Forgotten History by Many

Forgotten News - Europe

Wales

Welsh sorcerers are calling for the revival of the 1507 Book-Murder Law in which it made it a capital crime to destroy a book of magic or other esoteric knowledge.  The English Church, along with several prominent and powerful magi, had pressed for a law causing those who willingly destroy a book of magic to suffer the same penalty for murdering a human being.  This was in response to the Inquisition purging the research several Welsh and English sorcerers living in Southern France at the time.  Their research was considered invaluable and helped to further the cause of weather control.  The books themselves were deemed to have the "soul and mind of the writer in them" by the Parliament.  The execution method used was normally the means of destruction that the perpetrator used to destroy the book, e.g. burning at the stake, drawing and quartering, etc.

Switzerland

The Swiss Confederation is a recent State: founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798, recognized in its current form in 1815 by the European Powers, it was more born from the desire of these Powers (Prussia, Bavaria, Austria, Russia and England) to have a State-plug between France and the rest of Europe.  In other words, it is a artificial national construction partly to act as a buffer zone.  Partly only, as the majority of the newly Swiss territories were bound by many economic, political, and military links.  The “Swiss” term in itself applied to the alliance of mountain dwellers and townsmen who, during the previous centuries, had contributed to the European history, providing mercenaries, trade goods, and new religious ideas .

In 1870, the Confederation is already with the second recasting of its Constitution, having passed of a confederation of independent cantons in a federal state, centralizing. The country lives in a fragile balance between city and countryside, Catholics and Protestants, Latin and Germanic, preserving and progressionists. The national identity is there still wavering.

Officially, Switzerland is a neutral country; it does not have to take share in a conflict and, in exchange, its integrity is guaranteed by about all the crowned heads of Europa.  However, despite all the efforts of the continental Powers, Switzerland still is most closely allied to France and Napoleon III.  Swiss Dwarven craftsmen assisted in weapons construction for Napoleon for the  the invasion of Alsace-Lorraine.

The imperial ambitions of Prussia's Otto von Bismarck worry it much more.  Switzerland is mainly of German descent, or at least is German-speaking, and a significant portion of the population looks towards Berlin with renewed interest.  It thus  semi-officially the supports the forces of the Second Pact, while maintaining a tight network of correspondents in Prussia and England.  This is known by all nations, and is often used as intermediary to contact hostile parties, or as a way to implant spies across the nation's borders.

Twenty five years ago, the country was regarded as an impoverished nation.  It was afflicted by a general famine, the peasants of the alpine areas even received food aid of Russia of all places.

Since 1848, the situation changed much: the come to power of reformers and the first openings of the Industrial revolution reached the country and started to bear their fruits.  The leaders of the country sought permanent treaties with the Alpen Dwarf holds.  With a base of precision machinery in place, the government was able to expand the financial institutions of Switzerland.  Supported by a solid banking environment, the Swiss economy developed at a great pace.

The country became especially famous for its three sectors: banking, stock brokers, and insurance companies.  With Dwarven backing the clock industry became the most technologically advanced in the world, with precision mechanics a close second.  Swiss Dwarves are sought after by other countries to train their human machinists.

A country of mountain and forests, Switzerland abounds with dwarven cities many of great importance, as well as dens of dragons.  The dwarves and dragons have been at odds with the many Unselee court strongholds that are in the darkest forests and highest mountains.

The dwarves provide to Switzerland many engineers and craftsmen of genius, especially in the field of the clock industry (the Jura lodges the Large Fountain, a dwarf city of great importance) and railroads (no tunnel is too long, no too high viaduct…). Blow, the relationships to the fairies of the white Court have tendency to envenimer: the industrialization of the country places insuperable iron barriers.

The Alps shelter also a certain number, even a large number, of dragons.  These dragons have many interests within the Swiss financial markets.  Their long life span and long memories allow them to do well in investment banking with other people's money.  It is said by many that Switzerland's gold is its dragons and its steel is the Dwarves.  These two creatures are the reason that the Swiss have such wide influence for a neutral country with almost no military.

