Kingdom of Bretonia
|United Kingdom of Bretonia|
|Capital|| Planet New London,|
New London System
Bretonia, or the United Kingdom of Bretonia is the title of one of the four original houses in Sirius. It's territory extends across many systems on the western side of The Barrier, with various claims to systems bordering the Walker Nebula as well as ones deep within The Barrier itself. It is a constitutional monarchy with the monarch (King or Queen) representing the state while the parliament presides over the government. Bretonian sovereign territories border the systems of Omega-3, Magellan, Cortez and Tau-31. The Armed Forces having just recently come out of a long standing conflict with the Kusari Empire in the Tau systems, are now faced with an invasion by forces of the Gallic Royal Navy. Fighting is prevenlent within the Taus, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Armed Forces patrols are also frequent in the system of Omega-3.
Main article: History of Bretonia
The Bretonian systems were founded by the inhabitants of the British sleeper ship Bretonia. The ship arrived almost 20 years after the Liberty. The region is now ruled over by a monarch and its capital is Planet New London.
The Bretonia was one of the last sleeper ships to arrive in the Sirius Sector, almost twenty years after the Liberty, Kusari, and Rheinland had made planetfall on what became their respective homeworlds. In the chaos of exodus, the starboard engine array of the Bretonia was destroyed, requiring her to limp the rest of the way to Sirius.
By the time the sleeper ship had arrived, most of the resource rich areas of the sector had already been claimed by the passengers of the other colonists, with the Liberty settling a lucrative area at the sector core. Bretonia was forced to select a less than ideal site near the Barrier. Here they established the colony of New London, on one of the few habitable planets in the area. Isolated by the Barrier from the other houses and years behind, Bretonia began an accelerated program of rebuilding their industrial civilization.
For the early part of its history, Bretonia was ruled over by a series of Princes, still technically subservient to the long abandoned United Kingdom of Great Britain back on Earth, there having been no Crowned Monarch since the death of Queen Elizabeth III at the height of the Alliance-Coalition War. This Principality was overthrown during the Bretonian Civil War of 317-319 A.S. due to the oppression of Prince Harry XXI in his state controlled development of Planet Leeds. Following a brief interregnum during which a Commonwealth was declared, a new constitution was drawn up under which the reigning family returned to rule as constitutional monarchs constrained by parliament. Thus the modern Kingdom of Bretonia was founded.
Throughout the late 5th and early 6th centuries, Bretonia was plagued by uncontrollable levels of space piracy, due to a group known as the Bretonian Buccaneers. Following the assassination of King William I by these Buccaneers in 565 A.S., his daughter Queen Eleanor I led a great campaign against them which finally resulted in the destruction of all Buccaneer bases and the cleansing of all organised crime for Bretonia, a situation which was to result in remarkably low crime levels in the House for the next 100 years, a period later known as the Bretonian Golden Age, often measured as 589 - 674 A.S. This period was characterised by a remarkable level of economic expansion, bringing Bretonia up to comparable economic levels with the other Houses for the first time in its history, whilst on the political front King William III, often labelled William the Great, laid claim to a vast Empire in Tau and Omega 3 during a time when the attentions of the other Houses were focused on the terrible 80 Years War in Sigma.
Following William's death in 674 A.S., however, Bretonia gradually sank into a period of troubles, ironically triggered by a series of great exploration expeditions funded on the back of recent economic successes. The discovery of Edinburgh and with it Planet Gaia in 685 A.S. was to eventually lead to the rise of the Green Front and later the Gaian terrorist movement, which would in turn eventually spawn numerous fringe pirate groups, the first major source of space piracy since the disappearance of the Bretonian Buccaneers. The greatest of these exploration expeditions, however, were those undertaken between 743 and 745 A.S. which, among other things, led to the discovery of gold in Dublin and triggered the great Dublin Gold Rush that would end so tragically with the Founder's Day Revolt and the beginning of the war of independence by the Mollies in 752 A.S.
By 760 A.S. crime levels were rising sharply across Bretonia, as Gaians, Mollies and the arrival of outcasts and corsairs from the edge worlds began to take its toll on the law enforcement capabilities of the Bretonian Police Authority and Bretonian Armed Forces. The situation was so bad that Prime Minister Lord Walter Brinkley was forced to invite the Bounty Hunters Guild into Bretonia, granting them Sheffield Station from the BPA and ordering the construction of Newgate Prison.
By the arrival of the 9th Century the situation had stabilised somewhat, with the eastern Dublin system secured by a new Fleet under the HMS-Essex and the Gaians prevented from gaining a foothold in Leeds. Being the least affected of all the Houses by the turmoil caused by the 800-801 Nomad War, Bretonia's position relative to the other three Houses was restored somewhat from its decline over the previous 100 years. Queen Carina felt confident enough in 809 to order a renewed expansion by BMM into Tau-23, with an ambitious lane and gate construction project designed to assure Bretonia's economic prosperity for years to come. A brief legal crisis involving the Independent Miners Guild in 810, however, was to prove a trigger for renewed conflict over centuries old claims to the riches of the Tau region between Bretonia and the Empire of Kusari, and by 813 A.S. the two Houses were mobilising for war. Bretonia now faces what many consider the greatest threat to its existence in its 800 year history.
