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Old 06-13-2020, 09:11 PM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Kali-3 [Infinite Worlds]

Kali-3 is a TL5(+2) world where the dominant power is a steampunk Ghurid Sultanate that resisted the spread of Islam in the 11th century and eventually conquered all of South Asia by the 12th century. After defeating three attempted Mongol invasions in the early 13th century, the Mongols went around the Ghurid Empire and crushed the thrones of Europe and Southwest Asia beneath their feet. When the Mongols attempted a fourth conquest of the Ghurid Empire during the 14th century, they found themselves facing cannons created by refugees who had fled the Yuan Dynasty of China and were defeated for the last time.

After the final defeat of the Mongols, the Ghurid established a trading empire that extended through the Old World during the 15th century. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Ghurid stumbled onto the Western Antipodes and began trading with their inhabitants. Fearful of the competition from an emerging Europe, they equipped and trained the natives in modern warfare and assisted them in repulsion the European invaders.

It is now the middle of the 18th century, and the Ghurid Empire is the center of the world. With wealth came technological innovation, which led to more wealth, in a virtuous cycle. Over the last century, it has been a fashionable for the nobles of the Empire to take concubines from other continents, and the nobility of the Ghurid Empire are quite diverse ethnically. In fact, the current Empress was the daughter of the former Emperor and his English concubine who inherited the Ghurid Empire after cholera and a failed invasion of China killed anyone close to the throne than her.

The Ghurid Empire is equally Buddhist and Hindu (though the Hindu religion is simply an amalgam of local pagan cults, of which the cult of Kali is the most powerful), which smaller populations of Christian, Muslims, Taoists, and Zorastrians. The current Empress is a devotee of Kali, and she regularly visits Kali's most important temples. Her husband and consort is a devote Buddhist though.

What else would you add to the timeline? It is steampunk, but I was thinking of adding a form of spirit-assisted divine magic based on RPM. How about you?
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Old 06-14-2020, 02:46 AM   #2
Dr. Beckenstein
 
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Default Re: Kali-3 [Infinite Worlds]

I like it, a fine example of "strengthening the marginal". :-)

IMO, you should not add magic. A steampunk, kind-of-India dominated world is more than enough to keep the players (or readers) busy.

Maybe you should go into details. How does this TL 5 (+2) looks like?
Do they have analytical engines? If yes, how do they look like? Is there a telegraph network? Do they have ironclads or tanks?
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Old 06-14-2020, 09:55 AM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Kali-3 [Infinite Worlds]

In the case of the TL5(+2), there would be a number of technological differences, primarily due to an early emphasis on universal education, which is why they are 200 years ahead of OTL. As the Ghurid Empire became wealthier through trade, it invested in universal education in the lower castes, which caused it to become even more wealthy, weakening and eventually destroying the traditional caste system. After the lower castes were educated, the Ghurid Empire expanded universal education to women, which caused it to become even wealthier, as educated women tended to have less children and tended to invest more in the children that they had.

The primary differences manifest in the life sciences, as educated women were encouraged to focus on the life sciences, which led to the development of more diverse diets and better varieties of plants through selective breeding and primitive genetic engineering. Traditional Ayurveda practices underwent rigorous examination, evolving from Esoteric Medicine and Pharmacy (Herbal) to Physician and Pharmacy (Synthetic), though many medicines are derived from clinically grown herbs rather than from chemical compounds. For example, chemical birth control was developed from herbal sources in the late-17th century, allowing for women to regulate their reproduction (the global population is stable at 2 billion people).

As for the physical sciences, highly efficient steam engines provide power throughout the world, with the steam dirigibles of the Ghurid Empire representing the height of their technological progress. Steam driven submarines, using highly efficient batteries for submerged operations, and steam aircraft carriers, using highly efficient batteries for their dependent aircraft, complement the steam dirigibles. For land battles, steam powered landships are mobile fortresses that shield infantry and cavalry from artillery bombardment (the reason why the recent Ghurid invasion of China failed was that it could not use its best technology in the Himalayas).

In the past half century, the Ghurid Empire has become a space power, with manned orbital weather satellites sending wireless telegraph reports to surface stations, and a small lunar research base doing astronomical research. The Ghurid Empire focuses on large reusable rockets, and its standard cargo model is a SM+12 three stage rocket that uses soft-landing systems on the first two stages and a glider on the third stage, allowing it to send cargo into LEO for $50,000 per ton.
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Old 06-14-2020, 11:41 AM   #4
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Kali-3 [Infinite Worlds]

There a number of other major powers in addition to the superpower that is the Ghurid Empire. Ming China survived because competition with the Ghurid Empire kept it from decaying and allowed them to repulse the invasion from Manchuria. The Oda Shogunate exists because Oda Nobunaga leveraged trade with the Ghurid Empire to allow him to conquer Japan and establish trade with Southeast Asia and the Pacific Americas. The Angevin Empire expanded after the collapse of the Mongol Empire, with the English conquering the former Mongol possessions in France, the Iberian Peninsula, and the Lowlands, unifying with Ireland and Scotland through two generations of dynastic unions and, in the 16th century, establishing trade with the Atlantic Americas and Atlantic Africa. The Kurdish Empire was established after the Kurds conquered Southern Europe and West Asia after the collapse of the Mongol Empire with technology purchased from the Ghurid Empire, though Muskat remained independent.

