Lego States, or more formally the Democratic Republic of Lego States, is a ficitional constitutional federal republic comprising ten states and a federal district. It was conceived in 2008 by a group of AFOLs and TFOLs led by one of the former, Robin Chang, an undergraduate engineering student, for the Alpha Company subcommunity as well as for The Prometheus Saga alt-reality timeline; prior to this, several related ideas had only previously existed as a set of handwritten notes.
The country lies between the Bering Sea and the Hawaiian Islands, occupying the latitudes of 30° to 50° with a land area roughly equal to that of Kazakhstan, with the independent city-state of Tabletown sharing a common border beyond the forests in the North of the continent, and the separate island of the Principality of Legington just north of Tabletown itself in turn.
Prior to the founding of Lego States, the collective territory of all three aforementioned nations had previously been under the rule of the Empire of Terramaria; owing to a long period of disturbances of the Earth's magnetic field for many centuries, Terramaria had little or no contact with the ouside world. The magnetic anormalities had also caused the persistent storms in the region that lasted until 1983. During this time, survivors of many shipping vessels capsized in these storms were washed ashore and contributed to the present population.
After the overthrowing of the Terramarian regime in late 2007, the former resistance leader, Edward D. Simmons, rechristend the nation Lego States, and granted both the city-state of Tabletown and the Principality of Legington their independence.
As of 2010, Lego States is one of the four superpowers of the world, alongside Russia, the United States as well as the newly-democratic China.
Robin Chang first conceived an early version of this nation in late 2003, as part of the backstory for the first unsuccessful attempt at a CGI brickfilm based on the Team Liberator miniseries. Although the nation was not explicitly mentioned in the proposed brickfilm, it was evident that it would play a key role in it later on.
Throughout 2004 to 2007, Robin continued to maintain the concept in his spare time, studying the American political system and military science, among other things. He kept his findings and notes on possible adoption in several notebooks and pad paper, to the point where he had filled several file folders. High school colleagues were convinced that he was merely using LEGO as a medium for portraying a serious fan-created nation, and provided him with key ideas.
Having been a member of the BrickArms Forums, Robin, under the handle GreenLead, got in touch with fellow users kaboom4 and sarge as well as obxcrew, a moderator; the trio had been interested in forming Alpha Company, an minifig military unit armed with the custom element vendor's minifig-scale weapon accessories. Sensing an opportunity to pitch his ideas, he immediately offered to write up a brief backstory tying Alpha Company to Lego States and Team Liberator as part of one coherent universe.
Over the next few months and to this day, these first four members, along with many other contributors on the forums have helped develop the social, political, cultural and military backdrop for both subprojects.
Conception by the creator
The name is derived from the brand name of the Danish building-block manufacturer LEGO, with "States" appended to the end. This suggests that in some ways, it was intended to be modelled after the real-life United States.
Shortly after the Seven-Year Revolution that liberated the country from the Terramarian regime, then-resistance leader Edward D. Simmons was approached by an impoverished child whose family, like many others, suffered much hardship under the former regime. Out of sympathy, Simmons bought the boy a LEGO set from a nearby toy store struggling to resume its operations after the revolution.
Shortly afterwards, one of his aides, the future Defense Secretary Eugene Johnson, noted to Simmons how the now-liberated citizen desired to sever all ties with the old Terramarian regime, implying that they may have also wanted to abandon the name of Terramaria. On a whim and with the philantrophic LEGO set purchase just before still lingering in his mind, Simmons concocted the name "Lego States"; his suggestion was initally met with ridicule and disbelief, but seeing as no other person at the time had a better suggestion, the name stuck.
The landmass making up Lego States and its immediate neighbours is located in the Pacific Ocean, just under the Bering Sea and above the Hawaiian Islands; land area is almost evenly distributed between the latitudes of 30° to 50°. To the northeast are the woodlands of the Northern Frontier, beyond which the country shares a common border with its ally Tabletown. Further northeast is the seperate island nation of the Principality of Legington.
The northern half of Lego States experiences warm summers and snowy winters similar to that of Oregon, USA. It is here that the captial Blockington and major cities such as Port Fairmark are situated for their generally moderate climate.
A small part of central Lego States, especially the state of Carson, is covered in arid desert with conditions not unlike Death Valley, CA. Its name, the Darkfire Desert, is in reference to the subterrainian deposits of methane burning continuously in the caverns.
