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  1. Keno thrust his hands deep into his pockets as he walked in the night, the streetlamps dimly illuminating the sidewalk he walked on. The suburbs he walked through were unfamiliar to him, Keno himself growing up in the urban slums of Alvernia's north. His family still lived in the same one-room house that they had lived in for 16 years, but here Keno was in suburbia, a 45-minute bus ride away. His baggy shorts and t-shirt failed to cover him from the chilly winds, which accompanied the rapid drop in temperature that came with the sunset, while the bag that carried his clothes made his back sweat. Despite feeling chilly, Keno enjoyed the walk. He was alone with his thoughts, a small field to his right and the road to his left. The 2 lanes were separated by a median that made them one-way roads, and the grassy median held a row of trees that extended across the entire road. The leaves whistled gently as the breeze blew while the night air was filled with the noise of the local fauna- the chirp of the local bugs in early fall was especially loud in the night time. A soft mist began to fall as Keno checked the time on his battered wrist watch: 11:30. Despite the late time, the house he was heading to was expecting him. The Piannas were family friends of Keno’s family and Keno and their son, Leo, knew each other since they were 3. After they were both accepted into the same private secondary school, the Piannas had offered to house Keno, aware of their economic situation. With undying gratitude, Keno’s family accepted the proposition. Saving up his money, Keno was able to buy the cheapest bus ticket he could find, packed his bags, and headed towards the suburbs. The blaring of a car horn from behind Keno interrupted his thoughts as he whipped his head around. A 4-door sedan had slowed down to a roll next to Keno but he kept looking straight, ignoring the car. The light that poured out of the headlights made him squint and Keno heard the car come to a stop and doors open and close. Even though he was sure he would not be mugged before he had left, Keno had taken a small switchblade with him just in case, the one he had carried with him for years now as protection in the urban slums. The sound of footsteps came closer and one of them shouted out, “Where you going, asinavulo*? We just wanna be friends.” Keno’s throat closed as his heart raced. What was he to do? The bag on his back made it difficult to run quickly. But the Piannas was what, two blocks away? He might be able to make it. He turned his head around for the first time. One person was sitting on the hood with a cigarette in his hand. While three others were walking shadily behind Keno. Running wouldn’t be an option. Upon making eye contact with one of the three, the man smiled. Keno realized all three were reaching into their waistbands; his heart began to thump harder than ever before. Adrenaline pumping, Keno, as quickly as he could, slumped the bag off his shoulders and bolted while screaming as loud as he could. “HELP! HELP ME!” He heard the footsteps of the men behind him inch slowly closer as the car revved and drove towards him. Keno heard one of the set of footsteps disappear for an instant before feeling a hand slap his foot into the other one, tripping him. One of the men and Keno slammed onto the pavement while the other two reached him. Keno fumbled for his blade but didn’t reach it in time- one of them had grabbed the back of his head and was repeatedly slamming it into the ground, cursing him with each blow. Keno’s face numb and bloody, the man finally stopped. He sat there dazed for a moment before one of them rolled him over, back on the pavement. He couldn’t make out much, but Keno saw four figures around him. He dimly heard a switchblade flick open and one of them saying, “This is for running, you dirty asino.” More blades flicked open as they bent down towards Keno, who laid there, still. They drew their arms back, then Keno felt several sharp stabs of pain in his stomach before blacking out for good. * * * Alvernia had not seen so much violence in one week. Not since the People’s War, anyway. Just five days ago, the death of a native Marenesian by Salvian nationalists ignited anger amongst the native community. In the north, where most of the native population was present, peaceful demonstrations garnered hundreds of thousands while newspapers and local news stations reported on the murder 24/7. The boy was honored as a hero, a martyr, a rallying call for any and all native Marenai who still inhabited the Salvian lands. The story ran quite differently in the south, especially in the overwhelmingly Salvian capital, Soncinia. The men were labelled as “drunken vagrants,” having nothing to do with the Salvian identity. Other, more extreme tabloids went on to discuss the identity of this Marenai boy, saying the event never happened, or that it was in fact the boy that had started the violence. The story spilled over into national politics: several members of the Body of Representatives took sides, while most refused to even acknowledge the rising tensions and conflict between