DO NOT POST BEFORE I TELL YOU TO!!!!!!111oneone!!111one!!!1111! Iberia, AKA Spain, AKA Andalusia. 1195 AD, AKA 591 AH. Which geographic name and calendar will be used here is, sortof, what will be decided today. Well, okay, maybe not, but it sounds like a nice thing to say. Iberia is divided into five Christian kingdoms and one Muslim caliphate - that caliphate was the Almohad one, which controlled half of Iberia as well as Morocco, Algiers and Tunis. The Almohads (AlmostHads? AlmostHadThems?) were, theoretically at least, larger and more powerful then any kingdom taken alone, but the Christians were often allied to each other. Not all of them, ofcourse. Okay, so here we have year 1195. So what? Why is it such a good POD? You don't know Spanish history very well, do you? Well, neither do I, but anyway. June 18, 1195. The day that will live in fame. If you happen to be a Muslim. The united Spanish Christian forces, united and determined to avenge the minor setback in the incursions of 1190, chose to attack the Almohad province of Seville a year ago. Now, in 1195, the Almohad caliph Abu Yusuf Ya'qub left Marrakesh, his Moroccan capital, and moved to fight them. The avangard was crushed by the Castilleans led by Alfonso VIII, but the main force overwhelmed and crushed the Christian coalition, especially as it was betrayed by one knight Pedro Fernandez de Castro. Ouch. That was, btw, called the battle of al-Arak, or Alarcos. Now let us suppose Alfonso VIII died in the fighting. This is not just a crushing defeat of the Christian forces as it was in OTL - no, its a total rout. Yusuf, who now proclaimed himself al-Mansur Biallah ("Made Victorious by Allah"), realizes this and rather then go back to Marrakesh with the feeling of a job well done, decides to take back Toledo. He could not have chosen a better time to do that, neither. In OTL, just after the defeat at Alarcos, Castilleans got attacked by Leon and Navarre. Aragonese backed the Castilleans. Christian unity in Spain flew out of the window. With a weaker and leaderless Castille, Aragon is soon forced to fight this war all by itself. Meanwhile, al-Mansur quite easily besieges and captured Toledo, on the other front his forces threaten Lisbon and the Aragonese are unable to do anything against them. Nevertheless, the Aragonese manage to crush the tiny Navarre and entered a de facto union with Castille. Peter of Aragon is cellebrating this victory, but knows that it doesn't mean too much right now - the Almohads, by the time of al-Mansur's death in 1199, control Portugal, Leon and half of Castille as well as their previous territory. Peter II of Aragon does now control the remaining Christian Spain... but is too weak to continue a reconquista. The rest of Europe doesn't care, apart from a few half-hearted crusades by small groups of knights. Europe already had a major crusade not too long ago, the Third Crusade, and besides, England and France are fighting each other and are too consumed by it to react. During early 13th Century, Caliph an-Nasir (due to the greater Iberian Campaign, more capable a commander) was forced to fight the Banu Ghaniya in eastern Algeria and Tunisia (the Banu Ghaniya do not have as heavy an Arab tribal support as in OTL, due the Almohads being viewed as de facto "defenders of faith" as well as de jure). This time around, it took just one campaign with the high-morale, experienced Almohad troops to send the Ghaniya running back into the desert. The Almohads didn't lose de facto authority in Tunisia as in OTL. With all that accomplished, 1206/602 is the right year for the attack on Aragon/Spain. An-Nasir takes his army, and in the first series of battles and skirmishes (to the Aragonese credit, with mixed results - in part due to the influx of volunteers to the Aragonese) pushes the "Spaniards" all the way to Ebro. In 1207, the Arabs cross the river and crush the Aragonese at Tortosa. Peter II was taken hostage, and would die in captivity. The Andalusian Jihad was almost over. Christianity still did hold out in Navarre until 1239, but... it just wasn't enough. The French under St. Louis would send many crusades into Andalusia across the Pyrenees and by the sea during mid-13th Century, but ultimately, failed to achieve any long-term success - indeed, the recapture of Lisbon in 1240 was as good as those crusades got. But Lisbon was lost again soon... By now the effects are many. Andalusia is united, there is a powerful Almohad Caliphate in the west. The French crusaders under St. Louis concentrate on Andalusia rather then North Africa. Louis IX, thus, lived