Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mountain Dew (the plot thickens)

A get - together Scramble: part two

A few people came out of the house, but they did not come to greet the hikers. Instead, the girl placed her and on Emil’s sleeve, gave him a serious look and said, formally, “Welcome, von Reisling, to one of Frankszonia’s most sacred secrets, The Bock Spring.”
The people from the cottage doffed their hats, and as Emil followed suit, he saw that Hans had grounded his rifle in a veteran’s stance of attention. “Honored, I’m sure,” Emil said, “but why is it so sacred?”
“From here, Frankszonia arose,” the girl responded.
“Ja,” Hans continued. “Once, long ago, when the Electors came to crown a new Emperor, the best beer in the world was brewed from this water. The brewmaster Fhartz sent an entire wagon to them.”
“From that time,” one of the men from the cottage noted, “we Fhartzen have been enobled.”
“We Fhartzen?!?” Emil and one of the strangers exclaimed together. Even as they snatched for their pistols, however, the others reassured them.
“Do not fear, mein Herren,” the first speaker chuckled. “We are truly of the Resistance.”
“The dream of truly free Freistadt derived from the Imperial Receipt is not confined to just .my uncle,” the girl assured them.
“Your uncle?”
“The Hurtshog Stanken Fhartz zu Frankfurter,” she replied impishly.
“Ja,” chuckled Hans, “Our Rausen Marie, the Rose of the Resistance, is a Granddaughter of der Alte Hurtshog.”
“But,” Emil protested, “I know that his agents communicate regularly with the Gallians, and in spite of the hassles he’s caused other Gallian allies, he has provided troops and fought himself to protect Gallian supply routes.”
“The Hurtshog favors the Merry Teaser,” the speaker responded. “As long as there’s no hope of a Germanian nor an Imperial rescue, there’s no point in sacrificing Frankszonians.”
“Besides,” a lady smirked, “the Gallian depot is the best source of Gallian wines.”
“So, the Hurtshog pretends alliance to plunder the Frogs?” Emil asked.
“No, no,” the speaker grinned. “We replace the Gallian kegs with good Rhine wines, locally grown and legally paid for!”
“Of course,” Rose Marie laughs, “we’re careful that the gentlemen who drink their own estates vintages will get their own stuff.”
“Then the Resistance is a sham!” the other stranger shouted angrily.
“Hardly,” the speaker responded soberly, “and that’s why this meeting is necessary.”
“Most of our people hate an alliance with the Catholics,” the other woman said. “And most of the nobles resent the Gallian presence visciously. Now that the imbecile Bastille has removed the Hurtshog, they’re getting ready to act.”
“Without Stanken, we doubt that Broderick Woad will commit his men to the field,” the speaker continued, “and without Hottatrot, a lot of the Frankfurters will drag their heels in fighting their own cousins. We won’t be able to take Frankfurter, nor would we have nearly enough people to actually capture the depot.”
“But we can probably burn a lot of it,” Rose Marie eagerly suggested, “and we can drive the Gallian lapdogs back into their master’s boudior!”
“Then the Gallians would be forced to pull back from Hesse Seewald,” the other stranger realized.
“And then,” Hans contributed, “the Resistance will need a clear path to run!”
“And that,” the speaker continued, “is where you two come in. The Mayor of Ausfhart needs to know that you can clear a quick route out of the valley into Hesse Fedora or even further north.”
“And what,” the other stranger asked, “is the Mayor’s role in this?”
“My Lord Bleah,” the speaker replied, “Stanken may be Hurtshog, but the real head of the family is always the Lord Mayor. Surely you Cheezers knew that!”
“I doubt,” Emil responded, “that our Britischerwurst can get any real strength this far behind enemy lines. Why even involve us?”
“Because Stagonia and the Kerns are about to relaunch their feud on our turf,” the other woman responded. “Neither the Alte Vater nor the Hurtshog care to risk the fall out taking out too many of our cousins. This is a rather pretty dance we’re trying to make here.”
“This stinks worse than Frog Cheese,” Lord Bleah complained. “The Frankszonians would still put nearly 15,000 men into the field if you tried to concentrate for a real strike.”
“Hardly, they’ve got nearly 4000 already committed to the Altenburg affair,” the speaker commented.
“And our agents don’t report to General Mayer,” the other woman continued. “They won’t have time to get their full strength into the field, even if they knew what was going to happen by tonight! Stagonia has some usefulness, it seems.”
“So,” Emil asks, “what is going to happen?”
“These are mountains, Captain,” the speaker responded. “They hide a lot, and city troops won’t be trying to patrol them when a hard freeze hits.”
“And the morning after,” Rose Marie exulted, “my beautiful bronze guns and their friends will be skating across the fields!”
“There is a big risk in that,” Emil cautioned, “Your heat, my lady, just might melt those fields and freeze the guns!”
She laughs as the men turn back to the cottage to begin more detailed planning.


Bluebear Jeff said...

"Stagonia has some usefulness" . . . hmpf, we Saxe-Bearsteiners would hardly agree to that. Our hereditary enemies are just VILE with no redeeming qualities.

-- Jeff

Martin said...

"...Stagonia and the Kerns are about to relaunch their feud..." Oh how I chuckled when I read that line!

The Markgraaf might have to stop firing off so many ceremonial salutes from the Felsigberg, and keep his powder dry.

Looking forward to seeing what develops!

. said...

Harzburg looks with interest at the events in Frankszoonia as you are in close proximity to out NW border. {Literally, as I am in SE AR} contact me when you feel all alone in the wargame world.