The Lion's paw stirs the dust, A simple want becomes a must, As envy, greed, then power lust, Stirs within its slumbering heart.
The Cumans ride; the Romans slain, The city once, then once again, Saw battle won and lost in vain, That Hainaut's count might play his part.
So John the Good raised his sword, So fell Marquess and Latins' Lord, Plundered gold to pagan horde, As Romans humbly knelt.
And all the world did not just hear, Unsheathe knife and shake in fear, Romania lives, yet sheds a tear, For the Lion's roar is not just heard, but felt.
For those unwilling to endure cryptic impromptu poetry, this map takes place in a world where Baldwn I, Latin Emperor, survived imprisonment by the Bulgarians after being captured during the Battle of Adrianople. This allows the Bulgarian king Kaloyan to ransom him back to the Latins, and use this money to raise a larger army. After crushing the Thessalonian army and retaking Adrianople, he conquers much of Greece, with Epirus conquering Athens and Archaea. Epirus backstabs their Bulgarian allies hoping to gain more of the former Byzantine Empire for themselves, but are badly beaten and pushed back, forcing them to cede territory in the north and accept the superiority of the Bulgarians. The Empire of Nicaea grinds down the Latin Empire in Asia Minor, and eventually retakes Constaninople itself. Though whilst the Roman Empire has been restored it is a shell of its former self, as Bulgaria has filled the void it left to become the predominant power in the Balkans.
This map was made for Map of the Month 2: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, a map (and timeline) contest on AlternateHistory.com - the entry thread for which can be found here: alternatehistory.com/discussio…
Interesting. I really like the poem, too. Are you going to do maps that follow up this scenario, 'cause I'd like to see how Greece fares, whether Epirus holds onto Greece and claims Hellas or whether or not Venice and Bulgaria destroy it.
I don't think I'll be doing any more maps in this timeline - the timeline itself was done by Soverihn over on AH.com, so I'm not particularly well-informed about the real history it's based on or the alternate history of the timeline itself. If he decides to extend the timeline then I might make more maps to illustrate it, but considering the backlog of Map of the Fortnight roundels I have to get through I kinda doubt I'll have the time, I'm afraid.