservation for 4 days/96 hours.
  • Colonial claims are reviewed separately – The OP board can and often will accept nations independently of their respective colonial claims. Colonial claims will be an area of competition between players and competing claims are inevitable, so until the launch of the IC, colonial claims will be treated as requests and will be awarded after deliberation by the board, so that they are realistic and so that everyone can be content with what they have. Colonial claims will be dependent on how colonies evolved over time in real life (North America would be sparsely colonized, Africa can only be colonized in its coasts, European presence in Asia will be limited).
  • Players can attempt to play other players’ vassals or colonies under certain conditions -In order to allow for more players to have a spot on the map, people will be able to play as the subjects of other nations, as long as they have the main nation’s player’s approval. Considering how important some territories might be for players, people can reject such claims. If they are accepted by the player in question, rules in such a situation would of course include that realism must be maintained – vassals or colonies can’t just instantly rebel against their masters, especially not in this time period, and the main nation will have the powers it realistically had over those subjects in real life.
  • In Western Europe, the religion of a nation will be very important - It will likely dictate the balance of power in the Thirty Years War that is about to start. As such, the OP board will try to ensure that the conflict is as balanced as possible, and this will be taken into account.


Nation Application

Code: Select all
[[Please remove all double brackets from the app before posting it, including this one]]
[b]Full Nation Name:[/b]
[b]Majority/Official Culture:[/b] [[What your people identify themselves with… French, Chinese, Iroquois, Touareg, etc.]]
[b]Territorial Core:[/b] [[The territory that your nation actually controls]]
[b]Territorial Claim:[/b] [[OPTIONAL]] [[The territories that your nation desires]]
[b]Capital City:[/b] [[Its IRL location and name]]
[b]Population:[/b]
     
[b]Government Type:[/b] [[Monarchy, Republic, etc.]]
[b]Government Ideology/Policies:[/b] [[OPTIONAL]] [[Militant, Imperialist, Expansionist, etc.]]
[b]Government Focus:[/b] [[Tell us a little bit about what your government’s focus is… be it military, economy, culture, legitimacy, etc.]]
[b]Head of State:[/b] [[The highest-ranking individual in the nation ]]
[b]Head of Government:[/b] [[If different, the highest-ranking individual who actually runs the nation]]
[b]Government Description:[/b]
     
[b]Majority/State Religion:[/b] [[It does not have to be IRL religion]]
[b]Religious Description:[/b] [[OPTIONAL]]

[b]Economic Description:[/b] [[A short description of your economy, does not need to be detailed considering the era]]
[b]Major Production:[/b]

     
[b]Army Description :[/b] [[Describe your nation's army in as much detail as you can]]
[b]Army Weakness :[/b]
[b]Naval Description :[/b] [[Describe your nation's navy in as much detail as you can]]
[b]Naval Weakness :[/b]
[b]Further Military Description :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]]
     
[b]National Goals :[/b] [[What are the main objectives of your nation?]]
[b]National Issues :[/b] [[What needs to be fixed in order for your nation to achieve its true potential?]]
[b]National Figures of Interest :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]] [[Are there any Mother Teresas or Moses that we need to know about?]]
[b]National Ambition/Aspirations :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]] [[Not really set objectives, but rather the big picture that your nation is drawing towards]]
     
[b]History :[/b] [[Can be formatted in paragraphs or as a bulletpoint timeline.]]
[b]RP Sample:[/b] [[Either a link to a past post, or an example written right here.]]
     
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

Reservations

Code: Select all
[align=middle][size=140][u]Reservation[/u][/size][/align]
[b]Nation Name:[/b]
[b]Territory:[/b]
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.
Last edited by Alt Div Admin on Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:19 am, edited 21 times in total.

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Alt Div Admin
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Founded: Dec 15, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Alt Div Admin » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:14 pm



Accepted Nations

Last Updated : 10.08.2022

Reservations

Last Updated : 10.08.2022
Last edited by Alt Div Admin on Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:26 am, edited 24 times in total.