native Marenai and Salvians. States of emergencies were declared across the country as the National Guard and Alvernian military were deployed to quell the revolts. Keno’s family was caught up in it all. Interviewer after interviewer requested for a conversation with the grieving family, while the mailbox spilled over with letters of compassion and support as well as death threats. How their address was leaked in the first place, none of them knew. Keno, according to the Catholic Marenai tradition that was frequently observed in northern Alvernia, was placed in an open casket during his funeral despite the gruesome outcome of the crime. The family was not allowed to speak, sleep, or eat- only pray- for 24 hours, while anyone invited mingled around and remembered the teen’s life. At the end of the 24 hours, at sunset, the priest sprinkled the casket and the congregation with holy water before burning the casket and after that the family could talk. But they didn’t. Only wept. * * * “Lunex,” The minister addressed the president while bowing. While the word might seem appropriate for a democracy to an outsider- the word translated most literally meant “leader” or something of the sort- in the Salvian context, it was closer to “king” or “grand leader” than a humble title. Just another of the many “reforms” Lunexus Marzeni had instituted since his first election in 2005. Of course, even if his second victory was legitimate, Alvernia’s two term limit would’ve guaranteed Marzeni leave in 2015, but he was able to convince the entire Body of Representatives to amend the Constitution to grant him four more terms. Yet it didn’t matter- every Salvian loved him anyways. His promises of creating a new and strong Alvernia that would dominate Marenesia and reuniting all Salvian people was pleasing to the ear of many Salvians, even those of the Sanctum Imperium Catholicum. The native Marenai be damned if they stood in the way of the great Lunex’s dream. The president let the minister stay in a bow for several seconds before gesturing with his hand. Marzeni began talking as soon as the minister stood while fixing himself a drink, “Good morning, piccliocho**. You wish to discuss with me about the Northern situation, do you not?” The minister, Bergio de Wohine, was Secretary of the Poka’i- Marzeni’s new police force he had established a few years back. They essentially replaced all local police departments with a national force that had pledged loyalty to Marzeni. “Yes, Lunex. The Poka’i have been combating the crisis for over two weeks now. I wanted to come to you personally with a request for extra aid. Perhaps calling in the military?” The pouring of whiskey and clinking of liquor stones stopped abruptly. De Wohine swallowed, Marzeni kept staring at his drink, half poured. A moment of tense silence seized the air before ending as soon as it had started with the Lunex chuckling and continuing fixing his drink. Taken aback, de Wohine began chuckling awkwardly. Marzeni’s glass completely filled, he kept chuckling before violently snapping at the man, “I did not ask for you to laugh!” De Wohine flinched then put his hand over his chest as Marzeni stood and walked towards the window that sat behind the Lunex’s “throne”. Marzeni breathed deeply before sipping his whiskey then walked over to a small table to his right and picked up a knick-knack, closely observing it. De Wohine was frozen the whole time. “Mi piccliocho. You are very, very unintelligent. You know very little about a true Salvian’s goal in life. Do you even know what it is?” He said this last sentence sharply, looking back at de Wohine while setting the object down. The minister just sat there, wishing he could be absorbed by the upholstered chair he sat in. Thankfully, Marzeni answered the question for him. “It is to unite Salvia, is it not? The asinos are nothing but specks of insignificant, unworthy dust in our path.” He took another sip. “To suggest our great military needs to be deployed in order to combat a couple million rebellious asinos is pure folly.” Beginning to smile and chuckle while speaking, Marzeni continued, “You see now, how funny your joke was?” Marzeni took another sip, shook his head slightly and continued to chuckle. Sighing, he walked behind the minister and put his hand on the man’s shoulder, gripping tightly. “Now, you’ll see that those asinos are dealt with, will you? That’d be excellent.” He patted the minister’s shoulders; the minister just nodded. “Good. Now get the F*CK out of my office!” De Wohine practically jumped out of his seat and quickly exited, rushing to his office. He was in his own office chair before he even began to think. His heart pounded against his chest as he poured himself some hard liquor, then drank it like a cup of water and poured another. He had to do something. The crisis was only worsening as the Marenai revolted, boycotting work and Salvian businesses. Marzeni would surely fire him-- or worse-- if he failed. But maybe this something would instead be against the “Lunex”. With that thought in mind, de Wohine picked up a pad and pen and began drafting a letter. _____________________________________________________________________________________ *Incredibly derogatory term for native Marenai used by (some) Salvians **Salvian word meaning “little friend,” as if talking to a child. In this context, used in a demeaning and patronizing way
