Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Prince-Bishop

Prince-Bishop Adalbert Heinrich pushed himself away from the desk with both hands, stood, and walked to the prie-dieu near the window. Kneeling down, he pinched the bridge of his nose before assuming a more solemn pose. After a moment, with his thoughts cleared, he began his prayers.

The Prince-Bishop had many things to clear from a troubled mind, and probably even more things to pray about. He had just received news from several of his sources, and they all pointed to renewed war: war that would assuredly draw in his own Bishopric of Zwischen-Andere.

Adalbert Heinrich was not a young man, nor was he new to his position. In fact, he had carefully and successfully steered Zwischen-Andere through several regional conflicts, to include the upheavals of the War of the Austrian Succession. This time was going to be different.

Zwischen-Andere was not a large country, even compared to the tiny states of the Holy Roman Empire. But the bishopric’s location, normally such a boon for commerce and travel, placed it squarely in the middle of the coming campaign. In fact, according to one report an Imperial regiment, the Savoy Dragoons, had already marched through a corner of the country on its way to the battlefield near Balcones.

Furthermore, Adalbert Heinrich had another title: Executive Secretary of the Imperial Circle of Mittel-Nirgendwo. As such he was nominally responsible to the Empress for the organization and training of the Circle’s contingent to the Reichsarmee. The Prince-Bishop had two options to field the contingent: negotiate with the member states of the Circle to provide troops, or tax the states and raise the units himself. Considering the reluctance of the Circle’s rulers to willingly provide either men or funds, Adalbert Heinrich sought for another alternative.

Fortunately, he found a way. Adalbert Heinrich convinced the members of the Circle to either pay the Army Tax, or he would impose strict religious and commercial tax burdens upon them. Grudgingly, they had complied.

The funds went to expand his military into a small but effective combat force. Dressed in a tasteful cornflower blue derived from his family’s distant Wittelsbach heritage, the Circle’s army boasted three infantry battalions complete with battalion artillery guns, a converged grenadier battalion, a single large Reiter regiment of four squadrons, and an efficient staff under the direction of Kreis-Feldzeugmeister Gerhard von Dithmarschen.

The brigade had marched out several weeks ago to join the Reichsarmee in Franconia, but was now returning to Zwischen-Andere. Adalbert Heinrich hoped to use the force to protect the city and as a counter-weight to any of the other member states. But one of the troubling thoughts, brought by one of the many letters on his desk, dealt with that very “counter-weight.”

Addressed from Feldmarschallieutenant von Blei-Sammeln, it reminded the Prince-Bishop that the returning troops were pledged to serve the Empress in the Reichsarmee, and should therefore be put at Blei-Sammeln’s disposal for use against Hesse-Fedora. A veiled threat that the march of the Savoy Dragoons had been neither accidental nor particularly destructive showed that the perfumed glove covered a mailed fist.

As he finished his prayers, a soft knock at the door reminded the Prince-Bishop of his worldly affairs. Answering the command to enter, a servant opened the door and announced, “Ambassador von Lorre of Hesse-Fedora requests an audience, Your Eminence.”

Adalbert Heinrich pinched his nose again, and pushed away from the kneeler.

“Show him in.”


Gallia said...

Servant "Excuse me Your Excellency, there is one more thing."

Prince-Bishop Adalbert Heinrich: "Oh?"

Servant: "An immaculately dressed officer from Saxe-Raschstein arrived moments after the Hesse-Fedora official. I placed him in the solarium. The two do not know of each other's presence Your Grace."

Aldabert-Heinrich: "Identify"

Servant: "He carries a message from the Gallian Lieutenant General Chevert at the fortress of Gemünden. He wears the uniform of the celebrated Saxe-Raschetein Rutowski Chevaulegers. Herr Kapitain von Bock is his name."

Aldabert-Heinrich: "Danke. Allies of Gallia. Give him prodigious refreshment and an apartment with my compliments. Please also offer my sincere regret that a prior appointment will detain me for some time. It may be only on the morrow that I can speak with him and receive his message."

Servant: "Ja, Herr Excellency I will tell him. Now if I may, I'll bring in the Hesse-Fedoran gentleman."

Aldabert-Heinrich: "Ja, gut. I will see Ambassador Lorre now. Was denn? (I wonder what?)

abdul666 said...

Interesting times...

Seen from Monte-Cristo, at least.

abdul666 said...

"Dressed in a tasteful cornflower blue [] the Circle’s army boasted three infantry battalions complete with battalion artillery guns, a converged grenadier battalion, a single large Reiter regiment of four squadrons..."
Hopefully, pictures will be published somewhere?
Tippelbruder needs work, to recover from the battle.
In this uniformology context, NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! As for Monte-Cristan curiosoty, on the other hand...

abdul666 said...


Indeed I do NOT know by rote the 300+ components of the Whole Holy Oestrichian Roman Empire; but I suspect this Country to be specifically part of Urope.
Then, is "the uniform of the celebrated Saxe-Raschetein Rutowski Chevaulegers" of the, say, 'Gallia - Hesse-Seewald' "school", or of the, say again, Hesse-Enhelburg - Hetzenberg - M'Uedail one?
Just curious - but very curious...

Gallia said...

Bonjour Jean-Louis,
The Saxe-Raschstein Chevauleger Regiment Rutowski is the same as the uniform worn by the same unit of 1755 Saxony. In my world, Saxe-Raschstein is Saxony.

You can see the unit on Der Alte Fritz's blog going back a week or two. 48 riders in red and black

Votre Serviteur,

Gallia said...

The Next Day:

Servant: "Your Excellency?"

Prince-Bishop Adalbert Heinrich: "Ja?"

Servant: "The Saxe-Raschstein Kapitan von Bock sends his regrets due to an inflamation of the stomach. He will be unable to attend you this morning and begs this envelope will suffice to complete his mission."

The note reads:

I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the Gallian Army under my command is marching through the Circels from Gemünden via Würzburg, Kitzingen and Neustadt bound for Bayreuth. Once there it is the pleasure of my King for me to pass into Bohemia. Please be advised we intend no harm to the countryside or its populace as I have the honour to be,
Votre Serviteur,
Lt. Gen. Chevert
Gallian Army

abdul666 said...

Cher Gallian Bill,
thanks for the kindly provided information - I was expecting something along these lines from the Gallian - Hesse-Seewaldian background.

Now, one still has Saxe-Jungbach and Saxe-Schweinrot...

Avec les plus sinceres compliments de Monte-Cristo.