FDR, arguable one of the best presidents of all time. Known for his program "The New Deal" and other such accomplishments, what is not not known is his many victories in battle against many different types of enemies. FDR possessed great power and technology as can be seen from his transforming wheel chair in which he slayed many foes.
Get a print high quality11x17 print of this here-->[link]
Get a print high quality print of this here--> [link]
Thomas Jefferson was never much of a warrior history tells us, but yet again history is wrong. This is an image of one of the many attempts by Jefferson to battle all the manliest animals on earth while trying to teach them the ways of America.
In the year 2055 the world was invaded, humanity sat on the brink of destruction the world governments united and sent agents back in time to get the best general we'd ever known...Andrew Jackson and throughout his life he did a lot of cool shit, dueled people...a lot which is how he ended up with a musket ball in his chest pretty much exactly like Tony Stark.Went to war, gambled, etc etc .
This is a war portrait as he stands victorious in yet another battle.
Just a motivational poster I made using a picture from the website cracked.com that reminded me of a quote I'd read about Roosevelt. I think the picture captures Marshall's words perfectly. Also, it's freaking hillarious...
I don't have a full explanation for this map yet, unfortunately, but I'd rather it didn't just sit around rotting on my hard drive, so I'm going to upload it.
The point of divergence centres around the Seven Years War, which goes a bit differently in terms of America. Britain beats France and takes all of New France, including Louisiana west of the Mississippi, which in our timeline was given to Spain. This means that the Acadian French don't flee en mass to Louisiana in the belief that it will remain French, and instead attempt to either return to France, or remain in Acadia.
British policy, however, is to dilute the French Acadian population with English-speaking colonists. This takes place both in a drive to colonise Acadia with British colonists, and in a brutal campaign to drive Acadians out of Acadia and into areas already predominantly English-speaking (primarily the New England colonies and New York).
Instead of diluting possible rebellious sentiments, this spreads the unrest to New England and New York. The region was already unstable due to the imposition of various "Intolerable Acts", but Acadian leaders masterfully add their own expulsion and the massacre of many hundreds of Acadians as another of Britain's many crimes against its colonies. This sparks an earlier American revolution, one where the colonies' populations are much more divided over the issues. Whilst some of the thirteen colonies were considered to be loyal to the British crown in our timeline, in this one no state can be considered to be steadfast in their loyalty; a significant portion of all their populations supports revolution and independence.
The British respond to the revolution in force, and George Washington is appointed by the Continental Congress to lead the Continental Army against their oppressors. Washington makes some early blunders, and is forced to retreat to Virginia to regroup. This is one of the major reasons why he is not considered the almost messianic figure he was in our timeline. This retreat, whilst it was certainly the sanest thing to do in Washington's position, was seen as a slight by the people of Maryland in particular, and the population of all states north of Virginia in general. It was seen as an abandonment of Washington's responsibilities to all the separate states, and this fostered a belief that Washington, as a Virginian, was out to protect Virginia above all others.
Washington's retreat to Virginia was also a blow to the Congress' and France's confidence in his abilities. France was waiting for Washington to prove his worth and win a battle against the British, and therefore show that the Americans could win this war with French help. Washington later advanced and fought an almost phyrric battle against the British forces. It was a victory, if a poor one, and it was enough for France to throw their lot in with the revolutionaries and declare war on Britain.
With France's help the American rebellion had become a war between two great powers, a war that the Americans and the French would go on to win.
What had begun with a riot in Boston had ended with the independence of over half of Britain's American empire. France had gained Louisiana west of the Mississippi back, and the satisfaction of knowing that it had managed to knock Britain down a notch or two.
The newly independent states were far from united, however. Border disputes with each other and with colonies still under Britain's control were common, and occasionally broke out into small conflicts between the militia of the different states. The central government was too weak to do anything to stop the conflict and unite the states. A new constitution was written, but it was rejected by many of the states; it placed too much power in the hands of men they simply could not trust. The Congress ignored the will of the states, and the states ignored the Congress. Chaos reigned.
It became clear that the republican form of government that the Founding Fathers aspired to was either flawed or would simply not work in such an atmosphere of regional conflict.
Another constitution was written, calling for a King to rule the American States. The issue was with who this King was to be; if the American people could not decide on a President to rule them for a few years, they could hardly decide on a King to rule them for the rest of his life. The King could not be an American, as no American could appeal to all states, but then who could he be? That was when a German noble put himself forward for the position.
In our timeline Christian Friedrich Karl Alexander of the House of Hohenzollern had no children, but in this world he did. Christian Alexander died in the mid-1780s, leaving the Margravates of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Brandenburg-Bayreuth to his son, William Augustus.
William was a learned man, with a good head for organisation and a silver tongue that could speak German, Dutch, French and English. He had sold his Margravate to Prussia in 1790, and so had no obligations in Europe. Further still, he was married with a young son; a young son that could be brought up to be a truly American King. As a candidate he seemed perfect, but several state legislatures still rejected the new constitution, that was until William paid them each a visit.
William spoke English with no discernible German accent, and he spoke it fluently. He had been keeping up with developments in the American colonies since the end of the Seven Years War, and was able to quote many of the great men who fostered the revolution. His oratory skills were not always enough to convince everyone that confirming him as King would be in their best interests, but William was a keen political negotiator, and he exploited his knowledge of the different states' histories to make enough promises to convince those last few crucial legislators. The new constitution was passed, and William made the first King of the American States.
William was certainly not a man to sit about idly, and he quickly made good on many of his promises, negotiating treaties between states in order to confirm their borders and even negotiating the Treaty of Albany with Britain, cementing the American States' borders with British North America, most importantly the confirmation of the control of the Ontario area by New York.
Regional rivalries persisted, however, and various voting blocks persisted despite the newly found national unity. Seeing this, William talked with members of the Continental Congress on the possibility of demanding certain frontier territories from the various states, and reforming them as new states. The idea was to balance out the regional blocks, and to create neutral states that belonged to none of them. The idea was approved, and various new states popped up overnight. New York lost the Ontario area, but gained the State of Ontario's legislators and Congressmen as closely-aligned voters. Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia lost various inland territories, but gained Kentucky, Tennessee and Montgomery as allies in Congress. In 1800 the new state of Erie was created, and quickly fell in line with most North-East states in terms of voting.
Now, it is 1801, and interesting events are taking place in France...
To cut a long story short: a different Seven Years War leads to a different American revolution. America's "experiment" in republicanism fails leading to an enlighted, constitutional monarchy, but regional differences persist and all is not well in Europe.
Oh, and you may be wondering about the title; the full term is "The King is dead! Long live the King!", which originally refers to the seamless passage of the title from the deceased King to his heir. In this case "The King is dead!" refers to the ending of British oppression under King George III, and "Long live the King!" is a celebration of King William's enlightened reign.
The flag of the Kingdom of the American States from this map [link] called "The Grand Blue" in contrast to the American warflag, which is called "The Glorious Blue", or sometimes just "The Blue". The blue comes from the colour of American military uniforms, the sixteen stars represent the sixteen founding states (the thirteen from our world, plus Vermont, East Florida and West Florida), and the stripes represent war in red and peace in white (as the American States gained their independence through war there are more red stripes than white, in order to remind people of the nation's origins, and the occasional necessity of war).
This is something I made for the Map of the Fortnight contest over on alternatehistory.com. The challenge was to make a map showing a scenario which is the reverse of a scenario from our timeline. The map shows a scenario in which France invades Germany via the Low Countries in the early 1900s, as a sort of reverse Schlieffen Plan.