  2. Spring was finally coming to Gournaion, the capital of the island of Efmoseia and the nation of the Hexanesa. It had been a hard winter across all of northern Europa and even the western countries of Machina @Haruspex and Tagmatium had suffered in the coldest weather in decades. Despite being the two most functional nations in either the Occident or Burania, many of their citizens had died in the cold weather and parts of them had been cut off due to the deep snow and blizzards. In the band of six islands that marked the division of the Thalassa ton Kataigidon (Sea of Storms) and the waters of inner Europa, the weather had been especially hard because the islands had very little resources of their own to call upon. Some of the small fishing villages and semi-permanent logging camps that made up the settlements on the exposed northern coasts of the islands had to be completely abandoned. Vessels and aircraft from the Stolos, the militarised coast guard, were now going out to assess the damage to the settlements and to see if the inhabitants could return. The weather had been a shock after the warm temperatures of the summer and very few people had been prepared for anything other than the usual winter weather, although that was always quite harsh. The economic damage would have to be counted before the country could move forward. The long cold winter had delayed the planting of crops and prevented fishing for weeks when the fleets should have been out laying pots for crab or trawling for Adlantic salmon. Whilst the people of the Six Islands were unlikely to starve over the coming months, the finances of the country and its inhabitants would suffer. The last decade hadn't been kind to the Hexanesa and it seemed like the start of the new one wasn't going to be great, either. Those were the thoughts going through the head of a warmly wrapped little old lady as she sat at a cafe table and took sips of a cup of tea whilst looking out over the harbour of Gournaion. The cafe had cast iron furniture arrayed around tables and segregated from the street by low planters with hardy plants, although most of them had died over the winter. A heavyset stheneloser dog lay curled at her feet, its thick black and white fur proof against the cold of the northern islands. There were still boats in the harbour, although most of them were out to sea, trying to catch up with the season's fishing. She had just come from a morning service at the Panagia Theotokos, the cathedral of the Hexanesa. A savoury pastry lay untouched on a plate in front of her. Several newspapers were spread across the table, some from the Hexanesa, some from Tagmatium and even one from @Orioni. It was the old lady's habit to look through the headlines in the morning after church before she pottered back to her house. The headlines, at least of the Tagmatine ones, were mainly about the Megas Agios Basileia's involvement in Ceris – two carrier groups and a corps were now in action there, with suggestions that more might follow on. She shook her head. It was unlikely that “Arhomaneia” was involving itself there for the benefit of the Cerisers, although no one could deny that the Sentists were a plague that wouldn't go away of its own accord. The Orinese paper was at least more hopeful, although it focussed on the ongoing EOS mission in the Bainbridge Islands. The papers were full of just more examples of the powers of the wurld bullying the smaller nations. Although the Orinese were much less... conservative, blunt and chauvinistic than the Tagmatines, they were perhaps a bit more hypocritical. They tended to frame all of their actions as good for the people they were subjecting them to, even if it was entirely against their will. The intervention in the Bainbridge Islands had been going on much longer than any operation the Tagmatine armed forces had undertaken in decades. Under the aegis of EOS, the Orinese were bringing peace and stability to the south of Europa, whether it was wanted or not. After a moment looking out to sea again, she broke off a corner of the pastry and crumbled it up further. She then tossed the crumbs to a wagtail that was scavenging around the tables of the cafe but keeping a wary distance from the stheneloser. Another joined it and the two birds bickered for a moment amongst the table legs before seemingly deciding that the amount of crumbs was enough for the pair of them. She watched the small birds briefly before sighing to herself and pouring more tea from the pot into her cup. A passerby called a greeting and waved at the old lady. The wagtails, always timid, scattered and chittered their outrage at being forced away from their crumbs. The stheneloser raised its heavy head and watched the passerby and the old lady's reaction to them, its eyes darting between the two. When she waved back, it put its muzzle back on its paws, content that there was no threat there and closed its eyes. She reached down