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    Kariana Eld

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  1. Part 2 - Bring Me The Sea A Profile of the Fishing Industry in Stalgora's Distant North October 7th, 2019 . The sea spray catches in his beard and follows the lines of his face from his brow as the waves crash against the small boat. The sun climbs slowly from the horizon. It won't get far. Fall has arrived and sunlight will become fleeting until night takes over. Its the end of the fishing season and the pressure is on. "Not enough fish these days..."Vaun mutters, looking at the half filled nets being drug up from the depths. "Big boys scoop them all up before I can get any." He adds, almost as if he's just remembered that someone else is on the boat with him. He frowns at the horizon where the large factories churn away. They can stay at sea for days and never stop work, and Havgard's lawmakers have done little to stop the advance of Stalgora's vastly lucrative fishing industry. Back in town, the impact of the national corporate policies reach out of the sea into local shops and local markets. "That was Tor Anderson's shop." Vaun says, gesturing towards a boarded up storefront that's faded lettering still reads 'Grocery.' "Closed down not long after the big boxes opened up in Tovenhal." There are dozens of store fronts up and down main street that have shared the same fate, and for many of the people still living in Vintergard, the economic side is the other edge of the sword that is killing their town. With the younger population leaving and shoppers moving towards the larger retail stores or even internet purchases, another set of livelihoods are dying at the same time the small scale fishing industry is. The corporate friendly policies adopted by the Eld administration, while popular in the major cities and with younger voters, are a major strain on traditional sectors in the Stagloran countryside. Vaun's story is playing out across the entirety of the country. Germanic small scale farming has collapsed in the face of industrial scale farming operations in the Hinterland, and machine shops that once served local businesses and industry have closed as industrial powerhouses like Kovat centralize services and make it next to impossible for local workers to get the tools they need to repair their equipment. While some industries are adapting and small scale and locally produced items have seen a resurgence with younger populations, those jobs are still focused in the larger cities where the rest of the population is migrating to. Small towns like Vintergard still can't take advantage of those opportunities because people simply don't visit anymore. - Defiance - The day comes to an end like all the others. The sun set hours ago and the boat sits bobbing in the harbor. Vaun's boots are propped against the door frame and crowned in sea salt that crystallizes on their yellow, glossy surface. His pipe - as much a character in this story as Vaun himself - is lit and emits puffs of smoke with each long draw that Vaun takes. "Nope. Never leaving. I'll die either in this chair, on my boat, or somewhere in between." His voice is carries an air of dark humor as he considers his words. He is a drying breed and he knows it. Everyone who calls Vintergard home knows it. Its a stubborn adherence to tradition that weaves itself through every Stalgoran in some form or another that keeps Vaun and others here in this long forgotten fishing town on the edge of nowhere. As my time comes to an end here, I share a final whiskey with Vaun and thank him for his time, and I truly mean it. Time is the most precious thing out here. Towns and small scale businesses don't seem to have much of it left as industry in Stalgora shifts, and soon the sun will set on people like Vaun and places like Vintergard permanently.
