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Memnumu is a nation founded by the Play party in 4151, from the southeastern quarter of what had once been the Anchor Empire. The Play party had just years earlier claimed the entirety of the Anchor Empire, but, surrounded by enemies, decided to abandon all claims to lands populated primarily by enemy parties.

At the time of their foundation in the year 4127, the Player party consisted primarily of small children, and their few adults were mostly young, single women. Moreover, Play ideology required all adult males to devote their lives to the military, and when Dreamland invaded the Players in 4132, the Players sent their entire adult male population, along with some boys, into Dreamland, and the Players became a nation entirely without men.

Skip to the #Cosmopolitan Age section to see the history that continues where the Players page leaves off.



See Early history of Paba.

The DRG navy that invaded Oyster Island in the year 2175 may have come from an area of Paba out of reach of Paba's central government at the time, and thus could be considered to belong to the history of Memnumu.

Pubumaus Period (2668-3958)

During this period, the territory was often called Pubumaus or simply Maus. This name was already Pugʷumaus in Gold and thus changed very little over the next 2000 years. It is possible that the name Pugʷumaus was chosen in the 1700s. This name may be cognate to the Tapilula root /pùgu/, the name of a river, even though the tone pattern is different. The Play name would have had a pre-Tapilula form such as /pugum/, with the final /m/ dropping out.

The Pubu part of the name could stand alone as a word for the people, but was likely restricted to a tribe, and not to a linguistic group, since there were other tribes who learned to speak the language that later came to be called Play. The language itself could still be called Pubu, however, even if non-Pubu people spoke it, since the tradition of naming languages after tribes was already in place at the time.

The word Pišas "south" may also have appeared in the full name of the empire, but would still be valid without it, because if for example the name was "South Pubu Maus", then the missing "North Pubu" would not be a problem because it is a river and not a country.

Linguistic developments

Bilingual society

During this period, Bābā society was stably bilingual, with the population speaking both Bābākiam (the language later called Play) and Andanese. During this period, the Bābākiam language rapidly changed its acoustics, becoming like Dreamlandic (and thus like stereotypical baby talk), though it was very conservative grammatically. As Bābākiam evolved into Play, its speakers came to be seen as ever more simple-minded, and outsiders visiting their territory often assumed that they could learn the Play language with just a few weeks of study, but those who actually attempted the task soon realized that Play was in fact a very difficult and complex language.

The bilingual society persisted for more than 1,300 years because the differences between the two lineages of people determined which language they had an easier time pronouncing. That is, Play speakers had different speech anatomy, such that they found it difficult to pronounce consonants such as /k/ and /h/ which were common in Andanese. People chose their preferred language according to this inherited trait, and determined one's identity (though they did not define this as a tribal identity). This meant that in a mixed marriage, the parents would not know whether their child was Bābā or Andanese until the child reached school age and chose their preferred language.

In most societies where this situation developed, the lineage speaking the language with Play-like acoustics was considered to have a speech impediment, to be childish, and was often forced into a lower social status and a lower standard of living. Indeed, this is what Thaoa had done to the Bābā tribes.

In this society, however, the Bābā people were typically considered better off. The Andanese were the lower class, and for the most part did not object to this, because due to being so physically small they figured that they were most safe living among a people who was only slightly taller, rather than fleeing the Bābā people to seek shelter in a nation like Nama, Tarwas, etc. where the people were far taller than those of the Bābā tribe. Moreover, the height difference decreased as this era went on.

Cultural identification with language

Even before the dawn of the Pubumaus period, the society had been bilingual. From a very early date, it was a strongly held cultural value that Pubu speakers were not allowed to pronounce the sound /l/, even when reading foreign words, and were to replace it with /w/. Likewise, Andanese speakers were not allowed to pronounce /w/, even when reading foreign words, and would always replace it with /l/. Late in the Pubumaus period, the /w/ sound was replaced by /b/; this was a substitution rather than a sound change, although it had been spurred by sound changes.

Likewise, the Pubu people soon embraced the voiceless bilabial stop /p/ as a marker of their cultural identity. At the beginning of the era, /p/ was not a particularly common sound in the Pubu language, and nearly all words with /p/ were words that had had /p/ in Gold. But the Andanese language had undergone a sound shift eliminating much of its /p/, and therefore the contrast between the two languages was clear even at the outset of the era. Soon, the Pubu language shifted /kʷ ḳʷ/ > /p/, and later sound shifts followed, including one that conditionally shifted /gʷ/ > /p/, which was important because /gʷ/ was a very common sound in the original Gold language.

Other languages

The Thaoa language continued to be spoken during this period. These were people of Lenian ancestry (like the Bābā speakers) but who did not have the speech anatomy of the Bābā people. They refused to switch to speaking Andanese, so their language persisted on its own.

Political developments

There was no unified Pubu state. Nominally, the Pubu tribes were governed by a Merari coalition, but these people did not share the Pubu tribes' high birthrate and soon lost control of their people. Late in the era, outside powers moved in, but none could control more than a small piece of Pubumaus at one time, and these were small projects, not run by whole nations. The STW corporation participated in running pieces of Pubumaus, though they appeared only at the extreme end of this period.

Meanwhile, AlphaLeap dominated the south coast throughout the entire era, but did not have enough people to attempt occupation of the land, and indeed, they did not control the south coast either, but merely patrolled it.

Height and hair color

Traditionally, yellow had been the color of peace, and people with blonde hair were seen as good workers but poor soldiers because of their supposed innate fear of violence. The Pubu people, being Lenians, typically had blonde hair. This meant that Pubumaus' land army was comprised of various ethnic minorities all having dark hair, and that the Pubu people had no means of self-defense. This also led the various minority groups to target the Pubu people for spree crimes at a vastly greater rate than they targeted each other at. Most Pubu people had accepted their situation as being a law of nature and did not switch parties for fear that they would be abused by the group they attempted to join.

These laws did not apply to Thaoa, whose population was even more typically blonde than the Pubu. Thaoa had its own military and its people had historically participated in the abuse that the other groups were pouring on the Pubu people. As the Pubu and Andanese speakers married each other, the Pubu people became darker in color, while the cultural prohibition against blonde people joining the military remained. Although Thaoa was not affected by these laws, the people of Thaoa came to worry that they would be outgrown by the booming Pubu population, and that their people would be pushed to the bottom of soc iety.

Economic developments

During this period, the Pubu people practiced subsistence agriculture and had an absolute dependence on child labor. This caused the birthrate to soar, quickly becoming the world's second highest, behind only the Heap, a Crystal nation whose population was given supplementary income from other Crystal nations to raise more children. Therefore the Heap's even higher birthrate was artificial.

The environment was barren, and mostly free of both parasites and large predators. This allowed the people to spread out into the wilderness more than in some other areas, and yet be safe from nature.

Early in this era, the high fertility rate was matched by a high infant mortality rate as well as high death rates in general for both males and females. But as the centuries went on, plagues decreased and parents learned better how to care for their newborns. Yet the fertility rate remained high, so the population began to swell.

Changes in physical appearance

The Pubu majority was of Lenian ancestry, and thus were rather short people, typically with blonde hair and blue eyes, and a light skin tone. The Andanese minority was even shorter, however, and importantly, their women were taller than their men (sometimes called feminism). As the two lineages blended together, they remained distinct linguistically because the gene for this was binary with no intermediate form. But their physical appearance did merge, meaning that the already short Pubu people became even shorter, and thus even more fearful of the taller peoples around them, while their hair became darker and they came to have a distinct appearance unlike all of the other tribes in the world. Most children of mixed ancestry eventually joined the Pubu lineage, for various reasons, meaning that the Pubu population was constantly increasing as the Pubu people became more diverse, whereas the Andanese population grew only irregularly, at times suffering decrease, but the people remained mostly the same as their original appearance.

By the end of the era, the feminist body type takeover (women taller than men) was complete in the core of Pubumaus (by then called Aboa or Abawa) with tall-male populations surviving only on the fringes. This was because of blending with the Andanese tribes and because the gene for the growth patterns was also binary. Thaoa had also changed, despite relatively little mixing with the Andanese or with other tribes, because they did not have full political control of their own territory and outside entities promoted the growth of tall-female families within Thaoan society. This only happened towards the end of the era, however.


See Players for early history.

When word spread that the Player nation had no adult male population, soldiers from three different and mutually hostile nations invaded the Player territory nearly at once, figuring the Play nation was defenseless even if their army was winning battles against Dreamland far to the north. Though the Players had an all-female police force, the roaming soldiers simply pushed these women aside as they sought to find needy young Play women in search of a husband.

Nonetheless, for multiple reasons, the men of these foreign nations had little success in marrying Player women, and the Player women continued to go without husbands even though they were forced to allow the men to remain in Play territory. Those who did marry often left the Play party and joined their husbands, which meant that the women were no longer considered Play citizens, and were warned that they were subject to removal from Play territory in the future.

Even as the Play women rejected the advances of the men who had invaded them, they soon forced their own soldiers to bring home men from distant territories, chiefly Baeba Swamp, believing that Baeban men would make better husbands. Some of them men who had invaded Play territory warned the women that they would attack or enslave these Baeban men on sight.

Although the Play men dutifully obeyed their orders to help foreign men reach the lonely Play women in Memnumu, this journey was difficult as well, and more unwanted men continued to arrive in their stead. The Play women were still unwilling to marry these men. Instead, they decided to wait for the next generation of Play boys to become old enough to marry. Thus, there was a crop of marriages in which the wives were typically older than the husbands, and the birthrate declined.

Most of the Play soldiers who had won victory in Dreamland never returned home, and the Play homeland in Memnumu continued to live in a situation in which all adult males were illegal invaders, except the very youngest ones, the teenagers who had just become mature enough to marry, but these boys were still required to join the military, and therefore they knew that they would be required to fight against the older adult men around them.

Domestic revolt

Soon, however, trouble came from an unanticipated source. Play territory had early in its history become so difficult to live in that most children ran away from their homes and joined the orphans whose parents had died or abandoned them. Many of these children grew up with no meaningful adult contact, and knew nothing of the world except what older children had told them.

When the runaway boys learned that they would be required to fight the adult male intruders as they became older, various groups of children formed independent nations of their own, mostly along the south coast of Play territory. As the children reached out to the men around them, the men attacked the children, seeing that they would make pliable slaves. This led to a wider civil war that eventually cost the Play party its entire territory by the year 4149.

The winners of the civil war were a party called the Tinks (Neuyubu), representing the adult male soldiers who had returned from Dreamland after the war. They, too, were officially required to fight all of the other men, but had avoided doing so by signing private agreements with the invaders while disguising their activities as border patrol in order maintain their Play membership.


After the Tinks invaded Paba in 4151, Paba's Players formed the new nation of Memnumu. By this time, the population of Memnumu had grown to about 1.2 million people,[1] and again, about 75% of these were children under the age of 13.

As the Players built schools and acquired knowledge of history, their radical politics became more moderate in many ways. They claimed that they would never reject Play ideology, but only reinterpret it as a freestanding ideology fit for a peaceful world, where the original Players had embraced extremist politics because they were at war with many larger enemies.

Political platforms

As their territory was ignored by outside parties fighting over Baeba Swamp, the Player government based in Memnumu survived with no invasions after 4190. The Players entered the new Cosmopolitan Age with their party platform intact, and maintained the laws nationalizing the ownership of most types of property and the distribution of food, and tying food and housing distribution to family size only. Therefore the birthrate remained extremely high as couples married very young in order to acquire new homes, and raised many children in order to keep both themselves and their children well fed.

New factions of the Play party arose when the newer generations began attending school and reading literature written by outside entities such as Moonshine. Strictly speaking, these were not indepndent parties, and the conservative faction of the Players did not try to suppress them. They continued to use the inherited terms ŋaŋe and vap to refer to the various political parties of their nation and the world around them, but because only the Play party could hold power, diplomats began to identify these terms with nations rather than parties, and use new terms such as peim to refer to the Play factions that closely resembled the independent political parties of Baeba Swamp, Moonshine, and other distant empires.

Common bonds

The Play constitution of 4152 affirmed the need of the Players to run a one-party state, saying that it was simply natural for a nation to be in charge of its own territory, as any outside party would have a conflict of interest. They allowed dissenting movements within their party platform, but all known foreign parties were banned and Play factions could not endorse tenets of these banned parties.

The constitution was revised over the decades as the Players learned more about world history and politics, and new factions of the party arose. Nonetheless, the core tenets of the Play party were unchanged, as none of the Play factions that had arisen during or after the war had shaken their core beliefs. Among the beliefs shared by all Play factions were:

  1. The Play party has the right and the need to rule uncontested in order to keep the Play nation safe from the influence of outside enemies; multiparty democracies are inherently unstable and doomed to failure.
  2. Play party membership is hereditary.
  3. Players must be loyal to their nation and not participate in conflicts between two foreign parties.
  4. Play supporters living in foreign nations are not Players until they move to the Play nation and acquire citizenship; Players are thus not obligated to defend foreigners who claim allegiance to the Play Empire.
  5. All adult female Players are allowed to vote. Men and children cannot vote. Political office is reserved for adult females.
  6. Men must dedicate their lives to the military; the military's duties in peacetime involve farming, fishing, and other noncombative tasks.
  7. The Play nation's extremely high birthrate prevented foreign powers such as the Leapers and the Raspara from conquering Play territory in the past. A high birthrate is necessary to preserve the Play nation's territorial integrity.
  8. Food production must be collectivized and food must be distributed according to family size.
  9. The early Players' poor hygiene practices helped Players win wars by spreading diseases into enemy territories well beyond the Play soldiers' furthest advance; nevertheless the Players' diseases also killed Players at home.
  10. All Players must attend school during childhood.
  11. Children must not be made to work; the definition of work, however, is a matter of debate. Children shall not be made to compete with adults in any type of labor, whether voluntary or forced.
  12. The Play party is sovereign over all of Play territory, including private property. The Play police force is responsible for rescuing children from abusive parents, and as such, can enter people's homes at will.
  13. Criticism of the Play party constitution is illegal; anyone criticizing the constitution shall lose their Play party membership, and with it, the right to live in Play society.

