Buy | Submit | TRMGS1 | TRMGS2 | TRMGS3 | TRMGS4 |TRMGS Main | Heliograph Main


The Complete Canal Priests Of Mars is now available!

The original publication of Canal Priests Of Mars cut slightly over a third of author Marcus L. Rowland's manuscript to fit GDW's adventure format. The Complete Canal Priests Of Mars restores the cut material, features all new artwork by Paul Daly, and adds many useful player handouts. Enjoy the "author's cut" of a classic Space 1889 adventure, or experience it for the first time!

See our Buy It! page for more information!

Old news is still available on the News Page.

Idaeus Fons: The Tricolor Over Mars

By Michael Sangemino

James L. Cambias' article "The French on Mars" (originally published in issue 7 of Transactions of the Royal Martian Geographical Society, republished in volume 2 of TRMGS from Heliograph, Inc.) is an informative description of France's colonial presence on Mars. This article provides additional detail about the major city of the French colony, Idaeus Fons.

The seat of the French power on Mars rests in the city-state of Idaeus Fons. At one time an isolated provincial town, Idaeus Fons is now touched by the civilizing mission of France. The city streets smell of French bread and wine,  Idaeus Fons has become the center of European culture on Mars, and a vacation site of many homesick Terran colonists.

City Statistics

Population: 80,000 (plus 4,000 humans)
Government: Weak Prince
Corruption: Honest
Economy: Mercantile
Vitality: Wealthy
Army: Poor*
Army Size: 21
Fleet Quality: Trained
Fleet Size: 320,000 pounds
Attitude: Indifferent
Colonial Army: Good
Colonial Army Size: 1
Colonial Army Loyalty: Indifferent

Idaeus Fons Map

Important Sections Of The City

Refer to the Idaeus Fons Map to locate the areas discussed below.

The French Quarter: The French who reside in Idaeus Fons live within the French Quarter. Lying just outside outside the city-state's walls, the French Quarter streets are lined with architecture resembling the very finest of Paris. It has an atmosphere of refinement and Gallic snobbery.

The land upon which the Quarter is located was originally land owned by nobles who opposed French control and reluctantly turned it over as compensation for their opposition. Surrounding the Quarter are beautiful vineyards growing grapes for the popular Maison Zoraad wine. The Quarter is home to most of the high French military and administrative officials. It is also home to French businessman and ambassadors from the other colonial powers.

The Quarter is divided by the Rue de Paris which is lined by fine restaurants specializing in French Cuisine and taverns serving Terran spirits. The heart of the Quarter is the Palace de Republique, a beautiful theater and home to the many touring companies of Can-Can dancers and ballet dancers from France.

The Quarter is considered the focal point for human culture on the Mars. Many a day one can stroll along the canal and see painters creating beautiful depiction's of everyday colonial life. Most government officials dream be sent to Idaeus Fons to sample the local charm and the French wine! The Quarter is considered off limits to Martians with the exception of domestic workers.

Palace: The Palace is a walled area within the city. Before the French established control of Idaeus Fons, this area was home to the city-state's noble family and the seat of government. The buildings within the Palace sector rise above the rest of the city. The large Palace of Kazan was the home of King Lotmar. After the signing of the Treaty of Idaeus Fons in 1877, the newly installed King Akvan was moved from the large palace and is presently residing in the smaller residence originally designated for servants.

The Kazan Palace has been turned over to the Institut Martian des Sciences. The Palace is now filled with laboratories dedicated to the study of the Mars.

The Church of St. Michele can also be found within the Palace sector. Formerly a Temple dedicated to the goddess Marhardroxx, the Church is now the home to the Roman Catholic Bishop Mailard. The Bishop sees Mars as a new opportunity to convert polythestic Martians and has sent missionaries throughout Mars.

The most important building in the area is the old military headquarters of Idaeus Fons. It is now the home to General Saint-Honore who officially is adviser to the King but in reality is the ruler of the colony.

The military presence in the Palace sector is the Royal Guard, which is housed in the new palace and protects the King. They are generally experienced troops. Also occupying the Palace sector is a battalion of French soldiers from the 79th Infantry Regiment.

Old City: This is a dense populated area known for its filth and crime. Visitors to Idaeus Fons are warned against venturing into the Old City. The section is filled with brothels and gambling halls. The Old City is a good area to buy illegal goods, and is a breeding ground for anti-human resentment.

