Saturday, September 11, 2010

At August gates

Barcelona, 28th July 1713

After the news of Two Crowns' reprisals on the countryside population (Diezmo de Horca, or Gallows Tithe) came in Barcelona, an indignant crowd tried to storm properties and buildings owned by known pro-Bourbon individuals, and the police corps known as Stillness Company had a quite hard night preventing the riot to produce irreparable damages.

Fortunately, popular outrage soon was transformed into joy and street celebrations when further news spread on the arrival in harbour of a genoese frigate carrying a huge cargo of cannons, muskets and lots of ammunition, all destined to the Principality authorities. The ship crew only was able to explain that the cargo had been loaded in Monte-Cristo, but no one knew whom were shipping fundings coming from. Many people considered it providential, and some oportunistic preachers took advantage to spread theories on the most bizarre kinds of divine intervention.

Thanks to such providential cargo anyway, the Catalan War Board was not only able to form a new battery of field artillery, but could also complete the equipment of a new foot regiment, which had been nearly completed days ago but lacked weapons enough to become operative and had hitherto been constrained to using improvised pikes, either for drill or parades. That new regiment was formed by nearly 700 veterans formerly belonging to the Imperial army, so that the unit had been nicknamed as German Infantry. The rest of the frigate cargo -4 supplementary light guns and nearly 1,000 muskets- had all been purchased by an apparently anonymous wealthy trader, along with Lady Elisenda Folc de Montcada, for still unknown purposes both. Such massive acquisitions were also a source for almost any kind of hypothesis and fables.

There were some further good news a few days later, when it was known that a first warship was already available to the Catalans: it was the Saint Francesc de Paula, a three-masted merchantman purchased to a local trader by the General Deputation, that had been reformed and upgunned to a total over thirty guns and culverins. Her command was then assigned to Captain Josep Tauler, who was anxious for getting to sea.

An inrrepressible air of optimism soon spread everywhere in the city, as if war was already won, so that only the most wise -or those best informed- did resist the celebrations frantic tide. In any case, authorities considered it wiser not to publicly counter that burst of popular optimism, judging it better for the fighting morale of people. They knew however that war was far from being over -as it was soon demonstrated.

In other words, at the start of this 3rd turn the Catalan player has some supplementary units at his disposal: 1 Medium Artillery battery, 1 Regiment of Infantry and a first battleship.


Bluebear Jeff said...

Well at least there is some reason to hope.

-- Jeff

abdul666 said...

"Some preachers took advantage to spread theories on the most bizarre kinds of divine intervention."
Divine intervention through irreligious Monte-Cristo? Truly "God works in mysterious ways" - with a fine sense of humor!

Salvador said...

Msr. Vilalta, my nerves are starting to get affected! Aaargh!

Soldadets said...

Just sit down, wait and see... Thrilling news expected