Once again battles have been fought and the balance of power is shifting. However this time things have been complicated by rumours of the contents of Colonel Pat Mustard’s salacious memoirs, currently in the hands of the Socialists.
Although deemed to be largely a work of fiction by mainstream experts, the possible existence of this scandalous tale of love affairs, assignations and lust among the Establishment has sent ripples of discontent throughout British society. Authentic or not, the manuscript gives the Socialists a strong bargaining chip, for one of their barges, plus it's crew, is currently being hauled out of the river by the BUF.
In Herefordshire, trust in the landed gentry has been shaken. In parishes in and around the scene of the recent Anglican League victory at Aconbury, residents have flocked to the Anglican banner. Local landowners south of Hereford, formerly content to remain neutral, have fallen over themselves to prove, should the manuscript ever be published, their piety and good character under the accusing glare of the ‘lower orders’ in their employ. Further north, newly conquered Brimfield and adjacent parishes have also followed suit and declared for the Bishop of Ludlow.
However most of this area remains loyal to Miss Nemone Mortimer-Wagstaff. With her control over Mortimer Country, Nemone has been looking for a cause (and a husband) for some time, but has been unable to make up her mind until now. Worried by the discovery of Mustard’s memoirs, in which the young lady’s late mother is mentioned, she has made no secret of her desire to possess and destroy the document. In matters of romance her heart is currently torn between the Anglican ‘Shropshire Swain’ and a dashing Royalist officer from Shrewsbury.
To the west, the Welsh border campaign has ended with the Fascists dealing a coup-de-grace to the rebels by pushing them out of their last strategic base at Whitney. However the joint Anglican/Socialist rear-guard has given the retreating forces plenty of time to withdraw and regroup closer to their respective HQs at Ross and Ludlow (now firmly under the Anglican League). The Welsh Nationalists have been similarly repulsed and but are clinging on in a besieged Kington.
A small but potentially significant development is the arrival of the Albertines – supporters of the King’s brother Prince Albert, whose armada sailed in force from his exile in Canada but was scattered by a storm and has landed piecemeal around the British coast. The small force of Albertines that washed up the Severn estuary have negotiated passage through the Forest of Dean and have set up shop along the Wye valley around Welsh Bicknor and Stowfield. They have since fought alongside the Anglicans but, should reinforcements arrive, they may well emerge as an independent faction.
So the Welsh border is largely in Royalist and BUF hands, but this has left the north and south of the county vulnerable to a rejuvenated Anglican League presence. Can the King’s forces anticipate the next threat quickly enough to counter it? Will the accord between Royalist and Fascist continue to hold? Will neutral parties such as the Landowners’ Protection Association and the Twiggy Mommet protest movement survive in an increasingly polarised county? Can the Anglican League exploit it’s recent gains? Will their alliance with the Socialists and Welsh hold now that another Royal has thrown his cap into the ring?
I’ve no idea, but it’ll be fun finding out!