In 854 BC, the Assyrians exterminated the Hebrews and Phoenicians. They went on to ravage the Levant, pillage Greek cities in the Aegean, and prevented the rise of Persia. Consequently monotheism, literacy, and any number of other advances never caught on.
The Assyrian Empire set a very bloody standard for every empire to follow. Now, in 1678, nearly every local culture practices human sacrifice, paper and alphabetic writing disappeared from history, and the world is slowly descending into an anomalous Ice Age that's hinted to be the result of the icy gates of hell creaking open due to the widespread uses of dark sorceries.
It's bad enough that Infinity has decided to throw secrecy to the wind; to quote the book, "frankly, the Patrol would like to cause as much cultural contamination here as possible." As an example of this, Infinity has an operation going on in the South Africa of Nergal, where they pose as gods and wizards who rule over the local Zulus, and occasionally lead them in slave liberation raids against the other nations of Nergal.