Victoria

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A modern nation ruled by Draco and Aslan. Focused on might and expansion, it possesses a powerful military and a flourishing economy, cementing its position as a hegemonic nation of Terra.
—Loading screen tip (since Episode 9: Stormwatch)

Victoria, formally known as the Victorian Empire, is a Terran country bordering Kazimierz, Ursus, and Leithanien that occupies the vast fertile basin of the continent's central region. It is an absolute monarchy ruled by both houses of the Elder Dracos, the natives of the region, and the Aslans who share equal power with the former while governing the predominant Feline populace. The Victorian throne, however, has been vacant for more than twenty years in the aftermath of a civil unrest, resulting in the Grand Dukes vying to take over it behind the scene.

Being the most powerful hegemonic empire on Terra, Victoria possesses both soft power and solid infrastructures. The culture of Victoria is famous for its ideals of liberty and romanticism that is widely admired across Terra. Being one of the earliest nations that initiated the Originium industrial revolution at the dawn of the Crystallization Age, Victoria’s modernized industries bring prosperity to the nation via trades and manufacturing of advanced weapons, and such allow the empire to expand its geopolitical hegemony through vast areas of territories, overseas trading posts, and colonies. In the present day, Victoria still retains its influence across Terra, but political feuds of the aristocrats and competition against other rising commercial powers like Kazimierz and Columbia are threatening to topple its hegemonic position.

The Victorian language is similar to British English in our world, but has distinct grammars and accents even though both are mutually intelligible with each other.

Description
A modern nation ruled by Draco and Aslan. It occupies the most fertile land in the central valleys of Terra, with vast borders and bountiful resources. It is surrounded by core allies and possesses multiple pioneer zones and exclaves. The Victorian Empire emphasizes might and expansion. It seeks to impose an international order upon Terra, with itself at the head. It is an order where noble rights are enforced at bladepoint, ensuring the survival of a Victorian-dominated world.[1]

History

The Draco era

"A long time ago, the Red Dragons were the unquestioned kings of Victoria...

In the prehistoric era, the central basin of the Terran continent had been filled with the earliest human activities. Around 100 BCE, there were already records narrating a Draco tribe leading their subjects to settle in the region after being amazed by its stable environment. The locals slowly assimilated foreign dwellers over the millenia, which eventually developed into a semi-nomadic confederation led by the Draco tribe.[2]

The nomadic style of governance, however, faced numerous threats from both natural disasters foreign invaders that could easily scatter the confederation due to the lack of a leading figure. Facing the dilemma, there arose two Draco houses who proposed different solutions to solidify the confederation: one being the “monarchists” who suggested to adapt the Sargonian imperial system that contained rigid social hierarchy, and the other being the “conservatives” who yearns to retain the old nomadic lifestyle while adapting a more flexible governance.[2]

Unlike other tribal societies that usually resolved with violence, the two Draco houses miraculously settled their dispute via peaceful diplomacy. The solution was to have the two houses parted on their own way. The monarchist Draco house took over the fertile valley which they proclaimed themselves as the Kingdom of Victoria. The conservative house continued their nomadic lifestyle until they found a region where they could settle, which they named “Tara” by later generations.[3]

At the dawn of the Terran common era, both Victoria and Tara faced a common enemy – the hordes of the Nightzmoran Khaganate. The Victorian Kingdom suddenly proclaimed to annex Tara to form the Victorian Empire in the name of protecting their blood brothers from invaders. Official Victorian documents state that the process was a peaceful one, but much evidence from the Taran side suggest that Victoria brutally colonized the Taran Kingdom.[4] This resulted in a violent conflict between the Draco houses of Victoria and Tara, and it ended with the Victorian house forcefully absorbing the Taran house but still bestowing their nobility as the ruler of the Taran region under the title of “King Gaeil.”[5]

The Aslan-Draco war

"...Until the Lions usurped the Dragons' throne...

For the remaining centuries, The Victorian Empire was dominated by the union of the two Draco houses. The situation changed with the Aslans’ arrival. Around the ninth Terran century, The Sargonian Shahanshah conducted political purges onto distant relatives of the royal house to maintain the bloodline, forcing a family of Aslan Padishah to flee to Victoria for shelter. In the beginning, the Dracos warmly welcomed the royal house, but the Aslan house slowly gained its support from the populace in hope to create their own royalty.[5]

The Aslans gained massive support from the Victorian commonfolk through their charisma, and they claimed they had the legitimacy to become the monarch of Victoria. They initiated a small-scale palace coup that easily subjugated the Victorian Draco house. The Taran house stubbornly resisted the Aslans’ invasion, but they eventually became tired of the war after constant humiliations. In the end, an armistice was signed which implemented the dual monarchy system of both races.[5] Despite the peace brought through this new treaty, power struggle between the two races has continued into the modern era through frequent conspiracies.[6]

The Victorian Era

Under the Aslans’ rule, there came a period of peace and stability that nourished Victoria’s prosperity. By catching up with the industrial revolutions of the Crystallization Age, job opportunities became abundant, schools were built to educate the masses and cultivate the intellectuals, and factories and farms were built to support its massive economy.[7] This long, prosperous period would later be called the “Victorian Era” by later generations.

