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Old 07-23-2018, 03:37 PM   #3451
TGLS
 
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In this world, Islam doesn't get to the industrial revolution first, they lacked key resources in the right areas, much like China.
Unless you get one of those pesky oil driven industrial revolutions.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:53 PM   #3452
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Darius-3. Persia wins the Second Peloponnesian War leading to a bunch of Athenians escaping the destruction of Athens to Syracuse and Syracuse becoming the implacable enemy to Persia. As a result Syracuse is more militarized and ends up beating Rome and Carthage, becoming the leader of a fractious alliance and mercantile network stretching from Iberia to Anatolia until the Macedonians kick over the board by conquering Greece and Anatolia. The Syracusans are in decline now but the Emporians have rising to dominate most of Iberia and are exploring the seas with new ocean going ships.
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:41 PM   #3453
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Unless you get one of those pesky oil driven industrial revolutions.
Stable populations and food supplies help too.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:50 AM   #3454
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In Saladin-3, the eldest daughter of Saladin arranged for her husband to lead the Ayyubid Dynasty after the death of her father by poisoning her uncles and her brothers. When her husband died, she helped her eldest daughter's husband ascend to the leadership of the Ayyubid Dynasty through assassinating the brothers of her late husband, starting a tradition of assassination within the Ayyubid Dynasty.

The Ayyubid Dynasty continued to prosper throughout the centuries, as the royal women of the Ayyubid Dynasty, all of whom considered themselves Kurdish, have ruthless weeded out incompetence in the Ayyubid Dynasty. The resulting Sultans were healthy and intelligent and were capable of crushing the Mongols during the 13th century, the Turks during the 14th century, and the Greeks during the 15th century.

It is now the 16th century, and the Ayyubid Dynasty occupies an empire that stretches from the Crimea to Somalia, from Tunis to Tehran. While the Kurds are the dominant ethnicity, their privileges are informal, and a number of non-Kurd men end up marrying into the Ayyubid Dynasty (and, on occasion, non-Muslims end up marrying into the Ayyubid Dynasty). In fact, the current Sultan is a Greek Christian who ended up marrying the eldest daughter of the former Sultan after convincing Cyprus to surrender to the Ayyubid Dynasty without violence. While the Muslim citizens grumble at having a non-Muslim ruler, they know that he will suffer an 'accident' should he abuse his position, and they are satisfied that his daughters by his four Kurdish wives are being raised Muslim.

Last edited by AlexanderHowl; 07-24-2018 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 07-24-2018, 02:44 PM   #3455
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Maize-2

The Maize designation is used for worlds were Maize has been the trigger of changes that otherwise can't be traced. In this Q7 world, someone brought Maize seeds across the Atlantic in what researchers think must have been Roman times, details are foggy. This dark blue cultivar of maize spread south from Egypt and wasn't stopped by the Sudd as each little village got Maize, by trade or theft, from the next village. By the beginnings of Europes Dark Ages, Subsaharan Africa had a highly productive grain crop. It's now 1450, Portuguese sailors are meeting African sailors coming North looking for an all water route to Egypt.

Henry the Navigator has ascertained that these African sailors know the way to India. However, as they are Muslim, they aren't friendly to Christians sailing through their seas. Henry isn't the man to be so lightly turned from his prize.

Basically, Crusades, Jihads, and swashers, all at sea.
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:21 PM   #3456
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This idea is based on the old Stanley Weinbaum story Shifting Seas. In the Weinbaum story, a large section of Central America collapses in a day. As that would create monster tsunamis and radically alter this setting, I'll go for Northern Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and most of Honduras, subsiding into the seas over the years 1916 to 1927.

As in Weinbaum's story, the Gulf Stream is totally warped causing serious Climate change. Europe now has the climate of Canada at the same latitudes.

As in Weinbaum's story, this leads to war, unlike Weinbaum's story, no one can build a wall to undo the problem.

The local year is 1928, the Anglo-French fleet has brought large armies into Canada. The US army is preparing to defend itself from the alliance of Britain, France, and Germany. Meanwhile, since the climate shift seems to have made North Africa wetter, French, Spanish, and Italian, armies are leading in a mass migration of Europeans to North Africa. The Arabs are furious and desperate. The Papacy has moved to Malta. Europeans are fleeing the new ice age and the world is at war.

This Q6 world is getting some aid from Homeline, they're trying to see if, as in the story, a seawall could save the day. Centrum hopes to gain control in the crisis, or at least get rid of democracy and any form of non-European nationalist movement. The Cabal seems to find the apocalyptic mood of this world great for starting cults. But it could be more than that.
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:11 AM   #3457
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This post is an incomplete version of what is on the next page.
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Last edited by Astromancer; 07-27-2018 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:29 AM   #3458
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The Asian Flu of 1957-58 was scary in period but totally forgotten today. There was a belief among doctors that the Spanish flu was coming back, instead, they got H2N2. However, in this Q4 parallel, they got an HiNi just as they feared. This flu was far worse than the 1918 epidemic was. The population was brought below one billion by 1959 and below half a billion by 1964. Improvements in antibiotics in the mid-1960's stopped the plagues.

