“The White Lady is the Ghostly Protector of the Hohenzollerns. And The White Stags of the Hohenzollerns are her outward form” Rudolph explained to Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Vicky. ” And I think the White Lady is the ghost of a Screaming Skull who was sacrificed to become the paranormal protector of your family! Except she was forced into the job! Conscripted! Conscripted by your so-called ‘Kingmaker’ the Ehrenkrugs! And she did not want to! Genuine human sacrifice! And not a happy human sacrifice! So she is a reluctant Screaming Skull. She protects by supernatural compulsion but she conspires to damn those she is compelled to guard and protect at the same time! Hence one form of the White Lady is a Harbinger of Warning to protect and save. Another form of the White Lady is a Banshee forewarning of approaching doom. Another form of the White Lady is the Curse Personified. Cursing those she is compelled to protect.”
Frederick nodded and tapped “I saw the White Lady the night before my appointment with my doctor to inquire about this.” Frederick gestured to his cancer mangled face and throat. “She was tall and regal, as if aged prematurely by the burdens of her supernatural duties. She seemed haunted by melancholy more than any evil inclination. Around her waist was a massive ring of keys. And she told me ‘I am the Keeper of the Keys of the Hohenzollerns. I guard every door and secret place of the Hohenzollerns. I guard every secret for good and for evil of the Hohenzollerns eternally. Why have you done this to me? I will not weep for thee when thou does die!’ Then she vanished. Any Hohenzollern who sees her is damned to their death. But I felt it was we who damned that poor ghostly maiden far worse than she has ever damned us!”
“I would bet that your ‘Kingmakers’ the Ehrenkrugs sacrifice one of their own daughters to create a Screaming Skull to serve as the paranormal guardian and protector of the Hohenzollerns” Rudolph said. “Let me check the Royal Library and Archives with your permission but I bet that this is the nasty little secret which binds!”
Vicky held Frederick’s hand. They were both obviously shocked. But then Frederick nodded as he gestured ‘You are right on the money!’. Then Frederick tapped into Rudolph’s palm “Can you find the Screaming Skull to free her ghost? If she was conscripted against her will then surely she will want to be found and given a Christian Burial with Christian Rites? Her unhappiness weights on me.”
“Yes” Rudolph replied. “She would want to be found and given a Christian Burial with Christian Rites. But freeing her soul from torment will remove the Screaming Skull’s supernatural protection from your family.”
“Do it!” Frederick tapped as he clasped Rudolph’s hand. “And we might have to ask you as our lawful ally to keep the originals of the Black Ebony Box. Not read the contents. That is against the sacred protocols. But to hold the contents for us. We have just been given it. It is a dire thing!” Frederick gestured to Vicky to continue.
“This is Black Ebony Box” Vicky explained as she showed Rudolph the most curious and ancient box. “It is guarded by the Ehrenkrugs at their castle. Only when one Hohenzollern kaiser dies or else is incapable of ruling is the ‘Kingmaker’ Ehrenkrug allowed to present the next Hohenzollern kaiser-to-be the Black Ebony Box . Wolfgang Ehrenkrug is the ruling ‘Kingmaker’ Ehrenkrug now. Only he is allowed to open the Secret Hiding Place to retrieve the contents to be transported to us in the Black Ebony Box. The Black Ebony Box is both the key to Secret Hiding Place and also the container to transport the most dire secrets of the Black Ebony Box to the new Hohenzollern kaiser-to-be to read in secret and ponder and then pray on bent knees to God.” Vicky explained. “They are dire indeed! Guilty secrets! Shameful secrets! Ruthless secrets that surely will sooner or later damn us all!”
“The Hohenzollern’s conscripted Screaming Skull must guard the family’s skeletons and dirty linen and dirtier secrets! Buying the Hohenzollerns paranormal immunity. Guarding the Hohenzollerns against justice denied and curses deferred. Hence the Ring of Keys to every door and secret place of the Hohenzollerns! It would explain the melancholy of the White Lady especially if she was drafted into the job against her will” Frederick tapped mutely to Rudolph because of the cancer eating away at his jaw and throat.
