Atla was unified during the formation of the Trinity Council, where the modern calendar was created. Prosperity, industrialization and ingenuity abounded in the decade before Atla’s formation and represented a new step in humanity when millions of individuals came together and drafted the Provincial Constitution of Freedom (PCF). The signing of the Constitution by delegates from seven provinces on Atla and fifteen individual representatives of outlying islands and nations was the single biggest political act in known history. Today, people have all but forgotten that not everything was as clear cut and cordial as the history books often portray. While it isn’t a full cover up, the GC has gone to great lengths of the past two and a half centuries to ensure the difficulties and problems facing the early nation are ignored.
Democracy is the heart and foundation of Atla’s government. With quickly advancing technologies bringing people across a vast nation together, quicker, it was the purest form of government that would make certain the voices of all people, regardless of region or ethnic background, could be heard and help shape the land they lived in. Indeed almost everyone on the continent (and many on Feron and Far Haven) saw the benefit of Atla being built as a democracy. But not everyone shared that view.
The leaders of some cities and towns across the nation saw democracy as a means to limit their power, authority and control over their people.
Twelve years before drafting the PCF the majority of Atla was hungry for the unification. Leaders of cities small and large met often in what would become the capitals of the current provinces to discuss the politics behind organizing the nation. These representatives would spend an entire month in the given city, attending meetings and drawing up drafts to the constitution. After the month they would return to their home cities and towns to relay the news to the people. The people would then vote and discuss the most recent changes or ideas. Those changes and suggestions would then be noted and discussed at the following meetings.
Approximately 200 delegates From across Atla attended what were known as the Constitutional Deliberations. For every major city, one delegate was chosen (often from the city leader’s staff). For cities that were too small to have civic leaders or buildings, the larger cities usually would send representatives to the outlying cities to act on their behalf. In cases where the villages and towns were nowhere near a major city the people of that particular village would elect a representative to speak for them and either attend the Constitutional Deliberations themselves or else report to the nearest major city’s representative.
It was a difficult process to amass a diverse and equal group of representatives that could speak for the rest of the population. It is estimated that at least 10% of the cities and villages with a population of fewer than 1,000 were not continually, if ever, spoken for. However, after two years of electing representatives for each city or geographic area, almost All of Atla’s residents were accounted for. This meant, for the first time ever, that every person across the proto-nation could raise their voice and give their opinion on the way things should be.
Initially the Constitutional Deliberations went well. The first of the Deliberations began ten years before Atla officially became a unified country. For the first year everyone was pleased with the progress, as little was discussed regarding control of power, instead the delegates discussed functional ways of connecting the people. During the following Deliberation the people began discussing the distribution of power and authority, immediately causing contentions and heated debates. A year later in the third Constitutional Deliberation, things changed for the worst. Representatives from Bedrin City adamantly detested giving up power, power which had remained in the monarch family for centuries. People of Floran and Pelenak, along with many other cities on Atla’s eastern coast, saw it as an end to their steady business and trade by way of the sea (as more and more emphasis would be put on trade with other nations, all of which are to the west of Atla). The farmers of Sed saw the end of their farms and the rise of corporate, government mandated planting schedules. And dozens of other small villages, including Gale, Endlain, Grey Hearth and Tenos were all unwilling to give up their authority. Several times during the course of the month long Third Constitutional Deliberation the delegates were close to coming to blows. The only reason many didn’t, some say, is that the leaders of the cities themselves were not present. Would the very people who were to give up their power have been in attendance it is said the Deliberations would have been a failure.
It took several years of Deliberations for the majority of people across Atla to feel comfortable with a shift in power. One of the most important breakthroughs was that of Sustained Power. Sustained Power was an initiative proposed that would ensure the day to day control of a city remained in the hands of the current mayors, governors, dukes and duchesses, kings and queens, councils and more. While the national laws and regulations (which would affect trade, business laws, employment opportunities and healthcare) would fall on the shoulders of the national government.
