Embassy Row: Heart of the Parisian Diaspora

The Certification Riots


When Amory Frontage founded several Parises in the district of E’re Iowa and laid out their fertile cornrows, he could not have known he was also planting the seeds of the destruction of the Diaspora as any kind of meaningful political entity. 

The canard is often repeated that the Parises that were in the district of eIowa (the “e” stands for “e’er” and is silent) fought over the right to represent the district in councils like this.  This, of course, is impossible, because a district (like iIllinois or pCalifornia [the “p” is silent]) had no political status in Kymaerican times.  In fact, even as a geographic entity, these district names probably meant something much different to people of that era than they do in ours.

What is true, is that all the Parises of E’re Iowa were also under the dominon of the Grid.  The Grid was a culture (not exactly a religion per se, but certainly a belief system) centered in Exira (a town which is now in linear Iowa),  It was literally the center of that world.  The Grid was determined by a careful demarcation of an imagined grid (to call it imaginary could have gotten one executed at certain times) centered at a spot just outside the Our Lady of the Grid Church.  Many of the rigid township systems and squarish county lines in that part of the continent are an artifact of this time.


Over a period of time that encompassed two complete life cycles of the local brood of cicadas, Amory Frontage founded 5 different Parises in the lands ruled by the Grid.  He is known to have traveled outside the area at least once during that time, so they were not all founded consecutively.  At first there was not too much of a problem, though proximity did bring its cousin: rivalry.  But the nature of The Grid culture was something that ebbed and flowed according to the beliefs of the high priestess of the Our Lady of the Grid church.  Sometimes the associations were loose and all the member gwomes were essentially independent, other times they had to follow strict rulings.  Interestingly, even formerly independent gwomes would instantly kowtow.  This philosophy was known as “freedom on a chain,” and it was a cornerstone of Grid belief.

The gwomes of the five Parises were: The True Grid Home of Paris (TGHP), Vray Maysonne, (called Vray), The Grid Paris (TGP),  Paresse ,  and Pas Du Paresse.  However, the last one was only one town and the whole gwome was not culturally Parisian (thus the name), and it was not a factor in the riots.  The four other Paris were relatively small in population (though they were not the smallest Parisian gwome) and so had agreed to a rotation of membership in the Fraternitee and thus the use of the embassy.  Furthermore, their soil was identical and therefore, in the spirit of Amory’s vision, it seemed appropriate to consider them one.

But, as the chain was pulled tighter,  the economic benefits of being the rotating member grew greater (exports and imports through Parisian Charter, etc) and when the TGHP received membership, in the normal course of time they determined not to relinquish it.  When the delegation from TGP arrived to replace them, the TGHP refused to yield.  A stalemate ensued.  The TGP took the high ground and the delegation sat outside the door of the TGHP office.  The  Fraternitee was appalled, but unable to agree on the proper course because it was essentially an internal matter.


Finally, the Fraternitee agreed that the situation was untenable (who would be the proper military partner, for example, be?) and decided to hold a Certification Hearing where all 4 Parises from the realm of The Grid could present their views.  If three out of four favored a certain approach, the Fraternitee would honor that.

This was bad news for the TGHP and they knew it.  They recruited a mob from West Terre Haute and reinforcement from back in the homeland to intimidate the hearing.  Getting wind of this, citizens from TGP, Paresse and Vray also mobilized and, by forced march (and, some said, Time Guides), by the time of the hearing thousands of bitter, uninformed people surged through the streets of this Paris.

The hearing began at dawn following the first full moon after the Pleiades left the sky (probably March).  The capital building (now used as the courthouse) was packed and the crowd filled the square.  The hearing lasted all day and things were going against the TGHP. The 15 ambassadors retired to consider their verdict. The crowd was anxious.  Even supporters of the TGHP didn’t see how they could prevail, now that the mob opposed to them, if anything, outnumbered them.

After a short time, the representatives of the 4 Grid Parises were summoned to hear a unanimous verdict.  Everyone knew what that meant.  But Javertal, the leader of the TGHP, was nowhere to be found.  Suddenly,, there was screaming.  The mob surged towards this building and bedlam broke out.  Javertal had climbed the wall of the monastery next door and entered this building from the 4th floor.  Sneaking down, he had begun trashing room 205.  He figured if the TGHP would have been banned for a long time, and if they could not have it, no one could.

Rumors spread and soon there was wide spread fighting, looting and vandalism around the town square.  Fires started and, after an orgiastic 5 days of destruction and 56 deaths, half the buildings were destroyed or damaged beyond repair .  Even the glorious capital was a smoldering ruin.  Ironically, the second floor of this building was the only part of the Fraternitee to survive.  Javertal himself, appalled at what he started, fended off the flames for all 5 days, before disappearing onto the roadways of Kymaerica.

The present day courthouse was built according to the specifications of the old and gradually the town grew back, but the Fraternitee was never the same,  Though the flag that hangs here today belongs to the TGP, the real irony is that the unanimous verdict that was reached would have required the other three grid Parises to allow the TGHP back into the rotation.

Parisian Diaspora room (with attendant artifacts)