History of a Mad World
Parousia: The Great Old Ones rise up from the oceans and come down from the stars, replacing the mortal dynasties. Some retain the mortal form of those they possess, and others replace the fragile flesh completely with their own abominable forms.
These alien beings enthrall the minds of weaker mortals through dreams, or, more rightly, nightmares. Much of humanity obeys their new rulers without question or dissent. Even most that resist the subjugation of their dreams submit, fearing the eldritch power of the Great Old Ones and the knives of their enthralled neighbors
Notably, North America is spared the presence of the Great Old Ones. Though the hungry gods quickly seek to fix that.
The Second Dutch Revolt: William the Silent is reanimated with the dark arts by Dutch revolutionaries to once again lead them to independence. William kills Philip II of Spain, the first of many Great Old Ones to be slain in their struggle for dominance. William the Silent begins his eternal reign of the Netherlands, entering the dreams of nightmares of many of his subjects and beginning to spread his influence across the globe.
Empire of the Rising Sun: Emperor Go-Yōzei kills the upstart shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu by rending him apart with his barbed tentacles. He declares the whole of Japan as his empire and sets to make the world his subject.
Jamestown: A permanent English settlement is established as King James makes the first bid to control the New World. He sends with the settlers the first of the Cambion, creatures born of the unholy union of dark god and mortal. The Cambion find that it is nearly impossible for infiltrate the dreams of those who sleep in the wild new lands, a mystery that vexes them for centuries.
American Revolution: Upstarts in New England declare themselves independent from the grip of tyrants, and, with the help of France successfully form a representative government in the New World, free from the influence of the Great Old Ones. For a short time, at least.
Regicide: Napoleon, a soldier of France, returns imbued with power he says comes from God. He leads an assault on the palace and personally dismembers Kind Louis XVI. The princeling, Louis XVII, escapes to the New World.
Salvation of the Church: Napoleon uses his forces to beat back England and Prussia, claiming Italy as his own and saving the Pope himself. He moves the center of the Catholic Church to Paris, and is crowned by the Pope as Savior and Emperor. Napoleon’s physical form changes as his power grows. He seems to always be illuminated, not to glow but to be shined upon. When he gives speeches, his voice can be heard as if he were standing by any individual listener in the crowd.
Southern Secession: Secessionists in the American South attack Fort Sumter, sparking a civil war. Seven southern states declare themselves independent. These southern forces are supported in part by old world powers, who relish the thought of a fractured union.
The Doomed War: While the nation is embroiled in a civil war, William the Silent comes from across the sea to take New England. He crushes the republic which has lived too long outside the control of the Great Old Ones. Many resist him, but New England quickly falls to Dutch control. Faced with annihilation, for the American north and south ally to fight off the invaders.
Viceroy Alfonso XII takes Florida for himself, and the southern united states is shattered into an impotent confederacy under the strain. The Union government manages to flee to Ohio, and they look westward to see how far into the sunset they can run.
Assassination: President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth during a showing of the play Superstition in Colombus. The nation mourns the loss of the man who led them during Doomed War. Booth is later killed in standoff by the eccentric Boston Corbet, who subsequently flees to New England to escape court martial.