by Max Barry

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The Vikernian Revolution

"For too long has the Fatherland been held under the suffocating grip of its meek, slavish, antiquated leadership. We have stagnated and weakened under their culture of past-worship and complacency. No more! Today marks the start of a new age, a new nation! Down with the ancient order! From blood and ash, we will rise!"
- Futurist leader Alexander Smith, moments before executing the Council of Elders

For centuries, the Free Land of Vikernia had been a primitive agrarian society, ruled under a somewhat loosely knit federal system with the Council of Elders serving as a central government. Its people adhered to a culture of traditionalism and ancestor-veneration, while industry and technology were viewed with scorn. Life was mostly peaceful and idyllic, and the nation rarely involved itself in international affairs, preferring to remain isolated from the outside world which it viewed as a negative, corrupting influence.

To some, this simple life was exceedingly boring, and Vikernia's isolationist policy was a stupid and suicidal attempt at escapism from the realities of the modern world. These young ideologues called themselves the National Futurists, and believed that a total overhaul of government, culture, and life was necessary in Vikernia for it to survive into the future and become great. They glorified youth, war, destruction, and glory, and advocated for ultranationalism, expansionism, and state socialism, in staunch opposition to the peaceful, traditional, distributist ruling order.

In the initial phase of the revolution, Futurist advocates would preach their worldview to the public in an attempt to garner support from the masses. Dressed in extravagant clothing of their own design, accompanied by a completely new style of aggressive music, they gave fiery speeches to intimidated crowds in town squares, and left deep impressions on a number of bored youths. However, this tactic was short-lived, as the local governments began cracking down on them for disrupting the peace and disrespecting their forefathers.

As their public demonstrations became virtually impossible to hold for any significant length of time, the leading figures of the Futurist movement quickly moved on to their second phase - armed insurrection. Renaming themselves to the Futurist Liberation Army and using modern weaponry and technology smuggled from socialist states and criminal networks abroad, they began to commit widespread acts of terrorism, wreaking havoc across the nation while using their violence to further spread their propaganda. As their ranks continued to grow, they established enclaves in towns and regions where they had significant control, serving as early demonstrations of their coming national government.

Eventually, the FLA's territory encircled the fortified capital of Hyldea, to where the last holdouts of the ancien régime had retreated. In a brutal wave of carnage led by Revolutionary Commissar Alexander Smith, the Futurists stormed the city and secured their final victory, but not without fierce resistance from the loyalists and great human cost. As the bodies of the dead were gathered and burned, the Council of Elders was dragged kicking and screaming from the Central Palace, to be put to death before the bloodied, cheering crowd in order to mark the beginning of what the FLA called the "Age of Life". Alexander Smith was named Supreme Leader, and the country was renamed to the Revolutionary Socialist State of Vikernia.