THE SHADOW OF WAR
Book One: Walking the Earth
Book Two: Parting the Fog
Book Three: Feeling the Night
Book Four: Kindling the Flames
Book Five: Breaking the Waves
Book Six: Watching the Sky
Book Seven: Tearing the Clouds
Book Eight: Wielding the Storm
Book Nine: Turning the World
Book Ten: Lighting the Stars
Author's Note: This is the sequel to The King of the Catacombs, but it can also be read on its own, as all necessary information will be included and everything will be explained here.
When I posted The King of the Catacombs in February, I was practically a complete stranger to the phandom. Since then, things have changed a lot. I have read Gaston Leroux's original novel, and I have watched the DVD almost until happy brain-death, and then celebrated happy brain-death on jolly PPN (potophans dot net, for all those among you who are interested), among a bunch of crazy girls, Christine's lovely cleavage, and, for reasons of style, a banana milk. Those who have frequented this site or, despite its merry madness, still do, may know me as Fallen Angel Boy – or FAB, or little pervy boy, or, in some cases, leetle pervy boy, or the bar violinist, or somebody's sexy fiend (don't ask). I've also been urged to become a Tartan, which I associated with a kilt at that time (no, they said, it was Tarts and Tartans, but I didn't quite get it). I joined nonetheless, but still don't really know what it is – I suspect that they had brainwashed me to join the Gerard Butler fanclub or something. Anyway, I am now known as What's-A-Bloody-Tartan Tartan. lol Moreover, my rendition of the Phantom, known as Fallen Angel Erik (sometimes spelled as FallenAngel!Erik, don't ask me why), is now rather popular among certain of those ladies, and he is much quarrelled over – see The Phantom Holiday Special for full detail. ;)
But enough about me, you'll believe me by now that I've got a right to be here. )
One more thing before we head off to discuss the historical setting: New author policy: ALL REVIEWS WILL BE ANSWERED AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH NEW CHAPTER. So do leave one after you've read the newest instalment. It seems that this is encouraging to reviewers. ;-)
Historical Background – a (more or less) necessary introduction
Unlike in The King of the Catacombs, the historical background setting will be of immense importance in this story. However, please do note that my rendition of the French-German war is not entirely historical. I have taken the liberty of changing the course of history somewhat for reasons lying in the narrative (and I'm sure you will understand once I explain). You will find a brief summary of events as they really occurred in the following paragraphs, and then what I changed about it (but if you're not interested in history, you may skip right down and continue with the cast g).
First, please note that the date given at the beginning of the movie is, in fact, wrong. It is supposed to be 1869; only with the Masquerade sequence we pass into 1870. Otherwise, if the masked ball took place in January 1871, it would have been towards the end of the siege of Paris (the capitulation was on January 19th, by the way, so you can imagine what life must have been like at that moment)… well, let us just say that it would not have taken place at all. So, the timeline we get is the following: The movie begins in the autumn of 1869 and continues until February 1870, where The King of the Catacombs takes up the narrative, ending in early May 1870. Between its end and the beginning of this story, some time has elapsed; you will find yourselves in September 1870 – on the morning of September 19th, in fact, which is a very important date…
The French government saw a threat in the growing power of Prussia, especially since Prussia defeated the Austrian Empire in 1866, thereby gaining dominance over the Northern German Union. Emperor Napoleon III was losing popularity rapidly, and he knew that the fall of his Second Empire was only a question of time. Prussia, on the other hand, under the reign of King Wilhelm I and his counsellor, Prince Bismarck, planned to unite the Northern and Southern German states to one country, and Bismarck knew that France would meet any such attempts with resistance because Napoleon III would not suffer Prussia's power to grow any further at the borders of France. Both nations' involvement in a political intrigue in Spain struck the spark that would make the conflict escalate: On July 15th 1870, France declared war upon Prussia and the Northern German Union. The kings of Bavaria and Württemberg, the largest states among those of Southern Germany, sided with Prussia, while Austria was forced to remain neutral by Russian troops marching against the borders of its eastern provinces. England remained neutral as well.
Under General Count Moltke, the German armies lay siege to Metz, then drove the French counterattack off into the North, where they forced them to capitulate at Sedan; together with over 100000 men, Emperor Napoleon III was made a prisoner of war. Three days later, on September 4th 1870, the Republic was proclaimed at Paris, though the power of the new government did not extend very far into the country anymore. On September 19th, the siege of Paris began. From Tours, Republican Léon Gambetta organized new armies, yet the commander of Metz, Marshal Bazaine, a monarchist, surrendered without necessity in October, which at once freed German contingents that had been bound in the west earlier on, and the Republican armies were defeated in the valleys of the rivers Loire and Saône. Weakened by starvation, Paris capitulated on January 19th 1871.
