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Coronation Celebration

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Grand Duke Valentinian III had chosen to arrive with a naval escort aboard the Royal Yacht, Eos, accompanied by the training cruiser PSS Pallamara, accompanied by the frigates PSS Athene and Rhiannon.  (It was considered dreadfully unlucky in Pallamara to name any seagoing vessel after a male figure, and generally warships were named for goddesses from various mythologies.  Even the Pallamara was named for the feminine embodiment of the nation, rather than the country itself) Athene was an air defense vessel, while the Rhiannon was more of a general purpose frigate.  The three vessels had accompanied the Eos not only as a matter of pride, but also in case the Coronation was to include a naval review, which was an event Pallamara wanted to be aptly represented in. Of course, what was discovered was that docking space was to be rather limited, what with all the extra maritime traffic there for the great event, so it was decided only the Eos itself would dock, while the other three vessels remained offshore, far enough to be out of the way, but close enough to arrive in short order if the occasion required it.  




In the meantime, Admiraal van der Vaat, was tasked with keeping everyone busy, since they would be missing the festivities of the coronation going on ashore, so instead it was decided to take advantage of the higher than normal amount of air and naval traffic to test out the surveillance capabilities of the fleet by carefully noting and cataloguing any and all surface, air, or underwater contacts, and using the occasion to run a very high intensity drill, which would involve all vessels being at action stations for days, though he did promise extra shore leave at other ports--if the crews performed to satisfaction, that was.  There was also the chance they might even be able to gather some useful ELINT from other vessels operating in the area, probably also drawn to the area by the same event.

The exception to all of this were the Pallamara's cadet corps, who would be transferred via boat and helo to the Eos.  They would take the opportunity to enjoy the celebrations in the city, meet with naval personnel from other nations who might be visiting, and in general have a good time, while absorbing a bit of foreign culture, though they'd be reminded that on this occasion they were representing both their nation and the branch itself, and anyone who screwed this up could expect to spend their naval careers scrubbing out bilges with the most inappropriate tool imaginable.


With the transfer completed, the escort would peel off, leaving the Eos to make its way to port.  Notably, Hannah, the Grand Duke's youngest child, stayed aboard the Pallamara, to continue her duties there, where she was a surface-to-Air Weapons Instructor.  All royals were expected to serve in either the armed forces, or the merchant marine, and Hannah had chosen to make a career in the Rijkszeemacht, rather than just serving for long enough to be considered as a candidate for inheriting the throne, as her brother, Karl, the Crown Prince had done in the Laandsweer.  Royals, however, received no special treatment, and in fact, by tradition, tended to be exposed to harsher standards and demands than their peers, meaning she'd had to work twice as hard to attain her present rank, and position, and much to the disappointment of many watching in Pallamara, wouldn't be with her father for the widely covered event, which suited her just fine.  The Instructors on the Pallamara were the very best at their jobs in the fleet, and the upcoming exercise was going to be a challenging one, that would test everyone's skill and endurance, and without the need to mentor the cadets and trainees aboard, would give her chance to put her hard earned proficiency to work in something like a realistic environment.


  As for the Grand Duke, he arrived in style on the Royal Yacht, but calling it that was a bit of a misnomer, as it was practically a small liner instead, and spacious enough to not only transport the monarch in style, but to hold a variety of museums, concert halls, and other displays of Pallamaran culture, as well as perhaps one of the largest Tiffany Glass collections in the world. Going along with that, she was also noted for her incredibly lush Art Noveux decor, which first time visitors often found disorienting, or even overwhelming.  