Geneva is currently undergoing a great reconstruction over the past generation.  It is being transformed to a modern cosmopolitan city with its walls being cut down in 1854.   The city began a series of city works projects funded by returns from the financial industries that are their major trade good.  A new moving clock tower show-casing the roles that humans, dwarves, and dragons have played in the city's growth.  The university's grounds have expanded and new science and engineering classes are being held.  An opera house is under construction partially funded by the famed singer Enrico Falgore.

Austria
Austria begins to look into the use of aerial warfare during a military campaign against the city-state of Venice.  On August 22, 1849, Austria launched unmanned balloons carrying bombs with time-delay fuses against Venice.  The Emperor attempted to enlist pixies and smaller faeries to guide the balloons.  After several attempts the crown managed to bribe a small group of pixies to guide the balloons, but they received the payment of honey in advance.  The honey caused them to be so drunk that many of the balloons ended up over Austrian lines. 

Zurich is still the most powerful city of the country.  It is an austere and banking city, centering on trade and the economy rather than heavy industry.  Basle is also a center of important trade routes, one of the last river ports on the Rhine before the Inland sea. Bern, the federal capital, are still a small provincial capital that is more a rural location that a center of culture.

Austrian sorcerer guilds are in talks with Emperor Franz Joseph I to expand 

Belgium
Between France, the North Sea and Inland sea, Belgian has seen many battles between European powers leading it to be known as the battleground of Europe.  The French and English have used its port facilities as a means to wage war on the Prussians and Austrians.  The Prussians see it as a tempting port, as the low countries are to disorganized to be of much use.  Once the Belgian Revolution of 1830 occurred, the country has remained free with little conflict occurring.  They are attempting to remain on the good side of both Prussia and England to keep invasion at bay.

While the country is not exactly what one can call a continental power, it owe its survival only with the benevolence of its French neighbor and solids diplomatic relations.  However, it has great ambitions for expansion as a colonial power to rival Spain and England.  The Crown liberally subsidizes many explorers, of which the young person, but talented Henry Stanley.  Most are centered on the sub-Saharan portion of the African continent.

Belgium is an important commercial crossroads, with Antwerp being a major port on the Inland sea and the North Sea.  They majority of the population is French speaking with no national language of their own.  There is a vocal minority of Prussian nationals who press for stronger ties with Prussia.  Most are along the border with the Grand Duche du Luxembourg, which is almost a Belgian province though with total autonomy.

Culturally, politically and economically, Belgium is anchored to France.  To a point that it is often spoken of as if it were a French protectorate.  This aggravates the most Belgians who see their relations with France as separate from their national identity.  While they have signed the Second Pact, many in their government are willing to listen to the Prussian side of things.  Mush of this is due to Belgium being commercially tied to Prussia and England.  The country is the an excellent stopping port of any trade and communication between the two allied nations.

Having started late in the Great Game, Belgium hungers to expand its borders and gain valuable resources.  They are eyeing Africa with great interest and going to great lengths to gain a foothold on the continent.  It seems that the King of Belgium and his retainers suffer from an immense inferiority complex and greatly desire power to rival other nations.  This may make them susceptible to influence from the Unseelie court and Prussia.

Dwarves and dragons are rare in the country.  Belgians offered little harbor to the dwarves having assisted the Inquisition at the insistence of France and Spain.  Dwarves wishing to trade in the country coming from the Ardennes towards Brussels or Antwerp to sell their goods or to offer their services.  Those few who live in the country are rather urban.  As for the dragons, they were hunted up until only a few centuries ago, and they remember this.  Most avoid the country completely, and those that must enter normally snub the court completely.  Most visits are done discretely with none ever knowing their presence.

King Léopold is offering explorers good amounts of money for maps of the interior of the Western regions of Africa.  Most of the area he is interested in borders the Congo river.

In the Belgian metropolises, Brussels and Antwerp are flourishing cities full with mysteries and intrigues.  The country's location is  a prime spot for spies, assassins, and diplomats to clash covertly in all levels of society.   Agents of the Second Pact and Prussia and England often a at arms discreetly to firmly anchor the country in a camp or the other.  Most of the conflict occurs in the courts and embassy chambers.  However, there are cases of masked men fighting each other in the streets.

