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[1e] Freehold - My Paris

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  • [1e] Freehold - My Paris

    I'm a little bit shy about it and sometimes in doubt that it worth the effort to put it up for public dissection, but here we are.
    • I want to iron it out, so all questions are appreciated.
    • English is not my native language, so each and every grammar correction is appreciated (but please don't smash me).
    • The setting is a crossover but from a Lost perspective.
    I'm grateful for every help what makes my Player's experience better and I hope that my approach gives some ideas to you as well.

  • #2
    Looking forward to it. Please proceed.


    Sean K.I.W. Steele, Freelance Writer
    Work Blog Coming Soon
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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    • #3
      Motto
      "Fluctuat et mergitur", meaning "(She) is tossed by the waves and sink" (French: Il est battu par les flots et sombre) is a rather pessimistic turn on the motto of Paris: Fluctuat nec mergitur means "She is tossed by the waves but does not sink".

      History
      Several different kind of settlements and organizations have changed each other over the centuries in the capital of France, but each and every one of them agreed on one topic: Paris is an abysmally horrific, dangerous place to live in.

      Sieges and occupations, religious massacres and uprisings, assassinations, plagues and revolutions followed each other in steady pace but the main trouble for the resident Lost proved to be the City itself.

      The most populous settlement in the Western world in the Middle Ages, a Catholic stronghold, it was always ideal for the zealous Inquisitors but not so much for the refugees from Nightmareland. The University of Paris soon became the home of the prominent and educated Sorcerers and the devastating strike of the bubonic plague welcomed the first batch of Spirit Watchers. Once Paris became the permanent seat of the government, the walking dead, the politically active people of Pales rooted in the city as well. The Bois de Vincennes has always been the ancient hunting ground of Skinchangers, unaffected by the religious wars between the Magi and the Clergy and flourished by serving one or the other (sometimes both) in the continuous clashes. The infamous Cemetery of the Saints-Innocents with it's ghastly miasma were the first place where the local Abominations resided undisturbed for nearly two hundred years.

      Probably not the first permanent Freehold but the earliest recognized one was the Court of Miracles (French: Cour des miracles) in the slum districts of Paris, where the unemployed beggars and thieves resided. The Courtyard had its own King, laws, officers and ceremonies, but it has one major flaw: the inability of change. The one and only King never shared his power, meant to be deposed by natural or violent death only and in the years it turned more to a dynasty and lost all dynamic in the process. Their brutal fall in 1668 was certainly helped by Loyalist and Privateers if not the Gentry themselves.

      However the holy relics from the Crusades grasped the imagination and the dreams of the people, generating various tales thus powerful anchors, the continuous redesigns by Colbert and the two strong and permanent Trods of the Porte Saint-Denis (1672) and the Porte Saint-Martin (1674) triumphal arches cemented the presence of the Faerie in the city. Unfortunately the escapees haven't enjoyed their freedom to long because of the construction of the Hall of Mirrors (French: Grande Galerie or Galerie des Glaces) in the Palace of Versailles in 1678. The seventeen arches covered with more than three hundred mirrors proved to be an ideal gateway (more exactly a travel hub) to the Gentry and their servants. The following century known as the age of the Hunter Wars, the unbridled rampage of the malevolent denizens of Faerie.

      It is said that the Revolution was a result of the well-known mortal discontent, the sudden arrival of several greater flocks of escapees, the civil war between the packs of Boulogne and Vincennes, a power struggle of prominent Kindred in the absence of the Prince and the discrepancies in the leadership of the Magi of Paris - none of them confirmed or refuted completely.

      Several attempts were made to establish the Great Courts but none of them were successful, the lack of consensus and involvement in mortal affairs made it impossible until the Consulate re-established order in the city in 1800. The two new Trods, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (1806-1808) and much later the Arc de Triomphe (1806-1836) stabilized the passage from the Hedge and the trading with independent Hobgoblin merchants, what proved to be a prominent key of success against the Gentry in the following decades.
      Last edited by Insane•kismanO; 05-17-2018, 01:34 PM. Reason: Motto: proper form, thanks to Boneguard

      Comment


      • #4
        The first modern Freehold (1801-1832)
        The Guinguettes et Goguettes ("Drinkers and Singers" in rough translation) was established in 1802. There are not many records remained from this era, only the names and professions of the monarchs of each season: Zata, exotic dancer, Queen of Spring; Doro or Doigts-Rouges (English: red fingers), butcher, King of Summer; Gland (English: acorn), winemaker, King of Autumn; Gentilezza (English: kindness in Italian), confectioner, Queen of Winter.

