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Twilight Histories is an alternate history time travel adventure podcast told in the second person. You, yes, you the listener, get to explore strange and exotic (if not outright dangerous) alternate worlds.

Set 200 years in the future, the framing device deals with a company known as Twilight Histories, which sends tourists on vacations to alternate universes where history took some unexpected turns. From a resurgent Aztec Empire, to a Carthaginian colony on Mars, to an Ancient Egypt ravaged by a new ice age, Twilight Histories covers them all. But danger lurks behind every corner of these alternate worlds. The podcast website can be found here.

Though originally created by Jordan Harbour, the podcast has expanded to include a crew of several other writers including Josh Hutchins, Kevin Valbonesi, Tristan Verboven, and Devon Field.

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Has nothing to do with sparkling vampires.


Twilight Histories contains examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: “Project Gliese” takes place in a world where a supercomputer was created to aid with space colonization, but instead it built a robot army and nearly wiped out humanity. Averted in the main Twilight Histories timeline, where things went off without a hitch.
  • Abusive Parent: Your son Daedalus is this towards his daughter Persephone in “The Winged Victory.” He resents that she was born crippled and is an outspoken young woman.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The early episode “Rome Industrial” is being expanded into a full-length novel.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: You explore one of these, which might also be the ruins of Atlantis itself, in “Isle of the Lost.”
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: You play this role in “The Isle of the Lost” and “The Drowned City”
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  • After the End: “Project Gliese” takes place in a world where a supercomputer created an army of robots and waged war against humanity. Billions are dead, and the few surviving humans have long since given up hope of defeating the robots. They’re simply trying their best to survive another day. Likewise, “Deep City” is set in the aftermath of a thermonuclear war.
  • Alien Invasion: Played straight in “The Voyage Home” but inverted in the second segment of “The Moon” where humans are the hostile invaders subjecting the native Lunarians to colonialism.
  • All Myths Are True: “The Isle of the Lost” features Atlantis, while “The Drowned City” features Mesopotamian Mythology. “Prester John” features several creatures form Medieval Folklore, as well as the titular priest-kings. “Lakota Thunder” has the Ghost Dance prove highly successful. “Lord of Heligoland” ends with the protagonist meeting a Norse god.
  • All There in the Manual: The back story for “Roma Islamica” is detailed in its companion book.
  • Alternate History: The bread and butter of the podcast. Each episode takes place in a different universe where history occurred differently.
  • The American Civil War: “American Dictator” features a brewing three-way Civil War between The Army of the Potomac, The Army of the Tennessee, and the Confederacy after General George B. McClellan attempts to stage a coup against President Abraham Lincoln.
    • Also features into the backstory of “Cato’s War” which is set in a world where the South won the war.
  • Ancient Africa: “The Blood Ape” takes place in a world where human civilization first developed in East Africa 200,000 years ago.
  • Ancient Egypt: “City of Pyramids” takes place in a world where Egypt was the only civilization to survive the Bronze Age Collapse. 12,000 years later, not much has changed. Well, apart from the new ice age and all that.
    • “May His Kay Endure Forever” takes place in a world where a warrior pharaoh spread Egypt’s empire from Ethiopia to the Pillars of Hercules. You are sent to investigate his vast underground necropolis.
  • Ancient Greece: “The Winged Victory” takes place in a world where Rome fell into civil war, resulting in the lose of the Greek territories. The Greek city-states formed a confederation known as Pontus. By the time of the episode, the Romans are determined to reconquer Greece. Fortunately for the Greeks (though less so for you) you have been stranded in this world and are determined to give the Greeks a fighting chance by introducing steam engines, single-shot rifles, flame throwers, and gas lighting to Greece.
    • “Beyond the Indus” takes place in a world where Alexander The Great continued to push into India. Upon arriving, he and his army discover dinosaurs, who have been tamed by the Indians for food and as beasts of burden.
  • Animesque: “Project Gliese” takes several cues from the anime of the 80s and 90s.
    • “True Aztec” is specifically described as manga-inspired.
  • Apocalypse How: “The Paris Event” features a Class 0. The asteroid that caused the Tunguska Event instead strikes Paris. The city and surrounding area are destroyed, but the world is otherwise unaffected.
