The Burgraviate of Altefritzenburg is a large town in the German speaking principality of Hydelburg. The surrounding farms and villages form its protectorate, relying on the military forces of the Burgrave for protection. The farmland is rich, the crops bringing a steady income through fair taxes. The town, thriving now, is a safe and prosperous trading center. The Burgrave, Otto Fritz von Hesseburg has governed the area for over a decade now, helped by his military associate Oberstgeneral Seamus Günter von Donovan and his Legion, the Savage Swans.

Otto von Hesseburg, Burgrave of Altefritzenburg

Otto von Hesseburg, Burgrave of Altefritzenburg

The association of these two men started over twenty five years previously when they served together in the army of the Principality, Hesseburg was an eager young officer with a certain martial competence and an aptitude for violence helped by his large build and strength. He soon rose through the ranks, finally taking command of a regiment and after a long career was awarded the Burgraviate in acknowledgement of his valued service. Altefritzenburg thrived under his rule. A small but competent ‘army’ was recruited which provided protection from roaming brigands and bandits, as well as the numerous roaming mercenary bands, now unemployed following the end of the great war. But this would not have been possible without the help of his long time associate, von Donovan.

Seamus Günter von Donovan, the bastard son of a Gaelic mercenary and a traveling prostitute, spent his early years roaming the Germanic states. His path was to cross that of his father on many occasions and at age 12 he joined him as a drummer boy to learn the arts of war.

By his late twenties, following the death of his father, he took command of the remaining veterans of his fathers regiment and formed his own Legion. He had learned from hard experience that a firing line needed support from horse and cannon as well as from fellow musketeers, and that that support was best supplied by its own rather than rely on a general to provide support at the crucial time. So the Legion was formed with its musketeers, Uhlans and artillery.

Oberstgeneral Seamus Günter von Donovan
Oberstgeneral Seamus Gunter von Donovan

In the last years of the Great Wars, Von Donovan’s Legion gained a formidable reputation  and soon earned the epithet ‘Savage Swans’. It was during this time that his relationship with Hesseburg developed into a firm friendship and when the Wars ended von Donovan and his Legion eventually settled in the area surrounding Altefritzenburg and formed the core of the Burgrave’s army. They were instrumental in training the local militias into competent soldiers and provided security for the region in a time of great unrest.

With an established martial reputation, Hesseburg was soon able to hire out the Legion for service abroad, often to his Brittannic Majesty in support of the protection of his colonies across the Great Ocean.

It was returning from the latest service, that the Legion was to join in the great enterprise known as the Grenouissian Intermezzo, recounted in Volumes 26, 27 and 28 of that fine journal, Battlegames by the Faltenian historian  Heinrich Hyde. A more personal account of the campaign and other events of the time is provided by the Journals of Rüdiger Lamm, the several volumes chronicling his military career in Von Donovan’s Legion and his later political career.