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Alt Div Admin
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Posts: 184
Founded: Dec 15, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Alt Div Admin » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:15 pm



Recommended Concepts

  • The Papal States - They would be under the influence and protection of the Habsburgs but they could play a leading role in the politics of the Holy Roman Empire and of Europe.
  • Electors of the HRE - Prince-electors such as the Catholic Archbishops (Mainz and Trier) and one more secular elector(Brandenburg) are open.
  • Other HRE princes - The Duchy of Württemberg, the Duchy of Lorraine, Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel or even states such as Ulm could be applied for and could take advantage of the religious tensions in the HRE that would ensure activity and interactions.
  • Switzerland - While Switzerland was historically already somewhat neutral in this period of time, the legacy of the Swiss mercenaries could still make itself felt.
  • Poland - A powerful Polish or Polish-Hungarian state would likely exist in Central and Eastern Europe and would have plenty of opportunities to interact in the East or to get involved in the religious conflict in the HRE
  • An Egyptian Muslim state - a state that would be recovering or still reeling from the Roman conquest of the Holy Land, but that would still be in a strong position and which could also still own the Holy Cities of Medina and Mecca
Last edited by Alt Div Admin on Fri Jul 15, 2022 3:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Intermountain States
Minister
 
Posts: 2045
Founded: Oct 12, 2014
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Intermountain States » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:16 pm

Reservation

Nation Name: Empire of Joseon
Territory: Korean peninsula and its islands, Liaodong Peninsula, Manchuria
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.
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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:16 pm

Reservation

Nation Name: Empire of the Romans
Territory: Greece, Bulgaria, Dobruja, FYROM, parts of southern Serbia and Kosovo, Cyprus, Byzantine territories in Anatolia, traditional Roman territories in Syria and Lebanon, and the Holy Land including Jerusalem
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Sao Nova Europa
Minister
 
Posts: 2427
Founded: Apr 20, 2019
New York Times Democracy

Postby Sao Nova Europa » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:16 pm

Reservation

Nation Name: Song Dynasty
Territory: RL Southern Song, Dali (Yunnan), Tibet and Northern Vietnam
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.
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“In war, to keep the upper hand, you have to think two or three moves ahead of the enemy.”
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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:17 pm

Intermountain States wrote:
Reservation

Nation Name: Empire of Joseon
Territory: Korean peninsula and its islands, Liaodong Peninsula, Manchuria
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.

Sao Nova Europa wrote:
Reservation

Nation Name: Song Dynasty
Territory: RL Southern Song, Dali (Yunnan), Tibet and Northern Vietnam
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.


Reservations accepted
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Old Tyrannia
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Posts: 16451
Founded: Aug 11, 2009
Father Knows Best State

Postby Old Tyrannia » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:24 pm

Reservation

Nation Name: Japanese Empire (日本帝國, Nippon Teikoku)
Territory: Japanese Islands, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, northern Luzon (Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera Administrative Region), Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.
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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:27 pm

Old Tyrannia wrote:
Reservation

Nation Name: Japanese Empire (日本帝國, Nippon Teikoku)
Territory: Japanese Islands, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, northern Luzon (Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera Administrative Region), Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.

Reservation accepted
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Krugmar
Minister
 
Posts: 2199
Founded: May 06, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Krugmar » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:35 pm

Reservation

Nation Name: Cheriyan Dynasty
Territory: Southern India, Oman, Tanzanian Coast, Riau, Ligor, Makassar, Parts of Borneo and Java.
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.
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Sao Nova Europa
Minister
 
Posts: 2427
Founded: Apr 20, 2019
New York Times Democracy

Postby Sao Nova Europa » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:38 pm

Full Nation Name: Song Dynasty
Majority/Official Culture: Chinese
Territorial Core: RL Southern Song, Dali (Yunnan), Tibet and Northern Vietnam
Territorial Claim : Northern China
Capital City: Jiangning (Nanjing)
Population: 115,000,000

Government Type : Absolute bureaucratic monarchy under military dictatorship
Government Ideology/Policies : Stability, Confucianism, Conservatism
Government Focus :

The Song Dynasty bases its legitimacy on being a civilized Han Chinese dynasty that safeguards proper Chinese civilization, in contrast to the barbarian dominated North.

Head of State : Xianfeng Emperor

Image

Head of Government: Grand Marshal Lin Shu

Image

Government Description:

Central Government:


The Emperor (Huáng Dì) is the Son of Heaven and the autocrat of All Under Heaven. All must submit before the heavenly-ordained ruler of the world. Tributary states are expected to annually submit tribute to the Emperor. The unruly barbarians are excused for their lack of decorum before the Emperor as they know no better.

Despite those grand proclamations, though, real power is held by the Grand Marshal (Da Yuan Shuai), who also acts as Commander-in-Chief of the Song military. The Grand Marshal is in effect the unofficial military dictator of the Empire. While the Emperor is nominally the absolute ruler and the Grand Marshal holds no civilian authority, in practice all court affairs are controlled by him and all government ministries and departments answer to him.

