Creepsylvanian History: (from “A Complete History of Europe” author: Lionel Swift, pub. 2012 Fig Leaf Press)
Creepsylvania has a long and storied past, beginning in the fifth century A.D. with the invasion by Huns of what was then called Djik, a largely agricultural town made up of farmers and miners. The Djiks offered little in the way of opposition to the overwhelming force of the Huns, and after a stunning 20 minute battle were unmercifully thrashed into submission. The Huns brought with them knowledge of horseback riding and the art of land-based warfare, neither of which helped the Djikian population, most of whom suffered from a congenital hearing defect that made them extraordinarily clumsy and prone to falling over. The town was used as a rest stop on the way to less stultifying lands in the East for several years but soon was all but forgotten by its Hunnish captors. The Scythian King Attila was once asked what point there was to keeping Djik and famously replied “Whuh?”.
After Attila “lost” Djik in a card game with a pig herder from Thermopylae, the benighted town was turned over to Roman rule and was promptly sacked, though several Centurions were heard to say that the plunder “wasn’t what (they) thought it would be.” Soon after the change of power the town was renamed by its Roman rulers as Creepsylvania, or “The Land of Creepy Trees”. After several failed attempts at making use of the townspeople and land the area was once again forgotten by its conquerors, who decided it wasn’t worth the bother to keep a garrison of troops there, or even use the village as a convenient source of slave labor.
As mapmaking progressed and knowledge of the world became more widespread, the Creepsylvanians, intending to break free from their prison of isolation and obscurity, invited the esteemed mapmaker Amerigo Vespucci to visit their quiet town. In 1500 they sent an impassioned letter to the great cartographer describing the scenery, the inhabitants, and the industry of the struggling area. A year later they got a note responding to their pleas that read simply: “Very funny.”
For over a hundred years the town of Creepsylvania went about its daily business as if the outside world didn’t exist, and the outside world didn’t seem to mind. In 1683 the Ottoman Turks passed through Creepsylvania on their way to invade Austria and the citizens immediately surrendered to the bewildered Turkish Army. Several Officers, taking note of the shabby state of the buildings and people, argued about whether or not they had already sacked and plundered the town, and there was a brief moment of confusion before they decided to lay waste to the wretched Creepsylvanians as a practice run before arriving at the Austrian border. It was around this time that the town acquired its most widely recognized feature: a crescent shaped cemetery that engulfs the town, but for the Volkov Mountains to the East.
During the 18th century, Creepsylvania was home to several Gypsy tribes, which brought with them the mysterious practices of their bastardized religion and who fostered an interest in the occult in the non-Gypsy peasantry. In 1756 a Gypsy woman named Zuryalda, who was an organizer of certain occult activities, was charged with witchcraft by the town elders and sentenced to be drowned in the bog outside of Creepsylvania. Before she was lowered into the bog she vowed that the town would be cursed forever, at which point most of the witnesses burst into spontaneous laughter and replied “Too late!”. At the news of Zuryalda’s execution, the Gypsies rioted in the streets and set buildings on fire, causing widespread damage and death. The dirty, drunken, baby-stealing Gypsy tribes left Creepsylvania, taking with them the only industry worth mentioning in the town: crime.
While the departure of the Gypsies was a loss to the community, the 1800s brought with them renewed hope for prosperity in Creepsylvania. In 1849 lead was struck, and the “Great Lead Rush” began, attracting thousands of miners to the area to strike it rich. Unfortunately, safety standards being what they were in the 1840s, nearly everyone who came to Creepsylvania to work in the lead mines was exposed to fatal doses of lead dust. The plots in the newly christened Monture Noire Cemetery filled up faster than the holes could be dug to accept all of the cemetery’s fresh clientele. Soon the mines had run dry or there simply weren’t enough miners alive to work them and the industry shut down, leaving Creepsylvania once again destitute and Creepsylvanians once again starving.
A respite from their plight came in 1907, when the American Ford Motor Company decided to base the test site for its Model T automobile on the outskirts of Creepsylvania, creating the first crash-testing lab. Industrious Creepsylvanians clamoured for the opportunity to work for the growing company in any capacity. Ford responded to their enthusiasm by hiring citizens by the hundreds to be used for “high velocity impact experiments” with a promise of high wages and a position of esteem within the organization. The mortality rate for the test subjects was so high that soon Ford was forced to scour orphanages for participants, and after depriving the town of several thousand street urchins, decided to turn to the untapped prison population. After a time even Creepsylvania’s caged misfits were dwindling to such a point that the lab was forced to close its doors.
During World War 1 Creepsylvania changed hands several hundred times; was accepted by Germany during the tail end of the war, and was immediately sacked by the marauding Huns. The mayor at the time, the Honorable Piotor Von Gremllsnacht, lead the locals in armed rebellion against the Germans in a battle to which the Germans never showed up. After the Germans lost the war there was some question as to exactly who ruled over the people of Creepsylvania, to the point that Creepsylvanians themselves found the town divided between German loyalists, citizens who identified themselves as Hungarian, and an inexplicable group that sided with the Chinese. This lead to a Civil War that lasted from 1920 to 1955 which pitted brother against brother, and which the Chinese won. The wishes of the victors were not granted by the Chinese government however, and Creepsylvania was once again more or less self ruled.
The 1960s brought social change in Creepsylvania. The winds of oppression had too long been blowing through the streets of the town and the youth rose up to fight the system, bolstered in their beliefs by the idea that equality and freedom were the cornerstones of a fair and decent civilization. They were quickly destroyed and a military dictatorship was installed by the United States. Over the next twenty-five years Death-Squads under the command of General Krunk roamed the streets looking for any sign that a citizen was conspiring against the State, dissidents were hunted down like dogs, and it was nearly impossible to get an affordable pair of American blue jeans. When in the 1980s policy makers in the United States realized that not only had previous administrations set up this corrupt regime, but provided it with material support for 25 years, the Reagan administration immediately apologized to the people of Creepsylvania and the world, admitted that its wrong to install puppet governments in Third World countries for your own financial or strategic gain, and invaded Krunk’s castle in an attempt to overthrow his government and provide Creepsylvanians with a good old American-style democracy.
This plan immediately failed. The Creepsylvanians, having no concept of freedom or democracy, voted in corrupt politician after corrupt politician, with each presidency ending in a bloody coup, until finally the country was in the iron grip of a tyrant; the mysterious Grand Basilisk. The Basilisk transformed Creepsylvania into a Christo-Fascist theocracy which enslaved much of the population for work in nightmarish sweatshops. After a large riot in 2011 the Basilisk was violently removed from office and disappeared into the swamps, never to be seen again. He is presumed dead.
Today Creepsylvania is ruled by the former head of the secret police, a man known as Commandant Dobrunkum, and enjoys such diverse industries such as Toxic Waste Disposal, Funeral Related Services, Bog Draining, Peat Harvesting, and many others. The denizens are friendly but timid, mostly due to some superstitious clap-trap about freakish “Ghouls” who live under the cemetery and venture out at night to defile graves and murder people in their sleep. This type of old world folklore only serves to increase the charm and appeal of what Creepsylvanians quaintly call “The Hell of Eastern Europe.”