(Disclaimer: This is a fanwork, not part of the GURPS canon.)
Phil R. Zimmermann: "If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy."
This recently discovered Quantum 6 world probably has given both Homeline and Centrum more headaches than almost any other parallel. Although its point of divergence dates back very long - about 1200, when Mongol prince Temujin died - states and concepts developed sometimes in surprising parallels.
The centuries since then brought the rise and fall of an Anglo-Iberian, a Scandinavian, a French and three Chinese empires, seeing two world-spanning empires become predominant: Russia, and New Rome (founded by Alessandro Napoleoni). Then, the 20th century brought two World Wars, the split of said two great empires, the formation of a multi-continental German empire and a great number of new states, together with the advance of strong Socialist and Fascist movements. Although the new Technocratic dictature in Germany tried to get everything under control, the political situation got more and more complicated with every year. The ever-faster changes brought by a further developed computer technology made people feel even more that they lived in a world ruled by coincidence, and the researchers from Infinity Unlimited thought similarly, thus giving this timeline the name "Chaos".
Then, in the year 1993, everything has changed: A coup of hackers cooperating with the Artificial Intelligences they helped to create has united the world. While this seems quite similar to Centrum - a scientific-technical meritocracy that governs the whole planet - there are even more great differences: Unlike Centrum, the new government encourages freedom and individuality and even goes so far that it openly publishes all its data for everybody.
Without Genghis Khan Edit
The absence of the successful Mongolian hordes initially translated into a great advantage for Russia, the Muslim world, and China. But while Imperial China and the Muslim states of Choresm and the Rum-Seljuks finally fell into stagnation (despite obvious successes, like the latter conquering Rome and Vienna, and the former discovering electricity), only Russia really took off. While still split into many principalities (which allowed the Teutonic Order to expand further), with a population never decimated by the Golden Horde, they pressed into Siberia earlier than in Homeline, and settled it fully until the 16th century. Too far away to be controlled by the prince (and later czar) in Vladimir, they successfully fought for independence, which they got in 1632. The new country of Novorussia enjoyed a good relationship with China, from which it received a lot of influence. This helped the new state to reach a high sophistication in many ways, soon even overtaking the old country's.
Meanwhile in Western Europe Edit
Similar to Homeline, two states became predominant: France, which battled England successfully in the three Aquitainian Wars; and England, which formed a dynastic union with Castille and also took over Portugal and Scotland, forming the Quadruple Monarchy. Their competition culminated in the Great Occidental War (1523-47), triggered when king Henry V tried to become head of his own church. This distracting struggle allowed the Rum-Seljuks (who never splintered, which had allowed Homeline's rise of the Ottomans) to conquer Austria, Naples and even Rome, after already having taken Constantinople earlier. Northern Italy meanwhile had been divided up between Savoy, Venice and Florence (which would become important later), but Germany stayed splintered, weakened by a civil war and hadn't even a predominant state, like Hapsburg Austria in Homeline (the Hapsburgs having lost to a more successful Swiss Confederation). But in the meantime, an important change had been brought to the world by a small state: Denmark.
The discovery of Atlantis Edit
In 1381, the Danish prince Harald had discovered a great continent in the west, making landfall in Homeline Newfoundland. Without the obvious riches of the Aztecs in sight, colonization went slower, but still happened. Denmark and England were first; France and Spain followed, and even the smaller powers of the Netherlands, Florence, Sweden, Poland and Braunschweig founded their own colonies. During the Occidental War, the Mexica and Tawantinsuyu were drawn into the European network of diplomacy, although they kept their independence; and the landless Scottish prince Alasdair used his fame gained in the New World to retake his country from England and founded a Celtic-Scandinavian empire, albeit shortlived.
To absolutism and its fall Edit
After the council of Ghent in 1556, the great powers finally started to face the Seljuk threat. Slowly, the Muslims were driven back in Italy and on the Balcans, while Northern Africa was colonized piece by piece during the same time, and settled by Europeans. Later however, the Triple Monarchy of England-Castille-Portugal fell apart, leaving France as the only major power. The mighty French kings used the opportunity to have themselves elected Holy Roman Emperor several times, and expanded their influence especially in northern Italy and southern Germany. But resistance started to form. The new Stafford dynasty of England which had won the Civil War rebuilt the country and its colonial empire in South Atlantis, while the Swedish queen Kristina formed an alliance against all-to-mighty king Francois IV. The Anti-French War (1682-94) took France and its allies a notch down, dividing most of French North Atlantis between English Canada and the German and Italian colonies, which would take off from then. After this great war, the struggle for influence in African and Asian colonial empires went on in the idealistic early 18th century, until the death of the last French king Charles X created a completely new situation.
The new republics Edit
Since the king had no known issue, the General Estates were called to decide about the situation. After a decade-long search in Atlantis for eventual heirs of the throne, the Estates came to the conclusion that France could do well without a king either. The new republic defeated at first its inner opponents and then the various monarchist coalitions that had formed around Britain's reactionary kings. Germany and the Iberian peninsula were conquered and became satellite republics; but especially the latter would create nothing but problems for France.
Meanwhile, in the east the republic of Novorussia had expanded into both North Atlantis and Asia, and even absorbed the old mother country of Vladimir-Suzdal. Not wanting to stop there, they used the situation and eventually conquered Finland, Poland and Prussia.
And in Atlantis, after the death of the last king of Denmark-Braunschweig, the schulzen (mayors) of German-speaking Atlantis also decided to do it the French way and declared themselves independent, without blood having to be shed.
Rise of the New Rome Edit
Over the centuries, Florence had grown into the medium power of Italy. Now, when republican France distracted the other European powers, the cunning king Gioacchino used the opportunity to pick up French and Spanish colonies in Africa and Atlantis, ostensibly "to protect them". Slowly, Italy became a grand power. Since the king was childless, he adopted his most abled general, Alessandro Napoleoni from Sardinia. The new ruler would bring Italy to the next level, when he added the rest of the Spanish colonies, the Inca lands and Egypt to his empire - for the kingdom Italy now became the New Roman Empire, with himself as the emperor and head of the Imperial Catholic church. Then, in alliance with Germany (which had meanwhile kicked out the French), he also defeated Britain and took their colony of Braseal. Germany would acquire Argentine, which from now on received a lot of immigration, since German Atlantis had already reached the Great Mountains.
After the death of Alessandro, the short reign of Benedetto followed. But during his few years he managed to push Russia back in Europe, Atlantis and Asia, and appointed an even more capable successor, Ludovico. Said Ludovico found that the time had come to retake former Roman provinces in Europe too, after France had wasted its strength in eighty years of a guerilla war in Spain. In three wars, France was repeatedly humbled, and the Iberian peninsula formed into a number of satellite kingdoms. Also, he expanded New Rome's influence on the Indian subcontinent. Braseal which had become a penal colony for the empire proved to be uncontrollable however, so it was given independence.
The Red threat Edit
Lacking a republican interregnum and a Glorious Revolution, the British kings were more powerful and reactionary than in Homeline. When their perpetual wars only proved to empty Britain's coffers and lose its colonies, people got enough, revolted against king Philip and killed him. The royal family fled to New Albion (Homeline New Zealand). The new republican government proved to be very shortlived when they decided to arm factory workers against a royalist uprising, which only lead to a second revolution and the proclamation of the first Socialist state, under the new boss Charles Pounder. The excesses of the revolution put fear in the hearts of businessmen everywhere, especially however in Germany, which now worked hard to suppress Socialist movements everywhere in Europe. For this purpose, they invaded Bohemia and Scandinavia and also France, which was divided between them and New Rome. The Socialists retaliated by attacking "monetarist" ships everywhere on the sea - piracy had returned.
World Wars and dictatures Edit
When the First World War broke out, the Russian and the New Roman Empires outweighed Germany in both land surface and population. However, when Canadian diplomacy brought in Nippon, China, Siam and Braseal as new allies, their advantage shrunk. And while their almost-monopoly on oil surely would have brought the decision in a later war, Germany's access on coal and steel was more important then. Slowly the German armies proceeded in France, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Nile and Mississippi valleys; mass desertions among the French and uprisings of the Muslims forced the two big Empires to capitulate. After the breakdown of the New Roman Empire, Socialists came to power in both France and Iberia with British help. Soon, the revolutionary wave spread via the German occupation troops into the German home country. 1919, northwestern Germany seperated together with the Scandinavian republic from the German Empire and joined the Socialist block. Since the war-tired German soldiers didn't want to shoot on their brothers, the German government had to accept the new reality. Atlantean chancellor Kleiber however used the situation to merge the three Germanies in Europe, Atlantis and Argentinien into a unified, truly world-spanning empire, before he died. Thus, the Germans became the first superpower - in a world they soon saw was uncontrollable by them.
