"Perhaps you misunderstand the colonel, Councilor." Théophile's voice has an ever-so-slightly oily quality that it is difficult to describe. "Barbarians are barbarians, whether one broke faith with Christ in the sixteenth century or the twentieth. When Colonel MacGarry said that we would be kingmakers on this continent, I believe he meant that we would restore the kingship of Christ. I believe it is unclear to my government who would accept Northern hegemony more readily, Trier or Villesen. What seems clear is that Villesen will more readily attack Lars and Trier than vice versa, and Bourgogne must raise the gates for that conflict to happen. And there must be a war before we decide who the winner will be." Since Théophile was an imperialist, and because he still hoped to make a land-sale deal with Eschenbach, he left the matter at a point of clarification. But Beata MacBenach was no imperialist. No royal appointee would be. Privately, Queen Julian had nursed a grudge against Grand Duke Charles since he and Sophie had been late to her coronation. Though publicly Gunnland recognized Karl Maria's claim, privately, Her Majesty took very seriously the opinion that the royal line of Serenierre and its suzerainty should be recognized over Bourgogne, and that this title had not yet passed down to Mireille's generation. The Jyskerige-Østveg affair had made her a stickler for legitimism, and she sympathized with the dispossession of the older Valvoisettes. "The coronation of Karl Maria in Chagny, without notification to the Council, has put a strain on this alliance, as has talk of a revived empire here and abroad..." She did not look at Théophile, whose face was stony. "I am issuing a formal complaint to Eschenbach on behalf of Her Majesty's government. Bourgogne's arrogant and reckless eastern foreign policy has plunged this continent into war, lastly provoking Kadikistan just this year. We remind Eschenbach of Article 6. Bourgogne lies south of the 53rd parallel. We are not obliged to defend Bourgogne from an attack or assist Elben in defending Bourgogne, simply because the King of Elben has collected a throne without informing the Council. If our national security interests dictate that we reach an understanding about Bourgogne with the Neustrians and Sereniens, this body has no grounds to protest. A word of caution: do not presume that this Council will make a Southern policy averse to Gunnish interests, or keep Gunnland from pursuing an independent foreign policy in the South, because you pick favorite... what did you call them, Théophile... barbares?"