This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross
The principal resistance to the Duke of Cornwall’s rule, Mebyon Kernow came into existence after a number of people fled Penzance as Marcus Rose’s Irregular troops entered the town. Several of these fugitives banded together, initially for mutual protection, but gradually their strength increased over the winter of 1999, with several members of the pre War police force, Territorial Army and Home Service Force joining their ranks, and they began to carry out guerrilla attacks against the Duke’s forces along Cornwall’s north coast. The group began to call itself Mebyon Kernow (Sons of Cornwall in the Cornish language) in November 1999
Mebyon Kernow currently operates along the north Cornish coast, in an area roughly stretching from St Ives in the west to St Agnes in the east. The group consists of just over a hundred and twenty individuals, approximately eighty of whom actively take part in operations against the Duke’s armed forces with a mixture of weapons which includes Sterlings and SLR’s taken from the Duke’s troops, a handful of police MP5’s, and civilian rifles and shotguns. Ammunition is in chronically short supply, and their only heavy weaponry is a solitary Bren gun.
The group’s remaining forty or so members are non combatants, most of whom are either too old or too young (eleven of them are children under the age of sixteen) to actively fight the Duke’s troops, but they do provide support for the other members of the group, carrying out cooking, laundry, and other similar tasks. Medical support is provided by a vet and a student who was in her third year of medical school before the nuclear attacks.
Mebyon Kernow is led by Kate Trevelyan, a thirty six year old from Penzance. Her second in command is Liam Moore, a former constable in the Devon and Cornwall police. As some of the group still have families living in areas controlled by the Duke, Mebyon Kernow’s leadership have all adopted the names of traditional Cornish saints as noms de guerre to prevent reprisals against their families; Trevelyan is known as Morwenna, whilst Moore has called himself Geraint.
A small number of men in Mebyon Kernow’s ranks are former Territorials and HSF troops that originally served in the Duke’s forces, deserting after the bloody purges that followed the takeover of Penzance. Whilst these men claim that they were powerless to act against the Duke, there has been some friction between them and those members of Mebyon Kernow who have suffered at the hands of the Duke’s troops.
Mebyon Kernow has an active network of covert sympathisers located throughout Cornwall, with the letters MK often visible spray painted on surfaces in defiance of the Duke’s rule (until painted over by the Duke’s forces); these sympathisers provide the fighters with information on the Duke’s forces as well as supplying food and shelter when required.
The Duke of Cornwall is determined to smash Mebyon Kernow. He regularly sends out patrols tasked with trying to locate them, and on several occasions he has attempted to infiltrate clandestine agents into the area they operate in hoping that these agents would be accepted into their ranks. So far though, whilst his troops have inflicted some casualties and taken some prisoners, his efforts to engage them have been largely unsuccessful. Any members of Mebyon Kernow captured by the Duke’s forces can expect no mercy, with a prolonged interrogation being followed by a public execution.
Kate Trevelyan, aka Morwenna
Born in Penzance in 1964, Kate Harrison qualified as a teacher in 1985 and secured a position at a local primary school. In 1987 she married John Trevelyan, a member of a well known local family who owned his estate agency. She fell pregnant in 1989, and at the end of the year gave birth to a son, who she and John named Oliver. After a short career break, Kate returned to teaching in 1992. In the meantime John had become active in local politics, being elected as a councillor in 1991, representing the Liberal Democrat party.
The Trevelyan family had a good life in the early 1990’s; they enjoyed regular holidays overseas, owned a large house on the outskirts of Penzance and several cars. Even the outbreak of war did not seem to initially affect them, although of course this changed in the aftermath of the November 1997 nuclear attacks on the UK.
As a member of the town council, John Trevelyan played an integral role in leading the people of Penzance in the aftermath of the attacks. Life in the town was harsh but bearable; there was some disorder as large numbers of refugees flooded out of the cities, although the local police, supported by an understrength platoon of Home Service Force troops turned away most refugees who tried to enter the town, sometimes by force. In an effort to maintain a semblance of normality, some schools stayed open in a very limited capacity, and Kate was able to continue teaching.
In the summer of 1998 rumours began to reach the people of Penzance of increased marauder activity. When it became clear that a large, organised marauder force was indeed approaching the town, Penzance’s leaders resolved to fight them, believing that the police and troops in the town would be strong enough to repel the marauders.
The council hadn’t reckoned on the mortars that Marcus Rose possessed however, and resistance quickly collapsed as mortar shells rained down, killing and maiming indiscriminately. Penzance’s leadership surrendered, with John amongst those taken prisoner as Rose’s Irregulars flooded into the town. Trying to hide in their home, Kate and Oliver were discovered by two drunken marauders. Fearing that she was about to be raped and that she and Oliver might both be killed, Kate acted without thinking, plunging a kitchen knife deep into the chest of one of the marauders, mortally wounding him. The second marauder’s reactions were slowed by the amount of looted vodka that he had drunk, allowing Kate to seize the first man’s Sterling SMG and use it to shoot the second one.
Fearful that more marauders would soon arrive, Kate and Oliver fled the house, throwing some clothes, food, and water into a rucksack. Kate also took the Sterling SMG she had taken from the marauder who lay dying on the kitchen floor. As they made for the relative safety of the countryside Marcus Rose ordered the execution of Penzance’s leaders; John Trevelyan was amongst those hanged in the centre of the town.
Outside Penzance Kate and Oliver encountered others who had decided to flee the newly self proclaimed Duke’s forces, and Kate learned from these fugitives that her husband was dead. She was devastated, but knew she had to carry on, for Oliver’s sake if nothing else. Under the leadership of a plumber named Kevin Taylor the group grew gradually as others tried to escape the Duke’s rule and sought the safety of the countryside. Joined by a number of policemen and soldiers, in mid October they carried out their first attack on the Duke’s forces.
As winter wore on Kate took part in several guerrilla attacks on Rose’s troops. She also took an active role organising the group and coordinating efforts to find food and shelter, and when Kevin Taylor was mortally wounded in a fire fight with the Duke’s forces in February 2000, Kate was his choice to take over as leader, a decision welcomed by the majority of the Mebyon Kernow’s fighters.
Kate Trevelyan possesses a strong will and a sharp mind. Thrust into the position of leadership, she is utterly committed to the welfare of those who have chosen to follow her, feeling personally responsible for every one of Mebyon Kernow’s members, and takes very badly the death or injury of any of them. However, this does not stop her making hard decisions when necessary. Her one weakness, if it can be called a weakness, is her ten year old son Oliver; Kate is utterly devoted to Oliver, and would do anything to protect him. Kate is usually armed with the same Sterling SMG that she took from the dying marauder in 1999.