There Is Still a Rassendyll.   Posted by An English Gentleman.Group: 0
An English Gentleman
 GM, 1 post
 A English Gentleman
 Rassendyll Historian
Tue 10 Jan 2017
at 03:04
There Is Still a Rassendyll
In a small room off Whitehall, in the late spring of 1915, a select group of men gathered to consider an important opportunity to strengthen the cause of Britain and her allies.
The men included the Foreign Minister, Sir Edward Grey, one of the most widely known British statesmen, the Chief of the British Secret Service, known simply as "C," Robert Rassendyll, earl of Burlesdon, his eldest son James, by courtesy Baron Rassendyll, and a quiet young man in the uniform of a captain in the British Army who was introduced as Max Ransome.
The Foreign Secretary said,"On the Western Front, the military position has been stabilized, and we anticipate that Italy's entry into the war on our side will shift the balance in our favor, perhaps decisively.However, in the east the situation remains extremely fluid. and our Russian ally is suffering grievous losses. We must avail ourselves of every opportunity to add to our allies in that region.
Ruritania may not be a power of the first rank, but it is by no means to be despised. That nation has been our ally in the past; from the League of Augsburg to Waterloo, she fought often and well at our side. Like most of Europe, she has enjoyed a long peace since the fall of Napoleon, and we cannot expect her to abandon its benefits easily.
Yet we have reason to believe (here his gaze rested on the two Rassendylls)that the present Ruritanian ruler, Queen Flavia, is inclined to think kindly of us, though many of her German and Catholic people favor the Hapsburg empire. We transmitted a letter to Queen Flavia requesting that she honor the ancient alliance of Ruritania with Britain. This is her reply."
Here he laid a letter on the table, a brief missive in a firm yet feminine hand on a peculiarly stiff paper plainly of foreign manufacture, bearing the Ruritanian royal crest above, and Flavia's royal sign manual below. The chief of the Secret Service picked it up and read it aloud in a coolly detached tone that conflicted with the intensity of feeling it expressed. The words were as follows:
"If Britain wishes Ruritania's friendship in this critical hour, let her remember that there is one of her great noble houses that will always hold the key to my heart. Let Britain prove that there is indeed still a Rassendyll worthy of the name to represent her."
All those around the table listened respectfully to the reading, and the earl and his son exchanged nods of recognition on hearing the last line.
Earl Robert said in a voice of suppressed emotion, "I know that last line. I spoke it on a certain sad occasion to one I knew would repeat it to Her Majesty's ears. I pledged her that there was still a Rassendyll left in England, if she ever had need of one after the loss of my late brother Rudolf, who had served her faithfully in very delicate matters. That pledge my House is now prepared to redeem, though since my years have left me less suited for active duty, I have presumed to bring my son James to serve in my stead. He has travelled widely in the lands around Ruritania --though he has thought it best not to go there without an invitation. He is fluent in German, the language of the court, and knows as much of the politics of the region as any Briton of his generation."
James smiled modestly at his father's praise, and declared with spirit, "As it seems I am the man for the job, I am ready to go, if my regiment in Flanders will give me leave."
The Foreign Secretary produced a slim sheaf of official papers and announced,
"We anticipated your answer, and have obtained your leave. My office has prepared your credentials as His Britannic Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
to the Court of Her Majesty Flavia, Queen of Ruritania. They have been typed on rice paper to make them easier to carry privately on your person in a suitable protective sheath which we will provide."
James received the papers and quickly glanced through to confirm their contents, before stowing them away in the container, remarking as he did so, "Of course I accept this commission, as any member of my House would be bound to do, but Ruritania is across a warring continent from here. How shall I get to Strelsau?"
The Secret Service chief answered, "That will be up to Captain Ransome, who is one of our most reliable younger agents."
 The captain stood up, almost at attention, a very handsome young officer with a slim figure, blond hair and striking midnight blue eyes. "Our proposal is that the ambassador --with a small but suitably skilled suite -- will sail from Britain via Gibraltar to Genoa. From there, we will travel by train across Lombardy to a small town just south of the Italian border with Austria. At this moment, the two nations are not at war, but we believe" (here he glanced at the foreign secretary) "that they will be shortly, so we do not wish to enter Austria openly from Italy. We know that Lord Rassendyll is an experienced alpinist, as am I, and the suite escorting him will be similarly qualified. We will cautiously cross the frontier at a little-known pass, and make our way to a hostelry where we will assume the identities of a party of German alpinists who will have already been staying there for several days while we have been on our way. (They are, of course, in our service, and will quietly vanish when we arrive.) They are Saxons, save for one Austrian friend from Vienna. You and your suite will be the Saxons, while I shall be the Viennese, as my mother came from that city. We shall travel to Vienna, where we shall purchase tickets for Dresden as if you were going back to Saxony. However, we shall disembark at the halt on the Ruritanian frontier and walk through the woods to Zenda, where we shall take a swift motor-car to Strelsau, where we shall stay in a discreet townhouse under strong guard until the treaty is safely made. Then we shall appear openly as the guests of Queen Flavia when she presents the treaty to the Ruritanian parliament for ratification. Assuming it is ratified --and despite a vocal opposition we believe it will be -- we shall remain as advisers to Her Majesty's government for the remainder of the war."

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:07, Tue 12 June 2018.

An English Gentleman
 GM, 2 posts
 A English Gentleman
 Rassendyll Historian
Mon 5 Jun 2017
at 03:13
There Is Still a Rassendyll
In reply to An English Gentleman (msg # 1):

This opening post will be followed by the recruitment of player characters. It is possible that a player may play James Rassyndyll and another may play Max Ransome; the rest of the players will create characters who will join their party going to Ruritania.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:25, Thu 29 Mar 2018.