Revachol (pronounced RE-va-shol) is a city on the Insulinde and the disgraced former capital of the world. Currently, it is a Zone of Control under the jurisdiction of the Coalition and is the primary setting for the events of Disco Elysium.
Following the Insulinde's discovery by one of Irene La Navigateur's expeditions, Revachol was founded in the Dolorian century, 380 years ago, as a colony of the Kingdom of Suresne (modern day Sur-la-Clef). It was built by settlers from the Occident, migrant workers from Semenine and Iilmaraa, and herdsmen of Ubi Sunt?.
At some point, Revachol gained independence from the Kingdom of Suresne and became the "capital of the world." It was a constitutional monarchy.
The flag of the Suzerainty of Revachol displays the Sevenfold Sun Miracle, an optical atmospheric anomaly that the first settlers of the Insulinde saw. Six suns orbit a larger one in the center.
Revachol's economy of this era relied on a diverse range of territories producing commodities for export. These included:
apricots from the Empire of Safre, mainly Siigay, Revacholian colony on Samara. derogatorily known as the "Apricot Suzerainty." Exports continue to this day.
marble and archeological treasures from Ile Marat (modern-day Iilmaraa),
tobacco from Tioumoutiri, a Revacholian colony on Iilmaraa,
The oversupply of cocaine led to the suzerain introducing it to Safre under exclusive contract. This created an extremely valuable, captive market for an extremely addictive product. The era of mass cocaine production and exportation is called "Regnum Cocainum."
There was a king named Guillaume II though it is unclear if he is related to Guillaume "Le Lion."
The groundwork for the Suzerainty's collapse was laid by the Filippian dynasty in the "penultimate century":
Filippe I, or Grand Old Filippe, is the one who began the Regnum Cocainum period, setting in motion the eventual collapse of the Suzerainty.
Filippe II, the Opulent, was congenitally deformed, and the entire Filippe bloodline had a poor history of mental health.
Filippe III , the Squanderer, is credited as the most instrumental in the fall of the monarchy. who was king 150 years ago, was known for his profligacy. Most notably, he converted his bedroom into the Sol Aurum: a treasure chamber allegedly full of krugerrands, bars of gold, ornate weaponry, armor, chalices, and a bed of gold-dipped feathers. Moreover, Filippe III spent a lot of money on his cocaine addiction, specifically of purple Filippian cocaine. In fact, his mother, during childbirth, had received a dose of it. Such expenditures over his 25 year rule led to the depletion of the national treasury, and therefore the fall of the Suzerainty. Royalists claim that the Filippian kings used cocaine for "clarity of vision," though it is a thin excuse for their cocaine addiction. There are also untrue rumors that Filippe III had syphilis; he was simply mad.
Filippe IV, the Insane, is only mentioned by name. He presumably failed to reverse the effects of his father due to his madness.
By the Antecentennial Revolution, Guillaume "Le Lion" was suzerain. He briefly attempted to bring Revachol back to its former glory; his Ikeira Operation forcefully united the people in the southeastern part of Le Petit Continent, collectively known as the Ikeira tribes, under the Revacholian banner. However, Guillaume fled the Insulinde before the fighting got too bad, becoming a successful venture capitalist in Graad. His nephew, Frissel the First, took his place as king. Frissel was eventually killed by the communists, formally ending the monarchy.
Commune of Revachol
The Antecentennial Revolution—also known as the Civil War within Revachol—was a series of interisolary conflicts primarily between the Communists, known as the Communards, and the Moralintern and royalty. It began in Graad, in '02, sparked in part by a virulent prion pandemic, called "tzaraath."
On the 7th of March in '02, the new Commune of Revachol transmitted the Le Décret de Mars (The March Decree) to world governments, announcing their creation. Their army was the Insulindian Citizens Militia, or the ICM, and their political organization was called "le Parti communiste d'Insulinde."
At this point, 50 million people lived on Caillou.
The Civil War
Within Revachol, the Revolution manifested as a civil war between the Communists and Royalists. Some Seolite officers commanded the suzerain's navy and most of them sided with the Royalists at the start of the conflict. Guillaume "Le Lion" was suzerain at the time, but left. His nephew, Frissel the First, took charge.
The communists captured and retrofitted a sea fortress in Martinaise, built by Filippe II, in '02. They installed it with an AA gun to protect against airborne landings.
Frissel attempted to end the communists in one decisive strike, sending his cousin, Drysant, to put an end to the Commune. At this point, the Royalists wore excessively flashy uniforms; Drysant himself sported a purple velvet tunic, cockatoo feathers, a gold-plated rifle, and a giant red steed. He marched his men in single file to the communards' position, leading to a massacre at the hands of the revolutionaries. Drysant himself lost his jaw, but survived the battle thanks to René Arnoux.
Frissel was eventually killed by the communists, formally ending the monarchy.
Monuments to the old order were blown up and the remains of Filippe III were unearthed and thrown into the Insulindian Bay. Revachol communists also started "Ask Revachol," a radio show used to address civil issues.
Fall of the Commune
Following Frissel's death, the Coalition became involved. INSURCOM set forth Operation Death Blow, also called The Landing, in '08: a three-part strategic aerostatic bombing of Martinaise, Stella Maris, and the Delta. A five-nation army -- including troops from the Occident, Graad, and Mesque -- amassed a large army of airships to complete Operation Death Blow.
The operation within Martinaise took place on May 13, '08 and was called the Beachhead. The sea fortress captured by the communists and equipped with an anti-aircraft gun in '02 failed to function during the invasion.Martinaise was shelled and captured by the Coalition along with Stella Maris and the Delta.
