A Brief history of the Grand Duchy of Fuddland (Part I)

Fuddland gained its autonomy by the treaty of Rattails (1684). The early years of Fuddland are a sad tale of chaos and bloodshed with Brother killing Brother, Sister killing Brother, and Brother killing Sister; as the surrounding powers attempted to manipulate the von Fudd family to their own advantage. Little is known of this early time to non Fuddlanders. Fuddlanders who are asked about their early history will politely respond “we do not discuss it with outsiders”.

Henrich Wolfgang von Fudd is considered the first ‘real’ ruler of Fuddland. He survived the warfare of his siblings largely due the fact he was traveling abroad at the time. During his travels he became infatuated with the old Roman Roads he saw in Italy. Upon attaining the throne in 1688 (by being the last surviving member of the von Fudd's) he instituted a stone ‘paved’ road construction program. Unfortunately while admiring the roads he saw in Italy, he failed to learn anything about their construction. The resulting debacle managed to produce just under 5 miles of paved roads (which are still in use today) after 37 years of construction. The project brought Fuddland to the brink of bankruptcy. With his country on the verge of economic collapse and open revolt, Henrich did what any good ruler of his day would have done – he laid all the blame on the Catholic Church, confiscating their lands and wealth and proclaimed Fuddland a Protestant Country. The influx of ill-gotten wealth allowed Henrich to stabilize the economy and avert open revolt (Fuddlanders never were a very religious lot). Eight months after seizing all of the Catholic Church property, Henrich was killed while walking in his gardens during a thunderstorm when he was struck by lightening.

Henrich was succeeded by his son Andrew who would rule Fuddland for the next 76 years; dying peacefully in his sleep at the age of 97. His rule was peaceful and uneventful. The standing military was almost completely abolished while Andrew focused his efforts on expanding the economy and exports. It was during Andrew’s reign that Fuddland became renowned for their ‘Lucky Rabbit Foot’ charms, Rabbit fur capes, and their local gourmet dish – Hasenpfeffer. It was largely through the efforts of Andrew that the citizens of Fuddland enjoy the lavish lifestyle they live today (lavish compared to the reign of Henrich). Due to Andrew’s longevity he outlived all of his children, and his Grandson, Elmer, succeeded him as Grand Duke of Fuddland.

Elmer succeeded to the throne at the age of 15. He is shy and somewhat clumsy with a slight speech impediment, but the people of Fuddland adore him. One of Elmer’s first acts as Grand Duke was to fund the creation of the ‘Acme Institute of Science and Technology’ to further the research into gunpowder and things that go “boom” in the night. (Despite persistent rumors there is absolutely no truth to the outlandish stories that the Acme Institute is researching militarized anvils and pianos). Only 10 years into his reign, he is by far the most popular ruler in the history of Fuddland. Seven years ago Elmer married Christina Anna from a minor noble family in the ‘old world’ Kingdom of Poland. If Elmer is adored by the citizens of Fuddland, then Christina is worshiped.

Part of Christina’s dowry was an Infantry Company honor guard, uniformed in the unique manner of her native Poland. It was this honor guard and their dashing dapper uniforms that sparked the rebirth of the Fuddland military. What started as a company of expatriate Poles seven years ago has grown to a full division, known as the ‘Duchess Division’. (I had to find someway to justify getting my Polish troops into this campaign) The competition among Fuddlanders to be accepted into the Duchess Division vs. the ‘normal’ army is intense. The Grand Duchess Christina is officially the commander of this unit, although the day to day duties of commanding the Division are capably carried out by the former British Brigadier, Lethbridge Stewart who has been in the service of Fuddland for the last six years.

Grand Duke Elmer von Fudd

O.K., so I’m no Mel Brooks -