    • “Project Gliese” is a Class 3. Billions have died as a result of the robot war. What few humans remain have long given up hope of winning, and are merely trying to survive another day.
  • Artificial Limbs: The Japanese teenagers from “Project Gliese” have augmented their bodies with cybernetic enhancements. You also receive a robotic arm. Kaisa from “True Aztec” has a steam-powered prosthetic leg.
  • Asshole Victim: Given his role in Xiuhcoatl’s death it’s safe to assume nobody was terribly sad when Necalli gets killed by a samurai robot in “True Aztec.”
    • Given how abusive he is to you and his wife and given that he killed an innocent Jew; Master Basso from “Mask of the Plague Doctor” also counts.
  • Atlantis: Its ruins are explored in “The Isle of the Lost.”
  • Author Appeal: Jordan Harbour is a double major in anthropology and Greek and Roman Studies. Naturally, many episodes of the podcast involve Rome and/or Greece.
    • Josh Hutchins and Kevin Valbonesi are fans of Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft. Their episodes certainly reflect this.
    • Devon Field also runs the Human Circus podcast about Medieval travelers. Unsurprisingly, his episodes tend to focus on the Middle Ages.
    • Sam McDonald has admitted that the Aztec of “True Aztec” have air conditioning, because, having grown-up in Louisiana, he understands the importance of air conditioning in hot climates.
  • Awaken The Sleeping Giant: Quoted almost word for word at the end of “True Aztec.”
  • Becoming the Mask: Actively encourages by the Twilight Histories corporation so that you will fit in better and get the most out of your trip.
  • The Big Race: The third segment of “The Moon” is set in a world where the Space Race ended in a tie when America and the Soviet Union landed on the Moon at the same time in 1955. Since then, the two nations compete in a literal space race each year. The winner gets to determine lunar policy for the next lunar year.
  • Bittersweet Ending: “True Aztec” ends this way. On the sweet side Tenochtitlan survived the invasion. The Japanese have been driven back into the sea, and the Aztec intend to bring the fight to Japan. China, Markland, Zululand, and the Southern Inca Empire have all committed to the Aztec war effort. On the bitter side Balam, Minako, Kaisa, and most of all, Xiuhcoatl are all dead. The last is somewhat softened by the hints that Jingjing may find new love with Tupac someday.
    • “Re-Write!” ends with George Washington winning the game show. Hitler’s 1000 year Reich never comes to be, and the United States of America is saved. However, due to the alternations to the timeline, Washington’s children were never born.
    • “Court of the Giants” ends with Pomperton executed for heresy and his works burned. However, his wife Lucerna recovered three copies of Pomperton’s edit to the holy book. You leave with her to spread these copies. But see Happy Ending Override.
  • The Black Death: “Mask of the Plague Doctor” takes place in Medieval Florence in 1348, the year the Black Death arrived in Italy.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: “The Drowned City ends with the heroes face-to-face with what might be the goddess Tiamat.
  • Bowdlerise: Some of the dialogue in “Cato’s War” certainly gives off this vibe. At worst, the slaves are referred to as apes, whereas in real life they’d probably be called a considerably stronger word.
  • Brain Uploading: The titular Blue Dragons are utilize this technology with most of them living in cyberspace. This also winds-up happening to you.
  • Canada, Eh?: Jordan, Kevin, Tristan, Devon, and guest author Tyler Bugg all hail from The Great White North.
    • Subverted with Josh and guest authors Christopher Moore and Sam McDonald, all of whom are American.
  • Casual Time Travel: Downplayed. The Twilight Histories corporation can easily send tourists on vacations to alternate worlds. However, they pretty much have a monopoly on the technology. That said, other companies, such as Red Star Transport, are attempting to create their own world splitting operations.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The titular Winged Victory plays a major role in the episode of the same name.
    • The robotic arm you receive in “Project Gliese” plays a major role in “Napoleon in Afghanistan” and “The Winged Victory.”
  • China Takes Over the World: “The Voyage Home” takes place in a world where half of Earth is ruled by China. Greece rules the other half. Averted in the main timeline, however, where China has collapsed into civil war.
  • Continuity Creep: The episodes written by Jordan Harbour started off self-contained before developing a light continuity, mostly the occasional nod or brief reference to a previous episode.
  • Corrupt Church: Religious organizations tend not to be presented in a very positive light.
