The Empire of Grand Fenwick


     The Empire of Grand Fenwick has its origins in the simple town of Little Fenwick, until the 1530s a small backwater on the fringes of Gelderland. Fenwick’s elevation into an autonomous state occurred in 1538 as a result of a drunken wager between the King of Gelderland and the Bishop of Wurzel in which the former was challenged by the latter to give up the town unless he could ‘Find ye a penguin, and moste vigorously snogge hym.’ This was a difficult task for, in addition to the normal dangers associated with intimacy with birdlife, it required the King first to travel to Antarctica to find a penguin. The King’s subsequent failure to return surprised no one, given that no one knew where Antarctica was, and that, in any case, the King's last words on leaving were: ‘What is thee weather like there? Do thee thynke I mighte neede a hat?’

     The current Duke of Grand Fenwick is George XIII. It was George who elevated his Dukedom to the status of an Empire. This he did, first by doubling Fenwick in size, a feat achieved largely by waiting for the latest Bishop of Wurzel to go the shops and then illegally occupying his palace. Second, George for 6 shillings purchased from abroad a scroll, apparently accredited by the ‘Universitie of Ye Himalayas’ that, through granting George ‘ye learninge credits’ for his accumulated life-experience, awarded him with the title of ‘Emperor.’ Foreign affairs have long been problematic for Grand Fenwick. The Duke is a difficult man and, in consequence, Grand Fenwick has been embroiled in many diplomatic spats over the years. In recent times, in particular, Grand Fenwick’s relations with Nabstria have declined to new lows, not helped by the Duke’s tendency in official letters to Nabstria to leave out the letter ‘o’ in the Count’s title.

     Aside from its minute acreage, Grand Fenwick is famous in Mittelheim mainly for its sense of humour: the simple folk of Fenwick are well known to embrace the japesome notion of the double entendre. Not only is this interminably wearisome to travellers, who, when they ask for ‘a bit more sausage in my bun’ want a larger lunch and not a barrage of ‘fnar fnars’, but this delight in double entendre has also had a variety of practical implications for the Duchy. For example, the Fenwickian art of war has long been stunted by the inability of its officers to embrace proper military professionalism: no sooner has an orders meeting begun to talk about ‘penetration of the enemy’s rear areas’, than the Fenwickian officers are reduced to a hooting shambles.

     This situation is not helped by the fact that the Empire’s main export is melons. The predictable effect that this has had on Fenwick’s ability to conduct any kind of sensible economic transaction has led to a raft of legislation in order to enable the Duchy to conduct at least a modicum of sane economic activity. Thus, by order of a statute of 1630, one can in Fenwick order melons from a vendor to the number of ‘one plus one’ or ‘three minus one’, but one can never, under pain of heavy punishment, ask a Fenwickian for ‘a lovely pair of melons.’ Also, by decree, sausages are banned, and there is a strict embargo on the import of rudely shaped vegetables.

     Pogelswood is the capital of Grand Fenwick, a town described by Voltaire as ‘the size of a watercloset, but with rather less to do’. Aside from Pogelswood, the main settlements of Grand Fenwick are the hamlets of Camberwick Green, in which the Empire has its mill; and also Chigley, famous for its six o’ clock tea dances.

     Grand Fenwick’s forces are led by the soldier-adventurer Marshal Don Ignacio Grace a Dieu Cavandish. The army is also accompanied by the notable officer Giovanni di Tripodi. Grand Fenwick’s army is trained to deliver ‘Lethal Volleys.’ It has, in addition, an ‘Artillery Academy.’ The Army of the Empire of Grand Fenwick consists of the following units:

The Pogelswood Fusiliers (Elite): Promoted at Furkohl; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; promoted at Heisenleman.
1st Trumpton Musketeers (Trained): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; promoted at Schoppenmoll; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace.
2nd Trumpton Musketeers (Trained): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Schoppenmoll; promoted at Badschwerin; broken at Heisenleman; retrained in peace.
The Chigley Regiment (Elite): Promoted at Badschwerin; broken at Zorninhaf; retrained in peace; promoted at Wimintzhauer
The Grenadiers of Camberwick Green (Trained): Promoted at Schoppenmoll; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace.
Pippin Fort Reserve Infantry (Elite): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; promoted at Heisenleman.
Miller’s Foote (Trained): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace. 
McGarry’s Regiment (Trained): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace
Grubbe’s Imperial Musketeers (Trained): Broken at Heyenkarbz; re-trained in peacetime; promoted at Schoppenmoll; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peace.

Honeyman’s Hussars (Elite): Promoted at Badschwerin; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; promoted at Wimintzhauer
Pugh’s Hussars (Conscript): Broken at Zorninhaf; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; broken at Wimintzhauer
Life Guard Chevauxlegers (Elite): Promoted at Heyenkarbz; broken at Schoppenmoll; promoted at Badschwerin; broken at Zorninhaf; broken at Grosse Varnische; retrained in peace; promoted at Wimintzhauer

Artillery support is provided by the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 7th Imperial Artillery batteries.

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