The Timeline

An explanation of an alternative present c.o. the most honourable L.S. E.J.A.

The major developments that have brought us to this state, I shall briefly outline for posterity, and for any hermits who may have failed to notice how much our world changed over the course of the past three centuries that have led us to this “golden halcyon,” as the Royal News Agency have been wont to call it. If I overemphasize the myriad developments, or misrepresent them as a cohesive narrative rather than a series of largely unrelated events, then I apologise and beg the gentle reader’s forgiveness. So, without further ado or fanfare, I offer up this time-line:

1768

After decades of investigation, the work of Johann Joseph Gassner, the famous “father of Jesuit exorcism,” is embraced by the greater church. The Jesuits rapidly develop into an agency for the hunting of rogue ghosts and the witches that manipulate them.

Fig. 1.1: Woodcut illustration representing Johann Joseph Gassner exhibiting spiritual influence over undesirable psychic elements, circa 1800.
Woodcut illustration representing Johann Joseph Gassner exhibiting spiritual influence over undesirable psychic elements, circa 1800.

Though Gassner believed his work to be combat with the agents of the devil, spiritualists would later divine the nature of the Jesuits’ foes, and their apparent cause for malingering and possession. Today Jesuits have only a loose affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church, acting largely autonomously in their duties with the blessing of Her Majesty and the Church of England.

1784

Franz Anton Mesmer, after a life of intrigue promoting his “animal magnetism,” or Mesmerism as it is known by contemporary readers, is challenged to a duel of wills by an unknown Cathayan sorcerer whilst lecturing a group of students in Paris.

Fig. 1.2: Oft-reproduced illustration of Franz Anton Mesmer's ill-fated duel, pitting his Animal Magnetism against the sorcery of Cathay.
This frequently reproduced illustration depicts Franz Anton Mesmer’s ill-fated duel, pitting his Animal Magnetism against the sorcery of Cathay.

Though he died shortly thereafter in 1785 due to undisclosed health complications likely brought on by the duel, he so impressed the Cathayan mystic that several of his students, including the notable Royal Shepherd Dr. Henry Dreyfus, are allowed to study under the high masters of the far east.

1827

After the return of the Cathayan Mesmerists, it is discovered that many societies harbor their own ancient traditions, many degraded to ritual but nearly all containing at least one functional surviving “indescribed mechanism energy manifestation” (IMEM as the public knows them). Notably, the secret texts beneath the Egyptian pyramids, after extraction at great risk from both trap and curse, were discovered to contain methods of prolonging the lives of practitioners nearly as effectively as the Cathayan methods, which remain enclosed in the Forbidden City.

Fig. 1.4: The Curse of Tutankhamen claimed the lives of all of the researchers responsible for unearthing the treasure trove of IMEM from within the tomb site in the Valley of the Kings.
The Curse of Tutankhamen claimed the lives of all of the researchers responsible for unearthing the tomb site in the Valley of the Kings.

The curse of Tutankhamen claims the lives of many archaeologists, without yielding significant finds to date. The Governor of Egypt has since declared the Tomb of Tutankhamen strictly off-limits.

1853

An expedition led by Rutherford Englis in the high Andes discovers a “Lost World,” wherein dinosaurian survivors of the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event had remained largely unmodified. This strange region was also home to other oddities of nature, including a single surviving species of terror bird and megaflora of known carnivorous plants.

Fig. 1.5: Photograph of the Englis expedition, June 18th 1853.
Photograph of the Englis expedition, June 18th 1853.

The hardiest of these Lost World flora and fauna survive today, and have been bred for respective uses as pack animals, sporting companions, the objects of sport, and even for decoration.

1859

The Lost City of Atlantis is discovered by divers, who disappointingly did not discover the marvels promised by myth and folklore.

Discovery of the Atlantean Clockwork Mind.
Discovery of the Atlantean geared computer paved the way for developments in clockwork intelligence.

However, the crystal movement-based thinking engine discovered among the ruins fundamentally advanced means of mechanical computation and reasoning, providing the framework for the later creation of the clockwork mind.

1864

In part due to advances in what was once considered magical thinking, and emboldened by the increasing credence given to ideas up to the 1820s to be outdated superstitions, the tide of young alchemists ultimately arrive at the ancient aims of their profession. Unfortunately, neither became as profitable as they sounded in theory. The transmutation of metals is exorbitantly energy-expensive, to the extent that it is more efficient in manpower to simply mine gold rather than expend the concerted psychic and thaumaturgical efforts of many trained alchemists required for any meaningful achievement, only to find that the conversion is generally small-scale and incomplete even after such expenditure.

The eminent alchemist Gordon survives to this day, albeit in a wizened state.
The eminent alchemist Gordon survives to this day, albeit in a wizened state.

The elixir of life was similarly inefficient, for though it can prolong the life, so far that researchers like Drake Gordon from the original project are still alive, it reduces the capacities of the beneficiary such that the majority of the expanded life span is spent bedridden, not to mention that the elixir fails to provide immunity to harm by physical means. For most citizens, a normal life is preferred to the dessicated, painful existence of the immortals.

1888

The Loch Ness Monster, as it was then known, is discovered to be no more than a plesiosaur.

Illustration commemorating the public announcement of the capture of the Loch Ness Monster.
Illustration commemorating the public announcement of the capture of the Loch Ness Monster.

Though rare at that time, the reader is certainly aware that worldwide populations have rebounded, and these noble animals are now commonly put to use as ferries and work animals.

1895

Tesla’s Fifth Avenue labs are destroyed, but President Grover Cleveland personally delivers the funding necessary to reconstruct the research.