        The Louvre was expanded in 1827, putting on display the antiquities collected during Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt. While the mortals were busy with the relay race of emperors, monarchs and republics, the supernatural communities faced with a brand new problem: curses of the pharaohs, the Arisen. Without communication or consent, the different factions fought several wars from 1800 to 1850. According to some side notes from the remaining historical records of Rouen, the cholera outbreak in 1832 was a direct strike against the Lost by the mummy cults of the city, which annihilated the first Freehold.

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        • #5
          The second modern Freehold (1842-1872)
          The Reverbères ("street lamps" in rough translation) was founded by bohemians and prostitutes during the reign of King Louis Philippe. The re-established Courts contained several different sides: Bonapartist soldiers, lost in the French invasion of Russia; kidnapped students and artists from the 20's; past (and future) revolutioners from the previous century; stolen children of bankers and entrepreneurs and emigrants from the French colonies.

          The second Freehold endured the Revolution of 1848 and sided with the Second Empire in 1852. The structural changes made by Haussmann repelled the power of the Mummy Cults and bring peace to the city. The consecutive monarchs of the Spring - Adélaïde, Marvert or "Le Marchand Vert" (English: The Green Merchant), Albert and Hélène re-established diplomatic connections with several Freeholds, including Alsace, Autures, Auvergne, Brittany, Flanders, Lorraine, Normandy, Provence, Catalonia and London. At first the communication between the settlements and the exchanged knowledge of Fae magic, proven and failed battle tactics, trustworthy Hobgoblin denizens of the Hedge and other advantages lead to prosperity of the Freeholds. The Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) however proved to be fatal for most of the collaborating kingdoms. The Loyalist and Privateer groups, following the advancing German armies, gathered enough remaining documentations to use them in interrogations and infiltrating missions. Probably this was the main factor of the resulting disruption and civil war in the Freehold and the subsequent downfall during and following the Commune.

          Comment


          • #6
            The third modern Freehold (1886-1940)
            The Palace de la Réunion (English: Reunion Palace) was founded by Lost of the former commune Charonne, occupied by the city in 1860. The relocating industries provided jobs for the new escapees and the close proximity of the Père-Lachaise cemetery granted additional defense because of the residing Spirit Watchers. The third settlement was more subtle than it's predecessors, only the minority of the courtiers came from upper classes before their abduction and none of them returned to their previous life. The residents worked mostly in factories and construction sites all around the city. Many Lost escaped during the universal expositions held in the city in 1878, 1889 and 1900. The displayed new innovations of science and technology turned the Dreamscape more vibrant and flourishing, the Hedge became tinted with more industrial elements.

            During the First World War most of the men of the Freehold were enlisted to the army left the settlement defenseless. The Gentry held a Wild Hunt in each year of the war, but the Freehold were saved each time by sheer luck and the improbable intervention of other supernatural forces:
            • October 19, 1914 – The Master of Puppets (French: Marionnettiste) attacked near the Place de la République and repelled by two groups of Magi.
            • September 9, 1915 – The Lord of the Night (French: Seigneur de la nuit) attacked the Hollow of the Freehold through the Hedge and chased the Lost across the Cemetery of Père-Lachaise, killed many but unable to capture any of them because his armies were decimated by five Spirit Watchers.
            • July 15, 1916 – The Forest Guard (French: Le garde forestier) attacked courtiers in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, returning from the Moon Fair, but a pack of Skinchangers passing through the park brutally slaughtered his armies.
            • September 16, 1917 – The Lord of the Night attacked the Lost again in a factory building in La Villette, but stumbled into the Vampire Prince of Paris and his entourage. In the following combat the Prince seriously wounded the Fae and forced him to retreat.
            • September 13, 1918 – The Silver Marquess (French: La Marquise d'argent) attacked a larger group of Lost living together near the spiritual center of the Freehold, the Place de la Réunion - but angered a lonely Abomination in transit and his well armored men suffered a devastating blow from the thunder magic of the creation.
            The Lost proved to be immune to the 1918 epidemic of Spanish influenza and most of the courtiers volunteered as nurses. After the returning of the few survivors (some Lost were recaptured by the Gentry, but the majority died in sometimes heroic but mostly unreasonable suicide missions and charges) the Freehold slowly but surely regained it's prosperity and more. All of the Courts welcomed the immigrants mostly from Spain, Russia, Poland and the French colonies. The good connections with the other supernatural factions resulted many reconstruction jobs and other employments during the Great Depression. The Hospital De La Croix Saint-Simon became an important venue of the Freehold, because the majority of the Spring and Autumn Courts worked there from the 20's.