Effects of the constitution

Because men could neither vote nor hold political office, male-led rebel groups such as the Tinks could not gain legal recognition in the Play Empire, just as societies such as the Flower Bees and Rusted Pearls could not. Likewise, if a group of women proposed granting men the right to vote, they would be immediately banned as a foreign party for violating the Play constitution.


Though the Players considered themselves a single political party, their diplomats accepted that outside nations saw the various Play factions as equivalent to other nations' political parties, and that the various non-Play parties were equivalent to other nations' banned parties. The Players continued to use the Play word peim to denote their party factions, but created no translated form of this term and Play diplomats increasingly used the word to refer to the internal political parties of foreign nations as well. Thus it came about that vap was the word that had no proper translation, and Play diplomats needed to identify the various Play parties as an alliance or a union since foreign nations no longer saw them as a party.

Nevertheless, the factions of the Play party were bound together more tightly than the independent political parties of the past. All Play party factions were bound by a military agreement to fight alongside each other in an integrated army, to have a common trade policy, to speak the same language, and to send their children to the same schools. Any groups of people who refused to obey these laws was ruled out of the Play party and therefore also ruled out of the Play nation, and could be imprisoned or killed without penalty, as they would be considered foreign invaders.

Cosmopolitan Age

New parties

As above, these new parties were identified by traditional terminology as mere factions of the Play party, but as full political parties in international discourse. None of the parties was permitted to support a tenet that went against the Play party's constitution.


The all-female police force organized early on into a closed-entry party, Šeŋumu Ŋenavu, and demanded superior representation in Parliament. This party name meant "family protection (trail)" and also served as their empire's word for the police force itself. Meanwhile, they also coined a new word, faayata, to refer to the individual officers of the Police party, separate from the preexisting Play word for generic police officers (mavaita).

The Play constitution restricted the vote to adult female citizens, but did not specify that all female citizens' voting power be equal. Thus the Police claimed the right to amplify their members' voting power by five, and the right to defend this provision by force, as they were armed and the others mostly were not.

The Police defined their party membership by their occupation, meaning that men were not allowed to join the Police party. The Police believed this would help stabilize their rule, as it meant that the husbands of Police women would by law be required to join other parties, and that therefore the Police would have supporters within the rival parties of their empire. However, as a hereditary organization that shared their empire's traditionally high birth rate, the Police knew that it would be impractical to require their entire population to work in law enforcement as a day-to-day occupation. Rather, they defined the Police as a group of women with the right to own weapons and the duty to work in law enforcement when needed, but where most derived their income from unrelated occupations side-by-side with the members of the less powerful classes in their society.

The Police chose their voting multiplier as 5 because they were slightly more than one fifth of the Play population at the time of their foundation. They rejected an early plan that would have locked in a permanent Police majority in Parliament by untethering voting power from population entirely because they were worried that, if the Police ever acquired a lock on voting power, a ruling elite within the Police would emerge and fire all of the opposing members from the Police, while still retaining their parliamentary majority, thus reserving unchecked power for a much smaller group of people.

Comparison with AlphaLeap

The Police modeled their power structure after the abusive Leaper government that had ruled the Play Empire from 4108 to 4127. The Leapers had taken over the area around Memnumu by force, ruling for only a short time before the then-new Play party threw them out of power. The Police privately conceded that they might someday become as abusive as the Leapers had been, but believed that they would succeed where the Leapers had failed in establishing a common bond with the people they ruled over.

Because the Police restricted membership only to women, they relied on mixed marriage to reproduce, and there was no hereditary Police tribe. The Police hoped that this alone would be sufficient to stop future Police from abusing their subject peoples, but they also established legal limitations on the power of the Police that could not be easily eliminated even in far in the future.


The conservative Players were pushed out of power by the Moonshine-allied Police faction, even as they remained a majority. The new government structure was no longer a true democracy.

The losing party called itself the Magic Combs (Ŋani Taumnui), based on their refusal to comb their hair. That is, they did not comb their hair because they claimed their hair was already in the state it needed to be, and thus had combed itself.

Another name for the party's members was žaya, a well-known word describing physical hardiness, based on a popular saying that the wind combs the hair of the hardy, again referring to their having no need for combs. However, all Players, not just the Combs, shared the claim to physical hardiness, as it was written in the Play party constitution that their hardiness had won them several wars.

The Combs also did not carry weapons. The ideology of disarming one's own people in favor of the Police was denoted with words such as ŋāka. It was the opposite of tīae (sarabism). [2]

Although the words ŋani and ŋāka appear close in the dictionary, the Players of the time typically did not connect the two words.[3]

Milk Bottles

The tiny Milk Bottle faction remained in existence, and continued to support the extremist policies of the early Play era, but they had very little support because the other Play factions realized that they had been responsible for the child runaway rebellions and that very few children of the Milk Bottles had remained in the Milk Bottles as they approached adulthood.

Party-owned corporations

See Players#Moonshine economic advice, the period where these proposals were proposed and rejected. This is BEFORE the parliamentary reform, and so did not have the 60:40 system nor the supplementary committees.

The Players announced the creation of vappimatu, corporations owned directly by the Play party. This concept was directly taken from Moonshine, and by this time, was in use in Dreamland and Fayuvas as well.

These were different than government-owned corporations. They were owned by the Play party coalition as a whole, meaning that both the Comb and Police factions, which by now had come to describe themselves as political parties, shared control. The management of the corporations was done through Parliament and not through a separate meeting of the company's executives; therefore, the parliamentarians were themselves the corporate executives. Since nearly all of the low-level employees in these new corporations were Combs or peasants, the Police promised to let the Combs control the votes in Parliament even when they did not have a majority, with the Police only stepping in when bills came up that also affected the lifestyle of the Police. Some reformists wanted to remove the role of Parliament altogether but still have the parties run the corporations; they called for a new legislative body that would devote itself solely to running the corporations. But this was a minority view, with little support among the Combs and almost no support among the Police.

Non-incorporated businesses

The Players defined a corporation as an entity that had more than one employee and produced a tangible product from something else. Thus fish markets, which simply sold fish as they were found in the sea, could not be corporations and neither could an association of a hundred such fish markets. The Players ruled out restaurants by the same argument, saying that cooking did not create a new product and that Players were expected to know how to cook on their own. Likewise, there could never be a corporation handling mail delivery, since they would not be producing what they sold from something else, and there could not be a corporation involved in renting slaves or even voluntarily selling their own labor, since neither of these services involved tangible products.

Corporate trade names

The Moonshine-speaking Police now ordered that all corporations doing business with the Players register a name in the extinct Late Andanese language. Then, the Police would assign the company a Play name, rather than letting them choose their own. The Police knew that most foreigners did not speak Late Andanese, and so offered to choose the companies' Andanese names as well.

This new order applied even to companies based in areas such as Fayuvas whose working language was also Play.

The intent of the new regulation was to stop companies from advertising themselves. The Andanese names would not be readily intelligible to the Play population of Memnumu, and therefore would all sound like generic corporate names. The Police assumed that the companies would at least choose Andanese names that related to their field of business, for example a lumber corporation including the Andanese word kaku "tree" in their name. Thus, the names of corporations in similar fields of business would be similar, and when represented in Play and in other languages, would be similar as well.

The Police planned to use a cipher to represent the Andanese names in all of the non-Play languages. Thus, rather than translating kaku with the local word for tree, it would be represented with two curated words chosen to correspond to the individual syllables /ka/ and /ku/.

This meant little in Memnumu since the language of Memnumu was Play. In Play, they planned to take the Andanese names and represent them graphically, since the Andanese and Play scripts overlapped significantly. But the Police hoped that someday the Play corporations would be able to do business abroad, and that foreign nations would submit to the Play naming system so that the Players would not need to advertise nor to compete with companies who did.

Debates about planning

The Play economic planners were interested in the long-term stability of their setup, and therefore wanted to ensure that they chose a system that would benefit the Players in the immediate present, thus not producing dissent among the lower classes, and yet also benefit the Players in the future. They thus rejected the advice of some earlier parties such as the Matrixes, who had admitted plainly that they were going to lower non-Matrixes' living standards in the present because it was necessary to ensure that future generations would be prosperous.

Comparison to Fayuvas

In Fayuvas, each political party was allowed only one umbrella corporation, and the parties' corporations also could not overlap with those of rival parties. Thus, for example, if the Doll party owned at least one soap store, all soap stores in the entire empire of Fayuvas must either be owned by Dolls or be independent. This meant that anyone buying soap in Fayuvas was either contributing to the Doll party revenue (and the Doll party leaders typically turned it back to the Doll voters rather than spending it on campaigns) or to independent store-owners who might well belong to a party but were expected to run their business independently and not to expect bailouts from their preferred party.

In Fayuvas, party membership was closely tied to ethnicity, and many people saw no difference between the concepts of tribe and party. However, because independent businesses were still allowed, the new system did not grant tribes monopolies on certain industries; it was merely that each tribe came to be strongly associated with such industries, and would usually cloud out the independents except in very low-skilled trades.

The new system nevertheless proved very limiting for people who found themselves in the "wrong" party. For example, the Ghost party was the only party allowed to own any restaurants in Fayuvas, even though they were a regional party mostly found towards the southern extreme of Fayuvas. The Ghosts hoped that the government's restriction would force people to convert to the Ghost party in order to open their own restaurant, but in fact most restaurant owners simply owned independent stores. Nonetheless, the other parties were angry at being locked out of the restaurant industry. The strongest parties in Fayuvas were the Phoenixes and Cells. The Ghosts were much weaker, but had managed to win control of some industries because they were a transnational party and could call on Ghosts living outside Fayuvas to fight for them in a hypothetical war.

In Play, these new party-owned corporations were called miivap, better translated as "corporation party" than the other way around, since the integration was such that the party leadership was running the business directly, rather than owning a business with its own managers and staff. In English they could be called guilds.

Fayuvas at this time was dominated by nine political parties, largely corresponding to tribal membership, although some tribes had several parties split along ideological lines, and some parties claimed to be multiethnic. Outside analysts predicted that Fayuvas would soon have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of independent political parties, which would have little to do with ideology.

Note that in the end, the Fayuva guild system succeeds, even though there are waves of parties joining each other to form near-monopolies such that a single corporation owns nearly the entire economy. These fall apart when parties split along nearly 50/50 lines such that the party's own parliament concedes to let each half take ownership of about half of the guilds.

Comparison to Dreamland

Dreamland agreed with Fayuvas in allowing each political party to own only one umbrella corporation, but allowed the creation of subsidiaries, each with its own management, to control different industries within that corporation's domain. Moreover, corporations were allowed to share interests, meaning that if one party owned a bookbindery, a rival party could open a rival bookbindery. Fayuvas did not allow this.

Since Dreamland had only two major political parties, there were thus only two corporations controlling the vast majority of the Dreamer economy. Furthermore, the Dolphin Rider party was very weak economically, and so in fact the rival Teenprop party controlled most of the Dreamer economy at this time. However, Dreamland still allowed independent stores, untethered to party identification, and stores owned by minority parties.

The Dreamers believed that the one-corporation limit would help keep the minority parties afloat since their businesses would provide competition that Teenprop and DPR were prohibited from doing. And because the profits from the minority party's stores were typically disbursed to enrolled party members only, people had an incentive to join the minority parties if their stores were profitable. However, Teenprop was rapidly gaining strength despite these incentives and the Dolphin Riders were shopping at Teenprop-owned business even as many of them refused to join the Teenprop party, seeing it as immoral.

In Dreamland, there was little correlation between tribal membership and party enrollment, since Teenprop had arisen as a corporation first before identifying as a party, and at the time nearly all Dreamers considered themselves Dolphin Riders.

Comparison to Moonshine

In Moonshine, each political party could own an arbitrary number of corporations, including direct competitors, the idea being that some businesses in different areas might prefer to be run independently even if they were both governed by the same party. Since Moonshine determined party membership according to geographic location (that is, each state was ruled by one Moonshine party with all other parties banned), it would have been very difficult to restrict each party to a single corporation, as there would essentially be only one corporation in the entire state. Even so, Moonshine's party-owned corporations acquired diverse interests with the same management teams in charge of wholly unrelated industries.

New Play model

The Players admired the Moonshine model largely because Moonshine was their closest ally, and had helped them in the past. They also believed that the structure of Play society more closely resembled Moonshine than Fayuvas, although in some ways the Play government setup was intermediate between the two. Nonetheless, they knew they could not copy Moonshine exactly because in Moonshine party membership was defined by geographic location whereas in Memnumu it was defined (loosely) by hereditary occupation and there were only two parties.

Memnumu (4268 — )

After the declaration of world peace, the Player government remained effectively a one-party state, with other parties permitted to exist and hold elections but locked out of power by the vast Player majority, and only allowed to hold votes on issues affecting their own members. Play was the official language of the nation, with the teaching of foreign languages confined to diplomats only, and the capital was henceforth only called Tatūm.

The Play party's constitution restricted voting rights to adult women only; not only could men not vote, they could be imprisoned if they complained about their disenfranchisement within earshot of any female Police. Indeed, women could not complain about this situation either, as anyone criticizing the constitution in any way immediately lost their citizenship.

Throughout time, many democracies had granted small children the right to vote, sometimes even from birth. Block voting was common in most such societies, and each election was little more than a census of the population of each neighborhood in each town. Citizens took it for granted that their children could vote because the children were citizens just like their parents and deserved representation in their parliament.

However, the Play party restricted the vote to adult women, saying that children of both sexes, along with men, had other duties to take care of, and since they could not serve in government, they would not be able to cast an intelligent vote. Therefore, even though the Players cast themselves as a children's rights party, the decisions affecting children's lives were made entirely by adults.