The local year is 1990, The planetary population is only now at a billion again. The demography of this world looks more like the 19th century with those areas that either had functional national health services before the plague or adopted them during the plague (as Canada and the US did) came back best.

With the exception of the USA, where the importance of the central government got seriously stressed during the crisis, the plague has been a conservative force. In many ways, this world seems more like a version of the 1930s culturally. Germany seems like a social democratic version of the Weimar Republic. Britain's empire is still with it, mainly because the colonies are still economically dependent on Britain. The USA is the outlier because the New Deal was the fallback position. The USA is solidly social democratic and people are talking about going fully socialist. Movement Conservatism seems to had never formed at all.

This world has several serious problems. USSR, which lost control of Eastern Europe during the plague years, is paranoid and bitter. This USSR is totally closed off from the outer world. Moscow mainly deals with the outer world by saber rattling. Internally, as far as Homeline can tell, they resemble North Korea at its worst.

China is in a different place in this world. Mao died in the plague and Zhou Enlai became the leader of China in 1959. Zhou worked to connect China to the world as soon as the plagues ended and also worked to make Chinese culture more accessible to the world. Living in this world until 1988, Zhou basically improved China's world position through a quarter century long charm offensive. China is becoming democratic fairly smoothly. Zhou, like Soong Mei-ling, understood certain American fantasies about China. Like his old foe, he ran with them. Only Zhou sought to make the USA more like China while China became more like the USA. Zhou plan seems to have it least partially worked. Zhou himself saying the results were as weird as they were delightful.

This world's America reads Master Kong and understands him. Just as this parallel's China reads Jefferson, Paine, and Franklin, and get them. This Sino-American alliance adds fuel to Russian paranoia.

Meanwhile, although colonialism is unchallenged in Europe. Orwell's subtle but very well directed barbs on the subject are used as proof of his irrelevance, it simmers in the Colonial world. Ireland and America, because they write in English, get plenty of attention throughout the British Empire. Both nations are proudly anticolonial.

The New Deal was always anticolonial, and the push for civil rights and an end to Jim Crow were massively aided by the recovery from the plagues. This world's America is as good on racial and other civil liberties issues as present-day Homeline. In fact, Homeline looks at this America for ideas to improve themselves. None of this goes unnoticed by either Africans, Afro-Carribians, Afro-Saxons, or the British Chattering Classes who see a threat to their empire in everything America does that either displays or promotes their policies of racial equality.

Meanwhile, this world's Ireland lost De Valera in 1957. The economic crisis of the late 1950's, caused by the plagues, forced entirely new thinking on Ireland's economy. This got cooperation from both the USA and the EC. This world's Ireland of 1990 is steadily prosperous. This with relatively little trade or contact with this world's Britain. Thus maintaining an example of how well a small nation might do without its colonial master. This is also widely noticed.

Each of Europe's colonial powers has similar issues with the USA. Bitter anti-American rhetoric is going very strong on this world. Governments in Europe, still afraid of a very paranoid and unstable USSR with vast amounts of tanks and nukes at the ready, try to tone it down.

Europe is on slow simmer in this world. Disgusted with the USA, hungry to hold onto their empires, and terrified of the USSR, Europe is like a boiling pot with the lid welded on. Something has to give.

Added fun, this is a mainly low mana world (95% low mana/4.9% normal mana/0.1% high mana) where magic has just been rediscovered and proved to exist. This world entered TL8 late but is going strong. The Moon Landings took place in the 1970's but they went straight on and built a moonbase. So this world is not anti-tech, but magic was welcomed with delight. Even scientists study it! mages are rare, so the few they find are rock stars.

In Europe, the magic craze is rapidly becoming a craze for the middle ages and a rejection of modernity. The heat of the boiling pot just went up.

Homeline, wanting to be in on the ground floor of a magical revolution, wants to study this world and scoop in the magic data and information. They also want to avoid a nuclear war or anything on the scale of WWII. Meanwhile, the Cabal wants the same data Homeline wants, they also want to own this world. More importantly, they need to keep Homeline from gaining serious new insights into magic.
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Last edited by Astromancer; 07-27-2018 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 07-27-2018, 03:04 PM   #3459
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Improvements in antibiotics in the mid-1960's stopped the plagues.
What are antibiotics going to do to a virus?

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The Moon Landings took place in the 1970's but they went straight on and built a moonbase.
Seems unlikely; the space race would probably have been put on hold by plague effort. Going by our timeline, it was 12 years from Sputnik to Apollo 11. Delayed to the mid-60s, without any opposition from the Soviets, who at best have the first satellite and first animal in space, a moon landing may have never happened.
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Old 07-27-2018, 03:12 PM   #3460
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Influenza is an odd beast. It mutates on a yearly basis, with multiple new strains competing to be dominant. the 1918 flu killed itself: the ideal germ doesn't kill its host, but keeps it up and moving around, while still coughing and sneezing over everyone else.



So a flu plague killing millions and then going away is completely plausible and arguably normal.



Anti-biotics don't work, and we struggle to immunize against it, but it deals with itself, and doesn't return again and again like the great plagues of history.
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