History of Glastieve
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History before Glastieve
Bakon Kids and Green Team
Some of the friendships that would later define Glastieve had started by 2009, when U, K and δ created ‘Bakon Kids’, an unofficial pupil-run ‘club’ at their primary school that survived in inconsistent bursts of activity through to when they left primary school 2014, being renamed to Crackerjazz in about 2012 and then again to Crackerjazz Lite in 2013. In the early part of Bakon Kids’ history, there were several other unofficial clubs that existed alongside it; C and K ran one called Girls Aloud. Bakon Kids and Girls Aloud allied with one another in a 2009 ‘war’ against a group of bullies that the Bakon Kids dubbed the Gammon Gang, and C also joined forces with δ, K and U against a 2010–11 group called SPY Club who used to hit other children with sticks.
At some point between September 2012 and mid-2014, U, δ, and a third pupil from that primary school created Black Hole Hulk (BHH), a science fiction shared universe that played an important role in later Glastieven history. N was also at the school—he was friends with δ and joined in BHH a few times.
Except for δ and N, these friendships all disintegrated at the end of primary school; neither K and C, K and δ nor δ and U were friends in September 2014 at the start of secondary school. All of them found new groups. The chain of causes that would eventually create Glastieve, however, did not begin in any of these day-to-day groups of friends—it began at the weekly after-school meetings of the Green Team. At the start of term, R and δ joined together after meeting at the school’s open day. When they joined, the group was dominated by a cabal of older students and closely supervised by a teacher. This soon changed.
R went to war with the older students, aiming to drive them out, and the teacher who ran it (call him Mr Green Team Supervisor) had no enthusiasm for closely supervising these argument-filled sessions. Meanwhile, S and E joined the group, along with another student who only turned up to some sessions. By January 2015, R and δ were basically running a five-man team by themselves, and when Mr Green Team Supervisor left the school, the group continued uninterrupted. R and δ simply upgraded themselves from student leaders to ‘co-chairs’ (each claiming to slightly outank the other) and designated E, S and themselves the ‘High Council of Green Team’ for when others joined.
Under Mr Green Team Supervisor, most of each weekly session had been spent checking rooms to see if the lights had been turned off, with occasional work on other projects. Left to their own devices, the Green Team’s main activity was working on an elaborate project to revive an unused polytunnel area behind the school football pitches, which included δ and R breaking into the school at night to paint a gazebo white without permission. Mr Green Team Supervisor had said they could go to the staff-only floor to check the lights, and they spent plenty of time lazing around there and eating the teachers’ biscuits. There were also some serious arguments, one of which involved S throwing a hammer at R and smashing a window.
δ and R claimed that—smashing windows aside—they were not breaking any school rules. They were a valid Green Team that was exercising the rights that belonged to that body. Mr Green Team Supervisor, an assistant headteacher, had authorised their activities, and no-one had told them that him leaving the school would render their activities unauthorised. However, the ‘co-chairs’ were careful not to end up in a situation where they would have to test this claim, so there was lots of running away and hiding. The only person ever to Uch them in the building after hours was Colin the Caretaker, who worked for site management contractors Carillion rather than the school. He played U and mouse with Green Team for months, even threatening to ban them from the site.
Much later, when δ was writing about this early era in 2018 and 2019, they argued that the Glastieven group of friends was also descended from Trains Club, Think Tank and the model countries. Trains Club was a student-run group created by δ and N in Year 7; it had R as an ‘associate member’ in Year 8 because he was friends with δ, but it also had several other full members who were nothing to do with Glastieve. Think Tank was a gifted and talented group that involved δ, N and E, along with about ten others. The model countries were one-man micronations created by δ and N—Skovaji and the Democratic Republic of Howe respectively. There were also short-lived copyUs by A and two others at Trains Club in November 2014, and by E and his friend Ivo at Think Tank in April 2015. δ’s theory in 2018–19 was that the Glastieven group of friends had begun as the Year 8 ‘those people who do all the extracurriculars’ group, growing out of the overlaps between Green Team, Trains Club, Think Tank and the model countries. They later abandoned this idea, but it meant that (for a time) these other 2014–15 clubs were accepted as part of Glastieven history and there were some cultural references to them.
Year 8: September 2015 – August 2016
Outside of weekly Green Team sessions, δ and E became good day-to-day friends at the start of Year 8. E then dated Z in October and she got on well with δ in that brief period. Disappointingly, an old Glastieven belief that ‘RZ’ ended after he flushed a love note that she had written for him in French down the toilet was probably not a true story.
Also towards the beginning of Year 8, U and δ spoke again for the first time since Year 6, and she said she wanted to become friends again. She suggested reviving BHH as a Skype text-based roleplaying game; δ, who had been using the BHH lore to write short stories and had tried and failed to revive it as a larp with N, was enthusiastic. They brought in E as a third member and taught him his interpretation of the existing lore. It is unclear exactly when this happened (written evidence only proves it must have been before April 2016, though if E and δ correctly remember the order in which things happened, there is enough evidence to narrow it down to some time between October 2015 and January 2016). E claims he recalls it was in November 2015. U coined the term ‘Acteriendia’ to refer to the three of them as a roleplaying group. E fast developed an obvious crush on her.
δ and E then persuaded U to join Green Team. δ also tried to bring in N, but he got nervous breaking the school rules. The club briefly switched from what had been sometimes very nominal work on its projects to openly just hanging out, and the ‘High Council’ decided that it had no authority over what it called ‘the social aspects of Green Team’. U stopped coming after two weeks and the club reverted to normal (later that month, it became the Anarcho-Communist Green Team; Green Team history is a topic in its own right).
R started hanging out with E and δ outside Green Team from around Christmas 2015 onwards, and at the same time, E, δ and U ate their lunch together in the canteen and met up outside school quite frequently. This continued throughout 2016 in both cases. N was still good friends with δ and hovered around both groups. E says that the two groups of three were totally separate and that there was no contact between U and R; he also says that ‘Acteriendia’ only ever meant U, δ and himself. δ disagrees. They say that the two groups of three were components of a single five-person social circle and that the word ‘Acteriendia’ included R and N in spring 2016.
U, E and δ had quite a strange dyn- amic. δ and U had a defined relationship as old friends; δ and E had a defined relationship as ‘lads/mates’; and U and E had a surprisingly non-awkward relationship defined by the romantic tension between them. Yet there was no real ‘group’ dynamic to speak of; each of their activities was geared towards one of the pairs and left one of the three third wheeling on the other two (platonically, if E or U). An apocryphal story held that their vibe was so odd that a publisher friend of E’s dad’s tried to buy the book rights to the out of character remarks they made in the BHH chats.
Both of these groups continued through the summer. In the holidays, δ created a Skype chat for them, E and R called the ‘Chill Group’, and they added N to the chat as well. Through this chat, δ, E and N established a group of micronations called the Devon Union and a Minecraft server (R did go on there once using δ’s computer to blow up N’s buildings); all four of them met up to travel around Devon on the trains using Devon Ranger tickets, and they briefly ran Skovaji as a group micronational project. δ, E and U stayed active in June and July—including doing two notable RPs that were not BHH, the Neko Dynasty and the Order of the Tachi—but the RPs stopped in August and the three of them essentially ignored each other for the month.
September 2016 – January 2017
Over the summer, U rekindled her friendship with C and soon publicly designated them best friends. Either over the same summer or at the start of Year 9, C, K and ζ became friends too. The four of them then found they were in the same GCSE Drama class, as was E. C, K, ζ, U and E hence became a group of friends at the beginning of Year 9. Glastieven tradition dubbed them ‘the Group’ (as δ and N felt at the time that K and E tended to use the phrase ‘the group’ far too much and always used it to mean that particular set of people).
The Group had quite porous boundaries. It had been formed through their GCSE Drama class, so other students in that class were ‘in the frame’ socially and were sometimes even invited to meetups. K, ζ and C were also part of another group of friends that included H and Chloe, and the two groups’ meetups sometimes become confused. U liked to invite her friends from the local anime and manga subculture as well, particularly β and α.
Returning to school revived the group of E, U and δ, who replaced the RPs with work on a YouTube Red series about teenage mafias based on the schools in their town and a Wattpad story called Connections. E and δ later muddled up this September era of Acteriendia with Year 8 in their memories, and romanticised both, calling the resulting imaginary era of both BHH RPs and Connections the ‘golden age’.
E finally asked out U: twice, according to him; three times, according to δ. U said no in each case, reducing him to tears when he asked at the St Thomas Community Festival on the 11th. She then realised that she did, in fact, like him, but she decided to keep it secret and simply say yes when he asked again.
The Connections Flag, later a symbol of Acteriendia and the ‘golden age’ myth. The version at botT right was the Sept 2016 original, suggested as a front cover for Connections. Top was the cover photo for an Oct 2016 Acteriendia Facebook group. BotT left is from a June 2020 nostalgic hand-drawn map of Exeter.
In October, R made a Messenger chat to replace the Skype Chill Group. By November, there was a Chill Group chat with E, δ, U, R, and N which reflected a stable group of friends that incorporated the first four, with N on the periphery. Whether this was a new arrangement of people or a revival of what had existed in late Year 8 depends on whether you believe E or δ about Year 8.
From late 2016 onwards, E and U started working to pull the two groups of friends together. By now, despite inviting lots of random people to its meetups, the Group had established quite rigid traditions that defined its limited membership—their most impressive ritual was that every Thursday they would sit on a specific wall outside the school to eat cookies and doughnuts and gossip about goings-on in their wider social circle. In contrast, the Chill Group only really existed via its group chat, and δ, R and N still took the rather childish and rigid view that a ‘friendship group’ was a defined and somewhat formal entity with a closed list of members.
These differences made late 2016 and early 2017 a confusing time for the Chill Group. N in particular seems to have felt left behind and even upset by E saying that ‘the group’ included K and C (names he remembered from primary school) and ζ (someone he had never met). δ viewed the Group as part of a network of ‘friendship groups’ that had ‘partially melted into one another’; they also suspected that this ‘network’ was the ‘social mainstream of the school’ and guessed that the Chill Group was unusually closed and static because it had hitherto been excluded from this mainstream. In a sense, E agreed with them: where δ saw a ‘partial merger’ between the Group and the Chill Group that would bring the latter into the ‘social mainstream’, E saw the Chill Group finally becoming a ‘normal’ group of friends rather than a rigid ‘friendship group’.
δ took well to the Group, partly because they already knew K and C, and they had become a well-established figure on its periphery by the start of 2017. They joined the school play, Bugsy Malone, to hang out with the Group at rehearsals. It is worth noting that Z was also part of Bugsy. At this stage, both groups still mostly thought of her as E’s ex-girlfriend, and there was a good deal of smirking when she and E were cast as a comedic duo where she was a (comparatively) competent detective and he was her useless assistant.
Meanwhile, in the Chill Group, R and N’s sense that strange new people were appearing from nowhere was intensified by U and δ trying to build friendly links between the Chill Group and their respective out-of-school social circles. For U, this was the anime and manga subculture, and she added her friends β and α to the chatrooms. For δ, this was an Exeter–Bristol social circle that had formed at a national camp of a youth group called the Woodcraft Folk, and they added their friend μ to the chatrooms.
In January 2017, δ, E and U decided to revive BHH. The impetus probably came from δ, who called the project ‘The New BHH’, but despite this grand name, what happened was a plain revival of the Acteriendian BHH roleplays from 2016. R was also invited to join, and he did one RP playing Gru, though he found that text-based roleplaying was not to his taste. This revived BHH petered out again after a few months—but it refreshed memories and kept the tradition going into 2017.
On 10 February, to the general excitement of the Group, C and E began dating. The two became almost a celebrity couple in the social circle around the Group, both in the sense that people were excited to see them together and in the sense that there was a good deal of discussion and speculation about their relationship.
From the start, U hated ‘Cherbert’ (their ship name, a portmanteau of C and E made to sound like the word sherbet). She initially limited herself to complaints about the two of them being ‘disgusting’ in public—e.g. she shout- ed at them and stormed out of the cinema when they held hands during a film. At one point, she interrogated E in the Chill Group chat about what they did together in private, and then lost her temper and called them ‘disgusting’ and ‘inappropriate’ when he said they kissed. E accused her of still having a crush on him and being ‘salty’ that she had missed her chance to date him. After that accusation, U abandoned all cover and started to openly attack the relation- ship itself, telling anyone who would listen that E had ‘stolen her best friend’. She also tried to take direct action by appearing at their dates to get in the way, to the point where E started inviting δ along to ‘guard’ them. U saw them as a potential ally and spent a good deal of time at these dates trying to win them over.
At least in theory, there was also tension between E and K over Cherbert. K had a crush on C; E suspected as much; and K knew he suspected her. C had no idea. K initiated a good deal of physical affection with C, even when E was there, and he was not impressed. But in the context of the constant external pressure from U’s campaign, the issue was studiously ignored. K and E focused on closing ranks against her.
Things with U came to a head at Kaspas (the Group’s favourite dessert bar) on the 11th or the 12th. There was a fight, known in the Group as the ‘Kaspas Kickoff’, triggered by U trying to rope ζ into a plot against Cherbert in the girls’ bathroom and ζ sneaking out to tell C about it. C saw U’s attempt to ‘save’ her from E as an affront, and hence saw her attempt to recruit ζ as an attempt to turn ζ against her. The three of them decided in private that U had gone too far and was no longer welcome in the Group.
Later that week, they invited δ to meet them at Kaspas. K told them they wished to employ their services to get rid of U. They were worried about how they would treat her if they refused, so they agreed. In exchange (or so they saw it), they were now accepted as a full member of the Group.
Oddly, Kaspas was officially opened by Jeremy Corbyn. They had screens in there playing footage of it on loop.
Also in mid-February, δ suggested to N that they should get involved with micronation- alism again. N was enthusiastic. δ then suggested to E that they should create a Group–Chill Group joint micronation. This idea turned out to be popular, and a Skype chat was created with them, K, C, R, N and U, along with β and A. This group chat produced the ‘Republic of Glastieve’ on 23 February, and the cabinet met once a week from 4 March onwards.
Glastieve provided a channel for U and R to influence social structures where they otherwise held little sway. She saw it as a backdoor to the Group (and δ sometimes hinted later in history that undermining the Kaspas Deal had been part of their plan when they proposed creating the micronation), and actually only agreed to attend the first cabinet meeting after she had been told C would be there. Whereas U saw Glastieve as a means to reverse an ejection from a social group, R saw it as a means to trigger one. Noticing that the Glastieve planning chat had effectively replaced the Chill Group chat, he told δ that he would only take part in Glastieve if δ pushed N out—which would keep N out of the loop on the Chill Group. δ evaded this demand and kept them both in the project by secretly engineering a ‘political scandal’ called Spingate.
