The Unification of Yellow Island
The Mythical Period
The Mythical Period of Natopia is characterized by vague and sometimes conflicting stories of the beginning of civilization on Tapfer and Yellow Island. It is generally assumed that Jasonia was one of the earliest civilizations to have an influence on Tapfer. The Opaeied, a collection of epic poems passed down orally and collected and translated by Nathan Shepard, is the primary source of what little historical knowledge we have of the period before 1113 ASC (August 23, 2002 AD or Natopuary 25, 3 BFG), the founding of Natopia City.
In the Opaeied, the main character, known as Nett Opaegh, embarks from his Jasonian settlement on the west side of Tapfer across the continent to current day Yellow Island. He encountered the giant rock monster Pinax, the gentle native Klaasiyans who lived along Borders Bay and helped him cross the bay and fought the bay monster Bora’Derr. Opaegh’s journeys take him to a small settlement in a natural harbor on southern shore of Yellow Island. The native people call themselves Mehl and are marveled at Nett Opaegh’s stories of Jasonia’s flying islands and his encounter with Pinax, Bora’Derr, and the Klaasiyans. Opaegh’s limited knowledge of Jasonian technology among the primitive sky-spirit worshipers elevate him to a nearly god-king position. He raises certain civic buildings several feet above the ground with his rudimentary knowledge of antigravity. Stories and recovered documents describe an entire city in the clouds, however these were firsthand accounts written by the Mehl and their primitive cognition of these events may have caused them to greatly exaggerate. It is more probable that Nett Opaegh was only able to lift important civic buildings to only a height of 10 or 15 feet and only for a short period of time for matters of defense.
Nevertheless, Nett Opaegh’s “floating city of the clouds” was an awesome sight to behold, and as such the Mehl began to call their own settlement Nett Opaegh’s Awe, which soon became shortened to Natopia. It is around the time of the introduction of the name “Natopia” that recorded history in early Natopia begins. Opaegh was secure in his position as leader of the Mehl and organized them into a more sophisticated society, appointing himself President and several ministers to aid him, these appointments are considered the beginning of the Natopian Nation and occurred in 1113 ASC (August 23, 2002 AD/Natopuary 25, 3 BFG).
The Natopolitan Period
The Natopolitan Period is characterized by policies and reforms by Nett Opaegh to civilize and sophisticate the Mehl into a modern city-state. The ministers he appointed were all from the most respected and established Mehl families so that his new government would be easily accepted by the general population. Nett Opaegh downplayed the use of the word “Mehl” to describe his citizens, and instead called them Natopians to differentiate them from Mehl living in the surrounding area which today is the area of Ziegeland. The Natopians consolidated their city and built buildings and streets and a Presidential mansion on the shore of the harbor where Vista de Nada Palace would eventually be built. The entire city was contained by walls that were located on the present day streets of Old Eastern Avenue, South Street and Shepard Street.
Frequent skirmishes occurred between the Natopians and surrounding Mehl, who Opaegh designated as Anti-Natopians to galvanize his people against them. One of the first people to ally with the Natopians was a small group of Mehl who lived to the northwest in a small fishing village (present-day Andiopolis). These Mehl were known as the Andi by local custom as their men were fierce warriors. The chief of the Andi, known only by his Natopianized name of Andrew Shin, saw that the Natopians were becoming a powerful force and sought an alliance with Nett Opaegh. The alliance essentially joined the two tribes together and a proto-state was formed and called the Natopian Alliance.
The remaining Mehl were concerned at this disruption to the balance to their tribes and formed their own coalition. Known only as the Anti-Natopians to history, the Mehl fortified the ancient fortress of Dracoheim, to the northeast of Natopia City and blocked any Natopian expansion in those directions. The Natopian Alliance, however, laid siege to Dracoheim. Powerful Andi warriors and skilled Natopian warfare technology eventually broke the siege and the Anti-Natopians surrendered. The entire tribal area of the Mehl came under the control of the Natopian Alliance, with the Anti-Natopians pledging fealty and willingness to assimilate to civilized Natopolitan life.
