Professor Klickstich, trusted adviser to King Ferdinand Adolphus of Pils-Holstein, waited to be ushered into the state chambers to meet the King in person.
In his hand was a message from one of the cogs in what he liked to call his "machinery" - his network of spies, informants and intelligence gatherers.
He knew the French and Astrovian forces had successfully joined, and were at this very moment crossing into the southern reaches of the kingdom.
He also knew their objective: the town of Neerfuncken... the strategic gateway to the heartland of Pils-Holstein.
Ushered into the state rooms for his private audience, he bowed, and waited until he was entirely alone with the King.
Then, without a word, he handed the piece of paper to Ferdinand Adolphus.
Three simple words:
Winterfeldt is coming.
Above and below: Prussian commander for the Neerfuncken game - von Winterfeldt. Flag is hand-painted on linen.
And so, the hope of Prussian support was alive.
But, they would need to make haste to reach Neerfuncken before the enemy struck.
Neither spoke. Both knew.
Klickstich bowed gently, turned on his heels and made haste to ensure he gathered information about every inch of the enemy's approach...
Timing is everything, he thought as he sped away to his office...