Interestingly, the Communist Party never officially surrendered. However, Revachol relinquished its sovereignty to the Coalition and liberal reactionaries signed the Revacholian Instrument of Surrender, ending the Commune in '10.
By the end of the conflict, at least two million people had died in the Insulinde: an incident called the "Insulindian Deluge." The communists and anarchists were massacred by the Coalition and buried in mass graves in Ozonne.
The Twenties weren't much better. Revachol West was leveled in a decade-long urban war and there was a measles outbreak that killed many children. The Old Military Hospital was used as a quarantine center, but now it is completely overgrown and renamed the Pox.
The Thirties saw an economic boom in Revachol East, which transformed itself into the world's largest tax haven. The surge of untaxed income led to The New: a cultural era of disco and ultraliberalism.
However, in Faubourg of Revachol West, the People's Pile happened. A Type U particle decay generator, whose construction had started during the Commune of Revachol, failed immediately after leftists finished it in the Thirties. Radioactive waste spilled into the River Esperance. The Emergency Relief Brigade was organized to contain it, but unfortunately, many of them contracted cancer and there wasn't much that the brigade could do.
The Forties dispelled the decade of economic success. Quantitative easing turned out to be market mirage, sending the economy into a recession.
As of the events of Disco Elysium, set in the spring of '51, Revachol is still in that recession.
In around two months from in-game events, The Return, or Le Retour, may happen in Revachol West. It is part urban myth, part political science, that promises an "event" where Revachol may become self-governing. It is implied that Ptolemy Pryce and Nix Gottlieb, of Precinct 41, are directly involved in it.
Harry Du Bois predicts Revachol will be destroyed circa '73 by an atomic device unless something is done.
Revachol is located on the island of Le Caillou, also called "The Pebble," on the northeast side of the Insulindian Isola, on the world's largest body of water: the Insulindic. Le Caillou, which is sometimes mistaken as an archipelago, is the fourth largest island in the world. It is fertile, self-sufficient, and able sustain up to 200 million people. The city itself has a radius of 80 kilometres and is split by the River Esperance into Revachol East and Revachol West. The north side of the island is shattered by the delta of the Esperance, and is named La Delta.
The Bay of Revachol, which is on the side of La Delta, is 1200 meters at its deepest and feeds into the Insulindic. In its farthest reaches lies the Coalition Warship Archer.
Revachol East is the nicer part of Revachol. By '21, a little more than a decade after the war, the eastern bank was already fully renovated. The hillsides were lush with gardens and residences, especially in its most desirable district, Le Jardin. Houses with gardens rise along the mountainside, up to Saint-Batiste where two of the world's five largest companies keep their headquarters.
Other districts include the Stella Maris district - one of the three landing points during the Coalition invasion - and Saint-Batiste, which gives its name to Saint-Batiste Pharmaceutics. Known as slums before the Revolution, Saint-Batiste is where Contact Mike, the world-renown boxer, was born and rose through adversity and brain trauma to become one of the greats of sports history. Saint-Batiste is also where the Saint-Batiste Dinghy Races were conceived. Originally intended as a biennial civic pride celebration (and cash cow), they only took place twice, in '31 and '33.
West of the river, it's funky-baby holocaust time all day every day. It's the International Zone, which means: no one gives a shit. It's no one's business. In East-Jamrock, wild animals roam the valley at night – giraffes that escaped from the Royal Zoo 50 years ago. Giraffes – even-toed ungulates from the savannah. The local kiosque chain Frittte employs a private army of 2000 men to guard its properties in Jamrock and Faubourg. That's how bad the crime rate is – you need a private army to run a kiosque chain.
In a narrow sense, La Delta refers to the financial district, west of Revachol West. Twenty-two kilometres from the centre of the world, the district includes some of the most important areas in Revachol: The Bank of the World building (called a soldering iron), which contains the INSURCOM - Coalition Government Insulindian Mission Command - on the bottom floors.
In a broader sense, it refers to the delta of the River Esperance. Faubourg, the district immediately adjacent to the river that divides the city are about as well-off as Revachol West, that is, not very. The People's Pile, a Type U particle generator (a nuclear reactor, basically) that started construction during the Commune and entered service after its collapse. The occupation government did not help and the ad hoc construction failed due to a faulty emergency valve. The resulting damage took out the turbine and the fuel containment vessel, leading to a massive radioactive discharge into the Esperance. Emergency Relief Brigade, a volunteer, self-organized cleanup crew, tried to salvage the situation, only succeeding in working themselves into an early, cancer-ridden grave. Despite the failed reactor, Faubourg expanded and by '51 it's a seemingly endless stretch of urban sprawl.
Ozonne: An archipelago that is 80 to 100 kilometers (two days' travel) away from Revachol. Its major cities are the Fond de l'Air and Virmandeux.
Resurrection: Way beyond Martinaise -- a popular spa destination for ample-bodied Ozonne kids with equally ample pockets, established in '18.
Laurentide: Located on the other end of Le Caillou, its major city is Deora-of-the-Seven-Seas.
Archipelagos: Croyant-Morain is a major city in this region.
