Monday, December 31, 2007
In a rare moment of self-honesty, Blei-Sammeln wryly noted that while he was indeed suffering, that he was in no way “poor.” Perhaps his unknown antagonist was jealous of Ernst’s fortune?
Blei-Sammeln’s reverie ended as he handed his card to the footman. “This way, Herr General. Her Excellency is expecting you.”
Her Excellency Princess Ulrike Louise von Solms-Braunfels, Regent of Hesse-Homburg sat in her late husband’s Cabinet room together with several dithering bureaucrats. She eyed the Imperial officer with a mixture of wariness and hope.
“Good afternoon, Herr General von Blei-Sammeln. I hope that you are doing well?”
Blei-Sammeln sketched the not-quite-practiced bow that was all the rage in Vienna and answered, “It is a fine day to be conducting the Empress’ and your Excellency’s business, Princess.” He rose from the bow, and upon meeting the Regent’s gaze but not being addressed, assumed an expression of bland contentment.
“Have you had a chance to review our proposal for the New Year’s troop establishment, Herr General?”
“I have, your Excellency, and may I compliment you upon your enthusiastic and patriotic suggestions for the coming campaign. As I also bear instructions from the court of the Empress, I have taken the liberty of combining the two proposals into a single declaration. Furthermore I am empowered to publish this declaration, with your Excellency’s approval, of course.”
Blei-Sammeln drew a document from his breast pocket and presented it to the Regent. Princess Ulrike pulled the string to untie the ribbon, and rolled the document out on the table.
“Mein Gott!” she exclaimed. “Nine regiments of foot! And six of cavalry! And artillery, and what are these ‘light troops?!’ Homburg cannot possibly afford this!”
Blei-Sammeln deployed his practiced smile. “Of course not, My Princess.” He only used the singular possessive when he wanted the Regent to think he really needed her help. “You will see that only the units designated as ‘Leib’ are to be funded by Homburg. The rest will be paid for with the Empress’ florins, but raised and equipped by you.”
“So that the Empress can call them away to be fed to the Markgraf of Brandenburg’s war machine, like those poor Wurzburgers?”
“My Princess,” Blei-Sammeln began, spreading his hands like an innocent child accused of stealing the honey. “Her Imperial Majesty has always employed troops completely within the letter of the contract for their use. As stated in my letters of introduction, Her Imperial Majesty cannot afford to send more troops to your aid, but can help you to defray the expense of raising forces yourself. If you choose to accept the Imperium’s offer, Homburg can raise sufficient manpower to crush the Fedoran breakers of the Imperial Peace and reclaim your rightful domains.”
The room fell silent as the Regent looked back down and read the document in full. “This document calls for 14 battalions, 18 squadrons, and 3 companies of artillery. Where could we find this many men?”
“Your Excellency, both the Dayton Consortium and the newer Minden recruiting companies can provide the raw material for your army. You have but to say the word and they can produce soldiers almost as if from lead!”
“And if I agree, who shall command these legions?”
Blei-Sammeln flashed his ingratiating smile again. “You can see the answer in the attached document, My Princess. No, the third sheet. Yes, that one.”
The Regent glanced at the last page of the set. “So, you bear Imperial commissions for six Generalfeldwachtmeisters, to be nominated by me but approved by you. Yet you are only a Generalfeldwachtmeister yourself?”
“That is so, My Princess, until you sign the agreement. I am delighted to say that if you do so, that you also sign the commission making me a Feldmarschallieutenant and commander of the Imperial troops raised with those funds.”
Blei-Sammeln watched the thoughts as they crossed the Regent’s face. Finally, she turned to the nearest clerk. “Bring me the ink.”
Feldmarschallieutenant Blei-Sammeln bowed again and wondered what it was going to cost him to become Feldzeugmeister. In the meantime, he had a Declaration to publish.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Border patrols have warned of a raid by the forces of the Imperium deep into the Duchy of Tradgardland. Already Ducal forces have been mustered and are on their way to stop this border violation.
Dear Reader the forthcoming skirmish will be played out in the next few days upon the tabletop. You will be the first to hear what happens.....
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Exactly how this development will affect the balance of power, politics, and finances within imaginary 18th century Europe remains to be seen. However, Zichenau's Princess Antonia is rumored to be exploring all possible avenues as she schemes to undermine Stollen and its ruler, Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II, in her quest to regain the long disputed border region that is currently under Stollenian rule.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The Duke and Duchess have had a busy day. The feast of Stephen is when horses are blessed for the coming year and then, weather permitting, given a good hack through the countryside. The traditon continued this year following custom.
Whist riding the Duke pondered his place in the Universe, enjoying the solitude and snowy countryside. He inwardly gave thanks for his family, for the joys of the season and the greater family of the Duchy of Tradgardland. His thoughts turn to his deceased son and to the letter from Max in Schwartz Wald See. Max conveys his concern over the intentions of the Imperium . He sees a threat to his new realm and that of his father too. Max suggests that they need to plan together , to share troops and intentions in the coming year.
Karl Frederick has indeed much to think of. With a conscious effort he turns his thoughts to the Mummer's performance this night as they re tell the Tradgardland legends beloved by one and all. The Ducal traditions and legends help all to see their place in the scheme of things under heaven. Karl Frederick feels the rightness of this. And now with a gallop he turns the horse for home.....
Monday, December 24, 2007
"Twas the Night Before Christmas, And all through the land,
We all give thought, To what shall come from Per Noel's hand.
For me it's a battalion, Or even two or three,
For the Lady Katherine, Some new French finery for me to see.
For all of the children, I'm sure it's toys or sweets,
But as we all well know, There will be joy regardless of the treats.
I do give a prayer, One that I hope you all share,
For the fine boys and girls, In uniform everywhere.
They're all so young and so fine, And so far from home,
I pray you Father Christmas, Make them your own.
As we all share our Holiday, With the ones that we love,
Let them share it too, With help from Above.
As they can't be re-painted, Or re-based as our toys,
Let them all take care, Those fine girls and boys.
As for all of us, For you and for me,
I'm sure we'll all eat too much, with perhaps a little grog, We'll just have to see.
For all of you My Friends, Wherever you are,
A Joyous Season be upon you, Under the Guiding Star."
Although the Christmas celebrations have brought their characteristic quiet to this part of northeastern Europe, rumors abound concerning the visible build-up of troops from the Electorate of Zichenau on the southern bank of the Lesser Zwischen. Indeed, the mercenary French General Philip de Latte, currently in the service of Pricncess Antonia of Zichenau, has been positively identified with his small staff on the far side of the river.
Stollenian officers stationed in an around the small town of Zollamt and in surrounding villages on the northern side of the river report the presence of a large enemy force. It includes cavalry, artillery, and a strong infantry contingent on the far side of the river. When and where will the Zichenauer eagle strike? Or is this build-up simply a calculated bluff? Time will tell. Stay tuned in the coming days to find out. . .
