Concert in Flames
Governmental System: Republic.
Currency: Franc (1s): 10 decime: 20 sou: 100 centime.
Religion: Aluminat (Roman, Reformed).
Languages: French, Occitan, German, Breton, Catalan,
Population Breakdown: Human 29%, Eldren 29%, Beastman 19%, Huldufolk10%, Gnome 7%, Dwarf 2%, Orc 2%, Ogre 1%
In 1848 the French people rebelled against their king, forcing him to flee across the Atlantic. France was now a republic once again and its success inspired a wave of popular revolutions across the Continent. This time the Republic stuck as its monarchist citizens fled to neighbouring countries or across the ocean to Quebec. President Cavaignac proudly proclaimed that “the era of kings is over; France now belongs to her people!” Unfortunately, France’s second revolution has not been what the people had hoped. The new government is more conservative than expected and Paris, once the jewel of Europe, is crumbling. Worse, France has gotten caught up in the Crimean War, which is draining its coffers and
slaughtering its soldiers with no clear end in sight. The current state of the republic is causing unrest and some believe that a third revolution may be necessary.
As might be expected for a nation that has changed its form of government several times over the last half a century, the current republican government is anything but stable.
Emboldened by the flight of the nobility and wary of the bourgeoisie, French farmers and workers continually assert their desire for improved conditions. Unfortunately, this
means that the government spends more time putting out revolutionary fires than actually governing. Currently the President is Louis-Eugene Cavaignac, a Gnome army officer whose methodical leadership caused a lot of blood to be spilled in the June Days Uprising. While
successful, his actions cost him the election for President to Alexandre Ledru-Rollin. Ledru-Rollins’ more radical politics clashed with the liberal National Assembly and the resulting paralysis sparked a coup d’état attempt by Ledru-Rollins to take control and rewrite the constitution. Cavaignac suppressed the coup and Ledru-Rollins fled to London.
Since the coup, Cavaignac has had great influence over the National Assembly, particularly in getting them to support France’s entry into the Crimean War and thus reassert
itself as a Great Power. Thus far it has proven to be a poor gamble, and radical groups are gaining support as the cashstrapped government offers little job opportunities at home
while sending French soldiers to war.
The First French Revolution was a shock felt across the Continent; given the preponderance of Eldren (Eldren account for almost 30% of the French population), conventional wisdom held that France would always be slow to change. Indeed, many French regimes spanned a
century or more. What conventional wisdom overlooked, however, was that stagnancy breeds discontent. While many Eldren were resented for remaining in positions of
power for too long (lesser-lived sapients often grew old and died before they could advance), just as many Eldren spent their long lives in poverty, as decades-old slights were
never forgotten. When the revolution came many old nobles either met the guillotine or fled the country. Most went to neighbouring countries like Belgium or Great Britain, where they waited the return of the monarchy. The new government abolished noble titles and formed a republic but it wasn’t long before Napoleon made himself Emperor and created many new
titles. While most of the old nobility remained abroad the defeat of Napoleon and subsequent restoration of King Louis VIII brought many of them back to France. When Louis
was forced into exile most of those nobles fled with him to Quebec, leaving the French government in the hands of the bourgeoisie. While the idea of a homogeneous France is largely considered a governmental fiction, it is difficult to even try to maintain
in the corners of the country. The Alsace region in the northeast is historically tied to the German states and German dialects are most commonly spoken. In the south, Basques
and Catalans often feel more kinship with their cultural counterparts in Spain than they do with the rest of France. In these regions, the lower class tends to speak the regional
tongues while the growing middle class prefers French.
The capital of France, Paris is a melting pot of language, culture and character. For centuries it has been the model of royal life such that French supplanted Latin as the language
of aristocrats long ago. It also has a reputation for being elitist and hostile, but lately that hostility has been replaced with self-loathing. For the cynical citizens traversing the
dirty streets and passing the crumbling buildings of Paris on a daily basis, the best of the city left for Quebec almost a decade ago. Like London, Paris was originally a Trojan city before the Romans came and made it their own. The collapse of the Roman Empire left France open to German invasions and much of the once-vast Roman city was destroyed. When
King Clovis united the resultant Frankish kingdoms he made Paris his capital at the dawn of the 5th century. From that point forward Paris has been the most important city in France and a magnet for intellectuals and the elite. Unfortunately, Paris has seen better days. The new Republican government is short on funds and the Crimean War is draining away what little the treasury gathers.