Following the collapse of the Revolution and the mass executions of communists, Revachol became a neoliberal's paradise: A tax haven and a vital hub for cheap labor and overseas shipping. Since the fall of the Revolution, the Coalition has maintained a grip on the city under the Emergency, Wayfarer, and Aliments Acts -- three pieces of legislation keeping the city in a laissez-faire stasis to the benefit of foreign capital. The Wayfarer Act is one of the most perfidious, designed to limit the authority of local institutions. Part of it prohibits the RCM from requesting most documents and licenses without permission from a Coalition representative.
Death penalty remained a staple of criminal "justice" in Revachol since time immemorial. Under the Suzerain and the commune, the preferred method was a firing squad. The Coalition's occupation forces are more fond of the electric chair. Those who dodge the executioner's blade still have to deal with lengthy prison sentences in the River Esperance Correctional Facility (nicknamed Reunion), an infamous military prison.
Coalition: The occupying force of overseas nations that imposed a brutal, exploitative capitalist economy on Revachol.
Dockworkers' Union: A labor union, socialist faction, and/or corrupt mob depending on who you ask. Considered the de facto government of the abandoned Martinaise.
Loyalists (a euphemism for “fascists”): A defeated faction of Revacholian royalists who blame all the evils of the world on the failed Revolution, 50 years ago. Their philosophy is best summed up as follows: "If good, kind king Guillaume were still around, he'd drive the moneylenders and the homo-sexuals back into the ocean! Once we were an octopus that straddled the world, sucking up natural and human resources from Iilmaraa to South-East Seol. The city state that screwed the whole world. Then deranged commies pushed the king under a street car and lost the civil war to foreign intervention, damning us to financial servitude."
Communists: The communards, mostly dead. Okay, one is still alive and teaches cultural theory at the Ecole Normale de Revachol, east of the river. And there's talk of two more employed by a failed radio-game studio. But the rest are all dead, bulldozed into mass graves after the Coalition Army retook Revachol in '08.
When it comes to cigarettes, contemporary Revacholians prefer Drouin (a local blend from the southern islands) or Astra, the legendary cigarette from Graad. Tioumoutiri is favoured by older men for its paper filter tips, sweet smell, and added tar.
↑ 1.01.1ENCYCLOPEDIA - Revachol is the disgraced former capital of the world, divided into zones of control under foreign occupation -- half a century after a failed world revolution. She is central to our moment in time.
↑ 2.02.1LENA, THE CRYPTOZOOLOGIST'S WIFE - "Nope. Sadly not. Revachol is what's called a Zone of Control. Under an alliance of foreign powers called the Coalition. We have no government of our own and what democracy we have is..." She thinks. "Market driven." RHETORIC - Meaning: buying is voting.
↑YOU - Okay, what else? Was she smart? ENCYCLOPEDIA - Terribly. Women of the court were expected to play both contract bridge and chess sufficiently well to prove and interesting challenge to a man -- a similar grasp in matters of philosophy, theology, and science was encouraged. She was, by all means, a kept woman... ENCYCLOPEDIA - She made the most of her position in the Antedolorian court -- a court visited by the most prominent thinkers and artists of the day. In secret, she was becoming the era's pre-eminent philosopher of the state. A scalpel, a piercing gaze... ENCYCLOPEDIA - She was an almost preternaturally magnetic and intelligent individual. To her contemporaries she appeared out of time, a messenger from the future of the species. We *all* fell in love with her, head over heels. Even before she was declared an innocence her influence was tremendous. YOU - How come? It was on her advice that Irene La Navigateur sponsored a number of voyages into the pale. A costly, often tragic endeavour, ultimately vindicated by the discovery of the *New New World*, the piece of reality you're standing on... ENCYCLOPEDIA - She was crowned two years after the first expedition returned, setting in motion what is widely considered the greatest era in history -- the Dolorian Era.
↑YOU - "*When* was Revachol built?" JOYCE MESSIER - "In the Dolorian century, 380 years ago."
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - In the very, very early days of colonizing this archipelago, the Kingdom of Suresne, a precursor of modern Sur-La-Clef, used to own the city of Revachol. An obscure detail in the bigger picture, but still -- worth dropping.
↑YOU - "Okay. *Who* built this city?" JOYCE MESSIER - "The nations of the Occident. Or migrant workers from Seminine and Iilmaraa, depending on your creed."
↑YOU - "Is there such a thing as *Ubi Dolorianism* or did I just make that up?" NOID - "Good catch, Art Cop." He crosses his arms. "The herdsmen of the Ubi Sunt? islands came here on the first boats. Their flowery version of Dolorianism could be what we're standing in."
↑JOYCE MESSIER - "Some were rich enough to stay with the Constitution; with monarchy -- *big mistake*. Others bet on the Revolution, they were called the Ultras, or ultraliberals. They fared well."
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - This is the flag of Revachol the Suzertainty.
YOU - What's with the sun?
ENCYCLOPEDIA - This isn't just one sun, but there are little suns dancing around the big sun. This is the Sevenfold Sun Miracle.
YOU - What's the Sevenfold Sun Miracle?
ENCYCLOPEDIA - It's an optical atmospheric anomaly the first settlers saw. Happens in cold weather: six small suns around the big one. This complex halo-phenomena is how old Revachol got its flag.
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - This man probably comes from Siigay, sometimes known as the 'Apricot Suzerainty,' an archipelago in the Samaran isola.
↑RHETORIC - *Apricot Suzerainty* calls to mind an era when the Siigay archipelago was colonized by Revachol. It's a bit of a slur, in other words.
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - By the way, the raw materials were most likely exported from Siigay (the Apricot Suzerainty) and processed in Sur-La-Clef into the apricot-flavoured chewing gum loved by kids of today -- and yesterday. Hmm. Something about it *is* familiar... And not only to your fingers.
