Council and Culture

Period Overview



Upon the fall of the High Houses and their rotating monarchy system, Anduruna was primed for unfettered advancement. The innovation of election and the ideal of individual freedom unlocked the door to prosperity and stability. Leaving behind the hampering social contrivances and kings of the past, a renaissance of scientific and cultural advances built Anduruna into the city it is today.

Breakthroughs in science ranged from modest improvements in cart efficiency to the groundbreaking information technology of the data scroll.

Society evolved rapidly, as education universalized and literacy bloomed into normalcy. Construction increased with the slow swell of the population, culminating in the pinnacle of engineering: the Sabbaton Towers.

The development was not without its growing pains, however. To safeguard the increasingly prosperous city and its inhabitants, powers use was increasingly regulated. Over hundreds of years of relative peace, the wars of old became nothing more than history - and the terrifying legend of the nightmares and ancient evils faded into the paper-thin insignificance of fiction.


Timeline



287 A.D.: Prosperity and living standards bloomed stupendously as commerce was freed from confiscatory burdensome tolls. The fruits of success no longer locked to the political birthrights and fortunes of the High Houses, Andurunans across the city endeavored with vigor to work and profit for themselves.

322 A.D.: Dutiful and lucky citizens sprang from obscurity to wealth within their own lifetimes. However, the weak central authority of the city, combined with the burgeoning trade and wealth of the region, gave rise to an underclass of opportunistic robbers and pirates. Wealthy merchants and a need for protection combined to form a lucrative new market: entrepreneurial mercenaries and bounty hunters found employment protecting convoys and pursuing notorious criminals and their hoards. It became the age of Anduruna's privateer police.

326 A.D.: Particularly powerful villains were proving to be a chronic problem, and near impossible to keep imprisoned. A law was enacted that, for aggressive breaches of law involving power use, the offending dreamkeeper would be permanently banished from Anduruna. This policy better protected lawful citizens from career criminals, and encouraged some thieves to refrain from powers use during robberies.

356 A.D.: Although room abounded within Anduruna's Outer Wall, seafaring advancements and exploratory fervor gave birth to an age of venture colonization. By land and sea, parties of Andurunans procured wealthy backers and set out on expeditions for new lands. The treaty of old with Serapeum had been, if not forgotten, disregarded.

361 A.D.: With growing fortunes at home and the need to do business in varying districts, some tycoons found a new use for the ground cart. Rather than transporting goods, carriages were used to cart around the wealthy. In competition with one another, carriages became more and more flamboyantly rococo and over-garnished. Eventually, some towering carriages were hauled not by a single manekale, but by teams of knossus.

372 A.D.: The colonization efforts outside the city met with nearly universal disaster. Many expeditions vanished without a trace, and were never heard from again. Others returned with few survivors, reporting pirate and robber attacks. Still others suffered betrayal by their mercenary escorts upon isolation in the wilderness - stripped of their valuables and gear, left to make their way back home unaided. All returned with colorful tales of the outside world and its dangers, and one seafaring account claimed their vessel was prevented from charting the coastline south by an exotic blockading ship with an all female nude crew. Regardless of their stories, the continued failure of expeditions dried up investor interest in outfitting new attempts. The failures were largely blamed on the newest problem growing in Anduruna - the escalating complicity between raiding criminal groups and the private hunters supposedly opposing them.

396 A.D.: Scientific breakthroughs brought new resources and technologies to light - the many uses of the mineral lunarous were explored, and resulted in a localized mining industry. Although captured star-squids were still the most prevalent form of lighting, lunarous could be used for more versatile luminescent needs. Flo-wood’s seemingly endless properties continued to impress, resulting in its increased use as a miracle material in construction. Able to grow into nearly any shape, one seed of flo-wood could generate the structure for an entire building. Combined with its ability to re-grow after damage or wear, it became a valued, if scarce, commodity.

Mechanical developments broke new ground, with the invention of spring-driven gears and clockworks. This discovery formed the foundation for our contemporary spring-powered machines.

Politics, however, seemed to be slowly tacking backwards. After a scandal went public, suspicions were confirmed that many, if not all, of the lifelong tenured Council Members were complicit in the entwined piracy / police for hire protection rackets. Single backers would secretly fund both the criminals and the hired bounty hunters, creating the demand and the product at the same time, with kickbacks lining the process. The continued litany of depredations and corruptions coming to light enraged the citizens of the city, and spurred change once again.

397 A.D.: After a public vote, city policy was officially amended to limit the tenure of Council Members to three years, after which their office was vulnerable to the tides of election once again. Also enacted in the Margate district was a new policy: a publicly voted and approved tax incentive for the purpose of funding a full-time official district police division.

