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To whom belongs the crown?

Eiffelland

Elder Statesman
Joined
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10,509
Location
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Capital
Trier
You wouldn’t expect it, but it is one of the most intriguing question in Eiffelland. To whom belongs the crown?

The House of Hadamar can be traced back to 1076, the year of birth of the scion of the House of Hadamar. Lothar von Hadamar lived from 1076 to 1132, and was the Prince of Hadamar. Two of his sons reached adulthood: Lothar and Segimer. They grounded families, and now the House of Hadamar has two branches: The Lotharian Branch (Lotharsche Linie in German) and the Segimerian Branch (Segimersche Linie in German).

Originally, the function of King was not a hereditary function. Eiffelland consisted of 14 principalities and two free cities. The sovereigns of these principalities (called Fürsten, or Princes) and the chose one of them as King, and then the King reigned until his death, after which a new King was chosen. This changed in the 13th century, as the result of a tendency in which fiefs and noble titles like Duke, Margrave and Count became hereditary. The first King of the Lotharian Branch of House Hadamar was Lothar I von Hadamar, who was born in 1200 and died in 1251. He became King in 1225, and managed to push through that the function of King became heriditary.

The 1225 election and the events afterwards had a clear outcome: The Crown belongs to House Hadamar. It becomes more interesting when you look at events that are more recent, however.

My name is Christoph Freiherr von Weizenburg. I was born on 4 March 1894, and I am the head of the Von Weizenburg Family. I will show you an event from the 18th century.


My name is Jonathan von Walsrode. I was born on 28 October 1894. I am the second son of the Duke of Walsrode. I will show you an event that occurred during the Great War. Both Christoph’s story and my story are essential and decisive to the history of Eiffelland. Let us take you by the hand and lead you through the paths of history.
 
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Eiffelland

Elder Statesman
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
10,509
Location
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Capital
Trier
CHRISTOPH

Eiffelland is a religious land, but not homogeneously religious. The largest groups are the Lutherans (followers of Martin Luther), the Tiburan Catholics and the Calvinists (followers of Jean Cauvin, better known under the name he gave himself: Johannes Calvinus). The Lutherans are a very homogeneous group, but the Tiburan Catholics are divided in followers of the Tibur Papacy and followers of the Clermont Papacy. We call them Tibur-Katholiken und Clermont-Katholiken. The Calvinists are more or less shattered. Especially during the last century, several groups ripped off, mostly because of small disputes like “did the snake really speak to Eva or did it just stare at the apple?”.
The reason for this shattering is the following. In the Evangelist and Catholic churches, the Pastors and Priests tell how the Bible should be interpreted, and are told by the Bishops how to interpret the Bible. Under such circumstances, it does not occur that often that somebody emerges with different interpretations. Calvinism doesn’t know Bishops; the Reverends are the highest authority. Furthermore, people are encouraged to not only read but also interpret the Bible themselves. Then it depends on the discussions with the Reverend and the other people in the community whether a different interpretation persists or not, and whether the different interpretation is tolerated or not. Under such circumstances, different interpretations emerge more easily. And unfortunately, also church rips for futile reasons.
Currently there are four large groups within Calvinism. In ascending order of strictness: The Reformeds, the Segregated-Reformeds, the Christian-Reformed Churches and the Christian-Reformed Communities. The latter two groups even reject the use of cars and trains on Sundays, except for emergencies. Apart from these four large groups, there are about 40 small to very small groups, all trying to overclass each other in strictness. Some even reject vaccines and insurances.

I myself am a member of the least strict religion in Eiffelland: The Lutherans. I am also the Baron of Weizenburg. But that doesn’t mean much any more. My family used to be rich. We had a castle and 20 km2 agricultural area that we farmed out. We lived from the lease fees and had a family fortune as well. But my father was a player. He was interested in only one thing: The casinos of Bad Hersfeld. The family fortune evaporated through expensive wines and liquors, through expensive prostitutes, and at the Baccarat table. My father died when I was 12 years old. He committed suicide after having been declared bankrupt. We lost the castle and all the lands. The only thing left from my ancestry is my title.

And a couple of diaries from the 18th century. I will tell you what those diaries describe.

At the edge of the 18th century, the later King Friedrich III was born. This is an important King for Eiffelland. He was quite a militaristic King who reformed the armed forces and rebuilt Trier to give it its large avenues for his military parades. It is thanks to him that Trier has such wide streets. But he was also largely interested in the Enlightenment, and applied a couple of reforms that designed present-day Eiffelland to a large extent. One of his reforms is the institution of Freedom of Religion. Another reform was the grounding of a parliament with which he shared the power.