↑ 13.013.113.2SUZERAINTY: THE BOARD GAME - In addition to the worker and building tokens used by each player, there are also several piles of colourful resource tokens, each representing one of the game's four principal resources... SUZERAINTY: THE BOARD GAME - From the Empire of Safre: orange apricot tokens. From Ile Marat (the ancestral name of Iilmaraa): gray marble block tokens. From the Semenine Islands: white sacks of sugar tokens. And from Supramundi and Saramiriza: magenta tokens for unprocessed cocaine leaves.
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - Tioumoutiri was a Revacholian colony on Iilmaraa. The suzerainty's population was mostly Iilmaraan Areopagites -- up to 97%. The region was known for its tobacco export. Hence the name.
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - Well, the suzerain was looking for new markets for all the cocaine it was producing, and it settled on Safre... ENCYCLOPEDIA - By introducing cocaine into Safre under exclusive contract, the suzerain created an extremely valuable captive market for an extremely *addictive* product.
↑ 16.016.116.2RENÉ ARNOUX - "That's why the Filippian kings used cocaine -- for clarity of vision, to aid in their work... Regnum Cocainum -- Revachol's finest years." He seems to grow taller, brimming with pride about the past. KIM KITSURAGI - "Of course," the lieutenant marks dryly. "Clarity of vision. *Awareness*." RENÉ ARNOUX - "Filippe III was even brought into this world with the help of cocaine -- the court medic administered a dose to his mother when she was in labour. And it is well known that with the help of cocaine -- only the purest, of course -- he was able to connect with higher realms..."
↑ 17.017.1YOU - What's in the west? SHIVERS - More winding coastline lined with abandoned buildings. Crumbling piers salt water lapping at their dark piles. Grey and red, forgotten city blocks. What remains of the pre-revolutionary effort to gentrify the coast. YOU - And beyond that? SHIVERS - The waters turn black. Coal City in the shadow of Saint-Martin, a boom town, back when coal extracted from countless shafts near the city was need to power Revachol. SHIVERS - No more. The coal was supplanted by petroleum from the ocean floor and hydropower from the Esperance. Everything crumbled. These days, only the weakest remain in Coal City. Their hopes of getting rich linger in the defunct shafts under their feet. YOU - What is there? SHIVERS - Below the old mines -- L'Ossuaire Municipal, Revachol's underground cemetery. *Les petits rats* brave the underground passageways, trying to get to Le Royaume... YOU - Le Royaume... SHIVERS - ...where the Filippian kings were interred, with their doctors and their admirals. Mausoleums, burial chambers, leaf gold still remains on the Double Door of the Morning. YOU - Les *petits rats*... SHIVERS - Children under 14. They go underground, looking for artefacts to sell to foreign museums -- and for fabled relics. Their parents let them. They go deeper... YOU - Deeper... SHIVERS - ...after rubies, melchiorite, lapis lazuli plundered from Safre and Seol during the time of the Suzerain. In the burial chambers of the kings: Grand Old Filippe, Guillaume II, and even in the mausoleum of Filippe the Opulent. SHIVERS - Two kilometres underground, in a winding shaft along whose walls mirrors have been placed so that daylight may eternally fall upon the richest of all the kings. SHIVERS - The mausoleum contains untold quantities of gold -- and that special, purest-of-the-pure magenta cocaine favoured by Revacholian royalty.
↑RENÉ ARNOUX - He catches your glance and nods. "This is the uniform of the Royal Carabineers in service of Frissel the First, Guillaume *Le Lion*, and the valiant King filippe the Fifth before him.
↑ 19.019.1ENCYCLOPEDIA - You see, Old Filippe wasn't just good at squandering the national treasury on gold and ceremonial weaponry. He was also a prodigious snorter of nose candy. ELECTROCHEMISTRY - Not just *any* nose candy, though. We're talking royal *Filippian* blow, allegedly twice as potent as the stuff you find nowadays. And purple, Filippian cocaine was purple.
↑ 20.020.120.2YOU - "What is this place? This island..." THE DESERTER - "It's not an island, droite." He looks around. "It's a defensive fortification of the Commune of Revachol and I am its last surviving defender." YOU - "What was it used for?" THE DESERTER - "The congenitally deformed King Filippe II built it to restrict access to the Bay of Revachol. We captured it in '02, retrofitted the fort with an AA gun to defend against an airborne landing -- against the whole world."
↑ 21.021.1HORSEBACK MONUMENT - A silver plaque on the statue's pedestal reads: 'I am Filippe III, the Squanderer, the Greatest of the Filippian Kings of Revachol; Son of Filippe II, the Opulent; Father of Filippe IV, the Insane.' VOLITION - Not a good track record of mental health in that family.
↑ 22.022.1ENCYCLOPEDIA - Even by the standard of the Filippian kings, Old Sumptuous Filippe was known for his profligacy. YOU - In what way? ENCYCLOPEDIA - Well, he blew through the whole national treasury, starting the decline of one of the penultimate century's greatest superpowers: the Suzerain of Revachol... ENCYCLOPEDIA - His own maladministration foreshadowed the fall of the monarchy during the Antecentennial Revolution, an end to his family line and the monarchy on the Insulindian isola.
↑ 23.023.1YOU - So he was addicted to nose candy. A bloated druggie? ENCYCLOPEDIA - That's what the revolutionaries said -- 150 years later. Right before they emptied out the royal mausoleum and dumped His Majesty's mortal remains in the Insulindian Bay.
