--Trigger warnings --

Trigger Warning -- Comics may contain themes of:
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Saturday, July 2, 2016

A short history and background to the Monmoths


Evil is an interesting burden for a central character. Creators of fiction have always had difficulties when applying it to a character in longer works than these --an episodic single frame comic.

I suggest, and have found, the task is slightly more difficult when there are only a handful of words to convey it. The images can set the stage, yet the supporting characters often have to spell it out, which can spoil the effect for many types of mischief and mayhem. I chose to attack that head-on by layering a level of comfort in the multiplicity of madness. The matter of factness that the others, who surround Asbolina, take this all in adds a wonderful hint of additional foulness. Amplifying her, and her world, into a place that encompasses just as much evil as we had, and have, in real life. But, at the same time narrowing it down and focusing it onto one person as she grows from toddler to mature woman.

Asbolina is our baleful pink star, but she is attended by a cast of friends and family that are as debauched as she is. As the star, she instigates most scenarios and can be trusted to say the most horrid thing at just the wrong moment. Or she can leave you to imagine just how cutting or inappropriate it was. Central to her world is her family. The Monmoths are, by creative necessity, a well established family in their country. Their fictional homeland has a lot of similarities to England and yet also has some differences that are more in line with the colonies of Imperial Britannia.

None of the comics state outright that it is Victorian/Edwardian England and with all the continental powers as we know them. There are many differences, and there are also many things from our own time leaking into their universe. However, it is obvious that the Monmoth's enjoy, and exploit, a lifestyle that allows them easy access to the upper reaches of their society. And despite the many faults that Asbolina and her kin have been saddled with to illustrate them as being the most atrocious family in any real or fictional history.


The history of the Monmoths is a long and horribly twisted path that reflects the highly immoral heritage of Asbolina.
[Family Tree]

In the dark past, the evil Arch-Duke Adolphus Simon William Monmoth over his life worked through nine wives producing a gaggle of vile daughters and three horrid sons. The eldest of these sons, William Simon, married late in life into the nearby wealthy and noble family of Dewer. After many years time William Simon and Sarah Lilly bore the Duke a grand-daughter named Jane Anne. The second son, William Adolphus, born by the Duke’s eighth wife, took the usual spare’s path to the army. A purchased commission and later awards saw him to becoming a popular General at a young age. The third son, Adolphus Simon, was born by the Duke’s last wife, with no expectation and only a little left to him by his mother took up a political career and as a part-time mercenary.

In the course of all this was a great war, in which William Adolphus gains much of his fame and fortune, also a local civil war had broken out shattering the order of the country and of this family. Staunchly supporting the sitting monarch, the Duke was forced to disown his youngest son for being in the pocket of the rival's camp. This was quite true, Adolphus Simon rose quickly to be the chief political advisor and commander of the claimant’s personal guard. Later, in that civil war, serving as unofficial general of the mob-army assembled to storm the capital.

As civil wars go it was all a very short lived one, literally, the young princling, now king, fought and reigned for eight months. Various armies arrayed on the island nation’s foreign fronts had also taken full advantage of this internal strife. Finger pointing was of course well under way even before the issue of which king was settled. After the execution and coronation, the new king asked his most trusted confederate to form a committee to review the army for any hints of disloyalty or collusion with the enemy.

Sir Adolphus Simon Monmoth, now titled as Defender Of The Realm and landed by the hand of the king’s cousin the Marquesa Sophia Terron, assembled his staff. They were to interview and investigate not just the army, but also the navy and all other armed branches of the realm. As a Duke with his own personal force, his father and eldest brother fell under this purview. In addition, the second son, as one of the unfortunate generals to have lost ground during the civil war, was also fated to be brought before him.

A more uncomfortable meeting could not be imagined, as the disowned and scorned Adolphus Simon chose to have them all brought before him together and near the end of a month long auto-da-fé. A catalogue of crimes real and hyperbolic by his father in the name of the now dead king was read out and a report of the losses of the second son on the eastern front followed. The pattern of this cleansing committee was already racking up a sizable body count by the time the elder Monmoths were brought before it. All expectations in the court, press, and in the city was that Adolphus Simon would simply add his fathers house to his already full purse by lopping their heads off. The issue of being dispossessed for being in favour of the winning crown a mere rag in the winds of change. Cruel words must have passed between father and son when he severed his bond. The Arch-Duke and sons would live, yet all lands were forfeited to the crown save the manor plus grounds and the town of Assshire. In addition the Duke lost his seat in the House of Lords. General William Adolphus was sent back to the eastern front once again. Leaving one to assume he was perhaps less vocal in his condemnation of his younger sibling. Moreover, his losses had been already regained and augmented by a large amount in the interval while he awaited his brother’s summons from the field.