The Grand Marshal is assisted by the Chancellor. The Chancellor is always a eunuch and heads the Six Departments and Six Ministries:

The Six Departments are:

    The Secretariat, responsible for drafting policies.
    The Chancellery, responsible for reviewing policies.
    The Department of State Affairs, responsible for implementing policies.
    The Department of Palace, responsible for the upkeep of the imperial household.
    The Department of Books, responsible for maintaining the Imperial Library.
    The Department of Service, responsible for staffing the palace with eunuchs.

The Six Ministries are:

    Ministry of Personnel, in charge of appointments, promotions & demotions of officials and the granting of honorific titles.
    Ministry of Rites, in charge of state ceremonies & rituals and the maintenance of palace protocol.
    Ministry of Revenue, in charge of collecting taxes, handling state revenues and gathering census data.
    Ministry of War, in charge of appointments, promotion & demotion of military officers, maintenance of military installations and equipment, supply of the military and leadership in times of war.
    Ministry of Justice, in charge of the judicial and penal process.
    Ministry of Works, in charge of government construction programs and maintenance of infrastructure.

The Office of Barbarian Affairs is an independent agency responsible for diplomacy. It is mostly concerned with nations that are not tributary states of the Song Dynasty. Relations with the tributary states are handled by the Ministry of Rites.

Below the Ministries are the Bureaus, government departments staffed by bureaucrats chosen in accordance to their rank in the Imperial Examinations; competitive examinations held in an effort to select the most capable individuals for governance. The number of exam takers for the low-level prefectural exams are about 400,000. The civil service and examination system allows for greater meritocracy, social mobility, and equality in competition for those wishing to attain an official seat in government. The scholar-officials dominate thus the bureaucracy. The maximum tenure in office is twelve years but every three years officials are evaluated and can be promoted or demoted.

Imperial Court:

The Imperial Court is comprised of the Grand Marshal, the Ministers, the Directors (heading the Departments) and the leading secretariats of the Ministries and Departments. The Court is convened at least three times a month, and debates domestic and foreign policy in relatively open manner. Courtiers can offer ideas and criticize the conduct of Ministers or Directors, but such criticisms must be well-grounded lest they incur the wrath of the Grand Marshal.

Imperial Household:

The Imperial Household is staffed entirely by eunuchs and servant ladies. The number of concubines is in the hundreds while the number of eunuchs and servant ladies in the thousands. The Imperial Household is a large, complex bureaucracy of its own, a miniature government of sorts handling the women and offspring of the Emperor. Concubines are chosen both in merits of political expediency and of beauty. They are trained by eunuchs to adhere to a strict protocol.

The women of the Imperial Household are ranked in accordance to their virtues, beauty and the favor of the Emperor:

    1. Empress (皇后; huáng hòu)
    2. Consort (夫人; fū rén)
    3. Beauty (美人; měi rén)
    4. Virtuous Lady (良人; liáng rén)
    5. Consort (八子; bā zi)
    6. Lady (七子; qī zi)
    7. Senior Palace Woman (長使; zhǎng shǐ)
    8. Junior Palace Woman (少使; shǎo shǐ)
As the rank of his mother affects a prince’s chances of being named Crown Prince, it isn’t uncommon for women in the Imperial Household to fight for influence and the favor of the Emperor.

Provincial Government:


The government supports a widespread postal service to provide swift communication throughout the empire. The central government employs thousands of postal workers of various ranks to provide service for post offices and larger postal stations, ensuring tight control over the provinces. The provincial administration is organized into:

    Viceroyalty, comprising of several provinces and administered by a Viceroy (zongdu)
    Province, administered by a governor (xunfu)
    Prefecture, administered by a prefect (zhīfu)
    County, administered by a magistrate (xiànzhang)

The office-holders are chosen through provincial imperial examinations, with the exception of Viceroys who are military officers and chosen by the Grand Marshal. Just like other government bureaucrats, they have a maximum tenure of twelve years in office but every three years they undergo evaluation and can either be demoted or promoted: once again, the Viceroys are the exception, as they can remain in office for as long or as shortly as the Grand Marshal demands.

Tibet is an unique province since it is ruled by the Dalai Lama and is in essence a Buddhist theocracy. However, there is a strong Song military presence in Lhasa under the 'General Who Pacifies the West'. The Dalai Lama is given broad autonomy on domestic affairs, but has to pay tax every year to the central government, contribute troops when needed and accept Song domination of foreign policy.

