Atlantis refers both to the continent that lies in the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and northern Terranova and to the United States of Atlantis, the country that occupies the continent in its entirety.
Discovery and SettlementEdit
The first humans known to have visited Atlantis were the Breton fisherman François Kersauzon and his crew, circa 1452. He promised a fellow fisherman, the Englishman Edward Radcliffe, to guide him to the location in exchange for a third of his load of cod that year. Radcliffe agreed and eventually returned with his family and a few others to create a settlement, New Hastings. Soon afterwards, Kersauzon would found his own city, Cosquer, and Basque fishermen would erect their own town of Gernika in the south. These settlements in turn gave birth to, and were ultimately eclipsed by, substantial English, French, and Spanish colonial holdings on the island.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Radcliffe family to the overall history of Atlantis. The descendants of Edward Radcliffe have played critical roles in nearly every major event before, during, and after the formation of the United States of Atlantis. While the Kersauzon line has also played its role, it has always been a distant second when compared with the Radcliffes (or Radcliffs; one branch dropped the 'e').
In the early years of settlement, it was Henry Radcliffe, son Edward, of who first navigated the west coast of Atlantis, while Edward's other son, Richard, routinely crossed over the Green Ridge Mountains on foot.
In 1470, the first instance of Atlantean rebellion took place. In that year, King Edward IV banished Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, to Atlantis. The Earl attempted to institute himself as a monarch in New Hastings. Resistance on the part of Richard Radcliffe led to the death of Edward Radcliffe. The Radcliffe sons were able to gather enough support to defeat Warwick at the Battle of the Strand.
Nonetheless, as the centuries pass, English Atlantis did develop some ties to the mother country.
By the 1660s, Avalon had become the home of a number of pirates, most notorious of these being Red Rodney Radcliffe. The attacks on English and Dutch colonies in Terranova and shipping lines across the Hesperian Gulf were such that a concentrated effort was made, under the leadership of William Radcliff, to destroy the Avalon pirates, with great success.
The 18th Century: Unification and IndependenceEdit
The 18th Century was arguably the most important century for Atlantis since its discovery.
In 1761, warfare in Europe finally spread to Atlantis proper, and English Atlantis was at war with French Atlantis and Spanish Atlantis. The fighting on this front was ultimately brief when compared with other fronts. However, when it was done, French Atlantis had become an English possession.
One of the key figures of this conflict was Victor Radcliff, the highest ranking Atlantean on the English side. Thanks to his decisive actions, the English commander, Charles Cornwallis (who himself proved an excellent commander) was able to decisively defeat French general Louis-Joseph Montcalm-Gozon and French Atlantean commander Roland Kersauzon.
The victory had long term consequences. The financial cost of the victory was quite high for Britain, and it sought to recoup that loss by taxing its Atlantean subjects. Moreover, French Atlantis relied heavily on chattel slavery, and its perpetuation was crucial in keeping French subjects placated, particularly as English settlers made their way south after the war.
By 1775, British taxation had gone too far, and the Atlanteans rebelled. Thus began a war that lasted until 1778. With Victor Radcliff in command, and with the eventual aid of France, Atlantis secured its independence as the United States of Atlantis.
Upon independence, the United States adopted a republican government based upon the Roman Republic.
The 19th Century: Insurrection and the End of SlaveryEdit
Despite securing a peace with Britain, the United States of Atlantis came to blows with Britain in 1809 after Atlantis provided aid to rebellions in Terranova. The war ended as a draw, although arguably the U.S.A. received a substantial defeat at several points.
The ideals of the War for Independence did not translate into an end of slavery. Indeed, slavery was deemed too important in what used to be French Atlantis to be meddled with. It even expanded, when the United States purchased Gernika, Spain's Atlantean possession.
But enslaved Negroes and Copperskins continued to seek their freedom, with various uprisings that were quickly put down. Finally, in 1852, under the leadership of Frederick Radcliff, the illegitimate grandson of Victor Radcliff, Atlantis saw an insurrection so vast and so well organized that it could not be put down without the whole country paying a too-high price in blood and treasure. The insurrection forced the Atlantean Senate to manumit slavery once and for all.
