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Sardinia is a former Italian island in the Western Mediterranean Sea. It was recently freed from a Sicilian occupation by troops of the Atlantic Defense Community.
Sardinia is one of the most geologically ancient bodies of land in Europe. Though evidence of human visits date from the Palaeolithic period, permanent settlements only appear much later in the Neolithic age, around 6000 BC. Circa 1000 BC the Phoenicians began visiting Sardinia with increasing frequency, presumably initially needing safe over-night and/or all-weather anchorages along their trade routes, eventually taking control and passing it on to Carthage. In 238 BC the Carthaginians, as a result of their defeat by the Romans in the first Punic War, surrendered Sardinia to Rome. Roman domination of Sardinia lasted 694 years. Upon their arrival on Sardinia after their conquest of Italy post-456 AD, the Vandals occupied the coastal cities.
In 533 AD Sardinia came back under the rule of the Byzantine Empire when the Vandals were defeated by the armies of Justinian I under the General Belisarius. Centralized Byzantine authority remained until circa 650 AD. Post 650 AD, Byzantine central authority waned into the hands of local Byzantine legates. After many years of local and largely autonomous rule, the four Byzantine legates conferred the title of Judex upon themselves. With the de facto end of Byzantine authority, the leaders of the four regions of Sardinia thus acted as independent kingdoms. These would last until the early 15th century, when the last of the kingdoms would fall to Aragon, the others having fallen centuries earlier to the Pisans and Genoans. Sardinia would pass to Spain with the merger of Aragon and Castille in 1479, remaining under their control until 1720.
In 1720, it passed to the Italian House of Savoy as a result of the Spanish War of Succession, becoming part of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. Sardinia joined the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, with the rest of the Savoy domains. As part of the Kingdom, its people distinguished themselves in the First World War. During the Fascist period, much investment, both in infrastructure and colonists, occurred, as well as severe repression on the island.Sardinia received autonomy in 1948, and malaria was finally eliminated in 1951. Over the next few decades, the island was turned into at massive military base on its north and south shores, and several attempts at industrializing failed dramatically - the island became a tourist trap in many areas.
Sardinia was hit heavily by nuclear missiles on Doomsday. Italian and NATO bases on the north and south edges of the island were destroyed, taking several major cities with them, as well as devastating those areas of the island. Extensive amounts of fallout from the strikes on the south of the island would kill many more, as would the refugees from the blasts. In the end, more than two thirds the population of the island would perish - out of a population of around 1.6 million on the entire island, only around 400,000 people are believed to have survived those first few days - with more dying over the course of the next year.
With the destruction of the government of the island on Doomsday, and the elimination of many of its more local governments shortly thereafter, chaos soon reined in many areas, with refugees from areas closer to the blast zones making things worse. In the northwest of the island, as well as its center, pockets of authority remained, however.
Local governments in the middle of the island were able to survive quite easily, as they were isolated from the rest of the island, by and large. In the northwest, government authorities in the Province of Sassari, dealing with a large amount of refugees and radiation from blasts to the north and south of Sassari, proved themselves more resilient than most as well.
In the end, the provincial government of Sassari proved unable to withstand the pressure, and cracked in late October. However, the more socialistic city government proved itself more capable of withstanding the same pressures. Under its leadership - along with that of surviving soldiers and vehicles from armored regiments in the area - an evacuation of the area was ordered. As their position in the area was becoming quickly unsustainable due to the refugees and ever-increasing amounts of fallout - especially with winter coming - the government decided to move as much of the population as possible southwards, and inland.
On November 11th, many of the people of the city, carrying as many of their belongings as they could, with the leadership and those less capable in vehicles, left for the trek southwards, where they hoped to find a area safer from radiation. Many stayed behind, not wanting to leave their homes. Most of those who remained had perished by 1985, when people ventured back into the area - radiation was likely the cause.
There would be deaths on the journey, both from exposure, and in some cases hunger. Many would, however, live. After passing by a few ruined towns, as well as few that refused to deal with them, they finally arrived at the small city of Ghilarza on December 3rd, which agreed to help them as much as they could manage without starving themselves. Rumors would circulate for years that they had been forced to do so - and that the convoy itself has destroyed the towns on its way - but these are today suspected as being Sicilian plants, to destabilize the government of the island.
In any case, the convoy stopped, and quickly put up shelters from the cold. More would die that winter, but even more would live; 30,000 people who would have otherwise perished had lived. Jointly, the leaders of the convoy and the town declared a provisional government for the island, to be based out of the town.