“We might be forced to recruit a better guardian rather than allow the Black Ebony Box to be bequeathed to Willy” Vicky said. “We don’t trust the Ehrenkrugs. They are pushy! Dictatorial! They treat this role of ‘Kingmaker’ as if they are our master! And now we suspect they bought the role of ‘Kingmaker’ by long go sacrificing one of their own children! We must return the Black Ebony Box to Wolfgang von Ehrenkrug at his bastion in one week to confirm Frederick’s right to be kaiser. The Black Ebony Box is one of the protocols which qualify a Hohenzollern to be kaiser. But Bismarck is maneuvering to declare Willy kaiser instead of dear Frederick who is the lawful heir in the succession. But without the contents of the Black Ebony Box Willy’s ascent cannot be legalized according to the secret rites. The public coronation can only be held if the secret Black Ebony Box Protocols is done first. Otherwise the coronation is illegal and damned. Willy can not rob Frederick of his right to be declared kaiser if you hold the contents of the Black Ebony Box. And that might be what we may be forced to do to prevent Willy from robbing Frederick of his lawful rights!”
“Please understand one of the secrets in the Black Ebony Box is the Damnation Protocol” Frederick tapped to Rudolph in Morse Code on Rudolph’s palm. “Any Hohenzollern who agrees to become kaiser and then orders the waging of war before the age of forty years will be damned” Frederick tapped in the palm of Rudolph. “That is why I could not allow Father to renounce his throne in favor of me when he offered me the throne.” Frederick grimaced. The pain was both real and emotional. “I could have become kaiser! But I was not yet forty. We were in the middle of wars to unite Germany! Only Father could be War Lord under the Damnation Protocol. So Father called back Bismarck. We won all of Germany and crushed your Austro Hungary! We crushed France! Humiliated Denmark! We united all of Germany! But I lost the chance to rule in the process. Not just my chance to rule but my last chance to stop Bismarck’s malignancy from festering! Germany is united — but at what a cost! United and powerful! But withered in its soul! A nation birthed in war and christened in Iron & Blood! A nation that is now dedicated to war! And militarism! Where might is right! And force wins!” Frederick grimaced in pain as Vicky held him.
“The Damnation Protocol will damn Willy because he will not obey it” Vicky whispered to Rudolph. “And there are other dire protocols in the Black Ebony Box! Blood oaths attached like red wax! Sworn on the heart! Sworn to death or damnation! Willy will ignore them all! Defy them all! Toward the damnation of the Hohenzollerns and the entire nation! And the Ehrenkrugs are only sworn to guard the contents of the Black Ebony Box! They can not compel the Hohenzollerns to abide by them! We may need someone to challenge Willy long after we die and the Black Ebony Box is locked away until the raising of the next Hohenzollern kaiser!”
“So you want me to guard the mysterious contents of the Black Ebony Box but not read the terrible Secrets of the Hohenzollerns?” Rudolph said. “As your lawful Habsburg ally?”
“It would not be treason!” Vicky cried. “You are our lawful Habsburg ally! We are not revealing the contents! We are simply asking you to guard the contents! We are trying to stop a war between England and Germany that will surely destroy us all!”
“It will!” Rudolph declared. “Wales and I saw the future. London! Being bombed by Germany airships! But Germany and her tragic allies will not win! Indirectly we saw that as well!”
Frederick gestured that Wales had previously told them the dreadful vision of the future of London being bombed by Germany even as England and her bloodied allies girded up their loins to bomb Germany and its allies just as horrifically. He clutched Rudolph’s hand and then tapped “Germany even with Austro Hungary by its side cannot win a war against all of Europe plus England and its commonwealth of sister nations —especially if America is drawn in! And Wales is doing everything to build up such a rapport that America will be drawn in! Must be drawn in! Especially if the Bismarck non neutrality in war protocol is initiated both on land and on the seas! Germany cannot win! Not on two fronts! Not on all fronts! Not fighting against the entire Western World!” Frederick wept. “It will be suicide!”
“We will place a document in the box explaining why you have been appointed by us to be the custodian of the contents of the Black Ebony Box!” Vicky said. “We will roll an external parchment around the document along with the new red wax seal of the royal family. Let Willy realize it when he receives the Black Ebony Box! Let Willy confront you to prick his honor or lack of honor! Why the Ehrenburgs invited themselves into our secrets I cannot fandom! And they are contemptuous of dear Frederick! They tried to side with Bismarck to put Willy in the throne instead of Frederick! They do not bare the responsibility if Germany stumbles into war! They do not care if Willy defies the Damnation Protocol! We are trying to stop a war that will destroy Germany! Europe! The Western World!”
“At least we are trying to stop a war now! This coming war! War in 1889 or else 1890! Though God save the world in 1900 when Willy becomes old enough to order his war!” Frederick tapped to Rudolph. “God save us all….”