The Empire of the Oak

So I’ve been listening to the History of English podcast recently, and it’s gotten me thinking about what I thought back when I was first learning Japanese language and history. Namely, that the British and Japanese islands have a lot in common, sitting on the margins of big, continental empires. The big difference being, of course, that it’s a lot easier to get to England from Europe than to Japan from Asia (the Korea Strait is at best about half as wide as the Strait of Dover). But what if it wasn’t? What if the British Isles were just 50km north and east of where they are now?

~~~

The first mention of Albion is in Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia, where he describes Britanniae, or “the Britians.” Insula Albionum (“the island of The Land”) is attested 3 centuries later, in the work of Avienus.

Julius Caesar made repeated attempts to conquer the islands during the Gallic Wars, and although neither he nor his successors managed to make any British polity more than a de jure vassal, Roman civilization made a lasting impression on Albian culture. Albia preserves traditional dress, cultural practices, and religious observances that have been all but lost on mainland Europe.

The Vikings were more successful as invaders and occupiers, but never as colonists. Although archaeological evidence indicates the Albian imperial family is indeed descended from Germanic-speaking sea-raiders (the obscure Angles and Saxons have been put forth as the most likely progenitors of the Oak Throne), their language and culture has mostly vanished, and their genetic legacy was minimal.

The state the raiders created proved robust, however, and by 1,000 CE, the Hed state had unified all but the most northerly reaches of Great Britain. Entranced with the cultures of mainland Europe, Hed emperors imported much Norman and Frankish art and music, laying the foundations of modern Albian art-forms such as the Ballad and Tennis.

The Black Plague brought about the breakdown of communication between Albia and Europe, as well as the collapse of the Hed state. Renaissance traders were met with shock and surprise, and due to their meddling with the affairs of local warlords, were entirely banned from the British Islands following the rise of the Gadnog military government in 1600.

Greater and Lesser Britain and Iceland remained in isolation until the 19th century, when Russian whaling interests brought about the Claer Reformation and forced the country to open its borders.

The late 19th and early 20th century saw rapid industrialization in the Albian Empire, as well as its aggressive colonial expansion in North America. Although France protested the ethnic cleansing and assimilation of its Francophone brothers in the Dominion of Quebec, not until World War II, when Albia allied with Nazi Germany and conquered France and much of Spain, did Russia intervene.

Modern Albia is a peaceful island nation steeped in ancient culture and bustling with modern business and technology. Companies such as Abon and Temes are household names around the world, and tourists from around the world flock to get a glimpse of this enigmatic and exotic culture.

 

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.