|Union of Audax|
|Motto||United in Freedom!|
|Anthem||Homage to Carson (Liberation Hymn)|
|Head of State||Premier|
|Formal Name||Freyrist People's Union of Audax|
|Religion||State atheism; numerous folk religions|
|Government||One-party industrial collectivist dictatorship (de facto); Freyrist worker's republic (de jure)|
|Legislature||Trade Guild Congress|
|Territories||The continent of Audax, plus several overseas ports|
|Area||approx. 7.5 million sq km|
The Union of Audax was a federal Freyrist state that existed in the interwar years between the Resurgent War and the End Times. Nominally a confederation of independent workers' syndicates operating mutually under the free Trade Guild Congress, state power and activity was heavily centralized around the Sivellan elite after the merging of the posts of Chairman and General Secretary of the Trade Guild Congress by the Union's first and only Premier, Clockwork.
After consolidation of state power by the Union's founder, Clockwork, foreign imperial influences were rapidly driven out of the continent and the nation's many bountiful redstone, diamond, and coal mines renationalized and placed under control of newly organized worker syndicates set up by the TGC and managed according to the Premier's new doctrine of Industrial Collectivism, drawing heavily from Classical Freyrism and the previous Communes of Sforzando, Carson, and Equinox.
These syndicates were rapidly streamlined and reorganized into a strict top-down hierarchy, with the workers expected to meet strict quotas set annually by the central TGC, whose agenda was in turn virtually completely dominated by the will of its sovereign Chairman and General Secretary. Accusations of nepotism and neo-mercantilism were rampant during this reorganization process, soon followed by the forming of the underground workers' resistance led by Second Audaxian Revolution veteran JKL.
Though the resistance's leadership was crushed, it came at the cost of the destruction of the entire Union and dethroning of Clockwork, fracturing the continent into several citystates for several years until the founding of the democratic reformist United Audaxian States.
The Communes and Freyrism
Though the industrious and resource-rich continent of Audax is often thought to be the ideological motherland of contemporary agrarian, collectivist, and other anarchist tendencies, the origin of these movements actually resides within the heartland of the Sivistys continent, whose ancient citystates sprang up long before Audax even began its long industrialization process. It was within these rich and prosperous aristocratic states that the labor movement in Aquila truly began, basing their progenitor insurrections upon ancient Kilranian philosophy.
As the birthplace of modern civilization, not counting the ancient Xolumir Khaganate, the concept of guild mercantilism was first conceptualized within its hallowed citystates; inspired by the Star-sailors of the old Khaganate, wealthy and independent merchants would band together and form mutual guilds in order to increase the bargaining power of the profit-seeking aristocracy over the monarchy and its puppet nobility. This mostly reactionary practice of guild mercantilism effectively squashed the unitary monarchist movements of Sivistys before they could ever take hold, with the merchant guilds arguing that monarchy had been proven a failed ideology once the Mad King fell.
Sivistys prospered until the ideological basis of guild mercantilism, collective bargaining, was discovered and co-opted by the lower peasant and "middle" classes of the continent, who began to form representational guilds of their own that they dubbed "syndicates." These worker syndicates did not prove to be unbearably troublesome for the aristocrats - with their members only requesting meager industrial and property rights that were not of much significance - but their growing popularity among the lower classes began to represent a serious threat to the increasingly worried merchant guilds.
The first true spark of revolution did not fire until the insurrection at Carson, when the local merchant guild used their clout to order the arrests of the powerful worker's syndicate operating in its urban underbellies. The syndicate reacted violently, seizing control of the entire city by raiding and securing its armories and slave barracks and forming the Carson Commune, much to the horror of the neighboring merchant guilds.
With mercantilism now in serious danger across the continent following a similar insurrection in the city of Equinox, the reactionary guilds banded together to expel the anarchist threats from Sivistys, fostering generations of bitterness between the works and the aristocracy. However, the sacrifice of the anarchists in Carson and Equinox was not in vain; the shots that put down the Communes were heard around the world and gave hope to all Aquilan workers that a better future may be possible.
Especially was the case in Audax, where young intellectual and journalist Antonio Freyr spent months writing essays and stories on the struggles of the workers in Carson and Equinox. The son of a wealthy merchant family which grew incredibly wealthy riding on the success of Audax's own experiments in guild mercantilism, Freyr was quite moved by the stories of the Communards and spent the next few years analyzing and critiquing their strategies, ideology, and praxis. He published nearly all of these critical essays for free public consumption, distributing short pamphlets by the thousands to Audax's urban populations. This brought the plights of the Communes into the public eye for the first time, though Freyr still saw his work as unfinished.
In the following months, Freyr took a tour across the entire continent of Audax, visiting nearly every city, town, village, and hamlet in the disunited nation and writing extensively about his findings; he observed that, while technological advancements within the inner cities were able to greatly streamline consumer needs, the profits of these advancements were largely hoarded by the mercantile elite while the ever productive laborers were left in virtual squalor; simultaneously, he took note of the vast abundance of nutritious grain and other produce from the continent's vast fields and of the great efficiency of the farmers who worked them daily and the haunting reality that millions in the continent were still growing hungry.