In stark contrast to the copious luxury the man surrounded himself with, he was rather plain of dress, and ascetic of temperament, wearing a finely made dark forest green military tunic with matching trousers and a pair of high, riding boots.  The stiff, mandarin style collar and cuffs were bottle green, with only the epaulets, bare of any rank emblems or shoulder-boards, sporting a red-orange color.  Otherwise, there were no medals, emblems of rank, or other decorations, save for the simple order of merit, that of The Blue Rose, which was awarded for charitable and humanitarian work.  Generally speaking, Valentianian eschewed fancy dress feeling that such finery was a form of overcompensation generally exercised by those of lesser accomplishment; he didn't wear such things because he simply didn't *need* to.  He was a powerful, well regarded monarch of a wealthy, prosperous nation; what more did he need?  Still, in deference to the occasion, he did wear a Black "Sam Browne" belt, and the Pallamaran sword of state, which happened to be in the form of a very plain (and it should be said, brutally functional) Pattern 1845 cutlass.  Unlike most such weapons of state, which were little more than jeweled and gilded ceremonial representations of a monarch's power, this specimen's value mostly lie in the workmanship and quality of steel that had gone into it.  The large bowl guard had been styled in such a way to represent the front of the ship, with the blade forming the bowsprit.  Its purpose had been to remind all of the nation's connection to the sea, which was why the form of a cutlass had been chosen, and its lack of gilding or decoration, a reminder to the monarch who wielded it, that ultimately, their power rested not upon gold, but steel.  He himself had added to it in some small way, ordering that a few lines from a poem be discretely engraved upon the blade, which read:

Gold is for the Mistress--Silver for Maid
Copper for the Craftsman, Cunning at his Trade.
"Good!" Spake the Duke, sitting in his Hall,
"But Steel, Cold Steel, is the Master of them All!"

The words had personal meaning to the Grand Duke.  His power rested on many things, the proud tradition of his house, the wealth of the nation, the love of his people, and the wisdom of his reign, but beyond all of that, there was the steel of resolve, and, if it came to that, the steel of arms. The latter, he'd seldom had to exercise, but should the need call for it, that power was at his fingertips--and he'd used it before.  Not in any large, overt way, of course--the monarchy were the defenders of the Constitution, after all, but there had been subtle, select applications here and there, mainly exercised to send a message towards certain special interest groups within the nation, with regard to what would, and would not be tolerated, when said interests pushed their agendas too far.

A prearranged chartered limousine had ferried the Grand Duke to the Palace with a small party of aides, which he entered with little fanfare, after having the status of his party confirmed by whatever elements were in place to do that.  In truth, he was really only here to represent Pallamara, at an important event, which was the coronation of King Aidan, not to socialize.  This was Aidan's moment in the sun, not his own, after all, though it might be useful someday in further dealings with the new monarch, to have been known to have taken the time to personally attend the crowning.  

Finding somewhere prominent enough to be visible to the many cameras, but preferring to avoid the company of most of the other foreign dignitaries, particularly so many of them at once, Valentinian and his group would take their places and wait for the affair to commence. 

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FFfFfF Dina Diva, just before the coronation

Dina Diva was a no-brainer for an event like this. One could call themselves a King, a Queen, a Duke, Duchess, Emperor or Empress by sheer heritage but when it came to Alharu and the world, there was one irrefutable Queen of the Nightlife, Empress of Reality TV, Baroness of Business, the World's Greatest Diva. A woman that had received the long and truthful praises from those that mattered, if somewhat less than her, a woman that could claim her own Kingdom from the millions upon millions of faithful followers and fans, a woman that had inspired people throughout the world to better themselves and be more like her. And King Aidan was one of those, clearly taking her words of wisdom and using them to better himself.

Of course, he would probably deny it but Dina knew that her letter to him had made the difference, the true difference. Any army can beat a coup and chase people off but the true coup was in Aidan's soul, one that Dina Diva had begun. The man was throwing a coronation party, the first step towards accepting himself as a regular person instead of just a King. Dina had seen it go wrong before, people seeing themselves as just their position. But when you live to work, you don't work to live. And without living, you're basically dead and might as well just lay down in a ditch or grave. No one wants a dead person to lead the living, that's like having a vampire run a blood bank or menstruation retreat. That's why Dina always lived life to the fullest, not only because she deserved it but because her fans, followers and citizens deserve her living it to the fullest.