Not everyone saw Sustained Power as a positive however. Many of the strongly independent cities mentioned before felt that the government didn’t trust them enough to handle everything on their own. While it was true that some authority would be removed from the current civic leaders, the government would step in to assist with healthcare, job opportunities and infrastructure maintenance. But that didn’t matter.
For the Constitutional Deliberation of 6PM several of the cities (including the ones mentioned) refused to send their delegates. The Deliberations were put on hold for two weeks while others were sought to fill the empty positions. Unfortunately, things turned violent.
While searching for new representatives for the absent cities, fifteen men and women were captured or killed. The leaders of Grey Hearth took captive the initial representative and locked him in prison after returning with the news of the previous Deliberation. As the volunteers and staff of the Deliberations reached Grey Hearth two were murdered on sight and two more were thrown in prison.
In Gale the city sheriff arrested three delegates on charges of treason and had them hanged.
The delegates who traveled to Endlain in hopes of finding new representatives went missing and were never heard from again.
In Bedrin, the king refused to let the delegates into the city and mobilized his guards to ensure nobody entered.
And many other delegates and volunteers met the same fates across Atla.
Behind closed doors and away from the publicity of the Deliberation itself the representatives met to discuss the unfolding situation. In just one year civil war became a real threat to the yet unborn nation. While the foundations of the national military were already being laid, there was no unified military power. And even if there was, mobilizing it to fight against the threat of the hostile cities would have been a disaster.
So for the first year the delegates decided to ignore the situation. New representatives were found for all the cities but Grey Hearth and Bedrin. New groups of representatives traveled to the cities where the original group had been killed or captured. Only this time they did so in secrecy, posing as travelers or salespeople. Once inside the cities the undercover representatives were able to find people in the city in non-civic positions who were willing to act as the new representatives. In several instances the representatives were picked from school teachers, local law enforcement or store owners. The entire process took three weeks. By what should have been the end of the month long Seventh Constitutional Deliberation the delegates and representatives were finally all in place.
In an expedited form, the Seventh Deliberation got underway with little to no mention made of the opposing cities. After eight days of deliberations the representatives dispersed for the year.
As the date approached for the Eighth Constitutional Deliberation the representatives traveled to the year’s host city in Westlake. But before the Deliberation could even begin, three representatives were killed by supporters of the growing Anti-Government Movement. Local newspapers and periodicals caught wind of the attacks and ran stories about the seemingly deadly position of being a representative. It was clear by the beginning of the Deliberation that something had to be done.
While the Eighth Deliberation continued on as normal, there was a subplot the public knew little about. The representatives were ready to strike back against the newly named Anti-Government Movement members. It was still early enough in the group’s life that few people outside of the deliberation or the hostile cities knew what was going on. And that’s how the representatives wanted to keep it.
As soon as the Eighth Deliberation ended, with a plan of attack having been devised, the representatives returned to their home cities. The military force of the ten largest attending cities was combined two months later just outside the centrally located city of Alpine. From there the representatives traveled with the troops across Atla to the site of Anti-Government Movement cities. There, the representatives gave the AGM leaders an ultimatum: Participate in the Constitutional Deliberations like every other city, or be eliminated. Many viewed the zero tolerance policy of the representatives as harsh. But with the threat of a civil war looming, it was perhaps the safest option they had. And in the end, it worked.
Many cities that had aligned themselves with the Anti-Government Movement immediately agreed to the terms of the representatives. Others, the citizens of the actual cities, claimed the representatives that were fighting against the others didn’t in fact speak for the city and were acting as renegade criminals in an attempt to seize power for themselves. Yet there were some that put up significant resistance. The guards of Bedrin fought against the provincial army in a bloody battle that lasted for three days. By the end the King’s army had been completely obliterated and 1,000 of the provincial army had been killed. After the absolute defeat the King of Bedrin agreed to lay down his weapons and send a representative to the next Deliberation.