In Edinburgh the Town Guard are leaving the High Kirk of St Giles after the Watch Night Service. They have been stood down- the Jacobite menace has at least passed for the present moment. The men and officers will return to the New Town , to their elegant houses, to drink and talk the night away. It is braw to be in Auld Reekie on Christmas Eve.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
To the south of the town, the men of the Black Brigade are striking camp and marching southeastwards, towards the winter quarters of Arnold's army, while to the North the Hesse-Engelburg generals have begun detailing a garrison to enter and secure the city.
(I hope to post more details later onto the blogs of the respective states)
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Once again I have someone who wishes to join our group blog . . . but who has an "undeliverable email address" so that I cannot get the invitation to him (Mike C., this is you this time).
Please be sure that you let me know your correct email address. I am not a spammer. You don't have to hide your true address from me. In fact I NEED the correct address in order for Blogger to get the invitation to you.
If you do want to join, please email me at . . . firstname.lastname@example.org . . . and I'll have an invitation sent your way.
Happy Holidays to All,
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The Markgrafin and I wish all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I got an email from Arthur. Without going into details, his heath is slowly getting a little bit better -- but he doesn't expect to be able to game out the battle until after Christmas (and I suspect that it might be after the New Year). He still can't sit up for very long.
I know that we all wish him a good recovery -- and can willingly wait for the battle until his health is more stable.
Get well, Arthur!
After celebrating the season of Thankfulness Ny Tradgardland has settled down to a quiet winter. The Brittanian incursion cost the lives of some good men but came to nothing. The Brittanian forces returned to winter quarters.New hostilities may occur with the coming of the Spring.
It is hoped that the Christmas season will be marked with soirees with the officers from Louisberg and , it is further hoped,their chaplain will offer Mass in Ny Tradgardland.
The woman are weaving willow wreaths to decorate the houses. Soon berries and evergreens will be added to complete the decorations.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
As they board the Dansk vessel which will return them to Althavn they are prepared to exchange tales and experiences as well as take the time to check ski equipment prior to arrival . The voyage will indeed be busy.
Monday, December 17, 2007
News has reached Auld reekie of another dastardly and vile invasion by the French and their highland cohorts. An eye witness, the Reverend Mac Farlane , who galloped overnight from the North of Scotland, saw with his own good eye ( his other was put out by jacobites in '45) the hordes gathering and marching south. Be on your guard for they are a coming , he warned crowds gathering at the Mercat Cross for news. The Edinburgh Town Guard are upon standby and we await the response of the Authorities.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
There is a knock at the basement door. The hussars stop their taunting of the prisoner and all is quiet. Even the prisoner stifles his cries for the moment as his eyes glance over towards the door, waiting to see who will walk through the entry. The door creaks open with a sound akin to screaching chalk on a blackboard.
The door opens and the prisoner's eyes grow wide in terror as he sees the woman in black step into the cell. He tries to scream, but nary a sound comes from his throat. The woman steps into the light and gently lowers the hood covering her head. Yellow-gold curls of hair tumble out from the cape as the prisoner looks at the woman. She is very beautiful, but the only thing that the prisoner notices are her ice cold eyes. He knows that he is doomed. It is Milady de Winter.
She removes a long hat pin from her hair and runs her finger tips over its sharp point. She looks at the hat pin, smirks, and then stares straight into the eyes of the prisoner. She runs the hat pin under the prisoner's chin, first gently, then with a little more pressure, and as she traces a fine line under his chin, the razor sharp hat pin draws a thin red line of blood.
"So Herr Bauer. Just who exactly are you working for?"
Port Of Le Havre:
A powerful squadron has entered the roadstead. Some think ice remnants aboard all vessels tells of a return journey from near Arctic climates. The Shetlands? Surely yes because little Alerte, the dispatch vessel for l’Chevalier du Nord whose route was between Le Havre and The Shetlands is with the squadron. We note some of the Gallian vessels are en-flute and riding higher in the water than previously. The Chevalier du Nord boards a river galley for a voyage up the Seine to Versailles to report to The Foreign Ministry about events far to the north.
Channel Isle de Pettygree:
Shrouded in wintry winds and snow squalls, news is nil. We only know that General Pettygree (forced to retire by Parliament) remains ill but is recovering. His decade long exile to Rose Manor remains in effect given his sympathy for the Jacobites in the ’45. He is reconciling himself to the status quo and the fait accompli of Cumberland’s victory. His children, Lady Diana, for one, remain vexed by their father’s exile. This accounts for their meanderings on the continent within and without Gallian events and personalities.
Fortress of Louisbourg In The New World:
No news. Blockaded no doubt by Britannian ships of war. But winter will break the blockade.
Germania (See the “Friedrich” board game map, if you please):
Marshall de Broglie left Minden and the Britannian Army of the Marquis of Granby there for the magazine at Koblenz. A garrison of 10,000 men was left there while the rest of the Army removed itself to the west of the Rhine to rest and recuperate.
L’Duc De Poyanne formerly at Frankfurt Am Main marched to the westward of the Rhine River taking 10,000 Gallians with him to join Marshall de Broglie. De Poyanne left 10,000 men under the command of Intendant Bastille at the magazine at Frankfurt Am Main and sent 2,000 to reinforce Lt. General Chevert.
Lt. General Chevert has encamped his entire Army at the fortress of Gemünden where refitting continues in preparation for the Spring Campaign. Some think he will be ordered into Bohemia (Saxe-Bearstein) when the Armistice between The Imperium and Germania falls to pieces. Should there be trouble in Frankzonia he is within two days march of Frankfurt Am Main.
Intendant Bastille in charge of the Gallian magazine at Frankfurt Am Main has accepted the withdrawal of so many Gallian soldiers with an ulcer or stomach ailment of some kind. Still, he does command 15,000 Gallians in the town, has trebled the guard and locks the gates every night. He has allowed a small number of partisans and malcontented prisoners out of the jail to return to their families for Christmas. The worst remain under lock and key. On his mind, if peace remains in the city, he will release more. He awaits fate.
Foreign Minister Prince de Charade has informed the Frankzonian delegation that Gallian forces have initiated a first step in satisfying two Frankzonian demands. #1 Gallian military forces in the region are reduced. #2 Gallian military forces remain near in case the Hurtshog finds himself in some trouble for his support of Gallian interests. The Hurtshog plays a dual role and perhaps a dangerous one with his subjects so contrarily divided between support of Gallia on the one hand and the Marquis of Brandenburg (Frederick II) on the other. Charade has also informed the delegation that Intendant Bastille has been ordered to release some prisoners as a gesture of good faith with the hope nothing further will affect peaceful relations between Frankzonia and Gallia.
Lady Diana Pettygree, her particular friend Lady Cherish Masquerade and her confidant Lady Belle Silhouette just back from the Channel are rehoused in their apartments in Versailles.
