Thursday, January 15, 2009


F.M Reich Duke Wilhelm von Beerstein is proud to approve the recommendations of the College of Honors to invest the following worthy individuals into our sacred orders:
Ancient and Honorable Order of the Tankard
Herzog Georg Ludwig von Hesse Seeland
Campbell of Argyll
Margrave Ludwig V of Markgraviate of Ost-Pommern
Duke Peter of Saschen-Vindow
Jean-Louis of the Presipality of Monte-Cristo
Grand Duchess Maria Marlene der Grolstein

Order of the Goblet
Signori Moretti Ambassador of Cavenderia
Gen Graf Joffery von Slitz Ambassador to Cavenderia


Der Alte Fritz said...

The Herzog Georg Ludwig is honored to accept this famous award.

tradgardmastare said...

Duke Peter is most uplifted by this unexpected honour.

abdul666 said...

Monte-Cristo is greatly honoured by this and a previous marks of esteem.
The Palace takes them as a gratifying recognition of its constant efforts on behalf of fruitful international contacts and mutually beneficial exchanges. Thus, as an encouragement to carry on with, and develop, the current
Monte-Cristan foreign policies

{As always, a clumsy translation from Franco-Phocean gibbersish to pidgin English.}

Monte-Cristo is seldom mentioned in international newspapers, and this suits Monte-Cristans well: a defenseless statelet feels safer if largely ignored. Thus dispatchs come exceptionally from the Presipality itself, mostly in unofficial publications such as Les Epanchements de Tante Synovie, and then relating events that occured very far away from the peninsula. So, most the -few and far apart- international references to Monte-Cristo appear in foreign gazettes reporting the arrival, accidental or deliberate, of one of their important personages in the Presipality. But these exceptional events also suit the POPP’s policy, because to merely survive Monte-Cristo has to benefit from the tacit protection of all Major Powers thus, in order to earn it, to provide them with a convenient haven for their occult dealings. Indeed, while an appreciable source of income for the State, the Casino and the Spa with its ‘thalassotherapic’ massages are primarily *excuses* for coming to such a remote place (and so small that everywhere inland «On sent la mer d’ici!») as the Presipality.

(Then it must be confessed that … most of the (few) foreigners aware of the Monte-Cristan reality tend to turn paranoid. Yet in a few cases a lengthy, if secret, experience of positive collaboration led to trust, and for instance the Secret du Roy at Versailles and the young couple ruling Braun-Zolms feel quite at ease and confident in their relations with the Presipapal Palace.
Indeed *all* in Monte-Cristo –the culture, the mentality, worldview, beliefs, practices and customs of the population; the feelings toward foreigners of commoners and officials alike; the records of the Casino and Presipapal Bank; the activities of the ‘Academie des Science’ and ‘College d’Heraldique’ (e.g. recently in Scandalusia and Beerstein, respectively); the real employers and agendas of Monte-Cristan 'free lancers' abroad (such as Robert de Nard); the military capacity; the Presipapal agencies; the missions, in the Indian Ocean and Australia ; the guidelines, true motivations and realities of diplomacy…- *all* is structured like an
*ONION*. To reach the heart of it one has to dig through layer after layer, each more… pungent… than the previous one.)

By the way, the intense diplomatic activity and growing reputation of supposed continental savoir-faire of the Palace has some surprising consequences: POPP Louys just received an official complaint from the League for the Protection of Unicorns against Stagonia. Some ‘depredations’ of the Stagonian Vile ruling line, it is claimed, destroy an environmental component essential for the ecology of this lovely endangered species, already depaupered by the like of Erzsébet Báthory and Gilles de Rais (of course, the League acknowledged, the development of mining activities is also to blame, since ‘Le concerto en sol mineur’).

As a negative side-effect of its perfect neutrality and equally universal kindness, one –minor- reason (among many major ones) why Monte-Cristo is frowned upon (a monster of an understatement!) in most of the ‘civilized’ (Western) world, is that the Presipality welcomes are without cultural prejudice. This, not only when the Palace greets ‘important’ persons in official greetings, ceremonies and concerts, but when Monte-Cristan commoners invite, with equal love and understanding, simple folks from all origins to take part to the friendly popular performances and spontaneous dancing parties that are part
and parcel and of everyday (and -night) life here.

This policy –being a convenient, useful ‘holy’ or at least ‘secure’ haven for the secret diplomacy of all major powers- requires an *immaculate* reputation of perfect neutrality and non-interfering (really the only field where Monte-Cristo cultivates virginity) and Monte-Cristan officials and agents (and even ‘officially uncontrolled freelancers’) are extremeky careful to preserve it.
At worst some may suspect that the Palace is feverishly hunting down *information*. For such a tiny country *knowledge* is the first, almost single weapon. Knowledge allows to be prepared to events –and sometimes can be used as a deterrent. Merely making the right persons aware that the Palace has such knowlege generally avoids having to resort to actual blackmailing («The elephant flees from the ant that can enter its proboscis to bite where it hurts»). Monte-Cristo frantic search for knowlege knows no limits in means nor distance: the mission of the exploration corvette La Petillante (O4."8 entry) may be related to recent discoveries somewhere (?) in the Pacific Ocean.

Nonetheless Monte-Cristo –the POPP as well as his agents on their own initiative– often depart from this official rule of neutrality and non-interference. But then, not to jeopardize the Presipality, they do it under one of those deep ‘flaky pastry’ covers alternating layers of concealement with layers of deception Monte-Cristans enjoy so much to build.