King Friedrich had a son, Lothar. This son succeeded his father in 1773, and died without a heir in 1784. This is where the diaries become interesting.


1784

Compared with the Lotharian branch, the Segimerian branch had fared not as well. Count of Siegen was the highest position they had achieved. No Kingdom for them. On top of that, the lands of Siegen were not that rich, and Georg Graf von Siegen had built up a reputation of a rake who spent more time in the casinos of Bad Hersfeld (indeed, he as well) than with managing his lands and getting a position in the bureaucracy of the Kingdom. The news of the death of King Lothar XV in 1784 reached him in the brothel…

The Count of Siegen rolled off the prostitute. “My goodness, you’re divine, you know that? I feel like 20 again with you,” he said. Then he took another sip of the champaign, out of the bottle. At that moment, it started to become noisy in the brothel.
“Sweety, be so kind and ask downstairs what is happening,” the Count said. The prostitute went out of bed, put on a bathrobe and went downstairs. A few minutes later, she came back, and told the news: “Your Grace, King Lothar died.”
At first, the Count was shocked. But then, despite the drunkenness, despite the high of having slept with a woman, he realised that the rules of House Hadamar prescribed that, when the main branch died out, the oldest side branch inherited the possessions of the main branch. Including the Kingdom.
His first impulse was to cheer, but he suppressed that impulse right on time. Instead, he said: “Der König ist tot, es lebe der König. Ich muss nach Trier.” He dressed himself, went to his hotel to pack, paid for the room and took his carriage to go to Trier.

But him awaited an unpleasant surprise there.
 
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Eiffelland

Elder Statesman
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
10,509
Location
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Capital
Trier
JONATHAN

The Great War was a meat grinder. Eiffelland did not suffer as much material damage as countries like Galea, Auraria and Remion did, but many Eiffellandians died on the battlefield. Ninety percent of all the guys and men born between 1875 and 1898 were sent into the war. That is about 11 million people. 1.5 million people died, and 2.5 million people left the war mutilated, be it physically or mentally. Of the remaining 7 million, 4 million got injured at least once, mostly with only a scar as consequence, sometimes with more severe consequences like arm or leg problems, or lung damage. Basically, one out of seven died, and one out of four got mutilated.

Eiffelland is a hierarchical society, but not really segregated. It is common practice that the factory director officially congratulates the gatekeeper for work jubilees, complete with speech. It is also common practice that the factory director and his employees celebrate parties together. Furthermore, when you disagree with your superior, you are allowed to make your opinion know. But in the end, the superior decides.
Furthermore, it is almost always “Mr. Soandso”, “Mrs. Soandso” or “Miss Soandso”, even when an 80 year old adresses a 16 year old. Only close friends and married persons call each other by their first names. School children say “du” to each other, but from 4th class secondary education (the school year in which you turn 16 when you don’t repeat a class) onwards they call each other by their family names.

There is one kind of segregation though. Descendants of noble families and rich non-noble families generally go to boarding schools, separated from the other children. As a result, I mainly have friends from noble descendance, which also means that most of my friends are army officers.

The military academies are open for everyone. And indeed, they recruit cadets from everywhere. But there are two standard sources of cadets. One is the noble families. It is tradition that the sons of noble families go to the military academies to become officers. That, or they go to University to study law or medicine. But there is a lot of pressure on young noblemen to join the armed forces. Only a few resist that pressure.
The other source is a couple of non-noble army officer family lines. Also they send their sons to the military academies as per tradition.

The education to officer went a bit differently during the war. Normally people are sent to the Military Academy for four years and graduate as Ensigns. Guys turning 18 during the war and applying for the Military Academy were sent to the battlefield as underofficer first, and then after one or two years to the Military Academy for a year of theory, after which they graduated as Ensigns.

I myself landed in the medical troops. Instead of fighting, I carried wounded mates from the battlefield and assisted in operations. I even assisted under Eiffelland’s best surgeon: Prof. Dr. Alexander Sauerbruch. The only person in Eiffelland who says “du” to everyone, including the King. He is miraculous at the operation table. He developed thoracic surgery, and he developed some more surgical techniques as well. I witnessed how he attached the lower part of an amputated leg to the body of a patient whose leg could not be saved any more due to a too big injury to his upper leg. He explained to me: “When we do this, the patient at least has something to attach a prosthesis to.” Talking about arm and leg prostheses, he develops them himself, and he induces miracles regarding that. Because of him, I decided to leave the army after the war and start to study medicine.

I came out of the war unharmed, but I lost 1/3 of my friends. Two of my friends came back mutilated. One was admitted to a nerve clinic; the prognosis is bad. Two of my friends were so traumatized that they committed suicide. The rest of my friends often have nightmares; I myself only had some in the beginning of the war. We all suffer from depressive feelings, some more than others.