Lt Gardier of the de Saxe Lancers has returned to Versailles as well to resume guarding Lady Diana there. He has companioably welcomed the supernumerary Monsieur Briege into the unit. Tonight they dine to get to know each other and from there discuss the rules of engagement.
No sign of her. All must be well.
Dunkettle Castle (Two weeks ago):
L’Comte de Albany now ashore in his homeland briefly addressed the assemblage of warriors aforrrrrrrre him.
“My brothers. Today I have returned to my homeland and my birthright that you have so gallantly and loyally supported this past decade. You see behind me the Royal Standard raised once more for my restoration and for the return of your rights. I have. We have powerful allies in Tradgardland and King Louis of Gallia. As proof my people, you see my Royal Écossais being rowed ashore from the Gallian squadron thither.” [He turns pointing to seaward. The crowd loudly shout their approval tossing bonnets high into the air. When the din subsides the speaker continues.]
“Now my brothers, let us welcome home your exiled soldiers and friends. We shall feast tonight and tomorrow we will speak of the future and what is next." [l’Comte de Albany raises his bonnet, turns to bow momentarily to Gallian l'Chevalier du Nord and sweeps his eyes left and right at his subjects as the assemblage resumes it accolades and applause amidst deafening shouts of Long Live Charles Edward Stuart!]
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The town of Grozhof on the River Grozen is the site of a very recent battle between Burtzenian and Mieczyslavian forces. For details, read the latest report on the Mieczyslaw Blogger.
(Table Top Teaser #3 fought at my house between Derek and Murdock using the same scenario and terrain that Pete and I had fought over earlier in the week.)
After a successful lightening raid into Tradgardland ( including the destruction of Alteberg Frei Stadt ) the Imperium troops return to winter quarters in the Imperium Netherlands.
This marks the end of a brief campaign season between the Imperium and the Duchy of Tradgardland. No doubt the Spring will see fresh hostilities begin again..........
Friday, December 14, 2007
After a brief assault the City of Alteberg is in flames tonight . The forces of the Imperium have retreated after a lightening raid. The inhabitants have deserted the City and are making for the capital of the Duchy of Tradgardland. The Tradgardland Army is standing by in case the Imperium causes trouble further within the Duchy tonight. The Tradgardlanders are said to be in a state of shock after this occurred without any prior warning or diplomatic endeavours.
I've been rather kaboshed medically of late.
Recovery is proceeding, but this is the first day I've been able to sit up long enough to enjoy our blog ...
At Tipple Bruder, I may have to return to the 12 figure battalion ... as it's easier to keep the battle field proper on the bed that way ...
But we're hoping to resume next week with a full board (and this will permit me to paint some more artillery meanwhile).
Sorry about these d*****d delays!
The Margravaine Rhabbidiers, in her exquisite gown and lace, tends to speak lowly and quietly to an "interpreter." While her French is actually quite fluent, her voice is quite ... ah ... non-diplomatic, so speaking quietly behind her fan, the Prince is not subjected to the normal screeching drill effect of her conversation.
Besides, it gives her an excuse to enjoy the wine she first tasted in the General's tent last year ... in rather late affair of state ...
"Your Highness, I must warn you first that this is an official "Note of Protest." It's a necessary maneuver, as I am glad to explain.
We've communicated several times in the past for the need for some sort of formal accord between Frankszonia and Gallia, and now the situation has reached a crisis point.
"Please understand, our court would be horrified if Gallia actually followed the requirements of this protest. Most of our army, including the foreigners, are afield against Stagonia. Our Duke is ill and his heir is but an unweaned piglet. There remain at least two strong factions which would love to include the Ducal family in their sausage recipes, not to mention the many enemies we've made for ourselves while struggling on Gallia's behalf. The simple solution, for which Frankszonia earnestly hopes, is the creation of a formal accord between the Gallian monarch and its representatives and the Hurtshog and his representatives.
"Now, if you'll permit my strong voiced friend here his unpleasant duty."
From: The Hurtshog Stanken Fahrtz von Frankfurter
To: His Sublime Majesty, King Louis XV, monarch of Gallia.
My dear cousin,
Sad necessity requires that we protest most vigorously against the illegal presence of Gallian forces in Frankszonian territory.
Your precipitous invasion of our admittedly small land was previously unopposed as at that time you were in alliance with her Supreme August, the Empress. Unfortunately, however, the Imperium and Hesse-Seewald / Gemania appear to have arrived at some sort of accommodation.
As a loyal component of the Upper Frankonian Kreis, we also, in the absence of any other authorizing conjunctions, must therefore withdraw from the forces opposed to the Germanian aggressions.
This creates a series of unpleasant complications:
First of all, the Bastille which now stands just outside our walls must be given over to Frankszonian forces and the prisoners within, whose incarceration was necessitated by the conflict, be released
(The Margravaine giggles ... and whispers, "Certament! With nothing but a palace guard and children to hold it and to face all those virulent foes of the Hurtshog! Even the Intendent Bastille the sour face must laugh at this!")
Secondarily, the magazine and arsenal assembled by Gallia within Frankfurt must be evacuated and Gallian forces remove themselves from the city and its environ.
(The baron himself, winces at this, "that will leave us a nice raw casing for somebody to stuff, no?")
Thirdly, as ;'Intendant Bastille has shown himself an industrious and patriotic Gallian commander, we will not act upon these demands until adequate communication between our courts has occurred, however, these demand will be posted soon within the city and copies of this note provided to the Imperial court..
(the Margravaine: "Those Wienies!)
Interim, the Hurtshog sincerely hopes that the admirable offices of the brilliant Gallian ministers will provide a suitable solution for our contretemps.
Your Cousin, the Hurtshog Stanken
Every night, the town of Vergoldeten can see the flames of campfires to the north and south of their town, with the army of Hesse-Engelburg encamped outside the northern gate, and the army of Prince Arnold encamped outside their southern gate.
In the town hall, the leaders of the city look on and occasionally contribute as Brigadier Färberböck of Arnold's Black Brigade meets with Generalmajor Count Manfred von Waffenschmidt of Hesse-Engelburg and his three Brigadiers. Couriers and pages come and go from the building, carrying messages from the negotiators to their respective sovereigns. Hussars of both sides roam the countryside, watching for any further attacks from the defeated Bad Nachtschwein or Prince Asgar. Rumors abound, but no concrete information has surfaced as to what the likely result of the negotiation is.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
As the sun sinks beneath the mountains the Brotherhood of the Wolves meets in the Abbey of St Wolfgang. They are the adherents of the old Germanic -language Mass rite of Schwartz Wald See. They are a focus for all who have a pride in their heimat and its traditions.They harbour an ongoing suspicion of Rome and her Prince Bishops.Some are militant and some resist in their quiet way.
They come together to celebrate the Mass as generations have done so before them.What they will make of Max, and for that matter, what will Max make of them , only time will tell....
