I appreciate the suggestion below that folks post who will be there ...
A couple of people have already noted who shall be attending for them, and I'd love it if we all could "comment" under the excellent suggestion ... as I'll probably miss a couple of those who've already said they're coming.
A few things that folks would "know" about the gathering ...
First of all, Lady Cherish Masquerade and Lady Rosenschnauz have decided upon a theme of "Midsummer Night's Dream" ... the famous Shakespeare play, for which Moosart has composed an opera buffe version, a ballet, and few chamber pieces .... among other things, it will encourage a lot of "flirting" for the various conspirators and also to permit the Hurtshog to get many of the more important guests to incorporate body armor into their costume ... troubled times and all ...
I'm a bit cloudy on the dances of the period, but most cognoscenti will understand that the famous dance master "Pietro Fettuccine" is also a famous duelist ...
Of course, everybody knows that the prominence of Later In The Day Saints will encourage a rather excessive imbibing of the excellent potables provided (apologies to any real Mormons, the joke is a long standing one now). However, given the reputation of Frankfurters as excellent sausages, brats (yep, their kids are the wurst) (oh yes, the Duke will also take strenuous measures to ensure the quality), and potables; they will be surprised to find a wide variety of fish entrees (again, it's a religious issue, take a bite, be polite, and don't gag until you get out of the girl's sight). In consequence, not only do I suggest the white wines, but also there will be a number of chilled wine / citrus juice concoctions available.
The Duke has also been to some expense to import the better Gallian vintages for the palletes of his guests and the honor of the guests of honor, Ladies Pettygree and Masquerade.
Now, to take the Gallian OB that Bill provided and go mumbling into my figure boxes to see which units will actually be there ....
Hey, it's PARTY TIME!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I appreciate the suggestion below that folks post who will be there ...
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The Morning of 25 July 1757
The Citadel within Frankfurt Am Main
Gallian l’Intendant l’Comte de Bastille (Military Governor of Said City)
Lt. Col. Enigma
Lt. Pierre: ADC to Bastille
Our vexed Intendant sits at his desk casting an eye out the window. He sees the final crowning atop the new jail just on the other side of the parade ground. A satisfied deep breath proves his satisfaction at its completion. Just then uncountable clip clops rising in intensity sound on the cobblestones below reverberating on adjacent building walls. Several horsemen come closer and stop below his office. Bastille rises and walks to the window to see an eye patched man with a scared and severe face in the officer uniform of the Royal des Carabiniers dismount from his large black charger, a stallion. ADCs scurry to open the heavy door to the building. Grenadier guards salute smartly. Bastille nods to himself saying, “He is finally here.” when….
Lt. Pierre: Monsieur l’Intendant, Lt. Col. Enigma has arrived requesting an audience.
Bastille: Certainement. Show him in. Welcome mon trés cher ami. How was your journey?
Enigma: Ah Bastille, it IS good to see you again. Fast. My journey was undelayed. My horse Rupert has amazing speed and staying power. He quite wore out the horses of my ADCs, the poor fellows but a good lesson for them in the necessity of intensity.
Bastille: Like you my dear friend. Allow me to serve you some Chevert wine, will you?
Enigma: Pardon, but no. May we move to the issue at hand?
Bastille: Oui. The situation is unchanged here. Confusion in every quarter. Only more Gallian soldiers will satisfy the problems both seen and unseen. Our Ordre de Bataille is:
In Frankfurt Am Main:
De Saxe Uhlans: 120 guarding Pettygree and Masquerade now housed here within the Citadel.
Militia Grenadiers: 480, in the citadel itself, the guards you saw here.
Brigade Flanders: Three battalions: 1,952 hommes.
Brigade Provence: Four battalions: 2,323 hommes here in Frankfurt Am Main.
Artillerie: 8 Battalion Pieces.
Now Just North Of The City:
L’Corps de Armée de Lt. Gen. de Poyanne is not far away. I believe he has some 25,000 hommes and twenty pieces of ordnance.
Arriving Any Hour Now:
Brigade Auvergne: Two battalions: 1,200 hommes (regulars).
Saxe-Raschstein Chevaulegers von Rutowski: 400 hommes.
Artillerie: 1 Battalion Piece.
Enigma: “Bravo. All good. And I can tell you the Auvergnes and Saxons were on the road just outside the west gate. They should be entering the city as we speak. I bypassed them on the road. Now let us speak about the afternoon parade and celebrations.”
Bastille: "Excuse me a moment my dear friend."
Bastille leans out the window. He can just see the first scarlet coats and black facings of the leading squadron of Saxe-Raschsteiners passing through the Citadel’s western gate. In a moment he is reseated to answer the inquiry, but for now dear reader we must suspend further prose till another time.
Posted by Gallia at 3:02 PM
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
(Apologies if any of the mentioned powers are misspelled ... I’m offline at the moment due to the backwoods network I have to rely upon!)
At the instigation of the nefarious Marquis Roquefort, famous centers of cheese production such as Limburg and Munster had attempted to dominate the market for sausages which incorporated any cheese ... and “to encourage” all forms of sausage to include cheese as an ingredient. Vienna had exploited this disorder by ordering all non-cheese containing sausages, brats, wurst, and frankfurters to be classified as “Wieners” and under Wiener oversight.