With a powerful army with the entire tribal nation of the Mehl, Nett Opaegh marched up the coast towards the Haas people. The Haas were a quiet, spiritual and introspective people. With minimal negotiation the Haas agreed to join the Natopian Alliance, bringing the extremely strategic Lochhatonian peninsula under Natopian control. The leader of the Haas, the Supreme Spiritual Leader Tree Loch Haas (Natopianized as Theresa Lochhaas) sent her sister, Cherry Loch Haas (Natopianized as Sherry Lochhaas) to accompany Opaegh back to Natopia City.
Nearly all of Yellow Island has been brought under the Natopian Alliance. Only Tas Neemia to the north and the impenetrable Hazel Woods to the east remained at the end of what became known as “Opaegh’s March to the Peninsula.”
The Natopolitan Period extends to the end of Nett Opeagh’s life. He continued to bring ever greater levels of sophistication, solidarity and civility to the Natopian Alliance until his death. Before his death many barbaric Mehl practices had been abolished by his Presidential decrees. The Mehl customs of “death houses” where undesireable individuals were sent to die, as well as succession by assassination where all memories by the end of the Natopolitan Period.
The Lindstromist Period
Opaegh’s death brought about a major succession crisis as he had left no heir to the presidency or even any inclination as to how his government should continue. The ministers and military squabbled amongst themselves about who among them should ascend to the presidency. No one member held seniority as they were all appointed on the same day.
Three officials, Joel Castleberry, minister of foreign affairs, Aaron Pavletich, supreme commander of the military, and Nathan Shepard, minister of domestic affairs, met at a small club in the north easternmost part of the city, known as the Black Hole, still standing today at the corner of Shepard Street and Mehl Avenue. Together they conspired to form a coup against the other ministers and place themselves in a triumvirate. The coup was bloodless and quick, the other ministers being unorganized and bribable with positions in the new government. Opposition came only from Andrew Shin, who commanded the will of the Andi. Even though the Andi served in the military and therefore under the command of Aaron Pavletich, tribal loyalty still ran high in early Natopian society. The Haas were also wary of a government lead by a triumvirate of ethnic Mehl. Nathan Shepard therefore proposed a compromise, known as the First Reorganization.
Shepard suggested a more complex five-branched system. A Grand Chancellor to replace the president, a senate headed by a Grand Consul with equal tribal representation, a Grand Judge to create a judicial branch, the Supreme Commander would lead a military branch, and the Supreme Spiritual Leader would lead a religious branch. Each branch would be lead by a member of a tribe by proportion, the Mehl holding the military and executive branches, the Andi holding the senate, and the Haas with the judicial and religious branches. This new government was established in a constitution, signed by all heads of branches. Whereas the Natopian Alliance had been an informal name, this constitution officially unified the tribes under a modern state known as the Supreme Sovereign Republic of Natopia.
It was decided that Nathan Shepard should serve as the first Grand Chancellor in recognition of him writing the new constitution. Aaron Pavletich remained as Supreme Commander of the military branch. Joel Castleberry was content to remain foreign minister until his early retirement and expedition to the island of Micronia. Theresa Lochhaas was appointed as the Supreme Spiritual Leader and her sister Sherry Lochhaas was appointed as Grand Judge. Andrew Shin was made Grand Consul of the Natopian Senate, of which each tribe sent two senators.
Natopia City was now a growing town which was attracting visitors from many foreign nations. One such visitor was Gustav Lindstrom, an exiled expatriate from Stormark. Lindstrom was exiled for his political views which angered the Sovereign Viking Emperor. Lindstrom had suggested a single check on the absolute authority of a monarch: a judge able to instantly remove the monarch from the throne for tyranny. Lindstrom therefore came to the new and unknown Republic of Natopia, hoping to find a place for his ideals to take root.
Grand Chancellor Shepard was having difficulty with his unwieldy five-branched government which required unanimous approval from the senate and unanimous approval from the branches to amend the constitution and welcomed an audience with Gustav Lindstrom. Having little contact with the outside world, the Natopian government had no idea it was harboring an exiled person. Lindstrom presented his theory of the judge-check-monarch system. Having no royal traditions to take offense, Shepard saw this system, called Lindstromism, as a superb way to control the government and keep the people happy by maintaining a system of checks and balances.
