Part One: Expansion
Chancellor Mooky, Field Marshal of the Schulmania National Military, is currently on Gran Maru, conducting a troop review. The island is home base to the III Corps 5th Division. Governor Cawale has been training her two regiments and now has them battle ready. At her request, Mooky has arrived to preside over a commissioning ceremony.
Field Marshal Mooky pauses briefly while reviewing the new troops.
Mooky has a lot on his mind. He has been reviewing military maps and is concerned about huge expanses of Schulminion territory left completely unguarded. Doing so will open up Schulmania to being outflanked at any number of positions. The area of greatest concern is the southern frontier. Other than a small castle erected south of Campo di Carmelcciase, the southern border is completely unprotected. The unincorporated feline hunting ranges south of Fisk Point have not been claimed by Schulmania and are unorganized feral feline habitats. A move by Queensferry to avoid our coastal defenses by invading from the south would be a disaster. He has been advocating a massive annexation of lands south of the Supreme Wirdle's original line of demarcation. The Supreme Wirdle has been reluctant to do this, fearing not only stretching her nascent military too thin, but also major administrative hassles from trying to manage huge tracts of sparsely populated land. Able leaders are at a premium at the moment; she is loathe to send off a contingent of her best to organize a new land.
In the ancient capital of Wirt, Major General Neyland left his office and walked two blocks to Wirtyplace. He was going to try and convince her of the same thing Mooky has been saying for weeks now.
The Supreme Wirdle shared their concerns about a southern invasion and consulted with Princess Katherine, since her realm of Wirdleonia would be most impacted by a territorial annexation and military buildup. She and her command staff would review every option to determine a course of action which would buffer Schulmania without diluting her defenses.
Princess Katie enjoys the luxurious life in Robinia while she awaits word from the Supreme Wirdle.
When the word from Wirtyplace finally arrived in Robinia, it was certainly unexpected. And the messenger was also quite unanticipated. The ruling was delivered personally by Bureau of Feline Affairs Governor-General H. J. Franciflora. The news he brought was startling, but not completely unexpected. Anyone who knows the Supreme Wirdle knows that she is a bold and visionary leader.
If the Governor-General, one of the highest ranking felines in the nation, was coming to deliver news in person, two things are certain: the news is secret and the news is big.
The news rocked the palace and opens up a huge new set of unknowns, many of which will center on this southern city and the region she leads.
The Supreme Wirdle's decision is for annexation of not just a southern buffer zone, but all southern lands Schulminon forces could effectively patrol. The Bureau of Feline Affairs Military Command has been ordered to abandon positions in the interior, turning them over to army regulars, and reposition forces across the southern border of Wirdleonia, spanning from Schulmanukau in the west to Maxis City in the east. Six divisions (23rd-28th) of the XI, XII and XIII Corps will simultaneously advance south across the line at Fisk Point and fan out over the unorganized territory, claiming it for Schulmania. The orders authorize an advance as far as possible, even to the end of the continent. The objective: locate a natural defensive perimeter for the feline heartland and fortify it. Governor-General H. J. Franciflora will head up the operation from Robinia, where he will lead the XII Corps southward.
Military forces will march south armed, but do not expect any resistance. After all, the land is sparsely populated by Schulmania's feral cousins. The border has never had any controls over it and felines pass freely between Schulmania and unclaimed territory.
General Chat de Neuf-vives of the XI Corps is quartering his troops in Schulmanukau. He is excited to have as an addition to his southwestern task force three companies from Schulmauckland who have been providing security and training at the Wirdle's Canine Council office in town.
One of the tallest buildings in town, the WCC Building serves as the headquarters for the Wirdle's Canine Council, the representative of the canine population in Schulmania and the canine international outreach organization. The site was selected by Ambassador W. P. Schonheit of Schulmauckland.
The eastern command center at Maxis AFB is where troops of the XIII Corps will depart. General Norman Schwarzkatze will use balloon squads to survey and claim land faster.