    • The Catholic Church in “The Black Scourge” has all the corruption and nastiness of the pre-Reformation church and then some. Specifically, the Pope got tired of playing cat-and-mouse with the Holy Roman Emperor, has him assassinated, and claimed the throne for himself. The now Emperor-Pope declared himself humanity’s sole link to God, and that humanity would be forever cut-off from Heaven were he to be killed. He and his minions gleefully engage in all manner of torture against anyone they deem heretics, or otherwise threats to their power. There’s also the priest who kidnapped Native American boys with intent to molest them.
    • “Hannibal One” gives us The Cult of Ba’al. They practice human sacrifice, use drugs for their rituals, and use intimidation and threats of violence to keep dissonant members in line.
    • The priests of the pharaoh in “May His Kah Endure Forever” trick the peoples of Egypt into giving tribute to the deceased pharaoh. They pocket offerings for themselves and use the pharaoh’s necropolis as their private palace.
    • Subverted in “Mask of the Plague Doctor” where the lone Catholic priest we see attempts to serve as the voice of reason as tensions run high due to the plague.
    • The religion in “Court of the Giants” supports a strict caste system that discriminated against the more ape-like hominids.
  • Crapsack World: Many of the worlds visited are not very nice places.
    • “Cato’s War” see the horrors of Confederate slavery taken to Up to Eleven with the coming of industrialization. Factory slaves must keep working even if injured, and the death of a slave is treated as only a minor inconvenience. Worse, slaves aren’t even allowed to have families, and female slaves are often assigned to birthing crates, where they are raped until they’re impregnated. Children as young as five are sent to work in the fields. It is mentioned that slaves account for over seventy percent of the Confederate population.
    • “Project Gliese” is set in a world where a supercomputer created an army of robots to wipe-out humanity. Billions have died as a result of the robot war. What few humans remain have long given up hope of winning, and are merely trying to survive another day.
    • Paris in “The Paris Event” is described like something out of Dante’s Inferno. The asteroid that would have caused the Tunguska Event instead struck Paris. The force of the strike was comparable to that of a hydrogen bomb. You are sent to investigate the ruined city shortly after the impact.
    • “City of Pyramids” takes place in a world where Egypt was the only civilization to survive the Bronze Age collapse. 12,000 years later, Egypt finds itself face a new ice age. There is a strong sense that Egyptian society is on its last leg and about to collapse. There’s mass unemployment, but also mass taxation to pay for the constant construction of new pyramids. Oh, and everyone’s houses are melting due to the constant rain.
    • “Deep City” takes place in a Soviet city at the bottom of the ocean. The government not only controls the economy, but also the light and even the air the citizens breathe.
  • Death Ray: The titular device in “Eye of the Sun” is this. A massive magnifying glass lens that concentrates the light of the sun.
  • Death World: Earth has become this in “Frozen Earth.” Earth got knocked out of its orbit and now it is as far out as Neptune. The atmosphere is a sea of liquid gas, which, along with the extreme cold, means it isn’t possible to walk on the surface with a specialized spacesuit. As a result, most humans have long since retreated underground.
    • The world of “Project Gliese” also counts due to all of the killer robots running around. In fact, before departure you are advised to seek shelter as soon as you arrive on the world.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Twilight Histories seems to take a rather dim view of certain eras in history. For a start, "Cato's War" pulls no punches in showing just how demeaning Confederate-era slavery was, and then some.
  • Dieselpunk: “True Aztec” is set in a dieselpunk Aztec Empire facing off against an equally dieselpunk Japanese Empire.
    • “The Big Turk” includes some slight elements such as airships and high-speed trains.
  • Dirty Commies: Communist have appeared as antagonists in several episodes such as “Red Joseon” and “Deep City.”
  • Divided States of America: “Cato’s War” takes place in a world where the Confederacy won the American Civil War.
    • Like most nations, the United States collapsed following the robot war in “Project Gliese.” However, several nations sprang up across the former United States, including a Mormon nation centered in Utah.
  • Domesticated Dinosaurs: “Beyond the Indus” takes place in a world where dinosaurs somehow survived in India, and were domesticated by the Indians as sources of food and beast of burden.
  • Downer Ending: Certain episode’s ends this way, such as “The Voyage Home” which ends with Earth getting destroyed by aliens.
