Let’s get to know more about the setting of my upcoming novel, A Bridge To The Quiet Planet. It’s out late this fall but you can find out about the world now . . .
If the War that scarred Telvaren is remembered as a hideous occurrence, enshrined in history and dramas, The Reformation is viewed proudly – and at times with whimsy. Comedies set during the Reformation are not uncommon.
The Reformation is the name given to the period of time where humanity reassembled itself and civilization on Telvaren and outreach was made to the other worlds. All dates are now reckoned from the start, and thus time is often done as AR (After Reformation) and BR (before reformation).
The Reformation was a seemingly near-endless series of meetings, councils, and committees that solidified the new laws and social policies that would govern the recovering world. Humankind and the gods both took part in the proceedings over the decades.
This was an era of comparative peace, but military conflicts between the remaining smaller nations, regions fallen into chaos, and even Great Cities was not unknown. The Reformation is officially reckoned to have lasted some fifty years, though the major work was accomplished in the first decade – but smaller conflicts over land and military bases and territioes occured for over a century.
War had been shrunk down to a managable, intermittent thing, mostly when City Guard units faced off over some piece of land that people assumed were important, but couldn’t prove why.
The major achievements of the Reformation were, in very rough chronological order.
- Establishment of a planetary government (well most of the planet – the Unaffiliated Territories weren’t invited) run by an elected Parliament, represented by population for the most part, and a Prime Minister and a set of specialist Ministers elected within the Parliament.
- Establishing the divisions among the armed forces and peacekeepers. Constables operated within cities and were armed only if needed. City Guard operated within the City Provinces and were armed as well as working on civic works. The Military operated outside the Provinces and on any cross-Province activities – in time this also came to claim most of the Ocean and airspace.
- Recognition of the importance of the Network and making the technical organization known as the Technmoni the keepers of The Network. Led to the establishment of the Third Network.
- Recognition of the Bridgers and their role in establishing and maintaining the Bridges.
- Codification of universal laws shared by all Great Cities (though agreement took decades longer)
- Moving the Parliament of the Great Cities to Allanax, a former capital of the most powerful nation of the West. Arguably Parliament moved to a city just outside of Allanax, but that didn’t work out considering the living conditions. There was also an attempt to establish it on the Moon, but no one wanted the commute.
- Adsorption of assorted Knightly groups, warrior cults, and monster-hunting organizations into the Military.
- Recognition of major Guilds, unions, and other professional organizations (which also helped lend the new Government credibility).
- Establishing a more organized set of laws and policies for interaction between humans and gods – this also resulted in the recognition of Triad True as the major center of theological activity. Encouraging Warrior cults and groups not interested in becoming part of the Military to form organized Warrior Lodges and to engage in public service. It is apparent, if ignored by many, that the goal was to make them more into sports teams than military groups – and it seems to have succeeded, especially with the product endorsements rolled in. However it took about fifty or more years.
Within a lifetime, the world saw peace, or if not peace, at least a place where conflict was highly localized so you could call it peace if you squinted. As of moder times, in the era of roughly 250 AR, war is unknown and conflict among Cities is mostly sniping, economic, and competitive.
The reformation’s exact end is not unknown, but is assumed to be between 48 AR and 53 AR. Most people round off at 50 AR and are done with it. History records that it didn’t even get a name for a good fifteen years, and was only named after someone realized there was an ongoing process and filed a petition to name it. Even then the term didn’t on for for another three years.
Because it is so well regarded – and because there were incredible amounts of debate, arguing, negotiation, and strange goings-on – The Reformation is oftern portrayed in a humorous light in popular culture. Several notable comedies are set during the time, and almost always focus on jokes about elaborate argumentation, characters wittily putting each other down civilly, comedies of manners, and bureaucracy. “Reformation-style” comedy refers is sometimes used to refer to humor of this nature generally.
The end of the Reformation is celebrated with the Unity Festival, though for over 200 years the festival’s exact activities and date keep changing because no one quite agreed on what it should be. Fortunately, people still argue about it peaceably – which may be the best way to celebrate the rebuilding of the world.