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Beyond the Ocean is an alternate history showing the Mongol Empire as it explored the Pacific Ocean under orders from Genghis Khan, who commissioned a fleet which would ultimately discover North America. This happened after the Mongols lost the Battle of the Kalka River, in present-day Ukraine, prompting the Khan's decision to abort a European invasion, demote his military commanders Jebe and Subutai to a lower rank in the imperial court and assign them to lead a fleet through the Pacific Ocean. This great discovery led the European and Asian nations to make immediate contact with the Native Americans, and create a network of international trade.
The Kalka River Defeat
On May 31, 1223, the Mongol Empire under military commanders Jebe and Subutai faced Kiev, Galicia-Volhynia, Chernigov and the Cumans. Unlike in the OTL, in this ATL, Jebe and Subutai were defeated, with only 300 of around 20.000 men surviving. Both military commanders were heavily wounded and had to be carried by their exhausted soldiers as they rejoined the Khagan of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan and the rest of the Mongol army in the steppes to the east of the Syr Darya River. The Khagan, upon hearing the news of the Mongol defeat in the Battle of the Kalka River, was angered. He swiftly led his army back to Mongolia, their homeland, and demoted Jebe and Subutai to a lower rank in the imperial court.
Fleet of the Khagan
Genghis Khan aborted all plans for a Mongol invasion of Europe, and the empire became primarily defensive. Around this time, Genghis wanted to build a naval fleet to explore the Pacific Ocean. In July 1223, Genghis commissioned a group of shipbuilders to build a fleet of 15 ships, each ship comprising of 1000 men, for a total of 15,000 men. The shipbuilders doubted that they were able to create such a massive fleet. However, a death threat from Genghis forced them to build the fleet. With technology borrowed from Europe and China, and a massive workforce, in January 1226, the fleet was completed and ready to serve.
Land, Not Sea
Upon the fleet's completion, Genghis called Jebe and Subutai, who were in North China, to Karakorum, the Mongolian capital. There, the military commanders were assigned to lead the fleet. Jebe refused almost immediately: "My lord, is not your military commander, which is me, based on land, not sea?" The Khagan replied: "And is not you under my leadership? Go lead my fleet or die!" Jebe decided to agree, while Subutai easily agreed to his leader's order, in order to regain his lost rank within the Mongolian imperial court.
In June 1226, Genghis made an agreement with the Song Dynasty, to use the port of Fuzhou as the beginning of the fleet's route. On August 25 1226, Jebe and Subutai arrived in Fuzhou, and inspected the 15,000 men, who were going to be involved in the journey. On August 31, the ships were inspected by Song and Mongol authorities. All ships were declared safe to sail.
To the Unknown
On September 6 1226, 30,000 people, including Genghis Khan's son Tolui as a Mongol representative, witnessed the departure of the fleet from Fuzhou, with Jebe and Subutai on Ship 1. On September 13, the fleet was caught in a storm, which caused them to be stranded 30 km to the west of the planned route. This caused a panic among the fleet members. Panic continued as the food supplies diminished, and no signs of land were seen. On October 29, another storm put the fleet in disorder. Ship 8 nearly collided with Ship 14, while Jebe was nearly thrown off the ship in the middle of high waves and heavy rain. The storm worsened on October 30, when the fleet faced 50-meter to 130-meter waves and heavy rain. As midnight approached, a crewman aboard Ship 6 saw land.
Meanwhile, the high waves drove the fleet closer to land, until the fleet were thrown off by breaking waves and crashed on the beach, knocking all crewmen, along with Jebe and Subutai, unconscious.
Wake Up and Trade
At around the same time, several indigenous people of California, called the Chumash, heard a strange noise from the beach near their village. They went to the beach, and were shocked to find numerous ships wrecked on the beach. The Chumash brought the unconscious crew to their village, where the crew slowly regained consciousness there. Jebe and Subutai regained consciousness a few hours after crashing on the beach. They traded silk and cotton with the Chumash, and attempted to learn their language while fixing the ships. Finally, after 2 months, in December, the crew left California and went across the Pacific Ocean on its return voyage.
Back in Mongolia
Unlike the previous journey, this return journey went well for the fleet. On March 8, the fleet reached Fuzhou, where they were greeted personally by Ogedei, the third son of Genghis Khan. They returned to Mongolia, and met Genghis Khan in Karakorum. Genghis Khan was filled with curiosity about the strange language brought by the crewmen. He told the European and Asian nations of this, and soon the Old World was looking forward to know more of this "New World".
Expedition to the New World
In Rome, Pope Honorius III called for the European nations to explore this New World. The Mongol Empire agreed to cooperate with Europe, and the Asian nations helped the Mongol Empire in its effort to explore the New World. In December 1227, 40.000 French and English soldiers found the eastern coast of the New World and began to explore it. In January 1228, a Mongol fleet of 30.000 men found the Hawaiian Islands and made contact with natives in the island of Oahu. People in the Old World began learning of the New World's languages. In 1230, European and Asian nations made a joint effort to convert the Native Americans' primitive civilization to the more modern civilization of Europe and Asia. Christian missionaries and Muslim merchants began trading with and preaching to the Native Americans.
Back in Europe, a group of travelers from the Holy Roman Empire, the Papal States and France headed by the Pope a began to explore the northern and northeastern parts of the Old World. They made contact with various native tribes until reaching the easternmost part of present-day territory of Russia's Chukotka Autonomous Okrug in OTL. There, they were met by local Arctic mammal hunters in their large village. The Europeans were brought to the village's chief and stayed in the chief's tent. The next day, they made a visit to two nearby uninhabited and unnamed islands. The Pope named the islands Little and Big Diomede Islands, in honor of his assistant, Theodore Diomedes. From the islands, they saw and went to a nearby land. In honor of Alasce, the secretary of the reigning Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II, the land was named Alaska. In Alaska, the convoy made another contact with local mammal hunters.
North and South
It was not long before the convoy realized that Alaska was part of the New World. The convoy explored much of the northern parts of the New World until returning to Europe in 1233. At the same time, people from the Old World began to create settlements in the New World or live together with natives in the existing settlements. Meanwhile, some natives also moved to European nations. In November 1234, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II organized an expedition to the south of the New World. Before leaving to the south, a group of travelers who departed from the newly-made settlement of Houston named a vast region of the New World, of which Houston was part, America, in honor of the new German-Italian viceroy installed in the vast region, Flavius Americ.
In April 1235, a fleet of 7 ships and 3000 men departed from Calais, France, to the new non-indigenous settlement of Miami, reaching it in August 1235. There, as expected, the men were greeted by the new Mongol governor of Miami, none other than Uryankhadai, the son of Subutai. After staying in Miami for 5 days, the fleet departed for the unexplored Cuba, and met the local natives there. The men traded corn with the natives before leaving and making a westward journey across the Gulf of Mexico.