I bet you guys that Turkey is going to go full Madness and try to restore the Ottoman empire amid the chaos of the war.

Imagine a Neo-Byzantine Empire fighting a Neo-Ottoman state in the midst of Anatolia never really getting edge over each other. In fact I think this can form some type of movement in TTL called Revivalism or something. Basically a romanticist movement to revive long dead states to reclaim lost glory of the peak of their peoples, the French to restore the Roman Empire, the Greeks to the Byzantines, the Turks to the Ottomans, the Russians to the Mongols, and the Americans to the United States.


Johnny Gamble

The slow yet steady outbreak of the Great World War came as no surprise to the Confederation of the Carolinas. The "Cokie" government, still under Chancellor Adelbert Upjohn Gamble V of the Common Sense Party, was fierce in its desire to stay neutral. This was much to the displeasure of Adelbert Upjohn "Johnny" Gamble VI, the Chancellor's son. Johnny was known as the "playboy prince," and the dashingly handsome young man greatly desired to expand Carolina's influence and save it from stagnation and backwardness. To do this, he decided, it would require a deal with the devil itself, the Republican Union.

Despite publicly denouncing "Yankee nonsense" as much as any other loyal Cokie, Johnny had visited his nation's northern neighbor numerous times in his 22 years. In 1905, he had visited Metropolis for the first time, remarking on the effectiveness of its design, its cleanliness, and beauty. Little did he realize he was quickly being groomed by Union infiltrators within the Carolinian government. The Chancellor was increasingly ill, having suffered a stroke in 1909 that almost killed him. The Union agents wanted to push him toward an alliance with the Union. Chief among these infiltrators was Rusty Bunker, the unassuming Protector of the Public Virtue. The 75 year-old man seemed as neutral as any man in the nation, and indeed it was his job to maintain the public opinion toward peace and neutrality. But in reality he had been working for ORRA for quite some time. Bunker was the chief agent within an ORRA operation known as "Operation: Frumentarii." These infiltrators of Carolinian society were all apart of the secretive Braddock Gentleman Club in Raleigh, a respected country club where most of the upper crust of Cokie society partied until dawn. Underneath the club was a secret room where the "Frumentarii," named for the ancient Roman secret police and spies, would plot the takeover of Cokie affairs. The Union's reasoning for this operation was that it was more convenient to simply puppet the Confederation rather than conquer it outright.


Ballroom dancing at the Braddock Gentleman Club

Johnny Gamble had no idea he was being used, and the Frumentarii used his own self-confidence against him. Johnny joined the Braddock Club in 1909, shortly after his father's stroke, and was convinced it was simply a fashionable hotspot for playboys like himself. He was rather surprised that Rusty Bunker, the pinnacle of old-fashioned values and mildness, would be the grandmaster of the Club. However, Bunker quickly stepped aside, nominating Johnny as his successor. Flattering his ego, the Yankee agents quickly had Johnny right where they wanted him. As grandmaster of the Braddock Club, Johnny hosted parties that raged on through the night. Surprisingly, the Club held the contract for a group of black jazz players, something almost never accepted in Cokie society. Even these black musicians were Union agents. Johnny Gamble was the role model for every Carolinian man, and many looked to him as a lovable scamp. It shocked many, then, that the Club both Johnny and Bunker frequented was playing host to wild "hoedowns," clearly moving away from the waltzes and champagne dinners of the prior century and further into saxophone-blaring, banjo-strumming, piano-rolling modernity. The similarities to the Union's culture was noted by many of the older generation, but the youth simply admired "Grandmaster Gamble" too much to not follow his example. Besides, surely, they thought, Rusty Bunker would call in the Virtue Men if anything was truly a detriment to their society.


