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Czernobog's Bin

Post by Czernobog »

This thread is for people to write and discuss story ideas, starting with my own:


Prince Vasiliy's Errand


The setting is a fantasy version of Europe, with a WW1 technology level (without tanks) - think Zeppelins and old motorcars. Our protagonist is a prince from a fantasy version of the Russian Empire, who is entangled in a prophecy whose fulfilment will affect the fate of the world.

Major Characters:

Prince Vasiliy Alexandrov


16 year old Prince to the Rossiyan Empire, protagonist of the story. Is entangled in a prophecy; the only one who can prevent the coming release of the Black God and thus save the world. Good with both a pistol and sword.

Princess Theresa Von Erzengel


Vasiliy's love interest - comes from the Confederation of Estinno, a fantasy version of Germany/Austria-Hungary. Has some degree of magical skill.

The Black God

A fallen angel, bound beneath the cursed land of Avernus for millennia. Desires to destroy the world and recreate it in his image.

The Four Horsemen

War, Conquest, Famine, Death - the four lieutenants of the Black God, go by the names Ares, Vasilios, Talaiporia (Greek for 'Suffering') and Thanatos.

Iosef Vissarionovich

Evil sorcerer and cultist worshipping the Black God, Vasiliy's enemy in the first part of the story.

Places:

Rossiya

A land of years-long winters and summers, Rossiya is only tenuously part of the continent of Europa. Is ruled by the Rossiyan Empire.

Austermark

The region of the Confederation of Estinno, Austermark stretches from their version of Scandinavia to their Italy.

Avernus

A massive Mordor-like area to the south of Europa, blocked from it by the immense Great Azali Desert, otherwise known as the Sand Sea, and a range of tall mountains. Corrupted by the presence of the Black God, and where his cultists usually gather.
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.
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Re: Story Ideas Thread

Post by speaker-to-trolls »

I've been over most of my thoughts on the setting in MSN, but I have a couple of other things I'd like to point out/suggest/(verb here)

1: I'd suggest thinking up better names than 'Dark God' and 'Avernus', because I think they sound tacky and not in a good way (e.g. not distinctive, the name 'Darkseid' is tacky, but you remember it). That's just personal preference though.

2: Make suer that you know more about your characters, I'm basically going to repeat what Dakarne has said about character development in that it's much easier to have an entertaining story with a crap plot but interesting characters than with crap characters but an interesting plot. I have two suggestions for development; First, think about how your characters interact with other people, it might help to write a couple of little vignettes for each character outside of the story to get an impression of how they act. Second, I'll steal something from RedLetterMedia's Star Wars reviews, try to describe each of you characters without referring to their appearance, their job or their role in the story.
EDIT: I should note that the one major character you don't need to do this for is the Dark God, Dark Lords don't need to actually be characters if you don't want them to be, take Sauron from Lord of the Rings as the archetypal example, he's just impersonal antagonism and menace. But, keep in mind that this prophecy business gives Vassily more of a connection with his enemy than any of the heroes of Middle Earth had with Sauron, even if it's a connection neither of them really have any choice in.
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Prince Vasiliy's Errand

Post by Czernobog »

Chapter 1 Part 1

2500 years prior

Iosef Alexandrov looked up at the fortress looming over him, covered with menacing walls of black stone and spires of iron, its gates of unearthly black metal. The sky was dirty-black, smoke and ash besmirching it, blocking off the sun. Around him, men and Orcs fought and slew each other in pitched battle, all semblance of formation or tactics gone, every man for himself. He dreaded, most of all, what could come out of the gates, for the fortress before him was the citadel of the being known as the Fallen God, the Black Angel, and a thousand other dreadful names.

He looked around, from the high crag he was on, at a desolate plain of black rock, the plain of cursed Avernus. He knew that he must win victory, or the world was doomed. Then, the gates opened, and the Fallen God revealed himself. He was a being of light, the force of his shining eyes driving Iosef back, and he bore a sword, standing eight feet tall, a sneer of pride and arrogance and utter contempt on his face.

He bore armour, of proud silver, but no helm, for he had no fear of death.

'When can Men stand against Angels?' Iosef thought, knowing that the question was old and that the answer would not be found in his lifetime. The Fallen God leapt forward, attacking, Iosef parrying nigh-perfectly - both were skilled fighters. A blow, a parry, a strike, a feint - the battle continued for hours as Iosef began to feel tired, but the Fallen God was not as weak, not as mortal.

With sheer faith and courage, and the knowledge of a half-remembered truth about the Fallen God's soul being trapped within his sword, Iosef sliced through the Fallen God's hand, removing his sword. The Fallen God seemed to shrink, to disintegrate on itself, before exploding in a flash of pure white light that forced Iosef to his knees. Of the sword, there was no sign.

+++

Of the hundredth generation
After the first defeat
Child of the Vanquisher
He shall have the power
And the choice
To learn the answer to the question
'When can Men stand against Angels?'
And destroy the Fallen One
Forevermore

- Prophecy of the Conquerer (Translated from the Archaeo-Rossiyan)

+++

Roman III Alexandrov looked at his newborn child with an expression of the greatest joy. He had been waiting a while for an heir, and as he looked at him - his child - he was filled with joy. Oh, how he loved his wife. Now, if only...

...Grigori Vissarionovich, that powerful mage, that sinister Chancellor, that person who nobody in their right mind would dare cross - was there.

'What are you going to call him?' Grigori asked.

'Vasiliy,' Roman replied. 'I'll call him Vasiliy.'

+++

20 years later

Vasiliy Alexandrov had grown into a young man by now, firstborn son of Czar Roman III. It was after going back to the palace after a hunting expedition (against a pack of Drakes) that Vasiliy looked at the letter from the now bed-ridden Czar.

Your destiny does not lie with the court, my beloved son. Leave now, I have to tell you,. There are dark forces acting now, in Rossiya and the world at large, and you must leave immediately. Tell no-one about this - Vissarionovich is not to be trusted with anything. He is too dangerous - I suspect his sympathies lie outside the court, but I cannot act openly, as I don't know what could happen. You and I are entangled in something beyond our understanding and power. Make preparations now, go to Estinno - I have told the Von Erzengels you are coming soon. After all, when can Men stand against Angels?


Signed

Czar Roman III Alexandrov
Heir of Iosef I Alexandrov, Vanquisher of the Fallen God.
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.
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Re: Prince Vasiliy's Errand

Post by Czernobog »

The mighty Skycruiser Adler took off from Alexandrovsk Aerodrome, ready to go to Nordenstadt, Capital of Estinno, Vasiliy among its many passengers. A Skycruiser journey was only for the wealthy - the things required the exceedingly difficult to make Thaumaturgical Engines to fly, and most people took trips by Ironroad or Zeppelin instead.

Vasiliy reread the contents of the letter over and over in his mind. What did it mean - 'When can Men stand against Angels?' - that was an old riddle, from a story that came from long before the defeat of the Fallen God - which was itself only half-believed now, enshrouded in myth and legend and so many stories it was hard to tell fact from fiction.

Vasiliy decided to sleep and let his worries dissipate. After all, Nordenstadt was 8 hours away...

+++

Grigori Vissarionovich looked at the obsidian mirror, preparing himself for the booming voice that would soon emerge.

'HOW GOES THE PLAN?!' that diabolical voice boomed at him.

'Very...very...well, Master,' Vissarionovich replied. 'The Czar is deathly ill, as I have made him.'

'VERY WELL. WHERE IS HIS SON!?'

'Bound to Nordenstadt,' Vissarionovich stated. 'I will send assassins after him.'

