Anthologica Universe Atlas / Universes / Alt History: North America / Germanic Languages / Marshlandic

In 1000AD, the Norwegian King Olaf sent Leif Erikson back to his home in Greenland with a mission to Christianize Greenland. Blown off course, Leif spotted land to the west. He later set out to establish settlements with other Vikings, with the largest of the initial settlement voyages containing 160 people. Vinland, located in Newfoundland, was the largest settlement, and at its peak had extended settlements of its own in Quebec. Due to financial constraints, the Vikings had significantly slowed both trade and settlement activity by the 12th century.

Meanwhile, the Umayyads in al-Andalus reemerged as a formidable naval power by the end of the reign of Abd al-Rahman II. Although they had never been particularly lacking in naval technology, they had hardly begun to develop their maritime capacities to a competitive standard. When the Madjus (Vikings) attacked Seville in 844, Abd al-Rahman II was forced to develop his navy. For the next century and a half, the Umayyads and the Vikings competed for naval supremacy around Iberia. Indeed, many Andalusian ships were even modeled after the Vikings’.

Some defectors of the navy took to becoming pirates, at first raiding Iberia, but hardly stayed put after some time. By the end of the reign of Abd al-Rahman al-Nasir, the grandson of Abd al-Rahman II, the pirates had returned claiming they had discovered new land awaiting settlement. They had seen this as a chance to be received back into al-Andalus, but their claims had not been confirmed by the Umayyads before al-Nasir’s life had come to an end. His successor, however, received confirmation and sponsored an exploratory colony. This sponsorship remained active for some four decades or so, until the decline of the Umayyad regime. The colony was left to rot after the death of Abd al-Malik.

As relations warmed between them, while the civilizations suffered from isolation and frequent attacks, the Vikings and the Andalusians began to merge. The Vinlanders, for whom Christianity was relatively new and who lacked church leadership at the time, embraced the Andalusians’ Islam as both a more logical and convenient sect, and they converted en masse. Over only a few generations, the Andalusians had been completely absorbed into Vinlandic society, especially as the more “elitist” Vinlanders lost any hold in Newfoundland to the Beothuk people.

The Vinlanders and their civilization came under fire by several Algonquin peoples — especially the Innu — and they spent decades setting up camps and migrating southward. For a time, they found a new home in present-day New York under the protection of the Iroquois. But as European settlers arrived, especially due to the resulting fallout, the Vinlanders were pushed westward.

Eventually the Vinlanders made their way into what is today Michigan, and what they had called Shoilud (“Land of Wetlands,” usually shortened to “Marshland”). Here, they lived in peace with the Potawatomi, with whom they had a generally cooperative, although distant, relationship.

The Marshlandic language is thus a direct descendant of Vinlandic Norse, heavily influenced by Arabic, with some influence also from English and the Potawatomi language. English has heavily influenced its phonology, especially the pronunciation of /r/, /tl/, and vowels. Most notably, Marshlandic may have undergone a case of the Northern Cities Vowel Shift alongside English

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