The military presence in this area is primarily the responsibility of the newly formed Colonial troops.

Landing Field: This is the only facility for aerial traffic. It serves as the base of the French-operated Idaeus Fons cloudship fleet. Within the landing area there is usually a company of the French 3rd Marine Infantry. Adjoining the Landing Field is Fort Defence which overlooks the French Quarter and houses the French 3rd Marine Infantry.

Bazaar: The Bazaar is the hub of commercial activity in the city. Usually open seven days a week, the French have recently prodded King Akvan to close the bazaar on Sundays out of respect of Terran religious beliefs. This has angered many Martians who feel furthered humiliated by their human rulers. This humiliation is alleviated by the presence of more and cheaper material goods due to the France's effective administration and protection.

Business District: North of the Bazaar is the Business District. The Business District is the home to most of the offices of French companies, and also the embassies of foreign powers. In particular, this section houses the office of The Societe de Ether which is one of the primary concessions in the city. Societe has exclusive control of all interplanetary travel between France and Idaeus Fons. It also runs a steamship line that transports goods to Acidalium.

The Business District is home to a number of French Schools and many of the city's Nobles send their children there. Overlooking the Business District is the Fort Republique which houses the 79th infantry and a heavy battery of 6" howitzers.

High Docks: This large open area of the city is busy day and night with sailing and steam ships transporting goods in and out of Acidalium. The port facilities are controlled by French concessions. Nearby, the Customs House, which looms over the docks, protects French interests by taxing heavily all non-French concerns therefore insuring French economic hegemony over the city.

Also nearby is Fort France, which houses the city prison. Many nobles and priests who opposed French control in 1877 are now imprisoned here. The 81st infantry controls this area.


General Saint-Honore

The head of all French forces on Mars, General Saint-Honore is convinced of the importance of the civilizing mission of France. Therefore, in his opinion, France must have colonies! Unfortunately, many in France disagree with him. Saint-Honore is a veteran infantry officer of the Tunisian campaign. A masterful military tactician and a skilled politician, Saint-Honore must deal with a uninterested Parliament, recalcitrant Quai d' Orsay and a stingy Ministry of Marine. French troops have conquered a large amount of territory in the region but Saint-Honore still begs France for more troops and money.

The General's dealings with King Akvan are mostly cordial. However, the General is suspicions of the King and at times will diplomatically inform his majesty of who is in charge. Saint-Honore demands discipline from his officers and troops. He will, however, look the other way if he suspects an ambitious young officer is attempting to spread French influence in another region of Mars.

Presently, Saint-Honore sees himself as France's only hope to thwart German and British designs upon the entire planet. Relations between the General and the King have become tense because of Saint-Honore desire to use Royal troops as part of an expansion into Acidalium. In Saint- Honore's mind, as the importance of liftwood increases, France will become more interested in her colony on Mars.

King Akvan

Installed as King of Idaeus Fons after the Treaty of 1877, replacing his defeated Uncle King Lotmar, King Akvan is seen by the general populace as merely a puppet controlled by the French. For the most part this is true, but Akvan reflects much of the ambivalence that the people share toward their new rulers. On one hand, he is humiliated at how the French have taken control of the city's economy and are attempting to impose their religion upon the populace. On the other hand, King Akvan is spoiled by the increased wealth brought by French protection. He is known to spend many hours drinking and entertaining with many of the court's beautiful maidens, but in reality this is a facade. Akvad spends much of his time trying to gain greater independence from the French while not raising their ire.

Recently, things have become increasingly strained, due to General Saint-Honore's desire to use Royal troops on a expedition into Acidalium. Rumor has it that King Akvan's cousin Prince Gorgaxx has converted to Christianity and is a likely candidate to replace the King. King Akvan need only visit the tomb of his dead uncle King Lothar to see the results of disagreeing with the French.

Posted Monday, 04-May-2009 19:52:35 EDT

Return to Main Page

Comments to

The material on this page is Copyright 2000 under the author or artist's name unless noted otherwise, and cannot be used without permission. This presentation Copyright 2000 by Heliograph, Inc. Space:1889 is a registered trademark of Frank Chadwick, all rights reserved, and is used with his permission. Most other game, movie, or book names may be trademarks of their respective holders, and use of a trademark at this site should not be construed as implying the sponsorship of the trademark holder, nor, conversely, should use of the name of any product without mention of trademark status be construed as a challenge to such status. Heck no! We love those guys.