After the harsh peace Germany had imposed on them, Greater Italy and Russia both thirsted for revenge. In the former, the new movement of the famiglia (imagine a mixture of the fascists and the mafia) established a dictature with the only aim of a humiliation of Germany, while everything else had to take second priority, while in the latter the new voshd (leader) Gridenkov had similar aims. Meanwhile, the Germans had to fight with colonial uprisings and a strong Socialist opposition, and changing governments and political scandals. When in 1931 the democratic politicians had proved unable to solve the empire's problems, the leaders of the military and the industry, plus the bureaucracy, decided at the conference of Paulskirchen to putsch and formed a new government - the Technocracy - which immediately started to prepare for World War Two, which broke out in 1941. Again, Germany prevailed, this time even (almost) without allies (China was busy holding down Nippon, which they had conquered between the wars), but they had to pay a high price. The war took an even higher death toll than the last one, and European Germany was actually occupied before Atlantean troops liberated it again. In the meantime, several million Germans (and Poles, Czechs, Slovaks and Hungarians) were displaced to Russia and forced to work there - a dramatic experience, although it created some bonds between the Germans and the other peoples. Also, the Technocracy could not prevent the Socialists taking over in post-war (core) Italy.
The Cold War Edit
Germany had won the war with the help of a new weapon, the nuclear bomb. Before they could use their monopoly, the secret was stolen by Socialist spies, leading to a Cold War with them instead. Since then, the two blocks fought a war of influence in the so-called Chaos countries of Atlantis, Africa and western Asia, with no clear results. At the same time, they tried to surpass each other with space projects and research about nanotechnology and artificial intelligences. And religious movements like the Irish-Catholic church, the followers of Chandramoorthy and various Muslim groups also tried to get influence.
The deciding development came from another place, though. With time, the formerly good relationship between Germany and China had cooled down, until they clashed over some former colonies of Canada, Germany's closest ally. The final blow came in 1993 when a Nipponese terrorist group crashed an airplane on the Summer Palace in Shanghai, killing the emperor. His enraged son demanded Chinese troops being deployed on the Indies where the rest of the group was hiding, which Canada and Germany denied him. Their armies were alarmed, and when two nanoswarms clashed near Kamchatka, the world was close to an apocalypse.
The Streich Edit
A group of Logos - the hackers of Chaos - had discovered the secret information that the world was on the verge of an apocalypse. Not wanting to die, they used their AI programs to hack all the important databases in the world, in one single night. This was a scenario which already had been thought of in this timeline's fiction, and was called the Streich - German for prank, or hack. Old programs were dusted off, new scripts were written, passwords cracked, networks infiltrated, while the Logos were in contact (thanks to their brain-computer-interfaces) all the time. At the end, they were successful: The AIs and the nanoswarms were under their control, as were the computer networks. The New Veritist world republic was proclaimed. World War Three was over. It didn't really take long (about three hours), but the world would never be again as it was before.
The German Empire Edit
Once a democratic republic, for some decades Germany was the Technocracy. All about ruthless efficiency, the new government pursued a policy of strengthening the state (inside and outside), the military and the economy while being socially conservative. It was decidedly anti-Socialist, even moreso than the democratic Germany. In schools, science and technology were encouraged instead of classics and humanities, and boys were taught shooting. Critics of the system were suppressed with censorship and house arrest, the rest of the population kept quiet with consumerism and entertainment. In the later years, the rulers gradually retreated to a "deep state" existence and allowed democratic elections again.
Stretching from the Upper Rhine to Livonia, from the Baltic Sea to the Adria, European Germany inhabits 85 million citizens and 15 million foreigners (mostly Balcan people, Indians, black Africans and Arabs - Russians and Italians still hesitate to work in the country that destroyed their dreams of greatness). Next to it sit its close allies of Poland, Bohemia, Hungary and the Finnish-Estonian Republic, adding their 75 million citizens and 10 million foreigners to the block in central Europe. The Technocratic regime has made sure in the last decades that they toe its line for all important issues; and the mixing of the populations in World War 2 and since then has certainly helped - nowadays members of these nations don't really count as foreigners anymore in Germany. In the schools of these states, German is taught along their mother tongues.
The old Germany suffered much from the loss of one third of its population, half its industry and later the moving of many influential people to German Atlantis. However, under the Technocratic regime at least the industry has been rebuilt, mostly in Saxony and Bohemia, forming the new sprawl around the centers of Dresden and Prague, where about one fifth of the European Germans lives.
Since the European part of Germany is surrounded by the Socialist Block in the West and the Russian Chaos in the East, half of the German army is stationed here and in the occupied areas of Romania, Croatia and the Ukraine. About 10 million Germans have been settled in these lands by the Technocratic regime; today, many of them return because they fear rejection by the natives.
European Germany is split inside; while the Eastern and Central lands (including said non-German allies) mostly supported the anti-Socialist politics of the central government in Martinsburg, in the "front lands" of Swabia, Hesse and Eastphalia there's a strong minority resisting, and especially in Switzerland people are pretty stubborn and everything but helpful for the government.
In the area of roughly the northern half of Homeline's continental USA live 175 million citizens and 35 million foreigners (most of them from Roman Atlantis). Since World War I, the areas of Texas and Montana (western Italia Nuova) are occupied by Germany, supposed to take in German settlers. Martinsburg at the Atlantic coast is the political capital (since 1919 of the whole German Empire) and the main contact point for Europe. Wildenhartburg (Chicago) is the industrial center of German Atlantis and was once an important place for the trade with Canada and Italia Nuova. Franzensburg, the most important harbor at the West Coast, is famous for its universities and research facilities (and its strong Logos' community that wrote some of their most important programs and manifestos here).
The last part settled by Europeans, nowadays it has 85 million citizens and 12 million foreigners. Once enjoying the highest standard of living thanks to its natural riches in grain, beef, gold and gems, this part of the Empire somehow missed to keep up with the other parts and thus fell farther and farther back. Hence, it became a stronghold for racists, Weber (Luddites), Socialists, radical Christians and other opponents of the Technocratic regime. Since these groups tend to neutralize each other, the government wasn't too impressed by this. Some more active and brighter people tried to make a success by bringing the fruits of the new century to its neighbor states like Peru, Aymaria and Braseal. The main exception is the city of Paradies (Rio de Janeiro), center of the German movie industry, and also very popular with the tourists.
The Chinese adoptive empire Edit
The empire proper covers about the eastern half of Homeline's China and inhabits 800 million subjects. (The population of China generally developed more smoothly - there weren't any catastrophes which took a toll on the population as the Taiping, World War 2 or Mao's Great Leap Forward as in Homeline; on the other hand, an earlier prosperity brought the population growth to a halt, without force measures by the state.) This smaller China however is surrounded by official tributaries in all directions, among which Nippon (100 millions) and Corea (50 millions) are the most important ones. Even the states of southeastern Asia which were Indianized in the past now show a strong Chinese/Confucian influence. And further beyond the rim of tributaries, China has covert influence in the Russian and Indian Chaos, and in places with strong Chinese minorities - like most of the Canadian Commonwealth. China is the second superpower of Chaos, and roughly on the same level with Germany considering the strength of its army and the level of its science and technology. (Although China's population is bigger, high education is broader in Germany, making them equal - yet.)
The adoptive emperors Edit
The current "dynasty" is the third one different from Homeline; before, there were the Hong (who united China after the Song fell) and the Ming (who introduced telegraphy to China, spawning a revolution of communication). After the Russian-Orthodox influenced "Society of Brotherly Love" had lead to much turmoil in the 19th century and the annexation of northern China to Novorussia, a Chinese general from Anhui reunited China another time. To get support for his rule, he styled the new China "a republic" when negotiating with Germany and "an adoptive empire" when talking to New Rome. While Germany was finally successful winning China as an ally for helping with industrializing the country, during World War I his successor managed to style himself officially emperor again.
During the 1920s, China and Nippon clashed over the question what to do with Corea, which they had conquered together during the World War from Russia. At the end, it came to war, which China won with the help of their new weapon, the cruise missile. In 1930, the Nipponese government gave up. However, unrest could never be suppressed completely, and many Nipponese emigrated to other countries, continuing their fight against China from there.
Occupied until the end by Chinese troops, Nippon is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Asia, except for the Chaos areas. Mixed with their national pride, this creates a dangerous mix, feeding the terrorist movements. Another factor is the religious difference - China has kept the old religions, but Nippon was Christianized by Spanish missionaries in the past. (This influence also caused some other changes - Nipponese in Chaos put the personal name before the family name, and honorifics like "San" are used similarly as Spanish "Don", before the name.) Actually, the tenno is head of the Nipponese Catholic church!
