The Grand Duchy of Fenwick

  • 2 replies
  • 2489 views
*

Offline Kedamono

  • ***
  • 176
  • Agent
The Grand Duchy of Fenwick
« on: June 25, 2018, 11:59:09 PM »
From the air, this environ is odd. The terrain is mountainous, but there are two massive glacial lakes, woven into valleys carved out by glaciers millennia ago. At least that's what it looks like. Dotted about are small settlements, with a decidedly 17th century Swiss style... except for one location, very near the power point for the environ. In an area that's only 5 miles by 3 miles in size. (That's the border wall that surrounds it.)

There, nestled in three valleys, a river, and a mountain with an elevation of 2,000 feet is the small principality, the Grand Duchy of Fenwick. On the northern slopes of the mountain are 400 acres of vineyards where pinot grapes grow in the rich soil. The hillsides where the ground is less fertile support flocks of sheep that provide meat, dairy products, and wool. Most of the inhabitants live in the City of Fenwick, which is clustered around Fenwick Castle, the seat of government. The city of Fenwick is also home to the only bar/inn/restaurant in the country, the Gray Goose Pub. About 2 miles from the City of Fenwick is a 500 acres Forest Preserve that features a 20-foot waterfall and attracts many birds that the nation claims as its own native birds. There is a tiny monastery on the border of the forest which also houses the school.

Yes, the fictional country is here in the flesh. The residents are quite happy to be Fenwickians, as not much is expected of them. They farm where they can, make wine that they let age to a very good vintage. Of course, every so often, the pinots undergo some sort of mutation, and Grand Fenwick Cru is born! It's actually a fuel of a potent sort, and is only available after being laid down for 12 years. Then the bottles can be opened and the wine used as propellant for all sorts of vehicles. Of the 400 acres of pinot, only 2 undergo the mutation at any one harvest time. The grapes literally glow when this happens. If not used within 14 years... well, there's that crater where one batch was left to age a little too long.

The vines produce very well for some reason, so on average the Fenwickians can harvest between 10 and 20 tons of grapes from the mutants. Sadly the grapes only yield 60 gallons of wine for every ton of grapes. And this only happens once every 2 or 3 years, so there's never that much of the Grand Cru for use as fuel.

The reason why it's so unstable is that it's its own oxidizer, so you can use a bottle like a bomb if you want... No fuse necessary if it's 14 years old or older.

The Fenwickians use it as fuel for their vintage 1900 era aircraft that were found in an aerodrome 40 miles from the Duchy. 1 gallon of Grand Cru is like 20 gallons of alcohol. So smaller amounts can be used. Since it doesn't need air, there's no need to work the carburetor for a good mixture. This is only true for 12 to just under 14 year old Grand Cru. Once it goes past a vintage of 14 years, it doubles its potency every 9 months, and doubles its instability. A 15 year old bottle will level a 5 story building.

You can imbibe some of the Grand Cru, but, considering it's potency, a glass of Cru would nearly be pure alcohol. If it were alcohol. You'll get your buzz on that's for sure. Decanting a 15 year old bottle is only safe with remote gear, at a distance. It still would be drinkable...

Visitors will be welcome to the Duchy by it's tiny air force, consisting of 2 Farman Experimental 2 pusher aircraft, and one Blériot XII. These aircraft are so light and flimsy, there's no need for lightening crystals for them to fly under the power of Grand Cru. They will be encouraged to land at the aerodrome via radio, and welcomed to the Duchy.

The Duchy is ruled by Duchess Millie. Born Millie Watts, she found herself on this mountainous land on her bicycle, after turning left to avoid a small child. She followed the roads and found the castle, full larders, and fuller wine cellar, and declared it hers. She owns the Grey Goose by right of being there first, and won over new settlers with her ample supply of wine. She was lucky to get Thibault Béliveau and Peter Riley as residents. Peter is from California, and was an amateur wine maker. Thibault was the head vinter for Château de Cochons Affamés, a prestigious winery in the Provence region of some France. Together, with many willing hands, they create the real wealth of the Duchy, it's wine.

Mutton is to be had, thanks to the shepherds Lambert and Baaa-rbra Anne, a pair of Sheep that maintain the flock and cull the herd from time to time. Lambert can be found at the Grey Goose in the evenings exchanging stories with the other locals. The couple keep an eye out for wolves, especially Lou Garoo. Lou is a Grey Wolf, and is keen on some free range mutton from time to time. Not a big bad Wolf, but more given to his baser natures than most.

They will accept Akron Dollars, New Canada Dollars, and Eta Wongo Shell for payment. Grand Cru can be bought, but it's 40 the times the price of alcohol, due to it's rarity. And no, they won't sell you a gallon to keep in a fuel can. They want you to come back as a customer. (Demonstrations of the volatility of old Grand Cru can be arranged.)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 11:10:23 AM by Kedamono »

*

Offline wasahbe

  • *****
  • 277
  • Grand Poobah & Herder of Cats and Gribblies
Re: The Grand Duchy of Fenwick
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 12:56:15 AM »
Is the Duchess a Mouse that Roared fan?
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. 
--Gehm's corollary to Clark's Third Law

*

Offline Kedamono

  • ***
  • 176
  • Agent
Re: The Grand Duchy of Fenwick
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 01:04:23 AM »
Maybe, or maybe she found all these journals about one Duchess Gloriana XII and her Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Histories in the royal library about Sir Roger Fenwick who, while employed by France, settled there with his followers in 1370 (Earth date) and how the Duchy grew over the years.

This plot of land is The Grand Duchy of Fenwick, and it probably wasn't later that she found out about it's fictional origins. (At least fictional on our Earth. Somewhere out there, in all those alternates, the Grand Duchy of Fenwick is first among other smaller nations.)

Oh, and in the dungeon, The Q Bomb still resides...