Her entourage for the event was on lock. Henricus Kolewasser, better known as Hete Henk by the general public, was there to represent Variotan culture. Having just won Eurthvision, stealing the victory from the clutches of Foolish Bandit, the government had decided it was a good idea to send him around as a cultural representative. Even if they hadn't, Dina would have brought him along. The two had grown rather fond of each other, Dina Diva acting somewhat like a gayboy bunny to Henk. Both drank like fish and shared other interests, although Dina was clearly the protective one. While Henk knew how to handle hard stuff, as seen in his many movies, he was still relatively soft and generally left things alone if possible. Dina on the other hand, hardened by life and not interesting in taking sh*t, would chase a b*tch to take her down if needed and had done so many times. 

Henk's outfit had been easy, his Eurthvision outfit was still in perfect condition and featured the ability to be removed if body shots were suddenly wanted. And thus, Henk found himself at the coronation in the same bright and sparkly jumpsuit-like outfit with the Variotan flag as a pattern as he had been wearing on the Eurthvision stage, this time including Variotan flag pattern plateau boots under it. While Henk did not really have to worry about his length, he liked to appear taller during important events as he felt it gave him a slight edge.

Cherry Vooters had also been invited to join the small entourage, representing Variotan business although in reality, he was just invited as Dina hadn't seen him in a while. With Dina Diva based in Grootwaterflakte and Cherry in Ferrefaaierhafen, there weren't a lot of opportunities to party together. Of course, both being fans of fur and high heels, they still found time to party together, generally after an auction of rare furs and/or high heels. The fur and high heels market was large enough within Variota but for those with money to burn, there were a few specific places that remained hidden gems, places where one could still find baby seal fur, high heels made from the foreskin of Bahinese boys and many more unique products.

Like Henk, Cherry had gone for something a bit off track and had decided on a green snake leather-pattern catsuit, skin tight and bulging in the right places. His hair had been temporarily dyed to include a green streak, complemented with light but tasteful dashes of the same green in his make-up and matching green lipstick. His high heels, not made out of the foreskins of Bahinese boys but instead featuring genuine snake leather of a similar pattern as his catsuit. Due to the lack of pockets in the suit, he carried a small bag covered in polar bear fur. Small enough to comfortably carry in your hand, large enough to fit more than just your phone and a packet of condoms in there. His classy earrings, the same ones he had worn to his recent interview with Het Waarre Raket fan het Noorten, and a myriad of armbands and rings finished the look. 

Normally, Cherry wouldn't be seen dead with less than four men fawning over him as he was a man of class, finesse and pizzazz. However, a chance to party with Dina Diva and a chance, if a small one, to bed royalty had made him accept the fact that his own entourage would have to partially stay back. And as such, he had only brought along two men. Oiled, tanned and half-naked, wearing swim briefs with the Vooters Food Group logo on them, these men followed Cherry's command. While his regular entourage was generally also very willing to follow his commands, the fact that this was a large public event had led Cherry to opt for two star employees of his Chestaurants. Not only because of professionalism but also because they had a Non Disclosure Agreement as part of their contracts.

The last person to round out the entourage was the eighteen year old son of the North Bahinese ambassador to Variota. In order to not lose face when compared to their inferior southern brethren, the North Bahinese government and the Dalā'ī Lāmā had requested that Het Huisselant would allow for a North Bahinese representative to come along. Het Huisselant agreed, on one condition: Dina Diva had to approve of the person. The North Bahinese ambassador, a pudgy man in his 50's with less charm and dance moves than a flatulent hippopotamus, was a clear no. His wife, a slender trophy wife in her late-20s, was also a no as she had come straight from the rural farms of North Bahinar and spoke just enough Variotan and English to cheat on her husband with the gardener. 

His son, however, was approved by Dina Diva. The black sheep of the family, the son had picked up more of the Variotan culture than his father would have wanted. Working as a bartender in a Ferrefaaierhafen casino, eating meat and having a myriad of one-night stands was not something that the ambassador of a strict Buddhist nation wanted his son to do. But for once, it had worked in his advantage and now North Bahinar officially had a representative along. He was quickly named the 'bag man' by Dina Diva and made to carry a shoulder bag filled with bottles. His outfit was far simpler than those of the others, a dark blue velvet achkan with a white churidar. A white pocket square and dark blue velvet shoes finished the look.