The Socialist Block Edit
Set in western Europe (incl. Greece), the Block is home to 290 million comrades. The member nations have retained their independence, with the central government in Brussels caring for defense, (a bit of) diplomacy, espionage, propagating revolutions in the rest of the world, the currency, removing barriers between the nations, exchange of ideas and some great prestige projects. Between the two World Wars, the French were said to have the most influence, but since their incorporation into the block, the Italians have become more prevalent, seeing Socialism as the best way to get revenge against the Germans. The Block has its own space projects (not always successful) and strong research programs for artificial intelligence and nanotech, in some areas even surpassing the monetarist nations. One of their most important research facility is the famous "House of Tomorrow" in London. Still, the Block has problems with discontent people (although nowadays house arrest with electronic shackles is preferred to throwing them into prisons, or using them as forced labor), pollution, and the lack of some natural resources; gasoline is expensive, the industry and heating rely strongly on coal instead of oil and gas, and many articles like bananas are hard to get.
Note: In Chaos, "Communism" is used only for the workers' utopia that is theoretically to be achieved, somewhen. The usually used term, whether by friends or by enemies, is "Socialism".
Colorful Socialism Edit
Very different from Homeline, the Socialist Block never was steered from a single nation. Even when Britain was the only Socialist state in the world, people in other countries tended to make up their own version of Socialism. In Britain, the organisations have the power - the unions of the factory workers, the old artisan guilds, the farmer's alliances, the army and, independently, the navy, including the Red Pirates. In France, the different Socialist parties soon merged after coming to power, which gave them a lot of influence, even outside their own nation. The Iberian states are governed by a coalition of Socialists, Anarchists, Syndicalists, left republicans and some regional parties. The Scandinavian and Dutch Socialists are said to be especially idealistic and have many projects to improve the lot of the working class, like their education and fighting drugs. The German part under the OPK (Oberster Politischer Kommissar) has occupation troops from the other Socialist nations, to be able to defend against the Technocracy - and also because the other nations don't trust the Germans totally, since the revolution wasn't successful in the whole country. Italy could draw on the talents of its political class and at the end even took over the inofficial leadership of the Block from France. Greece has built up a small pirate fleet in the Mediterranean, following the British example.
The Red Pirates Edit
In the 19th century, after the monetarist nations had managed to produce industrial products on the level and beyond of Britain, which had been leading in the world until then, Britain started to suffer a trade deficit. Rather than admit that Socialism was a mistake, they turned to piracy. The navy, until then idle, and some fishermen manned ships and started to rob ships of other nations. Despite Germany and New Rome fighting back, the Red Piracy flourished and helped the state to survive through difficult times. After World War One, the crews were joined by various Scandinavians, Dutch, Germans, Frenchmen and Iberians, and the piracy expanded further, helped by the chaos created by New Rome's split-up. The pirates work together especially close with Aymaria and Tir Tairngire, and additionally have bribed enough officials in Africa and Roman Atlantis to get the support they need.
Since the 1930s, various Nipponese also have turned to politically motivated piracy. Based mostly in the Indies, they attack all Chinese (and sometimes other) ships they can find. The big difference, however: While the Socialists try to get ransom for people they catch (if they're rich) or convert them for their cause (if they're poor), the Nipponese will use their hostage to put the Chinese government under pressure; more radical groups simply kill all the Chinese they can find.
The Logo's world state Edit
The Logos rule a world population of about 5.5 billions - a bit lower than in Homeline at the same time. The CR is now at 2, a great difference for the people who were used to CRs of 4 or 5. Most taxes and other dues were abolished, except those on speculative profits (a world state can do effective controls), nanofactories, legal drugs and pollution. Working week is down to 20 hours; people who live on welfare have to go to courses, though. Government, bureaucracy and the justice system still exists, but they have become gläsern (made of glass): All people can check easily what kind of data are stored about them.
The Chaos Edit
"Chaos" is the term mostly used for the equivalent of the Third World in the Chaos timeline. It implies that in this part of the world, borders of nations change every few years and governments every few months - hence, most people don't care to keep track. The term came up for the first time in a German-Atlantean newspaper in November 1914, mentioning the "southern Chaos", referring to the many new nations founded in Roman Atlantis between German Atlantis and Argentinien after the breakup of New Rome, following the end of World War I. 1929, with the gradual independence for India, politicians started to speak of the "Indian Chaos", and after World War II, in April 1947, German general and Technocrat Pistor stated in the famous "Chaos speech" that most of the world had fallen into, well, chaos. Unless they have to topple a Socialist or otherwise especially Anti-German warlord, Germany doesn't care much about these countries, thinking that the "Chaos" is better left alone.
Atlantean Chaos Edit
The remains of the New Roman empire in the new world. Three states are Italian-speaking (New Italy, reaching from Homeline Virginia to the Rockies, and two states in the Andes), the rest has French or Spanish as their first language. Germany has occupied strategically important places, like some Caribbean islands and the Nicaragua canal. Since this area is Germany's backyard, the Chaos is kept somewhat more under control than elsewhere, if only for self-interest. After the Technocracy came to power, many German dissidents fled here.
Russian / Eastern European Chaos Edit
After World War II, the Germans split the rest of Russia (which they hadn't occupied, like the area of Homeline's Ukraine) into many small states and put a lot of puppet regimes in charge. They became markets for the German economy and helped Germany produce things the Technocratic government needed. When they weren't necessary for Germany anymore, after nanotechnology took off, they fell completely into poverty and chaos. There are many radical groups around (Orthodox, Nationalist, also Socialist), but they were barely able to scratch the Technocracy. The Balcan states are in a similar situation, and the only factor that helps them is the fact that Germany needs access to the Mediterranean. Of course, this means there are German occupation troops in these places too. Since World War II, China has increased its influence in the Russian lands more and more, to the point that Germany's becoming very concerned about this.
Near Eastern Chaos Edit
Homeline's Middle East isn't better off, on the contrary. While Persia, Choresm and the Rum-Seljuks were stable and great powers for many centuries, Russian expansionism has broken them, and during the World Wars they became battlefields from which they haven't recovered yet. The Arabian and Persian oil riches are mostly exploited by Germany, which has a strong military presence in the area. The Arabs ejected from Palestine and Syria after Judea conquered these areas had less financial and political support than in Homeline and thus formed a helpless frustrated proletariat spread all over the area.
Indian Chaos Edit
After some decades under New Rome, the Indian subcontinent was taken over by Germany, which wasn't that prepared for it. An independence movement soon started to form. Rather than allow a potential great power to form, the Germans used the "divide et impera" scheme and gave one part after another independence, starting with the Sikhs in 1929. Just as was to be expected, the new states competed and often fought each other, and Germany could retain a certain influence. In the last decades however, they started to notice that China was getting dangerously close to their former turf. And at the same time, the followers of the guru Chandramoorthy got more and more influential.
African Chaos Edit
For a while Germany had almost all of Africa south of the Sahara in its sphere of influence; nowadays, only places with great natural resources (Katanga with its metals, the Niger delta with its oil, Australia [Homeline South Africa] with its vanadium, gold and diamonds, plus some other places) or strategical importance, like Egypt, are under direct control. The places with strong European settlement (Spaniards in Morocco, French in Algeria, Italians in Tunisia and Libya, Scandinavians in Australia) are somewhat stable oligarchies with simmering unrest among the natives, the rest are mostly corrupt dictatures of all kinds. Notable are the states in West Africa which are strongly Portuguese-influenced, from the time when Portuguese refugees came to their ex-colonies and took native wives. Generally one can say that the whole situation is bad even compared to other Chaos areas.
Technology and Society Edit
Science mainly diverged by the use of electricity - the Chinese used batteries for electroplating as early as in medieval times, the Russians invented the telegraph and started a revolution of communication in the 18th century, and during the 20th century, better computers allowed the development of a true AI, which of course accelerated progress even more. At the present, Tech Level is at 9, with computers even at 10.
Germany, China and to some extent the Socialist Block have built "vactrains" in the last decades - maglev trains running through vacuumed tubes under the earth. Said vactrains can reach sheer unbelievable speeds of up to 10000 km/h, beating even airplanes. The Logo government now works on filling the gaps in the network (along the border between Germany and the former Block) and even have the ambitious plan to build a tunnel below the Atlantic, to connect Europe with Atlantis. The Chaos was not so lucky and still has to rely on more old-fashioned trains, planes, cars and ships - or even worse.
Germany and China have sent men successfully to Mars, and both of them and the Socialist Block maintain a permanently manned space station. The Logos are VERY interested in this area and plan building a space elevator and an expedition to the planetoid belt, for a start...
