Friday, April 13, 2012

Unexpected visit

Barcelona, 7th November 1713

General Basset kept walking restlessly around his office room, like a caged beast. He disliked the luxury and comfort of the house he had been compelled to rent at his arrival in Barcelona. But he disliked inactivity even more.

A few days ago, he had been ordered by the supreme commander of the army General Villarroel to leave the Vilafranca town fortification works and come in Barcelona, without any explanation but all urgency. He was specifically instructed to carry his illustrious prisoner Marquis of Villadarias --the Spanish general captured in battle two months ago. He arrived in Barcelona a couple of days ago, but had received no new instructions since, and this kept him uneasy and worried. What the hell was going on at headquarters? What plans were there for him, and why so much secrecy?

Basset speculated for the umpteenth time what the sudden orders had to do with recent political events. It was publicly known his own connection to the "Busca" popular party, so that he at first suspected he'd been attracted into the City to be arrested. However, he soon discarded the idea. "No, it would have no logic, especially now that Barcelona itself is in hands of Busca party. It would provoke a terrible political crisis."

Now quieter, Basset continued wondering about other, eventually more subtle political manoeuvres. He suddenly realized he had no idea who was Villarroel politically aligned with. However, his brother Ignacio was rumored to be a member of the semi-secret Academy of the Distrustful, the main bastion of pro-Charles faction among Catalan nobility. "Hum, it's clear then", he thought, "Villarroel is essentially a Princess Elisenda's man".

At that moment a servant interrupted him: --Pardon Sire, there is a priest asking to meet you.

--A priest? --stunned, Basset answered. "Why would a Church man will to meet me, they who've labelled me as a menja-capellans (="priest-eater", literally)?", he thought.

--Well, more like a monk, Sire. He has introduced himself as Brother Joan de Fenollet --said the man, who afterwards added in a tone of confidence: --I believe he is a Valencian, Sire.

Increasingly curious, General Basset wondered what would a monk belonging to Valencian gentry explain to him: --Hummm... let's hold that meeting now, then.

Once having entered, the priest went on the matter without ado: --I'm coming on behalf of a group of Valencian exiles. It seems clear that General Villaroel has no intention of marching toward Valencia at the short-term, don't you believe?

Basset could not repress an angry gasp: --Enough we have now just to defend the Principality, for going and opening a front in Valencia right now!

--That's why we thought it might be a good idea to take some kind of action there.

Basset nodded energically: --I'm not going to leave the Principality for adventures, it's not the best time for everyone to make war on their own!

--We are fully aware. There aren't men enough to form an expeditionary force, we know. But there are men enough indeed for manning those two captured galleys dying bored at harbour! We know about quite a few juicy booties in Peniscola district, as well as other ill-garrisoned Valencian coastal towns...

--We haven't got money enough for purchasing galleys and carte-blanche altogether. --the monk continued-- That's why we're proposing you to share expenses. It might be a good investment if war lasts long enough. You'd have a good revenue source to keep funding your artillery regiment...


Oddball said...

Hmmmmm... My Game Master special senses are smelling the opportunity of a good roleplaying session, back in to the world of Defiant Principality. Any chance it would be possible, Lluís?

Jordi said...

But you must know a piece of dark information that does not know still neither Lluís.

Soldadets said...


...What should I say now? :S

To be honest, I do NOT know why Jordi has made General Basset to be called back in Barcelona. He simply told me to, and I've appropriately told the tale.

As for me, any initiative is warmly welcome, Oddball.

abdul666 said...

A menja-capellans, a "bouffeur de curés" as we say in France (and Monte-Cristo): a pleasant expression.
("curé" = parroco in Spanish; did not find the Catalan word)
Now, I'm sure General Basset refrains from cawing crow-fashion every time he passes a priest -or a nun, for that matter :-)

Oddball said...

Hmmmm... I love dark informations, Jordi. And I'm sure that Lluís will understand if we make some conspirancies... in secret ;)

Jordi said...

Sure. E-mail me: jordi.prado at

Soldadets said...

Jean-Louis, a priest is called "mossèn" or "capellà" in Catalan.

I'd bet General Basset has substantially change his diet with age. Legumes are better digestible by far than some kinds of black meat :D

Soldadets said...

Oddball and Jordi: as for your eventual RPG plans, please take into account that:

- It would be possible finding a rowing crew for the 2-masted galleys currently ocious in Barcelona harbour. However, it must be discarded the chance of forming such crew with professional sailors, because those who aren't already employed in any other ship are required to fill the ranks of Barcelona's "Coronela" Militia battalions. You can only draw rowers from Spanish prisoners of war currently held at Montjuïc castle (or, even worse, from criminals in jail).

- About fighting men: these can be drawn from any of the professional military units currently inside the City. Worth to be noted two independent companies, both ocious so far:

1) The Aggregate Officers Company, formed with about 50-100 experienced officers from all Allied Nations: mostly Austro-Germans, but Dutch, British and Portuguese too. This is the main officers replacement pool of our Imagi-Nation's Army, contributing to explain its overall high efficience.

2) The Experimental Infantry Company under command of the Austro-German Captain Friedrich Leibnitz (some kind of 18th century panzergrenadieren). Officers extracted from the unit above, while troopers are mainly volunteering prisoners of war (mostly from the captured Burgos Infantry Regiment).

No other sources available, except for particular characters (PCs) already mentioned in this blog.

Except for this manpower restrictions, you're completely free to design an adventure at your will.

abdul666 said...

How is Mireia Perelló faring, btw?

Andreu said...

I have an other source maybe ...

And from Balearic islands?


Soldadets said...

Our young Mireia is enjoying a stay in Majorca island, after having been evacuated from Tarragona.

Except for ever rising prices due to war shortages, life is peaceful and quiet there, thanks to the extraordinary bad shape of Spanish Armada, uncapable of even approaching to the Isles.
If it wasn't November 1713, I'd even bet she could be easily found taking a sunbath right now! :D

Of course, such a pleasant environment allows me little room for embarking her in risky adventures...

About Balearic manpower: I must say that Jordi has already drawn up all of it. The Infantry Regiment created by Marquis of Rubí for garrisoning Majorca has been recently transferred in Catalonia, and the same must be pointed about the fictional Sea Fusiliers battalion financed by the Traders' Guild of Palma.

Currently, Balearic Islands are garrisoned only by the local "Coronela" Militia of Palma. In a supreme effort, it could be also raised some Miquelets companies (just as Marquis of Rubí historically did).

Nothing else, a part from the half dozen British battalions in Menorca.