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Fenswick, Duchy of

by Michael Berry


392 square miles


AC 1000 - 1715
AC 1014 - 1544

Villages: (population values are given for AC 1000 and AC 1014)

Wellington (543/500): is located on the east bank of Fen River 9 miles northwest of Fenswick Castle.

Doncaster (291/250): is located near the confluence of the Fen and Vesubian Rivers.

Wessex (200/160): is a farming village approximately 8 miles south of Fenswick.

Britomart (78/70): is a sheep herding village in the northern hills of Fenswick

Bronsfield (62/55): is remote mountain village in the eastern half of Fenswick

Ethnic groups:

AC 1000 - Fen 65%, Kaelic 10%, Belcadiz Human 10%, Alphatian 5%, Flaem 5%, Ethengarian 2%, Belcadiz Elf 2%, Others 1%.

AC 1014 - Fen 50%, Kaelic 20%, Belcadiz Human 10%, Alphatian 10%, Flaem 5%, Ethengarian 2%, Belcadiz Elf 2%, Other 1%


Fen, Kaelic, Thyatian Common


AC 1000 - Lady Margaret Hillsbury
AC 1014 - Duke Alasdair McAllister


AC 1000 - Silverston
AC 1014 - Crownguard


The Redcoats of Fenswick are the standard bearers of a proud military legacy that goes back to the 40 years war. The Redcoats are selected from the best applicants, and restricted to those who can claim Fenish ancestory. The Ducal Guard numbers some 70 men. Mages are accepted and generally consist of between 10 to 20 percent of the guard. The Redcoats, as they are popularly known, are stationed in the village of Fenswick and patrol the Duchy and provide security for the local population. At times in its history, the current Duke or Duchess has been known to draw members of the Guard for members of their personal bodyguard. The Fen has a proud military tradition and as they did during the Great War can mobilize up to 25% of their population in case of war. During the Great War the Redcoats, and volunteers and draftees from the Duchy formed two Banners of heavy foot and were designated the 2nd and 3rd Banner upon assignment to the 27th Glantrian division (the Fen Division) of reserves. They saw action in the lifting of the siege of Glantri City after having been stationed in Bramya when Thar invaded.


Deficient: Food, mainly fruits and vegetables, brought to markets in Duchy from outlying free territories.


No major trails pass through Fenswick. The Skullhorn Pass Road passes just to the north of the Duchy of Fenswick on the opposite bank of the Fen River. Within Fenswick there are several poor quality trails connecting the important settlements to each other. A bridge over the Fen River at the fortress town of Wellington connects the Duchy to the Skullhorn Road. There is regular river travel between the Capital and the village Doncaster and is a regularly scheduled port of call for boats going up and down the Vesubian River. The Fen River however is not navigable upriver from Doncaster due to the rapids as one moves up the Fen River higher into the Colossus Mounts.


Fenswick is known for its sheep and goats herds and excellent trout harvest. The foothills and low mountains that make up the Duchy of Fenswick is prime grazing ground for sheep and goats. Fenswick is one of the leaders in Glantri in making clothes due to the large available supply of wool. Fenswick has developed a strong commercial relationship with the Flaems of Bergdhoven. There is a thriving trade with Bergdhoven whose dyes are very much in demand among the tailors in Fenswick. The Flaems have developed a passion for Rainbow trout whose traditional breeding grounds are in the Fen River just north of the confluence of the Fen and Vesubian rivers. Fenswick’s mountains are generally mineral poor and instead are the home of many isolated towers of wizards. Some are the home of wizards others are the retreats of wizards from the nearby Capital. Those wizards often come to their towers when they need a break from the trials and tribulations of city life and just want to get away or carry out experiments in extreme privacy.

Fenswick Monthly Financial Ledger (figures from AC1000)

Main resources: 2 animal
3 hexes: mountain; borderland; pop. 168; tax 8.4 dc
1 hex: mountain, river; borderland; pop. 84; tax 4.2 dc
1 hex: hills; rural; pop. 280; tax 28 dc
2 hexes: hills, river; rural; pop. 840; tax 84 dc
Fenswick: village; pop. 343; tax 34.3 dc

Total population: 1463 rural, 252 borderland

Tax Income: 158.9 dc
Resource Income: 636.6 dc
Standard Income: 1271.2 dc
Council Tax: 413.3 dc
Net Cash: 382.2. dc
Overhead (35%): 133.7 dc
Available Cash: 248.5 dc

With 9546 XP/year, in 10 years the Duke could gains 95,460 XP.
Alternate: 1907 XP/year.

