Aberration V (9 players)
A version of Diplomacy based on an alternate form of history.
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Variant Parameters (Version: 5 / Code: 1.1.2):

Special rules/information:

Movement between Indian Ocean and the Ifni Sea is allowed. It is assumed the unit travels around the southern tip of Africa

History:

Burgundy: At his death, Charlemagne split his Empire between his three sons. The parts developed into Germany, France, and Burgundy. Burgundy carried the dynastic line through Emperor Lothair-Charles, eldest son of Emperor Louis the Pious. The Germans immediately begged the Poles for millitaristic assistance, and the French retreated. For a short time in the 1750s, the lone heir to both the Burgundian and Irish thrones was Matthew the Great, who founded the Neo-Norman dynasty. Paranoid, King Matthew wrote into law his successors. Other powers quickly ousted him, but his dynasty continues in Burgundy and Ireland. Their involvement in the Great War is due to the recent annexations by Spain. Nervous, disputing claims are made to both Brittany and the Rhone River.

Byzantium: In a world without Mongol Hordes, the Turks remain to this day in Manchuria. The Byzantine Empire survived an early attempt at conquest by Arabs and later by Slavs and to this day the Empire remains its continuing decadent self. The Eastern Roman Empire starts the Great War in 1901 over disputes with the southern Jagiellon dynastic states over control of the Balkans. Supported by Sicily, Byzantine looks to renew Roman glory in Asia Minor and Europe.

Hungary: The early Magyars that terrorized Europe in the Dark Ages founded an empire at Buda-Pest on the Danube River. Hungary's dominance rests partly on dynastic politics, in which the Lithuanian-Polish-Hungarian Jagiellon dynasty still rules most of Eastern Europe, and partly on their numerous raids of central Europe, where they set up an empire to rival our world's Austria-Hungary. As the Jagiellon Dynasty inherited more and more power, others began to question their true allegiance to the corrupt pope. Thus, Martin Luther, priest from Saxony, fled to Burgundy to escape the wrath of the Second Vatican City. The Jagiellon-Catholic Church reformed itself in 1545, but not after losing two nations to Protestantism. More important to Hungary's survival of course is the Chinese conquest of Mongolia in the tenth century and eventually the conscription of the young Mongol prince Temujin into the Imperial navy. The Chinese trans-Pacific empire stretches from India to Alaska, and maintains most of the global trade network. The Hungarian effort in the Great War is thus partly funded by the Chinese, the world's first superpower.

Ireland: Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, the High Kings of Ireland begin to set their sights on conquering the British Isles. After numerous failed invasions, King Ailill Molt seized his chance in 447, after the pleas of help from the British fell on deaf Roman ears. While the Picts and Saxons were ravaging the east coast, Ailill had the British king Voritgern assassinated, and assumed the throne as his successor. Now the High King of Greater Ireland and Britannia, Ailill's successors quickly conquered the remainder of Great Britain, converting them to His Majesty's Irish Christendom, and all of the other British Isles. British revolutionaries in 1775 protested the third Neo-Norman king in the British capitol at Wessex. Defeating the superior Irish national army with financial aid from Spain and soldiers from Hungary and Poland, the independent nation of South England was founded in 1783. Commotion on the mainland gives the reigning king an excuse to claim South England, turning her eye to Scandinavia. Ireland publicly declared support of the Burgundian claim to the Rhone.

Israel: In 988, faced by incursions from the newly Muslim Pechenegs, Vladimir of Kievan Rus found himself forced to adopt one of the Religions of the Book. Knowing of the perfidy of Byzantium, he rejected the Orthodox faith, knowing the Russian affinity for booze, he rejected the Islamic. Instead, he became a Jew and decided it was his duty to restore Jerusalem to its rightful owners, the Jews. He and his descendants, left Russia and made it their life's work to conquer and hold the land of Greater Israel. They came at a time when Islam was divided and were indeed welcomed and joined by the Shiite Fatimids as a shield against the Sunni Rashidi. The Russians quickly chase the Shiites to Libya, where they start to lose offensive battles. A treaty is signed, giving the Russo-Israeli State all of the Jewish Holy Land in addition to Egypt. The Sunni Muslims become the dominant faction and return to Arabia, while the Shiites are left with Toledo, al-Andalus, and West Africa. Russian Israel demands land from the Arabic Caucasus in order to enforce their official neutrality, but old Byzantine insults have not been forgotten.

Poland: Poland became a great power when Queen Jadwiga of Poland (daughter of Louis of Hungary) married Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania, who then became Wladislaw II Jagiellon, King of Lithuania-Poland and founder of the Jagiellon dynasty, which rules three kingdoms. Without Turks or Russians or Mongols, the multicultural Polish state has thrived ever since. In the early 1700s, however, the palace was bombed, killing the ruling king and his immediate family. His closest living relative was Duke Ole of Pomerania, a Polish nationalist. His claimance of the throne was met with a Lithuanian boycot of Polish materials. King Ole III personally lead the Polish army into Lithuania, which was subdued, and was no longer treated as a sister nation, but as conquered territory. Poland officially entered the Great War with their support of Hungarian and Ukrainian authority in the Balkans.

Sicily: Sicily was a powerful Sunni Arab state after the first flowering of Islam. The success of the Sunnis in the Holy Land empowers the little empire at Palermo,which over the centuries invaded the mainland, conquering most of Italy. A long war with the Papal states marked the end of Sicilian expansion north. With the fall of Rome, the Pope escaped to Gdansk in Poland, which has housed the Second Vatican City for a thousand years. Uncontent with their lesser empire, the Sicilians support the Byzantine claim to the Balkans and the Spanish claim to the Rhone River. The controversy gives Sicily a chance to invade the rest of the Italian city states, and further.

Spain: Full Name: The Spanish Caliphate at Toledo, Principality of al-Andalus. With France weakened and with allies in Sicily, al-Andalus remained a powerful Islamic enclave in Western Europe, invading much of North Africa and the Western Mediterranean. Europe's Enlightenment influence spread to the Spanish Caliphate, which demanded and won nationwide sovereignty from al-Andalus. With Irish Christianity triumphant in Ireland, Lutheran in Burgundy, and Orthodox in Byzantium, Catholicism has completely collapsed outside of the three Catholic Jagiellon states and their Baltic, Germanic, and Adriatic dependencies. A new king is crowned in 1889, and he plans to restore Spain to her rightful glory. He annexes the Balearic Islands, and places claims Portugal, Brittany, and the Rhone River.

Ukraine: The original Russian state was centred at Kiev, but the rulers left when they converted to Judaism, leaving behind the mass of unruled Ruthenian Peasants, and a power vacuum into which came the Poles, Byzantines and Pechenegs. All fought for dominance over the centuries until Poland recognised and chose to protect the Ruthenian state which she called U-Kraina (Southern Country). At length, a minor branch of the Jagiellon dynasty came to the Ruthenian throne and the Kingdom of Ukraine was born. The militaristic Byzantine Emperor threatens the profitable Black Sea trade, which has made Ukraine wealthy. Unable to afford losing Bulgarian and Rumanian investments, she joins the Great War with Hungary against Byzantium.

Whichever faction you inherit, know that the fate of Modern Europe rests on what happens on this battlefield. The alliances you forge, whether they stay true to the dynastic relations or new, more powerful alliances, this is truly the 'War to End All Wars'. Will the Catholic Jagiellon dynasty continue far into the future? Will an Arab Europe be created? Will the Protestants overthrow the pope once and for all? No matter what happens, Europe will never be the same.