Majority/State Religion: Confucianism with elements of Taoism, Ancestor Worshipping and Buddhism
Religious Description: -

Economic Description:

The state has imposed a monopoly on the production of salt, iron, and liquor. Prominent merchant families and private businesses, however, are allowed to occupy industries that are not already government-operated monopolies. There are multitudes of successful small kilns and pottery shops owned by local families, along with oil presses, small local paper-making businesses, etc.

A unified tax system and efficient trade routes have helped to create a large, unified internal market. As inter-regional trade and travel have became ever more common, guild halls dedicated to facilitating commerce (huiguan) have gained prominence around the urban landscape, and the state has to deal with them when assessing taxes, requisitioning goods, and setting standard workers' wages and prices on goods. As a result of this commercialization, mid-sized cities have began popping up to direct the flow of domestic, commercial trade.

Aside from normal currency, the Song government also issues paper-printed money known as Jiaozi. For the printing of paper money, the Song court has established several government-run factories in major cities.

Major agricultural products include tea, sugarcane, cotton, rice, hemp. The Beiyuan Plantation is an imperial tea plantation in Fujian. It produces more than forty varieties of tribute tea for the imperial court. Only the very tip of tender tea leaves are picked, processed and pressed into tea cakes, embossed with dragon pattern, known as "dragon tea cakes". With the growth of cities, high value vegetable farms have sprung up in the suburbs. On average, one mu of paddy farm land supports one man.

There is a flat tax on all citizens. An additional tax is levied on trade; it is essentially a tariff of 10%. Farmers pay another tax based on the size and quality of their land and their annual production. In the twelfth century, as traditional tax revenues fell far short of supporting military defense, the Song administration utilized credit instruments. Around 1200, the amount of redeemable promissory notes first exceeded that of annual tax revenues, a trend that continues to this day. This shift from tax-based public finance to credit-based public finance completed the transition towards a fiscal state.

Major Production: Silk, cotton, tea, sugarcane, hemp, rice, jade, porcelain

Army Description :

The armed forces of the Song Dynasty are under the command of the Grand Marshal. They are divided into:

The Imperial Guards are an elite force of 10,000 men. They are crack troops: only those with the best physique and toughest training get accepted, and they have the best armor and equipment. They are under the personal command of the Grand Marshal, and are his source of power as they impose his will on the Emperor and the Imperial Court. However it is not unheard of officers of the Imperial Guard launching coups against the Grand Marshal to usurp his title.

The 250,000 men strong Standard Army is the professional force of the Song Dynasty. It is equipped with the best weaponry available and has the most training and discipline. It is meant to undertake offensive operations and conquer land for the Emperor.

The Guard Battalions, numbering 500,000 men, are hereditary soldiers stationed in the provinces. They are granted military farms (tun tian) and are supposed to be self-sufficient. Their main objective is to defend provinces and act as a policing force too, undertaking operations against bandits and rebels. They are less well equipped and disciplined than the Standard Army soldiers and cannot be counted on in a serious military engagement.

The Ministry of War is responsible for the maintenance of military installations and the supply of the troops. It maintains bureaus in the various provinces in order to undertake this task. A large network of roads, bridges and canals enables a steady and relatively fast (for the standards of the time and the size of the empire) supplying of the military. The number of bureaucrats employed to undertake this logistical support is almost half the size of the military.

Army Weakness :

- Politicized military: the Imperial Guard is highly influential in imperial politics, and if it becomes unhappy an officer can launch a coup to usurp the title of Grand Marshal
- Peace: the Song Dynasty has not faced a major war in decades. This means that its army and the officer corps are largely untested.
- Defensive focus: the Song Dynasty has adopted a focus on defense, which impairs its ability to launch offensive military operations.

Naval Description :

The Heavenly Fleet is the naval arm of the Song military. It is comprised of 300 Chinese naval junks.

Naval Weakness :

Despite the impressive name of the imperial navy, it is small in size and mainly acts as a policing force to keep coasts clear from pirates. The Song Empire focuses on land warfare and thus the navy is underfunded.

Further Military Description :

The Song Empire has constructed a number of forts and walls along the northern border to provide protection from a possible invasion by a Northern dynasty. A number of forts have also been constructed along the southern border to protect Viet Nam for possible invasion.

National Goals : Maintain territorial status quo, maintain dominance in East Asia
National Issues :

Palace intrigues: The Empire suffers for a political culture of intrigues, plots and military coups. This internal infighting and instability prevents a unified and long-term leadership.

