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Atlam ("Forest of Ferns"),[1] also known as Tōžetăna, is the Khulls name for a country located at the southern extreme of the continent of Rilola, home of all humans on planet Teppala. It is similar in size and shape to Subumpam but its climate is much warmer. Atlam stretches from 10°N to 14°N and from 9°E to 13°E. The climate of the entire nation is tropical savanna, with little difference from place to place because the topography is flat. There is a marked dry season during the Northern Hemisphere winter, but the air remains humid because of the nearby shallow sea, and water is plentiful throughout the year. The summer monsoon hits land early in the season and remains throughout the summer.

Atlam was settled as a group of discontinuous nations for many years before its incorporation in 2131 as Tūġyaităna.[2] Atlam was an alliance of independent, self-sufficient nations inhabited by aboriginals of the Kxesh tribes, who had lived in the rainforest for tens of thousands of years. In 2131 this alliance signed a treaty with the much larger Star Empire which transformed their multinational alliance into a single large nation and introduced the official language of the Stars, the Gold language.

In many ways, Atlam resembled the distant empire of Subumpam, which had been founded just a few generations earlier on the opposite side of the Gold Sea, about 2000 miles to the north and east of Atlam. Both empires were of similar size and shape, and had been founded along the south coast of their continent.[3] Both had humid climates ideal for humid civilization, with Subumpam having a temperate climate rather than Atlam's tropical one.

Like Atlam, Subumpam had originated as an alliance of previously independent states who had banded together into an alliance after signing mutual peace treaties with each other and disbanding their armed forces. The Subumpamese tribes were blonde, blue-eyed people who resembled their eastern neighbors in Paba but were not closely related. And both empires had signed treaties around the year 2100 pledging their allegiance to the much larger and stronger Star Empire, and later the Gold Empire.


Belongs to the Pejo family. See Tropical Rim.

Later linguistic evolution

See Macro-Pabap languages#atla2.

This may be due to confusion with Amade, however.

Geography and climate

Atlam has a tropical monsoon climate, typical for its latitude and points northward. As the southernmost point of the entire continent of Rilola, Atlam has the warmest and wettest climate of all. The monsoon rain is persistent and reliably covers about seven to eight months of each year. During the remainder of the year, the climate is hot and humid but sunny skies predominate and rainfall is scarce.

Historically, Atlam has been a refuge for tropical species of both plants and animals during the planet's cold periods, and therefore has the world's greatest diversity of tropical fruits. Yet the dry season in winter has kept the region free of many of the pests that are found on the tropical islands of Laba far to the east.

Atlam's land area was only about one sixth the size of Kxesh, but Kxesh consisted largely of upland areas and deserts, and the amount of thickly forested land in Atlam was comparable to that in all of Kxesh.



Early history

The earliest inhabitants of the area now called Atlam were the dark-skinned Kxesh peoples. Kxesh was not a nation or an ethnicity; the tropical climate of Atlam had led humans to form many individual compact, self-sufficient nations within the rainforest with relatively little need for trade between each settlement. Their identification as Kxesh people came only when outside powers began to encroach on their territory and the various tribes agreed to form a military alliance for their common interest. However, subdivisions within the Kxesh people soon re-emerged, and Atlam declared itself an independent nation; they still claimed allegiance to the Kxesh military alliance but became formally autonomous. Atlam did not collect taxes from its people because the people were almost entirely hunter-gatherers with no cash economy, and each family finished each day with no possessions other than their homes and their clothes. Thus Atlam was the poorest nation in the world, despite its people generally living healthier lives than the various peoples in the drier climates to their north.

Contact with the Mumba people

Around 722 AD, a fleet of ships piloted by Mumba sailors reached Atlam's eastern shore. These people had sailed from Subumpam, but did not consider themselves Subumpamese, since Subumpam was an alliance of nations of people who had settled there, whereas these sailors had seen Subumpam and passed it by. They believed that the tropical jungle of Atlam would enable them to live a richer life than they could have ever achieved in a temperate climate.

The sailors set up makeshift camps along the immediate coast and began to fish the sea. They wanted to show the natives that they would be self-sufficient, taking most of their food from the sea, and would not threaten the aboriginals' food supplies. The Mumba were surprised to see that the natives of Atlam were so poor despite the hot, wet climate, and that they seemed to want no more. Furthermore, the aboriginals seemed to have no common language, with the inhabitants of each village unable to communicate with those of the next.

The Mumba decided not to attempt to introduce a cash economy to the aboriginal peoples, but retained their monetary system for use amongst themselves, in order to keep their society in order. Even so, some Mumba people fled inland from the coastal settlements, enchanted by the carefree, self-sufficient lifestyle of the aboriginals. By moving away from the Mumba colony, these people were abandoning their Mumba identity, and adopting the identity of the tribe whose territory they moved into. These people rarely ventured more than a few miles inland, however, meaning that the tribes living deeper inland were not aware that Mumba people were moving inland, and many were not aware that the Mumba even existed.

The first generation of Mumba people who had given birth to children in aboriginal settlements raised their children with both Subumpamese and the language of the tribe they were living with; these children thus became interpreters who could communicate with the Mumba people still living along the coast. They learned that, although each tribe had its own language, there was a common language imported from the neighboring Kxesh Empire that some tribesmen had learned and could communicate both with Kxeshians and with people of other tribes who had learned Kxesh. The Mumba people reported back to the coastal colonies to tell them that any attempt to make Subumpamese the universal language of all of Atlam would likely be futile, and that, if they wanted to achieve political power in Atlam, they would need to learn to speak Kxesh instead. However, the Mumba colonists had by this time lost all interest in achieving political power and had resigned themselves to living a life on the sea, as they had been doing since a generation earlier when they had first landed.

Meanwhile, over the years a small number of aboriginal people had come out of the forest and entered the Mumba colonies, curious to understand the Mumba way of life. These people had often lost family members or otherwise had their life in the rainforest interrupted, and hoped that they could start a new life among the Mumba. Those who married Mumba people raised their children with the Mumba language only and adopted the Mumba culture, including their religion. However, some elements of their native religions began to stream into the Sisnasi religion the Mumba people had always followed, and the Mumba people came to diverge both culturally and religiously from their close cousins in Subumpam.

