Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Emir

Von Barner was quite startled as he waited for his regular meeting with Baron Wilhelm. A silked robed oriental gentleman with a turban swept out of the Baron’s office and headed down the stairs. Looking back to the door, he saw the Baron “It’s the emissary from the Emir of Bling, he’s just agreed to but two thousand muskets and associated equipment at a good price Our agent in Rodos arranged the deal without the knowledge of the Porte”

“Indeed sire, but we have to be careful that we do not provide any excuse for the Sultan to attack the empire”

“Yes it is tricky to ensure that the goods and payment are not apparent to the Ottoman authorities, however our Levantine contacts have managed this fairly well in the past."

“and the Emir’s objectives?”

“Quite clearly Ali Clumpha intends to assert full control over his fiefdom without interference of the Porte.”

“Therefore distracting the Sultan from Europe and freeing up Imperial forces”

“He also left some oranges and dates, would you like to try some?”

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Combined Grenadiers

When necessary the grenadier companies from the line regiments are combined into a single grenadier regiment. Separately they would not be sufficient, but an additional company from the staff corps is usually mustered to join them. Since this units is entirely composed of veterans it has pride of place on the right of the line.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Finding the Proof 3

By evening the city was exhausted and there was little activity, even so Ilse waited till late before venturing out in dark clothing, moving through the back streets and shadows to the back of the palace overlooking the river. Waiting until a patrol had just past she slipped into an area of darkness beneath an old bastion. She was gratified to find a rope hanging down from a window high above, but quite invisible in the gloom. Double checking for any patrols she started to climb. It wasn’t easy and part way she froze as a patrol passed by below, hoping that they wouldn’t look up and that she was dark enough to not be visible in the murk.

They passed by and gratefully she climbed the remaining stretch and entered through the window of a linen store. Quickly she hauled up the rope and hid it at the bottom of a pile of linen. She would have to find her own way out!

A surprise was lying nearby, a servants uniform that was her size. Her contact had been thorough, being in uniform meant that she would be less likely to be stopped if spotted. Quickly she changed and stuffed her other clothes in her knapsack.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Welle Infantry Regiment

Practising their musketry skill is the third and last infantry regiment of the Frundsberg line that raised in and around the cathedral city of Welle to the south of the Pidnem hills. Their nickname the "Bishops bodyguard" is an obvious reference to their origins but also their role in maintaining order during the events held in and around the cathedral.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Death strikes

Ilse awoke with a start, it wasn’t the trap at the top of the stairs that had caused her alert. It was the bell of the cathedral had just rung. Five minutes later it rang again and repeated this every five minutes, it could only mean one thing, the Duke had died. She had to act quickly and hoped that her arrangements would work for the next night. A short while later, as dawn broke, the city was in turmoil, the citizens were in animated discussion and couriers were obviously setting off for all the various capitals to pass on the news.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Sonnenbad Infantry Regiment

The second oldest Frundsberg regiment is that raised and based around Sonnenbad, the cultural centre of the Frei Stadt

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Finding the proof 2

To find more evidence Ilse now needed to gain entry to the palace, and as it was founded on the old castle it was built to prevent access, so inside help was needed. Ilse did have a contact inside the castle, who could not be compromised, but did periodically leave the palace on business. Ilse found a location that gave a reasonable view of the servants exit and settled down for a long wait. A couple of hours later he emerged and headed off, as expected, towards the market. Ilse carefully followed at a distance, watching for any one else that might be following or observing him. Once he was in the market she waited until he was in conversation with a stall holder then simply walked past and slipped a message in a coat pocket.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Pappenheim Regiment

The most senior regiment of the Frei Stadt with its distinctive red facings, which gives the regiment its nickname of the "Bloody Pappenheimers". The regiments normal base is in the capital city of Pappenheim.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Finding the proof 1

Once she had established that the housekeeper really did keep to the ground floor Ilse slipped out after midnight to check out the easiest source of information. It took little time to find Doctor Tölpel’s house, and entering it was just as easy as before, but she still took care in case any traps had been set. Passing through to the Doctor’s dispensary she found his diaries by his desk just where she remembered. Searching back she found the entries for March 1780, here it was, “Born to the Duchess Maria a healthy baby boy, no complications” and a couple of days later “Mother and baby doing well, no need for daily visits” The jigsaw was beginning to fit together.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Frundsberg Muster

Given the likely onset of war the Frundsberg army has been mustering and checking its arms and equipment. The line infantry comprises three musketeer regiments and one of combined grenadiers

Monday, 3 October 2011

Back in enemy territory

When Ilse arrived back in Traunsburg, no one seemed to bother checking the people entering the city, even so, she had entered with a large number of farming folk with their carts on their way to the market.

Keeping an eye open for patrols she made her way to a point close to the safe house she had used before and waited to see if anyone she knew appeared. When Franz arrived she slipped out of hiding and greeted him.

After a second glance Franz responded “I thought you had escaped?”

“Yes, but I need more information”

“But isn’t that dangerous, since they know you?”

“Yes and no, most people know me as a girl and won’t look twice. I need somewhere to hide without risking you or your father”

“OK, I’ve an idea, follow me”

Franz led Ilse to the back of an old mansion “Now the merchant who owns this and his family are away in Heidelberg and there is only an infirm housekeeper in residence”

“But won’t she notice my presence?”

“No, she can hardly climb stairs, so provided you keep quiet and stay on the upper floors no one will know”

Franz then pointed out a route over the stables that led to an upper floor window. “You go up though there, while I distract the housekeeper at the front.”

It was a simple climb up to the window and reasonably concealed. Ilse had no problem quietly slipping the latch on the window with her knife and as she entered she could hear the faint sounds of conversation downstairs. She then took stock of her location and headed toward what would be the servants stairs and ascended to the top floor. Here she found a well positioned room that gave a view onto the main square as well as an escape route across the roof.