Kingdom of Gallia
|Le royaume de Gallia|
|Capital|| Planet New Paris,|
|Official languages||French, English|
Gallia, or the Kingdom of Gallia (Le royaume de Gallia) is a house formed from the sleeper ship Gallia, which set out after the others in secret. It arrived near Sirius quite far from the other sleeper ships, and until 817 A.S. the colony maintained complete isolation from the rest of Sirius. The Kingdom of Gallia is a monarchy, and the Crown has spent the past seven hundred years building a massive armada with which to invade Sirius. Gallia's people and armies are said to be vastly more numerous than that of any other house.
Upon the arrival of the sleeper ship Gallia to Ile-de-France, a monarchy was chosen as the most efficient form of government to perform their task: building up an armada with which to bring vengeance upon those who had betrayed them back in Sol. Gallia's technology advances have focused extensively on military research, and even the most venerable of its centuries-old battleships can stand toe-to-toe with some of the modern warships employed by Sirian forces. Expanding throughout their star cluster, Gallia's sole match has been itself, as it has suffered not one but two civil wars, the most recent of which still rages on (see: The Second Gallic War). Gallia's timetable for its expedition into Sirius has been forced forward owing to the Council unexpectedly breaking their isolation.
Controlled and contested space
Gallic space is divided into the Core Worlds and the Border Worlds, the former being closer to where the sleeper ship landed, while the latter possess many of the resources instrumental in supporting Gallia's massive fleets. The Core Worlds boast a population greater than that of any of the other houses, and are kept close to the iron rule of the Crown. IDF Shipping and Solar Engineering are focused there, and the quality of life on a core worlds planet is quite high. The border worlds, by comparison, are filled with criminals and war. As the border worlds are also quite rich in resources, the Gallic Metal Service and EFL Oil & Machinery do most of their mining there. The border worlds are where the Second Gallic War is being fought, with Champagne and southern Languedoc controlled by the Council. Lorraine and Languedoc also contain the exits from Gallia into Sirius, and due to the presence of Sirian explorers, the Core Worlds have been sealed off from the Border Worlds until the main invasion begins.
Government and politics
The Kingdom of Gallia is an absolute monarchy ruled by a king or queen, a hereditary office. Since very early into Gallia's history, this monarch has been a member of the deFrance dynasty. Below the Crown itself are the ruling nobles, ranging from lowly knights and barons to the duc. Nobles are responsible for the administration of systems, planets, stations, and cities, each owing direct allegiance to the noble whose domain encompasses his own, a system similar to the feudal societies of old Earth. Titles are awarded based on merit, though some are also inherited- the various noble houses vie with each other for dominance in the political arena by securing titles for their own, and as more efficient and effective rulers are awarded higher titles this system helps Gallia's industrial juggernaut run smoothly without the normal hurdles involved in a feudal structure. This is not to say that corruption is not widespread- the Gallic Royal Police are notoriously easy to buy, and assassinations happen with some frequency in the Core Worlds.
Gallia's border worlds are rich in minerals and other resources, including oil and the ultra-rare prometheum. The Gallic Metal Service and EFL Oil & Machinery are primarily responsible for mining and refining these resources, while Ile-de-France Shipping concerns itself with the transporting of goods. Solar Engineering has no presence in the border worlds, but is responsible for Gallia's technological superiority and military supremacy. Of the corporations, the Gallic Metal Service has some ties to Council and has been known to "unfortunately" lose entire convoys to them on occasion, only to have the crew and ships be sent along unharmed. By contrast, Ile-de-France Shipping and EFL Oil & Machinery are deeply rooted in Gallic politics and fiercely loyal to the Crown, supporting the war effort to the best of their abilities.
For centuries, Gallia has intentionally kept itself veiled from foreign powers, and exercised its resources and power to that cause. With its cover blown to their Sirian counterparts, policies have quickly shifted. Gallia's new foreign policy is quite simple and can be summed up in a single phrase: "Conquer all." While many believe that the motives for invading Sirius have shifted from a desire for revenge to a lust for dominance, the intent is there regardless. The fleets of the Gallic Royal Navy marshal in Dauphine have been given orders to begin the invasion, even if it is premature due to Council's interference.
Crime and dissent
The main faction opposing the Gallic government is Council, who are in a state of open war with the Crown (a conflict known as the Second Gallic War). The Council are descended from the Mouvement de Liberation Gaulois (Gallic Liberation Movement), disbanded by King Louis IV circa 720 A.S. The Council currently control Champagne and southern Languedoc, each containing one populated planet (Planet Marne and Planet Quillan, respectively), and have established a base (Reunion) outside the minefield in Orkney. They care about their reputation in the eyes of Gallic civilians, and (with the notable exception of an incident on Gap Station) never attack civilian facilities, ships or passenger liners unless provoked. As a result, they have significant covert support among Gallic civilians, including substantial portions of the Gallic Metal Service. The Council ultimately aims to overthrow the Gallic throne and stop the planned war against the rest of Sirius.
Closely related to the Council are the Maquis, who were once a radical element within the Council who used more violent means such as assassination and terrorism in their struggle. In the early 7th Century A.S., the Maquis were responsible for a series of explosions in various Gallic cities, which killed thousands of civilians. This harmed the Council's reputation so much that they expelled the Maquis from their group. The two groups, however, much to everyone's surprise, did not become hostile, but instead still work together to fight the Crown. The Maquis' less idealistic support has earned them favor with the other unlawful groups in Gallia, a friendship which they use to deadly effect against the Royalists.
A more conventional criminal group in Gallia is the Gallic Brigands, aka the Free Brigands of Gallia, who seem to be a loose union of criminals akin to the Liberty Rogues. While Brigands sustain some sort of romantic aura of medieval highway bandits who robbed the rich and gave to the poor, they often do the opposite, robbing the poorly defended smaller shipping companies rather than larger corporations and their Police protectors. They rarely get involved in political conflicts, however they notably indirectly assisted the Council in several events of the Second Gallic War, including the liberation of Marne.
Finally there is the Unione Corse, an organized crime syndicate styled after ancient Earth's Corsican Mafia, somewhat similar to the Hogosha of Kusari- however more estranged from the local law. The Unione Corse are connected to the Brigands and Maquis, and together with the Brigands, control the majority of the Gallic black market.