Saturday, October 03, 2009

The War Prince Letters - #1

Hail War Prince Ethrine of the White,
I regret that I am unable to meet you in person; especially since we share more than just a common bond through our father the King, but because our mothers are mother and daughter – making me your uncle as well. There are only a handful of us brothers whom have such a unique bond. We will of course discuss more once I’ve returned from my business in the south; until then you will report to War Prince Tiga of the Brown, my chief of staff.
I would have you know that the Second Army is to take the lead in our latest advance against the Haven Empire and her allies. As a recent graduate from the War College you will have a greater historical understanding of our war with the Havenites, Shougarts, and Certz; however, I fear that your time as an apt pupil will ill prepare you for the realities of the life as a War Prince, a son and officer of the King. Even I, having served for close to two hundred years, still struggle with formulating an accurate comprehension or structure of war. It is a brutal affair that cares nothing for nobility, title, deed, or valor; while at the same time it breeds the very things it destroys. As I said, you are ill prepared for war until you experience it.
I have assigned you to the Tiger’s Claws, the missile unit of the Second Army, as your record shows a skill and aptitude for such things. You will serve under War Prince Oberon of the Red, your elder by ninety years and a superb officer. He will assign you to your unit and your men; however I have encouraged him to assign to you Battle Lion Jenner Poulsbo, as he is one of the finest non-commissioned men that serve in the Second Army and a boon to a young prince like yourself. Regardless, whomever is assigned your Battle Lion, lean on their wisdom and guidance as they have seen more of war than any soldier and can steer a War Prince in the best way.
Now that official business is concluded, I would also warn you of the many factions that will vie for your allegiance now that you are a War Prince in the full armor of the King. As you know our kingdom has been at war for something like three hundred years and also that after three hundred and fifty years reigning as king our father has finally grown old and close to death. This makes your allegiance a vital decision as it may be called upon as your brothers rushed head long to fill the vacuum left by our father’s death. Commanding the First Army is our father’s oldest surviving son, War Prince Westly of the Black, who has surrounded himself with a cadre of War Princes and soldiers solely dedicated to his own rise to power. There are a few members of his faction represented here in the Second, War Prince Faldo of the Blue and War Prince Gurney of the Red being the two prime examples.
Another faction is an extremist group, small in numbers, but large in rhetoric; they espouse the end of the monarchy, of the War Princes, and the creation of a civil government ruled by a mob of citizens without title or nobility. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that the King should be overthrown now, while he still lives, and their grand revolutionary designs brought to fruition. Most members are too ashamed to be known, but War Prince Vash of the Red is the leader of this rabble here in the Second.
The final faction is my own; although do not allow that to persuade your judgment brother. We have come to realize that our father, the King, has kept the kingdom at war with it’s neighbors all these long years for a singular purpose. While he has grown old and lazy in his keep, his sons have served on the front lines in endless wars, dying and suffering great injury, keeping us weak and to unorganized to challenge his rule. All this war, all this bloodshed is on account of an old man’ fears and that is not something we can idly forgive. He made us weak and directed us all on a course towards oblivion to fulfill his vain designs. Once he dies we will fall into a civil war that will tear our lands apart and invite our enemies in. Worse, should one of us rise to the throne, the circle will begin again with his sons.
Instead we propose ending the wars with our neighbors and dividing up the kingdom into small “Baronies”, as the Havenities do, to be ruled by individual War Princes. As equals as Barons we would be free to rule as we see fit, but also bound to defend one another should the need arise. No one War Prince would have advantage over the other; in fact the lands would be selected by drawing lots to avoid any of our brothers from gaining the best land by design. We believe that this would prove the best option for all and are working tirelessly towards this end. Should you wish to speak to anyone about this while I am away, War Prince Tiga of the Brown would be more than willing to answer any questions you may have.
For now this should be enough information to see that you, dear brother, are able to succeed here in the Second Army. I again look forward to meeting you in person and hearing of your achievements in battle. Yours,

W.P. Danziger
War Prince Danziger of the Black,
Commanding Officer, King’s Second Army