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Alternate History

The Kazakhstan Meeting

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A disease strikes the Huns. The uneducated Mongol tribes have no idea how it is spread, and most die, along with their crops. The remnants of the Huns flee into Europe but are too insignificant to cause a major upset in the eastern tribes. The Roman Empire grows under Diocletian’s rule, and they take back the land lost during the Severan Dynasty. Constantine never comes into power, and Christianity never takes hold in the empire.

The Meeting

Soon, Rome grew so much that it comes in contact with China. This creates a fusion of western and eastern ideas, not in Arabia, but on the steppes of Kazakhstan. The citizens and soldiers who are met by the legions were ignored by the Roman leaders as no different from any other tribes. The Chinese take more of an interest, and discover Roman ideas and inventions. The Romans stationed in the region didn’t know that by providing the local farmers with European secrets, they were causing the development of a new threat. China attacked Rome with gunpowder weapons in 508, destroying the colony with a combination of bombs, horses, and stolen Roman tactics. They took all the information they could, took the Romans as slaves, and set out to find the source of these invaders. In 512, Roman colonies in Asia Minor reported a horde- but this one was better armed than any they had seen before. The Chinese arrived at a Roman city and demanded the ceding of all colonies “from the snows of Siberia to the dust of the land in which I stand”. What followed was utterly barbaric: The Chinese troops were welcomed into houses and given good food and wine. The Roman army murdered them in their sleep.

Siberia

All was quiet until five years later, when word spread back to the Chinese emperor. He ordered that the supply lines to Siberia be cut. The landscape there was still devastated by the disease, and the army encampments had to ship food from the rest of the empire. Siberia was lost by the Romans, and China expanded to fill the void. By 549, China extended to western Asia. There they met the Scythians, who were trapped between Rome and China. The Scythians headed north into Scandinavia, fought the Vikings for land, and won. They settled there, bringing their customs to the North. Rome and China met in their first battle by the shores of Lake Ladoga. China won easily.

The Mutiny of the Tribes

Faced with this immense power from the east, Rome pulled huge amounts of soldiers from outlying colonies such as Judea, Egypt , Germanica, and Greece. What followed was known as the Mutiny of the Tribes. Each of the aforementioned provinces rebelled, killing the last few guards. Egyptian soldiers surged through North Africa, slaughtering the troops stationed there. Before long, Egypt was its own empire again. Judea simply drove out the Romans and founded a new Jewish state. Greece became the most advanced civilization of their time, with a combination of Greek, Roman, and Chinese ideas; but without a strong leader they merely founded a peaceful democratic state. The Germanic tribes were more bloodthirsty. They swarmed through more densely guarded areas, killing any Romans they could find. Rome was facing danger from all directions. The Chinese were unstoppable. Constantinople had been sacked and renamed “生活大门”, or “Gates of Life”. The Chinese empire encompassed everything from the “from the snows of Siberia to the dust of the land in which I stand”.

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