The Let's Play Archive

Al Andalus Paradox Mega-LP

by Hashim

Part 45: World of 1600

Chapter 13 - World of 1600

: Most noble aristocrats, merchants and muftis. I know that we are still in the midst of debate and discussion, but it is exactly because of that that I and an army of administrators, diplomats and cartographers have gathered here today.

: To assist you all in coming to decisions regarding your allegiance, I have spent the past few days collecting intelligence from all corners of the world, recording numbers and drafting maps about nations large and small. It is this that I present to you today, consider a gift, from a sultan to his Majlis.

: Where best to start, but our own great sultanate? Over the past century and a half, Al Andalus has come to largely dominate the Iberian peninsula, which only a couple small Christian principalities still hugging the edges of the peninsula. Recent rebellions have left us weak and scarcely able to defend ourselves, with a mercenary army being the only thing that still keeps the peace, though we still have a large and powerful navy.

: Regarding demographics, Sunni Islam makes up the vast majority of the religion in our domains. Christianity still has a sizeable grasp on a few cities, making up almost a quarter of the population, whilst the heretic Shia remain firmly entrenched in the city of Granada. We also administer over a wide array of nationalities and ethnicities, the largest of which are the Dhimmi - that is, the Portuguese and Castilians - though Aragonese also make up a substantial percentage of our subjects.

Note: the uncored lands are just colonies, pay no heed to that.

: To move on to foreign lands, however, Europe is still largely recovering from the destructive League War. France has already cemented itself as the leading power on the continent, but serious challengers to its supremacy include the Celtic Empire, Bavaria, Italy and our own righteous sultanate. Other powers on the rise include Eastphalia, the largest Protestant prince inside the Empire, and Provence, who've recently been humbled by France.

: In the vast and hard country of Russia, meanwhile, Christendom is on the advance. A brief alliance between Novgorod and Smolensk has ensured that the Bogorji Emirate is now on the retreat, but cracks in this alliance is already beginning to show as both have ambitions to dominate all of Russia.

: On the matter of religion, the very successful Reformation has seen the influence of the Catholic Church utterly destroyed in large parts of the continent, whilst Orthodoxy still dominates in Eastern Europe. The only places where the Pope still hold serious authority are the Italian Peninsula, the Balkans and the Celtic Isles.

: The Near East is dominated by two staunch rivals - the Vakhtani Caliphate and Crusader Egypt. The constant wars between the two foes has already seen the Levant trade hands several times, with the Armenians overcoming the Egyptians in the latest war and pushing them back into Africa.

: Further east, on the other hand, tells a story of the fall of an empire. The Farzadid Persian Empire once stretched from Baluchistan to Trebizond, but it has recently fallen into a cycle of civil war and rebellion that has seen large parts of the empire break away. The very existence of Persia is now threatened by the rising powers in the east, namely Khwarezm and Delhi.

: Similar to Europe, the diverse religious landscape of the Middle East has led to a rise of sectarian conflicts. The Sunni Armenians and Catholic Egyptians are in constant conflict, whilst the Shia Arabians still have the Sunni Persians to contend with, not to mention the holy warriors of the Sikh regularly raiding them from the east.

: The Indian subcontinent, by contrast, is almost entirely united under Hinduism. That hasn't stop wars regularly breaking out and devastating half the continent, though Delhi has recently emerged as the strongest power in the region, what with the recent collapse of the south into half a dozen warring principalities.

: In the Far East, China is utterly ravaged by decades of war and rebellion. The Great Feng - once a horde that threatened to roll over everything from Korea to Vietnam with ease - has been brought low by court intrigues and a boy-emperor. Large parts of the country are now breaking away as the emergent powers all struggle to usurp the Mandate of Heaven. The Empire of Japan, meanwhile, remains as isolationist as ever, whilst the Korean Peninsula is quickly being overrun by Red Turban fanatics.

: Confucianism has remained the dominant religion in East Asia, though both Manichaeism and Vajrayana Buddhism has made significant headway into China, with hundreds of thousands adhering to these minority faiths.

: The past two hundred years has seen Indonesia carved up between a cluster of thalassocracies, the largest of which are Poni, Temasik and Sripura, which has begun its steady descent into civil war.

: Whilst the different powers are all fierce rivals on the seas, they are united under a single religion, becoming the beacon of Jain Dharma in the world after their ancestors had fled the Indian subcontinent centuries past. The southern kingdoms, on the other hand, are still strict followers of Mahayana Buddhism, as their ancestors had been.

: Moving across the Indian Ocean and past the Coptic at the Horn of Africa, the Western regions of the continent is largely dominated by three major powers: Kanem Bornu, Benin, and Mali, with the smaller sultanate of Jolof still exerting some influence at the edge of the Sahara desert. Benin in particular is very ambitious, seeking to dominate its little corner of the world, though the intruding Sultanate of Morocco has other ideas in mind.

: West Africa is roughly divided into two camps, where Kanem Bornu and Benin yet adhere to their pagan roots, whilst Mali and Jolof carry the torch of Islam. Despite fundamental differences in their faiths, the different empires have been remarkably amicable with one another, their ambitions chiefly restricted to trade and foreign colonialism.

: In the vast western continent of Gharbia, still largely unexplored and uncolonised, dozens of European and African powers vie over control of its legendary riches. We have yet to involve ourselves much in the southern continents, which has largely become a Moroccon playground, though both France and Provence have already established colonies of their own.

: Further north, the immensely rich Caribbean basin has essentially been carved up between Andalusia and Morocco, with the Celts stealing a couple islands and ports late in the race. The native Tlapanec Empire looms over all of us, however, with the Polynesian Waono Empire warily watching from further west.

: The northern continent is also mostly untouched, though we have established several colonies along its southern coast, leaving the eastern seaboard for the Celts and the English to squabble over.

: Finally, with the maps and political landscape out of the way, we have some numbers to look over. Regarding our army, we all know that it fared badly during our last war, so it will have to rebuilt quickly. The largest land power in Europe remains France, boasting almost 60000 men-at-arms, with twice that standing in reserves. Bavaria and the Celtic Empire both have sizeable forces, though they will have to coordinate if they're to take down the French behemoth.

: As for dominance of the seas, Al Andalus is unmatched in that regard, at least as far as European waves are concerned. The Jizrunid Navy can easily defeat the fleets of any two great powers combined, and put up a serious fight against anything stronger than that.

: Still, our navy isn't enough to defeat France, not alone. France has the largest population in Europe, giving it a hefty tax base and massive manpower pool to draw from, so we'd likely have to team up with other powers if they're ever going to fall.

: That doesn't necessarily mean that Al Andalus is piss-poor, not at all. Though we have a much smaller population base, our colonies in the west has filled the treasury to overflowing, making it easy for us to repay our debts and begin reconstruction programs. Not to mention the fact that it has undoubtedly enriched many a man in this Majlis.

: And with that, this summary of world politics is brought to a close. Hopefully many here will find this enlightening, I can only bid that you all act for the greater good, in the interest of yourselves and your sultanate...