This Alternate History timeline published at AlternateHistory.com is described by its author Max Sinister as "the Mount Everest of AH". It starts with the death of Genghis Khan in 1200 (thus preventing the Mongol conquest of Russia, China and Persia) and goes until the year 1993. History changes a lot compared to our world, although some patterns seem to reappear.
The complete timeline (including stories) is over 800 kB long.
Read the Chaos Timeline on the AH.com forum, or the Stories from the Chaos TL (you have to register and log in for them), or read the full TL as a scenario. The timeline can also be read at the Alternate History Wikia. See also this material on the GURPS wikia.
It has managed to get its own fanfiction work called Samowar in Atlantis.
WARNING! There are unmarked Spoilers ahead. Beware.
Due to the versatile and lengthy nature of the storyline and its vulnerability to spoilers, tropes are denoted in thematic categories. Explanations given clickable right below.
Alternate History Tropes
- Allohistorical Allusion: Lots of it, mostly for pure Rule of Funny. And not just with historical personalities and events, but also alternate vocabulary and culture.
- A more serious one: After the battle of Auschwitz, someone states: "Certainly this place has never seen such a massacre on any world, in any time." And on the same plane:
Topper: "Mates, it's official now: The 9th of November is the most uninteresting day in German history!"
- Alternate History: Well, that's the point.
- Alternative Calendar: Introduced after France becomes a republic.
- For Want of a Nail: Genghis Khan dying from a minor accident in 1200 prevents the unification of the Mongol tribes and their subsequent global conquests.
- Sliding Scale of Alternate History Plausibility : Type II, best explained by the author at the Wikia entry page.
- What If the development of medieval Europe, the Islamic world and China wasn't hampered by the Mongol invasion known to our history?
General Tropes denote tropes that don't belong to any other category. This folder is also sub-structured into Language Tropes that didn't get its own folder for the sake of clarity.
- Artist Disillusionment: Some fan created a Fanfic on Alternatehistory.com. Said fanfic used an epic story covering the whole wide world as a background for drunken nonsense talk full of Redundancy Department of Redundancy. And even worse, insisted to insert some seriously squicky stuff.
- The Beautiful Game: When national teams from the Socialist Block were allowed to compete in a world cup for the very first time, their Englishmen bring German Bavaria a painfully shameful defeat in the finals after penalties.
- Cool Train: Vacuum maglevs which can reach speeds of no less than 10000 km/h !
- Cross Cultural Kerfluffle: "Atlantis" can refer to both Americas or the German part of the northern continent. Like "America" in our world, but even more Egregious.
- Cyberpunk: The last about thirty years of the TL definitely have this vibe going on, courtesy of the Logos (hackers) and the more earlier achieved advanced state of computer technology and networks than in our history.
- Don't Ask: In an in-universe joke.
- Egopolis: Several cities named after people, like Haraldsborg (our New York City), Wildenhartburg (Chicago), Alexandersborg (Cape Town) and Fort Knox (Singapore).
- Hollywood: Well, except that it's named Paradies, and located in the place of our Rio de Janeiro.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Do you like "for/four" jokes ? Sorry if you don't, 'cause I (the author) do.
- Ironic Echo: "It didn't really take long, but the world will never be again as it was before."
- Language Tropes
- Call a Rabbit a Smeerp: Justified, since history diverged in 1200 and people could well invent different names for things. E.g. America is called Atlantis, teddy bears are mishkas since they were invented in Russia, computer hackers are Logos (from 'logic'), Angst is called horreur, a blitzkrieg is a molniya (Russian for 'lightning'), tanks are Walzen ('steamrollers' in German), capitalism is monetarism etc.
- Gratuitous German: Germany is a superpower at the end, so don't be too astonished to find a bit of it. For example, Virtual Worlds are called Märchenwelten - Fairy Tale worlds.
- Gratuitous Italian: In the late years of the TL, there are artificial insects (flying nanotech robots) called Zanzara. Also, the Renaissance in known under the Italian term Rinascita in this history, rather than the French term from our history.
- Gratuitous Russian: Brought this world, among others, the synonyms to teddy bear and blitzkrieg. Generally, German is the number one world language, with Italian and Russian being respective seconds and thirds.
- Language Equals Thought: One in-story novel mentions the people in the world After the End having become unable to lie - but unfortunately, they also lost the ability to imagine things.
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: Supposedly, author User:Max Sinister compiled this story from a computer file he accidentally downloaded... from Another Dimension.
- Manga / Manhua: Not of this story, but in this story. They mostly come from China and are called "Wan Tu", meaning "ten-thousand pictures".
- The Plague: The Black Death, happening somewhat later and spread through longer time than in our world.