The point of divergence from our own history is prior to the Franco-Prussian war - specifically France buys some of the breech-loading steel cannons that historically gave Prussia such a great advantage in the Franco-Prussian war from our timeline. It's not enough to win the war, but it's enough to prevent it going quite as disastrously as it did historically, so the Emperor isn't captured by the Prussian forces and the Second Empire continues on after the war.
The Franco-Prussian war was won before it was fought. Whilst France's soldiers sported the superior Chassepot rifle, this was the largest of only a few advantages the great power had. Prussia, meanwhile, had the advantage of the superior breech-loading steel artillery provided by Alfred Krupp, and whilst France had purchased some similar "Kruppstahl" cannons under the insistence of Emperor Napoleon III, most of France's artillery remained tried and tested muzzle-loading bronze designs. In addition to this, Prussia's use of railways to quickly mobilise and manoeuvre its forces had no equal in French military doctrine, and Prussia's army was the only one in the world with the benefit of a dedicated General Staff.
The Prussians beat France back from the border, and got so far as to besiege Paris. Though they never marched on the city themselves, their previous victories and the untenability of the French position led to a French surrender, and the transfer of Alsace-Lorraine - now Elsaß-Lothringen - to Germany.
France had been decisively defeated, but it was not out of the game for good. The French Emperor, Napoleon III, immediately set about analysing why France had lost, and how it could remove its disadvantages. A French General Staff was created, and French military doctrine was radically rewritten for a new age of warfare.
The Emperor was not only concerned with military doctrine and the nature of the army's equipment, but also with geopolitics. Traditionally France had one of the largest armies in Europe, but was unable to bring it to bear against any one foe due to its central position. In the run-up to the Franco-Prussian war, the Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had diplomatically isolated France, ensuring they had no allies to come to their defence. Though Napoleon III died in 1873, his campaign to break up von Bismarck's Dreikaiserbund - an alliance of the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian empires - continued with his son Napoleon IV, who helped break up the Bund in 1875, and obtained a mutual defence pact with Russia in 1879, in order to counter the dual alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary. This broke France's isolation, and Napoleon IV instantly began diplomatic overtures with Italy and Britain, hoping to ensure the neutrality of both in the event of a war between France and Germany. These diplomatic ties improved greatly once Kaiser Wilhelm II dismissed Otto von Bismarck as German chancellor in 1890 - the Kaiser pursued a much more aggressive foreign policy than the Iron Chancellor von Bismarck had, alienating many nations who were leaning towards the German camp.
In the years between 1900 and 1910 tensions between the Franco-Russian bloc and the German-Austro-Hungarian bloc grew, as dissent in Austro-Hungarian Bosnia - supported by Kingdom of Serbia - threatened to bring Russia (Serbia's ally) and Austria to war. The French Chief of Staff at the time, Joseph Joffre, decided that France's current preparations for a potential war with Germany were inadequate, and so oversaw a radical change in French military strategy. Reasoning that German fortifications in Alsace-Lorraine were too formidable to attack from the front, Joffre formed a plan of attack whereby a number of French armies would march through neutral Belgium and the Netherlands, catching the German defences off-guard and surrounding them. This plan was further modified over the years, eventually becoming Plan XVII.
The opportunity for war came in 1911. Austria-Hungary claimed it had evidence linking a number of Serbian nationals to a series of terrorist attacks and assassinations in Bosnia, and demanded their extradition. Serbia refused to extradite a number of the alleged terrorists, leading Austria-Hungary to declare war, ostensibly to protect its territory from foreign terrorists.
Germany backed up Austria-Hungary's invasion, and said it would defend Austria-Hungary if any nation attacked it as a result. Russia, seeing itself as the protector of all Slavic nations and having provided Serbia with much aid in the past, declared war on Austria-Hungary and Germany, calling in its major ally, France.
Plan XVII was then put into action, with troops being mobilised and moved quickly into position for the initial assault. Unfortunately for France, it had underestimated many things - the effectiveness of the Russian army, the willingness of Britain to go to war over the issue of Belgian neutrality, the efficiency of Germany's own mobilisation plans, and the effectiveness of the Belgian and Dutch troops to name but a few. On paper the Plan looked perfect - almost infallible - but no plan survives contact with the enemy, and this is all the more true for plans as audacious and radical as Plan XVII.
("I am a Prussian, knowest thou my colours?", the title comes from one prussian song, so please stop accusing me of being a Prussian [link])
pheeew...my latest work, an episode from the Franco-Prussian war (1870) ...the war that humiliated France , abolished the Second Empire and created the Second German Empire , thereby ending the proces of unification of German states...
Prussian columns storming the French positions during the battle of Gravelotte- the turning point of the war, that ultimately confirmed Prussian superiority (you probably noticed my pickelhaube-fascination ) ... but during that war a surprise also happened to the Prussians...their forces armed with famous breech loaded Dreyse rifles met the French equipped with much better Chassepot rifles, with farther range and better construction..this forced the Prussian units to "flee forwards" to strike the French as fast as possible so that French soldiers couldn't use the main advantage of their rifles- range (1300 yards compared to prussian 650 yards).
It took my a very long time to finish this piece...you know...summer...laziness and simple impatience...(I couldn't draw more than 30 minutes a day ) but I hope the final result isn't that bad and comes up to my previous works... (I doubt if it's better )
Mordian is the embodiment of the Nazi and 3rd reich in 40k setting. Being racist, pure blood, uniform, jewsterminatus, hitlol, yadda yadda and awesome weaponries and discipline~
the hive world is a highly regimented society, its subjects separated by a caste system of high spire, mid spire, lower spire and underhive inhabitants. Majority of Mordia citizen are conscripted into the guard as imperial tithe, it is a tradition, of martial servitude.
but of course, as you would guess, a low spire soldier could not become lord commander, even if he is blessed by the emprah. the caste system is both a political governing body of the masses as well as a tool of discipline. Officers only came from the top spire and men of lower tiers are to serve them without questions, or it is heresy. With this, throughout millennias, the reputation of the Ironguard as a ruthless, discipline and effective martial force is forged.
Ironhearts is senior veterans of the low spire, (mid spire can buy their way into junior officer while underhivers is cursed with a lifetime as levy troops and cannon fodder) their years of service marking them as heroes of the regiment they come from, but could not promote any further into officer school due to the caste system. Thusly, created the storm-trooper/elite role where they serve out the ends of their lives. Younger Mordians look up to them as grandfather exemplars, legendary hero figures, the old breed, the soul of the fighting regiment and they rally around them. Ironhearts are as much as a spiritual core as well as a fearsome fighting machine. Skills honed throughout a lifetime of war and carnage, these men are cold blooded killers who said farewell to mercy and compassion along with the foes they have slayed along the way, long time ago. what is left is just the honor of serving the imperium till the last day of their life. Most have serious augmentic surgery and holders of the prestigious Iron Aquilla and Macharius Sash.
When the jagged and ancient stone formations on shrine world Salamis burst into life and revealed several webway portals, with numerous Alaitoc craftworld eldars pouring forth for reasons unknown; the Imperial authority there was dying to know their motives for this unexpected visit.
False Hope Phantom VIII was one of many regiments fighting over the world from the grasp of a Ork Warband in the southern coastal continents and isles.
When the starstriders moved into their area of operation, the False Hope commander have as much suspicion on them as the Imperial Tactica high Command. Wasting no time, several sharpshooter units were dispatched to observe the Eldars on remote jungle isles and atolls.
Unit 39, Corporal Markus Roper & Pfc. Balin Salem had meet their elusive foes, perhaps too close for comfort.
Alien versus predator (in human form) ^^
Human Sharpshooters: Cunning +4 Semi auto rifle +3 0 armor
And here it is, my hundredth scenario. Naturally, I have decided to make my hundredth scenario a crossover of my three big timelines here in the ASB forum.