The next spring, branching out with the leftover supplies of fuel for the military vehicles, the government would acquire contact with other surviving towns and cities in the middle of the island, based at Oristano and Nuoro. These groups joined with the provisional government, and by the next summer, patrols heading outwards by horseback from these two areas would establish contact with others at Olbia and Tortolì, who joined as well.
In the process of this, however, they lost the usability of the armored vehicles - which would later come back to haunt them.
Knowing that the survivors from the convoy had to spread out to survive longer, the government sent them out to abandoned areas that they had discovered, as well as to repopulate the area around Sassari, which their patrols had found almost empty.
With the loss of so many people, as well as industry and ports, the government became very isolated - though not necessarily by choice, given what conditions have been recorded from that era. All of this changed in 1988, when merchants, claiming to be from a "Sicilian Republic" showed up on the island. It is suspected that at this point that they were likely spies, for the most part. The government even sold the now-rusting armored vehicles to the merchants, copies of which would eventually form the backbone of the Sicilian armored forces.
These merchants were perfectly willing to sell the Sardinians things that they desperately needed. Yet, this did not include any military supplies. Besides the Sicilians, the Sardinian government made little contact with other powers at the time.
Throughout the 1990s, representatives from Sicily would periodically arrive in Ghilarza, making demands - chiefly, that they were the successor to the Italian government, and as such the Provisional Government should join them. They were refused each time. As the Sicilians were just as isolated diplomatically - though not nearly for the same reasons - they thought themselves to be safe.
However, on May 5th, 2004, they were proven wrong, when suddenly, Sicily landed troops at several points on their undefended shores. Given the chronic shortages faced by the Sardinians, their advance was rapid, with only barricades in the interior of the island slowing them down at all until they reached Ghilarza, which had been fortified somewhat. Unfortunately, while the Sardinians lacked artillery, the Sicilians did not, and the town was taken. The leadership was executed, and the body of their president, a former member of the Sassari city council, Gavino Angius, hung outside of the ruins for years to come, only being buried after it fell down from its perch. All of this, in only two weeks.
The Sicilians would begin to fortify their new possession almost immediately. They would also start to send colonists to the island, where they resettled the area around what had been the small city of Carbonia, which they turned into their headquarters on the island and built a port nearby. Other bands of settlers would head elsewhere on the island and settle. Sicily soon began a campaign to try and gain the loyalty of the island, one way or the other.
Rebels would remain in areas of the interior, small in number and often being caught by the Sicilians. But, despite occasional Sicilian attempts to buy the population, many were never quite loyal. While they may not have supported the rebels in any way, they at the same time did not support the Sicilians.
These bands of rebels would harass the Sicilians during their wars with the ADC, whose invasion during the Second Sicily War would manage to free the island.
With the end of the war, the island was put under a mandate, somewhat under the LoN, controlled by the members of the IPA and Corsica. The preoccupation or weakness of the others has led to the Genoans being primarily responsible for setting up the island towards independence or joining another country. The mandate is headquartered in the western city of Oristano, which can be much more easily reinforced in event of another war.
Government and Politics
The Mandate of Sardinia is governed by a combination of a High Commissioner, Riccardo Garrone, appointed by the Genoan government in light of the mainland commitments of the rest of the IPA, as well as a Magistrate, Dr. Tomaso Vercellotti, a civilian who was born on the island in the mid-1950s, appointed by the High Commissioner to establish a government.
A council has been elected by the locals to assist the Magistrate as well. The High Commissioner is assisted by four Commissioners, appointed by the other three IPA members and Corsica, an ADC member.
Currently, the biggest issue on the island is what to do with the Sicilian colonists who did not leave the island with repudiated Sicilian prisoners. The Sardinians themselves would like to see them deported, but on the flip side of the coin, they also form most of the population in some areas of the southern areas of the island, especially in and around Carbonia. It is a delicate subject, especially since they the Sicilians have been banned from the electoral process on the island, along with any officials from under the Sicilian regime.
Economically, agriculture is predominant on the island. The mining of several minerals in small quantities - largely gold, coal, and bauxite - also occurs. In the north and center of the island, where the population is primarily located, the extraction of granite is also important.
Several members of the international community have either established consulates, or are about to do so, in Oristano. Others are waiting to see what a referendum will bring to the island.