This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross
The Duke of Cornwall’s rise to power began in November 1998 when a fifty strong force of men entered the Cornish town of Truro. They looked like an ordinary British Army detachment, arriving in a small convoy of military vehicles that included AT105 Saxon armoured personnel carriers and Fox armoured cars, wearing standard British uniforms, and armed with L85A1’s and L1A1 SLR’s. They were under the command of Marcus Rose, who wore the uniform of a Major in the Parachute Regiment.
However unknown to the people of Truro, whilst Rose was indeed a former Parachute Regiment officer, the men he commanded were in fact a group of marauders and within a few days of arriving in the town Rose had seized power. The small contingent of Territorial and HSF troops in the town was given the option to join the marauders and serve under Rose’s command. Some accepted this opportunity; those who did not were shot out of hand.
Rose spent the winter months consolidating his control and gradually increasing the armed forces under his command. Whilst some of his recruits consisted of Territorial and HSF personnel who had become isolated from their units, he recruited extensively from the civilian population, particularly refugees, and by the end of February he had several hundred men under his command, many of whom were armed with Sterlings and SLR’s that had originally been intended for HSF units in the area. He also had control of four 81mm mortars.
In March Rose began to expand the area under his control, taking over the towns of Falmouth and Redruth. His forces encountered only scattered resistance, which they were easily able to quell, and by the end of the month both towns were securely under his control. In what he likened to the Domino Theory, several smaller towns and villages soon followed suit, and in early April Rose promoted himself to Colonel and began to pass new laws, with severe penalties (including execution) prescribed for those who broke them. During this time the armed forces under his command continued to grow.
At the end of April Rose turned his attention towards RNAS Culdrose, a Royal Navy base located ten miles from Penzance. Most of Culdrose’s garrison had been transferred to Plymouth at the end of the previous year, leaving behind a small detachment of less than fifty men, consisting mostly of recalled reservists and recruits. Rose gave the sailors two choices; join him or resist him and probably be killed. Most of the garrison chose the former option, with the few who did not dispersing into the countryside. Culdrose’s armoury yielded more weapons, including some SA80’s and GPMG’s. The real prize however was an operational Lynx helicopter. Soon afterwards, Rose moved his headquarters to Culdrose.
In August Marcus Rose encountered the first domino that refused to topple, when the leaders of Penzance refused to recognise his authority, with armed citizens attacking his forces when they tried to enter the town. Incensed, Rose ordered the indiscriminate use of his mortars against Penzance, causing heavy casualties amongst the town’s population. Penzance surrendered after thirty six hours of mortaring; the first troops Rose sent into the town were Irregulars, who he permitted to loot, rape, and pillage for twenty four hours before he himself entered, at which point he promoted himself to Major General, declared himself to be the Duke of Cornwall, and ordered the execution of Penzance’s leaders. Most were publicly hanged in the centre of the town the following day, although a few escaped to the countryside, where they formed the Mebyon Kernow (Cornish for Sons of Cornwall) resistance movement. With the fall of Penzance Rose secured a second helicopter, an S61 that had previously flown regular scheduled services to the Isles of Scilly.
Soon afterwards a mutiny erupted in the ranks of the self proclaimed Duke’s troops, when a number of Territorial troops serving in his ranks rose against him. Unfortunately though, they were now heavily outnumbered by the Irregulars, who, with the assistance of troops who remained loyal to Rose, put down the revolt. Most of the ringleaders were killed in the process, although a small number did manage to escape, seeking the safety of the countryside, where some managed to link up with the Mebyon Kernow. There were still a number of men in the Duke’s ranks who were uneasy about following him, however not wishing to suffer the same fate as the failed mutineers, these men learned to stay silent and avoid drawing attention to themselves.
In October Rose’s troops occupied St Austell, whose leaders surrendered without a shot being fired. That gave Rose control over the St Austell Brewery, the largest brewery in the region, and a major source of alcohol fuels. Rose now had most of southern and western Cornwall under his control, with only occasional guerrilla attacks from Mebyon Kernow to contend with.
Rose’s next objective was the RAF base at St Mawgan near Newquay, the Government’s last remaining enclave in Cornwall. In early January 2000 he infiltrated half a dozen agents into the town; these agents bribed some of the RAF garrison to change sides, before killing several of the enclave’s leaders, including the two most senior RAF officers. With the garrison leaderless the Ducal Guard launched a surprise attack. The RAF men offered some resistance, but this was soon dealt with and by the end of January Newquay was fully under the Duke’s control.
During the spring elements of Rose’s forces moved up the north coast, while other units advanced from St Austell in the south, and by the beginning of May the Duke’s troops had occupied Padstow and Bodmin. Word of the brutality of Rose’s forces had spread throughout the South West and resistance was minimal, although some people did choose to abandon their homes as the Duke’s forces neared, with columns of refugees making their way to Plymouth and other more secure areas.