Early contacts with Subumpam

The Fùba people, after a few generations living in Atlam, came to identify with Atlam rather than their ancestral homeland. When more boats of people from Subumpam arrived, the Fùba people were unsure what to do. They realized that successive waves of Subumpamese would likely be more aggressive than the Fùba had been in their attempt to introduce a cash economy and achieve political power, and that the blonde-haired Fùba people could potentially be targeted by aboriginals resisting the Subumpamese intrusion. A team of Fùba diplomats visited Šùppa, the capital of the Kxêsh empire, promising allegiance to Kxêsh and stating that they had chosen to settle Atlam to live in peace, and not to conquer it. They offered to build ships to increase the power of Kxêsh's navy in order to keep further settlers out of both Tōžetana and the tropical south coast of Kxêsh.

Contacts with Paba and Thaoa

After several generations in Atlam, the Fùba people gradually lost their memories of their original homelands. Most had come from Subumpam, but among these were many who had originally lived in the kingdom of Paba, which was to the east of Subumpam but cut off from it by a wedge-shaped area still entirely controlled by aboriginal tribes. Paba had the strongest navy of any temperate-climate nation and had been engaged in trade with various tropical nations since its founding in 633 AD. Thus, Paba was familiar with Atlam, and like the original Fùba settlers, wanted to convert it to a cash economy and put the aboriginal tribes to work producing goods that could turn a profit for Pabap traders and also improve the living standards of the aboriginals.

In the year 1085, the eastern Pabap region of Thaoa seceded from Paba and created a multiparty government, unique in the world at the time, to replace the many appointed princes whose only loyalty was to the distant monarchy of Paba. The main reason for Thaoa's secession was that Paba had recently (c. 1047) written a new constitution for their kingdom which abolished the army and stated that Paba would no longer participate in any wars, and would cede all of its disputed land to its enemies. This treaty actually increased Paba's military footprint in a roundabout way, since the tribes to whom the Pabaps had surrendered were enemies of Paba's rivals, and promised to protect Paba's trading ships wherever they went.

But Pabaps living in the disputed territories that were being handed over to aboriginal tribes had no guarantee that they would be safe, since Paba promised to avoid even retaliation against a unilateral invasion. Although Thaoa was not specifically ceded to any particular tribe by the treaty, the Pabaps living in Thaoa knew that their land had, in the past, been taken from aboriginal tribes whom the Pabaps had driven into hiding in the mountains, and were very poor but heavily armed. Furthermore, the treaty did offer all of the aboriginals the right to settle anywhere in Paba, including Thaoa. Thaoa worried that even a peaceful wave of settlement could soon turn hostile, and chose to secede so that it would retain the right to protect itself.

Paba's universal peace treaty did not abolish the Pabap navy, because naval warfare of the time was such that a non-military ship was of comparable power in a fight to one that had been specifically designed for war, and there was thus no way to abolish the navy without abolishing their fleet of trading ships, which they were unwilling to do. Thus, when Thaoa seceded from Paba, it lost both its navy and its ability to trade with foreign nations, and became impoverished. Thaoa decided that it would survive by becoming a land power instead, and focusing on invasions of the aboriginal territories to the north and east. But some Thaoans remembered Atlam and other tropical nations since they had been among the various peoples who had attempted to colonize the tropics in the past, and some Thaoans wanted to attempt a circumnavigation of the entire Pabap-controlled area of the ocean in order to establish a second Thaoa in the tropics.

Relations with the Gold Empire

In 1989, Nama declared war on the Star Empire, the largest military power in the tropics, and after a war lasting nearly 70 years Nama declared victory and occupied the entire territory of the Star Empire, enslaving the majority of the population. They founded the Gold Empire, which consisted of the defeated Star Empire plus Nama, and was ruled from Nama.

After the final peace treaty had been signed, some Naman warlords rebelled and decided to invade territories that had not even participated in the war. The largest of the territories that suffered invasion were Kxesh and Atlam. By launching yet another invasion, these people were seceding from Nama and declaring themselves stateless. The warlords promised to cooperate with each other, however, and not fight each other for conquered territories.

The Naman warlord alliance promised to enslave any tribes they conquered. They realized that slavery worked better in a desert climate than a tropical rainforest, since in a desert an escaping slave would have difficulty finding food and water, and therefore that their slavery would need to be very mild in order to survive a rebellion.

Growth of languages

By 2131, the Fern languages were the only official languages in Atlam, and Atlam was called Fernland as an exonym. There were other minorities present, however:

  1. The Star people who had come from further east, to escape the degradation of their own homeland;
  2. Lenian people speaking the Diver language (but mostly calling themselves by some other name), who had come from Paba;
  3. The aboriginals, still speaking their own languages, but mostly pushed into the interior; and
  4. Gold-speaking people from Nama looking to keep control.

Political unification and conflict with Kxesh

In the year 2131, the people declared their independence from Kxêsh and renamed their homeland Tūġyaităna.[4] (Tōžetana is a later, Khulls form of the same name.) By seceding from their parent empire, Kxesh, they were exposing themselves to attack, and they immediately formed an alliance with Kxesh's enemy, the rival Gold Empire, based in Lobexon. Lobexon had long considered Atlam to be a part of Lobexon, but had never been able to field an army large enough to occupy it. However, the southwestern edge of Lobexon was separated from the northeastern corner of Atlam by about 400 miles of densely settled tropical coastland belonging to Kxesh and various minor independent powers, and neither Atlam nor Lobexon believed that conquering that coastal strip was feasible. Atlam thus considered itself to be a separate part of the Gold Empire rather than a region of Lobexon.

