Galli is a large and organized monarchy bordering (and rival to) the Kaselreich. It is known for a glorious nobility and a relative lack of internal strife.
The War of The Ninety KingsEdit
This was an event which would later be remembered to most as Gallian Civil War. Henri II, the King of Galli, had pursued a very successful, but not very lucrative war with Emperor Maximilian of the Reich, and while he had secured several legitimate claims for himself, his promise of huge wealth, ransoms, and plunder for his nobles who worked twice over through harvest season on his behalf went unfulfilled.
What followed was a rebellion in which Galli threatened to dissolve into over ninety autonomous regions, each demanding that it be recognized as independent from the crown. In other words, every man wanted to be king unto himself, hence the war's name. King Henri was exhausted after the war with the Reich, and was further suffering from the gout, which made him unable to ride to war. His son, Louis, went in his stead.
Louis took out enormous loans from multiple sources, including The Dacian Bank, The Desoto League, The Hurtsickle Society (an organization in Karthack of all places) and even, in a roundabout way, from the Ruvian Church. With the colossal amount of money he gained from these sources, he was able to hire an enormous mercenary army, and crushed the rebellious lords who had risen up expecting to face a depleted and weak King Henri. (After all, they WERE Henri's feudal army.)
The war was short, but outlandishly brutal. The assembled rebel lords gathered in a show of strength, hoping to convince Louis and his father to sign an accord, a Magna-Carta-esque document guaranteeing certain rights to the nobility and restricting the authority of the crown.
Instead, Louis attacked the larger (but worse prepared) rebel host, and crushed them. The purge that followed took almost a year. Hundreds of old families were uprooted and destroyed, exiled, or forcibly absorbed into others. A new nobility was installed in the hundreds of confiscated baronies.
The resulting Galli was one that, for a large part was run by feudal lords who directly owed Louis for their rank. The young nobility are fiercely loyal to him, whereas the old nobility who remain are mostly those who remained loyal during the civil war, but are still concerned at all of the upstarts enjoying their new positions.
There is also the very legitimate concern of the enormous debt owed to various sources by the Gallian Crown. With Henri's death, Louis (now "The XIX") has been working tirelessly to recoup the huge amount of money required to pay for his kingdom. His greatest step forward to that end has been his attempted monopoly on Cohiba imports, which he secured using some of the leftover money from the war. That's gone a long way, but the amount of money owed is truly prodigious, many times over the Crown's yearly income. There are genuine concerns that Galli may have to default on some or all of their debt, or else renegotiate the terms of repayment so that the realm's upkeep does not suffer.
This would be about fifteen years before the "present day," so probably... Seven years before Gizka's antics. Louis intends to pay the debt honestly, if he can, so that he can perhaps get a loan again in a bad situation. At the very least he had the good sense not to end up in debt to mercenaries who could then rampage through his country, but having a bunch of different banks pissed off at you isn't much better at all.
The bulk of Galli's army is made up of Sergeants (Servants) who fight as heavy cavalry or infantry.
Every member of the Gallian nobility is required to furnish a number of Sergeants determined by the size of their estate for their lord's use in times of war. The number can be as small as one (oftentimes just being the noble himself, if he cannot afford a mercenary or a man at arms) or as many as hundreds.
As such, a Gallian army tends to be made up of professional soldiers raised by hundreds of different lords, and they often lack organization and a clear hierarchy of command. Their impetuousness and hunger for glory and ransoms has gotten them into trouble before, and has also motivated the Crown under Louis XIX to form a core of retainers to provide an organized, disciplined center around which the feudal elements of his army can organize.
These men, called the Maison du Roi, are the King's "House Guard," though in practice there are far more of them than can fit in even the largest of the great castles and manors of Galli. At one time they were heavy horse, but since the War of the 99 Kings, they have been transformed into a force of heavy arquebusiers, using a larger, more powerful version of the arquebus that can penetrate almost any armor.
In terms of discipline, loyalty, and organization, these men are equaled by few. The Eisenspiess of the Reich, and perhaps the Pontifatrix Guard and certain Tigurnzer units can claim to be a match for them, though that claim wouldn't go uncontested.
Two centuries ago, a mechanical bird capable of singing the King's favorite song was gifted to him for his birthday by a Burdinadin emissary from Glade Occil. Every year on the King's birthday (traditionally, the birthday of whichever king is currently reigning) another emissary arrives, and "teaches" the bird a new song of the King's choice. The bird can now sing over two hundred songs on request, in a very beautiful voice.
The King's Songbird has become the center of a sort of cult of music, as bards from across the land journey there to hear ancient songs sung perfectly as they were known at the time when the bird learned them. New songs are presented for approval, thousands every year, to contest for the chance of being taught to the bird on the King's birthday.