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La Belle Néo-Révolution

Mesdames, mesdemoiselles, messieurs, bonsoir. For those of you in the back of the classroom who haven’t been paying attention, here is a short recap on what’s been and what is still happening in France. Some of you may not care, for whatever reasons. Some others may not care because they think France is in the small leagues compared to the UCAS and Seattle and that not much is going on over there. They’re dead wrong. The shadows of France are ripe with opportunity, and you’re about to see why.

SYSTEM NOTE: Jackpoint commentary is offset from file contents. Names and terms of interest in commentary are highlighted.
The last file dropped on Jackpoint about France mentioned the consequences of the BRA’s ratification and Lille being turned into a corporate enclave. Those events happened more than ten years ago, but unfortunately there are good reasons for the absence of update since then. The French shadow community has been busy, but that’s just another way to say decimated. Jackpoint lost most of its contacts within France’s shadows. Sim-Eon comes from Seattle but has been living in Berlin for a few years now. He’s got a lot of friends amongst the Walking People and he’s done some jobs in France. Here’s what he wrote about France, dated from the 14th of March 2080. I edited a few things with the help of Is0bel75, one of my contacts amongst the ultras of Section 89. It’s far from perfect but that’s the best you’re going to get.


If you want to understand how France managed to have yet another revolution, you have to go over its recent history. The first historical cause is the reveal to the public of the Project Omen (cf. SOX sourcebook). Despite the seriousness of these accusations, actual prosecution was kept to a minimum and the nobility managed to keep a tight grip on French politics, leaving the president Yohann de Kervelec with little room to act. Even worse, because the military had trespassed on corporate extraterritorial property in the SOX, the Corporate Court decided to sanction the country by forcing France to ratify the BRA.

And to top it all, Lofwyr abandoned de Kervelec, even though they were long-time allies. At this point the Great Dragons Civil War had already begun and Lofwyr, still being Loremaster, was kept busy by other, more pressing matters. This conflict had a very limited impact on the country, save from the Parisian chapter of Humanis which was eradicated in ‘74 after the dragons retaliated. The group, which never had much of an influence in France, did not recover.
Wyrm Watcher

Between 2071 and 2075, corporations throughout the world hurried to grab a piece of this new pie, taking advantage of the diversion created by the Project Omen trials, which did not lead to any real conviction. The true leaders of the Cabal, be they members of the nobility or the French Catholic Church (FCC), were never convicted.

However, the scandal led to a fierce clandestine civil war within the oligarchy. The younger generation, disgruntled by the fact that the old patriarchs were still in command after more than forty years of reign, took the opportunity to rebel. The “Purge” had just began and lasted until the end of 2075. The conflict was kept to the shadows but remained quite violent as the patriarchs resisted more fiercely than what was anticipated. A large number of people amongst the young generation died, and a lot more within the French shadow community. In the end, the Cabal was disbanded, but many of its leaders and prominent members survived and maintained a great deal of influence in the country. In the shadows, a lot of survivors simply retired or became fixers and Johnsons.

Because the corporations gained a great deal of power, the sécurité sociale was drastically cut and plenty of formerly sovereign functions were privatized, which created a lot of tensions and allowed Section 89 to gain a large amount of traction. After the fall of Berlin and the birth of the Sprawlguerilla in 2072, the terrorist group followed the lead of its German counterparts, specifically in the Matrix. More and more hackers and technomancers joined the group until it became a true virtual warmachine. From 2076, the group became public enemy number one in the eyes of the nobility and the corporations but enjoyed growing popular support. Even de Kervelec’s condemnation of their matrix attacks seemed to lack strength and conviction.

Sim-Eon is based in Berlin and is one of the Walking People’s leaders so don’t expect impartial info on his friends in Section 89 and their technos!
First of all, fuck you. Second, yes we know some of them but their organisation is really nebulous. So at best you might know one or two cells but never more.

