Time for a little bit of background development, to rebalance the technical tone of the recent post (which I think went on a bit too long, but those are the perils). The kingdom of Aschenbach has been detailed some, but it’s rival the Rheinstadt der Luftberg hasn’t been covered yet. I’ve repeated the 'personality generator' trick from the last post and have come up with the following – enjoy!
Leader of the state is the Elector Ulrich von Luftberg. Middle-aged, straightforward, but careful in his actions. He’s made a good pairing with his wife, the 32-year old (oh yes, – ten years his junior) Konigin Lena v. Luftberg. It turns out to be a good and bad match – good as Lena turns out to be a fine, clever, honest and brave person. Highly admirable!
Why a bad match? Well, the couple have only two children, both female and young. No male heirs exist for Luftberg! The two children are Johanna (16) and Katya, (12). The pair are both very beautiful (giving them an advantage in diplomatic charm attempts) the older Johanna is loyal and bold, while her sister Katya is idealistic and impetuous (possible trouble brewing…)
For other great houses, I settled on just one more line of nobility (I rolled a dice for the number of children and got five, so decided things were crowded enough!) The head of this house is the Graf Felix von Hentsch. This figure deserves a special mention as the dice rolls aligned to make him supremely evil. A physical invalid, with utterly no moral standards and a boundless ambition for his own house. In a later age he’d have been a Bond villain, but here he’ll make do with plotting for domination of just two states - Aschenbach and Luftberg!
Married to this individual is the Grafin Rosina v. Hentsch, an immoral and rash woman. So rash in fact, and married to such an ambitious monster, it seems appropriate to blur the boundaries between the houses. Remember the five children I mentioned earlier? Well, on randomly rolling the dice I determined two of them are the illegitimate children of the ruler Ulrich v. Luftberg, and that this is common public knowledge. So, the impetuous Rosina v. Hentsch has in the past seduced the simple Elector Ulrich away from his young and noble wife, had two children who are illegitimate heirs to the throne – given the way Felix v. Hentsch works, the whole thing could well have been one of his evil schemes!
The two children are into young adulthood, technically von Hentsch although the truth of their Luftberg lineage is widely spoken of. There is Conrad v. Hentsch, a clever and skilled 26-year-old, with his sister Catherine v. Hentsch, an intelligent but untrustworthy woman of 23.
Their ‘brothers and sisters’ in the true von Hentsch family are the 29-year old Grafin Emily v. Hentsch, a devious but stupid lady. Younger at 14 are two twins, Maximilian and Maria. Max is a rather weak specimen, but extremely clever and brave. Maria seems to be the real black sheep of the family (ie, is actually nice) as she has the very highest integrity.
Another colourful cast of characters, but above and beyond all else, it is easy to spot the most likely bit of trouble on the horizon: The Elector must die someday, his two legitimate children are both adolescent girls, and the Graf Felix will be sure to back his older and more suitable ‘son’ for the throne over them. Hm…