History: Freedonia and its nearby neighbor Sylvania were among the dozens of small countries formed in the aftermath of the Balkan War of 1912. When the Ottoman Empire fell and while the Austrian Hungarian Empire was in a shambles, a group of European filibusters, sponsored by interests (that ranged from business corporations, conglomerates of smaller nations looking to gain a few more fellow states in the world, the troubled Russian Empire looking to block a Turkish resurgence) seized land and carved out small to tiny nation states in Albania, Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Freedonia and Sylvania were created by a small cadre of French Foreign Legionnaires on a leave of absence, among whom is Bon Chance Louis, (which would seem to indicate French support for the effort) American Mercenaries and soldiers of fortune from the world over. The man leading this effort was a swart man in his early forties named Johann Sylvanus. He claimed to be Montenegran by birth but spoke with a faint French accent.
Sylvanus claimed that he was seizing power in this fashion for two reasons. He was sick of the despotism of Europe, especially Eastern Europe and was tired of waiting for them to evolve into an American type democracy, which he claimed was the best form of government in the world.
He also felt that the Balkans were a key area in that time period. He thought what happened there would determine the course of European history for the next century. If he could establish a true democratic foothold in the Balkans, albeit in a minuscule fashion, Russian, Austria Hungary and the others would be influenced and a radical change might sweep the area.
Sylvanus established himself as President Pro-tem of the Balkan Republic and brought in several advisors, many of whom were American, British or Caribbean. He put in place the workings of a democratic nation that withstood the test of a brutal world War. His refusal to step down until the war had ended however angered many of his native citizens and some of his immigrants as well. They formed a break away republic called Freedonia in 1919. Rather than lose international support and destroy his infant nation with a civil war, Sylvanus immediately pledges support to Freedonia.
Horace P. Firefly is elected first President of Freedonia. Sylvanus calls for general elections, bequeaths his large holdings in the nations coal and Chromium mines and suddenly disappears. Only his bloody monogrammed shirt is found. The Balkan Republic's Congress declares that the Balkan Republic shall henceforth be known as Sylvania as a memorial to the great efforts of the martyred Johann Sylvanus, whom Congressman Trentino suggested was murdered by Freedonian agents.
A Sylvania and Freedonia Historical Timeline
1922 Angelo Trentino, an Italian immigrant is the first elected
President of Sylvania.
British Immigrant Alexander Teasdale makes acquires much of the mineral and oil rights in Freedonia.
1923 Angelo Trentino is declared President for Life of Sylvania . He makes an immediate alliance with Italy. Sylvania takes on many fascist elements
1924 Freedonia's beloved leader, Horace P. Firefly is found drowned in bowl of duck soup.
1925 Sylvania begins covert military build up.
Angelo Trentino resigns the Presidency in order to go into private business. Enrico Ciccolini, an Italian immigrant with strong ties to the Black Shirts is selected President for Life in Sylvania. His cousin is the most skilled intelligence agent that Italy ever produced.
Alexander Teasdale dies in a bizarre hunting accident, impaling himself on an deer's antlers. Amanda was there to the end, holding him in her arms and kissing him with his last breath. His widow is left the wealthiest woman in Sylvania and Freedonia. His hunting companion Angelo Trentino, Sylvanian businessman said he turned his back one second and Teasdale had managed to impale himself. Mrs. Teasdale was resting comfortably in the hunting lodge at the exact moment of the accident so she also was not a witness to the bizarre event.
1926. Ludovic Zandor is elected President of Freedonia.
Trentino, now the second wealthiest person in the two nations, gets himself appointed Amabassador to Freedonia. There he plans to marry Mrs. Teasdale and add her fortune to his own, he also plans to annex Freedonia and make it once more a part of Sylvania.
1927 President Zandor succumbs to bribes of loose women and property, he loots the treasury to keep his women happy. They are actually Sylvanian agents directed to make him deplete the treasury. With Trentino's help, Zandor creates a banking scandal that makes it appear that the stolen funds have disappeared this way. Trentino hopes to use this as blackmail against Zandor.
To Trentino's great disappointment Mrs. Teasdale not only spurns his advances she calls for the removal of President Zandor, wishing to place Horace Firefly's ne'er-do-well younger brother in Presidency, believing as a symbol he will restore Freedonia's greatness.
1928 Rufus T. Firefly is appointed President with emergency Powers. Trentino immediately pulls out all the stops, asking Italy and Sylvania for full support. Italy sends its greatest intelligence operative, who has the wonderful attribute of acting like an idiot. He is accompanied by the most ruthless assassin in Europe, code name Pinky. Although Pinky also appears to be an idiot and dresses like a mute clown he is in fact entirely without mercy. On one of his first jobs, he overlooked killing someone he should have, it cost him his tongue. He severed his ties with Krafthaus and became a freelance agent.
Rufus T. Firefly charms Pinky and Ciccolini into becoming double agents, bribing them with the governance of Sylvania when it is conquered.
Sylvanian War. Ciccolini and Pinky capture Trentino and also Firefly receives last minute aid from the U.S. Cavalry. Some unknown benefactor urged the U.S. government to divert some of the U.S. Tanks still in France to the Balkans. Sylvania becomes a satellite state of Freedonia. Ciccolini and Pinky are made honorary citizens of Freedonia.
Firefly is impeached for malfeasance of Public funds. (Public treasury apparently looted for fancy new cars and the company of a vivacious Spanish Dancer
June 1928 Freedonian Supreme Court sentences Firefly to life imprisonment. He escapes aided by Ciccolini and Pinky. President Pro-tem Trentino charges them with high treason to be shot on sight.. As it would turn out Trentino had been the one that had looted the treasury to pay off Mussolini to cover up his crime. Word in the underworld is that he had taken out a contract with Krafthaus to have the three exterminated. This necessitates the three fugitves to constantly move about and change their names. Although they are seemingly ineffectual bumblers they manage to elude the trained assassins of the Krafthaus. Unknown to Krafthaus they are also accompanied by Firefly's younger brother.