My father, the Duke of Walsrode, is the Regent of Eiffelland for King Lothar XVII. We have to go back to the year 1913 to explain why he obtained that position.


1913

Eiffelland was not in civil unrest when the war broke out, but something was brewing. There was a socialist movement, a republican movement, a communist movement, some radical Christian movements and something we don’t have a word for yet (this movement places an emphasis on our Germanic descent, advocates a fundamentalist Christian way of life (strange enough without the “no sex before marriage”) and advocates something I consider a primitive form of machismo; economicly, it is a bit right of the centre). But more importantly, the King and Crown-Prince were notoriously impopular, even among royalists.
Both are very arrogant, and not interested in the opinion of others. King Lothar XVII is known for his quote “I am the King so I can do what I want”. He is also known for his visits to brothels (even when he did so incognito), for his insulting behaviour towards non-noble people, and for some sadist character traits. One of them is asking a servant to light a match for his cigar, and then waiting so long with putting the cigar above the fire that the servant either burns his fingers and drops the match as a reflex or blows the match out to prevent his fingers from burning; in both cases, the King hands out a punishment. He often does this, and not only with servants. Well, “does”, better to say “did”: The King does not do much any more; he is continuously nursed.
The Crown-Prince topples his father in many ways. He realises that he is the second in rank, so his quote is: “I am the son of the King, so only the King can forbid me something.” And the King forbids him nothing, because the Crown-Prince knows exactly when to be a good boy in the King’s eyes. He absolved the Gymnasium with good notes, and was among the best at the military academy.

The by-far most popular member of the Royal Family was a nephew of the King. It was Ferdinand Graf von Hadamar-Loorburg, the son of the King’s brother Albrecht. During the war, he served as a Colonel, and commanded a regiment that was part of the brigade led by another descendant of House Hadamar: Brigadier-General Heinrich Graf von Hadamar-Fulda. History does not tell how good they were as army officers. Fact is, that they were sent into a battle they could not win, as per order of their General. The brigade of Brigadier-General Von Hadamar-Fulda was decimated; both the Brigadier-General and Count Ferdinand lost their lives.

The battle in which Count Ferdinand and Prince Heinrich lost their lives was yet another defeat during the war. When it became known that Crown-Prince Lothar was the General who sent the extremely popular Ferdinand Graf von Hadamar-Loorburg into a battle he could not win, people started to accuse the Crown-Prince of having done this on purpose. The outcome was a wave of riots.


November 1913

Three Raimer limousines and an EKW limousine drove on the entranceway of a holiday house somewhere in the woods around Trier. The people in the cars were Marshall Lacksdorff, Marshall Heinsberg, Marshall Graf von Merseburg, Grand-Admiral Graf von Weidenbach, Chancellor Graf von Seydewitz, Walther Rathenau, Prof. Alexander Sauerbruch, Dr. Habil. Gustav Graf von Bernrode and Felix Herzog von Walsrode. They all went to Prince Albrecht’s holiday house for a meeting.
The cars stopped in front of the house. The drivers opened the back doors, and the passengers got out. Then they walked to the door. Marshall Lacksdorff ringed. The butler showed them in and let them wait in the hall. Then he went out. Thirty seconds later, he came back with Prince Albrecht von Hadamar-Loorburg. All the guests bowed their heads. Then Marshall Graf von Merseburg started to talk.

“Your Highness Prince of Hadamar-Loorburg, and Your Highness Duke of Walsrode, first we want to pass our condolences for the loss of your son and your brother-in-law, His Highness the Count of Hadamar-Loorburg. This is a big loss to you, and a big loss to the country,” he said.
“Thank you, Marshall,” Prince Albrecht said. “Let’s go to the dining room, so that we can discuss.”

After everybody was seated, Marshall Lacksdorff started to talk.

“The situation is the following, Your Highness. As you are aware, the war is not going well for us, and I’m afraid that the direct reason for that is His Majesty the King,” he said. “As you know, he is the commander-in-chief. In that role, he determines all the strategies. And this is where it goes wrong. His military knowledge dates back from the 1860s. Since then, a lot has changed, which he does not acknowledge. On top of that, he continuously orders fast moves forward that overstretch the supply lines. This is the reason why we are losing so many soldiers, and also the reason why we are on the brink of losing the war. We tried several times to make this clear to His Majesty so that he changes the strategy, but he refuses to take our advice and becomes choleric when we go against him. On top of that, he is getting more and more fits of rage.”
“Your Highness, the King’s behaviour is a threat to our war efforts. And more and more to the country as well. People have started to riot. Of course the Count’s death was the trigger for that, but the King himself did much of the forework. Even people loyal to the Monarchy want His Majesty the King to step down, and many of them are about to switch over to the Republicans if the King does not step down soon. Your Highness, the situation is dire and acute. I’m afraid we have to take action quickly. If we don’t do so, the abolishment of the monarchy could be the least bad thing that will happen. I expect revolutions and a civil war,” Chancellor Graf von Seydewitz said. “The King has to be taken out of the decision line, and this has to happen quickly.”