The young king’s reign ends a few months after those events in a tragic horse accident while on a hunt. His widowed queen takes up a turbulent rule for a little less than six years before dying of flu. With no heir the crown passed back to the old line’s eldest son and he immediately signed peace treaties. Leading to the assembled crowned heads in banishing the emperor to a mountain prison ending, for while, a long and bitter continental war. And the hatchets of the civil war were buried by most in the relief of the new peace. The old Duke passes away a year later, leaving the small holdings of the Monmoths to William Simon and his family. With the lands dowered to Sarah Lilly, by her father Lard Dewer, the Monmoths still held a respectable acreage and several townships. However, the original, or eldest, Monmoths become the lesser to the Monmoths of the court. Adolphus Simon and his wife seamlessly followed into the new court of the old line. His rise and support of the interregnum was only ever mentioned by the satirical press. His title and duties, including the loyalty reviews, as Defender Of The Realm, remained to his death. Sophia and Adolphus Simon quickly produced a son named Adolphus William. An heir to a fortune but only the courtesy title of Sir. The office of his father would not pass to him, and so he set out on a quick path to making a name for himself in the navy. Entering the list as a Flag Captain at ten years of age with his own set of six ships. A cruiser, three frigates, and a brace of escorts, paid for out his mother’s pin-money. With this tidy little force he managed to gain an early victory against a better armed colonial revolution. Only his age impeded his immediate ascension to an Admiral, at twelve years old, from that action.

Along side the successes, extravagance, and advantages of the court Monmoths the original clan’s fortunes were darker. Sickness takes Lord William Simon a year after his father. Leaving the middle son William Adolphus to marry his brothers widow and take up the duties of their reduced holdings. Lady Sarah Lilly dies three years later in the spring her daughter, by Lord William Simon, is being presented. Forcing the, already delayed by more than two years and nearly twenty, débutante Jane Anne into hated blacks and ruining all her chances, or so she thought at the time. Her step-father only made it worse by choosing to propose to her dead mother’s sister, his youngest and stunning sister-in-law Elizabeth Anne, at the funeral.

Jane Anne was moved to absolute fury by her near age aunt’s all too eager acceptance of this plan. The funeral party returning to the church and the union immediately commencing to her disgust. Faced with having to return to a nuptial home of her step-father and aunt as parents, with the black bunting for her mother still hanging there, seemed all too much. Her observations ignored, and hushed when she persisted, she stayed behind at her mother’s grave. Jane Anne stood sodden and shattered as the last shovel full was punctuated by a swelling gray rain.

Such moments in life can only be made worse by the intervention of a crass and unasked for comment, which was supplied by her nearly fourteen year old nautical cousin Adolphus William. He had grown bored of the now doubled up ceremony and was out cheerfully stomping on toads emerging from the puddles by the graves. Asbolina’s grand-father claims he only told Jane Anne that she shouldn’t cry as he fancied her. Jane Anne remembers it differently and claims he said in a perfectly mocking dockyard style, “You look like you could do with a quick shag.” Evidently, for Asbolina’s grand-mother, this rude little sailor boy seemed to be just the tonic that she needed.

They would not marry until the month before Charles William's birth five years later. So, Jane Anne Monmoth became Lady Jane Anne (Monmoth) Monmoth and had two more children of note by him. Asbolina's aunt Annabell Anne and her mother Georgina Lilly. They would follow Flag Captain Adolphus William's postings from port to port. Later, frontier to frontier when he was promoted out of the navy to command the new-pattern army.

