Verrix, great king, god-king, and rightful master of all the world, your people salute you. You are Arvernos in the flesh. The elections organized by the under-kings and popular assembly of warriors, and the tribal elections, have revealed the true Verrix. The Aedui assemble against us in rebellion. The Germanic tribes impose their will on what are rightfully our lands. We are the rightful rulers of the Gauls. No other concern should plague us, but their utter annihilation, and the subsequent protection of your properties against the incursions of the Germanic tribesmen. As your advisor, I will help you how I can. Do not be afraid; you are a god made flesh. Every ally is a puppet; a means to an end. Only you can bring true peace, justice, and proper rule to Gaul. Nothing else matters but this, except, possibly, the great wealth we will recieve. The Aedui are too weak, and they have no manner of control. They have little way to defend this land, and the tribes will see that our strength is a boon; what good are the Aedui if they cannot defend these people? When the Aedui are broken, Gaul will be ours.
The Aedui are the true threat, however, and they still have fight in them. Their armies are essentially identical to ours. We have no great advantage to press, and they have no great disadvantage for us to manipulate. We need land, we need obedient tribes, and we need allies. We will set them all upon the Aedui and destroy them, and Gaul will belong to its rightful rulers. Subsequent conquest of the Belgae, and maybe Britain can be followed upon, or conquering the Romans, or the eastern lands. We have brave warriors, in vast number, with good weapons, good shields, and good leaders. The Aedui are likewise, and are quite vicious. Their defeat will not come easily. We will need to conquer the free tribes for greater numbers, and perhaps the Noricenes; we'll use their great and unique warriors to give us an advantage over the enemy. After they are subverted, we can go anywhere. Few around Gaul would provide more than a slight problem to our path. Many are ambitious, but their own problems will consume their soldiers; of course, the Aedui will consume ours as well. That is why allies are important. They weaken the foe, we levy the final blow. When our allies are sufficiently weakened, we incorporate them as well among the allies under the direct control of the assembly, and, thereby, under your control by proxy. The southern peninsula produces brave soldiers, and is fertile. Such an acquisition would benifit us. Some Gauls have successfully carved out kingdoms in the east; we can follow their path, or perhaps attempt to their original goal, and conquer Greece. If any problems present themselves before we can all of Gaul though, we may have to seek temporary peace with them. Irregardless, expansion into the rest of the world is clearly possible. The way has been paved and proven. With a larger concerted effort, the conquest of the east can be quite total. There is another road; into Iberia. The conflict with the Iberian tribes, if we control Gaul, will be hard still, but possible. They are tenacious and unwilling to relent, but not invincible. I would more fear the Carthaginian allies and associates with whom they deal. They control substantial territories, and aide they'd send would be quite threatening. A direct conflict with Carthage can be won, but they are rich, and can finance a large army. Cutting off their fleets will be hard, they are powerful in their navy. We would need the Veneti, and it is doubtful we could muster enough to successfully blockade them. A direct invasion of Carthage would be costly, but almost necessary, unless their relations with the Iberians collapse, to successfully conquer the Iberians. The Romans are ambitious, and harbor resentment for us, but they do not appear, at the time, to be a great threat, but waiting for them to become one is probably ill-advised. The Belgae and Bononae report the incursions of the Germanic tribes, and they set themselves against us. They want Gaul for themselves. We can perhaps turn them against the Aedui, and bide our time.
Gaul has only one rightful ruler. There is only one Verrix. You, and the subsequent Verrix, need an empire, and it will only be had at the end of a sword. You were elected, because you are divine. The selection of the Verrix is never a mistake. You are most capable to lead us; the most brave, most cunning, most fierce, and most sound leader among us. There can be no other true leader of the Gauls, and you are the proper master of all the world. The end result of all of our conquest should be the goal of a great empire, exemplifying our culture, and the divine rule of the laws. Our destiny hangs by a thread. You are the Verrix, but you are not invincible. Do not act rashly, and try to conduct your wars without over-confidence. Even a seemingly beaten enemy sometimes has a final option. Don't give in to pessimism though. The situation is quite bright, and victory is wholely possible. You are the high king, and rightful master of Gaul. Every conquest begins with the most simple actions. Everything seems so simple when it's planned, but you are here to put plan to action, and take what is rightfully ours. We will take it all, and the wealth of Gaul will belong to us.
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 Arverni and their allies' high king, the Verrix, was considered the incarnation of the Arverni god, Arvernos. Every tribe's king was eligible to be elected, but it was not until a Sequani was elected as Verrix that much changed in these regions; subsequent kings had almost always been Arverni. The Arverni also had an assembly of warriors and chiefs, whom elected kings and other higher officials. The people also elected local judges, called brehon, who elected higher judges, called verehon. They had power over even the kings and Verrix, 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 punishments under the law. The concept of prisons for domestic criminals did not exist; even foreign prisoners were just 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, had to act as a servant of the offended family until it was, 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 religion of the Gauls involved dozens of minor local gods, demigods, hero worship, and major deities that would be worshipped over huge regions. Law was central to their religion, and this is evidenced in their legal system, and gods. Most of their deities tend to be war, health, or legal gods, and their heroes tend to vary between warriors or great poets and storytellers, and were always obeyed the law, which was considered divine. The most important Arverni god was Arvernos, from whom the Arverni claimed divine authority of Gaul, and also Sucellos, the creator of the world. Sucellos, while an ancient Celtic god, dating in his earliest incarnation to the Hallstatt Celts, was built up by the Arverni to replace Cernunnos. Cernunnos, the god of the Carnutes, and subsequently the druids, was a powerful deity in northern Gaul, and the Arverni feared their populace would be swayed by worship of Cernunnos; eliminating his worship in their territories guaranteed indepedence from the authority of the northern druids. The Gauls also collect the heads of dead enemies, not just as trophies or signs of bravery, but because the belief that the soul resided in the head. To control a man's head, they believed, meant that his soul had to be your slave, in both this life and the next. The 'druido', druids, actually didn't come to Gaul until around 220 BC, an outgrowth of eastern fire cults, and a testament to just how far and wide Gauls traded over; especially considering that many don't think that Gaul such much of a world beyond their own immediate surroundings. However, an essentially identical class, which we casually call druids, was present before hand, and their influence was quite strong. The appearance of druids greatly increased the popularity of yearly fire festivals, the largest being Beltane.
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 Arverni, like their archrivals the Aedui, 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 Arverni units represent warriors that can be raised from Gaul itself and in addition nearby Belgae regional units. Should the Arverni 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.
The Arverni start with few cities and many small armies scattered amongst the cities. The player can (and should) merge these armies into one large army, leaving appropriate garrisons. This combination of few cities and a large army cripples the economy rather quickly. Unit recruitment for the Arverni is initially very underdeveloped. Coincidentally, the faction must rely primarily on its starting army, which is well balanced, but has many units that are irreplaceable at the beginning of the campaign. It is imperative to maintain these units at full strength (see section on Battle) because if those units are lost at the beginning of the campaign, the armies would be composed of levies; the remaining army would be no match for a full-fledged Aedui incursion towards Gergovia, which is frequently the case.