Kxêsh ruled that Atlam's secession was illegal, and immediately launched an invasion. Kxêsh quickly defeated Atlam and annexed the territory back into Kxêsh, but the rival empire of Lobexon promised Atlam that all was not lost, and that they would be willing to fight a wider war against Kxesh in order to liberate Atlam. The Gold Empire offered asylum to any Atlamians seeking a safer place to live, and although some did move in, most migrants, particularly the Ferns, felt that a better destination was Paba.

Contact with Subumpam

Atlam had early on established cultural links with Subumpam. Atlam and Subumpam were at opposite ends of the enormous Gold Empire, and served as the cultural barriers between the Gold Empire and the rival empires around them. To the southwest was the empire of Kxesh, a large but disorganized association of various aboriginal tribes who had lived in the tropics for tens of thousands of years. To the northeast was Paba, a very large pacifistic empire which had established the world's strongest navy and unified itself under the philosophy of pacifism and ceased participation in all wars, thus stopping the territorial advancements its people had made in their early history.

For more than 2000 years, Atlam maintained itself as a simple but self-reliant tropical nation having little contact with its neighbors. Immigration into Atlam was rare, and the various minorities were gradually absorbed into the wider population, making Atlam a nation with a single unified tribal identity once more.


Around the year 2155, Atlam again seceded from Kxêsh, but this time sought no alliance with the Gold Empire. NOTE: THIS LOOKS WRONG

Wealth gap with the north

Within the tropics, survival had traditionally been easiest near the Equator, where the climate was at its warmest and wettest. Indeed, the southernmost nation on the continent, Atlam, had long had the highest population density. But by the 2160s, living standards in the northern end of Lobexon had improved so much that the highest population density was now at the extreme northern end of Lobexon, nearest Nama, and per capita income declined rapidly moving southward, reaching its lowest point in the nation of Atlam, which still had not adopted a cash economy and consisted almost entirely of hunter-gatherers with no possessions other than the weapons they used to hunt and fish for the food they needed each day.

The people of Atlam began to blame the central government for their problems, even though the capital of their empire was in the nation of Ave (Katō), which was also fairly poor, rather than in the rich north. The leaders of Atlam declared that their people would forever be independent, since they refused to ally with a power such as Katō that left them mired in poverty while the other nations of their empire were acquiring cash-based economies and ever greater personal wealth. Atlam stopped short of declaring war, however, knowing that they were still under the threat of invasion from Kxesh.

Later history

It is not entirely clear what happened to Atlam, but it seems that it must have survived no longer than 2668 at the latest; see Oyster War.

Ferns move to Pubumaus

Beginning around 2131, as the aboriginals of Kxesh retook their land, the Fern colonists fled their equatorial homeland (Atlam) for the distant empire of Pubumaus.

The first Fern migration was rushed and the Ferns simply chose Pubumaus because they knew that the Pubu people would welcome them without question. But some Ferns moved only a much shorter distance, ending up in Star territory where they lived among their historical enemies but were safe because of the recent treaty.

In 2161, the wider Gold Empire passed a new law encouraging internal migration of people, intending that the various tribes would spread throughout the Empire and bring an end to states based on ethnicity. This time, the Ferns made a deliberate, pointed movement towards Pubumaus, focusing especially on the central states of Pubumaus along the Pūpe River. They named this new territory Thùgʷo-Ŋàya (respelled in Gold as Tugʷaŋàya), but also used the name Puhap. Some Fern families abandoned homes in Star territory that their parents had moved into just a generation earlier, figuring that it would be easier to start over in Pubumaus.

Rules for settlement

Most of the Ferns arriving in Pubumaus were of the Ithagàmi tribe, and those who were not mostly learned to speak Ithagàmi as they adopted their new identity as refugees. Tribal divisions within the Ferns became much looser.

The Gold government compensated Pubumaus for adopting the refugees, but the ruling class of Pubumaus had already been adopting refugees even without compensation and were happy to continue the program. This led the Gold governors (who had their own Parliament outside the purview of the constituent states) to consider withholding the payments for colonists who chose to live in Pubumaus, and then encouraging all immigrants to choose Pubumaus.

However, there were already so many Ferns in the Puhap region of Pubumaus that they vocally opposed the immigration of non-Ferns to their territory, and the Pubu royals realized that they were in danger of losing control of Puhap altogether. This was because, as a pacifist nation, they were much weaker than their population would imply, while the Ferns were largely soldiers as they had recently become heavily armed due to the breakout of war in Atlam. Furthermore, the Fern migration had nearly split Pubumaus in half, with the states east of Puhap being outside the Ferns' control but also difficult for the royals to access without crossing through the Ferns' area in Puhap. Therefore the royals realized that they would only be able to attract immigrants into the western territories where the royals lived.

Citizenship laws

The migrants were allowed to choose whether to become citizens of Pubumaus or to reside in Pubumaus without becoming citizens.

Laws for new citizens

If they chose to become citizens, they would acquire a monthly stipend from the Pubu government, which the native Pubu people did not qualify for, and would receive welfare benefits which for some families were supplementary to the stipend, meaning that they could collect both. These benefits were not redeemable for cash but rather for basic necessities such as food and clothing. Therefore in most ways the immigrants would have much better living standards than the Pubu people who had invited them to move in.

Their only disadvantage was that their entire adult male population was required to enlist in the unified Pubumaus military, which even during peacetime assigned their soldiers to noncombative duties such as construction of roads, and therefore kept them tied down. They were not given additional income for these projects as the stipend was considered to be their salary. This meant that their wives would be the head of their households. This provided a financial disincentive for Fern men to marry, as they lost control of their monthly stipend as soon as they had a wife. Pubumaus had done this in the past and it had helped establish a pattern of declining population share for groups who moved in, even though they typically had better living standards and could afford to raise more children than the Pubu families did.

Laws for non-citizen residents

If the migrants chose to forgo Pubumaus citizenship, they would retain legal citizenship of Atlam despite not living there and despite having no realistic chance of ever moving back as members of an emancipated class. Pubumaus therefore would not pay them a monthly stipend, not require their men to serve in the military, and not require them to obey Pubu laws. They would be expected to set up their own court system to try their people for crimes they defined on their own, and to cooperate with the Pubu court system rather than setting up an abusive parallel court in which crimes against Pubu people were punished lightly or not at all.

