The Council Oak
The shade of this colossal oak is of great historical significance for Patria. For it was here, on the afternoon of June 18, 1995, that King Evander Jolly IV napped for three consecutive hours without interruption from his daughter, Lady Lavinia, or his private secretary, Miching Malchio. It was also here, on October 20, 1808, that King Priam the Great of Patria and United States Ambassador Odysseus Murgatroyd met to sign the Treaty of Alliance between Patria and the United States of America.
This magnificent pile is only the most recent structure on this site. Begun in 1052 A.D., it houses 53 bedrooms, 6 secret passageways, an indoor archery range, a massive Great Hall with space for 300 guests, and one secret stash (in Farnsworth's pajama drawer) of stale whizzing biscuits. The Castle library and museum holds one of the most fascinating collections in the world, from the Lost Dialogues of Aristotle to a ¾-sized replica of the original Trojan Tub. At present, the throne of Patria is occupied by King Evander Jolly IV—but only when he can't escape it. Most of the time King Evander is squirreled away in his study, writing poetry. Members of the Jolly family have held the throne for most of the past three hundred years.
This local band of Potawatomis are the most recent addition to Patria's federation of tribes. They joined in 1898, which allowed several of the Potawatomi warriors to represent Patria in the first Lost Civilizations World Cup of Football (alas, Patria narrowly lost in the final, 2-1, to the Island of Atlantis, after a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the semis over the Mayan Forget-Me-Nots). The Potawatomis are well-known for their hospitality, their hunting and tracking abilities, their festivals, and their storytelling. The current chief of the tribe is Albert Negahnquet.
Established 1,000 B.C. Population 1,053 (53% Trojan and European extract, 16% Native North American, 13% African-Patrian, 17% Native Central American, 1% Russian). One of the oldest villages in the Western Hemisphere. Home of the New Ilion Trojans Boa-Wickets team, winner of the All-Patria Boa-Wickets Championship 142 times. The main industry is loafing, with occasional days off to farm and make houses, furniture, wheels, wagons, iron and silver, and candles. The best meals in town are served at the pub in the High Street, Bubbles & Burps (sit back with a bowl of Mrs. Mugg's lamb stew and enjoy the stylings of the town minstrels, The Earwigs). The local theater company, The King's Men, Two Ladies, & Their Dog, performs most Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, either in Patria Castle or in the village's own Blackrobe Playhouse. Market Day is Friday.
St. Brendan's Monastery
According to various legends, in the mid 500s A.D. Saint Brendan of Clonfert and a company of monks sailed across the Atlantic from Ireland and reportedly discovered a "Paradise" on earth. Patrians are not so proud to call their land a paradise, but they did offer St. Brendan and his monks a warm fire, good Patrian ale, and a few fresh jokes. St. Brendan was inspired to establish a monastery in Patria. The foundations of the original building have been excavated underneath the present structure. St. Brendan's Monastery houses a collection of books and scrolls second only in value to the library in the Castle. The monks are famous for their several varieties of cheese, and host an annual "Cheese Festival" each June on Midsummer's Eve. The current abbot of the monastery is Abbot Columba.
The Wyvern Weald
The Wyvern Weald means "Dragon Forest." It separates the Cow Park (or the Stoop Compound, as Oliver's father would insist) from the rest of Patria. Centuries ago, a Blue Sock name Sir Wynkyn claimed to have seen a dragon in this forest. No one much believed him. But every day he would ride into the Weald to do battle with the dragon, and every night he would return home without seeing so much as a garden snake. He became quite a laughingstock. The forest was named the Wyvern Weald as a joke.
Having heard tales of the famed Leif Erickson's adventures in Wine-land, many of the wives of the Geat Viking tribe began to complain that their husbands never took them anywhere. They were sick to death of the long northern winters. They wanted to see the gift shops in Wine-land! So two Geat sea captains, Hrundun the Henpecked and Dagfinn the Dominated, led twenty-five Geat families on a winter's sea cruise to Wine-land. But finding the place "full of tourists," the Geat wives urged their husbands to keep pushing on toward more unpopulated regions. Their ships eventually stumbled into Lake Michigan, where they then tootled south. It was on a beach in present-day Indiana that they ran into a Patrian hunting party, who wowed the Geat wives with stories of the gift shops in Patria. The rest, as they say, is history. The current king of the Geats is King Ole the Detective Story Lover (so-called because he customarily ends his day with a glass of warm milk and a detective story). King Ole is "closely advised" by his wife, the not-to-be-trifled-with Queen Helga.
The History of Patria
I know, I know. It isn't what your history teacher taught you. Mrs. Ffrimpington—we won't embarrass her by using her real name—told you that, "Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred and ninety-two," and that for a long time he was thought to be the very first person east of Hoboken to set foot in the New World.
Then she told you all about Leif Erickson, the Viking adventurer, who, it is said, actually discovered the New World five hundred years before Columbus, landing on the coast of Canada in what he called, rather thirstily, "Wine-land."
Gads. Mrs. Ffrimpington probably even made you memorize these "facts" and write them down on a test!
But we shouldn't be too hard on poor Mrs. Ff. In this matter, she is wholly blameless. For it is a closely-guarded secret that long before Columbus danced on the white sands of the Bahamas, or Leif Erickson sampled the grapes of Wine-land, the peoples of a tiny kingdom, nestled in the woods of what we call Indiana, had already logged thousands of years in the land that to this day they know as Patria.
Who are these Patrians? Where did they come from?
It all started with a war, a wooden horse, and a sea captain who would have been very good at navigating by the sun—if only the sun would have remained still.
By war I mean the Trojan War. You remember—ancient Greeks and Trojans fighting outside the walls of Troy (or Ilion) for over ten years. Well, you might also remember that the whole business came to a head when a crafty Greek named Ulysses thought up a black nasty of an idea.
The Greeks, as Ulysses planned it, pretended to sail back to Greece. But they left, apparently as a gift to the goddess Athena, an enormous wooden horse. And inside the hollow belly of this horse, a band of Greek warriors lay waiting—no doubt cursing their luck for having drawn the short straws!
The Trojans stupidly rolled the wooden horse into the city. And that night while they were sleeping, the Greek warriors inside the horse snuck out and led the attack that brought Troy to its knees and ended the war.
Some of the Trojans escaped with one of their leaders, Aeneas, and sailed away to eventually found the city of Rome.
Some other Trojans decided to follow after Aeneas. They had no other materials with which to build a boat, so they used the wooden horse, cutting off the legs and slicing the entire thing across the middle. It made for a fantastic hull. And the head of the horse itself made a spiffing masthead.
This second band of Trojans, however, was not so fortunate in their leader. The only sailor amongst them was Clodnus, whose experience at sea consisted of three days as a cook on a Trojan fishing boat (before he was fired for burning the hamburger hot-dish). As they put out to sea in the Trojan Tub, Clodnus tried to remember how the captain of that fishing boat had navigated by the sun. But it was dog difficult. By day Clodnus would look up and find the sun moving all over the place, and then at night it would completely disappear, leaving him with nothing to steer by. Most confusing!
Clodnus and his friends never did catch up with Aeneas. Indeed, they sailed right past Italy, out into the Atlantic, and eventually to the New World where they made their way to present-day Indiana and founded the Kingdom of Patria.
Good thing they packed extra sandwiches!
To learn more about the Kingdom of Patria, click the flag markers on the above map. And for even more about Patria, don't miss the soul-stirring tale, Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits. Just make sure Mrs. Ffrimpington doesn't see you reading it!