'HE MUST NOT BE KILLED. HE MUST BE DESTROYED!'

Vissarionovich was terrified. When the voice gave a directive, it was impossible to ignore it, as several of his allies had discovered to their cost. Still, making the idea of utterly destroying Vasiliy reality would prove difficult - the Prince was a good shot and and an even better sword-fighter.

'I..will do the best...I...I...can,' he said.

'I AM WATCHING YOU CLOSELY, GRIGORI. DO NOT FAIL.'

And with those words, the mirror faded into silvered glass as it had been before.

+++

Vasily woke up to the whine of engines as the Skycruiser landed at the Nordenstadt Aerodrome. From a distance, he could see the marble spires of the Erzengel Palace, where the Von Erzengel family, rulers of the Imperial Confederation of Estinno, lived. He walked to the door of the Skycruiser, walking out and going down the elegant staircase that lead to street level and the main lobby of the Aerodrome, filled with hundreds of sights and sounds.

He ignored them, determined in purpose as he walked out of the lobby and into the streets of Nordenstadt, taking a motorcar to the Erzengel Palace, looking in awe at its marble facade as he arrived. Explaining to the gatekeeper who he was and walking past the courtyard, he looked around at the stunning room, the beautiful tapestries and vast marble staircases, the portraits of generations of Von Erzengels staring at him. He had been here before, as a child - returning as an adult only made him appreciate its grandeur more.

He found the door to the Von Erzengel audience chamber easily, and found himself face to face with August Wilhelm II Von Erzengel, Emperor of Estinno. He showed the Emperor Czar Roman's letter.

'Very well,' Wilhelm stated. 'I'll find somewhere for you to stay.'

With those words, Vasiliy began to wait.
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.
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Re: Prince Vasiliy's Errand

Post by speaker-to-trolls »

Alright, reviewing time.

It's a bit sparse, I think you need to work on descriptive prose, well quite a lot really, but I don't think I can help much with that. The character interactions are generally very short and functional, with the exception of the one between Vissarionovitch and the Fallen God, which actually showed a bit of the character of both participants.

I know I said it was a good hook but try not to overuse 'When can men stand against angels?'

All I can think of right now, but keep going, it'll be a milestone if you can get the story finished.
"Little monuments may be completed by their first architects, but great ones; true ones leave their copestones to posterity. God keep me from completing anything."
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A War of Gods

Post by Czernobog »

Cross-posted from SDN. I am the author.

10 September 1940

Egypt


The sun rose over the Great Pyramid of Giza, shining brilliantly over the desert. The air in front of the mighty pyramid rippled, as if a gateway to another world was being made. That was somewhat true, as this would be the day the Gods returned. Suddenly, reality buckled and shifted, warping and twisting as some tremendous force strove to open a gateway between the world of myth and the world of reality. Them, with a sound like the crash of thunder, the gate opened, outlined by shimmering, crystallised space-time and rimmed by unnatural energies. The portal itself appeared glassy and distorted, like a window or mirage, distorting an image of empty (but perhaps not-so) desert.

Then, something appeared. It was a human figure, as tall as the pyramid, wearing a loincloth, its skin browned and tanned, with the head of a falcon, one eye shining with yellow light, the other one with silver. Then, there appeared a second being, as tall as the first, but with a more sinister air, with the head of a jackal and darker. A third burst into existence, a figure seemingly made of the desert's sands, with the head of an impossible canine animal.

Soon, the war already being fought was going to get bigger.

+++

Rome


Benito Mussolini watched the strange old man carefully, he bore Roman Armour and an eagle was upon his shoulders. His eyes shone with white light, and he had just appeared in his office, utterly bizarrely and without explanation. Mussolini was the first to break the long silence.

'Who are you?' he asked.

'I am Jupiter, King of the Roman Gods,' the figure replied.

Mussolini judged this figure carefully, if he was who he claimed he was, he could definitely help him. If not, he could still be an asset.

'Very well then,' Mussolini said. 'What do you want?'

'Our Egyptian Brethren have incarnated in the mortal realm, and thus we have decided to also do so. We will help you achieve your dreams, Mussolini, ' Jupiter stated.

'Good then,' Mussolini said. 'Let's get to work.'

+++

Far Underneath the Earth


He moved, recalling something. One last glorious charge for the memory of Rome, then unconsciousness and sleep for what had seemed like aeons. He looked around, the cavern was dim, and there were Roman Legionaries, medieval knights, soldiers of his empire from all the years it had endured before dying with him. He shuddered at the thought of what Mehmet could have done to his empire's last refuge, the city of his namesake.

The memories came rushing back, one by one, and he was stunned. Greece had fallen - Greece needed to be saved, needed to be rescued. He didn't care how long it had been, there was one thing he must never forget - Constantine. His name was Constantine.

+++

Egypt

Brigadier John Campbell stood before the old Gods of Egypt, feeling tiny, like an ant. The gods loomed over him, tall as the Great Pyramid, gigantic. They spoke, in a flash of images and word-concepts, making his head feel like it was exploding:

So long/in ancient times we stood/guardians
/Now the gods of old/we return/
To save/the black land/Khemet


'What are you here...for?' he asked.

It is time/to return/
The Romans/attack again/we must defend


'I see,' he said, dazed. 'But...what do you want?'

The black land/Khemet/must be/free
And also/worship/obeisance/
There are/new gods/we see/
But this is/our land


'Agreed,' he replied. 'You'll defend Egypt, and in return we'll try and leave Egypt after the war. This isn't binding, however, I'm not really in a position to make such promises.'

AGREED.

John Campbell had a feeling something very bad was going to happen soon.
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.
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World At War - A Future History

Post by Czernobog »

This is not meant to be a serious prediction of the future - it isn't meant to be plausible, as futurology that tries that just ends up looking silly.


2012


Radical Muslim terrorists fly a plane into the Burj Khalifa on June 16th, destroying the pride of the UAE and hardening its citizens against radical Islam. The senseless attack is condemned worldwide.

Kim-Jong Il dies on July 12th. Kim-Jong Un tries to succeed him, but several military leaders spark a surprise coup and turn North Korea into a state governed by a military junta. Kim-Jong Un is killed - it is unknown how he died, and no body is revealed to the world.

Osama bin Laden and several other top Al-Qaeda leaders are killed on November 3rd by an American surprise attack. This comes too late to significantly change the election results, but it does boost American morale in Afghanistan.

The Presidential Election: Barack H. Obama wins the election with an average success. The Tea Party movement begins to fall apart, and by 2020 the Tea Party will be a footnote in history.

An assassination plot against Vladimir Putin almost succeeds, presaging his death in 2019, which will end what historians will call the Early Post-Communist Era and begin the Instability Period.

A little-known American Historian, Henry Jones, writes the book The European Wars, which states that the First and Second World Wars were part of an over-arching period which he calls 'the European Wars Period'. While initially controversial, it proves a famous best-seller.

Alexis Daniel Harding, future U.S President, is born.

The European Union begins to fracture - France and Germany, the two driving forces, begin to fall out with each other.

Faced with decreasing popularity, David Cameron calls a general election. He loses to Labour.

2013

Two scientists write a report on the possibility of using the Bussard Polywell type of fusion reactor as a power source for vessels; in it, they estimate that a Bussard Polywell reactor will be feasible by 2016, and will cost just one hundred million dollars.

Half of the Saudi Royal Family are killed in a car bomb blast in Riyadh on January 13th, sparking instability in Saudi Arabia. No group claims responsibility for the vicious, murderous attack.