July 1928 Freedonian Supreme Court rescinds imprisonment of Firefly and declares his legal record expunged of all wrong doing. (All the Justices)
1928 Firefly, Pinky and Ciccolini tracked to Florida where they had been operating a hotel under false names (Coconuts)
1929 Rufus T. Firefly poses as his cousin, noted explorer Captain
Spaulding and manages to stop the theft of a artistic treasure. (Animal
While on a transatlantic cruise the incognitio Firefly and his three cohorts manage to get involve with dueling gangsters who confuse them with hitmen. (Monkey Business)
1930 Using falsifed records, Firefly manages to get himself a
job as the President of a small midwestern college. As Professor Quincy
Adams Wagstaff he promises to make the football team the championship team.
He enlists his cohorts Pinky and Ciccolini to sabotage the other football
teams. Firefly's younger brother poses as his son and woos the college
widow. This gives him insight into the internal politics of the college
which allows for the four men to solidfy their position and also work some
extra curricular activitives that give them a bit more tuition. Frank
Wagstaff's involvement with the college widow resulted in an offspring.
A descendent of this union was Simon Wagstaff of Venus of the Half Shell
Their activities are eventually discovered and the foursome is forced to flee once more.
1933 Firefly and his associates become entertainment brokers and end up in the midst of star crossed lovers in the Opera. They are however spotted by high society types from their previous occupation and were forced to flee once again. (A Night at the Opera) They take up residence in Florida where Firefly using the name of Hackenbush becomes the head of a Sanitarium while Pinky and Ciccolini become involved in the racing track business. Firefly (Hackenbush) was eventually exposed as a fraud and had to flee once more. (The film said he had a vetrinarian's license instead of a medical license. He did not have any license at all. (A Day at the Races)
1934 Firefly and his crew go west to seek their fortune. After becoming involved in railroad water rights and land deals they manage to gain control of a gold mine. (Go West) <Although the filmed version of these evenst have them taking place in the Old West, they actually took place in the modern era.> They returned to Freedonia to discover that the ongoing economic depression has found Trentino out of favor. Firefly manages to bribe Trentio into rescinding his death sentence.
1935 Rufus T. Firefly pays off Freedonian National debt with what he calls a little bit of pin money. A grateful nation elects him to the Office of President once more.
1936 As part of its Balkan campaign, Italy invades Sylvania and Freedonia. Trentino welcomes the Italian forces. As head of the Greater Sylvanian Worker's Party Sylvanian becomes the titular head of the Sylvanian Republic. Rufus T. Firefly is appointed head of the Sylvanian Armed forces and sent with the Italian forces on the Eithiopian front.
1937. Rufus T. Firefly, disappears while "aiding" the Italian forces in Eithiopia. He is accompanied by his two friends.
1939 Rufus T. Firefly and his two friends become convinced that
a young man that they met at a bar is the next George S. Kaufman and spend
all their time and money to make his play a success. They are forced to
use several schemes to dodge the dedicated manager of the hotel where they
are residing. (Room Service )They either realized
that the play is going to be a flop and skip town leaving behind their
bill or they realized that Krafthaus assassins were closing in on
1940 They took refuge in a circus. Firefly claimed to be a lawyer named Loophole who can help the Circus out some serious problems for a fee. (At the Circus)
1942 After being exposed as a false Lawyer Firefly and his cronies flee to Los Angeles where establishes himself as a Private Detective named Wolf J. Flywheel. Under this guise they actually achive a few years of stablility, most of the legitimate detectives off fighting the war. In one of their famous cases the boy's become involved in bodyguarding the owner of a department store which is about to be sold (The Big Store)
1941 Germany invades Sylvania and Freedonia. Angelo Trentino declares the Greater Sylv-Aryan Reich.
1944 After many reverses and near exposure Flywheel and his cohorts disappear.
1945 Russia invades Sylvania and Freedonia. Angelo Trentino's son turns the old man over to the Soviets. Angelo Trentino jr. adopts the name Tito Trentino.
1946 A man named Ronald Kornblower, who bears an unmistakable resemblence to an older, poorer Rufus T. Firefly becomes manager of a hotel in Casablanca. He and his two associates discover a cache of Nazi loot. Ciccolini and Pinky also end up in Casablanca under the names of Rusty and Corbaccio. (A Night in Casablanca)
1946-1990 Sylvania and Freedonia and all of the other formerly free states in the Balkans under communist rule. Slyvanian Socialist Republic and Free Peoples Socialist Republic are formed. Tito Trentino rules Sylvania. Freedonia is ruled in absentia by the Politboro.
1947 Horace T. Firefly and his two friends decided to move to America and stay there once and for all. Having the most success in this guise, Firefly once again adopts the identity of a private eye, this time calling himself Sam Grunion. (Love Happy)
1990 Freedonia and Sylvania throw off their communist yokes.
1991 Freedonia and Sylvania add their conflict with one another to the troubles of the Balkan wars.
2000 Freedonia and Sylvania have splintered into many ethnic communities, each rules approximately a 1 mile square area.
Bon Chance Louis was the former French Legionnaire of Tales of the Gold Monkey.
Johann Sylvanus. Recent evidence
from documents declassified since the fall of the Soviet Union has provided
some clue as to the identity of the mysterious Mr. Sylvanus. He was the
dedicated Eridanean agent known variously as Juan
Murieta and Jean Laffitte. Jean Laffite has been proven to the be son
of Long John Silver.
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