Flying Islands of Jasonia
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The Flying Islands of Jasonia was an Apollo micronation that existed from February 19th, 2000 until mid-September 2001. It was founded by Jason Steffke as a refugee camp and discussion forum during the unstable times of the cold war between Audentior Independent Nation and the Automatic for the People. However, the people that showed up were not political refugees but people looking for an outlet for their creative ideas far away from conflict, and so a new micronation was born.
The initial culture of the FIoJ was based upon Zeal in the video game Chrono Trigger. The name is not misleading: the nation really was intended to be a chain of islands suspended in the sky using antigravity. This set it apart from the more serious nations that could, in theory, exist in reality.
On the other hand, having maps of the islands, city names, and a whole “aura” opened up a new world for people to create. The Jasonian Aeronautics and Space Organization (JASO) was formed by Erik Mortis between the FIoJ and Shireroth as a place to develop fantasy aircraft and spacecraft. Jason and Bill Dusch wrote a script that would eventually become the Control of Destiny Series, a series of RPG games. The nation had its own newspaper, the FIoJ Skyline. Inspired by this, Scott Alexander began publishing the Apollo Fireball (later the Apollo Skyline) for the entire sector to read and creating extremely useful records of that time.
As a whole, the nation enjoyed throwing “fairs” – parties to celebrate some important accomplishment or another. There was a significant focus on aircraft and anything that could fly, possible or otherwise. This atmosphere also lead others to incorporate fantasy elements such as magic or elves into their stories and lore.
One of the most popular cultural developments was the FIoJ Virutal Tour – a website-based program that allowed you to wander the map and visit places in Jasonia. See the link section below.
To an outsider it would not be difficult to dismiss the entire culture of the FIoJ as the rambles of idiotic roleplayers, but those that were involved, creating the micronational world was what this hobby was all about.
The FIoJ was founded with nothing but a website and some stolen pictures from Chrono Trigger during a time when open political intrigue and backstabbing was a way of life. It was seen a mere puppet state of the Automatic for the People nation that it broke away from and was given very little attention during the first part of its life.
However, the AIN/AFTP cold wars eventually lead to the destruction of both nations. The AIN fell when Evan von Cristoph declared himself emperor and drove many of the hard-working citizens away. The AFTP (now the GAPR) remained strong although many of its citizens were becoming embittered with the leadership. The resulting power vacuum left a lot of micronationalists without a home. Though many of them created new nations (Shireroth, Tapfer, and Hyperborea being the most notable) a fair number joined the FIoJ as well and it become the largest nation in the sector.
When Scott proposed that that the Shireroth, Tapfer, Hyperborea, GARP and the FIoJ merge, the first three were all for it. The GARP backed out and the FIoJ had a very tense vote, but it eventually passed. The FIoJ joined the AIN during the summer of 2000, but during the turmoil of the (rigged) AIN presidential elections the nation fell apart and its member states were released.
Shireroth and the FIoJ were close allies and Shireroth opted to merge with the FIoJ. Bill, who always liked Jasonia, merged Tapfer as well. Scott completed the cycle with Hyperborea in hopes that the FIoJ would be what Audentior could not. Two other very small micronations that were not in Audentior merged as wel: the Republic of Antarctica and Hau’oli ‘Ena. Thus the FIoJ become an unstable superpower: it had a lot of citizens under what was a pretty weak system of government.
This would not be an issue until later. Most Apolloians were sick of political wars and decided to use their time in Jasonia to focus on culture instead. The Golden Age of the FIoJ occurred during this period was referred to infamously as the “best thing in the history of everything, ever.” Many things in the culture section above occurred during this period. Also during this period Thomas Hubert appeared and become a nuisance, sparking a number of conflicts referred to as the “Hubert Wars”.
Things began to decline when Jasonia fought a somewhat tense war against the rebelling Republic of Antarctica which was now calling itself the People's Republic of Hell. In the end Hell was reintergrated into Jasonia but Hau’oli ‘Ena had also chosen to become independent. Shireroth also began to assert its independence, as did Hyperborea. A number of conflicts occurred such as the Amity Land Crisis and the Three Hours War.
Weary of watching the nation collapse around him, President Jason resigned on February 19th, 2001 – one year after the nation had been founded. He later returned in April for a half-hearted attempt to save the nation, but there is little else to say about the nation’s history. It wasted away until it was finally closed on July 11th, 2001.
The FIoJ was lead by a President that was elected every few months whenever people wanted to have an election. Jason Steffke was the first president and won the only two elections the nation ever had. The President had the power to sign diplomatic agreements, make a motion for war (with the approval of the Minster of Defense) and control the website and forums.
The actual legislature of the FIoJ was governed by a system named Timed Democracy. For all issues, every citizen (including the President) had one vote. Votes would last at least two days after being proposed and would always end at 10 PM EST after at least 48 hours had passed. The required percentage varied depending on the vote, from a 3/7 “majority” used to recognize other nations to 100% agreement on issues that involved the FIoJ losing their independence, such as mergers.
This system was later modified to allow voting extensions and was, during the last days of the nation, abused by factions wanting to see particular agendas be pushed through, but during time of the nation’s height it proved to be a very fair way for citizens to discuss their ideas and see new laws be created and was widely considered one of the best working models of democracy seen in micronations.
Other Governmental Branches of Note
dStryker, probably the microworlds best economist, was a citizen of Jasonia and he developed his famous International Currency Exchange (ICE) formula there. The FIoJ had a fairly strong economy and experimented with both goods-based and service-based systems extensively. Jasonia was the host of the only ICEO economic discussion summit.
Although one of the founding core values of the FIoJ was peace, the nation was involved in military actions against the United Demesos, People’s Republic of Hell, and at least three nations founded by Thomas Hubert. It also came perilously close to war with Shireroth, Hau’oli ‘Ena, and the Rasinate.
Most of the legacy of Jasonia has been lost to time. A good deal of the nation has been forgotten and the few ideas that did catch on have been so integrated into the hobby that people just assume things have “always been like that.” Here are a few things that were first developed during the time of the FIoJ:
- The concept of the world having one name. Micron was used by the FIoJ. It is now called Micras.
- Detailed maps and city names for nations. This was later built upon and heavily expanded with the creation of the MCS.
- A trend towards letting all citizens vote in the legislature that was popular at the time.
- Soloralism and Control of Destiny Series and had a huge influence on Menelmacar after the nation had died.
- February 19th is still celebrated as Jasonia Day in some parts of the world..
- Jasonian original homepage, no longer functioning
- FIoJ forums, restored after being reorganized.