Large empire: The Song Dynasty stretches from Tibet to the East China Sea and from the Huai River to central Vietnam. In order to maintain and defend such a vast empire considerable human and financial resources are needed.

National Figures of Interest :

Xianfeng Emperor: A young Emperor who ascended the Dragon Throne only a year ago. He is considered by many to be naïve, inexperienced and lacking what it takes to rule the country: he himself cultivates that image in public, hoping that when the times comes he will catch his enemies unprepared.

Lin Shu: Grand Marshal of the Empire. He is highly competent, but also ambitious, ruthless and willing to destroy anything and anyone that stands in his path. He rules the Empire with an iron fist.

National Ambition/Aspirations: Reconquest of the North

History :

As a result of the Jin–Song Wars of 1125 and 1127, the Song Dynasty lost control of the North. The Jurchens captured not only the capital of the Song Dynasty, but also the retired Emperor Huizong, his successor Emperor Qinzong, and most of the Imperial court. The Song found themselves pushed south beyond the Huai river. The heartland of the Chinese civilization had been lost to barbarian invaders and China was once again disunited.

Few expected that the Song would survive, but able military officers such as Yue Fei and Han Shizhong inflicted a number of crushing defeats upon the Jurchens. A result of this development was that the Song Court gave to military generals far more autonomy and powers than they had before, overruling previous fears of a rogue military. When Yue Fei was executed in 1142 by the corrupt Imperial Court though, Han Shizhong launched a military coup. The veteran soldiers of Han Shizhong - along with the veterans of the now deceased Yue Fei - preferred to follow a capable military leader than either corrupt government officials - whom many blamed for the loss of the North - or a weak Emperor.

Emperor Gaozong was forced to grant Han Shizhong the title of 'Grand Marshal', supreme commander of the Song military and in effect military dictator of the country. Han Shizhong moved quickly to reform the country. He confiscated portions of land owned by the landed gentry in order to raise revenue for the defense of the dynasty. When big landowners revolted against him (1151 - 1154), Han Shizhong decisively crushed them and then enacted a broad land redistributing program to give farm to tenants and landless peasants. Han Shizhong would also create the military farms (tun tian) system, significantly bolstering the number of troops the dynasty could muster.

Han Shizhong was succeeded in his post in 1157 by his protégé, Guo Jing. A younger officer who had come to prominence in a number of defensive campaigns against Jurchen incursions, he was quick to make a show of force to remind everyone who was the real boss: despite pleas from the Emperor, he had a number of prominent officials executed on charges of corruption and placed loyalists in their places. Guo Jing proved himself to be a capable administrator. He undertook the first population census in decades - allowing for a revision of the tax assessment to make taxation fairer -, imposed state monopoly on salt, iron and liquor, and constructed roads, canals, bridges and a series of granaries in the provinces to allow steady supply in times of natural disasters.

The result of those reforms was strong economic growth, increased state revenues and a more effective military force which managed more than once to repel Jin invasions. But a new foe emerged in the steppe, deserts, and plains north of the Jin dynasty. The Mongols, led by Genghis Khan (r. 1206–1227), initially invaded the Jin dynasty in 1205 and 1209, engaging in large raids across its borders, and in 1211 an enormous Mongol army was assembled to invade the Jin. The Jin dynasty was forced to submit and pay tribute to the Mongols as vassals; when the Jin suddenly moved their capital city from Beijing to Kaifeng, the Mongols saw this as a revolt. Under the leadership of Ögedei Khan (r.1229–1241), both the Jin dynasty and Western Xia dynasty were conquered by Mongol forces in 1233/34.

During this time period, the Song Dynasty had been under the rule of a number of a 'Grand Marshals'. The institution of the Emperor had been significantly weakened and the 'Son of Heaven' had become nothing more than a ceremonial ruler confined in his Imperial Palace, despite occasional attempts by either the Emperors or some ambitious civilian officials to upend this abnormal situation. For centuries, civilian authority had been able to leash the military in China but this was now over: the military was in charge. This change affected Song culture, promoting martial values over literati values, and leading the Song towards a more aggressive and militaristic route.

In 1228, the Grand Marshal Tao Ruogang launched an invasion of Đại Việt: Vietnam had for centuries been a Chinese province and it was only right that it should once again come under Chinese rule. The tropical conditions though and the irregular attacks by Vietnamese peasants forced the Song army to retreat. Almost 20,000 men had perished. A second invasion was launched in 1234 that also ended in disaster. Finally, in 1235, a third invasion was launched. This time, it was a combined land and naval invasion. The number of land troops mobilized reached 160,000. By 1238, Vietnam had been pacified. The Song put down a number of revolts in the following decades (ruthlessly massacring thousands of Vietnamese), while at the same time colonizing the region with Han Chinese settlers.

