Gaul

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Gaul, formally known as the Gaulish Empire (Empire Gaulois), is a historical Terran country once bordering Victoria, Ursus, and Leithanien. It is an imperial monarchy founded by the Ancient races that is ruled by a royal house of Liberi.

Gaul was formerly famous for its hegemony over the Terran heartland and being the most influential superpower of Terra. Gaulish culture was once appreciated across Terra, and the Gaulish language was the preferred lingua franca among other nations. Entering the eleventh century, Gaulish expansionism slowly threatened neighboring nations, but an outright invasion against them resulted in a devastating world war, the War of the Four Nations, and Gaul's utter defeat led to its dissolvement through scrambles over its territory and properties by the victors. By the present era, Gaul has been completely forgotten into history, though a restorationist movement is actively seeking to revive the old empire.

The Gaulish language is similar to French in our world. But somehow, both have distinct grammars and accents even though both are mutually intelligible enough with each other.

Background

The Gallic Era

Since the classical period by the dawn of the common era, Gaulish civilization could be found in the fertile heartland region. The nation survived the destructive ravages of the Nightzmoran Khaganate of the 11th Terran year, yet Gaul persisted to withhold its borders. In the following centuries, Gaul actively annexed neighboring city-states under its vassalage which expanded its territory in the process.[3]

Entering the Crystallization Age, the renowned "Gallic Era" began from the expansion of the capital of Lingones. In the Terran year 833, the ruling Emperor François of Gaul initiated a city-planning project – the conversion of Lingones into a nomadic city, being the first nation that managed to migrate an old sedentary city onto nomadic platforms. The project was met with lukewarm receptions: both the mayor and the city council of Lingones, including the local ministry of urban planning, voiced out their refusal to cooperate due to political rivalry, and the residents strongly opposed the project out of both fear of the destruction of classical Gaulish architectures and the inconvenience of daily lives. As a consequence, Emperor François distrusted the conservative Nobles of the Robe and handed this massive project to Comte Haussmann, a nobleman with well-respected military background. To allow the project to go smoothly, the project orders were issued to the ministers as literal military orders. And despite complaints by residents of the old settlements, the city-planning was eventually accepted such as local greenery and construction of rising skyscrapers.[4]

An excerpt from Mémoires de Comte Hausmsmann[5]
Unofficial English translations provided by Jowett.

"The very first time I experienced great humiliation was in Lingones. When I was sixteen years old, I visited the great capital to visit my relatives. When I was chatting with local celebrities on a party that my uncle hosted, they actually turned their back on me because I wasn't from Lingones! Although I didn't actually inherit the title, I was still a nobleman nonetheless...Then I came to realize the uniqueness of the city. There are two kinds of people here — the Lingonians, and the others. Later on, when I was rebuilding Lingones, I came up with many setbacks. Whenever I wanted to give up, this memory of my youth would come up to my mind, making me unable to give up this chance to master Lingones."

The conversion of Lingones into a nomadic city was literally a massive reconstruction. According to statistics, over 40,000 buildings were demolished, and 90,000 were built and rebuilt repeatedly. The project lasted for twenty-five years, five years longer than the Emperor initially planned; as a consequence, Haussmann was punished through demotion of his office. Nevertheless, After Lingones opened itself to other nations, its lavish and avant-garde architectures attracted attention, and many were amazed that the new capital became a "playground" figuratively speaking.[6] Lingones' cultural atmosphere promoted the capital to become the "Capital of Terra" for centuries to come.

At the zenith of the Gallic Era, the Gallians experienced a sudden improvement of livelihood. Many cities were able to undergo massive infrastructure renovations through technological advancements. Social welfare covered the citizens' expenses. The period of economic and social dynamics allowed the Gallians to live a lavish lifestyle and enriched their mind, which in turn nourished their arts and philosophy. Such a period was later referred to as "Belle Époque" by later generations.[7]

The Gallic Era was also marked with its active expansion and geopolitical involvement. For centuries, Gaul had been an active expansionist into many unexplored Terran regions such as Rim Billiton and Bolívar. Between the years 885 to 897, Gaul, Victoria, and Leithanien had a heated rivalry over colonizing the newly independent Bolívar which eventually ended with Leithanian victory.[8] Gaul also had a bitter rivalry with neighboring Victoria through border skirmishes on Victorian soil and political influence on northwestern Victrian colonies, which led to its military support of the local rebels in the year 1016 that resulted in the victorious Columbian Revolutionary War.[9]

War of the Four Nations

"The higher they are, the harder they fall" best describes Gaul's fate

The War of the Four Nations or the Battle of the Four Emperors was the turning point of Gaul which eventually ended in demise. Gaul's expansionism reached its peak during the reign of its Emperor Corsica I beginning in 1019. The implementation of a new codex, the "Second Economic Reform Act," drastically revolutionized the Gaulish military.[10] On the other hand, Emperor Corsica I noticed that Gaulish hegemony was in a decline; the classical vassalage system resulted in bureaucratic corruption, and Gaul had no political ally due to its expansionism. As a matter of fact, Corsica I deemed that the empire needed a new war to forge its hegemonic influence.[11]

Gaul set its fingers onto neighboring Leithanien, even though the nation was back then ruled by Herkunftshorn the Witch King, the most powerful Caster in Terran history yet the most infamous tyrannical Kaiser. Nevertheless, Gaul noticed the bitter political rivalry between the Witch King and the Kurfürsten over political centralization and the dispute over the independence of Siracusa, and the Witch King's tyranny gave Gaul the excuse to forge an ally with the Kurfürsten in the name of liberation from his tyranny. Corsica I first enticed the Witch King to war by inviting Leithanien to form a political alliance through marriages and vassalage under Gaul which he promised to prosper for the next century. The Witch King furiously responded by petrifying every Gaulish envoy into a twenty-meter-tall statue that was sent back to Gaul.[12]

The "Gallo-Leithanian War" was launched in August 1029 in response to the Witch King's cruelty, and Gaul justified their war by declaring itself as a liberator of Leithanien. And with the neighboring rival nations remaining busy with their political affairs, Corsica I believed that Gaul would take over Leithanien within a short span of time.[12] However, the battle not only entered a stalemate as the Gaulish troops were unprepared of the Witch King's Originium Arts, but also Victoria and Ursus joined the fray by 1030, ushering in the Battle of the Four Emperors. By 1031, the war ended with Gaulish annihilation and the destruction of the once-glorious Lingones.

