Point of Divergence
In discussion of counterfactual history, a Point of Divergence (POD) is a historical event, with two or more possible postulated outcomes. Typically these represent the actual course of historical events (Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo) and another, such as Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo. In alternative history fiction like Ill Bethisad, the POD is used as the starting point for the extrapolation.
Unlike most other alternate histories, however, Ill Bethisad consist of a large number of PODs. This is partly due to the large number of participants in the project, most of whom use a fixed moment in their local history to diverge from. Also typical for Ill Bethisad is the existence of Points of Convergence, i.e. moments following a Point of Divergence where alternate history and "real" history come together again, thus allowing for a new Point of Divergence at some later stage.
The presence of a POD does not necessarily exclude the possibility that certain things were different before that. Important in a POD is that it essentially causes history to take a different course; differences preceding it are possible under the condition that they had no significant influence on the course of history, although they may contain the gems for elements that will play an important role later.
Even after the POD, history often takes a road parallel (but not similar) to ours in Ill Bethisad. Many important events that occurred *here* have a counterpart *there*; how big the similarities and the differences are may vary.
Below follows a list of the points of divergence used in IB. This list is probably incomplete.
- The Roman emperor Hadrian swamps Judea with Roman colonists after defeating Bar Kochba, creating a hybrid culture.
- The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius conquered Boiohaemia and Sarmantia and prepared ground for romanisation of Eastern Europe.
- 4th century
- The Romanized Slavic population of northern Pannonia remains in place. Divergence is not great before the 19th century, but the area is never Slavicized, so that a Romance language, Slvanjek, is spoken there now.
- 5th century
- Initial POD of Armorica King Graedlan's (Gratilanus) youngest son, Salomon converts to paganism and leads an emigration of Gaulish-speaking pagans to the islands off Armorica's north coast.
- Roman king Sigismund of Luxembourg forced by power Catholic Church during the Council of Konstanz to solve its contemporary problems (schisma, heresis). He thus became Roman Emperor 1419.
- King Enrique IV of Castile and Leon's brother Alfonso does not die. Alfonso succedes Enrique in Castile and Leon, preventing the unification of Spain under Ferdinand II of Aragon and Alfonso's syster Isabella.
- Initial POD of Mueva Sefarad. Jews expelled from the nations of the Iberian peninsula. Due to continued Christian-Muslim warfare in the Mediterranean basin, they are left with no choice but to sail westwards into the Atlantic, eventually discovering and settling what would eventually be Mueva Sefarad (*here*'s Newfoundland).
- János I. Szapolyai became rightfull king of Hungary.
- c. 1550
- The king of Henua (Easter Island) declares a tapu, or exclusive royal right of exploitation, on nearly all of the island's remaining forests, many of the springs, and all terrestrial birds, while maintaining the old tapu on sea turtles, sea mammals, and fishing around the island of Motu Motiro Hiva. Wide implications not only for Henua, but for the Americas as well because of the Pacific Trade Network.
- Initial point of departure for Alta California and Montrei. Settlement of Alta California begins. Settlement slow, but proceeds due to Castillian fears of foreign invasion of their lands.
- Roman Emperor Rudolph II. has married Isabel Clara Eugenia de Aragon y Navarra (daughter of Phillip I. of Aragon) and they had son Maxmillian.
- A new Austro-Bohemo-Dalmatian Monarchy was created after resignation of the last Dalmatian ruler Agafon and unification of Dalmatia with Habsburgian realm in Eastern Europe.
- Tocugawa Ieyasu of Japan converts to Christianity (later mostly converges)
- After defeat of throne usurpator Mathias of Habsburg, Bohemian Kingdom became independent under rule of Rudolph II. Habsburg. Mathias became King of Austro-Dalmatia.
- As a consequence of the absence of the Thirty Years War in IB, the Scanian Wars don't take place, so Eastern Denmark (Scania, Halland, and Blekinge), and Eastern Norway (Jamtland and Harjedalen) are not lost to Sweden. Also, there was no incentive to introduce an absolute monarchy in any of the Scandinavian kingdoms. Though Sweden did become a hereditary monarchy, Denmark remained an elected monarchy. (Norway was already a hereditary monarchy before the Kalmar Union).
- Initial Louisiannan POD. La Salle did not get misguided and land the French colony in Texas, instead, landed in *here's* Mississippi and thus was not destroyed by the Indians, giving French Louisiannan Colonizaitons a headstart.
- Louisiannan settlements of La Salle, Baie de Biloxi and Baie de Mobile are not starved and grow strong, unlike *here*. This is the Primary POD between *here* and *there* for Louisianne: the Colony flourished instead of died.
- England captures San Augustín in present-day East Florida, soon afterwards annexes Florida
- Tejas initial POD, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne is elevated to Princehood and marries daughter of Louis XV.
- As a consequence of the absence of the 7 Years War in IB, the north-eastern part of the French empire in North America is not conquered.
- Because of the execution of the king during the french revolution, the Intendancy of New Francy, break off relations with France.
- Central POD for the Republic of the Two Crowns: King Głorzan II dethroned. This prevents the Third Partition of the RTC from happening, and as a result, the union between Veneda and Lithuania survives until today.
- Main POD for Germany: Instead of dissolving the Holy Roman Empire, Napoleon assumes the title of Grand Duke of Luxemburg and, based on that title, secures his own election as Holy Roman Emperor.
- Central POD for the Scandinavian Realm - As a consequence of Scandinavia's non-involvement in the Napoleonic episode, Bernadotte is not elected to become the king of Sweden. Instead, Sweden goes into personal union with Denmark-Norway.
- Invaded by the French and the Aragonese, the king king Alfonso XIV of Castile and Leon fleed to the New Kingdom of Granada. King Pedro of Portugal is imprissoned. This eventually leads to the decolonization of Ibero-American colonies.
- Central POD for Malta and the Order of St. John - The Order of St John gains back the island of Malta.
- 1830 (ca)
- Central POD, Tejas. Descendant of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne and Louis XV daughter marries Karl Fuersten zu Solms-Braunfels, which causes creation of Kingdom of Tejas.
- Primary POD, Mormons. Mormons are granted (and actually given) peaceful habitation rights in Louisianne.
- Secondary POD, Mormons. Because of lack of persecution, Emma Smith remains with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Reorganized CJCLDS is not created.
- Central POD for Japan: Opening by Montrei, deviation starts off slow, but gradually grows
- Central POD for Russia: the Bolsheviks are defeated by the White Armies. This is the beginning of seventy years of SNOR rule.