and scratched it behind its ears and broke off another bit of the pastry. The dog put its head up again and gave a begging look. The old lady smiled at the big dog and gave it the rest of the pastry, saving a corner for herself. It chewed messily for a moment and nosed up the crumbs that it had dropped. She ate the corner she had broken off and sipped the cup of tea. Of course, to the locals it wasn't just an old woman – it was Evangela Leotykhidissa, the Megas Kritissa, the Great Judge, of the Kritakrateia of the Hexanesa. A small bodyguard called the Skouterioi lurked nearby, attempting to make themselves unobtrusive but also trying to be a visible barrier between her and any possible threat. Unlike the bodyguards of the islands' western neighbour, they weren't in ostentatious armour and robes but coats and suits. It was clear that they were still bodyguards, as the tailoring of their suits couldn't quite hide the presence of holstered pistols. The Skouterioi had always made it clear that they weren't happy with the fact their head of government was content to sit in public and let the islanders greet her as they walked by. Although the islands weren't rich, they were strategic. The Arhomaiki Noimosyni Dykton was an ever-present threat, as were the secret services of the Exkousiokrateia or the Volskoi. Any of them might try to engineer a takeover of the islands or assassinate the Megas Kritissa. They would likely then try to take advantage of either the islands' position or the possibility of mineral or oil wealth possessed by them. The Gharoiki have been carrying out “hydrocarbon mining” in the areas of the Thalassa ton Kataigidon under their control. It seemed to be a pompous way of saying “oil and gas extraction” and it couldn't be doubted that the Hexanesa were being eyed up by the northern barbarians. Evangela took another sip of tea. The Megas Kritissa had been voted into the position in 2016 as a reaction against the regime of Kommodos Iakoumos, as she had been in the election six years before that. The old woman was one of the few of the Lipotakai, the Deserters, still actively involved in the politics of the Hexanesa. She had been repeatedly elected because she was seen as taking a hard line with Tagmatika. There was still an arrest warrant out for her in the Megas Agios Basileia, even though it had been over sixty years since the events at the end of the Long War which had caused the Hexanesa to break away from Arhomaneia. It looked like the relationship between the islands and the mainland were warming up in the reign of Theodosios VI but his death at the hands of an assassin and the civil war that followed had halted that. At the time, some of the other Kritai had considered throwing in their support behind the cabal of naval and army officers attempting to revive the Navarkhokrateia but that scheme had been stopped by the then Megas Krites, Ioannes Hegesinos. It just would have meant a vengeful Kommodos landing forces on the islands and bringing them to heel by force. Some of the defeated rebels had tried to flee to the islands in the aftermath of the civil war but they had been turned away, most of those disappearing further east or south. There were rumours that the new regime in Tagmatika had shot dozens, if not hundreds, of rebellious officers. Handing over any refugees would have been as bad as murder even if it would have meant that Tagmatika might have warmed up to the Hexanesa. The pot of tea was empty and Leotykhidissa stood to her feet, using the arms of her chair to help her get there. One of the Skouterioi stepped forward to take her arm but the old woman waved him off. The big dog stood up and followed the old lady at her heels as she started on the walk towards her official residence. It wasn't too far away from the harbour and the cafe. Gournaion was not a bustling metropolis by the standards of most nations, even New Wurld ones, but it was the largest city of the Hexanesa. The other people walking the streets knew the Megas Kritissa by sight and waved at her as she passed. Many other heads of state would use a car to get around but the size of the capital meant it was unnecessary and Leotykhidissa also loved to see the city. It meant that the old lady felt like she was more in touch with the ordinary people of her country than others in her position might be. And she could see the effects of the policies that she enacted or the repercussions of wurld events. In recent years, the numbers of boarded up shops were more noticeable than ever before. As she walked through the cobbled streets of the port, it was obvious where the road surface had become worn or damaged and been replaced with cheaper tarmac. The Great Europan Collapse had not impacted the islands as badly as others – the government hadn't fallen apart due to economic ruin like in many other countries but the primary industries of fishing and logging had taken a hit. The tourist trade had been nascent but starting to bear fruit, with southerners coming to see the relatively unspoilt landscapes, although others came to see the remains of the battlefields of the Long War. Those were mainly Tagmatioi and their money