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - Stories have it that he had his bedroom converted into a treasure chamber where he stored unfathomable wealth: *krugerrands*, bars of gold, ornate weaponry, armour, and various chalices. ENCYCLOPEDIA - He called it the *Sol Aurum*. It was obscene. There were whispers he slept on a huge pile of gold-dipped feathers like some obese dragon, instead of a bed like a normal person.
↑ 25.025.125.2THE DESERTER - "The bacteria entered his brain and made him squander trillions on sparkling wine, *cocainum*, and monuments of himself. His son Filippe IV the Insane contracted syphilis in the womb..." he breathes in with a wheeze of hatred. ENCYCLOPEDIA - That is technically possible, although Filippe III was not actually syphilitic, he was just mad. THE DESERTER - "And he *still* went on the govern Revachol for twenty five years! We lost 2 million lives toppling that mode of government -- and those grotesque statues too, hundreds of them."
↑ 26.026.126.2RENÉ ARNOUX - He catches your glance and nods. "This is the uniform of the Royal Carabineers in service of Frissel the First, Guillaume *Le Lion*, and the valiant King filippe the Fifth before him.
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - 'The Ikeira Operation' was a seven-year campaign during which Suzerain Guillaume's army forcefully united the people in the southeastern part of Le Petit Continent, collectively known as the Ikeira tribes, under the Revacholian banner.
↑ 28.028.128.228.3YOU - "Anyone else get shot in the head -- on the opposing side?" JOYCE MESSIER - "Oh, lots of people. Even the king got shot in the head, or thrown beneath a horse. Or drowned. Accounts differ. It was unceremonious." She shakes her head. "Just as well -- he wasn't actually the king. Just the king's nephew." JOYCE MESSIER - "The real king abdicated and lived out a long and productive life as a venture capitalist in Graad." YOU - "Smart king." JOYCE MESSIER - "Yes, King Guillaume had a nose for bad PR. He ran before it -- what is the expression -- *went down*? Anyway, Gil got out alive and his nephew Frissel got shot in his place..."
↑ 29.029.1THE DESERTER - "Calm down? I'm not angry..." His hand still trembles. "I *adore* him. He reminds me of everything we fought for. At least we killed that Frissel and his kingsmen..." He's overtaken by a coughing fit.
↑ 30.030.1YOU - "Who pinned them? Which side?"
KIM KITSURAGI - "The revolutionaries: so the communards and the anarchists. White's their colour. But the custom started in the Suzerain's army so it held meaning for the kingsmen too."
KIM KITSURAGI - "It's about girls and boys more than *sides*. Girls sending off boys who are going to their deaths -- then also dying themselves in the ruins, from dysentery and consumption. It's a symbol of the Civil War."
↑JOYCE MESSIER - "The Revolution began in '02, on the isola of Graad, though by the end nearly the whole world had gotten involved."
↑JOYCE MESSIER - "It wasn't a *who*, but a *what*. A pandemic of tzaraath, a particularly virulent prion disease, which the authorities in Graad proved unable to contain. Then Mazov came along and overthrew the government."
↑YOU - "What did the revolutionaries do with those advanced tape computers?"
TRANT HEIDELSTAM - "They used them for military communications," he says, while his son looks up idly chewing on the corner of his würm-themed colouring book. "But also to write and send out press releases. The most notorious example being Le Décret de Mars."
YOU - "What was that?"
TRANT HEIDELSTAM - "What's the March decree? I mean the radio transmission sent out to new agencies and world governments by the newly-created Commune of Revachol on the 7th of March in the year '02."
ENCYCLOPEDIA - A short-lived legislative foundation for a short-lived utopia.
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - Insulindian Citizens Militia, the official name of the communards' army. The army of the Revolution.
↑THE DESERTER - "You're the RCM." He stares at you coldly. "You represent the Moralist International, the enemies of humanity, who took this city. I represent their adversary, le Parti communiste d'Insulinde."
↑THE DESERTER - "*Death Blow*. you're one of them. Tell me, who speaks like that? We had 50 million people on Caillou alone..."
↑GARY, THE CRYPTOFASCIST - "I'm so fucking sorry I called you *Yellow Man*." He says silently. "Seolite officers commanded the Suzerain's navy. Most of them sided with the King, when..." He shakes his head.
↑YOU - Inspect the blue uniforms.
KNICK-KNACKS STAND - They're not all blue. These figurines also wear gold coats and caps, complimented by orange trousers. They are variously posed, wielding swords and rifles with bayonets.
YOU - "Wait, this looks like René, the old guy who was playing petanque."
KIM KITSURAGI - "This is what the loyalists looked like, yes." He inspects the figurine. "At first. Then they wised up and got camouflage."
↑RENÉ ARNOUX - "King Frissel thought he could end it all in one decisive strike." The old carabineer runs his fingers over the larger medal. "Sent his cousin, Drysant, to put an end to the unrest." RENÉ ARNOUX - "Alas, the young Drysant was all piss and no vinegar, wearing a tunic of purple velvet and cockatoo feathers to battle." He spits. "Even his rifle was *gold-plated*. Shone from five klicks away. Can you imagine the asininity?" KIM KITSRUAGI - "Purple velvet tunic," the lieutenant says thoughtfully. "That isn't exactly *camo*." RENÉ ARNOUX - "To keep the long and bloody story short, Drysant marched us against the partisans in Couron. And when I say 'marched', I mean made us walk into captured enemy territory single-file, like toy soldiers, while he rode in front on his giant red stallion." RENÉ ARNOUX - "The rebels were smart. They let us come real close before opening fire. Suffice to say, it was carnage."