Rose’s next objective is Liskeard, which would put him within ten miles of the Government garrison at Plymouth. Following the fall of Bodmin he has temporarily paused his drive eastwards however whilst he consolidates his control of the territory he has seized and his forces regroup. He has also recently sent envoys to the City of Exeter; these envoys have been tasked with making contact with that City’s leaders with the aim of forming an alliance that would further isolate the Plymouth garrison. Rose feels that if he can take Plymouth that would secure his control of the entire South West of England. His ultimate ambition is to rule as King; he dreams of being crowned King Arthur II at Tintagel one day.
Marcus Rose, Duke Of Cornwall
Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1955 to working class parents, Marcus Rose wanted to join the Army since he was a small boy and in 1974 he enlisted as a private soldier. He initially joined the Royal Regiment Regiment of Fusiliers, but passed selection for the Parachute Regiment in 1975. The following year he was identified as being potential officer material, and in 1976 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant joining the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment in Berlin.
Rose married in 1980, to Lucy, the sister of another of the Battalion’s junior officers. Promoted to Captain in 1981, he missed out on the Falklands War (1 Para remained in the UK), but in 1983 he passed selection for the Special Air Service. He served with the SAS from 1983 to 1986, including a tour operating covertly in Northern Ireland, before being promoted to Major and returning to the Parachute Regiment, joining the 2nd Battalion as a Company Commander. Rose loved Army life, and at this time he was identified by his superiors as likely to achieve high rank.
In 1988 he was serving a tour in Northern Ireland when men under his command manning a vehicle checkpoint shot dead several unarmed civilians when their car failed to stop. A court martial found the soldiers concerned guilty of manslaughter, however the prosecution claimed that the soldiers had been acting on Rose’s orders. Whilst this charge could not be proven the court martial left his career in tatters, and he resigned his commission. Soon afterwards he discovered that Lucy had been having an affair with an officer from a Cavalry Regiment; she left him at the end of 1988 and they divorced the following year.
Rose moved to London at the start of 1989, where he drifted into a career in banking almost by accident. When the Twilight War broke out he attempted to rejoin the Army but his application was rejected. He survived the 1997 Black Thursday attack on London, and in the chaos that followed he was able to join the Home Service Force as a private using a false name (Malcolm Briggs). Finding himself just outside Bath in the autumn of 1998, Rose led a group of nearly fifty men and women when they turned marauder and made for the south west, arriving in Truro in November.
A charismatic individual, Marcus Rose can be charming one moment and utterly ruthless the next. A skilled tactician, he remains extremely bitter about the treatment that he received from the Army after the 1988 Belfast shooting and bears a grudge against what he perceives of as the establishment, who he feels betrayed him and singled him out because of his working class background and the fact that he was promoted from the ranks. It is his firm belief that had he attended private school and graduated from Sandhurst the whole affair would have been covered up and he would have been able to continue with the military career that he loved. These feelings of bitterness were enhanced when his wife left him later the same year. Rose has not remarried, but does have several women that he sleeps with on a regular basis. Unknown to Rose however is the fact that one of these women is plotting with one of his lieutenants to overthrow him.
Rose habitually wears a standard British Army uniform with the rank badges of a Major General (the rank he awarded himself in 1999) and the maroon beret of the Parachute Regiment. He is armed with a Browning 9mm pistol at all times, and can occasionally be seen with an SLR. Since the start of 2000 he has moved regularly between Culdrose and Tregothnan House, a large country estate three miles from Truro. Fearful of a Government air attack, he moves between the two locations at random, and holds several dozen civilians at each, where they are forced to serve as human shields.
The Duke of Cornwall’s Army
Marcus Rose currently has over two thousand men and women under his command, most of whom he has organised into regional groups that he has entitled Brigades. Whilst a small number of his troops are former members of the Territorial Army, HSF, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force who have chosen to join his ranks, the vast majority of his troops are Irregulars who he has recruited locally, particularly from the southwest’s large refugee population. The quality of the Duke’s forces is highly variable, with most of the Irregulars having had little or no military training.
Approximately two thirds of the Duke’s troops are armed with military small arms, mostly Sterlings and SLR’s, although some men have SA80’s. At the start of 2000 the Duke acquired a number of captured German weapons from a French arms dealer, mostly Uzi’s and G3’s. Rose hopes to be able to obtain more and heavier weaponry from the same source, particularly chemical rounds for his mortars which he would be able to use against the Plymouth garrison. Most of those men who have not been able to obtain military weapons are armed with an assortment of civilian weapons, although a small number are armed with melee weapons. They have ample stocks of small arms ammunition seized from RNAS Culdrose and RAF St Mawgan. They also have a number of trucks and Land Rovers, again stolen from the Navy and the RAF, augmented by requisitioned civilian vehicles; all vehicles have been converted to alcohol based fuels, of which the Duke has substantial supplies.