Under these conditions, an highly unusual alliance had formed between the Frankfurter Bundt led by Frankszonia with Hungover and Hamburger. Bad zu Wurst, Wurstenburg, and similar stadts were being drawn into the conflict. Most of the fighting had occurred in Hesse Darmstadt and the Duchy of Nasau ... which of course highly alarmed Hesse-Fedora, Hesse-Homburg, Hesse-Inglestadt, and Hesse-Seewald. Due to the shifting allegiances of the emigre Jacobites following Broderick Woad, the Count of Hiccup, in his Black Skirts Brigade, the fighting had been indecisive (actually, my beloved but uncannily lucky with dice wife uses Woad as her command figure ... so the army which he commanded tended to win whenever there were equal odds ... the figure is a cuirassier casualty figure ... the guy is riding while grasping a sword stuck into his side).
At this point, the brewing discontent between Hesse-Seewald, an ally of Germania, and Gallia, whose king had kinfolk threatened by Hesse-Seewald ambitions (okay, that’s the party line, satisfied, m’Lord Bastille?) invaded. In its opening move, the relatively minor Duchy of Frankszonia, with most of its troops north of the Tann Hills is overrun and occupied. The Hurtshog Fahrtz dashed back to Frankfurt on Plain (which the froggies, with their snide ethnic bigotry about food call Frankfurt am Main ... don’t worry, m’Lord Intendant; an obligatory nod to national prejudices here) to protest.
To his dismay, the Hurtshog found Frankfurt occupied by powerful corps of Gallians under Gen. Chevert, who was rapidly establishing a depot for Gallia within Frankfurt’s walls. While the French gave him a formal apology for their abrupt invasion, they were scrounging for everything of military value which the Frankszonians couldn’t hide first. Further, their only movement of forces out of Frankfurt involved massive battles with Hesse-Seewald and its allies (reference the two battles of Fulda displayed in the folders at the Yahoo group, SocDaisy).
The Hurtzhog is quite pragmatic about the affair, and after sneaking an explanation and a sincere apology to his much admired military mentors and child hood friends in Germanian service, proceeded to collaborate with the Gallians. While he succeeded in obtaining their assistance in a few of his local ambitions (see the Battle of Bad Tannes in Frankszonia.blogspot.com), his attempt to dominate the supply market for the depot backfired. A cabal of war profiteers, acting through the notorious Minister of Trade, “Cut-me-own-throat” Dilbert, provided a plethora of distinctly sub-standard provisions while diverting the better Gallian products to their own projects.
When this racket reached unreal levels, the Hurtshog exposed it and attempted to intervene. This triggered an attempted coup by the Guild Syndics. Though the Hurtshog was easily victorious, driving Dilbert and his confederates into exile, the French became sufficiently alarmed to transfer their enforcer, the Intendant Bastille, to Frankfurt in order to secure the depot while their armies took the field in the new season. Provoked by this insult, many officers and their friends who had previously been closely connected with Germanian military circles mutinied and led what followers they could into Hesse-Seewald. With the compliance of the Hurtshog, however, the Intendant seemed able to stabilize affairs.
Meanwhile, the Hurtshog and his exotic wife had celebrated their recent union by engendering little Graf Honker, a Ducal heir! They had joyously acted on a suggestion of Gen. Chevert and scheduled a Masquerade, to which they had invited the illustrious Gallian ladies, Pettygree and Masquerade. The fete’ seemed promising for establishing relations with Gallia on a more positive level. Just as the international celebrities were assembling, however, a much more serious crisis has erupted!
When the Cheese War was suspended by the greater Gallia / Seewald conflict, the Hurtshog had sent his erstwhile allies from Hungover / Hamburg away for their safety. Secretly, however, the Hungover / Hamburg forces had hidden in a forested area to the west of Frankszonia and had managed to unite with their erstwhile foes, the Cheddar Guild Brigades. Hamburg had always had a rivalry with Frankfurt. Now, encouraged by the failure of Gen. Chevert to break through the Fulda Gap and the discontent in Frankszonia, they had begun plotting with certain Frankzonian nobles and the Guild Syndics to overthrow the Hurtshog and to seize the Gallian Depot!
With the excitement and the glittering opportunity of the presence of the many notables attending the Masquerade, they have accelerated their efforts and inadvertently exposed their machinations to both the Gallian and Frankszonian agents. Having just crushed two actions against his throne, the Hurtshog is dismayed by this new resistance, and no longer can fully trust his army. Consequently, he has appealed to the Intendant to make the affair more obviously into part of the Gallian / Seewald conflict, and thus dampen the domestic disruption.
Meanwhile, the Frankszonia court hastens to establish favorable contacts with the Gallian notables gathering for the fete. Frankszonia is aware that the Intendant, almost paranoid about the murky Frankszonia situation, desires to send the whole packing on the instant. Further, he is quite disconcerted by being suddenly made the commander of the Frankszonian forces in their current state of disarray.
Even as the Ducal council confers with the Intendant Bastille and the harried ladies of the court attempt to begin negotiations with Ladies Pettygree and Masquerade, even more alarming news arrives! Stagonia, much despised for its frequent involvements in brigandry, fraudulent schemes, and other interference with honest trade, has issued an ultimatum to the Soweiter League of minor states. Since some of the League members lie in what Frankszonia considers its sphere of influence, Frankszonia has lodged a stern protest with Stagonia.
