The Commonwealth of Great Grammar and Spelling is a federation of states bordering the Wentviska Sea.
It has a long history and has had many names. The Duchy of Grammar; The Earldom of Spelling; The Manor of Forme; The Duchy of Great Grammar and Spelling; The Nation of Great Grammar and Spelling among others.
History - A series of articles by Professor Agua CalienteEdit
Grammar in 1914EditThe assassination of the Earl of Spelling on 11th January 1899 brought chaos to the Duchy of Grammar
The young Earl of Spelling was heir to the Duchy of Great Grammar and his step-father the Duke was living in Monaco, where he was infatuated by a beautiful French countess. With no real leadership the country declined further into anarchy.
The heir of the Earl of Spelling, Elaborate Autograph, was only three years old and his mother, as Countess of Spelling, was almost completely dominated by the Priest of Heroes, Oily Smudge. The Grand Fleet of Grammar, consisting of fourteen wooden sailing battleships and four steam powered ironclads of obsolete design was based in Orthograph, and was kindly described as decrepit. The fortress of Orthograph was formidable, having been largely rebuilt in 1895, and was well provided with arms, ammunition and supplies. At the time it was considered impregnable.
The Ducal Palace in Verbiage was occupied by the Military Commander of Grammar, Supreme Commander Vice-Duke Hieratic Script. An imperious and commanding personage, Vice-Duke Script controlled most of Superflumenis and Occidentalis. His army was well trained and consisted of infantry, cavalry and artillery divisions.
Moral, Lord Parable, lived in Three Story House near Loquacity. He had a considerable militia under his command, and maintained an uneasy truce between the neighbouring Krammarians and the Steezish population in what he claimed as the Principality of Opuntia. The Lords Parable claimed Opuntia as part of their patrimony as well as Borealis and Superflumenis.
Forme Castle, near Persiflage, was and still is the home of the Font clan. They controlled High Grammar under the leadership of Countess Lucida Garamond, an elderly lady of astonishing power and influence. She kept the Fonts united by sheer strength of personality.
New Grammar, as Schiavolo was known in 1914, consisted of a few outposts of Ducal power, including Fort Exegesis. It was run by a committee, the Committee of Wunn, of which the chairman was the wealthy merchant and slave trader Tennand Counting.
Finally, the Archdiocese of Paraphrase was ruled by the Archbishop of Paraphrase, John Smith, who was consecrated Bishop in 1900 by Frederick Temple , Archbishop of Canterbury. His realm was temporal inside the city walls, with an army of Swedish Mercenaries, but his realm over the rest of Occidentalis was mostly spiritual. He was in constant dispute with Vice-Duke Script.
Geography - Professor Escriva Drawing (Head of Geographical Studies, Reading University.)Edit
The Geography of Great Grammar is relatively simple. It occupies the valley of the River Sentence and its tributaries.
The River Sentence, in Paleolithic times when the sea level was much lower, flowed over the land now occupied by the Grammatic Gulf and joined the rives of Krakavia before entering the sea near Helland. The River Abrahae and River Syllable were also part of this system.
Mining the CondimentsEdit
The Oxford Mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), first suggested the idea of mining for mustard in 1865, and by 1870 several promising mines had been opened in Europe, although most did not survive the First World War.
The Mustard Mine near Persiflage in High Grammar was opened in 1875. A young man, Airy Gossip, was hunting for estragons (a small species of rabbit, prized for their ivory tusks) in the mountains and came upon a stream of pale yellow water emerging from the rocks. He tasted the water and recognised mustard.
Airy and a friend of his, Cursive Writing (known as “Loops”) started the mine and sold their first mustard in 1880.The picture on the left shows the site of their first mine.
It was in use from 1880 to 1901
The modern workings date from 1901
Airy and Loops Mustard soon became famous and High Grammar Mustard became noted for the heat of its taste and the deep yellow colour.
A picture showing the modern mining machinery now in use at the High Grammar Mustard Mine
Mustard rock is unusually soft and must be mined with special brushes.
This is an underground Mustard Brush Machine
In the early days, brushes were made from the twigs of trees.
The broom on the right is a reproduction of an early Mustard Brush.
After a few weeks the brushes were worn to a short stump and had to be replaced.
The broken rock was carried in buckets to the surface. The buckets were heavy and there were many accidents.
These days conveyors are used. They are much safer and the mustard ore is not damaged in the journey to the crushers.
The rock ore is carefully broken into small round granules using rubber rollers in the crushers.
The picture on the left shows a handful of the granules when they reach the surface, mixed with the surrounding rock, which must be carefully blown away with fans in a winnowing engine.
When the rock dust has been separated from the mustard, the light yellow granules are heated to 500 degrees Celsius.
This bakes the mustard and gives it the characteristic heat.
