King Lucien Esselin Character in The Engineering Corps | World Anvil

King Lucien Esselin

The current elected king of France and an important character in The Engineering Corps book series.

Name Origin

His family is from Poitiers, the capital of the previous Poitou province and, after the 1789 revolution, of the Vienne department which has replaced it. The Esselin have been small local nobilities there for centuries, but they have not really stood out on the national level. The name Esselin comes from the old German adal, meaning noble, through the name Azzelin.


Lucien was a brilliant student and passed the entrance exams to the military engineering school Polytechnique on his first attempt and graduated first in his class. He joined the Engineering corps of the army as a warder and quickly became known for his exceptional skills. A succession of highly publicised incidents in which he played a key role in protecting the population allowed him to first get promoted quickly, and then to get elected as king. For more details about his ascent to the throne, see Introduction to the alternative timeline.

Scandal in Lyon!

Because of the king's negligence regarding the safety measures at the military alchemy manufactures, a reaction went out of control and threatened to engulf the entire city! By miracle, young colonel Lucien Esselin was able to set a filtering ward over the whole city, breaking all time and scale records in the process! Two hundred thousand individuals owe him their lives!

— Newspaper clipping

As a king, his support and funding for the Engineering corps have ensured a major break-through in military technology which has allowed France to keep its highly colourful military uniform, contrary to all other Europeans countries. This has ensured Lucien's popularity and consolidated his position against political opponents and would-be revolutionaries.


Born after the revolution of 1789, Lucien fully embraces revolutionary ideas and fully supports a meritocracy system. He grew up during Napoléon's reign, and he views his predecessor with a lot of admiration, although his separation from the ruling elites of the time also gives Lucien the distance required to view the regime with criticism. For his reign, Lucien intends to return to Napoleonic values after the departure from them during the reign of Louis XVIII and Charles X, while also learning from Napoléon's mistakes.

The challenges of his reign are:

  • The coalition of foreign countries that are contesting his election and which wish to weaken the might of the French kingdom.
  • The volatile French political groups that are all too willing to start a new revolution.
  • The sudden changes in the societal landscape brought by the beginnings of the industrial revolution.

Being the king of France is a constant balancing act between all of those parties, always two steps away from being assassinated.

Reign motto

Rather than have a family motto like the other important European Houses, it is a tradition for French kings to choose their own motto once they ascend the throne to illustrate the principles by which they intend to govern. The motto of Louis XIV, XV and XVI was Nec pluribus impar, however such ideas do not stand well after the revolution and the new kings have had to demonstrate more tact.   Lucien chose as a motto Patrie, Progrès et Gloire, a motto highly inspired by the one of the Polytechnique school (Patrie, Science et Gloire) and which highlights what he wants to show as his principal preoccupations: restoring the glory of France, defend its people, and help the country modernise and go through the societal changes triggered by the industrial revolution.


Lucien is a bold and ambitious person, as proved by him going from a minor noble family to becoming king of France. He is highly intelligent and intellectually curious and value individuals sharing the same qualities, leading to him having very little tolerance for fools and people only doing the bare minimum with their jobs. He values good manners and diplomacy, but despite his pleasing exterior, losing his esteem is dangerous for anyone's career.   Lucien is also a very manipulative person and he likes to play political gain. He is an excellent orator and highly appreciated by the people working under him, inciting them to go above and beyond to gain his regard. He also knows very well how to make himself love by the population and maintains good relationships with several of the owners of French newspapers. Whether he truly cares about anyone is a mystery.

Table of Contents

Nationality: French

Corps: Politicians, previously Engineering
Rank: King, previously Army Corps General
Veterancy: 25 years
Schooling: Polytechnique

Age: 46
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black
Height: 1m80

French royal coat of arms by Louis de Lauban


King sacre
King Lucien by AmélieIS, Guérin and Artbreeder

Notable contribution

King Lucien is the one who pushed for the development of new military uniforms. As the problems with the previous uniforms were used as the excuse to execute his predecessor, those new uniforms are seen as a very important development.

Engineering corps uniform
Item | Jun 11, 2022

The new uniform of the engineering corps, employing state-of-the-art technology—enrol now to get the privilege to wear it!

Cover image: Some of the characters in the Empire of the Covenant by AmélieIS with Artbreeder
Character Portrait image: King Lucien by AmélieIs with Artbreeder


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