↑RENÉ ARNOUX - "The dink had taken numerous flesh wounds and lost a lot of blood, but despite missing his jaw he seemed hesitant to die. Tougher than he looked, that one." YOU - "That's no dink, that's a fighter!" RENÉ ARNOUX - "So I grabbed the *dink*," he says, with a stern look, "and started crawling. Kept going until the 59th Cavalry picked us up." RENÉ ARNOUX - "Through some miracle we both survived. And the jawless freak convinced Frissel to give me a medal for not leaving him to die in his own blood, piss, and shit."
↑THE DESERTER - "That's right. Some *advertising* cockroaches erected a cynical, *deconstruction* of it. We tore it down with honest working class plastic explosives -- and there it is again..." He shakes his head in disgust.
↑TRANT HEIDELSTAM - "'Ask Revachol' is the name of a war time radio show the communists used to address civil issues," he remarks. "Maybe that helps?"
↑ 43.043.1TRANT HEIDELSTAM - "INSURCOM is responsible for all aspects of the military occupation of Revachol. During the Revolution, they coordinated the efforts of the Occidental and Graadian invasion, but these days their function is primarily logistical."
↑ 44.044.1THE DESERTER - "Aerostatics. The Landing had started. I climbed out -- into hell. There were ships all above. Hissing, whirling, and men pouring out. The chain was submerged so I had to swim back. The fortress was half submerged too, shattered."
THE DESERTER - "They'd all drowned in the lower levels, or got torn to shreds above. The anti-aircraft gun had malfunctioned -- so had I. I left them without idealogical direction..." He opens his eyes and stares right through you. "It was real. I'd seen it. I'd seen it *in reality*."
↑RENÉ ARNOUX - "Martinaise was used as one of the three footholds in Revachol during Operation Death Blow in '08. The other two are off in Stella Maris and the Delta." He points to the northeast.
↑VISUAL CALCULUS - A fleet -- the combined armies of Occident and Graad, with Mesque volunteers. A five-nation army. Hundreds of vessels.
VISUAL CALCULUS - They massed airships further down, in the bay of Revachol. The artillery was so powerful, the ships not only required gyroscopic stabilization -- they were anchored into the ocean floor as well.
↑THE DESERTER - "May the 13th, '08, 22 years ago," he looks north. "The horizon was black with Coalition airships. Their petroleum rose to the sky and it looked like... like it *formed* the clouds. Storm clouds. When they started shelling it was... dark magic."
↑RENÉ ARNOUX - "Because this place is the damn Beachhead," he says, pointing to the bay. "Had to soften the commies up first."
↑ 49.049.1JOYCE MESSIER - "I would not have relinquished sovereignty to the Coalition. Not here in Martinaise -- and not in the Stella Maris or Delta beachheads either. If not for my own sake..."
↑RENÉ ARNOUX - "The rest of the city got cleaned up, but Martinaise they keep as a *monument*." A dark shadow runs across his face. "And now the Union socialists are practically running the place."
GASTON MARTIN - "Well, it's your own damn fault," the jolly man remarks. "You, we, the Coalition, Revachol -- whoever you wanna blame -- never finished the job. Officially the Party never surrendered. Of course they still hold influence."
↑YOU - "The communards signed the Revacholian Instrument of Surrender."
THE DESERTER - "Liberal reactionaries signed that instrument -- traitors, who should have been burned alive..." He draws his breath. "I answer to the Communist Party."
↑YOU - "Where did it spread from there?"
JOYCE MESSIER - "From Revachol and Graad? Not far. The world managed to cauterize itself. Mazov's government was overthrown in '08, and the Coaltion crushed the Revachol commune two years later. It was *The End*."
↑YOU - "Did the communists and the anarchists shoot back?"
JOYCE MESSIER - "Did they ever. Before they got shot themselves, they shot two million people."
YOU - "Truly a *kerfuffle*."
JOYCE MESSIER - "Yes. The *Insulindian Deluge* they call it."
↑JOYCE MESSIER - "Indeed. They piled them in mass graves in Ozonne and, well -- that's the last anyone heard of those people."
↑THE DESERTER - "*Let* me be here?" He looks around. "The ZoC is an unlawful successor of the Commune of Revachol. We took this fortification from the loyalists. Even the Claires understand this..."
↑SHIVERS - Higher yet, Coalition airships guard over the twenty one cordons of the Zone of Control. The air is criss-crossed with radio transmissions, the hair on your neck rises...
↑COALITION WARSHIP ARCHER - "For instance, as second signaller we represent Coalition Warship Archer, which in turn represents INSURCOM and the Coalition more generally, which in turn represents the Moralist International, which itself represents the interests of 1.2 billion people across the world."
↑KIM KITSURAGI - The lieutenant does not bow to the flag -- it accepts your salute with quiet dignity. ESPRIT DE CORPS - It is not my flag, he thinks -- my flag is the signal blue of the Zone of Control.
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - The RCM, or the Revachol Citizens Militia, is the police force you and him are part of. A self-organized peace corps of the occupied city of Revachol, the RCM operates within a legal twilight, yet its authority is rarely questioned. It's *super useful* to know this.
↑KIM KITSURAGI - "The RCM was formed by the Coalition Government to restore order in the International zone after the Revolution. So we did. Now we attempt to *maintain* that order, no more, no less."
