Thursday, October 18, 2007

Last Minute Diplomac y

Even as the Frankszonian officers glower at the rascally captive, the carriage of l’Comte d’Beauphaup clatters into the yard. Everything is held in suspense as guards quickly leap to the door and assist the elegantly attired young diplomat descend from his ornate vehicle. Seeing the flouncy lace shake in the man’s springy step, the captive leans out the window and shouts, “Guiles!”
“Ryan! you scoundrel!” laughs the count. “Whatever are you doing with this crowd?”
“Same thing you like to do,” Ryan rejoins, “holding hands with the most hirsute guards.”
The guards momentarily flinch away from him, but the mutual laughter of the two men, keeps everyone else from intervening. As the count traipses into the room, he gets serious. “I’m glad to catch you here, Ryan. There’s work to be done.” Then, without a further comment to anybody , he pulls Ryan aside into another room from which they expel the various aides, clerks, and officers.
“Ryan,” the count begins, “you’ve got to help me get the Soweiter Burgomasters to reason. The Stagonian forces coming down the river outnumber both of us together, and Gen. Chevert is on the wrong side to intervene.”
“Reason, I suppose, means submission to your Hurtshog’s whims and abandonment of our ancient liberties?” retorts Ryan scornfully.
“No!” the count continues angrily. “That’s what the first provision was meant to secure! Your “ancient liberties” are not by Imperial Edict and have never been acknowledged by Hesse Darned Stadt nor by Nassau. Frankszonia, however, has all of that.”
“Just how does our inclusion as a Frankszonian town defend it for our selves?” Ryan responds skeptically.
“Look, the Frankfurter Bundt is NOT the Stadt Council of Frankszonia, never has been. Wurstinburgers and other great towns have always been represented ... joining the bundt actually increases your status as well as gives an almost automatic improvement to the whole Leagues status.”
“I’ve never heard of becoming a protectorate increasing anyone’s status!” Ryan snaps.
“A mutual defensive alliance might have sounded better,” Guiles admitted, “but do you really want your boys getting blown away in fights with Limburger or Munster or Hamburger? Let alone becoming Gallian cannon fodder.
“Look, the Hurtshog isn’t gaining all that much by this. He’ll lose the tarrifs on the hundreds of tubas you sell each year in Frankszonia; he’ll lose a major bit of the river tarrifs on traffic past the bridge. Moreover, as a Frankszonian “protectorate” he can pressure L’Intendant Bastille into dispatching the many fine crafts men and engineers from Gallia along with our own laborers for the restoration of your towns defenses. Scheise! three modern redoubts, even if just ditch and dirt, would triple your town’s resistance.”
“You can promise these engineers?”
“They’ll be here within 36 hours of any agreement.”
“So your officers can use our own men to seize rule in the town?” Ryan turns away, “You know us better than that!”
“Verdamnt! Ryan! ‘Intact units,’ ‘Intact units.’ Do you honestly belief any lieutenant, hauptman, or especialy a Feldwebel of Soweiter would permit such an abuse?”
“Then why under YOUR officers and command?”
“We’ve got the more troops. Your units are Reichs Armee trained, ours are Germanian ... orders from the commanding General would be confused by your obersts and intendants. Besides, the Hurtshog has put together a real army staff ... look at the guys next door!” The count pleaded. “Offenbach simply must let itself become an active part of the Frankszonian community!”
“We are ourselves, not you,” Ryan snarls. “And what happens if, no when, the Stadt Council tells you how to use your offers?”
“Get real, Ryan,” Guiles answers sadly. “Stagonia shall not be allowed to obtain the tuba works intact. I play an Offenbach tuba, what do you think I want?”
Ryan looks out the window at the traffic of messengers and patrols for a moment. “Guiles,” he says, “even if it ruins us, they can’t swallow the arrogance of the proclamation.”
“Then reword everything to whatever works.” the count urges. “We need commitments to achieving the purpose together ...” a sudden clatter interrupts them. The various Obersts are leaving, looking grim and purposeful and with determined strides to their soon galloping mounts.
“You know Haugen Bienz.” the count continues. “If a diamond ring would roll by his foot, he’d stomp on it in case it was green fly .... and Woad and the big guns will be here in hours. The Hurtshog doesn’t want to hurt a hut here, but Stagonia must not obtain the works intact.”
Beauphaup opens the door. “Bienz!” he shouts, “quickly, before you do anything else, get this man a pass through our lines, a good horse, and a neat aide to ride escort!”
“Ach!” the general replies, “you diplomat! Ve haff un grosse schlact hier und Sie vill to gift this rascal stuff stop our soldiers? Nein!”
“In the Duke’s Name!” Beauphaup responds more forcefully than any of the officers had ever heard. Suddenly, Beauphaup pulls of his heavy riding gloves and thrusts a ring under Haugen Bienz’s nose. “And, under the Seal von Frankfurter! Now yield and obey!”
“Ja! Ich musten!” the general stammers. “Schnell, ein Grande Pferd und mit him, Emil!”
Within moments, the two riders dash off into a swirling mist which is rising into the cold air ....

Taking the terms in order:
One: Offenbach retains its membership and participation in the Soweiter League.
This is a matter for the League and not something to be ruled on by foreign nations.
Two: Offenbach shall appoint two representatives to the Frankfurter Bundt to represent its interests.
The League is more than willing to send an ambassadorial contingent to Frankfurter to represent the interests of the League and its members.
Three: Offenbach shall accept Frankszonian protection.
While Hesse-Offenbach and the Soweiter League is quite capable of defending itself we would graciously accept, as equals, an alliance against Vile Stagonia or other enemies of the League.
Four: Offenbach’s military shall be incorporated as intact units into the Frankszonian forces observing Vile Stagonia.
Hesse-Offenbach as a member of the Soweiter League cannot and will not place its forces under the command of foreign officers.


Stagonian Jeff said...


It seems that Frankzonia is asking for an absolute unconditional surrender of Offenbach without even a fight.

Once Frankzonia usurps the Offenbach units, do you think that they'll ever see Offenbach again?

No, they'll be shuttled off to distant battlefields until their dead and gone.

Meanwhile, Frankzonian "managers" will essentially gut Offenstadt and surrounding territories of anything of value.

If Offenbach is stupid enough to accept these terms, they deserve to live as the slaves they'll spend the rest of their lives being.

-- Jeff of Stagonia

Frankfurter said...

Well, at least a Stagonian would be a good authority of the life of a slave ... with an especially vile master!
Gen. Woad