New Colchis: History
5228AD La Revolution reaches New Colchis
The colonists who arrived from Colchis in 5228AD were united by their common belief in the Wheel of Life, a religion born in the slums of New Home. The religion is based on a combination of Buddhism, Hinduism and New Age beliefs.
Most early Wheelies were descended from British Indians, who formed a significant minority aboard the C-Jammer; many others were white though. Today these racial distinctions have been blurred by many centuries of interbreeding. Nevertheless the typical New Colchian has dark skin and black hair.
5228-5300AD Early Idealism
The early colony developed around the ideas of common ownership and mutual dependence. A huge, peaceful commune slowly spread out across the planet. Everything was decided by the community. There were no leaders, only temporary executives, elected by the people to direct specific projects. The only form of central government was the Oversight Committee which arbitrated in disputes. The Committee was made up of the executives of all major communes.
The feeling of community and sense of purpose made the early colony amazingly successful. Humanity quickly spread across the hospitable Ananda continent. Expansion was only curbed by the oceans. New Colchis large twin moons give the oceans strong and unpredictable tides. In these early years, there was enough space on Ananda to make a dangerous ocean crossing unworthy of the risk.
The communes spiritual life was very important of course. Most people were actively religious, and monasticism was a common way of life. A large and influential priest class quickly developed. By 5300AD, the monasteries and the priest class were beginning to accumulate a great deal of wealth and power, a fact sometimes resented by the secular community.
5300-5341AD Rise of the Strong Men
Soon the priest class began to develop the idea of reincarnation into the doctrine of direct inheritance. This idea holds that a newly reborn person should automatically inherit all of their former selfs worldly goods and any office they might have held. Of course priests are the ones who decide which baby is the reborn. In a society supposedly without rank, privilege or money, the priest class started to become very wealthy!
As the growing wealth of the priests began to fracture the community spirit of the colony, physical distance began to fragment its idealistic system of governance. Powerful local officials started to hold on to their office when formerly they would have stepped down in favour of another. Rivalry and discord became the rule.