El Condad doh Atlanta (The County of Atlanta)
City and nation-state
They say everything ends up in Atlanta eventually. This ancient city existed long before the Mess and weathered the storm mostly intact. During the great famines and wars that welcomed the fall of human civilization in Nourika the Resurgent City remained. As a traveler to this beacon of light and civilization in the wilderness there are a few things one should know.
Because the city and the nation share the same name currently three terms are used to describe which Atlanta someone is referencing.
Condad – The entirety of the county, referring to the city and all of the surrounding areas
Cidat – Pertaining to the city of Atlanta
Condad Salvaj – “Wild County” or the area of Atlanta outside of the city
The flag of the Condad is a simple, a relatively simple outline of a golden phoenix on a blue background. Commonly referred to as the Phoenix Banner it is a source of pride for many Atlantanos and has resulted in the national motto and cry of nationalistic fervor of “Up the Phoenix!”
Atlanta is one of the largest population centers in the southeast of Nourika, boasting an impressive 280,000 inhabitants within Cidat. The Condad Salvaj has an additional 750,000 or so people living in the dozens of communities that have fallen under the Phoenix Banner whether for protection from roaming marauders or trade. As of the last census the total population of the county, both Cidat and Condad Salvaj, was 1,032,479.
The Condad has always been an ethnically diverse area and the makeup of the peoples that live there reflect this.
The largest ethnic group with a plurality of the population in the Condad is the Maronei, descendants of Pre-Mess white and black settlers to the area that over time intermarried and became a homogenous ethnic group.
Other major ethnic groups are the Xican, Pre-Mess Hispanic settlers and the Han-in, descendants of Pre-Mess Korean settlers. Smaller ethnic minorities like the mutant Xook, the Ayisyen, and a small community of Yuta Anathona are also present.
Maronei – 43%
Xican – 24%
Han-in – 20%
Xook – 9%
Ayisyen – 3%
Yuta Anathona – 1%
Thanks to so many different groups of people being present within the Condad the language of Atlanta is a nuanced combination of many Pre-Mess ideas and contemporary practices.
For instance the most widely spoken language in the Condad is Angyol, a standardized yet vibrant mixing of Pre-Mess Spanish and English. The Angyol script is actually based on the Hangul syllabic block system, adopted from the Han-in, instead of what many considered to be an overly complicated Latin alphabet.
Thanks to the adoption of the Angyol script literacy rates within the Condad have risen dramatically with upwards of 90 percent of the population being able to read and write in the rudimentary sense.
Atlanta itself is ruled by a strange mixing of the Iglesia Universal and an elected Cabinet which heads and rules over a large bureaucracy. The official head of the government is a hereditary count of the Jun Dynasty that also heads the Iglesia Universal.
The Iglesia Universal grew out of the major Pre-Mess Christian churches, especially the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Southern Baptist Conference though later influences from Won Buddhist traditions, Taoism, Voodoo, and Hinduism are evident. In addition to providing for the general welfare of the people the Iglesia Universal collects some taxes, runs aids programs, and is responsible for half of the funding of public schools.
The Cabinet and Bureaucracy are responsible for raising and maintaining an army, running the courts, building projects, and negotiating with foreign states and interests.
The Count is the deciding vote in any disputes between the Iglesia Universal and the Cabinet.
Most of the average Atlantano’s social life will revolve around Iglesia Universal events and different public holidays. In Cidat there is a large nightlife scene with intoxication, dancing and music.
Because the Iglesia Universal frowns on the use of tobacco in any circumstance and alcohol, except for beer used to purify water, the average Atlantano instead chooses to ingest large amounts of nutmeg, smoke marijuana, or drink tea made from the abundant San Pedro cacti that grow in many Iglesia Universal run gardens throughout Cidat.
The music is usually drum and guitar based and is often very upbeat. Dancing is frantic and wild with little regard to established patterns and there is no social stigma regarding an appropriate amount of touching while dancing with the opposite gender. Though procreating on the dance floor is usually frowned upon.
A sense of civic pride has been bred into most Atlantanos and they often revere the city and nation through song and volunteering for the betterment of their local area. An Atlantano that does not volunteer every now and again is usually looked down upon by his neighbors and there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that lazier Atlantanos have been lynched on occasion or left for marauders in the Condad Salvaj.
They call it the Mess for a reason. Atlanta lay in ruins for decades. Still, people remained and they remained in large enough numbers that some semblance of order was there. The Iglesia Universal was put through the fire and flames during the immediate post Mess crises.
In what would have been the early 24th century by the old count Atlanta was revitalized. The Resurgent City had come back, led by a Han-in warlord named Jun managed to unite the disparate gangs and tribes into an empire with its seat of power at Atlanta.
Jun was a student of history and knew that in order for his new nation to prosper that all the power could not be vested solely in him and his descendants. As such he pioneered the power sharing structure between the elected civilian government, the official church, and the aristocracy. It has worked so far.
The history of Atlanta has been relatively peaceful though some conflict with the Brotherhood of the Spirals was eventually inevitable. This is of course thanks to the presence of the Xook minority. For those of you unfamiliar with the Xook they are an ethnic group that evolved primarily out of the Xican.
During the Mess it was noticed that several Yucatec Mayan Indians living in the Atlanta area were exhibiting strange mutations including increased olfactory ability, rows of serrated teeth, and gills. The Yucatec word for shark was applied to these people and they became an integral part of many local communities, serving as expert fishermen and sailors.
The reason that this genetic abnormality stayed within the Xican population until recently was just a simple matter of preferences. The Xican was more like the average Xook than say a Maronei or a Han-in. Thanks to a more accepting environment and increased intermarriage the Xook have begun appearing amongst all of the major Atlantano ethnic communities.
The Spirals did not take kindly to such a large population of mutants receiving protection from an official government and have tried on numerous occasions to launch clandestine raids on Xook establishments within Cidat and the Condad at large.
However the most audacious display of the Spirals hatred came just barely a century after Atlanta’s ascension to dominant power in the region. They grossly overestimated their own abilities and sought to invade the Condad, subjugate its people, and destroy what they saw to be the Xook menace.
Four years of war and death showed the Spirals that this was not to be. All levels and members of Atlantano society were affected but the Phoenix Banner was eventually raised over all the Spiral fortresses in the area. The local mutants, the ones protected by the Condad knew what was at stake and volunteered in overwhelming numbers to fight the Spirals and their coteries. This more than anything helped to endear them in the hearts of many Atlantanos, they had earned their place in society and they would not budge.
Flora and Fauna
Thanks to the existence of zoos prior to the Mess and the fact that many zoo animals managed to escape during the Mess there are now many animals roaming the Condad that were not native to Nourika.
Hyenas, kangaroos, ostrich, meerkats, Boer goats, chimps, flamingoes, giraffes, warthogs, parakeets, Gaboon vipers, naked mole rats, komodo dragons, kunekune pigs and the binturong or bearcat have all made their home within the Condad. The average Atlantano will interact with most of these species at one point or another, either through domestication or bushmeat.
The most beloved and successful of the invasive species in the Condad is the binturong or bearcat. The bearcat is kept as a household pet by many Atlantanos the bearcat patrols rooftop gardens ridding them of squirrels, large insects, and most species of pesky birds.
Kunekune pigs and ostriches have both been somewhat domesticated and serve as a valuable food source for many Atlantanos, especially since both have easy to maintain dietary needs. The kunekune fattens up relatively easily on grass and table scraps and ostriches have the lowest feed to weight ratio of any large land animal. The Komodo dragon has even become an integral part of Atlantano myth and campfire legend.