Much like its neighbour the Holy Roman Empire Francia is technically a sovereign state though it rarely, if ever, forges a common policy. A 'Parliament' of Francia sits in Tours and acts as a arbiter of disputes between the different states. It is also in charge of the railway network that is slowly spreading across the region - a rare instance of cross country co-operation.
There is a small degree of military co-operation between the purely French states but there is no signed treaty of alliance as in the Kalmar Union.
Most of the countries use the French Livre (FLV) unless otherwise stated, though only France, Auvergne and Burgundy are legally allowed to print currency.
The Unitary Flag of Francia was adopted after several states objected to the continued use of the Royal flag of France. It is flown on all governmental buildings within the territorial limits of Francia in conjunction with the ruling state's flag.
Technically the King of France, Charles XIII, is the Head of State for Francia, however not all of the states recognise his authority. For these reasons he uses the title 'Duke of Orleans' when dealing with the Parlement in Tours.
Wessex-NormandyWessex-Normandy holds the Duchy of Normandy and Counties of Eu and Picardy. These regions have a population of around 3.5 million. The regional parliament is at Rouen, however government is mostly run from Winchester. It uses the Wessex Pound (WXP).
Historically Wessex has often been outright hostile to France but tensions have thawed significantly over the last century and it is playing a much larger role in the Parlement, particularly as its relations with Brittany are worsening.
A hereditary agglomeration of the Duchies of Brittany and Anjou and the Counties of Maine and Retz.
Its capital is Nantes. It has a population of around 3.3 million.
Its official languages are Breton and French.
The currency is the Breton Ecu (BRE)
A long hold-out against Frankish, and then Imperial power, Brittany clung tenaciously to the Atlantic coast. Long associated with the Celtic nations to the North in Britannia, it received several waves of refugees, culminating in many Cornish nobility fleeing the invasion and eventual takeover of their homeland by Wessex.
During the 10th century the Breton kings removed Viking and Norman raiders from their lands and in return, the Kings of France recognised Breton independence, however they were technically demoted to dukes.
In 1207 Wessex inherited Normandy, unleashing the Twenty Years War as Wessex fought not only rebels in Normandy but a shifting alliance of Brittany, Maine and France for the right to rule the Duchy and dominate northern France. The eventual result compounded France's weakness as Wessex secured its rule in Normandy and Brittany secured the right to inherit Maine.
Numerous minor wars with Wessex followed over the centuries as Brittany supported a variety of pretenders and rebel factions to try to undermine their grip on the duchy. This reached its height during the War of Anglian Succession when Brittany allied itself with Luxembourg and actually invaded mainland Wessex, opening another front to a war that had become bogged down in bloody statement.
In general however the Duchy remained stable and flourished as cross Atlantic trade with Leifia boomed. It absorbed the Western portion of Maine as agreed in 1259. Anjou was added in 1454 and finally Retz in 1660.
The Duchy retained its independence during the Iberian Revolution, mainly due to the defeat of the Hispanic navy by the Kalmar Union at the Battle of Alderney. As a result Hispania could not prevent the continual supply of troops to Francia's North.
The renewal of Cornish insurgency in Wessex has been blamed on covert Breton support. Duke Peter VI has recently reinserted 'King of Cornwall' into his list of titles, inflaming passions both sides of the Wessex Channel. Due to this tensions remain high between Wessex and Brittany.
Kingdom of France
The population of France is about 21.4 million. Its capital is Paris.
Though the largest of the French states, the Kingdom of France has rarely been able to exert its will over the historical area known as Francia.
By the 987 the French Kingdom had fallen to its lowest ebb as most territory outside of the the central royal domain exercised complete autonomy. Subsequent attempts by the French kings to project their power in their wider theoretical domain foundered in the face of hostility from Normandy, Maine and Anglia. The Treaty of Compiegne (1184) saw the French kings restricted to Ile de Paris and the Orleanais. Berry, which had originally been purchased in 1101 was returned not long after the treaty. Sustained war with Wessex and Brittany over Normandy and Maine achieved little and fatally damaged its ambitions in the south. Defeated by Aragon and Auvergne during the Albigensian War (1209-1218) it was effectively locked out of the South for several centuries.
An attempt in 1413 to integrate the Duchy of Bar into the realm, while the Holy Roman Empire was busy with internal struggles and then the Hussite Wars, would eventually falter when Joanna of Wantzenau rallied the troops of Lorraine and Bar to expel the French. Later French kings would abandon their aggressive policy and swapped for a more diplomatic one. This led to the peaceful annexation of Pitou and Lyonnais in the 1400s finally giving it a seaport.
However since the 15th century any attempts at territorial consolidation have been generally resisted, often through war. Small territories were gained after several minor religious and dynastically motivated wars with Burgundy and Auvergne, but larger gains were usually reversed in the subsequent peace treaties. Opportunistic involvements in various large European-wide wars such as its pro-Lutheran stance in the Fifty Years War achieved little in the way of growth, indeed probably helped Luxembourg's expansion more than its own, but showed a country far more capable than its critics often portrayed it as, and in due course France was frequently relied on to provide a balancing role in Germany ensuring the status quo held.
Its vital role in resisting the Iberian Revolution and containing Del Olmo's ambitions, was widely acknowledged in the final peace treaty and it was given various islands in the Carib and South Seas (most notably the Loaisa Islands) as compensation for absorbing the brunt of the war and its casualties. The ducal house of Aquitaine had also fallen vacant during the war and France was endowed with its European lands as well as its Taino Island colony of Xaymaca.
At the same time France renounced any territorial ambitions on its fellow French states which allowed a much more co-operative Francia to emerge.
