The French metropolitan territory is located in western Europe. It is further made up of a collection of overseas islands and territories. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the North Sea, and from the Rhine River to the Atlantic Ocean; it is bordered by the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Euskal Herria, Andorra, and Spain.
France is a metahuman friendly country, with no bias toward metahumans. Those who are cybered are considered at best to be amputees to be pitied and at worst seen as dangerous deviants. If you have cyber, it's advisable to keep them covered by clothes. They do accept datajacks, fashionware, etc. and favor bioware over cyberware. Their law is quite strict about weapons and most non-therapeutic magic or cyberware are viewed as possible weapons. In France it is advisable not to conspicuously display magic as it will provoke a fearful fascination.
Political History Edit
- 841-1789—Kingdom of France.
- 1789-1804—First Republic.
- 1804-1814—First Empire.
- 1814-1848—Restoration of Monarchy.
- 1848-1852—Second Republic.
- 1852-1870—Second Empire.
- 1871-1940—Third Republic.
- 1940-1944—French State under German occupation.
- 1944-1947—Provisory Government.
- 1947-1959—Fourth Republic.
- 1959-2029—Fifth Republic.
- 2029-2036—Defense Government.
- 2037-2079—the Sixth Republic.
- 2079—Beginning of the Seventh Republic.
Events of the XXIst Century Edit
- 2008—A meltdown at Cattenom nuclear power plant irradiates Lorraine, Sarre and Luxembourg, creating the SOX.
- 2023—The Mist appears in Brittany.
- 2028—Wallonia becomes a region of France.
- 2029—A military coup d’état ends the Fifth Republic and establishes the Defense Government.
- 2037—Antoine d’Orléans is elected President and prepares the Constitution of the Sixth Republic. Protesting against the reduction of police and military presence, several southern cities practically secede to establish their own security forces. The French Pays Basque joins with Euskal Herria.
- 2039 When the terrorist group Pan-Europa attacks London dome in the summer with a para-viral agent, rumor that the bioweapon came from France is mentioned but is never proven.
- 2043—An earthquake strikes southern France, prompting all devastated cities except Marseille, Nice and Monaco to put en and to their autonomist policy.
- 2050—Corsica is granted independence.
- 2051—Media uncovers the scandal of Marseille illegal experiments on humans.
- 2057—Aurélie de Paladines is elected Présidente of France for the first time.
- 2062—Aurélie de Paladines is re-elected to the position of Présidente for a second term.
- 2064 In the wake of the Crash 2.0, a big underworld war between the Vory and the Mafia in France.
- 2066—Brocéliande Forest becomes a self governing territory under the control of the Korrigan, a group of sapient non-metahumans creatures including pixies and spirits.
- 2070—(December) French military units conduct several attack agains corporate facilities in the SOX area. While the operation reveals later on the existence of a Cabal leading France for decades, along the infamous Project Omen, it does trigger an outcry from the corporate world.
- 2071—To appease the corporate world France donates Lille to the corporations, transforming the city into a corporate enclave (like Manhattan), but it also causes civic unrest and more and more contestation of the nobility's influence on the country.
- 2076 Angélique Rouge, a famous gendarme of Lille, has become a national heroine, seen as the only person to stand to corporate powers. In secret, she goes with her unit to Boston for a training operation under order of Yohann de Kervelec. The dwarf justifies the decision because of threats on her life, but rumors indicate Angélique may have gone to Boston to seek political support from Celedyr for the next presidential election. Regardless, she gets trapped in the lockdown and quickly falls into a comatose state. In France, her absence for months only leads to more unrest. Early in September, the rumors of her death, at the hands of Yohann de Kervelec, trigger riots in Paris. Thanks to the Légion Etrangère and some runners, Angélique is secretly smuggled out of the QZ, and brought back to France, comatose, but alive. Her return spares Yohann de Kervelec a full-blown insurrection, but situation in France remains tense.
- 2077 — In a string of unlucky accidents and natural deaths, many prominent members of the oligarchy die. What remains of the most influencial ones decide to form a new Cabal in order to secretly ally themselves with the corporations, while pretending to be the "last barrier to corporate power". As the conspirators meet at the Chateau de Vincennes in Paris, the plot is exposed by Jacques Hebert , a renown journalist of Ares Global Entertainment (France). This event is nicknamed the Treason of Vincennes and is considered the end of the oligarchy in France.
- 2078 — Following the revelations of the Treason of Vincennes, Section 89 multiplies its attacks against the Sixth Republic by leaking documents proving, over and over again, that the coporations are quietly stopping any potential political reform in France. Unrest grows in the country during the year and, as December arrives, most observer estimate France will fall into complete disarray in a matter of weeks...