  2. Factbook developed (though still in progress) and link updated.
  3. HISTORY 0500-1200 - Nomadic Tribes and Indigenous People Settled by nomadic tribes thousands of years ago, the region that would become known as Stalgora is nestled at the top of the world - nicknamed the Crown of Eurth by the locals. With three major historic regions that have an interwoven history, Stalgora proper didn't exist in its current form until Edvard the Conqueror unified the Kingdoms of Stalgora, the Slavic Tribes of the Havden Penninsula, and the Germanic Warlords of the Hinterland in 1628. The first settles of the region were the ocean clans of the Scandinavian people traveling up the coast from the west. The first tribes landed in the region that would one day become known as Vadagard, and the Vanfjord. Vadagard tribesmen were the first to build a permanent settlement in the region, farming the harsh land and carving their gods into the stone walls of the fjord - the ancient sites known as the Jotuns. Over the next couple centuries, new tribes sprung out of the Vadagard, expanding up and down the coast. The vast fjords and mountains were named for the great serpent in Norse mythology - the Jormungandr. Over the centuries, these tribes grew into their own regional powers up and down the coast. 1200-1600- Rise of the Six Kingdoms The majority of Stalgora's history can be traced back to the Scandinavian Earls who ruled the vast, harsh, and rocky landscape that gave the nation its name. From the early settlement of the region to the expansion of the Scandinavian tribes in the harsh area, the states of Vintergard, Scandinaviskrike, Jotunfjell, Vadagard, Rondheim, and Riagard grew to dominate the landscape. These historic Earldoms often unified in battle against their neighboring Germanic and Slavic states, frequently engaged in loosely defined conflicts that would spring up and die down every quarter of a century. The Scandinavian people of the region were unique among their brethern in that they held both a strong naval tradition and organized military. Driven by their climate, unification in the face of the harsh world led to a strong established aristocratic hierarchy and unique to the region building programs. Among some historians, the people of the region have been referred to as the "High Nords" for their advancements in both navigation, engineering, and science. It was these attributes that helped build the dominant powers in the region. However, infighting was still common. No rivalry was greater than those of Vadagard and Scandinaviskrike. Representing the "old" and the "new" (relatively speaking as both were hundreds of years old at this point), the harsh plain people of the Scandinaviskrike and the powerful mountain warriors of the Vadagard rallied the other great Earldoms to their causes of the course of dozens of conflicts from 1200-1600. That all changed when Edvard of House Brandt rose to power in Vadagard. 1612-1678- The Reign of Edvard the Conqueror Edvard Brandt was an unassuming heir to a drunk of a father. Rising to the throne at a young age following his father's untimely death, Edvard was quickly thrown into chaos when - seeing blood in the water - the aging Earl of Scandinaviskrike -Tovin Holt - invaded the eastern fold in an attempt to conquer Jotunfjell. Answering the call of the other great house, Edvard rose his army with unprecedented swiftness. However, the attack had come at a calculated time and as ice pack settled into the Argic Sea, Edvard was without a way to relieve the besieged Jotunfjell. The only answer was to move south and around the great Jormungandr mountains. It was this deep push beyond the mountains - to a region very few had seen - that Edvard and his soldiers discovered the Hinterland. The vast, fertile region was a veritable paradise to the Nords, and the campaign left Edvard curious about this "Gronnverden." Following the retreat of the Scandinaviskrike host, the Jotunfjell people pledged their fidelity and loyalty to Edvard. However, during the ceremony, Edvard broke with tradition and demanded that they swear their loyalty to Vadagard, not Edvard. By pledging their loyalty to the city and its heirs, rather than just Edvard, the bond would extend beyond Edvard's life. With the massive Vadagard host beyond their walls, the Jotunfjell Earl had no choice. King Edvard was crowned upon his return to the capital. -MORE TO FOLLOW-
  4. GEOGRAPHY Stagora is situated on the edge of the Argic circle and on the north eastern edge of the Argic plate. Three climates dominate the landscape of the region - The Argic Mountain climates of the Jormungandr Range, the Temperate climate of the Hinterland, and the Argic Tundra of the Havgen Peninsula. The relative harhness of all but the Hinterland region has contributed heavily to the current population of the nation despite its relatively large landmass. -MORE TO FOLLOW-
  5. ETYMOLOGY The name Stalgora is derived from the Dravian Slavic name for the Jormungandr Mountains - Stalgora - meaning "Steel Mountains." Once a name invoked in fear by the Dravian locals during the invasion of King Edvard the conqueror, the name was adopted by the new King as a badge of honor follow his conquest of the Havden Peninsula. It was formally adopted by the Republic following the People's Rebellion and the rise of the democratic state under the new Federal Republic system.
  6. Federal Republic of Stalgora ____________________________________________________ KEY STATISTICS _____________________________________________ Capital: Havgard Largest: Havgard _____________________________________________________ Official Languages: Norse, Common(Anglish), German, Dravian ____________________________________________________ Demonym: Stalgora ____________________________________________________ Government: Federal Republic Premiere: Kariana Vinterness Vice Premiere: Rikard Alstrom Senate President: Sagan Bresoranov ____________________________________________________ Area: 282,151 km^2 ____________________________________________________ Population: 19,283,405 ____________________________________________________ GDP: 761 Billion - 39,502 (Per Capita) ____________________________________________________ Gini: 34.2 Moderate ____________________________________________________ HDI: 0.705 High ____________________________________________________ FACTBOOK INDEX ____________________________________________________ Etymology Geography History Government Military Economy Demographics Culture ____________________________________________________
  7. I will get working on the factbook asap. I had the numbers mostly discussed with Iverica from when I first joined and created my proposal for my nation. I will make sure it gets posted.