KIM KITSURAGI - "For... perhaps it is better to say wer were *allowed to form*. It's a point of contention whether the citizens of Revachol or the Coalition Government founded the RCM."
↑YOU - "What's a 'décomptage'?"
KIM KITSURAGI - "Décomptage is the hierarchical system employed by the Revachol Citizens Militia. It means counting down to twos."
ENCYCLOPEDIA - The countdown is modelled after the dual-leadership system employed by the left during the Revolution. Which in turn was developed by last century experimental psychologists in the University of Koenigstein.
↑STEBAN, THE STUDENT COMMUNIST - "Julia Dobreva came from Graad. Jean Abadanaiz was born in Revachol. She was brilliant, charismatic, a revolutionary comet. He was her partner and stabiliser, the planet who kept her in orbit."
ENCYCLOPEDIA - It's too bad they wound up equally dead on some nameless island in Ozonne...
STEBAN, THE STUDENT COMMUNIST - "It's from them we get the notion of dual-leadership, the *décomptage*, Revachol's truly great contribution to revolutionary thought. I believe it even persists in some form in the RCM, even to this day."
↑YOU - "Where does the RCM fit into all of this?"
COALITION WARSHIP ARCHER - "The RCM exists under the umbrella of the Coalition, just as the Coalition exists under the umbrella of the Moralintern..."
COALITION WARSHIP ARCHER - "At the same time, the RCM is not exactly *of* the Coalition."
YOU - "You mean because of the décomptage?"
COALITION WARSHIP ARCHER - We're not that familiar with RCM lore and practice, but we believe that may be the case. As we recall, the décomptage originated with the Revacholian Commune itself."
↑JOYCE MESSIER - "The RCM's responsibilities are defined by the Emergency, Wayfarer, and Aliments Acts -- Three pieces of legislation keeping the city in a -- let's be honest -- laissez-faire stasis to the benefit of foreign capital."
↑ 65.065.165.265.365.4JOYCE MESSIER - "The Twenties saw a decade of urban war: West of the river levelled, offshore platforms in flames... Still, it's regarded as an improvement on what came before: '08 to '19 was simply hell..."
YOU - "And after that?"
JOYCE MESSIER - "The Thirties? Things settled down in the Thirties. Revachol East transformed itself into the world's largest tax haven -- with the international community's blessing. For the first time in a long time it seemed like things were *going* somewhere."
INLAND EMPIRE - Then *you* happened. Your youth in the Thirties.
CONCEPTUALIZATION - All that untaxed income must have fuelled *The New*. That can only mean one thing...
YOU - "That's when they discovered Disco."
JOYCE MESSIER - "Yes. And quantitative easing. It was a market mirage, unfortunately. The Forties dispelled it. And isola-wide hangover, you might say. So, here we are..." She curtsies.
JOYCE MESSIER - "Welcome to reality, baby."
EMPATHY - From the looks of it the Fifties haven't been much better for the Zone of Control -- you can see it in her eyes. Days slipping away....
↑YOU - The Pox...
SHIVERS - ...was once a park, a place for reflection and recuperation for the patients of the Old Military Hospital. In the Twenties, it was used as a quarantine centre during a measles outbreak that killed many children. Most everyone has avoided the hospital and surrounding park ever since.
SHIVERS - The Pox is completely wild now. Evergreen thickets covered in snow and industrial dust. Feral dogs and even wolves roaming in packs. The police try to keep the deepest corners cordoned off.
YOU - But Still...
SHIVERS - ...heavy drug users do slip through and hole up in the Old Military Hospital, hoping to find something to get high on among the hastily abandoned supplies. Or just to overdose in peace.
↑YOU - (Point to yourself.) "This is what a *modern* cop looks like."
KIM KITSURAGI - "In the New, twenty years ago. It's what a modern cop looked like then."
ENCYCLOPEDIA - He means the New, the third decade of the current century. The decade of disco, decadence, and the victory of democracy-powered free market economy over it's critics.
↑YOU - "The *New*?"
JOYCE MESSIER - "The New, a cultural era -- and the name of the decade it ravished, the Thirties. It came out of post-revolutionary Revachol. It was... ultraliberal."
JOYCE MESSIER - "It involved *lots* of partying, as you might imagine. And champagne coloured *everything*. By the looks of it -- that would have been when you came of age. Now..." She raises her eyebrow at you.
↑BIRD'S NEST ROY - "The clean-up happened fifteen years ago. I was young then. Later my second aunt died, left me this shack and the assorted junk in it."
BIRD'S NEST ROY - "So I came to Martinaise. People told me don't go there, it's a *shit-hole*. I said: people, we just had a *nuclear pile meltdown*. I'm gonna get as far from Faubourg as I can. Still in the same city, but..." He shrugs.
↑YOU - "The People's Pile? What's that?"
BIRD'S NEST ROY - "A bad idea. Some poor leftists built a particle decay generator in hopes of bringing affordable electricity to under-served communities. It malfunctioned. Radioactive waste everywhere, probably some of it in *you*, too."
ENCYCLOPEDIA - The People's Pile was a Type U particle decay generator that failed immediately after entering service, releasing radioactive waste into River Esperance.
YOU - Why is it called the *People's* Pile?
ENCYCLOPEDIA - Construction began during the Commune of Revachol. The *people* continued work on it after the Commune fell -- they wanted a cheap source of energy for Revachol West.
↑YOU - "Tell me more about this Emergency Relief Brigade you were part of."