In 1245, the Song Dynasty launched an invasion of the Dali Kingdom in Yunnan. After fierce fighting, the region was conquered by 1247. With both Vietnam and Yunnan under Song control, the dynasty had grown significantly stronger in manpower, resources and tax revenue. Its armed forces had also gained valuable experience, which would prove useful when in the next decades the dynasty faced a number of Mongol invasions. Between 1258 and 1330s, the dynasty face invasions from the Mongols but managed more than once to repulse them. The Song launched invasions into the North themselves but such invasions also failed.

The most prominent Grand Marshal of this period was Lei Tao (reigned 1328 - 1354). He established a system of Secret Memorandums, allowing direct communication between him and local officials without the court or ministries getting in the way. This allowed far greater oversight of the public administration, and further diminished the power of the Imperial Court and the Emperor. He also created a small Grand Council of personal advisors that was independent of the Imperial Court. He crushed a conspiracy by officials seeking to restore powers to the Emperor in 1347, executing hundreds of officials.

Although the Emperors had been stripped of their political power, they still had significant ceremonial/symbolical powers and could pursue other projects. Emperor Ningzong (1351 - 1389) constricted the Grand Library in Jiangning, a gargantuan pagoda that housed thousands of books, almost the entirety of Chinese literature. Ningzong was a patron of arts and he financed many artistic projects, such as paintings, vases, poems, and literature. The Jiajing Emperor (1389 - 1421) commissioned the Siku Quanshu, an encyclopedia which compiled more than 3000 Chinese works of literature. Literature, painting and music flourished.

At the same time, the various Grand Marshals focused on ensuring that the dynasty was militarily strong and economically prosperous. Despite the institution becoming engrained in Song political culture, hereditary succession failed to become a reality (despite some short-lived Grand Marshal dynasties). Unlike the Emperor, who was protected because of his symbolic status, the Grand Marshal could be overthrown in a military coup by a lower military officer who wanted to usurp his office. This created political instability but also ensured that incompetent Grand Marshals would not remain long at the top as they would be overthrown by more capable and dynamic underlings.

In 1502, the Grand Marshal Cao Bai launched an invasion of Tibet. The pretext was a coup that had overthrown the rightful Dalai Lama. Song soldiers marched into Lhasa and restored the Dalai Lama to power: however they left behind a strong garrison and while the Dalai Lama would have broad autonomy on domestic affairs, they would have to accept Song domination. In 1521, Grand Marshal Xue Feng announced a policy of ‘Closed Doors’, which restricted Western merchants in designated ports and imposed strict regulations on trade. This came to response to increased Western presence in the region and fears of cultural contamination. It was part of a shift of the Song towards greater traditionalism and cultural conservatism, which was accompanied by economic stagnation and a failure to expand abroad or retake the North. In the following decades, the Song Grand Marshals would commission a number of forts and walls along the northern border, taking a defensive posture.

In 1617, the young Xianfeng Emperor came to the throne after his father died of heart attack (though rumors hold that he was poisoned by the Grand Marshal). The inexperienced Emperor is under the tight hold of Grand Marshal Lin Shu, an ambitious military officer who became Grand Marshal in 1614 after overthrowing the previous Grand Marshal in a military coup. Lin Shu wants to put an end to Song's defensive posture and show that the Dragon is not to be toyed with. The Xianfeng Emperor - despite his seeming naivety and inexperience - wants to restore imperial primacy. The two men are bound to face off...

RP Sample: Chinese Palace Drama

#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)
Last edited by Sao Nova Europa on Sun Jul 03, 2022 5:21 am, edited 4 times in total.
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"I’ve just bitten a snake. Never mind me, I’ve got business to look after."
- Guo Jing ‘The Brave Archer’.

“In war, to keep the upper hand, you have to think two or three moves ahead of the enemy.”
- Char Aznable

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
- Sun Tzu

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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:40 pm

Krugmar wrote:
Reservation

Nation Name: Cheriyan Dynasty
Territory: Southern India, Oman, Tanzanian Coast, Riau, Ligor, Makassar, Parts of Borneo and Java.
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.