Computers, Networks and AIs Edit
Originally, computers were relatively simple mechanical machines, as in Homeline. Thanks to the developments in electricity, better solutions (with relays instead of vacuum tubes) soon appeared however. The first computer networks (referred to as systems) were invented in the 1920s in Germany at the firm Werstand, and the other important nations soon copied it. After the second World War, Germany enforced the uniting of the national networks, forming the Weltsystem, the internet of Chaos. Various parts of Artificial Intelligence, like automatical translation and neural networks were invented; and in 1969, three students at Franzensburg found a way to unify different programs to form a true AI. With computers becoming better and better, artificial intelligences became more and more common - not without ramifications of the society. After the Streich, they're accepted as full citizens and help the Logos to run the world.
The most common storage device at the moment is the data cube: Essentially three-dimensional chips (made when Moore's law hit the limit for two-dimensional chips), they have a size of about one cubic inch and a very smooth surface that gleams in all the colors of the rainbow.
Medicine and Genetics Edit
Gene therapy is known, mastered and wide-spread. Cloning is known too, but hasn't enough practical purposes to be omnipresent. Cybernetics are also known, but aren't used except for making disabilities moot - with one great exception: The brain-computer-interface has created a society of people (mostly Logos) in the Weltsystem who're practically in permanent mental contact with each other. This technology was in fact the reason why the Streich became possible.
Nanotechnology started to develop during the 1970s and really took off during the following decade. 1977, the Chinese emperor founded the first university dedicated alone to nanotechnology. In 1981, the Socialist Block developed the Zanzara - artificial insects, which were mostly used to spy in Germany. Also, the three great powers started to build nanoswarms, most of which "stationed" along the border between Germany and the Socialist Block. With the result, that many people started to fear that one day, they would wreak havoc and turn all of Earth into Braunschleim (grey goo). In reality, the leaders didn't wish to destroy Earth, so nanoswarms were never used in a war. Only in 1986, Germany used nanoswarms to destroy the cocaine plantations in Homeline Colombia. And 1989, a great fire in northern Scotland made Germany suspect that a nanotechnological experiment done by the Socialists had gone awry, and that they had to burn the whole area because they knew no other solution. Still, nanoswarms definitely were "the new nuke", and in fact they were the only reason why Germany and China agreed in 1989 to scrap all their nukes.
Outtime Penetration Edit
The Infinity Patrol Edit
Homeline only recently discovered this world and thus hadn't the time to build a local power base there. To their relief, they haven't found any traces of Centrum activity here, but they keep an eye on Britain, Canada and New Albion just in case. The highly developed technology is a big temptation, and the publicly available information helps greatly, but at the same time agents have to be twice as careful as in other worlds - curious and scientifically inclined as the Logos are, the loss of the secret would certainly mean that another player who's a complete wildcard would enter the parachronic scene very soon. Never having encountered such a kind of government in the past, and unsure how it will develop in the next years, let alone decades, Homeline is waiting and watching. At the moment, it doesn't seem that the Logo government is under any threat, since they have total control of the military, economic and governmental power.
Homeline National Governments Edit
Because of the recent discovery, national governments haven't sent any spies yet, but the US, China, Japan, Russia, Israel and various European states are already preparing for it. Behind the scenes, discussions about what to do are running already. Germany and China may try to contact the toppled elites of their counterparts and win their support.
Typical Character Types Edit
"Native" character types of Chaos are:
Logo (Hacker) Edit
The Logos' Code of Honor is almost mandatory. Many still have Social disadvantages, although there are also many extroverted and even charismatic Logos. Stubbornness, Curious, Workaholic OR Laziness, Youth, Pacifism, Overconfidence and various Compulsive Behaviors are possible disadvantages. Physical disadvantages have become rare since modern medicine can heal them without secondary effects. Shyness also has become rarer after their great victory. Mathematical Talent, Lightning Calculator, Absolute Memory, Single-Minded, often Common Sense and a high IQ are common advantages. Some of them are Zeroed. Reputations among other Logos count as a small group of people (1/3 CP value), but today many Logos are well known in their city or even world-wide, so they may get other reputations as well. Computer Operation and Computer Programming (at least one specialization, like databases, networks, security or interfaces) are practically mandatory, as is Computer Hacking. Natural sciences and technology skills are also common, and many Logos have hobbies like games, the more complicated, the better. Illogos (Crackers / Black Hat Hackers) may also have Greediness, Paranoia or Jealousy.
Menschenhelfer (Humanity's Helper) Edit
This is a group of people from the richer countries who decided to go to the Chaos lands and help to build them up, motivated by idealism. (There is a small undercurrent of people among them which have sympathy for the Weber scene.) Skills vary widely - some of them concentrate on technical skills, some on Economics, some on First Aid and Medicine, some also on Psychology, Sociology and other social sciences/skills. Sense of Duty towards all of humanity, or at least the community they work at, is a common disadvantage, as are other morally positive disadvantages; they definitely should not have Intolerance. In many places they go to, they actually have the advantage of High Technology. Language Talent helps very much.
After the Streich, many former leaders suddenly had become superfluous - whether they were German technocrats, Chinese mandarins, Socialist functionaries or officers, bosses and managers anywhere. While they kept their skills (like Law, Economics, Politics, Administration, Tactics and Strategy, all kinds of social skills) and most often their wealth and former contacts, the shock was too hard and made most of them unable to do anything against the Logos. Alcoholism and all kinds of psychic disadvantages are wide-spread today. Some of them even have fled to the Chaos lands (the irony!) to escape the Logos. The kind of ex-leaders with the most powers left tend to be some schulzen (mayors) of smaller cities in Atlantis and Argentinien who often still own the village pub (people were allowed to keep their property even after the Streich, if they hadn't acquired it by immoral means) and thus have a certain influence among the population.
During the 19th century, a group of weavers famously rebelled and destroyed machines when they lost their jobs to industrialization; hence, Weber (the German word) became Chaos' term for Luddite. Technology has progressed much further since then, but the Weber movement has consequently grown, especially since unemployment rose higher and higher with time. Paranoia, Fanaticism and Technophobia are common disadvantages, and Impulsiveness and Bad Temper also happen often. Wealth is typically not higher than Struggling. Some of them will have skills like Stealth, Scrounging, Disguise, Climbing, Holdout, Lockpicking or Demolition. Leaders will often have Charisma and skills like Politics, Public Speaking and Leadership. Since the movement is split into many subgroups, their power is rather small, despite of their numbers.
Irish missionary Edit
Since World War II, the Irish-Catholic church has sent their missionaries also to the developed states, hoping to regain territory lost to the national Catholic churches. Hence, Irish missionaries are common-seen types in all European and Atlantean cities, and often appear in the media too. Typical skills are Theology, the appropriate Language(s) of the country they're in (and of course Latin, or even Ancient Greek and Hebrew), and all kinds of social skills. A few of them may even know Occultism... Vows and Duty to the church (-10 CP) are mandatory disadvantages; which doesn't mean that e.g. Alcoholism or Lecherousness never happen. Piety still is common; they tend to be serious about their faith. Clerical Investment is mandatory, of course. The Irish-Catholic church counts as a 25 CP Patron.
When the world became more and more complicated, unmanageable and (from the POV of some people) unsaveable, many people retreated from reality into the Märchenwelten. VR Addiction is mandatory. Most of them will have few skills except for those important for their games (and be rather unsuited as player characters); but a small minority among them has actually acquired useful skills like Leadership, Tactics and Economics from their experiences in the game worlds (which are very realistic after all nowadays), to return to reality and face it - often, very successfully.
Bolzer (Gang member) Edit
During the 1930s, among the organized football/soccer fans of Germany, various gangs developed who would fight in the streets after important games. When similar gangs developed among the descendants of immigrant groups in the big cities, the police gave the new phenomenon the same name, in the hope to understand it better. Typical advantages are mostly physical or otherwise combat-related. Common disadvantages are Code of Honor (like the pirates' one), low Status and (mostly) Wealth, Impulsiveness, Callous, Bad Temper, Bully and Overconfidence, maybe even Bloodlust; many have Intolerance for other ethnical or sometimes religious groups. Skills include Brawling, Streetwise, possibly Martial Arts, Animal Handling (attack dogs), Thrown Weapon (knives), Knife, Blackjack, and smaller Firearms.
Modern Pirate Edit
Whether a Red Pirate or a Nipponese one, they're still around and looking for booty. Fanaticism, Odious Personal Habits, a Code of Honor, One Eye or other old wounds are typical disadvantages. Enemies like the navy of a country are also common. All physical advantages, plus Absolute Direction, Night Vision, Strong Will and Language Talent are very helpful. Appropriate skills are Seamanship/Shiphandling, Navigation, Bribery, and Gunner (Naval), plus some other fighting skills.
KI (AI) Edit
See GURPS Bio-Tech.