The rise of Victoria’s political status resulted in its expansionism across Terra by the early 11th century. Colonies of Victoria could be found everywhere, but the harsh treatment of the colonists resulted in the independence of Columbia and the rebellion of the Eureka Autonomous Region in Rim Billiton.[7] Victoria actively took part in various geopolitical affairs such as the crusade against Kazdel, the interference of Bolívarian independence, and the expansion into Siesta.

Between 1029 and 1031, the War of the Four Nations spread across the Terran hinterland. King Frederick III of Victoria joined the allied force against Gaul after determining that the latter was at a disadvantage coupled with the vindication against its aid in the Columbian Revolutionary War. Victoria benefited greatly after Gaul was annihilated; it absorbed the rich Basse-Gaule region as part of its union, and the recovery of Gaulish properties, technologies and personnel further brought prosperity to the empire.[7]

Execution of King Henry

"...And with the Lions gone with the dust, who shall inherit this bloody throne?"

The zenith of the Victorian Empire reached its bottleneck after the public execution of its last king. In the year 1072, the Draco house suddenly disappeared without a trace as the Aslans attempted to wipe out their opponents in secret once and for all. In the meantime, the country's wealth had slowly depleted as their foreign conflicts prolonged, and the spoils were unequally divided among businessmen and noblemen of the Parliament. To counteract the inequality, the previous Aslan King, King Henry Alistair Victoria, threatened to impose higher taxes on the aristocracy.[8]

King Henry’s furious decree not only did not work, but also, it brought danger to the Aslan house. The aristocrats were enraged over the threat because they believed the king had violated the common law. So, they stirred up a rather confusing popular uprising against the Aslan King, and they proclaimed the aim was to eradicate the King who had become an obstacle to Victoria’s progress. The unrest resulted in the purge of the royal family, and King Henry was tried and publicly hanged at the garden of his royal palace.[9]

The execution of King Henry deteriorated Victoria’s political situation. All of a sudden, the people lost their king while being puzzled about the reason behind his death. The Eight Grand Dukes, who once governed territories outside of Londinium, then seized power and ruled all of the country without a king for years. They also enacted laws to prevent any other nobles from entering the capital without proper permission to eliminate political contenders and avoid escalating the situation.[10]

Present days

The vacant throne brought fragmentation in Victorian society. Once regarded as the most advanced nation on Terra, Victoria slowly lags behind due to incompetence in rising industries such as electronics, incompetent bureaucracy and military, and old-fashioned financial management. Political-wise, the Taran nationalists who are mostly composed of pro-Draco monarchists supporting the Dublinn house angrily seek independence from Victoria after being suppressed for centuries, and Gallic restorationism is on a rise in former Gallic regions due to border disputes.[11] The oppressive working class begin fighting for their rights, and even Leithanien is vying over expansion of its hegemony onto its neighbors.

In the midst of the crisis came a coup d'état in the capital of Londinium that was later stirred by civil conflicts and foreign occupants. In the year 1094, the Duke of Stafford governing Londinium launched a coup to overthrow the Parliament, so the Duke of Cavendish invited the Military Commission of Kazdel as mercenaries to quell the unrest. But it ended in the Kazdelians turning their side, annihilated the Dukes’ forces, including their glorious Tower and Steam Knights, and executed the rebels.[12] In order to liberate the capital, the Eight Grand Dukes mobilized their armies and laid siege on Londinium by the autumn of 1097.[13] The Dukes went further by declaring martial laws in their duchies and announced a state of emergency across Victoria. The complication of the event brought forward the summer of 1098, the Londinium Crisis where all of Terra witnessed the destructive power of the Shard.

It is implied that the succession crisis will not be fully resolved even after Rhodes Island's involvement. Years of tension and intrigue have spawned an impossibly complex and widespread net of conspiracy that cannot hope to be unraveled in short order.[14]

Notable people

Operators

NPCs
Expatriate
Operators

NPCs
  • Adams Schwire
  • Edward Artorius
  • E.E. Erikson
  • Janet Longfellow
  • Angst
  • Walden Caster
  • Carle Caster
  • Frederick III
  • Stewart
  • Count Philip: A count and member of the Victorian parliament.[15][16]
  • Henry Alistair Victoria: Siege's father, who served as the last Aslan King. Twenty-six years ago, in 1072, he implemented a highly unpopular policy which taxed the greedy nobles of Victoria's Parliament. This led the aristocrats to instigate a civil uprising against the royal family. The king was captured in the Palace of Westhaleg,[17] and then publicly hanged by an angry mob in the gardens of the royal palace. Before his death, he ordered his loyal officers to take Siege out of the Auchterigg Borough, before she was rescued and hidden away by Gawain.
  • Elizabeth the Glorious: Siege´s great grandmother, and one of the previous Aslan monarchs.[18]
  • Kate Caster: Viscount Walden Caster's youngest daughter, who was kidnapped by Infected thugs led by his brother Carle, which was actually a staged plan for her to help his brother. She would later be rescued by Rhodes Island.