For about three months now, E had avoided making an issue out of his concerns over K’s desire for C—but as a psychoanalyst would say, there was always bound to be a ‘return of the repressed’. This came in the spectacular but blankly-named April 2017 controversy, an argument that centred on C, E and K’s responses to Cherbert breaking up (though it also involved ζ, δ and U). At the height of the argument, E accused K in relation to C of “subconsciously manipu- lating her into being gay”, K argued that Rob and C could not be left to break up on their own terms, and U ambushed ζ in the street (outside the museum) in town. It all proved to be too much for the Group, and after the argument, they stopped being friends.
Before E and δ knew for sure that the Group was done, they used a vote in Glastieve on whether to appoint ζ or N’s friend ε to a vacant cabinet position as an unofficial referendum on whether Glastieve should see itself as specially linked to the Group and Chill Group (ζ) or whether it should ignore social structures and recruit as widely as possible (ε). ε won the election. He actually quit his post a few days later, but by that point E and δ had started to realise that the Group no longer existed, so they pushed forwards anyway with the plan to recruit more widely.
Over the next week, three new people joined Glastieve: Z, α, and someone totally new, T. E and δ had seen him draw- ing dragon evolution charts in class and judged he would be a good fit. K and C were declared to have resigned; Z and T took their places in the cabinet.
Subsequently, the new cabinet became a group of friends (not including β or α). There had not been a Chill Group chat since February, but there was now a ‘Glastieve casual’ chat instead. δ even organised special activities to streng- then the cabinet as a social group, such as going to Starbucks after school as the ‘Sofa Govern- ment Club’, a pun on the sofas in Starbucks and the phrase sofa government, used in British politics to criticise prime minister Tony Blair for running the government with his friends.
By that summer, the old Chill Group had been superseded by this new Glastieven group, where U was no closer to E or N than she was to Z, and δ was no closer to U or R than they were to T. This new group was defined by the micronation—and vice versa—to the extent that the group of friends was Glastieve. It had been created by a micronational election and its group chats were the same as those used to organise cabinet meetings. Trying to separate the micronation project from its associated group of friends in late May 2017 would have been a much more difficult exercise than doing the same thing back in mid-April.
Glastieve had developed its most distinctive, controversial and (eventually) celebrated feature: it had become—in the words of its 2019 national anthem—‘a country; a friendship group as well’.
First Republic of Glastieve
The Foundation Period
The Foundation Period was the phase of the First Republic’s history when the project was a joint venture between two groups of friends, the ‘Chill Group’ of δ, E, U, R and N and ‘the Group’ of K, C, ζ and E (U and δ were sort of in the Group and sort of not). This also means the Foundation Period was an era when Glastieve was not a social group in its own right—at this point, it was just a micronational project.
The micronation was planned in a Skype chat by both groups minus ζ and plus U’s friend β and N’s friend A. δ coined the name Glastieve from the ‘Place names in Ireland’ Wikipedia page, which included a list of elements used in place names, and according to that article it meant ‘grassy hillside’ in Irish. It actually meant ‘green side’ or ‘green flank’, as the Wikipedia page was inaccurate, but this was not known about in Glastieve until 2019.
Everyone was given ministerial titles early on in the process, though the role of each minister was not defined beyond the titles. There was a minor spat when U was made Field Marshal of the Glastieven Armies after N had already claimed Minister for Defence and the Judiciary, as he felt like she was stealing part of his role, but the argument was resolved by δ suggesting a new mapping and transport role for N. Once all the titles had been decided, the cabinet had:
N as Minister for Infrastructure, Transp- ortation and Geographical Affairs
C as Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language
K as Minister for EduUion and Recruitment
δ as Minister for Media and Economics
R as Minister for Governmental Administration
Rob as Minister for Public Safety and Defence
U as Field Marshal of the Glastieven Armies
β as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Interestingly, directorialism—the idea that the country is ruled collectively by committee, with no prime minister, president or monarch—seems to have been an immediate shared assumption. No-one even thought to suggest a single leader.
C designed the national flag, overriding a competing design made by N because the flag was under her title. It had a red stripe for equality, a green stripe for nature (as Glastieve claimed an area of countryside on the edge of the city), a purple stripe for fun, and a yellow star for independence and sovereignty. N asked δ to make an iteration with slightly adjusted colours, and C said she preferred the edit, so that version became the official flag.
C also defined the national animal as the liger and the national dish as a triple scoop ice cream with mint chocolate chip, vanilla, and honeycomb. She used an online app to create a somewhat poor-quality ‘national crest’ (actually an escutcheon) emblazoned with a peacock, but it was later replaced by a design that micronationalist João Gustavo agreed to produce for free provided he was given credit. This coat of arms featured a liger and a peacock based on C’s choices plus an oak tree (referencing a real-life oak in the territory, known in a nearby village as the Twisted Oak and seen as a local landmark).
δ created a currency, the luach (Ⱡ), using a blockchain app called Colu designed for creating local currencies. They also created a stock exchange on a Wix.com website. Though it was outside his brief, they drafted two ‘constitutional Acts’—the Ministerial Responsibilities Act and the Cabinet Procedure Act—that set out how the government would work. These were short and poorly written but they served the First Republic well enough.
On 23 February, the cabinet declared independ- ence. The initial aim of the project, aside from having fun, was to win influence on MicroWiki, an online community of micronations where δ (and to a lesser extent N) had been active in the past. As such, the cabinet decided to delay for a week or so before ‘launching formally’ to make sure that MicroWiki would be suitably impressed. The formal launch came on the 4th, when the cabinet met for the first time and voted to ratify the earlier declaration of independence (or declare independence again—the distinction between the declaration of independence and the formal MicroWiki launch was quite blurry) and post on the MicroWiki Forums.
The plan to centre Glastieve around MicroWiki meant some members chose to adopt an alias. At least to begin with, these aliases were used in all written Glastieven work (even internal documents that were not intended to end up on MicroWiki), so they appear very frequently in the archives. In documents from 2017:
δ was ‘Mark Kavanah’
R was ‘John Matthews’
U was ‘Genevieve Unak’
β was ‘Arissa Wilde’
A was ‘Jay B’lard’
ζ was ‘Cassandra Bellingham’.
As well as the MicroWiki launch, the first cabinet meeting on 4 March passed δ’s constitutional Acts and ratified the other work of the planning board. N symbolically voted against the flag and C’s original crest because he wanted it on record that someone had opposed them. The second meeting was similar, enacting an Act written by N and ratifying some of δ and R’s work, though K and C did not attend. In this early period, the focus was very much on individual ministers doing as they saw fit outside the cabinet and then bringing it to be ratified. The cabinet itself was not a venue where strategy was decided or ideas were discussed.
N was the most active minister, working on his department like it was his own micronation. R and δ were next-most active. R was particularly noted for the unique corporate identity he created for ‘DoGA’ (his branding for the Department of Governmental Administr- ation), though he slightly missed the nuance of how micronations blended fantasy and reality by filling DoGA’s website with extravagant false stories about its activities. δ created a website called ‘GovernmentOnline’ and experimented with trying to create a small-scale working luach economy. U also did independent work, designing a battle standard and inventing the distinctive ‘Glastieven salute’. E and β did no independent work but did consistently attend the weekly meetings. K and C, the least active of all, did not even manage that.
The three most active ministers did not have a great working relationship. R had told δ back in February that he would not be part of the project unless N was forced out. δ, hoping to keep both of them involved, created ‘Spingate’, a manufactured ‘political controversy’ that would centre on N discovering a plot by R to create his own ‘controversy’ called ‘Transitgate’ by misrepresenting N’s work to make him look corrupt. The Transitgate ‘plot’, allegedly aimed at making N resign, was a document that δ put together so that R would think they were honouring their request to force out N. δ made sure to write it in R’s style (e.g. making deliberate typos), covered it in deliberately suspicious ‘classified’ warnings, and ‘hid’ it in the shared Google Drive where they knew N would find it.
When N did find the Transitgate document some time later, they brought it to δ, who pretended to be shocked and wrote a news article about the situation to create the ‘controversy’. As part of the plan, they founded a newspaper, The Glastieven. The story included what looked like a wild accusation from R that it had actually been δ who had created Transitgate. R responded to being double-crossed by lying and telling δ he had been to the ‘Microwiki high court’ and that they would be ‘shutting glastieve down’. δ also included evidence that R had ‘faked’ the stories on the Doga website, presenting them as self-aggrandising lies rather than well-intentioned but confused contribut- ions to the project. The overall subtext of the articles was that R was addicted to using manipulative ‘spin’ tactics to win influence. Since they admitted to it in 2018, other Glastievens have tended to judge δ negatively for Spingate, though they did achieve their goal of keeping both R and N in Glastieve. Whether they abandoned ethics to do so is another question.
An area where δ was having less success was persuading other Glastievens to engage with the luach. After speaking to E about the issue, they became convinced that the problem was the lack of a sufficient incentive. They then wrote a white paper laying out a theoretical solution, the three pillars strategy, also known as the Glastieven Model. The idea was that the government could use small payments of pound sterling and a currency law based on ‘reciprocity’ to manipulate the uselessness of the luach to give it value as a medium of exchange for small transactions, after which point the economy could run by itself. Later attempts to put it into practice would be hampered by unrelated practical problems, and it remains a moot point whether the Glastieven Model would actually have worked.
Though K and C were the least active ministers, it is worth emphasising that they did not do absolutely nothing. They were not the ‘paper ministers’ of later Glastieven history. Aside from their contributions at the planning stage, they turned up to one or two meetings and voiced opinions on political issues like Spingate (which also meant that they read The Glastieven). The Group’s last member, ζ, joined Glastieve in March as a magistrate—though he actually did fail to engage at all. The Groupians were less active than the Chill Groupers, but they were undeniably involved.
The Group became bogged down in major drama after 18 April—the April 2017 controversy, discussed in the previous section. At the same time as the Group was imploding, Glastieve had its own political drama on the 20th. As revenge for Spingate (which N did not find out until 2018 had been orchestrated by δ), N tabled a motion of no confidence in R when he missed a meeting for the first time. Nominally, it was in response to his unprofessionalism and failure to do his duties. The latter charge was mean-spirited but technically true, as R’s role included organising meetings, which δ had been doing instead. The motion passed in his absence, and R decided to interpret his demotion from DoGA minister to citizen as an expulsion from Glastieve. δ and N appointed themselves as overseers of a by-election to elect a replacement minister.
The by-election was scheduled for the 27th. N nominated his friend ε, and R nominated himself. δ and E knew that April 2017 was going to leave the Group in a bad position (though it was not yet clear it was about to no longer exist), so they decided to use the by-election as an unofficial referendum for how Glastieve should position itself in the shifting social landscape. Without asking him first, they put ζ on the ballot, and characterised a vote for him as a vote for tying Glastieve to the organic social circle around it. In contrast, they characterised a vote for ε as a vote for seeing Glastieve as a purely micronational project that was independent of the social groups around it and that should aim to bring in new blood rather than strengthen its links to existing friendship groups. δ called the stance represented by ζ ‘Acteriendianism’, using the word Acteriendia to mean Chill Group and the Group considered as one. They called the stance represented by ε ‘Independentism’, as in Glastieve being independent of any social structures.
E was a die-hard ‘Acteriendian’, to use the contemporary nomenclature. δ leaned that way too; N was expected to vote for ‘his guy’; U and β were expected to vote for ζ because they disliked N; and R was expected to vote for himself. Ergo ζ was expected to win—even if δ, the one swing voter, changed their mind.
Yet ε won a surprise victory. δ voted for him because they could not bring themself to vote for a candidate who had not actually stood for election (rather than because they had decided to back ‘Independentism’). On the other hand, E really had switched ideological sides, as he had begun to realise that April 2017 had caused the Group to fall apart.
ε was not active as DoGA minister and quit a few days into the role. Perhaps N had been playing his own games with the by-election and had pressured his friend to stand, hoping to increase his influence in the cabinet. Regardless, by now it was obvious to everyone that Glastieve needed new recruits, so the by-election was recast as a ‘victory for Independentism’ and δ and E claimed a mandate to bring in two new cabinet ministers, Z and T.
A legal device was now needed to swap them for K and C. Rather than write a new law, the group looked for an approximate precedent in British politics and found the ‘cabinet reshuffle’. δ and U were appointed ‘reshuffle advisers’, responsible for working out the new titles.
The reshuffle ended on 4 May. R was back, and Z and T were now in the cabinet. δ also changed around some titles, binning K’s useless ‘EduUion and Recruitment’ brief; inventing a new job title to meet T’s desire to do ‘something techy’; and giving themself a new ‘governmental communiUions’ role that covered work like orchestrating Spingate (it was also used to justify them covering up for an inactive DoGA minister).
After the reshuffle, the cabinet had the following people with the following titles:
N as Minister for Infrastructure, Transp- ortation and Geographical Affairs
R as Minister for National Identity, Insignia and Language
E as Minister for Governmental Admin- istration and Recruitment
δ as Minister for Economics, Finance and Governmental CommuniUions
Z and Minister for Public Safety, Defence and the Judiciary
T as Minister for Media and Technological Affairs
U as Field Marshal of the Glastieven Armies
β as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
In the weeks following the reshuffle, this cabinet became a social group in its own right, superseding the previous group of δ, R, E, U and N. β did not become part of this new social circle and quit Glastieve in June. In mid-May, the cabinet voted to create the Sofa Government Club, a string of three after-school meetups at a nearby Starbucks to strengthen the social group.
T has called May and June 2017 a ‘golden age’, pointing to the new social group and a high level of micronational activity. He was one of the most active ministers, along with δ and N. E was more involved than he had been in the Foundation Period and Z was initially enthusiastic. R picked up where he had left off, giving his department distinctive branding as ‘Doniial’ and bringing in S as his Permanent Undersecretary.
A press release from R’s Doniial in May 2017
δ focused on foreign policy, obtaining a Plenipotentiary License that gave them the power to act on Glastieve’s behalf in MicroWiki and using it to establish relations with Skovaji’s old allies in the State of Nedland and the Sultanate of Shorewell. β and U were exceptions to this pattern of high activity, though they were both preoccupied with the ‘Keira drama’, an argument outside Glastieve that ended up creating a schism in Exeter’s anime and manga subculture.
The creation of national group chats on Facebook Messenger helped to consolidate the new social group and provided a second venue for collective work on the project. These chats became the new centre of Glastieven national life, though cabinet meetings remained well-attended. N’s suggestion that ε return as a security guard for these meetings was rejected after Z pointed out that this was a euphemism for N inviting him to come and beat up R, but on 8 June, ε became Chief Justice after β resigned.
Traditional text-based RPs of BHH were revived, though E and δ deserve a slap on the wrist for creating a secret chatroom called ‘BHH de-CaitlinfiUion Committee’ where they invited N to work with them to create a ‘new BHH’ that had less ‘cringe’ anime influence from U. Thankfully, it went nowhere. There was also a new fantasy RP, Maisraln. T and N were included in both BHH and Maisraln, but the latter quit after a few days.
T’s golden age was notably lacking in new laws. Bar a one-line joke Act, no legislation was written until the latter end of June, when δ wrote a rather prosaic Criminal Law Act on the 22nd that covered obvious crimes like arson, murder and Awalking. More interestingly, they set up a ‘Taxation and Salaries Cabinet Committee’ in late June with E and R to write three short Acts that (they hoped) would lay the groundwork for a Glastieven Model economy.