Determining citizenship

Traditionally, tribes had obeyed the will of their leaders and therefore all of the members of one tribe either chose citizenship or non-citizen residency; if individuals wanted to stray from their leaders they were traditionally required to marry outside their tribe and then choose that tribe as the new identity of their children. It was forbidden to change one's tribal affiliation except through marriage, and even through marriage, the change would only commute to the children of the marriage except in certain circumstances (e.g. to prevent a child from being recognized as head of the household if the mother dies). This is why the Pubu people could not simply resign their citizenship and raise their social status by joining a different tribe or becoming non-citizens with the power to make their own laws.

Ferns build their society

The Fern plan was to leave the decision of acquiring Pubumaus citizenship up to individual families. They expected that they could attract Pubu people to marry into their families, making them Ferns themselves, while still retaining Pubu citizenship, and that few Ferns would become Pubu people knowing that it would decrease their social status.

The Fern leaders expected that Pubu women would be eager to marry Fern men, if for no other reason than that doing so would earn them a monthly stipend that was nominally in their husband's name but would in fact be mostly under the wife's control. Pubu men could also marry Fern women, and many Pubu men had skilled trades that would enable them to out-earn the Ferns, but the in-marrying Fern wives would not have control over this money and thus had little financial incentive to marry Pubu men. Moreover the Pubu people in this region were among the shortest in all of Pubumaus and so the Fern leaders expected that few Fern women would be attracted to Pubu men.

Meeting with Pubu royals

The government of Pubumaus refused to allow partial tribal enrollment, saying that if there existed a citizenship class for Ferns in Pubumaus, the entire Fern tribe must belong to it, that the Ferns could not discard their tribal membership apart from marriage, that through marriage they would only be able to marry into an existing tribe, and that the clearly predominant tribe in the area was the native Pubu tribe.

The Pubu governors warned that if there were even a few Fern people who did not accept citizenship, the entire tribe would be legally abolished, even if those accepting citizenship greatly outnumbered those who refused. This, in turn, would eliminate the possibility of Pubu people marrying into Fern families, since there would be no Fern tribe to enroll in and their children would be enrolled into the Pubu tribe by default. Therefore, the Pubu governors explained, it would be far better for the Ferns to accept citizenship, as it would greatly better their standard of living, with the only drawback being that they would have less freedom.

The Fern leaders explained that their people were divided by partisan politics, not by tribe, and were therefore not all of one mind. Some wanted to live in Pubumaus as citizens, part of the new Fern minority, while others wanted to build a nation of their own. As they understood that the Pubu royals would not simply give up land to the newcomers, they explained that they wanted to invade the aboriginal Repilian tribes to the north, and set up a new independent nation they planned to call Tarwas,[5] where Tar would be a new term for anyone living there, regardless of tribal affiliation. The Ferns would continue to call themselves Ferns, but would organize along political lines instead of tribal lines, meaning that Pubu people could move in and join various political parties in Tarwas and still belong to the Pubu tribe.

Tarwas had actually been founded in 2144 by the first wave of Ferns but it had not been a source of conflict; thus what the Ferns really wanted was to continue their parents' dream of founding an independent homeland for Ferns in the cold highlands of Repilia, which had begun a generation earlier and had triggered a similar series of events in Pubumaus. However, that early migration was much smaller and the new nation of Tarwas had only occupied land that even the aboriginals of Repilia were mostly shy of.

The Ferns explained that both groups of Ferns would need homes in Pubumaus, because the ones planning to invade would need to build forts there and establish a viable line of food and supplies to reach the soldiers. Those who were citizens would their share their homes with the others, or help them build homes using their own resources.

The Pubu leaders were shocked when they realized that their pacifist nation was to be used as a staging ground for a war, and worried that because some Repilians also lived in Pubumaus, these people might attack the unarmed Pubu people in revenge. The Ferns explained that the Pubu people could earn protection by resigning their citizenship and joining the new nation of Tarwas, and that they would allow people to claim Tar citzenship while still living in Pubumaus if they changed their address to the state of Tubaŋaya, a legal fiction indicating that Tarwas claimed jurisdiction over its citizens living in Pubumaus.

The Pubu royals thus realized that they were pacifists caught in a war in which both sides could attack their people and they could not hit back. Traditionally, their ally, Nama, had protected them from such abuses in the past, but for various reasons, Nama was now not only unable to protect Pubumaus, but actually helping the Ferns move into Pubumaus because the Ferns were being chased out of their homeland (Atlam) by a group which many people in Nama considered unrightfully present in Atlam. Thus if the Pubu people opposed the migration they would be opposing the will of Nama; however, even more importantly, Nama was actually supporting the migration, even though the Ferns were saying that they would soon go on to invade Repilia, which was part of Nama. Thus Nama was supporting an invasion of its own territory, and this proved to the Pubu royals that Nama had become so internally divided over politics that they were enrapt in a civil war, and therefore could not help protect Pubumaus.

Declaration of habitation rights

Therefore (in the 2160s) the Ferns established the new state of Tubaŋaya, claiming it was part of Tarwas, and that the Pubu people could continue to obey Pubumaus' laws if they continued to claim Pubu citizenship, therefore making them non-citizens of Tarwas, subjecting them to all manner of legal discriminations and meaning that they would be the lowest class in society. The Ferns claimed that they had military superiority and that the Pubu police would not be able to stop them from doing as they wished in Tubaŋaya, and so that the new state was for all purposes a part of Tarwas and not of Pubumaus.

The Pubu leaders accepted that Nama would not bail them out, and that the Pubu people were therefore forced to support the ongoing invasion of Repilia, and that the Ferns were doing them a favor by not forcing them into Tar citizenship such that they would be forced to fight in Repilia as well. The Pubu royals thus signed a peace treaty, the Treaty of Tubaŋaya, which annexed the land to Tarwas but maintained the Pubu people as a legally separate class which did not have to participate in the war. The Tars also promised that they would protect the Pubu people from revenge attacks from Nama to the north, but not from the south, because the Tars were not planning to build a navy; Pubumaus had its own navy and the Tars claimed that, even as pacifists, they were not using their navy to its full extent because if they had they would not have even needed to let in the Tars. Thus the Tars blamed the Pubu people for their own defeat, as though they had been enemies all along and had been merely very foolish instead of very submissive by letting the Tars into Pubumaus to start their war.