Legal Enforcement Powers Edit
Local police units have the 5 CP version; criminal police has 10 CP. However, they both have to take the disadvantage "Duty: Publish all the data you collect". Today, the police uses robots for patrols, too. The WSW (Weltsystemwache - World System Watch) operates world-wide and has the right to "kill" programs and AIs that are out of control; however, since they don't count as humans (yet?), this is also a 10 CP advantage. Every Logo who thinks he's good enough can participate in the WSW. A neural interface is almost obligatory.
In the richer countries, most people will have Panimmunity Level 1. In the Chaos regions, this advantages is restricted to elites.
A Logo will typically count as a 15 or 20 CP Patron (which includes the technology bonus of 5 CP), except for the most powerful ones. A group of them may cost 20 to 25 CP; the WSW (Weltsystemwache) is worth 35 CP. Before the Streich, a high official, general or CEO would be worth 15 or 20 CPs; the government of a small country 20 CPs; a big firm or Socialist party 25 CPs; the supreme Technocrat or Chinese emperor, 30 CP.
The Logos count as a small group, so a reputation among them has 1/3 of the usual cost.
Unusual Background Edit
Unless the campaign is heavily cyberpunk-oriented, playing a pure AI character counts as unusual background: 15 CP. Playing an intelligent robot which is bound to its body (other than a free AI which can freely move through the weltsystem) would be -10 CP only. The same would hold for playing an astronaut.
All drugs except alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and "soft drugs" with comparable effects are illegal under the Logos' government. However, in lesser developed regions of the earth almost all kinds of drugs are still available. During the 1980ies, "dream drugs" were developed that can give people exactly the dreams they want without causing big problems; -5 CP. Drug dealers have also developed new "nano drugs" that work with nanobots that can influence all the brain and bodily functions directly; however, these drugs can have severe side effects - some are said to destroy the body to dust (although that seems to be an urban legend)! (Costs -30 CP.) Also note that the costs are at $400/$2000 because of the exchange rate.
Code of Honor Edit
The Logos' Code of Honor: Always tell the truth (to other Logos); share your knowledge with the Logos' community; not using your brain if you could is a shame; the more someone does for the Logos' community and mankind, the more you should respect him; -5 CP. A few of them use a more radical form, however: Logic is the only way to understand the world; other approaches lead to nowhere; every religion or ideology is a scam; people who don't understand this stand below you; -10 CP. Ideological enemies of the Logos like the Rasaca have their counterpart: Logic and reason are a sin; the Logos have to be fought; there is Something standing higher than the truth / which can't comprehended by logic. -5 CP to -15 CP, depending on how far they go in practice.
Das gläserne System (the transparent system) enforced by the Logos demands from every important organization (firms, banks, media, bureaucracy, justice) that they publish all the data they collect (about people outside the organization), so that everybody is able to know what others know about him. In the same way, all authorities have to publish everything they know (and think) about their underlings. -10 CP. The only (partly) exception is the police: They don't need to publish data about a suspect until he has been before a court (whether he's condemned or acquitted). -5 CP.
Technophobia is a BIG disadvantage and thus -20/-40 CP worth. Related are automatonophobia (pathological fear of robots), and technophasmophobia (pathological fear of Artificial Intelligences; literally, fear of technical ghosts), -10/-20 CP.
Social Stigma Edit
In Technocratic Germany and Chinese cities, women and most foreigners have a Social Stigma which is worth -5 CP; foreigners from Chaos may even get -10 CP. In the more backward Chinese countryside, women may even count as "valuable property", -10 CP. Open homosexuals in Germany will also have -10 CP; those in the closet will have a -5 CP Secret instead. Germans are especially unpopular in the Russian Chaos and former Greater Italy, -10. In the Socialist Block, being critical of the government would cause this; however, in most cases a Secret would be more appropriate. (And the Technocracy isn't much better, and same could be said about radical republicans in China.) Among the Logos' community, things like sexes and races aren't important; being disinterested in technology, or even an outspoken Weber or Rasac could cause this, but such a person wouldn't become member of the community in the first place.
Computer Operation / Programming / Hacking Edit
People from Homeline or Centrum are at -10, or -5 for older TL 9 equipment. Computer Operation is comparably easy, thanks to helpful user interfaces; still, outsiders will be at -4.
Electronics / Electronics Operation Edit
Again, people from Homeline or Centrum are at -10, or -5 for older TL 9 equipment.
German (which is the lingua franca of this world) got more Slavic influences and includes Dutch, while Schwyzertüütsch (Swiss German) was practically an language on its own, until the Technocracy enforced assimilation, which made the Atlantean version of German the standard one. Homeline speakers get a -2. English got some Spanish influences but lacks many others, hence -2 too. Most Romance languages have an Arabic influence and get -3. (A special case is the "French" spoken in Braseal, which got many strong influences from all possible other languages and also has a simplified orthography [quelle horreur!], making it an almost-Creole which defaults to Homeline French -5, or Chaos French -4.) Russian got more influence from Chinese and other languages, is at -3. Written Chinese is unchanged, spoken Mandarin / Cantonese gets -1. Japanese/Nipponese is at -3, for the strong Spanish influence. Generally, all modern languages have more German, Italian and Russian loan words, instead of English and French ones.
New skills Edit
Knowledge Area (Märchenwelt) Edit
Since the Multi-User-MWs sometimes are as huge as real lands and also as detailed worked out, you usually have to learn about it as if it was real. (Without having an AI as helper, of course!) One particular popular MW in Germany, Altpreußen (Old Prussia) simulates a medieval world spreading over an area of about 300,000 square kilometers, for example. Mental / Easy.
Programming (AI) Edit
Mental / Hard.
Psychology (AI) Edit
Mental / Hard.
Economics, Jobs and Wealth Edit
Currency and Prices Edit
The Logos' Government introduced a new currency, the GEM (Geldeinheit der Menschheit [Humanity's Currency Unit]) that replaced the old currencies, like the German Thaler, the Canadian Dollar, the Chinese Wén, the Judean Shekel, the Brasealean Real and the Euro-Pound (of the Socialist Block). It is as usually represented by a $ sign. There is no paper money, and the coins are made of plastics; they have a machine-readable pattern in black and white.
Before the Streich, the rough exchange rate was: 1000 Thaler = 2000 Dollar = 800 Wén = 3000 Shekel = 1200 Real = 125 Pound (black market: 700) = 60000 GEM
Generally: Natural food, human work and everything which needs complicated, individually tailored software is expensive, everything else cheap or very cheap.
Characters from Chaos have a starting wealth of $ 500,000. As usually, you should use only 20 % of this wealth for "adventuring" equipment.
- Pizza, softdrink and snacks - 200 $
- Banquet (per Person) - 2,500 $
- Ticket for robot fight - 1,000 $
- Middle class car (self-driving) - 500,000 $
- Flying car - 1,000,000 $
- High-End PC (Complexity 4) - 40,000 $
- Multi-communicator (automatical translator) - 4,000 $
- Flight Vancouver-Rainbow Islands (tourist class) - 20,000 $
- Heinzel household robot - 150,000 $ or 5,000 $ / month
- Nanotech factory (without software) - 20,000,000 $
- Organizer (handheld computer, working as a personal agent) - 6,000 $
- Personal Märchenwelt - 400,000 $
- VR sex - 2,000 $
Social Status and Cost of Living Edit
Job Table Edit
|Job description (prerequisites), Monthly Income||Success Roll||Critical Failure|
Struggling Jobs Edit
|Welfare recipient (none), 20000$|
|Menschenhelfer * (), 15000 + 1d3 x 5000$|
|Drug Dealer * (Streetwise 1x+), 2d6 x 2500$|
|Watcher (IQ 1x+), 30000$|
Average Jobs Edit
|Clerk (), 40000$|
|Barkeeper * (), 20000 + 1d6 x 5000$|
|Artist * (), 3d6 x 3500$|
|Kindergartener (), 35000$|
Comfortable Jobs Edit
|Lawyer * (Laws, at least one specialization), 30000 + 2d6 x 2500$|
|Psychologist * (Psychology 1x+), 40000 + 1d6 x 10000$|
|Entertainer * (), 10000 + 2d6 x 5000$|
|Teacher (Two skills of languages / sciences / academics 1x+), 60000$|
Wealthy Jobs Edit
|Professor (Of languages / sciences / academics, one at 1x+, one at 1y+), 80000$|
|Entrepreneur * (Economics 1x+, ), 10000 + 3d6 x 10000$|
|Media star * (), 5d6 x 8000$|
|Hacker * (Computer Programming 1x+, at least one specialization), 4d6 x 10000$|
How to be Logo/German/Chinese Edit
How to be a good German Edit
Since World War I, Germany didn't think of itself as being the first, but the only power in the world, mostly ignoring the role of Canada, Braseal, Judea or even China and the Socialist Block, for example when talking about scientific research. On the other hand, there always was the nagging doubt caused by the loss of western Europe, including parts of Germany proper, to the Socialists in 1919. German nationalism never was tainted by nazism, hence it is still very strong today, and you can find German flags and the crest with the three eagles (actually, two eagles and a condor) pretty much everywhere. People in subordinate positions are supposed to be industrious, punctual, orderly, disciplined, dutiful and obedient, while those in leading positions are expected to be strict but fair and correct, and even more disciplined, dutiful and industrious. Women are accepted as part of the workforce - before they have kids, or after said kids have left the home; in the time between, only work that can be arranged with familiar duties is OK, which doesn't allow for great careers of course. In recent decades, the Technocracy also has fought the traditional gemütlichkeit of the Germans - they want people to do healthy exercising or improving their education in their spare time, rather than drinking beer together. Given the fact that neither the Socialist Block nor the Chaos could be defeated, and that the new technologies seemed to make everything more complicated, many Germans got the feeling that they were fighting somehow with the back to the wall, and the saying "Ohne uns die Sintflut!" (Without us, the deluge!) made the round, even despite of censorship.
