The Empires of the Sun: A Fantastic Alternative History
Prologue: The Landings
An Excerpt from "The Forgotten Crossing: Tracing The Lost Japanese Refugees," by Brother Juan Diego, famous ab-dead Jesuit historian:
"...The Japanese reaction to the Mongol invasions was confused and chaotic. With the sudden crumbling of the Song Dynasty in Cathay, the most powerful nation known to Japan was humbled in the span of several months. The ley-energy-based beings driving the Mongol hordes gave them the coordination and thaumaturgical powers necessary to destroy Cathay's steam-driven industrial society.
While Japan was a nation accustomed to channeling ley-energy, they believed the Mongols were driven by demonic forces beyond comprehension. At the time, the reigning Kamakura shogunate was unused to consulting its own advisors, vassals, or even the Imperial court. The defeat of Japanese troops at the Battle of Bun'ei, coupled with stories from shipwrecked Cathayan refugees, and feelings of political ineptitude drove several nobles and even an Imperial prince to dire measures.
The group feared that another Mongol invasion was imminent, and that Japan would be crushed. Thus, they figured the best course of action would be to found a new empire, elsewhere and away from the Mongols. It is no small irony that the samurai, often (inaccurately) portrayed as never fleeing, decided on a tactic that the French would later perfect in Europe, the pre-emptive retreat..."
Collected excerpts from a recovered journal, that of Hojo Kichiro, samurai retainer:
"...By the time we reached land, half of the original fleet remained. Despite taking many of the most renowned yamabushi in Nihon, the voyage was a difficult one. Their thaumaturgy protected us countless times and saved us from unspeakable horrors, but even the mightiest can be laid low by nature..."
"...The first thing that was sighted was the mountain. As we approached, my eyes grew wide with anticipation. It was as though the kami had given us a new Sacred Mountain to replace the one stolen from us by the Mongol barbarians. Taking this as a sign from the heavens, the Imperial prince ordered the captains to make landfall there. It is perhaps symbolic that the sun sets over the ocean to the west, and rises behind the Sacred Mountain. The yamabushi declared this to be a sign the sun has set on our former home, and rises over the new lands. The Imperial prince was now officially known as Emperor in Exile, as the rest of his family is surely dead..."
"...Our new capitol city was named New Edo by our first Emperor in Exile. Many of the remaining ships were cannibalized for parts, as the forests of the region offer new sorts of woods. Some basic fortifications have been constructed, as some report seeing strange figures in the woods..."
Notes: I am going to be using the Japanese convention of placing the family name first, and individual name second. This takes place in the same timeline as my "Father of Lights" story. If anyone is interested in drawing this in manga format, that might be quite interesting. This story was originally envisioned as a manga, but lack of art skills turned it into a story. Extra credit if you can guess our name for their "New Sacred Mountain." New Edo is built on the same spot as a certain real-life, modern city on the West Coast.