19 August 2006

Whimsical Press Release

For Immediate Release:

Diplomatic Standoff Intensifies between the Principality of Pillau-Zerbst and the Electorate Zichenau

War Likely as Foreign Ministers Race to Find a Solution

Schmitten, The Principality of Pillau-Zerbst 20 May 1768 -- The disappearance in February of Pillau-Zerbst’s Princess Valerie, betrothed to the French mercenary officer Phillipe de Latte, has sparked considerable upheaval in diplomatic circles. Recent issues of Der Schimtten Zeitung have been filled with numerous articles on the matter. Popular consensus blames Zichenau’s Prince Ruprecht II for Valerie’s abduction. Indeed, agents for Pillau-Zerbst report that a young woman matching her description was seen at various springtime social events with Prince Ruprecht.

Generals Organize Their Armies along Frontier

Diplomatic efforts have failed to produce an amicable solution so far. Last weekend, the Pillau-Zerbst assembly called impatiently for war to decide the issue during an emergency session. Unable to remain aloof any longer, Grand Duke Alexander von Ostenburg-Buttinski of Stollen offered the services of his army to Pillau-Zerbst on Monday, expressing wishes to exact revenge for the loss of territory to Zichenau two years ago. The situation intensified when Zichenau recalled its ambassador from Schmitten last Wednesday. Pillau-Zerbst and Stollen followed suit two days later, issuing mobilization orders. Neighboring Pillau-Reuss, Werben-Steinau, Tauroggen-Fiebus, and Zeller-Schwartzekatz, are watching the developing situation closely. War seems imminent as commanders mass their armies along the frontier between Zichenau and Pillau-Zerbst.

War the Standard Modus Operandi in Area Relations

The 1763 Treaty of Paris and Treaty of Hubertusburg notwithstanding, this corner of the continent has enjoyed no appreciable peace since the end of the Seven Years War. Even the smaller principalities embroil themselves in conflicts between their larger neighbors. Typically, war is declared by one or another state at the slightest pretense. Recent conflicts have had as their catalysts: a royal love affair gone bad, temporarily misplaced crown jewels, a plagiarized monograph on metaphysics by a dilettante academic, an expatriate artist who failed to deliver a commissioned portrait to his royal patron, and, last summer, the utter humiliation of Zichenau’s Prince Ruprecht II at the hands of a master tailor.

Latest Tensions Barely Register with Dominant European Powers

In the hinterlands of northeastern Europe, the Electorate of Zichenau, Grand Duchy of Stollen, and neighboring territories have been influenced culturally and militarily by their larger neighbors for decades. The same cannot be said of Prussia, Austria, and Russia, who seem unconcerned with the complicated minuet they observe with bemused and detached interest. When pressed, the Prussian ambassador to Stollen, the Baron Heinz von dem Salat, observed wryly that his country had no intention of involving itself in what many foreign diplomats regard as the latest in a long line of fairly inconsequential developments. Despite their current preparations for war, then, it seems that Zichenau and Stollen, together with the principalities, will continue to occupy the fringes of European political and military affairs for the foreseeable future.

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1 comment:

Poruchik said...

Excellent start! Keep up the great work!

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