δ tried something more experimental on 29 June, establishing a Legislative ConvoUion, or a Skype-based national parliament. They got quick approval from U, E and T in private messages so that the parliament had technically been voted for by a majority of the cabinet. It was common for community-focused MicroWiki nations to hand out citizenship to online micro- nationalists who became statesmen (and it did tend to be men) in various nations, and the ConvoUion was an attempt to set up a similar national parliament based on δ’s experiences as an MP in Nedland and the Abeldane Empire. They invited everyone in Glasteve to join the Pragmatic, Acteriendian, or Egalitarian Party, and then asked people from the community to become MPs for one of the three parties.
In Glastieve, R and ε chose the Pragmatic Party; S chose the Acteriendian Party; and everyone else chose the Egalitarian Party. δ sent rolling party seat totals to the chat as new MPs joined, trying to create ‘election night’ vibes based on the real life 2017 general election three weeks earlier. Almost all MPs chose the Egalitarian Party, and as this became obvious, R and S defected. Coincidentally, the convoUion and the cabinet ended up split between the parties in the same proportion, and δ characterised the cabinet’s unchanged composition as the ‘result’ of the convoUion ‘election’. Despite their best efforts over the next few weeks, however, the Legislative ConvoUion ended up abandoned and forgotten.
Though δ’s attempt to create a Skype-based community parliament had come to nothing, the political parties it spawned lingered on. δ was elected leader of the Egalitarian Party, and in early July, they formed a national executive committee of himself, E, N and T to write a manifesto, though the NEC never actually met and only existed on paper. Z also engaged with the Egalitarian Party, creating a logo for it and suggesting policies for the manifesto. In The Glastieven, δ started referring to ε as the ‘leader of the opposition’, on the grounds that he was the only Glastieven politician who was not part of the ‘ruling’ Egalitarian Party.
Also on the 29th, the Supreme Court heard its first case, Howe vs Kavanah, a dispute between δ and N. δ had felt socially awkward in a Nedlandic parliament session and had wanted an excuse to speak, so they motioned for Nedland to change the loUion of Evonia—a small parcel of territory that had been ceded from Skovaji to Nedland in 2016 and was now within Glastieve. N took them to court for illegally ceding Glastieven land to a foreign power. δ contended that (a) Glastieve had never claimed Evonia, because its territory had been defined as what Skovaji had claimed, and (b) small territorial gifts were closer to diplomacy than ‘geographical affairs’, so moving the pre-existing ‘gap’ in Glastieve’s territory was within the powers of the Plenipotentiary License. N argued against δ’s point ‘a’ that the official maps he had drawn were what defined the territory and that references to Skovaji had been guidance for him on what to include on the maps rather than legally binding. ε found in δ’s favour but told them they were ‘being a dick’. δ wrongly recorded this in the official history as ε telling them that he had acted ‘legally but immorally’, and T later quoted that phrase more than once to describe δ’s other schemes.
July 2017 is traditionally known as the ‘Partisan Period’ of the First Republic’s history, a bad pun on the political parties that appeared from the convoUion experiment and the fact that the cabinet became more factional. The title makes it sound like this was a period of decline—however, even compared to the high point of May and June, it was a good month. The social group continued to thrive and there was still broad and enthusiastic engagement with the micronation. Glastieve would remain unfamiliar with true decline for a few months yet.
The cabinet lost its venue at the start of July, and while E was nominally tasked with finding a new one, he decided that his task was impossible and organised video calls instead. Z ended up being stung by this approach, as despite her title including ‘public safety’, a law against manslaughter was repealed at a video meeting that she had not been free to attend. It proved short-lived anyway, as on the 7th, a teacher called Ms Mertens (who had facilitated the Anarcho- Communist Green Team back in 2016) offered her classroom to the cabinet. She also suggested that the group register as a branch of CND, but in a rare instance of R and N taking a united stance—as well as a rare instance of δ losing a vote—the cabinet rejected the idea.
E suspended the cabinet on 10 July until September as a ‘summer recess’. R took this as a return to Foundation Period style ministerial independence, and on the same day, he ran a poll on religion in the group chat, with a vague plan to conduct a national census through a series of individual surveys. Later that week, he proposed a Taxation Act that would have given his and Ker- ry’s departments the power to set a membership fee for Glastieve in real money (British pounds).
On the 12th, E and δ had a long discussion about BHH and Maisraln in an empty classroom—which, as E would later develop a habit of pointing out, took place whilst they were jumping on tables and listening to Megalovania. This discussion, which δ controversially dubbed ‘the Mythological Conference’, created a new concept: Glastieven mythology. The two drew a timeline from Maisraln to BHH, proposing that they took place in the same universe, and added two new roleplaying worlds to the timeline, Evonian and Suijing, drawing on old BHH lore for inspiration. They called BHH, Evonian, Suijing and Maisraln the four ‘cycles’ of Glastieven mythology.
Meanwhile, R asked δ to kick U out of the group, and when they refused, R began an underhanded campaign to undermine what he
saw as δ’s excessive power in the social group. In the micronation, he claimed the Egalitarian Party NEC was δ’s secret council for controlling Glastieve and presented Doniial as an alternative. This roped S into the conflict on his side and antagonised N and T alongside δ and E. The tension boiled over on the 16th, when R removed everyone from the group chats, briefly declared himself President, and then quit Glastieve.
N dubbed this incident ‘Matthewsgate’, a term which was subsequently extended to include the build-up. In the heat of the moment, δ, N and T (E was asleep) initially wanted to exile him from Glastieve. δ spent the next week trying to ‘clean up’ after the power struggle by trying to win over S and make him loyal to the NEC. On the 23rd, the cabinet voted not to exile R. δ, E and T voted against exile; N voted in favour. R then returned to Glastieve on the 24th.
Later that day, δ and T decided to hold a second cabinet reshuffle. δ’s intention was to establish a clear historical dividing line between Matthewsgate and the subsequent period—to ‘draw a line under it’. In contrast, T believed the circumstances were similar to the aftermath of April 2017, where the reshuffle had been followed by a period of relative productivity and harmony, and he hoped a second reshuffle would result in a second period of productivity and harmony. Initially, they made plans for the reshuffle in secret, but then they invited S and R to join them and δ effectively made the plans public knowledge by posting ‘reshuffle rumours’ stories in The Glastieven.
No-one questioned δ and T’s power to just ‘call’ a reshuffle without a cabinet vote. δ sarcastically dubbed them the ‘Diarchy’, referencing a MicroWiki record label. T, who was less inclined to see it as a joke, sternly informed him he did ‘not approve of this so-called diarchy’. Whilst they both seemed happy enough to wield their unofficial power, they considered it a problem that they had it.
The July 2017 cabinet reshuffle did not actually move anyone out of the cabinet, though it did create an extra department so that S could stay in the cabinet. The cabinet now had:
N as Minister for Infrastructure, Transp- ortation and Geographical Affairs.
R as Minister for Economics, Corporations and Charities
S as Minister for Public Safety and Defence
E as Minister for National Identity, Culture and Language
δ as Minister for CommuniUions and Press Strategy
Z as Minister for Constitutional Affairs and the Judiciary
T as Minister for Online and Diplomatic Affairs
U as Field Marshal of the Glastieven Army
ε as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Some documents from just after the reshuffle call N the ‘Minister for Infrastructure, Transp- ortation and Territorial Affairs’: what is going on there is that δ and T tried to change N’s title and he ignored them until they gave up and went back to using the old one.
On the 29th, marking the traditional end of the Partisan Period, δ published a white paper called “Dissolving hidden power structures to create a more united and democratic Cabinet” that laid out their plan to make Glastieve run more smoothly. They wrote that the cabinet “should take the Acteriendian approach of merging further the concepts of the existing friendship group and Glastieve”, saying that “ideas like Glastieven mythology are awesome examples of what can be achieved by the group working together in an informal way and then formalising the results”.
A few days later, on 3 August, lines were added to the state history stating that a “group of people briefly using the name Acteriendia” (meaning the Chill Group) had developed Glastieven culture “from 2015 onwards” and led an “independence movement” (...) “to better govern themselves and adequately develop their unique culture.” In its ‘in character’ state history (‘in character’ meaning when it was claiming to be a real country rather than conceding that it was a project for fun), Glastieve now claimed that its history had begun in 2015 and that it existed to strengthen and protect the organic social group and its traditional Chill Group–derived culture.
The Holiday Period
Just as July 2017 was the Partisan Period, August 2017 was the Holiday Period. This one was not a pun—rather, it was a disappointingly literal refer- ence to the summer holidays, which had started on 22 July and would end on 3 September.
In rather an odd episode, the group chat voted on 29 July to make ‘Renmei’ the ‘national philo- sophy’ of Glastieve, taking the same position as a national religion. Starting from the premise that organised religions with set dogmas provided their followers with a ‘system of meaning’, Renmei opposed such systems. However, because a secular theory like Marxism or psychoanalysis could also be a ‘system of meaning’, Renmei did not view religion or faith in the supernatural per se as the enemy—rather, it opposed dogma, or this idea that all of reality could be explained through one coherent ‘system of meaning’ provi- ded by someone else. Renmei, in contrast, meant encouraging individuals to construct their own tapestries of beliefs from different sources whilst being sceptical and constructing wider beliefs logically from either empirical evidence or ‘faith axioms’. This half-baked idea, the product of a conversation between the atheist δ and the Protestant T, was never defined further and its status as the ‘national philosophy’ never meant anything in practice.
The odd Renmei vote ended up setting the tone for the Holiday Period. August was a month where Glastieve was effectively on hold, yet there were lots of meetups involving T, δ and E (and to a lesser extent N) where they discussed Glastieven ideas and sometimes sent them to the group chat. Several ‘cabinet committees’ appeared, perhaps trying to turn these conversations into something productive, but all they achieved was inflating the number of national group chats. Typical of the Holiday Period were projects like T, δ and E writing part of a Glastieven mythology video game, or those three plus N and U talking about filming a satirical YouTube series called Glory to the Independent.
R and Z joined the usual four for a meetup in the Glastieven territory on 12 August. A pub in the territory had put on a community festival, IdeFest, and the six had planned to go along as a light-hearted ‘Glastieven delegation’, but they were turned away at the gate for being ‘unaccompanied children’. Thus they went and explored the territory for a few hours instead and N talked about drawing a national map.
For δ, T and R, and perhaps for the rest of the group if they deigned to read The Glastieven, the later Holiday Period saw Glastieve dragged into a fight that δ had started with the MicroWiki admins (particularly their leader, Jonathan Austen) over the ‘New Community’, an attempt of theirs to establish a parallel MicroWiki community on the grounds that the existing one had a toxic class structure based on cronyism that δ claimed made it hostile to newcomers and less online-focused micronations.
Glastieve also ended up opposing Jonathan—or strictly speaking, his micronation, the Empire of Austenasia—in a related dispute between his hegemonic empire and an alliance of four other traditional powers plus Glastieve. At one point in the latter dispute, R came close to infiltrating the Austenasian State Intelligence Agency.
R and the head of the Austenasian State Intelligence Agency, Pavle Savovic. δ described Pavle as “like R on crack”; Pavle described R as “ballsless version of me.”
In the end, T proposed that Glastieve abstain from all foreign relations, and the chat voted to accept this ‘Internal Affairs Motion’. Glastieven sources have a tendency to present this as a high point—a triumphant decision to reject a toxic distraction and focus on progress—but in truth, it was more of a ‘you can’t fire me, I quit!’. T and δ were banned from MicroWiki and the New Community was dead. A few months later, Glastieve was expelled from the Intermicro- national Community (IC), a highbrow club that had grown out of the anti-Austenasia alliance and had once been fancied by δ as a continuation of their New Community.
The Reformation Period
The Reformation Period was the longest in the First Republic’s history, spanning three months where Glastieve went from being an optimistic nation making progress to collapsing after a sudden takeover by an ‘anti-élite’ party fuelled by U’s desire to get one over on E. The common thread running through this period was its eponymous ‘reforms’—continual initiatives and proposals that changed how Glastieve operated, with T and δ trying to make these succeed by putting pressure on others to participate in the micronation more.
It took Glastieve a week or so to get back into the swing of things following the summer (and perhaps to a lesser extent following Matthewsgate and the New Community drama); only E, R, S, δ and T turned up to the first cabinet meeting on the 7th, and in E’s view, in early September it looked as though the ‘friendship group had died’. His fear that his friends had drifted apart over the summer, or perhaps his fear that the organic social group descended from the Chill Group had disappeared and been replaced by an artificial social structure based on participation in the micronation, was later labelled the ‘September Scare’ after similar themes resurfaced in January 2018.
The remainder of September and the first half of October saw signs of progress and enthusiasm sit alongside signs of declining interest and toxic behaviour from δ and T. Attendance at cabinet meetings is a good example of these two factors at play. On 14 September, the cabinet met in full bar one expected absence. Then it barely made quorum on the 21st and failed to meet for three weeks. But then it met in full again on the 11th bar S. Yet after this perfectly successful meeting, T and δ felt the need to send a passive-aggressive letter to S awarding him an ‘attendance strike’.
T and δ had started to believe that they were fighting a demon that killed micronations: ‘inactivity’, a term for declining participation in micronational politics that implied that it had to be corrected by putting pressure on others to get more involved. The two of them also focused more on encouraging progress than δ ever had done in the spring and summer (he was quite content to let Glastieve drift), though this was not a new concept like ‘inactivity’ was. The more their innovations put people off in this period, the more convinced the two became that they had to fight ‘inactivity’.
They launched a legislation-writing programme called the Two-Month Plan, which included an Economy Act, a National Identity Act and a Constitutional Convention Act, the last of which was supposed to supersede the ‘constitutional’ Acts from the Foundation Period. In the end, they finished the second and a scaled-back version of the third. N wrote a National Holidays Act that was sometimes grouped as an additional part of the Two-Month Plan and δ threw together a quick State Information Act that filled a niche identified in the Jonathan Austen drama for a way to create classified documents. All four laws were passed in one go on the 11th.
There were no cabinet meetings from 21 September to 11 October. This was not due to declining interest; rather, it was the unintended side effect of δ and T’s plan to transform cabinet meetings from sessions at school lunch times to hour-long bore-fests held after school or at weekends in the territory. N was the only one who liked this idea. He shared δ and T’s enthusiasm for strengthening Glastieve’s connection with the territory, and he wrote a rather dry and technical Act in support of it, the Public Roadways and Pedestrian Spaces Act.
δ and T wanted special cabinet meetings every two months to discuss the ‘direction’ of Glastieve and set targets. The idea was unpopular, even with N, but as nobody actually read the Constitutional Observances Act when voting for it and no-one openly voiced their discontent, a situation emerged where everyone except δ and T thought that those two had invented a construct and forced it on the group, whereas they thought the group had voted for the idea and assumed that the difficulty in getting people to turn up was yet more ‘inactivity’.
