Monday 31 December 2007

New Year

The New Year has come in the Duchy of Tradgardland. All over the Duchy ,in communities large and small, the Guild of St Barbara are igniting fireworks to herald in the New year- 1758!

Karl Frederick stands with his family upon the Palace balcony and muses upon the year just ended and on the times to come . The cheering crowds throng the streets and many a loud Huzzah can be heard! A Happy New Year to all friends of Tradgardland everywhere - we have enjoyed your company !

Wednesday 26 December 2007


In the Palace the court assemble after dinner to hear the ancient words of the ancient plays that tell the legends of Tradgardland. Handed down in families , from one generation to the next, these plays are performed during the twelve days of Christmas. Characters include a knight portraying the first Duke, a Saracen representing the bodyguard of a long forgotten Duke, a Dragon representing the enemies of the Duchy and a magi who stands for men of learning, wisdom and faith.

The Duke presides over the festivities happy and secure in his role and his Court. He has seen many ,many mummers over the years, and God willing, will see many more. The play has begun...........................

Sunday 23 December 2007

It came upon a Midnight Clear.........

The house spirit has finished his meal and the music drifting down from the Palace Chapel reminds him it is the Birthday of the Christ Child.
In the Chapel the Ducal Household has just finished hearing Midnight Mass. The choir sings at the crib and all is serene under the black cope of the star lit Heavens.
The Duke ponders upon an eventful year,Alisona thinks of what might have been ,Liv remembers she must visit the orphans prior to retiring and Von Bergman silently gives thanks for a safe return. Soon they will eat and drink together, giving and receiving presents , and when dawn unfurls the flag of day, they will hear the Dawn Mass of Christmas Morn , Deo Gratias!
Peace and Goodwill to all friends of Tradgardland everywhere!

House Spirit

The House spirit had lived in the Ducal palace for centuries. He had seen the centuries and the Dukes come and go. He lived contently, unseen, in the kitchen watching the comings and goings , year in year out. He felt a sense of pride watching over the Family and its servants . He took a keen interest in the welfare of all, doing what small things he could to make life better and rejoicing in the good he saw. In recent days he had seen how the Duke and Duchess had opened the Palace to the refugees from Alteberg. He had seen the Duchess going amongst them and offering support and comfort as well as food and shelter. The House Spirit was indeed proud of his Household. Now, he thought, to finish the bowl of warm milk and herring that was left every night for him in a corner of the kitchen. Life was indeed good.

Saturday 22 December 2007


Sent home from work yesterday- rather viral to say the least ! Getting better - will post prior to Christmas!

Tuesday 18 December 2007

Tradgardland Art.........

In spite of the recent disaster to befall Alteberg the Duke of Tradgardland has just opened his collection of Art to the Duchy. Crowds swarmed into the Palace to view a dazzling collection of painting and sculptor. Donations were asked of all visitors and the money will be given to the victims of the recent Imperial Outrage.

Monday 17 December 2007

Paper work in Swartz Wald See

Max is exhausted! The travelling was insufferable enough but things have got worse since his arrival in Schwartz Wald See. The amount of papers and ancient tomes ( explaining the history,customs and traditions of the land) to read and acted upon is immense. Petitions from the high and the low, communications and veiled threats from the Imperium, household accounts and much ,much more!
Max finishes his wine and decides to retire to his quarters i- enough is enough!

Thursday 13 December 2007


Max and Benedict have arrived in Schwatz Wald See. Through the mist the Castle appeared and loomed before them . The coach stopped outside the front door. The Steward ushered them into a large room supplied with Claret and a roaring fire.

Well , we have arrived in your Heimat now brother Benedict- what will this land hold for us?

What indeed Your Grace! Now let us drink to the future and the past and thaw out.

The two figures raise their glasses and look into the flames ,their thoughts private yet converging........... The Future!

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Wintery wanderings

The starry night covered the departure of Max and Brother Benedict as they commenced their journey to Schwartz Wald See. Benedict sits outside with the footmen , ready to offer directions when required.

Max sits huddled in a cloak with a number of loaded pistols secreted amidst its folds. He cannot sleep no matter what he attempts to think of.

