Saturday, 7 November 2015

In a postern, far, far away ...

In the postern tunnel through the walls of Gross Schnitzelring, Zeigler's intrepid force continues its journey. After a little way, they encounter another small door; this one, presumably, leading out of the wall and into the town itself.
Rapping briskly upon the door, a small hatch opens, revealing the thin face of a member of the Gelderland garrison regiment.
'Who are you? State your business! And don't tell me that you're Gelderland jager seeking an alternative way into the town, because I'm on the look out for interlopers that might have stolen some uniforms as a way of gaining secret access to the capital'.
'Hmmm', says Zeigler. 'You're a bit brighter than the other guard'. The Colonel makes a strange gesture in front of the guard's face.
'These are not the interlopers you're looking for'.
'What?' says the guard.
'Nothing', says Zeigler. 'I just thought that it was worth a try'.
Zeigler thinks quickly. 'Um, actually, I'm taking my sisters here to see the mechanism that works the town clock. I told them it's really big and has clockwork, um, stuff in it and they don't believe me'.
The guard squints into the gloom beyond the Colonel. 'Blimey, your sisters are ugly. They've got beards. I can see the marks the barge poles have made on them'.
'Ah, well, they're members of a Zentan travelling circus. So they don't shave much'.
'Hmm, sounds plausible', says the guard. 'But I'm going to need the password if you're to gain access'.
'Dammit', says Zeigler. 'Well, ah, how about my date of birth?'
'What's that?'
'30, 10, 1720'.
'Nope. Wrong. And if you get it wrong three times then I'm going to lock you out'.
'Blinking flip. Okay, well, how about ...... "1, 2, 3, 4"'.
The guard chuckles. 'Clever, clever; I can see that you've done this before, sir. But no, that's not it. Last guess'.
'Ah, well ... then ... what have I got in my pocket?'
'You what?' says the sentry.
'Nothing', says Zeigler. 'I just thought that that might be worth a try as well'.
The seconds pass. Despite the cold, sweat breaks out on Zeigler's brow.
'Got to hurry you , sir'. Zeigler sees the guard move to close the hatch.
Suddenly Zeigler snaps his fingers. 'I know ... how about "password"'.
'Bah and fiddlesticks', says the sentry, and unlocks the door.
As the doors open, the Colonel leaps through, a blow from the hilt of his sword sending the guard spinning.
'You ... lied' says the guard, falling to the floor.
Zeigler shrugs. 'It's what I do'.


  1. Aha! Zeigler has the low cunning and wit of a true soldier of fortune: he won't go far in the Nabstrian Army. The security of the capital is legendary and many have been entirely stumped by the fiendishly clever system of hatches and passwords ... Including many of the Gelderland Garrison Regiment...

  2. It's true: Zeigler is perhaps the most enterprising officer in the Nabstrian army, and also the officer most likely to have a peg-leg and a parrot. Perhaps he might rise to the status of a Notable in the more conventional battles?

  3. Ah, but then we may need to reconsider the conventions for gaining and retaining notables - the Burggrave has been consistently poor at attracting notables to the Nabstrian cause... and rather careless with the lives of those that have joined. Michael von Pfanenstiel and his heroic death from an unusually large musket ball (some say it was actually a cannon ball) is long remembered amongst the officers of the Nabstrian cavalry regiments. Some claim that the performance of the cavalry has never quite recovered from his death on the field of battle. I have heard that his young son, Otto, has spent his inheritance on equipping a regiment of Hussars in remembrance of his father. Meanwhile, I hear that Paul, Duke of Clarkeshire's authority has suffered greatly from his abandonment of his silly Hussar hat. The tailors and milliners of Falkeinsteinstadt are working on some new silly military garb for him as we speak. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that any change to the process of notable recruitment has to be considered through international agreement - and given the current state of diplomacy in Gelderland that may take some considerable time and involve not only leeches but considerable unpleasantness...

  4. Yes, perhaps's Zeigler's forte really is the Kleiner Krieg and he should remain committed there. Perhaps he might fancy a turn abroad - the Leech Coast perhaps, or New Mittelheim. We shall see.

  5. It may yet be diverting to witness Ziegler involved in skullduggery while a battle rages!