The Kingdom of Auvergne, Regnum Francorum

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The Kingdom of Auvergne, Regnum Francorum

Post by Grand Auvergne on Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:50 pm

Classification: Kingdom
Government Type: Absolute Hereditary Monarchy
Capital: Clerrmont (Location of the Court when the Duke is not travelling)
State Religion: Roman Catholicism
Current Duke: Berenger I of Clermont
Current Heir: Richard of Clermont

Alliances:
Trade Relations: Sielburg, Constantinian Empire, Judah, Auldenland
Non-Aggression Pacts:
Vassals:


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Re: The Kingdom of Auvergne, Regnum Francorum

Post by Grand Auvergne on Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:56 pm

Of the History of the Duchy


The Auvergne take its name from the celtic tribe that inhabited thoses mountains : The Arveni. The Arveni were one of the most important tribes in Gauls, and kept numerous tribes as their clients in what can be call an Hegemon they held over most of what will be Central France. The basis for their power was the moutains that offered naturals protections against invaders and numerous sources of wealth, such as gold or silvermines and, maybe most important, a land that was enriched by the volcanic activity of the past and let the Arveni produce cereals and foods as they saw fit.

The fall of the Arveni came from the south : Rome, the rising star of the preceding centuries, came to help the eternal rivals of the Arveni : the Eduens, with whom they were allied. Jules Caesar, a young and ambitious politician, used the migration of the Helveti as a casus belli to let the Legion march over Gauls. Play of politics, alliances and war bring most of the region under Roman rules.
The Arveni, even if they were ally to the roman at this point, led the confederation of Gaulic tribes that rise againt Rome under its leader Vercingetorix. The event of this war are well documented, as Caesar wrote about his campaign, to make a report to the senate and assure his glory.

With the failure of the rebellion, the Arvenni lost the last bit of proeminence they had over the celts. But Caesar was not a fool : to maintain peace over the newly conquered region, he made alliance with the arveni, particulary with the nobles that had proven their fidelity to Rome before the war. Two centuries of peace and prosperity followed, for the lifestyles of both roman and arveni were not so different from each other. The gods blend together, such as Mercure and Lug, and the religious life of the Gauls kept going as it was before, albeit with differents names.

It's Saint Austremoine, as the fist bishop of Auvergne, and his disciples, who introduced christianism in the region. As for the rest of the Empire, church and monastery were built, words were spread, martyrdom was common, but the Christ proved to be triumphant.

The Auvergne, from the 3rd century and onward, was under constant threat of the german's raids, the Empire proved to not be able to protect its citizen anymore but nonetheless, thoses moutains ranges were one of the last bastions of the Roman Empire to fall. Even encircled by invadors, they still recognized the Roman Empire as the only legitimate authority over the land. In 471, Euric and his wisigoth launched the invasion of Auvergne. For four long years, the Gallo-romans fought the germans, until 475, when the Emperor betray them and sell the region to Euric, in exchange for Provence. So end the Roman's hold on Auvergne.

Euric, nonetheless, is clement toward the newly conquered peoples. His religious tolerance and choice of governor, an arverni, made his rule bearable and even appreciated.

In 507, the Franks waged war against the wisigoth and win. The Auvergne once again switched of leader, but not without a fight, for many arveni died at the battle of Vouillé. For two centuries the Auvergne will be an Austrasian province, until its incorporation in the Duchy -and then kingdom- of Aquitaine. The Frankish Kings authority over the mountains was weak and most of the power was in the hand of the bishops. This situation favored the devellopement of numerous schools and churchs and soon, the Auvergne became a great center of education and a beacon for civilization in the region.

But this did not changed the fact that it was dark times indeed. Up until the 10th century, the Auvergne was victims of numerous epidemies and raids of Sarassins, Normands and even Franks alike, weakening this once great province. Theses favored the apparition of a religious movement that called for the installation of the "Peace of God". The consequences were enormous and served as the basis of the medieval's moral and of the chivalrous spirit.