With the notion that colonies will be adjusted to account for native states and will be accepted properly later (but obviously in cooperation with you to ensure that you have colonies and that they work for you), accepted
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Khasinkonia
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6215
Founded: Feb 02, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Khasinkonia » Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:49 pm

Reservation

Nation Name: Kingdom of the Gauls (Bróirich Galáthé)
Territory: Gaul
#AltDiv
Last edited by Khasinkonia on Sun Jul 03, 2022 1:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:00 pm

Khasinkonia wrote:
Reservation

Nation Name: Kingdom of Gaul
Territory: I'll make a precise map later, but in essence, the territory I intend on having is the Natural Borders of France.
#AltDiv


If by the Natural Borders of France you mean the Rhine, then I'm afraid that's not something I'm able to accept, in the interest of the balance of the Thirty Years War to come.

France as it was in 1618 in real life was already quite something and it would surely be one of the major players of such a war, giving it territory up until the Rhine would I feel make this a bit unfair for any potential players in the Holy Roman Empire.

In Europe, for France, real life 1618 territories is the most I'd be willing to go, perhaps with the addition of Genoa.
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Khasinkonia
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6215
Founded: Feb 02, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Khasinkonia » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:02 pm

Tracian Empire wrote:
Khasinkonia wrote:
Reservation

Nation Name: Kingdom of Gaul
Territory: I'll make a precise map later, but in essence, the territory I intend on having is the Natural Borders of France.
#AltDiv


If by the Natural Borders of France you mean the Rhine, then I'm afraid that's not something I'm able to accept, in the interest of the balance of the Thirty Years War to come.

France as it was in 1618 in real life was already quite something and it would surely be one of the major players of such a war, giving it territory up until the Rhine would I feel make this a bit unfair for any potential players in the Holy Roman Empire.

In Europe, for France, real life 1618 territories is the most I'd be willing to go, perhaps with the addition of Genoa.

Would it be possible to balance this with a lower population? I was intending on making my POD during late antiquity or the early medieval era, and involving a series of brutal campaigns against the romanised population.

Alternatively, would it be feasible to push the northern border northwards by moving the Italian border to the River Lyon?
Last edited by Khasinkonia on Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:15 pm

Khasinkonia wrote:
Tracian Empire wrote:
If by the Natural Borders of France you mean the Rhine, then I'm afraid that's not something I'm able to accept, in the interest of the balance of the Thirty Years War to come.

France as it was in 1618 in real life was already quite something and it would surely be one of the major players of such a war, giving it territory up until the Rhine would I feel make this a bit unfair for any potential players in the Holy Roman Empire.

In Europe, for France, real life 1618 territories is the most I'd be willing to go, perhaps with the addition of Genoa.

Would it be possible to balance this with a lower population? I was intending on making my POD during late antiquity or the early medieval era, and involving a series of brutal campaigns against the romanised population.


The issue isn't only about France being strong, but also about the issues it would create for the Holy Roman Empire. Most of the initial fighting between France and its enemies was fought particularly in those areas the natural borders of France would annex, it would cut off the Spanish Road or any potential equivalent, and then there is also the issue of the real life Spanish Flanders, both from the perspective of the region (the war between the Catholics and the Protestants would be already ongoing in the region in theory), and from the perspective that it's a relatively rich and well developed territory that either Spain, an equivalent, or the HRE would miss.

Which is put into balance with France not necessarily needing that territory. Some sort of a Celtic France/Gaul is an interesting concept, although I'm not sure how it will go and I will refrain judgment until I see an app, but I don't think that having the territory up to the Rhine and Flanders is crucial.

You could make it so that a French/Gallic desire for a border of the Rhine is much more pronounced in this world, you could also make it so that Gaul has stronger claims on the region that France had IRL, but it having it would be a bit too much.
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13428
Founded: Mar 08, 2013
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:24 pm

Reservation

Nation Name: """Western Roman Empire"""
Territory: Italy, Dalmatia, and k_africa
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.
Last edited by The Ik Ka Ek Akai on Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Khasinkonia
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6215
Founded: Feb 02, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Khasinkonia » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:28 pm

Tracian Empire wrote:
Khasinkonia wrote:Would it be possible to balance this with a lower population? I was intending on making my POD during late antiquity or the early medieval era, and involving a series of brutal campaigns against the romanised population.


The issue isn't only about France being strong, but also about the issues it would create for the Holy Roman Empire. Most of the initial fighting between France and its enemies was fought particularly in those areas the natural borders of France would annex, it would cut off the Spanish Road or any potential equivalent, and then there is also the issue of the real life Spanish Flanders, both from the perspective of the region (the war between the Catholics and the Protestants would be already ongoing in the region in theory), and from the perspective that it's a relatively rich and well developed territory that either Spain, an equivalent, or the HRE would miss.