412 A.D.: Although its early years were marked by intense competition and conflict with the entrenched mercenary guild organizations, the Margate district police endured. Backed by a relatively uncorrupted arm of the law, crime rates dropped and profit margins swelled for the merchants of Margate. Soon the other districts followed suit in creating public law enforcement divisions.

506 A.D.: Council Members were, by necessity, much more loyal to the needs of their constituency under their new limited term lengths. Yet corruption - though not permanently affixed to a single member - slowly crept back into the overall system. Additionally, Council Members became increasingly fearful of making even productive policy decisions, for fear that the move be distorted and used against them in ensuing elections.

Occasional attempts at colonization and exploration continued, but most parties going far beyond the Anduruna region didn’t return. The high rate of loss on expeditions resulted in an elaborate Council-controlled licensing application process. Without a ratified license, exploration was deemed too dangerous to be legally permitted. It soon became clear that the only money in exploring was the money to be hemorrhaged in obtaining a license, and interest dwindled.

578 A.D.: Council efficiency had completely stagnated at this stage, while simultaneously managing to cost continually more. Frustrated citizens again called for improvements to the system.

600 A.D.: Under continued public pressure, the Council finally decreed the formation of the executive Viscount office. This newly appointed office was to have final authority in resolving Council deadlocks. Conveniently, the Viscount position was to be voted on by the Council Members. The first Viscount of Anduruna was Timker Pumtep of the Calypsa District, who served the first seven year term of office. To commemorate the formation of the office of the Viscount, and in light of the sweeping advancements of the times, the renovation of the old Council civic center was announced. Rather than a mere refurbishing, it was decided that a colossal monument to Anduruna and its achievements would be erected - the grandest construction known to history: The Sabbaton Towers.

713 A.D.: Harsh weather for several successive years damaged crop yield. Serious hunger afflicted the city, and in light of the ongoing taxes necessary for the Towers’ construction, citizens demanded government aid. Considering the ongoing hunger issue, the continuous expenditures on the Towers were seen as a glaring example of Council waste and extravagance. The presiding Viscount failed to act quickly, and the Council caught the blame for his inaction.

714 A.D.: With citizen faith in the Council at an all time low, reform was once again achieved. The office of the Viscount became a matter not of Council appointment, but of public election. For the first time ever, all of Anduruna would come together, bridging the district divisions, to vote for a mutual leader - the Viscount.

776 A.D.: The Sabbaton Towers, seventy-six years behind schedule, were finally completed. They housed political residences, courts, prisons, universities, offices, libraries, and more - virtually a city unto themselves, and the new cultural and political center of Anduruna.

849 A.D.: Rising levels of organized crime and corruption were addressed in a campaign platform for a new Viscount. Upon his election, the Anduruna city guard was established, a policing force knowing no district boundaries. They had distinctive uniforms, and were barred from using their powers in law enforcement for safety purposes - instead having newly mandated and approved spring-powered weapons.

Many districts objected to this override of their autonomy, and chose to retain their traditional police divisions. Over time, however, the redundancy and inferior authority of the district police resulted in their decline and absorption into nominal divisions of the city guard.

The policy decision was highly controversial with the public initially, as it disregarded the independence and authority of the districts, subverting them completely to Central City authority. Constitutional questions were raised. Over time, however, these complaints faded. Gradually, Central City authority continued to expand, the old constitution was quietly amended away, and Anduruna became a more homogenized civilization.

986 A.D.: The breakthrough invention of the multi-chrome scroll-screen revolutionized communications. Capable of sending and displaying only limited blocks of information, rapid improvements created the modern data-scroll within a generation. This once again marked a shift in the importance and prevalence of writing. Freed from the old technique of method printing for mass producing books and scrolls, there was need for a new system of writing to be integrated with the data-scroll. For the first time, text wasn’t cut out or rendered by hand on ink-press templates - standardized fonts were created. Soon after, the keyboard was developed and found widespread popularity in its ease of use.

1000 A.D.: The millennium celebration of Anduruna occurred. The city, built by generations of hard-working Andurunans, exulted in its prosperity and grandeur.

1012 A.D.: Dropping prices and affordability universalized the data-scroll. Mass media slowly took its place in the forefront of Anduruna consciousness.

1093 A.D.: The increasing disconnect from day-to-day reality, combined with a vague sense of entitlement regarding their culture, created a gradually diminishing work ethic among segments of the population. Priorities began a slow drift from character and accomplishment to entertainment and leisure.
Matching this drift in personal orientation was a change in attitude towards Anduruna Central City authority. Once viewed as an essential evil to govern where necessary, it gradually became an every-day source of solutions to voter problems and concerns. Once again, the pendulum began to swing towards increases in taxation and centralized authority, to a degree not seen since the reign of the High Houses and their kings.