For centuries Belgium was a battle field between Catholics and Protestants, French, English, Germans, Spaniards and others.  Many of the Fay have fled the region due to the prominent display of religious symbols.  Those that are left are ones not repulsed by holy symbols or church bells.  Those which remain from the old times are highly resistant to holy symbols (+8 competence bonus to Will saves), or are in submission to the Unseelie Court, who has wide influence in the area.

Denmark
Denmark plays the dangerous game of independence to a narrow margin; in that she refuses to firmly establish which side she plays on.  The government and people still remember being forced to cede Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia.  While the government sides with the Second Compact nations, it has not signed it.  The fear of invasion by Prussia keeps her with a firm stand of neutrality

Historically, Denmark is very close to England, in spite of their naval competition, and very being wary towards Prussia due to sharing a border.  The Crown maintains a very large network spies at great cost to stay alert to the doings of the Prussian government.  Bismarck would like to see the Prussian fleet travel unhindered through the straits to the North sea. 

Currently on the decline, the colonial power of Denmark extends to Asia (Indonesia) and South America (the Antilles, Guyana) and on some area of the African coasts.  But its true power, is the vessels of the large Danish merchants, present in the majority of the ports of New Europe.  Skilled navigators with refined techniques, the Danes have such a reputation that even the British navy employs charts printed in Copenhagen.  With the advent of iron clad ships, the Danish fleet is on the decline as well.  They seek engineering knowledge and resources to build such vessels.

Denmark has taken over many of the roles of Holland, as that country does not exist due to sea separating France and the Germanic states.  Denmark has always defended its independence with almost savagery and is proud to have not been successfully conquered in over ten centuries.

Curiously, the country remains rather poor: it is mainly a nation of fishermen and small farmers.  Industrialization progresses little, and seldom apart from the cities; only the shipyards make watch of a advanced technology.  The largest fortunes are made by merchants, ship-owners, stock brokers, and the Crown.  The Crown has rather high taxes, tariffs, and port fess, that stifle industry and protects embedded merchants.  There are large smuggling operations that operate in the smaller islands.  They bring in trade as well as spies from any nation that will pay them.

The large number of islands and marsh shelter several important colonies of fairies of both Courts. The country's population has learned to fear and respect the Small Folk and prefer to ignore them.  They feel that allowing them to go about their business is better than suffering their wrath.  The country counts only a handful of dwarves, often being employed in the shipyards.  There are no dragons to speak of.  The Danes still fear the dragons enormously after a series of conflicts in the 16th century and avoid dealing with them.

Much like Belgium and Switzerland, Denmark is at a good location for spies to enter a number of countries without having their point of origin known.  It is perhaps more brutal than in Switzerland or Belgium as the Danish Crown with its vast wealth can be fickle with its neutrality if it sees an advantage for accidentally turning in a spy.

Spain and Portugal
The Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal, brothers of the Iberian peninsula have fought and allied with each other over the years.  They are monarchies on the decline with much of their colonial empire lost to other countries. They try to hold to their past glory and the gold of the colonies, but all see their power wither.

During the 19th century, Spain underwent more than its share of loss: multiple independences in Latin America, loss of colonies to the English, failure in its preservation of Catholicism in many parts of the world, and completely missing the role of industrialization in warfare. The loss of power and many harsh political "reforms" has alienated most of the country population.  The country is a hot bed of anarchist activities who look to the Anarchist Karl Marx as a hero.  It is suspected that Marx keeps the World Crime League's headquarters in the country safe from the Guild of Calamitous Intent.

The Monarchy of Spain has suffered through an unprecedented number of crises.  There have been several attempts at coups d'etat most likely funded by Marxists. Queen Isabelle II was forced to abdicate the throne in 1868, following a takeover by the military (the generals Juan Prim and Francisco Serrano lead this).  The throne still remains vacant with Prussia and France trying to place their own candidate on the throne.  The Pope is pressing Amedeo Duke of Aosta for the throne with the backing of Juan Prim.  There has been no success as the Prussians have been using every means they have to disrupt the voting process.  In general confusion, republican ideas continue to gain ground with the monarchy falling out of favor.

Portugal has done a little better than its larger neighbor. She also suffered much from the loss of her colonial empire, and in particular from the independence of Brazil in 1822. She also had to pass through a crisis constitutional and political major but, contrary to Spain, Portugal has managed to survive with little turmoil.

