THE SOLSIDE SCHISM
In the early years of settlement, a decisive schism developed within the leadership of Solside, the first settlement in the Krater. Conservative elders were gravely concerned with the acceptance of pre-Untergang technology in Solside. They were opposed by factions already prospering from Underside expeditions and trade.
The differences proved irreconcilable and after a critical period of tension and altercations, the conservative elders distanced themselves both politically and physically from the emerging Solside community. The elders formed the Gerontocracy, a new separate settlement in the Krater centered around the area that would paradoxically come to be known as Gamla Stan (the Old Towne).
Led by Teofilas the Older, son of Teofilas the Oldest, the Gerontocracy initially attracted a large amount of frightened Krater residents who were concerned about the Underside and the dangers it represented. The population of the Gerontocracy was further increased by an influx of missionaries from the Kommunion; the dominant religious movement present throughout all of Scandinavia. As the Kommunion and the Gerontacracy both believed in the inherent evil of all things pre-Untergang, an alliance against Solside fell naturally into place.
THE MARCH EXPULSION
With time, the relations between the Kommunion and the Gerontocracy soured and would finally collapse entirely. The Kommunion followers and worship was banned completely in what was to become known as the March Expulsion.
The reverence of old ways and the value of experience (in the male population) in the Gerontocracy have developed into an extreme fixation on age, dominating and permeating the whole society.
The worship of old age has gone so far awry that the Gerontocracy actually regards senility as having contact with divine powers and a requirement to be a leader. At least a smidgeon of Alzheimers (simulated or not) is a prerequisite to hold a post among the Elders circle.
As Solside continued to prosper from the business of Underside exploration, the irrational leadership of the Gerontocracy found it increasingly difficult to exert their grip on the population. With mass emigration possibly threatening its existence, the Gerontocracy pooled all resources into the building of the Great Wall of Long Life. It was painfully clear to all observers that this wall was not built to keep enemies out, but to keep their people in.
Ironically, the Gerontocracy started to mysteriously produce large amounts of foodstuffs shortly before the March Expulsion, enabling them to successfully recruit among the poor who were willing to convert to the ways of the Gerontocracy for the guarantee of a meal a day.