Flitch, Flog, and Farlow -- not exactly romantic names, but these craggy islands, the remains of prehistoric volcanic eruption, have an exotic history, including piracy and shipwrecking. In 1784, they were given to Admiral Hamplethong, who had routed the pirates in a great punitive raid. He was made Earl of Dzangh and granted almost feudal privileges over this archipelago.
The three main islands are separated by the deep F'Lott Channel, remains of a colossal chasm created when the volcano exploded some 8000 years ago and mostly sank into the ocean. The southern approaches are very dangerous, with a large rocky shoal extending from Farlow and a reef-strewn string of uninhabited islands, the Scriggens; there are, however, two very narrow navigable channels into the F'Lott basin here, one leading to the principal town, Largon, and the other to the second-largest town, Flogetton. The main approach is from the west, past the hamlet of Limoe, but there is also a fiord-like channel from the northeast, with high cliffs on both sides. The islands are very craggy (max. elevation 1284 feet on the north side of Flitch). There is a small acreage of flat, grassy area suitable for agriculture, and also some woodlands, although the western sides of Flitch and Farlow are gale-ridden (ocean currents to the west of Flitch are particularly treacherous; shallow waters west of Farlow protect it somewhat). Climate is temperate, because of the Gulf Stream.
||Beacons. There are no proper lighthouses, but a system of tall beacon towers, situated at strategic points to warn of shoals and indicate navigable channels.
Farms. There are twelve farms on the islands (two each on Flog and Flitch, the rest in Farlow). They mostly grow potatoes, turnips, and other root crops. Flog also raises cattle, pigs, and sheep (grazing the latter in the hills and on Papa and Mama Mool islands). Baba Mool Cove is the site of the Earl's Manor House and Castle, and the southern cove on the same island is where his vineyard and barley fields, and an apple orchard, are located -- the whole island of Flitch is private.
Towns. Since the population of the islands is less than 800 people, these can hardly be called towns; however, there is Largon, the capital and main port, Flogetton, a fishing village, and the hamlet of Limoe, a military base.
Castles and Manors. These will be described below.
The Earl's main residence, early 19th Century in date, a 'gothick-style' building. The first Earl was a hunting man, hence the kennel and stable. There are basically five sections: the stable/kennel wing, the kitchen and service wing (with the children's nursery above and cellars below), the Great Hall and the art gallery above it, the self-contained servants' compound, and the manor house. A small garrison is housed in the gatehouse and over the kennel. Gardens and gaming fields are to the east, a turbulent brook and high fells to the west, and to the south dense forest and pastures. The Earl's 'study' complex is on the third story on the east side, overlooking the bay (he was an inveterate bird-watcher and boat-spotter). Off in the woods to the southwest is a fancy hunting lodge, where the Earl housed his male guests and otherwise spent a lot of his time. See the next entry.
|The farm is adjoined by a small settlement of laborers' cottages, and is accessed via a boat-landing stage; there is a gravelled road to the manor/castle along the shore and through the woods. Halfway through the woods is the Hunting Lodge (see below). From the 'village' there is a road over the ridge to the Earl's vinyard at the south of the island. At most times, the population of the island is about 100 people, not counting the Earl's family and guests. Sheep, cattle, and pigs outnumber the humans. There is also a large wildlife population (birds, seals, wild boars, foxes, etc.).|
The Lodge was built by the third Earl in 1907. He was a Freemason, hence the 'chapter house' over the two-story great hall. Note the eight bedrooms; the Earl installed several of his cronies here permanently. His own bed chamber, and a room for his valet, are on a short hallway near the main tower. It is underneath the chapter house library. The chapter house itself is cut off from the rest of the lodge and is accessible only from the spiral stair turret from the great hall.
This is the administrative center of the islands, containing the prison, courthouse, government house, and temple; it was built in the 1820s but some of it is much older. From the plan you would think this is a huge place, but it is rather small, something like 280 by 750 feet. The medieval sections are basically the walls and round towers on the north and east sides, built of granite ashlar. Unfortunately, the modern compounds -- Government House, the Temple, the Refectory Wing -- were built of yellowish-green bricks imported from Manchester, England, and are particularly ugly, although the architectural style is pleasant enough. The courthouse and banquet hall, in contrast, are built of marble, at least on the courtyard faces.
The principal stronghold protecting Flog Island against the Almondese, built in the late 18th Century. The east face is a thick parapet with two bastions and many cannons, in the center of which is a barbican entrance leading down into the town. The entrance is actually a ramp/tunnel. Note that the large barrack halls have no partitions shown; there are actually moveable wooden screens to break the two rooms into separate parts. Back face of this block is abutted into the cliff of the fell rising behind the castle, and there are cellars excavated out of the rock.
These three artillery forts were built in the late 18th Century to protect the approaches to the F'Lott Basin. They are all basically of the same pattern (what is mapped is the general blueprint -- alignments and outer approaches differ -- Limoe and Flog are as shown, though slightly rotated, and Flitch is flipped vertically and turned 30 degrees counterclockwise, all this to have the three batteries pointing toward the water). There is a central courtyard with two-story accommodation for the garrison, three artillery bastions, and a gatehouse/keep tower block. One fort is on the southeastern promontory of Flitch, with a landing stage below, one is on the cliffside overlooking Limoe, and the third, on Flog, covers the north channel gorge.