The “Regeneração” Portuguese was started as of the years 1850.   They consist mainly of a pragmatic alliance between conservatives and progressists, they support each other to keep other parties out using pre-arranged and faked elections. The major political figure of the period is the Prime Minister Fontes Pereira of Mello, who has been in office since the year 1850.

But Portugal has suffered from serious economic deficiencies: the loss of its colonies, combined with a weak interior market and the disorders of first half of the 19th century heavily burdened its economy.  The few reforms and technological developments from which the country profits is not enough to lift it from its extreme poverty.  This has helped the Marxist movement to move forward and gain popular support.

Both Spain and Portugal have prepared endeavors to gain land in South Africa.  They seek to gain a footing on the stage of international power, but have fallen short against Great Britain.  They hope that by assisting the natives they can gain a foothold while keeping the English out of South Africa.

Historically, Spain and Portugal are closer to Germany-England alliance than the countries of the Second Pact.  If Bismarck has his say, it is even possible a Prussian prince could take seat on the Spanish throne.  As for Portugal, it has counted on British support in the past and the two nations remain close.  it is possible that the two will have a falling out over Portugal's involvement in South Africa.

The people fairy of the Iberian peninsula are rare and savage. One can hardly be upset with them: these last four centuries, they had to fight against a frightening adversary: enquiry. Even if the official the Church of Rome formally recognized the existence of the Small People and their courts, it is still very loquacious in denouncing them . Below, the dwarf strongholds are with also rare; one finds some modest cities in the Pyrenees, in the north of the country, and a handle of craftsmen -- often foreign -- in the large Iberian cities.

Dragons are rare in both areas.  the main reason for this is the Inquisition.  The Inquisition hunted down both the dragons and all faerie creatures in an effort to rid the world of the ungodly.  Those who have returned to Spain have sided with one of the factions contesting the throne had have grown very rich and powerful.  The wealth and prosperity they gain often clouds the memories they have for the torture some of the kind suffered at the hands of the church.

Spain remains a ground marked by the great social conflicts: the rich are very rich there, and the poor are very poor.  The middle class that capitalism and technology has created in other countries is non-existent in Spain.  Under these conditions, anarchists funded by Marx and his World Crime League have flourished as folk heroes to the poor.  Marx seeks to set up a communist government in Spain as a way to gain power and wealth for himself..

There is incredible amounts of intrigues within the Spanish court.  All countries in Europe vie to place one of its own on the vacant throne of Spain.  All manner of open spy craft and political intrigue occur to put the winner's hands on the kingdom and its last colonies. The peninsula has become a center of high risk, a veritable battlefield of contumacy as forces of the Second Compact, Prussia and its allies, the anarchists of Marx, and the Pope all contend to place a puppet on the throne.


Italy
The country of Italy is newly formed from a variety of disparate states.  There is still conflict, but most is smaller border conflicts between rival lords.  The Italian leaders are King Vittorio Emmanuele II, prime minister Federico Luigi, and general Giuseppe Garibaldi. The majority of the country federated around Victor Emmanuel, king de Sardaigne, and especially around the large Garibaldi general, who pared the Austrians out of the north of the peninsula -- a reverse moreover for the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

Had the French been defeated of 1870 it would have been possible for Italy to quickly finish its unification.  With Prussia defeated at the time of the battle of Königsieg, the Italians were unsure of what to do and fell to infighting.  The Bavarian government, pushed by Tom Olam, to set up a multilateral conference in Nice, in late 1869, so that Napoleon III ends up giving up his claims on Latium. January first, 1870 marks the unification of the Kingdom of Italy.

The Italian nationalist movement, very popular, makes less noise than its German counterpart, because it rests definitely less on one program imperialist. The development of the country is turned towards the interior, and there is extremely to make: Italy of 1870 is still a very late country, especially in the little industrialized South.

International relations

Coldly constituted, Italy has extremely to make with its unit and its internal development to launch out in colonialism. That already passably avoids to him surging discussions with the other powers of News-Europe, and it is not more badly.