was as good as anyone else's, even if the Hexanesoi didn't like their government. However, that had dried up and the tourist board of the Kritakrateia just didn't have the money or the pull to try to attract more people to the islands. Foreign faces were now entirely uncommon on the islands. The Megas Kritissa got to the official residence of the head of the islands. It was no towering edifice but a low villa, almost in the classical style, if not for the modifications made to the architecture to take into account the frigid winters. A pair of guards in the dress uniform of the Taxiotai, the island's paramilitary police, stood either side of the door. Their faces were slightly reddened from the cold and their breath clouded in the early morning air. Leotykhidissa would make sure that the guards changed over a bit earlier than scheduled to get them out of the cold. The big dog walked up to the nearest and sniffed at the gendarme's boots. “Arkadios, come.” The dog stopped sniffing about immediately and trotted after the old woman and into the building. It was a comfortable enough building, if slightly more grand than many others in the city. It was the old seat of the Exarkhos, the governor, of the Hexanesa, back before the Long War had dashed that all to the winds. It was, imaginatively, known as the Palati tou Exarkhou, the Palace of the Exarkhos, although “palace” was far too grand a name. Arkadios' nails clicked on the tiles in the hall. The vestibule was cold and a draught blew through it, even with the front doors now closed by the Taxiotai on guard. The only real nod to being in the building was when an aide stepped forward to take the Megas Kritissa's coat and held out a warm indoor robe. Waving the aide away with a gesture, Leotykhidissa took off her coat and changed into the offered robe. “A cup of tea to warm you up?” the man asked. He was almost as old as Leotykhidissa and had the air of a trusted retainer about him. “Yes, thank you,” replied the Megas Kritissa, giving him a thin smile that still managed to be warm. “Can you take it through to the study? There are some papers I wish to go through before I get anything else done today.” “Of course,” he sketched a quick bow and stopped to give Arkadios a pat on the head before he did so. “Anything for this boy?” “No, he's had a pastry already this morning,” Evangela said, looking down at the big dog, who was in turn looking up hopefully at the aide with big eyes. He was trying to suggest that he'd not been fed at all today, despite what was being said. “He sat patiently outside, waiting for the service to finish. He's been a good boy.” Arkadios' tail wagged at the words. “I will bring the tea through when it is ready, Megas Kritissa,” said the aide, finally stopping rubbing the fur on top of the stheneloser's head and walking down the hall. “The heating's on, so the study should be nice and warm.” “Thank you, Leontios,” the old lady said and walked further into the residence. One of the main changes from the traditionally designed Arhomaiki home was that the study wasn't in a commanding place in the building, open to both ends to allow a good view throughout. Instead, in a nod to the cold weather, the room abutted the kitchen, to allow it to take warmth in from the ovens in the walls. That, along with the underfloor heating, made it one of the most snug rooms in the depths of winter. For an elderly person, it made it very liveable. Arkadios padded into the room and went straight over to the dog bed that lay in between the desk and the door and curled up in it. His eyes were on the Megas Kritissa as she pulled out the chair behind the desk and took out a pad of paper. She looked ahead almost blankly for a moment before taking a fountain pen from the mug of pens on the desk and started writing. It took a long time for the words to start properly coming and the cup of tea that Leontios placed on the desk was stone cold before she took notice of it. Eventually, the big dog had started to fidget and whine slightly, making it known that he needed to go out to go to the loo before Leotykhidissa finally stopped her fitful writing and looked down at the words on the page. She sighed and made the sign of the cross in the Aroman fashion – thumb, index and middle finger together, going from right to left – before sitting back in the chair. Of course, as she herself was not a despot, Leotykhidissa would put it before the other five Kritai to see what they would think. Personally, it seemed to be the only way to guarantee the fate of the Hexanesa but she had no idea whether it was the right choice. She was just tired of seeing her beloved nation rot and its people suffer like they had been doing for the last few decades. Her status as a Lipotakissa and her stance on Arhomaneia meant that she would probably be the only person who could propose a reunion with the Megas Agios Basileia without it being immediately shouted down and the proposer being arrested for high treason. It was certainly shocking, even to Leotykhidissa, but perhaps it was time for her country to come in from the cold. OOC: It's time to get the ball rolling on the first part mentioned here.
