Professor Klickstich has, over the years, been a fairly regular visitor to the Palace of Altgard, the stately abode of King Ferdinand Adolphus of Pils Holstein. In recent weeks, his visits have become even more frequent. Why? Well (and don't let anyone know I told you this, for it's not to be repeated beyond these closed doors, so hushed tones please), Professor Klickstich runs the network of spies that operate throughout Europe, on behalf of both Pils-Holstein and The Electorate of Teutonburg-Fredonia.
Above: Professor Klickstich (black coat, front right), waits to be called for an audience with Ferdinand Adolphus.
And he has news to share with sweet FA...
He brings tidings from afar, and news of Tessa Pepisa's meeting with The Emperor Arnold of Astrovia.
It seems, The Emperor is going downhill fast. He sleeps long hours, but it's an uneasy sleep, without real rest, and the crown sits unsteadily upon his troubled, ailing shoulders. In his grief over the loss of his wife, Olivia, he has reflected on his life with sadness, and a sense of failing, not least in there being no successor to the throne. And, what's more, he has called upon Tessa Pepisa to share the one big secret he wishes he had shared many years ago... namely, that she is his illegitimate daughter. Her father was not really Alessandro Pepisa, at all. In fact, the Italian financier has been funded over many years in order to maintain the secret. But now, with no heirs to the Emperor's throne, it is time for Teresa Pepisa, Tessa, Tipsi Pipsi, to take on the role, for which she has not been prepared, for which no tutoring has been given. Emperor Arnold has expressed his wish that Tessa should, on his death, become Empress of Astrovia.
At this news, Ferdinand Adolphus, rises from his chair, takes three careful paces towards the small arched window overlooking the central courtyard of the palace, and sighs. Gathering himself, he returns to his seat, and faces the professor. "Are you absolutely sure, my friend?" The Professor's reply is unequivocal. He has no doubt about the source of this news. In fact, he confirms, the Emperor's Inner Council is sitting this very day, and will be appraised of the situation, before presenting Teresa Pepisa to the Astrovian crowds, within the next few days, as heiress apparent to the throne. Not only that, but Emperor Arnold has been told by his physician that his remaining time is not long for this world. In short, Tessa will be Empress within a matter of weeks.
Sweet FA considers the news... Astrovia has been dormant, ineffectual, for many years. The military needs a good overhaul, that's for sure. So, is there any real threat? Well, time will tell. Perhaps Tessa will be the one to do the overhauling. One thing is for certain: it will be difficult to form any alliance with her. So that will have an impact on the diplomatic machinations of a turbulent Europe.
Back in the real world...
Below:The Astrovian infantry undercoated, on the workbench.
Regiment Kaizer (IR 1) is complete, bar the bases being painted, and flags attached. I used these as the template for the other regiments, and am fairly happy with the results.
This is my winter project. No pressure, just going to be working through the production line.
More updates on progress with these, as I do more...
Thanks for visiting.
And well done to Jim Purky who has followed the unfolding tale closely and pretty well guessed the Tipsi Pipsi storyline in his comments on the previous post. Bravo!!