Word arrives that another great Eastern empire has fallen.
To recap, that puts us at 10 remaining world powers. Nine, really, considering the fact that Germany almost doesn't count anymore. And Austria, it seems, is not long for this world either. While Vienna is still the greatest city in the known world, it is their only city. And I have cannons.
Later in the year, Swedish musketmen cross the River of Storms to flank the Danish vanguard. The entire column is gunned down, and the few survivors rout. The Swedish army advances on the Danish city of Kaupang, capital of the Southern Stormlands. Capturing it would mean uniting all of the Stormland lords for the first time in history. To this point, Swedish losses since the war began have been the lowest of any conflict in the nation's history. Both sides put their lines under the command of a Great General, and brace for the inevitable clash.
To the East, Sweden and the Celts jointly declare war on Denmark's Austrian allies. Several Austrian-allied city-states pledge their aid to the outnumbered defenders.
Summer, 1714 A.D.:
Swedish explorers come into contact with Spain, another great Eastern nation and the founders of Islam.
Elsewhere, Danish knights execute a brilliant flank and overrun a Swedish regiment at the River of Storms before they can load their muskets. They are dealt with shortly thereafter, when the Swedish column swings around to pin them against the river. Soon after, their armies dashed against superior Swedish technology, the Danes offer a peace treaty that includes regular tributes to the Swedish crown. Sweden gladly accepts, wishing to mend the divide between them and their ancient allies, while focusing their military strength on Austria.
Greece and Celtica refuse the treaty, and continue to press on Denmark from the South.
So, at this point, Greece and the Celts are at war with Denmark, but I am not. And the Celts and I are at war with Austria, but Greece is not. All three of us are ostensibly allies, but neither of the two opposing nations is facing the full might of the trinity.
Winter, 1714 A.D.:
The Swedish great guilds set up the world's first unified banking system, bringing even more economic growth across the nation.
The Swedish spy network in Vienna reports that the Austrians have no technology of value to steal. Considering how the last few battles went, they assume the same will be true of Denmark, and relocate to Greece.
Denmark issues a denouncement of Sweden for its continued aggression against Austria, though it doesn't seem eager to send any more troops into Sweden to reinforce its point.
As the year draws to a close, Spain and Sweden exchange embassies and the Celts capture Danish-occupied Salzburg. At the crossroads of the continent, the Broken City (named as a humorous counterpart to Vienna, the Unbreakable City), has now been occupied by the original Austrians, the Germans, the Danes, and the Celts at different points in history.