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The Principality of Honoria is a principality between the German Empire and the Swiss Confederacy that formed in 1805. The principality formed during the Napoleonic Wars after magical mercenaries around the Boden Sea earned Emperor Napoleon I’s respect in the War of the Third Coalition. Wilfred I Johansen, leader of the mercenaries, became prince at the populace’s urging. The principality enjoyed independence that continued after the Congress of Vienna, and it became a prosperous realm under the House of Johansen’s watch. However, a series of revolutions in 1848 threatened the Johanens’ rule. The principality allied with the nascent Second French Empire to modernize its conditions. In twenty years, a new style of magic involving gunpowder had become prevalent, with Honorian Powder Mage sharpshooters earning distinctions in Crimea, Indochina, and Japan. In the Franco-Prussian War, however, Honoria decided to declare war on France following an outburst of German Nationalism. Today, the principality struggles to keep balance between Imperial German control and Honorian autonomy and independence.


Witchcraft epidemic

On 5 December 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued the papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus, which gave first ecclesial recognition to the existence of witchcraft and its spread in the Holy Roman Empire. Despite this official condemnation, witchcraft cases only increased over the next century. Ecclesial authorities and inquisitors had little resources to deal with this problem for chaos had engulfed Europe in the aftermath of the Reformation and the Italian Wars. Centralizing royal authority also gave the Church little support, with merchants and capital owners allying with monarchs to legalize interest rates, formalize bureaucracy, and instill formal peerage systems for nobles loyal to the crown.

In the land around the Boden Sea in May 1589, a young man named Henry Schmitt received an apparition from Saint Joseph, where the latter held a warhammer beating demons around him. Saint Joseph asked Henry his work. The man replied that he was a greensmith. The saint taught Henry a new way of looking at his materials, showing him that discrete lumps of matter formed his tools, his copper, his produce. Now Saint Joseph let Henry see how heat traveled from his furnace through his copper, how striking with his hammer produced heat. At last, Saint Joseph taught Henry how to use human action and motion to make matter take on other motions. A light form of this craft existed with human work, and Henry learned to do the same for bigger effects. Now Henry Schmitt would be the first eidokraser, one who manipulated matter to take on other forms. Those less educated called this craft magic or sorcery, and these names have stuck ever since.

Henry taught other men around the Boden Sea his learnings, and soon the new mages asked permission from the Bishop of Constance to combat witches by showing God’s work. The bishop was suspicious of the men and asked for proof that they were not witches themselves. Henry answered that the Eucharist itself was eidokrasy, for God turns accidents of bread and wine into true flesh and blood forever pierced and shed on Calvary. The bishop asked Henry his work and life, to which the latter answered. Impressed at the blacksmith’s knowledge despite humble origins, the bishop convened Inquisitors to test him. Henry succeeded, and he gained the Inquisition’s favor.

Pope Sixtus V heard of this new craft, and approved its teaching and training by inquisitors and scholastics worldwide. Thomist philosphers, however, had difficulty reconciling eidokrasy with their metaphysics. A species of matter could not take another species of matter, which eidokrasy seemed to do. However, revelations from Greek-speaking scholastics revealed that Aristotle was fundamentally misunderstood by the Scholastics, and act and potency did not hold true. The same way that being was what, when, where, and how a subject did, form is matter-at-work. Now instead of pure Act, the first principle was understood as the Motionless One fully at work, Divine Intellect who worked and thought at once without change. Moving forward, eidokrasy was understood as human work changing subatomic particles into other forms.

Napoleonic Wars

For two hundred years, the lands around the Boden Sea lived in peace despite numerous wars surrounding them. In 1789, however, rising turmoil in France culminated in an alliance between clergy, nobility, and subjects demanding restored rights and privileges from the absolutist French state. The Jacobin faction, however, radicalized the movement to overthrow the king and change the social order in France forever. This development sparked reactions from the rest of Europe, with chaos turning to order once General Napoleon Bonaparte overthrew the radicals and turned himself dictator of France. It seemed that peace would reign in Europe till British concerns led to an alliance with Holy Roman estates loyal to the Habsburgs and the Russian Empire against Napoleon, who had since crowned himself Emperor.

By this time, the lands around the Boden Sea had tired of continued Habsburg aggression. Many mages pledged themselves to Napoleon and formed the Legion of Honoria led by Wilfred Johansen. The legion fought well for Napoleon, culminating in legion mages breaking the ice under enemy troops in the Battle of Austerlitz to win the day for Napoleon. In exchange for their services, the Peace of Pressburg granted the lands around the Boden Sea to Wilfred Johansen as prince.

After the Congress of Vienna

Despite Napoleon’s defeat in Waterloo, the Principality of Honoria remained independent under the German Confederation. Indeed, the Congress of Vienna had forgotten about Honoria’s existence, and the Grand Duchy of Baden recognized Honoria’s independence only after tax officials were turned back at the border.

The Principality saw peace reign for 30 years. However, the 1830s saw increasing tensions between ideological parties. Republican sentiment in the French Revolution’s wake called for German unity and state-appropriation of mages. A Socialist party formed to demand the ends of both Johansen rule and eidokrasy, declaring them abominations to matter. Monarchist factions petitioned Prince Johansen to increase his powers, which he denied to preserve free exercise of contractual property and rule among the people. Liberal factions demanded devolved powers to bureaucracy, which the prince was not fond of.

Tensions came to a head on 31 March, 1848, when passions from revolutions in Baden sparked street fighting between knights, riflemen, legionnaires, and other armed combatants. The prince invoked an emergency, and he rode out from his Alpine palace with a cavalry company to suppress the chaos. Blood littered Honorian streets the next day, and the prince found no choice but to abdicate in favor of his son, Wilfred II. The new prince declared a return to law and order, and promptly requested Honorians to write a constitution.

The constitutional committee comprised clergy, landowners, craft masters, industrialists, professors, and even fathers who represented their respective institutions. Writing finished on 4 August, coinciding with Prince Wilfred’s firstborn son Wilfred III being born.

While peace reigned for two years more, Prince Wilfred kept anxious about Honoria’s place in the changing world. Emissaries to the nascent French Emperor Napoleon III brought requests for aid in military training, medicine, science, and any other field where Honorians wished to study. Many advisors, academics, and masters flooded Honoria, and many Honorians flocked to them in turn for training and practice. The Legion of Honoria was drilled in modern tactics and strategy according to French practices. Modern medicinal science combined with Honorian magecraft to form effective healing. All these and more let Honoria prosper, despite still being unadvanced compared to neighboring realms.

Franco-Prussian War

Prince Wilfred II gave support for Prussia and the North German Confederation in the Franco Prussian War. The Legion of Honoria and Honorian knights flocked to Alsace-Lorraine to distract the French. This contingent eventually linked with the Prussian force in Sedan, culminating in Emperor Napoleon III’s abdication. The Honorian contingent continued fighting into Paris, liberating the city from the commune that had started.

However, Prince Wilfred’s decision was unpopular with the masses. Protests and uprisings began after Napoleon III’s abdication, forcing the prince to abdicate in favor of his eldest son. Prince Wilfred III, while agreeing to join the German Empire, demanded strict autonomy for Honoria and military independence. Chancellor Bismarck agreed to these terms, and Honoria remains a free realm for now.

Current events

Tales from Ehrenland

Tensions between Prince Wilfred III and the Imperial German government continue.

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