The Landgravate of Hesse-Rotenburg

      
     The Landgravate is an ancient holding: its ruling house, the family of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfurst, has held power here since the eleventh century, and little in the landgravate has changed since then either in terms of political reform or the local plumbing. Wedged uncomfortably between Bachscuttel and Kurland, Hesse-Rotenburg is one of the eastern states of Mittelheim: if Gelderland is positioned in Mittelheim’s ‘cockpit of conflict,’ then Rotenburg is caught in its buttock cleft. Certainly, the trouser tomfoolery that passes in Bachscuttel for foreign policy has been a constant source of difficulties for Rotenburg through the ages. The eastern border of Rotenburg is marked by a vast stinking marsh, the Tchunderbog, which comprises one of the most picturesque areas of Kurland. The western border is marked by another vast stinking bog (though in this case a metaphorical one) in the guise of the Palatinate of Saukopf-Bachscuttel. To the north, the sea, at least, provides a civilised companion to Rotenburg, and also the source of the Landgravate’s national dish: jellied seagulls.
   
     Choldwig III is the ruling Landgrave of Hesse-Rotenburg. Choldwig is a man of vast ambition. Having ascended the Langravial seat only six months ago, he has embarked on a programme to transform Hesse-Rotenburg into the dominant power of Mittelheim. His pattern is provided by his great hero, Alexander the Great. Already, however, some have expressed doubts as to the long-term sustainability of Choldwig's policies. In particular, Choldwig’s commitment to the Macedonian model of reform seems to involve less a focus on igniting a military revolution through radical innovation in the existing military system than it does an interest in wearing a loincloth and having his body oiled a lot.

     The capital of Rotenburg was, until recently, the city of Muntersheim: in keeping, however, with Choldwig’s new programme of Alexandrian splendour, Muntersheim has been renamed Alexandopolis. Choldwig has also lavished much of the Landgravate’s wealth on a programme of beautification for Alexandopolis, inspired by the wonders of antiquity. This is not quite as impressive as one might think, however, given that the phrase ‘much of the Landgravate’s wealth’ equates to a sum not dissimilar to that which one might find down the back of any sofa in Sans Souci. That Choldwig has had to make certain economies is evident from the ‘Hanging Gardens of Alexandopolis’ which consist of a gallows surrounded by some pot plants; and the ‘Great Lighthouse of Alexandopolis’ which, after enforced cut-backs, had to be renamed the ‘Great Lighthouse (Not to Scale).’

     Economically, Rotenburg relies for its wealth on the production of wine, centred around the village of Bockfast, a libation that is much prized in Eastern Europe for its ability to prevent mechanical parts freezing in winter. Thanks to the harbour at Alexandopolis, Rotenburg also has a thriving network of overseas trade: Rotenburg imports whale blubber, mousetraps, and false moustaches; it exports salted leeches, leech preserves, and nasal hair, the latter of which are sent to Grimsby for processing into false moustaches. The town of Buxomfrau is the site of one of Mittelheim’s foremost medical research establishments, Schloss Rimsting, famous for its cutting edge medical treatments (leeches); precision medical instruments (very small leeches); key hole surgery (leeches for delivery to those accidentally locked into their home); and controversial cures for hiccups (comprising trepanning, and then an aggressive course of leeches.

     The army of Hesse-Rotenburg is commanded by Choldwig’s cousin, Furst Augustus Saxe-Peste. He is assisted by the military notable Michel-George du Vicque. The Rotenburg army is well known for its fire discipline and delivers ‘Lethal Volleys’. It is also able to manoeuvre in an 'Oblique' fashion. Hesse-Rotenburg’s army consists of the following units:

Infanterie Regiment No. 1 (Trained): Promoted at Lowenfaht; broken at Heyenkarbz and reconstituted from depots; reorganised as Elite during peace; broken at Nottelbad; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Chestwig; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace.

Infanterie Regiment No. 2 (Conscript): Broken at Heyenkarbz and reconstituted from depots; reorganised during peace as Elite; broken at Nottelbad; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Chestwig; retrained in peace; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Putschdorf.

Landgravial Lifeguard (formerly IR No. 3) (Trained): Broken at Lowenfaht and reconstituted from depots; broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; promoted at Nottelbad; broken at Chestwig; promoted at Grosse Varnische; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peace-time.

Infanterie Regiment No. 4 (Trained): Broken at Heyenkarbz and reconstituted from depots; broken at Chestwig; retrained in peace.

Infanterie Regiment No. 5 (Conscript): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peace-time; broken at Putschdorf.

Infanterie Regiment No. 6 (Conscript): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Nottelbad; broken at Maushorgen; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; broken at Putschdorf.

Infanterie Regiment No. 7 (Trained): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Maushorgen; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Chestwig; promoted at Grosse Varnische.

Infanterie Regiment No. 8 (Conscript): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Chestwig; retrained in peace; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peace-time; broken at Putschdorf.

1st Hussaren (Conscript): Broken at Maushorgen; re-trained in peacetime; promoted at Grosse Varnische; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peace-time; broken at Putschdorf.

2nd Hussaren (Trained): Broken at Maushorgen; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Chestwig; promoted at Grosse Varnische.

1st Honevell’s Horse (Conscript): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Maushorgen; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; promoted at Heisenleman; broken at Putschdorf.

2nd Honevell’s Horse (Conscript): Broken at Maushorgen; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; broken at Putschdorf.

Artillery support is provided by the 3rd and 5th batteries of the Landgrave’s Regular Artillery Regiment.

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