  • Dumb Dinos: Averted in “Blue Dragons” given that it is set in a world where the dinosaurs never went extinct and developed sentience.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Early episodes had some noticeable differences to the current show. In them, the protagonist travels through the alternate worlds in a flying time machine, jumping to various points in the worlds’ history. There was also less emphasis on plot and characters, with the emphasis being on the changes to history.
    • Additionally, even after the show settled into its current style, some episodes gave the “You” character a more solid backstory, and the character was obviously meant to be male. This is most evident in shows such as “Ice Age Misery” and “Deep City.” Some episodes, such as “Ice Age Misery” and “Mask of the Plague Doctor” were straight-up time travel rather than alternate history.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite how dark the show can get, this is how the episodes tend to end more often than not.
  • Egypt Is Still Ancient: Egypt in “City of Pyramids” hasn’t changed much since the Bronze Age. Of course, with the coming ice age, that is starting to change.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Have appeared in “The Pale God” and “The Drowned City”.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: In “Blue Dragons” this is what the titular Blue Dragons turn out to be. They’re dinosaurs from a universe where the asteroid that caused the K-T extinction never struck the Earth.
    • “Beyond the Indus” takes place in a world where dinosaurs somehow survived in India, and were domesticated by the Indians as sources of food and beast of burden.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: In "True Aztec", Tupac (after the leaders of several Incan uprisings) and Xiuhcoatl (after the Aztec god).
  • Featureless Protagonist: The “You” character is written as vaugely as possible so that the listeners can imagine themselves in the role.
  • The Fundamentalist: Necalli and his followers from “True Aztec” are this. They believe that the Aztec Empire has grown soft because it has given up human sacrifice and flower wars. They’re also highly xenophobic and bigoted against immigrants.
    • “Hannibal One” gives us Alyssa and her cult of Ba’al.
  • Gainax Ending: “The Drowned City” ends with a surprise appearance by goddess Tiamat...or maybe an alien monster. Its a bit unclear.
  • Genius Cripple: Your granddaughter Persephone from “The Winged Victory” was born paraplegic, but that didn’t stop her from helping design the titular Winged Victory
  • Genre Anthology: Of a sort. Though sharing a framing device, each episode takes place in its own self-contained world.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: A major plot-point in “The Winged Victory” is that you try to develop enough technology so that the Greeks will be able to defend themselves when the Romans return to try to conquer them. Ironically, given the trope title, you also attempt to keep the advanced technology out of Roman hands.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: A major concern in “Hannibal One.” One of the hardest aspects of life on Mars is the shear boredom. This is a major factor in the rise of the Cult of Ba’al.
  • Going Cosmic: Later episodes include quite a few philosophical undertones and discussions. This is most evident in the second halves of “The Black Scourge” and “Blue Dragons.”
  • Good Shepherd: Minako and the other Shinto priestesses from “True Aztec” are this. They welcome and help all people regardless of ethnicity during the invasion of Tenochtitlan.
    • The priest from “Mask of the Plague Doctor” also counts. He attempts to put down rumors that the plague is caused by Jews.
  • Happy Ending Override: More like Bittersweet Ending Override, but the start of “Project Gliese” reveals that Lucerna was killed following the events of “The Court of the Giants.
  • Hate Sink: Necalli from “True Aztec” is this. He’s a xenophobic bigots who holds all Japanese people, even the ones who came to Tenochtitlan to escape persecution, responsible for the actions of the Japanese Empire. He gleefully price gouges his Japanese customers, including little girls, and then tries to take their bowls of shaved ice back before they’re finished. He’s also a member of a group violent religious extremists who want to purge the Aztec Empire of all foreign elements and revive human sacrifice. And that’s before he tries to kill Tupac, Jingjing and Haruhi, and succeeds in killing Xiuhcoatl.
  • The Hero Dies: The ending of “The Drowned City” and “May His Kah Endure Forever”.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Balem pulls one in “True Aztec” to give you and your friends time to escape.
  • The Horde: “Roma Islamica” sees the armies of the Islamic Roman Empire facing off against the Mongol Horde. “Khan of England” takes place in a world where the Mongols conquered Western Europe.
