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Normandie, Normandy in English, is a region of France , historically related to the Vikings and England.

Its name means Land of the Northmen.

Settlement of Normandie during the Dark Ages


Normandie during the Dark Ages

Normandie was an important Duchy of France, created in 911 when the king of France made an alliance with the viking warchief Rollon. By giving this land to him, the king of France stopped the raid of the warchief on his own possessions.

For long years Normandie was a battlefield for men, as for supernatural forces. Celts came with Gangrel, Gauls with Ventrue and Silver Fangs, raids of viking with Get of Fenris, Brujah and Gangrel.

Most importantly, in 1066, William the Conqueror invaded England, making himself and his heirs French dukes as well as English kings. This led to many more confusing territory conflicts among men and supernatural beings.

In 1242, the Duchy is part of the Royal Domain, even if England's King Henry III is still officially Duke of Normandy (until 1259).

Description

Normandie is on located on the north-west coastline of France. It is known for its apple orchards, its horse breeders, its cereals and iron production, and its vast forest. The climate is mostly oceanic and the rain is an important feature of the area. Which led to a very green country.

Rouen, on the Seine river, is a major city of France and is directly linked to Paris.

History

The Times before

Initially inhabited by Celtic tribes, Armorican in its western reaches around 2300 BCE, and Belgian in the eastern around 600 BCE, the area was conquered in 56 BCE by the Roman legions, becoming part of the Gallia Lugdunensis. This conquest started a period of construction of roads and cities. Rouen, known as Rotomagus, is considered the second city after Lugdunum (Lyon) itself.

The Gaulish population thrived, even if, around the third century, barbarians started to raid the area. To counter the raids, Germanic people were welcomed to defend it. Then came the fall of Rome and the rise of the Frankish.

Before being called Normandie, the area was known as Neustrie in the Latin chronicles, from 486 to 987. This was corresponding of the old Frankish Syagrius' kingdom in the north-west part of France, and then part of the Frankish Empire. The barbarians raids continue.

Birth of Normandie

In 911 BCE, the French king Charles III gave the north part of the area to the viking leader Hrolfr Rögnvaldrsson, better known as Rollon (Rollo in English ), to protect the area and prevent other viking raids on the Seine and then to Paris. In return, Rollon agreed to convert to Christianity. The area granted to Rollon was then given the name of Normandie. Rollon ended by conquering the rest of the actual Normandie along the years. But more than a powerful fighter, Rollo was a cunning leader, allying himself to the Church and creating the "Échiquier Normand" (Exchequer of Normandy in English) to rule and administrate the duchy. This tool would be used and copied later by Cainites.

Then came William II, a man who rose to became a duke as powerful as the king of France. Enforcing a powerful administration in the Duchy, he created the city of Caen to become his new capital. In 1066, he managed to conquer England. From then on, his heirs would be French dukes and kings of England - the perfect recipe to create trouble between the duke of Normandy and the kings of France.

On the 25th of November, 1120, the Blanche Nef ("White Ship" or "White Lymphad") shipwrecked along the coast of Normandie, after its departure from Barfleur, a harbour near Cherbourg. On board were more than 150 English barons, their ladies, and the heir to the English throne. All of them die.

This incident put even more turmoil in the now nebulous chain of succession to the throne and led a period of civil war in England; at the same time, it weakened the power of France by strengthening the size of the domain of the king of England and duke of Normandy.

A time of battle came from this situation until the rise of Phillipe II, new king of France, in 1180. From a small royal domain, this political genius managed to slowly come back as one of the most powerful lords of France.

While in 1192, Richard Lionheart was held prisoner by the Holy Roman emperor, Philippe helped Richard's brother, John Lackland, to take the crown of England. In return, the king of France was given back a part of the duchy of Normandy. Richard died before managing to reconquer his lost domains.

Meanwhile in 1194, to prove his loyalty, John Lackland, in Evreux, invited to a large banquet 300 French knights loyal to the king of France. It is a trap, however, and the knights are murdered.

Then would follow a period of many battles between the French and English armies in the area. For ten years, Normandy is ravaged by armies and multiples cities are burned to the ground. At the end of 1205, forced to choose their allegiance, half of the great barons of Normandie exiled themselves to England.