How to be a Chinese subject Edit
Despite of all the changes brought in the last centuries, the traditional Confucianist mindset survived in China quite unscathed and may be even somewhat stronger, despite the influence Christian missionaries (both Russian-Orthodox and various Catholics) tried to put on them. At the moment, they're somewhat more fond of the military and conquests though, since the time when a general united the country by force isn't too far away in the past yet. However, with the pervasiveness of nanotechnology in the last few decades, a great new challenge has appeared: Traditionally, Confucianism was very opposed to people being idle - but that's exactly what nanotechnology seems to enable in the long run; even now, unemployment is rising, and many people only have "watcher" jobs, which means they do nothing but sit around, watching that the AIs are doing their job. Also, there's the question of AIs: Many people in positions of power have replaced not completely reliable people by AIs which don't have a family loyalty that could be in conflict with their duties. But said replaced people aren't too happy about it... It's not clear yet how this whole situation may turn out in the long run.
How to be a Logo Edit
After being a useful (no, essential), but often overlooked and misunderstood minority for several decades, the Logos now find themselves in charge of the whole world - a completely new situation, to which many of them reacted with a mixture of surprise, disbelief - and joy about finally being able to realise their ideas for a better world.
Being a Logo means not just being able to program and operate computers, but also knowing about the recent developments in science and technology, and in most cases having a mentally demanding hobby, like chess or go, or at least a complicated computer game. (And while we're at it: Logos definitely tend to have a playful side, in fact otherwise they wouldn't really be Logos.) By this way, they make sure that their mind is always sharp, even if their work doesn't make it strictly necessary. And in fact, many of them have such a work, and it often happens that they're so deeply concentrated on it that they tend to forget the rest of the world completely. However, as they use to say tongue-in-cheek, laziness, hubris and impatience also help being a Logo - which is true, as long as it's not the wrong kind of laziness, impatience or hubris. So or so, one can't deny that they built essential parts of the current world with this mindset.
Now, without their old bosses in politics, the economy and the bureaucracy to keep them down anymore, the Logos are busy making wild plans (and already working implementing them): In the long run, poverty, crime, hunger, diseases, unemployment and pollution are to be eradicated or made nonrelevant at least; even things like death, lovesickness, madness and boredom don't seem out of reach anymore. Others have more practical things in mind - discovering and colonising space, but also building impressive constructions on Earth, if not reshaping Earth in a new image. Finally, a good part of them wants to improve mankind with the help of cybertech and biotech - not by force, but people definitely should be free to do so. Let's also mention that some of them think about "uplifting" at least some animals, like dolphins, whales and apes...
Chaos' World of the Mind Edit
Maybe paradoxically, Chaos had always had an undercurrent of pragmatism. The wish for reformation of the Catholic church didn't lead to a break-up of the church, but to the establishment of national churches akin to Homeline's Gallican church. More radical offshoots were marginalized and defeated, like the theocracies in Bohemia and some German lands. This development also lead to an earlier absolutism and nationalism. In Novorussia, the Chinese influence and the influx of Confucianist ideas strengthened pragmatist positions too. Additionally, the monarchy wasn't defeated in a revolution in two prominent cases (France and German Atlantis), but instead passed away silently. However, since the French Republican Wars, this pragmatism caused a great scepticism towards new ideas. Republicanism was accepted yet; Socialism was fought fiercely and could only survive in the real world thanks to the geographical isolation of Britain; Feminism achieved female suffrage and women entering the workforce, but didn't develop more radical positions (that weren't suppressed); and more radical ideas that were developed after our World War I also never made it, since neither the German Technocracy nor the Chinese empire liked those. Hence, intellectual life was only free in Judea and part of the Chaos areas (but the latter usually had other things in mind). A group of German refugees in Nippon developed the Buddhism-influenced Rasaca philosophy (Nipponese abbreviation for "radical scepticism"), which became known as the Rasac movement in the west, where it was spread Samizdat-like, but it never got much influence. The Logos who had access to all kind of informations, even forbidden ones, preferred optimism based on the trust that problems could be fixed with science and technology. Generally, given the successes of the New Roman emperors, the Technocratic governments and the Chinese adoptive emperors, this world always tended to "well-meaning dictature" - some people even call the Logos' government so. Including some Logos themselves.
Campaigning in Chaos Edit
An Infinity Unlimited Campaign would either be a "war of influence" between Infinity and Centrum, while both dodging constantly from the incalculable Logos, or could take place just before the almost-loss of the Secret. Maybe the PCs do better, maybe not...
A purely Chaos-based campaign will tend to Cyberpunk, either during or before the Logos' Coup, like chasing amuck running AIs or viruses built by Illogos with the WSW through the Weltsystem - or maybe Steampunk in Socialist England. If you let your campaign play before the Coup, you could also have an adventure in Nippon or Africa, taking either the side of the Germans/Chinese or the natives fighting against them.
The sooner history of Chaos also leaves many opportunities: Try a swashbuckling campaign in the early Atlantis, or in North Africa (before their conquest), or even in modern times - with the British or the Nipponese as protagonists. A western (Germans-and-Indians, or Italians-and-Indians) is also possible. So are war-based campaigns: Try Russia against the Muslims, or a New Roman army fighting on four continents, or the Canadians exploring and colonizing the Pacific.
Last but not least, there's the possibility that somebody influenced the history of Chaos from the background: Are the Illuminati standing behind the uprise of Germany, or Novorussia, the New Romans or the Logos?
Diverse stuff Edit
(If this was a book or magazine article, I'd put this stuff on the sidebars.)
Other Genghis-less worlds Edit
Several other timelines where Genghis Khan was never born or failed have been discovered. In Czarina, local year 1764, most of Eurasia is either part of the Russian empire under Catherine II (not the Homeline one) or under its influence. In Two Chinas, the competition between Jin and Song eventually helped both of them, and in 1592 they control all of Eastern, Southeast and Central Asia and are still expanding; they also know about America and Australia and could well beat the Europeans for the ultimate control there. The other timelines known without Genghis are Islam-dominated: In Caliph-2, Choresm revived Islam and the Caliphate after taking Baghdad, and started a scientific renaissance; in local present 1601, they're still ahead of Western Europe, Russia and China (but fortunately, unlikely to conquer these). And in Caliph-3, set in 1728, the Rum-Seljuks decided for turning east instead of west after taking Constantinople, thus uniting most of the Islamic world before the strike against Europe, which happened at the height of religious tensions; France and Germany have fallen, but now Russia thinks about liberating Christian Europe...
Canada and the Commonwealth Edit
Although with a relatively low population (only 35 million people) and in its foreign and military politics necessarily a close follower of its bigger neighbor, Canada plays the role of a very active nation (comparable with Homeline Portugal or Netherlands at their height). In the 19th century, Canada acquired a great Pacific empire and even today holds a disproportionally big influence in this region. Cities like Manila, Jakarta and Fort Knox (Homeline Singapore) profited from being members of a big Pacific market, and various immigrants brought cultural influences to Canada, especially on the great harbor city of Vancouver. After World War I, the colonial empire was reformed into the Commonwealth, giving nominal independence to all colonies except for the Rainbow Islands (Hawaii), which stayed part of Canada proper. In recent times however, Canada and China clashed repeatedly about the fate of the Philippines with their strong Chinese minority, and Nipponese terrorist groups hiding in the Indies. One fun fact: Chaos' Canada also has a strong French minority, but they sit in our Ontario rather than in Quebec.