Jane Anne's exit to the other branch of the Monmoths was hardly noticed in the new household of Elizabeth Anne and William Adolphus. With twice the dower of Dewer plus the remnants of the once great house of Monmoth to oversee and a convenient honeymoon of thirteen months abroad, on which Agnes Flora is born, may have helped them miss that their step-step-daughter had installed herself as her much younger cousin's mistress, later wife. Rumours that Agnes Flora was born five months after the funeral-wedding were very likely correct. And gives an explanation as to the eagerness Elizabeth Anne had in filling her elder sister's place, as well as William Adolphus' prompt offer at the grave side. Florence Anne is born nine years later and another six years would pass before the birth of Asbolina's father, Alfred Moffet. The same year, General Lord William Adolphus dies of some politely unmentioned condition, leaving the remaining honours and title of the Monmoths to his infant son. Elizabeth Anne passes away two years later, forcing the two elder sisters of Alfred to raise him as best they could, as the only other senior female member of the clan left was the Marquesa, who was not even in the country at that time.

Sir Adolphus Simon the youngest of the Arch-Duke of Monmoth sons passes away a year after Annabell Anne, Jane Anne and Adolphus William's second child, is given as a child bride of seven to the then thirty-five year old Brigadier-General Richard Trice Fitzpatrick, Adolphus William's second in command. Nearly a decade more will pass before the birth of Abolina’s mother Georgina Lilly. Moved to desk duties after a long navy career and a longer post as commander of the new pattern army his son Adolphus William, the ageing Marquesa, wife Jane Anne, and his young family returned to the capital. Buying the enormous house on “The Gardens” that serves as home for Asbolina and her brother in later years.

It was the elder sisters of Lord Alfred that drew him into more exposure to his multi-crossed cousin Georgina. Agnes and Florence inclusively thought of Jane Anne as their elder sister. Even though she was not brought up with them and estranged from her poly-step parents. While Monmoth Manor is no barn Hotel Monmoth is a palace in comparison and every excuse was exploited to stay with their rich elder half not sister in town. Attendant to this was the second phase of the great war when its chief motivation escapes from his prison and once again threatened to topple the continental order. As far as I can tell from what I have created to-date that second part of the great war continued or recycled until Asbolina was well into her twenties. However, early in that part of the war Alfred and Georgina were usually paired off as the eldest of the younger Monmoths at the many parties held at Hotel Monmoth for the generals and royals of the day. As well as during the enormous state funeral for the Marquesa, the King’s cousin and grand-daughter of an allied crown. An important event, at the time, as cracks had emerged in the alliances made to defend the island.

Georgina’s coming out, a few years later, during the conflict was filled with a host of difficulties. Many of possible matches of her generation were at war or dead from it. Beautiful, yet absurdly tall, with the knowing glint of the Monmoths in her eyes, perhaps even magnified by her complex heritage. The sum easily turned most men of any age into stammering wrecks. The large fortune she would bring never seemed to attract a request to dance much less an offer. Her slightly older cousin Alfred who preceded her on the mart was already establishing himself as a useless rake with a noble name and too rich for most houses to even contemplate an alliance. He was never given a second dance if caught at the attempt, and at the same time seemed to never want for female attention, which all made his reputation more sinister and unworthy. Although he was often grudgingly invited to make up noble numbers at any party for the young, and curiously welcome by matrons that fell quickly to his handsome face and ready guile. He was also often found at the table and clubs of the growing horde of social climbing war profiteers. Alfred was considered by all to be a firm fixture, while Georgina looked bleakly on to her third season.

Asbolina’s parents have never exactly explained for how long or what kind of relationship developed between them. The fact remains that, after Alfred was discovered fully naked with Georgina dressed only in the top half of a pantomime bear suit, there was little choice but for them to be quickly married. Which amounted to a rearrangement of clothing between rooms at Hotel Monmoth and an excuse for the whole lot of Monmoths to set off on a two month honeymoon tour of quaint principalities as yet untouched by the great war. The effects of this bunch on holiday, in such fertile ground, will no doubt provide seeds for wars in the generations to follow Asbolina.

Shuttling between Monmoth seat and their city digs, the clan grows into the age we've seen the most of. Asbolina is born just two years after her parent's marriage. Her brother Adolphus Jeremy Timothy is born seven years later, and the ill-fated Simon William Mortimer nearly a decade after that. Jane Anne out lives Adolphus William, last seen playing with Asbolina preteen who had tied up the servants, and she does not seem to ever pass out of our view, or her cultivation of young boys. Some have suggested that if any of the Monmoth's were said to have made a deal with the devil, Jane Anne would be the most likely to have wrested fell-powers and long-life from the master of the depths. Her daughter and grand-daughter would surely be equal to her and firmly insist that the deal was hereditary.

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