"While we will part with the Sovereignty, we bear them no ill will. There is still much we can gain mutually, but it is time for us to stand on our own; our own guilds, our own people, our own Orders, our own Signoria."The Magantine Charter is the founding document of the city-state of Maganti. It was written by the founding guilds of the Magantine Signoria in the form of a letter to each citizen of Maganti.
-excerpt from the Magantine Charter.
The Charter was written to formalise the independence of the city-state of Maganti, and to lay out its basic governmental structure and laws, as well as laying out the future of trade with the Avadian Sovereignty.
The contents of the letter are summarised below;
- An explanation of Maganti's independence from the Sovereignty
- An introduction of the Signoria and its role in governing Maganti
- A statement deputising the Orders of the Elements to keep the peace
- A summary of the preferential trade arrangements with the Sovereignty and the Mariner's Guild, and a statement of good will
- An invitation over the coming months to attend Signoria sessions to assist with the development of the fledgling nation.
A copy of the Charter was made available to any Magantine who wished to view it; illiterate Magantines were eligible to have it read aloud to them by officials or Elemental Monks. The original tablets are still on display in the palace of the Signoria for anyone to peruse.
Over the past two centuries, the Calinani and Avadian peoples of Maganti, then a colony of the Avadian Sovereignty, had been developing their own united culture, political beliefs and even religion, distinct from the Avadian home islands and other colonies. As this culture formed and took hold, there was a growing friction between the Sovereignty and the people of Maganti. A prelude to religious independence existed with the rise of Sabra Tiderunner and the Orders of the Elements, and both the Sovereignty and Maganti were wary of any kind of war or rebellion. By the middle of the first century DoM, the situation had come close to a boiling point, with the rise of several merchant houses in Maganti butting heads with the Mariner's Guild and the Avadian Admiralty. Eventually, to stave off a war neither side wanted, a compromise was reached - Maganti would be granted its independence in exchange for preferential trade deals with the Sovereignty and the Mariner's Guild. The Charter was written to consolidate this.
Public reaction was mostly positive; the general sense among the Magantines was that independence was a long time coming, and not being gifted independence was untenable. There were some merchant houses who protested at exclusive deals being made with the Sovereignty, but the general understanding was that this would be preferable to serving under the decree of an Avadian viceroy and an Assembly that did not represent them. In the Sovereignty, there was some uproar about allowing the loss of one of their colonies, but most of the prominent merchants in the home islands, and especially the Mariner's Guild, saw this as an opportunity and advocated for it. The Admiralty came to appreciate the extra funds that would no longer be needed to be spent on keeping the colony under heel, and a motion in the Assembly to recognise and respect the Charter passed convincingly.
500 years after its publication, the Charter is still the basic foundation of Magantine society. Additional laws and policies have been codified over time, but all of them trace back to the original founding document. It is also respected in the Avadian Sovereignty as a best-case model for any other colonies wishing to secede.