It is at this point that this Auvergne diverge from what really happened in History : the weakening of the King's authority left most of France in the dark again. Guy, Vicount of Auvergne and Clairmont, proclamed himself Count of Auvergne, a title until then hold by the Ducal Family, and rebeled against the Duke of Aquitaine's dominion. Guy came victorious from this war with his once suzerain and even proclamed himself "Duke of Auvergne" as to defintively sign his independence.

He and his infants then managed to reinforce their new Duchy, up until it was once again a natural fortress against the anarchy and the chaos spreading all around, like fire, in the kingdom.

Now it is the 11th century and the actual duke, Berenger II of Clairmont, decided it was time to transform the wealth of his desmene into a real political entity. He manage to buy numerous titles from broken lords and defeated armies that were weakened during the precedent century of conflict. His and his vassals possessions are now called the "Grande Auvergne" and it is one of the rising power in the region. But the Duke hasn't yet fullfiled his dream : reuniting the Kingdom of France and entering Reim's cathedral to become, as his father wanted, King.


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Re: The Kingdom of Auvergne, Regnum Francorum

Post by Grand Auvergne on Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:04 pm

Regions of France (or Francia) in its most broader definition as used by Auvergne's geographers



1 : Auvergne
2 : Limousin
3 : Sapulia
4 : Burgundy
5 : Champagne
6 : Septimania
7 : Provence
8 : Guyenne
9 : Gascony
10 : French Marchs
11 : Perigor
12 : Poitou
13 : Loire's Country
14 : Alsace
15 : Lorraine
16 : Austrasia
17 : High Flanders
18 : Low Flanders
19 : Picardy
20 : Normandy
21 : Bretain
22 : Savoie

Yellow Circle : Region of Paris
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Re: The Kingdom of Auvergne, Regnum Francorum

Post by Grand Auvergne on Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:17 am

Of the Ruling Dynasty, the Armandian






Blazon of the Armandian as Vicounts of Auvergne

Blazon of the Armandian as Counts and then Dukes of Auvergne


Named after the first vicount of Auvergne Armand, the start of this family as independants rulers was with the grandson of Armand : Guy, who managed to declare himself Count and then Duke of Auvergne, breaking away from Aquitaine's sphere of influence.

Now it his the nephew of Guy, Berenger I, that rule the Realm and extended it beyond its tradtionals frontiers. The family is still quite little, for the moment with only Berenger and his son, Richard, as notable members. But it doesn't stop the Duke from claiming descending from a quite impressive lineage. He has spent a lot of time searching, some would even say "creating" with the help of his friends in the Church and the monasteries, all the documents that could prove his claims.

So, the Armandian claims to be the inheritor of the Arvenii of old, such as Luern, Bituitos or even Vercingetorix. But they also link themselves to the roman, especially to Eccidius and his brother-in-law, Apolinaire the poet. Thoses two brave men where the leader of the Roman resistance in Auvergne against the Wisigoths, until the Romans sold the region to the germans. by Eccidius, they can also claim to be descendants of a Roman Emperor, Avitus, who, while he ruled only for 14 months, was one of the last Roman Emperor in the west and the only one that was an Auvergniat.

This half-mythical lineage, whoever, is not what make the serious of the Armandian's claim to kingship. It is their wealth, extracted from the mountains, and a long, lasting frienship with the Church in their Realm. The Church and monasteries offer to the Duke a vast army of competents administrators and negociators and strong supporters for when the laws need to be changed. Becoming a monk is considered a viable carieer path in Auvergne and is the source of many wealths, despite the restrictions such a life include.

This alliance between the Clergy and the Dukes is originated in the Peace of God, of which the Armandian where the first followers. It is a projet, still going, of Berenger Ier to recreate the codex of law in his Realm to follow more closely the agreements of the Peace, such as the protection of the Duke for the churchs, the villages and the merchants' trades, but also creating a set of rules and obligations for the nobles and the knights, and a fixed calendar of religious celebrations during which work is greatly restricted. Such desires make the partisans of the Armandian in the nobility...thin. But it is still an idea worth ponding to join Berenger, since he is a generous man and this set of law also include an obligation for the master to have a part of his treasury reserved to helping his vassals in difficulty.

