The Journeyman – Timeline

WARNING – WARNING – WARNING – Contains SPOILERS! Proceed at your own risk!

Note: I’m using Kim Stanley Robinson’s method (from the Mars series) of assigning Japanese-language names to the generations. The first generation — those people who actually arrived via courier, military vessel, or colony ship — are the first generation: issei.

PD – Point of Divergence
JAU – Journeyman Alternate Universe
TOWU – Universe of TOW (the canon game universe)
RU – Readers’ Universe (i.e., our universe)

Dates in white are conjecture and/or headcannon.


Max Planck proposes that energy is emitted in quanta, and derives the elementary constant of energy (Planck’s constant).


Initial point of divergence between the TOWU and the RU: William Harrison is not assassinated. Theodore Roosevelt never becomes U.S. President.


Albert Einstein adapts Planck’s quanta to solve the Ultraviolet Catastrophe (but says that light actually exists in quanta, rather than being emitted in quanta), and also publishes the three papers that outline Special and General Relativity. Relatively is met with significant resistance by classical physicists who are invested in luminiferous aether as a description of how light is carried through space. In the JAU, these physicists maintain their opposition and contribute to the rise of “Capital Physics” (cf. entry for 1930).


JAU: Max Born proposes the term “Planckian mechanics” (Planckenmechanik) in his 1924 treatise, “Zur Planckenmechanik“. (in the RU, it’s “quantum mechanics”.)


Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg complete the formulation of the Copenhagen foundation of quantum physics. By this time in the JAU, the opposition of classical physicists have resulted in Planckian (RU: quantum) mechanics being regarded as disreputable, and use their considerable clout to suppress both academic research into and public awareness of it. Clandestine research into relativity and Planckian mechanics is carried out by scientists under the cover of corporate trusts, but advancement as compared to the RU is greatly slowed.


Erwin Schrödinger formulates the equation that describes the evolution of the wave function (the Schrödinger equation). Last point of convergence in the development of quantum/Planckian mechanics between the JAU and the RU.


Rise of the politicization of science known as “Capital Physics” and “Labor Physics” in the JAU, coinciding with the struggle between corporate trusts/combinations against labor, resulting in victory for the trusts and Capital Physics by the 1950s. Unlike the “Aryan Physics” vs. “Jewish Physics” of the RU 1930s, Capital Physics does not fade from the scene and science becomes inextricably tied to corporate/trust ideology. Advancement in atomic science is set back: the “nuclear age” of the RU 1980s on does not occur in the JAU until much later.


JAU: Haukje Eberhard, member of a secret society that would eventually develop into the Guild Mondaris, writes a treatise proposing the Many-Worlds foundation of Planckian mechanics. The manuscript is hidden within society archives.


JAU: A global movement begins to take root, characterized by an agnostic approach to spiritualism and interest in esoteric matters. There is a flowering of literature regarding these topics, which forms the basis of what will later be known as Philosophism (including the writings of M. Bakonu). The movement also spurs renewed interest in what was termed “Labor Physics”. For the first time, awareness of Eberhard’s Many-Worlds formulation spreads outside of the original society. Scientists within the conservative, deterministic worldview of the corporations form a new religion, Scientism, in response, and corporations effectively ensure that all interest in “Labor Physics” is kept outside of the corporate sphere of science. However, corporate scientists begin to realize the value of relativity and Planckian mechanics to technological advancement and set up a two-tiered system: scientists proven to be loyal and obedient are given limited access to materials on these subjects, and closely-supervised experimentation is permitted, while the rank and file of scientists (and general science students) are limited to Newtonian (RU: classical) mechanics and, if the subject of Planckian mechanics is allowed to be broached, strict adherence to the the Copenhagen formulation is required.


Formal founding of the Philosophist movement by Keiko (景子) Kuroda, Acahuana, Mary O’Higgins, Benjamin Thufero, Ayodele Falola, and Maximilian Juan-Pedro Alcazar y Pascuel. In protest, faithful Scientician families promote the use of alternate/prescribed versions of the names — Keiko (硅子), Akahana, Merry, Bennjemin, Ajodele, and Maximillian — to prevent their children from being mistaken for namesakes of these Philosophist founders.


Halcyon Holding Corporation formed; purchases Halcyon system from the Earth Directorate.

Notes: I’m making the assumption that planning, organizing, and dispatching the first colony ship would take time. However, it’s quite possible that the work (organizing, raising capital) was done prior to the actual formation of HHC, which in this case would have happened prior to the engagement of Chief Guiying Tennyson and the Groundbreaker for the first colony ship transport out. (Note: I’m now thinking that all of this happened a good 20 years prior to my original date of ~2265 – that Groundbreaker departed -20 years so as to allow one generation’s worth of building and growing in-system before the arrival of Hope. This would put this at ~2245.)

Also note: Chief Guiying’s arrival notification goes out to “HHB” vice “HHC” (Halycon Holdings Board, I assume?)


The Groundbreaker departs Earth system (Note: 2260).

Note: I initially had Groundbreaker leave five years before Hope in order to give the initial group of colonists time to get an infrastructure built to support the arrival of several hundred thousand more people. I ended up moving it to 20 years prior (see entry for ~2245)



Groundbreaker arrives in Halcyon System

JAU: Nissei – approx. beginning


The Hope departs Earth system


JAU: Sansei – approx. beginning


Hope overdue.
JAU: The Board releases SHIPMISS report.


Hope arrives in Halcyon System; UDL intercepts and places ship in orbit around Typhon per Board directive
JAU: the Board issues false SHIPLOST report.



JAU: Yonsei – approx. beginning (2311)

JAU: Gosei – approx. beginning


Parvati Holcomb returns from schooling (JAU: she is 18 seasons old, but only 11 years Earth Standard. In the TOWU, she is 18 years old). <– note to self, this doesn’t make sense and likely is going to result in me either ditching the seasons idea, or ditching the official canon that she came home at 18. Alternate idea: she finished her primary schooling away from home and came home at 11 to do the rest of it as “on the job training”, because Spacer’s Choice really does not believe in rigorous training. She’d have taken the skills assessment at something like 7 (which is actually in line with medieval ideas about when children’s schooling should start) and had “school” for four years, which would have gotten her a super basic introduction to Spacer’s Choice and Halcyon “history”, Spacer’s Choice “ethics”, and some apprentice level introduction to tools and machinery.

The Board commemorates 50th anniversary of the “loss” of the Hope.


Dr. Phineas Welles “podnaps” and revives Aethelflaed Fiori. (Beginning of the events played in The Outer Worlds)

Note to self: where is the Great War in all of this? IIRC, it’s right after the Great War that the Skip Drive is invented, and the Earth Directorate’s monopoly of the technology is what drives its rise to power and allows it to gain leverage over the great corporations of Earth. I’m thinking that the rise of Philosophism had something to do with it, and perhaps conflict between some of the more powerful corporations got way out of control. I suspect it was a short but very intense war at the very end of the 22nd Century. That leaves about 100 years for the development of the various systems (which occurred in a roughly contemporaneous way).

Important Character Dates

Note: these dates are entirely headcannon. If I encounter in-game references to birthdays, I will correct these. Years and ages are in Earth Standard, but for Terra 2 people (Max and Parvati), seasons are also provided (at a conversion factor of 1.33* seasons to 1 Earth Standard year).

* repeating, of course. (LEEEEEROY JENKINS!)

Max (38, 50) – 2319 – generation: yonsei
Nyoka (34) – 2323 – generation: yonsei
Parvati (21, 28) – 2334 – generation: gosei
Felix (21) – 2334 – generation: gosei