longer. Slightly. In the overall, what we get is a slightly stronger France, a significantly stronger Almohad Caliphate and significantly unexisting Spanish Christian kingdoms. One might be interested to know that the Crusader kingdoms in the Holy Land are even weaker then in OTL. We also get an early renewal of significant Berber raids. This hurts Genoa especially. That, in turn, make Venice stronger. Fear da Most Serene Republic! Muwhahahahaha! But I get distracted. Back to our muttons, the Almohads exist in a naval war with Genoa and a cold war with France in late 13th Century. Nothing much seems to change elsewhere in Europe so far. England still tries to conquer Scotland, Mongols still pillage Hungary and Poland and then run away, etc, etc. But, ofcourse, we have some butterflies. Some huge butterflies. Fredrick II-lives-much-longer sized butterflies that exist to add some flavor and to make a mod's life easier without all those silly Lippe-Detmold-Saxe-Goteburg-Palatinate-of-Rhine-Franconia thingies instead of a huge Holy Roman Empire, from Holstein to Sicily includingly and with a tiny bit of land left for the Pope. If any at all - a more succesful Fredrick II probably would have done like Charles V would have done in OTL, and burned down Rome claiming it to be "friendly fire". Sure it was. Another little big butterfly involved the Mongols winning at Ain-Jalut and extending the Il-Khanate to the Mediterranean Sea. Not further, though, as the Mongols are rather tired out by that battle. It did make for some refugees to Andalusia for future usage... Oh, and I forgot to add. Andalusians did pretty well assimilating northern Spain. Almohads were predominantly Berber, so they weren't as touchy as Arabs about killing "People of the Book" who persisted in annoying them. Oh, sure, religious tolerance is a good thing, but enough is enough. So here we reach 1300 AD/699AH. And then... we get to the next year. And it turns out that nothing much has changed. From the previous year, that is. So anyway, the Christians learned to live with the uberAlmohads to their south, as they had more important things to do - as in, fight each other. Holy Roman Emperor Wilhelm I is fighting in Fifty Years War - a massive on-off conflict in which Holy Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire (remnants of), England and the Kalmar Union fight the (Christian Catholic) WorldTM. Essentially, this war follows the formula of "attacker loses" - most offensives so far failed for both sides. Hungary and Poland managed to unite during this war, first dynastically and then politically. The Kalmar Union reinforced itself well, establishing lasting control over Sweden. England is losing ground in France to France, though Normandy and Gascogne are still theirs. Novgorod, de facto an independant state, occasionally enters the war on different sides, though most often siding with HRE against the land-hungry Poles who conquered the (tiny) Lithuania and grabbed the Teutonic territories in circa 1290. The Novgorodians, as of 1301 AD, conquered all the way to Riga includingly, but just couldn't push further. The Golden Horde nominally is Novgorod's overlord, and really does profit from trade and occasional tribute, and as such took the liberty of decimating a Polish army once when it accidentally advanced too close to Novgorod. So the Poles decided not to bother and to concentrate on the Western Front (from the Polish viewpoint). The war drags on until 1313. Peace treaty pretty much confirms what few gains actually happened during the war and were held on to. Next obligatory part of this timeline is Almohad discovery of America. In early 14th century, Almohads slightly stagnated, and had to fight off numerous attacks from the southern direction in Sahara. Towards 1333, though, Caliph Omar ibn-Abdul took over, ruled justly and stuff, and got Almohad Caliphate back on track. He happened to be slightly eccentric, and thus sent forth numerous expeditions - to the Omar Cape (OTL Cape of Good Hope) and, more interestingly, to the Azores. From there, a Muslim explorer named Yusuf ibn-Battuta set forth, inspired by tales of the sailors and the belief that if he sails west he will reach Soccotra and discovered what he called "Java". The name stuck, and so the islands in the Karib Sea are to this day called "Western Javas" (OTL Western Indies). Another common name for those was Karibistan. Karibistan remained a backwards western possession with little populatin until 1369/770, though. In 1369, Caliph Amin ibn-Mamun personally visited Karibistan. By then, most Caribs