Disintegration of Gaul

In the aftermath of the Battle of the Four Emperors, the three-nation alliance scrambled over Gaulish territories to prevent its revival. Many Gallians were displaced in either Victoria and Leithanien with their aristocrats being forced to serve the victors. Victoria annexed the much fertile lower Gaulish region and converted it as its union state, the Kingdom of Basse-Gaule. In present days, Victoria proclaims itself as the legitimate successor of Gaul as it incorporates a much more completed territory compared with the upper Gaulish region being scrambled by Leithanien and Ursus.[13]

The dissolvement of Gaul also came with the loss of Gaulish culture and technologies. Victoria, Ursus and Leithanien greatly benefited from Gaulish technologies that revolutionized their industries, and these allowed both Victoria and Ursus to become the next expansionist powers for the coming decades.[14] Some collectors sought to preserve Gallic relics while bakers and wineries tried to replicate the original Gaulish formula, but the latter were unable to match the original.[15] The abrupt end of the Gallic Era is often considered the most tragic event in Terra's history as the once prominent Gaulish culture suddenly fades to obscurity.

With the fall of Gaul comes a huge diaspora of Gaulish remnants scattered across Terra in various settlements. There is a fermentation of Gaulish restorationism among these communities in which they see their culture being transcended to a new ideology: if one accepts Gaulish culture, then one can become a Gaulish restorationist. Such gives rise to various nationalist movements seeking to restore Gaulish sovereignty, though they are often suppressed by the ruling regimes especially in Victoria where Gaulish communities are constantly purged.[16] Some of these movements become radicalized over time such as the attempt to steal Gallic relics on display in museums in order to rally the surviving Gallians.[17]

Notable people

  • Corsica I
  • The Last Empress-Consort of Gaul: The wife of Corsica I, also known as the Natator. She chose to stay in the Gaulish imperial palace upon hearing the news of Corsica I's death and killed the invading enemies in a suicide attack by plunging an Originium shard into her body.[18]
  • Emmanuel de Liberi: A marshall of the Grande Armée who took part of the Battle of the Four Emperors. His fleet would be intercepted by the Duke of Wellington's army.
  • Comte Haussmann: A Gaulish count with military background who was in charge of Lingones' relocation plans in 833, per request of Emperor François.

Gaulish descent

Aciddrop icon.png
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Mousse icon.png
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Pith icon.png
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Clément Dubois icon.png
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Addendum
  • Aciddrop is the daughter of a sturdy Gaulish man who works as a truck driver alongside his wife.[19][20]
  • Pith is descended from a Gaulish military officer, and was at one point part of the pro-Gaulish restorationist movements.[21]
  • Despite being the son of a Gaulish noble, Lettou is noted to talk standard Victorian, without the slightest Gaulish accent.[22]
  • Clément is currently the only known Gallian who does not hail from the Terran political heartland; he hails from Iberia.[23]

Places

  • Calais-Blason (now part of Victoria)
  • Lingones: The capital of Gaul, previously known as the "Capital of Terra". It has been reduced into ashes following the climax of the Battle of the Four Emperors.
  • Avenue des Champs-Élysées (now part of Victoria): Previous a famous shopping street for upper-class women and also Mousse's birthplace.[24][25]
  • Royal Opera House of Lingones (Opéra Royal de Lingones): A once famous opera house located in Lingones. Even though it was destroyed by the flames of war, its famous stageplay, "Ode au Triomphe", is still played across Terra.[26]

References

  1. "Royal Rumble" Encounter in Phantom & Crimson Solitaire
  2. Snowsant's HOK-X Operator Module description
  3. p. 156, "Gaul: Legacy," Terra: A Journey.
  4. pg. 156-158, "Gaul: Legacy," Terra: A Journey.
  5. p. 157, "Gaul: Legacy", Terra: A Journey.
  6. p. 158, "Gaul: Legacy," Terra: A Journey.
  7. pg. 158-159, "Gaul: Legacy," Terra: A Journey.
  8. p. 253, "Bolívar," Terra: A Journey.
  9. pg. 230-231, "Columbia," Terra: A Journey.
  10. Second Economic Reform Act.png "Second Economic Reform Act" description
  11. p. 162, "War of the Four Nations," Terra: A Journey.
  12. 12.0 12.1 pg. 161-162, "War of the Four Nations," Terra: A Journey.
  13. p. 115, "Victoria," Terra: A Journey.
  14. p. 165, "War of the Four Nations," Terra: A Journey.
  15. Royal Liqueur description
  16. p. 159, "Gaul: Legacy," Terra: A Journey.
  17. Gaul Mantle.png Gaul Mantle full description
  18. Descriptions of Left Eye of the Natator.png "Left Eye of the Natator" and Right Eye of the Natator.png "Right Eye of the Natator"
  19. Aciddrop's Archive files
  20. Aciddrop's ARC-X Module description
  21. Pith's Archive files
  22. 11-14
  23. Gradus Secreti
  24. Elysee Purse.png Élysée Purse description
  25. Mousse's Talk after trust increase #3 dialogue
  26. 11-6 Before