|Federated Kingdom of Prance
Fédérés Royaume de la Prance
|Recognized languages||Equestrian, Germane, Roamanian|
|Ethnic groups||Unicorn, Earth Pony|
|-||King||Poignard d'Argent de la Prance|
|-||Prince||Hallebarde Argent de la Prance|
Set in into the Northwestern coast of the Equestrian continent, Prance is a deeply forested region settled by the descendants of members of the Unicorn and Earth Pony tribes who broke away from the ponies who would found Equestria. Open land is sparse in Prance, as much of the region is covered in densely packed forests of massive redwood trees.
The Significant majority of Fansie lands are densely wooded. Because of this, (while they will never want for lumber) building and farming space are precious. Most open land in Prance is reserved for farmland and Fansie architecture learned to factor the natural landscape into the infrastructure of towns and cities.
Even with the land divided in this way, Fansie farmland was unable to sustain the burgeoning population during the nation's early days, and as a result the ponies of Prance developed a trade of hunting a sub-sentient species of indigenous deer for food.
Prance's northern border is drawn by the scar of the Northern Wastes, and its cool climate reflects this. Fansie architecture uses large amounts of wood (typically from the region's local redwoods) and stone to create sturdy homes built into the landscape and designed to be easily warmed and kept that way. Most homes in Prance are decorated with strong, wooden furniture as well as using the pelts, bones, and antlers of the deer still used as Prance's primary food source.
Founded shortly after the formation of Equestria, the original settlers of Prance originated from the ignoble mission of protecting the Unicorn monarchy. A large faction of the Unicorn tribe remained behind and founded a nation of their own much closer to their ancestral homelands. These ponies would soon come across a lost tribe of Earth ponies who were brought into the new land as peasantry.
Prance retained its historical monarchy despite the change in its demographic, and all standing Lords in the kingdom would remain unicorns even as Earth ponies overtook them in terms of population numbers. The monarchy would never come into question until a series of mineshafts were discovered in southern Prance. From The Ghost Mines came the Jet Crown, and with the jet crown rose the Black Prince. The madness that overtook the Fansie Prince spread its dark influence across the nation, only coming to an end following the death of the Black Prince at the blades of a coalition of regional lords led by the Prince's own son. The Jet Crown (never worn by the Prince himself) was placed on display within the Royal Museum in Pearis. The title of King fell to the Black Prince's son, who would rule fairly until his passing, whereupon his daughter was named queen.
A rebellion in the southern regions led to the foundation of the neighboring nation Germaneigh. The Fansie crown refused to officially recognize the sovereignty of Germaneigh, even after the manors of the ruling lords were burned. For decades, Fansie maps would include a significant portion of southern territory which the King no longer controlled. The two nations would proceed to clash repeatedly. Germaneigh saw these as a grab for territory, while Prance's King still chose to see them as rebellions. Despite the lack of gravity the King lent the wars, ultimately Germaneigh was always pushed back by the strength of the local Lords.
It wasn't until the early 6th century CYP that Germaneigh truly gained a proper hold in its mother nation, successfully securing all three of the southern regions of Prance whose remaining bulk made up Germaneigh's original territory. The Fansie military ranks were broken and Germane troops began pouring through to occupy Fansie territory. When the enemy forces set up their primary base camp in the town of Clairville, subjugating the local residents, then common pony Arcturus rallied the ponies around the town to take up arms and expunge the Germane forces from the town.
After his initial success Arcturus pushed onward instead of waiting for the military to restructure itself, taking the most able colts of his town into the surrounding villages, gaining more support with each town successfully liberated.
By the time the Fansie military arrived, Arcturus and his militia had successfully routed the Germane forces back into Germaneigh, barricading the roads behind them to force any attempted movement into the notoriously treacherous Blackmist Forest.
This final war drew a hard national border at the treeline of Blackmist Forest and forced the King of Prance to finally recognize Germaneigh as a sovereign nation. The remains of the three captured southern regions would be reformed into a single, large region set primarily in the Blackmist Forest to be named Blackmist March. The King chose to honor the stallion who had likely saved the crown by naming Arcturus Marquis of Blackmist and granting him the title of Arcturus de Chevalier.