It’s possible that this very appearance of sympathy towards Section 89, uncalled from a president, combined to the success of Marianne, caused his unexpected reelection in 2077. De Kervelec was far from popular but was the only serious candidate not in the corporations’ pocket, and they tried so hard to undermine him that a lot of voters chose to support the dwarf instead.

This reelection was really surprising. In August of 2076, de Kervelec was not far from being overthrown and a few months later, despite Dassault’s propaganda machine, he’s got the full support of the population and is seen as the “hero of the people”. A completely powerless hero but a hero nonetheless...
Marianne's Genesis
Marianne was created by the Kervelec administration at the beginning of 2077 and was welcomed with much incredulity. This expert system, inspired by the Consensus, was in development since the end of 2071. The concept was simple : to forgo a bit of privacy by allowing Marianne to monitor the population in order to restore safety (in Paris, Marianne’s eye sees everything), social services and bring support to small French businesses thanks to budgetary optimisations. The price can seem quite high but for a large number of French citizens Marianne was the first good piece of news since at least a decade.

Marianne was only just created that the Corporate Court announced the Corporate Audit. Even though there’s no direct link, this is still considered as the first in a series of events that led to the Néo-Révolution two years later.

When Marianne was announced, the grip of foreign corporations on the country was growing stronger and causing a great deal of discontent within the population. The oligarchy, despite their weakened and disorganised state after the Cabal’s disbanding was still strong enough and most of the nobles were posing as a shield against the corporations, to the detriment of a powerless de Kervelec. Their wealth primarily came from A or AA rated French corporations, and their new position was mostly opportunistic. Fearing the loss of their assets in the corporate scuffle that followed the Corporate Audit’s announcement, the oligarchs returned to their old ways and began to plan for a new Cabal to be formed, but this time in alignment with corporate interests. This new plot, revealed to the public near the end of 2077 and known as the “Betrayal of Vincennes” was the last nail on the oligarchy’s coffin.

The Audit was not the sole reason for the formation of this new Cabal. A lot of oligarchs amongst the most influentials were victims of unlikely accidents while others were simply assassinated by Section 89. This certainly played a part.
Fleur-de-Lys sent me another document about those events, but its contents are a bit controversial so I won’t add them to this section.
Why did the corps not suffer as much as the oligarchy from this “Betrayal of Vincennes”?
Their involvement was less direct. They sent some representatives while the nobles came in person. Additionally, they were doing usual corps business and nobody was expecting better from them, whereas the nobility was pretending to be the “ally of the people”.

The rest of the world watched, convinced that the country was going to fall into chaos. The collapse of one of the main economic powers of the New European Economic Community (NEEC) would have had dire consequences, even for the corporations, which is why de Kervelec received the unexpected support of the Corporate Court and Saeder-Krupp to try and stop the insurgency. The president announced the dissolution of the 6th Republic and the writing of a new constitution. The Néo-Révolution’s supporters just had their main demand answered and the insurgency quickly died down, which led the corps to believe that the problem was solved.

Nobody saw it coming when the dwarf established a new cyberdemocracy in record time. The new constitution, which used a few ideas Section 89 had been campaigning for for some years, was revealed while the scars from the riots were still visible in the streets. It was approved by the citizens via Marianne immediately after without leaving enough time for the corporations to act. A month later, the “cyberassembly” passed its first law and re-established universal healthcare with the help of a new corporate tax. De Kervelec announced a few months later that he would not be running for president in the next election of 2084. A new France had just been born and the dwarf considered he had done his part.

Of course, the Corporate Court didn’t take kindly to this little stunt and the corporations are not done yet. For the time being however, they refrain themselves from intervening overtly. The Néo-Révolution cost them dearly and almost blew up in their faces so they are all too happy that things have calmed down and allowed them to get back to business.


Cyberdemocracy or Dictature 2.0?