Dukes of Fenswick

Adalbert Batril 829-855
Ernst Batril 855-875
Bohemon Batril 875-879
Leopol Pieinants 879-898
Albert Pieinants 898-919
Edelmiro Pieinants 919-944
Lothar McDonald 944-949
Arnulf of Haaskinz 949-957
Konstantin of Haaskinz 957-970
Edward Hillsbury 970-980
Margaret Hillsbury 980-1009
Alasdair McAllister 1009-

The history of Fenswick begins in AC 743 when Fen magic users, known as the Fen-Witchs came to Mystara and the Highlands fleeing the Inquisition along with the Kaelics. They settled in the area of the western Colossus foothills near the intersection of the Vesubian and Morgathian rivers. The Morgathian River was later renamed the Fen River when the Republic of Glantri was established in 828. The Fen were at a substantial disadvantage to the other groups in Glantri for they were hampered by the lack of followers that came through the gate from Laterre before it closed in comparison to the Averoignians and Kaelics. The Moorkroft family rose to prominence in those early years and was considered the leaders of the Fen population. The Moorkrofts find their history in the legends of the people of Fenswick, since the time they were still known as the Fen Witches. Though never rulers of Fenswick themselves, the Moorkrofts have always played a crucial role in the protection and preservation of the Fenswick people. Required reading for those interested in Fenswick is the text on the history of the Moorkroft family by legendary Glantrian scholar Kit Navarro.

Excerpt taken from ‘The History of House Beaumarys-Moorkroft’ by Kit Navarro (GPD publishing, Glantri City Glantri)

Edward Moorkroft
Edward, the son of William Moorkroft, was born in AC 773. His mother died giving birth to him, and his weak father of grief a year later. Edward’s upbringing was left in the care of his sister Joan, and his great-aunt, Lady Morgan Fairley.
But when the Forty Years War broke out, Edward was left in the care of a number of respectable families of the Fen, who passed him on from household to household, leaving him to his devices. Growing up, Edward saw more corpses than crops in the fields, so it was no wonder he became a warrior. With the death of his sister at the hands of the Fen, Edward a developed deep sense of patriotism and continuance of Fen tradition, as well as a seething hatred for the Flaems.

When he came of age, Edward joined the local militia. At that time, early in the War, the Fen Witches neither sided with the Flaems nor the Alphatians, but only fought to preserve their territory from all aggressors. The Fen holdings were small in comparison to those of the Flaems, the elves, the Thyatians, or even the Kaelic. But their proximity to the capital city of Braejr placed them in a crucial position for victory. For Edward Moorkroft, the Moorkroft legacy weighed heavily on him, for many people saw him as the defender of the Fenswick, like the other Moorkrofts before him. But his name was also greatly feared by the Kaelics, the Flaems, the elves and all sorts of wizards, and Edward won many battles on this distinct advantage. Eventually, Edward Moorkroft became recognized as the military leader of the Fens, with the full support of the leading families of Fen Witches, and with that, the Fen militia became a considerable force that could stand on its own.

In AC 813, well into the Forty Years War, Edward Moorkroft was approached by envoys from the major opposing forces. From the side of the Alphatians, General Halzunthram met with Edward Moorkroft in secret. Halzunthram knew of Edward's seething hatred for the Flaems (who had executed his mother) and offered an alliance between the Fens and the Alphatians, in return for preservation of the Fen territories when the Alphatians won. Within the same month, Edward Moorkroft was approached by envoys of the Flaemish lords, who offered him a much prized artifact, the Sword of Sir James Moorkroft, which was retrieved from a defeated Kaelic army camp. They explained that the Sword was magical, imbued with much power after being wielded to destroy Brannart the Red and used in many heroic feats that were now legendary in the Highlands. The Flaems offered the Sword to Edward, for a price of an alliance with them, and his betrayal of the Alphatians. Suspicious of all magic-users, Edward was wary of both sides. But Edward was greatly tempted by both offers, and he knew he could not survive either decision without magic on his side. He consulted the ancient Lady Morgan Fairley who advised a meeting of forces on Fen ground. All three sides knew the dangers of such a convergence, but each was confident of their own powers to avoid any trap, and perhaps to capture their own opponents. The details of what happened are inexact, but the legends speak of a huge wildstorm of magic, fire and wind like none seen before in the skies above the land of the Fens. The Flaemish lords and their party were obliterated and forgotten by time. General Halzunthram barely escaped that day. Edward Moorkroft and the legendary Sword of James Moorkroft were never seen again.
The Forty Years War did not end that day, but the Fens lost another of their heroes.