Braseal and Integralism Edit
Originally a British colony, the country went to New Rome after the anti-British War in 1836, who used it as a giant penal colony. Hence, it was used to push unwanted people from everywhere in the Empire (Italian republicans, French and Spanish monarchists and nationalists, Inca noblemen, anti-Imperial Catholics and other Christian minorities, Arab and Berb resistors, ordinary criminals, separatists of all kinds, defeated Indians) to a place where they could be exploited without anyone watching. But the uprisings made administration impossible, which was a reason why emperor Ludovico let the country simply go independent in 1870. Given the ethnic mix, nobody expected anything but chaos to develop out of it. Indeed, the country fell into civil war; in the cities, the various ethnics street- and housefought each other, while on the countryside, every latifundia owner became a little king, and many slaves fled into the jungle. After some years however, in the later capital Novolondon (Homeline Salvador) a supposed heir of the French and Spanish thrones named Lui Filip became accepted as king, gaining control first of the capital, then the surrounding province in 1880. In 1888, the whole country was united under his crown. After Lui Filip died, Braseal had to go through yet another war fought for the question of slavery, but from now on the country enjoyed a time of relative peace and stability. But in 1956, Socialists managed to destroy the royal palace and kill the whole family, and Germany had to interfere. They helped a junta come to power who declared an "integralist" regime: A multi-religious (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism) corporatist state. Still, the new regime wasn't exceptionally stable and always had to rely on German support. Poverty is an even bigger problem than in Homeline, despite of the natural riches of the country.
Greater Judea Edit
The Jewish state of this timeline was the brainchild of emperor Alessandro. In 1835, a delegation of rabbis had approached him after some pogroms in North Africa; so, he gave the Jewish people the thinly settled Sinai, to create a buffer state. (According to the belief of orthodox Jews, they weren't supposed to return to Israel proper until the Messiah came anyway.) In the anti-Persian war, they gained the Negev and Aqaba; and after the first World War, lead by Ariel ben-David, they also took Palestine and Syria. Antisemitic pogroms in former New Rome and Russia let the population swell pretty fast. The formerly cool relationship to Germany improved when the Judeans fought on their side in World War II. In the second half of the 20th century, they became both a preserve for democracy and a tax haven for Germany. Nowadays, 16 of 24 million Jews world-wide live in this state. Having the highest education level on Earth, they made several important inventions like the mobile phone and the brain-computer interface. Also, they are leading in solar technology and desert irrigation. In the present, many Jewish businessmen work in the neighboring states and return only to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Tirland and New Albion Edit
Being Britain's only colony after the Canadian revolution and the anti-British War, Antipodia (Homeline Australia) became a natural destination for the Irish fleeing from hunger and suppression; during a few years, its population tripled and got a strong Irish majority. When the monarchy in Britain fell, Antipodia declared itself independent as Tir Tairngire, elsewhere simply called "Tirland". One year later, it also became the new home for the pope who had fled from the Socialist government. This started the "era of humbleness", as the church called it. However, when gold was found, the Tir government helped the church with big donations, which she used for missionary engagement - not that successful in the Islamic countries, a bit more in East Asia, but very much in Africa south of the Sahara. After World War II, they also started to convert people in Germany and Canada. Current pope is Patricius XII.
1929, Tir na nOg (Homeline Western Australia) became independent with Italian help, since they were in need for a source of iron. After the war, the Germans took their place as the protector of the new state. Nowadays, the country consists mostly of the huge industrial city Neuruhr, and the Irish are outnumbered by other workers from China, the Indies, Nippon, India and Africa. The government is still completely dependent on Germany, which has leased a war harbor which is bigger than Homeline's Singapore.
New Albion, our New Zealand, became the place where the royal British family went to exile after the revolution in the motherland happened. Having lost contact to reality, they still claim their right for Britain, their former colonies and other European countries whose royal families married into the Staffords. And if this wasn't yet enough, the North island split off the small country in 1962 under queen Elizabeth I. In the present, the North island has reformed in some ways, while in the south under king Humphrey VII the plethora of princes controls the whole economy of the country, whether they're able or not, similar to our Saudi Arabia.
After the Inca state defeated the Aymara people, parts of them were settled in other parts of the empire - like the southernmost tip of the continent, where they became predominant. When the Inca empire was conquered by New Rome, they didn't care for what they considered a poor unimportant area, so Aymaria became the only native state in Atlantis never colonized by Europeans, which they're very proud of. Sympathizers for the cause of the Atlantean natives tend to have a soft spot for this state; and for the Red Pirates, it is a natural ally.
The empty circle Edit
Roughly the area of Homeline Utah and Nevada, it inhabits a small but very mixed population: native tribes like the Shoshones, displaced ones like the Nakotah, religious sects considered heretics by the Russian Orthodox church, descendants of slaves from the New Roman empire, both of African and Arab origin, and outlaws from all the nations represented in Atlantis. After World War I, the New Roman empire had to let this area go, but the Germans didn't bother to subjugate it. This power vacuum and the arms left by the Imperial Roman army made it a pretty lawless area, and Germans used to speak of the Wilder Süden (Wild South). Nowadays, its cities are mostly run by corrupt crime bosses, which the German government cares less about than political agitators.
German Antarctica Edit
Originally, the Technocracy had claimed Antarctica in 1934 purely for reasons of prestige. Later however, the continent became important as a source for icebergs which were transported to dry areas like Egypt, Arabia, Texas and Antipodia and used for irrigation. The Technocracy also keeps the various mineral sources on the continent in mind.
Originally a small firm from Breslau (Silesia) in the telegraph business, Werstand expanded during the 19th century into the new electricity business, and most important, started building relay computers around 1900. And in 1923, they presented the first computer system (network), albeit very primitive yet - things like e-mail would come later. When the Technocracy came, they used their connections to the new regime to take out most of their competitors and forge an almost-monopoly for electronics, computers and networks, in- and outside of the German Empire. The Logos and other critical people aren't too fond of this and retaliate by referring to the firm only as "Wersthand" ("Th" being shorthand for "Thaler", the German currency; in Homeline, people would write "Wer$tand" instead).
Prince Harald Edit
In the 14th century, the native Waldemar kings of Denmark had sunken to puppets of the mighty Schauenburger dukes of Holstein, who held big parts of the kingdom as a fief. Crown prince Harald knew about this and suffered from it. Since crusading had gone out of fashion in his time, he had to find another way to leave his mark on the world. After having heard vague stories by fishermen about a country in the west, he decided to become a discoverer. He found his way to our Newfoundland, which was christened Prince-Haralds-Land in his honor, and on a later journey, he came as far as Manhattan, where Haraldsborg was founded. From his journeys, he brought the new plant of tobacco and several native Atlanteans. Sending those to various European courts, he gained many influential friends - and when he would become king later, the dukes of Holstein wouldn't dare to make a move against him, as long as he reigned. After his death however, it wouldn't take too long until they removed his dynasty and took the throne for themselves. However, in the present prince Harald's name is known better than any other medieval king of Denmark, and people of Danish descent in Atlantis still celebrate Prince-Harald-Day every year.
Maffeo Servitore Edit
In 1400, one man started working as a secretary for the Medici, the rulers of Florence, then one of many small states in northern Italy. Soon, he gained influence at the court and rose to become a diplomat. At this time, Italy was still shaken by the Black Death (although Florence mostly had been spared, for unclear reasons) and religious reform movements. After the reform council of Geneva had cleaned up the worst abuses, Florence went to conquer and annex the Beggars' Republic of Parma in 1404. Now this might have lead to the other states teaming up against Florence, fearing that it may become too strong; however, Servitore managed a deal in 1407 with the periphery states of Savoy and Venice, dividing all of Northern Italy except Genoa into spheres of influences, which said three states were allowed to conquer. Otherwise, the big three were supposed to live in peace. Until the 1430s, this is what happened: The little city states (which were near collapse after the difficult 14th century) of Northern Italy were "mopped up" one after another. After this done, Florence was ready to use the Medicis' and their subjects' talents to expand further, battle the Rum-Seljuks and even found colonies in Atlantis, and in the long run become first the Italian kingdom and later the empire of New Rome. Also, Servitore had developed the techniques for diplomacy and governance future rulers could draw on. Until today, his name is synonymous with "cunning, shrewd statesman for whom the ends justify all means". As a side result, many Italians left their country (especially those from Pisa and Milan), going to France and Aragon, and some other states too, spreading the Italian Rinascita art.