- Ruthless Modern Pirates: The modern Red Pirates of the Socialist Block, robbing ships of the capitalist nations. And also Nipponese terrorists doing this, who are even worse.
- Schizo-Tech: Some of the sciences and technological advances are discovered or perfected earlier than in our history, Novorossiya e.g. invents the telegraph and electrical devices nearly a century before it happened in our history. Let's just say that a resident from that timeline would compare our real world's present tech level with his 1960s at best.
- Self-Deprecation: In one of the stories, someone on the
internetWeltsystem asks "Max" (counterpart of the author?) why he doesn't write a timeline himself instead of criticizing others'.
- Serendipity Writes the Plot: The author originally had planned to call the internet of this world "Weltnetz" but found out that German neo-Nazis use this term already for the existing internet, so he changed it to "Weltsystem".
- Shout-Out: Quite some, e.g. to Seinfeld, Gone with the Wind, Shakespeare, and also to a number of AlternateHistory.com members. See below.
- Steampunk: Germany invents and deploys steam-driven tanks in this timeline's World War I. And wins.
- Sure Why Not: Some fan suggested that the head of the Socialist part of Germany should have the title "Oberster Politischer Kommissar", which became canon.
- Take That: Berlin is an uninteresting medium-sized city. Japan is a poor, undeveloped protectorate of China.
- Unreliable Narrator: In several of the stories from the Chaos Timeline.
- Write What You Know: The author is German. He stated that his Germanwank essentially runs on this because it's nigh impossible to competently employ local colors, proverbs and a global language that you know nothing about.
- Another reason was having a good villain for a desired Bait and Switch factor: The original version featured Japan instead of China as the other superpower beside Germany and a traveller from our world might easily assume it to be a "Nazis victorious" timeline at first sight.
Character Tropes are just that. Political leaders get described here just as well as the functional equivalents to your Ordinary High School Student.
- Ambiguously Gay: King Gioacchino of Italy and his successor, Alessandro Napolione.
- Awesome McCoolname: There are some German princes (and other guys) named Kraft, which means "power / strength". Yes, this once was a real first name in Germany.
- Ayn Rand: Her equivalent in this TL (kind of) is Sophie Stein.
- The Caligula: The fifth Chinese adoptive emperor, the protagonist of Samowar In Atlantis even calls him that way, "Kaiser Gaga". His precedessor was actually rumored to overthink his decision for succession, but got literally cut short by the events of 1993. And then It Got Worse.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Humphrey VII/II of New Albion
- The Eternal Churchill: There's a Sir Marlborough fighting the Socialists who's quite similar to him.
- Expy: Many of the famous historical personalities of this timeline are analogues of the ones of our lifetime. It's handled realistically though.
- Fake Defector: Walter Meier becomes head tribute collector for the French, making him perhaps the most hated man in occupied Germany. He's actually using the position to divert money to his favorite German resistance organizations.
- General Failure: Wolfgang Henrich at the German side, in this world's World War Two.
- Goth: Tatjana. Well, the equivalent of.
- Granola Girl: Their nicknames have a higher potential for being used as slurs than ours. Terramici (environmentalists) literally mean "friends/lovers of the earth" and Menschenhelfer (development aid workers) literally mean "man helpers" or "humanity's helpers".
- Heroic BSOD: All Logos seem to suffer from this at one point in their life. Fynstr has issues since his childhood, Topper lost many good countrymen at work, Tatjana becomes outright melodramatic in the end. But the mere exchange from campus to workplace is often enough.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: As a review of in-universe movie "Alexander" says, Oswald of Cottington only played a minor role in the (Great Occidental) war and never met Prince Alasdair in person.
- The House Of Bruce
- The House of Plantagenet: Reigning not only England, but also Spain and Portugal for some time, until they fall in a civil war in the 17th century.
- I Have Many Names: Sophie Stein, aka Sofonisba Leoncavallo, aka Shayna Löwenpferd.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: The elderly Fynstr. Also Topper for some years.
- Lady of War: Or rather Lady of Diplomacy, Queen Kristina I of Sweden, forging an alliance against the French king.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Tatjana
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- The Mafia: La Famiglia, which seizes full political power in the Italian empire after it loses World War I and its ruler is forced to abdicate. Also a subversion, since they're in fact a mixture of The Mafia and the fascists.
- Manipulative Bastard / Magnificent Bastard: Maffeo Servitore, of Florence. Also Alfred Kleiber, chancellor of German Atlantis. And maybe Walter Meier. And the New Roman emperors.
- Meaningful Name: Sophie Stein, again. "Sophie Stein is the stone that breaks the steel of Socialist propaganda!"
