Friday, October 31, 2008

A New Direction

"But Monsignor, it is beyond belief that His Grace should now seek terms with Prinz Friedrich, after the defenders of Festung Dolmen have put up so stout a defence, holding out until the entire Herzogerheer has been assembled, fully trained and even expanded larger than its size during Herzog Karl Moritz's command during the War of Spanish Succession!"

"Nonetheless, Erlaucht Kanzler, his orders are crystal-clear; and the contents of our commissions as negotiators for a peace conference leave no doubt as to our objectives: peace with Waldreck at nearly any cost to extricate Major Trimbach and his command from Festung Dolmen, permitting the entire Herzogerheer to march at once to the aid of Feldmarschallieutenant von Blei-Sammeln."

"At least Herzog Kristian's mediation and sponsorship of the talks gives the impression that we have Pfalz-Zwieback behind us in the negotiations, and Gallia behind him; does your intelligence give any sense of von Waldreck's terms?"

"My sources inform me that he has been singularly involved with the old Fugger estates to the north of Dolmen, leaving the siege operations at Festung Dolmen to subordinates. It is reasonable to think his terms will include cession of the entire exclave, rather than the mere demilitarisation of the fortress which will be our opening offer. His Grace has already approved the cession if it will buy the peace necessary to aid the Imperium."

"That will be a bitter pill indeed for the Landestände to swallow."

"Nonetheless, if the Imperium were to note our failure to make a contribution to the Reichsarmee, it is certain that we should not long avoid the predations of our larger neighbours without influence and respect in Vienna. Therefore almost any sacrifice is required to be able to aid the Imperium at this critical juncture."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Infantry Standards

At a solemn noontime ceremony at Festung Pfeffernüsse, Herzog Ignaz with his own hand presented the Oberst of Infanterie Regimente vom und zum Riesling, von Bernkastel and von Bacharach with their regimental Leibfahnen and Regimentsfahnen, marched from the Ducal Hall of Honours at Schloß Moritzburg last night in a moving torchlight ceremony.

The Leibfahne.
Regimentsfahne of Infanterie Regiment vom und zum Riesling.
Regimentsfahne of Infanterie Regiment von Bernkastel.

Infanterie Regiment von Bacharach.

Now the entire Herzogerheer is aflame with rumour and speculation. Surely marching orders will come at any time. Word of Imperial withdrawal from Bohemia in pursuit of the Germanian breakthrough north of Frankfurt fuels the fire of barracks wagers.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ignatian Images

Our leading nominees for representation of Msgr. de Chiaroscuro, S.J, so far are:

Conquest Miniatures:


I incline to the Conquest Miniatures Jesuits, over the melodramatic rendering of Cardinal de Richelieu, but it's not clear whether the Conquest Jesuits are still forthcoming (as one might hope, since they're only shown as greens) or already out of production.

Any insights?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Sitting in the confessional of the Ducal Chapel after vespers, Msgr. de Chiaroscuro, S.J., made use of his privacy by deciphering in the flickering candlelight the dispatch lately sent from Nebbio concerning the movements of a network of agents headed by a darkly mysterious lady lately identified by Nebbio's sources at Versailles.

Reviewing the sketch rendered by Nebbio of the equipage of this black widow, de Chiaroscuro reflected for a moment on the cipher which remained--the face and identity of this dark lady. Nebbio's sources had been unable to provide a likeness or any description of this woman, leaving the imagination to fill in the gaps.
Blonde, brunette, who could say? Her facelessness gave her a certain power of which, de Chiaroscuro felt certain, she took full advantage.

This train of thought brought him, upon reflection, to consider his own public image and appearance. Well known enough in court circles, his position as confessor and tutor to the Ducal Household created a certain image for him independent of his actual appearance. He wondered if his circumstance and public vocation completely overshadowed the man beneath the clerical garb in which he accomplished his tasks both secular and religious. If an image of him were to be cast into bronze or lead, how much would his own countenance matter in conveying that image?

Seen from any distance, would anything of Baldesar even be perceptible? Or would the black robe and Roman collar be all that was seen? De Chiaroscuro had taken several self-portraits of himself both in oil and charcoal over the years, both as a lesson in humility and as a form of discipline in maintaining his skill in rendering likenesses from different angles, but he had only passing experience in his youth with sculpture and the rendering of tangible form in space. He resolved therefore, knowing of several silversmiths who trafficked in such things, to find an image in miniature which could be plausibly supposed to represent a priest of his order, and explore the question further.

But who could provide the figure he sought?

[Ed. note: Suggestions for figures to represent Msgr. de Chiaroscuro, S.J., are hereby solicited; any plausible 25-28mm clerical figure is welcomed for consideration]

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fourier Transformations

Stalking out of the staff meeting, Prinz von Rebholz vented his frustration to his adjutant, Hauptmann Strauss. "Logistics this, logistics that, and yet not one word about the object of our campaign! Chiaroscuro brings news of a Germanian advance on Frankfurt, but we are NOT to pursue discussions with the Frankfurters OR the Gallians to obtain access to Gallian magazines!"

"We have word my lord," replied the harried fourier, "that the ammunition caissons requisitioned for the march from Herren Alter und Ruhm are nearly complete; the demonstration models have been couriered to my desk here."

"Hm, yes. Aren't the colours a bit flat?"

"I've merely blocked the models with an ochre wash to match the Herzogliche paint scheme, and inked the horses to reveal detail. Monsignor de Chiaroscuro has asked to be permitted to add some additional colouring and highlighting before the models are transferred to His Grace's campaign equipment. For my own part, I've added a little detail to mark the ammunition capacity of the caissons and guns using birdshot, 8 gauge for the three and six pounders, and 5 gauge for the 12-pounders and howitzers."

"His Grace will no doubt be pleased with your diligence; do carry on and alert me immediately as soon as any word is heard from the artillery foundry in Dayton as to their estimated delivery date."