In the end, Philippe II wins, becoming one of the powerful of Europe. In Normandie, he let the mortal administration of the Échiquier Normand rule as he sent baillis as royal administrators to gather taxes, administrate justice and survey the duchy.

By political maneuvers and wars, Philippe managed to legally take back Normandy, as well as many other parts of France, to the king of England.

The Supernatural Normandie

The Gangrel and Nosferatu were the first Cainite inhabitants of France, trying to survive against the werewolves.

Around 800 BCE a war, the War of Silver and Iron, erupted between Celtic werewolves (mostly Fianna and White Howlers) and the Faerie in an area which included Ireland, Normandie, and Bretagne. This war deeply wounded the two peoples.

This was followed by conflict with Rome. The Roman army was supported by powerful Cainites, including Ventrue (such as Antiorix, a mighty Methuselah), Lasombra and Malkavians, but also Silver Fangs. The Gaulish people were supported by Gangrel, Nosferatu, and Red Talon tribe, but they lacked cohesion. The region most resistant to Rome was the Armorican Gaul where the Fianna and the White Howlers dwelled; in the end, however, even they fell to the Roman onslaught.

When barbarians began to raid Rome, the Brujah and Gangrel forces, alongside the Get of Fenris, came to take revenge on their Roman enemies, among them the Ventrue, Malkavians, Lasombra, and Toreador.

With the rise of the Frankish people, the secret hand of the Ventrue methuselah Alexandre is felt in the shadow, especially as he is fighting for the control of the Merovingian dynasty against the Celestial Chorus.

Eventually, the Ventrue won against their enemy, especially with the rise of Christianity. In 508, Alexandre created his Grande Cour in Paris, where he gathered all the most influential Cainites of this part of the Frankish Empire. Around the same time, a war emerged between the Silver Fang and the Get of Fenris, the latter losing the battle in the long term.

But with the viking raids on France Brujah, Gangrel, and Get of Fenris arrived to take their revenge too.

Then in 911, Rollo is given the area of eastern Normandy to help against these raids. The Brujah thought they were winning, as they were behind it, but secretly the Triumvirat Ventrue managed to pull the strings, such that the Brujah warlords were set head to head against the powerful Grande Cour of Alexander.

In the same time the Lasombra and Toreador infiltrated the rising Church in France, helping to the fall of the northerner Brujah. As Alexander was mourning the death of Lorraine, the Triumvirat Ventrue rose to power in Normandie.

With the rise of Saviarre d’Auvergne in Paris, Alexander came back on the political chessboard and started to look back at Normandie. The Methuselah was fascinated by the young duke of Normandie, Guillaume II (the future William the Conqueror), but the Ventrue did not act against the triumvirate, waiting for them to make a fatal mistake.

This mistake came in 1069. Following William's conquest, the Ventrue triumvirate awoke the powerful Mithras and the Normand Ventrue leaders disappeared in the years to come.

With Mithras, the Baronies of Avalon rose, and in the same time the Grand Court took over the domain of the Triumvirat. Conflicts expanded between now English Ventrue and French Ventrue, and clan of the king loses a great deal of influence in Normandie, supposedly a part of the Barony of Avalon.

During this time, the Toreador Court of Love rose in France, but fail to gain power in Normandie, mainly because of the Ventrue presence and the instability of the area. Of the Toreador, only the more warlike came in the duchy, wishing to fight against Brujah, Gangrel and werewolves.

In 1120 the shipwreck of the Blanche Nef near Cherbourg took many Kindred by surprise. A few suspected the hand of Saviarre, unhappy with the relation between the Grand Court and the Barony of Avalon at the time. Most suspected Salianna's hand in destabilizing the relationship between the two courts.

Unknown to most, the ship transported an emissary from the Matriarch of Paris. He was supposed to introduce a secret alliance between Mithras and the Toreador for the purpose of evicting an increasingly-unstable Alexander, as with his counselor Saviarre. The coup was just delayed of a century.

In truth, the Nosferatu Mnemach wanted to maintain the status quo between the most powerful Cainites of France.