Despite all of this, Pubumaus signed another treaty with Nama claiming that they were still allies, and that they had agreed to the war because they had been pushed into it by a stronger power. The Pubu people recognized that Nama was on the verge of civil war (they did not know that they were really in a true civil war because it was taking place further west) and that in some sense both sides of Nama's conflict were allies of Pubumaus because they both were connecting with Pubumaus in different ways: one by land and one by sea.

Imprisonment of Repilians

Tarwas classified the Repilians as enemy combatants since they were the ones being invaded by Tarwas. Therefore they imprisoned all of the Repilians they could find in Tubaŋaya, in doing so fulfilling their earier promise that the Pubu people would not be simply slaughtered by a people they were trying to befriend. However the Tars also warned that pacifism might not be viable in the near future, as they had no plans of backing down on their war, and that if outside parties joined the war to fight for Nama, the Tars would expect the Pubu people to defend themselves instead of relying on Tars. In the meantime the Tars worked on setting up a tiered society in which Pubu men would be encouraged to work in noncombative duties suppporting the Tars' war effort.

Reaction in Thaoa

Thaoa resisted the migrants and claimed that either the Pubu people were masochists who knew that the migrants were simply intending to exploit them, or that the Pubu royal family was purposefully bringing tribal divisions into their society so that the common Pubu people would have a more difficult time instigating a revolt against the corrupt royals, but had now gone so far that the migrants had in fact overthrown the royals.

The boats bringing Ferns to Pubumaus were owned by Nama, which was an ally of Pubumaus and of Repilia. Since the Ferns were also invading Repilia, Nama was financing an invasion of itself.

Invasion proceeds

As the invasion of Tarwas got underway, Thaoa combined both of their earlier criticisms, saying the Pubu people were so wedded to pacifism that they would assist in the invasion of a close ally, and that the ruling class was so corrupt that they had sold out their ally to the north, perhaps because allowing an invasion of Pubumaus itself would threaten the royals' hold on power.

One flaw in Thaoa's theory was that, if the Pubu people were so masochistic that they willingly invited people to move in and abuse them, the migrants had no incentive to obey their promise to invade Tarwas and merely use Pubumaus as a safe place to build forts. It was known that Pubumaus' standing army was poorly armed and that they had previously keeled over to invading powers much smaller than their own since they knew that in every case the invaders could kill far more Pubu people than they would lose of their own men. Moreover, Pubumaus was much richer than Tarwas, and any Ferns moving to Tarwas were making a great sacrifice in doing so, since even if they won their war their standard of living would be much lower than it would have been in Pubumaus had they stayed behind. Lastly, because the Ferns were fighting this war on their own, they were not compensated by Pubumaus.

Nama claimed the migration was humanitarian, because the Ferns had lost their homeland, and that because the Ferns supported Nama they deserved to found a new homeland in Nama's territory. Nama claimed that they could not stop the Ferns from doing what they wanted to the aboriginals of this territory. The puzzled Thaoans were forced to consider that perhaps Nama's explanation was correct and that Nama was even more masochistic than Pubumaus.

Alternate explanation

Rumors soon spread that Nama had broken up into a civil war along racial lines, with the darker-skinned tribes, including the Ferns, turning against the Repilian majority who mostly ran Nama's ruling Gold party. According to this theory, the new war in Tarwas was motivated by the Repilians' gains in other territories, even though the invading Ferns knew that the particular tribes they were attacking in Tarwas were innocent. Nama thus would explain the migration as being humanitarian because they were simply too embarrassed to admit they had devoted their entire military to occupying the southwest and could no longer resist direct attacks on their core territories. The presence of Naman ships carrying the Ferns towards the target of their invasion would thus be explained as evidence that the insurgents had gained control of Nama's navy as well, or at least of a large part of it.

Meanwhile, Thaoa speculated, the Pubu people were being spared the attacks either because they were innocent broadly (not just specifically) or because invading Tarwas would give the Ferns a safe place to build a new homeland, since any attempted invasion by sea would need to cross through Pubumaus again, and even as pacifists, Pubumaus would likely attempt to resist such an invasion if they were still allied with the Ferns at the time.

Nama was indeed suffering a civil war, but there were more than two sides, and the divisions were not purely along tribal lines. In fact, some Namans of Repilian ancestry were piloting the very ships that were bringing the invading Ferns towards Repilia. These Repilians had turned against their own homeland for political reasons, and yet were also against the insurgent Walking Girl faction of the Gold party which had the support of many of the Ferns and other dark-skinned tribes who had rebelled against the Repilians. Moreover, these Repilians were also bringing Ferns and others into other parts of Repilia, so they were not merely trading their own safety for that of the Repilians in Tarwas.

Other details

However, it soon became clear that most of the Fern migrants were intending to push through Pubumaus and invade the aboriginals of Tarwas (then part of Repilia which was itself part of Nama), and that the Pubu people were assisting with this even though the aboriginals were their allies.

Other reactions

Comparison to Nama

Pubu people had long been raised as pacifists, and told that Pubumaus was a trading alliance rather than a traditional tribe-based nation. The Pubu people were the "titular" tribe in charge of it all, but as a sacrifice for this power, they were made to put their own people lower on the social hierarchy than the various tribes who lived with them. This was similar in some ways to the Gold political philosophy, in that the Gold party was granted special powers untethered to party size, meaning they could outvote the other parties in some cases even while a minority in Parliament, but also that the Gold people were denied some powers granted to other parties, and that since the other parties were essentially tribes, the other parties were allowed to advance tribal interests whereas the Goldies were not allowed to even resist this, let alone pass laws favoring their own interests.