Now the Ducal court seems to be sitting on the cork of a rapidly fizzing champagne. How can it survive this volatile brew? Treason couples with a secret gathering of foreign foes almost within its walls, Gallian imperiousness threatens the time honored freedom of the city, unscrupulous neighbors are threatening valued trading partners, and furthermore, the Imperial divisions just south of the Main which had been intervening in the l’Affair Cheezer have yet to openly declare their intentions or to gather with their proclaimed allies, the Gallians.
Can the Intendant gather enough French forces before the Hungover expedition strikes?
Will the Imperials assist Frankfurter against either Stagonia or its internal foes?
Will the Intendant summarily dismiss the gathered notables “for their safety” before the court ladies can complete their intrigues?
How will the Frankszonian emigres and defectors be received by Germania and Hesse - Seewald?
Who is the mysterious lady who has recently appeared in Frankfurt?
What is much feared “M’Lady” doing?
Stay tuned to this station .....
Arthur,. scribe to the Hurtshog Stanken Fahrtz von Frankszonia ...
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Act II, scene 2: Hochauzerschoff:
* Granny Loomis the Queen Mother (2) ... she has a great interest in artillery and has seen to a
reform and an improvement in that branch of service.
* Stuftliana (0) ... the newly wed Duchess of Frankszonia, an exotic and hopefully fertile little
dish. She has long, luscious, raven black hair, a slightly dusky complexion, and a hint of an Oriental eye slant.
* Lady Rosenschnauz; (1) officially lady in waiting for Stuftliana, but is used for discrete
messages and rendevous. Remarkably devoted to her husband's fortune ....
* Guiles, Count l'Beauphaup ... very Lace ....
* a page,
* a Feldwebel of the Sage Guard, a few musketeers, and some cavalry troopers.
*Foreign guest artists for the Maquerade:
a: Moosart: A young musical prodigy from some little village on the Elbow River, known for his exciting musical compositions, his bright church music, and his fascinating influence over rich, young women.
b: Fettuccine: An Italian dancing master and rake ... survives because he’s also a fencing master. c: Sir Tom, the count Saucie: the tall, dark envoy from Duke Alfredo of Bologna ... middle aged but in good shape, having established himself as a decent cavalry officer prior to this appointment.
d: Mistress Ewewarp: a plump master weaver and seamstress, is the contractor for the dresses and costumes for the masquerade.
*M. d’Charade , a youth acting as a page to the Gallian Ladies.
Lt. Gardier: Presumably the commander of the de Saxe Uhlans guarding Lady Pettygree.
The mysterious woman ...
Various girls, servants, and local ladies chattering in background ...
Scene opens in a lavish, large room in some palatial home ... in the foreground, several of the more elaborately dressed coifed women are seated around an elderly but wiry lady whose dress is noticeably severe by comparison. Behind their chairs, a foppish nobleman and his page stand in attendance. Various military figures can be seen near the walls.
Stuftliana: My dear ladies! How exciting that you are come. Mother (she turns to the elderly woman), you see? I told you that these Gallian ladies had daring!
Granny: (snort) Their mothers were daring enough in their day, I suppose ... or at least that’s what we heard.
Lady Rosenschnauz: Now, now, your Highness, these lovely women have traveled a long way to honor your grandson.
Granny: Don’t be pert, child! (Glowers a moment, then looks directly at Lady Masquerade ... and winks) I remember your mother, m’Lady Masquerade, quite well ... and your grandmother. Tell me, did her rheumatic pains remain cured?
Lady Masquerade: I’m proud to say she retained her health and faculties all her life, Your Grace. Granny: Ah yes, her faculties (humorous snort) ... I understand that your own faculties are quite accomplished as well, m’Lady (winks again).
Guiles: Excuse me, noble ladies; but the cool refreshments have arrived, would you mind accompanying us to the balcony? Lieutenant Gardier?
The party rises, and moves stage left onto the balcony, where a table with various bottles etc. and crystals is attended by uniformed servants. A small orchestra is playing a gentle composition. Soldiers along the balustrade, however, are alert and watching off stage. Drinks and sherbets are brought among the ladies ...
Lady Pettygree: That is lovely music, Princess. I’ve not heard it before, but it seems to fit this gentle evening breeze so well.
Stuftliana: Oh yes. The composer is quite a find. Moosart was working for the Wieners, but they didn’t take him seriously
Lady Rosenschnauz: Well, he had to leave Germania after they traced that hilarious air to him. (giggles).
Masquerade: Hilarious air?
Another lady, also giggling: It sang of, well, why certain rulers had to wear wigs ...
Lady Rosenschnauz: Lady Masquerade, my I present Mistress Ewewarp? She is a genius with cloth! You should have seen the polar bear outfits she made for the Ober-Bindlestaff troupe last year!
Lady Pettygree: Mistress Ewewarp?
Ewewarp, curtseying: Your Ladyships.
Beauphaup: Ah yes, perhaps this would be a good time to meet the rest of the team that her ladyship has assembled for the Princess ... Hansel, if you would?
