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You have come to power by way of election, and we honor you, as the selected master of our people. You are the Vergobret, chief magistrate of the Aedui, and the leader of all fair and just tribes of Gaul. The lesser magistrates, the representative chieftans, and assemblies of the people, have declared you as our leader in this time. As such, you have been found to be the most wise, most skilled, and most forethinking of all of our aristocracy. Let us hope that is true, because we need you. We are threatened. The Arverni, with their heathenous god-king, wish to incorporate all of Gaul under his rule, and claim we are weak. The free tribes are ever looking to expand their lands, and have turned away from us after the disasterous events of war with the Arverni. The Germanic tribes are expanding rapidly and overrunning the edges of the lands, and the Romans, still angered by the sack of Rome, wish to exact revenge upon all Gauls, regardless of their loyalties. We must be prepared to fight, and we will need a cunning leader. We are the rightful heirs of the Bituriges, Gaul passed to us. The rebellious criminals of the Arverni have beset us; they plague our merchants in clear defiance of all laws. They are little more than thieves, but they are thieves with an army. The wars with them have drained us; our armies are weakened, morale is low, and more tribes abandon us or flock to the cause of the wretched Arverni. This has been our fault, in many ways, but we have chosen you, Vergobret, to remedy this.
Our immediate concern should be the nature of Gaul itself. While the Arverni are sometimes open to reason, they are power hungry. The free tribes we can buy or conquer, and incorporate them into our greater whole; with a display of strength, they should return to us without great issue or dispute. I'm sure many will prefer the path of joining us, and will see it as their greatest option, once we reassert ourselves as the masters of Gaul. However, open war with the Arverni again is inevitable, and will almost surely be devestating, even in victory. If we can postpone it and build our army, perhaps we can reconquer Gaul while at great advantage. We have a fair mix of soldiers at our option. They are brave; good infantry and quality cavalry, capable of defeating many foes when properly led. A problem of expense must be expressed, however. Gaul is rich, but we control too little for it to be of great good to us. Our client tribes in the south are endangered. Cut off from our bulwark, they cannot defend themselves long, and reinforcing them will require either long roads through rebellious or indepedent tribes, or trying to pass directly through Arverni territory. We should be forethinking, of course, and see beyond the immediate conflict as well. With the Arverni subdued or conquered, our most immediate concern may then turn to the Germanic tribes. They are good for trade and business, but they are viciously expansionist, and wouldn't have need of trade with us if they conquer Gaul; and they know this. If we do not conquer them outright, we should at least enforce our borders. The Belgae, the Sequanes, the Bononae; they all report the brutal raids and invasions of the Germans. Taking the Belgae and using them to strengthen our borders against invasion may be a path to explore. The eastern tribes aside, the Romans may be a threat. They may not seem a huge issue at the time, but they yet harbor resentment against Gaul. Perhaps we could take advantage of their current situation; they may have a number of potential enemies. We could ally with them long enough to destroy the Romans, but in doing so we risk strengthening a potentially unforeseen enemy. Alternatively, we could seek to ally with the Romans and use them against the Arverni, but opinions of that matter are quite split. In the north, the Britons do not seem much of a problem, but sometimes they get ambitious. The British isles are rich, and northward expansion is not ill-advised; an island fortress against the expansions of enemies will at least provide us with a final redoubt if our plans fail.
There was a time when Keltoi controlled great amounts of land. They were confederated, allies. But that fell apart, and all we are doing now is holding onto the last strains of a great history. That can be changed, though. We still have life in us, and great smiths, warriors, and a glorious culture. We deserve the glory that was robbed from us by centuries of collapse and infighting. Uniting Gaul is only the first step in forging a grand empire. Our people have a great system of leadership. We elect great leaders, we select our own kings and judges and chiefs. We allow people their own lives. Our gods demand it. And that is good. They also demand the utter destruction of our enemies. And that is also good. Those who oppose us, who try to destroy us, are evil. There can be no argument of this. We act in accordance of the divine laws of the gods. Those who act against them must be destroyed. Those who offend the gods, must be eliminated. We must crush them, and do so devoid of mercy for them. Such enemies are below swine, and should be slaughtered in the manner befitting them. And our enemies are numerous, and your warriors' thirst for the blood can be sated a thousand times over. However, their impetousness can be a threat. While your eldest and best trained warriors are disciplined, the younger have the tendency to dash headlong into the path of the enemy, and replacing the dead can be difficult; it is expensive, and only so much of the population is available to fight. To truly forge an empire, you will have to press every advantage as far as you can. You will have little opportunity to relax until you can establish a united, strong, country with strong defenses. It seems almost impossible, but all great undertakings should be. The impossibility of this situation is what makes it glorious, and will ensure our dominance for centuries to come.