In 1160, during a resurgence of the Baronies of Avalon in Normandie, Mithras sends to Caen, as the new Baron of Normandy his own grand-childe Aethelbert, displaying his dominance to the Normands' Ventrue.

When Aethelbert came to pay tribute and carry a message from Mithras to Alexander, the Prince of Paris declined to received it. Saviarre tried to save the situation but the Aethelbert refused to talk to a "simple counselor". Meanwhile, the Baron met Salianna who enforced an alliance between herself and Mithras, aiming for the silent support of the Prince of London during the Matriarch's move against Alexander.

During the 12th century, the capital of Rouen was, as it had been for a long time, still a battlefield between Ventrue and Silver Fangs against Gangrel, Brujah and Get of Fenris barbarians. Due to Normandy's strategic location and Aethelbert's refusal to intervene in the quarrels, Goratrix wanted to make an alliance with the Ventrue.

In the middle of the 12th century, the creation of the Rouen Tremere chapter allowed to help the Ventrue repel the Silver Fangs.

Even if they were more than happy by the result, the Ventrue had to share power with the powerful Tremere newcomer. The Échiquier de Rouen was created to rule the city of Rouen, and from there, to a certain extent, the entire duchy. The Tremere very quickly took a very important position of power, acting in the shadows to facilitate the fall of the Baron and even, with some magical intervention, driving the death of Richard the Lionheart.

With the rise in 1180 of the French king Philippe II, later known as "Philippe-Auguste", Alexander regained interest in the political field, especially in Normandie. Pulling strings, he managed the fall of the Normandy's Barony of Avalon. Saviarre was especially pleased by that, as war began again between the English and French Ventrue of Normandy.

In 1204, the Baron Aethelbert had to flee Caen to Chateau Gaillard, a mighty English fortress. It was a disastrous decision, especially with the implication of the Tremere Goratrix and his forces. Aethelbert was destroyed in the castle, with Thomas de Cherbourg forced to take his blood.

With the fall of the Baron, the French army took back Caen and Rouen, but in the same time a terrible attack destroyed the Ventrue of the two camps and their allies.

The Brujah Arngrim le Fier and the Gangrel Runi, the Grey She-Wolf, now at the head of the Alliance de l'Orme had used the battle between Ventrue to strike fast and strong. Due to the perfect coordination of the attack, the Nosferatu were suspected to have aided them. It is still considered one of the bloodiest nights for France's Kindred, until the Albigensian Crusade.

From then Caen was the exclusive domain of the Alliance de l'Orme. The Gangrel and Brujah had taken their revenge on their enemy, and now were looking to the city of Bayeux.

During the same war, Philippe's army destroyed Evreux, remembering the massacre of the French knight in 1194. The Cainite population was severely wounded by the attack. Many Ventrue knights, allies of the Grand Court who supported John Lackland's Ventrue, are destroyed. This event was known as Évreux' Treason and helped shape the hatred between the French and the English Ventrue for centuries to come.

Facing the menace of the Alliance de l'Orme, the Tremere and Ventrue of the Échiquier de Rouen were attempting to gain back the control of the situation but the victory of Philippe had given back the power in the hands of the Grande Cour as a new bailli arrived in Rouen.

Political Forces

Normandie was for a long time the domain of Ventrue.

Le Triumvirat Ventrue

(The "Triumvirate" or "Ventrue Triumvirate" in English )

(...)

Les Baronies of Avalon

(...)

L'Échiquier de Rouen

More known as the Échiquier or Échiquier Normand by the Kindred. (The "Rouen's Chessboard" or "Exchequer of Rouen" in English )

(...)

L'Alliance de l'Orme

(The "Elm Alliance" in English )

(...)

La Grand Cour

(The "Grand Court" in English )

(...)

Main Site

  • Avranches, purged of its vampiric population by the Inquisition and a much more sinister threat.
  • Bayeux, site of multiple war between Ventrue and Brujah.
  • Caen, the new rising city of the Duchy. Main domain of the Alliance de l'Orme
  • Évreux, known for the ignominious Évreux' Treason.
  • The Mont-Saint-Michel, a wonderful Christian sanctuary, in the hand of the Inquisition
  • Rouen, capital city of Normandie. Domain of The Échiquier de Rouen.

Main Cainite

Other Forces

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References