Enemies

Normal
Elite

Places

Districts/counties

  • Londinium
  • County Hillock
  • County Ascarat: A county in Victoria where SilverAsh trained his personal troops for the Snowcap Incident in Kjerag.[19]
  • County Castshire: The county where Bagpipe participated in an infiltration mission to rescue a civilian abducted by local bandits, as part of her final exam before her ceremony in the Victorian Royal Guard Academy.[20] At some point, Haze passed by the county before arriving to Caladon.[21]
  • County Connor: The county where Rhodes Island transferred their patients to after entering Victoria.[22]
  • County Firth: A county in which, in Terran year 1094, a military unit supposedly went insane due to Arturia's Arts, to the point where they collectively threw their weapons into a furnace and ran off into the wilderness. The unit was sent on a mission to suppress local Taran separatists who were allegedly gathering in the same theater that Arturia was performing in at the time of the incident.[23]
  • County Oak Grove: A county and a former Taran region which is now part of the Duke of Wellington´s duchy.
  • County Peninsula: A county where an unknown incident involving Reed and Dublinn took place last autumn.[24][25]
  • County Skyes: A county of military background located in western Victoria, ruled by Baron Stewart. The county is infamous for its Infected restrictions applied by Walden himself, which are harsher than anywhere else in Victoria.[26] After the county's fiefdom was handed by Walden Caster, a distinguished member of House Caster, he has been actively seeking business partners aiming for its development into a modern Nomadic City, as part of his plan to help consolidate their power in Victoria, which is one of the reasons why Stewart mistrusts him.
  • County Toron: An autonomous county close to Victoria's border. It is a city with ports for landships and is Breeze's hometown.[27] It is also where the Vincent Mansion is located.
  • County Trent: The county which serves as one of the main settings of What the Firelight Casts. Formerly a Taran region that was annexed to Victoria.
  • County York: The county where Allerdale was supposed to go for a trip twenty-six years ago.[8] It is also where Sir Jeffrey Metz, a defunct Knight of the Tower, was born.[28]

Settlements/regions

  • Calais-Blason
  • Caladon
  • Portsmouth: The city where the mansion of Count "White wolf" Skamandros, Horn's father, is located.[29]
  • Tradersmill: The Victorian city which Ch´en and Bagpipe visited to contact an old acquaintance, Hughes, who they believed might help them find Horn, while at the same time investigating the "Spectre Force".[30][31]
  • Brentwood: A small town bordering Londinium. It became the epicenter of the Sanguinarch's inhumane ritual involving the ancient Feranmut known as the Spine of Life.
  • Lyndon: A remote city briefly mentioned by Hibiscus[32]

Schools

  • Victorian Royal Guard Academy: A state-owned military academy in Victoria. Upon graduation, the students can choose to serve in the Army. This is the school which Ch'en and Bagpipe graduated from.
  • Victorian Institution for Higher Studies: A college which Skyfire and Mint graduated from.[33]
  • Victorian National University: A state-sponsored university which Ceylon graduated from.[34] It's also where E.E. Erikson worked as a teacher until his retirement in 1085.[35]
  • Cyr Military College: A private military academy in Victoria where Toddifons and Pith studied. The school has a Gaulish background and is suspected to be the base for Gallic restorationists.[36]
  • Windermere Military Academy: A private military academy sponsored by House Windermere. It's the institution where Delphine attends to.[37]
  • Royal Academy of Sciences: Formerly the "Natural Philosophy Society", it's a state-owned scientific academy dedicated to "promote the development of science and commend outstanding scientists". It was founded in 730 by a group of fifteen scholars, becoming one of the most famous intellectual groups at the time. Seven years later, it was rebranded under the King's decree, and would retain its royal sponsorship until the Coup d'etat of 1072, when the Parliament became its temporary benefactor. The alumni and researchers are known as "Academicians", which is the highest prestige a Victorian researcher can get. At the same time, the institute awards five academic tittles every year.[38]

Landships

  • The Gastrell: The main high-speed warship of the Duke of Wellington´s fleet, named after a legendary Victorian military officer. Originally a mobile plate from Lingones, the Gaulish capital that was once Terra's "greatest nomadic city", it was refurbished with Victorian military technology. The battleship is currently en route to Londinium, and it is being used by Eblana´s forces under the Duke´s permission.[16][39]
  • The Gloriana: One of the warships from the Duke of Caster' fleet.[40]

References