Of the remaining major powers, the Taino Federation controls the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, the Algonquin Federation controls North America east of the Mississippi, the Serer Empire controls West Africa, the Moroccan Caliphate controls North Africa, the Muskat Sultanate controls East Africa, and the Zulu Republic controls South Africa. The Aztec and Incan Empires collapsed into civil war during the 16th century and were replaced by dozens of smaller states. Smaller states also dominate Central Africa, most of Europe, most of the Americas, Oceania, and Southeast Asia.
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:07 PM   #5
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Kali-3 is a Q7 timeline with more than a few parachronic oddities that make Infinity very nervous. First, conveyors and jumpers receive 1 +5 bonus to travel to and from Kali-3 and, if they are intending to go to another Q7 timeline but fail by 5 or less, they end up in Kali-3, as there is some unknown factor in Kali-3 that facilitates parachronic travel. Second, Kali-3 possess a minimum of one hundred nexus portals known and guarded by its governments that connect to other Q7 timelines, and it is public knowledge that monsters or strangers come through these portals bearing horrific diseases and wielding terrifying power. Third, everyone knows about nexus portals, every government warns its people about the monsters and strangers that travel through them because they are seen as terrifyingly dangerous interlopers.

In an example of an interloper that arrived a decade ago, the antibiotic resistant cholera epidemic that killed 5% of the global population, as well as nearly annihilating the Ghurid royal family, was traced to a stranger that arrived through a previously unknown nexus portal in Southeast Asia. In another example from three hundred years ago, a small herd of triceratops passed through a nexus portal near the Mississippi River, and the indigenous inhabitants figured out how to domesticate them through stealing and hatching the eggs, resulting in triceratops riding nomads dominating the Great Plains. In yet another example from five hundred years ago, the Ghurid Empire used artifacts of unspeakable power recovered from a flying vehicle that had crashed soon after crossing through a nexus portal five years previously to vaporize multiple Mongolian armies during their first three invasions.

The warnings about nexus portals means that everyone in Kali-3 is familiar enough with parachronic travel to be suspicious of anyone who is acting too strange. In several incidents, Infinity agents have been captured and quarantined in special subterranean prisons by the Ghurid Empire for being interlopers. After they were poked and prodded for a year, they were eventually moved to surface facilities where they were placed under house guard. Of the six Infinity agents so captured, they have all gone native and warned the Ghurid Empire about Centrum and Infinity, with the two women accepting concubinage contracts with Ghurid nobles and the four men accepting book deals from Ghurid publishing houses.
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Old 06-15-2020, 10:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Kali-3 [Infinite Worlds]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Kali-3 is a Q7 timeline with more than a few parachronic oddities that make Infinity very nervous. First, conveyors and jumpers receive 1 +5 bonus to travel to and from Kali-3 and, if they are intending to go to another Q7 timeline but fail by 5 or less, they end up in Kali-3, as there is some unknown factor in Kali-3 that facilitates parachronic travel. Second, Kali-3 possess a minimum of one hundred nexus portals known and guarded by its governments that connect to other Q7 timelines, and it is public knowledge that monsters or strangers come through these portals bearing horrific diseases and wielding terrifying power. Third, everyone knows about nexus portals, every government warns its people about the monsters and strangers that travel through them because they are seen as terrifyingly dangerous interlopers.

In an example of an interloper that arrived a decade ago, the antibiotic resistant cholera epidemic that killed 5% of the global population, as well as nearly annihilating the Ghurid royal family, was traced to a stranger that arrived through a previously unknown nexus portal in Southeast Asia. In another example from three hundred years ago, a small herd of triceratops passed through a nexus portal near the Mississippi River, and the indigenous inhabitants figured out how to domesticate them through stealing and hatching the eggs, resulting in triceratops riding nomads dominating the Great Plains. In yet another example from five hundred years ago, the Ghurid Empire used artifacts of unspeakable power recovered from a flying vehicle that had crashed soon after crossing through a nexus portal five years previously to vaporize multiple Mongolian armies during their first three invasions.

The warnings about nexus portals means that everyone in Kali-3 is familiar enough with parachronic travel to be suspicious of anyone who is acting too strange. In several incidents, Infinity agents have been captured and quarantined in special subterranean prisons by the Ghurid Empire for being interlopers. After they were poked and prodded for a year, they were eventually moved to surface facilities where they were placed under house guard. Of the six Infinity agents so captured, they have all gone native and warned the Ghurid Empire about Centrum and Infinity, with the two women accepting concubinage contracts with Ghurid nobles and the four men accepting book deals from Ghurid publishing houses.
All six? That suggests something sinister or subtle, brainwashing, drugs, something. I could easily believe one of them going native, or two, but six out of six suggests something more.
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Old 06-15-2020, 10:29 PM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Kali-3 [Infinite Worlds]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
All six? That suggests something sinister or subtle, brainwashing, drugs, something. I could easily believe one of them going native, or two, but six out of six suggests something more.
In general, the Stockholm Syndrome would explain the behavior, especially if the captors deliberately attempt to trigger it. If the captors are polite, kind, and generous, and if the prisoner is kept isolated from familiar contacts for a prolonged period of time, the prisoners will start to identify with their captors. When you are talking about a year in such captivity, even people who are aware that they are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome initially will find it impossible to resist the effects after a few months of such treatment.

In the case of the Ghurid Empire, they are quite aware of the phenomena and tend to exploit it when they quarantine interlopers, as it has resulted in impressive technological acquisitions, especially since the Ghurid Emperors are quite willing to reward interlopers for sharing technology. In the 15th century, one of the Emperors took a female interloper from a more advanced timeline as his primary wife after she shared the technology of the steam powered water pump. Since then, the Ghurid Empire has tried its best to balance the need for quarantine against the desire for new technology.
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