  • Horny Vikings: Averted in “The Black Scourge.” None of the vikings wear horned helmets.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The middle segments of “The Moon” takes place in a world where the Moon is a habitable world teeming with intelligent life. Unfortunately, this, combined with the fact that the Lunarians only have Victorian level of technology, make the Moon a tempting target for human colonization. It is mentioned that the number of crater cities massacred by humans have grown too numerous to count.
  • Human Sacrifice: Naturally, this happens in “Aztec Steel.” The Aztec of “True Aztec”, by contrast, have long since given it up, with the exception of a few fringe religious fanatics.
    • This is what happened to the missing colonists in “Hannibal One.”
  • I Choose to Stay: You are presented with this option at the end of “Ice Age Misery” but you return to your own time.
    • You are again presented with this option in “True Aztec” this time, you decide to stay with your friends.
  • Immigrant Patriotism: Jingjing from “True Aztec” was born in Fusang, a former Chinese colony, but considers herself a proud citizen of the Aztec Empire. The residents of Shin Nihon also proudly embrace their Aztec citizenship.
  • Immoral Reality Show: The titular show in “Re-Write!” Sixteen historical figures are forced to compete in contests of strength and knowledge. Losing a competition results in the contestant having a major live event altered. Getting eliminated often leads to changes resulting in unpleasant deaths.
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: The aliens from the second segment of “The Moon” only have a Victorian level of technology and society. This makes them easy targets for human colonization of the Moon.
  • Lady Land: Mormon dominated Utah has become this in “The Celestial Kingdom.”
  • Living Dinosaurs: “Blue Dragons” is set in a world where the dinosaurs never went extinct.
    • “Beyond the Indus” has Alexander the Great and his men discover these when they arrive in India. The Indians appear to have been domesticating the dinosaurs for quite some time.
  • Lunarians: The second segment of “The Moon” takes places in a world where the Moon is home to several intelligent lifeforms. Said lifeforms have a Victorian Era level of technology and society and communicate via vibrations, though not with sound. As of late, they’re dealing with invasion from humans.
  • Magical Native American: “Lakota Thunder” takes place in a world where the Ghost Dance proved considerably more effective.
  • Mammoths Mean Ice Age: “Ice Age Misery” is set during the ice age, and features mammoths at several points. In fact, the episode title card even features a mammoth.
  • Mars: “Hannibal One” is set in a Carthaginian colony on Mars.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Was the butterfly from “True Aztec” really just a butterfly or was it Xiuhcoatl’s soul returned from the dead?
    • For what it’s worth, Sam McDonald has stated that he believes it was indeed Xiuhcoatl, but the listeners can decide for themselves. You just get slightly different stories.
  • Mayincatec: Averted with “True Aztec” which features Aztec, Maya, and Inca characters, all of whom are correctly depicted as separate cultures. Also averted by “Aztec Steel” which accurately depicts Aztec culture.
  • Medieval Prehistory: “Beyond the Indus” takes place in a world where Alexander the Great continued to push into India. He and his army discover that the Indians have domesticated dinosaurs, who somehow survived the K-T Extinction. The dinosaurs are used as sources of food and beasts of burden.
  • Medieval Stasis: Egypt in “City of Pyramids” hasn’t advanced much since the Bronze Age. From the same episode, we learn that most universes explored by the Twilight Histories corporation haven’t advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage.
    • Averted with “Roma Islamica” however, which has developed early steampunk technology.
  • Miko: Haruhi from “True Aztec” is one, with several others mentioned.
  • Modern Mayincatec Empire: Well, more Dieselpunk than modern, but “True Aztec” takes place in a technologically advanced Aztec Empire.
  • Old Man Marrying a Child: Master Basso from “Mask of the Plague Doctor” is quite a bit older than his wife Beatrice. It’s mentioned that her parents are younger than he is.
  • One-Man Industrial Revolution: “The Winged Victory” has you introducing steam engines, flintlock riffles, gas lamps, flamethrowers, and even rudimentary airplanes to Ancient Greece.
  • Parents as People: Applies to you in “The Winged Victory.” You loved your son Daedalus, but preparing Greece for the inevitable Roman invasion meant that you did not always give him the attention he needed.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Emperor Montezuma XII gives one at the end of “True Aztec” calling for peace and compassion across the tribes of humanity, and for the citizens of the Aztec Empire to share that kindness and compassion with one another regardless of race or ethnicity.
  • Pedophile Priest: One appears in “The Black Scourge.”