In the meantime, Bismarck managed to convince the Southern German states to join the Union in November, and in December the Union was renamed German Realm. On January 18th 1871 already, Wilhelm I was proclaimed Emperor of Germany at Versailles. The treaties with France were signed on February 26th 1871 at Versailles and on May 10th 1871 at Frankfurt. Alsace and Lorraine, for centuries already object of conflicts between France and Germany, became part of Germany.
While the rest of France was glad to have peace again, the population of Paris was discontent. On March 18th 1871, open revolt began. While the government fled the city, the Council of the Commune was elected and a reign of terror established. On May 21st, the march to free Paris began, led by the rightful government and with armies consisting mainly of prisoners of war Bismarck had readily released. The civil war for dominance of the city lasted until May 28th, then Paris was in the government's hands once more, and the government knew no mercy. Those among the Communards who did not flee in time were exiled or, in most cases, executed; thousands met that fate.
(Yes, I'm using this term here, despite the translation of Leroux's novel using "Communists", because "Communards" is the more accurate term. While the Commune was strongly influenced by the anarchist Pierre Joseph Proudhon, who had demanded the abolition of all power of the state and called property theft, and while people at that time saw in it an outbreak of the very worst anarchistic and anti-societal tendencies, it had in fact, compared to later Communist reigns in the spirit of Marx and Engels, a rather democratic and egalitarian character.)
For this story, I have taken the liberty of moving the Communard uprising into the place of the Republic's proclamation, so that now the Commune begins on September 4th 1870, and that the siege is accompanied by civil war and reign of terror inside the city, thus increasing the loyalty conflict among the city's nobility.
The Head of the Council in this narrative, Michel Delannay, and his closest companion, Charles LaCroix, are both fictional characters, as is the Prussian General Walther von Nordstedt. Who really lived, though, is Hermann Lando. Some years prior to this tale, he married a woman who already had a daughter, whose true father remains unknown to us. This daughter had a daughter herself, who again had a daughter, who had a daughter in turn – who is my mother.
The Phantom……Gerard Butler
Christine Daaé……Emmy Rossum
Raoul de Chagny……Patrick Wilson
Meg Giry……Jennifer Ellison
Claire Giry……Miranda Richardson
Gérard de Chateaupers……Arnold Vosloo
Michel Delannay……Bruce Willis
Charles LaCroix……Alan Rickman
Maurice de Bracy……Hugh Jackman
Hermann Lando……Billy Boyd
Walther von Nordstedt……Liam Neeson
Roger de Castelot-Barbezac……Heath Ledger
Gilles André……Simon Callow
Richard Firmin……Cíaran Hinds
Carlotta Giudicelli……Minnie Driver
Jean Leclair……Jason Flemyng
Cécile Jammes……Reese Witherspoon
Geneviève Poussepain……Natalie Portman
Victorine Poussepain……Keira Knightley
Ferdinand Burgdorf……Viggo Mortensen
Heinrich Karlsberg……Rupert Everett
Pierre Leblanc……James Marsden
Patrice Roux……Shane West
The Herald of Fate……Hugo Weaving
The Lady of Dreams……Patricia Velazquez
The Hunter……Levani Outchaneichvili
The Dragon-tamer……Sean Bean
Vincent de Chagny……John Cleese
Fabienne de Chagny ……Judi Dench
Robert Millet……Bill Murray
Marguerite Renard……Anna Massey
The Cook……Miriam Margolyes
Fleur-de-Lys……Jennifer Love Hewitt
Nehring……Kevin J. O'Connor
To all those who have in the past voiced interest as far as ownership of one of my original characters is concerned (or are yet going to): Please note that my sister claims several of them her own, and they cannot be had either for love or for money. These are as follows: Maurice de Bracy (because he is just cool), Roger de Castelot-Barbezac (whose last name actually belongs to Gaston Leroux, but never mind), Sándor, Xavier, Walther von Nordstedt (more for coolness than for looks), Ferdinand Burgdorf, Heinrich Karlsberg, Pierre Leblanc, Patrice Roux, Tricur and Febis (he is definitely too old for her… but he has so much style… which leads her to the opinion that she wants him as her granddad). She also insists on her ownership of Raoul and the Phantom (though she doesn't approve of the latter's actions, but she thinks that he can still be happily gawked at and cooed over, and she'll be happy to show you her certificate of ownership any time). gg
And to the gentlemen out there (there might be some, who knows? I won't give up the hope that I'm not alone!): Valencienne is mine! Yes, MINE! And I also won't give away Christine. And about the Lady of Dreams (also known as Niobe in The King of the Catacombs)… let's just say I see things much the same as my sister does about the Phantom… ;-p
Censor: PG-13. Parents strongly cautioned: This story contains both violence and sexual content and may therefore not be suitable for younger readers.