The Supreme Wirdle's concerns about taking too much territory to effectively defend or govern will be addressed by annexing a buffer zone to the south and beyond that, a Bureau of Feline Affairs dependency will be established to administer the surplus territory. Queen Vera, Chancellor Mooky's wife and matriarch of the ruling dynasty of Schulmania, will depart Schulmania for the new territory and serve as its ruler and liaison to the Schulminion government and the Bureau of Feline Affairs.
Let's see what lies in the area currently beyond Schulmania's southern boundary. We will first check in with the XI Corps, heading south from Schulmanukau. It is known that the course of the mighty Wirdleonia River is rather windy and cuts a steep gorge through some areas. So, we can now see for the first time what sailors in and out of Schulmanukau deal with as they play the river.
Our first views of the area south of Schulmania are of the Wirdleonia River Gorge. This section is particularly rocky and steeply slopes on both sides. It looks treacherous, but ships pass through well thanks to a deep river bottom and swift and steady currents. Of course, it is not a great place for a port.
The river south of Devonport, Schulmanukau's ferry terminal.
The river as it passes through this tile into the one east of it. This is the tile south of the South Wirdleonia tile. On the map, look for the area off the map south of Hestorbia to get an idea where we are.
Let's see where the XII Corps has ventured. W head farther south and east to see lands south of the river never seen by Schulminions before. The area is occupied by non-domiciled feral felines who welcome Schulmania's presence but has not been explored by the Wirdle's minions before.
Plenty of rolling hills and mountains can be seen all around this part of the continent. The previously shown segment of the Wirdleonia River is at top right.
Massive mountains appear bald without trees on their summits.
Rolling hills provide a much different terrain than the plains of Wirdleonia.
Further on, the character of the river changes yet again. The elevation is lower and the banks of the river are quite marshy. There's a wider floodplain which provides one of the most extensive marshy areas in Schulmania. The only larger wetlands known at present are on Marsh Island and at Pawprint Lake. Let's see this swampy area up close and personal.
I'll bet this swampy riverbank is pretty stinky.
Whether on the plains, I the piedmont or in the mountains, the vast Wirdleonian expanse has one commonality: excellent game. Ever since the first Schulminion foray into Wirdleonia, the feline population has been exhilarated and fully sated by hunting the big game animals in the region. Let's see how the hunt is doing today.
Look at all of those tasty animals! Yum!
This realm south of the border will be annexed and controlled by Schulmania to serve as a defensive buffer. The lands immediately south of Schulmania will be directly incorporated into the Regency of Wirdleonia but farther south, below the mountains, it is too far from Schulmania proper to effectively maintain, at least with current technology and methods. So, the balance of the continent will be divided in two parts. The northern sector will be annexed by Schulmania and a new state will be created to be operated as a dependency of the Bureau of Feline affairs as a trust territory for the non-domiciled felines. This new territory will be incorporated as the Protectorate of Harar. The full name is The Bureau of Feline Affairs Royal Protectorate of Harar, or Harar for short. Queen Vera, matriarch of the royal family and longtime advocate for feral residents, has accepted Governor-General H. J. "Hoppy" Franciflora's offer to lead this new territory. As there are no cities in this expansive land, the provisional capital will be the Bureau of Feline Affairs office in Robinia. A suitable site will be selected for a permanent capital to suit her majesty.
Queen Vera (left) receiving a blessing from St. Francis (right) after having accepted the role as ruler of Harar.
Taking on a vast new and unorganized territory will necessitate a major change in the operating structure of the Bureau of Feline Affairs. The BFA's council has been hard at work developing a new organizational structure to effectively manage its new core functions: feline affairs in Schulmania, governing Harar, international feline affairs, and military operations in conjunction with Schulmania. The BFA will also operate military outposts in Harar to protect its citizens from potential attack from Queensferry.
Many will be eager to see more of these new southern lands and to hear more about the development of Harar. Harar will be featured in its own Simtropolis City Journal to be found exclusively in the new section and on the Schulmania website, www.schulmania.info. The protectorate's saga will unfold slowly, intermittently as time allows. It may be referenced in Schulmania stories from time to time as well as perhaps having story elements overlap. The debut of Harar on Simtropolis will come before the end of October 2010, with sporadic updates which will each be announced in the Schulmania threads.