This illustration was used as part of the campaign to pass after-the-fact legislative approval for the Tesla laboratory recovery. What was then the American Congress approved the move by a slim margin, securing the future of the world's electrical technologies.
This illustration was used as part of the campaign to pass after-the-fact legislative approval for the Tesla laboratory recovery. What was then the American Congress approved the move by a slim margin, securing the future of the world’s electrical technologies.

Without this funding, many suspect we would be shackled to Edison’s machinations today, and such modern mainstays as the matter transmitter would be so delayed in their development, we might still be in their absence.

1900

In order to mark the turn of the century, and usher in the heralded Golden Age of Reason, Adam Weishaupt, known as Brother Spartacus among the Order of Perfectibilists and Theodor sum guten Rath to his masonic brethren, reveals himself and presents the advancements in spiritual science developed by cooperation between the Illuminati and the Freemasons, secretly in progress since circa 1770.

An unknown artist's sketch from the day of the grand announcement depicts Weisshaupt addressing the press.
An unknown artist’s sketch from the day of the grand announcement depicts Weisshaupt addressing the press.

The methods of confining active elements of spirits to machinery must honestly be credited solely to Weishaupt. His other discoveries, including the manner in which he extended his life without developing the muscular wastage associated with immortality found in other means, may forever remain secret, since he disappeared in 1928 during an expedition to the South Pole for reasons unknown. He was 180 years old at the time of his disappearance and probable death.

1917

Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths encounter faeries near Cottingley, and provide photographic evidence of their existence.

Elsie Wright is photographed here with a coterie of faeries. The discovery's verification stunned the world.
Elsie Wright is photographed here with a coterie of faeries. The discovery’s verification stunned the world.

Though the faeries intelligence proved disappointingly low, they were the cause of the creation of the delineation of species rights, which created a middle category for beings of near-human intelligence that provides the right of self-ownership, placing faeries above beasts, but also the right of possession to human owners, placing them below humans.

A "faerie in glass" lamp is depicted in this sketch from 1918. The barbaric practice is now illegal in the Empire without providing a means of egress and other anti-cruelty protections, which is not to say that it is entirely unheard of.
A “faerie in glass” lamp is depicted in this sketch from 1918. The practice is now illegal, which is not to say that it is entirely unheard of.

In the case of the faerie this may be said to be just, though modern foment is likely to turn to upheaval as more near-human entities exhibit an often violent desire for freedom from human ownership.

1921

The Voynich Manuscript – named for its owner, Wilfrid Michael Voynich, who acquired it in 1912 at the Villa Mondragone in Italy – is deciphered by Erasmus Delaney.

"Delaney's Dream", the original illustration that still serves as cover for E. Delaney's groundbreaking book, "The Key to Voynichian Cycle-Cyphers".
“Delaney’s Dream”, the original illustration that still serves as cover for E. Delaney’s groundbreaking book, “The Key to Voynichian Cycle-Cyphers”.

Delaney, living in a tenement in New York and working as a clerk for Mr. Voynich, made copies of the book and studied them at night until, according to folklore, the key to the cipher was revealed to him in a dream. Herbalism became a booming profession as the method of cultivation and discovery of many potent herbs was revealed, providing great efficacy at various purposes.

1930

The Illuminati and Freemason partnership, from its Bavarian workshop, reveal advancements in a synergy of fields – from Voynich-inspired catalysis of peat, cryptoflora, and biomass to a long-burning, superdense fuel to new hydraulic methods and gear ratios – that make steam engines the most safe and efficient means of power.

Weishaupt's leadership was instrumental in the development of modern mechanics and dynamics.
Weishaupt’s leadership was instrumental in the development of modern mechanics and dynamics.

Other discoveries that were less successful include a catalytic process for oil that produces an extremely high-energy combustion. The thermal jets and internal combustion engines developed to utilize this technology, despite their safety concerns and lower total efficiency, remain popular among rocketeers and experimental mechanics. The use of the Tesla decoupling process, coupled with electrically stimulated alchemy, allowed for production massive quantities of hydrogen, which the Illuminati displayed in their now-famous circumglobal dirigible tour.

1936

The first definitive Yeti, or Meh-Teh (which is tibetan for “man-bear”) sighting by a westerner occurs in the himalayas, where British mountaineer Noel Odell tranquilized a specimen of the massive near-human species.

Odell makes the shot.
Odell makes the shot.

The discovery reinvigorated cryptozoologists, and lead to the “monster boom” of the 1940s.

1949

The many advantages enjoyed by the privileged position of Britain in the development of Illuminati technology, cryptozoology, spiritualism, herbalism, and alchemy, in large part due to the success of Operation Nighthawk from 1910 to 1945, allows Britain to cow opponents of its view of world government without the need for force. The details of the operation are strictly top-secret, but speculation on the allegedly draconian methods of the Royal Shepherds abounds.

Regardless of the means, the secrets kept in the Imperial Vault under the Tower of London provided Britain with a material advantage in the many wars occurring 1911 to June 5, 1949, about which I am forbidden by Imperial Decree to expound. The world accepted the sovereignty of the British government over international affairs at the Concord of Venice. The position of British Governor is created as a means of overseeing the affairs of the myriad countries of the world as they affect the exterior. The Great British Empire created the posts with the intent of a relatively uninvasive role: to moderate trade, to ensure universal prosperity, and monitor local decisions to prevent territorial or aggressive mandates from passage. This stands in stark contrast with the modern duties of Governors, who are materially responsible for the conduct of their Protectorate. The Royal Shepherds were given “right above the law” by the Concord, which they still enjoy whilst conducting their duties in maintenance of order.

1949 to Today

The Pax Britannica descended, a peace that, they say, will last a thousand years.