It’s difficult for me to get a clear picture of what’s going on with this cyberdemocracy from Berlin, but opinions seem to be really contrasted. The general population is for now quite satisfied and the majority of the anarchs are jubilating to see Section 89’s propositions adopted but a small fringe of the shadow community sees this a dictatorship with just another label. The only thing people agree on is that de Kervelec managed this change of political regime in record time. I opened this section to comments so that everyone can say their piece, it’s up to you to make your own opinion.

Whatever your opinion may be thought, what’s clear is that France isn’t joking around with illegal gear, whether it be guns, ‘ware or cyberdecks. And in Paris, of all those are tough to keep away from Marianne’s gaze. France delivers very few open carry licenses; to be crystal clear, this isn’t the Far West like in Berlin or the UCAS, and very few people are walking around with guns on themselves. Stunning weapons are tolerated but nonetheless attract the attention of Neo-PD cops. Most combat augmentations are classified as illegal and must be deactivated.

During all those years of struggle at Section 89 I never gave up but I also never dreamt of such a victory ! The new constitution reuses almost word for word our propositions and finally gives the power back to the people. Ciao to the nobles! Marianne allows any citizen to propose a law and to give their opinion on any suggestions. When a proposition is popular enough, Marianne puts up a cyberparliament composed of a few thousands of citizens selected at random and appointed to vote on this law proposition only. Everything goes quite fast to prevent corporate interests from lobbying. The government simply handles the application of the voted laws.
Open your eyes! Don’t you see that Marianne controls everything, from what is submitted to a vote to the very results? Those who control Marianne have full power and your cyberdemocracy is just a plebiscite factory.
You’ve gone full paranoia omae. Everything's transparent so get on the Matrix and watch the debates before criticizing. You’ll see that Marianne only provides technical support, she explains the most complex points of a law proposal and that’s all.
I don’t believe it. I’ve analyzed the results of several votes and I’m persuaded that the drawing of the cyberparliament is rigged. This cyberdemocracy is just a new dictatorship and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an AI involved.
A new dictatorship whose first law is a tax on corporate interest to re-establish universal healthcare? Who’s providing us with the hope of a fairer system and the return of the French exception? You’re going after the wrong target.
That’s horrible, it keeps reminding me of 'Deus. This is just the Renraku Arcology hell reproduced on a larger scale in Paris!
It’s not the first time I hear someone saying that Marianne might be an AI, but there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that this system is an artificial intelligence. Pulsar and even Sojourner were authorised to analyse the system and confirmed that it isn’t an AI.
And I stand by it, despite my initial skepticism. I was invited by de Kervelec’s administration to verify the “non-conscious” state of the system and nothing points to the contrary. However, I must admit that Marianne’s examination left me with an unpleasant feeling. Marianne is lobotomized by design and is thus condemned to never emancipate...but nothing is preventing the system from being controlled, one way or another.
There’s no need for an AI to control the country. Some people can ask Marianne to predict the outcome of a vote with a very thin margin of error. Marianne then selects the cybercitizens in order to make sure that the law is voted with a short majority. The illusion of debate is perfect and the dictature grows under a mask of virtue.
Chromed Accountant
The first liberticide measures have already been voted. The budget law has created a state advertising agency that sells the citizens’ private data collected in the name of the sécurité sociale’s efficiency to the the corporations. The cyberparliament gave to the corporations the means to track us down for a meager lowering of taxes. Marianne, it’s the servitude leading the people, a tool of de Kervelec’s dictatorship. We will tear it down like we tore down the oligarchy.

The Time of the Corporations

The Néo-Révolution happened after ten years of collusion between the nobility and the corporations. Despite the strong measures taken and the panic it caused to the megas and within the business circles, it didn’t manage to erase a decade worth of influence accumulated by the corporations in the country. They can whine but they’ve rarely fared this well in France.

The corporate landscape in the country has changed a lot since the sanctions imposed by the Corporate Court in 2071. Before, Saeder-Krupp and local corporations were running the show. This time is long gone and the corporate powers that be have finally taken over the “dernier village gaulois”.

Sorry, Sim-Eon loves obscure XXth century references.