Which is put into balance with France not necessarily needing that territory. Some sort of a Celtic France/Gaul is an interesting concept, although I'm not sure how it will go and I will refrain judgment until I see an app, but I don't think that having the territory up to the Rhine and Flanders is crucial.

You could make it so that a French/Gallic desire for a border of the Rhine is much more pronounced in this world, you could also make it so that Gaul has stronger claims on the region that France had IRL, but it having it would be a bit too much.

Ah, I get what you're saying now. I'll see to an app and fiddle with borders then. I don't want to exactly match the French borders of 1618, but I'll make sure it's roughly equivalent since that's the primary area of concern.

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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:33 pm

The Ik Ka Ek Akai wrote:
Reservation

Nation Name: """Western Roman Empire"""
Territory: Italy, Dalmatia, and k_africa
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.

reservation accepted
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:34 pm

Khasinkonia wrote:
Tracian Empire wrote:
The issue isn't only about France being strong, but also about the issues it would create for the Holy Roman Empire. Most of the initial fighting between France and its enemies was fought particularly in those areas the natural borders of France would annex, it would cut off the Spanish Road or any potential equivalent, and then there is also the issue of the real life Spanish Flanders, both from the perspective of the region (the war between the Catholics and the Protestants would be already ongoing in the region in theory), and from the perspective that it's a relatively rich and well developed territory that either Spain, an equivalent, or the HRE would miss.

Which is put into balance with France not necessarily needing that territory. Some sort of a Celtic France/Gaul is an interesting concept, although I'm not sure how it will go and I will refrain judgment until I see an app, but I don't think that having the territory up to the Rhine and Flanders is crucial.

You could make it so that a French/Gallic desire for a border of the Rhine is much more pronounced in this world, you could also make it so that Gaul has stronger claims on the region that France had IRL, but it having it would be a bit too much.

Ah, I get what you're saying now. I'll see to an app and fiddle with borders then. I don't want to exactly match the French borders of 1618, but I'll make sure it's roughly equivalent since that's the primary area of concern.

Alright, I will accept your claim with the 1618 borders for now (since I do need something to add on the map), and we'll see any border changes afterwards.
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Novacom
Minister
 
Posts: 2084
Founded: Feb 24, 2005
Democratic Socialists

Postby Novacom » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:34 pm

Reservation

Nation Name: Pagan Empire (Subject to Change)
Territory: Indochina and Sumatra
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.

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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:35 pm

Novacom wrote:
Reservation

Nation Name: Pagan Empire (Subject to Change)
Territory: Indochina and Sumatra
#AltDiv (Do not delete this, it is used to keep track of the apps)

*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.

accepted
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Khasinkonia
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6215
Founded: Feb 02, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Khasinkonia » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:36 pm

Tracian Empire wrote:
Khasinkonia wrote:Ah, I get what you're saying now. I'll see to an app and fiddle with borders then. I don't want to exactly match the French borders of 1618, but I'll make sure it's roughly equivalent since that's the primary area of concern.

Alright, I will accept your claim with the 1618 borders for now (since I do need something to add on the map), and we'll see any border changes afterwards.

I can fix it with my exact claims in around an hour, that way you don't have to fuss over changing it. Would that be alright?

User avatar
Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 25616
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Tracian Empire » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:38 pm

Khasinkonia wrote:
Tracian Empire wrote:Alright, I will accept your claim with the 1618 borders for now (since I do need something to add on the map), and we'll see any border changes afterwards.

I can fix it with my exact claims in around an hour, that way you don't have to fuss over changing it. Would that be alright?

Changing them won't be an issue, I can edit maps pretty quickly.

But I need to accept something as far as territory goes, and we'd better go with this for now

I can't exactly accept a reservation without a territory, and as per the rules someone else could drop in and reserve France until you do
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

User avatar
Khasinkonia
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6215
Founded: Feb 02, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Khasinkonia » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:39 pm

Tracian Empire wrote:
Khasinkonia wrote:I can fix it with my exact claims in around an hour, that way you don't have to fuss over changing it. Would that be alright?

Changing them won't be an issue, I can edit maps pretty quickly.

But I need to accept something as far as territory goes, and we'd better go with this for now

I can't exactly accept a reservation without a territory, and as per the rules someone else could drop in and reserve France until you do

Alright, I look forward to showing you what I've got later then!

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