Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Royal Society Files: Setup

In 1839, Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace constructed the Analytical Engine. Over the next ten years, Great Britain became the most technologically advanced nation on Earth. While Analytical Technology has been reverse engineered by other nations (the United States, Japan, Germany) Britain remains the undisputed technological powerhouse of the world. This period came to be called the First Wave of Progress.

In 1872, just a year after Charles Babbage's death, his son Henry Provost Babbage perfected the Babbage-Lovelace Analytical Engine Mark II, a smaller, more efficient, more powerful version of his father's magnum opus. This was the beginning of the New Wave of Progress. Devices are becoming somewhat smaller and mass-production is increasing. Poverty and unemployment are on the rise as machines replace labor once done by human hands.

It is now March of 1888. Some world events:

*In the United States, the National Geographic Society formed two months ago. The group aims to explore all presently unknown regions of the Earth, including the subterranean world. 

*In Germany, German industry captin Rudolph Carl Von Stuben has gone public claiming that his great grandfather, J.H. Muller, invented the Difference Engine (predecessor to the Analytical Engine) before Charles Babbage, and that Babbage stole his design.

*Greece has begun a period of rapid modernization, headed by a mysterious and newly wealthy industrialist named Valerios Stais.

*In British West Africa, a warlord known as Makaia has somehow pushed back British troops. Reports say that the natives are somehow armed with comparable firepower.

*In London, reports of Spring-Heeled Jack, an urban myth, have begun again after nearly fifty years of silence.

*The Labour Reform Party is born of the trade union movement. Violent protests, sabotage, and vicious strike breaks erupt across the industrial zones of London. 

The campaign will begin with a visit to Burlington House, the headquarters of the Royal Society, by one Inspector First Class Frederick Abberline of Scotland Yard.

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