(the page runs back into the room and returns with two men ... one is a young, earnest looking man in an unadorned outfit, while the other is a middle-aged, obviously Italian, fop. Lt. Gardier relieves the later of his rapier as he approaches. )
Beauphaup: Exalted ladies, may I present to you Wolfie, a musical genius; and Pietro, as nimble footed as they come. Moosart and Fettuccine, the Ladies Pettygree and Masquerade.
(The men bow .... Fettuccine fluidly and Moosart rather stiffly. At the ladies’ nod Moosart nervously starts to speak).
Moosart: I’ve composed several new waltzes, a fine minuet, and also a fun bransle for the event, your Graces. I hope you will be pleased with them.
Fettuccine, grinning: Fear not, damesoilles! I’ve heard the pieces, and they will be a joy to dance to!
Stuftliana: So you say, Pietro. But without your help, I would be lost. These European dances are so complicated ... and men and women dancing together!
Rosenschnauz (teasingly): Now Stuffy,, relax. Besides, I know that you and Stanken have been practicing. From what I hear, you both enjoyed it a lot!
Granny, suddenly, loudly, and angrily: Schiezenhauffer! Watch yourself you, you ....
All, surprised: Your Grace?!
Granny, pointing at a somewhat surprised looking soldier / waiter holding a pitcher of beer: Diesen Klunkcopfen Hundende haf on me his beer gespillen!
Beauphaup shouts: Von Whizzen!
(a feldwebel comes from the main room at a run).
Feldwebel: Mein Graf?
Beauphaup: Since this Bauernklopft can’t walk and hold something at the same time, could you assist him back to the guard room?
Feldwebel: Jawhol, Mein Graf. Kommen Sie hier!
(both soldiers exit)
Granny: I am this happy meeting to disrupt so embarrassed! Frau Ewewarp, could you to a quick change assist me?
Ewewarp: Of course! Your Grace. Excuse us please, my ladies all (she gives Lady Pettygree a quick look).
Granny: I am myself forgetting. Perhaps these gracious Gallian ladies would also your deft hand at curing the damages of wind and of travel appreciate?
M. Charade, their youthful attendant: You are gracious, your Grace, I am sure that ...
Lady Pettygree, breaking in: We’d be honored, coming Michelle?
Hesse Seewald is a sister duchy next to Hesse Kassel.
Its approximate boundaries are (North) the Harz Mountains;
(West) the Werra and the Wesel Rivers with Munden being a part of the realm;
(South) the Werra River down as far as Vacha, where the Werra takes a 90
degree turn back to the east;
(East) draw a line from Vacha on the Werra north, just to the west of Gotha
(which is part of Saxe Gotha) and on up to the Unstrut River. Then continue the line northward
fromt the Unstrut to the Harz Mountains.
Recently, the duchies of HS and Saxe Gotha were united following the death of the Herzog of
SG. This will add lands including Gotha and Erfurt and place both banks of the Unstrut in the
The majority of the little duchies in Thuringa have banded together in a military alliance to keep
Saxony and Gallia from over running their lands. The members of the alliance include Saxe
Weimar, Saxe Coburg, Saxe Meiningen, Saxe Gotha and Hesse Seewald. The alliance
covers most of the lands that comprise Thuringia.
Other friendly duchies include Hesse Kassel, Brunswick, Hanover, Anhalt, and Prussia
The Duchy derives significant revenues from tolls from the canal that links the Unstrut to the
Werra. This allows barge traffic on the Elbe to cross to the west and into the Rhine tributaries, a
valuable trade route indeed. There are significant iron, silver and gold deposits in the Harz
Mountains and the nearby Herzeberg and Nordhausen Armouries are world famous for thier
armour and munitions production.
The duchy is quite self sufficient economically and always has a budget surplus, which allows it
to maintain a standing army of 30,000 men at arms. This makes the Duchy one of the most
powerful of the second tier of duchies in the Empire.
Monday, July 23, 2007
It is very late on the 23rd. instant as we find l'Prince du Charade in his bed chamber seated at his writing desk. A solitary candle illuminates the agenda he has just completed for the days ahead. Sitting back gently, he slowly swirls and sips the last of some Chevert wine from a fine crystal glass. Though drowsiness now enters his mind, he rereads matters relating to the Foreign Ministry of Gallia one more time.
#1 Duc de Broglie's remarks about his advance to Minden to engage the Britannians for a second time.
#2 Lt. General Chevert's lettre concerning imminent proposed maneuvers into Hesse-Seewald or Saxe-Raschstein.
#3 l'Intendant Bastille's report on the state of the magazine at Frankfurt Am Main, requests for more garrison units, a particularly strongly worded demand that Regiment Auvergne (2 Bns.)and the Rutowski Chevaulegers linger in the city for a fortnight upon their arrival, the completion of the new large jail and of the shifting and multitudinous attitudes of local authorities, disaffected persons and emigrés. As a sidebar Bastille thinks it best the ball be cancelled and that the ladies Pettygree and Masquerade return home without delay.
#4 Report of the interrogation of the few survivors relative to the apparent Byzantium naval action to burn down all of Paris. Inquire if the attempt was government inspired or if the act was one of madness or vendetta solely on the part of the people involved. Scribbled on the side is a note to compose a demand to the Byzantium ambassador or his counterpart to explain.