- 2079 — (January) Section 89 triggers the Neo-Revolution that overthrows the Sixth Republic. Barely a few days later, the Seventh Republic is formed by president Yohann de Kervelec. This new repubic is a so-called "cyber democracy" where congress is drafted together over the Matrix from the population for a single vote.
The Président de la République, elected directly for a five-year term, is the head of the executive branch. Aurélie de Paladines has been elected in 2057 and re-elected in 2063. She fell ill in 2068 and had to step down, and was replaced by her closest adviser, Yohann de Kervelec, also known to be the leader of the Seer's Guild. Aurélie de Paladines finally died in 2071 and Yohann de Kervelec remained president, for a full term, until 2077, where he, surprinsingly, won again the election against two (corporate-backed) candidates Emmanuel Dassault (son of Dassault CEO and sponsored by Aztechnology) and Laurent Tavernier (French movie star backed by AGE). After the Neo-Revolution in 2079, Yohann de Kervelec has stated he will finish his terms, but will not seek another term in 2084.
The Assemblée Nationale is the main legislative body. The President picks up a Prime Minister, almost always the leader of the majority party in the Assemblée, who then submits their choices for ministries. Since the Neo-Revolution in 2079, this legislative body is defunct and has been replaced by a temporary assembly (one by vote) randomly assembled through the Matrix with the help of the Marianne system.
The presidency and most major ministries are referred to by the name of the building, street or place they’re located in the media and political slang (just like you’d refer to the White House, the Pentagon or Downing Street as if they were persons).
The Elysée then stands for the presidency; Matignon for the Prime Minister; Bercy for the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry; Place Beauvau for the Ministry of Interior; Place Vendôme for the Ministry of Justice (outside of the political context, the Place Vendôme hosts the priciest jewellers in Paris); Denfert-Rochereau or St Vincent for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Rue de Grenelle for the Ministry of National Education; Rue de Valois for the Ministry of Culture. The French Ministry of Defense is the only major ministry so rarely referred to that way. It’s located on Rue Saint Dominique and not at all in La Défense, a corporate district of Paris.
Political History Edit
Up until the early 2070Edit
Because France is being controlled, in the background, by an oligarchy of nobles, it has become a habit to describe its power structure following the one of the Middle Ages with each estate - nobility, church and the corporations.
- First Estate: Nobility - real power behind the president, the country is controlled by several large families of nobles, refered as houses, including : House of Orléans, House of Bourbon-Anjou, House of Rohan (Brittany), and House Rochefort. Surprisingly, the jet-setters and wealthy House of La Rochefoucauld is the family of Aurélie de Paladines.
- Second Estate: French Catholic Church (FCC) - forked from Vatican in the early days of the Awakenings, by supporting, before the Imago Dei reversal, Magic and its users. The relationship with the Vatican is still strained, despite the donation of the Mont Saint Michel to the Order of St. Sylvester. The institution used to support massively the nobility, but a shift is growing since the beginning of the 50's. The FCC has been led by Luc de Berry up until his death in 2066, and leadership has been then passed to his "appointed" successor Amaury de Lubersac - to the great displeasure of the Vatican. Rumors also tie the FCC to the Atlantean Foundation and the Tir Nations - and of course, some people suspected the FCC to be puppeteered by the Black Lodge.
- Third Estate: The Corporations - political and economic elites are deeply intertwined, as anyone attending the Grand Tour can testify. Despite the rewrite of the Loureau Act, corporations still need to negotiate a ten-year renewable authorisation to do business on the territory. Far from protecting France from corporate abuse, this has given a simple way for the megacorporation to keep competition out. Of course, the renewal is just a formality for all French corporations, and Saeder Krupp.
While the military is not mentioned here it worth mentioning that a specific part, the Légion Étrangère is quite famous, and used often by some corporations.
The Omen Project scandals and the Purge (2071 - 2074)Edit
In 2071, Project Omen is exposed and reveals that the French oligarchy has been manipulating the fate of the nation (using divination magic) for decades. The scandal is so big that a demonstration turned into a riot lynches Charles Henri d’Orléans.
While the president Yohann de Kervelec is forced to have the country ratify the BRA a series of investigations is launched into most prominent members of the nobility. This political unrest seriously compromises the political power of the oligarchy, especially as its members elect to use the chaos to mask their own internal vendetta. For the next two years, it’s the “Purge” within its ranks, a shadow war between the younger member of the oligarchy and their elder. The later win the conflicts, not without decimating their own ranks along the shadows of France in the process. In the meantime, the French Catholic Church, also implicated in Project Omen, steps back and loses most of its political power.