Furthermore, since childless women had the same voting rights as women with large families, they helped limit the Play party's devotion to children's issues. Childless women often felt that they related better to young children than those children's own parents, as they were more able to see a given situation from the other side. Nonetheless, because it was in the constitution, childless Play women could not vote to overturn the food distribution system that locked them out of the supply chain, and therefore Play women married young and childless women were few.

Parliamentary vote sessions and frequency

As before,[4] each session of Parliament (Pupumūs) was theoretically open to the entire Play adult female population, since every member of the Play party was allowed to vote directly on the issues affecting them.

Community pre-vote sessions

The Play Parliament did not pay its representatives, nor was there a convenient means of transport. Play representatives therefore had to arrange for their own travel to the capital city of Pūpepas even if they lived far away. Yet the Play constitution insisted that all votes be taken from the entire adult female population.

Rather than send their entire female population to the single Parliament building in Pūpepas, each community in the Play nation would hold a preliminary local vote on each of the known issues before the Parliamentary vote, and then send a representative to Pūpepas to deliver their town's total vote count to the Parliament. Therefore the typical session of Parliament had just a few representatives from each village, in many cases just one.

Morning vote session

The expectation was that the representatives would truthfully report the total vote count of their community, and that communities would forever retain the right to send multiple representatives in order to prevent falsification of results.

Afternoon vote session

Then, when the session met, they would additionally vote on the unknown issues, which typically were those which had arisen very soon before each session. The parliamentary representatives were allowed to vote unanimously on these issues on behalf of their community even if their community had been sharply divided on the previous votes for the pre-announced issues.

This system had served the Players well for more than a hundred years, and the Players had often claimed that corruption was not possible in the Play Parliament.

New governmental reforms

As the Players became more educated, they modeled their government increasingly after Moonshine. Nonetheless, they retained some distinct features, such as a unitary government structure, meaning that the entire Parliament could vote on issues applying to a single area, and that town's people would have no special privilege to overrule the wider Parliament vote.

Apportionment of representatives

For more than a hundred years, the Players had restricted the vote to adult females and also insisted that all votes be weighted equally. Thus, there was no elite comparable to the Ghosts or the Leapers, who in their nations had managed to win parliamentary votes with just 10 to 20% of the votes in their favor due to the presence of non-democratic elements in their parliaments which could not be overruled.

But now, citing the need to keep order, the Police announced that heretofore, votes would be weighted according to occupation, with members of the Police given five votes apiece, whereas commoners had only one. Police membership was hereditary, and therefore, Play commoners could not join the Police, although their daughters could be adopted into families headed by Police women and thus become Police themselves.


Meanwhile, the lowest class, including all men, all criminals, and groups to be defined upon the future whims of the Police, was disenfranchised, making them legally equivalent to non-Players. The Police had the right to disenfranchise any entity ranging from a single person to a broad class of people, simply by accusing them of treason, a crime which the Police reserved the right to define.

However, because the Police could also fire and arrest each other, they were subject to the same fate as commoners when accused of treason, and because most Police were married to non-Police,[5] even attacks against non-Police families could lead to anger from other Police. The Police thus believed that their new system would weather the challenges facing their nation, and that the Police would never seek to abuse the common population by disenfranchising anyone who posed a threat to the interests of the Police in Parliament.

The Play commoners, who came to call themselves Combs, therefore considered themselves a middle class rather than an underclass.

Preliminary Police votes

It soon came about that the Police determined their votes on most issues before each session Parliament met, and largely voted in line with each other; because the Police were more than one fifth of the adult female population, the Police could outvote their opposition in Parliament unless an issue arose on which the Police were split nearly evenly. This was the new equivalent of the traditional community vote system. Thus, the Police brought to table in Parliament only those issues in which they could not agree among themselves and therefore sought the advice of commoners. This meant that, often enough, the only issues that came up in Parliament were new bills unknown to the general public, meaning that the votes of the Combs' representatives would be also unknown to their constituents.

Originally, the Police had planned to create more levels in their hierarchy, such that members of disliked occupations would be assigned even less weight per capita than the commoners, while some occupations would rise to a status intermediate between the commoners and the Police. They soon rejected this system as impractical, as it would require the Police to deny entry into occupations between groups that had no hostility towards each other, and because members of some occupations would have difficulty attending Parliament and would need to send proxies from other occupations to vote for them.

Rejection of absolute power

The Police did not want absolute power in their nation because they believed that the weaker parties they ruled over deserved a voice in government. They merely believed that the share in power of these weaker voices need not be equal to their share of the empire's population. The Police claimed that their system was vastly superior to the traditional Gold parliamentary system, where each tribe was assigned a single vote in Parliament, regardless of their population.

On any issue where the Combs and Police agreed, their combined votes totalled nearly 100% of the population, and such policies were unstoppable. They also considered adopting a policy from the Thunder Empire stating that the greater the support for any law at the time it was passed, the greater a majority would be needed to later overturn it. Thus such laws would be effectively indelible.

On issues where the parties disagreed, the Police easily dominated during the first years of the new system because of the massive extra weight assigned to their votes. But the Police knew that in the future, they might become so small a minority that they would be forced to decide whether to cede power to the commoners or to further increase the amplitude of their own votes. And they knew that even some Police would be opposed to further increasing the imbalance of the system.

Rejection of census-based voting

A rival democratic system in common use around the world involved making all community votes unanimous, meaning that the census would determine the voting total, and that the representatives would be allowed to remain in their parliaments full-time instead of traveling back and forth to collect votes. Typically, nations using this system had counted their entire population, rather than their adult population or their adult female population.

The Players had traditionally rejected this idea because they believed it was anti-feministic to allow men the right to vote, and that giving children the right to vote, even in such an indirect manner, would lead to children drowning out the adults' votes with demands for ephemeral pleasures. For example, one Play representative threatened to create a new party that promised to immediately abolish all schools. Since children outnumbered adults in nearly all Play towns, her party would capture nearly 100% of the vote in a census-based election system.

But some Players believed a compromise was possible: the votes would be census-based, including men and children, but the representatives would still be appointed by adult women only.

Rejection of absolute matching

Another idea for reform involved the Police affording themselves one representative for each representative sent by the Combs, with the idea that the Police representatives would have exactly the same voting rights as the commoners, meaning that each side could win a vote if their representatives were absolutely unanimous. The Police assumed that no legitimate vote among the commoners in such a large nation would ever be truly unanimous, whereas the Police allowed their leaders to dictate the votes of lower-ranking Police, making truly unanimous votes common. The Police denied this idea, as well, saying that the commoners would actually be better off if the Police had a surplus of votes, since they would be more willing to divide amongst each other, whereas a system that was nearly evenly matched would lead to the Police voting unanimously out of panic, even if they actually did not all agree with a given issue.

Formation of unions

This may be as early as the 4180's, and as such could simply be moved to the Players article. However, it is likely that it postdates the many-sided wars, and possibly also the war against Nama.

Attempted breakup of Police

The Police had restricted themselves to a single faction so that they could not oppose each other's interests. Their votes were not required to be unanimous, but because the women at the top of the command chain could revoke party membership at any time merely for disobedience, the Police did not in fact have a free vote in Parliament, and when the party officials required it, they were required to vote unanimously or surrender their membership.

Some Police wanted to further increase the state's control on issues inside the home, saying for example that women with too many children would need to surrender the youngest to families seeking adoption. Since the Police were not allowed to split into factions, these women could not win their vote, and so attempted to enroll Players from the peasant class as Police, even knowing that their street occupations would not change.

Teenage adoption loophole

Police party membership was hereditary, but new members could be brought into the party through adoption. Adoptive families preferred to adopt teenagers so that they would not need to spend thirteen years raising a child just to gain their faction one more vote. By adopting large numbers of young peasant girls into their families, both Police factions attempted to achieve a solid majority, even as they realized they were creating a shortage of women in the peasant parties. The authors of the constitution had not foreseen this development, because they had assumed Player politics would be stable enough that no one would adopt a child just to increase their vote share in Parliament.

Contemplation of partial dictatorship

The Police leaders realized that they would need to take a stand on this new development: they could either force the newcomers to vote with the leaders, effectively abolishing democracy, or they could allow the Police to break into factions while retaining their right to an amplified vote, even if it meant that the nation would have two independent police forces, neither responsible to the other.

The Police were not threatening to create a dictatorship because their commands would only apply to their own members, and therefore, while there would always be a bloc vote of Police in Parliament, non-Police Players could outvote it at least some of the time.

Joining the world economy

NOTE: As elsewhere, this section uses STW's long-extinct meal token currency for the sake of simplicity. This currency's value was tied to the price of a meal, such that one standard size meal cost four tokens (Ξ4), regardless of what happened to the values of currencies with wider circulation.

Around 4268,[6] the Players signed agreements with Baeba Swamp, the Ghosts, and other economic powers establishing a formal exchange rate between the Play currency, the pinupaba,[7] and those of the rest of the world. This made it possible to compare living standards in Play territory to those of other nations, which before had been difficult because the Players' economy was so secluded that many people made their living without handling money at all.


The Players continued to use their native pinupaba coin as the circulating currency, and so meeting with diplomats agreed that they would compare their economy to others by listing all wages and totals in pinupaba. Nonetheless, for the sake of comparison, these values were also converted to the token currency here symbolized as Ξ. This was a currency created by the STW corporation for use in its restaurants only, and was tied to the price of food, meaning that it could not suffer from inflation. This currency had stopped circulating nearly a century earlier, but outside nations redefined it as a measure of a nation's economic strength, doing their best to keep its value as close as possible to its original intent. They noted, however, that STW's original promise that a standard sized meal would cost just Ξ4 was unrealistic on a nationwide scale, as they were able to meet such prices only by relying on both subsidies and slave labor, and that the true cost of food had never been so low except for people who gathered food from their own property.

Wine exports

Wine was exported to nations around Memnumu, but the Ghosts forced the Players to pay high tariffs on any wine sent through Ghost territory, since the Ghosts did not drink wine and prohibited its distribution in their territory. Since the Ghosts controlled STW's old trade routes, the Players were forced to pay these tributes to export wine even to Baeba Swamp.

Economic structure

Female bricklayers

The Players maintained their cultural preference that carpentry and masonry be performed by women instead of men. This put the Players at odds even with other feminist societies such as Moonshine. The Players believed that women would make better architects because they would be better aware of the precise care needed to construct buildings and outdoor playgrounds that would not injure the small children who played in them. Therefore, this cultural norm did not apply to buildings occupied only by adults.

Decline in fertility

After the war against Nama, the Play birthrate dropped to its lowest recorded level, around 3.05 children per woman. The population of the Play nation in 4268 was just over 2 million people. Nonetheless, the population remained very young, with a median age around 11 and a strong surplus of females among the adult population.

Parenting and adolescence

While much of the world saw childbirth as a burden, women in the Play Empire relied on their large families to access food supplies, and came to believe that having many children was a virtue in itself. The Players' new birthrate was still above the world average, but it was the lowest they had ever experienced. Play family planners recognized that their nation was overcrowded, and that they could no longer expand into Nama, and so they did not seek to raise the birthrate again. Instead, they proposed to address the declining birthrate by changing their nation's cultural attitudes towards childhood.

Further new parties

These groups may be called something other than parties, as it seems the Play nation is on its way to having parties defined by occupation instead of by ideology.

The Thumbs (tanisīmū) wanted to promote childlike behavior in adolescence and even adulthood, delaying marriage so that when people did marry they would not feel like they needed to delay childbirth any longer. By prolonging the period of life in which childlike behavior was acceptable, meanwhile, they would replace the missing children with adolescents and make it seem as though nothing had changed. The Thumbs stated that this new era would be even more playful than before since children would have more years of childhood to enjoy.

The Nipples (Natua Mem), on the other hand, wanted to accelerate childhood by introducing young children to adultlike concepts in order to eliminate, as much as possible, the entire concept of childhood in Play society, stating that the Players' strong society had not depended on the sheer number of children per adult in each family but on Play families' careful attention to the needs of children and their being at the center of every political issue. The Nipples stated that it would no longer be appropriate to have long parliamentary debates about the appropriate bedtimes of toddlers and schoolchildren, when the nation's population no longer consisted primarily of children under age 13.

Both parties' names were transparent references to the founding Player faction, which at one point called itself the Milk Bottles. Just as a baby goes from a nipple to a bottle, and from a bottle to their thumb, so too the Nipples and Thumbs positioned themselves on opposite sides of the longstanding Bottle party line on this particular issue. The Nipple party's name can also be represented in English as Milk, but they refused to use such a euphemism in their political campaigns because they were firmly to one side of the early Milk Bottle position. Nevertheless, this same mem was in both the name of the country (Memnumu) and the name of the original Milk Bottle party.

Because of the presence of the Thumbs and Nipples, the original Milk Bottle name was revived for the centrist position, which nonetheless continued to mostly refer to its party as the Combs.

Culturebound political issues

Most Players were living in a filth-free environment at least into the early 4170s, and possibly all were. Hygiene laws had been passed in 4150, and may have lasted until around 4170 without any dissent. However, this was not written into the constitution, so it was possible to change, and indeed it did change towards the end of the century. By the late 4270s (sic), at least one Play faction was once again openly pro-filth, reviving all of the early arguments about plagues protecting the Players from invasions and saying physical hardiness, including resistance to plague, was a virtue that all people should strive for.

Children's issues

The Players entered the Cosmopolitan Age with the world's highest fertility rate, and maintained it by collectivizing agriculture (including fishing) and tying food distribution to family size. Thus Players married young and had large families. The rapidly expanding population kept the Play army at war until 4268, long after their enemies had conceded defeat and fled into the wilderness; thus the Play soldiers were by this time fighting more animals than people.

