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Showing posts from June, 2007

Enemy Communique Intercepted

Newsflash! Earlier this morning, Stollenian dragoons stationed along the frontier apprehended a messenger from Zichenau as he crossed the Lesser Zwischen Rover. He was discovered to be carrying a communiqué to agents widely thought to be established somewhere within the borders of the Grand Duchy. Repeated tickling of the soles of his feet with a cock’s tail feather has failed to produce the names of these agents. In the meantime, a courier was immediately dispatched to Krankenstadt, carrying the intercepted message, which was presented to Stollenian authorities mid-afternoon today. It reads: Strike while the iron is hot! With an obviously half-witted Grand Duke and a terminally befuddled gaggle of ministers and advisors, now is the time to overturn Stollen and annex its territories to the Electorate of Zichenau. Set our plan in motion, so that everything is in order for Prince Ruprecht’s return to the throne. Don’t lose another second! Herr Stefan Julius von Patern

Confusion, Intrigue, and Paranoia Reign in Wake of Palatial Pie Fight

Today, Stollenian ministers and advisors have gathered to determine the precise cause and order of events behind the pie fight, which disrupted a planned luncheon and meeting between Irwin-Amadeus II and the Prussian ambassador to Stollen, the jocular Herr Heinz von dem Salat. Few are sure how the post-bathing pie fight began, although everyone who was present has an opinion. There are any number of suspects although no arrests or inquiries have been made. Is it the dastardly French mercenary General Philip de Latte, currently in the service of the Electorate of Zichenau and reportedly operating from somewhere inside the Stollenian frontier? Or is it the noted dessert chef, currently serving the kitchen of Krankenstadt Palace , Antoine Pont Neuf de Gallia? Is it instead a ruler from one of the many apocryphal 18th century states of Central Europe ? Herr Heinrich-Schatzi von Pelznikkel, who drew the short straw yesterday and so assumed personal responsibility for bathing Irwin-Amadeus

Grand Duke Finally Gets His Head Soaked, But Post-Bath Luncheon Disrupted

Late this morning, Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II was marched at the end of a three meter barge pole, straight into the largest fountain of the formal gardens on the grounds of Krankenstadt Palace . You’ll recall that this situation arose in response to the Grand Duke’s refusal to remove his lobster costume for something on the order of 30+ days. Despite his protests, Stollen’s Grand Duke was undressed, soaked, and scrubbed. The semi-public -- the ministers and advisors responsible remained present as well as several male palace staff -- and very sudsy, bathing lasted approximately half an hour. The recent hot weather experienced across the Grand Duchy of Stollen had finally made “The Great Lobster Costume Affair”, as it has come to be known among palace staff, untenable. It was decided by his closest ministers and advisors that Irwin-Amadeus must be forcibly removed from his costume and washed. The men behind the decision decided that drawing straws was the best way to det

Enemy Uniform Brief from Stollenian Observers

A detachment of Stollenian dragoons, which is stationed on the frontier between Stollen and the Electorate of Zichenau, reports continued enemy activity in the Mark of Schleiz, the historically disputed border region between the two countries. The latest briefing from Colonel von Cranz suggests that elements of Zichenau's Ermland Garde zu Fu ß are conducting maneuvers just across the Lesser Zwischen River. The sketch of their uniform at right confirms this suspicion. A platoon of the Grand Duchess Sonja’s Own Grenadiers , under Oberfeldwebel Klatschen, has been stationed along the north bank of the river to observe and record the activities of Zichenau’s premier infantry regiment.

Do Practical Jokers Plague the Grand Duke?

A few days ago, a large package arrived by courier at gates of Krankenstadt Palace . Upon examination, it was found to be for Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II from the Graf Maurice von Hirschbock of distant Stagonia. Graf Maurice presented Irwin-Amadeus with a costume lobster claw, to replace the missing left claw of the original costume. Unfortunately, Irwin-Amadeus now wears his costume with TWO (yes, that’s correct, TWO) right-handed claws. Stollenian ministers and advisors are concerned that this apparent mistake -- some openly suggest that a practical joke has been played on Stollen and its ruler— will only cause Irwin-Amadeus to lose the slight grip he has left on reality even more quickly than has been the case in recent weeks. Given the serious nature of the current situation developing just over the frontier in the Electorate of Zichenau, and the need for rapid, informed decisions, those around our Grand Duke are troubled to say the least. For his part, Irwin-Amad

Rescued Uniform Musings

One of the Krankenstadt Palace housekeepers managed to rescue one of some of Irwin-Amadeus' crumpled sketches, containing possible uniform ideas for the regiment of mercenary heavy horse approaching Stollen from Berlin at this writing. Here they are:

Recent Developments in the Stollenian Court

Stollen’s Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II has settled into the dog days of summer, dividing his time recently between one of three “hobbies”. First, he spent considerable time in the company of the royal dentist, Herr Doktor von Ö tker, midday today for additional routine treatment. Admittedly, the two had little opportunity for discussion of recent political developments in the region given the various instruments inserted into Irwin-Amadeus’ mouth for most of the visit. Next, our Grand Duke has recently busied himself writing a history of the ancient Etruscans, something which is of great concerns to his ministers, given the esoteric nature of the subject matter. That and the fact that few can see the point of such an undertaking given the current worry about continuing Zichenauan troop concentrations just over the frontier in the historically disputed region between Stollen and Zichenau, the Mark of Schleiz! Further, Irwin-Amadeus II has been feverishly designing new uniforms f

Too Much TIme on His Hands? Indeed Not!!!