But it would be a mistake to assume that autumn 2017 was broadly unhappy or unsuccessful (albeit an easy mistake for readers who know where the trends described above ended up in the Second Republic). There was still plenty of ‘good’ activity in October. δ wrote a state website after canvassing successfully for donations from T, E, R, U and N to buy the ‘glastieve.org’ domain. R was active as econ- omics minister, albeit with significant guidance from δ, though his entirely reasonable plan to launch the economy on 31 October was scuppered by the failure of an online micronat- ionalist called Stephen Freayth to hold up his end of a bargain and design Glastieven banknotes. There were two Glastieven mythology larps organised by E and δ.
There was also a national debate over a proposed National Identity Act, centred on whether the micronation’s government designing new rituals and traditions based on the social group’s existing, organically-determined interests was helpful or hurtful. δ, U and T thought it was a cool idea, whereas N, E and ε felt that it was overbearing and artificial.
Interestingly, or at least everyone thought so at the time, R dropped the John Matthews alias at the start of October. This was interpreted as him distancing himself from Matthewsgate, and T interpreted that in turn as a sign that R planned to abstain from causing drama in the future. His hopes were dashed on the 6th, when R asked him to announce that he (R) had resigned and then accused him in the group chat of lying and faking screenshots. R then said he really was resigning, but returned later and said he had fake-resigned ‘to see how certain people would react’. Predictably, T saw it as a serious incident that merited a formal response; N and ε called for his (real) resignation; and δ and E thought it was a laugh and told the others to chill out.
“A culture should be forged, not forced” N’s slogan in opposition to the proposed Act.
A rather more enduring bone of contention emerged later that month when the news spread through the school that E’s new girlfriend was a seventeen year old soon-to-be uni student called Beti. E and the other Glastievens were fourteen at the time.
Beti could have been designed to piss off E’s friends as much as possible. She was smug, manipulative and liked to boast that she had never lost an argument. Her family was so rich that she, the seventeen year old daughter, person- ally owned a five-star resort. She was a proud neolib (who claimed to be a centrist rather than a right-winger), and her life plan was to work in advertising, supported by passive income from her properties. U hated Beti even more than she hated E and news of the relationship reignited her anger towards him. R called her ‘Black Betty’ and ‘Big Bertha’, neither as a compliment. δ and K actually tried to stop the relationship by openly begging E to ditch her. He responded by adding her to the chat and telling the three of them to talk it out, which went about as well as could be expected.
On the 28th, δ and T organised a meeting with N to discuss how to get the others to be more active. δ believed that the answer was to shrink the government to five people, run competitive elections, and cultivate a non-govern- mental side to Glastieven national life. T—as in July—wanted to ‘shake up’ the government in imitation of the May 2017 cabinet reshuffle. N liked the idea of streamlining the state and encouraging Glastievens who did not become part of the government to focus on culture and the territory. They created a plan, Project Zeta, to shock Glastieve into action by declaring indepen- dence again and electing a small cabinet of five ministers that would serve for six months.
The cabinet was invited to approve Project Zeta on the 31st. R quit Glastieve on the spot over the plan to declare independence, as it included sending a ceremonial letter to the Queen, which he insisted was ‘treason’ and would get the group arrested. Aside from that outburst, the idea was well-received. Two elections were contested: both S and T wanted to be Minister for Govern- mental Administration and Public Relations; and U and N both ran for Minister for Internal, Legal and Territorial Affairs. δ also used Project Zeta to relaunch The Glastieven, hiring N as a political analyst and stating that their medium-term intention was to leave the government, revive the print edition, and provide an independent press for Glastieve.
Predictably, on 1 November, T beat S; but in an upset, U beat N. He was furious (and it must have rubbed salt into the wound that δ had him write an article about the election results). He soon began plotting to oust U and take her place before the six months were up. He tried to enlist δ to help. Initially, δ nominally agreed to assist to make sure that they stayed in the loop, though unbeknownst to N they had voted for U and had little sympathy with the cause. When N revealed that his plan was to overwhelm U with contrived dull paperwork and negative news reports so she became miserable and gave up, δ decided that it had gone beyond fun and games and they leaked the plan to U on the 6th.
U was not interested in simply telling the group about the plot and shaming N. She demanded revenge. It did not often come up, but U already disliked N, enough that when R had tried to persuade δ to kick her out of the group back in July he had overcome his own distaste for him and presented U as hating N irrationally. Somehow, as δ and U were discussing her desire to ruin N’s life, E’s name became part of the conversation. It is not clear whether δ or U was the one to link E to the plot but the upshot was that U came to believe that E had been involved in N’s plot against her for his own reasons. She thought E had used N’s misogynistic arrogance (his belief he had a ‘right’ to the post) as a pretence to force her out of the government because he was scared of her ability to see through his bullshit.
With guidance from δ, her desire for revenge crystallised into an anti-élite political movement called Reform. U was the driving force behind Reform: she defined its programme and was looked up to as the leader. δ took the seat behind the throne, plotting out a course for how U could take over the government. She framed Reform as the silenced and ignored members of Glastieve taking on an arrogant old guard that thought it had a right to boss them around, though in practice most of her rhetoric and most of the banter in the secret Reform chatroom was narrowly focused on attacking E. Z and ε joined and showed enthusiastic support for its programme, though Z did not wish to be an election candidate; S and a girl called Li—one of ε’s best friends and δ’s casual girlfriend—also joined but were less engaged.
The plan went smoothly, from their perspective. For E, N and T, it must have been incredibly confusing. On the 9th, δ resigned as a minister in protest against “cloak-and-dagger, borderline-Machiavellian scheming” that aimed “to subvert the integrity and fairness of our country’s democracy” (they meant N’s plot rather than their own). U and ε followed, typifying Reform’s rhetoric in their shared resignation letter. “You have lost touch with the ordinary people of Glastieve, you have tried to remove an elected minister to replace them with another of your friends because you think you have a right to be in charge, and you ignore people.” The letter also singled out—in these words, brackets and all—“E (for us both), and N (for Genevieve) in particular”, saying they “need to be put in their place and shown that we know what we’re all about.”
Reform intended to form a government with S, ε, U, and T. In official documents, U filled the fifth space with her friend Casey; he was a ‘paper minister’, someone who never had any contact with either Glastieve or his nominal position in its government. T resigned on the spot. He assumed that the ‘old guard’ meant the ministers who had stayed active in October, so he assumed that Reform was a political attack on him, δ and N rather than a personal attack on N and E. Following T’s resignation came an even more epic fail: E was appointed to U’s government. He gave a puppy-dog speech in the group chat that won over S and ε, who outvoted U and made him a civil servant.
As the dust settled, it became apparent that the new government was not going to do anything. Neither U nor anyone else in Reform had any actual interest in the ‘running a government and writing laws’ side of micronationalism (hence why none of them had been that active in the cabinets of previous periods). Their original facilitator, δ, was deliberately refusing to help run the government because they did not wish to compromise their new position as the independent press. On the 11th, S resigned, ε followed, and U told the chat that Reform had been defunct for some time now.
This was the end of the First Republic. T made a comment in the group chat to the effect of ‘I think we should just accept that this is over’, and no-one was εing to challenge him. The other active ministers—δ and N—were certainly not going to protest. N had faced a coup d’etat against him despite not even being in the government; δ was reading the message having spent three hours on a delayed train in Sussex, watched Reform fail and been dumped by Li, all in that same evening. The group chat was deleted and the official history in the Glastieve Shared Google Drive was updated to state that the Republic of Glastieve had come to an end on 11 November 2017
Second Republic of Glastieve
November and December 2017
When the First Republic died, the national group chats were deleted. Z made a replacement, ‘Glastieve Reconstruction’. E and δ changed its name to ‘New Acteriendia’s Chill Group #24’, referencing an earlier tradition of calling every chatroom the ‘Chill Group #X’ (with the numbers counting up one by one with each new chat). A slew of people who were one social group away from Glastieve were added to New Acteriendia’s Chill Group #24—T’s old friends from his former hometown in Cornwall, A and his friends in Manchester, E and δ’s friends from a youth group called the Woodcraft Folk, U’s anime and manga friends—but none were active for long.
The Republic aside, the group flourished over the end of term and the Christmas holidays. A group Minecraft server was created; Z began work on a crime noir novel. The mythology experie- nced high levels of interest, and on 25 November, T and δ had a long discussion on the former’s suggestion that the mythology needed reworking to encourage further engagement. This ‘Second Mythological Conference’, with E and U’s subsequent approval, replaced the Suijing and Evonian Cycles with the Unbounded, Mission and Frontier Cycles, and added the Eluctari and Ultrix Cycles, which connected the stories of the mythology together.
In the background, E, δ, and T were working to revive the micronation. Calling themselves the ‘Glastieve Planning Board’, they spent the next two months preparing to launch a Second Republic that would not fall apart like its predecessor. They decided to declare independ- ence on the first day of 2018, a suitably dramatic date that would make the dividing line between the two eras of Glastieven history nice and clear, leaving the negativity and failings of the First Republic in the past. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was the idea of a ‘second golden age’—the first ‘golden age’ being an imaginary era that δ and E thought they remembered from 2015 (it was actually a romanticised blend of April–June 2016 and September 2016).
Their brave new Republic would be defined by four innovations that would ensure it could usher in such a ‘golden age’: New Secessionism, the ‘constituencies model’, a new national territory, and the ‘Sovereignty Retcon Retcon’.
New Secessionism was a theory about the nature and purpose of micronations which saw them as governments of groups of friends. Their political institutions and law courts were more developed versions of the social decision-making and conflict resolution methods that emerged naturally in groups of friends, e.g. a micronation with a king or a queen was a more evolved version of a group of friends that had an unofficial leader who tended to choose where the group went out for lunch or who was invited. This meant that a micronational state like the Republic of Glastieve was neither a game with no purpose nor a sincere attempt to win recognition as a ‘real country’: it was a sincere government for its friendship group.
A key impliUion of New Secessionist theory was that a friendship group was a micronation. An entity like the ‘Republic of Glastieve’ was a micronation-state, but it was Glastieve itself—the social group that had chosen to create the state—that was the micronation. δ and T laid a good deal of stress on the ‘organic culture’ of these friendship-group–micronations and a New Secessionist government was meant to both strengthen this culture (in the manner of the 2017 National Identity Act) and be ‘rooted’ in it, which meant treating the ‘organic tradition’ of the social group as sacred and shaping the state’s institutions around the social group’s history, values and aesthetic.
Their second innovation was the constituencies model. This meant they would try to persuade other groups of friends with social connections to theirs to adopt New Secessionism as well and become provinces of the republic. The Exeter group would be just one of a national network of ‘friendship groups with governments’, called constituencies, which would collectively constitute Glastieve. δ persuaded a Scottish communist that they and E knew through Woodcraft, D, to form a constituency in Glasgow: Chartersvil. They also created a constituency based on the social circle formed at Woodcraft that had put μ in the Chill Group chatroom; it had themself, μ, and two others, θ and ξ, as citizens. The original group’s constituency would be called ‘Quidam ex Acteriendia’ (Latin for most of Acteriendia); the ‘most of’ part was because R had quit and δ was going to be in another constituency. Before the end of the planning process, R agreed to return and the δ/μ/θ/ξ constituency was abandoned, so the Latin prefix was dropped.
Regarding national territory, δ suggested that, instead of the First Republic’s Alphin Valley, the Second Republic should have territory on common land, as they thought they could exploit the ancient English laws on commons to justify Glastieven autonomy within English law. The territory chosen was on North Dartmoor (and the Glasgow constituency, Chartersvil, claimed hills called the Campsie Fells). The Dartmoor territory was in the ancient jurisdiction of the Stannary ConvoUion of Devon, which allowed for a creative claim to a legal loophole wherein the English law would recognise Glastieven power to legislate for its citizens qua a stannary parliament legislating for privileged tinners.
The fourth innovation was the Sovereignty Retcon Retcon, intended to help ease the return to MicroWiki. The Sovereignty Retcon Retcon said, falsely, that the First Republic had never existed. Instead, there had been an organisation called the Glastieve Cultural Association (GCA) which had never declared independence but had adopted a policy it called the ‘Sovereignty Retcon’ where it pretended on MicroWiki that it was a state called the ‘Republic of Glastieve’. In the Sovereignty Retcon Retcon’s false version of history, the Reform government (of the GCA) had run a Messenger poll in November wherein Glastieve voted to declare independence, hence the subsequent creation of the Republic. There had also been a Nightjar Enquiry, where Reform put δ, T and R on trial for antagonising Jonathan Austen. The Sovereignty Retcon Retcon was applied even to inward-facing official documents, and there are plenty of misleading references in the archives to the fictional GCA, Sovereignty Retcon and Nightjar Inquiry.
The Planning Board consolidated its work at a meeting on 2 December, finalising the govern- ment structure and Sovereignty Retcon Retcon. They visited the proposed Dartmoor territory on the 18th and opened negotiations with R for his return (this took a few days as he initially insisted on being given a £15 bribe).
Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis
The Second Republic declared independence on 1 January with high hopes; sadly, these would not be fulfilled. D rapidly lost interest in setting up Chartersvil and the constituencies model was abandoned in all but name. Micronationalism in ‘Acteriendia’ fared only a little better: there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm. δ and T tried to change this with the same strategies that had defined September and October 2017, i.e. endless government reforms, mostly with little effect, and putting pressure on others to participate. Unlike in 2017, they encountered resistance, and there were some occasional but serious arguments.
The first and worst of these arguments was the Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis, a fight between δ and T on the one hand and E on the other. There were various admirable attempts to get a shorter name for these events to stick, but unfortunately, its cumbersome full title was all anyone ever used.
It began when E accused δ of historical revisionism for claiming that “Acteriendia had merged into Glastieve”; aside from their mutual disagreement on how to use the word Acteriendia (though that was no doubt an aggravating factor), E contended that the social group had not merged into the micronation. He then took aim at New Secessionism, particularly T’s policies. In his view, δ and T were trying to force a harmful ‘merger’ between a micronation project and a social group that would make the Republic of Glastieve messier and less developed on the one hand and would stifle the organic social group on the other.
E refused to argue his case, suggesting that his conclusions were common sense and that ‘debating’ such common-sense knowledge was part of δ and T’s manipulative trap. For their part, they struggled to understand his slogans, such as “I can’t tell that it’s a Cabinet meeting—even if you tell me it’s a Cabinet meeting”, “The friendship group is dead” and “Glastieve is making people sad.” It took until February for the two sides to reach a resolution and start trying to revive the government.
Three by-products of the crisis were that E’s political reputation was trashed, partly because he had deliberately disrupted Cabinet meetings with memes to prove his point that they were not formal enough and to prevent them from taking place, as they were ‘making people sad’; the maiestas project, an effort to give the government a dignified and refined aesthetic; and the first structured investigation into the history of the social group, which started a long, slow process of chipping away at the golden age myth (though the phrase and the nostalgia were retained long after the research made it necessary to sever any connection with established fact).
Memes that E used in his guerrilla attempt to stop Cabinet meetings and prove they were too informal.