The rise and fall of Angélique Rouge Edit
Since the beginning of the decade, the oligarchy power has been on the declined. Since 2071, the corporation has been slicing the country between themselves like a pie and the French government, still led by Yohann de Kervelec has de facto no power. Disgruntled, the French people take it often to the street and the neo-republican terrorist organization, Section89 grows in popularity and boldness. Borrowing the matrix guerilla of the Berliner’s Sprawlguerilla, the organization keeps attacking the government, exposing its complicity with the corporations.
However, early 2076 a hero arises: Angélique Rouge , a Gendarme at Lille in charge of a task force designed to keep the corporate power in check. Despite all odds, she is successful at her job and many suspects she may challenge Yohann de Kervelec during the upcoming election of 2077. However, targeted by “unidentified terrorist”, she withdrew from the public eyes. In fact, she has been secretly sent to Boston for training purpose with her unit (and a squad of Légion Étrangère, sent by Yohann de Kervelec to keep tabs on her).
In August, rumors of her death, killed by Yohann de Kervelec’s goons, spread. Later, Section89 will reveal those rumors were part of a plot of Dassault (Aztechnology the main subsidiary in France) to overthrow the government which almost works. Early September, Yohann de Kervelec is about to resign. However, a team of runners secretly managed to retrieve Angélique Rouge comatose body from Boston Yohann de Kervelec spins her comeback, blaming she has been attacked by “enemies of the country”. Helped by the revelations of Section89 a few weeks later on, the dwarf stays in power.
The Era of the corporation and MarianneEdit
Early 2077, Marianne, a massive Matrix system, akin to Horizon’s own Consensus is deployed by the French government. This powerful system now monitors almost all activities in Paris, turning the city into an oppressive, crime-free and tourist magnet destination. At the same time, Neo-PD, the new security division of Renraku gets the contract to replace the Police National in the capital.
Along with providing security Marianne automate many governments’ services and quickly provide help to French citizens on a daily basis. The success of the project gives a boost Yohann de Kervelec campaign and, to the surprise of many, he is reelected, betting his two opponents, heavily backed by the corporation, Emmanuel Tavernier (Ares) and M.Dassault (Aztechnology).
At the end of the year, what remains of the oligarchy is caught plotting again against its country. This time, they are trying to make a deal with the corporations—despite claiming publicly to be the “last defense against corporate power” for the last year. A secret meeting is exposed by journalist Jacques Hebert at Vincennes. Dubbed the Trahison de Vincennes, this event leads to the arrest and death of the last powerful and influence members of the nobility in France. The power of the oligarchy over France finished to dissolve in the next months.
- United Kingdom—Relations can be described as glacial since the end of Euro-Wars’ conflict with Russia in 2033. This is generally attributed to the late involvement of the UK in the conflict which almost managed to cause a Russian nuclear strike the French have prevented so far. Both countries are generally distrustful of the other’s foreign action in the world.
- Germany—Military and scientific cooperation help maintain good relations, even if they were poisoned for years by the issue of SOX. Another area of disagreement has been the control Saeder-Krupp acquired over the European aerospace, oil and nuclear industries, formerly in the hands of French companies. Each considers the other as a much-needed and unavoidable partner. Germany views France as an economic deadweight, and France considers Germany to have a lack of central political might.
- Tír na nÓg—Foremost ally, due to their common disdain of the Britain, but also because France imports large amounts of the food produced by the country. Both countries are often aligned and have trade agreement and pro European politics.
- Quebec—Relations with Quebec has been a one-way street for most of the fifty last years. Quebec has been trying to entice French investors, but the French government is downplaying its economic and cultural relations with such a repressive country.
- Amazonia—France regards Amazonia as one of its most dangerous enemies since the invasion of Guyana and Surinam, leaving French Guiana enclaved by Amazonian territory.
- Corsica - now independent of France.
- Nice - remained independent after the '43 quakes, filled with old fashioned racist members of the nobility, living surrounded by luxury resorts and casinos and enjoying the tax shelter it provides. The self proclaimed "Prince of the City", Thibault de la Ribaudière is ruling the city unchallenged, despite being rumored to have strong ties to the Human Nation.
- Marseille - an independent city, well under the influence of Lofwyr, but pressure for reintegration into France has been rising in the early 70's.
- Auvergne - a volcanicly active part of France.