It is the 31st century, and the galaxy is at war. The nations of man fight aliens, heretics and, most often, one another. Terrible weapons, mundane and preternatural, are used with reckless abandon against soldier and civilian alike. Millions die every day in the battlefields of the Milky Way, as they have for three centuries. The struggle for dominance will not end until one victor emerges, and with the titanic resources available to the warring powers, such a victory is far from sight for all of the players. Twas ever thus, and ever thus shall be.
Long ago, the galaxy was a peaceful place. Few species advanced far enough to become interstellar societies, as in their technological advance they inevitably gained the attention of forces beyond the ken of any mortal mind. There were ancient alien civilizations, to be sure, and some even managed to dominate the Milky Way. But they always fell, for one reason or another, and for most of its history the Milky Way was a cold, empty place.
The Sol System changed that. The centrality of the Sol System to galactic history is truly amazing, as it produced not one, but two spacefaring civilizations that came to dominate the galaxy: the humans and the sarmaks. The sarmaks were the older species, inheriting the technological advances of the w'lkar before them. But they lived on a dying planet, ravaged by millennia of industry and solar radiation. And so the sarmaks sought a new home for themselves, and they found one on their more primitive neighbor: Earth.
The sarmak invasion occurred during the middle of the Earth's 19th century. Two great civil wars raged on opposite sides of the planet, while the powerful nations of Europe enjoyed a precarious peace. The sarmak invasion quickly united the peoples of Earth under the banner of global resistance, as they needed to set aside their differences in order to triumph over their technologically superior foe. Fighting on Earth raged from 1861 to 1866, when the sarmaks and the humans finally entered a tentative peace agreement whereby the sarmaks could retain their gains at the time of ceasefire and recognized humanity's claim to the rest of Earth.
The sarmak invasion advanced humanity's knowledge of the universe around them. Not only was there proof that they were not alone, but the sarmaks also brought with them many wonderful and terrible technologies that the humans sought to replicate at all costs. The heat-ray, the aetheric reactor, the analytical engine, the cavorite engine and the mass driver transformed human society. The Industrial Revolution was kicked into overdrive, and both men and nations became extremely rich. By the 1900s, humanity had almost matched the more conservative sarmaks in technological prowess, laying claim to Luna in 1903. Meanwhile, the sarmaks were content with their territorial gains and stagnated on Earth has they did on Mars.
With the sarmak threat declining, humanity returned to their old ways of bickering amongst themselves. The Concord of Mankind, established to unite humanity's defense, broke down as the great powers attempted to use it to further their own conflicting interests. Instead, two alliances emerged among the European great powers: the Entente of Britain, France and Russia, and the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and the Ottoman Empire. The other great powers of the world, the United States, Confederate State, Japan and China, stayed out of the conflict, though they did favor one side or the other. Most surprisingly, the Sarmak Empire made an agreement with the Central Powers to seize Entente colonial holdings.
War broke out in 1913, after some damn fool thing in the Balkans kicked Europe's alliance system online. The sarmaks sent an expeditionary force to assist their German allies, as the British did to the French. In the West, the war became a trench war, with occasional breakthroughs by tripods and land ironclads. In the East, the war was more mobile, although the Germans and sarmaks utterly annihilated the Russian military. The Russians surrendered to the Central Powers in 1917, after a series of revolutions forced the Tsar to abdicate, and shortly after the provisional Russian government fell to the Bolsheviks. The Central Powers seemed triumphant, before the Entente unleashed an engineered plague among their sarmak allies that killed the sarmak leadership on Mars and, in parallel to the Russian situation, sparked a Salvatonist revolution there. Germany's earthly allies also broke down into ethnic strife as their governments buckled from the stresses of the war. After several American spacecraft, delivering supplies to the Entente, were shot down by German mass drivers, the Americans entered the war on the Entente's side. This influx of American manpower gave the Entente the edge it needed to triumph over Germany, and by 1919 the Great War was over.
The post-war peace was far from satisfactory. The Treaty of Versailles was harsh enough for the Germans to desire revenge, and not harsh enough to keep the Germans from seeking it. When the global economy collapsed in the 1930s, Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party found fertile ground in post-war Germany, and the Nazis seized power in 1934. To the east, the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin grew after a series of short wars with the Chinese and the Finns. Japan continued its rampant expansion throughout Asia, seizing the newly independent Sarmak colonies. All of the nations of Earth expanded through the stars, placing more colonies on Luna and Venus in a frantic race against one another. The Sarmak Empire fled to the outer reaches of the Sol System, while the Salvationist Republic of Malacandra tightened its iron grip on the Red Planet. By the 1940s, humanity found itself in a multi-polar competition with itself, leading to major leaps in militarization and scientific advancement.
It is in the latter that both man and Martian made terrible discoveries. What is now known as the preternatural, a set of sciences inconsistent with both the general theories on scientific law and with one another, emerged. Eldritch texts were found on both Earth and Mars, and further study revealed their secrets. Gastplasm, the energy that powers all life, was discovered and harnessed through the rediscovery of runes, complex mathematical equations powered by gastplasm that can manipulate the rules of the universe itself. More research was made into the myths of Earth and Mars, and many terrible discoveries were made. The governments of Earth and Mars took interest, and naturally used this new knowledge to bolster their arsenals.
The Second World War began with the joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland and the Japanese invasion of the Taiping Heavenly Republic. Soon enough, Europe fell to German dominance, before the Germans turned on the Soviets, while the Japanese rampaged through Asia. They were opposed by the Allies of the United States, Confederate States, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. While the Martians stayed out of the war, the Second World War became a war across the worlds. Conventional fighting raged on until 1944, when the desperate German government used the world's first despoiler bomb on the city of Kursk. The city was annihilated, but the Soviets responded by using a despoiler bomb of their own in Königsberg. A few more despoiler bombs were thrown between the two sides, until both the Wehrmacht and the Red Army were pushed from the desolate area between them by an army of their own preternaturally twisted dead. Incursions into this despoiled zone revealed an area of warped reality, where the worst nightmares of man ruled. For fear of destroying the world, the warring sides called a truce, and so the world settled into the Long War.
The Long War would keep the Solar System at relative peace, as rival powers were too fearful of mutual annihilation to escalate conflicts any further than a proxy war. The Preternatural Containment and Regulation Association, or PCRA, was founded to fight the preternatural on behalf of all mankind, but it quickly became just another political actor. The Long War gave both mankind and the Martians a chance to expand through the stars. The invention of the Alkaev Drive, the first faster-than-light drive, in the 2040s gave humanity a head start in interstellar colonization, but their Martian rivals were not far behind. The galaxy was quickly colonized, and the nations of the Sol System built massive space fleets to defend their interests throughout the stars. Wars were even fought with extrasolar aliens (termed "xenos"), though they were primitive and easily fell to the Solar powers.
The peace of the Long War would end in 2239, when the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom collapsed into civil war and brought the Soviet Union and Japan into full-scale war. This quickly dragged in the other nations of Sol, and soon enough weapons of mass destruction were fired throughout the Solar System and the Old Colonies. The use of advanced, extremely destructive preternatural weapons turned both Earth and Mars into despoiled hells, a situation that became even worse when a "nova bomb" was thrown into Sol itself. The bomb turned the entire star into one large rift in space-time, allowing all manner of eldritch abominations to cross over into the material universe from it. Earth and Mars were quickly lost to the madness of a hellish dimension, and the Solar Anomaly was born.