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Will the Grand Duchy join us? According to the Transactions of the Philosophical Society of Daisy (located in Saxe-Burlap und Schleswig-Beerstein), the throne is practically vacant, in that the Grand Duchess is in dire need of an enterprising Regent.
Louys of Monte-Cristo feels too old (and, chiefly, too lazy) to compete for the office.
-main: excerpt # 8949 of the Journal of the Society;
-ancillary: excerpts #8988, 8991, 9002.
Edgar Allan Lovecraft de Dunwitch et Innsmouth, Permanent Secretary of the Monte-Cristan Academy of Sciences
The Prinz was leading the von Schlitz battalion in an double-envelopment of two Norden battalions when he was shot in the back at extreme range by members of the newly-arrived Musk Oxen battalion.
The artwork at left shows the slain Prinz fallen near the top of the painting (indicating that he was near to Heaven) right next to the survivors of the von Schlitz Battalion just as one of Maj. Gen. Otto von Lager's aides-de-camp rides to recover the body (as another aide offers a soon-accepted cease-fire so that the dead and wounded could be properly tended to.
After the official mourning period, more details of this battle and the fall of Prinz Gunther will undoubtedly become available through the normal Saxe-Bearstein channels.
The main castle of Schwartz Wald See is filled with activity. The message has been passed from valley to valley and mountain to mountain - The new Prince Bishop is on his way!
A flurry of activity ensues - the castle has not been occupied for some ages and much needs to be accomplished!
The Castle Steward prepares his speech of welcome again and again. All must be ready. It is his job to ensure it will happen...
Narrator : Dear Readers please see the Duchy of Tradgardland Blog for information pertaining to the journey...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sometimes we get carried away with this group blog and forget about our own Imagi-Nation's blogs. Below is a list of the most recent posts on the member blogs listed to the right.
Blogs updated within the last two weeks are in black; those over two weeks but less than two months old, in blue; purple for those two to three months old; and those more than three months since their last post will be in red:
Abbey of Kempton ---- September 11
Bishopric of Uber Gruntshuffen ---- December 10
County of Zolms ---- December 7
Duchy of Alzheim ---- December 7
Duchy of Lagerburg-Slobbovia ---- July 4
Duchy of M'Uedail ---- October 13
Duchy of Mieczyslaw ---- November 18
Duchy of Pfalz-Kognat-Obersayn ---- August 30
Duchy of Saxe-Huack ---- September 14
Duchy of the North ---- September 3
Duchy of Tradgardland ---- December 11
Electorate of Vulgaria ---- May 25
Entente Concordiana ---- November 28
Frankszonia -- December 2
Frundsberg FreiStadt ---- October 4
Grand Duchy of Davidsberg ---- December 11
Grand Duchy of Hetzenberg ---- December 11
Grand Duchy of Noverre ---- August 8
Grand Duchy of Stollen ---- December 11
Hesse-Sewald ---- December 5
The Imperium ---- December 11
Kingdom of Leder-Hosen ---- November 28
Kingdom of Stagonia ---- December 9
Kingdom of Wittenberg ---- December 11
Landgraviate of Hesse-Fedora ---- November 24
Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg ---- December 3
League of Potsdorf ---- November 28
Presipality of Monte-Cristo ---- November 17
Principality du Lichtenbourg ---- Novembre 15
Principality of Hesse-Engelburg ---- December 11
Principality of Jordvicken ---- September 17
Principality of Saxe-Bearstein ---- December 9
Skavenberg ---- December 5
Soweiter League ---- December 9
Town of Tippelbruder ---- November 22
Union Real de Scandalusia ---- November 28
If your Imagi-Nation's blog or website is not listed above, please leave a comment with it's URL . . . or email me at . . . email@example.com with the URL.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
The Tradgardland Doctor attached to the Shetland Expedition has been worked off his feet. An out break of small pox has hit the troops in winter quarters. Fatalities have been high. Sitting in his canvas study exhausted after another fruitless day he summons up the last of his energy and looks through his papers. At last he comes across a copy of the Gentleman's Magazine of seven years ago - his eyes alight upon what he has been looking for - an article regarding smallpox and what can be done to prevent it. He opens the third last bottle of wine and reads on......
Narrator : readers are invited to click on the illustration to read what the doctor read ....
The article ignites the spark of an idea in the mind of the Doctor. He worries not upon the legality of his actions under God or man but considers that there is work to be done if the Army is to be saved........................
Frankzonian Lady Minerva: "Oh Charlotte, he, I mean, l' Prince de Charade, enters the room again. See his highly polished blackened shoes with red heels and gilt buckles, the fine white silk stockings, royal blue breeches, heavily gilt laden scarlet waistcoat, the laced cuffs extending beyond the wrist, a cool velvet white neck cloth and his finely curled white wig. The Ordre of Ste. Louis is pinned to his royal blue sash. He strides confidently to our Emissary, nodding to the left and right acknowledging our people."
Lady Charlotte: "His smile Minerva. It is genuine - not false like so many of the wretched diplomats we see back at Frankfurt Am Main when they come to call. His bearing exudes polished politeness, confidence and an utter absence of superciliousness. Even his servant Bernard following behind is of interest to me. Do you suppose he is an Aide de Camp of a higher state than servant?"
Lady Minerva: "Oh Charlotte, I can't say but I see what you mean. Ah, but now the Prince nears our Emissary. The two bow and begin to speak."
Charade: "I am deeply honoured Sir by the gift of your visit to Gallia. I hope our refreshments were satisfactory and the delay not too long while I prepared to meet you. Allow me to offer you a chair by the fire beneath the painting of Marshall de Saxe's victory at Fontenoy from the last war. It covers the whole wall there from floor to ceiling."
Charlotte: "Do you suppose we could go closer Minerva? No? I thought not. Well ... we can imagine their discourse I suppose from what we know."
Charade: "Sir, allow me to pour some tolerable wine for you. Chevert wine. I believe you know the General. From his vineyard you know. Yes, I thought so since he passed through Frankfurt Am Main several times in the past two years. I regret the necessity of that but given the designs of Hesse-Seewald and Britannia in your region, well, the needs of the state and Central Germania were of importance, great importance for many of us. Indeed the threat to the King's brother in law, Prinz Wilhelm of Saxe-Raschstein [Saxony] were particularly grievous and now half of his country is lost to the Marquis of Brandeburg. Frederick I mean."
Minerva: [Inching closer to the two seated men.] "Come Charlotte, we could walk about the room admiring the paintings. Shall we dare to come closer to the Fontenoy painting, but .... See the gentlemen sit back in their chairs holding their faceted crystal glassware. Light from the fire reflects and illuminates the wine curiously and ... do you suppose I make too much of it Charlotte?"
Charlotte: " My dear, you go on and dare too much. Stop."
Minerva: "Hush, hush sweet Charlotte."
Charade: "Another glass Sir? Allow me to toast your country and the beautiful ladies there by the edge of the Fontenoy painting. To Frankzonia and frank conversation. [The two drink and nod approvingly. A pause.] How may I help you? A diplomatic note I believe?"