Andrei Vasilyevich Lysenko writes the book The Fundamental Tenets of Neo-Bolshevism, which rapidly becomes a best-seller in Russia and is translated into several other languages, quickly earning a notoriety similar to The Anarchist's Cookbook.

The War on Terror begins to die down - Obama announces 2015 to be the date for total US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

As forces move out from Iraq, terrorist attacks increase, and the threat of civil war rears its ugly head.

2014


The XOS Exoskeleton Mark Seven is demonstrated, a suit of powered armour that enhances strength and uses non-Newtonian fluids to protect against small arms. The US Army orders 1,000 suits in advance.

HBO announces the miniseries Justinian about the titular Eastern Roman Emperor.

The 400,000,000$ film Last of the Romans, a fantasy, 300-esque retelling of the Fall of Constantinople is released, and quickly makes up its budget. It proves to be a breakout for young, handsome actor Alfred Franklin Jones, who plays the role of Constantine XI, the titular protagonist. It is banned in Turkey, but is particularly popular in Greece.

New author Alex Hamilton writes the thriller The Reich Reborn (which will be regarded as a classic of the genre), set in a Neo-Imperial Germany some decades into the future. Little does he know, his work is oddly prescient...

Yet more fragmentation and instability in the EU. National interests are running large, and Greece, in a fit of anger, leaves. This sparks a perfect storm of Franco-German diplomatic belligerence and threats to leave from the UK, Spain and several other nations. The matter is resolved, but it leaves gaping rifts and factional/national differences and mutual hostility in the EU.

The Ninth (or Fourth, or 36th) Series of Doctor Who under Stephen Moffat begins. It is a massive success.

China's economic growth, for the first time in decades, stops. Many put this down to the continuing human rights abuses and authoritarianism of the Chinese government, and the Chinese economic bubble beginning to burst.

2015


The US Forces leave Afghanistan; Hamid Karzai's government collapses in a month, but the Taliban are too badly damaged to take advantage of this. All semblance of law and order is gone.

Somaliland is recognised by the UN.

Siegfried Von Hohenzollern, future Austro-German Emperor, is born.

As US forces go out of Iraq, elections begin, but one party disputes the results. This leads to a civil war along religious lines, between the Shia South and Sunni North. The elected government are killed in the first few weeks.

China's economy stays in an equilibrium, though for how long is unknown.

Vasily Mikhailovich Romanov, future Emperor of all the Russias, is born.
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Czernobog »

2016

Work begins on an experimental Bussard Polywell fusion reactor in France. It is estimated to begin operation in 2020.

Chinese economic growth slowly begins to reverse.

The short-lived Iraqi Civil War ends, with a Sunni state in the North ruled from Baghdad and a Shia state ruled from Basra in the south. Both states claim to be the true successor of Iraq, but the North has a better claim.

Tim Kaine wins the U.S Presidential election; Obama will be remembered as an average President.

Puntland is also recognised, the UN finally admitting the Balkanisation of what will now be called 'the Former Somalia'.

A Neo-Bolshevist terrorist attack (a truck bombing that damaged a government building and killed 89 people) occurs in Russia, with one of the captured conspirators saying at his trial that the act was 'propaganda of the deed'. He is sentenced to death regardless.

2017


South Sudan finally achieves independence.

Muttering in the Kalinigrad Oblast about independence from Russia reaches a fever pitch. The government begins to try and crack down, but this only emboldens the would-be revolutionaries.

The decline of the Chinese economy continues to accelerate. People begin to withdraw investments in China, but no mass panic happens.

North Korea, still ruled by a junta, begins China-like economic reforms, a break from history in the poor nation. It is confirmed that Kim-Jong Un is dead (prior to this, his death had been kept hidden from the people and the outside world).

Power armour research begins in Russia and China, to counter the American program.

HBO's miniseries Justinian comes to an end after three seasons, having been wildly popular with audiences and illuminating a little-known part of history to the masses.

The film Stalin's War is released, a brutal alternate history war movie focussing on an allied liberation of Germany from Stalin's army in a world where Hitler never came to power. It is the first big-screen alternate history movie to be a massive success, drawing queues of thousands to watch it, critics hailing it as 'the new Avatar' in reference to James Cameron's famous science fiction epic. Two sequels, Stalin's War: Blood and Iron and Stalin's War: Endgame are due to be released in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

2018


Pope Benedict XVI dies, and is succeeded by Pope Celestine XIX.

The Chinese economy continues to decline.

Terrorist attacks by pro-independence groups in Kalinigrad begin.

Neo-Bolshevism becomes more popular in Russia, worryingly so.

Spain and Italy leave the EU due to economic troubles, and Britain and several Eastern European countries also make noises about doing so. The EU is beginning to fragment again.

The Republican Party collapses at the congressional elections, reduced to a minor party. A new party, the centre-right Eagle Party of America, is founded.

2019

A crazed Neo-Bolshevist shoots Vladimir Putin three times in the chest before being shot in turn by bodyguards. Putin is rushed to hospital, but is pronounced dead on arrival. Russia is deeply shocked, and his death is marked by historians to mark the beginning of the Instability Period in Russia.

The Paris Riots begin on 12th-18th September. They are six consecutive days of anarchic rioting and looting in Paris, France, highlighting massive problems with the French government and the European Union.

Moreau Bonaparte, future French Emperor, is born.

XTec Inc., a weapons corporation, sells the 'railgun rifle', a rail-gun firing a slab of metal at high velocities, as a replacement for the RPG launcher. It can reliably pierce tank armour, but costs are high.

Rowlings vs. Eisenstein, a Supreme Court case, ends, the Court ruling that parents have the right to genetically modify embryos and select ones that do not have disabilities to be placed in the womb. Pro-lifers and disability rights groups rabidly attack the ruling.

Russia declares that the weaponisation of Space is an inevitability and that it wishes to be the first nation to successfully do so, defying a United Nations treaty.
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by speaker-to-trolls »

Well, though I've already explained my irritation with settings going where this one is going, with the inevitable decline into regressive, authoritarian politics best left to... I mean the return to the days of imperial glory, this is actually not bad, the one year at a time thing does meant here's a certain amount of pacing and it doesn't look particularly forced, and it can be seen where most of the events are heading.

Though seriously, man, I loved the last series of Dr Who, but the fact that Stephen Moffat goes on to produce another however many is not a historically significant event. Unless Karen Gillian goes on to take power in a military coup and become the iron-fisted ruler of a new British Empire, of course.

Well stranger things have happened.

But as you can extrapolate from that, movie releases are not historically significant unless they have some identifiable effect on more important things like politics or technology. Just saying.

I think the Americans and everyone else would probably have something to say about the Russians weaponising space though.

So anyway unlikely in places but not too off the wall, not bad.
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Heretic »

I actually liked the alternate pop culture stuff. Gives more focus on the daily lives in the alt history, and not just glorious monarchs and wars.
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Czernobog »


2020


The Free Republic of Kalinigrad is declared; Kalinigradan War of Independence begins. US President Tim Kaine warns Russia not to use WMD on Kalinigrad, resulting in massive damage to US diplomatic relations with Russia.

The tract Wielka Polska (Great Poland) is published, a hyper-nationalist tract claiming, among other pieces of nonsense, that all Germany east of the Elbe was once Polish, that Germans are subhuman monsters that love war and genocide, and that the 'Polish Race' is superior to Germans and Russians. It is popular, mostly due to bad economic conditions in Poland, caused by the after-effects of the Great Recession.

The EU continues to disintegrate, as many Eastern European members go out and form the EEU (European Economic Union). Germany and the UK consider leaving.

