- The political form of Albion is not something that the developers have explored much up until now; Fable III is the first game that will put you in charge of the political aspects of the nation. I can however give you my theories on them based on lore and such.
Albion was once a kingdom ruled by the Archon family, and the nation was united under their rule. This phase of Albion government was completely destroyed, along with most of the Kingdom itself, after the last Archon used the Spire.
After that time, I believe most of Albion became self-governing city-states, with each state maintained by a mayor, duke or chieftain of some sort. This is what I think Albion is like during the time of Fable I and Fable II. The only aspect of law and order that transcends the city-states is the Albion Guard, who can be found in all regions in Fable II, and in all towns and some areas of Fable I. Their headquarters is believed to be in Bowerstone, which would serve as the capital city of Albion.
By the start of Fable III, Albion is a monarchy again, ruled over by a single king. The process which led to this is unclear, but I believe it stems from the following chain of events (which I've effectively put together from speculation):
- Lord Lucien, Mayor of Bowerstone, is killed by the Hero, the Hero then proceeds to buy Castle Fairfax and earn the Mayoral title himself.
- Due to the Hero's fame and renown, and the outcomes of the quests completed there, people of the nearby countryside regions, like Rookridge and Bower Lake, decide that they would like to become part of the Bowerstone jurisdiction.
- The Hero is likely to have bought either the Temple of Light or the Temple of Shadows, giving them major influence over the village of Oakfield. Oakfield therefore becomes part of the forming kingdom.
- The Hero is likely to have bought Brightwood Tower and/or Brightwood Farm, giving them power over the Brightwood region and encouraging the people there to join up as well.
- With the disappearance of Barnum, ownership of the Crucible and the other businesses in Westcliff pass to his business and investment partner, the Hero. Westcliff and the neighbouring Bandit Coast therefore become part of the Hero's domain.
- The A Hero's Tale town of Southcliff is a Dukedom of the Hero's ancestor after the defeat of the Duke of Southcliff. The town automatically becomes part of the kingdom.
- The Hero purchases the Bloodstone Mansion and 'inherits' the town of Bloodstone with it. The lawless Wraithmarsh effectively comes along as well.
- The Hero solved the Weather Crisis of Knothole Island and either
- was gifted control over the island's weather by the gracious townspeople, who were happy to join the kingdom as well;
- or was granted access to the chamber by the Chieftain, who in return was happy to join his town into the kingdom.
- All of Albion's city states are controlled one way or another by the same person. The nation effectively becomes a monarchy.
Extension, based on the question regarding Hook Coast (from the Comments)
Well I was basing this on F2 regions, as we don't know what happened to the peripheral F1/TLC regions over the interim 500 years.
But let's see (for completeness, I'll try to cover them all): Fable/TLC Regions
- Northern Wastes - The region is mainly countryside, so these areas would follow the jurisdiction from Snowspire. Last heard of in Tales of Albion, where it mentions a job unloading crates from the mainland ferries. The region is likely to govern itself throughout the next 500 years, occasionally receiving travellers and traders from the mainland ferries. Assuming the village doesn't fall to the wayside, it is possible that they form for themselves a Crown Dependency government with a similar relationship to that of the Balliwick of Guernsey with the UK. Sparrow would become the de facto Head of State because the Wastes are technically part of Albion, and Sparrow has become the king/queen of Albion following the events above, but the region would still maintain its own independently administered jurisdiction from Snowspire.
- Hook Coast - Last heard of in Tales of Albion. Possible fates in the subsequent 500 years:
- All the villagers moved out to find a better place to live, like those from Knothole Glade. An abandoned island that can automatically be added to the kingdom.
- The village continued to thrive, and may have expanded. Due to the actual proximity of the Hook Coast island to the Northern Wastes, which were remapped during the Decade of Enlightenment as seen in the Fable II map, the village decided to become part of the Snowspire/Northern Wastes jurisdiction.
- Bowerstone - Became Bowerstone. No problems there.
- Lookout Point/Picnic Area/Heroes' Guild - Became Bower Lake, no problems there either.
- Greatwood - Well an area of the eastern side of Greatwood became Brightwood. As for the rest of it, it's countryside, so acts in the same way as Bower Lake and Rookridge above.
- Darkwood/Oakvale/Bandit Camp - Became Wraithmarsh and Bloodstone. No problems there.
