Main title says Legion 16 in stenciled letters. A spray-painted flag of a Legion Group has seven alternating red and blue stripes (starting and ending with red) and a yellow five-pointed star in the middle.
The Freedom First Party (aka The Party) is the current leading government. They occupy 90% of the Continent and have imposed sanctions against all Overseas regions. What started as a grassroots populist movement has devolved into a totalitarian nightmare. Thirty-three years of corruption, cronyism, administrative and financial failures have left the planet ravaged, with many citizens living in terror and struggling to survive.
The First Election
August Neill (0-31)
Valerinn Hammond (31-)
Status: In office
Winner: Freedom First Party
Representative: August Neill
- vote cancelled by Constitution, failure to produce Family member
Charge assumed by: Freedom First Party
Representative: August Neill
Winner: Freedom First Party
Representative: Valerinn Hammond
One thousand years of Hierarchy rule had kept the political climate of the planet stable. That's not to say there were not problems present or any dissent. Protests against the Hierarchy were common, with sections of the populace calling for more profound action. The genesis of the Party movement occurred in the border regions between Gmundkevakk and Vedrii.
Separatist factions wanted small, independent, autonomous Provinces centered around what they felt were unique cultural groups that had their own national identity. Years of rule from afar had left them feeling marginalized, subordinated, and disenfranchised inside of a larger state. Their rationale was that a millennium of Hierarchal rule violated their right of self-determination. They argued that they had the right to sovereignty and international political status without interference from hereditary rulers who lived far from the region.
Pink line showing the border between Vedrii and Gmundkevakk.
Further to the east, voices in the capital raised against the newly installed Kashinn (Gmundkevakk) and Durrant (Vedrii) Families for a unification of the ancestral Vedrii lands entirely, returning half the continent to a pre-First Provincial Convention state. They argued that the original selected officials violated then-existing law to uphold democratic principles and failed to hold a referendum to determine the will of the people. Gmundkevakk and Vedrii should be unified once more as Broccav, they said, with new government elections and an end to Hierarchal rule.
A borderland separatist supporter, August Neill, authored an idea that would unite the various factions along the border with the more common interest of the capital dissidents. His oratory style and bombast rapidly made him popular. He proposed a new constitution to both groups: unification of the two Provinces, with a three-year transitional government to keep all Provincial functions running, providing minimal disruption and impact to the population, until such time that a general election could be held. At that time, the public could vote on two measures: keeping Broccav intact and creating autonomous regions along the old border.
Within two years, Neill had convinced all the protest leaders in both the borderlands and the capital to sign the document. Ensuring their cooperation, he'd covertly hired various psi elements to influence the leaders and sway them to support his proposal.
The original Freedom First Party poster. Clenched fist in the center - "One Past, One Present, One Province."
A series of propaganda and disinformation campaigns began within both Provinces to drum up support for the new political entity, the Freedom First Party. The Party promised to let the people's voices be heard, give them a definitive voice in government, and provide them improved wealth and services.
In a seemingly magnanimous gesture, both Hierarchy families consented to a general election in both Provinces to determine if their respective voters wanted to remain under Hierarchal rule or accepted the Freedom First Party's call for reunification. In reality, psi operatives had infiltrated both Families and guided them towards the election, with further encouragement from accompanying military legions.
To vote, all school-age or older citizens entered a private voting booth, stamped the flag of their choice with a black "YES" and deposited their ballot in a box. The party with the most YES stamps would be declared the winner. Voting went on for three full days, with each voter having four fingers inked with semi-permanent dye to prevent voter fraud.
A citizen showing off proof of voting with four ink-stained fingers.
An original First Election voting ballot
That the Soverign may undertake any necessary, preventative, and protective measures to ensure the safety of the people.
That no convening of a body counter to the Party be present for the purposes of authority or influence.
That the Party assumes responsibility for all matters pertaining to regional concerns.
That violations of previous Articles shall be redressed under measures considered consistent with maintaining social unanimity.
This Constitution and any subsequent additions are ratified concordant on this day, year 1 of the Freedom First Party.
That any expression or possession of Familial convention run counter to the established social will. (Incorporated Year 3)
The Freedom First Party swept the election, garnering 82% of the vote. Within hours of concession, the Kashinn and Durrantt Families were imprisoned under Articles 1 and 2 of the new Constitution. Their Chancellaries escaped the roundup. With the newly formed Broccav Nation, the capital remained in Kevakk, angering some in the Party who felt the capital should be moved to a more central area, befitting the newly unified nation.
Neill set about filling governmental positions with Party loyalists and greatly expanding the military during his first three months in office. He continued to hold large rallies to maintain support and help forge a new national identity. Rally turnouts were always large, as attendance was mandatory.
Ambitious plans were laid out to progress to the Quattriterre region and southern coast until full military control was established. By month four, he realized that dissent hadn't ended with him. To quash it, he instituted purges.