But men and Martian rebuilt. Many governments fled to their outer colonies, which were untouched by the Collapse. The old United States was torn down, replaced with a short-lived empire and then finally by the Coalition of Western Republics. The French government was overthrown by a communist revolution and replaced with the Conseil of Workers' Systems, and the newer Soviet colonies seceded and formed the United Technocracies of Man. The Collapse brought a temporary end to the old rivalries, as all sides were exhausted from fighting and didn't want to destroy all civilization in the galaxy. And so the galactic powers turned inward, rebuilding and expanding. Naturally, this peace would not last. By the 26th century, the old rivalries had reemerged and the powers of the galaxy were ready for war. By the 28th century, the Galactic War began, and the three great alliances of the Milky Way have been fighting ever since.
Of the three sides, the Springfield Pact is the most powerful. An alliance of nationalist, human supremacist dictatorships, the Springfield Pact is led by the Coalition of Western Republics. Consciously modeling itself off the ancient Roman Empire and the old Nazi Germany, the Coalition is an autocratic one-party dictatorship that seeks to ensure American dominance throughout the stars. The definition of "American" is not a racial one, but cultural, and so the Coalition spends a lot of effort "Americanizing" conquered peoples, no matter what. The Coalition, unlike its allies, is not absolutely xenophobic, and is willing to accept "subservient species" into its fold. Their allies, the British, have a different view. Historically the target of Sarmak invasions, the British are devoted to the extermination of all non-human sapients. Although historically a democracy, the Humanist Party took control of the British government after the Collapse and has been ruling it with an iron fist ever since. And then there is the German Reich. Under the rule of the Nazi Party since the 1940s, Germany's autocracy has waxed and waned throughout the centuries, but by the time of the Galactic War the Führers of Germany had as much power as they did during the beginning of the Third Reich. The Germans are the vanguard of the Springfield Pact's invasion of the communist bloc, a role they take much pride in.
The second most powerful side is the Communist International, an organization that seeks to spread the red revolution throughout the entire galaxy. The communists are officially led by the Soviet Union, which presents itself as just a century away from true communism (and has done so for the past five centuries). Over the years, the Soviet system has come to resemble its Tsarist predecessor in many ways: a massive, backwards autocracy. However, they don't have an actual monarchy. This is not true for their allies, the Conseil Systems. Under the "People's Dynasty," the family of Dijon, the Conseil Systems has taken the Soviet model to an illogical extreme. The Conseil's propaganda portrays the ruling family as gods, sent by the prophet Marx to lead all sapients to the blessings of communist utopia. The Salvationist Republic of Malacandra, the third major communist power, is very similar, although their theology is a mix Christianity, communism and the old religions of Mars. Although aligned with humans, the Salvationists officially believe that humans are incapable of true communism, and so do not give humans citizenship within the republic. The "prophets" that rule the Salvationist Republic are naturally seen as figures blessed by the Maleldil, the one true god, and thus are incapable of error.
The third major faction is the Tripartite Pact, an alliance of convenience if there ever was one. Each of the Tripartite Pact's members make no secret of their dislike for one another, and instead define their alliance as an opposition to the other two blocs. There is no leader of the Tripartite Pact, but the Sarmak Empire is definitely the most powerful. Centuries of propaganda have made the Sarmaks determined to regain their past glories and take vengeance on their foes, particularly the Salvationists and the human race in general. The old monarchy of Mars persists in New Barsoom, and unlike its moribund past incarnation it has learned the lessons of totalitarianism and applies them with terrifying efficiency. The Japanese are the second most powerful Tripartite power, and their primary goal is to weaken Coalition power in order to dominate their sector of the galaxy. The Imperial family was lost during the Collapse, but this has not stopped the Japanese from revering them as gods; indeed, the Collapse is seen as their ascent into the heavens. The Japanese military rules the country, as it has for centuries, and relies on fanaticism and strong anti-Western sentiment to keep its power. This has not stopped the Japanese from being allies with the Confederate States. A more traditional military junta masquerading as a democracy, the Confederates want revenge against the damnyankees for destroying most of their colonies during the Collapse. They also perceive the Coalition to be a group of race traitors that have diluted Americanism by allowing anyone to participate in it.
The enigmatic United Technocracies has not joined the Galactic War, and generally stays away from galactic affairs. Ruled by an organization only calling itself "The Party," not much is known about the United Technocracies because it almost never communicates with the greater galaxy. What is known is that the United Technocracies is one of the most total dictatorships in the galaxy, as every citizen is monitored heavily, even members of the Party itself. The Technocracies' military capabilities are generally unknown, and the three sides fear a Technocracies entering the war on their rival's side.
The PCRA has survived the Collapse, but by the 31st century it is barely worth talking about. The PCRA is built on cooperation between the human powers, and since the human powers have spent the past three centuries at war with one another, it has all but disappeared. A handful of dedicated staff fight the good fight against the preternatural and the various cults that infest the galaxy, but most of these responsibilities have been delegated to national organizations. Most of the PCRA is dedicated to watching the various anomalies throughout the galaxy and ensuring that a theopotent entity doesn't emerge from it to destroy all life in the galaxy or something similarly terrible. However, a sense of defeatism permeates the entire organization, as if such a threat were to emerge, the galactic powers are more concerned about their wars. Any existential threat is likely to go ignored until it's too late.
Here it is, the map for The Unending Nightmare! Lots of shout-outs in this one.
Life is an interesting thing, unique in the universe. A series of chemical processes conducted in such a way that it serves as a conduit for élan vital, a form of "energy" which exists beyond the physical universe. In tiny quantities and in simple systems, élan vital has virtually no effect, but when a critical density is exposed to a very specific set of electrochemical reactions, it confers upon the living thing the gift of consciousness.
Élan vital is special in that it is not of the material universe. It is native to another universe "adjacent" to physical reality, an alternate dimension called the Etherium. Élan vital can only exist in conjunction with the particular chemical systems that exist in all living things; indeed, life is defined by the presence of élan vital within a chemical process. When these chemical systems fail, élan vital becomes unstable and is punted back into the realm from which it came; this process is more commonly known as death. Every return damages the local spacetime barriers in which the return occurred. A single return in one place at one time is minimal, several in a short amour time will weaken the veil between the worlds enough to let some élan vital “souls” to manifest themselves temporarily and in short bursts.
Several million in a short time will weaken the barrier permanently.
1918. The world was plunged into darkness by every horror mankind could suffer. The most overt horrors were those created by Man himself. The Great War tore Europe asunder, the Russian Empire fell to revolution, China was wracked with civil strife and an invasion from Japan, the armies of the United States and Mexico clashed in the frontiers of the West and South America’s dreadnought race became a full-blown war. The wonders of technology, from the diesel engine and the machine gun, to poison gas and the mechanical cogitator, made death easier to deal on the battlefield. But the true killers were inhuman in nature. The Spanish Influenza brought countless millions to their graves, particularly the young and healthy. The famines caused by war-ravaged supply lines and the poisoning of soil, water and air by the great powers’ conflict killed and weakened those that the Spanish Flu did not kill. By the middle of the year, a hundred million people had perished. The fuel for a total barrier collapse was ready. All that was needed was a spark.
Deep in Siberia, the Bolsheviks held prisoner Nicholas Romanov, former Tsar and Autocrat of All the Russias. Now, he was nothing but a captive in his own kingdom, beaten and abused by his former subjects. With him were his entire family, his heir apparent, Tsarevich Alexei, and over two hundred soldiers that had followed the Tsar and his generals in their campaign against the revolutionaries. The Bolsheviks had the opportunity to extinguish the Romanov line forever. In July, they did so, executing Nicholas II, his family, and the two hundred prisoners of war. The slaughter of the prisoners of war was conducted quickly, using machine guns, but the royal family was saved for last. They were killed in order of “authority,” so that the last surviving Romanovs could learn that they had truly been broken.