  3. Roué, the capital of the Republic of Paranne (Lycian: République da Paranne). Three Shffahkians are sitting in a limousine. And then what? Nothing, it would make a fine set-up for a joke is all. Says Louque Admie, a lanky thin pale man in a suit, whom some call him the living embodiment of an academic possessing several degrees and qualifications of various backgrounds, who also happens to be the sitting president of the Collective of Ministers. Holding a pile of papers barely together with several falling from his clutches with every bump the limousine meets. Sounds like a pretty terrible joke. It ain't even got anythin' after. The three should be doing something... Like arm-wrestling! Replies a far heftier man, Rémy Rémy. Tall, outgoing and radiating a presence of courage, he is the current president of the Shffahkian Council. Never one to say much and one to almost always forget something important, a popular rumour of him is that he forgot his last own last name. Well, I didn't say it would be a fine joke per se. Says Admie as he kneels down to pick up the myriad of documents he dropped during the limousine ride. But rather that it would make a good set-up - ça veut dire - a start to one which then predisposes the listener to the comedic twist, thereby... Agh, great this year's documents for the Port-Réel Celebrations budget are besmirched in coffee. Ah, so that's where that went. Says Adélaïde Larue as she bends to pick up the leaking thermal mug putting it back on the small pile of thermal mugs of varying colours next to her. Why did you even bring those files, to begin with? Are you planning a parade float of your own or something? Well excuse me, but I said, many a time, I wasn't going to stop this discussion over the budget of these celebrations for anything. That includes this project of yours, going about galavanting across Paranne. As if the situation in Shffahkiaville isn't bad enough without you constantly avoiding our budget talks. Also, based on that pile haven't you had enough coffee? That addiction of yours is beginning to spiral out of control. You see... Larue pauses for a moment to sip her coffee. There's a difference between an addiction and a passion. Of course, there is. One is an all-consuming fire while the other is a spark of enlightenment, correct? Which stop is next again? Interrupts Rémy looking at one the documents detailing their trip around Paranne. Is it the At-risk Disenfranchised Indigenous Women's Mental Health Association or Parannais Mining Rights Society? No, we already were at the At-risk Disenfranchised Indigenous Women's Mental Health Association back in Térémaie. Does the hour-long hike to the mining site where the protests were happening ring a bell? We had to walk all the way up the mountain because they don't allow transportation vehicles that far up the mountain. Those were women? They were by far too hairy to be women; one even had a beard I'm pretty sure. You're sure they weren't the miners? More importantly, you call that a mountain? I've climbed hills that were bigger than that! They were shouting in... Louque Admie attempts to say before being cut off by Rémy. And I've climbed them without any equipment what so ever! That's great, but how do you explain the fact that they were very clearly throwing what seemed like dirt towards mining equipment? Maybe they were protesting salary cuts? They were shouting in an indigenous language... How should I know what they were speaking? And why are we even going out of our way to talk to some insane sasquatches up in the mountains? They can't even vote what's the point in that? Larue intervenes and says Paranne loves to boast of its indigenous cultural presence. Despite only 15% or so of the population actually being made up of that particular group. So making good with that important minority smooths procedures in the long run. Besides the president's husband suggested it to us prior to our visit. Which one of them was the queer one again? asks Rémy abruptly. What on Eurth do you mean? inquires Admie, flabbergasted. Émeric Dutoit is the first openly "queer," as you so blatantly put it, president of Paranne. His election was seen as a big step forward in the country. Ah, so it's Émeric and not Sylvain? By definition, they both are! Decries Admie, frustratedly at Rémy. And please, do not employ such a word during this trip. What's wrong with calling the sky blue? The negative connotations the word drags around as baggage. Drag, don't tell me they... Says Rémy before being interrupted by Larue Please just stop for goodness' sake. What if it comes up during dinner? I highly doubt this particular subject will come up during our dinner answers Admie. I'm sure we can converse over other topics such as the new ADIWMHA spokesperson... Sasquatch! Interrupts Rémy. Or perhaps the unification deal Larue continues then returning to her coffee. Ah yes, back to that. So after the dinner, we have two stops left depending on how long the pursuing negotiations are Admie preludes. They were which again? Rémy asks. The Animal Rescue Centre of Roué and then the... Wouldn't the joke be better if it began with something else than three Shffahkians? inquires Rémy. Excuse me, what? Admie replies with utter despair in his eyes. Something like a Sunset Sea Islandian, a Shffahkian and a Mauridiviahn are sitting in a limousine. That does sound more like an actual joke. Larue comments. It seems like we've almost arrived, is everything ready? As ready as it can be. replies Admie sweating from anticipation. Let's just hope no arm-wrestling happens. I would say the opposite, you porcelain man! answers Rémy right as the limousine doors open to reveal the glimmer of cameras.