The FIL (Flemish Independence League) is formed in Antwerp. It will eventually be responsible for the Belgian Civil War.

The film Caesar is released, a biopic of Julius Caesar from his conquest of Gaul to his assassination. It is met with critical acclaim.

HBO begins the miniseries Alexander about Alexander the Great.

Talks begin about remaking the Lord of the Rings film series, produced in the early 2000's, with 3D and cutting-edge effects.

2021

The French fusion reactor is activated, releasing far more power than is put into it. Investments in fusion reactors increase massively.

An American futurologist writes of the predicted development of 'the Fusion Weapon or Sun-bomb...a nuclear weapon powered solely by fusion, thus producing no fallout or radiation'. He also states - 'such a weapon is highly desirable, as it does not produce radiation...places hit by it can be immediately resettled'.

Kalinigradan War of Independence continues; Russia is bogged down fighting the revolutionaries, in a quagmire of guerrilla warfare.

Poll in Austria; 55% of Austrians, mainly the younger generation, consider themselves Germans, and 20% seek union with Germany, for a variety of reasons. The number of these people will skyrocket in the 2030's.

Scientists in Britain discover the 'ageing gene'; a paper is written saying that 'if we somehow turn off this gene, human beings can expect to live for centuries' and 'in a matter of 100 years...death by old age will be almost entirely abolished'. Religious fundamentalists and anti-genetic engineering groups hold protests outside the facility where this was discovered.

NASA unveils a contest: design a rocket to go to the moon using fusion power.

Chinese economy is on the verge of falling apart like a house of cards. There is very little investment in China now.

2022

A major scandal occurs in France as a multi-millionaire is discovered by prying journalists to have been siphoning large parts of his personal fortune to the militant German-based Neo-Nazi group 'the Allemania League'. Though no charges are bought against him, his company falls apart, him losing a great deal of his fortune with it, his reputation dies, and his wife divorces him. The scandal is immense.

The little-known French-based Neo-Bolshevist terrorist organisation 'Lucifer' claims responsibility for the bombing of an Italian church. They quickly become big news, and a manhunt begins for their leader, whom nobody knows has fled to Russia.

Cyberworld Inc., a British company, begins marketing a cybernetic eye for those who have lost their eyes. Said eye is designed to look like a real eye as much as possible, and has improved functionality, including the ability to glow in the dark.

An article in the Scientific American speculates on the use of 'medical nanorobots' to kill cancer cells and invasive bacteria or viruses. It states that medical science 'is inching towards a true cure for cancer and otherwise incurable diseases'.

Unrest grows in China.

The Burmese junta falls apart. Various rebel factions take over in Burma.

2023

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is released, a remake of the first film of the original trilogy but in cutting edge 3D and with gigantic amounts of CGI, it makes 1,700,000,000 dollars in 3 months as audiences around the world rush to watch it.

The event long predicted arrives - China's economy implodes in one dramatic moment, dragging down most of East Asia with it, millionaires loosing everything they have. Mass protests occur in every Chinese city, and open revolt occurs in a few places. The military as well as the workers starve, and military officials begin plotting a coup as the common soldiers sympathise with the starving masses. China is a tinderbox waiting for a spark...

U.S President Tim Kaine (he won the 2020 election) struggles as the economy is badly wounded by the Chinese economic disaster.

In Europe, radical politics and independence groups gain momentum. Russia is particularly badly hit, its economy heavily dependent on China's. A massive Neo-Imperial protest occurs in Saint-Petersburg, the million-strong crowd chanting at the top of their voices 'We need a Romanov! We need a new Tsar! Down with Lysenko!'

The Austrian Unification Party is founded, its goal to unify Austria with Germany and as the economic troubles badly damage Austria's economy, many see the practical logic of the situation.

A new company, FusionCorp, is founded in America. It will be the first corporation to market commercial fusion power.

The economies of many Middle East and African states simply cease to exist.

2024

Russia, its economy badly damaged, withdraws its troops from Kalinigrad and agrees to a ceasefire, which is followed by a peace treaty. The Republic of Kalinigrad is recognised by most NATO members.

Mugabe is dragged out of his palace and ripped apart by hungry rioters. The opposition party takes advantage of his dramatic death to take over in Zimbabwe.

Franz Hoffman writes the famous article 'The Lie of Collective Guilt', putting forth that 'the idea of collective guilt for the crimes a government commits is dangerous...it is essentially a lie we tell ourselves...'. While he is condemned by older generations of Germans, the youth seem to like him.

Karl Kaiser founds an organisation known as 'the Alliance of Blood' a network of Neo-Nazi gangs and organisations in Bavaria (including his own 'Allemania League') that will rise in uprising against the German Government in the 2030's. His actions will discredit Neo-Nazism for generations to come.

2025

China is subject to a military coup, after the end of the Communist Party the Chinese Republic is declared, ruled by the generals' iron fists.

Mexico implodes, the cartels rule openly in many sections of the country, US President Charles Emmanuel Goldstein promises 'swift and decisive action, up to the use of military force' against the cartels.

A debate occurs about the legalisation of Marijuana in the US.

America reveals the Total Land Warrior project, an attempt to use power armour to create 'the perfect soldier'.

Pope Celestinus XIX dies of old age. He is replaced by Romanus I, a relative liberal and the first American Pope.
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Czernobog »

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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Czernobog »

2026

Members of a Mexican cartel attack a courthouse in San Diego, riddling a judge with bullets before freeing their leader and running back across the border. America is deeply shocked, and there are many calls to attack the cartels with military force. Taking advantage of the incident, the President proposes a two-pronged attack on the cartels - via both attacking them in Mexico to put pressure on them militarily and legalising Marijuana to attack them financially.

Operation Chariot of Fire begins, the invasion of Mexico to take out the cartels.

The bill to legalise Marijuana narrowly succeeds, depriving the cartels of massive amounts of cash. During this period, the 'War on Drugs' ends.

Lucifer tries to assassinate Pope Romanus I. The effort is a disastrous failure.

2027

The cartels are losing in the war against the USA, as gunmen with AK-47s and RPGs are no match for power armour, tanks and helicopter gunships. US forces take control of Mexico City; a puppet government is set up, sowing the seeds for the foundation of the United States of North America.

Alexis Daniel Harding, a child prodigy and future President, begins studying political science at Harvard.

The high fantasy book Swords of Night is released by a previously-unknown author, proving to be a bestseller on a level with The Lord of the Rings. A movie deal is made.

XTec Inc. releases 'the coil rifle' an infantry automatic weapon that uses electromagnetic forces, not explosives, to fire bullets.

The USA begins developing 'fusion bombs', nuclear weapons that work off fusion power and thus produce no fallout or radiation.

2028


Lucifer's leader, Antoine Bertrand, dies of cancer. He is succeeded by his lieutenant, the Russian Iosef Andreievich Smirnov, who is of a more nihilistic bent.

The Mexican cartels are slowly beginning to disappear, their finances falling apart, their leaders taken out one-by-one. The newly-reformed Mexican military is fighting side-by-side with the American forces, and law and order is returning to the streets of Mexico.

In Austria, the Unification Party wins the elections in a landslide. Regardless of this, union with Germany will not occur until 2030.

In Poland, the Strona Polska Wielka (Great Poland Party), led by Tadeusz Kaminski wins the election. Its ideology, called Polityka Wielkiej Polska (Great Poland Politics) consists of fascism combined with belief in racial superiority plus religious fundamentalism and irredentism for territories that never were Polish. Wielka Polska, the hyper-nationalist tract of the early 2020's, is its Bible. It will remain in power until the late 2040's.