Last to fall to the Bolsheviks’ bullets was the Grand Duchess Anastasia, now a grief-stricken wreck. At first, the Bolsheviks’ bullets could not penetrate her clothing, something that put supernatural fear in the executioners. However, this was soon determined to have been caused by Anastasia wearing much of the family’s jewelry under her clothing. With the jewelry removed, the executioners tried again. This time, they succeeded. But not for long.
Anastasia’s soul was, by sheer coincidence, the straw that broke the camel’s back. The hundred million deaths that had occurred up until that point had weakened the barrier between the material universe and the Etherium. Anastasia’s soul broke the barrier, and allowed the souls of the dead a chance to rush back into the material world and to free themselves from the madness of the afterlife. Contrary to the beliefs of man, the afterlife was neither a paradise nor a place of eternal torture. The Etherium is a place of nullity, where the total lack of senses leaves souls with nothing but memories. Millennia of nothing to do but feel regret for past mistakes, pine for loved ones forever gone, and a maddening desire to sense something again.
The souls of the dead, sensing an opportunity to reenter the material universe permanently, tried to do so through Anastasia’s soul the very instant it breached the threshold. Already grief-stricken from watching her family die before her eyes, Anastasia’s consciousness was torn apart. But a soul is a resilient thing. As souls rushed around Anastasia, accreting around it in their mad attempt to reenter the physical world, her consciousness reassembled itself. The separate souls fused into one, their memories and thoughts consumed by Anastasia’s consciousness. These thoughts, the memories of countless millennia of suffering in life, memories of dying, and the endless regret of the afterlife, drove Anastasia further into madness. The trauma of her personal grief and death was now amplified by the pain of hundreds of millions of perished souls, all of which now felt like her own experiences.
The process destroyed any humanity Anastasia had left. Only a few directives remained: to avenge her family by destroying those who destroyed the Russian Empire from within and without, and to prevent such a disaster from happening ever again by extending her dominion over the entire universe. Anastasia was no more. All that remained was the Pearl Empress.
Anastasia’s body rose from the dead a few moments after the execution. Her physical form could not contain the élan vital surging into it in its original state, and so the biological processes in her body went into overdrive. Her body twisted and contorted itself, quickly maturing. Organic materials, such as the wooden planks on the ground, were infused with excess élan vital, came back to life and fused with her body. The terrified guards, too, were consumed by this growing mass of flesh, their souls torn asunder and used to fuel the Pearl Empress’ “ascension.” For miles around, the trees grew and flowers bloomed. All thinking creatures in this area, both the animals in the forest and the corpses of the dead, had their souls destroyed and were placed under the control of the Pearl Empress. They marched to their new master to become one with her immortal body.
When the Pearl Empress’ ascension was complete, the area around Anastasia’s body was a “forest” of necrotic flesh and plant matter. Massive “organs” dotted the landscape, rivers of life-giving ichor pulsing through root-arteries fanning out through the ground. “Animals,” in truth artificial constructs of flesh and bone operated by the Pearl Empress directly, guard the forest from those who would destroy it. At the center of it all, Anastasia’s body, and those of her family, retained some of their original form, but only some. Fused to the fleshy “floor” from the waist-down, these bodies are nothing but mouthpieces for the Pearl Empress. The entire forest was the Pearl Empress, the largest single lifeform on the planet.
The Pearl Empress’ ascension further divided the Russian people. While some White generals elected to follow the Pearl Empress, mostly because they were foolish enough to visit the Pearl Empress themselves and had their souls consumed by their “monarch,” most saw the Pearl Empress as an abomination and called for its destruction. These White factions aligned themselves mostly with foreign intervention forces, such as those of the Entente, Central Powers and the Japanese. These forces are diverse and often fight one another as often as they fight the Red Army and the Pearl Empress. Kolchak, Denikin, Yudenich, Wrangel and Ungern-Sternberg: former servants of the Tsar, now ruling their own private empires with the blessing of foreign armies.
The emergence of a god-empress that sought to motivated the Bolsheviks further, and rallied more horrified men to their cause. With the aid of Nikola Tesla, a Serbian American who fled the United States after a falling out with former employer Thomas Edison and his dissatisfaction with American capitalism, the Bolsheviks have upgraded the factories they control to manufacture devastating war machines armed with weapons like the directed-energy teleforce projector or the feared Tesla coil. Even in the face of unspeakable horror, the spirit of the worker will not break.
Beyond Russia, the nature of reality changed. Supernatural phenomena, once restricted to sites where many deaths occurred, now encompassed the entire planet reaching up to the upper stratosphere. A “bubble” of weakened reality, bound to Earth by its gravitational pull, tore its way through the universe as Earth moved around the Sun, and the Sun rotated with the rest of the galaxy. In battlefields and hospitals around the world, the constant deaths further broke down the barriers separating material reality from the Etherium. The dead rose from mass graves and trenches, attacking all they encountered as these dead souls felt the ceaseless pain of decay. Empowered by élan vital, either ambient around the Earth or due to exposure to particular areas, life around the world mutated. Viruses and bacteria mutated at increased rates, making them deadlier, harder to eradicate, and painful to suffer. Plants and animals changed, sometimes being possessed by intact souls that attempted to manipulate the growth of the creature to more closely resemble the soul’s original form. Even humans were not immune: possession was not unheard of, when the soul of one man is taken over by that of a dead man, their physical appearance warped by the soul as it attempts to regain the body it had in life.
Throughout the world, the mad and forbidden arts were more useful than ever. Ever since the discovery of élan vital during the turn of the century, men of science have tried to harness it as a form of immense energy. Many machines, built on the principles of élan vital were made, but they were not widely used because the necessary amounts of élan vital were unobtainable. Prior to the ascension of the Pearl Empress, material reality around Earth was still too divorced from the Etherium to make access of élan vital in that dimension simple. Only Tesla and Edison unlocked the secret, and for decades only Edison’s General Vitalic could provide the power for advanced weaponry the United States used in its war against Mexico. But when the threshold was weakened, it became easier to access élan vital. The great powers, desperate to be the first to have access to the wonder weapons they knew their opponents were quickly developing, engaged in an arms race as their armies fought the unending stalemate that was the Great War. Slowly but surely, new machines of war emerged: the trench walker, the heat-ray, the suncaster, the applied cogitator. It was still necessary to power these systems with élan vital from a dying creature, to provide a localized breach that allowed the weapon to access more élan vital from the Etherium. Most basic tools needed only a weak catalyst, while the greatest machines needed human sacrifice to work.
Souls themselves became tools. They were bound artillery shells, so they could possess men in the enemy lines, they were bound to cogitators to increase their processing power, and in extreme cases they were bound to war machines and set loose in enemy lines to reap their dark harvest. Soldiers became a resource that were recycled over and over again. Men carried vitalic batteries with them into battle, so if they fell, their souls would be captured in these machines and prevented from entering the Etherium. Once captured, they could then be used as puppetmasters for various vitalic war machines, such as trench walkers. Their bodies could then be grafted onto more basic machines, so it could serve as a conduit for a numbed soul taken from the Etherium.
The unrest from the Great War further escalated after the emergence of the supernatural. Fortunately for the still-extant governments of the world, vitalic technology allowed them to continue fighting the war. New technology allowed for fewer soldiers to do more, and with the unstable conditions on the home front, the top brass of the various armies were eventually convinced to send some men home. As the dead were recycled and new war machines stepped into the trenches, living soldiers were sent back home to work in the factories, pleasing many soldiers and their families. In America and Britain, General Vitalic and its British subsidiaries had a vested interest in continuing the Great War. The development of weaponry for the conflict turned General Vitalic into one of the richest and most powerful corporations on the planet. Furthermore, the war served as a great source of élan vital, the distribution and conversion of which was dominated by General Vitalic. An extremely profitable business model emerged: militaries would send élan vital from the battlefields to General Vitalic for refining, and then buy the refined élan vital from General Vitalic to power war machines manufactured by General Vitalic. As vitalic technology seeped into the civilian market, non-military demand for élan vital grew, further increasing demand on General Vitalic.
