A version of my ASB timeline, Vivere Militare Est ([link]
), for TL-191. I'm also adopting parts of AH.com's Thespitron 6000's excellent TL, Zomrades ([link]
) and Deadlands.
In 1944, American Major General Irving Morrell succeeded in taking the Georgian capital of Atlanta, threatening to cut Featherston's Confederacy in half. It was clear to everyone then that the war would soon be over, and in the Union's favor. Featherston needed a way to turn the tide, and he knew that conventional means would not suffice. However, the Confederate dictator did have a few tricks up his sleeve.
Shortly after his rise to power, Featherston sought out ways to overcome the Confederacy’s material weakness in comparison to its northern rival. Agents of the Freedom Party Guards scoured the country for anything that could give the Confederacy some edge. This search was not fruitless, and by 1941 the Confederacy had a secret arsenal of dark, unnatural weapons at its disposal.
Key to the Confederacy’s efforts was the discovery of élan vital, the force that powered all life. Using the studies of Dr. Felix Templeton, a scientists who served with the Confederate Army during the War of Secession, the Freedom Party Guards managed to create a way to harness the very force of life itself. Used properly, élan vital could power advanced, esoteric technologies, such as suncasters and anti-gravity engines. While every single living being possessed élan vital, it was discovered through experimentation with the Confederacy’s black population that the more intelligent a being, the more élan vital it produced. With Featherston already planning on exterminating the Confederacy’s blacks, he decided to use the Population Reduction for a more productive purpose: providing his armies with the power necessary to lick the damnyankees once and for all.
Ironically, the Freedomites also saw potential in voodoo, the pseudo-Christian religion practiced by many blacks in Louisiana. Although the Freedom Party officially condemned such “witchcraft,” the Freedom Party Guards secretly sought to use voodoo to destroy the hated United States. The FPG trained some of their most favored troops in the art of necromancy, so that fallen Yankees and Rebels alike could be utilized in battle.
In 1944, the Freedomites became desperate enough to use their esoteric arsenal against the Americans. As American forces advanced on the city of Savannah, Confederate forces under the leadership of General George Patton launched Operation Bonnie Blue Flag, one final attempt to destroy the American forces which threatened to cut the Confederacy in half. Aiding Patton was the 39th Freedom Party Guard division Samedi, named after the voodoo death god, and a division of Brass Knights: Confederate blacks and American prisoners of war enslaved by dark magic and grafted alive into suits of armor. The Americans were driven back by this bold offensive, which was repeated all throughout the continent. However, the Confederates could not sustain their advance, and the two armies hunkered down in West Virginia and Kentucky.
Elsewhere in North America, the Native American population of Sequoyah, who preferred the Confederates to the Americans, launched a series of preternatural attacks against the American garrison stationed there. Using the élan vital of their ancestors and captured Americans, pro-Confederate Native Americans opened a portal to the “other side,” a dimension of pain and madness populated by malicious preternatural entities. This process quickly went out of control, with the portal consuming the élan vital of the sorcerers which created it. Soon, preternatural entities from the nightmares of mankind exited the portal and attacked Allied and Entente forces alike.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the British occultist Aleister Crowley was working with elements of MI5 to create similar war-winning weapons to avenge the loss of the Great War to Germany. Claiming to have received his gospel from an entity known as Aiwass, Crowley created the Thelema cult to codify his knowledge of the occult. Although opposed by the British government, and even officially called the "The Wickedest Man in the World,” Churchill and Mosley took an interest in Crowley’s work before the Second Great War. In 1944, as the tide was turning against the Entente in Europe, more and more power was given to MI5 and its occult divisions. MI5’s greatest achievement was the development of the ghost bomb: a thaumaturgic explosive powered by the souls of the dead. Using captured Irish and other Allied prisoners, MI5 developed the “Hurricane” ghost bomb and dropped it on a German army crossing into Belgium. Unfortunately for the British, the Germans retaliated with their own ghost bomb, which annihilated a British army near Belfast. Ghost bomb technology quickly crossed the Atlantic, and in 1945 both the United States and Confederate States used ghost bombs against their foes.
By 1947, it was clear that both sides were getting nowhere. Sequoyah, the border states, Ukraine and the Low Countries had become playgrounds for malevolent entities from beyond the physical world. Soldiers and civilians alike were being attacked by preternatural entities of all sorts. Civilians demanded an end to the war, so that their governments would actually protect them from the horrors that were unleashed upon the world. The Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires collapsed into civil warfare, with occult forces joining the fray. When Jake Featherston secretly announced to President La Follette that he would sacrifice five thousand blacks to summon an avatar of Baron Samedi, the two sides were forced to the negotiating table.
The Armistice of 1947 put an end to the Second Great War as both the Allies and the Entente realized that continuing the war would only turn the entire planet into Hell. The five great powers, Germany, France, Britain, and both the United and Confederate States, put an end to the fighting and founded the Occult Containment Organization. The OCO would serve as an international force dedicated to stopping the various malevolent supernatural groups and individuals unleashed by the Second Great War. It was hoped at the armistice table that humanity could unite and contain the evils they had unleashed. However, these hopes would go on to be unfounded.
By 2015, the OCO is a rotting institution, underfunded by its sponsors and wracked with corruption. Rivalries between the great powers put more and more money into militaries intended to kill men instead of specialist forces intended to drive away the supernatural. The great powers continue to manufacture ghost bombs, creating a combined arsenal so large that they would destroy the souls of every person on the planet. Disputed land, which the great powers promised to divide fairly and clean up, were left to the occult. Meanwhile, the preternatural grow stronger by the day. The Crimson Tsarina, the undead overlord of the Russian Empire, continues to send her subjects against the Bismarck Line defending German Mitteleuropa. Malevolent spirits and undead march from the despoiled plains of Sequoyah into Texas and Kansas, attacking border towns before being driven back by the military. The Japanese continue to act as a rogue state, funding and arming any group which attempts to bring down the five great powers as they fight against the mummified armies of the Jade Emperor. The Samedi Division and Aleister Crowley turned against their governments and have waged an unofficial war against them for decades. And now, reports of raids by a nihilistic cult calling itself the Children of Oblivion are becoming more and more common.