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In the olden days, the Vikings ruled the north, raiding the kingdoms of Europe and colonizing the North Atlantic, as far as Greenland, Norway, Russia and even Newfoundland. But their reign was cut short when a change in the climate, now called the Little Ice Age, made crossing the North Atlantic impossible. In this world, Eric the Red, the famous Norse explorer who discovered Greenland, decided to go not west but east, into the land of Siberia. Here, he landed at Svalbard and made it a Viking colony. His fleet soon established a permanent Russian colony in Svalbard and Russia, and weathered out the Little Ice Age in their towns and cities. When the weather recovered, they found that they were the last Vikings. Now, they had to recover their maritime empire and save their mighty kingdom. The siege of the Vikings was renewed like never before and Europe was left in ruins by the 1700s, leaving only four Eurasian powers unscathed - the Vatican, the Ottomans, the Mughals and Qing China. Soon, the Norse ruled the North again, reaching from Greenland to their homeland of Scandinavia into Russia as far as Lake Baikal and east as far as the edge of the Pacific, but trouble was brewing. Further south, Tsarist Russia was expanding just like in OTL, and a conflict was inevitable. As the two Northern powers battled, the war left polar exploration impossible, and the Inuit were left untouched to slowly expand southwards, ultimately threatening to form a new power. Welcome to the world of the Arctic Empires, a history where the center of power is focused north and the traditional world powers are only starting to recover. Enjoy the althistory!
Note: This is a semi-open timeline. Anybody can contribute, but only I decide which posts are used and which ones aren't.