When troops arrived at the gates of Grey Hearth City the Shaman Priest refused to let the representatives in. At the time Grey Hearth had not sent any representatives to the Deliberations nor had they shown any interest. The Shaman-Priest agreed that hostility towards the rest of Atla would subside only if the rest of the nation stopped defiling the sacred lands around the frozen city. The representatives, beaten but not defeated, returned to the south considering Grey Hearth to be a separate nation. And for the next century few people even traveled to the icy land.
Several more battles took place across Atla as members of the AGM fought for their continued independent rule. Entire towns, isolated and insignificant would fight to the end. Farmers and their families, oddly inspired by the AGM rhetoric would throw themselves into battle, completely unwilling to even discuss their terms of agreement.
After months of bloody battles across Atla the provincial army, as it came to be known, realized the AGM was being led by a single individual. Hiding out in the Bedrin Mountains, the provincial army was met with a force of over 3,000 AGM members plotting to overthrow the early government and end the Constitutional Deliberations. The following battle was the bloodiest the army had faced. All of the AGM members were slain and 1,200 of the provincial army were killed. No prisoners were taken, the army’s goal was complete eradication, and they succeeded to perfection. It’s unclear whether or not the AGM was seeking to simply put a stop the Deliberations or to supplant the early government and take control of the entire nation. No questions were asked and the identity of the AGM leader was never revealed. To this day nobody knows whether or not the leader was a man or woman. Under strict orders of secrecy the army burned the bodies of the AGM and quickly disbanded. Several cover-up stories were circulated to account for the whereabouts of the major cities’ military forces and several of the representatives. Luckily for the early government, the largest battles (Bedrin City and the Bedrin Mountains) were isolated from the usual flow of information across Atla. And the one major city to encounter the army and not be destroyed was Grey Hearth, which completely ignored the outside world both before and after, sealing up any information behind the city’s great walls. There were no written correspondences during the attacks. Everything we know about the battle and the AGM came from the few leaks made by surviving provincial army members who divulged the information on their death beds. Without those few individuals the deadly opposition and even the existence of the AGM would have never been known.
The remaining Constitutional Delegations continued as though nothing had happened. 2PM saw the unanimous approval of the official structure of the government. Representatives had been speaking for the voice of the people, and everyone realized that such a method would continue to work. The government would officially be split into three, equally powerful branches. The first would be the voice of the people. Based off of the initial representatives, the voice of the people came in the form of what are today known as the Provincial Representatives. One representative would speak for every 500 people. Areas would be determined according to population. Today, however, that number is now one Representative for every 5,000 people within a given province. Following the Provincial Representatives was the Grand Council. Much like the initial 200 delegates, the people saw the role of the Grand Council to care for the nation as a whole. They would be in charge of drafting changes to healthcare, taxes and other day to day necessities. As there was in the beginning, there is one Grand Council member for each Provincial Representative to ensure equal say by the people and by the government. The final branch of the government was the national head, the leader and president. This individual was initially known as the Council Head, though by 12EM the title was officially known as the Grand Provincial Councilor. The GPC’s duties are to oversee the nation as a whole. This includes heading the military and national police forces and international relations. The GPC is elected by the citizens of Atla and cannot be voted out by the Grand Councilors.
As Atla’s government was being established the representatives were also working with representatives from outside Atla to form the Trinity Council. Upon Atla’s adoption of the constitution the Trinity Council, then three years old, officially adopted the new calendar system to be used by all member nations. In total 24 countries totaling 60% of the world’s population signed their admittance to the Trinity Council in the world’s single, largest sociopolitical act. The explosion of knowledge, understanding and progress in general ushered in what is known as the Era of Enlightenment. After the signing of the PCF the Trinity Council declared that that would be the final year of the old, separate calendar systems used across the world. On New Year’s Day the date would officially roll over to 1EM, named after the Enlightenment.
Since the signing of the Provincial Constitution of Freedom on the 10th of Foe, 1PM, Grey Hearth and Bedrin have added their numbers to the provinces of Atla. Further, 20 more countries of varying sizes from both Feron and Far Haven have joined the Trinity Council.