Map showing Party-occupied area (2 provinces).
The first round of purges was aimed at the intelligentsia; those with the academic and worldy knowledge to challenge Party decrees. To prevent revolt, Neill branded them as enemies of the state, who threatened their harmonious coexistence, Hierarchy loyalists who wanted to disrupt a peaceful transfer of power. Philosophers, historians, regional mayors, journalists, Family allies, and other community influences were given two options: discretional relocation or reeducation classes.
To promote the illusion of self-agency and choice amongst those targeted, arbitrary executions were carried out. Those that chose discretional relocation were stripped of their citizenship, relinquished all land (but retained all portable property), and were permitted free crossing into Onnais or Charenn or given free passage to the Overseas Provinces. Those that opted for reeducation classes were transported to prison camps for an indeterminate period of time, released only after the camp commandant had determined them to be loyal to the Party.
Examples of new Dobra currency (top: reverse Dobra 500, bottom: obverse Dobra 1)
Desiring to see a unified Continent, Neill arranged unification meetings with the Onnais, Charenn, and Y'Tallish Hierarchy. Charenn accepted a 10-Year Accord, interpreting it as the most peaceful way to appease the Party's imperialistic policies. Onnais and Y'Tallish rejected the Accord, and immediately withdrew all funds and interests from Cognate Bancorp.
"The only story you know is the one you're given to read." - August Neill, Year 2
On the partial success of the Accord, Neill had an epiphany: the key to rule lay in two spheres, military dominance and financial control. Up until then, Geni could still be used concurrently with the new Party currency, the Dobra and had a 1:1 exchange rate. Following it, however, all transactions and payments (including salaries) must be carried out in Dobra and all Geni must be traded in at a rate of 75:1.
To cover his military vision, a new decree instituted a military draft, commanding that all able-bodied Broccav citizens serve a mandatory seven years, two of which had to be in a forward unit and one that had to be served in border protection. With so many new recruits, the military ranks swelled.
While the population was distracted with mass recruitment efforts, the Party clamped down on all media and locked out any internet access, effectively shutting off international and regional communications. State-sponsored newspapers, radio, internet, and television sprang up to filter propaganda and approved, heavily redacted stories to the masses. To ensure message continuity, the second round of purges was convened, eliminating all of the editorial ranks, mid-ranking officials (both government and Provincial military), and anyone who had any pre-First election relics (history books, recordings, etc).
The Second Election
"Great Secrecy State? No. A culture of informity ensures that everyone is united under a common goal; the strength of the Party." - August Neill, Year 3
In Year 3, the Party's transitional term had ended. The public expected elections to determine if they would stay Broccav, return to former Hierarchal rule, and whether or not to form further smaller nations along the previous border.
Confident in his ability to steal the election again and sure that his ability to fulfill promises outweighed some of the Party's harsher measures, Neill permitted voters to return to the polls. When the last ballot was counted, the results were 71% in favor of returning to Hierarchal rule.
Stunned by his loss, Neill immediately enacted Constitutional Articles 1 and 2, declaring, that due to the lack of available Hierarchy members (they were still imprisoned or dead) and for the "strength of the nation and the Party", the votes would be disallowed and the Party would retain their governmental seat and responsibilities. As part of a plan to help quiet discontent, the Party indulged an atmosphere of paranoia, rewarding citizens for information on activities or associations counter to the Party. Rewards ranged from the simple (free tank of gas) to the extravagant (fully paid 2-week excursion to Carnivale).
New military units were swiftly created to engage in a third and public round of purges intended to prevent the very same type of uprising that brought the Party into power. Targeted groups included: affiliates of financial institutions, former military officers, and anyone previously associated with the separatist movements including psi operatives.
An example of a post-Second Election anti-psi poster
Branded as "militarized", psi users were particularly vilified due to the nature of their existence.
The Occult Corps Decree, often shortened to the "Cult Papers", was crafted to convince the populace, Continental and Overseas, that those with psi abilities had:
1) formed their own army
2) had directly and illegally influenced the Second Election results
3) had conducted the first and second purges
4) were planning terror raids
An example of a post-Second Election anti-psi poster
There is no patch for the 5th Directorate (counter-surveillance) or the 16th Directorate (the value was banned following the Legion 16 uprising).
With local populations terrorized into compliance in established territories, the Party legions continued on The Great Expansion, pushing further southward towards Charren. They encountered the Nehlling Family traveling to Party Headquarters for an Accord meeting, and burned them alive.
Alerted to the troop progression, an integrated legion located on the Quattriterre (land where the four borders converged), met them at the border. The Sixteenth Legion had signed an Agreement of Secession, effectively breaking away from the Party, and declared themselves protectors of the people from any and all threats. An executed Hierarchy Family in their territory gave them permission to launch their own attack.