  8. The Federal Republic of Stalgora Capital: Havgard Capital Location: Protected Bay City off the Argic Sea Factbook: Current Version News Link: Courier - Carried Around the World Culture: Historically Dominated by Scandinavian People with a intermingling of Slavic and German Culture - Slavic Predominant on the Havgen Peninsula and the Germanic Tribes of the Hinterland Climate: Frigid mountain coastlines with protected Fjords and Bays which give way to and protected a sea warmed inner region known as the Hinterland - primary farmland and open pit mining region. Sparsly populated. Location: Proposed Location - Includes the territory of their long time rivals and enemies - The Scandinaviskrike. History 0500-1200 The Nomadic Scandinavian Tribes- The Scandinavian tribes settled the region that would become known as Stalgora. Giving the mountain range the name Jormungandr after the mythical beast of Nordic Lore. The main tribe, Vadagard, established itself early on as one of the key centerpieces of the region. The other Earldoms - including what would become The Skandinaviskrike - grew around this same time as colonies of Vadagard proper. 1200-1612 The Six Great Earldoms - Out of the various tribes, the six great Earldoms grew. Vadagard was the greatest and seat of power in the Jormungandr region. Its chief rival Scandinaviskgard - ruled the eastern reach in the great frozen plains of the Nordhavet. The other four earldoms - Vintergard, Rondheim, Jotunfjell, and Riagard - swayed between loyalty to the two greater powers. Traditions of swearing fielty and loyalty to an individual, not a lineage or state - meant loyalties only lasted as long as the people who had made them lived. Wars were fought, and lands changed hands. Mostly, the powers grew in both technology, science, and size. 1612-1671 The Rise of Edvard the Conqueror - Edvard the Conqueror was the greatest leader of Stalgoran history. Through his reign, he expanded Vadagard's influence to rule over the 5 other Earldoms as King. He conquered the Hinterland, bringing the Germanic tribes into the fold. He also conquered the Havgen Peninsula, marrying a Slavic beauty and naming his kingdom Stalgora - the Slavic name for the region. The House of Brandt would rule for ages to come. 1671-1858 The Golden Age of Kings - The Golden ages of kings saw the consolidating of the great power of the Stalgoran Monarchy. Vadagard became a veritable fortress of palaces of the great houses and power was consolidated from the traditional homes to the capital city. One holdout were the houses loyal to the Earl of Skandinaviskgard. The former rivals of the Brandt house continued to hold the monarchy in contempt, particularly in both their inclusion and incorporation of Germanic and Slavic culture into theirs - despite the fact that both ethnic groups were limited to the working class. As this rivalry continued to fester, it ended in Civil War. 1858-1861 The War of the Two Crowns - In 1858, Skandinaviskgard declared its independence from Stalgora and established its own monarchy with Ashelm as its capital. Over the course of three years, the region between the Hinterland and the Eiranfjell became fertile with the dead as the two sides fought a stalemate of a war. Finally, after three years, Stalgora and Skandinaviskgard reached a truce and a unsteady peace was established between the two powers. 1861-1900 The birth of Industry and the Revolution - As the industrial Revolution began to pick up pace, shifting demographics and corporate power challenged the aristocratic foundations of the nation. As the nation established itself as an industrial powerhouse in the region (one rich in titanium, iron, coal, and oil), the power began to shift from the wealthy commoners running the corporate industries and the traditional power holders among the aristocracy. This shifting dynamic created tensions in the government. Attempting to assert some control again, the Monarchy and the aristocracy levied increasing taxes on both the corporations and the citizens. Finally, the tensions reached a tipping point. 1900 The Birth of a Republic - With a hungry population, it took very little to shift the dynamic. A people's revolution funded by the over taxed corporations, the military largely shifted their support to the commoners and their goals. With little support and almost completely eroded power, the Monarchy capitulated. The Aristocratic households were sacked and the "old wealth" transferred to the state. The monarchy heritages were allowed to keep some semblance of power, and as the capital moved to the bay city of Havgard, Vadagard became the decadent and decaying seat of the old aristocratic houses. -More Developing-