Edison determined that, in order for his company to survive, war on Earth could never end. Fortunately for him, General Vitalic had the resources to take effective control of the Entente governments. General Vitalic funded the political campaigns of pro-war politicians, or any politician they could reliably control. It was not long before no politician could win an election without General Vitalic’s support, and new legislation allowed the government to arrest any dissenting voices. Education became propaganda, and propaganda became ubiquitous in these societies; the War could not end but with the total eradication of the enemy, which will happen only though the sacrifices of every man, woman and child. By the 1930s, General Vitalic had total control over the governments of the Entente powers, and its German counterpart, Krupp, had control of the governments of the Central powers.
In the year 2018, a century after the Pearl Empress’ ascension, the Great War continues. As the governments of the world focused all their energies to fighting an eternal war, they let chaos spread through all non-essential areas. While life is different depending on what place one lives in, they are merely different sorts of suffering. In the civilized world, life is controlled from sunup to sundown, from cradle to grave, by callous authorities. Vitalic technology has allowed surveillance of virtually every member of society. The most advanced systems can even read a person’s soul, giving the authorities knowledge of a person’s most intimate thoughts. Those that entertain thoughts of dissent or criticism are severely reprimanded through imprisonment and corporal punishment; those that translate said thoughts into action are tortured and killed as a source of élan vital. Virtually any government worth that appellation has these surveillance systems in place. Conscription for war can happen to anyone, with antiquated exceptions for women and children done away with in the war’s third decade. Infirmity is no obstacle; even the weak and crippled can serve on the front in some capacity. The starving and sickly are offered no shelter or succor; those on the verge of death are executed in vitalic chambers in order to extract as much élan vital from them as possible, and their physical remains are either reduced to a protein slurry to feed the troops or used as parts of vitalic machinery.
In those areas of the world with no effective government, life is dominated by the need to survive. The untamed wilds host uncountable horrors, from roaming groups of men who have become addicted to the taste of human flesh, to cults worshiping megalomaniacal entities that demand sacrifices only to increase the amount of suffering in the world, to the monstrous, discarded experiments of a local mad scientist. In the wasteland, nothing goes to waste: corpses are picked clean for any edible meat, their bones fashioned into tools that could be used or traded. The living who are too weak to defend themselves and have no other protection are treated as commodities: slaves in life, food and fuel in death.
The old religions have been discredited in most of the world, their theologies disproven by the science of vitalism. And at any rate, it is clear to all that if there were a god, he is a malicious or apathetic entity. Instead, the people turn to newer religions. In the “civilized” world, they are those supported by governments and corporations, typically placing historical or current leaders in a place of virtual godhood. Meanwhile, in the chaotic zones, the people tend to worship any entity that manages to convince the locals that it is a deity, often by killing and torturing any who would disagree with the proposition.
The border between France and Germany, and the entirety of the Low Countries, is a war-torn hellscape. Networks of trenches and tunnels stretch through the desolate landscape, countless pillboxes and bunkers litter the battlefields. The air, soil and water is poisoned by all manner of chemical and biological weapons; to be exposed to these toxins and contagions, even for a moment, is a guarantee of a long and painful death. No natural life continues here, but life of a sort persists. Mutated animals, rendered pale and blind by life underground, burrow through the acidic mud, breaking into trenches and bunkers to look for their favorite prey: human soldiers. Discarded war machines roam no man’s land, repairing themselves with any metal and flesh they could find, their cogitators gaining a sense of self-awareness and an unremitting hatred of their creators for imprisoning them in a sarcophagus where they cannot feel any sense of accomplishment unless they are triumphant in battle. Corpses do not stay dead in this blighted land, as the ambient élan vital is so strong that the dead will be possessed by a wandering soul almost instantaneously. This has led to dismemberment being a necessity at the front, and soldiers will often have to hack apart comrades at arms as soon as they incur a mortal wound.
France has become nothing more than a staging ground for the next great offensive, one that is promised to end the war but is always defeated. French democracy was abolished in the 1980s, when a soul proved to be that of Napoleon Bonaparte was bound to a cogitator and given the title of Emperor. Indeed, this is the soul of Napoleon I, but centuries of undeath in the Etherium gave him nothing to focus on but the fall of his empire. Bitter and vengeful, Napoleon wants nothing more than to reconquer Europe and avenge Waterloo by betraying his “ally,” the British, at the most opportune moment. But, at the moment, the British are very useful in dying in their futile advances against the Germans. Napoleon would also like to be free of General Vitalic, but unfortunately the cogitator they have bound his soul to does not allow him to disobey General Vitalic’s directives.
If France is a staging ground, Britain is nothing more than a war factory. The United Kingdom lost her colonial empire long ago, and now the sceptered isle has isolated itself from the rest of the world. Its only interactions with the outside are trade with the United States and the shipment of soldiers and war machinery to France. Most of the United Kingdom is covered in factories, housing the enslaved descendants of Irish and colonial populations working endlessly to make weapons for the Great War. The monarchy and Parliament are ceremonial institutions, whose existence is largely unknown to the population at large. Britain is instead run by a group known only as the Party, a group founded by intellectuals and industrialists backed by General Vitalic. Under the Party’s direction, the United Kingdom has been transformed into the most pervasive surveillance state on the planet, where advanced spy technology allows the government to directly read the thoughts of ten percent of the population.
Germany is still under the nominal rule of Wilhelm II, despite the fact that he died sometime in the 1940s and his corpse has not been revived by various means. The true rulers of the German Empire are the generals, the successors to men like Luddendorff and Hindenburg. They rule Germany and its puppets with an iron fist, using the military abroad and various paramilitary organizations, the Freikorps, at home. Composed of thugs who for various reasons have been relieved from military service, Freikorps organizations such as the Stahlhelm and the German Workers’ Party enforce the will of the generals and the Krupp family, and spend their free time cracking the skulls of those they deem “un-German.” After the mass discrediting of Christianity, the German government adopted a warped version of Nordic mythology. The new Reichskirche preaches that the gods reward those who draw blood for the Fatherland with a warrior’s paradise, while everyone else is doomed to the nothingness that is the Etherium.
Emboldened by its victories against Austria and the Ottoman Empire, Italy gained pretentions of rebuilding the Roman Empire. However, the Italian state did not survive the waves of unrest that swept the world in the 1920s, and the Italian peninsula is once again divided into many different political entities. Run by corrupt military dictators, callous princes and doges, and the fanatical remnants of the Catholic Church, the Italians now spend more time fighting one another than they do the Germans. Alliances form and break constantly, and every Italian state knows that it has no real allies beyond its borders. The wars between the Italian states are relatively low-scale, but they are just as ruthless and hard-fought as the Western Front. The focus of these wars are often stealing resources, ranging from grain to children, from neighboring states.
Yet, the Alpine war continues. Fought by battle automata that were never reassigned during the collapse of the Italian state. These tireless war machines continue to fight the war against the Germans, whose own efforts against Italy are half-hearted at best. Untold thousands lie beneath the snow, occasionally reviving when the ambient élan vital reaches a high enough level. Tales of soldiers being pulled beneath the snow by mummified hands are common in the Alpine Front.
