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Literature / The Silver Knight

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The Lithuanian-Muscovite War has begun. Or, at least, it was about to. While the forces of the Grand Duchy were preparing in secret, Tver and Moscow went into an all-out war, both hoping to take down the other. But, by then, it was already too late.

The Silver Knight is an AlternateHistory.com timeline written by Augenis.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/flag_of_the_grand_duchy_of_lithuania_by_lyniv_d786xjb.jpg
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In the period between 1366–1368 the wooden Kremlin of Moscow was replaced by a stone one. This new fortification blocked the further expansion of Grand Duchy of Lithuania eastwards as the pagan nation was unable to conquer the city and thus the Duchy.

However in this timeline this fortification is not built, as Tatars of the Golden Horde seize the funds for the construction to be able to fight their own internal conflicts. Because of this Lithuania is able to defeat Moscow.

The story follows the Lithuanian nation and the rest of the world through the ages, it's rises and it's falls. This timeline is truly massive, beginning in 1367 and going through hundreds of years, until finally stopping after two years, having stopped in the year 2005. Notable events include:

  • An Orthodox Lithuanian empire sprawling across Eastern Europe, spending its time brutally suppressing opposition, especially the poor innocent Russians.
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  • A series of minor changes, revolving around a particular heir of England not going to a crusade against Lithuanians, resulting in an English victory in the Hundred Years' War, and the dual kingdom of England-France. It does not last.
  • Instead of the Polish-Lithuanian union, a union between Bohemia, Hungary and Poland forms, colloquially known as Visegrad.
  • Lesser known historical empires such as the Inca, Aztecs, Mughals, Toyotami Shogunate and the Shun Dynasty surviving, a number of them successfully surviving to modern day and keeping up with Europe. The world is much less centered on the North Atlantic than the real world, many world-defining events take place in Asia and the Americas (Vespucias).
  • As the point of divergence is set in the 14th century, there is ample time for different political ideologies to develop. In TSK's case, this is Unitarianism, a utopian ideology replacing Socialism and Communism. In short, it wants to turn the world into a giant anthill. Blue is its favorite color.
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  • An another ideology which arises in Lithuania in the 20th century, although briefly, is Revivalism. The fact that they use a stylized Swastika and proclaim Lithuanian superiority should give you a hint what it is replacing.

The timeline can be read here

Unmarked spoilers ahead.

Tropes Included Are:

  • Adult Fear: Genocides, wars, famines, oppression and discrimination. Nothing less to be expected from a timeline of this size.
  • The Alliance: The Baltic-Adriatic Coalition and the Entente during the Great European War count. Other examples could be the Unitarian Commonwealth, the East Asian Security Association, and finally the United States.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: Many. One example is that a historian from this world believes that a lasting Ming Dynasty would have pulled off the same stuff as the Qing Dynasty from our world.
    • A common habit exhibited by the writer is to take well-known fictional protagonists and turn them into country leaders and politicians. The most notable case of this is Gregor Samsa as the leader of a Unitarian revolution in Visegrad.
  • America Takes Over the World: Played with the trope during the Great Asian War. The world's equivalent of the United Nations, uniting most of the world under one organization, is called the "United States", and thanks to its founder being the Prime Minister of Italy, Amerigo Togliatti, its opponents give it the pejorative "America". It makes more sense in context.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Lithuania defeats the Golden Horde, turning it into a puppet and forcing them to hand over Russian territories. You would think Christian Orthodox Lithuanians would be a better overlord than the Muslim hordes. You would be wrong. Russian rebellions are put down with such brutality and force that even in 20th century Russia is a poor, sparsely populated periphery of the Empire of Lithuania.
  • Balkanize Me:
    • After the Great War, the Empire of Lithuania collapses brutally and completely, birthing 4 new countries and losing countless territories to their enemies.
    • The same happens to the Ottoman Empire, except they lose the rest to the Unitarians.
    • Happens to Visegrad during/after its failed Unitarian Revolution.
  • Bee People: The Unitarians often compare their future society with a hive working at full efficiency. Though the 'want everyone being indistinguishable insects' part of it seems to only be believed by anti-Unitarians.
  • China Takes Over the World: The Shun Dynasty is one of the major powers in the world and after the Great Asian War, it becomes one of the two dominant powers in the world, the other being the Kingdom of Germania
  • Chummy Commies: Democratic Unitarians arguably count as this, being the settings equivalent to social-democrats.
  • Civil War: Too many to count with prominent examples being the rise (and fall) of The Union, the War of the Danube (initially), and the civil war in Centrovespuccia.
  • Commie Land: Every place taken over by Unitarians, the 3 most important are:
    • The Union: The oldest Unitarian state, it started rising out of the ashes of the Ottoman empire even before the Great War was over. It is the most ideological orthodox of the three. Collapsed during the War of the Danube in the 1940s.
    • The Unified Indian State: Led by Sanjay Nijasure, who follows a more nationalist version of Unitarianism. Went through a spectacular finish during the Great Asian War, involving a worldwide anti-Unitarian coalition and at least half a dozen nuclear strikes.
    • The Union of Japan: Led by Nagai Takeshi, who justified his rule by claiming to descend of the emperors of the southern court. Defeated by China in the 1940s and reformed into a democracy.
    • The Unitarian Republic of Oceania, composed of Australia and New Zealand, is the world's equivalent of North Korea. Complete with building nuclear weapons to show off.
  • Commie Nazis: The Purple Unitarians, who claim the founder of Unitarianism was actually calling for the elimination of 'parasites' like foreigners and the inferior.
  • The Coup: One brought about by cuts in the defence budget results in the end of the First Republic in Lithuania. Another coup brings down the Revivalist regime after the Germans invade Lithuania. In China, a failed Purple Unitarian coup led by the "Empire Renewal Movement" occurs as well.
  • Cult of Personality: Nagai Takashi builds one around himself where he claims to be a quasi-divine figure descended from the Emperors of the Southern Court.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Crimean Tatars used to suffer from this a lot, as before integration into Lithuania their military technology and tactics are extremely behind.
    • Most battles in the Sino-Japanese War/Second War of the East China Sea.
  • David vs. Goliath: The Crimean War, In 1948 Crimea launched an invasion of Krajina which has nearly twenty times as much inhabitants (2-3 and 40 million respectively). In the beginning Crimeans are able to overwhelm the inferior, if more numerous Ruthenian forces with their mobile tactic and highly mechanized army. But as Volga Russia and Russia begin sending volunteers and supplies to Krajina the Crimean advance is broken. Russia even declares war on the Crimean-Circassian alliance. But even with the massive resources available to the Slavic alliance they are unable to break the Khanate after pushing them back to the peninsula.
  • Dirty Commies: The Unitarians, well sort of: the ideology was founded by a biologist studying ants. It also is very diverse, there are even monarchist Unitarians in Ethiopia and Islamic Unitarians in Aceh.
    • Except the Democratic-Unitarians, who seem to be this timeline's equivalent to social-democrats, and tend to be rather pacifistic.
  • The Dreaded: One of the most recurring examples is Nijsaure's policy of 'controlled revolution', which consists out of eliminating any Unitarians not-aligned with India whenever he takes over new territory.
  • The Empire: No shortages of them: Lithuania, the Mughals (who conquered all of India), England-France and later Britannia come to mind.
  • Expy: Too many to count.
  • The Federation: Visegrad, before Gregor Samsa's Unitarian revolution and subsequent war destroyed it. Other examples are Italy and Nusantara.
  • The Fundamentalist: Britannia: after losing its continental Empire, it got taken over by catholic Puritans, who turned it into an absolute monarchy, fundamentalist enough to make the Pope distance himself of 'that craziness', it eventually was forced to soften by unrest created by economical troubles after the War of the Danube.
  • Hegemonic Empire: France and later Germania arguably count for Europe.
  • Hereditary Republic: The Unitarian Republic of Oceania is this, complete with palace coups and a "Stassen Dynasty". They also have a pseudo-aristocracy as well.
  • General Failure: Petras Cvirka is arguably this.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!!: If you're a Russian, Queen Sofija's actions arguably count as this.
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: Played straight with the Russian revolts against Lithuania though inverted in the Sino-Japanese War with Japan's totalitarian Unitarian regime abolishing the monarchy and the Shun Dynasty being a constitutional monarchy. Played with in the German Revolutionary War as both France and Germania are republics but Lithuania is a military dictatorship with a puppet emperor (who turns out to be not so much a puppet).
  • Iron Lady:
    • Queen Sofija: the first queen regnant of Lithuania.
    • Augustina Sternberg: the iron chancellor of Germania.
  • Irony: The only ethnic minority the Revivalist regime in Lithuania doesn't threat as second class citizens are the Jews, this is because they always were one of the most loyal populations to the religiously tolerant Lithuanian Empire (though that the Vedas' grandmother was a Jew might have helped). The newly independent Russians also remember this, but regard it in the opposite way.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): The Unitarians end up renaming the city into Kubilay after The Union's founder.
  • La Résistance:
    • Lithuanian Empire and later Revivalist Lithuania suffers from this a lot due to nationalism and discrimination.
      • There even was a moment when the Lithuanian Empire was suppressing Lithuanian Nationalists, the countries elite mixed and integrated with Ruthenian nobles till they became more Slavic then Baltic, which led to nationalists fearing that the Lithuanian language would disappear.
    • When The Union begins to lose the War of the Danube the Balkan people's begin organizing various partisan and rebellion groups.
      • This sort of happened before when the Ottoman Empire was losing the Great European War except then there also were rebellions in Persia.
  • Mega-Corp: In the present-day, the biggest companies in the world are Douhang, Picardie, Santarve, DB, and Weiss Industries (their logo and background, along with the names of their first three heads, should give you a hint on who they're based on). Weiss Industries is the largest of the companies with their assets all over the place with assets in aerospace, technology, video games, and automobiles being among the most prominent.
  • Modern Mayincatec Empire: the Inca empire is still around, there also is Mejico which is the result of the Aztec empire being taken over by rouge conquistadors who then went native and assimilated into local culture.
  • Naval Blockade: How China starves out and defeats the Nagai regime in Japan after their fatal decision to attack Okinawa.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Revivalists can be somewhat likened to the Nazis and from what is seen use similar symbolism. They also claim that they are the superior race - in Lithuania's case, it's the Sarmatians, and it's their destiny to rule the inferior Slavs.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Weiss Industries can be seen as this due to their massive size and large presence in many fields of society.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Nuclear physics are only theoretical, even by 1951, thus nukes don't exist.
    • Finally averted by the Indians by bombing Changsha and thus starting the Great Asian War.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: Krutovist Russia's formal name is the "Russian Democracy". It is a military dictatorship under the rule of Alexei Krutov.
    • This trope is fairly common due to the fact that "Democrat" is fairly common as the name for the head of state of a Republic (opposite of Autocrat), first introduced by the Vespucia Free State. As such, dictatorships such as Russia and Oceania are led by Democrats despite having no semblance of democracy.
  • President Evil: Technically speaking "Democrat Evil" as stated above, but Alexei Krutov and Harold Stassen arguably count.
  • The Purge: China undergoes one after the failed 7/7 coup. The Revivalists also carry out two purges: The first to remove the Restorationists and the Republicans in their power-grab and the second against General Dirmantas. In addition, the Indians purge Unitarian movements in their puppet states of "independent-minded" leaders.
  • The Remnant:
    • After the fall of the Union, the Indians sponsor a short-lived "Restorationist" Unitarian government. Ironically, one could also make an argument that the Sultanate of Egypt, being ruled by a cadet branch of the House of Osman, is this to the Ottoman Empire.
    • Oceania is the last remaining member of the Unitarian Commonwealth.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Russia and Volga Russia, nations encompassing in OTL most populous regions of Russian, constantly lag behind the population they do in OTL, while the world population is always somewhat higher. These facts should give you an indication on the atrocities the Russians have suffered.
  • Russia Takes Over the World: Russia, Krajina and Volga-Russia reform into a united East Slavic Federation in the late 20th century, instantly becoming one of the emergent new powers in the world (and finally gaining borders somewhat similar to our world's Russia).
  • The Scapegoat: The Revivalist government in Lithuania blames Russians for the collapse of the Empire.
  • Shout-Out: There are many shout-outs in the TL to various fictional works.
    • Chancellor Yang Xiao Long of China is an allusion to RWBY.
    • The first post-Unitarian Democrat of Japan is Izuku Midoriya.
  • Storming the Beaches:
    • The Chinese invasion of Japan is this. However, said operation is poorly-planned and the Chinese High Command makes moves to improve China's amphibious operations systems for the next war.
    • Operation Spring Break, the landing on the Indian mainland by unified Western forces during the Great Asian War, is the timeline's equivalent of D-Day.
  • Succession Crisis / Heir Club for Men: The lack of male heirs to the Jiaqing Emperor and the Jiaqing Emperor naming his oldest daughter as his heir is one reason for the failed coup by the "Empire Renewal Movement".
  • Suddenly Significant City: Tver becomes the new center of Russian culture and civilization after Moscow is burned down countless times.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Nagai's Japan attacks China even though unlike in OTL, China is way more powerful than Japan. It ends about as well as one might imagine. Though to be fear Nagai did hope India would join his war against China, he was wrong.
  • Wicked Cultured: Augustinas Stankevicius, the Vadas of Lithuania, a famous musician turned totalitarian dictator.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: One could argue this happens to Visegrad after the Great European War due to Visegrad suffering through the Deluge and breaking up in a failed Unitarian Revolution.
    • The same happens to the Mughal Empire, except it was quicker and more dramatic, with a Unitarian coup occuring a a year after the end of the Great European War
    • The reverse happens with Lithuania after the war against Russia. The war-exhausted German populace forced Augustina Sternberg to make an easy peace with Lithuania after having attacked it in the back, whilst Russia was in no state to continue the war alone. Thus they lost no territory from before the invasion of Krajina, then the new democratic government became an ally of Germania and a few decades later the Lithuanian economical miracle happens.
  • World War Whatever: Though the timeline has a number of worldwide wars break out in the 20th century, the term "World War" is never used. Instead, it is replaced by the "Great European War" and the "Great Asian War", pointing to where the original conflict started.
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