  9. Part 1 - Bring Me The Sea A Profile of the Fishing Industry in Stalgora's Distant North October 7th, 2019 . Vaun Oker wakes up at 3:00 AM every morning. His small home is built on ancestral land near the the edge of the village of Vintergard. You won't find it on most tourist maps or on any of the major cruise lines' list of destinations; but it is people like Vaun and towns like Vintergard that take to the frigid waters of the Argic to feed the nation and the world. Vaun looks ten years older than he is. The sea hasn't been kind to him, and his face is a patchwork of wrinkles that read like a story. Stress lines, scars, and the passage of time have weathered his skin till it seems like leather, and his blue eyes stand out against the dark sky as he climbs down from his boats rigging. A cup of coffee sits patiently in the wheelhouse, the cold air sipping at its heat in the form of slowly rising steam. Vaun is pre-occupied with thought as he studies a weathered and beaten laptop. Its the close of the Argic Salmon season, and the numbers aren't quite adding up. "Its the big boats." He mumbles. I'm not sure if it is at me or if its to himself, but I understand all the same. Vaun and others like him are struggling to make ends meet as fishing in the region turns from the small scale traditions of the Scandinavians who call the region home to the Industrial scale of the urban centers further to the south. Its a reality that the farmers and the miners faced centuries before and now it has found its way to the pristine waters of the Argic Fjords. The massive fishing ships Vaun mentioned this morning dot the horizon as Vaun and the Sun Maiden make their way out of the Vintergard harbor. Vaun joins the migration of small ships from the bay on their way out to the distant fishing grounds, and the small ships bounce and weave in the rough seas of the Argic. Meanwhile, the looming "fish factories" stand fixed, unfazed by the heavy seas thanks to their sheer size. Vaun's ancestors fought giants, he tells me. It seems he is forced now to do the same. - Homestead - The smell of fish has followed Vaun home as he slips off his boots by his fireplace, and Caya - his oldest daughter - works on dinner. Her family is up from Jotunfjell where her husband took a job at the Navy yard two years ago. Work has never been better, and Caya has had a chance to put enough money away for her and the kids to visit. Her husband will join in a few days. The trend of the children leaving the villages is almost as steadfast as the arrival of the fish factories each salmon season, and the town seems to be shrinking as quickly as it sprung up a century before. The schools are less full each season, and Vaun struggles to find a deck hand who can stick through the hardwork and harder seas. "We are growing fat and lazy." He mentioned as he puffs on a pipe, its amber glow illuminating his face as he looks out at the horizon. "I'll be the last Oker'son to die here." He adds after a long puff at his pipe, blowing the smoke into the fading light of dusk. The cottage is a small, two bedroom spot. Caya and the two kids are held up in what passes for a guest room. A few years back, the house might have been more lively, but after Vaun's wife Sibi passed away, its turned into nothing more than a kitchen and bunk away from the Sun Maiden. Caya seems worried about her father, but there isn't much she can do. She has her own children, her own family, and her own life in Jotunfjell. Instead, she uses what time she has here to help tidy up where where she can, and get Vaun to see a doctor about his back which seems more troublesome this season than last. After she and the children are asleep, Vaun and I share a whiskey. Its bitter, but it warms you up. Vaun turns his head towards the cluster of traditional Stal burial markers. He stands, setting his glass down and makes his way up the path towards them. His wife's is up there. He still wishes her sweet dreams each night before bed.