The Party boasted superior materiel and logistics and the bombarded legions were soon reinforced from the north. Designed for targeted hits, the Sixteenth lacked soldiers and firepower to sustain a prolonged engagement. Thirty days and eighty-five-hundred soldiers (out of a starting ten thousand) later, and the rebellion was quashed. In response to the uprising, the Party declared all military units to be directorates and redesigned uniforms and ranks.
In the following weeks, the Party fully occupied Charenn, renamed it Yungtil, secured the capital city of Yingnarr and the entire banking sector. With the majority of global finances now at his disposal, Neill had a platform to hard bargain with remaining Hierarchy. With all Overseas Provinces relegated to Aversion level on the Political Condition Scale, exorbitant tariffs and customs fees were implemented. Provinces no longer had access to their accounts, except as by agreement to an Encroachment Accord.
Map showing Party-occupied area (3 provinces).
Bowing to pressure, and fearing the influx of refugees and psi corps, the Gorrdann Family of Naymarr signed an Appeasement that provided access to their financial accounts in exchange for allowing the Party to set up defense Outposts. Little more than a rubber stamp government, they went into hiding and all but abdicated. Their sole legacy is the Neutrality Agreement that prevents any detrimental action, including supply withholding or delay, against New Kevakk's Mid-Town Hospital.
Party Overseas Outpost
In neighboring Atremm and Tulumm, Family finances finally depleted and were unable to be restored. Populist uprisings forced their abdication, leaving the lands without government. Party raids from Void Outposts purged the Calaar and Mrettideen Families and their Chancellaries under the guise that they were harboring psi operatives, but they have not been able to secure leadership due to fractured supply lines and ongoing resistance.
Naymarr remains a coveted Province due to the strategic and logistic significance of Farrenn Island. The island provides a fortified airstrip and coastal bombardment zone. Heavy fortification and embedded Legion protection keep Party squads from crossing the isthmus, leaving the mainland highly contested.
The Third Election
"We were not built overnight, we will not be rebuilt overnight." - Valerinn Hammond, Year 32
August Neill and the Freedom First Party enjoyed mostly unchallenged rule in their occupied territories for the first thirty years following the First Election. Poor management led to a squandering of considerable resources, including manufacturing to support continued military expansions. With persistent Legion insurgencies robbing them of most of their armament and heavy, long-distance mobility capabilities, the military focused on keeping order in their immediate regions.
Plans to invade Onnais were abandoned due to substantial resistance along the border and insufficient military structure. Plans to invade Y'Tallish were never created due to the logistical challenges revolving around the natural mountain barrier and reports of the island capital's considerable defenses.
The Party's United Poster - Two hands shaking over a blue globe outline. "United Once, United Again"
Sensing a stall in progress, one voice dared to speak up, advocating for and update and fulfillment of the Party's new vision -- United Once, United Again. Valerinn Hammond felt that the Party could go further, do more, be the full Hierarchy replacement they were meant to be. very shape and size, and perfect for long blocks of text.
A stark contrast to Neill patented bluster and impulsiveness, Hammond possessed a familiar elegance and patience that spoke to high office. Starting in Year 25, she committed to a heavy travel schedule building support using the same methods employed prior to the First Election. Over the next six years, Hammond carefully crafted her base and her platform. She advocated her Decade Plus Two plans to stabilize economies and bring all remaining Provinces under the Party flag.
"We have but to wait. Then their citizens will come, the light from our flag their choice." - Valerinn Hammond, Year 32
Expecting to run unopposed, Neill's rule came to an end when Hammond won the Third Election on a write-in option. Years of Neill's excesses left the Party in tatters and Hammond's promises of redemption and glory resonated with voters. The new Sovereign was a focused student of history, employing all of Neill's methods and deepening their scope and effectiveness. On the night of Neill's fall, Hammond deposed all prior government and military officials in favor of her own. Neill was arrested, tried, and executed within a week for crimes against the State, including failure to uphold the Constitution.
A permanent Agency of State Reformation was designed to support constant surveillance and put down any insurrections. The Sovereign championed covert programs and research, both of which were heavily implemented in the medical and scientific fields.
In the three years since the Third Election, Hammond has given special attention to the Party military, shaping it into a formidable and diversified force. Factories previously shuttered have been reopened and experiments in reforming the Twelfth Directorate are underway. Ninth Directorate Ransacker units who specialize in enhanced terror tactics have been deployed to the Overseas Provinces. Rumors of new military strike forces swirl around the streets.
Yellow - Party occupied territory
Green - Under Appeasement Accords
Red - Expected to come under Accords
Purple - Intact Hierarchy
The Party is poised to assume worldwide control in nine years.
Freedom First Party
The nine blue and red stripes represent the nine Provinces, with a sun rising behind the blue ones "on a new day".