Monday, February 06, 2012

Depressing journey

Lorraine, 19th October 1713

The stay of Princess Elisenda in the Duchy of Fenwick was rather short. As a faithful ally of Wittenberg, Duke Maurice had agreed hosting her entourage and seeking assistance during their journey along his lands. But the official reception at Palace was merely formal, devoid of the warm cordiality of the Court of Wittenberg. It became clear to the Princess that Fenwick's welcome was mainly due to a matter of loyalty towards Wittenberg, and little else beyond courtesy.

In a small independent Archbishopric close to Lorraine (whose name will be omitted here for courtesy) things were to go much worse, though. Despite all the provisions made in advance by Imperial diplomacy, problems began at the border itself. Local authorities tried at first to prevent entry to the Princess Imperial escort, under the argument that traffic of armed foreigners was contrary to Law. Only after a lengthy, lively discussion they finally consented --not before the Imperial soldiers deposited their firearms in a separate cart though. Angry and humiliated, the princess refused to even visit the Prince-Archbishop.

Her retinue spent in that country the time strictly required to traverse it from end to end, avoiding any unnecessary stops. Journey was depressing and charged with tension, always escorted by a large detachment of local Dragoons --whose only purpose was apparently to watch the Imperial soldiers.

On one occasion an irritated Imperial trooper drew his heavy sword against a pair of Dragoons preventing him to lead his horse off the road. In a few seconds the icy gleaming of swords spread to the entire column, and only the determined intervention of the Princess' young manservant stopped an imminent bloodshed. With remarkable restraint and coolness, the boy calmly left the stage coach, went close to the Dragoons captain and whispered something in the officer's ear. The man then paled intensely and ordered his men to sheathe weapons.

There were no further incidents. The Archbishopric troopers kept themselves at a prudent distance henceforth.

The Princess gasped in relief at the sight of French borderline. She'd ever believe before to be so pleased by such sight!


abdul666 said...

The Anabaptist Archbishopric of Zenda and its Sal(i)vation Army?

Soldadets said...

Some of an ancestor to Archevêque Lefebvre, no doubt...

Capt Bill said...

Diplomacy really is an art...

abdul666 said...

Wonder what this resourceful young manservant said?

The Monte-Cristan 'Service' systematically accumulates private data potentially useful for..., well, to be blunt, blackmailing, on as many person as possible -'just in case'. It took some time to fix the itinerary of the Princess, to prepare the stages... and carrier pigeons fly fast. No need to provide many details: for each 'entry' the name of the 'target', a name (of place or person) and a date. Do you really believe Claire slipped away privately to Vienna *only* to enjoy authentic Franziskaner and croissants?

Besides, when a professional duelist Claire did (*had to* do) a Grand Tour of Europe and may have learned 'interesting' bits of information by herself. She is remarkably observant (specially of anything better to remain unobserved) and enjoys an outstanding memory (some Gardes, for reasons of their own, affectionately nickname her 'Munnin').
Maybe she is aware that this Archbishop and his officers know of, and dread, the Prieuré de Sion?

Or what?
Who knows?