            Unfortunately every good thing must come to an end, in May 10, 1940 the Germans attacked France and occupied the city on June 14. Some courtiers went underground but after the harsh retaliations for attacking German officers, the monarchs of the Great Courts decided to disband the Freehold and the majority of the denizens sought for asylum individually or in small groups in other Freeholds of France.

            During the Occupation, many escapee met with and fought alongside the remaining Lost but no new Freehold were established.
            Last edited by Insane•kismanO; 05-17-2018, 01:35 PM.

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            • #7
              The fourth modern Freehold (1961-1986)
              After the liberation of Paris many escapees arrived to the city but most of them left afterwards. The lack of organization and the small, rivaling Motleys deeply immersed in the criminal underworld was a great deterrent.

              On 31 October, two weeks after the Paris massacre of dozens of Algerian and Magreb demonstrators by the French Police, the five dominant Motleys (the Greenback, Morissier, Ramures, Rougépines and the Suiveurs "clans") met to discuss a reorganization plan and the founding of a stable Freehold. On 1 November, the Savants des ténèbres (English: Savants of the Darkness) was pledged and the majority of the clans reformed as Courts: the Morissier clan with widespread interests in the nightlife gained the Antler Crown of Spring, the Rougépines clan with a small arms and drug smuggling network gained the Iron Spear of Summer, the Ramures clan with occultists, conmen and a forgery network gained the Leaden Mirror of Autumn and the Suiveurs clan with a remarkable real estate property gained the Silent Arrow of Winter. All backed up by the financial machinations of the Greenback clan whose members participated in every Courts.

              Between 1963 and 1974, the Courts made serious efforts to decriminalize its activities and backing out from illegal business. Most of the assets and interests were sold to the Russian Mafia and the Freehold became more interested in mostly legal real estate and financial operations.

              In 1975, after the natural death of René Suiveurs, the new Winter King, Didier Chérubin (aka. Diodorus) took over the crown. In the following years he introduced the power of relics to the Freehold, promising the long lost powers of the ancient kingdoms of the Lost. The main proportion of these relics were the coronation regalia of the Kingdom of Normandy but other pieces from Autures and Lorraine were used as well. These relics offered the knowledge and partially the magic of their previous wielders to the initiated. The global recession of the 70's gravely affected the Freehold's business operations, unemployment and monetary shortage became an everyday problem to the courtiers. The continuous abuse of magic to gain proper income resulted a Wyrd backlash in 1984 and most of the assets of the Courts gone downfall in a four month period. The Spring Court advocated for renewing the diplomatic relations with other Freeholds, especially Amiens and Rouen - heirs of the Kingdom of Normady; the Summer Court pushed an agenda to regain a dominant role in the criminal underworld; the Autumn Court advised a planed disband of the Freehold and relocation of the Courts to Chartres, some 80 kilometers south-west from Paris and rebuilding the Kingdom of Autures.

              Instead of these, Diodorus managed to take over the lead of the Freehold through the bounding power of the relics. He started a silent but deadly campaign against other supernaturals, namely the Magi, the Kindred and the Skinchangers. The Winter King's armies conquered most of the Hedge around the city, gathering many hobgoblin beasts and large amounts of goblin fruits, later used against adversaries. He successfully turned the Skinchangers against the Magi and caused internal turmoil in the Kindred community without disclosure in only one year. The problems begun in the early days of 1986, when the smaller ranks of the relic cultists started disappearing or dying in unexplained or suspicious circumstances, meanwhile the higher ranks seemed to gain more and more power. A small Motley of Lost from the Autumn and Winter Courts, the Incense Clock (French: Horloge à feu) finally uncovered the horrible truth: to gain their goals, the main guardians of the relics murdered their own peers to regain and concentrate the shared powers of these magical items.

              The following revolution was short but brutal. Half of the monarchs were killed, the other two was exiled. Out of eighty-two courtiers only ten survived (including the two exiled). The Freehold lost 90% of its financial reserves and two thirds of the real estates, over exploited or otherwise lost most of its contacts and adherents. The arrival of a Hunter, the Chaser (French: Le Chasseur) in behalf of the Lord of the Night was the final and deadly blow: three survivors killed and two was re-captured in the Wild Hunt.

