Monday, July 7, 2014

Dr. Sandorius and the Resurrection Men: Prologue

The Sankta Methodi (St. Methodius) District of Strelzov, Capital of Ruritania, c.1832

Farewell Address of Prince Leopold, Duke of Leutonia, delivered to his troops at the surrender of Tarlinsk, September 9, 1813:

Faweweww, my bwothews in awms. We fought the good fight these many yeaws, fwom the days of our gwowwious Wevowution in 1798 thwough the twiaws and twibuwations of these many yeaws of waw. Even in the depths of Wussia, you did not wose faith - a wotta weight, and some fingews and toes - but nevew, nevew youw faith. Though I go into exiwe now, know that Wibewty, that pwecious gift that I have woved since I was a mewe boy at Genewaw Washington’s side, Wibewty may be dewayed but nevew uwtimatewy, denied...Bye.

From the General Treaty of the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, 9 June 1815

…Article XCIII. The Powers who sign the present Treaty, recognize his Majesty the Emperor of Austria, his heirs and successors, as legitimate Sovereign of the provinces and territories to include…the Grand Principality of Graustark,… the city of Venice, with its waters, as well as all the other provinces and districts of the formerly Venetian States to include … the territory of Sylvania upon the Adriatic Sea…

…ART. CIV. The Powers who sign the present Treaty do restore his Majesty King Ladislas Leon of the House of Radziwill, his heirs and successors, to the throne of Ruritania, and recognize him as Duke of Leutonia and Prince Regnant of Kravonia. Further, the Powers recognize and restore to his Majesty King Ladislas Leon, all the rights and sovereignty of the Crown of Ruritania as existed prior to 1798. In support of these rights and sovereignty, the Powers agree to establish within the lands of the Crown of Ruritania an armed force drawn from the forces of the various Powers. Further, the Powers recognize that Leopold Radziwill, formerly Prince Royal and the Duke of Leutonia, his heirs and successors, are dispossessed of the titles and lands pertaining to the Duchy of Leutonia and are forthwith removed from the line of succession to the Crown of Ruritania in perpetuity. Further, that said Leopold Radziwill, his heirs and successors forthwith are banished, in perpetuity, from the Kingdom of Ruritania, the Duchy of Leutonia, and the Principality of Kravonia…

Edict of the Council of Regents, issued at Strelzov, 3 January 1827

The so-called practices of sorcery, magic, and witchcraft, being a pernicious and divisive superstition and the resort of charlatans and frauds, is hereby banned throughout the Realm. However, it shall be permitted that the study of the theories of thaumaturgy continue as a mental exercise to students of natural philosophy but only in those institutions of higher learning established prior to the year 1389.

Leobald, Duke of Zenda, President of the Council of Regents

Professor Joao Mercurio (Dr. Sandorius)

Letter from Professor J. Mercurio to Jan Milna, 20 August 1832

Jan Milna
Late Captain, 7th Polish Uhlans

Dear Captain Milna,

Although we have never met, I write to you as a friend and agent of a person who held your father in great regard for services rendered to him in Russia in the year 1812. This gentleman desires to remain anonymous but I assure you, he has your best interests at heart.

It was with some surprise that this gentleman learned through the press of your heroic involvement in the recent conflict in the Kingdom of Poland. He was greatly concerned to hear of your injury in battle but gratified that you were not seriously wounded and escaped to a place of safety in Germany and now Rome.

As he understands, you are currently without resources or employment. Although your career as a soldier may have come to an end, he hopes to offer to you a new endeavor to begin your life anew. Your education had been cut short by the outbreak of war. It is the gentleman’s desire that this be rectified.

I am therefore honored to offer you admission to the College of Sorcery and Thaumaturgy at the University of Strelzov, of which I am honored to be Dean. The School is a venerable institution, one offering a liberal education coupled with a rigorous discipline of the mind. No fee or tuition is attached to this offer and a small annual honorarium for living expense is associated with this admission.

Rest assured that this is not intended as charity but a repayment of a great debt owed to your father by the anonymous gentleman. Further, having read of your recent service to your country in the press, it is clear that you are a young man of high character well deserving of this position.

Your Humble Servant,
Joao Mercurio

Tsoura and Lady Effie

Letter from Lady Euphemia Dalhousie to Miss Elspeth Dalhousie, 24 August 1832

Miss Elspeth Dalhousie, Spinster
Ossian Hall
Cranliarch, Scotland

Mah Dear Sister-in-law,

I ken this will find ye weel since I am the a body paying fur yer larder bill and I well ken ye are eating quite weel.