While it has never been expressly forbidden for Earth ponies to be granted noble status, none was ever granted the honor until Marquis Arcturus de Chevalier founded an order of knights specifically to serve his newly established region. Maison Fer Doré pointedly ignored Prance's noble tradition of bloodlines and instead created a house of low noble knights from the lost of Blackmist's streets, including Earth ponies. The Marquis came under fire from rival Lords, but with the raw power emanating from the new region, nopony was willing to challenge him.
Blackmist's progressive ideals have taken some root throughout Prance over the centuries since Arcturus de Chevalier, but there has also been backsliding. The nation of Prance remains in a precarious position.
Fall of the Crown Edit
In the year 1035, Prince Hallebarde Argente de la Prance married the former Marquise Alicia de Chevalier and brainwashed her with the Jet Crown. He would then proceed to murder his mother and father to take the throne for himself. King Hallebarde Argente's reign was a short but brutal one. At the behest of the Queen whispering in his ear, Argente called ponies from all over Prance to the palace of Yahim. Some would be asked to swear to stand by their king, some would never leave Yahim again for good or ill. Many simply never arrived in the capital, their carriages and escorts disappearing along the road to the capital which had become so much more treacherous in the months following the coronation. Many Fansie houses found themselves with more pliable family heads. Some houses were left with only foals to rule in their late parents' stead, and a select few would see their noble bloodline die out.
When the Marquise de Chevalier, Queen Alicia's own brother Garret, still a colt of 15, was summoned to the capital to take audience with the king, he refused at the behest of advisers both local and foreign. Argente declared the Marquise of treason and declared him stripped of land and title, but after suffering through his reign very few were willing to throw their lot in with the young king, and after a short civil war, Hallebarde Argente and Alicia would find themselves hiding behind the walls of Yahim waiting for the coming siege.
With the help of the lord of Ash Peaks, Garret de Chevalier was able to acquire a new form of siege weaponry which used firesalt powder imported from his own Blackmist March to create artillery. At the behest of his advisers in Maison Fer Doré, and unwilling to waste lives and time on a lengthy siege of the city, Garret ordered the old capital destroyed by artillery bombardment. The hail of shells would last for a night and most of a day, and by the end, the palace was a mass of rubble swirling down into Sentinel Lake and the Witch Bog beneath. Some structures on the outskirts of the capital would survive the bombardment, but Yahim was a ruin and those few who survived the shelling would soon abandon it. Though their bodies could never be found after the shelling, King Hallebarde Argente and Queen Alicia were presumed dead.
With the king dead and no heir to the throne, Garret de Chevalier gathered the rulers or the Fansie provinces for a conclave to determine how to handle the situation. Garret proposed that his overthrow of the old king proves his leadership potential, a subtle reminder to his opposition that Blackmist still controlled the greatest of Prance's military might, including the Ash Peak artillery, which had been returned to Blackmist in case they should have need of them.
Prance is a federated monarchy, and ultimately ruled by a King or Queen. However, most of the actual direct power falls into the hooves of local lords. The Kingdom is divided into ten smaller regions ruled over by nobles of varying rank and stature. Each Lord is responsible for maintaining their region's military force and tasked with defense of the kingdom should she ever need it. Both the youngest and the largest of all these regions in terms of both physical size and military might is Blackmist March, a region tasked to the Marquise de Chevalier which encompasses the entire southern region of Prance, covering every part of the Fansie/Germane border.
Regions of Prance Edit
The central-most region of Prance, Ricce contains the royal capital of Yahim which rests on the bank of Sentinel Lake above the largest waterfall on the known continent. Despite being home to the royal family, the day-to-day governing of Ricce is handled by the Duke LeCascade from the regional capital of Pearis.
Marquise de Chevalier
Encompassing most of Prance's western border and all of its land borders with Germaneigh, Blackmist is the second highest altitude region after Glacierkeep to the north. Blackmist is the largest of the Fansie regions and contains a relatively diverse populace. Most residents of Blackmist are members of a local militia sworn to rise at the call of the Marquis de Chevalier who rules Blackmist from Maison Chevalier in the mountains outside the regional capital.