  10. - BUSINESS - ANALYSIS: The Energy Sector is Changing. Can Stalgora Change with it? October 7th, 2019 . REDIER - The machine seems as old as the land it is tearing up, and it is a metaphor for an energy sector that is starting to fade into history. The world is changing rapidly, and a growing thirst for green and renewable energy is reshaping the economic landscape of the world. With coal, oil, and natural gas finite, markets have begun the slow and steady shift towards more reliable energy sector assets. The question now becomes, can Stalgora remain the golden child of the Argic energy sector? The signs are clear with regards to the overall economic trend. Just last month, Novgard International signaled the shift as it split its energy sector re-investments 50-50 along the traditional and green energy sector. It was the first time that the nation's largest private bank did not maintain a majority in the traditional energies sector for its long term investments. Stocks reacted across Stalgora in response. Now many Stalgoran companies are scrambling to diversify. All over the lumbering machine, solar panels reflect the sun and the new direction of Stalgoran companies. Last month, Ryland Energies - the nations top oil company - swept up Elsewhere Solar in a hope to prop up its shares. Meanwhile, the government - a long time supporter of the nation's energy industry - has announced far reaching tax incentives for green, nuclear, and alternative energy sectors. Even Forge Mining - the operators of the massive machine pictured above - have turned the corner on this new industry. In the coming months, the massive machines dotting the landscape will finish mining the coal fields here, and Forge will begin construction on two massive solar facilities that will replace the aging coal plants two kilometers away. However, only time will tell if the shift is coming too late. With a world hungry for new sources of electricity, Stalgoran companies will need to act fast if they don't want to miss the world's green revolution. HOME
  11. - STALGORA - Fleet Buildup Along Northern Border Ramps Up CAPTION: The Fleet Submarine Construction Facility at Jotunfjell Naval Base October 7th, 2019 . JOTUNFJELL - The steel rolls in on heavy trains in the early morning as the workers take a different path from the navalbase's namesake city tucked into an inlet off of Jotunfjord on the northern border. It has been nearly four years since the last naval contract for a submarine had been awarded and many of the employees have moved on to new work. A majority of the workforce are new hires that present a new challenge for Kovat Heavy Industries and their Jotunfjell Naval Shipyard. The work at Jotunfjell will eventually give birth to the first of a new generation of Submarine intended to counter the growing threat presented by the Skandinaviskrike Marinen whose military patrols off the coast of Jotunfjell and other Stalgoran costal cities has seen a marked increase in the last few weeks. The aging population of twenty Type XVI submarines struggle to provide the high tempo operational schedule the Navy is now demanding, and both Premiere Vinterness and Fleet Admiral Marco Olonev see the Submarine Force as the first step in a vital rejuvenation of Stalgora's aging military. In the coming months, naval yards at Havgard and Kursik will begin expansion on their existing facilities as the nation attempts to grapple with woefully oudated infrastructure. In time though, these yards will begin new frigate and corvette projects to join the thirty new Type XVIII submarines. However, the explosion of new work in the city has been met with wavering opinions among locals. Mayor Elana Kol welcomes the naval contracts. "Jotunfjell's industry has always been at the very heart of the Stalgoran economy. Its good to see both the companies based here as well as the city itself gaining the support of the government again." Tobin Hurtsfeld, a foreman at the shipyard, has a less optimistic opinion on the matter. "New workers mean young blood in the city, and young blood always brews trouble." Hurtsfeld says, a father of six far too aware of his eldest daughters. However, at the intersection of these clashing opinions, there is still common ground. Fighters from the naval air station located on the base roar into the sky overhead, off to intercept a Skandinaviskrike aircraft that has breached Stalgoran airspace; and as the roar of their engines fades into the distance, everyone can agree that the military buildup is necessary if Jotunfjell and Stalgora are to hold back Skandinaviskrike aggression in the region. HOME
  12. -POLITICS- Kariana Vinteress and the Federalists Win Major Boost on Election Night CAPTION: A Stalgoran Citizen Casts their Vote on Election Day October 7th, 2019 HAVGARD - Kariana Vinterness and the Federalist have won a major victory on election night, with the Premiere taking 61% of the national vote against rival SNP candidate Rikard Holt. The Vice Premiere took the reigns of the Federal government following the tragic assassination of Premiere Tore Ryland during the Summer Coup last year, and she had enjoyed a high approval rating leading up to the election making Sunday night's results unsurprising. SNP challenger Rikard Holt conceded defeat in the late hours of Monday morning, announcing his intention to concede the election to Premiere Vintress. He congratulated the Premiere by phone after his speech, and vowed to his supporters to form an opposition party in the new session of the Senate later this fall. Accepting her victory aboard State Flight One, Premiere Vinterness was en route to the capital after holding a rally in her hometown of Volkden. She was joined by her running mate and recent SNP party member Rikard Alstrom. It was Vice Premiere-elect Alstrom's defection from his party that many saw as the killing blow to the SNPs hopes of reclaiming the Premiere-ship from the Federalist Party. In her acceptance speech, Premiere Vinterness congratulated her opponent on a well fought race and welcome he and his party's opposition to her government in the coming years of her term. She also stated that she hoped that she could "...be a Premiere for all of Stalgora, Scandinavian, Slavs, and Germans alike." The Premiere will face an uphill battle internationally at least when it comes to the local region. In the wake of the Summer Coup last summer, the government was faced with the very real threat that neighboring Skandinaviskrike represents on both the political and military stage. Shortly after the murder of Premiere Ryland, The Republic Intelligence Agency (RIA) linked the coup attempt to a fringe group within the SNP and headed by a member of the former Socialist Party's own Rok Stinar. A member of Premiere Ryland's own cabinet, the Stalgoran national had been linked to the Skandinaviskrike's Folksgard, and is believed to have fled Stalgora for his adopted homeland. Meanwhile, tensions continue to mount along the border with Skandinaviskrike, as Stalgoran troops work to expand the military presence in the border region. Just last week, Premiere Vinterness formally reactivated the Expeditionary Fleet and budget spending on the military continues to increase in the face of escalating tensions in the region. With the Stalgoran people decidedly behind the Premiere, she takes office in her first official term following the murder of Premiere Ryland in an uncertain and dangerous time for the region. HOME
  13. OCTOBER 2019 HOME | WORLD | STALGORA | POLITICS | BUSINESS | TECH | SCIENCE | OPINION | TRAVEL IN THIS EDITION News Election In Stalgora Pg. 5 A Military Buildup in the North Pg.6 A Changing Economy Pg. 7 Culture Bring Me The Sea - Pt 1 Pg. 8 Bring Me The Sea - Pt 2 Pg. 9 Profiles ARCHIVE