BIRD'S NEST ROY - He points at the white triangle on his orange safety jacket. "We were an all-volunteer force, self-organized. Tried to help fire brigades contain the spill."
PERCEPTION (SIGHT) - On the patch -- gamma radiation lines crossed with a red drop of blood.
↑BIRD'S NEST ROY - "There wasn't much the volunteer force could do, however. We wasted years in the river mud. Years getting sick..." He looks at the spiralling light and stops.
YOU - "It must have been tough -- radioactive clean-up."
BIRD'S NEST ROY - He hesitates. "There's a reason why everyone's tried to forget any of it ever happened, and why no one has tried to repair or replace the Pile."
BIRD'S NEST ROY - "So much disappointment -- and early deaths, cancer mostly. And we knew all that was coming even as we were *cleaning up* as best we could."
↑LENA, THE CRYPTOZOOLOGIST'S WIFE - "Oh no, dear! It's the early spring of '51."
↑YOU - What is she waiting for?
SHIVERS - For Gloria. Soon these clouds will all fall down as rain. Spring will come. Two more months. Maybe less. It's time.
↑SHIVERS - Her thoughts trails off. The wind picks up again. Above her, a great cumulus cloud rises -- ready to fall down as precipitation. April will come, then May; a month, maybe two months from now... you shudder. The feeling dissipates. The thought ends.
↑KLAASJE (MISS ORANJE DISCO DANCER) - "The Return, well... It's part urban myth -- part political science. It's a fool's hope, sir, and it's also all I've got. They say there will be an *event*. That it will happen somewhere here..." She looks around, then at the sky.
KLAASJE (MISS ORANJE DISCO DANCER) - "In Revachol. Revachol West. They say it will happen soon -- and that it will change everything."
KIM KITSURAGI - "*Le Retour...*" the lieutenant says. His forehead furrowed, he puts his notes down.
YOU - "Is this why you said you would like to surrender in a *free* Revachol?"
KLAASJE (MISS ORANJE DISCO DANCER) - "Yeah..." She looks at the sky, then at you. "I guess it is."
RHETORIC - So she thinks -- at least partly -- that this Return will feature a self-governing Revachol. She has already placed her bets.
↑ESPRIT DE CORPS - Somewhere under the curved roof of a former silk factory, shaped like a ladybird with two chimneys, Police Captain Ptolemy Pryce sits behind a heavy wooden desk. Resident medic Nix Gottlieb pours him a coffee. It's silent in the captain's office...
ESPRIT DE CORPS - They speak of change. The city. The tension on the streets. They speak of the events of April and the blood on the streets in May.
↑SHIVERS - IN 22 YEARS, THE FIRST SHOT WILL BE FIRED. NOT A SHOT FROM A GUN -- AN ATOMIC DEVICE THAT WILL LEVEL ALL OF ME. ALL OF ME.
YOU - But... what can I do about it?
SHIVERS - YOU ARE AN OFFICER OF THE CITIZENS MILITIA. YOU MOVE THROUGH MY STREETS FREELY IN MOTOR CARRIAGES AND ON FOOT. YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE HIDDEN PLACES. YOU ALSO CIRCULATE AMONG THOSE WHO ARE HIDDEN.
SHIVERS - I NEED YOU. YOU CAN KEEP ME ON THIS EARTH. BE VIGILANT. I LOVE YOU.
↑ 79.079.1YOU - "What's the name of this island?" JOYCE MESSIER - "Caillou." She looks to the waters. "Imagine a pebble, a smoothed over pebble amidst a great blue sea. Mis-shapen, cracked. The cracks are the River Esperance. We're in the delta of this river, on the sixth branch -- the Martinaise distributary."
↑JOYCE MESSIER - "On Caillou..." She studies your reaction. "The Pebble, the largest of the fertile, uninhabited islands of the northeast Insulindian archipelago. Four centuries and two revolutions later."
↑JOYCE MESSIER - "Yes. We are on an island in an ocean. The world's largest body of water -- the Insulindic."
ENCYCLOPEDIA - Known to the early Revacholians as *les Immensités Bleues* -- The Blue Immensities.
↑ENCYCLOPEDIA - Technically, the neighboring Ozonne and Face-à-La-Mer island groups are archipelagos, while Le Caillou, by contrast, is a single, fertile land mass, the fourth largest island in the world. It is not an archipelago.
↑JOYCE MESSIER - "We are standing on a fertile, self-sufficient island able to sustain up to 200 million people; in the middle of the Insulindic ocean -- the world's connective tissue..." She smiles. "It's where the money is."
↑SHIVERS - Radiating outwards from you -- the Suzerain Revachol. With a radius of 80 kilometres. Still, the crown jewel of this isola would be barely visible.
↑MAP WALL - The north coast of a verdant island is shattered by the delta of a river. It is the River Esperance. Countless bridges put the shards back together, connecting city blocks to river islands. *La Delta*, says a great, artificial heart in the centre, teeming with lifeforms and construction.
↑SHIVERS - The Bay of Revachol, vastness, great depth -- over 1200 m at its deepest. Water, air brinier than here. It is crisscrossed by huge cargo ships bearing company logos: Wild Pines, ZAMM, Moriyn.
↑JOYCE MESSIER - "It's not really a sea. It's the Bay of Revachol. And the bay feeds into the ocean."
↑SHIVERS - And, at the farthest reaches of the Bay of Revachol -- the shadow of Coalition Warship Archer, on perpetual patrol duty, ready to unleash artillery fire if you were to rise up against the market. You shudder.