The Vatican III Church Reformation Council is held in Rome.

In South America, the Celestine Church is founded by a Conservative Cardinal opposed to Vatican III and the liberalism of Romanus I. He declares himself Pope Celestinus XX.

An ecumenical service is held in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

2029

Germany, Austria, the UK and the Nordic countries leave the EU, Germany founding the European Alliance, which Italy, Austria, Sweden and Finland join. The European Union renames itself 'the Western European Union', or WEU. This event marks the final fall into irrelevance of the EU.

Kalinigrad joins the EEU.

The UN is seen as increasingly irrelevant, after having failed to stop the turbulent events of the 2020's.

The US continues to occupy Mexico.

A Lucifer terrorist attack intending to destroy the Hagia Sophia and frame it on the Turks is foiled by the Turkish government before it can be attempted.

Most of the design work on the American Fusion Bomb is complete.

A Russian engineer designs a satellite that could conceivably use a railgun to fire projectiles at the Earth with the force of several kilotons.

Belarus unifies with Russia.
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Siege »

Another 'lol imperialism ftw' piece? Really?

And I'm not even going to bother going over the list of random insanity contained in this thread. If you're going to write about things like "the Chinese economy implodes" or "the EU falls apart" or "the Roman Catholic Church suffers a major schism" and other utterly ridiculous and unbelievable events then the very least I expect you to do is write about the processes and mechanisms of these happenings. And make them appear plausible while you're at it, 'cause anyone with even the barest knowledge of how the world works would immediately realize that "Spain and Italy leave the EU due to economic troubles" does not make the barest lick of sense. Leaving the EU would inevitably make their economic troubles worse. Here comes the clue train: that's what happens when you leave an open market the remaining members of which, coincidentally, control your currency.
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Blackwing »

Siege wrote:"the Roman Catholic Church suffers a major schism" and other utterly ridiculous and unbelievable events.
Erhm...

Considering the fact that the Roman Catholic Church has suffered a major Schism about once every 500 years since it was founded (and it was found IN a massive schism at that), combined with several dozen not-so-massive schism, I think we're actually due for one again.

And with stuff like gay rights, gay marriage, creationism (which some of the congregations further away from Rome are starting to adopt), the way Roman Catholic priest are contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, the child molestation scandals and all that jazz, it's not exactly 'ridiculous and unbelievable'.

Likewise, a lot of reactionary elements in a lot of European countries are looking for an excuse to drop out of the EU. If one of them got into power and blamed economic decline on the EU, they may full well pull out and then blame the further economic collapse on the EU as well in order to garner even more support. It probably wouldn't work, but the again populist reactionaries aren't the most sane and well considered people in the world. (Just look at Wilders).

As for the Chinese economy imploding, that is indeed unrealistic. The Chinese economy is a sturdy powerhouse of growth. After all, that's the case with all superpowers. Just look at the British Empire, the USSR, The USA...
Wait...

Other things, however, are more 'ridiculous': The Republican party falling apart isn't, but the idea that the biggest splinter would call itself the 'Eagle party' is a bit less believable (They might well USE the eagle as a symbol animal the same way the Republicans have the Elephant, the Democrats have the donkey and the Progressive party had the Moose). But they wouldn't ONLY call themselves the 'Eagle Party' (though kudos to Kamin if that was inspired by the Bull Moose/Progressives.)

Likewise the re-rise of Bolshevism in Russia or the rise of Neo-Nazis in Germany considered as anything other than something the majority of the population wouldn't deign to take a dump on is also unlikely. Modern Russian REALLY resent the Soviet Union and anything Communist is publically loathed and will be for a few more generations at least. And modern Germans don't dislike the Nazis because of Collective Guilt any more, they dislike them because they were pretty much evil.
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Czernobog »

2030

After a plebiscite in which 76% of Austrians vote for union with Germany, Austria unifies with Germany.

The US begins to pull out of Mexico, but Mexico remains a puppet of the US.

The Fusion Bomb is first tested in the Arizona desert; Russia begins working on a working version of the OAS (Orbital Attack Satellite).

The Alliance of Blood prepares to rise up in 2033 to attempt to take over Germany.

Yet another Neo-Imperial Protest in Russia, marches throughout Russia, people yelling the mantra of the Neo-Imperialists - 'We need a Romanov!'

Conference in Geneva - 'orbital weapons' narrowly avoid being classed as Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Germany begins working on its own orbital weapons, after British spies transfer the Russian blueprints to it. It is agreed that Britain will lift them into space, however Germany will retain control over them.

2031

The Church of Holy Transfiguration is founded, a Christian sect embracing transhumanism. They will eventually become one of the largest Christian churches.

The Polish military begins preparing for war with Germany in the 2040's.

Belgian Civil War begins, widespread rebellion in Flanders. Brussels is under siege.

A scientific article speculates on 'mind-uploading and transferring to a computer', which it says is 'closer than ever'.

The North American Alliance is founded, between Canada, the US and Mexico. It will be seen as a precursor of the USNA.

2032

The Pact of Steel is founded between the various countries of the EEU, turning it into a military alliance.

The Belgian Civil War continues, the Flemish revolutionaries being slowly driven back.

Lucifer attempts to steal a nuclear weapon to use it on the Vatican, but fails disastrously.

2033

Karl Kaiser's Neo-Nazis rise up in cities throughout Germany, burning down the Reichstag and massacring the government. Although they do not get the popular support they wanted, they cause a lot of damage and take 12 months to be beaten. When it is all over, Karl Kaiser is found dead in the ruins of the Reichstag, a bullet wound in his head and a pistol clutched in his hand. What happened is obvious.

Belgian Civil War ends, Belgium's economy having been ripped apart and severely damaged

The first test of the 'ageing vaccine' occurs, and seems to be successful.

2034

In a plebiscite, Germany votes for a Kaiser. Siegfried Von Hohenzollern is chosen as a ceremonial monarch, in the British style.

Poland's Tadeusz Kaminski builds a massive statue of himself on the German border, overlooking the territory as if owning it.

Germany's national anthem is changed to the newly-written song 'Hail Germania!'.
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Siege »

Blackwing wrote:Erhm...

Considering the fact that the Roman Catholic Church has suffered a major Schism about once every 500 years since it was founded (and it was found IN a massive schism at that), combined with several dozen not-so-massive schism, I think we're actually due for one again.

And with stuff like gay rights, gay marriage, creationism (which some of the congregations further away from Rome are starting to adopt), the way Roman Catholic priest are contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, the child molestation scandals and all that jazz, it's not exactly 'ridiculous and unbelievable'.
Yes it is. Appearances notwithstanding the Church of 500 years ago was utterly different from the one today. The power of Rome has been massively centralized, and as a result the direct authority of the Pope has increased immensely. 500 years ago it would take forever before the Church ever got wind of schismatic tendencies, giving you time to organize so that once the inevitable heavy-handed response came down from Rome, you could at least make an attempt to fight it off -- literally. Today that's not the case. Not only has actual warfare over encyclical matters fallen out of favour since the Peace of Westphalia, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the network of Papal nuncios keeping an eye on things, a response from the Curia in case of schismatism will also be immediate: you'll get your ass thrown onto the curb by way of excommunication, and somebody else will take your place as Priest, Bishop or whatever. You can't take the Church's possessions with you anymore either, or at least not anywhere in the world that actually matters, making it even more difficult to split off and form a schismatic movement of any note.