In wake of the collapse of the Cubi-Biturge confederation, many of the Celtic tribes fell into near total anarchy. Some, like the Aedui and Arverni took this to advantage. They allied, conquered, or absorbed nearby tribes, forming powerful confederacies and kingdoms. These kingdoms and alliances often came into conflict over lands, rights to resources, etc. They had varied governments, but based along a similar model; an elected leader, over other elected leaders and representatives. The kingdoms were based on a kind of republican-monarchy with amounts of anarcho-capitalism. However, the exact powers of those officials varied. The Aedui and Arverni were capable expansionists with comparatively large dominions in contrast to many of their contemporaries, and was heavily affected (and had a heavy affect upon) mediterranean cultures, and were in great contestation to one another, both feeling they possessed rightful rule of all of Gaul. In 272 BC, the war had been winding down, but constant attacks on Aedui supply lines and merchants by the Arverni kept a kind of underlying war still going. The true 'inheritors' of Gaul would have been the Aedui, who held the rightful descent of power from the Biturges, but the Arverni felt they had the strength and wealth to rule Gaul. Many of their actions they justified through religion, as law and religion were closely tied in Celtic society; they were flagrantly disregarding the law, and needed to ensure their people they were not doing anything evil. The Aedui had controlled substantially more of Gaul at one time, but attacks from the Belgae (beaten back by the Carnutes), and some poor performance against the Arverni, and losses to the Germans, had led to a lack of confidence in the Aedui. At this point, the war could have gone in either's favor, but for the most part, they fought blow for blow, and stalemated repeatedly, leading to intermittent periods of uneasy peace.
Culturally, the Gauls, both the Aedui and Arverni were fond of poetry, metalwork, linens, stonework, music, sports, philosophy, and warfare. Warfare, they favored to such an extent, that most other hobbies centered around it. Poetry and stories often described heroes in vivid detail, works depict soldiers, both their own and foreign enemies, and sports often exemplify skills necessary to combat. Their economic model was a type of anarcho-capitalistic lifestyle, with religion encouraging charity, but never enforcing it. Taxes were taken mostly to provide their leader with a home, improve settlement defenses, and pay their warriors and champions. Soldiers were paid based upon experience, and it was not uncommon for a particular warrior to recieve a large gift for performing a heroic action, such as a pile of silver, or a new weapon or a shirt of mail. Feasts were a common event, with all of a tribe being invited to partake in great dinners, with games and music and duels between champions. These feasts served to reinforce family ties in the tribe, and to other tribes in large intertribal feasts. These helped encourage loyalty; Celtic families were extremely tight-knit, and reinforcing family relations encouraged the tribes to offer more soldiers, and inspired young men to become warriors to defend their family. The chiefs and kings would also attend these feasts, which helped remind everyone that the leaders were part of the tribe, and empathized with them. Gallic sports included indigenous Celtic games, and imitations of Greek games. Some games included hurling chariot wheels, foot races, pugilism, wrestling, and non-lethal duelling.
