Friday, November 16, 2007

More from the Allied Camp

. . . (as previously reported) . . . .Meanwhile, in the Saxe-Bearstein encampment, a hussar in the pink and purple of the Garde du Corps Prinzessin Gertrude trots his horse up to the sentry, identifying himself as a dispatch rider and requesting audience with the Saxe-Bearstein commander.

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.


Frankfurter said...

As the rumors fly about, one scruffy soldier in a faded blue coat whispers them to a camp follower. The lady's attire is ratty, and she shows the wear and tear of such a life; though hints of a formerly attractive girl might still be seen.
The woman grunts as the soldier drifts back into camp, then slides over to the patched fishing boat tied among some bushes at the river. She plops her basket into the middle of the old angler dozing in bottom.

As he pops up cursing, she nags him, "Why haven't you checked the drag lines? They've all floated down stream. Come on, Franz. Pull an oar and get us our fish!"
"Well!" he snarls back, "get in then, you old hag, so you can pull in the lines!" They push quickly off even as a militia man runs up to challenge them.
"now there goes a bolt of rotten cloth," the militia man mutters as the scruffy pair ride away on the current.

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hmmm, there could be a smidgeon of truth to these rumors. But most of Stollen's tiny army has been engaged in observing the Zichenauer troop build-up from across the Zwischen River for the last several months. Might there be an alliance between the vile Stagonians and the treacherous Princess Antonia of Zichenau? And where does her onetime lover, the French mercenary-adventurer General Philip de Latte, fit into this skewed picture? It's all very curious. . .

Best Regards,


Snickering Corpses said...

The courier makes his way into the Brigadier's tent, saluting crisply and waiting for the aide to be dismissed before addressing the Brigadier. "Brigadier, I have been ordered to bring you greetings and a gift from Major Reinhold Feldkamp. I believe the Brigadier and the Major have mutual friends from the last war, when the Major was in mercenary service to Austria?"

Bluebear Jeff said...

Brigadier von Bruin replies . . .

"Ah, indeed. And just what does my old comrade, Major Reinhold Feldkamp want?

Well, sir, speak up."

Snickering Corpses said...

"It is not actually what the Major wants, but rather what he has to send you," replies the courier, shifting his pelise to reveal the pouch beneath, from which he retrieves....a pig, made of pure silver. "I am sure the Brigadier has heard of the recent incident regarding silver pigs in Ober-Schweinsberg. I am led to believe that this pig was from an earleir shipment than that which was stolen at the bar in Vergoldeten. Major Reinhold has instructed me to suggest to you that it may discomfit Koenig Maurice were this pig to be discovered by Stagonian agents along with a suitable unsigned note implicating a certain troublesome Stagonian nobleman in attempting to hire mercenary troops for an uprising against Maurice. The Major feels that Saxe-Bearstein may have agents better placed to accomplish this than our own."

Bluebear Jeff said...

Brigadier von Bruin gets a very grim look on his face.

"Tell Major Feldkamp that Saxe-Bearstein officers are honorable.

We do not stoop to such Stagonian-style tactics of falsehood and innuendo.

Take that thing back to the major and inform him that he is to have no further communication with me or any other Saxe-Bearstein officer.

Also inform him that I'm of a mind to send a letter to the Ober-Schweinsberg authorities informing them that your major has come into possession of this pig . . . and so I'm sure he will see to it that it gets to its proper owners.

Do I make myself clear?

Snickering Corpses said...

The hussar draws himself up slightly more officious fashion, inclining his head to the Brigadier's words, "I will convey your distaste to the Major, Herr Brigadier. As for returning the pig, Herr Brigadier, there are many pigs in motion, and this particular one does not belong to Ober-Schweinsberg. It was sent to the Major before the recent incident."

He pauses, tucking the pig into his pouch, and then withdrawing a letter as he continues. "The personal business of the Major aside, I have a more formal matter from our intelligence service. We have reason to believe that two such pigs may already be in motion in Saxe-Bearstein, and a third somewhere in Frankzonia. Purpose as yet unknown. We do not maintain a network in Saxe-Bearstein, given our allied status, so we have been unable to track the pigs once they crossed the border. This letter contains the observations of one of our agents regarding the appearance and point of entry into your country of the individuals, if your intelligence service wishes to seek and apprehend them. Our intelligence office would be anxious to know if you are able to apprehend them."

Bluebear Jeff said...

"Very well," responds Brigadier von Bruin "I accept your word and will not send a note to Oberschweinsberg . . . but do inform the major of the rest of my reaction."

"As to this other matter, it seems some sort of nefarious plot is in motion. We Saxe-Bearsteinans are always suspicious of Stagonia in such matters . . . but there are other possibilities of course."

"One that comes to mind is Bossanova . . . some say that their black uniforms are simply more honest about their nature than the white uniforms of Stagonia."

"Another, of course, is Bad Nachtschwein. They have more proximity and, again, there is Prince Arnold's 'Black Brigade.'"

But enough of this. Thank you, sir for this information. May we see victory when we face the vile Stagonians.

Snickering Corpses said...

"I will certain inform the Major of your reaction, Herr Brigadier. If I may say, I respect your position on the matter, and hope the Brigadier understands that it is the duty of a courier to deliver the message given to him, regardless of his opinions regarding it."

The courier muses upon the latter words, observing, "This would not be the first occasion I have heard Bossanova mentioned. Hesse-Engelburg has had trouble with both Bad Nachtschwein and Stagonia in past, so neither would surprise me. I have not heard Arnold mentioned, however...I shall see what I hear in that regard."

As the Brigadier thanks him, the courier salutes crisply, "May God grant us victory indeed. And a speedy return home." So saying, he turns and departs the tent, retrieving his horse and leaving the encampment.

Frankfurter said...

Downriver, a Stagonian sentry challenges a muddy tub carrying a scruffy pair of oldsters. They willingly pull into shore, the spring out of the boat with surprising agility. The washer woman pulls of his wig and mops his brow briefly before placing it back in position. "Quietly, man," he admonishes the sentry. "Call your sergeant, we need to speak with Major N...."

Stagonian Jeff said...

"I love it when a plan comes together."

-- Major N

Frankfurter said...

Given the abrupt halt of the Stagonian advance, Count Trinkenbold is reconsidering his options.
With the rumors of an unannounced Stollen force approaching, and given the instability of that territory, the war council decides to reconcentrate in Tipple-Bruder, but to push patrols and picquets out further ... there is some small sniping when they encounter Stagonian outposts on both sides of the river ...