  4. For many years, the “Group Of Five”, an informal group of Slavic nations close to each other, have endured relative prosperity and well-being. However, with new land being snatched up left and right, the Euroführer felt that they needed to put their foot in the door. The “Group Of Five” includes the Euroführer, @Cavunia @Greater Serbia, @Poland-Lithuania, and @Girkmand. Relations have been positive with most of these countries for many years. However, that may change with a new possible land acquisition. (This will be added to over time)
  5. Wednesday, 14th February 2018 Santhope House The KIng's Equerry - "Your Majesty, The Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence." The two Ministers enter the King's private study. Both Ministers and the Equerry bow to the King. Albert II - "Prime Minister." Sir Anthony - "Your Majesty." Albert II - "Sir Henry." Sir Henry - "Your Majesty" They both bow and shake the King's hand. Albert II - "How can I help you Gentlemen?" Sir Anthony - "Well Your Majesty, as you are well aware, the Navy is undertaking a survey operation in the northwest to map out the waterways through the island groups. The commander of the task group, Captain Peter Blackwell, was in contact with the First Sea Lord and the Chief of the Defence Staff stating that the islands were to the best of his knowledge uninhabited. He sort permission from the Board, to extend the operation to a joint service operation to undertake a land survey of the island groups. Which the Board, after consultation with Sir Henry and the Attorney-General, gave their blessing. Sir Henry - "Sir, If I may. (Rolls out a maritime chart of the area, and points to the four islands). The original operation was to chart the water ways surrounding these four island groups. Part of the job they have is to also to gather information about indigenous maritime traffic, which when Captain Blackwell submitted his report, was non-existent, which lead him to believe that these islands were uninhabited. Albert II - "So Gentlemen, you're both telling me, that we've had these islands within our sphere of influence for the last one hundred and fifty years, and we haven't done anything about it? Sir Henry - "Not necessarily Sir. (He pulls a ring-bound report from his brief case). According to the survey reports along with imagery taken by our Air Forces UAV's, it says that up until at least ten to fifteen years ago, they were to some extent inhabited." Albert II - "Well what happened to them?" Sir Anthony - "Well Sir, we believe they may have migrated further west to either the Alharun or Aurelian continents." Albert II - "Ok, So this obviously doesn't require anything done on my part, so what's the matter then Gentlemen?" Sir Anthony - "Sir, Both sides of the house, the Defence Board, and members of industry have approached the cabinet pushing for us to make claim to the islands. Having said that, the Cabinet is of the opinion as well. According to the Land Survey reports, there are large mineral deposits on the islands, as well as from a defence point of view, they are positioned in a strategically important area, which would allow us to project our forces. So, we've come today Sir, for you to sign an instrument declaring that these island groups are Terra Nullis and they have been claimed by the Gallambrian Monarchy, as external territories." Albert II - "Right then, well thank you Gentlemen, this will need to be discussed with the Privy Council, and Sir Jock will be in touch with you. Thank you." Sirs Anthony & Henry - "Your Majesty." They both bow and exit the study. Sir Anthony whispering to Sir Henry - "That went better than expected."
