Thursday, July 26, 2007


July 26th, 2007

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The Announcement

Alternate Historian's Note: Here's a fragment from an introduction to a role-playing game I'm writing. Which reminds me – I want to know how many gamers we have reading TIAH. If you're proud of your dice, shout out and let us know!

In the world of Nanopolis, there are the normals, there are the supers, and there are the villains. The villains plague the normals, and the supers plague the villains, and the balance of the universe is right. Deep underneath all of this, though, is The Secret.
There is something that everyone feels is not quite right about the world. The feeling is strongest in Nanopolis, where the concentration of supers and villains is the highest in the entire world. The strongest supers, the mightiest villains, and the most important normals are among the 15 ½ million inhabitants of Nanopolis. It is the largest city on the planet, and the most troubled. It is estimated, (because accurate numbers are impossible to get), that up to .5% of the population is super or villain. That’s an astonishing 77,500 supers and villains! Among the general population, the occurrence of 1 super or villain among 100,000 normals is a freak occurrence; in Nanopolis, it’s 1 in 200.
Because of its reputation as the home of the abnormal, Nanopolis attracts many bizarre people of all three persuasions, and is a tourist mecca that offers the jaded traveler the opportunity of witnessing struggles between beings of God-Like powers. It attracts millions of visitors, and is the center of thousands of businesses. It is definitely a city worthy of being a super-home.
The Secret threatens to bring all this down.
The Secret has been a rumor for thousands of years, when the first divisions of man were noticed and cataloged. Many have sought it; normals because they yearned for the power they heard it would provide; villains for the wealth and control it was rumored to bring; and supers who hunted it to expand the knowledge of man. None have ever found it. At least, none have ever found it and lived.
There was a villain who was supposed to have found it. It was in the golden age, and he had been working for the Nazis. His name was Herr Hammer, and he had been known for 2 things - a Herculean strength and a God-Like intelligence. There are many who believe that if he hadn’t gotten caught up in Hitler’s search for exotic items of occult and religious power, and subsequently disappeared, he would have tipped the balance to the Axis side in the Great War.
Rumors of Herr Hammer popped up, time and again, for 20 years after the end of the war. Then, during the involvement of American troops in Vietnam, an army troop of 100 normals found him. The one who managed to escape told the Patriotic Five of his whereabouts, and they sought to capture him for trial on war crimes. The Patriotic Five was a powerful group; they were easily the match of Herr Hammer, especially since he was in his 60's at this time.
2 members of the Five came out of the jungle. Blue Witch was in a coma, and she died a few weeks later of a cerebral hemorrhage. Percepto, who had carried her out, was not in much better condition. He was checked into a mental institution because he couldn’t stop raving about how the nature of reality was all a lie. The only thing that the doctors believed when he spoke was that they had found Herr Hammer. Percepto is also now in his 60's, still alive, but deteriorating. His once-Legendary mind is all but gone, and his ravings are unheard. The staff at the military hospital in Nanopolis keep tight security around him; no one has ever been told why.
The century has just turned, and the new millennium is beginning. There are challenges for supers everywhere in Nanopolis, and many opportunities for fame and honor. But, also the challenge of The Secret lives on, and until it is revealed, there will always be work for the supers to do...

In 1941, at Sidi Omar on the Egyptian Border a man in Berber dress shouted "Herr Lawrence!". Unsnapping the catch of his holster, Loose Cannon Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence strode towards him. "Your guards have not heard of German efficiency." said the man, "No matter, let me introduce myself - I am Obersturmbannf├╝hrer Otto Skorzeny and I have an important message for you from General Rommel."

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of Susan Shwarz original content has been made to celebrate the author's commanding genius.

"Oh yeah in france a skinny man died of a big disease with a little name
By chance his girlfriend came across a needle and soon she did the same
PrinceAt home there are seventeen-year-old boys
And their idea of fun
Is being in a gang called the disciples
High on crack, totin' a machine gun”

~ Lyrics to “Sign o the Times” - Click to Play Sample
Dystopian Genius
Describing the unimaginably dystopian America of Prince's imagination at Lyrics Astraweb
~ quotation by Co-Historian Steve Payne from Counter-history – You're the Judge!

In 1940, a turn on the Wheel of If had transformed New York DA Allister Park into Celtic Judge Ib Scotlung. Charged with the duties of the Pugnacious Peacekeeper, Park arrived in the Tawantiinsuujan capital of Kuuskoo, on what he thought of as the northern coast of Panama in this America. Whilst participating in the religious celebration of Patjakamak, Scotlung was amongst a crowd attacked by agitating rogue Islamic insurgents of Dar Al-Harb. He saved the life of a young widow, Kuurikwiljor. Maybe, just maybe on this Wheel of If the bachelor Allister Park would finally find a mate, and marry. Even less likely, he thought, he would prevent the agitators from stirring the border dispute between Tawantiinsuuju and Dar Al-Harb into outright war. Park asked Kuurikwiljor to write down the belief system for his study, surprising the Tawantiinsuuju, true believers who memorized Patjakamak

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 2009, the TV networks presented episode seventeen of So What If?. Historian Philip Guedalla examined the defeat of Ferdinand's army at Lanjaron in 1491. An overview of the long history of the great, enlightened Kingdom of Granada follows the Moors' victory in Spain.

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

Esperanto book by L. L. Zamenhof
Esperanto book ..
In 1887, L. L. Zamenhof published "Dr. Esperanto's International Language" in Russian on July 26 in Warsaw, and over the next couple years later editions were published in Russian, Hebrew, Polish, French, German, and English. Zamenhof declared, "an international language, like a national one, is common property."
Zamenhof signed the work as "Doktoro Esperanto" and the title Esperanto stuck as the name of the language which, in Esperanto, means "one who hopes". The fathers of the 1919 Peace Conference in Paris needing hope for a shattered continent. They saw clearly the opportunity to build a new Europe around a common language, building the foundations for today's Komunumo (community).

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1945, the Labour Party won the United Kingdom general election of July 5 by a landslide. Decisively beaten, Churchill and the Conservatives were generally considered to have run a poor campaign in comparison to Labour; Churchill's statement that Attlee's program would require a Gestapo-esque body to implement was then considered to have been particularly poorly-judged. Big Brother
Big Brother
However, like so many of Churchill's statements, it was extremely far-sighted. George Orwell's described this most authoritarian of regimes in his brutal political satire 1948, with Big Brother a thinly disguised reference to Clement Attlee.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

Moncada Barracks
Moncada Barrack..
In 1953, Freedom Fighter Fidel Castro died leading an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks, thus ending the Cuban Revolution. The remaining rebels were tried and sentenced for their role in the attack, Che Guavera giving a four hour speech, concluding with the words "Condemn me.
It does not matter. History will absolve me", in his defense. They were released after an amnesty in 1956.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1968, US President Hubert Humphrey accepted the proposals of South Vietnamese opposition leader Truong Dinh Dzu advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war. The coalition rooted out the corruption which had bedevilled the Republic of Vietnam, leading to a resurgence in .. Humphrey
.. support from the population. A formal peace treaty was concluded at Paris the next year as Hanoi recognised the reduced prospect of victory over a more formidable neighbour.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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Cerulean said...

Definite gamer, but not of the RPG variety.

Dranco said...

Bigtime gamer, also RPG, interesting situation: Nanopolis:)

TIAH Editor says we'd like to move you off the blog, if you're browsing the archives - and most people are - more than half of them are already on the new site. We need to be sure the new web site accomodates your archive browsing needs because we don't want to lose any readers. Please supply any feedback or comments by email to the Editor and please note the blogger site is shutting on December 1st.