The way that pie was distributed did surprise a lot of people though. Few people expected Aztechnology to become the most influential megacorp in France. The giant from Latin America was well-place however since they already owned Dassault and French retail groups like HBDML and Carrefour. You won’t find any Stuffer Shack over here but plenty of Carrefour Market, and they’re still owned by the Azzies.

It’s the war with Amazonia that was a game-changer : in order to support the war effort, Aztechnology bought Esprit Industries in 2073. Combined with Assault, this gives them a chokehold on the military-industrial complex in the country. This may only have been a side effect, but Aztechnology certainly found a way to benefit from this situation.

Don’t trust your old habits though because in France, Aztechnology doesn’t have the same face. No latino Johnson with a pseudo-aztec name, no Leopard or Jaguar or whatever-feline-name Guards. Dassault represents the megacorp here, which means you’ll instead have to deal with some white dude with a nobiliary particle from an old French family with a long military tradition. He’ll look down on you and act as if the whole country was his personal property, all the more because since the Cabal fell, Dassault has a tendency to think that their interests are the same as France’s interests, and reciprocally. The company considers that the new republic is bound to be short-lived and replaced with the “Dassault system”.

Despite their illusions of grandeur, Dassault and the other French subsidiaries are entirely subservient to Aztechnology, and the mega holds a lot of influence over them. For example, after taking part in the Az-Am war, a lot of cadres from Dassault and Esprit Industries did not only acquire some real conflict experience but proficiency in two of the Azzies favorite instruments : propaganda and blood magic. It’s quite blatant if you closely follow French medias : whenever a scandal involving them is made public, the responsibility is pinned on the government or some other rival corporation. Even with damning revelations, Dassault rewrites the story in a few weeks with an alternative version where they are free of any responsibility. Thankfully, the use of blood magic is more discreet than that since most subsidiaries know that this practice isn’t really well perceived outside the mega. They use it less ostensibly but with added ferocity since nobody must be able to reveal the true nature of their magic.

Just behind Aztechnology is Ares, although technically we’re talking about their subsidiary, Ares Global Entertainment (AGE). In the UCAS, people are used to good old gun-toting tacticool branded Ares, but in France guns are not very common and the market is controlled by Dassault (which tolerate the competition from Monobe International for some reason). After Aztechnology bought Esprit Industries, Ares Europe completely changed their strategy and decided to bet on the media and trideo industries. Horizon may own Hollywood but AGE owns the French independant movie industry. The BRA’s signature allowed the corp to buy a lot of studios, trideo networks and newspaper such as Le Monde (run by Jacques Hébert, who made public the “Betrayal of Vincennes”). This way, Ares can diss out Neo-PD under the cover of impartial journalism and can develop R&D labs for original content that could help the competition with Horizon in the North-American market.

The third corporation to come out winning of this “French rush” is Renraku. As usual, the corp followed its strategy of buying large quantities of local businesses while keeping the local brands whenever possible. Of course, behind those fronts Renraku is still in control and even managed to replace the police de Paris by Neo-PD since 2076.

The security subsidiary of Renraku excels in the delicate art of being a “non-threatening and friendly with the tourists” police. Perfect for the Ork Underground in Seattle and for a city like Paris visited by millions of tourists every year. Don’t think they won’t kill you just like Knight Errant if you get caught though!
Wait, how did KE not get the Paris contract? Isn’t Ares number two in France?
Yeah but people AGE didn’t want to see “Damien Knight’s cowboys coming to play rodeo on the Champs-Elysées” according an internal memo. But rest assured, Ares’ security subsidiary is still there with their Hard Corps troops near the SOX.
Note that the Red Samurai have a strong presence in their Lille arcology. They seem tied to some data analysis operations coming from Paris. I couldn’t manage to discover what it was but it seems like this initiative is coming directly from Japan...
Mr. Bons
Some say that Renraku is worried that Marianne might become a new Deus but on a country’s scale, which could explain this initiative. If this happens though, I don’t know if Renraku is going to play heroes or just put a cap in the Republic’s ass for theft of intellectual property!