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- A great general who was born on an island west of Italy, fought in Egypt, became emperor and brought the church under his control was already mentioned.
- Matthias Lieber, one of those who translated the Bible into German, is a Shout-Out to Martin Luther. And at the same time, a Shout-Out to the RPG 7th Sea.
- Friedrich von Hohenzollern who might be Frederick the Great born in an Atlantean log cabin and successfully running away from his tyrannical father.
- Explorers / travellers Markus Poller and Mao Polou
- "Kingdom of God" is the counterpart to Thomas More's utopian story, well, Utopia.
- Condolcessa, last one of the Florentine ruling family, reminds of Lucrezia Borgia, at least in that people claim both to have committed Parental Incest, though this hasn't to be true.
- "Christnacht" is a text about a rich but avaricious landowner, who isn't willing to share his wealth with others, until he is suddenly experiencing... something at the evening of christmas. And his name (Thimotheus) becomes synonymous with "miser". Sounds familiar?
- Lauritz von Arguim. Also has a brainless captain.
- A technical genius who's a Swede from Finland inventing a codebreaker machine. (Linus Torvalds, anyone?)
- Carlo Carosio of "La Fiamma"
- Canada has the presidents Joseph B. Franklin and Jacob Andrews (a war hero).
- Germany has a populist (from the left!) named Josef F. Krause who suggests that his party should split to have more success with the voters: "Marching seperatedly, striking together!"
- A guy named Röhm unsuccessfully protesting race-mixing. He barely escapes unscathed.
- Not Good with People: Ignaz "Nazi" Schuhmann, security police officer working his shift on another continent of the German Reich in order to eventually get promoted. Got increasingly fed up with its inhabitants, thinking that their mentalities make excellent Balkanize Me fodder that the Dirty Communists in Brussels would thankfully like to swallow up.
- One Head Taller: Topper. He even dwarfs Tatjana, who's six feet tall.
- Playful Hacker: The Logos.
- Pun Personified: Tatjana, mostly.
- Punny Name / Bilingual Bonus: About Sophie Stein nee Shayna Löwenpferd: "She roars like a lion, and is as smart as a horse!" 
- Statuesque Stunner: Tatjana.
- Warrior Prince: Prince Alasdair, later king Alexander of Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia, and (shortly) elected king of Poland and Holy Roman Emperor.
- The Wise Prince: Prince Harald of Denmark, who (re-)discovers America
- What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Somebody (the fanfic writer to be exact) fancied a non-existent link between the assassinated German general Uhrlau and the real person Ernst Uhrlau who headed the German federal intelligence (the BND) from 2005 to 2011.
- Worthy Opponent: Henry V of the Triple Monarchy and François III of France, towards each other.
- You Killed My Father: Rather like "You imprisoned my brother!"
- Young Conqueror: Prince Alasdair, natch.
Religion Tropes were introduced to tidy up ambiguities towards other folders. Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Other than in our world, Catholic Christianity didn't split except for some minor fringe movements, but power gradually shifted to the governments of the Catholic nations, somehow akin to the Anglican Church or Gallican Church in our world whose rituals and doctrine were mostly kept unchanged. E.g. in Nippon, the tenno is the head of the country's Catholic Church! The Pope was gradually reduced to a mere figurehead, but this changed unexpectedly again when he had to go to
Australia TirlandAntipodia after the revolution in Britain.
- Interfaith Smoothie: The Indian Chandramoorthy develops his own religion, which combines elements from Hinduism, Islam, Catholicism and the classical Greco-Roman religion.
- Irish Priest: Taken Up to Eleven, with the Irish-Catholic pope(s) from the land Down Under and their many missionaries, which are probably a trope of their own in this world.
- The Pope: After Rome is captured by the Seljuks, he moves to France. Then, in the 18th century, when France becomes a secular republic, he has to flee to Spain, then to Britain when France conquers Spain... and finally to Antipodia (our Australia) when Britain becomes Socialist.
National and Political Tropes
National And Political Tropes denote tropes about countries and politics, domestic and international alike including warfare and nation-building.
- The Alliance: Several times in this history. After all, it coined the term "anti-X War", as in "Anti-French War" and other wars, all of them ending with a victory of the alliance.
- Alternate History Wank: Many a Space-Filling Empire may fall into this category, but the three-continental German technocracy deserves special mention.
- Balance of Power: It's about world history, and patterns repeat.
- Balkanize Me: North
AmericaAtlantis, sometimes China, France and Russia.
- Black Shirt: The post-WWI Italian Fascisti. A subversion, since they're actually the right hand of The Mafia analogue (the mafia of this history being an amalgam of both organized crime and Italian ultranationalism).