The Play parliament's typecast inertia, coupled with the belief that their nation's high fertility rate had spared them the fate of the ruined nations around them, kept the fertility rate high even as population pressure increased. Furthermore, it was illegal to publicly criticize the food distribution system, as it was to criticize any other law that had been written into the original Play party constitution of 4151. These laws applied even to the ruling classes; Police would be fired immediately for so much as dissenting from the party's opinions, and likewise the Police tended to have large families because they, too, were prohibited from maintaining a private food supply.

Cities, especially the capital, Pūpepas, had been built with large families in mind: in eastern Pūpepas stood a school built for a student population in the tens of thousands, larger than most cities by itself, and smaller neighborhoods within Tatūm were built with playgrounds in the center. The capital city was so known for its families' high fertility rate, above even the Play party's average, that they referred to it as Bābā, "nursery ward", and this became the common word for a capital city. Even as the fertility rate declined, the child population in absolute numbers continued to increase, so the Players were well able to maintain and make use of these structures made for children.

Child labor and discipline

The Police and Players cooperated on many important issues, and the opinions of both parties held firm for centuries. Both supported the right of children to attend school, and to be free from financial obligations to their parents; they also supported the right of children to run away from home and to stay in government-subsidized foster homes provided that they continue to attend school and obey the adults running the foster homes. Both asserted that children had the right to play, and could not be made to work alongside adults, though they also both agreed that children should be made to work farm labor and to help catch fish, which they no longer considered work. Thus, despite maintaining Play as the name of their party, they now endorsed some activities that the original Players had considered child labor. They did this upon learning that this had been the historical way of life in their territory and that child labor of this sort may have been responsible for the era of economic prosperity that preceded their invasion by AlphaLeap alongside other foreign powers.

Corporal punishment

The founding Players dedicated themselves to opposing corporal punishment inside the home, promising that their police would risk their lives to rescue children from abusive homes. Yet, since the government afforded the Player police force the right to overrule parents in their own homes, the Police were the only political party with the power to inflict corporal punishment on children.

In increasing order of severity, the Police practiced corporal punishment on women, children, and men. Men were typically shorter than women but were expected to be physically hardy.

Like the Moonshines they admired, the Play police officers spent much of their time supervising children, both indoors and outdoors, to protect them from each other and from adults. Adult male Players were confined to certain areas of Play settlements, and young Play children often spent more time with police than with their own fathers.

Child labor

Likewise, the founding Players abolished child labor immediately upon taking power, but by allowing the legislature to define child labor, they found ever more ways to keep new generations of young children bound to their work.


Absolute obedience

The Play party constitution stated that all men must immediately obey any command given to them by a woman, even a stranger. The government, including the police force, was made up entirely of women.

To prevent situations such as a lone woman ordering the entire male population to commit suicide immediately, all men were required to obey more than one woman, and such situations did not occur. Rather, the chain of power proceeded upward from a happenstance encounter with a woman on the street, to a man's wife, to a police officer, to the chief of police (who herself was supervised by non-Police women but not controlled by them).

Nevertheless, it remained that any woman could order the police to arrest any given man simply for refusing to obey her, and the man would be detained until his wife or a member of the police declared him innocent. Furthermore, the police could arrest any man at any time without giving a reason.

During the first centuries of the Play Empire, the male population was heavily armed, and these laws had little meaning; when the Police ordered the army to disarm itself, the Police took full control of the nation and men became very weak in society. Some men worried that it would soon be commonplace for Police women to slaughter hundreds, or even thousands, of helpless men whenever food supplies in their nation ran short, since Play culture had long established the custom that men would be last in line for food and that their wives could not buy food for their husbands if it meant that children or women would starve.

Food distribution

Importantly, both the Police and Players supported maintaining the collectivization of agriculture and the distribution of food rations according to family size, meaning that families without children needed to either forage for food in the wild (which was not considered agriculture) or continuously sell property in order to feed themselves. This put strong pressure on teenagers to marry immediately, and to have children of their own as soon as possible. The Police also applied this new law to their own party members, meaning that although the Police tended to be wealthy, they would rapidly run out of wealth if they did not have large families just like the Players they ruled over. This concession set the Police apart from all of the nation's previous occupiers, such as the Raspara and the Leapers, who had always created difficult laws and then exempted themselves from them.

Language issues

The Play Empire was a unitary parliamentary government superimposed on an array of small independent tribal nations, and as such, the Players spoke many languages. Their common unifying language, spoken in the capital city, came to be simply called Play per a longstanding tradition associating languages with political parties on a one-to-one basis. Most Players were bilingual, as Players with a different ancestral language learned to speak Play, while those who spoke Play learned other languages as well, most commonly Late Andanese. Bilingualism held strong even when war held Players back from attending school, as they tended to learn these languages through passive exposure.

Traditionally seen as a handicap, the Players came to see their empire's language problem as a strength when they built their long-awaited school system and realized that their teachers had access to knowledge written in languages nobody outside the Play Empire would ever be able to read.

Tribal conflicts

Social stratification based on height

The very tall Repilian people, who had recently joined the Moonshines, settled in Play territory just as the last survivors of the very short Andanese people were fleeing to Xema. The Repilian women renamed themselves the Police, establishing a hereditary but all-female police force, and reassigned their men to other tribes. Because the Police by definition could only marry non-Police, they assumed that their nation's height profile would eventually become more homogeneous. In earlier periods, some Repilian women working along the seacoast had found themselves surrounded by full-grown men no taller than their hips; now, the shortest adult Play men were typically between belly and breast-high against the women of the new Police force.


In theory, Creamland's territory could expand to take over the entire area that was reserved for Thaoa before Thaoa was defeated. However, it is possible that another power takes over here; remember "Gold people even settled Laba now" and that this territory would be considered as remote as Laba was.

Target War

In 4286, the Ghost Empire declared war on the Players and immediately invaded. Moreover, they had the support of Dreamland in this war. The unitary Play state remained united against their enemies, unlike in past wars where dissenting groups within their society had used war as an opportunity to rebel. The unexpected Ghost-Dream alliance was winning its war against the Players, but seemed unlikely to ever conquer the whole of Play territory.

  1. Earlier wrote that POSSIBLE DATES for the new war include 4239, 4241, 4250, 4261, and c. 4270, with the first four coming from variant readings of the "padopom" document and the last assuming that it was never part of the same timeline but must at least postdate the Players' treaty with Nama (which was not a surrender).
  2. The padopom document never mentions Nama, and towards the end describes events as if the Players had been the same entity as Nama all along, even saying that the Play party had been the "Nama's old leaders" who attacked Asala/Reino entity that had taken over Baeba Swamp.
  3. This war must have lasted into the 4300s, and though the Ghost-led alliance was winning, they were forced to pull back because of events in Dreamland which in turn led to other events in nearby areas.

Note that DREAMLAND did not enter this war until 4286, but the Ghosts may have declared war earlier on.

Dreamer war propaganda

The Dreamer side of the coalition was one of the few remaining societies on the planet where men were taller than women. The Players and other feminist tribes had been winning wars, while other nations shifted from tall-male to tall-female by peaceful means; for example, the Ghosts had come to power as a mixed population, but then quickly handed over power to people mostly descended from the Crystals.

The Dreamers had studied recent world history, and modeled their new philosophy largely after the defeated Matrix army, which had managed to seize control of the Players and other nations which greatly outnumbered them. The Dreamers marched under a banner reading "Rape, Kill, Eat", and promised that they would be even more cruel than the Matrixes had been, and also more cruel than the Zeniths, the Slopes, and the Scorpions.

The Dreamers promised their invasion would be particularly painful for the Players, as the Dreamers were also one of the tallest tribes in the world, and the Play tribes were among the shortest. The Dreamers made no apology for their planned invasion, and stated that it had nothing to do with the Players having invaded Dreamland in earlier times, as the new generations of Dreamers did not believe in the concept of justice.

The Dreamers were against both feminists and tribes whose languages had the acoustic properties of Play, which they now considered infantile. Because the Dreamer tribes included some with languages of this type, they vowed that they would graduate such people out of their population over the generations as the Hipatal languages slowly became dominant.

The Dreamers had been unable to raise their empire's sagging fertility rate, but now claimed that they had turned their weakness into a strength: because there were few children in the Dreamer states, it would be easy for the Dreamer women to shelter and protect them from harm, leaving the Dreamer men free to move in large numbers to Memnumu where they would assault the Play women, men, and children.

Players panic

The Players were alarmed when they realized they were at war with an army promoting overt sexual assault, and that the invading army was specifically targeting Players because of their body type. This new war was not ideological or even territorial; the Dreamers simply wanted slaves, and figured that the smaller the slaves, the less likely they were to revolt.

The Dreamers stated that it was simply natural for taller, stronger people to control abuse the tribes who were shorter and weaker. Since the Players supported a life close to nature, the Dreamers told them to submit and accept their role at the bottom of the new Dreamer-led society. The Dreamers promised that unlike the Matrixes, they would not breed a middle class to control the lower class; the Players would be forever small and thus forever helpless under the watch of the Dreamers.

Though Dreamland was thousands of miles away from the Play homeland of Memnumu, the Dreamers by this time had conceded that their army was weak, and so they planned to revive their status as a naval power. Thus, the Dreamers threatened to invade the Players by sailing westward around the entire planet, through the islands of Laba. Though this journey was longer still, the Dreamers had established permanent settlements on the islands and signed a treaty with the Hipatal islander tribes stating they would cooperate in their new war. Xema's naval conquest of Play territory in the 4180s, though brief, proved to the Dreamers that their plan was feasible. Furthermore, they noted that Laba had established a colony in Play territory to help fight off Xema, and that the descendants of those Labans were still there; since Dreamland was now at peace with Laba, they hoped that the Labans in Play territory might switch sides and help the Dreamers.

The Players mobilized their navy for a defensive war and, as their new government was run by the Police, they enacted very strict laws to control the population. The Play leaders believed that the best way to win their war was to return to old strategies that had served them well: strict gender roles, a very high fertility rate, and the spread of plagues near and beyond their borders to bring down soldiers before they could reach Memnumu. They knew, however, that it would be difficult to spread plagues to an enemy that was invading them by sea.

Differences in body type

The Players had beaten the Dreamers in a land war before, and although both populations had changed, the Players and the Dreamers had in fact both increased their average height, and most Play military strategists knew this. However, the Players expected that most of the Dreamer sailors would be from Laba, the traditional maritime power region within Dreamland, and that they would attack the Play homeland from the east, invading states such as Thaoa whose populations were shorter than average.

Ghost-Play diplomacy

The Players also believed that the dominant force in the new Ghost-Dreamer alliance was the Ghosts. The Ghosts had completely different reasons for attacking Memnumu, and the Players hoped that the coalition might break up and start a three-sided war in which the Players would be able to quickly wear down a war-weary Dreamer army while trying to make peace with the Ghosts.

The Players, already surprised at their new war, were further surprised when they realized that the Ghosts, who supported feminism, were siding with the Dreamers who were gloating about their plans to rape the Player population. The Ghosts organized a diplomatic meeting with the Players to explain their position in the new war.

Diplomatic symposium

Following tradition, the Ghosts traveled into the Play capital city of Pūpepas and met the Players in their own Parliament building. Unlike most previous meetings, however, there was no set language. The Ghosts mostly spoke Leaper, believing it to be the language of world diplomacy, but for many of them, Leaper was a second language. Meanwhile, the upper class of Play society had historically spoken the Moonshine language, which at this time was still similar enough to Leaper to be mutually intelligible, but they had been keeping Moonshine off the streets in Play territory and most of these Play leaders now spoke Play better than they spoke Moonshine. Therefore, the diplomats agreed that both sides would do their best to communicate in Leaper, whether the Moonshine dialect or the Baeban (standard) dialect, but that nobody would be excluded from the meeting for not being able to speak the language.

The Ghosts promised the Players that Dreamers would never be welcome in Ghost territory, and that they would not allow the Dreamers to cross through Ghost territory to reach the Players. That is, although both nations were to the northwest of Play territory, the Ghosts were reserving the direct route, over land, for themselves. Thus the Ghosts were invading the Players from the north, whereas the Dreamers were being forced to take a much longer route, all the way around the planet, and would be invading the Players from the south. The Ghosts even stated that they hoped to establish a new empire that would incorporate all of the Ghost and Play territories, so long as all of the Players would convert to the Ghost party.

Critique of nationalism

But the Ghosts made it clear to the Players that they considered the Play ideology to be even more evil than the Dreamer ideology. Because the Players pushed hundreds of thousands of young children into the world each generation, knowing that even in the best years there would not be enough food for all of them to survive, the Play leaders were inflicting even greater abuse on the Play peasant population than the Dreamers ever could.

The Ghosts told the Players that their world had entered the Cosmopolitan Age, and that nationalist ideologies like the Players' were no longer valid. The Ghosts and the Dreamers, they said, were cosmopolitan ideologies (Leaper lăkʷi), because people in any nation and tribe could join them, whereas the Players, though internally diverse, were loyal to their nation and their nation only.

The Ghosts said that nationalism was inherently wrong because while cosmopolitans shared common interests, nationalists were at odds even with each other. They said that there was no common ground, for example, between the Play nationalists and those of other nations.

The Ghosts classified the Players as nationalists, and told the Players that any future conflict between the Ghosts and the Dreamers would need to wait until all of the world's nationalists had been eliminated. The Players responded to this by saying that, once the Ghosts had eliminated all the other nationalist parties in the world, only the Players would remain, and therefore the Ghosts' objection that nationalist parties were inherently hostile to each other would no longer apply.

Players' responses to Ghost arguments

The Players opposed the Ghost position on multiple points.

Firstly, the Players argued that nationalism was good, as a nation needed to serve the interests of its entire population rather than balancing the interests of the population with groups living outside the nation. Secondly, they argued that nationalism worked best in a one-party state, where the interests of the nation and the party would coincide, whereas multiple-party democracies, even if led by a strongly nationalist party, would forever struggle with the minor parties' attempts to find allies outside the nation.

