MacGregor’s World


A Gazetteer

written by the author and featuring those nations, regions and conurbations, and institutions of religious, public or private character referred to in the narrative.

Alban Church: The established church of Scotland whose regard for the wealthy and influential and disregard for her congregation led to the Disruption and the breaking away of the Free Church of Scotland. It is chiefly notable for its great antipathy to the custom of keeping spaewives and to all practices of magick.

Altai: the name of a remote and mountainous region in the east of the Russian Empire and also of its indigenous people. In Acts of the Servant it is the homeland of Lazarus, starets, or holy man, to Tsar Nicholas.altai-mountain-countryAnglia: a land of great variety and natural charm whose people are disposed to show deference where it is not due and pride where it is not warranted. Though wealthy in natural resource, Anglia has proved bereft of ingenuity and enterprise on account of her six centuries as a vassal state of Denmark (1072~1648) and, far from attaining the prominence nature’s bounty might have granted her, she is not among the first rank of European nations. Having once had the misfortune to be without monarch of her own, Anglia is now obliged to wear Scotland’s crown.

Baltic Sea: a body of salt-water bordered to the west by Sweden and to the east by Finland and by the Courland and the Holy Roman Empire in the south. Its northern parts merge with the waters of the Gulf of Bothnia and are ice bound for several months of the year. At its south-westernmost point it meets the German Ocean by a strait guarded by Denmark and Sweden who customarily levy tolls on all foreign vessels.

Belgium: Historically part of the Spanish Empire and latterly a minor kingdom of northern Europe, her people are equally divided in language and custom between Francophones and Flemish speakers and thus combine Teutonic good order and French élan. Lately Belgium has made good use of her natural resource in coal, iron and navigable waterways and built a reputation as the foundry and workshop of the world: indeed, it is often said that any man wishing to know what tomorrow holds need only read the news from Belgium. Although they long ago turned away from magick and have lately lost faith in anything except their own industriousness, they have found some comfort in the manufacture of excellent beer and chocolate.

Bully Boys: an irregular militia responsible for some of the worst atrocities during the late rebellion in Eireland.

Caliphate of Granada: a Moorish enclave in southern Spain notable for its architecture and learning. In Acts of the Servant it is the destination of the young Princess Maria Isabel and the birth-place of the villainous slave-trader, Nabil Rashid.

Canada: the northern part of the Americas comprising of Hanseatic Lands surrounding Wittemborg Bay, the French Republican territories of Buonopartia, Quebecque, and Montreal, the Anglish colony of Arcadia, and tribal lands. The country as a whole comprises vast forest and mountainous wastes attractive only to French adventurers, the merchants of the Hanseatic League, absconders from moral judgement and Scotsmen evicted from their natural home by hardship and harsh justice.

Carlists: supporters of Don Carlos, a rival for the Spanish crown.

Congested Lands: a seemingly innocuous phrase defining an area of land presently occupied by more people than it is economically able to support. In practise it is a landlords’ charter facilitating the forcible clearance of a native people and their replacement with sheep. Parliament has decreed that much of the north of Scotland is congested land.corn-grinding-outside-a-blackhouse-isle-of-skye-1885-courtesy-national-archives-of-scotlandCork: a port and garrison town deep in the heart of Eireland’s rebellious southern quarter.

Courland: a duchy bordering the Baltic Sea to the west, the Empire of All The Russias to north and east and Prussia to the south. It is of an agricultural and harmonious nature and tries to avoid the attentions of its larger and more powerful neighbours.

Denmark: seat of a once great empire of northern Europe comprising Anglia, Gwalas, Eireland, Norway, southern Sweden, and sundry lands bounding the Baltic Sea, Denmark is now much reduced in influence and, though retaining significant maritime presence, struggles to defend her land borders against aggression. Geography makes her, with Sweden, joint guardian of the Baltic Sea, which history has shown to be an opportunity for both profit and hazard as toll-keepers are always wealthy but never popular. By tradition, she allies with Anglia, but in all practical matters she turns to France.

Derry: a major seaport on the northern coast of Eireland. In Acts of the Servant, it is the port of departure for the young Eolhwynne after the death of her parents.

Bard of Tweeddale ← → Continue


3 thoughts on “MacGregor’s World

  1. Counter history (sometimes, counterhistory, or counterfactual): an account of times and places calculated to deceive the unwary, feed the fancy of the wise and disperse ennui from palates jaded by reality

    1. Unfortunately, dear Harriet, Nevil objects, quite strenuously actually, to the tone of your comment. He points out that the history described here is, and I quote, “exactly as described in any blasted history book and I’ll not be bothered by anyone with any foolish revisionist ideas. I will concede that the Britain of King Charles VII’s time may not have been entirely as we imagine it to have been, but to argue MacGregor attempted to deceive his reader is a calumny.”

      I fear he will not back down. Perhaps if you were to revise your comment, perhaps acknowledging historical accuracy while praising MacGregor’s imaginative use of it. I’m sure Nevil might be more amenable. Yours truly, Nevil’s agent and adviser.

      1. I suspect that Sir Tamburlaine, much like Valentine Stallworthy, was well aware of how selective and partial presentation of history is far more satisfying to the imagination than economic reality and ruin, and thus how a man with will and pen can contribute more to the building of a nation, or to the perception of a nation – which amounts to much the same thing – than many of his age, nominally more powerful but born without the vein of poetry, could ever hope for. I thus wholeheartedly accept that Sir Tamburlaine’s account of the circumstances and marvels of his age is far more true and beautiful than it could have been had he restricted himself to the mere regurgitation of fact. For this reason I am more than happy to praise Sir Tamburlaine’s reconstruction of history and give him in every respect his full due.
        Yours, Harriet Goodchild.

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