The darkened granules are then dropped into a mixture of vinegar and olive oil.
It is vitally important to control the heat of the granules and the oil and vinegar. Any variation would ruin the flavour.
The heated granules crack open and react with the oil and vinegar to form a paste, which can then be sold in bottles and jars, or dried and sold as a powder.
Airy and Loops Mustard is bottled on the premises, so that the heat is kept in and the particular flavour is sealed inside.
Mustard powder from the Airy and Loops factory is hermetically sealed in cellophane packets for exporting to the rest of Aels.
Bulk mustard paste is poured into tankers and shipped down the Sentence River to Verbiage, where it is sent by sea to factories throughout the world. Airy and Loops mustard paste is particularly valued where-ever hot dogs are made. You will find Airy and Loops Mustard everywhere from Hoboken to Hamburg, Tokyo to Tijuanha, Quebec to Quito.
On the left, Mustard paste as it comes from the vats.
The mustard from the High Grammar Mustard Mine is of particularly high quality and may be eaten directly from the vat. However, the very best mustard need to mature for up to ten years. The jar of mustard is from the 2037 mining season and won the Gold Prize for Minerals at the 2040 Puntaria Agricultural Show.
The chief judge described it as “a delicate taste, with sufficient heat to make your nose run, but not so hot as to destroy your vocal chords.”
If you wish to visit the mine, there are daily tours from 10am in fine weather.
Please contact Airy and Loops Mustard Pty Ltd
7 Mustard Mine Road, Persiflage, GG&S
Their website is not at http://www.airyloopsmustard.com
Genealogy - Article by Professor Agua CalienteEdit
Professor Agua CalienteEdit
(pictured, right) of the Ethnographic Institute of Grammar has written extensively on the Noble Families of Grammar.
In his book, Grammarian Tribes and Families, he notes that the Noble Families are the heads of various tribes consisting of many related names.
A few names are listed here:-
The family name of the Dukes of Grammar, also Riviere, de los Rios, Flumenis, etc. Current head of the family after the death of Jordan Rivers is HRH Samael Tigris Rivers Sverdavyznd, consort of the Csarine of Krakavia
Autograph (also spelled Orthograph) is the family name of the Earls of Spelling; the current head is Punctilious Autograph of Metaphor
Literature (or Literati) of Puntaria; current head is Hardly Great-Literature of Opuntia. This group also includes the Lord's Parable (the Story family), the Tale and the Epic families. Lesser families in this group include the Novel (or Novella) and the Paperback families. Lord Parable, otherwise known as Likely Story, was surprised when in 2052 the Kaiser Samael II offered him an estate in the Colossal. He had always known, of course, that he was related to the Hartlova line of monarchs in Brno, but only through Prince Randwick Hartlova who was the brother of King Marakesh IV.
Lord Parable said that he was very happy to renounce all claim to the Brnoan throne for him and for his descendants.
As for the estate in the Colossal, Lord Parable said that he would consider very carefully how to manage it. Its name "Loaves and Fishes" was attractive and he was prepared to negotiate the farming and fishing rights with neighbouring estates.
An enormous group of names, including Monotype Corsiva, Palatino Linotype and so on. The Font family home is Forme Castle and the head of the family is Count Every Font. (The only family apart from the Lords Parable to retain its noble title)
The wealthy trading family endowed Reading University in the town of Reading. Mr Always Reading is the head of the family. They claim to be descended from the great Lectio Divina of ancient times.
A family of several branches. Ms Spidery Writing is the current head. It is thought that the family originated in Inkwell.
A very old family, priding itself on its antiquity. Mr Folded Paper is not only the head of this family; he was, at the time of publication, the oldest person in the country at 107 years of age. The Paper family includes such names as Foolscap, Folio, Quarto, Octavo, Legal and Letter.
The Punctuation family is not one of the noble families of Grammar, such names as Fullstop, Comma, Bracket, Hyphen and Colon are among the most common names in the country. While also part of the family, names such as Ellipsis, Query, Umlaut, Dieresis and Cedilla are less common.
The Parts family have owned the land around Speech for centuries. They have huge land holdings in Verbiage and are the wealthiest family in GG&S. Various Parts is the current head.
Drug Dealing and the "Pharmacopoeia" - contributed by Dr Pericolo del MorteEdit
Some time in the early twenty-first century of Aels, a group of unscrupulous criminals set up a drug dealing network. The took advantage of the chaotic governments around the Wentviska Sea and flagrantly disobeyed the law.
They dealt in Opium from Tracikstan and Serdaristan, Cocaine prepared in Chelnyabirsk and methylamphetamines manufactured in Brno.
A system of couriers enabled them to send the drugs all over Aels. They wisely did not attempt to penetrate European or American markets which were controlled by other Mafia-like cartels.