  14. I quite like the new version. While it is more traditional for sure, it also feels more modern in a lot of ways.
  15. Undisclosed Airspace over the Argic Ocean 3:13PM Local State Flight One shuddered gently in the turbulence of the early fall weather in the Argic Sea, and for once the storms and choppy air were the least turbulent part of Kariana's flight. Only five minutes after takeoff, Kariana had been sworn in by a military judge they had ushered on board almost as the aircraft began to rumble down the runway. In the hours after, they had learned that it was in fact an unidentified police officer who had shot both Ryland and Andrik, and had planted his weapon to make it appear Andrik had carried out both deeds. The still unidentified young man might have gotten away with it too. His efforts had not been without help. The square cameras had gone dark minutes before the event and the press who had been present had been pushed back when Ryland had arrived on the scene. One thing they had missed though was the body cams that the presidential guard carried. The wireless up links - a new measure Tobin had instituted only a few weeks ago - were meant to let him watch the Premiere and Vice Premiere security details when he couldn't be present in person. In this case, one of the agent's had posthumously carried out his duty in catching the Premiere's murderer. Now we just have to find him in that chaos. The Central News Bureau and the privatized news agencies were all showing the same horrific scene. The Slavic quarter was burning. Buildings were either torn open by gunfire or had collapsed after the onslaught by the rogue naval ship. Another sloppy attempt at a cover-up. The same ship that had launched the attack on her residence had turned its guns on the Slavic quarter moments later. After the crew had managed to get control of the ship - by cutting the communication and control lines with axes - the Captain had laid the blame on one of his young Slavic watch officers. Unfortunately, it hadn't taken long for the Executive Officer to dig to the bottom of the story. Unfortunately for the Captain, his XO was a half slav - a fact he had hidden from his openly racist captain. The XO had discovered the thumb drive that the Captain - for reasons that were beyond Kariana - had tucked back into his uniform after delivering the computer trojan. The Captain would likely see a military tribunal and be hung for treason. It had all started to unravel after that. Faced with the coup devolving around him, the Captain had started to sing in hopes of saving his own neck. A few of the implicated masterminds hadn't come with much of a surprise, but the head of it all - at least according to the Captain - had been. Rok Stinar - a staunch member of Ryland's own party - had been at the heart of the coup of attempt. An underground member of the Norwegian Heartland Guard - a group labeled domestic terrorists by the government, Rok had been a long term plant and an impressive if deeply disturbing centerpiece to this entire affair. The fallout of his betrayal and the extent to which he had infiltrated to Stalgoran government would haunt the internal intelligence agencies for years to come. More so was the fact that Stinar had vanished as his attempt to unravel it all and seize power had started to fall apart. The impact he had left though was all to real. In what the news was calling the 3 hour coup, Rok and his allies had managed to kill the Premiere of the Federal Government, the community leader of the Capital's Slavic Quarter, and over 380 people in the Slavic Quarter and the Vice Premiere's residence. With something as simple - if terrible - as an assault, a small group of bigots had ignited the age old racism that still weaved its way through Stalgora. It wasn't over either. Some in the nation would likely drink toasts to the heros who had died trying to "right wrongs." Others still would plot vengeance. Crimes would be committed, but things had to start moving in a better direction. The ground was still warm with Ryland's blood, but Kariana would be damned if she let his death be in vain. The speaker at the desk chimed as the plane took another jump in the turbulence, and Kariana uncrossed her arm as she tapped the intercom. "I have him on the line my Premiere." "Put him through. Thank you Corporal." Some poor corporal who had been cleaning the cabins had been conscripted into Kariana's secretary in the rush to leave the air base. The young man's voice had been shaky at the start, but his growing confidence in the post was impressive. "My Premiere." The voice was warmer than it had been earlier, and a hint of remorse carried through it. The irony that one of the most openly racist people in Ryland's cabinet - Rikard Alstrom - had yet