The Children of Edward Moorkroft

Of all the Moorkrofts, Edward Moorkroft was said to be the most Kaelic when it came to wives and children, having two wives, nine legitimate children, two mistresses, and several more affairs which may or may not have borne children. In AC 791, Edward married his first wife, Josephine Batril. It was a political marriage arranged by Lady Morgan Fairley, to strengthen the ties between the Averoignians and the Fen Witches, and there was little love between the two. Still, Edward had four children by this marriage. The oldest child was Joseph, who followed in his father's footsteps and became his lieutenant. He died with his father in the wildstorm in AC 813. The second and third children, Emily and Roland, died when they were children in the Plague of 802. Josephine died in AC 804, giving birth to a fourth child, who was presumed to have died as well. At the height of the Forty Years War and after his wife's death, Edward Moorkroft wasted no time to marry his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Wickfield in AC 796. With her, Edward had five children. The eldest son Michael had no love for war, and lived to a ripe old age of 71, together with his dear friend, Laurence Batril, another confirmed bachelor. The second son, John, was a warrior like his father, and joined the militia a few years after Edward's disappearance. He had a lacklustre career and died in battle in AC 819. A third child, Millicent, caught the Plague in AC 802 and died. With the death of Millicent came the birth of a fourth child, Florence. Florence had a modest talent in magic and herbalism, and learned the healing arts of the Fen Witches. She became a nurse and a healer for the Fen troops in the Forty Years War, but was killed in one of the final battles in AC 828. The youngest child, Jerome, had no military ambitions but preferred adventuring in the wilderness. In AC 822, he disappeared and was presumed killed by one of the many dangerous forces in the Highlands at the time.

The Duchy of Fenswick

At the end of the Forty Years War, the Highlands underwent major changes in the political climate. In AC 829, the Republic of Glantri was established, and the territories of the Fen Witches became recognized as the Duchy of Fenswick. Rule over Fenswick was awarded to Adalbert Batril, who did not only belong to one of the most prominent Fen families, but was also recognized and respected as a capable politician and diplomat by other groups, particularly by the d'Ambrevilles of Nouvelle Averoigne (where the Batrils originated). The next half century was a time of peace for the Fen Witches, who were now called the Fenswick, and since the disappearance of Edward Moorkroft in AC 813, the Moorkrofts were all but forgotten.

Jerome Moorkroft

In AC 879, rulership of Fenswick passed from the Fenswick Batrils to the Flaemish hands of Lord Leopol Pieinants, and it was a dark time for the Fenswick. Though Duke Leopol himself was not an unkind man (His main concern was politics and the study of the Radiance), his right-hand man and seneschal, Baltasaer de Woens, was a cruel and hateful racist, who took every opportunity to torment the Fenswick people. It was at that time that a mysterious figure appeared to the Fenswick, claiming to be Jerome Moorkroft, the long-lost son of Edward Moorkroft. This young man of eighteen explained that for forty years, he was living with the faeries in the Fenswick countryside (In some accounts, he says it was a dryad who kidnapped him.), and that he has now returned to his home to defend it against Flaemish tyranny. At every turn, where Baltasaer and his men tried to abuse, oppress, or subjugate the Fenswick, they were foiled by Jerome Moorkroft, initially alone, later with his rag-tag group of loyal followers and peasant heroes.
As expected, many were sceptical about Jerome's claims of his identity (One ingenious enchantress, Marian Fairley, descendant of Lady Morgan Fairley, was able to magical test him and ascertained that the blood of the Moorkrofts ran in his veins.), but no one doubted his capability to protect the Fenswick as the Moorkrofts before him. For the next thirty years, the enigmatic Jerome Moorkroft (sometimes called "Moorkroft Flaemkiller") was a hero to the Fenswick and a bane to their Flaemish rulers. With the death of Lord Leopol and the ascension of his son, Albert to the position of Duke of Fenswick, Baltasaer remained as Seneschal but his control in Fenswick grew as Duke Albert was even less concerned with the Fenswick as his father was. Eventually, in AC 914, Baltasaer de Woens was slain by Jerome Moorkroft at the gates of Fenswick Keep. He was replaced by a local Fenswick as Seneschal. By the time the third Flaemish Duke of Fenswick, Lord Edelmiro Pieinants, came into power in AC 919, Baltasaer's atrocities were forgotten, and Jerome Moorkroft became a rare sight to the Fenswick. His presence however was still constantly felt-and feared-by all who sought to oppress the Fenswick.