#5 Interview with (Gallian) diplomat l'Comte de Rapprochement to learn the nature of the Britannian attack on l'Vengeance off the north coast, the state of the health and mission of the Tragardland diplomat von Bergman so cruelly injured in the aforementioned naval battle and finally Rapprochement's story of the river engagement with the Byzantium ships of Item #4.
#6 Formulation of a stronger response to Saxe-Bearstein should the latter persist in neutrality. Consider asking for monetary contributions for the expense of Gallian treasure and blood incurred in the repulse of Frederick of Germania at Lobositz last November.
#7 Report concerning the whereabouts of Lt. Col. Enigma.
#8 Dinner with the King at the Palace of Versailles.
The Prince sets the glass and agenda down. The candle is snuffed out. He rises, takes a deep breath and takes to his bed. His dear wife opens sleepy eyes, shifts a little and places her arm round his chest. The cover is drawn over them and in seconds both are asleep in the very early morning of the next day.
Posted by Gallia at 8:13 PM
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Scene 1: Street before Ducal residence in city ...
Lt. Gen. Oscar Meyer
M. Gen. Ziegfeldt von Phaulie
Francios l'Marquise de Hottatrot
Guiles, Count l'Beauphaup
Herr Eberhard Kunegunde
Lord Moose Hunter
Page in service of L’Beauphaup
l'Intendant Bastille: Managing Gallian interests in the city, a tough master
Sgt. Dumas: Bastille's assistant.
Lt. Gardier: Presumably the commander of the de Saxe Uhlans guarding Lady Pettygree
Lt. Col. Enigma: A high ranking officer of the Royal des Carabiniers and something else.
Graf von Fusche de Bergerwart
A troop of the Porcelain Dragoons is drawn up beside the residence, the grenadiers guarding the doors are not in their usual formal poses but are standing at the ready, their muskets at high port.
Carriages are dropping off various well dressed men ...
A troop of Gallian cavalry trots into the area followed by several well mounted Gallian officers.
As the officers dismount, a young page, elaborate dressed and made-up boy, runs down the steps to meet them.
Page: My Lord Bastille! If you would please be so good as to accompany me sir?
Bastille: If it is necessary.
Page: My lord, the Count Beauphaup, has instructed me to see to your needs and to guide you about the palace, my Lord.
Bastille: (going into the palace with the page and his officers) And where is the good Count?
Page: he is helping the Marquise de Hottatrot into the council chamber, my Lord. The Marquis is not yet recovered from his wound.
The party enters into a series of side rooms and comes upon the Hurtzhog and his aides.
Hurtzhog: I am very glad to see you’ve come, my Lord.
Bastille: We are very curious as to the nature of this urgent meeting, your Grace.
Hurtzhog: Ah, yes.... well ... now that you are here, the briefing can begin.
Shall we go in, my Lord? (offers his arm)
Bastille: (remaining at attention does not take the arm) very well, your Grace.
Hurtzhog: (obviously upset at this curt refusal) very good. (turns and raps on another door)
The door is opened from the other side, and the page strides forward into a large room filled with people seated in various ornate chairs near a large table covered with papers.
Page: His Grace Stanken, Hurtzhog von Frankszonia and his Honor, the Intendent Bastille!
(All stand as the ducal party and Gallian officers enter. The Duke leads the Gallian party to the large table ... among the papers, Bastille might notice a rough draft of the plans for the jail).
Hurtzhog: Gentlemen! Before we undertake the serious business of today, I wish to present m’Lord, the Intendent Bastille. We believe that his interests and ours are very closely entwined in this matter.
Crowd: polite murmers ....
(one of the present grandees, a robust, middle aged man, steps forward)
M’Lord Bastille, may I present the Graf von Fusche de Bergerwart? Richard, the Intendent Bastille.
(They nod curtly to each other across the table).
Hurtzhog: Gentlemen, let us be seated. von Fusche has important matters which he wishes with you to share.
(All others sit down again).
V. Fusche: Gentlemen, yesterday my company of dragoons intercepted a large wagon train. It was for Ficksnore headed, but we have for the trade of that scoundrel, Dilbert, been alert; and one of my officers noted that an agent of Muckiethaler was with the wagons. That agent, unfortunately, evaded capture. The nature of the wagon train itself, however, was most alarming.
(pause while sipping from a wine glass)
Barrels labeled as spices contained gunpowder
(some exclamations from the crowd, neither Hurtzhog nor Bastille changes expression).
Cases labeled “cast iron curios” contained cannon balls or shells.
Bales labeled “festival bunting” consisted of good coat cloth, dyed in the red of Hungover and Albion.
Others: Caught red handed ... or clothed!
(Bastille notices that a very plump general whose arm is in a sling and another officer, however, confer quietly together. They obviously expected something like this from their mutual nodding)
V. Fusche: It was the nature of the wagons themselves which was most intriguing.
V. Fusche: we found that the wagon boxes had been built over and to conceal caissons and limbers. There were enough for two full batteries of 12 pounders!
(Bastille notices that the Hurtzhog gives an angry twitch at this).
Hurtzhog: Thank you, Richard. Now I ask General Meyer to share with you some analysis.