As in any Celtic kingdom, their leader is elected, not hereditary. The tribes elect a chief, chiefs in an area elect a chieftan, chieftans elect kings over a larger area, and the kings elect the high king. The Aedui also elected magistrates, as their actual kingdom is somewhat small. Their sense of a quasi-democratic 'empire' precluded them from introducing too much land into the direct rule of the Aedui tribe themselves. The magistrates were elected from chieftans and kings, or from experienced judges, priests, or other 'higher' professions. Chiefs and chieftans acted as assembled representatives of their respective tribes, and were expected to act and conduct themselves in a manner to the benefit of their tribe. Despite this, the Aedui themselves continuously held substantial amounts of power over their allied tribes; Aedui were often elected to the positions of the three magistrates, called Gobre, or to that of the high magistrate, the Vergobret. The actual kings had little power outside of business and the military. They were military leaders, and part of the reason for their election was because they had a great deal of money, and often controlled businesses, allowing them to reward their soldiers and champions. The powers of the magistrates were similar to those of a king, as they held power over numerous tribes, though mainly as organizers. Since multiple kings and many noble houses had control of the 'Aedui' regions of Gaul, they required a man to organize them; thus, all kings in a region would answer to an appropriate magistrate, with reports of expedentures, soldiers, income, and other information pertinent to the running of a country. The people also elected local judges, called brehon, who elected higher judges, called verehon. They had power over even the kings and magistrates in matters of legality. The brehons could be removed if they were suspected of being unfair, and were punished most harshly if they abused the law. The higher one's station in society, the worse their punishment under the law. The concept of prisons for domestic criminals did not exist; even foreign prisoners were simply sent to slave markets to be held, and if they were not ransomed, were sold. Criminals would be fined, and if the fine could not be paid, they had to act as a servant of the offended family until it was paid, or be outcast. In the case of murder, if he was outcast, he could be legally killed by the offended family. In any case, the judge oversaw these disputes, and listened to arguments and evidence from both sides, and decided what party was in the wrong. If a prosecutor failed in a serious legal case, such as a murder, they would be fined slightly for false accusation, so as to dissuade false accusers. The elected judges also formed a seperate 'senate', through which they passed and modified law. This was a slow process; this model was still in use in post-Christian Celtic countries, such as the Irish and Welsh kingdoms, and it's notable that almost no laws changed over hundreds of years. A change to a law would be proposed, and the judge would take this proposal to his tribe. The tribe would vote for or against it, by majority rule, and the judge would return to the conclave, and give the tribe's results. A majority of votes on part of the judges' tribes was required to pass or veto the proposal.
The Gauls were conquered or absorbed by the Romans. During the Roman conquests, they fought both as defenders, and alongside the invaders. The Gauls had expanded from their home though, and settled the kingdoms of Tylis and Galatia in Asia Minor. Galatia lasted longer than Gaul, in a cultural sense, though it was a puppet of its Roman allies for a long period, and was peacefully absorbed in 25 BC; however, the Galatian version of Gallic persisted longer than the Gallic language of Gaul. The legacy of the Gauls is quite extensive. It was Gallic influence that introduced many elements into the Roman military, and their proliferation as mercenaries led to their usage in almost every major conflict (whether as Gauls or as Galatians) during the period simulated here. So many Galatians found employ with the Ptolemaic Empire, that the Fayuum region of Egypt is still largely populated by tall, blonde hair, blue-eyed people; blood descedants of the Gauls. Gauls formed a great deal of the early Goidilic culture, in concert with Britons, Belgae, Galaecian Iberians, and the natives. The conquest of Gaul is notable for its difficulty, even after the tribes turned on one another, and the death of the professional warriors. The subsequent, short-lived rebellion by the Arverni chief, recalled by his title (not his name), Vercingetorix, was the last breath of the Gallic lands, and though ill-fated, is a sign of the fortitude of the Gallic people, who, even though they never experienced successes on that scale, continually rebelled or otherwise expressed disobedience for a long period. Even after conquest, Gallic soldiers, poetry, wine, and other crafts and arts were highly favored throughout the Roman empire as some of the finest available.
The Aedui, like their sworn enemies the Arverni, rely heavily on shock troops, supported by both medium and heavy cavalry. Many of their shock troops throw javelins before a charge, giving them a stronger punch, but they also sometimes employ shieldwalls and phalanxes.
These Aedui units represent warriors that can be raised from Gaul itself and in addition nearby Belgae regional units. Should the Aedui expand into other lands such as Iberia to the south or Germania to the east, the subject peoples could provide regional troop types in addition.