Outside the faint cries of wolves ,human or animal, can be heard keeping pace with the coach. Max wonders why he ever left the Vatican.....

Monday 10 December 2007

A family meal............

The Ducal family gather for a rare meal together. Alisona is fully reconciled with her father and all are glad for a brief respite from matters of state. The table is set for a light meal. Karl Frederick, Liv , Max and Alisona enjoy the anticipation of the season - the horror of the sleigh incident however is not far from mind and conversation.

A guest at table, Brother Benedict adds little to the conversation. The incident of the sleigh weighs heavy on his shoulders regardless of the mantle of attainment his studies provided. He fears it is the work of the Brotherhood of the Wolves. He hopes, nay prays , that he is very,very wrong......

Sunday 9 December 2007

The big and small picture..............

The Duke is engaged in using his microscope to view the hidden and arcane world it reveals - in this case the contents of the palace water supply. A knock comes to the door . The Duke looks up and beckons the figure to come in .

A young man with chains on hands and feet shuffles in- he is plainly terrified.

The Duke reminds him that judicial torture has been outlawed in the Duchy so he has nothing to fear. The Duke quietly and calmly awaits an explanation.

The young man breaks down in tears and throws himself at the Duke's feet. He asks for mercy and tells of his home land in Schwartz Wald See. He tells of troubled lands and oppressed peoples. He talks of how he was to kill Max before he even saw his new domain. The Duke looks thoughtful and remains silent for sometime . He calls for the guard and asks that the prisoner be escorted from the Duchy as soon as is possible bearing a note for the ones who sent him

Thursday 6 December 2007

Tradgardland sleigh ride

The Ducal court take the chance to enjoy the newly fallen snow and engage in seasonal hunting of the Tradgardland boar. Karl Frederick,Liv and Alisona take the lead sledge surrounded by hussars in winter uniforms. Lances shine in the brilliant sun . Behind in a sledge of his own is Max. He is accompanied by Brother Benedict who will be his guide to the unknown land of Schwartz Wald See. Max hopes to spend some time with the Ducal family ,combining the visit with a visitation of the Abbeys and Cathedrals of the Duchy.
All is well, no boar have been sighted but the mulled ale and dried herring have proved popular. Suddenly a shot is heard . The driver of Max's sledge slumps over . A figure is seen fleeing on skies. The hussars pursue but he escapes amongst the trees. Max is shaken but safe!

Monday 3 December 2007


In the Ducal Palace the woodworkers are bring the royal Sleighs out of storage for the snow that is expected soon. After nearly a year in the palace vaults they will need re -painting , not to mention the waxing of the runners with boar grease. There is much to be done and the new harnesses will need adjusting prior to the first sleigh ride of Winter.

The Ducal court is famous for reckless midnight races where courtiers throw their sleighs around a forest course by lamplight . It is not unknown for heads or worse to be broken...

Sunday 2 December 2007

Advent Arrives..........

Across the Duchy the season of Advent has begun. The Duke heard High Mass in the Cathedral today and the seasonal prayer " Dominus dabit benignitatem : et terra nostra dabit fructum suum." - The Lord will grant us his blessing to make our land yield its harvest! The words striking a chord in his and other minds of the seasonal markets which begin after Mass ends . The Duke and other members of the Household were unaware of the young woman in black huddled at the back of the Cathedral. Her needy eyes following him as he departed to open the Yul Market. For , unknown to anyone present , the figure is Alisona - his estranged daughter.
The market has been open for some hours now - visitors are greeted by many sights and sounds - the hurdy gurdy man singing songs of love, the smell of roasting chestnuts and the brightly painted carved wooden Herring so beloved of the children. The Duke and Duchess are full of roast boar and Yul ale and are in fine spirits. As the Duke walks around a corner in the market a figure throws herself at his feet. For a second he is stunned then he meets her eyes and whispers Alisona!
He raises her to her feet ,embraces her, leads her to the Duchess who collapses in tears of joy. The Prodigal has returned , is accepted and the fatted calf is ready . Reconciliation comes to the House of Tradgardland.