- Blessed with Suck: The epically dramatic description of Germany in the 1920s.
- Bread and Circuses: Part of the technocratic agenda in Germany is making the working class unpolitical by the titular "three F": Fußball (soccer), Fernsehen (television), Fernreisen (vacation). One feels tempted to add a fourth F like Fressen (food).
- Cincinnatus: General Boulanger
- Cold War: At the latter half of the 20th century, the three major superpowers fighting for balance with each other are the German technocracy, the Socialist Block and the Chinese Empire.
- Culture Police: In the German technocracy. Censors the book "Das Paradies der Goldis" by Katherine Geller (apparently a bit like Valley Of The Dolls) for the depiction of mental diseases, drug addiction and lesbian love.
- A Degree in Useless: Subverted. The German technocracy generally scoffs at anyone studying humanities, minimizing their teaching to a "harmless enough" level, afraid of the potentially rising threat of pro-democratic freethinkers. Education in "hard sciences" and general blue collar vocational training is encouraged, supplemented by a Bread and Circuses approach in state propaganda. Reality Ensues when one of the stories depicts a young couple smuggling banned philosophy books from German Atlantis to a somewhat more democratic neighbouring country.
- Dirty Communists: Here, Socialists. They take over Britain in the mid-19th century and spread over all of Western Europe. And Greece.
- Eagle Land Speaking German. In both parts of
the AmericasAtlantis. And appropriately, this Germany has three eagles in its crest, among them a condor that got dubbed as an "Andean eagle" in this world. Even absorbs the old motherland at one point. Becomes a political clusterfuck and quickly puts on the Reich as a so-called technocracy, a crossbreed of "Prussia, the GDR and the American military-industrial complex should it ever seize power." Not that its major opponents were really more pleasant in this regard.
- Easy Logistics: Commenters raised one or another eyebrow about transporting six- to seven-figure numbers of soldiers across the Atlantic in each direction during this world's World War II. The author responded that several factors like bigger navies on both sides  and improved technology would work it out, but also confessed that there wouldn't be a world war in this world if it wouldn't because the odds were so one-sided in each half of the world.
- The Empire: As this is a realistic (hi)story, it's a question of your POV. The New Roman Empire, the German technocracy and others might all qualify.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Kind of. While there are dictatorships, communists and fascists, secret polices, many wars, nukes and even worse weapons, this timeline has no equivalent of the Nazis and the Holocaust.
- Fascist gold: A group of Red Pirates discovers it and decides to take off for Braseal instead of giving it back.
- Forever War: After Republican France occupies Spain, the fighting down there does not end until eighty years later.
- Imperial China: Still exists even in the later 20th century, ruled by the so-called adoptive emperors.
- Israel: Here called (Greater) Judea.
- Founded on Sinai in the mid-19th century and expanded considerably into Palestine and Syria in the aftermath of World War I. Remains the only developed democratic country of importance for much of the 20th century.
- Saved Germany's ass at a very crucial moment in World War II.
- And the whole human race owes some Judean citizen on how World War III ended, if nobody else.
- Oh, and they constantly make some really awesome tech, no matter if here or there.
- Nuke'Em: The German technocracy nukes Verona (core Italy) and about a dozen Russian cities in World War Two.
- Nu Spelling: The "Nu Inglish" used in Socialist Britain.
- One World Order: The German technocracy probably strives for it. The Logos succeed instead.
- Police State: After the German democracy falls, pretty much every major power on Earth is this.
- Red Scare: The Socialist Block in Western Europe.
- The Republic: France, German Atlantis, Novorossiya (New Russia, our Siberia). And Greater Switzerland, of course. Oh, and (Greater) Judea.
- La Résistance: Various. Spaniards against Republican France, Germans against Russians and Italians, various against the Socialists.
- Space-Filling Empire: The New Roman Empire, Russia, the German technocracy. However, mostly avoided by introducing the eponymous "Chaos", vast areas of the world, esp. in Africa, where the governments change every few months and borders every few years.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Rum-Seljuks are basically Ottoman Turks on steroids. And they keep the name "Seljuks" instead of Turks or Turkey to the modern day.
- Vestigial Empire: A lot of the old European monarchies end this way.
- New Rome, descending first into Greater Italy and eventually into five seperate Italian nations. It Makes Sense in Context.
- The lands that once merged into the Union of the Old and New Russia eventually become, well, Russian Chaos.
- The remaining British Empire's royal family flee to New Albion (New Zealand) after Britain turns republican and eventually socialist. A civil war over succession issues eventually rocks the country in the 1960s and effectively splits it in two, the South Island behind the resident Cloudcuckoolander and the North Island behind a certain Elizabeth. Hoo boy.