The Ducal Guard
The Ducal Guard is the cornerstone of the Duke’s armed forces, formed from the most loyal of Rose’s troops, including many of the marauders who accompanied him when he first entered Truro in 1998, and equipped with the best weapons and equipment, including a number of armoured vehicles and heavy weapons. Headquartered at RNAS Culdrose, the Guard serves as Rose’s enforcers, and accompanies him whenever he moves around the region. They are under the command of Paul Weston, a former Sergeant in the British Army.
The Northern Brigade occupies RAF St Mawgan, near Newquay, and is responsible for
an area from Padstow in the north to Camborne in the south. The Brigade is commanded
by Matthew Cole; a native of Truro, Cole was frequently in trouble with the police
before the War, and was one of the first recruits to Rose’s Army when Rose seized
Truro in late 1997. An egotistical bully who is short tempered and prone to fits
of extreme rage, Cole is disliked and feared in equal measure by the local population.
The core of the Northern Brigade’s leadership is built around some twenty-
Headquartered in St Austell, the Eastern Brigade also has a large detachment in Bodmin, and actively patrols the roads between the two towns. The Brigade also escorts convoys of alcohol fuel produced at the St Austell Brewery. The largest of the Duke’s formations, the Eastern Brigade is likely to be in the vanguard of Rose’s planned expansion eastwards, and has recently been reinforced with personnel drawn from the Northern and Southern Brigades. The Brigade is under the command of Richard Scott. A former Lieutenant and Platoon Commander in B Company of the 4th Battalion of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, Scott joined the Duke’s forces when B Company ceased to exist as a cohesive unit. Several members of his platoon accompanied him and they now form the core of the Eastern Brigade’s leadership. Scott is an opportunist who currently sees being allied with the Duke as his best option. The Duke does not trust him but he has proven to be an effective leader, so Rose has left him in place for the moment.
The Southern Brigade is headquartered in Truro and is responsible for the area between Falmouth and St Austell. Mark Schofield, a former Petty Officer at the RN base at Culdrose, commands the Brigade. Whilst Schofield is fiercely loyal to Rose, the Southern Brigade includes a number of Territorial Army and HSF troops, many of whom are considerably less enthusiastic about following the Duke but are aware of what happens to those who speak out (the Brigade’s former commander, a TA Captain, was executed when the Duke suspected him of plotting against him) so continue to follow his orders for the moment.
Based in Penzance and responsible for maintaining order in the Penwith peninsula, the Western Brigade consists mainly of Irregulars recruited from refugees who moved in to Cornwall in 1997 and 1998. Many of these Irregulars feel that the local population treated them poorly when they first came to the area, and have seized the opportunity to turn the tables. The Western Brigade were the first of the Duke’s troops to enter Penzance after the town’s surrender, and they have earned a well deserved reputation for looting, rape, and murder. The Brigade is under the command of Derek Roberts. A petty criminal from South London, Roberts arrived in Cornwall in January 1998, after being released from jail in December 1997 under the emergency legislation put in place after the first wave of nuclear attacks.
The Duke has two operational helicopters, a Lynx seized at Culdrose and a Sikorsky S61 formerly operated by Penzance based British International Helicopters. Both helicopters are now based at Culdrose, together with several pilots and ground crew recruited from RAF and RN personnel. Aviation fuel for the helicopters is extremely scarce (the Duke has at best a total of ten hour’s worth of fuel available), so they are only operated on missions of vital importance. Both have been armed, with GPMG’s being fitted to jury rigged weapons mounts. The Duke also has six functional sea skua anti ship missiles for the Lynx; should he find himself strong enough to challenge the Government garrison in Plymouth his aim is to use the Lynx and these missiles to interdict the resupply that the Plymouth garrison receives by sea. The Aviation Group is under the command of Simon Price, a former Royal Navy Lynx pilot.
Order of Battle
Location: RNAS Culdrose
Strength: 210 men, 2 x FV721 Fox, 5 x FV1611 Humber Pig, 2 x AT105 Saxon, 4 x 81mm mortars
Location: Newquay, Padstow, Redruth, Camborne
Strength: 450 men:
Location: Truro, Falmouth
Strength: 400 men
Location: St Austell, Bodmin
Strength: 520 men
Strength: 420 men
Location: RNAS Culdrose
Strength: 50 men, 1 x Sikorsky S61N, 1 x Lynx HAS3
Tregothnan House, Marcus Rose’s residence three miles South East of Truro