Freyr took note of both these "great grievances," of mercantilism, as he called them, and deduced that the fundamental blame for these tragedies in labor rest upon the shoulders of the mercantile elite, whose exclusive guilds kept them in an unfair position of power over their workers, whom they relied upon for every emerald of profit made. Freyr also arrived to the same conclusion as the syndicate communards in Sivistys - that workers could be made even more efficient if they took direct control over the factories they operated and fields they toiled in. Freyr also grew to denounce the early Communes as being overly "neo-mercantile" in nature and for ignoring the issue of slavery in the continent. Combining the primal ideologies of urban anarchism and rural agrarianism, the young journalist formulated his own doctrine of Freyrism, which be believed would reconcile the centuries-old conflict between rural and urban workers by uniting them against the common enemy of the state and its aristocratic elite.
The First Congress of Trade Guilds Freyrism did not immediately take root in Audax, but grew steadily in popularity in the decades following his death as the great grievances he described grew even more severe. The workers of Audax rose up in remarkable coordination with the intent of eventually overthrowing the mercantile system and replacing it with an anarchist form of organization heavily inspired by Freyrism. However, contrary to the late intellectual's writings and much to the chagrin of the fringe Classical Freyrists, the workers in Audax elected to form a union organized according to different trades such as farming, mining, and fishing, as opposed to one umbrella union that would unite all workers, viewing the latter as too inefficient and not distinct enough from the current system.
The First Congress of Trade Guilds convened in secret in Sivella, committing their dedication to upholding "Neo-Freyrism" and eventually rising up in violent revolution against the mercantile oppressors - and not much else. Though the first TGC was wildly ineffective for practical purposes, it did bring the Freyrist even more credibility in the continent, with the workers formally organizing together for collective power for the first time.
Founding of the Union Decades later, a major breakthrough occurred when the anarchist Creeper faction took over city of Sforzando and established the Free Territories of Audax, much to the horror of not only the rest of the mercantile continent but also the neighboring Kingdom of Medriaas and fiercely anti-Freyrist Sivistyan citystates.
The stratocratic leadership of the Free Territories was quickly crushed and exiled, and in a matter of months the entire continent was virtually colonized by the neighboring imperial powers under the guise of "protection" from the anarchist movements. One of the Free Territories' ideological and military leaders, Ben Holliday, survived and returned to the continent at the height of the devastating Resurgent War, however, promising to drive the imperialists out from the continent and bring Classical Freyrist thought to the continent under a unified banner. The Audaxian people, impoverished, beaten down, and desperate for change, agreed to rally behind Holliday, under the pseudonym Clockwork, who took the title of Premier.
Quickly and decisively, Clockwork, with the full authority of the United Audax Military, drove out the distracted colonial powers and set about rebuilding the continent from his new seat of power in Sivella, fulfilling his promise to reopen and nationalize the profitable redstone, coal, and diamond mines, as well as massively expand the farms, colleges, and factories, launching a massive state campaign to eliminate poverty, hunger, unemployment, and illiteracy under one monstrous-sized program spearheaded by the workers democratically, straight from the works of Freyr. The Union of Audax was founded to the jubilant cheers of the entire continent.
However, shortly after reestablishing the Second Congress of Trade Guilds, he began to openly criticize the organization for its inefficiency and bastardization of centralist Freyrist beliefs through its compartmentalization of trade syndicates. With unparalleled popular support, Clockwork was able to strong-arm the TGC into naming him as both its presiding appointed executive Chairman and its agenda-setting General Secretary, effectively placing the entire organization under the direct control of the Premiership from the Colossus. The economy was increasingly streamlined and brought under Holliday's mandate, along with what remained of the political and judicial processes.
As Clockwork continued to consolidate power, so too did underground resistance movements in opposition to the Premiership grow in popularity. Ruthlessly hunted down by Holliday's army of secret police, Resonant Guards, and mechanical strong-men, the so-called "Syndicate" of anarchist rebels operated below the city of Sivella, striking from the shadows and disrupting state operations on a regular basis.
The Syndicate rapidly grew out of control as the Union was ill-equipped to deal with insurgents, themselves originally an insurrectionary force. The end of the Union's few years of prosperity was signaled when the Syndicate, aided by Clockwork's enemies, the Outlanders, destroyed the state's greatest symbol of power, the Panopticon prison, and then the mech-producing Ironworks. In a still unresolved mystery, the Colossus was destroyed several days after the arrival of the Outlanders, and the Union's Premier disappeared forever, signaling the end of the Freyrist republic.
The continent shattered once more, Audax struggled through a long interregnum period for several decades following the end of the Union, with its once again broken people shambling to salvage the remains of the great wealth they were promised so many times. The mines eventually reopened once more, however, and the Pan-Audaxian movement grew in traction once more, the beaten down natives nearly unanimously agreeing that they were stronger united than divided. Following many months of heated yet peaceful debate, the free United Audaxian States was finally formed, once more in Sivella, committed to a new ideology of "democratic reformism" that served as a model for the rest of the recovering world and kickstarted the global UA movement.