The remainder of the century was relatively calm, compared with the first half. From its very beginning, the United States of Atlantis paid lip-service to egalitarianism. Thus, people from all over the world re-settled in Atlantis. It also placed emphasis on religious toleration. Consequently, a peculiarly Atlantean form of Christianity appeared in the early 19th Century called the House of Universal Devotion. Its founder, Samuel Jones, held that God lived in all people, and that, if we simply lived the proper lifestyle, we might overcome our limitations and become divine. The House was vocally anti-slavery well before the Great Insurrection. In the 1880s, a cabal of the Atlantean establishment, disgusted with how quickly the House had grown, attempted to implicate Jones in the murder of several critics. When the plot was unraveled by a British consulting detective, Atlantean society grew concerned that the House was now insulated from criticism.
Politically, the United States of Atlantis is divided into states. States include Avalon, Cosquer, Croydon, Freetown, Gernika, Hanover, Nouveau Redon, New Hastings, New Marseille, and Penzance. Nearly all of the states in Atlantis bear the name of the founding city in the area.
The United States of Atlantis is divided into distinct regions based primarily on their foundational history. North of the Stour River is the former English Atlantis, containing the earliest settlements in Atlantis. These states have historically been the political epicenter of the continent. South of the Stour are the formerly French and Spanish Atlantis. While the south has been settled by English migrants from the north much of the French and Spanish character remains. Even native English speakers of those regions have a slight French or Spanish lilt when they speak.
The United States of Atlantis was a republic based upon the ancient Roman Republic. The Atlantean Senate was the legislative body. Each Senator was elected by the statehouse of their respective states.
The heads of state and government were unified in the office of Consul. Two Consuls served, each being elected by the Senate for two-year terms, for up to three consecutive terms, and five total life-time terms. Each consul could veto the other. Both presided over debates in the Senate on alternating days. During war time, both consuls took the field, and each commanded on alternating days. A senior army officer who accompanied the consuls into battle, who served as an advisor to the consuls. However, the officer was still a subordinate, and was requried to carry out the consul's orders.
During peace time, consuls were prohibited from in any way interfering with the Ministry of War.
Each state of the United States was headed by a governor.
Ecology & ClimateEdit
The flora and fauna of Atlantis are somewhat similar to their European and Terranovan cousins, though at the same time are very different, notably in the near-absence of any native mammals from the continent. A clear example of the different wildlife of Atlantis was the presence of the honker, a type of giant flightless bird that resembled emus or ostriches, but were actually more similar to the moas of New Zealand and descended from Terranovan geese. Another example was the giant Atlantean robin, a bird which was most similar to a raven but sported brick-red plumage. The apex predator of Atlantis was the red-crested eagle, a gigantic bird of prey that fed primarily on honkers, but was also known to attack humans and livestock. Crocodiles, which were locally known as alligators, were virtually unchanged compared to other known species. Atlantis was also home to very large slugs, poisonous salamanders, many types of parrots and frogs, burrowing skinks which occupied the ecological role of moles, and another flightless bird called the Oil Thrush, which evolved the same body structure and ecological role as the New Zealand kiwi.
The only mammals native to Atlantis were bats, but by the 18th century, many other mammals had been introduced by the Europeans, among them cats, dogs, cattle, rabbits, mice, and pigs, as well as chickens and Terranovan turkeys.
Atlantean redwood trees likely evolved from local conifer trees in order to take advantage of Atlantis' warmer and more humid climate. The continent was also home to the so-called "barrel-trees," plants which resembled palm trees but, as their name suggests, had barrel-shaped trunks. They were presumably some kind of cycad. There was also a berry plant found only in southern Atlantis called the starberry, which tasted sweet and tart at the same time.
The general environment of Atlantis is temperate, but was typically colder in the north and stiflingly hot further south.