Since time immemorable the city of Atlantica, or AC as it was known before the fall, has been run by men of enterprise. Records show that in ancient times Atlantica was ruled by a mighty man only known as "Commodore"
, who utilized suavey business sense and ruthless political tact to turn the small village into a mighty city-state in the old world. After his passing Atlantica fell into the hands of his heirs
, and Atlantica prospered as a beacon of commerce and luxury. However, with the fall of the old guard the city would begin to decline, and fall into relative obscurity as the grand cities of New York, Chicago, Boston, and the fabled western "City of Angels" became dominant centers of trade and industry. However, with the great sickness and the fall came opportunity.
In the aftermath of the great collapse, local city constables moved to establish order regionally around Atlantica, utilizing support from what modern scholars can only assume was once a grand "air port" to centralize their regional control. However, no amount of military organization or martial law could prepare the new military government for what would come after the collapse. The Sickness as it is now known spread like wildfire among the poor of Atlantica, and soon not even the richest of merchants or highest ranking constable was safe from the dreaded death. However time heals all wounds, and within the decade the population of sick began to die, and with their bodies burned Atlantica would fall into a silent mourning for the world now lost.
In the region's darkest moment came the Commodores Guild. The few surviving 'old guard' of Atlantica's past came forward to the ailing populace with a plan. The solution to the presents problem was a return to the old, and with their help the grandeur of the past could be gained once more, with only a small fee of course. With little hope remaining, those left from the decades of chaos and sickness put their last prayers in the Guild, and the newly 'elected' Martin Bouwman established himself as Atlantica's first 'Grand Commodore'.
A modern interpretation of Grand Commodore Bouwman 'The Builder'
Commodore Bouwman envisioned an Atlantica restored to the greatness of the old world. A city of lights that shone like a grand lighthouse, a city for all sailors to come to port. Under the Guild's, and thus van Alden's, guidance the city's famous boardwalk was converted into a grand harbor, and small coastal vessels constructed from wooden rubble began short voyages up and down the Jersey coast looking for survivors beyond Atlantica. Over time the small city began to repair itself and, as more surviving communities were found south on the Delmarva peninsula, Atlantica became a peninsular trade hub where necessities could be traded between communities as needed. With no standardized currency like in the old world, Atlantica became home to a new form of barter economy with merchants taking sometimes vessels as small as rowboats to port in order to barter with local producers.
As the years past, and the Grand Commodore was succeeded by a series of less notable merchant lords and upstart diplomats, Atlantica plateaued as a middling merchant town with a larger than average port. However, this all changed with the rise of the Empire State.
During the reign of Harold van Zijl the city came into contact with the growing realm of House Covanney, which by this time had grown to hold much of New York and was expanding southward. Initial contact was quiet affairs, mostly probes from merchants under the new Empire standard making small deals, testing the waters for future profits. However it wouldn't be until House Covanney had secured her holdings north that eyes turned towards the lands of Jersey, and the regional power that was Atlantica. Like the many realms before, the Imperials knew that Atlantica would be a pushover. Economically middling and enough manpower to host no more than five hundred militiamen, the idea of truly resisting any attempts to just take the city were laughable; but the Emperor, in all his mercy and wit, chose to spare Atlantica from conflict. Instead the offer was a simple one, in return for swearing fealty to the House of Covanney, joining the realm, and paying a 25% tax to the Crown, Harold van Zijl and his heirs would become lordlings of their own and be given their own titles in southern Jersey. In addition, Atlantica would retain her relative autonomy. In what lesser merchant lords called a move of greed and cowardice, Harold accepted the Emperor's offer quickly; thus, the House of Van Zijl was born, and Harold became Harold van Zijl I, but was forever known in Atlantica as 'Harold Open Palm'.
Harold Open Palm, 'the Craven of Jersey' as he was known in some circles.
In the years following Atlantica's joining the Empire; the lands given to Harold I and his heirs were ultimately short lived, as was likely expected by Emperor Adam, and with Harold's sudden death of illness his sons went to work claiming all they could. The victor in this scramble for power was Franklin 'the Quick'. However, Franklin's victory came at a cost, and the only holding worth it's weight became the van Zijl court, a township known as Collingswood. During the succession wars of the van Zijls, Atlantica continued to expand her horizons economically under Commodore Anthony Sagese. Commodore Sagese saw to it that the Guild, and thus the Atlantican electorate, become more than a mere local council of vendors and captains, and moved for the Atlantica Merchant's Guild, or 'Commodore's Guild' become an official trade guild within the Empire with the same economic and political rights that such an entity would hold. Needless to say, with Atlantican vessels regularly coming to port in the grand boroughs of New York and Atlantican cargo ships selling supplies to Imperial forces at half the cost, the request was accepted quickly by the Crown. Despite the Guild being predominantly made up of sailors and vendors, with the ascention to proper Guild status within the Empire State, new voters were brought into the Guild. Among these voters were men of noble birth, an action that drew much ire from the growing 'middle class' of the city, who saw these men as thieves coming to plunder the profits won by the businesses and shipping companies.
In the modern times, the holy year of 2390, Atlantica controls the whole of southern Jersey. At the helm of the ever expanding trade empire is Commodore Theodore Lange, a gaunt man of two worlds. The House Lange has existed since the wars of Jersey succession some hundred years ago. In the aftermath of Franklin the Quick's duel with his older brother, his younger successfully bargained away the title 'Count of Brigantine'. The holding of Brigantine was a small bombed out ruin within eye sight of Atlantica's harbor; yet within twenty years the new Lord of Brigantine, William, was able to restore the Brigantine lighthouse and build a small keep around the old world relic. Thus, with control of a precious holding as a lighthouse within sight of the harbor, William began politically venturing into the Commodore's Guild, and indeed established his own small venture along the harbor selling salted poultry to sailors and vendors. Through divine blessing William's legacy survived, and what would become the Brigantine Longhouse birthed House Lange. Thus, in keeping with the tradition of his ancestors, Theodore holds the balance as a Merchant-Noble and Commodore of Atlantica. It is his duty, ordained unto him by divine providence and blessed winds, to steer the vessel of Atlantica to greater profits and glories for itself, and the greater fleet of the Empire.
All hail to the Empire! All hail to Atlantica!