Prince Alasdair Edit
In 1490, England conquered all of Scotland, and the Bruce kings had to flee to Norway, which they had reigned in personal union. In 1506, the noblemen there rebelled and declared an oligarchic republic. They had planned to kill the prince as well (who was only three years old), but he was smuggled out of Norway by some loyal Scottish followers; they fled first to Denmark, later to the Netherlands and France. After coming of age, Prince Alasdair went to Atlantis, where he spent some time around the Caribbean. He also approached the Tenochca and learned about their gold riches. In 1522 he returned to the court of France and warned of the danger that the Quadruple Monarchy might be about to conquer these rich lands, urging the French king to act now. During the Great Occidental War, he first fought in Atlantis at the side of the Tenochca; but in 1528, he returned to the old mother country, starting a guerilla war in Scotland against the English. 1531, he also extended the war to Ireland. After giving the English and Spanish a serious defeat, he regained the crowns of Scotland and Ireland. Additionally, the charismatic king also managed to become king of all the Scandinavian states; and finally, he even was elected Polish king and Holy Roman Emperor, if only for a short time and more for symbolic reasons. After his death, his Celtic-Scandinavian empire was divided between his sons; but the memory would live on, also among the Mexica, whom he had essentially saved by providing French support, which made Mexico a French ally instead of a European colony.
Alfred Kleiber Edit
Born as the son of an entrepreneur in Wolfsburg in 1848, he entered politics at an early age, for the German-Atlantean Freedom party. In 1885, he became governor of Haudenland (part of Homeline Michigan). Having lobbied for acquiring colonies and influence in Africa earlier, he became minister for the colonies in 1890, further expanding Germany's sphere of influence in Africa. Many magnates who made a fortune there (in gold, diamonds, crops, or railroads) became his supporters. One year after him elected chancellor, he managed to make Kalifornien with its until then mixed population a member state of German Atlantis - the first territorial growth since the anti-Russian War. Of course, this inevitably lead to World War I, which despite of the sacrifices made by the Germans only helped his fame further. After winning the war, he managed to fulfill his greatest work, the unification of the three Germanies in Europe, Atlantis and Argentinien into one great, world-spanning empire. Being elected its first chancellor, he died soon after in 1919, never seeing the problems his successors had to deal with. Until today, he still is thought of as Germany's greatest chancellor - and one of the most-hated men in the Italian and Russian lands.
Born in 1869 as a member of the trader's caste, he broke with traditional Hinduism after the death of his parents. Spending some time as the leader of a kids' gang in Puducherry, he decided to become a great teacher later, when he was working as a servant for a New Roman officer. Some people described his "just philosophy for life" that merged Hinduist, Islamic, Christian and some other influences as "anti-Buddhism": Chandramoorthy advocated enjoying life, founding families, considered accumulating power and war legitimate instruments - although not as a mean in itself, pointed out the importance of business flourishing, allowed using tricks of all kind in desperate situations, was generally more concerned with worldly affairs (he didn't condemn the Hindu gods, even prayed until the end of his life to Ganesha, Rama and other gods, but didn't seem to care that much about them in general) and most important, told his followers "not to spoil the joy and fun of others". His followers rose to important positions, were heavily involved in the Indian independence movements, and during the 1960s, his philosophy was spreading even into Germany.
Sophie Stein Edit
In 1910, the owner of a small, not-too-well doing antique shop in Marseille and a teacher for mathematics had a daughter, who got the name of Shayna Löwenpferd. When France became Socialist after WW1, the family had to suffer under the new regime, so Shayna fled to Italy, only to see the country fall to the Socialists after the second World War. So she went to Technocratic Germany, where she changed her name to Sophie Stein, as who she'd become famous. Having become a radical anti-Socialist, and an admirer of Aristotle, she created the philosophy of Veritism, the equivalent of Homeline's objectivism. Even average people know her as the originator of phrases as "All the ill in the world comes from empty promises" (often shortened to "No empty promises!") and "No theory, no ideology, and no religion is greater than the Truth!" Her radical pro-Technocrat, anti-Socialist articles in newspapers and the radio were exactly of the kind that made Socialists foam at the mouth. Ironically, she had more things in common with the Socialists than she would ever have admitted - the way she glorified the heavy industry, and railroads, cars and planes in her stories, how she believed in scientific and technical progress, her compromiseless fanaticism, and her general lack of humor. At the end however, she became more and more radical, until the point where she considered Christianity as a fertile ground for Socialism. Still, until the present, she has many fans, many of them in influential positions.
The Logo movement Edit
As said, the Logos (from logic) are the hackers of Chaos. A smaller sub-group of them are the Illogos (Crackers / Black Hat Hackers), who aren't below using their skills for illegal means. When democracy in Germany and Canada was superseded by Technocracy, they continued the democratic tradition in the Weltsystem (Chaos' Internet). Despite living in authoritarian regimes, they found ways to circumvent restrictions - and being essential for the system surviving, they couldn't be treated too harsh. Communicating with each other, even ignoring national borders, they collected all kinds of useful knowledge, later even for areas which weren't that native for Logos, like social sciences. Then in 1975, Logos in Britain, inspired by computer science professor Kilian Houston and his "shockwave rider" manifest, demanded reforms (involving more use of artificial intelligences) and a "truly fair society". Although stopped by the Socialist government, the story of their struggle spread through the Weltsystem and inspired many Logos in the world. The changes during the 1980s and the visible hardening of the arteries of the Technocratic government convinced the Logos that it became necessary to change the society. Although they were for a long time splintered in anarchist, Socialist, radical democratic and libertarian groups, their movement flourished - and in fact, they made many inventions, especially in areas like operating systems, computer networks, computer security/cryptography, computer interfaces and, of course, Artificial Intelligence. Finally, the invention of the neural interface (that was mostly mistrusted by "normal" people and only slowly embraced by the government) gave the Logos a kind of limited telepathy since they now could exchange their thoughts worldwide (and stay undiscovered). Thus, inside the Weltsystem a new network between the Logos was established - which at the end, made the Streich possible, and changing this world forever.
Entertainment in Chaos Edit
For a long time, the high-brow author generally considered the best one was Alejandro Enrique Ruiz Rodriguez, born 1578 in the province of La Mancha. During the Castillian Civil War (1628-34) his plays became popular at the court of the Duke of Aliaga and later king of Spain, Alfonso XII. The apex of his work are the "Bible plays" about the kings Saul, David, Solomon and Rehabeam which are still famous for the beauty of their language, complex characterisation, poetic grandeur and philosophical depth, while at the same time keeping popular appeal. (And just like with Shakespeare, there are many theories around that someone else really authored his works, the suspects including the king and the princess.) However, nowadays most people consider the German (coincidence?) Albert Franck Baltzer from Braunschweig the greatest author. Originally seen as an author who only wrote for the common folks and thus neglected by academics, after the German reunification people found the hidden depths in tragedies like Der König von Leer about a Frisian yeoman and his daughters, or a jealous mercenary in Otto Leo, genannt Der Schwarze von Verden. Hence, Baltzer became first the German author and later the most-played in the world. The fact that Paradies (Chaos' answer to Hollywood) remade many of his plays into movies certainly helped this.
Popular culture exists in all the forms Homeline invented and several more. Only card games are less popular compared to board games and dice games, except in Russia and China; and Manga are replaced by the Chinese Wan Tu ("ten thousand pictures"). Additionally, Chaos has Märchenwelten (virtual realities) and system movies (movies which allow choosing the flow of the plot or the POV, or showing any background information, as on a very good Extras DVD). Most popular Märchenwelt in Germany nowadays is Altpreußen [Old Prussia], which simulates a medieval world in an area of about 300,000 square kilometers, for example. Most popular TV series is Die Kampfkatze, an action-based show centered around a woman versed in martial arts, wearing a black leather coat. Most popular music style is (still, despite being several decades old) Tech, a percussion-heavy music style invented by African factory workers in German Atlantis. Most popular singers at the moment however tend to be female. In fashion, the latest fad are clothes which can change their color; artificially flying hair (done with some nanotech trick) is already passing away, however. Most popular fantasy series is Midworld (twelve volumes), written by a royalist historian from New Albion, telling the tale of the rise of a former street urchin to the emperor of the world - not too unsimilar to the rise of Prince Alasdair. (Other than Lord of the Rings, it's not set in a mostly wilderness world, but a more sophisticated environment with many great cities, sorcerer guilds and knights in their castles - and anachronistically, some newer elements too.) Most popular childrens' book series is Sebastian der Zauberer ("Sebastian the sorceror" - Chaos' Harry Potter equivalent, as it seems). The newest joke genre can be described as "If <group X> talked like <group Y>" (for example: If managers talked like physicists). In recent times, nostalgia for the Industrial Age with its wave of new inventions has become more popular (compare Homeline's steampunk).
The history of the Chaos TL Edit
See article: Chaos History
Links to the AH.com forum Edit
- alternate PODs (as ideas for starting other ATLs from TTL)
- version 0.0 of the TL, far less sophisticated, although sharing some elements.
- Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines. An introduction for Artificial Intelligence and a fictional timeline for the future (seen from 1999)
- Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation. The standard work about Nanotechnology and its possibilities
- The Hacker's Jargon Dictionary - everything you want to know about the Hacker subculture
- Neal Stephenson, Diamond Age - a novel set in a world where Nanotechnology is common