The issues you mention also are frequently simply not important within the Church itself, as hard as that may to believe to right-thinking people like we. Creationism hasn't been an issue since the 1950s; Church doctrine is one of theistic evolution, and anyone of any prominence who says differently will at most elicit an eye-rolling response from a bunch of Jesuits, followed by a brief note from Rome telling them to shut up and toe the party line. The fact that there are minor Catholic organizations out there who keep yapping out this stuff just goes to show how unimportant they are -- if they weren't, Rome would've done something about them. And nobody in Rome cares about gay rights. The only people that worry about gays are laity from rapidly shrinking Western congregations who just don't have any clout anymore, and who are not important to Rome any longer. These people are the red-headed stepchildren of the Catholic Church: they tend to stick with the Church no matter how much it man-handles their modern sensibilities, and if they finally have enough they just... leave. They don't make a fuss. When's the last time you've heard of a European episcopate going schismatic? I sure don't recall any.

It's the same for the child molestation scandals. These are a big deal in Rome, as evidenced by Pope Benedict XVI having to include the issue in his speeches time and again when there's no doubt in my mind he'd much rather forget all about them -- but again, if these massively impact people's views of the Church (and they do), they'll in all likelihood pack up and leave. They might join a Protestant sect or whatever, but that's just not the same as oldschool schismatism, much less a major case of such. There's always been people dissatisfied with Church teachings; that's pretty much inevitable in an organization which claims to have over a billion members, but there's absolutely no indication that a schism is about to take place amongst these dissatisfied elements and these things tend to not come out of the blue.

Frankly I think that reconciliation between the Eastern and Western patriarchates is far more likely than another major schism at this point.

Likewise, a lot of reactionary elements in a lot of European countries are looking for an excuse to drop out of the EU. If one of them got into power and blamed economic decline on the EU, they may full well pull out and then blame the further economic collapse on the EU as well in order to garner even more support. It probably wouldn't work, but the again populist reactionaries aren't the most sane and well considered people in the world. (Just look at Wilders).
The thing is, reactionary elements are just that: reactionary. They're not majorities, and I don't see any conceivable way for them to become such. And even people like the PVV or the Dansk Folkeparti aren't insane enough to actually push hard for secession from the EU because they know it'd mean economic (and therefore electoral) suicide. They might use Brussels as a convenient source of external influence to serve as yet another big boogeyman to rail against, but I haven't seen anyone of any prominence actually push for secession with any kind of seriousness.

There'll always be idiots who whine about the EU, sure... Like those people who yak endlessly about wanting the Guilder back. That's one thing; it's quite another to propose an actual workable mechanism to achieve this goal, which is something I don't think anyone has done so far. No matter what fringe radicals might desperately want to believe the Union is here to stay. Because the integration is too far along to quit, not without repercussions that would make the current economic turbulence look like smooth sailing all the way.

As for the Chinese economy imploding, that is indeed unrealistic. The Chinese economy is a sturdy powerhouse of growth. After all, that's the case with all superpowers. Just look at the British Empire, the USSR, The USA...
Wait...
You need more than a vague statement like 'other superpowers have declined' to justify the term "implosion". Economic implosions don't happen overnight, they have causes such as stagnation and decades of economic mismanagement in case of the USSR, or... well, decades of economic mismanagement in case of the USA. The British Empire didn't even implode, it faded away, and it took two world wars and a whole bunch of worldwide economic and political trends that had been brewing for fifty years or so for this process to truly kick off.

So what's going to cause this sudden implosion of the Chinese economy? We're all going to magically stop buying all the stuff they produce or something? Then what'll they do with those $868.4 billion in US Treasury securities? According to a recent Bloomberg article China is speculated to hold as much as $2.5 trillion in currency reserves. They enjoy a massive trade surplus and immense foreign investment. How is any of this supposed to change so radically in so little time that usage of the term "implosion" is warranted?
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Blackwing »

I agree with you Siege, but I think you missed some things in Kamin's timeline there.

For one, there's these:
(2014) China's economic growth, for the first time in decades, stops. Many put this down to the continuing human rights abuses and authoritarianism of the Chinese government, and the Chinese economic bubble beginning to burst.

(2015) China's economy stays in an equilibrium, though for how long is unknown.

(2016) Chinese economic growth slowly begins to reverse.

(2017) The decline of the Chinese economy continues to accelerate. People begin to withdraw investments in China, but no mass panic happens.

(2018) The Chinese economy continues to decline.

(2021) Chinese economy is on the verge of falling apart like a house of cards. There is very little investment in China now.

(2023) The event long predicted arrives - China's economy implodes in one dramatic moment
In essence you said that the economic collapse of China wouldn't happen overnight and in Kamin's timeline it doesn't.

Also Countries wouldn't leave the EU as it is now... But in Kamin's timeline the EU is breaking apart because of irreconcilable differences between Germany and France. (It doesn't go into much depth what the cause is, but as unrealistic as the rise of neo-nazi sentiments in Germany is, that might very well do it, with German politicians resenting France's actions in 'the War' and France being more and more worried, annoyed and angry over Germany no longer outright vilifying the Nazis). Since France and Germany are the two political powerhouses of the EU and the only two states around which a 'bloc' with enough power to dictate policy unopposed (unless the other 'side' forms a bloc with the other country) can be formed, a heated opposition between the two could well transform the EU into something some countries would rather be rid of.

And the whole centralisation of the Roman Catholic Church is exactly the kind of thing that HAS sparked schism in the past. The East-West Schism was a result of the Western Bishops putting all the power in the hands of a single agent (the Pope) while the Eastern Bishops kept the power in the hands of a council of Patriarchs. Other political factors and doctrinal differences didn't help, but the consolidation of the Bishop of Rome's power as the dictating force in the Western Church (rather than simply the 'first among equals' of the council of Bishops) was ultimately the final drop.

Likewise the reasons why the various Protestant 'factions/sects' seceded were myriad, but all boiled down to the idea that Rome was no longer in touch with 'true' Christianity on the outskirts of the 'Western Catholic' sphere. Hence why it was mostly the North-West of Europe that started it.

In essence, Schisms pretty much occur on the fringes of the church's sphere of influence, both doctrinally and geographically. Areas like South America and Africa especially have both a significant amount of local superstition (actual superstitions, like 'condoms give you HIV') worked into them and are currently already semi-autonomous.

Mainly because unlike what you said the main focus of the Church right now actually DOES lie in North America and Europe and specifically in the fact that the Church wants to stem the tide of Atheism.
Atheists are a good deal more dangerous to Church power than people of other faiths, because while Jews, Muslims, Protestants and Easten Orthodox might be misguided in their faith, at least they believe in God and can potentially still get into heaven as long as they are good people and honour God (though it would be better if they listened to the Vatican, of course), but Atheists can never get into heaven. Plus Atheism is growing a lot faster than Judaism, Eastern Orthodoxy and even Islam and Atheists are a lot harder to convert.

So a further schism in the Catholic Church might result from, as it does in Kamin's timeline, a South American Bishop considering 'Rome' to be no longer worthy of the 'true' Papacy. Then all it needs to do is convince a couple of African, Asian or North American Bishops that the South American Dies is more in line with their beliefs than the Roman Dies and boom, schism.
Especially if, for instance, the Roman Pope decides to 'modernise' the Church to more western-liberal ideas (at which point the South American, Asian and African Bishops especially would voice strong opposition, being more conservative than the European and North American Bishops and would thus be more likely to join up with an anti-pope. Though they'd consider the Roman Pope to be the anti-pope of course).
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Re: World At War - A Future History

Post by Siege »

Blackwing wrote:I agree with you Siege, but I think you missed some things in Kamin's timeline there.
That's fair enough, I kinda skimmed over it. Still though, 9 years to go from $2.5 trillion in reserves to economic implosion is... Well, the phrase 'spectacularly implausible' comes to mind. Especially since no reasons for this sudden economic misfortune are given whatsoever, leading me to believe it's just another case of 'China doesn't fit into my worldview' -- an attitude that seems curiously rampant amongst imperialist fanboys.