  6. Looking at expanding Gallambria's reach 'globally' for political, economic and strategic reasons. I have an interest in these three islands/island groups. My intention is not to land grab, however to expand into islands/areas that would extend my nations reach into the northern hemisphere, but also allowing nations to access the Marenesian island group. Below is the plan I have for my expansion. As these islands are deemed "Terra Nullis" - I will be RP'ing the claims through maritime exploration by Government and Naval maritime forces.
  7. I've almost worked up enough a backstory for my nation to the point that I feel I can actually start joining some of the roleplay, but as this is my first roleplay in Europa I don't want to make any sort of egregious errors. What would be the best way to bring my nation into contact the rest of the region? For example: Begin with the election of a president who is in favor of knocking down the isolationist barriers which his predecessors have set up, sending out diplomatic feelers to other nations. Decide to enter a war or other conflict which is already going on. Have some kind of crisis in my country which results in foreign intervention or at least interest. Randomly declare war on somebody. Invade more territory. That kind of thing. Can I just pick one of these ideas and roll with it, or is there one particular way in which I should endeavor to cure my n00bishness? (Not to RPing in general, but to Europa.)
  8. Welcome to all foriegn delegations who have ventured to Dew Point. I hope that you had a relaxing trip. Now to the issues at stake. 1) The fate of the two islands off the coast of Area #82 a ) Are they part of Area #82? b ) Can they be claimed by any nation, regardless of population limits set forth in the rules of the maps? 2) The Rules of the Map a ) What are the territory limits to any nation, in the 'in between' areas (ie, land caputed during the war, islands, etc) b ) What are legitimate reactions by other nations? Should there by any limitations. We, the Allied States of Meteorola declare the Dew Point Peace Accords (DPPA) offically open.
  9. At 01:00 hrs this morning, the military might of The Armed Republic of Paranoid Schizos was mobilized and ordered into plot 67. The reason for this is National Security. 24 hour Combat Air Patrols are in operation backed up by Airborne Early Warning Systems. The 3rd Carrier Battle Group has put to sea and established a total exclusion zone extending 5 miles from the coast of plot 67, which will be merged with our great country. 1st and 4th Shock Army and the 54th Airmobile Brigade have struck deep into the territory, encountering little resistance. The indigenous population are wary, but welcoming. A 'hearts and minds' campaign is underway and a promise to modernise and harmonise this new area of Paranoid Schizos has been pledged. A total reporting blackout is in force and will be reviewed daily. All other nations are urged to allow us to go about our business with no interference. Our forces will not fire until fired upon. So far the plan has gone well with only a handful of casualties experienced within the Task Force.
  10. The situation in the Northwestern Europa had just started to normalize again as the governments of Vanarambaion and S.S.S.S agreed to stop hostilities for a week. Meanwhile however at the other side of the continent was boiling a new cauldron of troubles. The Byzantine royal family had become a target for an unknown group of assassins and in the most serious assassination attempts yet the Byzantine Emperor had been nearly killed and was lying unconscious in hospital forcing his son to take his duties. What was even more worrying was that Vanarambaian troops had captured several dozen people similar to the assassins during the conflict in the north. These were then turned to Byzantines and surely they are never heard again. The other governments of Europa had expressed their condolences and offered aid to Byzantines. Vanarambaion had even sent a team of shadow corps to aid Byzantine troops to find the assassins. Who are these people and where they come from? What were their motives?
  11. **Breaking News from Stoned Smurfs** "Hello, I am Ann Ryder from SPOT radio out of Potsville, Stoned Smurfs. We are broadcasting to you live outside of the Green Movements HQ. I have acquired a top secrete memo from President Pot himself declaring the two islands located to the east of the S.S.S.S. official territory. Many have considered the furthest island its own nation or that of the nation above it. We here at SPOT radio feel this is just another example of how oppressive our government is. The memo also outlines plans to turn each island into its own military base and conduct exercises on each. One island will be turned into a naval base and they plan to make a man made lake big enough to repair many major naval ships at once. The other will be strictly for air assaults and airports. We believe this should show all of Europa Pot's true intentions. The President and this administration is hell bent on ugh..." The camera is knocked out of focus for a few seconds and then comes in to view once it is settled on the ground. What we see next is two rather large men dressed in dark blue suits angrily escort and woman and what appears to be an unconscious man off the premises. **End of transmission**
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