Node C -24 alt 0200, China v Rome
This gate leads to warp over the Mojenjo Daro ruins, just south of the city of Larkana, Pakistan.
In this Alt, Rome and the Han Dysnasty of China met along the silk road and propped each other up for centuries trying to fight a war across far too great a distance.
As a result technology didn't develop as quickly but trade has advanced much further. Greek and Mandarin Chinese are the two great languages of the day. Someone in any market will speak one or the other.
The world between the remains of the two great empires has been blocked off as a huge, bewildering checkerboard for poweres to play an insanely complicated game of chess over.
The exceptions are caravans, traders and trade ships. Over the last 2000 years, this culture has developed a widely held custom that trade is not to be interferred with or molested.
The people of Larkana in this alt have not heard the term "Pakistan" and won't know what that is. they have their own name for the place, which translates roughly to "The Pashtun Ruled Sea Coast" with numerous different kindoms and prince-doms.
There's always a war going on somewhere, and there's always work for mercenaries, so life isn't idyllic on this alt.
The weapons resemble the common weapons of 1700. Muzzle loading black powder long guns are the infantry weapons of choice, muzzle loading black powder cannon rule the battlefield. Cavalry men make charges with sabers in hand.
The City of Larkana, capital of the Kingdom of Larkana, is the home of a thriving market. Fringeworthy can wander there at will. they are a tolerant bunch in Larkana. A tribe of Orcish women from a nearby node have already visited. They are described as "Women of Unfortunate Appearance." But they were welcomed bcause they brought gold and gems with them.
They left with supplies, guns and scrolls on the best ways to make guns and gun powder.
An obviously non-human fringewalker will cause a strong reaction, but if he behaves civilly, and trades at the market, their pro-market bias will be appeased and the weird fringeworthy will be considered a customer, if an exceptionally weird one. Violent or hostile fringe walkers will be greeted with sword and muskets. Lots of them.
Christianity and Islam are minor cults on this world, equals among dozens of other cults, religions, heresies and factions.
Only a few people were all that curious about the origins of the Women of Unfortunate Appearance at the Market in Larkana. The single attempt to follow them was quickly distracted and lost them. No one in Larakana is aware of the Mojenjo-Daro gate.