Also Countries wouldn't leave the EU as it is now... But in Kamin's timeline the EU is breaking apart because of irreconcilable differences between Germany and France. (It doesn't go into much depth what the cause is, but as unrealistic as the rise of neo-nazi sentiments in Germany is, that might very well do it, with German politicians resenting France's actions in 'the War' and France being more and more worried, annoyed and angry over Germany no longer outright vilifying the Nazis).
But that's just the thing: neo-nazis rising to any kind of prominence in Germany is not just utterly unlikely (hello ban on Nazi regalia), it is in fact offensively stupid. Nazism is a very specific, highly discredited ideology, and the chances of Germany of all places adopting it a second time are simply insanely minute. Anyone who takes a look at the German political spectrum will realize this. Even the most hardcore rightwing elements of the Reichstag don't want to touch anything that has to do with the Nazis with a ten foot pole, and with good cause: they'd get electorally crucified if they did.

Now, if this were a case of German right-wing arch conservatives having a falling out with reformist French socialists and this in turn causing a cooling in the relationship between Germany and France I could buy that, but it leading to the disintegration of the EU is just too much. How would they manage that anyway? The EU is more than just Germany and France. They're still influential members and they could make things difficult if they didn't get along, but that's not in their own interest either so why even bother?

And the whole centralisation of the Roman Catholic Church is exactly the kind of thing that HAS sparked schism in the past. The East-West Schism was a result of the Western Bishops putting all the power in the hands of a single agent (the Pope) while the Eastern Bishops kept the power in the hands of a council of Patriarchs. Other political factors and doctrinal differences didn't help, but the consolidation of the Bishop of Rome's power as the dictating force in the Western Church (rather than simply the 'first among equals' of the council of Bishops) was ultimately the final drop.
Sure -- in medieval times, that sorta thing could spark a schism. Thing is, we're not living in medieval times anymore, and the centralisation of the RCC isn't a new phenomenon. It's been an ongoing process since the contrareformation. Moreover, you can't just pick up your churches and leave any longer. There's things like property law and canon law now, you'd never get away with it without being utterly disowned of every building and every cent that belonged to the Church. Schismatics would be reduced to nothing this way, leaving the remainder of loyal catholics with all their funds and churches (and faithful), ready for a restart.

Finally, if Vatican II didn't spark a schism of note, then ongoing centralisation sure won't either.

Mainly because unlike what you said the main focus of the Church right now actually DOES lie in North America and Europe and specifically in the fact that the Church wants to stem the tide of Atheism.
The focus of the RCC is most empathically not on North America and Europe; it is on Africa and South America, with some emphasis placed on the role of the Church in South East Asia. North America is mainly important as a place to cash cheques from people like the Knights of Columbus and the only important bits of Europe are Poland, Italy and to a much lesser extent, the Iberian peninsula. The rest of Europe is pretty much a write-off and has been for years. The dioceses are shriveling up, there isn't enough money, and there are so few people who still sign up with the seminaries that they have to import new priests from all over the place.

So a further schism in the Catholic Church might result from, as it does in Kamin's timeline, a South American Bishop considering 'Rome' to be no longer worthy of the 'true' Papacy. Then all it needs to do is convince a couple of African, Asian or North American Bishops that the South American Dies is more in line with their beliefs than the Roman Dies and boom, schism.
This is kind of what South American liberation theologians tried to do, if admittedly in a much less forceful way. Whenever their influence was deemed too great and going too much against RCC dogma they were disowned, barred from the priesthood and excommunicated. If a bishop tried this, he'd get his diocese taken away from him pronto and a new bishop would be on his way by the end of the week. And anyone higher up than that just wouldn't do a thing like this: archbishops and cardinals don't get to rise that high through the ranks of the priesthood by not toeing the party line. Priests, sure. Bishops, occasionally, might also turn out to be reformists. But they're small fry. Plus with the kind of money and influence the Vatican has in South Africa or Africa, I don't doubt that a guy declaring himself anti-pope there would get either marginalized or outright shut down right quick.

Especially if, for instance, the Roman Pope decides to 'modernise' the Church to more western-liberal ideas (at which point the South American, Asian and African Bishops especially would voice strong opposition, being more conservative than the European and North American Bishops and would thus be more likely to join up with an anti-pope. Though they'd consider the Roman Pope to be the anti-pope of course).
Indeed; this is in fact why the people currently being assigned archbishops in Europe and North America tend to be far more conservative than their immediate predecessors (for a local example, contrast Cardinal Simonis with Archbishop Eijk). The Church in the Western World is at this point in time deliberately being pushed into an extremely conservative direction by the Curia, and will probably continue to be so for some time. It is why someone like Ratzinger was elected Pope by the College of Cardinals: because they knew he was a dependable conservative who wouldn't rock the boat and imperil Church operations in the southern hemisphere. If you take a look at who's being elected into the College under Benectic XVI, you'll realize that there's practically no chance whatsoever of a reformist Pope being elected in the next decade or so, which means that Benedict's successor will most likely be a conservative just like him.

Personally I don't expect any kind of reform on subjects like gay rights, birth control, women priests and so forth from the Church in the next ten to twenty years. I can know; I used to work for them. Anyway, I don't think we're actually disagreeing much... And these are just a few points out of a sea of insanity that could be addressed, so I imagine we agree on the basic principle that this isn't the, shall we say, most realistic view of future history ever produced in the history of mankind.
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Re: Story Ideas Thread

Post by Czernobog »

Have an idea for an alternate history, centred around a Fascist USA. Here's the beginning, if I am to post it here:

"That was when it all began. The German victory. All that patriotism, all that sacrifice, for nothing."

LUSITANIA EXPLODES IN PORT! BRITISH WEAPONS REVEALED!

The Cruise Ship Lusitania has exploded in port. Initial reports put it down to a boiler explosion, however, it was later revealed that a secondary explosion took place, an explosion characteristic of powder. From this and other investigations, it is now clear that somebody intended to use the Lusitania to transport weapons to Britain. We do not know who is behind this, only that they could have placed countless civilian lives in danger.

Extracted from The Lost War: German Victory

The German victory in 1920 can be put down to a number of factors. First, the Russian Revolution, which led to Russia bowing out ungracefully from the war. Second, the massive German offensive of 1917, which hit a French army still in the midst of mutiny[1] and gained several strategically vital locations.Third, the absence of America until 1918, when the Entente was clearly losing ground. American soldiers, as many men as the British Expeditionary Force, fought desperately but took abysmal losses, and only managed to delay victory by a year. America and Britain were given a 'peace with honour' - no territorial exchanges were made - but France was heavily weakened.

America felt angered - it had fought a war for nothing, gained not even President Wilson's ambitions - and, most uncomfortably, firmly lost. This was to spur a feeling of betrayal, of meaninglessness, of despair even, among the Americans, which was to fully blossom only in the elections of 1933...

[1] This actually happened IOTL, but ITTL the Germans caught wind of it.
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War in the Underworld

Post by Czernobog »

One
The artillery thundered, the clouds that formed the dull-grey sky swirling as the shells passed through the air. Siegfried Sternberg looked on as the shells continued to explode, devastating the demonic advance. What had seemed like a few weeks ago, in the Spring of 1918, he had been one of the Kaiser's soldiers. Now, he was dead, press-ganged into the army of a Greek god, and in another hellish war - this time literally. He was waiting, waiting for the demons to reach the line, he could hear their yelping, their cries as they leapt and ran forward, lusting for blood.