  • The Plague: “Mask of the Plague Doctor” is set during the Black Death’s arrival in Italy.
  • Plague Doctor: “Mask of the Plague Doctor” naturally features one.
  • Politically Correct History: Averted with a vengeance.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Captain Jorez, your companion for most of “Aztec Steel” displays all of the beliefs and prejudices one might expect of a 16th Century Spanish nobleman.
  • The Power of the Sun: The titular “Eye of the Sun” is a giant magnifying glass atop the Library of Alexandria that focuses light from the sun.
  • Pun-Based Title: “Hannibal One” takes place in a world where Carthage won the Punic Wars and crushed Rome. Or to put it another way, Hannibal Won.
  • Ret-Gone: Happens to George Washington’s children in “Re-Write!”
  • Robot War: Features in the backstory for “Project Gliese”.
  • Roman Empire: Several episodes have taken place in alternate versions of Rome:
    • “Cleopatra Caeser” is set in a world where Julius Caesar was not assassinated and lived to a ripe old age. He expanded Rome’s territory from Britain in the west to India in the east.
    • “Rome Industrial” is an early episode set in a world where Rome experienced an industrial revolution.
    • “The Winged Victory” has Rome fall into civil war, resulting in the lose of the Greek territories. By the time of the episode, they’re determined to reconquer Greece.
    • “Rome Islamica” has the Byzantine Empire fall in the 8th Century. Eventually, a new Roman Empire, with Islam as its dominate religion, rises out of the ashes.
  • Rubberband History: The end of “The Kaiser’s Assassin” suggests that the world will soon be rocked by a war just as bad, if not worse, as World War I.
  • Saintly Church: In contrast to Necalli and his extremists, the Shinto priestesses of “True Aztec” help out everyone during the invasion regardless of ethnicity.
  • Second-Person Narration: Almost all episodes use this style of narration.
  • Series Fauxnale: “The Winged Victory” was originally going to be the grande finale of the podcast, but Jordan decided to keep the show running by hiring a team of writers to help with episode production.
  • Series Mascot: Master Basso from “Mask of the Plague Doctor” appears on the main Twilight Histories title card.
  • Settling the Frontier: “Hannibal One” takes place on the first Carthaginian colony on Mars.
  • Shaming the Mob: Xiuhcoatl attempts this in “True Aztec” and actually succeeds before Necalli kills him.
  • Shout-Out: “Project Gliese” features teenagers in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo including one named Tetsuo and Jordan Harbour has stated that Yoshirou was originally going to be named Akira, but he decided that was a little too on the nose.
  • Shock and Awe: “Lakota Thunder” has the Lakota gain this power by contacting the thunder spirit via the Ghost Dance.
  • Single-Biome Planet: “Frozen Earth” has Earth becoming a frozen wasteland due to getting knocked out of its orbit. By the time of the story, it’s almost as far out as Neptune.
  • Slave Liberation: “Cato’s War” follows a slave revolt in a world here the Confederacy won the American Civil War.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: “Cato’s War” pulls no punches with its depiction of the brutality of industrialized slavery. Factory slaves must keep working even if injured, and the death of a slave is treated as only a minor inconvenience. Worse, slaves aren’t even allowed to have families, and female slave are often assigned to birthing crates, where they are raped until they’re impregnated. Children as young as five are sent to work in the fields. Oh, and slaves account for over seventy percent of the Confederate population.
    • The Chinese mines in “Aztec Steel” also strongly invoke this trope. Slaves have to walk in a giant wheel to keep the water level down. Stopping too long causes the water level to rise, and many slaves die of exhaustion. It really says something that the Aztecs and their rituals almost look merciful by comparison.
  • Something Completely Different: “Re-Write” is set outside the main Twilight Histories continuity.
    • “True Aztec” is notable for being (thus far) a different narrator for each segment, including two female narrators.
  • Space Opera: “The Voyage Home” see an Earth dominated by Greece and China facing-off against hostile aliens.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: “True Aztec” can be seen as this to “Aztec Steel.” Both center around the Aztec, but take very different approaches. Whereas “Aztec Steel” cast them as antagonists, “True Aztec” has the Aztec firmly as heroes. “Aztec Steel” has human sacrifice play a major role in the plot, while the Aztecs of “True Aztec” abolished it many years ago. Sam McDonald has said this is somewhat deliberate, as he wanted to write a story where the Aztec got to be the heroes for a change, instead of their usual role as stock villains.