The Armandian, especially Berenger, are a rare sight in the broken lands of this alternative 11th century, since they tend to be schemer and plotter but with a strong sense of honor, who trully believes in what they promises and with a real "love" for their subjects. They see themselves as the protector of the poors and of the weak, and the restorator of law and order. They tend to see the use of corruptions and conspiracies as a necessary evil and that it is preferable to anarchy, where corruption run as deep but far more unchecked. A vision that both the idealist father and the pragmatic son share.


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Re: The Kingdom of Auvergne, Regnum Francorum

Post by Grand Auvergne on Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:14 pm

Of the city of Aurillac and its Abbey





the Blazon of the city



While the city of Aurillac has a long history as a Gallic Oppidum and a roman agglomeration, it is in 856 with the birth of its most proeminent figure, Lord Gerald, that Aurillac started to become what it is today. Lord Gerald, while a protector of his people and a faithful christian, is today mostly remembered for founding the Benedectine Monastery that bear his name. It was here that, in real life, the first French Pope, Sylvestre II, was formed. But this figure that should have ruled the Christian world from 999 to 1003 and would have introduced the decimal numeral system to Europe, was not able to access to the Holy See and was lost in the Chaos that consumed the world.

But the Abbey did not became any less of a cultural center. On the contrary : it is here that the science and knowledge of Francia was defended from the anarchy and the city kept forming great theologian, mathematician, mecanician and philosopher. It is still here that the Abbey of Cluny drew its inspiration and from which it became the center of the intellectual "renaissance" of Europe around the year 1000.

In the Grand Auvergne of the 1010s, Aurillac is the center of the Regular Clergy in the Realm. Legends says that Berenger came after he secured an alliance with the Secular Clergy and, in secret meetings, rallied the monks to his side. Most of Berenger diplomats and agents were formed in Aurillac, such as the Cardinal and the Archbishop of Auvergne or even laic, like Eudes of Aubenas and other diplomats like them. But there is rumours saying that Aurillac teach more than just the arts of religion, science, diplomacy and politics. Some say that darker characters hail from the halls of the school, to serve their duke as his ears and eyes in all places of his realm and beyond or even for some, like Gerbert the Wise the Archbishop rumored to be magician, are said to be the inheritors of Salomon and keeper of the occult ways of God or, even, of the Devil, depending of the teller's idea on the question.

On another note, Aurillac as been built in the center of a "Sauveté", which mean that fugitives can find rest and protection here from their pursuer who cannot do them any harm. As such, the city is considered under the protection of God and none can do harm to another man here and it is a tradition that the monks are very proud of and have been known to punish anyone who tried to transgress it.


The Blazon of the Abbey


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Re: The Kingdom of Auvergne, Regnum Francorum

Post by Grand Auvergne on Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:29 pm

Of the city of Clermont





The Blazon of the city


Clermont is the capital of Auvergne with a long past, reaching back to thousand years ago, to the time of the Arvenii. Under the name of Nemossos it was a powerfull oppidum, one of the siege of the Arvenii's power. But like the rest of Gaul, it was conquered by the Roman, but kept its regional influence, until it was diluted in the mass of the Empire and was renamed Augustonemetum and then Arvenis.

During the fall of the Empire, Arvenis was under direct threat of the Goths but still hold itself against the army of the germans since, like the rest of Auvergne, it was one of the last stronghold of Gaul to recognize the authority of Rome. Such dedication to the Emperor make the peace treaty signed with the Goth, Auvergne in exchange for Provence, look even more like a treason. Feeling backstabbed, the Arvenii had no remorse switching side, if only with the bitter taste of disappointment in their mouths. But the Goths were somewhat good to their old ennemies and it was like an autonomous region that Auvergne was ruled for its new masters. But no longer from Arvenis.