The Gold party was the ruling party of Nama, and was much older than the Pubu nation. Pubumaus was officially nonpartisan, and claimed that their forebearers had had nothing in mind from the Gold party when they had devised the Pubu tribal system, but the parallels were clear, and many people, having seen the revolts faced by Nama, believed that the Pubu royals had deliberately punished and disarmed their own people in order to prevent an uprising.

Commoners' view

Many Pubu people realized that these sacrifices were only for the commoners, and not the ruling class of Pubu royalty, who inherited their titles through their parents and did not typically marry commoners. But the Pubu royals did not allow their people to vote in elections and therefore the rulers were never displaced; moreover, because the Pubu commoners were pacifists, they did not have access to weapons and could not easily overthrow their rulers, who in any case were strongly supported by the tribes who collected the monthly stipends. Therefore the Pubu people were divided between those who opposed the royals but were afraid to speak out, and those who supported the royals by stating that it was better to be poor in a country safe from invasion than to rule in a country that was constantly at war.

Therefore the reaction was most negative not in Pubumaus but in neighboring Thaoa to the east, which had seceded from Pubumaus more than a thousand years earlier to pursue politics based on political ideologies rather than tribal affiliations. Thaoa's politicians were reluctant to admit that they opposed the Fern migration mostly because they had been relying on the easily exploited Pubu people for unfair trading deals, even including slavery, and worried that the Ferns would not be so compliant, and that the Ferns had come to educate and protect the Pubu people from the unfair deals.

Pubu people move to Atlam

As the Ferns moved from Atlam to Pubumaus, the Pubu people were moving into Atlam as a trading class, with the intent that they would never be able to develop a military of their own, unlike the Ferns, and therefore would not be perceived as a threat by the aboriginals. This changed when the trade routes were cut off, only shortly afterwards. Thus the Pubu people were trapped in Atlam. Out-migration of Ferns continued, and some Pubu people boarded these ships to return to their homeland, but this was much more difficult to maintain than trade, and was possible only because the Ferns had retaken partial control of the shoreline. Later, Atlam got their coast back under control, but Kxesh took over some territory to their east, so they had to sail around this and were still mostly isolated.

Thus the Ferns and the Pubu people came to live symbiotically in Atlam. There was also a small group of Lenian people who had come from Pubumaus in earlier eras, and had come to live on the land. Thus the Pubu people were not so isolated after all. Though the Ferns and the Pubu people had a very different physical type, they considered themselves allies and the Ferns did not defect to siding with the aboriginals based on skin color.

Other migrations

The aboriginal Star tribes also moved to Atlam. The Stars were culturally distinct from the aboriginals of Kxesh and the two groups of aboriginals had fought against each other before. The Stars promised to put aside their past, but they were still opposed specifically to Kxesh's attempts to reclaim control of Atlam and therefore the Stars were willing participants in the Fern-Pubu coalition as they set about to build a stronger society in the rainforests of Atlam.

The Ferns, Stars, and Kxels (that is, the aboriginals of Kxesh) were all dark-skinned groups, while the Pubu people were blonde and blue-eyed with light skin; that is, they were Lenians. Some Kxels wanted to drive a racial division through the migrant populations, spreading propaganda to both sides telling each to hate the other, and perhaps also turning the Stars and Ferns against each other as well. Then, at the same time, another Kxel propaganda outreach effort would appeal to the Stars and Ferns together, saying that they should become aboriginals themselves and be welcomed into Kxel society, while isolating the light-skinned Pubu people and considering them to be worthy of slavery. The Kxels knew that their plan would only succeed if they could stop the Ferns, Stars, and Pubu people from marrying each other and forming political parties based on ideology instead of ethnic ties.

Developments in Atlam

This situation may have maintained itself for about 500 years, until the Oyster War. See Gold Empire for linguistic divisions among the Pubu people. According to Trout languages, at least one branch of Diver persists throughout the entire occupation, even though they were a minority within a minority, and even though the Fern languages are depicted as going extinct. It may be that most Pubu people simply spoke Gold, though they may have had a difficult time maintaining contact with the Gold Empire and so it is possible that they evolved yet another language of their own. It is possible that the Fern languages pulled through after all and that the Diver and Pubu languages were secondary. The Stars, too, had their own languages, but Star languages claims that they mostly spoke Gold as they became politically united.

Contact with Oysters

A group of feminist Lenians invaded the Kxel aboriginal tribes beginning around 2173. At first, the aboriginals resisted the invasion and overperformed against the feminists, who put women in direct combat and seemed not to acknowledge that, even in those tribes where women were taller than men, that men tended to make better soldiers.

But they eventually sign a pact and become feminists themselves. This changed the situation in Atlam from tribal conflict to feminist/masculist conflict, with the Oysters attempting to assert control over the masculine tribes directly instead of using propaganda to drive them into a tribal war. The aboriginals also switched to speaking the Oyster language, which was politically significant because the Oysters were one of the groups who believed that languages shaped culture, and that the old aboriginal languages had been holding back the Kxels by binding them to an ancient manner of thinking.

Most of this conflict was happening in the zone immediately to the north of Atlam, in a savanna climate, because the rainforests of Atlam allowed people to live compactly and avoid dependence on food that was imported from other parts of the nation. The Fern families who had been pushed off their land often had stated that they had lived on the same plot of land for hundreds of years.


All of the tribes began marrying each other, meaning that they became less physically distinct in terms of hair and skin color, but at the same time, the division between feminists and masculists remained because there was no intermediate body type and mixed societies tended to divide into halves.

The Lenian tribes who called themselves Oysters were feminists, meaning that women were taller than men. This was not the case in Atlam because Atlam had been isolated from the rest of the Empire for hundreds of years.

Secession of Tarwas and Tubaŋaya

So Nama voted to allow the secession of Tarwas, relieving them of explaining why they were financing an invasion of Naman territory. Nama declared that the Ferns were refugees and that the Repilians could not be refugees in Tarwas because they were the aboriginals of Tarwas. Therefore Nama stated that if the Repilians did not want to live under Fern rule, they needed to find a new place to live. However Nama was worried about the possibility of violent conflict with the Repilians and so chose to ban Repilians from moving to Naman territory, trapping them in Tarwas to be slaughtered.