The Players conceded the Ghosts' point that nationalist groups could not form a worldwide alliance with each other, since the interests of one nation would be inherently opposed to the interests of other nations, but argued that they could reasonably form transnational alliances with each other even if both sides of the war included nationalist parties.

But the Players also argued that the Ghosts and the Dreamers were nationalist parties as well, as the Ghosts had restricted citizenship to Ghost party members, and that, while some Ghosts lived outside their home nation, they were allowed to vote in the Ghosts' elections and therefore there was no meaningful difference between the Ghost party and the Ghost Empire. Meanwhile the Dreamers were spread across many nations, but these nations all had a closely linked cultural history spanning thousands of years.

Further arguments

By this time, both the Players and the Ghosts had effectively abolished their democracies. For example, the Ghosts restricted citizenship to their own party, meaning that even when elections were held, both the eligible voters and the eligible candidates were required to be Ghosts.

But whereas the Ghosts still claimed to be democratic, the Players' ruling Police faction had declared that winning their war was more important than maintaining democracy, and that even a one-party democracy could give rise to factions that would help the opposing side in their war. They had used this rationale in previous wars.

One of the Ghosts' strongest arguments for their transnationality was that they were racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse, having arisen as a merger of parties with very different ancestries. But the Ghosts were unable to use this argument in the meeting with the Players because their leadership had quickly come to consist of people historically from the Crystal tribes, and had even ejected the descendants of their early leaders as they had been planning at the time to start a war against Dreamland and anyone whose ancestry traced to the Dreamer tribes and the adjacent Lenian tribes to the northeast (even those which were hostile to Dreamland). Since the Ghost underclass was diverse but the Ghost leadership was not, their society's structure closely resembled that of the Players, in which a Moonshine-speaking overclass had migrated and taken over the diverse Play society.

Play war propaganda

The Players took years to adjust to the reality that the wider world saw them as evil, despite their difficult situation, and thus the production of pro-Play propaganda aimed at foreign nations lagged the Dreamers' and Ghosts' propaganda aimed at each other and at the Moonshine-Play alliance.


In recent decades, the Players, the Ghosts, and the Dreamers had all established strict censorship of media in their territory, and all three had enacted strict punishments for citizens who violated their speech codes. Thus, all three parties knew that their propaganda could not reach each other directly, and therefore they could work only indirectly, such as by way of transnational corporations, pacifist parties, and the world government symposiums in Baeba Swamp.

First three-party talks

Early attempts at Play propaganda ignored the Dreamers entirely, even though the Play leaders suspected that the Dreamers knew their war was immoral, and that there must surely be an anti-war party in Dreamland, and perhaps even a pro-Play one representing the remnants of the pro-Play Laban navy of a hundred years prior. Because the Ghosts controlled the land route between Dreamland and Memnumu, all diplomatic meetings between the Players and Dreamers relied on the Ghost intermediaries, and thus were, at minimum, three-party talks.

Diplomatic outreach

Though the Ghosts were feminists, their government had a much freer structure than the Players', and their diplomats were both male and female. The Ghost diplomats thus sent men and women alike to meet the Players while the Players allowed only women to speak. Soon, the Dreamers realized the advantage of this, and began sending female diplomats as well, despite their continued acknowledgement that their soldiers were intent on sexually assaulting the Play population when the Dreamer ships broke through the Play navy.

The Dreamer women had no sympathy for the Play women, and refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing by the Dreamer sailors. They stated that the Player women were to blame for any sexual assaults they suffered. The Dreamer women stated that rape was natural, and occurred all over the world, but was rare in Dreamland because Dreamer men protected their women from harm. By contrast, for more than a hundred years the Players had insisted on depriving their nation's heartland of its adult male population by forcing all men into the military, and allowing soldiers only brief contacts with their families in the Play cities. Furthermore, the Dreamers claimed that the Play ruling class, the Police, had insulated itself from the coming war and that the helpless peasant women would be the ones who would suffer. The Dreamers stated that the Players could remove Dreamland from the war at any time by disbanding their nation and establishing democracy, but would never do so because the Play ruling class clung to the power they derived from abusing their own people. Thus, the Dreamers agreed with the Ghosts that the Play ideology was evil, but typically argued from a different perspective.

Play internal propaganda

The Players also wrote propaganda aimed at their own population. There were separate propaganda outlets for the different wings of the Play military, which was immediately reformed to suit the coming two-front war.

Military reforms

The Players split their army into two divisions now, one to fight the Ghosts and the other to fight the Dreamers. They hoped the two groups would never meet up, as for that to happen, the Players would need to have lost their territory in between.

Northern army

The traditional Play army was assigned to defend the northern border of Play territory against the Ghosts, and also to maintain forts throughout Play territory, as the Play military strategists believed that the Ghosts would win easily when they reached Play territory and would push rapidly through towards the south coast. They renamed it Pauyafu Šavafam, simply meaning "northern army".

Southern army

The Players created the Pauyafu Pišam force to defend the south coast, a combined army-navy force consisting of adult male soldiers, and stated that they would never again expose small children to the dangers of the battlefield. Yet they told their children to be ready for war, and built forts scattered throughout Play territory to serve as schools for the time being but as hideouts should the need arise. The word pišam here did not specifically mean south, but rather indicated any position across an expanse of sea. Since the seacoast was to the south, the word had thus come to be used as a synonym of south specifically referring to distances across the water.

This group was also called Vaas Paašābāyafu, which was the Play translation of the Dreamers' name for their own naval force, which in Leaper was called Ladas Qʷŏ. The literal meaning of the names was simply "Navy of Laba". Play military leaders felt that Laba had betrayed them, and that by remaining true to the defense of the Play nation, the Play sailors had become the only true Laba. The Players' fondness for puns had fallen into disuse in recent decades as their contacts with the outside world had turned ever more hostile.

Naval defense strategy

The Play naval strategy was controversial. Knowing that the Dreamers were intent on sexually assaulting the Play female population, the new Play military leaders ordered the men to defend their nation's coastline, and that if captured, to submit to the Dreamers' crimes of desire in order to temper the Dreamers' desire to attack the women in the Play cities. The Play sailors were thus poorly equipped for battle, with weapons and armor manufacture prioritized for the northern army.

The Play women, despite their strong grip on power, did not have the authority to issue individual military commands; this was one of the few powers that male military leaders still held. But by depriving the men of weapons and armor, the Play women hoped to force the navy captains to adopt the submissive strategy, and hold off the Dreamers while the much stronger northern army was helping the female Police hold off the Ghosts pushing into the cities.

Naval war propaganda

The Play leaders told their men that they lived in a feminist nation, and therefore had no right to be proud of their bodies. Furthermore, as men they were required to defend their nation, even if it meant enormous death totals for the men, because it would be better for thousands of men to die than for the Dreamers to assault a woman or child on the Play mainland. In Play philosophy, as in Moonshine, women had the right to bodily integrity, meaning that it was a crime to assault a woman, but men did not have this right, and assaulting a man, including sexual assault, was only a crime under certain conditions.

The Players told men that the ideal body type, including for men, was feminine, and that it was better for them to think of themselves as defective women than as men. The Play women argued that it was clear that Dreamer men were much taller than Play men, and that Play men might be suitable partners for an invading force that preferred women of smaller stature. Thus, by preventing attacks on women, the men would be doing what the law required of them. Likewise, since Play men were smaller than their women, they hoped that at least some Play men would be attracted to the strong, virile pirates emerging from the Dreamer ships.

The Play leaders reminded men that their place was one of submission, but that they should be submitting to women, and not to other men. The Play leaders did not want their men to be too pacifistic, knowing that if they were pushed too hard, they might simply defect to Dreamland and help the invaders assault the Play women. They told the men that their duty was to fight the Dreamers, and that it would be an unfair fight, with the Dreamers not only much stronger physically but also better armed and better protected than the Play soldiers. Submission thus was a measure of last resort and not a goal. The Police believed that demoralizing their male population would help them unite against the Dreamers, since if the Play men did not think of themselves as being men, they would not seek to ally or submit to the Dreamers.

New wave of government reforms

The ruling Police party, which had rewritten the constitution to give themselves a strong but not invincible grip on power, declared that defense of the Play nation would take precedence over all internal conflicts as well as the Players' ongoing settlement of eastern Nama and Repilia. Yet they knew that the settlement of Repilia especially would serve them well in their war, because neither the Ghosts nor the Dreamers could reach Repilia without first invading at least two other outside parties. (The Cold Men had mostly dissolved by this time.)

The Police restricted membership to adult females. This was different from the other Play parties, which restricted voting rights to adult females but extended membership rights to everybody. The Police had done this on purpose to ensure that the Police could never evolve into a hereditary overclass; because they did not allow men, their husbands by definition always belonged to rival parties and thus the Police, despite their disproportionate share of power, could not reproduce without wooing the men of the rival parties.

The Police still rejected the idea of a head of state as being unwomanly and thus not fit for a feminist nation; borrowing from Moonshine, at the top of the hierarchy was not a commission but a circular power structure, each woman in charge of one other and supervised by one other.

The right to pick fruit

By this time, they had established wild plants, including fruit trees, throughout much of the countryside, and stated that these were not covered by the cash economy and therefore were free. They claimed that, just as anyone who caught fish was allowed to keep all the fish they found, so too should anyone who picks fruit be allowed to keep all of the fruit they had found, even if it took very little effort by comparison to the fishers. This applied also to wild plants of other types. The Pitušaiva society thus was born.

The right to cry

The Players also adopted a concept from their allies in Moonshine, which by this time had become pro-Play but was still pacifistic and therefore of little help in the new war. Moonshines believed that it was impossible to cry insincerely, and therefore, in any situation in which any person, whether adult or child, was seen to be crying, all other people would immediately drop what they were doing and attend to the crying person's needs. The Players were not convinced that it was truly impossible to falsely cry, but empowered their police force to arrest anyone who was seen to ignore the plight of anyone in their vicinity who was visibly or audibly crying. They also stated, nonetheless, that if any person was found to be falsifying their emotion in order to gain sympathy, this would be a crime as well, and as with many other crimes, the Play police force warned that their laws would apply to children as young as five years old, and that their parents could not override the police's decisions.

Changes in lifestyle

With their living standards improved, the Play leadership announced that they had finally brought the right to play to their child population. They nonetheless warned that, even during play, there were dangerous enemies waiting to strike, and fortified cities such as Ŋapata Ŋūa that had previously been easy to invade by sea.

New Play language policy

See Play language/history.

Proposals for reform of Parliament

Here again, the Police began to consider reform ideas, both old ones and new ones, to help keep their nation united in their new all-out war.

Nūbapum Plan

The liberals introduced the nūbapum plan, named after the Play word for 1/20 or five percent. It was a reform of Parliament based around assigning fractional votes to different occupations within the Play Empire, each of which was represented by a department of the executive branch and thus under Police oversight. The plan contained several important points, each of which relied on the others.

Permanent Police majority

First, the Police were granted an eternally locked-in 60% majority in the Play Parliament, enough to comfortably outvote the peasantry regardless of what their population ratio became in the distant future. This type of reform had been proposed many times before, but had always been rejected on the basis that a ruling elite within the Police could simply expel the rest of the Police, and still retain their 60% majority in Parliament. Under the existing Play setup, this ruling elite could even be a minority at the time of their seizure of power, since Police could be expelled for simply committing a crime, the definition of which did not require consensus from the entire Police force, and because the procedure for expulsion of an arbitrarily defined group, such as those sharing a similar opinion, was the same as for a single person.

Therefore, the liberals proposed that the Police give up their right to expel their own party members, except through an act of Parliament, in which the entire population would be allowed to vote, rather than just the Police. Thus, the Police would no longer have the ability to construct legal traps into which other Police would fall, realizing that they had committed a crime without intending to do so.

The reformists also called for a prohibition on mass expulsion bills, knowing that even with the reforms, any faction to which five sixths of the Police adhered could expel the other sixth, even with no peasant support, and that the process could then repeat indefinitely as the Police whittled themselves down to an ever smaller group. By prohibiting mass expulsions, the reformists would make such a process impractical, as there were more than 100,000 enrolled Police in the Play nation.[8]

For Police who committed traditional crimes, the reformers believed that the peasantry would vote along with the Police to strip them of their party membership, and therefore the reform would not lead to the Police spreefully committing crimes knowing that they would remain Police even if convicted.

Peasant minority

The peasantry was given a similar locked-in 40% parliamentary vote share, and the present system defining them as a political party, the Combs, was upheld. Thus, there would continue to exist a group below the Combs who could not vote for their representatives, and the peasantry would retain their 40% vote share even if the underclass grew and the peasantry evolved into a small middle class. By tradition, the Combs did not have the right to expel their own members, and the reformers agreed that it would be best to keep this rule in place so that the Combs could not vote themselves into becoming an overrepresented merchant caste or some similar such thing. The procedure for removing a member from the Comb party would thus be the same as for removing a member from the Police: an act of Parliament, with the entire nation entitled to vote, even if the intent were to expel just a single person.

The Play nation's disenfranchised underclass had been growing, since criminals were typically disenfranchised, and it had been easy for the Police to construct legal traps for the children of criminals to fall into, even as young as the age of five, such that they would be defined as criminals for life and never gain the right to vote. The liberals did not know whether requiring an act of Parliament to disenfranchise criminals would stop this, and therefore predicted that the underclass might continue to grow, even if expulsion required the approval of both the Police and the Combs. But they felt that the hardliners would not object to a growing underclass, as their own support rested partly on their winning the sympathy of the Combs, which in turn rested on the Combs seeing themselves as a middle class and not an oppressed underclass.

