To shape a world similar to our own but so very different is difficult. An alternate history is no easy-catch clause, but, in a way, it saves this universe from being swept up in modern fantasy and fairytale.
But where did the split from our humanity begin? Was it right at mental genesis? Documents held in The Continent’s Administration Office claim that when the settlers, those who began to understand their world with reasoning and emotive minds, began writing, they described ‘factios’ (possible translation and transcription is unclear of this term. Other variations include ‘factions’ and ‘factio’ as the plural) between the groups swinging down from the trees.
Not only existed those who had the ability to craft or command better than others, but also those who developed their own style of living. In our world, we might call them foreigners, for these factios might well be compared with the cultures across our broad spectrum of the Earth. Except that these all lived on the same block of land, slowly spreading themselves outwards for their own needs – those who learnt to sew nets and spot motions moved to the sea-edges for their fishing. Those who knew the craft of writing remained in the centre, where every other skilledman could reach their power.
As time passed, these factios saw themselves as the better, even when they were not self-sufficient without the other factios – and from there, it is assumed the original shapes of class came.
But they also still pushed through the same great minds we have encountered. From just beyond the land a mile from Costello Mansion – according to legend – a sharp-minded, clear-voiced Socrates proclaimed of his ideas for a civilisation governed by equal rights and rules; one of the first applicants to a teaching-school (that is, what were later known as the colleges) with an interest in philosophy was a hook-nosed boy whose parents had been part of the factio counting grain. Using his knowledge of counting, Renee Descartes devised a Cartesian division still used in Zara’s time.
From a family of painters related to the Archers and descended from those first hut-builders came Michelangelo in the early twentieth century; from the scientific minds supposedly connected to the Leighs grew Hen Forstere and his brother Eddison, creators of, respectively, the Automised Taxicab, and the captured oil-lamp.
Even two generations of Woolfs were formed of the ill-fated marriage of a lower-class and upper-class citizen, brought together through their love of forbidden literature in 2070.
Although the land never separated into more than four (known of 2083) tectonic plates, the community still manages its equivalents of French, English, Greek and the like. If you told a Continentian those names, the words would be drivel, but this must be their equivalent of the Upper and Lower societies divided by position, rather than blood and money.