1754 A.D.: A Great Merchant founds Sweden's first customs house at Birka, turning the once desolate, barbarian-infested Westerlands into not only an academic hub, but an economic one as well.
Rome seeks Swedish aid in a war against Russia. Sweden declines, having no interest in committing troops to an overseas war it holds no stake in. Meanwhile, Celtic troops pass through Swedish-occupied Graz on the way to besiege Vienna.
Sweden and Spain make a declaration of friendship in an attempt to bridge the divide between their continents. The Swedes also make contact with France, the last of the major Eastern powers.
1756 A.D.: Austria denounces Sweden for allowing attacking Celtic troops to pass through Graz uncontested. Said troops cross the Southern fork of the Austrian River and win a favorable engagement against the Austrian defenders outside Vienna.
France and Sweden exchange embassies, making Stockholm one of the only cities in the world to host diplomats from every major power.
1760 A.D.: Rome denounces Russia, and the Spanish-English war ends with a declaration of friendship. Sweden goes on to declare friendship with both Eastern powers, looking for new allies as the Celts remain the only Western nation it can trust.
It's starting to shake out like this: Greece is the major power in the West, with my Swedes a few steps behind. On the Eastern continent, Rome in the North and Russia in the South are the big dogs, and seem poised for war. I can tell by looking at city names that Rome has conquered the Dutch, who I never met, and large portions of France. France, it seems, is the Germany of the East, just barely surviving. England and Spain are modestly-sized, and sandwiched between the Russian and Roman war machines. It seems they've come to their senses and realized if they don't stick together, they will both be swallowed up. I plan to support them both, as anything that weakens the other superpowers helps secure my victory.