One of Johnny Gamble's jazz parties in the Braddock Club

As the months rolled by, Johnny became increasingly easier for the Frumentarii to control. By this point, after constant ear-whispering and subtle brainwashing, Johnny decided that it was in the Confederation's best interest to move itself into the Union sphere. He even was going beyond what the Yankee agents had engineered, birthing the subculture known as "Cakewalkers." He created the popular dance move known as "The Cakewalk," which soon became a wildly popular fad, even making its way into the Union. Accompanying the Cakewalk were increasingly lively musical numbers and wild parties. All over the Confederation, black entertainers suddenly became all the rage, truly modernizing Southron culture for the final time. To make matters even more interesting, Johnny began courting Frankie Kuhn, the fur-draped, trend-setting daughter of shipping magnate Alfred Kuhn. It just so happened that Alfred Kuhn, CEO of Kuhn Shipping Co., had close ties with Family Van Buren and Old Kinderhook Industries in the Union. In early 1911, Johnny married Frankie in a lavish ceremony at the Gamble family plantation. Their romance was a huge matter of public gossip and excitement, leading to "Frankie and Johnny" portraits, buttons, and other celebratory items becoming all the rage to collect. Skip Little, an influential new white country-jazz performer, released "Frankie and Johnny Were Sweethearts" on phonograph disc shortly after the wedding, becoming the first big hit for a white performer of the music genre and heralding a new era in music altogether. For decades after, Skip Little was known both in the Union and the Confederation as the founder of "hillbilly jive."


A typical "Cakewalker" of Nashville, West Carolina


Frankie Kuhn


Skip Little

Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts, oh Lordy how they did love
Swore to be true to each other, true as the stars above
He was her man, he wouldn't do her wrong

Frankie went down to the corner, just for a bucket of beer
She says Mr Bartender has my loving Johnny been here
He's my man, and I think he's doin' me wrong

He said I don't want cause you no trouble, I ain't gonna tell you no lie
I saw your lover an hour ago with a gal named Nellie Bligh
He is your man, and he's doing you wrong

Bartender said I was mindin' my business, when to my soo-prise,
There on the cab sat Johnny, makin' love to Nellie Bligh
He is your man, and he's doing you wrong

Frankie reached under her fur, and she took out a little .44
Rooty-toot-toot, three times she shot right through that hardwood floor
She was gonna shoot her man, because he was doin' her wrong.

She says bring out the rubber tied buggy, bring out the rubber tied hack
I'm taking my man to the graveyard, but I ain't gonna bring him back
Lord he was my man and he's done me wrong

But then through the door stepped Johnny, a bundle of flowers in his hand
How foolish felt little Frankie, for suh-spec-tin' her man
Johnny was her man, he wouldn't do her wrong

- Lyrics to "Frankie and Johnny were Sweethearts" by Skip Little, 1911

With Johnny Gamble eating out of their hand and with Chancellor Gamble increasingly ill, the final stage of Operation: Frumentarii was put in motion. Chancellor Gamble died in his sleep on June 3, 1911, with another year left in his second term. Rusty Bunker, as Protector of the Public Virtue, was officially next in line to become Chancellor. However, he quickly announced he was too old to handle the job. In a stunning move, agitators at the House of Citizens began chanting "We want Johnny! We want Johnny!" After a quick vote, Johnny Gamble was now the youngest leader the continent had ever seen.

Almost immediately, the Union sent in Ambrose General, a Southron-born legate general, who guaranteed Gamble that, if they should seek to further their friendship, the Carolinas were free to seize Hispaniola in the Caribbean from Europa, which Gamble then jokingly referred to as "East Carolina." Also, in return for assistance in any potential war, the Union would protect Carolinian shipping and sea routes to Jacksonland. Even better, the Union would help supply the Confederation with weapons and state-of-the-art equipment and would finally limit the number of AFC missionaries inside the Confederation. Unlike the Great American War, there was no result that would be unfavorable to the Carolinas. Assured by Rusty Bunker that this was the proper choice to make, Johnny Gamble agreed to the 1911 Metropolis Pact. In Metropolis, New Canaan, at the Palace of the Patriots in the middle of downtown, the Confederation of the Carolinas finally became an ally of the Republican Union.

It was a fateful moment when, on November 22 of that same year, that Johnny was sitting in the Chancellor's Office and his butler told he was receiving a call directly from Philadelphia. Gamble composed himself, checked himself in the mirror, and took a deep breath.

"Yes, this is Chancellor Gamble," the young leader said, knowing something terrible was finally at hand.

It was Custer on the other end of the line. Gamble could hear him puffing away on a cigarette. In between coughs, the American President asked, "Chancellor Gamble, my friend, it is good to speak with you. I trust you have seen the papers and heard scuttlebutt on the talkiebox?"

Gamble's palm grew sweatier as he clutched the receiver. "Uh, why, yes. Yes I have. I heard that Caesar has given Holland an ultimatum. Very unsporting of the fellow."

Custer chuckled flatly and replied, "Yes, unfortunately I don't believe the papal pig is going to back down. He's in too deep now. He must commit or look flaccid before the whole world. I know we signed the Metropolis Pact, but I am just calling to check up on your willingness to keep your word in the current situation.