Following the Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis, the government of Glastieve moved slowly. The territory still wasn’t finalised due to poor communiUion between N and the Planning Board, Stephen Freayth’s continued failure to provide banknote designs meant the economy had not been set up, and engagement from those uninvolved with the Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis was massively decreased. Successes were also to be had however: the government set up an official headquarters in the Haven Road Centre (the maiestas name for E’s warehouse); E and ε both set up Glastieven businesses; 23 February—the anniversary of the founding of the First Republic of Glastieve—was celebrated with a special edition of The Glastieven; N and Z both joined the mythology and created characters and on 22 February the Mythological Foundation abolished the Standard Canon, with the aim of making the mythology more organic and easier to join; plans from the 2017 Holiday Period to film a micronational comedy YouTube series were revived, with Glory to the Independent now being set in the Haven Road Centre, though the new plans never came to fruition.
Once the dust had settled, δ and T decided the Second Republic needed to be refocused on making Glastieve more enjoyable, and that this would be helped by drawing a clear line to end the unrest of the past two months. They devised the Second Phase Initiative, which the Cabinet passed on 18 March. The Second Phase Initiative declared that Glastieven history thus far had been in the First Phase (trying to define its identity and purpose), and both the various reforms and the the Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis had been part of this, and it was now time to transition to the Second Phase: making Glastieve more fun. The Initiative also formally declared that ‘Acteriendia had merged into Glastieve’. The government was restruct- ured, with Cabinet ministers being replaced with non-specialised Executive Councillors who could each action their own proposals and create committees for new initiatives, headed by either a Chancellor or a Commissioner; it was hoped this would encourage more people to take actions of their own in the government.
Vernal and Quayside Periods
Glastieve had a much needed chance to improve social cohesion when the Mini Beast from the East snow wave hit from 17 to 19 March. This was the first time there had been snow in Exeter since December 2012 (and 2008 before that). Several Glastievens met up to go out in the snow. In Belmont Park they had a snowball fight with another friendship group that was framed as an army training exercise led by U and E.
The snow was followed by a flurry of activity. R proposed a national museum and E began planning a fundraiser event to give the Glastieven government a budget. Two Cabinet meetings were held—on 25 March and 8 April—both in the Haven Road Centre and with high attendance and contribution. On the day of the first of these meetings, δ, E, T, and ε visited Devon County Council offices to view the Register of Common Land and maps of Dartmoor, which would help define Glastieve’s territory. δ purchased a domain for The Glastieven and relaunched the newspaper.
δ and T began an effort to make Z feel more involved. This started with the three attending a tea party in the Guildhall hosted by the Lord Mayoress of Exeter and the trio began to refer to themselves as ‘The Tea Party’. Alongside the social effort came an attempt to involve her more in the micronation, which began with the Secret Service Act on 11 April, which made her Commissioner of the Secret Service, based on her interest in crime noir. The intention was to create a niche where she would enjoy being active, so that they did not end up piling pressure on her to do things she found boring, such as attending Cabinet meetings. She would later be made Proprietor of the Lounge in much the same vein.
On the 26th, in a protest against their school’s senseless obsession with conformity, δ and E brought a white tablecloth to the school canteen, along with a cocktail Glastieven flag. After an argument with a member of SLT, they reached a settlement with the deputy head to avoid isolation. In response to the ‘white cloth incident’, R resigned from the Cabinet, claiming the two had embarrassed Glastieve.
The next Cabinet meeting was less successful, with only three attendees. T, E and δ decided that unnotified absence from a meeting counted as abstention from all votes, and that as they were merely codifying an existing convention (or so they claimed), they did not need to pass this new rule through a quorate Cabinet meeting. This meant any meeting would be quorate, even if only one person attended, provided that it had been validly scheduled and advertised to all ECs.
Z, T and U in May 2018
Outside the Cabinet, activity remained high in more popular activities. At the start of May, six Glastievens started a Minecraft server and enga- ged in complex politics, including T being declared ‘Chancellor of the Central Curia’ and δ and E signing a treaty written in mediaeval Latin.
At the next Cabinet meeting, held at the Quay, the territorial borders were finally decided using the common land maps and mediaeval stannaries. The territory was clustered around the River Taw in the north of Dartmoor but extended down to Crockern Tor due to its connection to the stannaries. This meeting also saw ‘Lord High’ added to the Chancellor and Commissioner titles (so they were now Lord High Chancellors and Lord High Commissioners).
The Second Republic’s high court, called the Murus, held its first and only case to determine if Executive Councillors could be elected between General Assemblies. ε, the judge, decided that they could. Two hours later, he was elected as an EC. At the Cabinet meeting on 23 May, Z announced she would lead an anti-sexism initiative in Glastieve, and the Cabinet signed a treaty δ had drafted with Austenasia. E announced he would launch an economy using Google Sheets the next morning.
Following this increase in activity, N resigned from the Cabinet, penning an iconic leaving statement—the ‘old dog’ speech—calling for Glastieve be abolished. δ printed the speech in full in The Glastieven, following it with a gloss where they claimed that N had been “capricious and almost unstable-sounding in his flailing, poorly-punctuated attacks on his group of friends.” δ’s choice to interpret N’s use of the word Glastieve in the ‘old dog’ piece as referring to the social group was in bad faith; they knew full well that N meant the micronation project.
Despite N’s pessimism, activity continued throughout May and June. δ and T worked to build links between Glastieve and its territory and flesh out the stannary loophole that tried to link Glastieven claims to English law. They visited the territory several times, established a tin bound after the manner of the stanneries where they panned for tin in a stream, and wrote the Rights of Way Act to get the government to maintain paths in the territory.
E continued working on the economy, ε launched a business, and δ wrote a govern- ment website. δ and T launched Maiestas, a novel based on Glastieven mythology (officially under the The Tea Party banner, though Z quickly lost interest).
Socially, E was in a weak position in June 2018. U and Z had disliked him in 2017, δ and T were still salty about the Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis, and R was εing to see anyone as a twat. Now there was a widespread and relatively recent feeling that his behaviour had taken a turn for the worse—and Glastieve’s least favourite person, Beti, ended up with the blame.
In June, the group began to take the unanimous view that Beti was responsible for, as U put it, ‘turning E into a dick’. She called him ‘the crying baby who got the bottle’, a phrase that stuck. On 15 June, things went further than ever before, when U, δ and T—with backing from R, Z and N—wrote the Treaty of Exeter, a document that exiled E and made its signatories promise not to speak to him until he dumped Beti and apologised for his ‘behaviour’. δ got cold feet on the 17th and said they should ditch the Treaty. R said that it should stay in place. In the end, δ won the argument, and E returned to the group chats.
In late June, δ and T—with nominal support from Z under the The Tea Party banner—decided to revive the constituencies model. Their belief in New Secessionism led them to conclude there were many friendship groups that would want to found micronations if they were only given the idea, and they wanted to use Glastieve to encourage this. They determined to do this by creating the Intermicronational Association, which would be set up by Glastieve but would function independently. This maintained the ideological integrity of separate micronations around separate friendship groups, as well as the structure for Glastieve to help these fledgling micronations develop. Their efforts to find people to start micronations produced mixed results. T contacted his old friends in Cornwall, who were unenthusiastic, and δ contacted A in Manchester.
In mid-July, δ started seeing a girl called C X from north Devon. This relati- onship had the ship name Rainbow Fedora. She ε be referred to here as “X”; the name “C” here always means the C who went to K, N, U and δ’s primary school. There is a sort of irony to X being remembered by that surname, as from November 2018 until they broke up, she consistently used δ’s surname (without their consent), from her Facebook profile to introducing herself to new friends who had never even met them.
Also in July, he, E, T, and ε worked on a GCSE citizenship ‘action project’. The plan was to host an Afternoon Tea fundraiser as a fulfilment of E’s long-term promise of a for-profit Glastieven event. Z was also involved but left when she felt δ and E were using Glastieven politics to undermine their status as equals co-operating on the project. The Afternoon Tea, which was ostensibly to raise money to increase access to Dartmoor, eventually happened on 30 July in Belmont Hut. The event made a total profit of just under £2.00 and was reported in The Glastieven as a fiscal flop but a public relations success.
Despite the decision to replace the constituencies model with the Intermicronational Association, A quickly decided making a Glastieven constituency was preferable to founding a new micronation. With δ and T’s support, the Intermicronational Association was dropped; δ also got nominal support from D to revive Chartersvil, though nothing ever came of this. δ and T created a group chat with E, R, D, and the Manchunians A and L to decide how to make the constituencies model work. By September, they eventually decided each constituency would have a council, mirroring the Cabinet, one or more coordinators, and an optional executive, mirroring the central government.
During the summer holidays, it was believed that GCSEs would inevitably cause a drop in micronational activity. E went as far as calling for Glastieve to be suspended until after GCSEs (though there was an unrelated flare-up of tensions over Beti that August, so no-one was interested in listening to him). The predicted drop in activity pushed δ and T to call for Cabinet elections so the constituencies model could be set up immediately. Within a week, the old Cabinet had been replaced with a new one of R, A, δ, E, and T. γ, one of the Manchunians, became Chancellor of National Identity and Culture. However, their haste prevented proper constituency admin- istrations being established. To the confusion of the rest of Glastieve, they extracted support to name the Exonian constituency ‘Acteriendia’ and give it Skovaji’s old flag, while not setting up a local government. L, as constituency co-ordinator, got permission to forgo a local council and executive, and Chartersvil existed in name only. L and A’s constituency also did not have a name, and ended up being referred to long term by the filler title ‘Glastieven Manchester’. The result of the constituencies model was that Acteriendia continued to be ‘Glastieve proper’, with the Manchunians an extension to an Exonian project.
In the absence of an official council for Acterienia, E, T and δ became its de facto local government, and saw it as their duty to solve the problem of declining activity with yet more reforms. A major achievement of this unofficial constituency council was securing an English teacher’s classroom as a basically rules-ex- empt space for the group to hang out at break and lunch times, dubbed the Glastieven Lounge (or officially the Acteriendian Lounge). Z was appointed Proprietor.
A scene from the Lounge with (from left to right) S, δ, E, N or Z, and T.
On 14 October, E, T and δ organ- ised an all-day Cabinet meetup in Topsham. They had a working lunch at the Lighter Inn, where E believed he had been served but had in fact been given alcohol-free larger. R worked in Topsham and joined the three after work. The four then took official photos. They tried to video call A for a full formal Cabinet meeting, but he ignored the calls and they had to hold one without him. On the hour and a half or so walk to Exeter, they discussed what the Cabinet could do over half-term, focussing on E reviving the economy.
δ used half term to meet individually with R, U, N and T, intending to refr- esh their relationships with them and put themself in a position to strengthen group cohesion. They also (though for personal rather than trying to help the friendship group reasons) went from being friendly acquaintances to actual friends with L and γ from Manchester.
E launched the economy on 2 November, fulfilling the long-held dream of a functioning economy. He designed black and white Luach notes to be produced using Beti’s printer. The Lounge became the main venue of commerce. δ also set up the banking service, involving them sitting in the Lounge exchanging bank notes for money on the spreadsheet from May. This economy was unique in Glastieven history in that it actually worked, and persisted, albeit sluggishly, until the end of the Second Republic.
The trend of excessive ambition preventing progress that had characterised the constituencies model recurred again at a Cabinet meeting on 3 November. δ argued the Cabinet should have its own offices and a dediUed building of better quality than the Haven Road Centre. This would have required £40 per meeting (they argued that £8 per person for an ‘all day’ meeting once every two months or so was a reasonable ask); the opposition to their proposal prevented any further meetings being organised.
The constituencies model saw success when δ persuaded their girlfriend X to form the constituency of Northllando with her friends at Petroc College. They wrote a Northllando Act on 18 November to formally create the constituency and give X’s friends citizenship. She was well-known in the group by this point, as she had joined some BHH roleplays, threatened to kill γ, and there had been a rather loud incident at δ’s seventeenth birthday party. Northllando was unique in that it actually established a constituency council and executive. This great success halted the decline in activity that had been going on since summer and renewed enthusiasm in micronationalism, characterised by attempts to end ‘Acteriendia-centrism’ and spread Acteriendia and Northllando’s new enthusiasm to Glastieven Manchester. X joined the Cabinet, and at a meeting on the 25th proposed a law regulating ‘traditional weapons’, including KFC sporks (referencing an incident in North- llando history involving her and a boy called Danny) and construction rulers (the Beale War).
X’s interpretation of New Secessionism made Northllando unique in the wider micro- national community, as it was the only known micronational entity (and certainly the only active one) whose culture was entirely taken from that of an existing group of friends, with no attempt whatsoever to make it seem formal or country-like. The one exception to this was the name ‘Northllando’. Even its so-called ‘flag’ was just their group chat photo, a deep-fried meme remix of the KFC logo.
The constituency council was not elected—it was appointed on the basis of existing influence in the social group as judged by X. E no doubt found it rather amusing to watch δ pretending not to be uncomfortable as their own girlfriend made the Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis look reasonable in retrospect by actually using New Secessionism as a pretext for taking undemocratic control of a social group and throwing out beloved but ‘artificial’ parts of Glastieven culture like the national flag.
The November uptick in micronational activity inflamed tensions between N and δ, whose relationship (at least from N’s point of view) had never really recovered after The Glastieven published its interpretation of the ‘old dog’ speech. It was game over on the 21st, when δ jokingly removed and opened cookies from N’s lunchbox. N stormed out of the Lounge, left every current and (most) historical Glastieven group chat, and henceforth refused to speak to δ, except for telling them “you are fucking dead to me” seven months later in June 2019. At first, N stayed friends with other Glastievens and talked to them as normal, simply silently leaving if δ approached. Eventually, he drifted away from the periphery of the group, and he was socially out of frame by the time he told δ they were dead to him.
Late Second Republic
δ once again began publishing newspapers, as with multiple active constituencies there was now news to report that wouldn’t be common knowledge to everyone. Rather than reviving The Glastieven brand they chose to publish two weekly papers: The Custodian, which would be more ‘tabloid-y’ and focus on amusing stories about the friendship groups, and the Acteriendia Evening Standard, which would be more ‘broadsheet-y’ and focus on micronational stories. This move was met with enthusiasm, though T was sceptical about there being enough material for two weekly papers. The first issues were released on 9 December and reported among other things that Mr Horne would cease teaching Glastievens after Christmas and that X had called for marriage legislation to be written.
Drama started to affect Glastieve in mid December. Z announced she would be drafting regulations for the use of the Lounge as the current behaviour was unacceptably disruptive; this was after shouting and swearing by herself, δ, and N back in November had caused Coltheart to consider revoking the right to use the Lounge and E recently getting in trouble for hiding an alarm in a Christmas tree so it would go off in a lesson. Meanwhile T and E had begun a protracted argument over E’s refusal to pay Glastieve’s ministers in spite of a Cabinet vote commanding him to do so. E insisted this was necessary to prevent runaway inflation.
