Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gathering in Winter Quarters

Scene: the office of the Deputy Minister of War in Schloss Schlüssel-Largo, Hesse-Fedora

General von Larrabee glanced up from the letter he was reading. Addressed from the Hesse-Fedoran Fodder and Oats Consortium, the note was a bill for an exceedingly large amount of money for the care and feeding of horses of the Weisspferdheim Cavalry Division. Disgusted at the expense, von Larrabee glared at Generalmajor Norris as the junior general in the service of Hesse-Fedora entered the room.

“What do you want, Norris?!” von Larrabee snapped.

Norris coolly eyed the man who, excepting only the Landgraf himself, outranked every other officer in Fedora.

“Herr General, I bring you the latest army summaries for ourselves, and for the growing collection of Imperial armies in the area. As you ordered, Herr General.”

Larrabee, still holding the letter from the Consortium, waited for Norris to continue, then realizing that Norris was silent, said, “And?”

Norris did not need to look at the papers he held out to Larrabee. “We are fairly evenly matched, Herr General, but only because of the Weisspferdheimers. The Empress and the King of Gallia have at least 13,500 foot and horse assembled in the various states nearby. It appears M’Uedail and that Irish expatriate Duke of theirs have declared for the Empress.

“I’m sure you are aware we have only around 12,000 troops, but the Counties of Solms returns have not come in yet and that should bring us up to strength. The Imperials do have an awful lot of artillery, though.

“The only other specific I feel requires mentioning is that the Weisspferdheimers are essential to keep us even remotely on par with the Imperial cavalry arm.”

Larrabee crumpled the bill into a fist and threw it into the fireplace.

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