Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fit Royal

The Prinz’s planned trip to Twinj for the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne had proved to be a most taxing exercise for Detlev Eberhardt. While masterfully fulfilling his duties as head of Cavenderian commerce Detlev had been hounded night and day by Monsieur Roux, the Prinz’s social secretary, seeking approval of each and every detail of the royal sojourn. Detlev could respect M. Roux’s maniacal attention to detail, however a fortnight of discussing minutiae such as which seasonal flowers should be used to perfume the royal bed, had worn Detlev’s nerves to the point that he would visibly wince upon hearing M. Roux’s voice.

“Monsieur Eberhardt, I’ve been searching for Vous!” the deep nasally voice was unmistakable and caused Detlev to grind his teeth unexpectedly. Detlev relaxed his shoulders and hurriedly spoke, “Monsieur Roux, I was just preparing to depart for a meeting with the royal cartographer concerning an expedition to map the coastline of Avar, and I apologize but I must be going.” “But Monsieur we must discuss his majesty’s baggage train’s security detail..” M. Roux baritone was drowned out by a thunderous crash and a shrill scream. “What was that?” asked M. Roux to a quickly shrinking view of Detlev’s broad back. Detlev bound up the stairs two at a time and upon reaching the second floor was greeted by an empty hallway. “Where are the servants?” he thought, Detlev advanced down the hall retrieving a small knife he kept tucked in his belt. As Detlev rounded the corner to the Prinz’s private wing he felt some relief as he spied the household guard on either side of the entrance to the Prinz’s offices.

The guards looked at him as he advanced, they had an almost sheepish look, like a child who had been caught with a thimble full of rum. Another crash, less spectacular than the first reached his ears, “What is this disturbance?” Detlev shouted as he entered the Prinz’s study. The room was strewn with papers, the tapestries stained with ink and a bureau lie on its side. Detlev did not immediately see the Prinz. Detlev lowered his voice and spoke, “Does his lordship require any assistance?”
A hushed voice spoke from behind the bureau, “The world has turned against us, armies mass in Stagonia,” the Prinz paused, his voice grew louder, “what in the name of all that is holy could that women be thinking? How could she reward that deyvil, her gestures are blasphemy, a women will pour sweet words into ones ears while burying a knife in ones back!!” More papers flew into the air and Detlev could make out the Prinz’s legs kicking above the overturned bureau. “Ignorance is bliss” thought Detlev. The Prinz’s voice was filled with anger and despair, “we must send word to the imperial court of this treachery!! And to our cousin, send for Graf von Siltz!!

Detlev noticed he had been grinding his teeth again, unclenching he spoke, “Does your majesty refer to reports of the Morean mission to Bizerrca?” “Mission, it is a pact with the Deyvil, himself, that women should be supporting fellow Christians not prostrating at the feet of the pagan as a concubine!!”, the Prinz thrashed and threw a spittoon at the eastern wall. “Her majesty is not involved in our conflict and only seeks to procure the villain Ducas.” Detlev deliberately lingered on the word majesty. “Villain!!! The man should be canonized for his privateering efforts, WE should employ him to fight the Bizerrcans!” Detlev had never seen the Prinz this passionate, making it all the more sad that this vitriol was wasted on what in his mind was clearly not an affront to Cavenderia. “My Prinz if the Princess means to join in unholy alliance with the Dey, why would should wish for her grandson to visit our court?” Prinz Geoffrey loosened his grip on the copy of Barius’ Diatribes which was about to become air borne. The Prinz’s brow softened, “we have not heard of such a visit?” “News of the Princess’ desire for her grandson to visit several royal courts including your majesty’s arrived only this morning.”
The Prinz stared for a moment then extended his hand to be helped up from the floor. “Hmmm, well, that IS something, does the young man like horses?”


Fitz-Badger said...

Nice characterization!

abdul666 said...

"To our horses, to our women and to these who mount them!", hey?
A nice characterization indeed of a rich, if somewhat maladjusted character rich in RPG potential. A ‘political hazard’, which is good given the warlike raison d’être of the ‘EvE’ universe.

Then, an unbiased assessment of Princess Theophilia’s ‘neutrality’ between Catholics and Musilms countries must take into account, not only the long history of Morea, the peaceful coeistence of followers of both faiths among her subjects (mainly with the Adriatic Sea between them, true to tell), but the more than one millenium old feud between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox parts of Christianity. So bitter and bloody centuries ago that Neo-Byzantium seemingly rejected Christianism and is worshipping the Moon Goddess (Ishtar / Isis / Bonne Mere?). Epics of Tarass Bulba and his like remind us that even in recent times this feud had nothing to envy to the Wars of Religion in Western Europe.

Monte-Cristo fully endorses Princess Theophilia’s ‘secular’ vision of politics («While we recognize the importance of religion for ones soul, as the philosophers say, we do not believe that a state should base it's policy on it.»). Indeed the secular and religious fields are strictly kept apart in the Presipality as a reaction to the atrocities of the Wars of Religions in our peninsula –babies cooked in a baker’s owen and people pressed alive in a wine press being among the most tellable ones.
Call us cynical, but as long as we are not involved, we Monte-Cristans are not against war (our land is poor, not a few of our young men make a living as soldiers abroad) as long as it obeys the rules of ‘civilized warfare’ (for precisely that same reason; and not only for their –relative– safety: we don’t want to see them coming back home turned into bloody psychopaths). Then in our Enlightened Century and in most of our Continent ‘civilized warfare’ is no longer a perfect oxymoron, wars being waged without the deep passions of religion or ideology. We enjoy a precious haven, in time and space, of knightly and restricted warfare, and this must be preserved. It is not a mystery that Monte-Cristo was behind the grandiose reception of Ambassador Said Effendi by Louis a few years ago, for the solemn renewal of the Capitulations of 1536 between France and the Ottoman Empire...