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              • #8
                The fifth modern Freehold (1987-present)
                The three remaining Lost: André (Shadowsoul Fairest), Sandrine (Coldscales Beast) and Sébastien (Antiquarian Darkling) fled to Amiens and requested asylum, but turned away by the four monarchs (and only courtiers as well) of that Freehold. They have learned that Diodorus resettled in Rouen, so decided to venture to the ruins of the abandoned Freehold of Lille instead. While André and Sandrine tried to establish a living in the mortal world, Sébastien found detailed documents about a Celestial One in the Hollow of the old kingdom. After four months of debate and meticulous planning, the three decided to hunt down and corner Chronos, the governor of measured time and force him to a pledge. Nobody knows the details and hardships of their adventure, except the lone survivor André, who came back to Paris with the blessing and protection of the Clock.

                In 20 December 1987 he rescued three Lost in the surrounding Hedge and decided to found the Court of Clock and consequently the Freehold of the Incense Clock.

                [That's enough for now, the organization of the freehold needs more polishing and I will probably post it in the next week, the laws and rules are in work in progress state and the court description with contracts are still worked on. Thank you for reading this far ]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Seeing that the Paris motto means « Il est battu par les flots, mais ne sombre pas », I would go with: « Il est battu par les flots et sombre » (She was tossed by the wave and sinks) to respect the Latin verb tenses. Otherwise you could go with: « Il a été battu par les flots, et a sombré » (She was tossed by the waves and sank) but would require some change on the Latin verb tenses to match (But that's just the FLS/FLÉ teacher in me...feel free to ignore me).

                  But that aside, I really like it. It's a very interesting take on Paris which is different that what you would usually see. Have you had the chance to read the (Classic)WoD France Sourcebook (a French product that cover the core 5 lines)?


                  edit:
                  The Silver Marquess would be in French: La Marquise d'argent.
                  Last edited by Boneguard; 05-16-2018, 05:39 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Boneguard View Post
                    ...feel free to ignore me
                    No way! This would be only a show off then. Thanks!

                    Have you had the chance to read the (Classic)WoD France Sourcebook (a French product that cover the core 5 lines)?
                    The "FRANCE - Un Supplément Pour Le Monde Des Ténèbres"? Yeah, I did but only the CTD section.
                    Last edited by Insane•kismanO; 05-17-2018, 02:09 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Organization
                      Most structures and organizing principles are based on the numerology of 12 and 24 and the regulations and ceremonies of the Clock Court.

                      Founder
                      As the conqueror of Chronos and the "Master of Measured Time" and the first divisor of twelve, André has the right, the capacity and the power to reign over the whole Court. Overrule a decision, temporarily grant or revoke Court Contracts or freeze any of the courtiers in time for a while. These can be quite handy in dangerous situations, but rarely used because the God-like power definitely matches those of the Gentry.

                      Leadership
                      The governing system of the Freehold is based on the combination of the twelve months calendar and the 12-hour clock.

                      Every member of the Court, marked with the numbers of the Ante Meridiem hours (1-12) are selected as a Guardian (French: Wardein) of the similarly numbered month. The Guardian acts as the Supreme Judge in tied situations, defines the main course of actions in business, diplomatic, military and policing matters, gives orders and mission directives to individual courtiers or whole Motleys and represents the Court and the Freehold in every possible ways.

                      Every member of the Court, marked with the numbers of the Post Meridiem hours (13-24) are accompanied with their respective AM Guardians and selected as a Steward (French: Sénéchal) of the month. The Steward acts as the administrative leader of the Freehold, responsible for the appointments and obligations of the Guardian, the documentation handling of the Court (both holding and destroying them if necessary), and living memory and conscience of the Guardian in the case of laws, rules and regulations.

                      In the event of an obstacle, the Steward takes over the power, title and mantle of the Guardian and has the right to appoint a new Steward for the rest of the month.

                      The Great Offices
                      These positions are based on the most important offices of state in the French royal court during the Ancien Régime. They are appointed by the Grand Jury and not transmissible nor hereditary by blood or the selection of numbers. The Great Officers has the right to overrule each and any decisions of the current leaders or the Grand Jury in their own respective fields - but only if they firmly declare their opposition in front of the greatest possible public.

                      As a general rule only the divisors of twelve (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12) should be selected for office, but this rule is currently suspended.

                      Connétable
                      The Constable is the general commander of all combat capable members of the Freehold. His primary task is to protect the community against external attacks, plan and execute preventive operations and control the regular patrols of the Hedge.
                      His symbol of power is a magical cold iron longsword decorated with gold, named Remords (English: "Remorse").