The Tau War began in 814A.S. The rising tensions and territorial claims of the Tau systems by both Bretonia and Kusari boiled over into outright warfare. After steadily pushing through the Tau systems, the Kusari Naval Forces sit in Leeds in 817A.S., in control of Stokes and threatening Leeds and perhaps New London.
Controlled and contested space
The Kingdom of Bretonia is made up of ten star systems (New London, Cambridge, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Dublin, Dundee and Poole), out of which three include populated Planets: New London, Leeds and Cambridge; although officially stated by the government the Kingdom and Empire of Bretonia includes six more systems: Inverness, Chester, Orkney, Tau-23 and Tau-31. Chester and Inverness, however, remain at present undeveloped due to a lack of discovered exploitable resources and current budget constraints of the Bretonian Crown. As for Tau 31, 23 and Orkney, control of the systems is hotly contested by the Kusari Empire, and recently conflict and occupation by Gallia has halted any progress on this front.
The government of Bretonia has laid claim to the system of Tau-31 since 656 A.S., a situation which until recently placed Bretonia in a state of conflict with the Kusari Empire. Tau-31 is currently under near total control of Gallia however, following their war against Bretonia and Liberty (which also lead to the occupation of the Leeds, Edinburgh and Tau-23 systems) with planet Harris being the last pocket of resistance.
Bretonia also laid claim to Tau-23, the BMM attempting to conduct mining operations there, in competition with the IMG and much to the consternation of the Outcasts. However, more recent conquests by Gallia, as manetioned above, have forced Bretonian lawful and corporate groups out of the system.
Government and politics
The Realm of Bretonia is a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament. Power is divided between the Monarch, House of Commons and House of Lords. The Commons are elected directly by all Bretonian citizens from the constituencies of all Bretonian planets and civilian space stations, and have exclusive control over financial matters, as well as maintaining a check on the legislative power of the Lords. The House of Lords consists of all the hereditary Lords and Ladies of the Bretonian aristocracy, as well as those appointed for life by the Monarch, and are generally considered the more powerful of the two Houses, proposing and voting on all policy other than finance bills. The Monarch inherits the Crown of Bretonia from his or her forbears, by male-preference primogeniture, selects the Prime Minister from either Commons or Lords, and has considerable influence over the Armed Forces, Police and Judiciary, as well as having a veto over Parliament and control over war declarations and treaties.
The current Monarch is Queen Carina I, who inherited the throne from her father George V in 786 A.S. at the age of 29. She has generally been considered one of Bretonia's more popular Monarchs, with the Royalist Party remaining in power in Parliament throughout all her reign except for a brief period in 795-797 A.S. where the Populist opposition gained control of the Commons. Her bold stance during the Nomad War of 801 A.S. gained her considerable support from the populace, and she was seen as a strong figure in opposing Kusari expansion into the Tau border worlds in the lead-up to the current Tau War.
This position of popular support was threatened in the September Rebellion of 816 A.S. when a pretender to the Throne, Lord George Mountbatten, Duke of Westminster, started a short-lived rebellion based on false claims fed to him by his dying father. The ending of the rebellion, when the Duke renounced his claims realising his mistake, was seized upon by the Populist Party in Parliament as an opportunity to reform the constitution in favour of greater democracy and a weakening of Royal Powers. This second crisis prompted a Royalist Coup, in which Carina attempted to disband the growing populist movement by force, using her Private Fleet, the QCRF, to move against her enemies in Parliament. The coup was only partially successful, however, and whilst the Populists were ousted from Parliament and many of their members arrested, their leaders escaped to begin the subversive Federalist movement, whilst the Queen was forced to disband the QCRF and renounce her direct control over the Admiralty Board in order to stave off a significant loss of popular support.
The most recent political developments occurred in February 817 A.S. when the conservative Royalist Government of James Worthington was ousted by a group of more progressive Royalists under the leadership of Lord Mountbatten, who had been pardoned and regained considerable support since his September rebellion. Mountbatten used the context of a debate over re-writing the Constitution, as well as criticisms of Worthington's failing war effort, to overthrow the ineffective government and replace it with his own supporters. Whilst safely Royalist, the new progressive government of Mountbatten is nevertheless seen by some of the older Royalists as a threat to the position of the Monarchy, with Mountbatten's strong leadership of the growing war effort, and the absence of any more democratic alternative, granting him a popularity amongst the masses challenging that of even Carina herself; a rare occurrence in Bretonian history.