Robert Moorkroft

In AC 944, Lothar "Big Mac" McDonald, a cunning politician and military wizard from Klantyre and a ruthless despot, became the Duke of Fenswick. Within the same year, Duke Lothar began his reign of terror in Fenswick, imprisoning and executing many of the locals who opposed his rule. Before the year ended, another Moorkroft appeared from the wilderness, announcing himself to be the son of Jerome Moorkroft and the new defender of the Fenswick people. Where Jerome Moorkroft was met with much scepticism, Robert was welcomed by the Fenswick as their saviour and hero. But where the mere threat of the arrival of Jerome Moorkroft was enough to stop the plots of the fearful Flaems, Robert had to fight battle after bloody battle against Duke Lothar, his regiment from the Glantrian Army, his personal guards from Klantyre, and his loyal Kaelic mercenaries. The Duchy of Fenswick became a hotbed of rebellion and insurgency for the next five years, until Robert Moorkroft killed Lothar McDonald in battle in AC 949.

For the next couple decades Fenswick knew peace and quiet as the competent Haaskinz family ruled Fenswick. The Thyatin Dukes left the native Fen population in peace and were considered generally good rulers. They were more interested in politics in the Capital and their own magical research that ruling a resource poor dominion such as Fenswick. When Konstantin of Haaskinz won the open Archduchy of Westheath in 970 the Duchy of Fenswick was brought to a state of political frenzy. Among those who would be competing for Fenswick was the fast rising star of Glantrian politics, Edward Hillsbury, a Fen born and raised in Fenwick who was seen as the local boy who did well. Edward in the span of 16 years risen from Baron of Adlerturm to the Marquis of Satolas. The election would be between the two Marquis, Hillsbury and the Marchioness of Berrym, Mariana Terlagard. The election came within 6 votes of a duel as Hillsbury received the votes needed, and Terlagard fell just short of the needed votes. The celebration went on for days in Fenswick. For the first time a Fen was going to rule the land of the Fens. William was seen as the great hope for the Fens to attain the Principality and seat on the ruling Council they were denied at the formation of the nation. Edward’s reign as Duke was a short one however as he blew himself and his castle apart in 980 apparently after an experiment of unknown origin when very wrong. His daughter Margaret took over the rule of Fenwick and ruled with a iron fist for the next 3 decades. While the people might grumble, they at least were satisfied that one of their own was oppressing them and not a damned Kaelic.

The years passed uneventfully for Fenswick until the Great War touched all of Glantri. Much of the Fen population answered the call when Glantri called for volunteers to serve in the new divisions being formed to provide for the defense of the nation. Many Fens volunteered, from Fenswick and the Fens living in other territories, and the Fen’s were able to form two reserve division made up completely of Fen. The 27th Division was the first and was formed during the first mobilization in 1005, the 71st was formed in 1008 in preparation for the expected Alphatian advance into the Glantri itself. The 27th saw action in the lifting of the siege of Glantri City in 1007 and was stationed for the remainder of the war at the ruins in Eriadna. The 71st saw no action during the war and was stationed in Rymskigrad before being demobilized at the end of the war. The Duchy suffered badly during the war on several fronts. The plague that hit Glantri hit Fenswick hard as the census of AC 1010 attest. It is estimated that only 65% of the population that lived in Fenswick in 1004 remained some six years later. The great number of fresh burial plots in Fenswick attests than much of the drop can be attributed to the plague as well as severe attacks by Alphatian terrorists during the war. The severity of the attacks being attributed to the proximity to the Capital and the nearby shelter of the mountains. Several hunter-killer squads served in the region and were able to eliminate the nastiest of conjured monsters but were not able to get all of them. Like much of Glantri the hills and mountains of Fenswick are even more dangerous than they were in the pre-war years thanks to conjured monsters that escaped the H-K squads and took refuge in the mountains.

