"We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released." (Jean Houston)

Extraordinary Consequences, November 17-20, 2011, Naish Holiday Village, Christchurch, Dorset
Extraordinary Consequences starts in -4576 days, -8 hours and -51 minutes!

To Reign in Hentzau

‘Welcome to Friendly, Smiling Hentzau, Playground of the Balkans.’

‘The humble but happy folk of Hentzau are overjoyed to welcome the foreign visitors and tourists to their beautiful land of contrasts. Distinguished visitors will feel at home with the Europeanized nobility to whom the jolly Slavic peasantry look up to for guidance. From the beautiful beaches where the warm Adriatic Sea laps against the deserted white sands to the magnificent be-forested mountains which soar up to the sky on the Eastern borders, this peaceful land is overflowing with milk and honey. The sporting gentlemen can go hunting in the former Royal Hunting Preserves for boar, deer and a wide selection of game birds. Listen to the joyful singing peasants as they go to work with a will in the fields and woods of Hentzau. Yet this land is not merely a pastoral paradise. Under the inspired and charismatic leadership of Lord Rudolf, the benevolent ruler of this fair autocracy, the country is engaged in a Great Leap Forward to bring itself into the forefront of European nations. Foreign bankers flock to invest in the railways and infrastructure of the country. Its ample natural resources have led it to establish the premier position in the Balkans as a modern industrial country and the furnaces and foundries work day and night pouring out up-to-date machinery that is exported around the civilized world and their colonies. So, come to Hentzau and see the best that this part of the world can offer.’

Well, that is the press release that is put out for the foreign embassies by the Ministry of Information. Whilst I would not wish to contradict that beloved arm of the State, perhaps a little further information is required. This little considered part of the Balkans was part of the Ottoman Empire from the fall of the Byzantine Empire until 1887 when a Franco-Italian sponsored revolution caused the abandonment by the Turks of this part of the world. Following the tradition of this area, they called in a lesser German princeling to be their king. Sadly, the choice of Otto von Falkenhausen was ill-advised. He was always reluctant to abandon his comfortable homeland for what he described as ‘that benighted scrap of land beyond the edge of civilization.’ Sadly for all concerned, Bismarck insisted that Prusso-Germanic interests would be served by having a friendly king in the cockpit of the Balkans and Otto was ordered by his cousin, the Kaiser, to accept the ‘honour’. His relations with the nobility were strained from the start and his habit of returning to his German lands at any excuse meant that he soon lost the goodwill of the populace. He ignored the Parlement which had been the traditional source of representation for the Three Estates of Nobles, Clergy and the People. His successor, Rupprecht, was no better, having been raised in his familial tradition of contempt towards his subjects and love for his Germanic homeland and Kultur.

At the outbreak of the Great War, a schism split the country in half. King Rupprecht tried to persuade his people to declare war upon the Allies on behalf of his kinfolk. Whilst his supporters claimed that he had the right to lead the country into war, the nobility under the Chief Minister Count Marcos and the Parlement objected and a constitutional deadlock ensued until the Royal Navy landed a combined Franco-Italian force to ‘assist the peoples of Hentzau to freely express their will.’ By a remarkable coincidence, their will expressed itself as a wish to open their ports to the Allied fleets and to aid in the struggle against the Austro-Germanic foe.

Although the military representatives of the Allies were careful to show full respect to the rights of the King, it was clear to all that the balance of power had changed in the country. Well, clear to all except for the King, that is. As soon as the ‘friendly’ forces had withdrawn from Hentzau, Rupprecht instantly acted as if he could wipe his humiliation from the history books. Almost before the last destroyer had pulled out of harbour, Rupprecht put Count Marcos under arrest for laissez-majeste. Shortly thereafter, at the first sign of discontent in the streets, he announced the dissolution of the Parlement and the commencement of his personal reign.

This lasted for some three years until Rupprecht led his country into a short and disastrous war against his neighbours in Katabrovni and Latveria. When Count Marcos was blamed for the defeat and executed after a short show trial, his son Rudolf called for vengeance and justice. The attempt to resummon Parlement proved to be a disastrous mistake as speaker after speaker called for reform. When the King then tried to dissolve the Parlement, the spontaneous anger of the people combined with the fury of the nobility led to a civil war sweeping across the land. The partisans of the King fought fervently and valiantly but the righteous anger of the people combined with an untapped revolutionary fervour to drive the King into exile.

In the chaos following the flight of the monarchy, Lord Rudolf was appointed Lord Protector by popular acclamation and his position was ratified by the Parlement until a permanent constitutional arrangement could be put in place. The situation was stable until an upsurge in Royalist counter-revolutionary activity meant that the Lord Protector had to institute a national network of military district commanders to protect the Revolution. Shortly thereafter, the unstable political conditions meant that Rudolf was forced to suspend the Parlement in order to ensure that the insurrectionist forces did not use their corrupt support within the political structures to bring back the despotic reactionary elements. Fortunately, the Ministry for Internal Security was able to crack down on the rebel forces and restore stability and bring back the peace for which all decent citizens longed.

• Since then, the only disruptive elements have been bandits and professional rabble-rousers who have sought to fish in troubled waters aided by Trotskyite forces who seek to overturn the rule of law. The so-called Radio Free Hentzau unsuccessfully tries to stir up the loyal citizenry but with no success. Although the Lord Protector suffered a terrible loss when Lord Robert, his eldest son died in an aviation accident, he has put his country’s fortunes first. Aided by foreign loans, the industrial might of Hentzau has produced wealth and luxuries for all who count and the enlightened rule of Rudolf combined internal development and growth with a stern face against external enemies and internal saboteurs. Although there was obviously healthy and progressive political debate amongst the nobility and the government, it seemed that the country was heading for a peaceful existence within the brotherhood of nations.

This idyllic future was shattered in a moment by the monstrous and cowardly blow that murdered the father of the nation and his adviser and friend Lord Vulkan. Blown apart in his car only a few miles west of Hentzau City, it would appear that someone wishes to destroy his legacy of a strong, independent country. Why some evil fiend would seek to kill the Lord Protector and his Minister of Information is a question that can only be answered by those skilled in sick criminal psychology but now it is vital to establish the succession in order to guarantee the stability of our great nation of Hentzau.

Author(s):David Townsend and John Golden
Game EMail:dave_townsend AT yahoo DOT com
Ryan Myint    r DOT myint AT taylorwessing DOT com
Richard Salmon    rsalmon AT ishtari DOT co DOT uk
David "DT" Townsend    dave_townsend AT yahoo DOT com
Lead GM:David Townsend
Game System:None in particular
Information for Players:The game is a political/character based game with cetain elements of whodunnit and military gaming. It does contain murder, treachery and romance but would be, at worse, a 12A. A certain amount of character death is quite likely. Character sheets are about two and a half pages. With all accompanying material, pree-game reading is a amximum of about 10 pages but none of this material is system-based. A certain amount of costuming would be nice.
Male Players:Min: 14 / Max: 14
Female Players:Min: 7 / Max: 7
Neutral Players:Min: 5 / Max: 5
Total Players: Min: 26 / Max: 26
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Myint, Ryan

Salmon, Richard

Richard has been playing freeforms for rather too many years now

In 2004 he was part of the writing & GM team for Siege of Troy

This year in a spirit of helpfulness he is assistant GM for 'To Reign in Hentzau' (mainly because it was such a spiffing game when he played in it) and hindering Tony Mitton in writing and GMing 'Operation Mission Accomplished!'

Townsend, David