26 May 2007

To: Bob XXI of the Reconstituted Byzantium

To: Bob XXI of the Reconstituted Byzantium

My Dear Highness,

Thank for the recent news of your intended travels through apocryphal 18th Century Europe. We trust that your representatives and retinue will meet with success, concerning your travel, trade, and diplomatic interests. The Grand Duchy of Stollen is most interested in establishing and maintaining healthy relations with Reconstituted Byzantium.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide suggestions for a suitable match of an eligible young woman for your royal highness. The Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II has been beset by so many troubles that he and his wife of thirty years, the Princess Ragnhild-Gunnlaug von Nordin (a woman of rather difficult temperament) have not yet been able to produce an heir to the throne of Stollen, much less any daughters. The situation is complicated by the fact that our small aristocracy and landed gentry here in the Grand Duchy are, to put it delicately, rather insular. Some might use the term “navel gazing”. Their marriage interests for any daughters seem to lie closer to home, or at the very least, no further than Königsberg!

Even among our more prominent merchant families, the prevalent desire among parents seems to be for their daughters to marry into families farther to the west or, indeed, the north. Hamburg, Danzig, Visby, and Riga are four fertile areas for our husband-seeking families of the merchant class. So, locating a suitable match for your highness here in Stollen could prove difficult and time consuming. We are, however, not opposed to the idea of establishing blood ties with your fine territory through marriage. That eventuality is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. It is simply an aim that might take a little time.

As for diplomatic relations, please do send an ambassador and retinue to our capital city Krankenstadt, where they will be shown every hospitality we have to offer. I remain your humble servant.

Most Sincerely,

Udo Dirkschneider von Pfeffernuβe

Foreign Minister for the Grand Duchy of Stollen

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