to be linked in the slightest way to the entire set of events. Not only that, he had apparently been a target. Apparently a plan to turn him into an unwilling martyr at the hands of a homeless Slav dressed and hurried into the minister's home. "Minister." Kariana said, taking a long breath. "I appreciate you taking my call. I know the hospital isn't a convenient place to do business." She slipped into the chair as she spoke - Ryland's chair. No, it is yours now. "I won't pretend to hide why I am calling you. I need to know where the SNP is going to stand on this." The line was quiet for a long moment. "Premiere, it is not like I have had a chance to hold a poll in my current state. I would remind you I got out of surgery about half an hour a..." "I am aware of your medical condition Minister, but our nation is on turmoil's shores if I have ever seen them." Kariana said, exasperatingly quoting the Stalgoran constitution. "We can either come together or we can choose to keep going down a path that criminals tried to take us down." Again the line was silent before a soft chuckle came over the phone. Kariana recoiled. She stared angrily at the speaker. How in the hell could he laugh. "I apologize my Premiere. It just wasn't lost on me that the young so often claim the old can't change, and so when we do you refuse to change your assumptions about us." His voice was far softer - almost weak - as he spoke through the speaker. "I never told you why I joined the SNP did I?" The line went quiet again as a memory played through the man's mind, and despite all the things piled before her, Kariana found herself drawn towards this strange vulnerability from the man described by many as 'the most private man in politics.' "When I was a boy, I had a younger sister. She was an absolute treasure to me, and she looked up to me quite a bit. My father was a farmer you see, in the Tolidan Highlands - one of the few Nords out that far in the old Slavic lands. All of our neighbors were slavs in fact." Again he trailed off. He seemed almost distracted by the memory and the pain that came with it. "Anyways, one day when she was on her way home a slavic boy - our neighbor - attacked her. He did...well...he destroyed her spirit, and then murdered her for sport. It was a terrible crime and a brutal one at that. My mother was destroyed by it - took her own life a few months later. My father was never the same.The crime was seen to by the local Slavic local judge under Slavic Law. The judge was the boys uncle. The case was dismissed of course for 'lack of evidence', and I watched the boy who murdered my sister - who bragged about it - walk free. I vowed that day I would take back my country. I would make everyone follow the laws of the Norwegian state and damn their traditions too." "I'm sorry for your loss Minister but I don't see how that is..." "Again My Premiere, indulge an old man please." He said, an honest apology in his voice for interrupting her. The softness there caught Kariana off guard again. "This morning when I was stabbed in my office, it wasn't my Scandinavian staff who found me and managed to stop my bleeding. It wasn't my SNP brothers and sister in work early to do their duty - if only. It was a seventeen year old Slavic boy from a poor family in the quarter who works in our building as a janitor because no Scandinavian would do the job. That boy knows my policies. He knows what I have said publicly, but he stayed right there when he could have just watched me die. It was a Slavic doctor who treated me when we got the hospital, because the Nordic doctors take all the day shifts, and my German nurse has given me the same care my own mother might have lavished on me." There was a long sigh. "My point earlier was that I haven't been able to take a poll from the hospital for my party because no one from my party has come to me. They are likely too busy figuring out how to use this entire tragedy in their favor. Meanwhile, the very people who I have spoken out against have seen to me. Listen, I was cruel this evening when I spoke, and I spoke harshly because of my past and not with the people in mind. I am no better than that judge who dismissed my sister's murderer if I deny justice for those sailors who nearly murdered a slavic man. I still don't believe in Slavic self rule, or the fracturing of the law in this country. That was why I joined the SNP, but in my time there I found myself swept up into the chorus of hate they preach. It was easy, and I was weak. I was reminded tonight just how terrible my own people can be, and I want no part in what comes next from the SNP because I know where it may very well lead." The voice grew stronger. "So my premiere. How may I be of service?"
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