Because during this period the wars and decay reduced Arvenis from a city of thousands to one of hundreds. The Bishops became the men in charge and a long serie of them tried to renovate the little bourg that finally started to grow again despite the numerous raids and abandon by the authority of the Goths, then of the Franks. It was at this period that the castle of Clarus Mons was built, giving the city its final name.

All this hardship reforged Clermont from its ashes and from there, the Bishops, and then Archbishops, became the real power in the region against the distant rule of the Dukes of Aquitaine. But it changed when the Armandian revolted against their old masters and sized the title of count for themselves and even conviced their peers to grant them the title of Duke. From there, the Armandian and the Archbishop of Clermont started a long duel for the control of the mountains, plotting against each other for lands and taxes.

Nothing seemed to be able to restore the relationship between the two seat of power, the laic and the religious one. Until Etienne of Yssoire became Archbishop. to the surprise of everyone, the then new duke of Auvergne, Berenger, came to Clermont, to meet his old friend that destiny should have made bitter ennemies. But in occult disscusion, neither Berenger nor Etienne and their consellors leaving the Clarus Mons for three days, a secret agreement was reached. None can ay really what the Church obtained from this, but it gave its complete support to Berenger, recognized its primacy and even let him take over the Clarus Mons to transform it into its Ducal palace.

It is here, at the heart of a sleeping volcan, at the feet of the Chaine des Puys, that now the dukes and the Archbishops of Auvergne rules hand in hand to give back to Auvergne its glory of old.
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Re: The Kingdom of Auvergne, Regnum Francorum

Post by Grand Auvergne on Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:20 pm

Possessions and vassals of Berenger Ier compared to the kingdom of France.




Limits of the Kingdom in blue.
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Re: The Kingdom of Auvergne, Regnum Francorum

Post by Grand Auvergne on Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:36 pm

The Septimanian Traders Guild


During the Anarchy, The Gaulish Mediterranean Coast was divided in a multiple of city states, all figthing against one another for dominion over the old trades roads. After a decade of war, one faction started winning predominance over the others and it looked like Septimania, the name given to this once most northern region of the Wisigoth Kingdom, would be united again.

The last remnants of the city-states figthing this alliance of Carcassonne and Narbonne united in a League of the Free cities. Completely defeated, the League in a last effort, called for help an unexpected ally, the Duchy of Auvergne. The Duchy gladly accepted and sent an army to defend Montpellier and soon, the Carcassonne-Narbonne alliance was defeated. The balance of power shifted and the cities of the League swore allegeance to the Duke.

It is from this League that the Septimanian Traders Guild find its origin. In its beginning, it was a nameless accord of merchants spawning multiple cities, who took as their goal to restore peace and trade in Septimania. This Accord soon became more powerful than the Cities-states themselves and started dictating the lords the policies they had to implement on their territories. Carcassonne and Narbonne threatened their new found power and risked to render null their efforts until now. So, they forced the formation of the League of the Free Cities and, when all seemed lost, called Auvergne for help.

Understanding where the real power was in Septimania, Berenger, Duke of Auvergne, worked hard toward winning theses merchants to his side. He gave them the name of "Septimanian Traders Guild", accorded them many privileges through many edits, notably the monopole over the Mediterranean Markets, and taxes cut. This proved to be a right decision, as the Guild convinced the cities to become vassals of the Berenger.

Now, the STG is one of the most successfull organization in the Gauls. Its control over the Kingdom's ports is complete. No one can sell on a Septimanian market without the agreement, or being a member, of the Guild. In the same way, foreigners must go through a guild member to sell their products or buy the goods the Gauls have to offer. Their presence is felt even in the Holy Land, where they have interests for the Silk Road and in the transport of pilgrims to Judah. They have representatives in both Clermont and Jerusalem's courts.

The power of the Guild is starting to annoy some. Especially the southern nobility who is forced to deal with an abnormaly outspoken and united middle class. But the Royal familly seems to like it this way, taking a good cut from the Guild activities while the merchants showed no sign of revolt, contrary to their more northern equivalents. They still keep an eye on them, and do fear that one day they become to big to be controled, but plans and counter-measures have been prepared in case of such an event.
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