Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Markgraaf Goes Hunting

Day after wearisome day had passed with no news of the Markgrafin, her brother David von Kerns, Col. Somerussian Guyovich, Agent von Mack, or the troop of guard cavalry and company of guard infantry that had escorted them to Frankzonia. It was as if they all had fallen off the face of the Earth, leaving no trace behind. Diplomatic inquiries were blandly deflected by the Frankzonian Court. Covert attempts had yielded nothing. Limited cavalry scouting of the common border was done to no avail. The Markgraaf considered himself to be a patient man, but at last he could stand the inaction no longer. He summoned Wilhelm, his oldest son, and Otto von Weisenheimer, the Chancellor of Raubenstadt to the Palace...

"Son, I'm going after your Mother to bring her home from wherever she's gotten off to. I'm leaving you in charge until my return." Startled by the announcement, the Chancellor started to protest, but was waved to silence by the Markgraaf. "NO!
Otto, my old friend! My mind is made up and nothing you were going to say can change it. As a young man I rode into their Court and swept the Baroness von Kerns off her feet in a whirlwind courtship that they still talk about! Thirty years have passed me quicker than the image of the first time I saw her. The Old Duchess disapproved of one of her ladies-in-waiting marrying beneath her and opposed our union."

He reached out and gently shook his son's shoulder and laughed, "Luckily for you, your brothers, and sister we ignored her. I will not go another day doing nothing!"

"But Father", Wilhelm said, "I want her back as much as you. Uncle Ernst and Uncle Johan have been frantically trying to move Heaven and Earth trying to find her! Let me go in your stead."

"Ah? You think I'm too old to play the role of the questing Gallant Knight coming to the aid of his Lady Fair?! Bless you boy for the thought, but there's life in the old dog yet. What was done once, can be done again!"

Leaning in close so he could see his son's eyes, the Markgraaf whispered, "The greatest thing about being the one in charge is that you can have things done the way you want them. Mostly it is a great burden, but there are times when it's very useful. This is one of those times. You will discover this for yourself when you rule this place and have a wife of your own, my son."

With that, the Markgraaf gathered his hat, cloak, sword, and pistols from a series of servants as he headed for the Great Hall. He left the Palace, mounted his horse, and left Heidlebeerenburg behind him. He hadn't felt so alive in a long time. If there was even a hint of a trace of Mad Ludwig's involvement in this affair, the Markgraaf was determined to quickly finish up the business with the Prince-Bishop of Spires and turn his eyes toward Stagonia. Colonel Schieber was going to be very surprised.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Back On Track/Stay On Target

Well...it's taken a while, but I think I've recovered from my son's wedding. The photographer was amazing! He even made this Sow's Ear look like a Silk Purse. But enough about that. What's been going on in Raubenstadt?

Well, the short answer is not much. The Margrafin has gone missing in Frankzonia, and one or more of her brothers may be dead. Agent von Mack has gone silent. So the Markgraaf has considered launching a multi-pronged approach - diplomatic, economic, surrepticious, and low-grade military in an effort to clear away the mists and find out, "Just what the Devil is going on?!" Stagonian involvement is suspected, and if proven, the already frosty relations may hit a new low.

The gutting of the Basement (aka ManCave) continues at a slow but steady pace. Need to install battery powered back-up sump pump to prevent future water damage. (A new, faster, better, stronger Raubenstadt will arise from the soggy bottoms.) It's taking me longer than I expected, but it will be awesome when I'm done. It will be nice to have a place where I can store, display, and play with all the wargaming stuff I've accumulated, and not watch it get stored away in the attic or garage for years at a time.

In the meantime, two publications have arrived from "On Military Matters". The first one is "This Very Ground" a one to one skirmishing game set in the French And Indian War. I like the simple mechanics, and they are robust enough to set in other times and theaters. Say...AWI, 1812, SYW, etc. Good Stuff! The second one was Asquith's "Wargamer's Guide to the War of 1812". It's chock full of information about the campaigns, the troops, and the battles big and small. I enjoyed reading it.

Speaking about 1812, next year is the Bicentennial of the Battle of Tippecanoe. I understand that from the Indiana State Historical Society, that the whole campaign will be re-enacted from the Tecumpseh/Harrison meetings at Vincennes, the Pigeon Roost Massacre, the march up the Wabash to Prophet's Town, and of course, the battle. I'm looking forward to it all.