Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our Lady of Mercy

Barcelona, 24th September 1713

Marshal Villarroel spent some time looking thoughtfully at the collection of orders he was expected to sign. Most of its provisions would be appreciated by the military, but he still doubted the effect that some other would cause among them. Before signing anything, he preferred to wait for the man who would be assigned the mission the most diffcult, and through his reaction to gauge eventual collective reactions...

-Sire, Colonel Llirós has just arrived.

-Please, let him get in.

A man of great stature, whose sharp face was intensely tawned by the high mountain sunlight, entered and hailed in a peculiarly serious manner. The uniform he was wearing, although very good quality, looked quite outdated and did not fit any of the ordinances or modern practices. Villarroel deduced it was some kind of family heirloom from previous wars.

-Sir, I have been delivered very good reports about you. Especially from General Moragues, who has highlighted your strict sense of discipline and duty.

-Excellence, life in the Pyrenees is fierce and hard, and so are the men forged there.

Villarroel smiled imperceptibly. A man of few words and hard as a rock, he was the one he needed, but ...would he consent? -I need a man of your qualities, Sir. It will be by no means an easy task, but if we meet the expectations placed on you, no doubt you are to be duly rewarded.

Llirós simply raised an eyebrow: -Excellence?

-It's our will to create a new regiment, and we have thought of you to command it. In case you accept, you are immediately going to get the rank of Colonel of the Regular Army. If your duty is properly fulfilled, doors to generalship will become immediately open wide to you. -Villarroel then stopped to carefully examine Llirós reaction. Only a slight eyes sizzle altered his hieratic posture. "Good sign", he thought, and decided to continue: -The Army urgently needs a Pioneers Regiment, Llirós. Their task is to be certainly tough and deprived of much glory, certainly; but only a regiment of iron men would be capable of performing under the undoubtedly hazardous conditions they're going to meet. Only a man with exceptional capabilities has a chance to form such a hard unit, ans this is you.

-And which troops can I draw for this mission, if there are almost no available men all around the Principality?

The Marshal cautiously answered: -...Men from the former Massegur volunteers regiment.

-Those behind the French prisoners killing at Sant Feliu de Guíxols? -Llirós sullenly asked.

-Yes they are. You are the man who can discipline them, Llirós. Your unit would be completed with volunteering Two Crowns prisoners. You'd have complete freedom to designate your officers among the best available ones and, unless they do disappoint you, can expect a promotion as fast as yours own. You'd also enjoy full powers to decide which weaponry are your men to carry. Do not worry about costs, they will be under pay of Barcelona Bishopric. May I know your opinion, sir?

Long silence.

-OK. They're going to learn discipline or leave their skins behind, Excellence.

3 comments:

Jeroen72 said...

Not to be a nuisance but didn't these kind of units usually wear darker coloured uniforms??

In a way hiding their dirty work so to say ;)

Soldadets said...

Jeroen72,

I also was quite doubtful ar first, for the very same reason you've pointed out. On the other hand, I wished the unit to be uniformed in the same base color as Artillery, so that I had to choose.

However, I guessed that they'd usually work with coats off, unless a really cold day -this is the reason why their waistcoats are that earthy colour...

Any way, we might take their uniform as a sign of the iron discipline expectable in the new regiment... "Woe to the poor one that gets dirst while carving trenches!", the sargent shouted. Hur hur hur...

Coronel Montbau said...

Good regiment, and awesome banners. Surely the former Massegur Volunteers won't feel very comfortable from now on.