The end of the Great War and victory over Alphatia brought mixed feelings of great joy and sorrow with the joy of a victory, though a costly one, and sorrow as the Duchess Margaret Hillsbury was killed by a Black Dragon during the assault on Glantri by the Alphatian Arch-Mages. A previously unknown heir to the Hillsbury dynasty came forward but in a typically twist of Glantrian political fate, she was also the child of the Prince of Blackhill, Volospin Aendyr. In a twist of the twisting of fate, Prince Volospin disappeared during the attack and was presumed to have been killed by the Alphatian Arch-mages. A presumption that most tend to assume since it was suspected he might be a figure that would be targeted by the Alphatians. After some days of uncertainty and heralded by the Sir Lathan renouncing any claim to the Principality, Dolores of Hillsbury was confirmed as the new Princess of Blackhill. While many were overjoyed at first that a Fen had finally reached the pinnacle of Glantrian political power and relocated to Blackhill, the reality soon set in that whatever agenda Dolores had, establishing Fens as equal players in the Glantrian political landscape was not one of them. She rarely saw delegations of Fen leaders who bombarded her with notions and plans to make Blackhill into a Fen as well as an Alphatian Principality. They were not alone of course for Dolores showed as little care to the desires and pleas of the Alphatian population that had survived Thar’s invasion and moved back to Blackhill. In the last few years many of those who had moved to Blackhill have since returned to Fenswick, even though a Kaelic now rules Fenswick. The current Duke by all accounts has nothing to do with the local population and is completely immersed in this research and lets the Fens rule themselves as long as tax income is collected and the peace is kept. The recent ascension of Judith Beaumarys-Moorkroft to Archduchess of Westheath after the death of her father John, has given some Fen optimists hope that there is a potential leader among the Fens that might emerge that has the same pride in their heritage that they do.

Notable sites:
The small village of Britomart is located in the barren northern hills of Fenswick. The common folk hide a small cult dedicated to a legendary hero of their past. Three centuries ago, Joan Moorkroft was zealous protector of her people who had just settled in the Highlands around the Fen River. She battled the Flaems valiantly, but was eventually captured and burned at the stake. The Fen folk believe she achieved Immortality, and now worship her as Saimpt Joan.
The Church of Saimpt Joan is virtually unknown outside of Fenswick, and the few Glantrians who have heard of it have generally dismissed it as "a superstitious cult of uneducated country bumpkins suffering from delusions induced by dabbling in hedge magic and engaging primitive rituals of witchcraft." There are those who warn that this Saimpt Joan Moorkroft, sometimes associated with a new Immortal named Britomart, may actually be a different Immortal in disguise, possibly from the Sphere of Entropy or even a Fiend, taking advantage on the simple folk of the Fen. Nevertheless, the Fenswick disciples of the Church remain stalwart in their faith. The most prominent member of their clergy is Sir Jonathan Beaumarys-Moorkroft, the weak and gullible brother of Archduchess Judith Beaumarys-Moorkroft of Westhealth and a descendant of Joan Moorkroft.

The village Wellington is the largest settlement in the Duchy and is the cultural center of the Fen population in Glantri as well as the administrative center of the Duchy. Wellington is a fortifified settlement and is completely walled and serves as a last line of defense in the Sablestone Pass system of defenses in case of invasion from the east through the Pass. The village is contained within 15 high 10’ thick stone walls and has 4 keeps rising 30 feet which contain numerous catipults. In times of emergency the village can hold twice its normal population and a force of 500 troops within its walls.

Doncaster is located in the southwest hills of the Duchy on the bank of the river Fen near the confluence of the Fen and Vesubian rivers is a major riverboat stop for river boats and trade up and down the Vesubian. The village also marks the furthest point north of riverboat travel up the river Fen before rapids make the river too treacherous for traveling.

Coat of Arms:

Useful links:
Glantrian Political History - AC 829 to 859 by Harri Mäki and Giovanni Porpora
History of House Beaumarys-Moorkroft by Kit Navarro
Heraldry of House Crownguard by Chimpman
Britomart by Kit Navarro
GPD Margaret Hillsbury by Markus Olavi Montola
The Economy of Glantri by Aleksei Andrievski