The former Russian Empire remains in a state of civil war. The Bolshevik-controlled Soviet Union has a secure hold over much of European Russia, but the Soviets’ desire to take control of all Russian territory keeps it in war against its neighbors, who for their part want to wipe the Soviet Union off the face of the planet. The Soviet Union is ruled by the Communist Party, a now-hereditary organization who live lavish and decadent lives like the aristocrats of old. Workers toil endlessly in factories, and peasants work endlessly in the fields, under the cruel and merciless eyes of Party-appointed commissars. Those who show any semblance of resistance are brutally punished and deemed an enemy of the people. Though an officially atheistic state, unorganized worship of Tesla is common among the factory workers, something that the communists turn a blind eye to so long as it does not get in the way of work.
Fighting the Soviets are the remaining White armies, who have taken to nomadic warfare to sustain themselves. The White armies attack defenseless villages, killing the men and taking the women and children for themselves before there could be any retaliation. Children are drugged and encouraged to fight alongside White soldiers during their raids, so they would grow up to know nothing but loyalty and war.
In the heart of Siberia, the Pearl Empress’ efforts to dominate the planet are kept in check by Soviet and Chinese efforts, but occasionally the Pearl Empress’ servants break through the endless network of trenches and bunkers surrounding the Pearl Forest. The hordes of shambling corpses and twisted flesh constructs that make up the Pearl Empress’ armies feel no fear and no remorse; indeed, they have no independent will, and are puppets of the Pearl Empress. The same fate befalls any who wander too far into the Pearl Forest, for their soul will be torn asunder by the Pearl Empress’ indomitable will and replaced with her own.
Across the Atlantic, the United States dominates the North American continent. Canada has been absorbed into the Union, the end result of decades of eroding sovereignty. To the south, the war against Mexico continues, although it is a one-sided conflict perpetuated by Washington to justify the severe repression it subjects its citizens to. At any rate, the Mexican military and the border towns provide a cheap, easy source of élan vital. The United States has “embraced” refugees from the Old World, only to keep them in hovels, ghettos and company towns, the de facto property of industrial combines. Racism is prevalent, and any who are not white Anglo-Saxon Protestants are kept as second-class citizens, if they are fortunate.
The American government is controlled by General Vitalic, with the government serving as a rubber stamp for General Vitalic’s initiatives. The military does have some say, given their essential role in keeping the Great War going, but General Vitalic has its own, private military that it uses for missions it deems important. Managing General Vitalic, and by proxy all of the Entente governments, is the immortal Thomas Edison. In the 1930s, the dying Edison constructed an advanced cogitator that would be used as his corporeal body once he died. When the moment arrived, the machine did indeed capture Edison’s soul, but the system was imperfect and gave Edison a glimpse of the Etherium. Edison emerged from the afterlife determined never to enter the Etherium again and face the horrors he faced. Edison perpetuates his control over the United States and General Vitalic, knowing that if he were ever toppled from power, he would be killed.
South America is the site of a separate, three-way conflict concurrent to the Great War. Sparked by an arms race between Brazil, Chile and Argentina, the war has become one over the fate of all South America. After over a century of war, the initial reasons for the conflict have long since abated. Now, the war is an endless conflict in the Amazon and the Andes, where men are just as likely to be killed by the elements as they are by enemy action. The conflict has raged on for so long because, as soon as any one country gains too much of an advantage, the other two make an agreement to stop them. War propaganda has engendered a culture of hatred between the three countries. The Argentines, Brazilians, and Chileans believe that their mixed heritage is a source of strength, while their enemies see this as a sign of mongrel weakness. This belief is justified by each country believing they are “just the right mix.” Culturally, the most militaristic aspects of native and European culture are fused with new ideas stressing obedience and racial superiority. This has resulted in ethnically-motivated massacres in the common borders between the countries, actions that sometimes mistakenly lead armies to attack their own citizens.
The Middle East fell to chaos as the Ottoman and British empires collapsed. Ever since then, the Middle East has been a war-torn chaos zone. The Middle East is unique in that the Abrahamic religions have only gotten stronger, not weaker, in the region. Many fanatical Islamic, Christian, and even Jewish and Zoroastrian groups arose in response to the emergence of undeniably supernatural activity. Believing this is the work of a great evil, these religious organizations seek to destroy vitalic technology, but first they must destroy the closest heretics: each other. Underlaying the religious conflict is an ethnic one; prior to their departure, the British encouraged “national sovereignty” in order to weaken the Ottoman Empire. Now, these nationalist organizations wage war on any who do not meet their stringent standards, often leading to entire communities being put to the sword.
The European colonial empires drained Africa of all the blood and treasure they could before ruling over the continent became far too costly. The sudden withdrawal of European forces created a power vacuum that was filled by various warlords. Ethnic, religious and political conflicts fused and have become mere pretexts for strongmen to loot and pillage as much as they could. Vitalic technology has made its way to Africa through various channels, paid for by warlords with precious metals, gems and slaves. As most warlords are too poor to afford refined élan vital, they instead resort to the more inefficient practice of direct human sacrifice over massacre sites. Famines are commonplace, as the soil and water are poisoned by weapons of mass destruction enterprising warlords purchased from foreign arms dealers. A few remnant colonial governments persist in Africa, despising their homelands for abandoning them and using any and all means available to them to avert their destruction.
In the Far East, Japan and China continue their eternal conflict. Although initially fought throughout Asia, the Sino-Japanese war is now largely confined to Korea. There, the Chinese and Japanese armies fight in an eternal stalemate, with Japanese high technology countered by superior Chinese numbers. Both sides use élan vital extensively, with the Japanese using it in their war machines and the Chinese using ancient spells powered directly by human sacrifice. The Korean people have become nothing but slaves and a source of élan vital for the two armies, and their resistance only prompts harsher oppression. Still, try as they might, neither side could gain enough of an advantage over another that it would definitively end the war in their favor.
The Chinese, after a brief experiment with republicanism, are once again an empire. Under the Li Dynasty, the Chinese are back under the Mandate of Heaven, and any who challenge the Li’s claim to the throne is arrested and sent to fight in one of China’s many wars. The Chinese have successfully modernized to an extent, but only by emulating the early Industrial Revolution in the West and by using unstable and inefficient vitalic technology. However, given China’s massive population, its leaders still have immense resources at their disposal, even if this only means that they have more peasants to work to death in factories or sacrifices to power vitalic machinery. On the Asian mainland, China reigns supreme, although its rule in Indochina and Burma are challenged by Japan and India. The jungles of Southeast Asia are slowly bleeding the invading Chinese armies to death, but the Chinese have plenty of men and women to throw at the problem. To the west, warlords and remnants of the Chinese Nationalist and Communist parties fight against Li rule and one another, but they are more of a nuisance than anything else.
Like the British, the Japanese have isolated themselves, but Japanese isolation is even stricter than that of Britain’s. Having developed vitalic technology independently, the Japanese have never been under the thumb of General Vitalic, and the war against China has always provided them with enough élan vital. Indeed, a primary reason Japan continues its war in China and the rest of Asia is the need for more slaves and sacrifices. Apart from its wars in Asia, the Japanese have no interaction with the outside world. Outsiders who manage to wander into Japanese waters are killed for their élan vital without question. Shintoism has become more relevant in Japanese society with the discovery of vitalism, and the government has overlain Shinto with an imperial cult that reveres the emperor as a god. Of course, no mortal could ever see the emperor in person, save for the military generals who rule the country in his name.
The British attempted to hold onto India for as long as possible, as it was a major source of men and materiel that they believed could help win the war. News of India’s sons being used as fuel pushed discontent with British rule over the edge, and after a short but brutal attempt at securing their rule, the British retreated so as to focus more of their energies on the Great War. Even after the British retreat, the various factions in India could not agree. There were those that wanted a truly united India, others that wanted to split it along religious grounds, and others on a linguistic basis. Unable to agree and compromise, these factions turned against one another, plunging the subcontinent into an endless civil war. Chemical and vitalic warfare, both during the war against the British and the conflict after the British left, ravaged Indian agriculture and led to mass famine. By 2018, the only resource India has remaining is manpower, which the Indian factions sell to any willing to give them food and weapons to continue fighting and surviving.