Finding each other after the ceremony, the entourage decided to check out the various attendees before finding the bar. This also made for great television for the reality television crew that followed Dina Diva around on a permanent basis, as everyone loves gossip and all three were great at gossip.

''Who is that?''
''The guy at the bar there.''
''That's a very good question.''

Not recognizing Arthur Durand, the Minister of State of Faramount, the group continued their gaze for the cameras and focused to the Tagmatines. None of the group found them rather interesting, simply deemed Europans being Europans, and moved on just as fast as they did with Arthur Durand. When it came to Aromans, everyone knew that Adaptons were far more tolerable to be around anyway. Then came the Astriedans.

''Oh look, the Astriedans know how to insert a wolf with steroids and operate a breeding plan. Who the f*ck gives an animal as a gift? That's so sh*tty. Oh yeah, I didn't know if you wanted a nice watch or a summer house or something so I gave you this living thing that you now have to take care of every day, enjoy. Pfff.''

The Fulgistani's were slightly more interesting, although they too made the faux pas of giving a living creature. While a living creature made a nice gift, sometimes someone just wants to party hard and not resurface until a week later. If one has to take care of pets, that just adds a tinge of sadness to it as you'll find the emaciated remains of your pet.

''Oh, that's a face I recognize. Almas, Fulgistan. Pretty obvious with the horse, really. Who are those people? Are they trying to gift Aidan South Bahinese people? Do they know they're in Seylos and not in Derthalen?''
''Hahaha, don't be so mean Cherry. Almas is okay. He needs to learn how to hold his drink like a Variotan but what can you expect?''
''And there's an Adapton. Do I know who? No, but I recognize the costumes from one of my movies. The Barebacked History of the World, Part III.''
''And look at those gaudy outfits, atleast we Variotans know how to do gold properly. No one talks, to keep Mr. Big Dick over there happy. You know, I heard he had surgery done to make it look longer and thicker. If you squeeze it, it's like one of those memory foam pillows, it takes time to resettle.''
''Ew yuck!''
''That's Europan plastic surgery for you.''

The Rihan delegation was similarly skipped as the Tagmatines and Durand, as none within the group were sure if they were actually delegates or some strange cosplayers hired to do entertainment. The Lysians, also part of the party, had split up and were trying to connect to the unrecognized Arthur Durand and Augustus III, the Adapton Mr. Big Dick.

''The Lysians. Obviously trying to garble out something about their wine being great in their minds and trying to woo others into believing they matter on an international level. Hah, get proper sea access first! You know what I think is a great wine? A nice Variotan one, like a white Huis Kaamerlant. Say, you, Bahinese eye candy...''
''Raj. Do we have a nice Variotan wine in the bag?''
''I will check, Mister Vooters.''

''Did you know unofficial numbers state that the Lysians are the largest per capita users of cocaine in Europa? I've heard it's gotten so bad that Lysian bottled and tap water had been tested positive for drugs due to all those traces coming into the water.''

A quick check and a head shake no and group continued on to see Foolish Bandit, the Prymontian delegate, and someone Dina Diva had worked and partied with before.

''Did the Prymontians send Foolish Bandit?''
''I guess so, hun. They're taking a page out of my book. Remember, #tightfacesfillworkplaces?''
''Oh yeah, I remember that.''
"'Who do you rather want to see as a young King? Some old guy in a suit or Foolish Bandit?''
''True that.''
''Is that man trying to hide?''
''What man?''
''That man! There!''
''But he's standing right there! That's not hiding.''
''Darling, he is avoiding any others.''
''Aren't we doing the same?''
''No, we're gossiping for reality TV.''
''Oh yeah.''
''Hold on, let me check my phone. They sent me pictures of people with names.''

Dina Diva quickly checked her phone as she had been sent pictures of the various dignitaries with names in order to practice for the event. Of course, Dina Diva is a natural and does not need practice and instead had opted to simply keep the list of pictures on her phone to check when needed. Spotting Valentinian III - Pallamara on the picture matching the man standing there, Dina Diva showed the others.