    • “The Winged Victory” is arguably this to the early shows involving Rome. While the earlier shows presented things from the perspective of the Romans, “The Winged Victory” takes the perspective of the peoples that Roman conquered. In this case, the Greeks. Tellingly, the Romans are presented far more villainously than in previous episodes.
  • Starfish Aliens: The inhabitants of the Moon in the middle segment of “The Moon.” They range from what appears to be sentient cluster of ribbon to creatures that look like bat-people. Notably, none of them communicate verbally, though they do use vibrations and sight to communicate.
  • Steampunk: Has popped up on a few occasions:
    • “Roma Islamica” shows early signs of steampunk technology, such as steam powered lifts and carts.
    • While primarily dieselpunk, “True Aztec” shows some slight elements, such as Kaisa’s steam-powered prosthetic leg.
    • Thanks to your inventions, Greece in “The Winged Victory” can be considered this.
  • Take That!: “Hannibal One” was written in response to the Mars One proposal, showing just what could go wrong with such a plan.
    • The scene in “True Aztec” where Necalli tries to convince the crowd that Tupac poisoned their children with vaccines was mean to be a swipe at those who claim vaccines lead to autism.
    • Sam McDonald has stated that he wrote “True Aztec” because he was tired of works that reduced the Aztec to stock villains, while ignoring their more progressive elements, and wanted to make a story where they got to be the heroes for a change.
  • Terraform: This has happened to Venus in the world of “Blue Dragons.” You’ve been sent to investigate who did it and how they accomplished it.
  • Time Travel: Has occurred a couple times, such as “Ice Age Misery” and “Mask of the Plague Doctor.”
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Well, parallel universe travel, but the Twilight Histories corporation specializes in sending guests on vacations to alternate universes. Also, in “May His Kah Endure Forever” the pharaoh is a traveler from another universe who has come to carve out an empire of his own in Egypt.
  • Trapped in Another World: Happens in “The Winged Victory.” You become stranded for nearly seventy years due to the main Twilight Histories particle accelerator getting destroyed in a terrorist attack.
  • The Tunguska Event: “The Paris Event” has the asteroid strike Paris instead.
  • Venus Is Wet: “Blue Dragons” takes place in a world where Venus has been terraformed into a habitable world. Your mission is to find out who did this and how they accomplished it.
  • Weird Historical War: “Lord of Heligoland” takes place in an alternate World War I where Germany has been conducting experiments and rituals to contact the Norse gods.
  • Weird West: “Lakota Thunder” takes place in a world where the Ghost Dance allowed the Lakota to access the power of thunder and lightning.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A major concern in “Court of the Giants.” The society is ruled by a strict caste system, with ape-like hominids given little to no rights. Even the holy book enshrines this inequality. You master, a social reformer named Pomperton, seeks to challenge the caste system by creating edited copies of the holy book that promote equality among all hominids.
  • World War I: Several episode’s are either set during the First World War, or feature it in their backstory.
    • ”The Kaiser’s Assassin” takes place in a world where The Central Powers won the First World War by the end of 1915.
    • “The Big Turk” takes place in a world where the war dragged on to 1922. This allowed Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to spread his reforms to the entire former Ottoman Empire, not just Turkey. By the time of the episode the Turkish Republic is well on its way to becoming a major world power.
    • “Lord of Heligoland” takes place in an alternate World War I where Germany has been conducting experiments and rituals to contact the Norse gods.
  • World War II: Has been used as a point of divergence on a couple occasions:
    • “Fortress Afrika” takes place in a world where the Nazis were overthrown by a coup in 1943. The new German government signed an armistice, which soon transitioned into a Cold War.
    • The early episode “Axis Earth” took place in a world where, well, the Axis Powers won the war
  • World War III: “Deep City” is set in a world where the Cold War turned hot.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: “The Kaiser’s Assassin” mentions attacks by French terrorists working to free France from the rule of the German Empire.
    • Also pops up in “Fortress Afrika.” African terrorists, funded by the Soviet Union, are fighting to free Tunisia from German rule.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: “The Big Turk” begins and ends on a Zeppelin. Though high-speed rail is also used for transportation.
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