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Tales from The White Cliff Palace
09-12-2017, 08:28 PM
Post: #1
Tales from The White Cliff Palace
13th April, 7579, Tasmandorp, Veroveringenland.

Hendrik, Baron Tasmandorp, Foreign Minister of the United Royal Provinces of The Fivefold Covenant, sat at his desk, his ginger-tinged hair, ever slightly-unruly, thinning. Losing it up there even as the girth expands he thought, with a sigh. Middle age. He stroked his short, trim goatee beard unconsciously with his right hand, a habit that showed he was deep in thought. His jacket, slung over the back of his chair revealed not only his preference for short-sleeved shirts, but also his understated, but expensively tasteful waistcoat, and the matching chronometer sticking out his breast pocket. His left hand, resting on the ornate inlaid desk held a finely-made, curved pipe, the tobacco now long-extinguished. A pair of delicate, wire-rimmed spectacles sat on his nose, the slim but strong chain dangling loose.

The Foreign Minister had travelled widely in his younger days, not just a testament to his privileged upbringing, education and an adventurous spirit, but also his athletic prowess. Not much left of that now, he mused.

In front of him, on his desk, sat a large notebook, its lined pages filled with insights, thoughts, speculations and the occasional memory. Now, he was contemplating the future trajectories after the meeting of the Straits Cartel in Gadalhem, or more correctly, in the splendid house at Tasmandorp, some distance outside the city. Servants and family deserve a bonus, he thought, every single one of them. Even if for some of the visitors his country estate might have seemed a rustic retreat. True, it had cost a considerable amount, but the prestige it garnered for the nation, and himself, was beyond measure.

What to do now though? The meeting couldn’t be described as a failure, but neither was it a ringing success: no-one had bought into the concept of a shared enforcement fleet and the technological bonus it would have brought, and worse, both Anisora and Auresia had declined to sign and withdrawn from the updated treaty. How much our revenues will be damaged remains to be seen, but dammit, we need good relations with both Aedeland and Helreich, even more than with Halland and the others.

At least the world noticed we are here, he thought, before jotting, “Explore tourist potential for Gadalhem and the wider nation” in the book.

But what to do about Vittmark? Perhaps it was just as well that the late King had overlooked the Treaty of Nisipari. It was embarrassing then, but now leaves us one less immediate concern.

A germ of an idea crossed his mind. The frontier of Euvertabbe and Vittmark isn’t that well delineated. Rather than simply build up the RCTR Company Militia perhaps we can use this as a means of completing the delineation of the border? Good fences, or good borders, make good neighbours after all. The pen glided on over the paper, “...for better demarcation, co-operation and the avoidance of dispute, which does neither of our nations any favours.”

The sun dipped below the horizon as Hendrik, Baron Tasmandorp, wrote on.

Dr Moose
Always here, but never always there.
The United Royal Provinces of the Fivefold Covenant
Real Ale Drinker & Eccentric: Accept no imitations!
Quote
09-13-2017, 08:33 PM
Post: #2
Tales from The White Cliff Palace
Tuesday 17th April, 7579, JanWillem II’s Private Chambers

The Head of State sat in the most comfortable chair in his study, gazing moodily into the fire.

He had never wanted to be king. Nobody would have given credence to any suggestion that he might ever be elected to the throne of the United Royal Duchies. The problem with history, he mused, is that all looks inevitable in hindsight. His mother, and many close friends and supporters, had repeatedly warned his father of the dangers of hunting at his age.

He could remember it now, that conversation with him shortly before the accident, “You’re not as young as you were, Father. I wish you’d give it up” All he got was a laugh as the Duke of Dalemveld slapped his fat-rounded figure. “I’d just bounce! This’d stop just about anything!” Sadly no amount of body fat would have saved him from the broken neck when his horse fell.

Then, of course, King Alphons had sickened and died within the space of a few bare weeks, triggering the Royal Election from the Succession List, the most senior nobles as listed by title. It hadn’t been revised since his father’s death, and an unwitting alliance of lawyers, opportunists and ill-informed voters in the Convocation of Lords had somehow aligned to hand him the Crown.

His eyes rose, resting on the portrait of his late father, posing with hounds and game, no less. You would have enjoyed this. You would have known how to do it. How to play the game. Damn it, you understood these things!

JanWillem took a drink from the fine crystal tumbler on the low table to his right, mind wandering, eyes staring into space. He’d had to learn a lot, very quickly. He’d tried to understand the constitution, governance. He’d tried to take an interest and develop policy and insights when all he’d really wanted to do was manage his beloved Kerkmond in Mindelland. Maybe, given another few years of that I’d have been ready. It was a luxury he’d never had.

I just can’t do this… and the constitution doesn’t even allow abdication! Without any volition he spread his arms in a gesture of despair and denial, knocking the glass from the table.

The insecure, conflicted, disinterested King of The United Royal Provinces raised his hands to his face, bowed his head and wept, even as the whisky soaked unnoticed into the thick, lush carpet.

Dr Moose
Always here, but never always there.
The United Royal Provinces of the Fivefold Covenant
Real Ale Drinker & Eccentric: Accept no imitations!
Quote


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