Thursday, May 28, 2015

The History of the Gnome World Part 4: The Germans

The Germans were once the closest to the "Original" Swiss ideal.  Indeed, outside of the festival lederhosen, the average rural German dresses identically to their conical hat wearing brethren.   That may be one of the last vestiges of familiarity between the two, as outside forces have corrupted (or "advanced" the Germanic people

Gnome scholars believe that the early instances of Wanderlust drove the gnomes into the dark enchanted forests of Germania.  There, the communities established much more aggressive yet disciplined lifestyle to protect themselves from the malevolent faekind that live alongside them.

Gnoman Empire
Despite the great bounty the Dark Forest presented to the Gnomans, the tribes and their fairy compatriots proved a greater obstacle than anything else the empire faced.  Villages were established along the rivers and trade in resources and ideas followed.  The primitive nature of the tribes did not stunt their acceptance of knowledge, and soon gnomes were brewing high-yield beer and concocting the wildest contraptions.

The War with the Fae and the Fall of the Empire
Although there were other factors contributing to the fall of the Gnoman Empire, an war between the Germanic tribes and the Fae was one of the final nails in the coffin. 

The Fae, under some unknown influence, began pillaging tribal villages that had not been harmed in generations.  Low on resources, the chieftains begged for help from the Gnomans, but when none was given, they began an all-out assault on Gnoman lands to fuel the war effort against the Fae. 

It was a tremendous success as the questionable woodland spirits were forced to retreat further into the even darker forests and mountains of Astria and Surfia, while the peripheral Gnoman villages became Germanic.

Peaceful Age
With the fall of the Empire, the chieftains used Gnoman laws and technology to set up their own personal fiefdoms.  Rather than the canton system of the Swiss, each village ruler fancied themselves a Lord, Baron, Prince, Markgraf, or three dozen other titles.  Alliances between these changed with the seasons.  Through the entire Peaceful Age, there was never a moment of peace within the borders of modern Germany.  Someone was always feuding with some neighboring noble.  The martial prowess of the Germanic tribes was being honed into the modern military might we know today.

When the petty baronies and gran duchies were at war, they focused on their loves:

1) Beer
2) Beer
4) Sausage

The Greater Germania was known throughout Gnome-kind for their innovations in the art of brewing.

The Thirty Beers War
At the end of the Peaceful Age, two forces ruled the German people:  The German Biermakers Guild, which controlled all facets of beer production, and the Gnoman Empire of Germania, a wide-spread, but weak collection of Germanic states under the nostalgic (and non-existent) banner of old Gnoman rule.  When beer production rules threatened the general population, a number of non-aligned states took to arms to stop them. 

The Thirty Beers Wars was actually five separate wars that overlapped each other over thirty years.  These wars radically changed the landscape.  Smaller political holdings were consolidated.  War profiteers who supplied the armies held more clout than the lesser nobility. 

Age of Exploration
While other nations sailed across the oceans, establishing new colonies, Greater Germania turned inward, designing new weapons, making advances in Bier Medicine.  Gnome dissidents against the oligarchical nature of the rulers were free to relocate to other countries, and many did.

Despite tremendous innovations in steam technology and rifling, the overwhelming forces of the French overwhelmed the fractured German war machine.  Nomepoleon replaced nobility and seized business assets in an effort to subjugate the people.  Some of the stronger states became vassals to the military genius, and for all the years the French Alliance marched towards Russia, they absorbed all the knowledge of the Nomepoleonic Code as they could.  When British, Russian, Astrian, and rebel German counter-attacks finally freed the states, the old vestiges before the Thirty Beers Wars were erased forever. 

Age of Commerce
While a few of the noble houses still exist, the chaos of Nomepoleon convinced most of the oligarchs that a stable united Germany was the only thing preventing another crazed gnome from wiping their people off the planet.   Through a series of wars, marriages, and business deals over the last sixty years has resulted into a Federal system of government.  While the noble houses still make the public proclamations, it is the family businesses that make most of them in secret.    German industry is unsurpassed, German beer production is the largest and finest in the world., and the German war machine of of Blood and Sausage is waiting to be tested, after embarrassing France in the Franco-German War.