Narrator: The scene is set. The gentlemen are relaxed and about to speak while the ladies hover ever closer to observe the particular artistic qualities of the Fontenoy painting. Bernard stands by Charade's chair ever vigilant to the needs of duty.
General von Larrabee glanced up from the letter he was reading. Addressed from the Hesse-Fedoran Fodder and Oats Consortium, the note was a bill for an exceedingly large amount of money for the care and feeding of horses of the Weisspferdheim Cavalry Division. Disgusted at the expense, von Larrabee glared at Generalmajor Norris as the junior general in the service of Hesse-Fedora entered the room.
“What do you want, Norris?!” von Larrabee snapped.
Norris coolly eyed the man who, excepting only the Landgraf himself, outranked every other officer in Fedora.
“Herr General, I bring you the latest army summaries for ourselves, and for the growing collection of Imperial armies in the area. As you ordered, Herr General.”
Larrabee, still holding the letter from the Consortium, waited for Norris to continue, then realizing that Norris was silent, said, “And?”
Norris did not need to look at the papers he held out to Larrabee. “We are fairly evenly matched, Herr General, but only because of the Weisspferdheimers. The Empress and the King of Gallia have at least 13,500 foot and horse assembled in the various states nearby. It appears M’Uedail and that Irish expatriate Duke of theirs have declared for the Empress.
“I’m sure you are aware we have only around 12,000 troops, but the Counties of Solms returns have not come in yet and that should bring us up to strength. The Imperials do have an awful lot of artillery, though.
“The only other specific I feel requires mentioning is that the Weisspferdheimers are essential to keep us even remotely on par with the Imperial cavalry arm.”
Larrabee crumpled the bill into a fist and threw it into the fireplace.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
1st Class: 2 prizes of 20 Rigsdaler for those who on a mediocre downhill and after a full run can fire their gun and best hit a target at 40 to 50 pace distance.
2nd Class: 4 prizes of 10 Rigsdaler for those who on a hill grown with trees can throw themselves between the trees without being hindered by the fall or breaking the skies.
3rd Class: 6 prizes of 4 Rigsdaler for those who, without falling or riding on the ski stick, can run down the largest hill without falling.
4th Class: 8 prizes of 2 Rigsdaler for those who on flat ground fastest can run a 1/4 mile with full uniform and the gun over the shoulder, that under good conditions should be done in less than 10 minutes. "
Monday, December 3, 2007
I'd thought I'd managed to get into a position where even my wife's incredible dice luck couldn't save her .... but, she's got the first initiative role and a battalion flanking my front three! I don't know that she'll spend the battalion (after all, it's dog meat on the next turn if it does attack), but it could stop the breakthrough long enough for the reinforcements to form a solid line ..... I haven't pointed this out to her yet, so hopefully she'll do something else with the roll ...
This post will be deleted when the game is finished.
For those following the battle thread, the Stagonians did decide to advance on the flood plain, their sabotage of the flood gates is successful and the ground is probably firm enough for their cavalry superiority to tell ....
There are no maps of Schwartz Wald See save those in the hands of our Army and only in the Winter Quarters with General Count von Schafhusen. Brother Benedict would you like an opportunity to return home ? Would you show your Homeland to us? Yes , yes I would be delighted. That is all for now Brother , I will make arrangements and please await my summons soon.
Some of you have undoubtedly noticed a change in what happens when you click on a graphic. Instead of opening a larger version as it used to do, it now prompts a download to your computer's graphics program.
Blogger is apparently aware of this. According to their "Known Issues" page, they are trying to correct it. In the meantime, they have instructions for a "temporary fix" for those who are comfortable with working with computer coding. It can be found here.
I will note that this problem is quite recent and that older photos and graphics do not seem to be affected.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Servant: M’seur Bernard, there’s some sort of formal delegation from one of those German princelings here.
Bernard: Without an appointment? What the **** do they want?
Servant: They say that they have to present a Note to the Prince. (He hands Bernard a slaver with cartes de visite on them).
Bernard: Merde! The Migraine! and she’s coming officially?
Servant: With escort, translators, and attaches, M’seur.
Bernard: I’ll get the Prince prepared. (Sighs) Where are they?
Servant: Since they were on official business, M’seur, I have brought them past the foyer into the hall d’Assemblies.
Bernard: Move them on into the wardrobe, I guess. Serve them coffee and warn them that there may be a delay of (he checks the weather outside) about an hour to an hour and a half ... unless I get lucky.
Both men leave.
Bernard hurries down a back hallway into the groom’s waiting room. Seeing the Prince’s coachman sitting down with a pastry and latte, Bernard hurries over to him.
Bernard: Is he really here already?
Coachman: Oui, M’seur. He’s changing from his travel cloak in the wardrobe now.
Bernard hurries rapidly from room in considerable trepidation.
In the Wardrobe (actually, a suite of rooms), the Frankszonian party and the Prince du Charade enter simultaneously. The Prince is still attired in his burgundy and fur trimmed travel cloak and florid hat.
Margravaine Rhabbidiers (nasally): Merci! Your Highness! We did not mean to cause you to rush so suddenly, but we must discuss the note together ... and perhaps it is best that we do so before you have to actually read it.
Charade (somewhat startled and taken aback to find the party there):: It is nothing, my Lady. In Gallia, we do not wish to keep beautiful women waiting too long. I’ve found that they can be quite creative in overcoming such boredom.
A small gasp introduce Bernard, whose pace changes abruptly from a hurried rush to a sedate walk.
Bernard: Your Highness, the envoy of Frankszonia, to deliver a Note of State.
Charade: A Note of State? (he looks back at the Frankszonian contingent, noting the formal uniforms and the presence of an interpreter) If you would pardon me but a moment, my lords and ladies; I must change and ensure that the proper aides are present. In my office in half an hour?
Rhabbidiers: (curtseying) That would be most gracious, My Lord.
Charade: Bernard? (both men exit as other servants enter with trays and a steaming samovar).
News spreads quickly and the Highland Gentlemen and their followers flock to Dunkettle.They camp around its craggy walls and patiently await their presentation to the true King . A hush descends as a figure leaves the castle gate - he is familiar to some - others only know him by reputation and song. He raises his hand and speaks...
Friday, November 30, 2007
Contemplate, if you will, the imponderables of fate and random chance with the duet of time and circumstance. Do these mix randomly or with the logic of a knowing hand? Tis not for us to know with pure empirical scientific certainty in this life. Yet there is sufficient reason enough to have faith for those who think deeply and weigh evidence about such matters that there are really no coincidences or inexplicable human collisions.
Are the story lines of life complex? Surely yes. Do they often seem part of a plan? What about free will? Well, all depends on our contemplations, doesn't it? The temporary answer may be no. I say the final answer is mostly yes but about this do not be troubled. Simply carry on as you must like a branch thrown into a torrent. It, like all of us, must race ever onward in the river of life without always knowing every hazard and turn or what these may mean until the end of our journey. Let not your hearts be troubled.