Unwilling to amend the unamendable constitution, Shepard merely wrote a new one, requiring only the signatures of himself, the Grand Judge, the Grand Consul and three other officials to render ratification. The new constitution was ratified quickly and the new Lindstromist government was in place with the addition of the powerful Chancellorial Decree and Judicial Review. Protests were minimal, as all three tribes were secured a spot in this new triumvirate, known as the Grand Quorum. The republic was organized into Five Regions; Dracoheim, Hoheit, Frieden, Shepard and Lochhatonia which roughly corresponded with present day Cheshunt, Ziegeland, Pavleton, and Lochhatonia. With a new stable government, Natopia was able to look outwards to the north and east.
The lands to the north known as the Tas Neemia were dominated by the tribe of the Neemites, who professed to be the chosen people of a deity they call the Butter Cow. One of Shepard’s first objectives was to bring this area into the new Republic. He ventured to the capital of the Tas Neemia, now Tasneemia City, and met with their leader, the formidable Chow Dhury, who became known as Tasneem Chowdhury. Chowdhury sought inclusion for Tasneemia within the new Natopian Republic, but demanded a post on Shepard’s ministry, the Prime Minister’s position. Shepard obliged and Chowdhury became the Prime Minister of Natopia and would go on to become a symbol of Natopian stubbornness in her steadfast devotion to the state.
Hazel Woods, to the east, was a maze of forest and swamp. It was so difficult to navigate that even Nett Opaegh avoided going beyond present day Oakham. Contact was made via vessels sent through the Newport Strait that docked at Sidewinder, present day Hazelwood city. The Hazel people were a shamanistic people, who lived deep in the woods and practiced magic. Natopian colonists, known as forestbaggers, began to arrive at the port of Sidewinder. The native Hazel peacefully joined the Republic, realizing they were surrounded by Natopian forces on all sides on the island. A second city, Blood Gulch was founded but failed due to the popularity and strategic location of Sidewinder, which eventually became known simply as Hazelwood.
The Formation of a True State
The Early Republican Period
Hazelwood and Tasneemia were organized into Regions with Hoheit and Frieden being absorbed into other Regions. One of the new senators from Hazelwood, given the Natopianized name of Ryan Grass, would have immeasurable impact on the legislature and growing culture of the nation. Then as now, the Natopian Senate had extremely relaxed procedures for debating and passing legislation. It was due to these relaxed procedures that the Senate was able to pass several pieces of legislation in under two days, sometimes even the same day the bill was proposed. This rapidity of legislation caused Senator and Hazelwood Regional Chancellor Ryan Grass to say that the senate was “a legislative frenzy.” The name was popular among the other senators and soon Grand Chancellor Shepard proposed an official change to the name of the legislature. From that day the legislature of Natopia has been known as the Legislative Frenzy during republican years and the Royal Frenzy during imperial and royal periods. Members have been called many things. Senator was no longer appropriate and a long list of membership titles began with Legislators, Frenzors, Representatives, Legates, and now simply Members of the Royal Frenzy abbreviated to MoRF.
While the culture was expanding in the halls, political lobbies, and pubs of the capital, which had been renamed Lindstrom City in honor of Gustav Lindstrom and to prevent confusing the city with the new country, the borders of the republic were continually expanding. Joel Castleberry had taken a leave of absence from his duties as foreign minister, leaving the position in a chronically open condition. Nevertheless, his leave was due to an expedition to the islands north of Lochhatonia, known as Micronia and Ferien, sites important to ancient Jasonians and Soloralists. He claimed the islands for Natopia as it was unpopulated at this time after years of abandonment. A settlement, Cragu, on the southern coast was established as the primary connecting port to the rest of mainland Natopia. Its sister port, Coco Coast, in modern day southwestern Tasneemia provided the sea connection to this new land which was administered by Lochhatonia. This island would eventually gain independence from Lochhatonia and would be known as Punkrock, in honor of its discoverer’s favorite genre of music. The city of Cragu was abandoned in favor of the new Punkrocker capital, Avenged City. With the loss of Cragu the inter-region trade between the mainland and Punkrock shifted to an Avenged City-Anmutstadt route and Coco Coast was soon abandoned as well.