Sometimes it is done merely on a whim –Monte-Cristans are NOT overserious people: despising sloppy workmanship, the POPP’s agents enjoy to secretly counter clumsy Stagonian (pleonasm?) agents.

Also, Monte-Cristo is the land of equality between man and woman, and Monte-Cristans are unable to hear ‘The Girl with April in her eyes’ without shedding a tear (and despite the fact that they neither hold back a tear on ‘The Queen and the Soldier’! An exemple of the complementary / contradictory drives of the zip and the zob?). Thus both the Palace and the agents tend to keep an eye (a priori benevolent and potentially protective) on
girls and women victim of machism; or trying –however rashly- to shake the male’s dominance - not only in politics but also in science. For that same reason, agents abroad prefer to first try and turncoat currently ‘hostile’ female agent than immediatly counter them.

As for the ruler, deliberately departing from passive neutrality can be done for cold, objective reasons of politics. Would a single, unchallenged super-power emerge, it would have no longer any use of an independant Monte-Cristo. So the Palace tries to contribute to keeping the balance between major powers –or, according to the cynical description used here, to keep a sufficient level of chaos (the Principe de Raven, named after the heroin of an old chanson de geste). As such, Louys shares swith Mme de Pompadour the certainty that France has to fear more from the rising star in Germany, Prussia, than from the declining Austria-led Empire, and should align accordingly: this is probably why the Palace works now so well with the Secret du Roy. This is also why Monte-Cristo secretly supports ‘progressist’ elements close to the Sultan, with several long-term objectives, among them to have the Russians allowed to extend their influence through Persia to Afghanistan and further South-East, thus hindering the Britishs in their competition with the Frenchs for the control of India. Such long-term convolvuted schemes are typical of the Presipapal foreign policy.

But most often than not Prince-President and his agents break the Presipapal neutrality and non-interferency merely because, as all Monte-Cristans, they are incorrigibly sentimental, prone to follow their sympathies ans antipathies, to act irrationally according to their ‘romantic’ inclinations and repulsions (‘The Heart has its reasons that Reason does not know about’). Ethical (they prefer to call them ‘aesthetical’) requirements are as exacting in Monte-Cristo as claimed (if not practiced) everywhere else, if of sometimes different nature. Thus, Louys as a ruler and his agents abroad frequently break their rule of neutrality and non-interference to put an end to, or punish, what they resent as ‘unsavoury behaviour’.
*At State level*, precious *information* can reach who can make the best use of it; but any fuzzy evidence would locate the leak hundred of miles from Monte-Cristo (in the Monte-Cristan version of billiards one scores the number of rebunds on rail cushions before the ball hits the target).

When *individual agents act on their own initiative*, those benefiting from the intervention are left totally unaware of it, the ‘objects’ (or his / her mourning relatives) too bewildered to inquire. Yet, while they carefully leave no hint concerning the «who», Monte-Cristan agents enjoy to display their creativity in the evidence left pointing to the «why». -°Recently a French ‘Commissaire des Guerres’ cheated on the quality of the lead - so much that the bullets, light and brittle, had neither range nor penetration. This caused the defeat, slaughter and dishonour of a good and proud regiment. A mysterious woman had him killed by the -forced but extremly slow- ingestion of molten lead.
-°A (vile?) serial rapist, close enough to a throne to be above the laws of Man, came to a last rendez-vous. When discovered, not only he has be castrated but complelled to eat –after they have been lightly fried in front of him- his own private parts, then left slowly bleeding to death…

These refer to breakings of neutrality on Monte-Cristan initiative; but a lot of people fanatically dislike what they hear of the Presipality. Would any attempt of aggression –assassination or invasion, probably masquerading as an ‘uncontrolled crusade(as discussed in the 11.30. "8 comment) be made, no one would be close enough to a throne, no one would be perched upon a high enough throne, to escape the vengeance of Monte-Cristo.

- - - - -

While no part of any organized (however unofficial) network, *all* Monte-Cristans abroad are potential ‘honourable correspondants’ and ‘unspoken messages’ deliverers. Currently, several mercenaries from the Presipality raised to senior officer rank in their regiments. Oddly enough, while always present with their unit in battle and famed ‘Amants de la Gloire, meprisant la Camarde’ in the meantime they managed to be detached to the General Staff or regularly used as liaisons with the Army Headquarters.
A list recently unveiled surely refers to those units of the French Army with such Monte-Cristan officers, the regiments names coded in a funny (?) way. It would be improper to post it here, for several reasons being that ‘Emperor vs Elector’ is an English-speaking forum: thus this list is published as a comment in the Monte-Cristan Gazette.

Prinz Geoffrey said...

Signori Moretti says "Grazi Mille"

ColCampbell50 said...

Major General Campbell is honored and grateful for the recognition by the Reich Duchy. He promises to treat any soldiers of the Reich Duchy that may fall into his troops' hands with the utmost courtesy and professionalism.

[Note: Campbell is currently in the employ of the Margrave of Carpania who is an ally of Germania and Britannia.]

Now I just need to figure out how to replicate this award on the breast of my 28mm figure of Campbell!


littlejohn said...

-a Message from the High Court of the The Grand Duchess of Grolstein,

The Grand Duchess is most honored by this award and though she has heard reports of the fawning drinking songs of the young soldiers of Bleiherzen celebrating the Reich Duchy of Beerstein, she takes no notice...knowing full well that their naive days as an independent state (independent of her rule that is..) are numbered.

The Duchess further would extend invitations to Duke Wilhelm to visit Grolstein at his leisure...the Duchess would be sure to extend a full state welcome in his honor.