In fact, the made kingdom of large efforts to adopt a low profile and a neutrality of good quality within the concert of the European nations. On a side, its relations with two of the powers of the Second Pact, Austria and France, remain tended for historical reasons; moreover, it maintains very positive ratios with Prussia. On another side, it has an unquestionable debt towards Bavaria; moreover, if Victor Emmanuel and the Prussian emperor Guillaume gets along extremely well, it is not at all the same between its Prime Minister Cavour and the Bismarck chancellor. And, beyond these quarrels of people, the Italian policy adapts German territorial ambitions rather badly. An Axis before the hour is thus not with the day order.
Fairies, dwarves, dragons

Catholic area of long time (one wonders well why…), the Italian boot always had a policy rather not very accessible towards the Small People. But the latter liking the place, in general, they settled there in mass -- what gives relations much conflict than elsewhere in Europe.

But one of characteristics of nationalist movement Italian, in particular due to Garibaldi, which one says that it is itself with half fairy, is to have known to integrate in his rows many fairy-like creatures, as well as dwarves and dragons. The agreement was discussed rough, in particular on the industrial development of the country. Altogether, Italy is a place where the fights of influence between the white Court and the Court sinks are wildest: the Italian fairies oscillate between confidence in Garibaldi and its pact and fear for a future dominated by industry and iron.

The dwarves keep their homes in the lower regions of the Alps.  They have traded with the Italians over the years, and have not cared who the leaders of the country are.  They have several small towns and settlements throughout the foothills.  It is rumored that all of these towns are connected by tunnel complexes with the dwarf city Vesuvio Vente.  There are several large mines in the region through which large rail ways are loctated.  It is unknown if the rail ways are able to transport troops as well as ore.  The Costra Nostra have been caught investigating it, and the dwarves have made it clear that they are to mind their own business.

The Dragons of Italy them also contributed to the creation of the new entity, thanks to their considerable material resources. But one should not be mistaken there: those which lined up behind Garibaldi are often young people and very enthusiastic. One counts nevertheless in their rows some former lords, in particular in Sicily and Sardinia, with the reputation -- forgive the pun -- sulfurous and which often still reigns as feudal lords on a superstitious population. Eh yes: far from belonging to large International of the Crime, the Maffia is a business of draconic families…


Russia
The Marxist communists of Russia sees the Dwarven race as the embodiment of Evil Capitalism.  They are plagued with attacks of all sorts depending on the communists taking part.  Most are simple cases of rocks through windows, pestering of themselves and their families, and propaganda to outlaw Dwarfs from the Worker's New World Order (Новый мир работника эаказать {HPMW}).  For now the Dwarfs are not going to the corrupt police, but are using their economic powers, their inborn abilities, and aide from several of Russia's more powerful Fay to stop the attacks.  It is suspected that Marx himself is behind it to further some foul scheme.

Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich is very much involved with the mysticism movement after being introduced to it by his mistress; the talented ballerina Anna Vasilyevna Kuznetsova.  Initially she was not interested in him, but when he to partook in a seance she fell in love with him.  He was only using the seance to gain her affections, and is not wholly behind the movement.  He is currently trying to find a mystic who is able to "revive" his brother Nikolay Milyutin's spirit from the Beyond.  In reality he means to attempt to raise his brother from the dead as they were good friends and both deeply involved with the betterment of the Russian state.  Both of his remaining brother Czar Alexander II is worried over the infatuation with the spirits, and the woman, but is now wondering if the magic will be able to bring back other great persons from Russia's past.


United States of America
The Mary Celeste was found Derelict on December 4, 1872.  The vessel was found near the Azores and the American government blamed the separatist movements in the Azores on it.  The kelpies that live near the Azores are being blamed by anti-fey groups in the American South as well as communist groups in the North.  Those two factions are trying to push the United States into war with Portugal and Spain over supposed attacks. The New York Times is calling for a blockade of all Spanish and Portuguese shipping and traffic through American water.  At this time president Grant is calling for calmer heads and surprisingly a call to discuss matters first hand in New York in the spring of '73.


Many smaller countries dot the New Europa landscape.  the main source books tend to forget about them or just brush them off as smaller players in the Great Game.  Small round of horizon of several European nations of the universe of Castle Falkenstein, somewhat forgotten in the course of road. They have their own place on the geopolitical chess-board; moreover, where the train of the world goes so goes the countries, who is to say which will be still a great power in thirty years? …

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