The population of Burgundy is around 1.8 million. Its capital is Dijon.
The Duchy of Burgundy broke away from the Kingdom of Arles in 1263 as the Hohenstaufen lands disintegrated. Thereafter, it was the focus of many French and Imperial wars as it and Arles fought for control of Swabia and access to the Rhinelands. As both their influences faded it allowed Geneva and Swiss Confederation to coalesce.
Deeply affected, and scarred by religious conflict, culminating in a 25 year civil war during the late 16th century, Burgundy remained Catholic but cautiously so. It joined the Protestant side during the Fifty Years War, not only to continue its feud with Arles but to try to limit Papal influence north of the Alps. This, however, led to invasion from Luxembourg in 1628. Defeated, it switched sides, scoring victories over its old partners Auvergne and Aragon.
Continued military prestige through the 18th and 19th centuries masked a slow decline in the Duchy's fortunes. Economic realities in the 20th century finally buried its feuds with the Swiss states and Arles.
Aragon holds the County of Languedoc and governs it from Barcelona. This area had always largely been under Aragonese influence, and they defied Papal excommunication to go to war against France during the Albigenisian War for their heretical subjects. Fealty to France would finally be broken in 1258.
There are about 1.7 million people in Languedoc.
It uses the Aragonese Crown (AGC).
A nominal delegation goes represents Languedoc at the Tours parlement though they only have observer status and although allowed to debate they are not allowed to vote.
The United Kingdoms of the Netherlands (Luxembourg) holds the County of Champagne but completely rejects any French sovereignty over it. It sends representatives to the Imperial Diet at Frankfurt rather than to Tours.
France holds two exclaves within Luxembourg; Epernay and Nord-Bar.
Confederation of the Pyrenees
A group of seven republics: Navarre, Bearn, Bigorre, Comminges, Foix, Soule and Andorra, reconstituted after the upheaval of the Iberian Revolution. The federation is loose unlike the Swiss or Ladish Confederations and is mainly an economic federation. Each county retains its own legislation and government.
Basque is the official language in Navarre and Soule. Catalan in Andorra. The others use Occitan.
The cross border council is elected by a general election every four years with equal representation from each member state. It is chaired by a President who acts as Head of State for the confederation and appoints various governmental bodies to act on behalf of the seven states. The Navarese Mikel Arconada is the current president of the council.
For many centuries a part of the great medieval Duchy of Aquitaine, Armagnac effectively received its independence after Aquitaine was comprehensively defeated following 1218 and the Albigensian War. As Aragon eventually cracked down on its heretical population many Cathars fled to Armagnac for shelter. Its counts barely tolerated them, preferring to turn a blind eye and then confiscate their property when challenged by the church. After the final expulsion of heresy in the 1420s, when the remaining Cathars declared solidarity with the Hussites, Armagnac would become France's main ally in the south. A brief union with France after Henri III inherited both was ended after Aquitaine and Auvergne occupied the county.
Armagnac did have tentative discussions to join the Confederation of the Pyrenees, however due to the fact it is a monarchy and would form the largest member of the confederation the other members rejected its application.
The smallest of the independent French states. It has a population of around 35,000 people in two detached portions (one enclaved within the Kingdom of Arles).
Although on the right bank of the Rhone and therefore nominally part of the Holy Roman Empire it has always preferred to deal with Francia, mainly due to historical hostility between the its own ruling House, the House of Nassau, and the Houses of Luxembourg and Hapsburg whom confiscated the Nassau's German lands during the 14th century. And by calling on the occasional might of Auvergne and Aragon managed to escape the process that saw many other small states swallowed up by Arles.
Orange's historical closeness to Aragon saved it from being swallowed up by the Savonese Republic during the Iberian Revolution though it was confiscated from the Nassau's, who had fled to Geneva. Instead Del Olmo had rewarded it to his loyal general Ibañez. His rather reactionary rule lasted only until the military failure in Prussia, at which the Orangese felt secure enough to rebel.
The second largest French state and the only French state in which the majority of the population are protestant. Historically the Dukes of Bourbon were often a rival to the French kings.
Its capital is Clermont. It has a population of about 1.5 million.
While France struggled to reclaim Francia after the collapse of the Frankish kingdom, Auvergne happily snapped up neighbouring lordships and counties with virtually no opposition. During the Albigensian War (1209-1218) it sided with Aragon, though was less supportive of the Cathar heretics, and defeated France at the Battle of Roanne, virtually securing Aragon's eventual victory. After the subsequent division of the Languedoc confirmed it as the largest French state the dukes were courted heavily by the Holy Roman Empire, seeing them as a powerful balance to French, and in time, Aragonese power.
As a result of Imperial subsidy it often sided with Arles during its frequent Burgundian wars and was a firm ally of the Luxembourg's as they began to eat into France. A plot with Luxembourg in 1504 to usurp the French king and install the Auvergne dukes as rulers of Francia came to nothing except making them pariahs within the kingdom and dangerously close to complete military defeat. However the reformation and the subsequent conversion of the dukes to Lutheranism altered the diplomatic landscape. Surrounded by Catholic territory it began to rely more and more on the goodwill of Aragon and assistance from German Lutheran states. Whilst holding back from joining the Schmalkaldic League, despite offers of subsidy, it followed Aragon into the Fifty Years War in 1639 but was militarily outclassed by Luxembourg and had to cede various territories to Burgundy.
Auvergne's power slowly waned as its neighbours grew in strength and population and it has always remained a largely agricultural country. As its usefulness to the Empire disappeared it began a series of actions that would bring it much more into line with Francian community until the point it stood shoulder to shoulder with France in opposing the Iberian Revolution.