German growth has finally allowed resources to be dedicated towards colonization and the explorers have not disappointed with the scarce opportunities left.  It should be noted that the German attitude towards non-Gnome native cultures in their new colonies is beyond compare in their compassion and acceptance. 

For quite some time, German government mirrored that of the Swiss, a confederation, but solely dominated by a group of princes, dukes, and other lesser nobles. German tinkerers became the great inventors of the age, creating tanks, flying machines. Freedom and brotherhood took a back seat to industrialization and capitalism.

It was plutocrats like Lon the Lunkhead who unified the German people into the Empire they are today. Lon would antagonize the remaining rival princes into warfare with each other, and when both sides were weakened, his alliance would move in to force an unequal peace, stripping the princes of their power for the betterment of the Empire.

1) Beer - The entire German society is dedicated to the production, consumption, and celebration of beer.  The most powerful oligarchs have always come from the brewing industry. 

2) Industrialized Tinkering - German Tinkers think big, and usually don't think about the repercussions of their inventions.   Germans have perfected the steam tank, flame automobile, and even aircraft.

3) Sausage - Germans love their sausage, making the wurst business the third largest sector of the German economy.  They have even managed to add gun powder to certain styles, making them deliciously spicy, as well as weapons grade shells for mortars and other artillery pieces.

Unit explanation

German Officer - most come from the noble houses, although oligarchs with too many heirs will send their younger progeny to Officer School.  Regardless of their upbringing, they are feared on the battlefield as they are trained to rip apart an enemy with their bare hands.

German NCOs - German NCO promotion may be the one last place where a meritocracy still exists in Germany.   NCOs are the finest of the German military and are renown for leading their men on reckless charges with wild abandon and living to tell about it (the NCO, not his men).

German Rifleman - For decades, the KAR98 has been the finest rifle in the world, and only within the last few years have other nations designed a comparable weapon.

Beer Stein Grenadiers - Every soldier in the German army is expected to fight, including any and all support staff.  This has lead to the creation of special teams of Grenadiers, armed only with the nigh-indestructable Beer Steins that soldiers use while on campaign.

German Peasants - To fill out undermanned units, German officers are known to conscript German Peasants to fill out the ranks.  Armed only with their pitchfork and lederhosen, they have come to be an essential part of the army.

German Bugler - German discipline demands succinct order being carried out with precision over a large area. 

German Bier Doktor - German Bier Doktors have made great advances in Hops-based medicine, and with their additional duties as barbers, dentists, and notaries, are a necessity in most large units.

Bier Nurse - There are many glorious tales of German women in battle, yet all of these brave lasses fought as Bier Nurses.  The German Stein is a perfect weapon.

Bratwurst Mortar - following the adage that everyone fights, most cooks in the army are well versed from firing explosive sausage from a makeshift mortar of kitchen supplies.

Hasenpfeffer Cavalry - German tribesfolk domesticated the bunny for war far before anyone else and their appearance on the battlefield have been known to elicit immediate surrender from their foes.

The Four Winds Myth in Germany
The Wizard is non-existent, having been "lost" during the tribal days.
Santa Claus revels in the industrialization of his toys.
The Witch holds sway in rural Germany. 
The Vampire is rumored to have considerable influnece in the cities, yet it appears that they have an aversion to beer that prevents them from subjugating the country under their will.

Relations with Other Nations
Swiss - in direct opposition, unless there is some overwhelming crisis that would force them to ally. The result of these temporary alliances usually result in the Germans becoming more pure for a bit, and the Swiss fighting the taint of industrialization.
French - Arrogant blowhards who deserve to live in a fetid troll cave.   Most Germans are afraid they got lucky during the Franco-Prussian War.   They may be right.
British  - A fine civilization to compete in the colonization and commerce of the world.  Many times their interests do not cross. 
Irish  -  The Germans do not care about their gods and different culture.  They fight well, and if the Germans have the right coin, they will be a vital ally.
Highlanders - Neutral/Hostile
Russians -  Vital allies to defend their eastern borders.  They do not follow orders well.
Americans- Very happy that they are separated by an ocean. 
Japanese -  These fine warriors simply request respect, and if the Swiss won't supply it, the Germans will be happy to gain an honorable ally.
Sikhs -  Too many Sikhs are sent to their death by Swiss actions, yet they are not smart enough to realize this.

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