Gen. Meyer: Danke. Gentlemen, these supplies were diversions from those ordered when the Gallian hosts first approached us. The fact that they have been diverted means that our other magazines may possibly also be taken by traitors. The question to be faced is, will this seizure cause them to accelerate or to delay their plans?
The Plump General (Rosenschnauz): (laughing) Hardly! the wives of these lords would kill them if the masquerade is interrupted!! My wife’s connections on that score are very sure!
An austerely dressed burgomeister shakes his head.
Eberhard: General, as much as I esteem your wife, the so called “resistance” is being manipulated from abroad.
A plainly dressed, swarthy, and very tall man rises in the back,
Moose Hunter: (thick accent) The presence of the red cloth confirms what General Rosenschnauz and I already deduced, my lords. This affair is probably being guided by the Hamburger bund.
(Expressions of surprise from many).
Rosenschnauz: Before the Gallian Seewald affair broke into open warfare, you may a brigade of Hungover troops recall that was sent to us against the interruptions of our trade by Limburger. I believe that they did not return to Hungover when we withdrew into the Tann Hills at the arrival of the Gallian hordes, but went into hiding in the forests near Russelheim.
Moose Hunter: They appear to have been reinforced to nearly divisional size. Hence the red cloth.
Gen. Meyer: (alarmed) If we were to try to take a pre-emptive strike on Koenigsberg, they would smash our left!
(Other officers confer in an agitated state).
Hurtzhog: There is other information as well, gentlemen, please.
(The crowd quiets but continues to show agitation)
Hurtzhog: First of all, we happen to know that the Hungover forces, whatever their size, are extremely short of horses and other draft animals. Thanks to the aide of Intendant Bastille, we’ve made a fairly good sweep of useful livestock and brought it under Gallian guard. Secondarily, the rebel forces are rarely battalion size, thus they must converge and organize in Koenigsberg before commencing any operations towards Frankfurt. Third, we’ve managed to disperse several good Hussar squadrons into the country side to provide an alarm should they accelerate their maneuvers.
(the crowd begins to quiet).
Hurtzhog: Now here is where the Gallian presence becomes important. M’Lord Bastille, these men are mostly Protestant adherents to Germania or currently Hesse-Seewald. Given the strength and closeness of Gallian arms as well as their disorganized state, we had not been too alarmed. Tbey’ve called us Gallian puppets, but you know well that we’ve managed to maintain more than a little autonomy so far.
Now, however, the presence of foreign regulars can only mean that some sort of attempt against the depot here is the true target. Our most reliable infantry is already with Gen. Chevert in the field. Due to the civil complications, we can rely upon most of the cavalry but only about four battalions of our infantry.
The documents discovered with these wagons implies that our enemies intended to concentrate on Ficksnore, which is much closer to Frankfurt than Koenigsberg.
We believe that we have three weeks to prepare, however.
Further, since this plot will obviously require Gallian power to thwart, we have gathered our more effective leaders presently in Frankfurt and place them and their forces entirely at your disposal.
(There are some mutters of protest, but the Hurtzhog silences them).
For family reasons, I must withhold the Sage Guard and a few squadrons of Cuirassiers. Until the time of action, however, they have been instructed to obey your orders for the safety of the great ladies coming to the masquerade.
Eberhard: My Lord, the Duke’s decision to hold the masquerade is a sound one ... among other things, it guarantees that several of the rebel leaders will not muster until afterwards ... by which time we will be able to intercept them, and by which time I hope that adequate accommodations may be available to ... ah ... entertain them?
Brig. Nathan: If we can make the battle to seem more a Hungover / Gallian event than some ersatz “free Frankfurt” uprising, pacification will be much easier, and the unrest in the troops much more easily cured.
Gen. Meyer: So, m’Lord, the first question has to be .... do we march on Russelheim right away, or wait until you and unfortunately the enemy can get all your pieces on the board?
(All turn towards the Intendant).
Monday, July 16, 2007
After attending the Holy Happy Hour with the Later in the Day Saints clergy, he was taken to the Summer's day Fish Fry held by the Holy Order of Fishermen, the Anglericans.
Shortly after this event, he was afflicted with a bout of Plumbitis ... in which the lead from all his brass precipitates and settles in the seat of his pants ....
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Frankfurt Am Main, Gallian Magazine Parade, l'Intendant Bastille's Office
l'Intendant Bastille: Managing Gallian interests in the city, a tough master
Sgt. Dumas: Bastille's assistant.
Lt. Gardier: Presumably the commander of the de Saxe Uhlans guarding Lady Pettygree
Lt. Col. Enigma: A high ranking officer of the Royal des Carabiniers and something else
That Woman: A mystery.
Nosiy construction of a large jail can be heard through the office window.
Bastille: [Silently thinking] "I must shut the window. Ordinarily I welcome the sound of that kind of construction project. It does wonders to assist in the peace of a disorderly place such as this. Rebels, deserters, many irregularities, food poisoning, fawning nobility, false faces, that fire destroying the sausage factory and all this with the enormous backdrop of the restarted campaign AND a masquerade ball within a fortnight. I should cancel the latter and send the ladies home. Yet I think there may be some here who can be counted upon."
Dumas: "Monsieur, Lieutenant Gardier has arrived." Shall I show him in?" [Bastille nods as he turns from closing the window."