Australia has been scoured of most human life, and much that remains could hardly be considered “human” anymore. Australia was the site of the Entente’s premier bioweapons experimentation facilities. The continent’s already-deadly life was exposed to extreme levels of élan vital, warping their forms and creating horrible monsters to be unleashed in the trenches of Europe. As the British government grew increasingly bankrupt, they could no longer afford to maintain these facilities, and they were simply abandoned. It did not take long for the monsters to escape, devouring and destroying anything that lay in their path. The élan vital these creatures emanated mutated plants and animals they encountered, and in some cases raised them from the dead. Australia’s own forces were depleted, as most of Australia’s young men were fighting in the Western Front. With the British unwilling to help, the Australians that could fled to whatever islands they could find, or onto “floating cities” made up of groups of ships. Those that could not make it to shore were destroyed by the monstrous fauna and flora of Australia, or became part of this fell ecosystem themselves.
Even the parts of the world uninhabited by man has been affected by its activities. The runoff of chemicals and pathogens into the oceans, combined with the increased rate of mutation due to élan vital, has filled the oceans with all sorts of unimaginable monsters. Ships making the journey between the old and new worlds have to deal with the possibility of jaws and tendrils pulling them beneath the waves. In their quest for more knowledge and power, the governments of the world devote considerable resources into unlocking the secrets of ancient sites found by various pre-War explorers beneath the oceans and the ice sheets of Antarctica. These ruins, signs of an ancient and advanced civilization, could have secrets that would turn the tide of the war and allow one side to conquer all of mankind. That these civilizations fell for a reason, and that they may contain secrets man was never meant to know, is never considered.
The events on Earth have changed the Etherium itself, or at least the points in the Etherium corresponding to Earth. Once a realm of nothingness and hopelessness, the constant interaction with the material universe has given souls sent back to the Etherium an overarching goal: find a way back to material reality as soon as possible. Binding to dead flesh and machines have allowed souls to exist in both the material world and the Etherium, bringing new experiences and senses to the once-empty reality. Because of the unspeakable horrors experienced on Earth, the Etherium changed to reflect those experiences. Souls now have the privilege of experiencing the pain of death multiple times, only being pulled back into the material universe to serve the living or to fight in their wars. The most unfortunate are rendered down into a form of fuel, a process which effectively tears a soul apart, only for it to reform in the Etherium as the fuel is spent. Pain, hatred, sadness and bloodlust dominate the Etherium, and these emotions are so strong that they are beginning to coalesce into sapient form from ambient élan vital and bits and pieces of soul. What these “gods” will do on Earth once they reach maturity is unclear, but one thing is clear: they despise mankind.
A remake of an older map of mine, playing around with the idea of the Vietnam War and its consequences. This one is considerably darker than Charlie Don't Surf.
The United States' victories in Vietnam are more decisive, instilling in the North Vietnamese government a belief that the United States will attack again if they break the truce with South Vietnam. The election of Ronald Reagan, the staunch anti-communist, in 1976 after Richard Nixon sealed the deal for Hanoi.
Reagan's policies of fighting the Soviets everywhere led to an ironic cooperation with the Chinese, who themselves invaded Vietnam in 1978. Although the war ended in a stalemate, it cemented the Sino-Soviet split forever. Both China and the United States gave large amounts of covert support to the Afghan mujahideen, who proved capable of resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and forcing the mighty superpower to retreat from Afghanistan, humiliated.
Of course, the Soviets had greater problems on their hands. The Soviet economy was stagnating, and the old Party guard was dying out. There was a conflict between those who would reform the Soviet Union, and the hardliners who would stay the course. Initially, the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev took control and began to liberalize the Soviet Union, but opposition from hardliners prevented him from doing as much as he wanted. Eventually, this conflict turned violent.
In 1990, as the Warsaw Pact collapsed, elements of the Soviet Army began to prop up the Warsaw Pact regimes without Moscow's authorization. When Gorbachev ordered them to stand down, they refused to listen, and Gorbachev himself became the target of a botched coup. Gorbachev survived and escaped Moscow, and led elements loyal to him against those loyal to the military-KGB junta in Moscow. The situation deteriorated quickly, with some Soviet republics seceding from the USSR in the chaos. By November of 1990, the Soviet Union was in a state of civil war.
The Soviet Civil War was a decade-long conflict, finally ending in 2000 as the remaining warring factions agreed to a ceasefire. Much of the Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal had been secured by the UN during the fighting, but some came under the control of the warring states, and some were used against Soviet cities and military installations. None of the belligerents dared to use them on foreign targets, knowing that the entire USSR would be turned to ash if they did. The use of nuclear weapons did bring the outside world, principally the United States, the European powers, and China into the conflict as UN peacekeepers. Unlike the Korean War, the UN forces did cooperate with one another and did not fight one another, even if they did back opposing factions.
One must not forget the global effects of the Soviet Civil War. The nuclear exchange sent large amounts of soot into the air, causing global temperatures to drop. Failed harvests from the short nuclear winters, including a "year without a summer" in 1995, led to famines throughout the Third World. Instability in the Indian subcontinent resulting from these famines led to another conflict over Kashmir, in which the Indians lost to a Chinese-Pakistani alliance. The Indian government did not survive this defeat, and was replaced with a nationalist, pseudo-theocratic government that swears vengeance against the Beijing-Islamabad axis daily.
Although the Cold War is over, there is talk of a second one beginning as relations between the three great blocs cool. The Americans are still the top dog, and some politicians still use the Soviet Civil War as a grim example of what would happen to them if they didn't pursue Policy X. Ever since they withdrew from Europe, the Americans have focused on increasing ties with South America, working closely with Brazil. Perhaps the most controversial geopolitical ally of the United States is the Union of South Africa, whose apartheid government has weathered the storm and now enjoys considerable American support.
The European bloc, formed largely in response to the Soviet Civil War, still has many ties to the United States, but is seeking to become its own superpower. The European Union could now be called a genuine federation ruled from Brussels, to the consternation of some. The biggest issue facing the Europeans is the large number of post-Soviet refugees that are living in the European states, causing cultural and economic clashes. The Europeans have rather pragmatically aligned themselves with India, despite disagreeing with the government in New Delhi on just about everything, because they believe that India is the upcoming great power in Asia to counterbalance China.
After the Soviet Civil War, the Chinese only have the Americans to worry about in their neck of the woods. Having grown considerably in territory, economic strength and geopolitical power since the fall of the USSR, the Chinese are the current boogeyman for both American and European politicians. The Chinese assure both that they have no designs on the world outside of Asia and their new Asia Pacific Alliance, but their influence in the Middle East and Africa grow daily. China is grooming Indonesia into becoming its lieutenant in Southeast Asia, devoting considerable aid to the autocratic, military-run state, which has caused tensions with the United States via the Philippines and Australia.
By 2013, over a decade after the Soviet Civil War, the world is still reeling from the after-effects of the conflict. Cancer rates have skyrocketed since the nuclear exchanges, although some climatologists grimly note that the march of global warming has been mitigated somewhat by all of the soot that was thrown into the atmosphere. Fears of nuclear war have become even greater, as even a limited exchange has caused tremendous amounts of death and suffering. But many Soviet nuclear weapons remain missing, and who knows what sort of madmen have their hands on them?
i needed to redesign the blamco we have all seen at instructables (or ripped off by those papercraft dousches who stole other peoples work) Because it was not entirely acceptable in my opinon. while it works for the casual collector, this one works for even a discerning eye. Seriously, go to the vault wiki and look up blamco this is scary accurate...