Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Personalities of Ober-Bindlestiff

Famous Personages

Hereditary Elector Karl Gustav Rurimondo Gaspode Klement Pavlovovich von Hither, XI (his mother was popular, and named him for every man who could have been his father—ironically, he doesn’t look like any of them). Commonly known as Karl XI. He is someone who enjoys a good time. Very conscious that he is the Elector, though he seldom stands on his dignity. He likes the jobs, especially the perks. He is fond of the palace wenches, most of who were chosen by Lucinda, his Senior Mistress, and are in her pay. If there is a party going on, he can usually be found at it. He likes to dance, and has been known to dance the night away.

Helga Matilda Marie Bridgitte von Hither, Electoress of Ober-Bindlestiff—known popularly as Electoress Marie. She is much given to thigh high leather boots, tight leather corsets, spiked heels and whips, all usually covered with black velvet (the fabric, not the drink, though she’s been known to cover herself with the drink from time to time and let her current suitor lick it up—well, she enjoys herself, and it’s a great honor for the young gentleman to be with her). She is referred to as “Mistress Marie” (though not to her face). The common joke in certain circles is that the Elector has two mistresses living in the palace. Not given to artificial beauty marks, she is petite, with soft blue-eyes, red-hair, and smooth, soft, porcelain like skin. She is originally from one of the more prominent families in Thither (Lucinda was her earliest and best friend, and still is, for that matter). She concerns herself with the domestic and economic well-being of the country (knowing more about money than most people in the country). She runs the palace with a “firm” hand (the palace staff is the most thoroughly disciplined palatial staff on the continent). She has been married to Karl ever since he was a young Erbprinz “with prospects”. She is considered quite charming by everyone who meets her at parties (especially the men), and has been known to flirt away an entire evening.
While she came by some of her recreational habits naturally, an earlier lover encouraged her interests in leather and some of the creative things that can be done with it. Her natural inclinations took her from there (much to the delight of most of the men in her life, especially her loving husband). She is the Colonel Proprietress of the Electoress’s Own Regiment of Horse, having auditioned and chosen the junior officers personally. She has inexhaustible endurance and imagination, and successful officer candidates must last the night with her, and still turn out in proper style for regimental parade the next morning.

Marshal General Stanley Bouffré—Commander of the Army. He is related to the famous Major General Stanley (Garrison Commander of Penzance in England) and Lord Stanley of Umbrage, Army Commander of Gottingen-Hoff. He is an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to music with, alas, a tin ear. As a result, the operas he stages are known for being loud rather than good. He has an on-going feud with most general contractors in the capitol as he keeps seeking to either add on to his opera house, or to build a new one. He is quite wealthy from having captured a baggage train almost single-handed during an earlier war, as well as having been gifted with various lands. When he’s not arguing with contractors, he is a student of the military classics, the earlier the better. When he was much younger he served under the famous General Count Raymondo Furioso. As a result, when faced with a military problem, he constantly asks what Count Furioso would do, then he tries to the exact opposite (which is probably why he is reasonably successful). He is married and spoils his wife tremendously (which she is not really aware of). He is one of the few senior people in the country who does not have a mistress (his lack of a mistress is considered an amusing eccentricity).

Count Rudolofo d’Extravaganza—Chancellor, Minister of Foreign Affairs (he is in charge of recruiting numerous mistresses for the nobility), and, incidentally, Governor of the Province of Yon. Of the Venetian Extravaganza’s, famed for his parties, his wit, and that he has a (very) distant claim on the throne as his family would inherit if something happened to the Elector’s family, something he is loathe to let happen as it would all be such a terrible bother. He is an elderly gentleman much given to writing bad love sonnets to his two mistresses. He plays the violin wretchedly but enthusiastically. He was chosen for his post, in part because of his diplomatic ability, and in part to give him something to do (otherwise, who knows what kind of mischief he might get up to). He is a tall, thin man with a balding head, a prominent Adams apple, and a taste for imported brandy. He gives an air of being amused by the world around him...generally, and is perceived by most people as a kindly man. He can also flay the skin from a subordinate’s back with a few well-chosen words, and hides a ferocious and impatient temper. In earlier years he served in a variety of diplomatic missions, from which he grew quite wealthy (he sold trading licenses to blockade runners in a previous war). He is the Colonel-Proprietor of Infantry Regiment Procurer-General.

Marquis Viscoso d'Serpente, Governor of the Province of Thither. He is a very private person, interestingly enough, he is a bit of an ascetic. He dresses in dull clothes, lives in a dull house filled with dull paintings, along with a dull wife and several dull children. His only hobby is peculation. He loves to play cards, having graduated from the University of Bindlestiff with a degree in Three Card Monte. He is the only senior member of the government who does not own a regiment.

Admiral Lord Sitandwait—Admiral General of the Navy (or what there is of it, we have one around here somewhere...don’t we? I thought I saw it last week, or year, or something) and Colonel in Chief of the Gondolier Regiment (he is a baritone).

Countess Lucinda Esmerelda Obrigata, Free Proprietress of Thither—Senior Mistress of the Elector. Known as Lucinda, or, to her friends, ‘Cinda. Never as Lu or Luci (or, worse, Luci-Duci)—the last to call her that was given the honor of leading an escalade of a fortress while in foreign service. She is the Colonel-Proprietress of Infantry Regiment Saint Jezebel. She is a lifelong friend of the Electoress, they grew up and went to school together in Thither province, and the story goes the Elector could not choose between them, so he chose both. Her official duties include providing the back-up heir in case the Electoress does not. She is also the official head of the Electoral House of Fashion, and as such helps design all the latest fashions. Scandalmongers have stopped whispering about her as she openly admitted that not only were all of the stories probably true, but they didn't know the really juicy ones. She is enthusiastic in practicing her duties, and is reputed to hand-pick all of the officers of her regiment. She is also in charge of all of the other mistresses, her office administering their incomes. She is a lush, dark-haired beauty, voluptuous in the Italian sense, though without the hips. She is much given to dressing in the daring peasant style, though she certainly likes her silks.

The Government

The government of Ober-Bindlestiff is comprised of three parts: the Privy Cabinet, the Select Cabinet, and the General Cabinet.

The General Cabinet is composed of delegates from each province (appointed by the Governor of that province and numbering 10 in number) who “advise” the Elector on matters concerning their own province. The Elector (sometimes) heeds their advice.

The Select Cabinet is composed of the Heads of the Departments of the Government: Foreign Affairs, Postal, Cultural and the Exchequer. They have the same power any Permanent Undersecretary has (which is to say, quite a lot).

The Privy Cabinet is composed of the members of the Government that the Elector wants to see at any given time. There is no standing membership in this Cabinet, except for the Exchequer.

Independent of these are, of course, the Army and the Navy. Administration of the Army is left in the capable hands of Marshal General Stanley, while Admiral Sitandwait manages the Navy (or at least he says he does). If someone can find our Navy, please send a post to "The Navy Society, The Palace, Ober-Bindlestiff". Please include a SASE for any reply that is made. Do NOT send it postage due as this will assuredly invite a hostile audit by the Auditor General of the Army.

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