Occupational representation

Importantly, and for the first time in known history, the Play reformists proposed the admission of occupational representatives (yīpapu), who would be similar to party representatives, but would represent departments of the executive government rather than sections of the population. These would be seated on committees, each tied to a single government department, which would be called to vote only on bills that involved their department. Each committee was apportioned a 5% vote share on such bills, and this 5% was deducted from the Police's vote share, since the executive departments were assumed to be forever under control of the Police. A maximum of four yīpapu committees could sit on each bill, meaning that if all four were called to vote, the Police's vote share on that bill would be 40% just as the peasantry's was.

Military committee

The reformists wanted to immediately create a military committee called Pauyafu Pimmap that would represent the interests of their nation's military, and by extension their adult male population. The reformists accepted the traditional Play argument that men could not be granted voting rights because they would then be able to vote themselves out of a war, and therefore stated that the military committee would not have the right to start or stop a war, or even to contribute a 5% vote to such a proposal, but would instead concern itself with the management of the military and internal guidance.

Some Play women were shocked at their nation's new propaganda saying that the ideal Play man should be feminine in appearance, and that Play women should find these feminine men attractive. The even more extreme propaganda aimed at soldiers, stating that men in the Play navy should submit themselves to the Dreamer invaders if captured, also surprised many Play women, and they came to doubt that the soldiers had in fact willingly accepted this unconventional strategy for battle. Because of the ongoing war, the military had little time for civilian duties, but the Players looked forward to the day when their nation would again be at peace, and the military would evolve into a general-purpose men's interest group and would fight against the imposition of stereotypes such as this.

Educational committee

The reformists paired this proposal with an argument for an educational committee, Peīs Pimmap, to represent the nation's schools, and by extension, their child population. Here again, the Play reformists accepted the traditional Play argument that childhood was a lifestage and not a political party or an occupation, and therefore that children did not need direct representation in Parliament. And because the nation's fertility rate was so high, many families had small children in school at any time and thus were represented through both the Comb and Police parties. But the reformers argued that the need for direct input on education policy was not about population but about expertise; only the educational committee had a view from the inside on how the school system was run, and thus could provide arguments that neither parents nor children would know how to articulate.

Criminal justice committee

Having heard the reformers' first two proposals, the conservatives quickly predicted the third: a committee representing the interests of the criminal justice system, and by extension the disenfranchised parties and descendants of criminals. Despite the nation's ruling party calling itself the Police, they had only limited overlap with the court and prison system, which was staffed by both the Comb and Police parties. Thus, the reformers argued, the Police could not simply declare themselves the representatives of the criminal justice system, and a separate voting committee, Pave Pimmap, was needed.

The Police and Comb parties were still formally bound by the Play party charter, and they were the only legal parties, and the only parties allowed to describe their members as Players. All non-Play parties were illegal, and it was therefore a crime not to be a Player. This meant that all ethnic minorities were classified as criminals, and because this was in the Play party charter, even the reformists could not change it, and they assured the conservatives that they had no intent of legalizing non-Play parties in Play territory, either during the ongoing war or during the peace that would follow. (The Players had been forced to offer the Moonshines honorary Play party membership to exempt them from the law, and the Moonshines responded by passing a law in their own Parliament stating that Moonshines with dual party membership would forfeit their representatives in the Play Parliament.)

Indeed, unlike with the first two proposals, the reformists did not want the criminal justice committee to evolve into an indirect means for the disenfranchised population to express their interests in Parliament. The new committee was intended to keep the lower class in line, and if necessary, to extract further labors from them in order to protect the nation during war or other difficult times.

Commerce committees

The remaining committees were assigned to the Commerce Department (Žanaa Pimmap) of the executive branch of government. The intent was that each committee would represent a certain occupation or class of occupations, and could allow corporate leaders to sit in the Parliament. The Commerce Department would be allowed to create as many committees as they wished, such that there would be no fixed number at any one time, and that the Commerce Department would create a master committee to determine which of the committees would be sent to vote on a particular bill. The first three committees would be assigned to each bill first, however, so if a bill came up in which all three of the primary committees were entitled to vote, the Commerce department would be allowed only one committee; they were allowed to form an ad-hoc mixed committee from among their many specialized committees if they chose to do so.


The conservative Police faction criticized the liberals on two fronts. First, they said that the liberal proposal was essentially identical to a two-party version of the ancient Gold parliamentary system which had proven many times over to lead to the emergence of tiny ruling elites, forever clinging to artificially high parliamentary vote shares, and often incentivized to further decrease their population each generation by having small families and expelling members perceived as disloyal.

Secondly, the conservatives believed that the liberals' insistence on requiring Parliamentary approval for each individual expulsion from either of the two enfranchised parties was impractical. They stated that crime was an ongoing problem, and therefore the Parliament would be tied down voting on expulsions every time they met, taking time away from the duties the Parliament had been originally set up for. And if the Parliament were to solve this problem by taking steps back towards a system where party expulsion was easy to process, the predicted tiny elites would quickly emerge.


Police opposition to the new plan was strong. The Police realized that the proposed system was more stable than their own, meaning that while the current system could evolve into the reformed system, the reformed system would be extremely unlikely to vote itself back into the original state.

Some Police supported a modified version of the new plan. They had long been fearful of the Police's tradition of manufactured crimes, knowing that even a loyal Police woman could lose her party membership and even citizenship simply for voting against the faction in power. They thus supported the reformists' plan to make it more difficult to expel members of a political party. But they knew that this point was tied to the wider plan, because if they were to adopt the new expulsion procedure and yet keep the Police's per-capita representation in place, rival factions of Police could simply adopt the peasantry into the Police party, leading quickly to a state in which the nation would consist entirely of Police.

Point-based opposition arguments

A new counterargument to the military proposal also appeared. It was that men were already in charge of military planning, even if not in Parliament, and that because men were required to protect the nation above all else, that was the only representation they deserved.

Even the moderate Police worried that the new proposal could lead to a bill that would arm civilians, and asked the reformists in what sense the nation could be run by the Police if both the Police and the peasantry were armed. They thus demanded a clause stating that any such bill be categorized so that it would call none of the four supplementary committees to vote, meaning that the Police would have a 60% vote share on such a bill, and thus the bill could not pass without substantial Police support.


The liberals' reform indeed passed as planned, with no compromise, as the conservatives realized that any compromise would be as unstable as the old system.

Guaranteed vote system

Almost immediately after the reform of Parliament passed, calls for a new reform began.

The new reformists wanted to grant young girls the right to vote, while still granting voting rights individually, meaning that children's votes would be untethered from their parents' and could in theory cancel out the votes of the entire adult population. Despite the low birthrate in recent years, children still outnumbered adults in the Play population; however, adult women narrowly outnumbered young girls because of the higher mortality rate among men (even in peacetime). The Players still did not, and legally could not, propose granting the vote to boys, as it would violate the Play party charter.

Tote box system

The reformists promised that all female citizens would have an equal number of chances to vote in parliamentary elections throughout their lifetime, regardless of how long they lived. At the age of five, Play girls would receive a vote bank from their teachers with five tokens, and each year, the teachers would add one more vote token into the bank. Under ordinary circumstances, they would not be able to use these tokens until they graduated school, typically around the age of thirteen. But the Play teachers would educate the girls on the political issues of the day, and the girls would tell the teachers how they intended to vote if their votes were needed in Parliament.

If a young Play girl were to die in childhood, her tote box would be opened, and her most recent vote would be sent to Parliament, where it would be counted 40 times. That is, the Players guaranteed all female citizens 40 chances to vote during their life, regardless of how long they lived. Most Play women, even aided by recent economic growth, did not reach the age of 53, and those who did most often had not expected to reach that age. Therefore, the reformists stated that nearly all Play citizens would have more votes than years in their life, and any Play woman could choose to vote more than once in a given year if they felt especially strongly about the issues that year. Any adults who died before using all 40 votes would likewise have their last vote multiplied by the remaining votes they had yet to earn. Adults also were given the ability to spend ahead, meaning that they could vote using tokens they had not received yet, but would forfeit their right to receive tokens in the succeeding years until the debt was paid.

The only other situation in which children would be allowed to vote while still attending school is if the Parliament found itself in an unforeseen situation in which no bills could be passed, as could happen if an exact tie were reached on more than one bill, such that one could not be tied to the other. The teachers stated that in such a case, the child population would be called in to rescue the adults from the mess they had made.

Anticipations of reforms

The reformists believed that most Play girls, upon graduating school around the age of 13, would choose to spend all thirteen of their earned tokens at once, making young school graduates by far the most disproportionately powerful age demographic in the Play nation. Though legally adults, the reformists expected they would vote as children would, and would be their nation's primary advocates for their child population. Those graduates who did not spend their tokens would continue to earn a new token every year, and therefore would become ever more powerful when they finally chose to vote; thus, they could form into generational waves even stronger than those of the child population. However the reformists expected that this would not happen and that most graduates would indeed spend their tokens around the age of 13.

Secondary effects

The Play reformists suggested that granting voting rights to young girls would help prevent child abuse, since any daughter being mistreated by their parents could threaten to vote against them, and if a son was being abused, a female sibling could threaten to intervene on his behalf. However, the reformists were wary of insulting the Police, who believed that they were doing a good job of preventing child abuse already. Therefore the reformists framed their plan as a good idea in and of itself, and not dependent on secondary benefits.

Objections to reformists

The conservatives pointed out a flaw in the proposed system: by allowing Players to spend tokens they had not earned yet, Play graduates could simply wait one year after they had graduated school and then spend all 40 tokens at the same time, even knowing that they would never be allowed to vote again. Then, because of the competition, more and more Play girls would do this, and within years the elections would be run by 13- and 14-year old girls who would crush the adults and potentially go on to enact radical reforms in the Play parliament; for example, the first cohort of graduates could abolish the tote box system that had bought them into power so that the next cohort of graduates could not vote them back out; even if this did not happen, the conservatives stated that almost all power in the Play nation would be held by young teenage girls and that adults would be effectively disenfranchised even if they were still the ones carrying out the laws.

Comparison to the Lilypads

The conservatives pointed to the Clover and Cook nations, which had simultaneously and for different reasons both come under the control of children about 13 years old, with some office-holders considerably younger than this. These nations soon signed a treaty of alliance with each other, seeing each other as the only reliable allies in a world otherwise ruled by adults, and came to call themselves Lilypads.

Within less than a year of taking power, the Cooks were invaded and overrun by adults from the various surrounding nations, including the Players, who in fact had been the most brutal of all the invaders. (The Play military leaders had struggled to explain this to their population even while it was happening, and had quickly retold the war as a Play rescue plan that had only fallen apart due to uncontrollable outside events.)

The Clovers, living further west, were never invaded by a conventional army, and spent most of their time sheltered by their adult bodyguards from the violence around them. Yet, by denying the Clovers any means of protection, the bodyguards were able to kidnap and slaughter the young Clovers themselves.

In both the Cook and Clover governments, boys in power had outnumbered girls, but even the strongly feminist Play theorists did not believe that an all-girl government would fare meaningfully better than the immediately disastrous Cook and Clover nations had.

The conservatives thus argued the proposed reform was even worse than the Matrixes' Rapala system which had been deliberately engineered to destroy Rapala's newly established democracy, because at least in Rapala, children could not vote repeatedly in the name of the adults they had not yet become.

Reformists reply

The reformists stated that the conservatives were correct that the Play nation could soon come under control of young children, but that any such reigns would be extremely short-lived, and that the inherent instability would provide a check on power. Children could overthrow a generation of abusive adults, but would in doing so spend all of their own voting power, and therefore the young generation would need to govern very honestly or else risk being overthrown by the next generation of children. The reformists argued that this was a strong incentive for rulers, of any age, to govern in the best interests of the people, and that what was really needed was a constitutional reform such that the tote box system could not be undone by future generations of young parliamentarians.


Even the hardline Players admired the insight of the reformists, but argued that the system could not be enacted, as the census was not detailed enough to ensure that people were not changing their names, and that tokens could be stolen from other Players just as any other handheld objects could. Therefore the reform was not enacted at the time.

Hedonist-Helper divide

Hedonists and Helpers

A new faction of liberals worked quickly to undo the naval war propaganda encouraging the male Play sailors to submit themselves as prostitutes to the invading Dreamer pirates. They wanted Play men to feel proud of their bodies, and that they were much better examples of men than were the Dreamers who believed that rape was natural and that nature was good.


The new faction embraced a transnational concept known as taŋafuna in Play, punu in Late Andanese, and sunuh in a trade language. They opposed sunah, the older movement, which can be translated into English as hedonism, or with longer phrases such as libertarian hedonism, individual hedonism, and so on.

The Play word taŋafuna has no easy translation into English. Because of its positive sound, the taŋafuna supporters can be called Helpers in English, even though this is not a particularly good semantic match for the Play word taŋa.

Hearing the rise of the new faction, the Play-speaking hedonists coined the name takafuna in response; although their movement was actually older, they did not have a common Play-language name early on. (The word "party" in the sense of festivity is a good translation but is here not used for the sake of avoiding confusion with political parties.)

Helper principles


The Helpers supported an idea called paubā in Play; this term is difficult to translate, but can be rendered in English as animalism or passionism because they claimed that they thought and talked like animals — that is, through instinct and emotion — and that this was a mindset that humans, being animals, could choose to accept or reject. They chose to accept the animal way of thinking rather than relying on objective, measured logic.

This was true to the founding Players' claim that they relied on their emotions instead of on opinions derived from scholastic education. But paubā was not the whole of Helper ideology, and indeed, not part of sunuh ideology outside Play culture. Therefore, they continued to refer to themselves as the taŋa, here translated Helpers.

They agreed in spirit with the recent Police decree that anyone seeing visibly crying be assumed honest, and that all others present should attend to their needs immediately. The Helpers extended this to all emotions, but also said that they did not believe in the principle of absolute dedication to soothing the cryer's emotions, saying that this was a Plume idea which had been tried and failed.

