17 April 2007

Lurching toward a "Historical" Narrative. . .

As some of you might know, I’ve been at a loss as to how one might explain the “history” and origins of my own Grand Duchy of Stollen (and its enemy the Electorate of Zichenau). What has given me problems is that Stollen et al are located to the northeast of extreme eastern Prussia, sandwiched between Frederick II’s lands, Russia, Poland, and Courland. Far outside the historical boundaries of The Holy Roman Empire. Although I must play around with things in considerably more detail, I think I can now explain things a bit better.

My rationale for Stollen and Zichenau? Their origins can be traced to the crusades of the Teutonic Knights, during the 1200s, to Christianize the pagan Slavic tribes in the area – the Prussi, Letts, Livs, et al. In the centuries that followed, people from Hesse and the Saxon duchies settled the region and efforts at “germanization” of the original inhabitants followed.

Hansa merchants from prominent trading centers like Lübeck, Greifswald, and Danzig established trade in the region. The Reformation led to Stollen and Zichenau embracing the Protestant cause for the most part, although there are still large enclaves of Catholics in each country. By the 1700s, both groups manage to live peacefully with each other.

So, there is the nugget of my historical narrative for the Grand Duchy of Stollen campaign. More to follow once I have some time to do a bit more research and thinking about how to "tweak" it. Special thanks to Jeff Hudelson, the man behind Saxe-Bearstein, for his assistance!

1 comment:

Bluebear Jeff said...

You are most welcome. By the way, for a very different view of the Teutonic Knights, you might want to read "The Cross-Time Engineer" and its sequels by Leo Frankowski. These SF novels are fun reads (although Frankowski has some quirks concerning women that I don't care for).

-- Jeff


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