                      Chancelier
                      The Chancellor runs the judicial system of the Freehold. His main task is to interpret and apply internal laws and rules, to manage internal conflicts, and to oversee conflicts with the laws of the mortal world.
                      His symbol of power is a magical cold iron hourglass frame without actual glass bulbs, decorated with gold.

                      Maître
                      The Master is the supervisor of the Freehold's real estate property and owned businesses.
                      His symbol of power is a magical cold iron key, decorated with gold.

                      Chambellan
                      The Chamberlain is the supervisor of the Freehold's finances, including legal and illegal accounts and other valuable reserves.
                      His symbol of power is two magical cold iron hour hands, decorated with gold (also useful as daggers).

                      Amiral
                      The Admiral is the main diplomat of the Freehold. He acts as ambassador to the other supernatural factions of Paris, and secretly holds contacts with carefully selected members of other Freeholds. Traditionally, he is also the commander of the "Fleet of Seine" (a house barge and two motorboats actually).
                      His symbol of power is a magical cold iron compass without needle, decorated with gold.

                      Maréchal
                      The Marshal is the guardian of the order in the Freehold. He is responsible for internal security and law enforcement. His task is to investigate any crimes affecting the members of the community. In the case of trials, he represents the prosecution.
                      His symbol of power is a magical cold iron ceremonial baton, decorated with gold.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Other offices
                        There are four other positions appointed by the Grand Officers either temporarily as a Small Office (French: Petit Officier) or for a lifetime as an Entitlement (French: Droit).

                        Aumônier
                        The Chaplain is an expert of religious affairs. He is responsible of contacts and conflict management with the clergy and sects. Occasionally celebrates major rituals. Appointed by the Admiral.
                        His symbol of power is small chrome fleur-de-lys pin.

                        Garde des Sceaux
                        The Guardian of Seal keeps the Grand Seal of the Freehold. Since the Grand Seal is used solely for stigmatizing serious offenders, he is practically the executor of the Freehold, but in trials, he represents the defense. Appointed by the Chancellor.
                        His symbol of power is small gold fleur-de-lys pin.

                        Garde du Corps
                        The Bodyguard is the protector of an important person in the event of war or great emergency. Appointed by the Marshal.
                        His symbol of power is small red fleur-de-lys pin.

                        Mousquetaire
                        The Musketeer is the protector of an important place or designated area in the event of war or great emergency. Appointed by the Master.
                        His symbol of power is small blue fleur-de-lys pin.

                        The Grand Jury
                        The council of the first twelve members of the Freehold, decides on all matters beyond the competence of the Guardian.

                        Some typical tasks:
                        • appointing or removing of the Great Officers
                        • deciding the direction of relationships with other supernatural factions
                        • modifying, abolishing or creating laws of the Freehold
                        • judging over mercy cases
                        The traditional president of the Grand Jury is the Guardian of January, April, July and October, according to the recent season.

                        Courtiers
                        All of the initiated members of the Freehold are marked by one particular number of the 24 hours. It means that the ideal number of courtiers are 24, but it is possible to initiate "second grade" members to the court as well. Since every courtier has amplified magical, physical or even mental capabilities in their own time periods, it's not an easy task to share this power with subordinates.

                        The Courtesy of Chronos should be shared with only one other person (half-hour) but can be extended to three (20 minutes), four (quarters), five (12 minutes) or to the maximum of six (ten minutes) persons. Traditionally a courtier allowed to share her power further and open a new grade if all the other positions of the already existing grade are filled. While the courtiers doesn't suffer any penalties when sharing their power, the time period obviously shortens when they can benefit from it.

                        There is only one exception, the power of the One can't be divided because he is the original source of the Courtesy.

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                        • #13
                          Mini typo: Guardian would be, in French: Gardien.

                          I like the organization, built similar to the Royal Court with similar position. A nice imagery of the "Décadence de la Cour Royale". I'm half expecting some Changeling "Sans-Culottes" to launch a revolution.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Boneguard View Post
                            Mini typo: Guardian would be, in French: Gardien.
                            I've used the Old Northern French / Old Norman version wardein (derived from guardein), because I liked the ambiguity of how it falls between the "guardian" and "warden".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Insane•kismanO View Post

                              I've used the Old Northern French / Old Norman version wardein (derived from guardein), because I liked the ambiguity of how it falls between the "guardian" and "warden".
                              Oh that's actually pretty cool. Learned something new

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