Welcome to the province of Muckenmire, as ghastly a backwater of low-lying, rain-sodden, semi-submerged bogland as could ever be wished onto a hated enemy. The source of nothing but over-religious peasants, tastelessly rich merchants, moodily-lit landscape paintings, outrageously elaborate cheeses and innovative waterproof footwear. In short, no decent Luftberg gentleman could regard the place as anything other than a nightmarish hell-hole. And flat – so very, very, flat.
The province is heavily inspired by the actual Hapsburg holdings of the Austrian Netherlands (modern-day Belgium, basically.) Muckenmire was inherited by Luftberg through various treaties as a bargaining-chip. They never had a desire for it, have no interest in it, and aim to foist it off at the first opportunity onto some luckless counterpart. Spoiling the party, Aschenbach seek to take it.
A year has passed since the Spitzplatz war. Feldmarschall Krumper is now the ruling monarch of Aschenbach through succeeding to the throne, after the sad death of his senile and elderly father. It’s the role he was effectively doing anyway as the Prince Regent, but now he’s able to exercise full uninhibited power. Picking off a low-hanging fruit like Muckenmire should be a tantalisingly easy trick!
In Muckenmire itself Von Hentsch, semi-banished to the province’s governorship, fumes over events in the capital of Brederdam. He was side-tracked into a backwater, only to see it become the focus of Aschenbach’s latest agression. Now however, instead of being left to his own devices he is faced with a steady stream of his contemporaries (ie, rivals for glory) arriving as part of the Luftberg buildup.
The geography for Muckenmire is based on the Low Countries, plus – with a flagrant disregard for reality – turned thru 180 degrees just for the hell of it, to make things ‘fresher’. Distinguishing characteristics include the low water table, many small rivers, marshes, etc. One major river (the Schelve), plus a provinvial capital in it’s mouth. It has a largely urban population and most large towns are fortified, plus a few canals, a good road network, and some scattered woodland at the fringes. Actual tactical maps will be ‘in character’ and heavily favour marshes, fenland, streams, ponds, polder and dikes.
Next post I'll cover the military plans of the two old protagonists.