Gamble frowned so hard it hurt. He began to finally wonder what he had got himself into. "Uhm, yes, yes, Mr. Custer. The Confederation stands ready to act in accordance with our alliance."

Custer sounded pleased. "Good, good to hear. I am afraid I just received a telegram from the Kaiser asking me for support in guaranteeing the independence of the Dutch and German Protestant peoples. We shall start in our home theater, liberating the long-oppressed and sadly miscegenated peoples of Quebec, Canada, and California. The Union will guarantee your capture of Hispaniola and my admiralty assures me we have enough support vessels in the Caribbean to keep your routes from Jacksonland safe, sound, and ship-shape."

The Cokie leader nodded. "It sounds like a good strategy, uh, Mr. Custer. Hark the sound. The free men of the Confederation will stand with the boys in blue and confront this menace together."

Custer coughed again, finally swishing down some water or whatever he was drinking, before ending the call with, "Very well, sir. I knew I could depend on you. I always was a gambling man."

The next day, Chancellor Johnny Gamble would stand before the House of Citizens and declare war on the Bonapartist empire.

"Citizens of the Confederation! I come before you today to express to you my personal outrage over the Bonapartist assault on liberty in Europe and, indeed, across the globe. The Europan Caesar has decided to treat the free-thinking and liberty-loving peoples of the Bund and Holland as mutinous lackeys, no more worthy of freedom than animals, no more worthy of consideration than a bug squashed under their boot. This appalling overstep will not be tolerated by the Confederation and its people, and damn sure not by its President. At this moment, Imperial troops gather on the Dutch border to force their will upon the Dutch people, and to rape their women and loot their homes. At this second, Imperial troops beat freedom-fighters in Hamburg and lynch Protestant innocents in Bavaria. This world is a very confusing and sometimes mad place. Men fight and die every day over things that, honestly, don't seem to matter much, or for reason that seem downright evil. Many wars have been fought for imperialism and simply for the sake of conquering. I tell you now, however, that the Confederation has never lifted its hand against another nation for any reasons other than righteous Southron honor, and it shall not violate this guiding concept of Southron chivalry during my administration! The battles we are about to fight are for a higher purpose. In company with our brave allies and brothers-in-arms in the Central Powers, we will bring about the destruction of the Imperial war machine, the elimination of Bonapartist tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a better world, a world where people will bow to no one but God. Your task will not be an easy one, my Confederation. Your enemy is will trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely. But I have full confidence in every Cokie's courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory! Let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking. Hark the sound of the Confederation! Hear it roar!"

- Chancellor Adelbert Upjohn Gamble VI, November 22, 1911



Field Marshal Horace Jones inspects the Carolinian Army in Newport News (a visiting general from Iraq can be seen in the rear)


Carolinian light infantry musters in Raleigh


Carolinian soldiers march through downtown Charlotte


Cokie officers greet crowds of citizens shortly after Chancellor Gamble declared war
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The argument that the RU will be bogged down in China would be more convincing if its geostrategy has been anything else than consistently masterly. They didn't even need to do this. An allied Carolina is barely more useful than a reliably neutral one.

So here's my guess how things can go in the Great War:

I honestly disagree with a lot of this, particularly Russia conquering both all of China and Iran. I think that you are grossly overselling Russian military prowess.


destroys Tehran and salts the earth leaving it uninhabitable like Carthage while also outlawing Islam and giving women more rights and plays up as a reformer to gain popularity among the poor masses

Thinking that poor Iranians will support Russia while having their cities destroyed and religion banned in exchange for banning the burka is a take worthy of Paul Bremer, will the cossacks be welcomed as liberators? You do realise that religious fanaticism is turbocharged in this world?

The success of the Quebec Front leaves the Republican Union very confident and so they invade California. However, California has the Rockies as defense and have prepared for war with the Union much more extensively. The mountainous terrain and various gun and artillery emplacements leaves the Republican Union's advances stopping mid-way through OTL Colorado or something.

Why would the RU attack through the Rockies then they could just go around and attack from the north? even the Mojave would be less punishing than marching through the Sierra Nevada.

up the Yellow Menace and says the Japanese are secret tribe of Israel, buying into R.U. propaganda and genocides of Asian Russians occur as Viktor wants to proclaim Russia as more European and like really (I mean really) emphasizing Russia's role as the border between Europe and Asia.

