Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chapter 1- Early History of The Duchy

In the fertile rolling hills of south-central Europe lies the Duchy of Lagerburg-Slobbovia. The Duchy is located in the general vicinity of the southern edge of Imperial Austria, occupying some of the region now known as Slovenia and the northern half of Croatia. The local geography is dominated by the rivers Piswassere and Spytzwasser (now known as the Drava and the Sava). The valley holding both extends from the Piswassere river mouth empties into the Danube in the northeast to its glacial headwaters in the upland region of Slobbovia in the mountainous west. At it’s southwestern corner, the port cities of Piran and Trieste provide access to the Adriatic Sea. Within its borders, Lagerburg contains parts of the major terrain types to be found in eastern Europe.
From the confluence, past the trading town of Felsenfall, the terrain is a rolling plain of low hills. Beyond that, the terrain rises to the alpine range and the glacial source of the Piswassere, which derived its name from the unique formation of the falls that mark its origin.
Scouring of the bedrock here took an unexpected form, resulting in a narrow, constricted exit from the lake at the base of the glacier melt at the top of a short but sheer cliff to yet another, larger lake below. Rather than a wide, ragged or tumbling fall usually expected, the Piswassere pours outwards and downwards in a concentrated, cohesive stream for nearly a hundred feet, creating a deep continuous gurgling splash that can be heard for miles.
Occupying a varied but fertile area in the east, the lower valley region is imminently suited to production of the constituent products required for fermented, brewed liquors. Indeed, for centuries the chief export of the region has been various brands of beers, varieties of pretzel, and pork products.
To the northwest, descendants of a Hunnish tribe, the Slobbs, who became lost on their way to sack Rome, settled into the high valleys and mountains of what would later become Lagerburg. During the 14th century, the province was annexed by the SofanOttoman Ticklish Empire. the area was administered by the hereditary line of Mirlivas (governors). By the early 1700’s, reverses in the fortunes of the Empire resulted in loss of control of the area back to the original Slobs.
Although the Emperor originally designated the region as a protectorate, he did not at first see fit to require any more than a loose territorial council, to whom was entrusted the tasks of government and protection. Villages of workers and their families sprung up surrounding each of several breweries in the area, and Grenzer (border) companies were established to protect each one and it’s town from the occasional raids by bandits (including light horse from Slobbovia and other neighboring states).
Loss of profits resulting from raids of this sort prompted the loose council of burghers to send a delegation to His Imperial Majesty to complain. The Emperor consented to officially annex the region, create the Duchy, and granted the lands with great pomp and ceremony to Kapitan Albrecht Mordicus, commander of the Imperial Yacht, as reward for "years of Faithful and Valiant Naval Service".
To be certain, the Imperial Navy was a minor participant in world affairs, and because of this, relatively underutilized by the Emperor. It was understood that an assignment to command the Imperial Yacht might improve a naval officer’s limited career opportunities.
(In fact the Kapitan, while making a late-evening inspection round of the Yacht, happened upon the Imperial Personage engaging in extramarital gymnastics with one of the palace maids. The granting of the Duchy was a convenient way to ensure the Kapitan’s silence, loyalty and permanent relocation to a place far removed from the ears of the ever-suspicious and ferociously possessive Empress).
After his arrival and a cursory junket about the duchy, Herzog Albrecht (long a connoisseur of many permutations of the fermented beverage) quickly and wisely realized the opportunity that had fallen in his lap. The potential for Imperial gratitude (not to mention considerable profit) did not escape his consideration. He set to work establishing his position and the future of the Duchy.

1 comment:

MurdocK said...


I love the 'rasion d'abscence' for the new Duke