Modern World Issues
Modern World Issues have been introduced as a section because of the spoileriffic nature of many issues regarding the timeline's later 20th century when the timeline acquires a contemporary and even futuristic feel that hardly fits with the rest.
- Apocalypse How: Here with nanomachines, thus potentially Class X (planetary annihilation). And many locals vaguely expected it to happen for years.
- Artificial Intelligence: AI plays an important part at the end.
- Barbie: Has an equivalent in the German toys line "Goldi".
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- In 1993, Japanese terrorists/freedom fighters crash a plane on the Chinese Summer Palace, killing the emperor.
- Greece is considered a highly corrupt Chaos country and a drain on the Socialist Block's power.
- Electronic Telepathy: An important factor. Helped the Logos to form what is for all practical purposes a Hive Mind and later take over the world.
- The End of the World as We Know It: At the end, World War III between the superpowers Germany and China breaks out, and although it doesn't last long (actually a mere three hours), the world will never be again as it was before. Because the
hackersLogos and their allied AIs take over the world and the military and tell the war off.
- Everything Is Online: Exploited big time at one occasion.
- Fantastic Drug: In the GURPS adventure based on this, one dealer tries to sell the PCs the drug "black niig", which supposedly makes people feel "like Stalin, when he crushed his enemies' balls", and later they meet a crazy fundamentalist Christian who claims he knew a girl who never listened to advice, took nanodrugs and one day literally fell apart to dust.
- For Dummies: aka "The Rules for/to ______"
- Former Regime Personnel: The entry at GURPS wikia suggests a term for a whole caste of high-profile PTSD victims, "ex-leaders", the collateral damage of the outcome of the Grand Finale.
- Effectively stripped of their former power, many of the people in leadership positions before the Velvet Revolution had their personal fortunes largely left intact, but still feel a void as a result of their loss of power. People obviously don't deal well with becoming obsolete over night. Alcoholism is said to be rampant among these guys.
- Global Currency: At the end of the story, the GEM (short for Geld-Einheit der Menschheit - "money unit of humanity") is introduced. The sign for it looks like a G with a circle around it, much like our @.
- Grand Finale: World War III, and the world being taken over by the Logos and A Is.
- The Great Politics Mess-Up: In-universe at least for any work of fiction done before the Logo and AI induced abortion of World War III but set Twenty Minutes Into the Future.
- Inside a Computer System: AIs are important, so expect this.
- Leet Speak: The currency of the German technocracy is the Thaler, abbreviated "Th". Thus, people from this timeline will replace the T's in names of firms considered too greedy with Th. One example is the computer/electronics firm Werstand (imagine a cross between Microsoft, IBM and Siemens), which becomes Wersthand.
- Names Given to Computers: Or rather, AIs. In fact, they name themselves after random strings - three of them are called X27, a_gcl and Horace.
- Nanomachines: Everywhere in the last years of the timeline.
- Robot Religion: in-universe, a sci-fi author invents a religion based on binary logic.
- The Rule of First Adopters: "System-Sex" is definitely at the very short price list of the GURPS manual. And guess what people, being people, do with their robots in this world.
Fynstr: They beat up androids, just for fun, and have the most perverted sex with them - because they can!
- Succession Crisis
- Utopia: What the Logos try to achieve after they save the world from World War Three and impose a new, peaceful world order on the Earth. Your mileage may vary if they succeed, but flash forward fifty years and there are people out there who think that world society has gone so wrong that they wish to leave it and live their ideals by emigrating into space.
- Velvet Revolution
- Why We're Bummed The Logos Striked: The premise of Samowar In Atlantis
- World War III: Appropriately at the end of the story.
- Write What You Know: The author did CS studies.
- We probably needn't explain what Alternate History Tropes are if you already ended up here, no?
- In Real Life, teams like England and Italy are considered infamous for sucking at penalites (though the Italians got better as seen in 2006), while teams like Germany and Argentina are considered gods in this discipline, the latter only ever been beaten by the former (also in 2006) who never was.
- So uninteresting that it's mostly known only for an ordinary all-girls technical school. "Lesbunien" ahoj!
- That would have been Russian and Italian.
- In Yiddish, "fert" / "horse" is an insult for stupid persons.
- Guess which ethnicity most Americans in our lifetime claim to hail from? Right, the Germans. Guess where else in the New World Germans liked to settle? Right, Southern Brazil and the Plata countries.
- That of Italia Nuova alone was supposed to be bigger than that of the USA in our world.
- Not our Joseph Stalin, but still a bad guy