- Witchwood - Probably abandoned after the destruction of the Arena, the Temple of Avo and the departure of the tribe from Knothole Glade. Became an uninhabited Abion island that can automatically be part of the kingdom.
- Bargate/Lychfield - Countryside regions that act in the same way as Rookridge and Bower Lake.
Update, regarding primarily the Weight of the World portion of Fable III, and the status of Bowerstone as the nation's capital
From Talk:Bowerstone (Fable III):
Even though Albion hasn't always been united, it has still always been Albion; a named country/nation in the Fable world. Since Albion has always been a nation, it must have always had a capital of some sort; since the most influential people of Albion lived in Bowerstone, it was the de facto capital. With the creation of the monarchy, Bowerstone became the de jure capital of Albion as well.
My theories on the status of the regions, before and after the judgements, based on their outcomes and the changes to the landscape
- Brightwall - The origins of Brightwall are unclear, but we know that shortly after the events of Fable II, Sparrow went there and opened up the academy. Since then, Brightwall supported the monarchy, but their distance from Bowerstone and their dissatisfaction with Logan's rule weakened their support for the crown. With the promise by the Prince to reopen the Academy, their allegiance switched from the crown to the rebels. General support in the village was affected by whether the promise was kept or not, but the village itself remains wholly governed by the monarchy.
- Mistpeak Valley - Initially an autonomous region of Albion controlled by the Dwellers, Logan annexed the mountain range to log the forests, and control passed to the crown. If the Hero kept their promise to Sabine, control is returned to the Dwellers during the Judgements; otherwise, the logging operations are expanded, and the state passes immediate (but invisible) control of the region to Reaver Industries.
- Bowerstone - The seat of the government, controlled by the crown throughout. Allegiance changes de jure at the Coronation of the Hero. Industrial is under immediate control of Reaver Industries throughout, regardless of whether the promises regarding the district are kept or not; these only serve to improve (or otherwise) the lives of the people, and do not affect the overall control of the district.
- Millfields - Initially under the de facto jurisdiction of Bowerstone, control of Millfields is wholly affected by the Bower Lake Proposal. If passed, full control of the region passes to Reaver Industries in order to open up the mines. (However, there don't seem to be any Reaver Industries banners, perhaps a mistake, see also below.) If rejected, the region is protected by the state and is controlled by the crown de jure. (Despite this, Reaver Industries banners appear in the region; perhaps they should have been Hero banners?)
- Mourningwood/Driftwood/Silverpines - No overall control due to the majority of the regions being wilderness. Technically part of the kingdom by location, but with no official government presence. (Except the Swift Brigade garrison at Mourningwood Fort for the duration of the Hollow Legion quest.)
- Aurora - Initially wholly independent, potentially autocratic or theocratic; background unknown. Status within Albion completely defined by the Status of Aurora Judgement. Aurora can become an 'equal part of the kingdom'; the exact meaning of this is open for interpretation - potentially it attains a status similar to Brightwall, with full governmental control passed to Bowerstone; alternatively, it may function with a partially-devolved government, or as a Crown Dependency. On the other hand, Aurora can be annexed by Albion and exploited as a colony - immediate control passes to Reaver Industries for the maintenance of the mine, but crown control is visible.
- Shifting Sands/The Veiled Path - No overall control, but de jure part of the kingdom following the Status of Aurora Judgement. Small guard presence at the Stone Arch if the Desert Outpost Proposal is passed. Control disputed by the remaining forces of Darkness and the Sand Fury tribes.
- Ravenscar Keep - Controlled by the crown throughout, with immediate control by Prison Management. Status within the kingdom affirmed by Lt. Hadley at the end of the DLC.
- Clockwork Island/Godwin Estate - Part of the kingdom by location, each island was initially run by their respective owners; Faraday Industries and the Godwin Family. Following the events of Traitor's Keep, Clockwork Island becomes a village like Brightwall, while the Godwin Estate dissolves into wilderness like Silverpines.
- Part of the Albion Series
- User blog:Enodoc/Political History of Albion
- User blog:Enodoc/Geography of Albion
- User blog:Enodoc/Bowerstone: Past and Present
I put this here so I could find it again in the future :P . These are my theories of how Sparrow became king/queen of Albion. Originally from User talk:Enodoc#Micronation Albion, now in Archive 2