The Golden Horde
Following the disastrous defeat at the hands of a Mongol expeditionary forces in 1223, the delegates find themselves navigating the squabbling Principalities of Eastern Europe. Pressed from the West by the crusaders of the Livonian and Teutonic orders, from the South by emboldened Tatar incursions, and from the East by the unstoppable juggernaut of the Mongol Empire, delegates will have to navigate the tattered political landscape of the Rus’ before the second wave of the Great Horde tramples them underfoot. The defeat of a small coalition of the Rus’ at the Battle of Kalka River in 1223 at the hands of Subutai was the first appearance of the Mongol Empire in Europe - one that, historically, lead to invasions of Poland and Hungary, and was not stopped by military means. Indeed, only the (un)timely death of the Great Khan, and the subsequent shattering of the Empire into four constituent Hordes saved Europe from the Mongol yoke. Of course, historically, the various duchies and principalities of Europe never united -- here, the delegates are presented with a unique opportunity to change the course of history.