The Prince knew exactly what these people wanted. He had to become part of the solution, either as the new King, or as Prince-Regent. But he did not phrase that. Instead he said: “I understand the situation completely. But we have to do this in a legal way, if possible.”
“I am not a lawyer, Your Highness, but I understood once that there is the option to declare the King unable to govern. In that case, a regent will take over his tasks. We probably have such a situation at hand. There may be a psychiatric reason for the King’s current behaviour,” Prof. Sauerbruch said. He was the court physician. “I am bound to my professional secrecy, so officially I am not allowed to give any medical information about the King, but given the current situation, I’m afraid I have to break my oath regarding the professional secrecy. You will probably also have noticed that the King has become forgetful lately. Especially his short-term memory is affected. And not only that, he suffers from sudden emotional outbursts as well. This on top of the cascade of strange decisions and strange behaviour since the beginning of the year. I discussed his behaviour with a psychiatrist. He suspects that the King is suffering from a type of dementia called Alzheimer’s disease. From my point of view, that is definitely enough to declare him unable to govern.”
“The only problem is: When we declare the King unable to govern, the Crown-Prince automaticly becomes the regent. That won’t solve the problem,” the Prince said.

That caused some moments of silence. After that, Grand-Admiral Graf von Weidenbach asked: “Do we have something in our hands to arrest the Crown-Prince?”
“But where do we base that on?” Marshall Graf von Merseburg asked.
“Well, to which extent can he be blamed for this battle in which the Count lost his life?” Grand-Admiral Graf von Weidenbach asked.
“Everybody makes mistakes, also Generals,” Marshall Graf von Merseburg said.
“On the other hand, this was a very big mistake,” Marshall Lacksdorff said. “And a very obvious one. He as a General could have known beforehand that this battle was impossible to us to win. Furthermore, there was no order from above to do this, not from me as his marshall, and not from the King.”
“But there was no order not to do this either,” Marshall Graf von Merseburg said. “This will be difficult, and have serious repercussions, because future Generals will be more hesitant about risky operations when they know that they can be charged when such an operation fails.”
“Luckily there is one positive thing to mention about the Crown-Prince: He doesn’t have children,” Prof. Sauerbruch said. “And maybe I know why. He has an enormous history of venereal diseases as a result of his frequent inspection tours in the brothels of the country, and I think he had one clap too many.” At this moment, the Prince, the Chancellor and Felix von Walsrode looked up in shock. They weren’t used to that kind of references.
Herr Professor, we already know why we don’t want the Crown-Prince on the Throne, it is not needed to go into detail,” the Prince said with a tired tone in his voice.
“But maybe we should indeed look at his histories with women,” Dr. Habil. Graf von Bernrode said. “It is in the line of the Prince’s character to force a woman into … something.”
“But it takes too long to get enough evidence for an arrestment for that,” Chancellor Graf von Seydewitz said.
“Well, maybe there is a history with a woman that we can use,” The Duke of Walsrode said. “Your Highness, I don’t know if Ferdinand or Sophie ever talked about it, but back in the days Ferdinand was not the only one who was in love with Sophie.”
“Indeed, you’re right, Duke,” the Prince said. “Ferdinand told me everything about it. He was in love with Sophie and Sophie was in love with him. But somebody else was in love with Sophie as well. That somebody else stalked her, and once Ferdinand had to defend Sophie against that somebody. That somebody even tried to assassinate Ferdinand. And do you know who that somebody was? The Crown-Prince. He was so enormously jealous about the fact that Sophie married Ferdinand.” Then the Prince became really sad. “Could it be that the Crown-Prince wanted to finally take revenge and sent 10,000 people to a certain death to have Ferdinand killed?”

Everybody remained silent for a moment. Then Marshall Graf von Merseburg said: “I don’t know if the Crown-Prince would be that evil, but at least this is enough for an arrestment. Crown-Prince or not. Your Highness, could I please use your phone?”
“Yes, you can,” the Prince said.
“Then the most important question: Your Highness, are you willing to become the Regent of King Lothar XVII?” Chancellor Graf von Seydewitz asked.
“Yes, I am,” the Prince said.
 
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