Beyond this there was little micronational activity in the last weeks of term, other than δ getting involved with the unconnected Republic of Dragos. However, the newspapers continued and kept people involved with a thriving social scene, bringing people from both groups together in a humorously overplayed incident involving Elliot (from Northllando) inappropriately touching X’s banana shaped stress toy. δ brought several copies of the papers to Coltheart’s Christmas dinner and copies were taken by several fascinated students as well as Mr Horne.
Micronational activity slowed over the holidays, though it was still expected to pick up again once everyone returned to school. At a Cabinet meeting on 30 December δ proposed a National Library and a New Years government address, both proposals being accepted, and the controversy over ministerial pay was resolved with E being given temporary power to change salaries. However things quickly fell apart: Northllando and what was left of Glastieven Manchester drifted away, leaving only X in the friendship group and δ abandoned their New Year’s address as it would take too much effort to get the rest of Glastieve involved. They and T met at their house—likely on 12 January—and decided they didn’t have the energy to force Glastieve into motion again. Without the two putting any effort in, the Second Republic quietly came to an end.
The period from the end of the Second Republic to the rise of its successor, the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth, spanned the first nine months of 2019. This era began with a shared belief that there would never be a third Glastieven republic and that the social group would not survive the autumn—and it took until the autumn for this pessimism to dissipate. But it was also an era when K returned to the group and X became a full member, and the revival of interest in Glastieve at the end of the period brought unprecedented optimism and creativity.
T referred to this era as the ‘Starlit Night’, a term that he and δ coined during the period itself (to use in Glastieve: A History) after it had become apparent that there was going to be a third republic. The term invoked the idea that the interregnum between the Second Republic and the Holy Commonwealth was a sort of ‘night’ between two ‘days’. The ‘starlight’ represented a plan in this era to create a new micronation called Envardia, and it was also a pun, as the Envardian document about its relationship with Glastieve was called The Starlight Plan and the planned Glastieven group chat in the Envardian Republic would have been called the Starlight Lounge. The term never received much currency, despite its use in Glastieve: A History, and δ later avoided it for that reason.
After the Second Republic fell—or perhaps ‘faded away’—no-one in the group even wanted a third Glastieven micronation. δ and T were not done with micronationalism, but they were done with trying to force their friends to go along with it. The impetus for a revival was not going to come from anyone else, either. R had gone from being one of the most active ministers in the First Republic to barely engaging with a position designed explicitly to appeal to his baser instincts. N, who had once been more engaged with the micronation than δ, had left the group, telling Glastieve to abolish itself on the way out. The one person who was sincerely sad to see the republic go was X, but she had simply not been there long enough to lead a revival movement by herself.
Thus began a period from January to the autumn when the micronation was regarded as a concept in the group’s past. This was coupled with a feeling that the social group was also approaching the end of its history. Secondary school was going to end in June for everyone other than X, and everyone other than her and R would be at college in September (he was starting full time work instead). δ and E are both recorded as having remarked that it was inevitable the group would drift apart after they went to college. They assumed that this was a shared belief across the group, and there is no reason to doubt that they were correct.
Though micronationalism was dead (and, so they assumed at the time, buried), the name ‘Glastieve’ persisted, as did a few other fragments of an ‘independent state’ aesthetic. The six who regula- rly used the old ‘Acteriendian Lounge’ classroom (δ, T, E, ε, U and Z) kept calling it ‘The Lounge’ and respected Z’s authority as proprietor until she stopped turning up after a few months. R continued to assert that he was the ‘director’ or ‘moderator’ of the chatrooms, and because he was the chat admin in the Messenger settings, the others had no choice but to accept his power over the group photo and chat name. On 413 (13 April), δ, X, U, E and T met up for what they called the Second National Homestuck Day.
The group chat became less active in early 2019, and δ, T, E and X all voiced the opinion that the Lounge had displaced it as the hub of the social group. R, who spent his lunchtimes in the Music Department, resisted this trend, deliberately starting conversations in the chat and using his fading authority as its director to encourage people to be active there.
Compared to the group chat, the group being centred on the Lounge had serious drawbacks. Though it had its moments—for instance, there were competitive quizzes where δ put a Spotify playlist of old meme tunes on shuffle play and whoever was first to identify each track won a point—the Lounge was seen by Z and U as an unpleasantly male-dominated environment, and eventually they stopped going. ε gave a disturbing speech where he said that he hated everyone in the Lounge but went there because it was quieter than the school library and because the others had no way to stop him. Another issue was that it was inaccessible to X.
The fact that X not being able to access the Lounge was seen as a problem reflected how far her position had come from when she was seen mainly as δ’s girlfriend. In a famous remark, E told her at the meetup on 13 April that she would still be part of Glastieve even if she and δ broke up. Thanks to their shared interest in anime, Ancient Japan and learning Japanese, U had come to see X as her closest Glastieven friend by mid 2019. While X was becoming part of the group, Z was drifting away. As well as rejecting the Lounge, she developed a habit of leaving the chat at random moments and having to be added back.
Back in January, δ, T and X had started a secret project, Envardia, and E had also become involved. Envardia was like a more ambitious version of the constituencies model. The three said there was a national subculture of nerdy social groups like Glastieve and the Manch- uanians, and their plan was to start a UK-wide online micronation which would encourage these groups to become provinces. Envardia had started out as δ, T and X’s way to continue doing micronationalism without having to get other Glastievens to go along with it, and they had formed an ‘Envardia Planning Board’ with E to do the work to get Envardia ready to launch by the summer. Their initial intention was clear: Envardia was not—and could not be allow- ed to degrade into—a third Glastieven republic. It was a separate project.
But, in May, δ and E had a convers- ation about Envardia that changed their opinion on it having no continuity with Glastieve. They agreed that, as Glastieve was going to disappear once they went to college, it would be silly for it to become an Envardian province. However, they also believed that it was important its legacy be preserved. The hardline break in continuity that had been favoured in January no longer seemed appealing. They came up with The Starlight Plan instead. They hoped to create a document called ‘The Autumn Declaration’ to mark the ‘sunset’ of Glastieven history in autumn 2019. The first part would be ‘The Bold Assertion’, a declaration that Glastieve had been a good thing, even the Second Republic. The next part would be ‘The History of Glastieve’, a collection of nostalgic art, poems or essays about Glastieve that everyone in the group would be invited to contribute to.
The final third of The Autumn Declaration would have been The Starlight Plan. This was a proposal that Glastieve, as a group of friends and a former nation, should be the ones to ‘build Envardia’. Once the Envardian Republic had been established, Glastieve would then become an informal network within Envardian high society that would be exempt from paying taxes (i.e. they would get free membership of a club that otherwise had a small subscription). The plan’s pretentious title was a continuation of the sunset metaphor used across The Autumn Declaration, as it was a plan for how to bring ‘starlight’ to the ‘night’ that followed the ‘sunset’ of Glastieve.
Literally none of The Autumn Declaration was ever put together, but X and T liked the concept that Glastieve as a collective entity could ‘build’ Envardia. The Envardia Planning Board, which was renamed around this time to Tsevinke Évánia nús Komrena (which meant ‘Envardian Planning Council’ in Envardia’s constructed language and was abbreviated as the rather ugly ‘T.É. nús K.’) was no longer a secret organisation planning a new project; it was now an agent acting on Glastieve’s behalf under The Starlight Plan to assist it in building Envardia. δ tried to bring this idea to the people by creating a new general group chat, The Starlight Lounge, with R and Z as admins in view of their old posts as chatroom moderator and proprietor of the lounge. They and T also organised a session in the Lounge (as in the classroom at school) to choose a national territory for Envardia.
T.É. nús K. were left disappointed. The Starlight Lounge was dead and R renamed the old chat to ‘Social lounge’ now that it was no longer the nominal ‘official Glastieven chatroom’. When T.É. nús K. made a poll in the Social lounge asking who wanted to be an Envardian citizen, only U and R said yes. δ tried writing a poem called “Glastieve of Coltheart” to guilt-trip people into joining an Envardian Discord server, but all they achieved by posting it to an old 2017 chatroom was N leaving that chat.
Aside from δ, E and T embarrassing themselves over Envardia (X had decided not to risk her dignity over it), things improved for the social group between May and September 2019. The Social lounge became very active after school ended in June. δ and T described it at the time as being “dominated by [U] talking about the television show Doctor Who and [X] reposting memes from Reddit and Instagram”, and whilst it is not difficult to detect their salt over the more ‘refined’ Starlight Lounge being spurned, they nonetheless give quite an accurate sense of its energy in summer 2019.
The revival of the group chat came at the same time as a new—or rather an old—person came back to the group, K. She was still friends with E in Drama class and he brought her along to the Lounge, where she and δ picked up where they had left off. As she naturally got on well with R and T, and as U knew her from Drama, she was accepted as a full member much faster than X had been.
College started in September for everyone other than X and R (note that T went to a specialist maths school rather than the main college). But the ‘inevitable’ dissolution of the group seemed to be taking a minute or two to get started. Indeed, activity in the Social lounge actually increased. As for T.É. nús K., September was supposed to have been the grand launch of the Envardian Republic—but it was a disaster. By the 15th, δ and T were plotting to abandon Envardia altogether.
On the evening of Friday 6 September, δ ran into R whilst out walking, and they decided to meet up once a week for an evening walk and invite the others to join them. E and T joined them on the 13th (and for an extra walk on the 14th), going to the field above Mincinglake, and then to Great Hill View Park. It is unknown who came up with the name, but the weekly meetups started being called ‘Night Walks’. K became the fifth regular member of the Night Walks on the 20th, again going to the field above Mincinglake. X joined a Night Walk on the 27th and they had a campfire in Mincinglake proper. These Night Walks became a space where previously-abandoned elements of Glastieven culture were revived. Patriotic songs were sung, national history was discussed, the Glastieven salute was revived—and the revival of interest that had started in Mincinglake inevitably spilled over into the Social lounge.
The Night Walks, the cultural revival and the uptick in group chat activity led δ, E, T and K to talk about a ‘Glastieven Revival’. They meant a revival of the idea of Glastieve. The Glastieven Revival meant the group turning back towards its heritage, embracing its roots in Green Team and the micronations, and reviving a distin- ctive collective identity that had been lost in what T called the ‘Starlight Night’.
These ideas were all quite romantic, and there is certainly an argument that the folkish ‘Glastieven identity’ that began to emerge in late 2019 had no real roots in the forced micronationalism of 2018 nor in the hobby project of 2017. Perhaps it was a new idea (rather than a lost tradition) that being a Glastieven meant being a sort of nerdy intellect- ual outlaw who enjoyed drinking in fields and discussing socialism. At the time, however, it was certainly seen as a revival of the past, and they had evidence to back this up. The truth is probably somewhere between the romantic and the cynical: the ideas of late 2019 had precedents, but the synthesis was something new.
δ and T met on the 15th to discuss T.É. nús K.’s failure to create an Envardian Republic. T saw the Glastieven Revival as a sign they could salvage T.É. nús K.’s work on Envardia and use it to create a third republic. δ agreed this would be a good ultimate destination, but they said simply ‘announcing’ a new Glastieven micronation risked creating another Second Republic and suffoUing the Glastieven Revival. They proposed a solution. The Starlight Plan said that T.É. nús K. was an agent of the nation of Glastieve as a single legal entity, so it could call a group meeting to ask its ‘employer’ (the nation) how to proceed. They and T would organise a fun mega-meetup of everyone in the group and have them vote on a series of options for how to proceed—one of which would be building a third republic. The suggested name for the event was ‘Glastievemoot’; moot is an old Germanic word for an assembly or meeting, as in (say) an Anglo-Saxon folkmoot.
T liked this idea. E liked it even more than δ and T, and X was εing to go along with it. Glastievemoot was scheduled for U’s birthday on 21 September, as X, δ, E and T were already planning to meet her in town. It was held in St Thomas Park that evening, and after a bit of wrangling, they managed to get everyone other than Z to come to a seven-person meetup. Anyone could submit their own motions on any topic, and in all there were thirteen. Some of them were quite amusing, such as R motioning to keep walking at meetups at a ‘manageable pace’ (this did not pass) and to outlaw E’s dress sense (this did). Others had historical importance—the field above Mincinglake was declared to have ‘special significance’ to the group and this motion was the basis on which it later became the Territory. As for the T.É. nús K. motions, the group voted six to one to create a third republic. There was one vote against, from X. She had wanted to continue with Envardia instead.
Meanwhile, in college, C, ζ and K became a group of friends again and saw their trifecta as a revival of the Group from 2017. This iteration of the Group had δ on its periphery, as they tended to sit with them at lunchtime, and H on a separate periphery.
U’s birthday. The person with ginger hair is her datefriend Leigh.
δ, E and T, and to a lesser extent X and K, worked to prepare for the third republic with unprecedented intensity. δ and T met at seven in the morning each day so they would have time to spend an hour working on Glastieve before college started. K coined the title ‘Holy Glastieven Commonwealth’. E explained his enthusiasm by saying that ‘Glastieve has been a friendship group for long enough; it’s time for it to be a nation again’. A few days later, δ finished their proposed national anthem (a folk song designed to be sung on Night Walks) with an iconic opening line that almost serves to gently correct E: ‘Glastieve is a country; a friendship group as well!’
δ, E, K and X constituted a High Council and T was the High Court. There was also a new office of state, the Keeper of the White Cloth. The ‘white cloth’ in question was the tablecloth that δ and E had used for a 2018 protest against the conformist rules at their school. The Keeper’s full style was ‘Keeper of the White Cloth, Bynmidelle of the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth, and Lord Protector Thereof, Chair of Green Team, Custodian of the Most Excellent Majesty of the High Council of the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth, and Lord High Chancellor’ (the Bynmidelle was one of the ‘Four Great Mages’ in Glastieven mythology, with specific responsibility for protecting the ancient Kingdom of Maisraln).
The Keeper would be a rotating ceremonial head of state. They were expected to camp it up, and in exchange, they would be treated by the social group as ‘king/queen for the month’. The Keeper was chosen once a month by shaking slips of paper out of a box. The idea of the Keepership was to allow the High Council to only contain people who actually enjoyed being there whilst also making sure that it could govern the social group without losing touch with its priorities or constituting an élite that gained social ‘power’ through an interest in micronationalism. It also aimed to make Glastieven politics more fun by giving everyone a chance to camp it up as the ‘Holy Keeper’ for a month and have δ (or T) write bullshit laws for them.
The Keepership was part of δ and K’s project to reform New Secessionism to make sure it did not risk creating a power structure in the social group. So was ‘ironic majesty’—the idea of dressing up the state in exaggerated, antiquated finery and pretending to take it very seriously, casting the micronation as a theatre where the social group could fuck around and have a laugh. In δ and K’s view, this was a compromise that satisfied both sides of the Acteriendia and New Secessionism Crisis debate.
The only damper on the optimistic mood was that Z left the group. As harsh as it sounds, no-one was really surprised. She had been drifting away for some time, and whilst some were mildly sad to see her go, it was hard to fault her for not wanting to sit through a third micronation.