died out or were assimilated, and most of the local population were Berbers - fishermen and farmers. Amin, however, had many problems back at home concerning Arab Bedouins in Northern Africa, and came up with an idea to turn Karibistan into a sort of penal colony (similar to Australia, but not quite). Long story cut short, meddling Arab tribesmen were departed to Karibistan, raising local population significantly and persuading the Berbers to seek other occupations. Up until this moment, a few Berbers traded and/or raided some Mayan settlements in Yucatan. Now, however, an adventurist Berber called Zeyad ibn-Khalid chose to lead a group of a few Berbers - equipped with iron weapons of which Mayans knew but did not learn to use yet - to seize and pillage Chichen Itza itself. Long story cut short, they succeeded, and claimed northern Yucatan as Zeyadastan in the name of the Caliph. Zeyad did not stop here, though. With Caliph's blessing and assistance, he plunged into the confusing world of Mexico Valley in 1374. A thousand Berbers versus millions even of Tlaxcallans, Mixtecs, Chichimecs, Tarascans and Aztecs. Berbers, naturally, won - in part due to technologic superiority, in part due to better training, determination and command, in part due to supreme organizational talents of Zeyad, but, most importantly, due to diplomacy. Tarascans were, at the time, in way with many other tribes. Zeyad allied with the Tarascans, brought down Mixtecs and Aztecs, and then proceeded to use the chaos in Tarasco (caused by the European diseases) to take over his former allies as well. Mekhikostan appeared. Interestingly, much as Zeyadastan and perhaps Karibistan, it was de facto autonomous from the Almohads. The Caliph seemed happy with that situation - Islam was being spread, he received large parts of the loot and the fame, while not having to manage and defend the western possessions. Caliphs have better things to do, you know. Back in the Old World, all was going well. There were a few minor conflicts that, say, allowed England to hold on to Aquitaine and Picardy but lose Normandy, that confirmed Bohemia as Holy Roman, that finished off the "worldly papacy" while actually sending the Pope to Avignon, etc, etc. Burgundy was prevented from appearing. Holy Roman Emperor's central authority was confirmed. Byzantines pushed their frontier in Europe back up to Danube. Venice defended its independance from Friedrick III. Novgorod defeated the crumbling Golden Horde at Moskva, and united large parts of Rus under its democratic rule. The Il-Khan in the Middle East smiled as he looked at Bursa, the latest jewel in his empire. Silly Turks... thought they could taunt the Mongols and get away with it. Besides, the Byzantines offered large amount of money for the Mongols to conquer Turkish realms, and Il-Khan Timur didn't complain about that sort of a deal. Then in 1380, a Scottsman (on a horse) named Malcolm Macbriney discovered the land he heard so much about from merchants and which king Macbeth ordered to find (spies at the Almohad court ARE useful). The trek to Macbrinea (OTL North America) was a hard one, but the reward was good. Soon after, a Scottish colony was found in Macbrinea. It was to be followed up in the next two decades by England, France, HRE, Kalmar, Novgorod, Venice, Byzantine Empire and the Templars (who ITTL didn't get purged as badly). The latter, who were out of favor, moved their organization altogether to Macbrinea. This started years of bitter struggle, as the Arab merchants by then leaked many Old World secrets, such as iron weapons and horses to the natives, and as the natives got over the initial shock of European diseases. Incited by the Arabs to fight the Christians, these natives (such as Appalachee, Creek and Cherokee) created military-based societies after the diseases, and possessed numbers of heavy armored cavalry amongst other things. The Battle for Macbrinea is on. The Year is 1400 AD or 802 AH. The time is now. Take a nation - whether Muslim or Christian, European or American, Asian or African. And lead it to battle now that most of the world is more or less known, and world wars can take place. Now is the time when empires that are forged can outlive their creators by many centuries. Will you colonize Macbrinea or resist that colonization? Will you attack the HRE or defend it? Will you defy the Il-Khanate or assist it? Will you Crusade for the Holy Land, or will you Jihad in its protection? Or perhaps... you would do something else? The fate of your nation is in your hands. Prepare to forge the destiny of the world!