- Lille - a corporate enclave since 2072.
- Lyon - known to host the headquarters of the Seer's Guild.
- Brocéliande Forest - a self-governing territory under the control of the Korrigan since 2066.
France is the second largest European economy behind Germany. Major sectors are auto manufacturing, aerospace, food, tourism, transport and services. France was the home of four extraterritorial megacorporations, until one was acquired by Aztechnology:
- Renault-Fiat (which is headquartered in GeMiTo/Italian Confederation),
- Esprit Industries (bought by Aztechnology in 2073),
- Aesa (Aérospatial SA) and ESUS.
Megacorporation Assets in France Edit
Ares Macrotechnology, Aztechnology, Saeder-Krupp, Shiawase, Evo, Zeta-ImpChem and Spinrad Industries have a significant presence in the country. They are described below in order of importance or influence in the country.
Aztechnology has become since 2074 the most powerful AAA on the French territory. On top of Dassault, Carrefour, HBDML and Total (also known as Total-Elf), Aztechnology also own SEPER that produces personal armors used by MET2000 and the Légion Étrangère through the recently acquired Esprit Industries.
However, the corporation barely appears there under its own name, leveraging the recognition of their subsidiary Dassault. This has played well with the nationalists in their corporation and the country, who often see themselves as the legitimate rulers (or saviors) of the country—despite their Aztechnology’s overlord.
Ares Global Entertainment Europe is based in Paris and one of the most powerful corporate presence in the country.Jaques Hebert, the journalist who revealed the Trahison de Vincennes in 2077 is one of the most famous figure of the corporation. The division is run by Troy Carpenter.
Saeder Krupp Edit
Saeder-Krupp owns Arianespace, Hermes Eurocom and Bouygues (the corporation that designed and built the original infrastructure of the SOX in 2010). The south-east suburbs of Paris, Ivry-Sur-Seine and Virty-Sur-Seine are the heart of an extraterritorial enclave, belonging to Saeder-Krupp and nicknamed Dragonland by most parisians.
In France, Horizon runs anything related to tourism in Paris. The AAA has an extraterritorial presence all around Disneyland in Marnes-la-Vallée, which jokingly referred to as Horizon-Vallée de la Marne.
Since 2071 has quietly acquired a lot of local businesses that the corporation has, as always, not rebranded. They also had a lot of allies in the oligarchy that they managed to leverage until the nobility lost all its power. Renraku is most likely to be the fourth most influential megacorporation in France. The most prominent sign of this is the fact that Neo-PD got the contract for Paris despite Ares strong pull in the country.
Spinrad Global Edit
Other noteworthy corporations Edit
Other prominent French companies include Index-Axa, Air France , Schmidt, Jakob and Lei , Stella Copy Ltd  (genetics clinic), Cross European Development , Banco Occidental, France Énergie, Luis Vuitton and Zoé.
Within the nation of France are several active organized crime groups. The two most powerful are the Vory who are strongest in the north and the Milieu Marseillas which is dominant in the rest of France. Other criminal groups active in the rackets within France or with smuggling operations into France are the Triads, the Albanian Fares, the Arabic Al-Akhirab Aswad Mayid, and the Ghost Cartels. The cities of Paris and Marseille both have problems with gangs.
- ↑ Shadows of Europe p.81
- ↑ Shadows of Europe p.82
- ↑ Conspiracy Theories p.93
- ↑ Vice p.75
- ↑ Sixth World Almanac p.93
- ↑ Sixth World Almanac p.97
- ↑ Enclaves corporatistes ?
- ↑ Shadows of Europe p.83
- ↑ Lockdown p.94
- ↑ Tír na nÓg p.54
- ↑ Shadows of Europe p.90
- ↑ Shadows of Europe p.22
- ↑ Shadows of Europe p.25,26
- ↑ The Neo-Anarchist's Guide to North America
- ↑ Emergence p.20
- ↑ Chrome Flesh p.38
- ↑ Shadows of Europe p.23,54
- ↑ Bloody Business p.140
- Shadows of Asia, 81, 153, 195, 210
- Shadows of Europe
- Sixth World Almanac
- Sprawl Survival Guide, 76-77
- Street Magic, 38, 92
- SOX (French only), 155
- Market Panic 163
- The Neo-Anarchist Streetpedia 57
- Néo-Révolution (French Only)
There has also the France Sourcebook, by publisher and ex license-holder Jeux Descartes, which has only been published in real French. It is considered to be non-canonical, however most of it has been kept by the France chapter writers of Shadows of Europe. See France (Descartes).