Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Private Memo to L’Comte de Bastille from the Hertzhog Fahrtz.

Private Memo to L’Comte de Bastille from the Hertzhog Fahrtz.

Please consider this correspondence private and confidential. On perusing it, you will soon notice that several parties would have an interest in publishing distorted versions.

Concerning the recent contretemps involving the former Minister of Commerce, Dilbert, and the rather unusual sausages provided to us, and then by us to your forces.
First of all, our medical experts have decided that the sausages are not necessarily toxic, but can be used as a sort of a fumigant bomb anyway. Their unusual ingredients, stolen from national stockpiles, did include saltpeter and certain sulfuric compounds ... which ironically act to preserve them and keep them healthy ... while rendering them both highly flammable and productive of noxious fumes.
Secondarily, while Dilbert’s activities seem to be of the classic war profiteer variety, there did emerge evidence of a treasonous combination aimed at disrupting the Gallian forces and presence. To distinguish between the various considerations, we offer the following short briefing:
Frankszonian politics seem to have three major factions: Ducal, nobility, and mercantile.
While the Ducal court was annoyed by the presumptuous invasion and occupation, it is neither suicidal nor inflexible and has acquiesced in the situation in exchange for Gallian understanding of certain Ducal ambitions.
The nobility, on the other hand, considers both the Ducal court and the Mercantile Guild Syndic to be usurpers of legitimate government. We’ve found evidence of much communication with agents of Hesse Seewald in this group. Major officers in their alliance appear to have led portions of their commands out of our country to coalesce into a “freedom” force in Hesse-Seewald’s army. As minor a force as they may be, the presence of numerous cousins among German noble houses may provide them with a pretext for dynastic war. Most important leaders among them are the following:
* Lt. Gen. Pepperoni who comes from Italy has been an adherent of the anti-Imperial party there. He’s taken several of the better mercenary officers and non-coms with him.
* General Braunsweiger has many connections in Germania and is an admirer of many things from Barline. He has managed to take a couple of small battalions of garrison troops with him. These forces, if combined with the experienced professionals accompanying Pepperoni, could prove a nucleolus for an excellent, if small brigade. The greatest problem, however, lies in the fact that Gen. Braunsweiger has extensive and intimate knowledge of most of the fortifications and defensive works in the area, not just those of Frankfurter itself.
The Mercantile Syndicate is itself split between the merchants and the craftsmen. Given the help and the gentility of Gallian experts which have been placed in our country, the craftsmen tend to be pro-Gallian. The merchants, of course, tend to follow the money, which has been adequate if a bit strained during this period of upheaval. However, their resentment and disdain of both the Ducal court and the noble houses from the countryside seems to have led many of them into treasonous activities. The election of Dilbert to Minister of Commerce seems to have been an attempt to embarrass the Duchy as well as to exploit the Gallian presence.
Unfortunately, the exposure of Dilbert’s activities has obviously forced him into the camp of the treasonous merchants. His flight route seems to be an attempt to reach a convoy under the command of * Brig. Hilligekine Brattmann: (0) a young athlete, got command via family connections. (Note: for those with little Deutschspraken ... Hilligekine is a lousy way to spell, Holy Cow). Brattmann himself is not a bad fellow, but being young, inexperienced, and obviously looking for a means of quick advancement may be quite vulnerable to Dilbert’s proven capacity as a salesman.
Since most of our actual production facilities were on the estates and in the outlying villages, the loss of the old Sausage factory will not impede our continuing to supply you with materials, but it does remove our stockpiles of necessary materials. You will be given a list of our major and higher quality producers whose operations you may wish to garrison against further sabotage.
Also, in order to sustain our commitments to you, we are going to have to take a much larger portion of the livestock than we had previously thought ... perhaps certain of your militia units could accompany the provender agents to ensure that the material is gathered efficiently and safely.
We would not ask this reinforcement from you normally, but since three of our best battalions have now taken the field with Gen. Chevert, such a presence might be providential, no?

In a further matter, in a couple of weeks, the grand ball / fete / masquerade will occur. Given the presence of Gallian ladies of high estate, you may wish to have personnel prepositioned among the staff. * Lady Rosenschnauz; lady in waiting for Stuftliana, has been quite useful for discrete messages and rendevous. On the other hand, she is quite romantic in nature and not the sort of tigress that allegedly acts on behalf of Germania and Hesse-Seewald, so some sensitivity in the degree of her involvement will need to be practiced.

Given the importance of the ancient sausage factory in our town, we’re afraid that most of our time will be taken with the work in rebuilding it. Under the situation, we believe that the syndics will not protest too loudly when special contributions are levied on them for this project ... which contributions should in part be able of offset the necessary expenses your personnel will incur. We are going to have to generate another local campaign to involve Gen. Phaulie, or he will be bound to interfere in the reconstruction project. If some of your excellent Gallian engineers could be lent not only to guide that project, but also to direct some reorganization of the works with which Gen. Braunsweiger is all to familiar, we feel that our mutual interests will be well served. Then, when Gen. Phaulie reports, the engineers could show him the works as if consulting with him (but actually explaining to him, if possible, the basic engineering concepts of which he remains woefully confused). This would placate him and the loyal faction of the nobility while creating a major faction of merchants whose welfare would be linked to your success.

His Highness Stanken,
Duke of Frankszonia and Admiral of the Frankfurter Main

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