Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
The Duchy of Lovelace
Eastern Colony of Gollere
Population : 250,000
Governor : Duchess Engel Lovelace
Economy : Agriculture, Fishing, Mining (Copper, Iron and Lead), Timber, Leather Goods, Battery Cores, Preserved Seafood and Light Munitions.
Duchy of Lovelace, Cassandran Sea
The Duchy of Lovelace is an older colony state of Gollere, granted a degree of independence due to its large population and the political acumen of its leading nobles. The realm is watched over closely by Duchess Engel Lovelace, and retired Tharn officer who remains determined to rule until her son, Count Almaviva is married and well-established in the Mangai courts in Tharn.
The nation forms a large, crescent-shaped region arcing along the south-western coastal plain of the Cassandran Sea. Three river systems wind through the plains of the region, bringing water and silt from the forests and mountains to the north and west. The Cassandran Sea is a warm, fresh-water body of water, and promotes a warm, moist climate. The regions to the north are drier, however, as the mountains and deserts to the north-west both shield the northern portions nation from many rains.
Dozens of settlements dot the plains, but at its heart, the nation is a sea-faring people. The capital of Lovelace is built at the estuary of the mighty Tonza River. Using salt imported from the Barony of Ostland, the nation’s large fish catches are preserved and shipped to the capital at Tharn.
The inland settlements produce grain, poultry, and cattle mostly for domestic consumption. A few mines, located on the eastern slopes of the mountains that seal the nation away from the rest of the world, yield an decreasingly meager supply of iron, lead and copper. “Goodwood” from the northern Shadow Forest is a popular trade good, and the nation is the largest timber shipper among the eastern nation-states. Leather goods made from cattle and locally domesticated “Branding Cows”, are also quite popular. In the last few decades, the nation-state has developed a minor industry, shipping battery cores and light munitions to the Central Tharn Authority.
Traditions in Lovelace are typical for those found elsewhere on the planet. Ostensibly a frontier society, it was settled by outcasts and adventurous individuals from Tharn, and as a colonial society, it has an egalitarian bent. There is an aristocracy, but differences between the other levels of society tend to be informal and slight. People who don;t like the way a job is working-out, are welcome to pull up their stakes and move inland to unclaimed land to start a new life; property is free if requested by a citizen in the form of a royal charter.
Families in Lovelace tend to be small. All but the youngest sons are expected to move out on their own, join a work crew or a fishing boat, and eventually start a new household. Inheritance is vested in the eldest child, but provision for the other children are common in wills. Males are expected to be the primary bread-winners of the society, but women are not restricted in their personal careers, though most are often the family managers, and men avoid advanced education.
Traditionally, women are educated in mathematics and accounting, men in agriculture and seacrafts. Both are equally mechanically trained, though family traditions are often common, implying that the daughter of a mechanic will likely become a mechanic. Those who step away from their family caste, are often considered an unwomanly woman or an unmanly man, though such traditions are common only in the backwoods and less urban settlements. Some elders see the changes in the cultural development as a plot by the people of Tharn to weaken their family traditions.
The people are a bluff, genial and hospitable folk, but they expect someone to pull their own weight. They prove cool to newcomers, until they prove themselves, and foreign notables who pull rank or seem overly proud of their off-world origins and technology, will often find themselves the butt of practical jokes.
Duchy of Lovelace, Royal Manor
The realm has a ruling Duke or Duchess, and a small noble caste, but their functions tend to be advisory, or leading during times of war. Most decisions are made by the local Councils of the Mangai. There are five such bodies, each representing a separate “County” and region of the Duchy. Because the realm has no real neighbors, a small population and a great deal of wealth, the Mangai jobs are quite simple and easy. Most members are actually crafters with operations of their own, and view the job as part-time or hobby work, mostly as an honorary position. The Mangai Councils are appointed by the nobility, though some are elected in the most frontier settlements.
Law tends towards a frontier informality. The most common judge in the small towns and villages is the Village Boss, typically the most powerful clan chief, or an appointed representative of the local nobility. The central region around the capital and the larger resource towns are a bit more formal, but they still follow an archaic code of tradition, rather than a codified series of laws. It is well-advised that a defendant procure their own advocate, as the codes of laws are somewhat arcane and the courts tend to appreciate a well-argued case, especially if it is entertaining and caters to local prejudices. Many come to the isolated communities of Lovelace to escape the laws of the Central Tharn Authority; they are naturally antagonistic toward customary forms. A good opening defense is an eloquent salute to the brave, free men and women of Lovelace, especially if it has little or nothing to do with the case.
The nation has no long-standing quarrels with any nation, though the ruling family has become increasingly jealous of its rivals in The Barony of Horn. It has taken control over the nearby Barony of Ostland on behalf of the Central Tharn Authority, and imports most of that nation-state’s goods to support its minimal industry.
The people are not particularly religious, and only seem to attend church for marriages and other important ceremonies, with the religious sects having little to no influence in the world. There are perhaps a dozen christian sects, spread across the world, and each is represented in the Lovelace capital.
The Mangai_, of course, has more influence over the realm, and is in many ways the closest thing to a national religion. The shrewd locals resent trickery in trade, and appeal to the Mangai in most cases, which enforces its own economic laws. Getting on the bad side of the Mangai is a dangerous thing. Most wealthy and noble families maintain their own representative of the Mangai, and they are treated as an important clan henchman and advisor.
Lovelace Militia Trooper
The nation has a small national army, and a dozen regional militias controlled by the various noble clans of the realm, though four are held directly by the central ruling family of the Lovelace clan. Light small arms, such as the bolt-action rifles being developed out of The Barony of Horn are increasingly popular among the militias, as they are affordable and readily available. A large portion of the militias tend to be hunters and other independent “backwoods” folk.
The regular national army of Lovelace, are two motorized infantry battalions, and the Lovelcae Guards, a helicopter-equipped force of infantry. These three battalions are well-armed with off-world imported combat armor and BM-118 Assault Rifles, and sport Wheeled APC – “Amalek”-Classs and ST-8M Samsons along with many other mundane transports, such as Light Utility Transports and Jeeps. They are known to deploy MP-75mm Anti-Tank Guns at the company level for anti-armor support.
They are also known to deploy small mercenary forces on occasion, when the rare bandits appear, mostly isolated clans who dwell in the steppes and badlands, and cause problems with groups deploying advanced machinery.
The nation does, however, have a substantial navy in the form of a large and wide-spread merchant marine, whose crews are well-trained and skilled. Lightly armed, their ships ply widely across the Cassandran Sea, unopposed.
The air force is small, limited to about a dozen Titan Combat Helicopters and double that number of Wind Dirigibles. There is also a pair of K-1 Class Dropshuttles, though one is always operating as a goods hauler to the starport and jump-point on royal business. Rumor claims they operate a pair of AeroFighter Gunships_ from a remote base, but no one is certain.