Upon the stage before you, the confusing mixtures of virtual lives are no different. Recent discombobulations and confusions tell us this. However, dear reader, please sit back and let me unravel the meaning and destiny of some of it. I speak naturally of the seemingly imponderable collision of events and people of Tradgardland, Gallia and a new entity hurled into our electronic arena. Now....enter into your imaginations as the curtain rises on Scene #1 offshore of Scotland aboard the Royal Gallian ship Alerte.
Premier Officer Henri: "Monsieur, the little vessel has heaved to. All seems well and she is outgunned. She has no longboat and...."
l'Capitaine: "Pass my compliments to Enseigne Nicolai and ask him to take the cutter over to ask the commander to come here to speak. Maintain vigilance mon trés cher ami. Keep the guns run out."
Narrator: A half hour later the commander of the other vessel boarded Alerte and stood before l'Capitaine. They exchanged pleasantries and descended the companion ladder. Seated in the little cabin we learn our guest is a....
Scotsman: "I thank ye Sur, for the honour to speak to ye. We have an interest in the affairs of Gallia and certain ideas that may be valuable for us mutually. I apologize fer stopping ye, but may I ask ye, what is your business off our shores?"
l'Capitaine: "Propitious perhaps ... but we shall see. I am looking for a fellow countryman known to have been recently taken away to your shores Sir. I am bound to find him."
Scotsman: "His name?"
l'Capitaine: "Chevalier du Nord."
Scotsman: "Propitious indeed yer honour. Fate has been kind to ye and if I may hazard it, perhaps for the cause."
l'Capitaine: "The cause?"
Scotsman: "Let me explain it this way yer honour by means known beyond us mortal men. Here Sur, a letter from your Chevalier du Nord!"
Narrator: [l'Capitaine raises an eyebrow, takes the message and reads]
"My dear Capitaine,
This morning as I arose within Castle Dunkettle my destiny seemed fraught with uncertainties complicated by surprising ways and means of gaining my attention. I write of my sudden and unexpected transportation to this place from Shetland. I settled into acceptance of my fate awaiting the revelation of my purpose here when I noticed your unexpected sail on the horizon. Knowing it to be Alerte, my dispatch vessel, gave me new hope as you drew ever closer though you did not know I was here. I became certain destiny had brought you offshore to somehow find me. Surely there would be no other reason."
"I have been brought here to explain the position of our King relative to 'the cause.' Depending upon your discretion and orders, I should be honored to learn if l'Comte de Albany has followed through with his hopeful plan to come here. If you would be so kind as to raise and lower your ensign three times, I will know he is coming and that I can reveal something of it to my hosts."
Should I not see the signal, I shall know the plan has met with a change of some kind and will explain things as best I can. In any event, I should be obliged to board Alerte when you think practicable as I remain."
l'Chevalier du Nord
Narrator: We are now outside Castle Dunkettle. The Chevalier du Nord as you may recall was asked to address the multitude encamped there. He commences....
du Nord: "SCOTSMEN! I have been brought here by the guiding hand of destiny to speak to you of news. Good news gentlemen. News ... you have longed for. The dreams you speak of quietly beside your hearths and campfires will no longer dwell only in the realm of thought, hope and desire.
Just this morning my dispatch vessel, Alerte, not by fate, but by unseen guidance delivered the news you have longed for into my hand. She signalled me 'the cause' moves forward. I have in my pocket a note written by the captain of Alerte confirming this as well. It was brought by the commander of the vessel that carried me to you and who spoke to Alerte out to sea. You watched the drama offshore as Alerte and your vessel drew near, stopped and then parted.
Alerte sailed without a moment to lose to bring none other than l'Comte de Albany to you. He is near. Let us wait upon our joint destiny my new companions and then listen to his words, the words you seek. Until he arrives I am at your service.
Gentlemen, three cheers for l'Comte de Albany!"
Narrator: Indeed three cheers were loudly proclaimed. The next morning a powerful Gallian squadron appeared offshore. Alerte worked her way inshore, lowered her cutter and brought a man known as l'Comte de Albany back to his countrymen. The cutter flew his flag from astern. The flag of the previously incognito ... Charles Edward Stuart.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
We apologize for recent impressment of several of your Gallian laborers into the forces of Frankszonia. After interviewing your straw bosses, however, it seems that the number so encumbered is only about a hundred or so, barely 20% of your work force. Since we have a sufficient number of skilled personnel in our debtor's prison, we would gladly permit them to be dragooned into your service for your projects in this area.
Please understand that this was not an intentional intervention, the press gangs were looking for mechanics and laborers, and in the low class inns at night, such distinctions are quite easy to ignore. Our own native labor pool has suffered much higher stress from the current crisis also. So the employment of these artisans by your foremen would ease a number of local political stresses.
Surely you are pleased with the quiet redeployment of Frankszonian main forces to the south. While we've retained some key units for our personal and urban security, we feeel that the Gallian muster in the area is sufficient to sustain order on the right bank of the Main.
\Our scouts have gathered information that implies that the Vile Stagonian force which recently struck us at Offenbach has redeployed to the south east, apparently planning to join in the Stagonian violation of peaceful Tipple=Bruder. In spite of the treacherous acquiesence of the Offenbach leaders in the Vile Stagonian duplicity, we feel that to support the Soweiter League and its associates is the best policy for an Imperial Frei Stadt. Therefore, our forces will again advance on Offenbach to see if this might draw back the Stagonian Brigade from their depredations in the Odin Wald.
Meanwhile, the battalions which so bravely held the Hesse-Sewald assault are being rebuilt at our outpost across the Main from Offenbach. While there, they are constructing earthworks sufficient for a battery of heavy artillery sufficient to reach across the river to the Offenbach docks.
While our officers are dismayed over the recent turn of international diplomacy, as an Imperial Frei Stadt not holding a distinct and explicit treaty of alliance with Gallia, we are compelled for the time being to withhold further direct assistance of your brave heroes. By the Imperial agreement, Frankszonia is no longer an enemy of Hesse Seewald. It is our sincere hope, however, that the Gallian Foreign Minister will soon rectify this rather embarrassing encumbrance with a sufficient instrument of friendship which acknowledges us as an autonomous entity.
Meanwhile, an anti-Stagonian alliance has arisen all over the continent. Indeed, we expect to hear of a major clash in the region of Tipple-Bruder as soon as the weather clears enough to permit movement.
Meanwhile, let us toast the honor and vigour of our cousin, your Gallian Monarch!
Herr Stanken, Hurtshog Fahrtz von Frankfurter
by the hand of le Comte de Beauphaup ...
Du Nord , after a tolerably good night's sleep, finishes his breakfast of porridge with cream. Not what he is used to but reasonable fare. He is asked to leave the table and the fascinating "Proceedings of the Inverness Society Vol 6 " he was reading.