Located in the northwest of Prance, Glacierkeep is the highest altitude region of Prance and is bordered on the north by the Frozen Wastes. Glacierkeep is one of the largest provinces by geography, but one of the smallest in terms of population. Largely consisting of earth ponies, the populace of Glacierkeep are hardy and solitary, typically living in small villages of six or seven families in domociles cut from the walls of the region's cliffs. The lord of the region, the count Terenis was traditionally an Earth Pony and ruled from a fortress carved from a glacier for which the region whas named. Because of its topography, the region is only accessible from Blackmist or Whitewood.
Situated in the central northern basin of Prance, Whitewood is populated roughly equally by unicorn and earth ponies and contains very few cities. The ponies of Whitewood are a suspicious lot, and prefer to isolate themselves in villages deep in the dense, typically snow-packed forest. Whitewood has the smallest population of any Fansie territory, though there are legends that speak of once mighty cities hidden deep within the forests, retaken by the land.
Located in the northeastern corner of Prance, the Ash Peaks take their name from the high level of volcanic activity in the region which typically leaves the entire area blanketed in ash. The locals used this volcanic activity to their advantage, learning to harness its energy to forge greater metals and build greater machines. The military academy founded within the Ash Peaks draws some of the greatest tactical and inventive minds in the art of war in all of Prance, and is responsible for most significant advances in Fansie military technology. Notoriously secretive and distrustful, the Academy developed a long-standing rivalry with the Witch Bog's University of Willow's Watch. This rivalry would prevent any potential cooperation between the two schools, setting the nation's technological advances back years at a time.
The territory south of Ricce, resting at the base of the waterfall beneath Yahim. The Baron Willowcrest was only given his land and title after contructing his capital, Willow's Watch, and proving that it would be the perfect location from which to assault the capital from below. The lowest altitude of any Fansie region with much of the land actually being below sea level, the Witch Bog is largely comprised (as its name would suggest) of bogs and wetlands fed by Ricce's Sentinel Lake. Much like Germaneigh, the marshy terrain necessitated the construction of cities with quarried stone and firm foundations. Most of the stone used to build the oldest cities in the Witch Bog was quarried in what would eventually become the Germane stone quarries, and the architecture of the Witch Bog would form the basis of Germane architecture.
It is unknown what caused the initial militarization of Prance, as most records from the time have been destroyed, but most scholars attribute it either to civil war or some form of peasants' revolution. Regardless, Prance has been a strongly militaristic nation since even before the secession of Germaneigh and the subsequent wars which color foreign relations between the two nations to this day. A period of mandatory military service is enforced in many regions of the country, and most cities and towns will typically maintain a dedicated civilian militia.
A strong military ethic for a nation who hasn't seen heated military action since Arcturus de Chevalier pushed Germaneigh out of the territory which the king gave him as Blackmist March.
Prance is the closest of the modern Equine nations to the Frozen Wastes from whence all pony-kind originally migrated. Their population, even today, is nearly devoid of Pegasus Ponies. Because of these combined factors, Prance has a cool, damp climate.
Prance is deeply forested, making good farming land sparse, and as a result the ponies of Prance had to learn to make due with less.
Fansie cuisine is known for three traits which it developed from this necessity.
- Small Portions; Fansie ponies make due with less.
- Extremely Flavorful Cuisine; Herbs and spices are plentiful in Prance's forests, and because they must make due with less, Fansie ponies have compensated by making their food as flavorful as possible.
- Omnivorous; Prance is the only Equine nation to have nationally adopted eating meat. Farming land is sparse, but hunting land is plentiful, and so Fansie ponies adopted eating meat as a matter of necessity, though they continue today as a matter of culture.
As a direct result of their omnivorous diet, Fansie ponies have evolved to have sharp, fang-like canines to assist in eating meat. Though these vary in size, it is rare to see a full-blood Fansie pony with no fangs at all.
In more recent years, the Fansie government has come under flak from a number of foreign influences in countries with a high population of intelligent Deer, who disapprove of the Fansie habit of eating their lower-functioning cousins.
A consensus from the international community has been less-than-forthcoming, with several nations (such as the Griffon Kingdoms) showing their support for Prance's right to retain its cultural history. Studies to confirm the finding's of Prance's research claims that the relation between the modern Fansie Deer and those ruling Empires in the Three Kingdoms is, "relatively distant, and primarily cosmetic," are awaiting confirmation from the international community.