Vitktor's obvious attachment to Asian culture makes this unlikely, why would the Khan of Khans care about defending decadent Europe?

Xinjiang secedes and becomes part of the Russian Alliance to achieve a Uighur State.

Ahh yes the Muslim tolerant Viktor will no doubt accept an Islamic state as his ally.
Fixed that for you.
So Carolina's totally gonna end up an unofficial reservation/relief valve for non-AFC Protestants right? I'm really enjoying how all the far-flung levers of power in the Union are truly committed to the long term growth of the national project, catfishing immigrants, extracting scientists, and puppeting the highest levels of their foreign allies in the name of race, faith and fatherland. Yeah the groups involved occasionally step on each other's toes, but not enough to derail any of the wheels within wheels plots to any serious degree.
*Grins in jingoistic Carolinian*

"My fellow Cokies, the new alliance with the Union marks a new beginning for our faith, our race, and our nation. No more shall the Southron man cower from those animals in Paris, the blasphemers in the Vatican, or the despicable hell-spawn of Russia! No more shall we be constrained to our present territory! Carolina shall march alongside our fellow Christian Soldiers from the Union, the Reich, Australia, Scandinavia, and Holy Nippon. We shall claim Hispaniola from the French fops, and spread the light of our civilization across the world! WE ARE INVINCIBLE! WE SHALL FIGHT, AND WE SHALL WIN! HARK THE SOUND OF THE VULTURE, MAY IT'S WAR CRY SHAKE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE LUCIFERIAN PAPIST ORDER! HARK THE SOUND OF OUR CHANCELLOR'S COURAGE! HARK THE SOUND OF THE CONFEDERATION, HEAR US ROAR!"

Foams at the mouth in Madness*

In all seriousness, I figured something like this was coming. Honestly, if the Union upholds their side of the bargain, Carolina is actually getting a pretty decent deal. We were always going to be someone's sidekick. Now, we might be the sidekick of the most evil faction, but at least we can forget our moral dilemmas on the sunny shores of Hispaniola!
F*cknig nepotism.... Lol. Like the kid does realize that once no one is left on the continent, the RU is just gonna eat Carolina (and my future genetic material) whole.
Awesome last chapter. Can't wait to read about how the Republican Union goes to war against Europa and her colonies in Canada and California. I do have to agree though that California will be slogfest for the Union.

As I was writing, this I just realized there was another new chapter. I plan on reading it soon.
In all seriousness, I figured something like this was coming. Honestly, if the Union upholds their side of the bargain, Carolina is actually getting a pretty decent deal. We were always going to be someone's sidekick. Now, we might be the sidekick of the most evil faction, but at least we can forget our moral dilemmas on the sunny shores of Hispaniola!
Don't you mean East Carolina?
Rare photograph of the Great War After-party, 1920 colorized

Funny enough, there will come a time in this TL where Bill kickstarting Weirdmageddon would probably be the more preferable outcome. Hell maybe when Oswald's mind starts to go like it did in Classic, he starts talking to a spirit/bugaboo that looks an awful lot like Bill.
In light of Chancellor Gamble's policies, here be a new meme

New Great War Meme.jpg

Chancellor Gamble formally declares war on the Europans, circa 1911
Edit: I really like the idea of Carolina being the Frank Reynolds of the Madnessverse. Categorically insane? Yes. Violent and selfish? Certainly. Comedic? Definitely. Threatening? Not so much when compared to the more loony tunes countries.
In light of Chancellor Gamble's policies, here be a new meme

View attachment 439410
Chancellor Gamble formally declares war on the Europans, circa 1911
"Three Napoleons tried to mug me. I don't know if they wanted a declaration of neutrality or something with my precious fluids! So I started blasting, BANG, BANG, but I don't see so good and they took off. I chased after them, BANG, tried to shoot em in the back, but I don't run so good either. You all think I'm a hero, and I've decided to accept that responsibility."
"Three Napoleons tried to mug me. I don't know if they wanted a declaration of neutrality or something with my precious fluids! So I started blasting, BANG, BANG, but I don't see so good and they took off. I chased after them, BANG, tried to shoot em in the back, but I don't run so good either. You all think I'm a hero, and I've decided to accept that responsibility."

"If it hadn't been for Andy Jackson's Gun Emporium I would have been murdered by some sort of scum-sucking Irishman! Go to Andy Jackson's Gun Emporium today!"