Thursday, March 19, 2009

Felix doesn't live up to his name

Consider, for one Kafka-esque moment, that you are General Felix von Hentsch.  You must feel there is some cosmic conspiracy against you, for your luck has remained so unswervingly bad.  Your son gets invalided out of the army the previous year, and a new noble family emerge in Luftberg to challenge your pre-eminence.  You engineer a war to give you a shot at glory, only for it to go terribly.  Not only does the fugitive Von Zaub manage to empty the city of Spitzburg before you get there, but the Aschenbach army manages a spectacularly successful surprise attack across the river.

Not that you're a slouch, though.  Despite being badly surprised, you rush to some good terrain and offer battle - and promptly lose.  You have performed not at all badly, but a competent loser is still a loser, as far as you're concerned.  Frustrated at poor sub-commanders failing you, you send back to Luftberg requesting a talented young blade to put some fire into the troops.  Someone charismatic; someone brave; a pillar of support for you in trying times.

Meanwhile, you have to organise your retreat along the single available road east from Spitzburg, despite the Aschenbach forces under that old nemesis Erich von Kleintrink - the aggressive leader of the enemy cavalry.  Then, just prior to setting off, word arrives that your new commander has arrived.  Stepping into the shoes left empty by your own son, to go up against the veteran von Kleintrink, there arrives - Tobias Ludwig...

Tobias Ludwig, erstwhile lieutenant in Tradgardland, now freshly catapulted up the ranks through his dynastic connections.  When you meet him he turns out to be awful - morose and pessimistic, all but predicting disaster.  He is spectacularly ugly, his reputation for petty grudge-holding is dire, and the only reason the troops don't loathe him on sight is simply down to ignorance of the Tradgardlander noble.  Still, the Duke's letter promises he's militarily capable, and highly intelligent.  Perhaps he'll reveal hidden depths as he commands the rearguard.  Even so, the snakepit politics which prevail at the Luftberg army HQ have taken a fresh turn for the worse.  Perhaps you really should have just stayed at home...


tradgardmastare said...

Are you needing a figure to be painted? If so what scale?
best wishes
p.s I enjoyed the post - seems things are hotting up!

Bluebear Jeff said...

Some days you is da windshield . . . and some days you is da bug!

Guess which Felix has been. Now flip a coin to see if that will change.

If the coin lands on edge, it will.

Felix should relax and enjoy his bugdom.

-- Jeff

Martin said...

The General should take comfort in the fact that a lot of "accidents" can take place on the Field Of Mars, if the young sprig gets too intolerable. Fragging for the good of the country anyone?!

Who knows what the Fates have in store for him? He might cut his own throat while shaving some morning, or the General may arrange to have the new recruit's weapon's cleaning area in the same vicinity of the youngster's sleeping quarters. The options are only limited by the imagination.

Prinz Geoffrey said...

Looks and disposition are not everything. Hopefully he will inspire the men by his tactical ability and valiant leadership. I can already hear the men "well he aint much to look at, young ploppy, but I'd follow him to hell!"

Fitz-Badger said...

chuckle :-D