Finally, the last megacorporation with a strong presence in France is also the newest to become an AAA: Spinrad Global. This two-headed monster born from the alliance between Spinrad Industries and Global Sandstorm is the Johnny Spinrad’s opportunity to come back in the country after he was kicked out, but their presence is very discreet, for now. Because Johnny still has a bad rep in France, the mega is currently operating through subsidiaries like Javert & Cie (the corp that franchised Urban Brawl) or Trompe-L’oeil. On the other hand, Global Sandstorm has a lot of assets, mainly in the energy and oil markets, though they also stay discreet: rumours are going around about their alleged ties with the New Islamic Jihad. All in all, if your employer seems unknown or not one of the big players, they might work for Spinrad Global.

If those four megas are on the top of the corporate ladder in the country, the others are not far behind. Saeder-Krupp still has a strong presence in France, especially via their subsidiary, Bouygues. Horizon has their headquarters in Marne-La-Vallée (where Disneyland Paris’ at) and deals with everything related to tourism. MCT, now the first of the megas, clearly has plans for France, even moreso since the situation has calmed down after the Néo-Révolution. EVO is following very closely the development of the transhuman movement in Paris and Wuxing is present in every port and railway station in the country (the mega made use of the population of chinese and vietnamese origin in the country). It doesn’t matter what corporation, they all have interests in France.

The French Touch

A shameful waste of an opportunity for a cheeky reference. ► Dragon
🤫💢 ► Panopticon

Even though the megacorporations rose to prominence in France during the past few years, several local corporations have managed to survive by collaborating with the newcomers : Aérospatiale (Aesa) is doing contracting work for Ares Space while 10% of ESUS is still owned by Saeder-Krupp. Conversely, some have been absorbed like OM Media (from Marseille) finally bought in 2077 by Horizon when the mega was looking to consolidate its assets before the Corporate Audit.

This Audit also caused the banding together of most A and AA-rated French corporations in an alliance much like the Pacific Prosperity Group, nicknamed the “French Touch”. This project was initiated by Index-AXA in 2077 with ESUS and Asea joining soon after. The next year, it was the turn of France Energie, Véolia and even Foçëa (who runs the Marseille Grid) to join the alliance. In 2079 the French Touch was reinforced by the luxury industry including L’Oréal (a Zeta-Imp-Chem subsidiary) and Louis Vuitton, several construction corps (with Valeo, Vinci, Saint-Gobain, Air Liquide) and some from the tourism industry (in particular Michelin, a Renault-Fiat subsidiary and the only competitor of Horizon outside of Paris). Curiously, the matrix corporations (Cap-Atos, Lagardère-Publicis and Vivendi) joined last near the end 2079, probably because of the panic caused by the Néo-Révolution.

The Sodexo group didn’t join the French Touch since it was bought by Taco Temple.
Plan 9
What. ► Dragon
🤫💢‼️ ► Panopticon

Theoretically, the entity formed by this alliance is almost as powerful and diversified as a megacorporation, but only in theory. Its members do not have the same level of integration as a megacorporation, do not possess half the armed forces of the smallest mega and are decades away from being able to contend for the AAA rating, assuming that the French Touch even survives the internal conflicts that begin to appear now that the Audit nears its end.

Given its nature, the French Touch is extremely diverse but is especially active in the fashion industry, food production, quality restoration and, of course, wine production. The alliance often butts heads with Aztechnology, and the French Touch’s marketing departments don’t hesitate to use the recent food shortages the Big A had to face to their advantage.

Section 89

France gets its lot of terrorist attacks from the usual suspects like TerraFirst! or the New Islamic Jihad but most of them still come from Section 89. This néo-républicain revolutionary group completely changed in ten years. This group, created by far-left activists (including former members of Black Fire), was at first a small terrorist group without any organization striking against the nobiliary oligarchy and the corporations. But in 2072, the Sprawlguerilla in Berlin inspired them a new model of organization and a new modus operandi. Multiple cells inside Section 89 began to use the Matrix to coordinate their actions and instead of bloody, unpopular terror attacks, they chose to hack the corporations and the oligarchy in order to expose their dirty little secrets. Deckers and technomancers massively rallied Section 89 and are now acting as head of most cells within the organization.