Pubumaus had recently abolished citizenship for the Ferns, saying that they had found some Ferns who had refused to accept Pubumaus' citizenship. The Ferns had no plausible means of denying this, since they had no way to investigate their entire population. So Tubaŋaya seceded from Pubumaus, since the orientation of the war had changed and the people of Tubaŋaya no longer saw any great reason to support the ongoing war in Tarwas even though they felt that Nama had abandoned its people to the invaders and deserved no sympathy. This meant that new arrivals (still being financed by Nama) in Tubaŋaya were no longer encouraged to move to Tarwas, and that Tarwas' population growth would thence be dependent on their birthrate. Tubaŋaya was at the edge of the tropics and so could support people living at high population densities, but Tarwas was cold and the Tars living there needed to hunt to feed themselves.

New government in Tubaŋaya

The Ferns set up a new government in Tubaŋaya based on that of Atlam and some other nations. They abolished tribalism and stated that Tubaŋaya would be a coalition of political parties with shared military interests. Thus, parties could vie for political power and undo each other to some extent, but it would be treasonous for one party to vote against an ongoing war, and therefore absolute pacifism was illegal. The Ferns promised that they would arm the Pubu majority and no longer push them around or confine them to noncombative duties in wars as had their own masters in Pubumaus. But the Ferns also said that Pubu men who did not join the military would be denied membership in all parties and seen as subhuman.

The Ferns, in founding the Statue party, stated that they were fighting for the right to have men in control of their society, against the feminist societies such as Nama, the Oysters, and the Repilians who had just been abandoned by Nama. Thus they abolished tribalism but stated that the only welcome tribes in Tubaŋaya were those whose men were taller than their women had a firm control of the women in their society. The Ferns stated that the Pubu people were capable of living this way so long as they threw off their ties to pacifism and to the feminist societies to the west such as the Oysters, who were considered by many to be close kin of the Pubu despite their feminine body type.

The Ferns voted to preserve their own language, Ithàgami, and to keep in contact with Tarwas even though they no longer considered themselves responsible to Tarwas. Likewise they allowed the Pubu people to keep learning Gold, the language of diplomacy, and to use Gold to keep in contact with the Pubu people living in the rump state of Pubumaus.

Criticism of feminism and pacifism

The Ferns blamed Nama for being so masochistic that they had allowed their worst enemies to invade them, and then blamed the victims instead of supplying help. They stated that the correct orientation for a viable human society was masculism, and that while there was such a thing as being too violent, a masculist society could better keep such behavior in check than could a feminist one, since women could not restrain the behavior of misbehaving men. The Ferns thus outlawed feminism.

The Ferns opposed pacifism likewise, saying that only a pacifist society would invite its enemies to move in and abuse them, and that such a society would survive only inasmuch as invaders bred them for slavery to ensure a ready supply of future victims. Although Pubumaus (at times called "Paba") had been pacifist for over a thousand years, they had until recently been always able to call on traditional military powers such as Nama to protect them during wars. The Ferns noted that Nama was feministic, but not officially pacifistic, and thus Nama had started many wars.

The Ferns promised that they had no plans to invade the helpless pacifist Pubu people to their west, in what remained of Pubumaus, and also argued that the secession of Tubaŋaya would prevent the Pubu people from exploitation by the rival power Thaoa to the east, since Tubaŋaya had effectively driven a wedge between Pubumaus and Thaoa.

Body types and politics

Feminism was tied to a growth pattern in which women were taller than men. The Ferns understood that Nama and the other feminist tribes could not get rid of this (although some people believed it was linked to climate or to diet). Therefore they opposed Nama but stated that they would not sponsor an invasion of Nama; rather, they were opposed to Nama's control and attempted invasion of the masculist nations of Atlam and others that had been previously part of the Star Empire.

The Ferns believed that the Pubu tribes had become pacifists because they were the shortest people in the region, being on average about a foot shorter than the Ferns, and because their traditional allies were also much taller than them. Pubu men seemed prone to collective behavior, the Ferns noticed, as though afraid to walk on the streets alone. The Ferns stated that they could make the Pubu men whole, and that short stature would not confine them to an inferior status in a masculist society.

The Ferns admitted that, even if the Pubu people were legally equal with the Ferns in Tubaŋaya, social customs would persist, and that Pubu men would be seen as less appealing to women. The Ferns realized that this might tempt the Pubu men to defect to the feminists and therefore that the Pubu men would be potential traitors in Tubaŋaya. The Ferns decided that they could thin out the traitors by allowing Pubu people to move to Pubumaus, stating that those who fled were the feminists, and that those who remained were the ones willing to accept the difficult burden of being a short man in a society where male tallness was written into the constitution.

The Ferns figured that Pubu men were more likely to be feminists than Pubu women were. This was because Pubu women were given no social burden for being shorter than average, whereas Pubu men were. This could lead to a population bottleneck in Pubumaus, where there would be too many men, but steady population growth in Tubaŋaya, since Pubu men could marry more than one woman. They also wanted to encourage intertribal marriages, stating that tribalism was of the past, and that political parties were now more important even though obvious physical differences persisted. The existence of a mixed class in society, they felt, would encourage further mixing, and in the end the Pubu people would blend into the whole. The Ferns had never become a majority because not all of the Ferns in Atlam had fled and because many of those had continued on to Tarwas.

Pubumaus reaffirms pacifism

Pubumaus accepted the secession of Tubaŋaya, knowing that they could not stop it and that at least with fewer Ferns in their territory they would have less reason to fear being dragged into the war on the side of the Ferns. Nonetheless, the Pubu royals allowed Ferns to move into Pubumaus, just as before, only saying that they could not become citizens. They felt that this would relieve the pressure on the Pubu people living in Tubaŋaya.