Bastille: "Good Morning Gardier. I am very glad to see you. Sit with me beside the unlit fireplace. Allow me to offer you some Chevert wine, will you?"
Gardier: "Oui Monsieur l'Intendant. I would like nothing better. My compliments to you." [Pauses to sip, then.] I congratulate you on the speed with which the new jail is rising."
Bastille: "Thank you. The engineers and construction people, all Gallian you understand, are moving at a lightning pace. I think it is helping to slow the ardor of some disaffected elements here. Some of them even left suddenly for Bohemia and Saxe-Bearstein a few weeks ago when I arrived. [Chuckles.] Yet I think there are some hiding behind, shall I say masks of one kind or another?"
Gardier: "Monsieur, we must be on our guard. [Pauses] But I beg to praise you. Your reputation preceded your arrival. Indeed, some of the men, I am told, are quietly naming the jail after you."
Bastille: "Really, well, anything for the sake of order and to preserve the interests of our King but moreover to preserve the army using this magazine to supply itself. Now, if I may, let me mention something to you."
Gardier: "The ladies?"
Bastille: "Oui, Lady Diana Pettygree, whom you are charged with guarding, and her particular friend Lady Cherish Masquerade. Why the Prince de Charade allows them here, I will never know though I suppose you do -- Gardier? [Pauses seeing Gardier shake his head no.] Well, there are too many irregularities here. I want you to post double guards on the ladies round the clock and prepare measures to remove them to Gallia in a second on fast horses, no coaches you uderstand, should I give the order. Is this clear Gardier?"
Gardier: "Oui. Double guards round the clock, prepare fast horses to remove them to Gallia in the blink of an eye should you order it."
[The two men spend a few more moments in conversation, Gardier departs afterwards. Bastille then walks to the window to see his construction crews continue their task. He smiles as Dumas reenters the room with a note from the mysterious Lt. Col. Enigma of the Royal des Carabiniers. Slipping his hand into his breeches pocket, he smirks wondering where his gold Louis may be. On the dusty street below, he catches a glimpse of an old woman peering up at him. He blinks and she is gone. Shruging, he begins to read....]
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Morning, river fogs still fill the streets of Frankfurt around the Froggenhaus, the headquarters of Lord Bastille. He stands at a window in his office glaring down into the mists as some nervous aides shuffle papers and stand in attendance. There is a knock on the door. An aide opens it and whispers with the sentry outside.
Aide: Sir, there’s a foreman from the construction area here. He claims to have papers which he’s only authorized to give you.
Bastille: Bien! That was quick, I sent for the chief engineer only a few moments ago, bring him in!
A man enters. His clothes are of good, durable material, but bits of mud are stuck on his leggings and boots. He offers a large vellum envelope to Lord B.
Man: Your lordship, I was ordered to bring this to you right away ... seems it was found at the construction site this morning and after ... (hesitates)
L. Bastille: Bien, tres Bien! (takes envelope, opens it and starts to look at the materials inside) ... eh? These are not the plans I sent for!
Man: No, m’Lord. I’m given to understand that it is some correspondence from the field army.
(The aides and staff begin to gather with excitement ... muttering “Dispatches? Letters?”)
L. Bastille: Aha! Yes! A letter from General .... (he falls silent, reading the note). I pray you, Gentlemen, to leave me alone a bit ... wait a moment, sir. I need to ask you a few more questions about where these papers were found.
Exeunt all others .... with an excited and curious air.
L. Bastille: Sentry!
The guard at the door enters: Sir?
L. Bastille: Please clear the hall and post yourself ten yards away.
Guard: Yes, Sir. (exeunt, and close door ... after a moment’s silence)
L. Bastille: Well, this is an interesting letter, M’seur???
Phillipe: Phillipe will do, m’Lord, for now.
L. Bastille: (grunts an agreement) so, what have you for me?
Phillipe: Forget the young architect, m’Lord ... he’s out of reach by now. Seems he was a nephew of Braunsweiger’s, and I suspect he’s a flagged horse or two on his way there.
L. Bastille: So, Germania and Hesse Seewald have these plans now too?
Phillipe: You’re still in the ground clearing phase, and I suspect your engineers have other ideas as well ... which would perhaps be a tad more useful to Frankfurt as well. That ravelin facing their walls so closely was a tad presumptuous.
L. Bastille: (with exaspiration) Has everyone in the world seen the plans?
Phillipe: Not yet, but with a little luck, they will by next week.
L. Bastille: What!??
Phillipe: First of all, I’m sure the Hertzhog has already seen a set, these are Frankfurt charwomen, after all. Secondarily, your engineers have other good plans, but most importantly, showing the Hertzhog new plans and claiming that you make these changes on HIS behalf will probably calm some of his jitters right now. Otherwise, I doubt that he’d be working so hard to establish contacts with Lady Pettygree, or with m’Lady.
L. Bastille: M’Lady? Would he dare?
Phillipe: Frankfurt sets great store on being a free Imperial city, m’Lord ... and those plans you’ve conveniently lost would be seen as distinct threat to such status. . ...
L. Bastille: So! Where does he stand then?
Phillipe: (sorts through the papers) here’s the current state of affairs, I think.
