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About Princes of Corsica

Princes Of Corsica was first published online under the name “The Royal Prisoner” and goes through the main events of the 2nd Corsican civil war.
Princes of Corsica 2150

What’s the difference between The Royal Prisoner and Princes of Corsica?

The Royal Prisoner’s first chapter was published in April 2020 online.

The story was meant to be a purely erotic story set between two main characters, Prince Victor of Corsica and his captor General Hadrien Ciabrini.

The setting of the civil war was mostly an excuse to justify Victor and Hadrien’s relationship, deeply tainted with the colours of a dom/sub dynamics.

As the story was developing, and as chapters kept being published one after the other online, the civil war and geopolitical considerations took a larger place in the story itself and soon Hadrien and Victor’s stories were not these of purely erotica’s nature.

The Royal Prisoner being the first story ever published by V. De Habsbourg, it reflects the ever evolving literary and creative style of the author. These differences between the first and last chapters of The Royal Prisoner are obvious to anyone that would read the chapters back to back, being a justification for a rewrite in itself.

However, this is not the only reason why The Royal Prisoner is being transformed into Princes Of Corsica.

First, with the necessity of a rewrite came the conclusion that The Royal Prisoner was a missed opportunity to explore a rich and complex universe by focusing too much on Prince Victor and General Ciabrini’s relationship instead of the developments of the war itself.

Second, the tone of the story was not sounding right any longer, characters were lacking depth and the war was mostly described in a trivial manner. Princes of Corsica intends to give much more of a voice to characters outside of Victor and Hadrien, and explore the darker sides of this civil war, as well as its geopolitical strategies and impacts.

In conclusion The Royal Prisoner and Princes of Corsica, while not being a totally different story, take two very different approaches to the same subject. We hope to bring more maturity and complexity into both the characters and the universe they evolve in, as well as fully include Princes of Corsica into a much wider universe that will be explored in coming books.

                          Princes of Corsica’s setting

Speaking of Princes of Corsica’s world, there are a few interesting things to point out.

The story begins with the abduction of Prince Victor from Heraklion’s fortress, and we are soon plunged into the setting of a civil war between two factions that the reader might have difficulty to clearly identify at first.

Set in 2152 in an hegemonic Corsican Empire, the story begins 2 years after the start of the civil war and therefore only superficially goes through the reasons of this conflict.

The first Corsican civil war ended in 2085 with the definitive end of a feudal-kind of system and the rise of an hyper centralised Empire where the sovereign concentrate executive power.

This period in Corsican history has several major influences. The first Corsican civil war might resonate with the Sengoku Jedi period in 16th century Japan for example. It might also be compared to the end of the feudal system in Europe and the prevalence of absolute monarchy, or the rise of the Roman Empire after the civil wars that followed the conflict between Pompey and Caesar.

Emperor Hector III of Corsica inherits of these generational wounds when his father Hector II passes away in 2150.

Being only 17 years old at the time, Hector is not old enough to be crowned and has to go through a 1 year regency insured by his uncle, Prince Alexandre. It is during this period of regency that Consul Fresnes, head of the Corsican government after winning the senatorial elections and driven by an impulse to modernise the tax system, will suggest ending nobility’s rights to raise taxes in their fiefs and replace it with an imperial allowance instead.

Underestimating the outcry that this law triggered in the aristocracy, Prince Alexandre approved it and gave it imperial seal, triggering a very hostile reaction from this already defiant part of Corsican society.

Indeed, depriving the aristocracy from their privileges to raise taxes in their fief and replacing it with an imperial allowance was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Instead of an aristocracy rooted in their territories and whose wealth depended on their fief’s demographic and economics’ importance, it would force the nobles to being subjected to the sovereign goodwill, and therefore would turn them into courtiers and beggars.

Most of Corsica’s great families saw this as a premise of their final way to insignificance and later total dismantlement. Feeling like it was their last chance before annihilation, some Corsican families plotted against the crown and the senate and ended up declaring an open rebellion during the year 2150.

It is in this context that Hector III of Corsica was crowned in 2151, having to face multiple challenges as only 18 years old and with a deeply divided Senate and overall population.

When Hector II dies in 2150, the Corsican Empire is undoubtedly the most powerful nation on earth. In a world shaped by the great collapse of the 21st century, Corsica was one of the only place in the world that escaped a demographic collapse, turning the sparsely populated French island into a demographic giant all of a sudden.

                    About the 21st Century Great collapse

The Royal Prisoner and Princes of Corsica have that in common that they happen in the exact same Universe. In this hypothetic future, the world is shaped by being literally a post-apocalyptic world.

Of course, those familiar with the post-apocalyptic genre will notice that none of the two books respect the codes of this category. Human civilisation didn’t collapse, there is no survivalist struggle and political institutions are strong and healthy.

However, between our time and the rise of the Corsican Empire, a disturbing event altered the course of history and transfigured our world into something that doesn’t look like the natural course of history. This event is the Great Collapse of the 21st Century.

What is this collapse? The book doesn’t answer this question directly and it’s unlikely that any book of the universe will. The reader is of course free to imagine whatever he/she wants about this Great collapse, but there are elements that are known about it.

Firstly, the global population dwindled by about 99%.

There are 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean, and their combined population is about 529 Million inhabitants, which means that after the Great collapse this population is a little more than 5,3 Million inhabitants.

Secondly, nations didn’t survive the Great collapse.

We know that neither around the Mediterranean nor in the rest of the world states survived the Great collapse, leaving world’s inhabitant subjected to clannism, gangs and the eventual emergence of city-states in the decades following.

The end of large nations as we know them today had many impact on the universe, but one of the most noticeable is the end of a globalised industrial system, rarefaction of resource extraction and of goods production to a large scale, and therefore a regression of technology as a whole.

Finally, we know that Corsica was spared by the Great collapse and didn’t know any demographic collapse.

Alone, this element alone doesn’t explain why Corsica became such an hegemonic empire, but it explains why it had the capacities to.

In 2020, Corsica represented 0,0018% of the Mediterranean population. In 2050, Corsica represented around 20%.

One question remain, why isn’t the Great collapse a bigger topic in The Royal Prisoner or Princes of Corsica?

It might seem odd that such a pivotal event occupies such an insignificant place in people’s day to day conversations and actions, but it has actually been seen historically at least in one occurrence.

After the great bubonic plague of 1348 decimated half of European population, we have witnessed a tendency to restrain from discussing the topic in the historical sources that followed. It is believed that the plague had such a traumatising impact on late medieval societies that the subject was far less mentioned by chronicles and books compared to other events of the same period such as the hundred years war between England and France for example.

In a similar fashion, the post Great collapse societies chose to avoid the subject and make it a taboo topic in their societies, the event being too big of a social structure disturber, and a reminder of humankind’s vulnerability.

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