The rest of the states experience more temperate conditions suitable for general agriculture and urban population centres; this has made settlement by a variety of different cultures quite popular, as in many cases, they resemble their original counterparts elsewhere in the world.
To the northwest is the St George’s Island; until recently, it has been under the control of several small pirate factions and local villages.
The continent is dotted with various peaks, most of which are gathered in the northern Cassegrain Ranges just below the Northern Frontier Forests; at 2,371 metres, Mt. Lansdeer is the highest in the states. Volcanic activity has been quite recent, the last one in late 2007, which had contributed to removing the magnetic field anomaly that had previous cloaked the continent from detection by both human and technological means.
Extreme weather is quite rare on the continent, although throughout the centuries hurriances, tornadoes and major hailstorms have dotted the history of the nation.
A generous variety of flora and fauna can be found in Lego States; current estimates claim 15,000 identified native plants and animals, and 52,000 insect species have also been documented. As conservation and environmentalism has been important to both Lego States and its predecessor, the Empire of Terramaria, many species thought to have been extinct outside the continent have now been discovered to be thriving in stable numbers throughout the country.
At present there are fourty-two national parks and hundreds of federal and state managed reserves. With the present government's efforts towards sustainability and conservation of resources and the enviroment, this number is highly likely to double in the course of the next two decades.
Early Formation of Continent and Meteorological Effects
Around 65 million years ago, the end of the Cretaceous Period and the extinction of the dinosaurs was bought about by the Chicxulub impact event, whereby an asteroid at least 10km in diameter struck what is now the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Amidst the destruction that followed, smaller fragments of the asteroid struck the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, just under the Asian-Alaskan land bridge region, and instigated a series of volcanic eruptions in the sea floor. A sizable new landmass was formed, increasing in size with each successive eruption.
In the meantime, in the drastic period of climate change subsequent to the main impact, the formation of the new landmass, coupled with the unusually high iron content of the asteroid fragments, served to impart significant disruptions in the Earth's magnetic field. By the time the planet had recovered from the impact, these magnetic anomalies persisted, causing a ring of violent storms to perpetually encircle the landmass, isolating it from the rest of the world.
The First Settlers - Kaganesti Native Americans
The indigenous people of mainland Lego States, the Kaganesti, first migrated to the continent and the surrounding islands around 30,000 years ago from what is now North America, following a crushing defeat in a year-long war against the rival Fithian tribe, noted for their savagery in battle comparable to that of Genghis Khan and the Mongols. According to ancient tribal records, no more than 600 surviving Kaganesti made their exodus in giant seagoing outrigger canoes called Walaps. With a nominal length of 100 feet, Walaps had the capacity to hold 25 grown adults plus supplies and provisions for several weeks, and employed the ingenious use of crab-claw sails similar in design to that used by Pacific Islanders of the time.
A highly spiritual people, the Kaganesti relied heavily on the wisdom of their Dreamseekers (spiritual guides), whom had prophesied to the survivors of their people that their salvation awaited for them to the west of their homeland in the present-day coasts of California. However, as noted in tribal records and numerous legends, the Dreamseekers failed to predict the coming of "The Great Storm" - the violent weather near the isolated landmass formed in the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Eventually washed ashore, the Kaganesti settled in what is now Bright Cove, a strategic choice given that the natural harbour served to shield the settlement from the distant storms as well as any (hypothetical) attacks originating from inland.
Over the next couple of thousand years, the Kaganesti would enjoy long periods of unrestrained growth and prosperity, in part owing to the natural environment that offered many edible and otherwise beneficial flora and fauna, as well as the indigenous peoples' own ingenuity. The Kaganesti perfected maritime navigation and circumnavigated the continent, thoroughly exploring its natural wonders and identifying useful resources. They also reestablished their Warrior Societies, analogous to tribes, and established more settlements. Meanwhile, word would eventually reach them from splinter indigenous groups joining them that the Fithians' nature for conquest ultimately became their undoing, as infighting between Fithian elders and tribal leaders tore their civilisation apart.
However, the continued growth became too difficult for the Kaganesti tribal elders to manage, and many new Warrior societies began to migrate and settle further inward of the continent, encountering a vast variety of natural resources throughout their journey. Recent research has indicated that the folklore describing the trek into the desert by the legendary Dreamseeker T'Kot was actually an amazingly accurate account of a factual expedition in the 1100's. Legend has it that T'Kot, inspired by a vision that occured to him in a dream to investigate the "Terrible Desert", persuaded tribal elders to allow him to lead a band of Kaganesti on this expedition, despite the prevalent attitude by the Kaganesti that only peace and prosperity were to be found since their arrival.