L. Bastille: (reading aloud)
* Strategic Situation:
Frankszonia post Nidda Annexation and after the Dilbert Affair.
Forces occupying Nidda and Bad Tannes area:
Forces with Gen. Chevert’s Gallian corps:
Colonel Chicken’s Brigade under the Baron V. Ballpark
and Regiment v. Hottatrot .... brought up to strength with drafts from Nidda’s former army.
Remainder of forces concentrating to the northwest of Frankfurt except for guards and other security details within the city. Units are being built up to strength with heavy drafts from the former army of Nidda as well.
Hostile forces facing Nidda and Bad Tannes:
Russelheim, old fortifications, but completely surrounded by flowing channels of the Nidda River ... could field a solid Brigade and some squadrons of dragoons.
A little to the north of our position: Rebitochs, above that Beckzaini, above that, Ginheim could probably field a decent line regiment and about the same militia.
Resistance forces gathering near Bad Soda and Koenigstein:
About 1000 cavalry and 4000 infantry and artillery ... while these units are labeled as “militia” they have a heavy leavening of veterans and are being reinforced by local companies of line troops from local leaders who fear Frankszonian’s new assimilation policies. Also, they have mustered both an extremely effective jaeger contingent and some squadrons of experienced, if elderly, cuirassiers.
1: With the flight of the banker, Muckiethaler, Frankszonia is extremely short on specie. Not only does this threaten a crisis in meeting the army payroll, but also it could cause disaffection among the merchants who want to see the Sausage Factory quickly rebuilt.
2: Given that many of the mercenary officers left with Pepperoni and Braunsweiger while many of the native officers are members of the noble resistance families, the Frankszonian army is experiencing some discipline problems. Fortunately, most of their sergeants are outcasts from the mercantile families and thus quite loyal to Gallia. However, Given that many of the sergeants also have trained and/or spent some time in Germanian service, their reliability as part of an allied force with Gallia could be a touchy issue. The units dispatched with Gen Chevert were chosen for their reliability ... which also weakens the Hertzhog’s hand locally at the moment.
3: Given the immanent grand masquerade, Duke Fahrtz can’t risk sending a large Frankszonian force to break up the rebellious gathering. The local social network just about guarantees neither he nor the resistance will move until the Gallian notable ladies are safely away.
Furthermore, some influential foreigners have gathered in the preparation for this fete:
* Moosart: A young musical prodigy from some little village on the Elbow River, known for his exciting musical compositions, his bright church music, and his fascinating influence over rich, young women.
* Fettuccine: An Italian dancing master and rake ... survives because he’s also a fencing master. The Migraine ... uh ... Margravine Rhabbidiers is rumored to be a very dear friend of his, probably because she loves to listen to the music while dancing and doesn’t talk too much then.
* Sir Tom, the count Saucie: the tall, dark envoy from Duke Alfredo of Bologna ... middle aged but in good shape, having established himself as a decent cavalry officer prior to this appointment. His family is not known to be allied to the Pepperoni.
* Mistress Ewewarp: a plump master weaver and seamstress, is the contractor for the dresses and costumes for the masquerade. She is a close friend of the Rosenschnauzen, but then again, she seems to have been able to secure confidants in most regional families which might be able to afford her talent.
The Prince de Charade in his capacity and duty as the Foreign Minister of Gallia has the status to make certain agreements formal with the Hertzhog which might stabilize the situation to both Frankszonian and Gallian favor again .... It is rumored that the Fahrtzen hope to use the occasion of the forthcoming fete to establish off the record contacts with him.
L. Bastille: (continuing angrily) why the treacherous little fart!
Phillipe: Treacherous to whom, m’Lord? He is not a vassal of the Gallian throne. I suspect that even a tiny contingent of Imperial regulars and some aged, notable figurehead would ally a lot of the local worries. It would be seen by others as a check on Frankszonia ambitions and by the Hertzhog as a guarantee of their status, even though Frankfurters are not notably fond of Wieners.
A sudden racket of horses and challenges arise from the foggy street.
Phillipe: Quickly, m’Lord ... slap me as hard as you can and curse me for an incompetent fool!
L. Bastille: (stricking Phillipe) Merde! You odiferous offspring of a misengenanting and rancorous mule!!!
(Loud knocking on the door): M’Lord! An urgent message from the Hertzhog!
L. Bastille: (Yanking the door open in an irritated manner) Well? What is it?
(a Frankszonia trooper enters and hands a message to L. Bastille)
Trooper: M’Lord, this message and I am urged to request that you attend instantly upon the Hertzhog, preferably with some of your staff to discuss some matters of extreme importance.
L. Bastille: He requests, eh? (snorts derisively)
Trooper: If you’ll forgive the impertinence, m’Lord, few people are as foolish as to issue orders to someone who can summon ten times their own numbers in an instant!
L’Bastille: Well, what is this matter, anyway?
Trooper: I honestly don’t know yet, m’Lord. One of the regional nobles came into the city this morning as soon as the gates opened and got the Hertzhog out of the Princess’s chambers ... since then, they’ve been sending messengers all over the place. Looks like the council and the generals are also going to be summ ... uh ... there too.
L’Bastille: Very well then, Colonel Fogliere, get our staff together ... and get this mudpile (points at Phillipe) back to work!!!