Monday, December 12, 2011

Troubled journey (15): Waiting

Versailles, 20th September 1713

He had been waiting for almost 4 hours in that hall tight of pleading subjects, so that his kidneys' pain had started reviving. Marquis de Vilana felt tired and sore, for sure. But above all, he was under a deep anxiety. He'd begun fearing he was being deliberately ignored by the French Authorities --or were they perhaps just seeking to intimidate him?

He fought against the invading discouragement by concentrating himself again on the revelations of Fra Pere Arenós, and their significant implications. He reviewed by heart the explanations of that man, who was now lying in a discreet inn on the rive gauche of Seine, permanently guarded by Vilana's trustful Catalan Guards.

Then Claire Baizanville walked quietly to him. At the risk of being recognized by someone, Claire had volunteered herself for getting introduced in Versailles, disguised as a pleading parisienne girl. After getting ensuring no one was watching them, Claire whispered in his ear:

--My Monte-Cristan informers have let me know some news of your Principality, Marquis. A few days ago, a large Spanish army was severely beaten in their way toward Barcelona, at a place called Vilafranca. Even one of their officers was taken prisoner there, a General Castillo.

--General Castillo!? --exclaimed Vilana, making an effort to not speak up. So that the man appointed by King Philip V as Captain General of Valencia, the man who had absolute powers on all civilian and military affairs of Valencia, was a prisoner of the Catalans? These were really good news indeed!

Then Claire noticed something and quickly disappeared. Before Vilana could take over the reason, a palace usher came to him:

--Excellence, would you mind to follow me?

After an almost endless walk through a number of rooms and corridors, Vilana suddenly found himself alone in an empty office. The room was small but comfortable, and there was a fire lit. Nobody else at sight, however. He decided to sit on an armchair, nearly conformed to a new long wait, but...

...but after a short time an egregious figure entered in the room without a previous notice. When Vilana realized who that personality was, he got astounded. In front of him, there was Philippe de Bourbon, Duke of Orléans.

9 comments:

abdul666 said...

No great love between the two Philippes, of Anjou and of Orléans...

Salvador said...

HA!!!!

This is becoming better with every post!

Orleans, and Vilana knowing Anjou to be the inspirer of Vendome's murder by poison...

Lluís, what a nice tale you're spinning... You'd seriously consider making it a novel. Ain't it right?

abdul666 said...

And the untimely death of Young Queen María Luisa de Saboya... Whatever the Castillan Court may say, it will raise rumors and suspicions: the French Affaire des Poisons is not forgotten yet. *Specially* if the truth behind Vendome's death is known...

Soldadets said...

Salvador,

Thanks for the appreciation, I'm sincerely glad this sstory keeps attracting your attention from time to time...

However, it would be too pretentious from me to publish it as a novel --not as the 'proper' kind of novel you and I are thinking about, at least. Anyway, it's likely that either myself or the RPG master do publish a free PDF version of the adventure for Catalan-speaking readers, just as we already did with our first proxy-played RPG story ("The Rescue RPG").

Soldadets said...

Jean-Louis, you're right. Even in the case that Marie-Louise of Savoy's death reveals being totally natural --as a result of a grave disease, as it seems that historically happened--, suspicion will arise everywhere. And I guess it will arise strong not only at Versailles, but also at other European Courts, Savoy itself I guess.

Therefore, either if king Philip d'Anjou had previous notice of the murder, or it was some hyper-jealous Madrid courtesan, there will be no other chance for Him than offering worldwide some kind of scapegoat.

Who might that victim be?

abdul666 said...

Hopefully not a 'Catalan terrorist' -it would appear too easy (yet, we know from 'The Real Word™' that such may be attempted, may even work for a little time -a not too old example in Spain, if I remember well). Besides, the Queen seemingly was not engaged in politics, and murdering his wife rather than the King was not in the 'culture' of the time.

Countess De los Ursinos? Unlikely, the mutual affection between her and the deceased Queen was too well known?

The Spanish Inquisition -not unexpected at all here- will probably find a 'witch'?

Salvador said...

Lluís, Alfred Bosch published a whole trilogy ridden with wild speculation regarding behaviours and personality traits of a good many Catalan historical characters in the time of the WSS. Moreover, said trilogy is of dubious quality at best; the first volume is readable, the other two barely so, the whole thing makes for an awful loss of time.

And the trilogy sold and worked for its author. Sincerely, I think -I am fully convinced- that the plot you worked out (with a little help of your friends, as the song goes) is, if not historical, very well founded on history and real fact. The characters are not only credible but interesting (can't say so for the ones in Bosch's trilogy). The diverse "affairs" are well structured and explained, are again credible and interesting. The writings masterfully keep the reader's attention, never boring, most thrilling than anything else. Even the fantastic twist is well done!

I do not intend this comment as just flattery but as a sincere recognition. I do like your story, the characters and the plot; I am really hooked on it. I can say that even in the case of the amazing nomination of Elisabet as Princess, which I was not fully confident in, has been so well done as to make me believe it and look at it as a logical, plausible construction.

I'd buy such a novel, even knowing as I do how it goes and maybe how it ends when the moment comes. But I mean what I say. And I'd wholeheartedly recommend it! I think the Defiant Principality has potential to attract a good many readers and to surpass any "political" troubling which could appear (don't think so).

I can even speculate that a good many of this blog followers can agree with me on this. Keep up your work.

Salut!

abdul666 said...

Btw, this post is labelled 'The Rescue RPG' instead of 'Troubled Journey': if I post a link to the last label, readers will ignore the conclusion [though we still have *much* to learn:) ]

Best wishes,
Jean-Louis

Soldadets said...

Mmmmm... Salvador, thanks for the tip. I was doubtful about the trilogy you commented, but I'm actually needing some characters definition, so that maybe it would be worth taking a glance on its first volumne as suggested...

Jean-Louis, labelling error fixed.