Challenging the deadly heat of the contemporary Darkfire Desert, T'Kot's party led a semi-nomadic lifestyle in the future Bozemann Canyon, blazing a long route around the Desert, the Long Trail, as well as organising frequent trading missions back to Bright Cove. And whereas most of the Warrior Societies encouraged the refinement of culture and the arts, T'Kot's followers, the True Bloods, held onto their heritages as honorable warriors.
Early European Contact and the Founding of Terramaria
Unable to reach the outside world due to the storms that lay beyond their continent, the Kaganesti eventually came into contact with Europeans in the 1400's, when lost sailing ships floundered near the coasts and the survivors washed ashore. In much fewer numbers and even less resources than the Kaganesti, the Europeans lacked the inclination to attempt to patronise or exploit these people, and over time, many developed a strong respect for the resourceful and honest Kaganesti. By the 1600's, the demographics of the inhabitants of the continent were approximately 50/50 between Kaganesti and Europeans, and a strong partnership was developed between the two cultures. Interestingly, unlike other indigenous peoples elsewhere in the world whom had all fallen to exotic diseases bought by their European conquerors, the Kaganesti were a resilient people, in part due to their use of remedial herbs and acceptance of European medical knowledge.
Spanish Conquistadors arrived by accident in the mid 1600's, having left South America in search of new lands and resources to exploit. Initially, the conquistadors attempted to swindle land from the Kaganesti, not realising that the natives were literate due to their refined culture. After several failures, the Spanish regrouped en mass and attempted to attack a small settlement in Bright Cove, but despite the superiority of their muskets, steel armor plates and horses, they were driven back by more tactically-minded Warrior Societies. In retaliation for their defeat, the Spanish pillaged and razed several undefended villages.
At this point, a collective tribal council, consisting of both native Kaganesti and Europeans, convened and unanimously agreed to the forming of a militia to defend the other villages and settlements. In 1643, a skirmish between the Spanish and the inhabitants resulted in a disastrous defeat for the former - the militia consisted of experienced Kaganesti archers hiding from treetops and local European volunteers with a strong sense of the lay of the land, in contrast to the tired, starving and demoralised Conquistadors. Once again, the Spanish sought out undefended villages, only to discover they had been quickly fortified quite recently.
Ultimately, the Spanish were forced into capitulation at the end of the siege of Fort San Pablo in 1657. Kaganesti raiding parties had spent several years harassing vital supply routes, while the bulk of the militia became better armed with their own arsenal of light cannons, and preferred surprise attacks to the orderly lines of musket-firing the Spanish relied on based on their past experiences with the Incans in South America. Another key advantage lay in the fact that the supposedly impenetrable walls of San Pablo were actually built on loose soil, which was exploited by the militia when they detonated stolen gunpowder barrels in an underground dugout beneath one of the walls, causing its collapse and the subsequent breaching of the defences.
At the conclusion of the conflict with the Spanish, the Conquistadors were set adrift with what little remained of their possessions, and it is now generally agreed that none of them survived the storm on their way out from the continent. The tribal council came to the conclusion that their success came from the unity between the descendants of the Kaganesti and the Europeans, and thus, in 1682, the council reformed itself and officially christened their continent Terramaria, Latin for "land from the sea".
The new government presiding over Terramaria's affairs consisted of the one High Council supervising six smaller ones - the Council of Agriculture, the Council of Defense, the Council of the Arts, the Council of Commerce, the Council of Science and the Council of Civil Welfare - each with around fifty members. For ease of administration, the country was divided into ten provinces, with leaders, deputies and supporting staff appointed locally. Every two months, the High Council convened at the capital Terramar, and an unanimous decision was made that all province leaders were considered to be equal - thus, rather than a figurehead individual leading the country, it was a collective of oligarchs that did so.
Growth of Terramaria
Under the new government, the country entered into its Golden Age. Because of the merticulous management by the councils, booming economies of traders from different provinces were able to settle on a standard of currency, the Dagmar, instead of the often-troublesome bartering. The Council of Science sought the most outstanding intellectuals from across the continent, employing them mainly in the extraction of minerals and their subsequent purification, as well as the refinement of maritime navigation. Culture and the Fine Arts flourished, as artisans came under the government's patronage and produced many great works. Meanwhile, agricultural productivity increased steadily, as better practices were discovered and introduced, including crop rotation, selective breeding and the recycling organic waste as fertiliser.