They continued their advance, and Sternberg rushed, to defend the machine gun that was helping to hold them off. They were closer now, closer than ever before, their dog-like faces twisted in horrific snarls, their red skin covered in black tattoos, bearing black blades that shone at the edges with orange-red glow. The machine gun fired, its bullets blowing through demonic flesh - but it was not, could never be - enough.

A demon leapt forward, Sternberg shooting it in the face. It continued, half its face blown off, black blood pouring out. It would never be sated. More shots, flesh and muscle torn off, revealing naked skull. More shots, this time to the chest, breaking a rib. It raised its blade - a shot to the right arm - breaking it. Then, a single shot, reaching the heart. It fell, inches from him.

The machine gunner and the men of Siegfried's platoon fell back to high ground, the demons were too many to fend off. A blast of fire rained down - the forces of Lucifer had put new artillery up, replaced what was missing.

Artillery fire rained down on their former position, destroying little more than metal and demons. But the generals could care less - they had plenty of reserves, indeed.

Hades' artillery thundered again and again, a never-ending storm of death, killing demons by the thousands. Meanwhile, Lucifer's generals looked in on the battle - they had a plan to change its flow completely.

+++

The Supreme Lord Astaroth, Eidolon of Fire, Seraphic General of the Thirteenth Host by the Grace of Lucifer, smiled. The demons were slowly pushing Hades' forces back, pushing to the artillery - but yet it fired, slowing the advance down. He looked at the glowing map of the battlefield, a real-time representation of what was happening, glowing with the colour of fire. Demons were dying in the thousands, yet he had millions - this had to be the greatest offensive yet of the war.

And he had a plan to end the artillery.

'Servant,' he said to his Lieutenant, Lord Moloch. 'Send in the Pit Fiends. Make sure they arrive near the artillery, or your worthless soul shall be mine!'

+++

Siegfried was terrified, explosions were hitting everywhere as his platoon continued their retreat. Demons were following close behind them, yet all they had to do was get to the portal leading back to the city of Dis. Then, an explosion of flame and darkness occurred. Out of the shadows stepped a Pit Fiend - a terrible beast of fire and darkness, one of the most powerful types of demon. It paused for a moment, then attacked with a whip of living fire - one of the men was caught, dragged to it, then bloodily ripped apart by the abominable creature.

The fire it breathed enshrouded another, reducing him to ash in moments - he had been a Prussian, who had fought in the war of 1871, commanding Siegfried's platoon.

But no time for distractions - the portal was so close, so close. He knew what had to be done - the commanding officer had ordered them to fall back to the portal, no distractions from the simple matter of running - in this place, stamina was effectively infinite.

Siegfried jumped in - the cold filled him, he could see only darkness - before they appeared in front of the city of Dis, the portal closing behind them, the relief as they saw others approaching, the other survivors of the battle.

At last, the beginning was over.
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.
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Re: War in the Underworld

Post by Czernobog »

Two
The black fortress of Pandemonium rose high into the storm, seeming to stab the dark sky. It was made of iron and brass, the two metals accentuating each other, as the immense tower rose, battlement after battlement and height after new height, looming over the ashen plain. The land around it had been broken, filled with rifts and gaps, massive lakes and rivers of molten lock flowing inexorably toward the lake of fire in which the fortress sat. Upon the fortress, images of screaming demons inflicting horrific fates on unfortunates covered it. The citadel was truly a monument to all that was loathsome in the world.

Astaroth, flying toward it on his obsidian-feathered wings, thought it truly a sight to behold. As he flew toward a secondary gate, guarded day and night by eyeless, ever-focussed watchers, their eyes glowing like the flames that had forged them, he flew in, finding himself in a hallway, which led to a single, spiralling staircase.

He walked up it, and opened a door, finding himself in the Throne-room of Lucifer himself.

The fallen angel was a being of light, terrible and awe-inspiring, the light of his eyes shining like the sun. His six wings were dark as the void, and on his brow was a crown with seven diamonds that shone like stars. The Throne he sat on, the Throne of Angels, was built of iron - gold and other precious metals were too weak - and depicted Lucifer as he once had been - powerful, like a god. It was on the far side of a grand mosaic depicting the entire Underworld - the claim of sovereignty, of authority, was clear.

'Bow,' Lucifer said. 'Bow down before the God of Death.'

Astaroth bowed.

'What is the meaning of this?' Astaroth demanded. 'I have been successful - Hades' lines are beginning to break.'

'You have been successful indeed,' Lucifer stated. 'And it is thus that I declare you my Second, with all the responsibilities and privileges that entails.'

Astaroth showed no emotion - to do so was weakness, weakness that would never be tolerated in Lucifer's court.

Instead, he merely left, careful not to show his back to Lucifer. Many had died for lesser insults.

+++



General Samuel Morgenstern looked at Hades with a look of firm satisfaction, the deal had just been struck, the Company of the Damned, which Morgenstern commanded, would join in on the fight against Lucifer's forces. They were one of the bigger mercenary groups, the largest even, who had tools in their arsenal that Hades did not.

Then, Hades vanished in a flash. He had work to do.
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Die Wacht Am Rhein - A Political RPG

Post by Czernobog »

The German Empire, 1st January 1900. As the 19th Century ends, a new Kaiser is crowned, Siegfried I Von Hohenzollern, following the untimely death of his predecessor. For those in and out of power, this is a period of great opportunity...

Use this guide for character creation: http://rpg.ashami.com/. You need not complete the whole chart.

The game is simple; you create a character with various attributes to define that character's personality. Your character can be from any segment of society, though, understandably, most players won't want to play farmers or factory-workers, so here are a few suggestions to start:

Politician: You are a politician in Germany, and are part of the Reichstag or Cabinet, or maybe even the Reichskanzler.

Aristocrat: You are part of the old aristocracy, the Vons, the Junkers and so forth.

Officer: You are an officer in the military. I recommend that you start as a Colonel or some other low-level commissioned officer, and then maybe rise in the ranks.

Intelligentsia: You are one of the intellectuals in Germany. You might work in the bureaucracy, or be a recent university graduate. Is there a place in the government for you?
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
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Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.
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Re: Die Wacht Am Rhein - A Political RPG

Post by speaker-to-trolls »

Gott in Himmel, that character creation guide is long. I mean, is that thing really proposing you decide things like sexuality and religious convictions based on rolling 100 sided dice or something?

Now I talked to Kamin about this idea over MSN and I think that the idea of a largely political RPG could be pretty interesting, it would be a kind of halfway point between normal one man-one character RPGs and full on geo/astropolitical STGODs. Of course for this there'd have to be A) Agreement on a setting and B) Lots of people interested in playing. Considering that all the recent attempts at RPG creation on this site have not gone down so well, I wouldn't put too much stake on it.

Still if anyone is interested I'd be happy to help hashing out the details of where, when and how things will take place. I thought about creating a political RPG before, but admittedly it would have been medieval and full of dynastic struggles and the like rather than political ones. The basic premise is pretty similar, though, whether the politics are those of the Kingdom of Eretonia, or 19th century Germany, or modern day America, or the far future of Mighty Bragule.
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Re: Die Wacht Am Rhein - A Political RPG

Post by Mobius 1 »

Does he plan on actually following through with it? Or is it going to be like the other half dozen/dozen empty threads littered across this forum?
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