Opposition to enforced social decrees

But the Helper faction wanted much more. They stated that male homosexuality should be forbidden entirely, since men were submissive by nature, and yet all men were soldiers, who needed to be as aggressive as possible in order to fend off the Dreamers. They stated that this new law would be for the duration of the war, and that it would not lead to penalties for the victim in the case of rape.

In most nations, it was out of scope for the government to enact laws against consensual sexual activity. The attitudes of a society could give rise to strong social customs, but not to laws. But the Play police force could enter people's homes and arrest them even for consensual sexual activity, just as they could arrest people for expressing anti-Play opinions in gatherings that they had assumed were private. Their control extended to the military, and therefore they could also control soldiers' behavior. However, because the Police were not physically present within the all-male naval battalions, their control was indirect and relied on cooperation from the military commanders.

The Helpers also called for outlawing the Dreamer script, stating it was pornographic, and that children should be playing with blocks and not with obscenely-proportioned dolls. They made an association between propaganda and pornography, saying that they were both intended to unduly influence people's emotions, but also that there could be good uses of both. Thus, they did not seek to outlaw pornography, but only to outlaw pornography they felt encouraged behaviors that would harm the Play nation as a whole.

Hedonist reaction

The hedonists saw no means by which sexual activity among the soldiers would make them more likely to submit to the Dreamers, saying that if anything the opposite was true, since the soldiers would have their desires met among their own kind and would not betray their nation to submit to a foreign man. The hedonists applied their philosophy to other issues, and claimed that it was the natural evolution of the founding Players' ideals, as adults, too, could play.

There was at first no moderate position; even the hedonists knew that the soldiers were really free to act on their own will, since their commanders were allowed to set their own military strategy; thus a command to submit to the Dreamers really meant that the soldiers would have a free choice and could not be punished for either submission or refusal to submit. Some Helpers really wanted to remove only the instruction for soldiers to submit to the Dreamers, but figured that their best chance of a victory in Parliament was to take an extreme position and hope to compromise with the Hedonists.

Helper political strongholds

The Helpers had arisen from within the Comb party. Thus they were seeking to pass laws that they would have to obey, but mostly not enforce; that was the job of the police force, most of whom were also members of the Police party.

The Helper strongholds were at the naval port of Ŋapata Fatu and in the northern area of Vīyaa Temtūm (near but not the same as Vīyaa Fana). Many were teachers or women who worked with adult male soldiers, but very few worked in law enforcement.

Overlap with party identification

Recent reforms of the Play constitution had created parties based on occupation rather than ideology. Thus, there were no Helper or Hedonist parties. But the Helpers were nearly all Combs, because they wanted to force the police to arrest men for homosexual activity, and opposed the distribution of some types of pornography. Most Police did not want to do this, for various reasons, and therefore few Police joined the Helper movement. Likewise, since the Police were often wealthy, they were more likely to support žayaisa, though even among the Police, žayaisa believers were rare. Moreover, some Combs were also wealthy because they represented the business class.

Corporate finance

Through Moonshine diplomats, the Helpers learned that sunuh ideology was closely aligned with Dreamland's Teenprop corporation, which promoted subdued behavior among teenagers and young adults, and was opposed to the Dolphin Riders' consumption of alcohol and stimulants. But Teenprop still supported their nation's war against the Players, and therefore the Helpers had no interest in contacting Teenprop. Likewise, the Ghosts were also pro-sunuh and in fact were the source of the name. But Ghost ideology and sunuh ideology were not the same thing, because sunuh was transnational, and sunuh supporters could be Players and thus be against the Ghosts and the Ghost nation.

Debates on other social issues

Abortion and infanticide

The principle of žaipa taught that hardiness was gained by experience, and that people who lived in luxury would not be good soldiers, or even good workers, even if they were perfectly healthy. The žaipa position was a position of pride, held by people who called themselves pepipava, the class of people made tough by their tough daily lives. Žaipa was a word thousands of years old, which the Players had inherited.

The opponents of žaipa, sometimes called Habitats, believed instead in žayaisa, the belief that hardiness is created in the womb, and cannot be earned by experience. The žayaisa supporters were arguing for a society like that of the Plumes but did not seek to tie themselves to the failed and much-hated Plume movement, or to Dreamland, which had taken many ideas from the Plumes. The Habitats claimed to be continuing the ancient Habitat party's belief in the Ilhina habitat system, which a group in Dreamland was also doing. This was because they believed that since hardiness was inborn, and animals were in general more hardy than humans, their ideology seemed to suggest that animals should rule over humans, but the Habitats claimed now that they valued both intelligence and physical strength.

As above, it was out of reach for a government to enact laws forbidding abortion. Even the Players, rivaling the Moonshines for the world's strictest police force, could not bring their authority into the womb, either to force a woman to abort or to force her to give birth. The laws sought by the two sides of the debate thus dealt with the question of what to do when visibly disabled children were born.

The žaipa supporters quickly forced the žayaisa supporters to admit that they supported infanticide for disabled children along will the killing of the elderly and infirm, because the only alternative was to endorse the Plume philosophy in which all human lives were equal, which had led to murder trials for mothers whose children had died in early life, as well as those who had seen their elderly relatives die. Since the pepipava argument was over the ideology itself, it did not rely on tying the žayaisa movement to Dreamland, and thus the žayaisa supporters could not easily claim that their philosophy was a valid interpretation of Player ideology.

Connection with hedonism

This new debate had nothing to do with the contemporary debate between the Hedonists and Helpers; some Hedonists were pro-žaipa, and some were pro-žayaisa. It happened that the insurgent Helpers were mostly those on the establishment (žaipa) side of this new debate, and therefore the much stronger žaipa position helped gain support for the originally weak Helper movement.

Attitudes towards clothing

The Players continued to oppose fashion, and this they shared with most cultures around them, including hostile ones. The only people in Play territory who wore clothes for fashion at all were the recently assimilated Hamatap people, who had changed their allegiance several times, and even the Hamatap people were weaning themselves off of such cultural traditions as they became Players first and foremost.

Thus the primary divide was between the Habitats and their opponents. Indeed, the Play word žai by itself could be translated as "savage; animal" and both factions of Players considered themselves savages. The Habitats wanted clothing to serve a utilitarian purpose because žayaisa stressed the need for all people to be battle-ready ("relying on strength and intelligence only"), and that for children being battle-ready meant carrying supplies they might need for their own survival. Hence the Habitats wanted people to wear clothing with pockets for their basic supplies, even children in school. But the Police had outlawed civilians carrying weapons, and with this came the expectation that clothes would not have pockets in which knives could be hidden. Thus the more powerful žaipa supporters (with no convenient English name) supported nudism and the wearing of clothes without pockets.

The word for fashion accessories in general was mašaum, literally meaning thigh armor, because even those who wanted civilians to be protected from harm did not typically wear armor on their arms or legs.

The Play people were proud of their physically strong bodies. They claimed that they were immune both to sunburn and to cold, and therefore did not need protective clothes either in summer or in winter, as did the Dreamers, despite Dreamland's milder temperatures and higher latitude. Likewise they said that they did not need clothes to protect them from thorny plants either, as did the Dreamers, though in this case neither side knew that Play territory happened to have fewer plants with sharp thorns than did Dreamland.


The clothing debate was closely tied to the argument over sarabism (Play tīae), which dealt with the laws about who was allowed to carry weapons and of what type. The Play party constitution stated that during peacetime, the only people allowed to carry weapons outside their homes were adult female Police. The reasoning behind this was that men, despite being shorter than women, were aggressive by nature and must be made weaker to prevent attacks on Play women and children. During wartime, the all-male military was given weapons in the belief that they were reliably obedient to their commanders, and that if not, they would only be able to attack other Play men, rather than women or children.

But now some non-Police Play women wanted to arm the entire adult female population. They did not like the idea that men were allowed to carry weapons, while women, who Play culture considered more trustworthy, were not. They also argued that women should be armed in order to fortify the Play nation's defenses, should the men in the army fail to stop the simultaneous Ghost and Dreamer invasions.

Since carrying weapons necessitated wearing clothes capable of holding them, the new tīae supporters wanted the government to subsidize the Play textile industry and to produce women's clothes that were sturdy and capable of holding weapons. They also wanted men to change into pocketless clothes whenever they were in the company of civilians.

These people were mostly žayaisa supporters; though the Police were largely supportive of žayaisa themselves, they were still outnumbered by Combs among žayaisa supporters and therefore this new movement was led by the Combs. And yet, the Combs' own internal party charter did not allow their members to carry weapons, and so these new people realized that they were liable to be ruled out of both the Comb and Police parties, and would thus need to start their own and hope that they were not simply imprisoned by the orders of the Police.

The politics of underwear

The Play party had run out of clothes even before they went to war with Dreamland because they had declared that clothes were a luxury, and outlawed the creation of any clothes. Yet, rival parties demanded that the Players put on clothes whenever they left any Play-only territories. Later generations of Players compromised and agreed to wear the minimum allowable amount of clothing, which they called putaum, and which other nations considered underwear.

Because bodily decoration was also banned, the only means of expression the Players had was in their choice of what style and color of underwear to wear. As certain difficult colors came to be seen as status symbols, a faction of Players called for the return of nudity so that everyone would again appear the same on sight. These people tended to live in the warmest climates and in areas where nature presented relatively little danger to unprotected human skin; thus, they lived mostly along the south coast, where the economy was based on fishing, as fish was Memnumu's main source of food. The nudists did not create a specific Nudist faction of the Play party because they wanted their idea to appeal to all groups within their society and not tie nudism to a bundle of unrelated political issues such as economics. This meant that the nudists had political divisions of their own, but as they had been mostly of the lower class in Play society despite their access to the sea, they did not mount serious challenges to each other.

Even the nudists accepted the necessity of humans to wear blankets to protect themselves from cold weather, and (unlike the founding Players) admitted that babies should wear diapers to protect both themselves and their caretakers from disease.

Both the nudists and the clothed Players agreed that clothes were meant to be cheaply produced, and to have a rough texture similar to that used to make bags for carrying heavy items around. Thus attitudes towards clothing formed a spectrum rather than a two-way divide: some Players insisted that clothes were to be avoided at all costs, while most others believed that clothes should be plain and rough-textured, and only a small group, mostly of the upper class, believed that clothes could be used as a fashion statement.

Orange War economic reforms

Because the new war was global, the Players shut down all trade with foreign nations, and announced that foreigners who had permission to enter Play territory would need to trade their currency at an unfair rate, biased towards the Players by a factor of more than ten to one, because the Players had no reasonable expectation of being able to spend any foreign currency given to them.

Agreement with Moonshine

The Players had shut down all trade with foreign nations, even with Moonshine, their sole remaining ally, because they their only connection to Moonshine was through a river; the two landmasses were separated by hundreds of miles. Moreover this river was steep and much more difficult to ascend (that is, to move towards the Players), than to descend (towards the Moonshines). But because they were allies, the Moonshines provided the Players with basic essential goods that they could not get anywhere else, and promised that these would always be delivered free of charge, with no expectation that the Players would ever give anything back. The Moonshines believed that this deal was fair because the Police force that was now controlling the entire Play nation was firmly linked to Moonshine and could extract payments from the Players by other means if Moonshine's economy were to falter.

As a result of this, the Play economy was disconnected from the world economy, and the prices of goods not easily manufactured in Play territory rose dramatically, while prices of goods already in abundance fell as overseas buyers disappeared. The Play economists knew that this would drive down living standards, and that even if the Play nation remained fully self-sufficient (as they expected they would), the next generation would be much poorer than their parents and grandparents had been.

Census of 4286

The Play birthrate had declined immediately after the end of the war against Nama in 4268 to the lowest level ever recorded in the history of the Play nation. Yet population growth continued as the children of the wartime generation came of age and started families of their own, while the era of peace cut down on deaths from plague and directly from combat.

135,000 births were recorded in the year 4286, out of a population of 2.88 million, of whom 1.33 million were aged 13 or older. The Players now defined adulthood by graduation from school, which the census tracked separately from age. The fertility rate was only about 3.05, which was lower than in Baeba Swamp and even eastern states of Dreamland; the relatively high birth rate despite the low fertility rate was due to the adult population being skewed towards females even long after the end of the previous war.

The per capita GDP was estimated at Ξ7,166 per year, though the Players considered the measuring scale worthless now that their economy had been cut off from the world.

Play speakers invade Dreamland

This section describes events that happen very slowly, over hundreds of years, and thus were not single coordinated actions by the Play government. The Play government most likely collapsed at some point during this period.

By sea

Having repulsed the Dreamers, the Play government launched no counterinvasion of Dreamland, because they still needed to fight off the Ghosts and were on the watch for other potential invaders from the land to their north. Moreover the Players wanted to conquer outlying areas that had previously been part of Nama so they could link up with Moonshine.

Thus, when Play-speaking sailors appeared in Dreamland, they were illegally present, having fled Play territory to become pirates, fighting for themselves and not for the Play nation as a whole. This "waste" population was poorly equipped and not really an armed force. Thus it was embarrassing for the Dreamers when they realized they were losing the battle even so, losing a war against an enemy that had not even sent any soldiers their way. However, the progress of these Play-speaking pirates was extremely slow; they mostly resembled the pre-Dreamer aboriginal tribes who had lived in very simple conditions along the beaches, with no shelter from the weather and very little social organization.

Thus, the pirates abandoned the Play cash economy and the few advances that Play society had made in the past century, such as having children attend school. This return to a primitive lifestyle defeated the Dreamers, whose society relied on manufacturing and other "secondary" economic developments, and was thus unable to keep up with the quickly growing pirate society. These pirates called themselves the patuvīs, and they were loosely bound to each other because they were feminists and the Dreamers they found in their area were not. But because there were few women among the patuvīs pirates, they quickly married into the Dreamer families and lost their identity as Players.