The Project Omen and the BRA’s ratification played a major part in the growth of Section 89 which culminated in the Néo-Révolution of 2079, in which it acted as the catalyst of revolutionary violence. Section 89 now enjoys a wide support from the population and seem to have dictated the terms of the new cyberdemocracy. Some revolutionaries see in the new constitution and Marianne’s deployment a victory almost undreamt of. They continue to campaign within the framework set by the system: the mariannistes sections support the bills they publish on AGORA (the official discussion forum used by Marianne to do its legislative shopping) with intense propaganda.

Others think that they were duped and used by de Kervelec. Those ultras dismiss the new constitution and pursue their fight with more radical means, starting with matrix attacks from minuscule enclaves based on the collectivist utopia model near the corporate grounds, in Nanterre and Saint-Denis. They foresee in data collection the prelude to an authoritarian or even totalitarian state. The skeptical ones think that the votes are rigged, the paranoiac ones that Marianne is becoming a singularity, but it’s not the most widespread theory.

Organized Crime

Shortly after the Crash 2.0, the French underworld was rocked by a bloody conflict between the Mafia and the Vory, which kept on going with the Tempo crisis in ‘72 and even after. It wasn’t until Marianne’s deployment, which created a whole other lot of problems for the two syndicates to deal with, that the mob war began to die down. This ten-years-old secret war allowed another, previously unknown crime outfit from Outre-Mer to rise to the top of the game: the Maison de Saint-Joseph, which was previously a gang of obeahmen from French Guyana and Cayenne.

Les Misérables
This gang isn’t really called that way, it’s just a nickname. Just to be clear, with Marianne’s surveillance Parisian gangs are not Halloweeners, far from it. If you want to make a profit, you have to learn subtlety and how to blend in the crowd and this is where those “misérables” thrive. They’re a network of teens and young adults that have mastered the art of blending into the crowd. Those kids understand how Marianne works and they’re very good at playing it cool in front of the surveillance cameras. Let’s say you have to drop off some coke for a Saeder-Krupp exec at the coffee shop Les Deux Magots: one of them tries to do some kickflip on a skate and “falls” a few meters from where the client is sitting and the exec, being a good citizen and all, comes to help him to his feet. The kid slips him the dose of coke and Marianne doesn’t know any better. They’re very good at smuggling illicit cargo out of Paris and pickpocketing some tourist’s high-end commlink. Their strength is in their methods of communication: they chat overtly on the Matrix but only through coded and otherwise harmless messages, which prevents Marianne from tracking them. And lastly, they make sure to never do a delivery in one setting. One of the kids drop the goods in a safehouse right before entering Paris, another one picks it up and gets it closer to the drop-off location and a third one finishes the delivery. Tracking the whole network and getting back from the clients to the suppliers becomes a true challenge.

The head of the syndicate, “Docteur Colbert”, leads the outfit from the Caribbean Islands and manages to be on excellent terms with the Zobop. Their perimeter of action was first limited to small contraband, primarily centered around the art black market in France with some reagents smuggling from Amazonia on the side. But those activities have grown in scale since the 70’s and Maison gained a lot of influence in Paris, especially after the Vory and the Mafia left the capital. They took advantage of the void left by their competitors and diversified their activities to include prostitution, awakened and mundane drug traffic, protection racket and extortion. The Maison de Saint-Joseph stays clear from any Matrix-related criminal activities to avoid Marianne’s all-seeing eye but does not suffer from this, for several reasons : first, the outfit follows the voodoo tradition and prefers the use of magic to that of technology, which makes them way less visible in the eyes of Marianne. Second, they formed an alliance with Les Misérables, a gang of kids that mastered the art of fooling the surveillance system in Paris and became the syndicate’s main distribution network in the capital. Finally and what sets them apart from other criminal outfits is that most of their hideouts are located in the catacombs, which makes it all the more difficult for Marianne to track them.