After a stiff climb to the battlements he exits a door out to the frosty,white covered roof. There before him he sees myriad campfires and men huddled in plaids upon the ground. His trained military eye estimates around five or six hundred souls.
Well Sir, what say you to this - they have answered the Fiery Cross, they have come at your beckoning Du Nord. When the sun is fully up you must go out and speak to them ,they await your word..
Du Nord begins to think about what to do or say - there is much to prepare ....
Part 2 The recent naval activity off Scotland and Shetland remains confused and intriguing - it is hoped our gallant Gallian correspondent will enlighten us further
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"Oh, what the devil are you on about now, Chevrolet-Vega?" said High King Joern Carlos XI in a peevish tone, glancing up from the paper-strewn desk.
"Majesty," replied the Foreign Minister with the patience born of long service and a finely honed sense of self-preservation, "there are at this moment a dozen armies campaigning hither and yon across the lands. Sooner or later la Union Real must take official notice."
The High King glowered a moment, then sighed. "What would you have me do, Don Diego, my old companero? Apart from the handful of regiments with His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince, the army has already gone into winter quarters and is spread from one end of la Union Real to the other. I know my son would like nothing better than to bring us into the war, but I intend to restrain him while I can. Major Havelocke is with the Crown Prince's corps in the Plain of the Plain Thanes. The major is aware of my wishes in this regard, and has been able to speak reason to my son where others have failed--so far, at any rate.
"No, mi amigo, I appreciate your concern, but so long as neither hither nor yon are within the borders of Scandalusia, I propose to let well enough alone a while longer. Our own house is not yet in order, after all."
"Do you trust Havelocke, sire?"
"Like most Henrovians, Desmond Havelocke is as honest as a summer day is long. I trust him not to lie outright, Don Diego Halfdane. But I do not know all his purposes...." He paused, then smiled wryly. "In any case, what choice have we?"
Don Diego Halfdane bowed, silent. What choice, indeed?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Reports indicate that they met near the village of Ubergang in a bloody but indecisive battle.
While accounts of the fight are skimpy at present, two may be found here and here.
-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein
We, the peaceful citizens of the Principality of Concordia, thoroughly abhor violence and conquest, as the name of our state implies. But knowing the villanious Baron von Stuppe is the mastermind behind this new League of Potzdorf, we have formed a defensive alliance of our own, the Entente Concordiana, entered into with our cousins, Prince Iago of Campostella, Graf Siegfried of Saxon-Wachsenstein, and Graf Yakov of Courland, to counter the barbarious knaves of Carpania. We will exchange ambassadors with any peace-loving ruler. Content with peace, the citizens of Concordia and our allies must ensure our prosperity by increasing our military forces. Neighboring states would be well advised to steer clear of any entanglements with this so-called League of Potzdorf.
Signed by Prince Piotr Ustinov of Concordia, Prince Iago of Campostella, Graf Siegfried of Saxon-Wachsenstein, and Graf Yakov Alexandrovitch Pavlov of Courland
[Note bene: For more information about the Entente, initially see my Col Campbell's Barracks blog - ColCampbell's Barracks .]
Greetings and salutations from Markgraf Hapnich of the Margraviate of Carpania. In keeping with our beneficent rule of this fair land, we have entered into a self-defense pact with our neighbors, the Duchy of Friesland and the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, to protect ourselves from the rapacious banditti of the mis-named Principality of Concordia. For our fair-minded neighboring states, the League of Potzdorf (named after our beautiful capital city) is entirely defensive in nature, seeking only to preserve the territorial integrity of of our respective states. All like minded rules are requested to dispatch ambassadors to Carpania, Friesland, and Grand Fenwick and we will do likewise.
Signed by and for the members of the League of Potzdorf
/s/ Friedrich Hapnich, Markgraf of Carpania
[Note bene: For more details of the League, initially see my Col Campbell's Barracks blog - ColCampbell's Barracks .]
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The servants whisper that the rumors are true. His Majesty is indeed playing with some strange toys.
He had glass blowers make a bunch of glass "soldier" figures, then had them painted in Tipplebruder colors.
He lined them up at one end of the great table and he crouches at the other end and, using a spoon as a catapult, he launches lead shot toward the figures . . . and chortles every time one of the glass figures is shattered.
Surely the man has lost his wits . . . surely.
Shortly after dawn du Nord is carried bound hand and foot to a small boat. The highlanders lift him gently in and set sail. Du Nord keeps his composure ( as one would indeed expect ) but he wonders where he is going and what will happen to him next. So far his treatment has been civil and his needs provided for . After a foul crossing through heavy seas the boat makes landfall on what du Nord assumes is the mainland of Scotland. They haul the boat upon the beach and then out of the mist see a welcoming party clad in tartan and armed to the teeth. Their leader beckons for the others to untie du Nord. Du nords shakes his numb limbs and listens to the following in heavily accented French -
Greeting and welcome we have been expecting you . Come with me to Castle DunKettle and we will talk....
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Max ( son of Karl Frederick ,Duke of Tradgardland, and Prince Bishop of Roskilde is looking rather pleased with himself. Due to his faithful service as Ambassador to the Holy See he has gained advancement. He is now the Prince Archbishop of Swartz- Waldsee and Primate of North by North East Europa. He has many subjects, more income and grave responsibilities , not to mention some fine fellows in uniform.
First things first however - the design of his coat of arms . He muses upon the appropriateness of a Golden herring or perhaps the two towers of Roskilde Cathedral. Still all that can wait until tomorrow . Perhaps a visit is in order soon,muses Max , as he slips into a contented sleep.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Von Bergmann and his companions ( Lts Olsen, Gruber, Schmidt and Walsh ) share a well earned breakfast of piping hot coffee. The morning is clear but cold - Norroway is not too far hence. The men think of the mission ahead - diplomatic and military. Von Bergmann watches the passing shoals with the eye of one familiar and fascinated with all manifestations of Creation. Olsen and Gruber think of their families back home. Schmidt and Walsh play cards and laugh at the sheer joy of sailing under Heaven....
Du Nord :And now Monsiuer what can I do for you?
The Old Jacobite :I am here to represent my friends in Scotland-loyal Jacobites all , who wonder what you are doing for the Cause?Have you plans to invade the mainland ,are you sending troops to aid the Northerners who have landed?Why are you with them -are you the first of regiments to come?The Clans are waiting but they need support-say the word and I can have hundreds at your command . Come now Sir what say you.......
Friday, November 16, 2007
When informed by the sentry that the dispatch rider was requesting an audience, Brigadier Ernst von Bruin replied, "I wonder what he wants? Well, no matter, show him in."
. . . meanwhile (again as previously reported) . . . . Further out, moving through the woods, a pair of men in orange-faced green discuss in low voices as they keep watch for deserters. "Ja, my Ilsa, she makes the best stollen you ever tasted. Moist as a clear mountain stream. And so beautiful...I still can't believe her father chose me over all the other suitors. Every young man in the village was in love with her, I think."
