|2017 Best New Timeline Stirling Award|
THE YEAR IS 1429. It is the height of the Hundred Years War. England has the upper hand.
The French city of Orléans has been under siege for close to a year. It remains the last major stronghold of the Kingdom of France. It took the reportedly holy miracles of a young woman by the name of Joan to lift the siege and inspire the French armies to drive the English out of France. The martyred Joan became immortalised as Joan of Arc.
But what if this Maiden of Orléans did not appear? What if there was no Joan to save the French from the siege?
Points of Divergence
Joan of What? has more than one Point of Divergence (PoD), despite this timeline's name. The first, however, and the most critical, is as follows.
During Joan's early life, it is known that her village was ravaged by several raids, being a French loyalist community surrounded by hostile Burgundian lands. On one occasion, the village was even burnt to the ground. It may well have been possible that Joan was killed in one of these raids, before she ever could have become the legendary figure she is today.
As a result of Joan's early death, she would have been unable to come to the aid of the French city of Orléans, and it is probable that without Joan of Arc, the city would have fallen to the English. England would have achieved total victory over France, the final stronghold of French resistance vanquished. France soon after falls to the Anglo-Burgundian alliance, and English king Henry VI becomes the uncontested King of France.