The Burgravate of Nabstria

An History and observation concerning the Burggraviate of Nabstria, lately completed by Colonel Sir Mallileu Fitzbuttress, late of His Majesty’s Horse Guards.
      
'The Burggraviate of Nabstria is an ancient seat of obscure origin located in the northern and eastern parts of Mittelheim.  The heart of the Burggraviate is the ancient fortification, Falkensteinburg, which has the most romantic setting perched on a crag above the great valley of the river Quelch.  Below the castle lies the densely packed town of Falkensteinstadt, the capital of the Burggraviate, famous for its numerous bridges over the Quelch.
Falkensteinburg itself has an interesting and intriguing history.  There are many rumours and stories concerning the rocky crag on which the castle was built.  It is said that, in the mists of time, the crag was the stronghold of a particularly warlike and menacing Germanic tribe, known as the Nabstiri, which practised unspeakable religious rites on its topmost stones.  These rites seem to have concerned the worship of a God in the shape of a bird of prey, along with human sacrifice and the deflowering of young maidens.  The name of one of the leaders of this dark band has come through to us, since he, known to the Romans as Agonius, and his tribe were confederates in the great defeat of Caesar Augustuss Legions at the battle of the Teutoburgerwald.  Remnants of that great forest still lie on the borders of Nabstria.  In later years it was said that even the Goths, Vandals and Huns did not attempt to lay siege to the stronghold on top of the crag so evil was its reputation.
It was not until the reign of Charlemagne the Great that the last vestiges of the Nabstiri were driven from their fastness and the ground purified and sanctified by Bishop Theodulf of Orleans.  The present Burggrave, Falco Flickin-Wettin-Falkenstein, proudly traces his lineage back to those days, when the great King gave his ancestor the right and responsibility of castellating the crag. The family legend suggests that his ancestor, Falco Falkenstein, came to prominence during the Battle of Ronscevalles in the Pyrenees and that Charlemagne rewarded him with the Burrgraviate of Nabstria.  The castle has thus grown from its ancient origins, continually improved during the middle ages and finally transformed into an imposing residence just fifty years ago.  Similarly, the town of Falkensteinstadt has grown from a small settlement by the river into the large trading entrepot of today.
The second major settlement of the Burggraviate is the town of Badelippestadt which lies in the heart of a fertile rural area which supports many dairy herds.  Badelippestadt is noted for the production of milk and cheese, in particular the famous rotterfahrtkase which is the most powerfully smelling cheese I have ever encountered.  Indeed, the aroma is quite indescribable.  There is considerable rivalry between Falkensteinstadt and Badelippestadt which is only heightened by the annual competition for the best flagon of ale in the Burggrave.  The brewers of the two towns engage in fierce competition in order to carry home the much coveted award of the teuerfaB which is presented by the Burggrave in person at a lavish ceremony held in Falkensteinburg every October.
It has to be said that the Burggraviate suffered greatly during the Thirty Years War.  Since the Burggrave cleaved to the old religion, his lands became a target for many of the Protestant nobles of northern Mittelheim.  However, although the Burggraviate was ravaged, and Falkensteinstadt largely burnt by Swedish troops, the castle was never taken by hostile troops.  It has taken many years for the Burggraviate to recover from the ravages of this terrible war, and many of the enmities of those years remain between the principalities of the region.  However, Nabstria does appear to be unusually prosperous due to the volumes of trade generated by the docks of Falkensteinstadt and, unusually for Mittelheim, farming tends to be overshadowed by trade as the pre-eminent occupation of the inhabitants.  This fact has also increased the importance and influence of the burghers of Falkensteinstadt at the expense of those of Baddelippestadt, to the considerable annoyance and vexation of the inhabitants of the more hearty and rural town.