From the mid-1700's onwards there was great enthusiasm for extended maritime expeditions. Adventurous citizens often forwarded proposals to the High Council, which consulted with the subordinate Science and Commerce groups, usually to see if there were any particular benefits to the country, before approving them. Port Fairmark, located in the province of Terramar (now Blockington), established a reputation as one of the major shipyards for citizen-explorers to find a seaworthy vessel, enlist crew and provision. Most, if not all, of these expeditions were highly fruitful - for instance, William Raleigh's 1748 discovery of a large island to the west of Terramaria helped establish a rewarding trade with the indigenous people, the W'ok (present-day City State of Wolk), as well as many exotic fruit and vegetable species that were introduced to mainland Terramaria.
However, at the same time there was the growing risk of privateers and buccaneers, especially to the north and the northwest. At first, these extortionists merely demanded a small percentage of the exploration and merchant ships' goods in exchange for safe passage, as well as the occasional offer to serve as guides. By the late 1700's, however, their demeanour became increasingly barbaric, and countless ships were raided, the surviving men thrown overboard, the women violated and strangled, goods taken by force, and the vessels themselves razed or sunk.
Alarmed by this, the Council of Defense pushed for the passing of a proclamation to post small contingents of trained men-at-arms aboard these mainly civilian ships, the Terramarian Marines. Unlike the Terramarian Army, who were mainly restricted to quelling small uprisings or riots within the continent, a career as a Terramarian Marine offered a real adventure to many young men back home. The Marines excelled at close-quarters combat within the confines of sailing ships, often armed with muskets, pistols, cutlasses and rapiers, and complemented by the small swivel guns used for self-defense by their host ships. Yet, despite this, piracy attacks on merchant shipping persisted.
In 1789, a Charles Hollingsworth presented himself to the Council of Defense. Hollingsworth was the former captain of HMS Resolution, a little known ship-of-the-line of the British Empire that floundered off the coast of Terramaria many years before, and bringing with him a wealth of experience in combating privateers in the name of the King, he managed to convince the Council to form the Terramarian Navy. Within ten months, an armada of twenty vessels, heavily armed with cannons and complements of Marines, were ready to set sail from Port Fairmark to engage the growing pirate threat.
Admiral Hollingsworth proved himself to be a brilliant naval tactician; disguising his fleet as a motley flotilla of merchant ships bound for Wolk, he easily caught a small group of pirate vessels by surprise, capturing seaworthy ones to add to his growing armada while stripping battle-damage ones of useful resources before scuttling them. Many former pirates who surrendered joined the Navy, offering their knowledge of the local area and common piracy tactics on to Hollingsworth and his staff in return for an official pardon.
In light of these victories by the Terramarian Navy, the captains of the remaining pirate vessels convened on St. George's Island sometime between 1791 and 1793, forming a provisional coalition in hopes to repelling this new threat to their activities. But despite outnumbering the Navy two ships to one, their uncoordinated actions and use of inferior weaponry resulted in their disasterous defeat in the major sea battle of 1795, and the survivors withdrew back to St. George's.
With the safety of merchant shipping guaranteed, commerce between Terramaria and its neighbours soared to new heights. Small-time traders from throughout the region become incredibly wealthy within months, building churches, town halls, libraries and schools in their name and setting themselves up for entry into the higher social circle of government officials. In time, hamlets grew into villages, villages into towns and towns into cities. By sheer economic power alone, Terramaria grew into an Empire, although the High Council continued to function in the place of a single figurehead King or Emperor.
Contact established with the outside world
By the 1820's, however, growth had stagnated, and many of the citizen-explorers gradually lost interest in seeking new lands, to the point where there was barely one council-sanctioned expedition every decade, instead of annually like in the empire's heyday. However, the Council of Science's discovery of the magnetic abnormality in the region sparked interest in the possibility of sailing beyond the great ring of violent weather that annexed the region from, supposedly, the rest of the world.
An now elderly Admiral Hollingsworth once again offered his services, and the High Council sponsored yet another expedition, this time consisting of over fifty vessels, almost one third of the entire Terramarian Navy. Hollingsworth once again led the armada in the flagship Defiant, and boasted that within five years, he would return with news from the outside world. However, even Terramarian ships-of-the-line fared no better than the Kaganesti's Walaps from thirty millennia before, and most were wrecked in the fleet's attempt to cross the storm-laced boundary region, including many of the finest warships that once proudly carried the legacy of defeating the St. George's pirates. The remaining thirteen ships returned home in disgrace, and Hollingsworth retired as a senile and forgotten man.