I am arrived at the port of Slavna in the country of Kravonia, having left Dundee some 10 days previous by ship tae gang in search of that crabbit excuse of a husband, yer beloved brother. The ship in which I sailed was in the business of transporting mules which I foond as a reasonably priced if noisome mode of travel.

Lest ye think I am firing intae the brown by journeying tae this far place, althoogh Jamie and I hae lived apart weel ontae a year noo, and he nae being in the country fur a scuttle months previous, he had been writing tae me on a mair or less regular basis. Nae doubt this has been habit ur aiblins due tae the fact that his communications wi' other females of the species was limited by what he paid for by the hour. As an aside, I will tell ye, while his whorin' an' skitin' was distressing, it was his gambling th'at was truly insufferable and the cause of the rift in our relations. Mind ye, it might hae bin a bit more bearable if he, on occasion, had won.

I had last received word from him some two months ago. He had been haverin' doggo all this time in Ruritania, nae doubt thinking this was a more obscure place than Hy Brasil for avoiding his creditors who come after him in whole battalions. Of course, he claimed some stoatin scheme for the making of bunsens. This time he would becoming an exporter of sorts. He claimed that in Ruritania, they hae a species of mink that is quite large and, although its fur isnae the finest, its meat and milk are considered delicacies. He claimed in fact that the national bevvy is got from the fermented mother’s ginger of these creatures and is heartier than our own whiskey.

Of course, I thought this was all a part of his usual daydreaming until I received notice of a lien placed upon our property at Cranliarch for a most extortionate sum by one Solicitor Taggart representing some continental interest. It seems that my divit husband, yer beloved brother, had encumbered our last property in this mad scheme. Then but two weeks past, comes the fool lawyer saying word has come of the fool's death and that an action is being laid tae hae him declared dead. This would then allow the cursed attorney tae seize our home and turn us out on the streets.

Thus I determined that I should gang and seek for myself the truth of the matter, knowing that my worthless husband, yur beloved brother, isnae above fraudifying his own death if it be tae escape his creditors.

Thus I hae arrived in this place and shall travel on the morrow tae the city of Strelzov where Jamie had last taken rooms at the University there. Apparently, in this part of the world, the universities act as some sort of lodging house for ne'er-do-wells. Of course, I oft thought the same tae be true of the University at Edinburg.

I set off in the morns by public conveyance, the price being far more preferable than the robbery in which they engage by the name of “hiring a private coach.” I hae engaged a young gypsy lassie as a maid, guide, and translator, the natives here being' most obstinate in their refusal tae speak proper English.

I shall write you as I learn more. I hae heard that the Post here is a one of the few services upon which a body can rely with confidence.

Yoor Lovin' Sister-in-law,

Sufflay, Milna, and Topicz

To the Foreign Secretary from the Military Attaché, British Consulate, Strelzov, 26 August 1832


General Prince Narishkin, the new Russian Imperial Ambassador and Head of Legation is due to arrive in Strelzov today. He is accompanied by a regiment of heavy cavalry intended to bolster the garrison, lead elements of which have already arrived. As has been reported, the previous Ambassador, General Bibrisov, was recalled for his failure to obtain the expulsion of Prince Leopold Radziwill and his troops from the territory of Ottoman Empire. Despite this being a condition of the recent treaty ending the late war between these nations, the Turks seem reluctant or perhaps unable to expel their former enemy turned ally who has a strong body of troops, all disaffected revolutionaries from throughout Europe and possibly even a few Americans. Our contacts within the Ruritanian Postal Service report that Russian agents of the Third Section have captured Prince Leopold’s son, Count Leonardo, who had entered the country secretly to engineer his father’s return. No doubt this will be used to pressure Prince Leopold to agree to leave Ottoman territories, an event sought eagerly by Russia and the Council of Regents due to the unrest caused by the close proximity of the Prince’s camp to the border. It is also reported that accompanying Prince Narishkin is the Countess Krimskaya, a particular favorite of the Czar. The reason for the presence of this lady here is unknown.

H. Fogge
Commander, RN

Inspector Smelchak

Report of the Strelzov Metropolitan Police, Svenkta Methodi District, 27 Aug 1832

For the period 25 to 26 August:

Residences burgled 17
Commercial Properties burgled 5
Church properties burgled 15
Deaths due to natural causes 13
Deaths due to suspected foul play 21
Persons reported missing 34
Unidentified Bodies recovered 0

Ratko Fisztic and Nikolina

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