|Luis the Greater, Le Rei Soleil|
Roughly one thousand years ago after the Old Imperium collapsed under its own weight, much of the western half of that empire was without leadership. Often seen only as a breadbasket fit for peasants to work on, a minor duke known as Hugo Cour decided to take up the flag and unite these fractured people. Declaring the land he claimed as Couronne and taking the title of Le Rei Soleil, Hugo spent the rest of his life uniting the nascent kingdoms of the land into a cohesive monarchical empire - the Couronne of today, ruled by Luis the Greater. Despite struggles and conflicts with nearly all their neighbors - especially Hespia, Albain and the Gilded Imperium - Couronne still stands as one of the mightiest empires of Europa.
Couronne worships a regional goddess known as The Lady, but for many years they too worshiped the Old Beliefs. As worship of The Lady grew, the Couronne government started to suppress Old Believers until they reached their breaking point, striking at the unfairness in rebellion. The government and worshipers of The Lady fell upon them, igniting a bloody massacre that would turn into a full scale religious war. This period of time, known only as the Rebellions, lasted about 40 years and resulted in the deaths of over three million people, the exchange of power of Le Rei Soleil a few times, and strife throughout the nation. This was ended when the grandfather of the current Le Rei Soleil ascended the throne and made peace between the two sects. The religions are now civil, but tensions are still there.
|A duke's castle in the Couronne countryside|
Couronne is very much a rural kingdom, but one of quite striking beauty. It is mostly composed of rolling plains and farmlands, with occasional lowlands and basins that create swampy marshes. All sorts of crops thrive here - fruits, grains, flowers and livestock are shipped from Couronne all throughout Europa. Couronne is lush with rivers - the Liger and Sequana rivers feed much of the country, and the River Rhenus serves as a natural border between Couronne and their hated Imperium neighbors. The south of the country is hilly, with parts of it bleeding into the Alpenne Range. To their west is the Great Ocean, which Luis the Greater has already set ships across in hopes to colonize the 'safer' parts of Dinetah. The climate is temperate, with long springs and mild summers.
Politics and Divisions
Couronne is divided into dukedoms, where the duke or duchess rules over their capital city and the surrounding countryside. There are between roughly 20 to 30 dukedoms at a time, their numbers changing depending on grants, fealties and the progress of the Great War. Le Rei Soleil is the 'duke' of Panam - Couronne's capital - though he rules from his palace at Semailles. The actual city of Panam is one of the largest in all of Europa, with nearly half a million residents. Couronne cities are often large and extravagant, with beautiful castles and architecture, but this is a facade - their streets are rife with urban poor, disease and banditry, and only the nobility generally gets to enjoy the fineries. Most of Couronne's population remain rural in the farmlands and marshes of the dukedoms.
|A conflict between Couronne nobles and peasants|
Couronne peoples are proud and often seen as haughty, but it's just because they know what they want. Dark hair and pronounced facial features are common, and many are slim - often from malnutrition. There is quite a large gap between the upper echelons of Couronne and the peasants. The nobility, especially the many knights and chevaliers that have defined the Couronne military, are often decadent and sordid, many flirting with Corruption. The peasantry in the cities live in squalor, decay and filth, while those in the countryside work long hours to meet demand. Couronne residents of both classes like to put on airs of superiority regardless. The Burgher class is little to non-existent, and often composed of foreigners.
Panam - Panam is the capital of Couronne, and while its tall marble buildings and wide streets are appealing, it is the worst offender of the corruption in the undercurrent of Couronne. The squares and gardens are well tended, but the back alley slums are full of the poor and wretched. The nobles dance and play while the paupers are pushed into the refuse by newly bannered knights. Truly a great place to visit, but an awful one to live in.
Bordeu - Bordeu is only a town by population size, but is one of the most important settlements in all of Couronne. Nestled inbetween the Liger and Sequana, Bordeu is full of winery after winery, producing some of the finest brews in the entirety of the world. The countryside is also beautiful, with many dukes holding summer homes in the town proper. Though the winemakers faire slightly better than city peasants, its not by much.
Rodomo - Located on the River Rhenus, Rodomo was once the victim of a terrible attack at the hand of the forces of Corruption. The barbarians and foul creatures were eventually run off, but not without the city being razed. Over a few decades the town was built back up, but it was never the same - people tell tales about pained wails in the night, blood being pulled out of the well, and that the marsh is devouring the city itself. Most people give Rodomo a wide berth, and many nobles don't even acknowledge it.
(Sorry for the delay on this one! Work and freelancing has been nuts! Hopefully gonna get back into the swing of thing soon)