Throughout most of the century, Terramarian technology made more progress, thanks to the study and reverse-engineering of artefacts salvaged from floundered vessels originating from the outside world near the continent. In what was described by historians as the "Little Industrial Revolution", the country saw the development of steam power and glassmaking, as well as the beginnings of large-scale chemical production and widespread adoption of machine tools. Social changes included the more formal organisation of workers into labour unions, rapid rise in literacy due to the proliferation of affordable printed media, as well as the increasing migration into urban population centres.
Despite further advances in shipbuilding technology, almost no Terramarians ventured beyond the encirclement of storms around the continent. However, it was more of a traditional taboo enforced by the High Council rather than technological limitations; indeed, there were one or two instances of Terramarian vessels surviving the journey to the outside world, but the effects of the magnetic abnormality on navigational compasses meant that returning ships ended being misguided and travelled around the region instead. Given the similar level of technology of Terramaria compared to the rest of the outside world, stories of the continent were easily dismissed as hoaxes.
Terramaria’s continued isolation from the rest of the world meant that it saw no participation in the two World Wars, and the country were generally uninformed about achievements made in heavier-than-air manned flight, apart from a few small attempts within the country that all ended in dismal failures.
Meanwhile, the 1950's was a time of significant social upheaval. Citizens grew to become more assertive in their dealings with the government, sometimes resisting amendments to existing laws passed by the High Council. At its extreme, a group of citizens living in an isolated band of settlements beyond the Northern Frontier Forests finally declared themselves to be part of an autonomous self-rule region, the City-State of Tabletown, led by Emperor Eternal Doctor Sinister. The High Council was reluctant to take any action against the new state, given that in all technicality, Tabletown continued to maintain good trade relations with Terramaria.
In the 1979, when NASA’s MAGSAT (Magnetic Field Satellite) spacecraft undertook its predefined mission to map the Earth’s magnetic field, scientists discovered from the magnetic field measurements “a distinctive series of concentric rings, flattened, situated within the latitudes of 30° to 50° and longitudes of 180° to 135°.” Suspecting a strong magnetic source emanating from the region, a US Navy submarine, under highly-classified orders, was despatched to investigate. Instructed to use any form of navigation other than magnetic compasses, the crew of the submarine travelled beneath the blockade of stormy weather overhanging the sea surface, before finally making contact with a Terramarian pleasure sailing boat in a rather embarrassing near-miss incident when the submarine surfaced right underneath them.
With news of the discovery of Terramaria taking the world by storm, arrangements were quickly made by 1982 to lay undersea coaxial cables in an effort to allow for communications between the continent and the outside world. Concurrently, government representatives from various nations journeyed by submarine to the capital Terramar, opening a dialogue between the Terramarian High Council and the outside world for the first time in millennia. Both agreed that surface shipping between Terramar and the outside world was too risky, and given the country's general ignorance of aviation technology and the resulting lack of airfields, this meant that the physical exchange of goods and services relied on parachute drops and skyhook pickups - in the latter, large helium balloons tied to outward-bound cargo siting on Terramarian soil would be caught by specially-modified cargo planes, which cut the balloons and winched the goods up as they flew by.
A series of violent volcanic eruptions off the coast of the Principality of Legington in early 1983, to the north of Terramar, resulted in a slight alteration in the geological makeup of the region. However, this was enough to begin interfering with the magnetic abnormality, and by July, the barricade of storms surrounding Terramaria has finally dispersed after almost 65 million years. Without the abnormality to hinder navigation or the weather obstacle, surface shipping was finally made available. Many people from the outside world, discontent with the complicated demands of living in the 1980's, began immigrating to Terramaria in search of new opportunities.
Seven Year Revolution
Amongst the migrants was an idealistic young lawyer by the name of Edward Simmons, who had completed his Law degree at Harvard a few years prior. Settling down in Port Fairmark, his early work experiences were with a number of small private law firms, the last of which helped him earn a respectable reputation after his involvement in the legal proceedings following the High Council's campaign to eliminate corruption within the government. It would be here that he would meet a retired Terramarian Army officer, Eugene Johnson
Founding of the Republic
Government and Politics
- Main article: Lego States Armed Forces