The primary sources of employment in Bretonia are mining (BMM), shipbuilding (BMM and Bowex), heavy industry (primarily BMM and other industrial giants operating in Leeds), commercial shipping (dominated by Gateway and Bowex), the vast government bureaucracy, tourism (particularly OSC in Edinburgh), scientific research (centred around the Cambridge Research Institute and Sunderland Research Station) and terraforming (Planetform, Inc.).
Current Foreign Office Diplomatic Report:
States and other Lawful Sovereign or Semi-Sovereign Entities
|Republic of Liberty||
|Gas Miners Guild||
|Federal Republic of Rheinland||
|Empire of Kusari||
|Kingdom of Gallia||
Autonomous Paramilitary Organisations
|Bounty Hunters Guild||
|Independent Miners Guild||
|Nation of Malta||
|Confederation of Zoners||
|Sirius Coalition Revolutionary Army||
Bretonia maintains close ties with Liberty, the two Houses cooperating on many issues such as security in Magellan and Cortez, scientific research and counter-terrorism. Relations with Rheinland have been somewhat cold ever since the Nomad War of 801 A.S., with the Liberty-Rheinland conflict not helping matters, but despite this the importance of trade links through the Omega border worlds ensure that the two Houses are forced to maintain at least passable, if not exactly friendly relations, and are still occasionally involved in cooperation against Corsair pirates.
Relations with Kusari, naturally, have ceased almost completely for the last 3 years - the two governments maintain no formal diplomatic relations. A temporary ceasefire did hold for much of the December holiday season, but since the Kusari assault on Leeds, the conflict between the two Houses has reached new heights.
Bretonia has recently undertaken steps to restore relations somewhat with the Independent Miners Guild, following a difficult period leading up to the outbreak of the current Tau War. The IMG currently remains neutral in the conflict, and despite tensions remaining with BMM mining operations in Tau-23, the two governments have managed to reach a settlement that would diffuse the potential for renewed future conflict, assuming that Bretonia is able to maintain its influence in the region in the face of the Kusari threat.
Recent tensions with the Council of Zoners have also arisen in recent months due to questions arising from the settlement of Bretonian Refugees by Bowex on Gran Canaria in Omega 49. It is yet to be seen how Bretonian-Zoner relations will be affected by any possible agreement that may be reached on the issue.
The Bretonia-Kusari Conflict, or the Tau War is a major, ongoing conflict, predominantly between house Bretonia and Kusari. Beginning in 814A.S. the war has been especially destructive, and threatens to continue even in 817A.S. Kusari forces have dominated early in the conflict, and pushed into Leeds, overtaking Stokes Smelter and threatening the Planet itself. However, increasing Bretonian resistance has bogged Kusari down, and the entry of other factions, including the Mandalorian Mercenaries and recently, the Consortium, have helped bolster Bretonian morale and capability. Still, the conflict weighs heavily in Kusari's favor.
Crime and dissent
Bretonia has two local major unlawful factions, both committed to different ideological goals but still unfriendly toward each other due to varying alliances.
- Mollys are a separatist group committed to freeing the Dublin system from Bretonian rule by attempting to force the parliament to pull out BAF forces from the system through attacks on civilian, commercial, and military targets.
- Gaians are a terrorist faction opposed to any alteration to the natural environment of a planet, specifically those brought about through terraforming. They mainly operate in Edinburgh, in Bretonia space and the nearby Border Worlds, but some rumours speak of detected Gaians in Corsair space.
Aside from these two factions, both Corsairs and Outcasts are a frequent sight in south and north Bretonia respectively, with the former especially wreaking havoc on trade and civilian traffic due to the thinning of BAF forces in Cambridge out of necessity of defending Leeds against foreign invasion. Lane Hackers are also a frequent sight in the Manchester system, spilling over from their central system of Magellan. The Bretonian Buccaneers also appear to undergone a recent revival and are now often seen in Bretonian space taking advantage of the chaos and unrest caused by the Tau War with Kusari, though as yet are nowhere near the threat that they posed in the 6th Century A.S.
The Bretonian government generally takes a somewhat liberal stance towards their unlawful groups. The BAF has been known for working with the Mollys repeatedly against Kusari offensives in the past as well, while the Bretonian courts rarely prosecute captured Gaian terrorists. The government is also suspected of dealing with the Outcasts against Kusari and although no such claims were proven so far, with its liberal drugs laws and the evident lack of open piracy by Outcasts in Bretonian space there are remarkably few cases of Outcast arrest by either the BAF or BPA, compared with regular violent clashes against the Corsairs. Recent crime figures released by the Bretonian Home Office show that 30% of piracy in core space is attributable to Corsairs, 23% to various Molly groups, 14% Hackers, 11% Gaians and Gaian-related pirates, 13% to the Bretonian Buccaneers and of the remaining 9%, of which most are independent pirates, only 1% have been positively identified as Outcast cases.
For a more detailed list see Bretonian ships