The Pubu royals signed a new treaty reaffirming their alliance with Nama, specifically with the Repilians who were being invaded. They promised that, as pacifists, they would not support this war, but also would not intervene to help out the Namans. They promised that Pubumaus would not defend its own territory either, and that if they were invaded after all, they would simply submit to the strongest power even if it was the Ferns. They also stated that they had no reliable means to prevent further secessions of states and other entities within Pubumaus, and that they were staking their future on being an economic power with no military, hoping that surrounding nations, even hostile ones, would agree that the world was better with a stable Pubumaus in it, and that they would not take advantage of their vulnerability.

The Ferns stated that there was no third sex, and that there could be no pacifists in a war between feminists and masculists. (Note that the gene responsible for determining the growth pattern had no intermediate form; either men were taller than women, or women were taller than men. There was no growth pattern in which they were about the same height.) The Pubu royals responded to this by stating that there was no need for such a war in the first place, and that they would prove their point by inviting feminists to move into Pubumaus to live alongside the masculist Pubu people and others.

Change in the southeast

The southeastern states also declared independence from Pubumaus and the Ferns predicted that they would soon declare independence from each other as well, and enter the new era as an untethered assortment of Gold-speaking Lenian states each with their own foreign policy.

Because the Ferns had promised not to attack feminists, however, the people of the southeast realized that the surest way to protect themselves from attack was to ally with the Feminists, and this meant that they could not have independent foreign policies.

Rule in independent Tubaŋaya

The Ferns had originally intended to allow the Pubu navy to sail along their coast, but changed their minds soon after achieving independence. They created their own navy. Thus Tubaŋaya had split Pubumaus in half, and the royals living on the western side of the divide could not access the rest of their own country. Tubaŋaya said that they would block the royals' access to the southeastern peninsula for about 20 years, enough time to give the people on the peninsula a fair vote as to whether they wanted to become independent too or rejoin the royals.

Intertribal relations

Some Pubu men in Tubaŋaya disliked the recently arrived Ferns and did not want their women to marry into the Fern tribes. These people tended to marry very early to take their women out of the dating pool, and to have many children. They were increasingly tempted by the feminist politics of the west, where men were not expected to be tall, and where people they considered to be their kin were growing and building new societies. Many of these men were willing to adopt feminism and submit to their wives just to live in a society among people they considered their own kind. The Ferns allowed these people to move to Pubumaus, which was neutral, but not for them to move directly to a hostile feminist nation.

The Ferns insisted that the Pubu people would make good soldiers if they could get over their inferiority complex. They felt that the Pubu people might do better at sea, where physical size would present less of an obstacle. (Note that armies in this period typically fought in close combat, not with range weapons.)

Oyster War

Return to tribalism

Even so, the dark-skinned aboriginals reverted to tribal politics around 2668 during the Oyster War, because even though their war was ideological from their standpoint, this ideological conflict centered around Nama, and tribes perceived as being tied to Nama were victimized regardless of their ideology and position in society. This meant that the feminists and masculists were fighting on the same side.

The Lenians in Atlam, the Big Hearts, had intermarried with the other tribes but nonetheless retained their tribal identity through heredity, as was customary throughout the Empire. The Stars and Kxels (called the Swords) then joined hands and crushed the Big Hearts. The Ferns by this time had taken over Tarwas and they also joined the coalition. Therefore the three dark-skinned tribes had in fact formed an alliance against the Lenians, as they had worried all along. They were no longer part of Nama, so people had been allowed to change their tribal identity, even without marriage, but once the war was underway conversion was no longer taken as genuine.

The aboriginals won their war, and locked their allies, the Stars, out of the big prizes even though it was the Stats who had done most of the offensive fighting while the aboriginals were mostly defending; but then AlphaLeap took control of the sea and made the Swords' gains almost redundant. AlphaLeap declared that they had won the war by motivating the Star-Sword coalition to attack the Lenians and then taking all of the newly won Lenian territory for themselves. By this time the Leapers had become entirely dependent on naval power, and made no attempt to occupy land, but they won formal control of some land areas later on.

Invasion of Thaoa

Tubaŋaya took the lead in invading Thaoa and annexed Thaoa into Tubaŋaya after the war was over. Some Ferns moved to Subumpam in the wake of the war, however, since the women of Subumpam were taller than those in Tubaŋaya and Thaoa and to some Ferns made more ideal partners. This took these people out of the masculist tribal coalition, but by this time the old alliances had little meaning and small local powers were successfully out-competing large empires that could hardly hold themselves together.

Later reforms putting the Pubu people into farming and near the bottom of society pleased the Ferns still living in Pubu territory, even as they realized that the Pubu birthrate would rapidly marginalize the other groups and that the descendants of the Ferns would no longer have a secure grip on power. They figured that they would at least remain near the top of the society, even if they no longer had political power, and so the Ferns focused individually on securing their descendants' place in society.

Later history of Tubaŋaya

Tubaŋaya is the area that later become the stronghold of the Players' Purse party. In the 2,000 years that intervened, the population turned over many times, and became strongly feminist. Nonetheless there were some families who essentially stayed in place for the entire period. Tubaŋaya also resisted AlphaLeap and the early Play culture, and therefore the Purses came to power with a brand of politics very different from what the founding Players had intended, even though the Purses still adhered to the Play party charter.


  1. I will need to change this name, but any name I come up with right now is going to be tentative because the languages are not well developed. If I cant find one, I may just rename the page to "Fernland". Exonyms like Tōžetăna are not usable.
  2. Date is approximate, and can only be stated to be "no earlier than 2131". Not 2175 as previously stated; 2175 was the date of a treaty between Atlam and Subumpam.
  3. Although Rilola is a single continent, early inhabitants did not realize this, because the mountains that divide the continent in half also run along the edge of the Gold Sea, and the thin strip of low coastal land in between was not densely inhabited.
  4. Date is approximate, and can only be stated to be "no earlier than 2131". Not 2175 as previously stated; 2175 was the date of a treaty between Atlam and Subumpam.
  5. Note that this name is MUCH later and is used here for convenience as a cultural loan.