First generations under patūīs rule

The resulting society was stratified by race, with the Play speakers at the top and the Dreamers at the bottom. The Play speakers had light skin and were short in stature, whereas the Dreamers were of variable skin color (having themselves arisen from a blend of many different tribes) but much taller than the Play speakers and, more importantly, had men who were taller than their women. This became the main social barrier between the two groups, rather than skin color or even height; this is exactly what had happened in previous societies such as Moonshine whereby a feminist group overtook a masculist group.

Because the genes for a tall-female body type were carried by Play men and women alike, the Play speakers did not need their own women to come with them to pass down the trait. However, it meant that half of the male children of the mixed marriages did not inherit the crucial gene, and therefore were rejected by their own parents and forced to the bottom of society. This trait was not discoverable at birth, however, so the parents raised such children as their own and their move to the bottom of society only happened at puberty when the people around them realized that they were growing faster than societal norms would allow. These men thus joined the Dreamers, meaning that the Dreamer population was more than 50% male and thus could not reproduce efficiently, and therefore the Play speakers grew at their expense. This, too, had happened before, and largely explained why the Moonshines and other feminist societies had so quickly outgrown the societies that they had overcome.


The Play language continued to dominate the Dreamer languages as the populations blended together, both because the Play speakers handed down power through their family lineages and because the Play language was spoken worldwide now whereas the Dreamer languages of this area were not spoken even throughout all of Dreamland. But the pirates' societies were largely isolated, and without schools. Therefore they did not teach the Cupbearer dialect of Play and a new pirates' dialect emerged. There was only one pirate dialect because, despite their mostly disorganized societies, they were constantly on the move at sea and therefore kept in contact with each other. This was like Moonshine. The pirates' dialect of Play took on some of the Dreamer languages' traits, such as a much simpler grammar and a more even balance of consonants (because the languages most spoken here were the western Dreamer languages, not eastern ones like DPR and Baywatch that sounded much like Play).

The pirates lost the elaborate tile and toy block scripts of the Play nation, but maintained their knowledge of the Play syllabary, which was also elaborate but much easier to learn. This drove out the inefficient Dreamer scripts, which had long been unpopular even among their native peoples.

By land

Play speakers also invaded Dreamland over land, from east to west. These people were likely descendants of the Cupbearers, meaning they had no common interest with the Play pirates invading by sea, but also did not see themselves as enemies of the pirates. The Cupbearers were pacifists. Those who moved west were less peaceful than the rest, because they had been fleeing their masters in Baeba Swamp, but even so the descendants of the Cupbearers pushed out the Dreamers largely by peaceful means: they had a higher birthrate than the Dreamers and were more tolerant of living in poor natural environments, so they occupied inhospitable areas through which Dreamers needed to cross just to communicate with other Dreamers.

The Cupbearer migration began first, but was even slower than the pirates' migration, and so the pirates ended up with most of the coastlands, and the Cupbearers were forced inland to the most barren lands, where the few Dreamers who had refused to surrender now also lived.

Third group

A third group closely related to the Cupbearers also pushed westward from the north. These people were part of "Fayuvas", a stratified society, and were not fully in control of their own movements, as their upper class spoke Leaper, not Play, and pursued an independent foreign policy.

Scattered figures and events

These events are not in order and some may occur before the 4268 treaty.


Licele may be identical with the Ghost party.[9] However, its appeal was transnational, and included people who had converted directly from the Play party and were not coerced; however, it is not made clear whether they were converts living in Memnumu or if they had moved.

Licele was not anti-Play, but rather anti-imepo. But licele supporters were known for their belief in hard work nonetheless, and in such a way that even the hypocrites in the Play party who excused child labor would not have been able to claim alliance to both Licele and Play.

The licele supporters are the same as the "people of the night" who depicted themselves as carrying lanterns to illuminate the dark world around them. Note that this name is extracanonical, however, as it relies on the pseudo-Latin "pali mali" becoming PM and then referring to the night; this pun uses Earth languages and therefore cannot exist.


By this time, the so-called Pissie party exists; this party name was a pun just like the many names that had preceded it, but it was a derisive pun coined by outsiders rather than a name celebrated by the founders. The Pissie philosophy was a replacement for a movement called licele, which itself was only a few decades old at most (unless it is considered to be identical with Pupasupa). The Pissies were probably mostly converts from the Ghosts, who spoke Leaper and later turned the "pissie" insult towards their enemies, even though those enemies were not the ones who had coined the original insult.

The intended meaning of the name of the party that came to be called Pissies is lost to time. It may have been no more than a happenstance placename where the Pissies first became powerful. A newly generated name for their original homeland could be such as Leaper Larakʷil, ending in -xil "bay, inlet" and therefore a typical Leaper placename. But the offending "piss" morpheme would need to be added artificially, since such a placename as Piss Bay would never exist in the Leaper language internally, nor retained from an aboriginal language. It may be that a Play toponym was used, but even so the argument is weak for assuming that the Ghosts would choose a placename that was obscene in their own language even if it was originally a foreign word.

The Grand Unified Dictionary lists licele and pupasupa as being the same entity, but even this still does not mean that they were identical with the Ghosts, because the original pupasupa was an ephemeral pun and could have fallen away and been revived later as a freestanding party name. The so-called Pissies would then have arisen from within licele/pupasupa.

It is likely that the Pissies begin calling themselves the Work party once their war with the Players consumes their attention. In the original writeup, because the trade language word for work was pēd- (cognate to pad- "play"), the names Pedom and (incorrectly) Pedopom thus existed, and it was said that the Pissies had traded a bad name for a considerably worse one. However, this relies on Earth languages, and no such pun is possible in Play or any other language spoken on planet Teppala.

It is not clear if the old-guard Licele supporters fought against the rise of the Pissies, or if they all agreed the new Pissie party was superior. This could explain the lack of resistance to the name, since it would mean that the party internally did not need to change its name from Licele/Pupasupa at all.


A female military leader named Sleep exists in this era, but true to her name, she neither protects her people nor launches any attacks on her enemies. It may be that Sleep is not a person's name, but rather a position in the government, and that the original Sleeper did in fact lead her people to victory. It could even be that the original Sleeper was the female military leader who led the Thunderers to their last stand around the year 3958, and that the Ghosts were claiming to be followers of the Sleepers because they claimed the rights to Thunder territory and to one of the historical Thunder parties. It is not clear whether Death Domme is the same person as Sleep.

Sleep is described as helping run AlphaLeap. She launched a war against the 40 Thieves, who had fled from Nama to Xema. The Players sided with the Ghosts, meaning that this was either before the Ghost-Play war (which was very long) or after it. If afterwards, this event must take place in the 4300s at the earliest. (Indeed it is listed as being in the 4550s, but this was originally from a different timeline, and it also shows the war against Naxum being in the 4550s.)

Sleep also supported imepo at one point, though it may not be that all instances of Sleep are the same person. The Crystals (probably identical with the Ghosts) supported Sleep despite knowing she was pro-imepo, and also opposed Šasuasa, although this may also be a different person named after the original. There was also a boy named Hamalebadanota who was placed into power at the age of three and may have been an orphan. The Crystals are described as claiming that queen Šasuasa, who took power as a young girl, was usurping the position intended for Hamalebadanota.


There was a female military leader named Naxum who believed in a philosophy called Naxun. These names are in "Laban" and in particular the same language that the Play military leader Šasuasa spoke, but they may have both been exonyms. Naxun was simply the word for human, and therefore is very distantly cognate to the various words with /nʷ/ appearing in the mainland languages.

It is stated that the Pissies, the Players, and Naxum were the three dominant military powers worldwide, with the Pissies and Players being enemies (because by this time, Players had won control of much of Nama), while Naxum was a utilitarian leader ruling from the distance who had hoped to snatch territory indiscriminately from both sides of the war. The Pissie army soon routed the Players, which neither side had expected, and therefore turned to face Naxum head-on, which she had not expected. The Pissie/Naxum war destroyed much of both armies, and animals filled the power vacuum once more.

The Sibyls were people who had fled away from the fields of battles before those battles had begun, thereby surviving in refuges that none of the three major armies had bothered to claim. The Sibyls were not a party and did not seek to form a party or even a nation of their own; they mostly lived as nomads.

It may be that the Cosmopolitan Age only truly begins once the Pissies, the Players, and Naxum are all defeated, leaving only the Sibyls. This may not have applied to Laba. Nonetheless, at least the padopom writeup claims that the Play party survived intact, even though they had been the first major power to be defeated. If so, they likely survived in their original homelands, not in Nama, since the Pissies had been fighting a traditional land war, meaning that they had to march through Nama before they could march through the Play homeland of Memnumu.


A male military leader named Rainman supported the Ghosts, but then switched to the "imepo" side of the war (not specifically identified with the Play party, which was only ever called padom or (incorrectly) padopom), and then married and abused a woman named Allay, while she tried to convert him to the licele movement, which may have been the same as the Ghosts. He created the Ocean Army because he identified imepo with water and the sea, but she was upset so he dissolved the Ocean Army. It is not clear if the Ocean Army was a naval force or an ordinary land army with a naval motif. All of the events involving Rainman happened BEFORE the Ghosts declared war against the Play party.


The rise of the Teenprop corporation overlapped many of these events. Reino was one army who was involved in this.

Nama invites Players

Nama invited the Players to move to Nama in (according to REINO) the 4400s, and did not demand that they switch parties. Howewer, this project was pro-imepo, so it is likely that by this time Nama was pro-imepo.


Remember that the Slopes still reigned. They had absorbed some of the Dolphin Riders and formed ties with the Gold party.


STW may have surged back into power. POM, originally a derisive byname, is used here for this post-canonical STW corporation. They were not the same as Teenprop. POM did not employ children either, and this was not because of new laws against child labor, but because they honestly believed it was inefficient. Again, though, it is possible that this corporation is not the successor of STW but merely one that took on a similar role.

This corporation could be called Limix, if its Leaper name was Limĭxʷ and stands alone rather than having a morpheme meaning corporation (e.g. proto-Moonshine lapamàtu would likely be used in Leaper as well, if only with /h/ instead of /p/). It is likely that the corporation was little more than a front for a political party, meaning that a new political party would be created for it, since the Ghosts did not all support Limix.

Restoration of democracy

In the year "4358" (in a different timeline), the Ghosts dissolve their military dictatorship and convert to a traditional democracy.

Hedonism and Hebetude

The hedonism debate, though mostly centered in the northwestern area of the continent, may have pulled in opinions from the Players. The two sides can be called "hedonist" and "hebetude" in English since they both began with the same letter in most of the languages of their supporters as well.

This mostly involved the northwestern area of the continent, but it may have pulled in responses from the Players, and the Players may have been on both sides of it. This is not the same as the imepo/anti-imepo debate, nor is it the same as the play/work debate. All eight combination of play~imepo~hedonism + work~anti-imepo~hebetude are possible without contradiction.

Other information

The early Creamers (and possibly the founders) were racially exclusionary, allowing only Lenian people to join their movement. Thus, they were united by their tribe and not by their political ideology. This was also true of most enemy parties within their territory, and it could be said that Creamland never embraced true political debate and simply remained tribalistic as it had been for thousands of years. Even so, their relations with the outside world depended on all of the tribes working together in their common interests.

Indeed, Creamland's government was remarkably stable despite the violence raging within its borders, and Creamland was one of only three powers which could believably claim to have survived the great war that introduced the Cosmopolitan Age. The situation may have been similar in Tarwas, which had long been a centralized state led by a single tribe but with many smaller tribes living within and throughout it.

The Play party at its peak had tied food distribution to childbirth, such that all childless women and all men were entirely cut off from the food supply, and had to find their own food. The Play empire collapsed quickly, but they were merely building on a long-established cultural tradition in their area, in which children worked farm labor instead of attending school, and the most powerful women were those who had large families. As living standards declined, it became more difficult for women to have such large families as they had had during the Play era and the centuries leading up to it, but the government remained in place, and could have even continued to deny access to food to childless couples and to single men.

Politically, the Creamers were isolationists, refusing to help their ideological partner, Dreamland, against the more powerful armies in Baeba Swamp. Neither did Dreamland participate in the politics of Creamland.

Creamland remained a child-focused culture as the birthrate declined. Many cities were likely already built in the Creamer style, in which houses for families were built facing each other, and had a nursery in the center where small children could play. School was not important; children split their time between the playgrounds and the farms. Nevertheless, the people were well-fed because men were no longer required to serve in the military, and children were no longer forced into jobs they were physically incapable of.

The Andanese people did not survive as a cohesive social group anywhere inside Creamer territory. Thus, the Andanese languages died out, with Late Andanese surviving as a ceremonial language, and the Cream languages likely took in fewer Andanese loans than some other branches. Note, though, that the Andanese people living eastward of Paba fared better than those living within Paba, who had been directly in the line of attack many times over with no allies at their side. They would still have been mostly trapped inland, as the Andanese people were so small they had difficulty rowing boats, and their society suffered any time food production shifted to the sea.


  1. Note: this needs to be lower to account for the wars of the 4140s, both in terms of deaths and those who fled. Note that Swamp_Kids#Crystals_regain_power claims the population fell all the way to 150,000 by around 4150.
  2. It could be that ŋāka was the name of a non-weaponous object that supporters were allowed to carry in lieu of a sword.Note that the unrelated word ŋaap "statue; obedient" would evolve to the same B-stem in Poswa, regardless of whether the original word was ŋāa or ŋāka.
  3. It is possible that the ŋāka vs tīae split existed within the Comb faction, anyway, though the tīae supporters would have been stuffed by the others.
  4. not written in Players yet
  5. Although gay marriage was legal it was uncommon for a woman to not also be married to a man.
  6. This needs to be before the Ghost/Dream coalition invaded. But it does not need to coincide with the end of the Players' invasion of Nama, as the other empires cared little about Nama and would have willingly carried on trade during the war.
  7. unless they created a new currency
  8. This number was added on the assumption that the lower class of disenfranchised people was negligible, but this is probably not true, and so it should be lower. The ratio of Combs to Police is probably still lower than 5:1 or around that much.