In 1975, the last king of Oceana was crowned. In a current of political fervour, his claim to the throne was far from secure; he was merely a cousin of the young Ambortius III and even then, questions were asked about his legitimacy and heritage. However, Tiervan rallied support of existing nobles and many senior officials in his predecessor’s court and the armed forces. Thus the 23rd of June that year saw not only his coronation, but also the last ever in the nation. Part of History of Oceana
Until the mid-eighties, Tiervan ruled much as his predecessors had done for hundreds of years – he controlled the press, army, government body, society and almost every other aspect of Oceana life. His secret police, known now as the “Pernostia”, terrorised the people with little regard for civil liberties. Opinions were forbidden, conversation was closely guarded and any attempt to bring about reform was brutally cut down.
In this way, Oceana had its very own “Bloody Sunday” on Sunday 26th January 1986. Nearly 5000 men, women and children were gathered for a peaceful rally on the streets of Glaschu. Their aim was to combat the nation’s food shortage by allowing more foreign trade with select nations. Tiervan reeled at the presumptive attitude of the group whom he perceived as challenging his authority. Troops and Pernostia agents were deployed and the rally swiftly turned into a slaughter with nearly one thousand people being killed outright, a further nine hundred severely injured and the leaders captured for the purpose of public execution. Such atrocities had not been witnessed since the reign of King Caseareo IV and they were immediately considered a great national tragedy.
The Emergence of the UndergroundEdit
“Bloody Sunday” was the first in a growing struggle between king and people. The “Great Nation” of the East was collapsing, with its people rising against their oppressive leaders and liberating themselves in an attempt at independence and freedom. By 1991, this nation had truly fallen with the re-unification of Teutonia and political ideas and tracts were reaching the ears of the unsettled Oceanan people. In an attempt to quell the rising surge of discontent, Tiervan conceded and loosened his stranglehold on the press and general media. Over a dozen media organisations took root over the next few years including four new television stations and several newspapers. It was in this time that the controversial and influenial Oceana Beacon was founded.
Meanwhile, an underground movement began to emerge with the aim of forcing the King to rescind more of his powers and allow the creation of a parliament of the people. The group, now known as the “Old Republicans” remained under the Pernostia radar and grew rapidly from c.1993, with its membership at least doubling. Precise numbers and members are as of yet unknown – the documents were kept very secret and have not been released for public viewing – but rough estimates suggest the number of active members ranged from ten to fifteen percent of the population, while further untold thousands may have been involved at lower levels. As the situation became ever more volatile and Tiervan’s actions increasingly brutal, divisions at every level of society rose from the silent murmurs into widespread confrontations. However, those loyal to the monarchy, though now in the minority, were still in a position of power and retained control and order.
Decline and ResurgenceEdit
In such a way tensions were held in a volatile balance for several years. Indeed, the movement all but collapsed for a period due to a boost in national unity in the face of global terrorism after severe attacks on foreign nations in 2001 and similar attempts in Oceana in 2002. The King’s court was able to implement martial laws and use the secret police without opposition, as the people cried for more protection and security against the perceived foreign threat.
As a result, the crown was able to utilise its renewed power to rescind the free press and dismantle all the progress which had been made. One by one, the new media bodies were shut down for supposed links to “unethical” and “undesirable” groups or for incitement to violence. The Oceana Beacon and The Islander newspapers, in light of the developments, both went underground, with the Beacon swiftly rising to prominence within the republican movement. Only two private papers remained (the Journal of Oceana and New Life) though their content was strictly regulated. This reversion to the state-run media of the past was, of course, accepted by most as crucial for national security. The silencing of the new press was to become a lynch-pin in the revolution and fuel to the fires of the underground, but for now the voice of the people had been silenced.
The leaders of the “Old Republicans” were not, of course, very receptive to this new, legitimised, reduction of civil freedoms and continued to work towards the reform of the state. Within the group itself, though, tension was growing, as a group of more radical members began to call for a complete deposition of the Monarchy by any means possible. One source tells of “the arguments and disagreements of the leadership could be felt by all of us. We each, of course, had our own opinions on the matter, but god forbid us to try and get involved. The official line was that we merely wanted reform. But that wasn’t enough. Many of us began to sympathise with what had been termed the movement’s ‘radical’ wing. The seeds of change had been planted, and the winds of the nation were carrying the dream even further. The vision was branded in our minds, and somehow we couldn’t let go.”
Certain factions of the armed forces, too, were beginning to question orders at home and abroad. Something was happening, and no one at the time could understand it. Slowly but surely, even those who had been loyal were beginning to wonder where their allegiance lay, and what needed to be done.
A Revolutionary HorizonEdit
It was with the recession and economic crisis which began in 2008 that the floodgates finally burst. It was clear that the King had been mismanaging the economy to such an extent that, even in comparison to the food and job shortages of the Eighties, the state was crumbling. By 2009 over half the population was unemployed and starving, while those at the top end of society sat back and waited for it all to blow over. Rioting became common place. Membership of the radical movement, now known as the “New Republican Order” increased ten-fold. The King's retinue became ever more brutal in an attempt to suppress the tide of opposition, but before long, the monarchy had lost control. Riots continued on the streets, posters, books etc symbolising the oppression of the people were burned in front of the palace. Within the army, minor skirmishes decided the allegiance of the forces as those New Republicans took matters into their own hands. It was no longer a question of “if” the Monarchy would fall, but one of “when”.
The Second Civil WarEdit
July 2010 marks the beginning of the second “Oceanan Civil War”. Fighting on the streets and political action by the new leaders – Andrew Foster and Jani Helle – pushed the royal forces back and dismantled the King’s power bit by bit. Many lives were lost due bombings and assassinations by both sides, along with the actual fighting, but the tide was firmly in Republican favour. Those still loyal to Tiervan were eventually forced to retreat to the palace grounds, and what followed was a long siege beginning in September 2010. After several months, it was all but certain that the rebels had been successful and thus a new order established. With this in mind, the palace was stormed on December 24th at 1300 hours. Orders were that: those who opposed were to be killed on sight, while those who came quietly were to be granted free trial and promise of life imprisonment or exile. Only one man was killed – by his own bullet to the head. The rest were captured and await trial.
It is not known how, but Tiervan managed to escape and his whereabouts are unknown - some believe he has disappeared into the Marpesean mountains, others think abroad, others think he may have died either from starvation or foul play and was hidden in the castle. The search continues to this day, but it is believed by many that he will never be found.
Whatever happened to him, his reign was over. The revolution leaders Foster and Helle then began work towards the restoration and reformation of the state. Six delegates from the four states of Oceana came together to work on a constitution and the creation of a new and stable Nation. Jani Helle and Nora Piisku from Oceana, Andrew Foster and Ciara McAvoy from Marpesia, Euan Loarrige from Cynopea and Alec Brasier from Panopea became the Transitional Council of the fledgling republic in May 2011. These delegates worked together to create a political system drawn from all democratic states of the world, a free and fair society for all and a nation which could proudly bear the name The Republic of Oceana.