With the islands of Micronia and Ferien under its firm control, a stable government, and a solid and unique culture, Natopians felt as though they were ready to become players in their world. Therefore, Grand Chancellor Shepard applied to have the Micronational Cartography Society come to Natopia and map the republic’s land. The Society agreed and after the initial survey of Yellow and Micronia islands, they added Natopia to the Society’s official map of the world on October 9, 2004, which in many ways legitimized Natopia’s existence to the outside world and opened early friendships with established nations such as Shireroth and peers Alexandria, Antica and Stormark. Natopia also streamlined its government by eliminating the religious and military branches and renaming the country the Sovereign Imperial Republic of Natopia.
The Lavalonian Period
The period of time ranging from October 2004 to July 2005 is marked by a severe drop in Natopian economic, cultural, and political growth. The three most important people of the government, Grand Chancellor Shepard, Prime Minister Chowdhury and Chancellor Grass all retreated from public Natopian life. Chancellor Grass all but vanished, and the Grand Chancellor and Prime Minister had immigrated to the Republic of Lavalon, located where East Tapfer is today. Shepard and Chowdhury joined the republic after it experienced a revolution, overthrowing their prince. Shepard became Chief Justice of Lavalon and Chowdhury would go on to secure the Presidency of that republic.
The attention paid to Lavalon by the most important Natopian citizens of the time had a near-death effect on Natopia. The only significant Natopian development during this time was the creation of the Free Juice and Bagels Party, but even that was duplicated in Lavalon as the Progressive Bagelcratican Party. Something was needed to bring Shepard and Chowdhury’s attention back to Natopia, and that was Robert Davis, one of the most celebrated micronationalists of all time. He came into Natopia as an ambassador from the Kingdom of Gotzborg and invigorated the nation with his charisma and interest. Shepard and Chowdhury were rejuvenated by this new foreign visitor who would soon join as a citizen, suggest that Natopia adopt a feudal system for its Regions, and did work on the nation’s laughable economy. His legacy is preserved today in the Barony of Robland, its capital Chloeopolis named for his daughter, and Davis Street in Lindstrom City which is the financial district of the city. It was this spike in interest and national pride that allowed Natopia to create its first empire.
Lavalon was suffering at the same time Natopia was recovering. Most of the officials of Lavalon had their own nations that they administered. Carson Smith was also king of Faronia, Bartholomew Henzelli was leader of New Germany, and Zachary Azilin was emperor of Alrodria. Following a disagreement over policy with Lavalonian Vice President Matthew Vasroixe, Shepard emigrated from Lavalon to focus on Natopia exclusively. Soon Lavalon was in serious decline and sensing opportunity, Shepard proposed a union of the struggling nations of Lavalon, Faronia, and New Germany with the newly prosperous Natopia. This union, called the Venerable Union of Aligned States (the name yet another legacy of Robert Davis), bonded the four nations together in an ambiguous hegemony with Natopia at the top.
Natopians had not experienced the exhilaration of empire since the days of Nett Opaegh, conquering the Anti-Natopians at Dracoheim, annexing the lands of the Andi, and the Haas all in a single lifetime. This current generation of Natopians tasted imperialism for the first time as Natopia sat in the premier position in VUAS. However, no sooner than the ink had dried on the treaty that bound the nations to their Venerable Union, the Supreme Court of Lavalon struck down the treaty in July 2005, without Lavalonian support, the Union collapsed, Faronia and New Germany disappeared with it and Natopian public pride was damaged. Because Lavalon and Natopia had a significant number of shared citizens, a great rivalry existed between them, and this union was Natopia’s victory in that rivalry. But the very seat of power that Shepard had himself vacated weeks prior was used against Natopia’s imperial ambitions. Thus the friendly rivalry between the once “sister nations” of Lavalon and Natopia turned into a bitter hatred on the Natopia side.