While most of this conversation went unheard, the words "stollen" and "mountain stream" managed to carry. Soon a rumor was flying about the encampment that a contingent of troops from the Grand Duchy of Stollen were even now making their way along a stream in the mountains in an attempt to flank the Stagonians.
What other events were taking place in this camp outside Tippelbruder as the Allies worried about what the future battle might bring? . . . . Let us read what comments follow to find out.
L'Chevalier du Nord is in a pensive mood. Earlier today he has watched as Von Bergmann and a small number of Tradgarland officers set sail for Norroway. Now he is left with the Tradgardland troops upon Shetland. He faces a long winter of uncertainty here in the North. He cannot wait for the next Gallian vessel to come - a chance to send and receive dispatches, perhaps some half decent wine and a reasonable cheese.
Du Nord decides to take a stroll from the camp towards the village that lies a few leagues hence. The Shetlanders have so far prove friendly and he does not fear for his safety. After some time has passed du Nord finds himself outside a rough dwelling . He hesitates ,watches and is surprised to hear a voice speaking in perfect French behind him. He turns and sees a figure looking little different from the other Shetlanders. The figure speaks;
I had hoped our paths would have crossed sooner Sir. Never mind , pray enter and join me directly....
Thursday, November 15, 2007
THE COURT MARTIAL:
Narrator: The courtroom is silent. Everyone notices three swords placed upon the table of justice with points fatefully aimed at those on trail. The chief judge begins…
“In the matter of the loss of His Most Christian Majesty’s frigate Rhapsodie of 36 guns in the main harbor of Tradgardland, the Court finds l’Capitaine Briege, premier officer Drucour and officer en second Martine guilty of dereliction of duty. In that an enemy agent or agents worked their way aboard the vessel in your care, set fire to it, easily escaped and that the crew was insufficiently trained and/or roused to save her we have no recourse but to strip you of your rank and dismiss you from the Gallian naval service. Messieurs, I regret you will never command aboard a King’s ship again.”
Narrator: Dear reader, you will and must understand no other verdict was possible. The ship was riding peacefully at anchor in a friendly harbor and is now rotting at the bottom. The Chief judge continues.
“However, in view of the fact that the war in Germania has taken many unforeseen turns and that losses of many kinds are unpredictably inevitable, the Court as directed by the mercy of the King, does not demand you be housed in the Bastille for more than twelve months commencing now.”
GALLIAN MAGAZINE AT FRANKFURT AM MAIN:
Intendant Bastille is speaking to himself, again. “What am I to make of these Frankzonians? Confusion, quietude’s, friendly gestures, misdirection’s, little battles here and there with minor princelings, rebels routed from forests and bastilled in my new jail. A pun joke for me! Oh what fun. Well, we are still here, two years now and I have excellent news from de Poyanne. Still, I think I’ll call in some extra battalions into the city tonight and lock the gates to keep miscreants guessing. And I must confess again my confidence to the Sovereign here. He really is a good fellow and must be at his wits end as am I with his subjects.”
ARMY OF l’DUC DE POYANNE:
Narrator: Charged with assisting l’Intendant Bastille maintain the Gallian magazine at Frankfurt Am Main, l’Duc commands an army of 25,000 men camped on the plain north of the city. We enter his tent observing him write a dispatch to Bastille.
Monsieur et Excellency Bastille,
I have the honor to follow up on my brief dispatch of a week ago. I have obtained more information for the glory of the King’s interests.
Following the retreat of the Hesse Seewaldt Army from Preisserstadt, the battle fought there on the 13th of last month, I became aware of a prodigious store of food, munitions and other supplies in the village of Dithersdorf some distance to the north of you. As you know I detached 10,000 of my 25,000 men to seize these goods for our use. On the 3rd instant a battle was fought at Dithersdorf resulting in the regrettable loss of 2,000 Gallian soldiers but more happily with the capture of said supplies. I have the honor to tell you these are now arriving for storage in Frankfurt. No doubt the winter will be more pleasant. Of particular note, I am sending on ahead to you a wagonload of wine I beg to hope you will enjoy with my compliments.
Finally I am glad to say the Army guarding you though reduced to 23,000 men is now mostly reencamped on the plain outside the city. Thank you too for the care exercised by the physicians in the Army hospital for the casualties of both armies as I remain, etc, etc. etc.
Votre Obeissant Serviteur,
Duc de Poyanne
Camp at Frankfurt Am Main
Narrator: The Duc de Broglie continues to observe the defensive camp of the Marquis of Granby’s Britannians at Minden. He remains thankful the relief expedition of Der Erbprinz of Hesse-Seewaldt was turned round. However, winter is on his mind. He may need to retire to the magazine at Koblenz or Wesel any day soon. For now he is content to remain watching the Marquis.
AT THE FORTRESS OF GEMUNDEN
Narrator: Lt. General Chevert is some distance to the eastward of Frankfurt Am Main thinking similarly to de Broglie. Winter is close and he is considering options. Will it be one final sortie to the north to discomfort Der Erbprinz in early December? Will he retire to Frankfurt Am Main and take winter quarters there? Will he stay and winter at Gemünden? I personally think with his restored army, he may want to march north one more time before the year ends.
LADY DIANA PETTYGREE:
Narrator: Some think she is at the Channel Isle Pettygree caring for her sick Jacobite father, taken there by l’Vengeance. Others believe she was seen with her escort Lt. Col Enigma at the Battle of Preisserstadt where she is said to have observed a black and red coach and four she admired very much.
Alerte: The dispatch vessel Alerte is riding at anchor at Le Havre having just returned from delivering orders to Gallian diplomat l’Chevalier du Nord in support of the Tradgardland invasion of the Shetlands.
Frigate l’Vengeance 40: Whereabouts unknown.
THE BASTILLE IN VERSAILLES:
Narrator: Dear reader do not confuse this jail with another of the same name built by l’Comte et Intendant Bastille at Frankfurt Am Main to house Frankzonian troublemakers.
We enter into the apartment of former l’Capitaine Briege, recently court martialled and ingloriously discharged from the Gallian navy for the loss of the ship under his command, Rhapsodie 36. The Gallian diplomat l’Comte de Rapprochement enters, exchanges pleasantries and offers a note from someone in authority. It reads…
You are hereby given the opportunity by this letter to redeem your honour and lay claim to a captaincy within the metropolitan army should you think it right to depart with the bearer of this letter within the hour of reading it. By the authority vested in me, service is available to you of a discreet nature within the Lanciers de Saxe for operations of a special nature to commence in the year 2008. The mission is the capture of an apparent enemy agent believed to be responsible for the destruction of Rhapsodie, 36. Your answer may be conveniently given to the gentleman before you. Your answer Monsieur is?
A Friend of the King