The “Milieu Marseillais” and smallest member of the Alta Commissione is in a constant struggle to stay at the top of Marseille’s underworld and to expand their influence to the rest of the country since the city was reintegrated into France’s territory in 2073. Unfortunately for them, the syndicate has suffered a few setbacks in the last few years. Don Daniel Martinez had to take the lead in the outfit when his predecessor, Pascal Angeloni, was shot dead. His strategy seemed to bear fruit since the Mafia had managed to successfully oust the Vory from Paris but his victory was short-lived after Marianne’s implementation and the arrival of Neo-PD in the capital.

Their sworn enemy, the Vory, still retains a great deal of influence in the country as a whole and almost entirely owns the criminal underworld North of Paris. After Marianne’s implementation, they became experts in smuggling all kinds of goods to the disenfranchised SINless in the Zone. Without the Vory, the people living there would lack everything (food, weapons, medicine, etc.). Still, it’s no charity work, and the Vory sell their goods at a high price and are not very popular amongst their clients.

The last player in the French underworld is the Corsican Union. The island is independent from the rest of the country since 2050 and the syndicate, still very clan-like, runs the show under the leadership of Guillaume Bonaparte, who’s not getting any younger. Everybody is wondering who is going to take his place, and even though the old man isn’t dead yet, the fall of the oligarchy cost him some precious allies.


The French Catholic Church

When the Project Omen was made public in ‘71, the French Catholic Church (FCC) was a major political force. It was compromised during the scandal much like the oligarchy but contrary to the nobles, its members almost immediately gave in. Not in any official way nor in court of course, but the FCC withdrew from the media's focus, which was perceived as a “mea culpa”. The truth is that its real masters had decided to regain control of the Church to serve their purposes only. The Black Lodge wasn’t interested in French politics anymore and thus simply withdrew the FCC from the stagefront.

The Black Lodge has infested the FCC since their very founding, and the artifacts rush coupled with the Great Dragons Civil War only made it worse. Their influence soon turned into absolute control. Amaury de Lubersac, Cardinal of France, is in all likelihood an important member of the Black Lodge, and so is Bishop Siméon of Clermont-Ferrand.
Plan 9

The Black Lodge’s grasp on the FCC has worsened its relationship with the Vatican, which had not been in a very good shape since the schism. From the Mont Saint-Michel, the Order of Saint-Sylvester is leading surveillance operations on the Manus Dei, their FCC counterpart, which greatly displeases their new leader, Luc de Montmirail.

Note that Montmirail is not a member of the Black Lodge. They still helped him and his career, even though he doesn’t have a good relationship with Bishop Siméon because he’s very loyal to the FCC and to Lubersac. Bishop Siméon’s influence theoretically extends only to Clermont-Ferrand, but the Black Lodge is very interested in this specific area, which in return gives him a good amount of political power in the Church, which is not to the liking of Lubersac.

The Black Lodge has been around under many forms since millenias. One of their previous incarnations was an important supporter of the nazi regime and took advantage of their exactions to gather a number of occult artifacts and cursed books. I believe that the Black Lodge, more specifically in France, is looking to get their hands on those lost treasures. The Ordo Maximus seems to be following the same leads, which often leads to conflict between the two organizations and the runners they employ.
Plan 10

The Ashes of the Oligarchy

After the Betrayal of Vincennes, the most influential nobles in the political scene disappeared. Any survivors with an appetite for power sought refuge under the protection of the corporations. The others are content with their luxurious way of life and stay away from politics and business. Marie-Claire d’Orléans is the icon of this nobility without any ambition. She’s now the young matriarch of her family but is better known for taking part in the Grand Tour and her everchanging physical appearance than her political views.

Page last modified on June 04, 2020, at 01:02 AM