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Old 03-08-2014, 11:10 PM   #10
patchwork's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Most of you probably already know this, but there's a huge and well-run website full of these,

To add a few that don't appear there:

Istanbul, 1640: Caliph Murad IV, on his deathbed, ordered the execution of his brother and successor, Ibrahim. This order was not carried out. Ibrahim had major developmental disabilities, and Murad felt that it would be blasphemous for people to call his brother Commander of the Faithful while viziers usurped power for themselves and bred the man to some poor women; he felt that a civil war, in which Allah could make his will clear to the world, would be preferable to making a continuing mockery of the office. Which, in some opinions, is exactly what happened. But suppose someone decided that the Caliph must be obeyed, no matter how terrible his orders, and ended the House of Osman with a bang instead of a whimper?

Moscow, 1610: Sigismund III of Poland has entered Moscow in triumph with grand (completely unrealistic) visions of converting the nation to Catholicism and appending it to a Polish Vasa Empire. Historically, Russia was simply too big and intransigent for the Polish army to sit on for any length of time, and a few years later he wound up withdrawing having accomplished very little. The boyars asked that his eldest (17 year old) son Wladislaw convert to Russian Orthodoxy and be acknowledged as Tsar; Sigismund had other sons who could become Kings of Poland in time. Sigismund would not allow his son to convert away from the true church. Suppose he relented, trusting God to judge his son fairly, both bringing Russia's Time of Troubles to an early end and giving it much closer ties to the west in the process?

Israel, 1973: The Yom Kippur War escalates into a limited nuclear exchange between the USA and the Soviet Union. This is an interesting time for it precisely because Federal authority is at such a nadir in the USA; the Vietnam War is dragging to a close having become incredibly unpopular, President Nixon has just resigned, Agnew is convicted and Ford is an unelected (and very new) President. While the actual damage is likely to be minimal, this is the period where Americans are most likely to resist orders from soldiers with violence or ignore directives from the White House as a nest of crooks and usurpers. The USA may well break apart despite the damage being light.

Razi, 1189: Fakhr al-Din al-Razi's many worlds hypothesis is upheld, and becomes an article of the Sunni faith. How does Infinity react to a world that presumably isn't anywhere near advanced enough to build a conveyor, but in which Many Worlds are accepted as real by every adherent of a major faith?

Constantinople, 326: Constantine makes it back to his capital several days early, decides the charges against his son Crispus are a plot by his wife, and executes her instead. How does Rome fare with a competent Christian Emperor this early?

Danzig, 1438: one of Burgundy's privateers slips though the blockade and sacks a major east Hanseatic port. As a result, the eastern half of the Hanseatic League decides to send money and troops against Burgundy after all. They sack Burgundy, exact tribute and dismantle its shipbuilding industry. With a continuing monopoly on shipbuilding in the north and a history of successful large-scale military cooperation, can the League resist when Russia tries to throw it out in the 1470s, and then go on to greater things, perhaps even in the New World?
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