''See, Pallamarian. Our long lost cousins.''
''Are they?''
''They are.''
''Hey, scroll up. Isn't that that guy at the bar?''

Now seeing who Arthur Durand was, the four went 'hmm'. Of course, it didn't matter at that time who the man was, as he was busy and thus unable to speak to the Variotans. Slowly moving towards the bar, as the group had had all groups attending, the cameras followed them. The first step towards a fun night, namely some hard liquor, was quickly ordered by Dina Diva and twelve shots of caramel vodka were lined up on the bar, two for each person. Downing them in record speed, a quick 'Proos!' being heard, the group turned around and looked to see if Aidan was free, in order to give the gifts prepared and start the evening properly.

Of course, taking ownership of a horse and a wolf takes time and he wasn't free yet, staying busy by having to talk to the Astriedan and Fulgistani delegates. Instead, Dina Diva saw her fellow artist Foolish Bandit come to her. Understandable as she and her entourage were obviously the most fun people at the coronation, that was a fact. Was there another Queen of the Nightlife, Empress of Reality TV, Baroness of Business, and the World's Greatest Diva here? Of course not. 

''Bandit, darling! How gorgeous to see you! Want a drink? Of course you do. Bartender, seven shots! Line 'em up!''
''Yes Dina Diva!''
''Not you, Raj. You're a representative today.''

As the bartender started lining them up, Dina Diva and Foolish Bandit did a short hug.

''Of course you remember my camera man, still the same guy. Obviously you know Henk and I guess his outfit. You know how it is, people want body shots and then you just need something that you can tear off. Cherry over here is the ravishing mastermind of the Vooters Food Group. The Bahinese gentleman is the son of the North Bahinese Ambassador to Variota and bag man of the evening, Raj. And the two oiled men are just some Vooters employees, here to help us have fun. Have you seen what the Astriedans and Fulgistani's have done? Live animals, such a faux pas. Give people a nice fur coat or something, a summer house, something nice. Not something you need to feed.''



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Posted (edited)

The Faramanian Minister of State was just beginning to enjoy his drink when Sofia Savio approached. The Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Faramount was a black woman of small size, standing just 5'4, and weighing perhaps 125 pounds. But the middle-aged woman had an imposing stature, and an even more imposing, stern voice. Savio had immediately made her way to see Domiano, followed closely by her aide and bodyguard. Domiano's own bodyguard stepped forward as he saw the approaching socialists, cursing, and warning "FFRU," just before Savio spoke.

"Why, Minister of State, such a pleasure to see you," Savio said in Anglish, "please, won't you get me a drink as well? Do they have any of your regime's specials here? A blood-based wine? Perhaps an oil cocktail?" 

Domiano turned red as he faced the socialist leader. "Mignotta," he cursed in Limonaian, before replying in Anglish, "what are you doing here?"

"Well, you see, most nations are not led by geriatric imbeciles, so their actual leaders can come to an event such as this one." Savio eyed Domiano's plum middle section before continuing. "But I guess that is not the case for the dictatorial sort, or else you would not be jiggling about the bar."

"What, a national leader like you?" Domiano laughed. "You're the leader of a glorified cultural organization. You wouldn't even understand the kinds of demands there are on President Terrone's time."

"And he has so little time left," Savio retorted, "whereas my glorified cultural organization will continue to speak for the people of Faramount long after that dictator is dead and gone."

"Yes, yes, speak for the people," Domiano said, waiving his hand dismissively, "if you're so committed to democracy, then why is it that your little outfit is led by its founder's daughter? Why is that your parliament has never even met?"

"We had to suspend the constitution because of your leader's coup," Savio replied, "and the fifty years civil war that it sparked."

Domiano suddenly seemed to notice Secretary Tekin for the first time, and allowed a smile to return to his face. "Ah, I had not seen that the illegitimate government of @Fulgistan had arrived," he said. "President Terrone actually desired for me to relay my condolences for your losses against the Black Hand. It is such a sad thing, war. We've had it on our lands for so long due to foreign interference -- my president's heart goes out to you for having to experience it yourself."

Edited by Faramount
Changes as redesigning nation post-FDL.
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