Undoubtedly the greatest achievement of this era, and one of the greatest Glastieven documents full stop, was the Declaration of the Holy Common- wealth. Every member of the group was invited to contribute a paragraph, and everyone other than R did so. These paragraphs were then sewn together into one document and provided with a preface written by X and δ. Ten copies were printed, one on parchment paper for the archive, and everyone in the group would sign all ten copies so that everyone could have their own original copy, hand-signed by their friends.
The declarations were signed on 11 October, the beginning of the last era of the group’s history, the Holy Glastieven Commonwealth.
Holy Commonwealth in 2019-20
The 'little golden age'
Technically, according to its own law, the Holy Commonwealth became independent at forty- seven minutes and thirty-three seconds past six on 11 October 2019. This was the moment when E signed the Declaration, meaning that a majority of Glastievens had done so, interpreted as the moment that Glastieve as a collective entity had signed the document. δ, E, K and X then became the High Council and were able to select the first Keeper by box-shaking (sortition), which ended up being T.
Over the next month, δ worked steadily to write some more basic laws, get the new government organised and spread ideas for what the project could achieve. E and K brought in two new citizens, η and ζ. There were debates within the High Council, including E opposing δ’s plan to make misogyny a crime and X opposing η and ζ’s citizenship, but these were debates that the High Council was supposed to have, rather than arguments that stopped it functioning. From mid-November, E and T also started to engage intensively with developing the micronation. The only notable instance of the system not working, and it was so entertaining that it seems entirely forgivable, was R and S refusing to sign the declaration of independence, which resulted in T chasing them down Bonhay Road with a pen.
An impressive achievement was a Criminal Law Act, written by δ in co-ordination with Rob and T. In the spirit of the old 2018 idea of an ‘Acteriendian law’, the Act aimed to create a distinctive Glastieven law based on the group’s existing traditions. ‘Shenanigans’ meant attempts
to ‘initiate political controversies’, ‘stir up divisi- on, quarrels or instability’, or ‘subvert the normal and lawful process of government’. Other new crimes included ‘breaking a promise’ and ‘piracy’. The law specified that ‘graffiti of artistic value, planting of wild flowers, [and] removal of advert- ising’ did not count as vandalism. The procedure to start a case was to ‘call’ a crime ‘on’ something, e.g ‘E called shenanigans on δ’s secret meeting’ or ‘I call theft on R taking my sandwich’. The Justice of the High Court could also proactively start cases, appointing an actor (prosecution or claimant) and a reus (defendant); basically, the judge could call someone to be the prosecution in the same way as real courts can call someone to be a defendant.
Socially, the group became integrated with the micronation more quickly and more deeply than in 2018. Even E had taken to proudly calling meetups ‘Glastieven’ if they involved more than two people from the group—and he was particularly pleased that he had so much cause to do so, as there were now more group meetups than there had been since April 2017. The Night Walks continued as a weekly observance and the principle remained intact even after it was not possible to organise one on the 9th. On the political side, everyone other than η, ζ and K was well-rehearsed in what micronationalism looked like, and the state whirred into action without the directionlessness of 2017 or the drama of 2018.
Formal Glastieven culture also benefited from this initial period of activity. The Glastieven was back, in the same vogue as ever, though at by far its highest standard. With T’s blessing, δ ran an initiative called ‘The Campfire Project’ to try and broaden Glastieven mythology’s appeal, and it succeeded in piquing η, K and ζ’s interest. They and E also had the High Council create a ‘Cartography and Folklore Association’, which was supposed to draw ‘bad maps’. This initially came to nothing, but it sowed seeds for a later concept. T founded a University of Glastieve, which was supposed to publish academic papers and facilitate teaching, and on 28 November, he and δ published the 40,000-word Glastieve: A History, which became known in the group chat as ‘the torture book’, a witticism that was originally η’s.
For δ, T, K and E, and probably for X and η as well, the mood was optimistic. The broader situation, however, was more complex. R and S had started off blankly opposing the revival of Glastieve, and whilst their stance had softened and R had signed the declaration of independence, neither was very active in the group socially. U was also much less active than ever before, and as for N and Z, they had both left the group for good. A new ‘core’ had emerged around δ, T, K and E, and they were loving the new Glastieve. Some of the older members of the group were less interested. Furthermore, whilst Glastieve was close to the revived Group, ζ was not very active and C had (politely) rejected the possibility of joining, making the ideal of a merger between the two rather distant.
Progress started to slow down at the end of November 2019. δ was insistent that the High Council was a ‘provisional government’ that had not been elected and they put pressure on E, K and X to assent to elections. When it became obvious that they were not going to persuade them, they resigned on 23 November. On the 25th, they and E tried to have them appointed as Director of the Mythological Foundation so they could focus on The Campfire Project, but T blocked their appointment. The High Council nominally assented to elections on the 29th, but the political games continued into December. On 4 December, K and E passed a joke Act about U without X’s consent, which caused another minor stir. Meanwhile, E became closer to η, which in retrospect has the same ominous vibe as thunder clouds rolling in. Her group of friends, the PopUp Crowd (also known, less precisely, as the ‘IB Group’), came closer to Glastieve, and rumours started to swirl that E’s behaviour around η might be viewed as ‘emotionally cheating’ on Beti.
All in all, the ‘little golden age’ probably deserves its title. Though the frenzy of new projects led to some ideas that never went anywhere—such as a plan by E to divide the territory into winnable ‘video game style’ units—and other ideas that never reached their full potential (such as the University of Glastieve or the Cartography and Folklore Association), most of the work done did have a lasting impact, and the social optimism was largely justified.
The emergence of K, E, δ and T as a new core, with X and η attached to it by what would soon become two romantic relationships, was an unexpected consequence of the Glastieven Revival in September. Particularly for δ and E, seeing U and R lose interest was hard; the continuity with what they still remembered as the first ‘golden age’ in 2016 was being lost right as Glastieve entered a second, and these were old friends who were drifting apart. However, it is clear that this was the innoc- ent result of changing personalities, not toxicity from either side. Furthermore, the extent of the drift should not be overstated. Neither R nor U had been an active minister in micronational terms for a very long time, and even in late 2019, they were not being pushed to the periphery, merely not bothering to break into the group’s enthusiastic new core.
The 'difficult Christmas'
Over the winter of 2019–20, the optimistic mood and high activity seen in the autumn disappeared. The start of the period was defined by the Bonhay Revolution, a strange and disruptive self-coup by K, δ and E over fears that Glastieve had been influenced by the PopUp Crowd to become too serious and ‘cringe’. It was followed by an unrelated period of personal drama at the intersection of the new Glastieven ‘core’, the Group, and the PopUp Crowd, which culminated in η leaving the group in January. As the problems that began in December went into retreat around Twelfth Night, this phase of the Holy Commonwealth’s history was nicknamed the ‘difficult Christmas’.
The High Council failed to meet two weeks in a row at the beginning of December, despite both δ and X actively petitioning it on different issues. In literal terms, this meant that E and K had failed to meet in person and call X. At the end of November, they had agreed to call an election when they next met, and δ began to suspect that K and E were avoiding holding a meeting on purpose. They petitioned T to start proceedings against them for shenanigans. E then called shenanigans on the fact of δ calling shenanigans, claiming that δ was using the court to start a controversy. Note that this was all in good fun—other than perhaps X, who was not pleased that K and E were ignoring her, no-one was sincerely annoyed by any of this political drama.
In the end, however, T never got to hear the case. Out of what looked like thin air, δ quit Glastieve on 7 December on the grounds that it was immature, cringey and should have been left at Coltheart; there was also the vague impliUion that, in addition to finding new friends, they intended to focus more narrowly on A-level work. They stopped speaking to anyone in the group; left every chat going back to 2017; and posted on their Instagram story about how they had finally abandoned their ‘immature’ and ‘cringe’ friends who ‘played imaginary countries’. Within two days, they had changed their mind about abandoning their friends, but they still insisted that they were done with ‘childish’ micronationalism.
K talked them into returning. She agreed that Glastieve was immature and cringe, but argued that this was not an inherent feature of micro- nationalism—a micronation could be an excuse to ‘fuck around and have a laugh’, but thanks to the influence of the immature PopUp Crowd and certain people ‘taking Glastieve too seriously’ (she meant T), the project felt childish and they were made to feel self-conscious for taking part in it. K and δ had for several weeks had a shared hysteria about the PopUp Crowd’s childishness ‘infecting’ Glastieve and this had recently been inflamed by a CAS Party organised by η. They believed that it had epiTised everything that made the PopUp Crowd embarrassing to be around, and when they found out that E and T had actually quite enjoyed it, they felt their worst fears about the PopUp Crowd corrupting Glastieve had been confirmed.
K convinced δ that what Glastieve needed was a revolution. They agreed, and just like that, the two of them launched the Bonhay Revolution, soon recruiting E as a third leader. E had his own agenda that was somewhat separate from δ and K’s: he felt that Glastieve had lost an original ability to provide escapism through risk-taking and said that it needed to become more transgressive and adventurous. The Bonhay Revolution plunged Glastieve into utter chaos until around the 15th. They restored the original High Council, so X was also in the room for their decisions.
δ, K and E made all citizens swear their allegiance to socialism, drinking, ‘solid banter’, and being ‘socially and intellectually anarchic’, though they gave R and U a free pass because δ and E could not sTach Glastieve losing continuity with the Chill Group. Where the revolution had a long-term impact was in aesthetics: δ created an ‘edgy’ red and black visual design that the High Council approved for government use (though X thought it was too ‘harsh’ and suggested using pastel pink instead), and K renamed the High Council to Councilium Augustisimum. Other nominal ‘changes’—such as δ’s attempt to create a consensus-based national parliament called the Collaborative Assembly, or as K inisted, ‘Cooperativus Consessus’—were abandoned soon after. E gave his friend I citizenship, though she never got very involved.
Ultimately, though the revolution probably did have an underlying logic, its leaders failed to articulate it. Furthermore, in the confusion, they came dangerously close to alienating T (and η) for the sake of very little. Looking back from 2021, it is easier to see what they were going for: their ideas about Glastieven values look almost plausible in retrospect. In 2019, however, they were out of step with reality. U and X could not relate to them at all, and even those with whom the vision did resonate found that they felt too trapped by college and A-levels to actually build their day-to-day social identity around getting drunk and ‘breaking into places’ (one of E’s suggested activities). In the end, their odd attempt to forcibly make Glastieve cooler, less sincere and more anarchist revealed much more about δ, K and E’s immediate personal issues than it did about any profound trends in Glastieven culture.
I’s appearance compounded an existing issue that the Glastieven citizenry was not coterminous with a social circle that involved the ‘core’ Glastievens, the Group, and η (so overall K, C, ζ, T, δ, E and η)—and that identified with the label ‘Glastieve’, albeit sometimes loosely. Hence, via this identifiUion, even the non-citizen C saw herself as part of the same larger grouping as X, R and U—though this did not work in the other direction, and those three did not recognise the Group as particularly Glastieven. One step further out, and this group of seven was connected with the PopUp Crowd to about the same extent that the Chill Group was linked to the Group in 2017 or that the main Glastievens were linked to the Manchunians in 2018. Through T and several members of the PopUp Crowd, the social circle at his maths school was also in the frame.
In the context of this extended social circle, it was big news when (after some back and forth), E dumped Beti and started dating η. δ and K had serious doubts about this new relationship, nicknamed ‘Uchesydes’, and Char- lotte went a step further, telling E to his face that it was a bad idea and he should bin her. Across the wider social circle that surrounded the ‘core’ was the sense that drama was coming. δ and K captured the mood with a new Instagram account, ‘The Conciliar Tea Shop’ (@glas.tea.ieve), which posted information (‘tea’) they had been told in confidence with the names replaced by codes. @glas.tea.ieve covered citizens of Glastieve and the Group, plus selected stories from the PopUp Crowd.
On 17 December, E became Keeper, and δ and K used the occasion as an excuse to take a swipe at Uchesydes using U’s old tactics against Cherbert. Just as U had complained three years earlier that E and C were being “disgusting” when they got “lovey-dovey” in public, δ and K took him to the High Court (which had been renamed to the Murus in the Bonhay Revolution) for lèse-majesté on the grounds that “public displays of affection” diminished the majesty of the Keepership. E called lèse-majesté on the case itself, arguing that prosecuting His Holiness for kissing his girlfriend was itself an affront to the Keeper’s majesty. T dismissed both cases.
Also in December 2019, and continuing into January 2020, there was drama around T and a girl at his maths school, Harriet. This should probably have stayed at his school, and most of the elements that made it ‘drama’ only made sense in that context, but a friend of one of the participants was part of the PopUp Crowd and E heard about the situation via that route, telling K and δ, the latter of whom then spoke to T about it. The situation briefly made T persona non grata in the PopUp Crowd, to the point where η was planning a party (mostly with people from that group but also with the core Glastievens) and insisted that K, E and δ keep it secret from him so he didn’t notice he was not invited.
It should be pointed out that the ‘Autistic Moose’, as Councilium Augustisimum was now nicknamed, continued to meet regularly in this period, something which had slipped away from it during δ’s resignation. Mythology RPs went on in the background as well and U launched a new chatroom for ‘mini RPs’. Whilst the ‘difficult Christmas’ was not characterised by the optimism and intense micronational work of October and November, it was hardly a true period of decline like the Reformation Period of 2017, nor was it marked by the stagnation that had clogged up most of 2018.
On 7 January, η and E broke up, each claiming to have dumped the other. η said she left E because he was too hung up on Beti; E said he left η because he was “not doing her justice by virtue of Beti”. It was obvious to everyone except them that this was not going to be a particularly final break up. E left the group chats on the 9th, saying that he was leaving the chats but not the group, but he then rejoined the chats on the 10th with no explanation. η then left Glastieve and its chats on the 11th. She said that she lacked the time and energy to engage with the group and emphasised, without being asked, that her decision had nothing to do with E. δ suspected that she had asked E to leave the chats to make it less awkward for her and had then quit when he reneged on the arrangement, and they implied as such in The Glastieven.
January and February 2020
The timing of the ‘difficult Christmas’ had been unfortunate. As δ had perhaps detected when they tried to quit on 7 December, the group being older made it inevitable that Glastieve would soon fall into decline, and the Bonhay Revolution and Uchesydes drama had put the brakes on what might otherwise have been a triumphant final golden age. δ articulated these thoughts in a The Glastieven piece where they argued that they should be under no illusions that Glastieve was forever, and given that its decline was inevitable, they should come together and push for one last high point. The group chat—most of whom even appeared to have actually read the piece—supported the initiative enthusiastically.
The Glastieven reported on 15 January that E and η had been spotted on a late-night walk together, and though E was mildly annoyed by the report, he was also rather amused, which marked a departure from the borderline hostility of the Christmas period and suggested that the temperature of the Uch- esydes drama was beginning to drop. η began to move back towards the group, though she was denied citizenship on 31 January after X convinced K that she could not be relied upon not to leave again. Meanwhile, the Group’s late 2019 identifiUion of itself with Glastieve culminated in C applying for citizenship (and ζ stating he wished to be more active in the micronational side of things).