The present Burggrave is a particularly private man, and tends to keep his counsel within the walls of his admittedly impressive castle.  His interest in secrecy is only matched by his desire to be informed minutely on the comings and goings of all his subjects.  Indeed, Nabstria has the most active and widespread series of informers and agents who report to the Burggrave's chief intelligencer, Baron Leopold von Bludheim.  It is commonly said, although only in a low whisper in the taverns of Falkensteinstadt, that a man has only to sneeze loudly for the Burggrave to hear of it.  The Burggrave does not appear to be a particularly martial individual and, even though his treasury is well filled, he has kept military spending within strict limits.  However, rumours abound of the Burggrave's fascination with the gaming table.  Picquet and faro would appear to hold a special attraction for the Burggrave, and it is rumoured that he has lost many thousands of florins at the table.  This may well account for the strict limits under which the armed forces of the Burggraviate operate.
However, there seems little doubt that a further heavy draw upon the Nabstrian exchequer exists in the form of the present Burggravina, Ekatarina der Ampfel zu Strudelheim.  The Burgrave certainly did well to marry such a wealthy heiress from one of the pre-eminent noble families of Mittelheim but it also has to be said that the Burggravina is known to spend lavishly on jewels, gowns and her household.  Her fondness for Viennese pastries has led her to maintain, at considerable expense, a team of Austrian pastry chefs who produce the most exquisite tartes, croissantes, brioche and many other pastry confections.  As yet, the current Buggrave has not been blessed with issue, and it is the fervent hope of his subjects that their Burggrave will soon produce an heir as there considerable disquiet concerning his younger brother, Freiherr Gottard Flickin-Wettin-Falkenstein.  Gottard has a considerable reputation as a dissolute hell-raiser and womaniser.  Worse, he has been known to stay at the gaming table day and night.  He has even been heard to say that he would sell the Burggraviate to the highest bidder - if it was his to sell.  Beyond the cares of the Burggrave's family, however, Nabstria seems a well governed and prosperous province but one with a less than martial history.
The Nabstrian Army is small, even by the standards of Mittelsheim, but it is well clothed and drilled.  However, the Burggrave is loth to press, or even induce his subjects into military service, and the powerful trade guilds of Falkensteinburg are actively opposed to any suggestion that their loyal subjects should act as food for powder rather than continue their busy and lucrative trades.  It is a matter of considerable resentment in Badelippestadt that their citizens are far more likely to be pressed into the army than the burghers of Falkensteinburg.  It is thus only amongst the officers that the native inhabitants of Nabstria are to be seen in any numbers.  The noble families of Nabstria, although many of them now seem sadly impoverished in comparison to the prosperous burghers of Falkensteinburg, are proud to send their sons to serve in the smart regiments of the Burggrave. Thus, the ranks of the Nabstrian army are almost exclusively filled with pressed foreigners and the deserters of other armies.  It is said that the borders of Nabstria are filled with the Burggrave's agents who earn a considerable bounty for every unfortunate runaway youth or vagabond they manage to entice into a garrison town.  It is well known that, once accepted into the Nabstrian Army, they are held in place by savage discipline.  Still, the fellows look well enough on the parade ground, and I have seen their practice at arms and judge it superior to most of the other forces of Mittelsheim.
While the officer corps of the army is largely drawn from the nobility of Nabstria, the previous commander-in-chief of the Nabstrian army was of a rather different sort.  The Baron Michel de Tonifruttipandi claimed to be descended from an ancient Sardinian family.  However, I have heard it said that he was nothing but an extravagant Italian adventurer who raised hell throughout the courts of Europe by running a corrupt taro bank and defrauding many of the most exalted nobility out of many thousands of florins.  Some even claim that he was nothing but a common deserter from a foreign army, others that he was once a pastry chef of some repute in Naples.  That said, the Baron seemed well versed in the military arts though he proved in the end to be a lamentable commander in the field.'
The army of Nabstria is commanded currently by General Heironymous von Rumpfler. Also serving with the army as a senior officer is Paul, Duke of Clarkeshire. The Nabstrian troops are trained in ‘Lethal Volleys’ and ‘Cadence’ manoeuvre. The Army of Nabstria consists of the following units:


Burgravial Garde du Corps (Elite): Broken at Wunderdorf; re-trained in peacetime; promoted at Nottelbad; broken at Chestwig; retrained in peacetime; promoted at Wimintzhauer

Infanterie Regiment No.1 (Conscript): Broken at Wunderdorf; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Chestwig; retrained in peacetime; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Wimintzhauer

Infanterie Regiment No.2 (Trained): Broken at Furkohl and Wunderdorf; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Chestwig; retrained in peacetime.

Infanterie Regiment No.3 (Conscript): Broken at Furkohl and Wunderdorf; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Badschwerin; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Hansel und Gretel; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Wimintzhauer

Infanterie Regiment No.4 (Elite): Promoted at Furkohl; promoted at Nottelbad; broken at Badschwerin; re-trained in peacetime; promoted at Hansel und Gretel.

Infanterie Regiment No.5 (Elite): Promoted at Badschwerin

Infanterie Regiment No.6 (Conscript): Broken at Furkohl and Wunderdorf; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Wimintzhauer

Infanterie Regiment No.7 (Conscript): Promoted at Badschwerin; broken at Chestwig; retrained in peacetime; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Wimintzhauer


Infanterie Regiment No.8 (Conscript): Promoted at Chestwig; broken at Wimintzhauer

Freibattalion Von Nervherda: broken at Heisenleman, but who'd notice?
Freibattalion Von Snarck:


Von Poodle Dragoons (Conscript): Broken at Wunderdorf; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Nottelbad; broken at Badschwerin; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peacetime; broken at Wimmintzhauer

Von Sock Dragoons (Trained): Broken at Nottelbad; broken at Badschwerin; re-trained in peacetime; promoted at Hansel und Gretel; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peacetime

Von Gank’s Horse (Elite): Promoted at Furkohl; broken at Badschwerin; re-trained in peacetime; promoted at Chestwig; broken at Heisenleman; re-trained in peacetime; promoted at Wimintzhauer

Artillery support is provided by the 5th and 6th batteries of the Burgravial Artillery Regiment.

4 comments:

  1. The entire Burggraviate has been plunged into gloom following the grievous news of the defeats of Furkhol and Wunderdorf. Even the Burggrave has left off his gaming table to hear the sad news of these bitter defeats. The Nabstrian army is in tatters: most of its trained pressed men have been lost and the ranks of the battalions are now filled with tearful youths or hopeless loons. The future seems black for the Burggraviate.
    I have heard that Baron Tonifruttipandi went into hiding after the battle of Wunderdorf; his whereabouts remain unknown.

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    1. Clearly, the alliance with Hesse-Rotenberg has been a dismal failure. Perhaps peace would be the best option? Vlad Drakul is not, by most accounts, a forgiving man, but Nabstria must have something to offer in return for an end to the war.

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  2. The mood in Nabstria is somewhat calmer than in the dark days immediately following the battles of Furkhol and Wunderdorf. Nonetheless, most of the inhabitants of the Burggraviate realise that peace was dearly bought. The village of Nottelbad had long been seen as one of the jewels in the crown of Nabstria. It's duckpond had inspired many Nabstrian artists and poets while its small model duckponds, produced for the grand tour trade, were a treasured keepsake in noble houses across Europe. The Burggrave's poet laureate, Paulus von Fusselstein has already penned a moving work lamenting its loss and urging its recapture. Meanwhile, the heavy reparations and the loss of the Herzo-Carpathian codpiece tarriff have brought real hardship to the doors of many merchants in Falkensteinburg. A strong recidivist party has developed among the burghers and there is even talk of young apprentices being encouraged to fill the depleted ranks of the Nabstrian Army. The Burggrave has taken some serious economy measures: the Burggravina's household of pastry chefs has been cut to only six. The Burggrave has also sworn to take a greater interest in martial affairs and this has already had some results. A new commander for the Nabstrian Army has been appointed: General Hieronymous von Rumpfler has had a distinguished if obscure career amongst the armies of Europe. The whereabouts of Tonifruttipandi remain unknown, although I have heard tell that he is now one of the Burggravina's pastry chefs but another informant swears that he was found, broken to the ranks, and forced to run the gauntlet.

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  3. Victory! A palpable victory! Details are as yet scanty, but news has arrived in Falkensteinstadt that the Nabstrian army has prevailed on a field of battle somewhere against someone about something....

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