Limitless Worlds

Limitless Worlds

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Three Hundred Years' War - Couronne

The city of Gascon near the Hespia border

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 trying to unite the nascent kingdoms of the land into a cohesive monarchal empire.

After Cour's death, succession carried down his bloodline. Though the lands around Le Rei Soleil's palace of Semailles respected and followed his rule, many outlying territories didn't recognize it. This led to conflicts with Albain trying to claim the Couronnian throne - which Couronne won - and attempted expansion into The Alpenne States - which Couronne lost via Hespia. Since then, Couronne has experienced a Renaissance - literally. They've expanded their borders significantly, art has exploded in quality, and the current Le Rei Soleil - Luis the Greater - has consildated power. For the past few hundred years, however, they have been been at a stalemate with their Imperium rivals and internal struggles, and there is little sign of stopping.


The Voliex Massacre
Couronne is a fairly religious country as well, though unlike their Imperium neighbors, they worship a deity named Morgaine - a regional goddess of nobility, chivalry and honor. This worship is mostly followed by the nobility, while many peasants still follow the way of the Old Gods.

For a while, the nobility accepted this but suppressed many of the rights of those who did not worship Morgaine. That was until under the reign of Henri Voliex around 100 years ago, a minority of urban poor who worshipped the Old Gods began rising up against the unfair conditions. Disaffected worshippers of Morgaine struck back, killing hundreds in a bloody killing all around the country in an event known as the Voliex Massacre.

These deaths sparked the Morgaine Rebellions, a period of upheaval that resulted in civil war lasting nearly 40 years, the title of Le Rei Soleil exchanging hands a half dozen time, and a death toll of roughly three million. This eventually ended when Henri Bordeu, the grandfather of Luis the Greater, ascended the throne and managed to extend a hand between the Cult of Morgaine and the worshippers of the Old Gods. Still, tensions run high between both parties, and Couronne still has not fully recovered.


The countryside of Bordeu
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 Courounne 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. There is also the massive Landes Forest, the home of the Auber elves.

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. The dukedoms of Lyonse, Rodomo, Bordeu, Tolosa, Panam and Marshela have remained constant however, and are known all across Europa.

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 contingent of Couronnian chevaliers

Couronne may seem beautiful and perfect from the outside, but the inside is rife with unseen Corruption. Both the nobility and peasantry of Couronne are proud of their country, so many turn a blind eye to the neighboring farm with a mutated son or the decadent noble who holds sordid orgies.

Couronne politics are draconian and bureaucratic - those nobles who want to get things done will have trouble making any changes due to interference and overlapping responsibilities. That is why most of them spend their days amongst parties and noble intrigue, as there is not much else to do. Luis the Greater is generally beneficent, but even he falls to these distractions. The massive peasantry is left to fester in overflown sewers, muddy alleyways, or toil their lives in the fields.

When not playing their games of fancy, the nobility are playing their games of war. Currently embroiled in the Great War as an attempt to finally overthrow their Imperium rivals, Le Rei Soleil assures it is only for protection of borders. The pride of Le Grand Armee de la Couronne are their countless knights and chevaliers, lesser martial nobles said to be blessed by Morgaine herself. The rest of the army is composed of peasantry press-ganged into service by their dukes. Though they may not have the numbers and technology the Imperium has, their knights have gone down in legend and song for their prowess.


There is my first big write up. Obviously it is related to Bretonnia, but I went more the way of decadent nobility of the original Bretonnia in WFRP 1e, and dropped much of the Arthurian stuff. Similarly, I added some real life history of France- allusions to the Hundred Years War and the Italian Wars, as well as a focus on the Huguenot Wars. I feel like I'll touch more upon those wars when I cover Albain and the Alpenne States, but the Morgaine Rebellions were more pressing. I also think this is how I'm gonna handle the 'large' nations - ancient history, more recent happenings, geography and politics, then people and armed forces.

Anyway, hope you are enjoying the series so far! Now I need to formulate what to cover next.

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