There were plans for several whole group meetups. In the end, these plans fell apart for the rather prosaic reason that it rained in January 2020 for two weeks solid. A surprising amount of attention was given to the weather, from a The Glastieven article to memes in the group chat, and E blamed the rain for dashing his hopes of a 2020 golden age. His cynicism was a little unfair; there was even one full group meetup in January at the Buller statue (though K Edm- onds was only present for a few seconds) and the group chat was significantly more active than it had been over Christmas. The ‘push for a high point’ was realised as a sustained focus on the Glastieven identity—creating group memes, reviving in-jokes and traditions, and teaching the group’s history to its new members.
This focus on the idea of a distinctive ‘Glastieven world’ was naturally well-suited to the slightly earlier concept of cartlore. Ignored back in October, in January 2020 it became the Holy Commonwealth’s last significant achievement. E, δ, K, T and (surprisingly) R drew ‘The World According to Glastieve’, the first ‘bad map’, on 16 January, which also incorporated ideas from η and ζ. There was subsequently an expedition to investigate the Ucheside Passage, a proposed walking route from The Territory to Belmont Park. On the ‘lore’ side of cartlore, the most significant achievement was ‘A Compendium of Latenesses’, a romantic description of Exeter’s bus network commissioned by K (as Keeper) and largely drafted by δ.
δ also wrote a detailed Culture Act, accom- panied by a summary so that others did not have to read it in full to know what it said. It was basically an extension of the renewed focus on the shared Glastieven identity into the legislative realm. Enacted on 10 February, it included an interesting plan for smaller groups within Glastieve (like the anime and manga subculture, the Homestuck fandom or Christians) to nomin- ate icons from their subculture to represent what Glastievenness meant to them, e.g. there might have been a national fan troll or a national patron saint. Sadly, this part of the legislation never had time to be put into effect. δ also wrote a rigorous Economy Act that was a significant improvement on its predecessors, though they were well aware that this was basically an intellectual exercise and that the Holy Commonwealth was never going to have a working economy.
As Keeper of the White Cloth, K asked Concilium Angustissimum to run an opinion poll on extending her term. The response was overwhelmingly negative: Glastievens liked the rotating Keepership as it was. K nevertheless persuaded the Autistic Moose to ignore its own poll and appoint her as Keeper in perpetuity, changing the character of the office and seriously weakening the respect it could command. At first, they proposed to do this without a written law, but T could not sTach such an important change being unwritten and he volunteered to write an amendment to the Keepership Act himself. He further demonstrated his enduring commitment to procedural propriety—not to mention his patience with δ, K and Rob’s bullshit—by writing detailed judgements on both a constitutional test case and E and δ’s attempts to use their strained interpretations of the ‘Acteriendian law’ to fight out an interpers- onal spat before the Murus.
Said spat had been caused because δ (as nominal Chair of the Cartlore Association) had told η that, because she was not a citizen, she was not welcome at a meetup that had been intended as an association meeting. After the Murus case, she subsequently said that ‘Glastieve was stupid’ and refused to recant or apologise, but also applied to be a citizen. This triggered a heated argument between her, E, δ, and T that lasted in person until one o’clock in the morning on the night of 3–4 February. δ and E eventually agreed to give her citizenship and δ managed to persuade a very hesitant X to vote with them and carry the motion.
η and E resumed dating in March.
Decline and Baisser de Rideau
The decline in formal political activity continued through February, and by the middle of the month, Councilium Augustisimum was effecti- vely pointless. The social revival also cooled, and the enthusiasm for pulling together massive group meetups waned. The newly-developed sense of collective identity persisted for a new, wider ‘core’ of E, K, δ, T, η and ζ. For R and C it did not. X and U were in an ambiguous position somewhere between the two. With the decline of the Autistic Moose came a decline in mythology RPs and cartlore, though neither of these was considered to have ‘died’ and an informal version of the latter continued to be a topic of conversation in the group chat.
T wanted to organise a meetup on 23 February 2020 to mark three years since the foundation of the First Republic, but nothing came to fruition. Instead, it was the following day that became historically significant: U left the group on the 24th. Her friend Max (they called each other brother and sister), when nineteen, had ‘dated’ and kissed a twelve-year-old girl. U was the main ringleader of a campaign to cover up the crime and frame her ‘brother’ as the real victim, as Max said that the twelve-year-old child had pretended to be sixteen and that he felt guilty about kissing her. When δ learnt what U was doing, they were disgusted, and they publicly called her out in the group chat, leading to them arguing. E and K supported δ rather quietly; no-one else took a side. U decided that she was done, left the chat, and blocked δ when they refused to apologise.
In the wake of U leaving, the group chat was silent for the next few days. After δ returned to Exeter (they had been in London at the time) on the 28th to a dead group chat and a High Council with no business to discuss, they suggested to T on a Night Walk that, rather than push for a second revival, they should consider Glastieve to have ‘run its course’. He agreed and they put it to the group chat, which agreed that the micronational side of Glastieve was done for good (X was the lone voice of dissent, suggesting that they should keep it going long-term at a sustainable low level of activity).
Led mostly by T, the chat agreed to create a ‘Fellowship of Former Glastievens’ to keep the social group and the Glastieven legacy alive. His focus at this point was very much on continuity. In the first instance, this meant the continuity of Glastieven traditions through the transition from the Commonwealth to the Fellowship. In the Magna Annales Dredriae, an epic annal he kept of Glastieven history in 2019–20, he wrote the entry for 28 February in past tense, revealing that he desired to look back and say that “Certain elements of the Glastieven project, such as the Cartography and Folklore and the Mythology where maintained”, and that “other traditions, such as the nighwalks [...] would calmly continue past the change”. Even the state itself was supposed to be nominally preserved; it would be left in ‘deliberate abeyance’ so its institutions could be briefly revived in the future for nostalgic fun.
The Fellowship was also supposed to be about continuity with the past. Anyone with a plausible claim to being a ‘former Glastieven’ was added—Z, N, U, A and ε. All of them except A left immediately. U, ε and N each left because δ was there and δ felt guilty that N would not be able to participate in the initiative, so they tried (via T) to persuade N to consider being part of the group if he agreed not to be there. N rejected the offer on the grounds that δ was a more significant Glastieven. When T went off-script and tried to persuade him to be in the group despite δ’s presence, he said that whilst it “counts as a miracle” that δ had given an apology that was not “for personal/political gain”, he refused to risk letting them back into his life.
Councilium Augustisimum issued the Declaration of New Home a few days later, declaring that 4 March was the ‘Baisser de Rideau’, the end of Glastieven history. It also approved a retrosp- ective on Glastieve called An Irregular Rebellion; ceremonially granted citizenship to Z, A, N and ε; and declared that the Holy Commonwealth had succeeded in bringing about ‘a golden age’. δ and K had wanted it to declare that the Chill Group and the Group had both merged into Glastieve, but X and E voted down the second part of this clause, so the declaration ended up including a rather pointless line reiterating the once-controversial but by then long-accepted truism that the Chill Group had merged into Glastieve.
δ left the Fellowship chat on 7 March after they broke up with X, commenting that they had a policy of “avoiding my exes like the coronavirus”, and S also left. No-one else ever sent a message to that chat. It looked like T’s vision of a post-Glastieven social community had fallen apart before it had even begun. Hindsight makes his emphasis on ‘continuity’ look sadly ironic, given that it took place in March 2020. For reasons quite unrelated to Glastieve, that month is burned into the group’s collective memory as a moment when continuity was in short supply.
From a social perspective, COVID started about two to three weeks after Glastieve ended. It had not started by February, when δ went to a Woodcraft event in London, sleeping on the floor with twenty people and using the Tube at rush hour without the virus even crossing their mind. δ’s reference to ‘the coronavirus’ when they left the Fellowship chatroom was a joke about something in the news, which was still being referred to at that point as the ‘Wuhan coronavirus outbreak’. On 13 March, they, K and E went to Spoons completely as normal, though δ says they remember discussing the virus as a topic of polite conversation.
However, this trip was on the cliff edge of the COVID era. The WHO declared a pandemic on the 11th, people with sympTs had to self-isolate from the 12th, and T’s maths school closed on the 16th. On the same day, δ says they felt aware of the virus risk when they travelled on the bus, though they then went to a Woodcraft meeting where they still expected to run a Spring Camp of around 60–80 people that May with no social distancing. The whole ‘panic buying bog roll’ thing happened in mid-March. On the 17th, δ and K went for a ‘bus day’ (riding around on buses for fun), but δ had to self-isolate from that evening as their mum had a cough. Boris Johnson closed the pubs on the 20th and the national lockdown started on the 26th.
In the first lockdown and its immediate aftermath (around May–June 2020), there were three distinct sets of friendships that had descended from the former Glastieven social group—X and U were friends; K, δ and E were friends; and the Group continued to exist. There was also E and η’s relationship, which lasted until June. None of these groups saw itself as a successor to Glastieve or had any interest in inheriting its history.
This work is written from the perspective of the second and third groups listed above, so strictly speaking, it is unknown whether X and U decided to view themselves as the two Glastieven survivors and as the successors to its inheritance. However, from what we know about the weeb sisters, it is very, very, very unlikely. The most likely scenario is that they repudiated Glastieve and associated it negatively with δ. The other conceivable scenario, albeit the less likely one, is that they lost the sense of identity but held on to fragments of the culture, e.g. they might have kept using their mythology characters as cosplay OCs without remembering (or caring) that they had once been ‘Glastieven’.
K, δ and E were the most likely to form a ‘post-Glastieven’ social circle, but in the first half of 2020, K and δ were determined that this would not happen. They invited two other people, Izzy and Holly, to join a Snapchat group called the ‘True Levellers’ and hoped to make this the basis for a new group that would have no link whatsoever to the old micronation. E probably did not share their conscious desire to actively break continuity with Glastieve, but he did not fight it either.
The True Levellers experiment failed. In about May, Izzy and Holly stopped being semi-active in the group chat, and at the same time, R became associated with the ‘new’ group of friends and the True Levellers name was dropped. δ and K accepted at this point that they were not going to succeed in replacing the old social group, but they were still careful to avoid using any Glastieven symbolism or terminology, and the group chat was still on Snapchat.
As lockdown restrictions eased, δ and T started to meet up again. T did not share (or even know about) δ and K’s desire that Glastieve have no social successor; he saw the Baisser de Rideau in much the same terms as his Annales had seen the creation of the Fellowship and regarded it as the end of micronationalism but not the end of Glastieve as a group or even as a culture. He felt that a group of him, δ, K and E still existed and had merely been less active during the lockdown, and he asked δ to make a new group chat. δ created one on Instagram, seeing it as a fair compromise between Snapchat (which T would not use) and Messenger (which was too Glastieven). Despite the overlap in people, this group was basically separate from the one that included R. T and R certainly did not see themselves as being in the same social group in June 2020.
K and δ’s attempt to make the Baisser de Rideau a ‘hard’ end to Glastieve had probably been doomed from the moment the True Levellers chat had died—but it was T who drove the final nail into the coffin that June by suggesting the revived group meet in Rob’s warehouse and draw a second cartlore map. Though it cut right across their attempt to suppress the Glastieven identity, K and δ went along with it, as T being the driving force behind it allowed them to disown some of the ‘cringe’. The five ended up having a good time (and produced the impressive ‘Revised General Mappe’), and this was the start of a slow movement towards a ‘post-Glastieven’ social circle.
June 2020 – May 2021
A few days after the Revised General Mappe was drawn, η and E broke up. She added K to an IB Group chatroom (the term PopUp Crowd no longer reflected where the group met and most of the members of the social group who were not taking the IB had left) and tried to talk to δ more—but K deliberately kept her at a distance and she ended up blocking δ herself for unrelated reasons in July. If η had been trying to stay relevant, she had failed.
As for the ‘Glastieven’ nature of these groups, δ’s position had softened somewhat. They still viciously opposed the idea that the group was Glastieve, not because they were worried about the Baisser de Rideau or ‘cringe’, but because they felt it was unfair to X, U, C and ζ to define a group as Glastieve without them being included. But they and E reached a consensus that Glastieve should be regarded as part of the group’s lore. Its culture was like an injoke.
When term started in September, E was in a relationship with η’s best friend λ and δ was back on the periphery of the Group. By the 14th—when δ wrote ‘Powder Keg’, an infamous and incorrect prediction that E dating λ would spark drama—the so-called social “Glastieve” of the late Holy Commonwealth had sort of reappeared in that C and ζ once again saw E and δ as part of their immediate social context. But things were much woolier than before. T was seen as being a step further away, and the Instagram chatroom from June was not very active, and R was even more distant, with his friendship with δ, K and E really having nothing to do with what was going on at the college.
The shift in δ’s stance to Glastieve after June 2020 can be seen in these mock ‘The Glastieven’ covers they created to comment on E and η’s breakup.
At some point in late 2020 or early 2021, δ suggested creating a Discord server with themself, K, E and T. They may or may not have invited R too, but R hated Discord and there was a major row between δ and R/S on New Year’s Eve, so if he was invited then he did not join. This server—Sondry Folk Yfalle in Felaweshipe—revived the group of E, K, T and δ. It also had a cartlore channel called #busmappe-bar, which reflected and perpetuated a continued interest in cartlore into 2021.
By April, T had cultivated a habit of walking from the maths school to the college in some of his breaks to hang out with δ, K, C, and ζ. His presence meant that there were some discussions about cartlore in that venue.
Emergence of the Discord server
K, δ, E, T, R, C and ζ, plus S, λ, and K’s boyfriend Colin all met on 28 May. This was the first time since Glastieve that K, δ, E, T and R on the one hand and K, δ, C and ζ on the other had been viewed as part of one larger group. The night before the meetup, δ wrote a special edition of The Glastieven, which noted on the front cover that it had been 14 months since the Baisser de Rideau. After the meetup was over, he and K created a new Discord server, to which everyone from the meetup except S was invited. There was a special closed channel that excluded Colin and λ.
The server initially made no reference to Glastieve in its name or aesthetic, though it linked to BHH Wiki as ‘an old roleplaying universe made by some of this server’s gang’ and had its own #busmappe-bar. R dragged his feet about installing Discord and joining the server.
Both these things changed when K, δ and E went to London for a week in July. R saw that the three were in London on Snap Maps and immediately agreed to join the server. Then on the train back, K and δ gave E admin powers so he could ‘redecorate’ the server, and he added a channel art Glastieven flag to the sidebar. T and δ added a link to the Glastieven Archives a few days later.
The post-Glastieven Discord server vindicated K and δ (against E and X) over whether the Group had merged into Glastieve like the Chill Group had. ζ, K and δ were its most active in summer and autumn 2021, and the social circle was sufficiently Groupian that a cartlore map drawn by δ, T, R, K and ζ on 12 September to show where ‘everyone’ was going to university included H. The merger that had not quite convinced E and X in 2020 had been achieved again—and more clearly this time—in 2021. ζ and K were more active in the Discord over summer and early autumn 2021 than E or T.
Except for E and R, everyone in the Discord left for university in September 2021 or the first days of October.