Recently, it has been suggested that perhaps Stollen’s Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II has too much time on his hands. Imagine! The nerve! While his advisors and closest ministers certainly cannot speak for the other petty rulers around apocryphal 18 th century Europe, they assure us that the Grand Duke’s days are quite full with little time left for foolishness. When he is not undergoing torture at the hands of the royal dentist Herr Doktor von Ö tker, Irwin-Amadeus can be found strolling the gardens of Krankenstadt Palace accompanied by a small retinue, or reviewing his troops as they muster and maneuver. And yes, most days he wears the famed lobster costume missing the left claw! However, those closest to the Grand Duke have suggested procuring another costume so that the first can be washed – it is getting just a wee bit gamey as summer approaches. Negotiations have begun recently with the royal seamstress in the basement of the palace, to produce a second costume

Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and the Stollenian Coat of Arms

Here’s a recently finished portrait of the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II, current ruler of the Grand Duchy of Stollen. Now, it’s said that the Grand Duke wished to be portrayed wearing his beloved lobster costume, complete with various orders of merit pinned to his chest. However the artist commissioned to paint Irwin-Amadeus, one Herr Maleri, felt that it might be better to portray the slightly misguided grand duke along more conventional lines. Hence the rather typical mid-eighteenth century portraiture we see before us here. This is also a good time to offer some explanation behind the grand ducal standard posted below. The eagle-eyed among you will note that the red and white lion in the center of the standard is the familiar Hessian lion. In fact, the Stollenian dynasty descends from the same family that rules Hesse-Kassel. Stollen’s Irwin-Amadeus II is indeed a very distant cousin of Friedrich II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel since 1760. Various second, third, and subseq

The National Standard of the Grand Duchy of Stollen

A trade delegation from The Reconstituted Byzantium is on the way to the Stollenian capital Krankenstadt! In celebration and welcome, the newly designed Grand Ducal standard flies above the royal place over the city as well as associated government buildings plus many merchants’ houses, their offices, and warehouses along the riverfront. Against the better judgment of and advice from his closest advisors, the Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II awaits on the quayside, wearing his well-known lobster costume minus the left claw, which was misplaced some weeks ago! This evening, in honor of the establishment of formal trade relations with Reconstituted Byzantium, The Grand Duke will host a state dinner and ball at the palace for his reconsitutued guests. Those invited include a virtual who’s who of Stollenian personalities. Of course, Oberfeldwebel Klatschen will command a detachment of Leib Grenadiers, who will guard the palace and keep an eye out for enemy agents from neighboring

10,000+ Visits to the Grand Duchy of Stollen and Counting!!!

Back in the saddle here at Stollen central! Just a quick note tonight to thank all of you for your recent comments on the RSM grenadiers -- some posted here and others sent as e-mail. I really appreacite your continued interest in and ongoing support of the Grand Duchy of Stollen project. On a similar note, there have been 10,025 visits to the grand Duchy since last August -- as of this evening. Amazing and certainly nothing I expected when I began. Thank you one and all! Never thought I'd find so many friends and acquaintances with a simiar mindset out there in cyberspace. Isn't figure painting and wargaming a wonderful hobby? Now, if only there were 30 hours in a day and 8 days a week! Hmmm, I think I hear a song there! ;-) Hopefully, I'll be able to get started on the 80+ figure regiment of Revell 1/72 Austrian grenadiers (remember them?) this weekend. And stay tuned in the coming weeks, to see what happens next in the onging adventures of Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II a

RSM "Leib (Grand Duchess Sonja's Own) Grenadiers" FINISHED!!!

Yes, you read it right gentlemen! They are all finished, excepting the clear protective coat, which will have to wait until after I return in mid-June. Can’t believe the day (late evening) is finally here! The Grand Duchess Sonja won’t believe it either! The top photo shows Company C all done while the bottom shows the entire regiment in formation (loose files), complete with Colonel von Spasticus and the color party at the head of the regiment and an officer plus several NCO’s, including Oberfeldwebel Klatschen at the far right, in the rearmost rank. And now, I’ve got hit the sack. I have an early shuttle up to O’Hare in the morning. See you in a few days!