Accord de l'Europe
Formal Name: Accord de l’Europe
Also Known As: The Accord, the AE, Europa or Europe
Major Corporations of Note:
Steiner-Traugott GmbH – Chemical production
UniElec – Utilities distribution and battery production
Apparel of Munich – Fashionable clothing
Royal Bank of Luxembourg – Banking institution
Geographic Regions: Western and northern continental Europe and some of the surrounding islands. Some regions of eastern Europe are disputed areas with the VKK, while some southern regions are disputed with the Khaleeji and Ecoai. The Accord is aggressively expansionist and is constantly trying to to buy out new territory.
Chief Executive Officer: Complex. Yvette Voclain, CEO of UniElec, is ostensibly the CEO of the Accord in general. However, Grand Duke Felix of Luxembourg is still sovereign monarch of his country and wields considerable political power, and has the right to veto any of her decisions as it pertains to Luxembourg. Because Luxembourg is the financial capital of the Accord, any such decision is effectively binding to the entire Accord.
Capital City: Officially, the capital city is Paris, France and that is where the Accord’s board of directors meet. However, many major corporations including the Royal Bank are headquartered in Luxembourg and the Grand Duke’s political might make Luxembourg the unofficial second capital.
The Accord is a complex syndicracy, a mix of new ideas and very old notions. It is where the conceptual similarities between syndicracy and aristocracy are most obvious, because a literal monarch holds very real political power and authority.
During the Scramble, Luxembourg enjoyed a unique position in being a haven for many of the world’s most powerful corporations. It had developed close ties with these companies, and intertwined itself with their power structure. This made the monarchy impossible to remove, and made it so that the Grand Duke was able to actually assert more authority, not less, during the time when other nation-states were falling before the syndicratic revolution.
The current Grand Duke, a young man named Felix, is a shrewd businessman who is careful not to overstep his authority and is beloved by his people. He has cultivated an image of a man of the people, who serves as a check and balance against wanton syndicrat excess.
The Royal Bank of Luxembourg is the world’s leading financial institution, making the Accord fabulously wealthy even by the standards of other syndicracies. It has also made the syndicrats of the Accord ambitious, as they attempt to slowly expand their territory into areas claimed by the VKK, Ecoai, and the Khaleeji with contract negotiations and buy-outs.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the last true nation-states in the world, and is a monarchy no less. While still part of the Accord and acknowledging its laws, Luxembourg reserves the right to make its own laws, with Grand Duke Felix having the ability to veto any decision of the Accord board of directors he disagrees with. This veto power effectively means that any decision the Accord makes ends up being something that Luxembourg is happy with, because the board doesn’t want to shake share-holder confidence with a power-struggle with the Grand Duke.
Luxembourg itself is like stepping into a world of fantasy. The Grand Duke’s castle dominates much of what was once the city, a massive structure of steel, glass, and stone. Cybernetically-augmented knights patrol the grounds. They are led by Knight-Captain Anselm, a former Freelancer who became Felix’s personal bodyguard. The castle is a place of intrigue and festivity, host to state functions and grand balls. Courtiers swarm the place, attempting to curry favor with the Grand Duke.
There are some within the Accord who are deeply resentful of the status of the Grand Duchy, who consider it a relic of a time past, and wish to see the Grand Duke deposed and his tiny city-state absorbed into the Accord proper. They keep their voices quiet within the castle walls, lest the Knight-Captain hear them.
Not everyone believes that an augmented humanity is a better humanity. There is a philosophy, which originated in Europe in the late 21st century, that believes that cybernetics and genetic augmentation are to the overall detriment of the human species and are things humanity should not toying with. This philosophy, known as Vitruvianism, seeks to keep humanity “pure” and free of genetic tampering and cybernetic interference.
Like any philosophy, Vitruvianism has a lot of variety in its adherents. Some believe it in a vague and passive sense, simply preferring not to have such things for themselves but having no problems with others doing so. Others are more militant, openly preaching against augmentation or targeting augmentation of specific types of people (such as children) as being especially profane. Others still are violently fanatical, and are the most proud to self-identity as Vitruvian and use the symbol of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (from where the movement derives its name).
That last group, the violent fanatics, are the ones most commonly associated with Vitruvianism as a philosophy and Vitruvian as a symbol. They have bombed genetics clinics, attacked people with cybernetics and forcibly removed their implants, and engaged in electronic warfare on corporate accounts for companies that provide augmentation. Vitruvianism isn’t an organized movement or specific group, but isolated cells of terrorists and extremists who have a common philosophy.
As a result of these kinds of actions, people who might have Vitruvian-like beliefs tend not to identify them by that name in most company, even if they may feel that way, especially around people they know are cybernetically or genetically augmented. This further stigmatizes Vitruvianism as a movement for violent radicals and fanatics.
Even with that stigma, however, these cells never seem to lack in numbers, as disenfranchised non-comps and dependencies who cannot or will not use augmentations to participate in syndicratic society find like-minded people who tell them they’re perfect, just the way they are.