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Imperator Valentino's State Visit to the Rihan Republic

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Hel na Fvillhaih

From the Office of the Praetor

CONFIDENTIAL - SECURITY LEVEL RUTA

To: Emperor Valentino of the Republic of Asgeirria

RE: Agenda for the Impending State Visit

Praetor Mathon Terix anxiously awaits your arrival in Dartha by boat. We have communicated to your office the exact mooring location for your vessel and the specific codes to be used to pass unhindered by maritime elements of the Republican Military.  As his foremost advisor, I have been tasked with the assemblage of a thorough agenda and all the respective arrangements to make your visit both as productive and as pleasant as possible. I have taken the liberty of preparing for you a spacious and well-appointed bedchamber at the Praetor's Palace overlooking the Forum of Cailax. Three servants have been instructed to be on hand at all times should you require anything. I suspect that you are bringing your own guards to accompany you. Under the strict order of the Senate, only the City Guard or the Praetor's own soldiers are allowed to be armed within the confines of the capital. Given the size of both forces, your security should be well-covered but the Praetor insisted that you be given a personal bodyguard from within the Praetorians. Should you want to leave the Palace at any time during your visit outside of the scheduled sessions, you must be with your Praetorian escort, for your protection.

And now, the agenda. An elaborate state banquet in your honor, with high-ranking military officials and members of both the Senate and general aristocracy, will be held on the first night of your visit. The following morning, the Praetor and you will have a one-on-meeting to discuss a range of topics (see below) of importance facing both nations. At mid-day, the Senate convenes. His Foremost wishes you to be in attendance to watch the proceedings, and should you desire, you may have the opportunity to speak on the floor of the chamber to the Membership. If you do wish to speak, please let me know and I will communicate this to the appropriate leaders.

Following the Senate session, you will be given a tour of Dartha by yours truly while the Praetor meets with members of the Central Command, of which you will join that session two hours later. There will be a dinner hosted at the urban villa of Senator Liviana Charvanek that both you and the Praetor will attend. There will be both a pre-dinner wine reception and post-dinner entertainment, a musical performance by notable Ryillist, Hexce Parem. I have left the final day of your visit is largely open, as well as the Praetor's schedule. I suspect that there might be needed - either another one-on-one session with His Foremost or a different type of activity you may wish to have arranged.

I wish the best of fortunes for this visit and hope that it will only prove to further relations between our two proud Aurelian states.

Sincerely,

Mirel Avelik

Chamberlain 

Topics of Discussion 

  • On the status of the Southern Aurelian Islands
  • On military cooperation between Rihan and Asgeirria
  • Regarding military equipment
  • Matters of economic growth
  • The institution of Cultural Exchange and other relevant programs
  • Reaffirming Diplomatic Status and its potential evolution
  • The long-term picture for Aurelia
  • Other matters to be introduced as required

(For @Asgeirria)

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To:  Mirel Avelik

From: John Valentino

Re: Armament in capitol

Dear sir,

Are my White Harts allowed to bring their ceremonial spears and swords? It's quite a necessary part of the ensemble, otherwise they're just going to be walking around in their shiny armor looking silly. If they can't bring their ceremonial items, I'll just leave them on the boat and put myself in the watchful care of the Praetors.

Yours,

John Valentino

----------------------------------------------------------

 

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The emperor arrived on his private yacht, having made a few stops along the way; namely Scylla and Charybdis. It was quite rare that the Keeper of Man had an excuse to take a leisurely cruise, and Valentino was quick to jump on such an opportunity. He had been a traveler before he was selected as the emperor, and had visited most countries; Rihan had been a frequent stop before Asgeirria's travel ban was lifted. Being a well-travelled fellow, it was hard for the emperor to adjust to the grounding reality of his office. Now, he was resigned to state visits being his only respite from the monotony of the capitol.

His ship, staffed with all sorts of personnel, from the shiny, clanky White Harts, to mildly grubby cabin boys. The ship itself was luxurious; Ten decks, an indoor pool, a small boathouse, a submersible bay, a large jacuzzi, a ballroom, and all the trappings of a four-star hotel. Little as it was used, though. Valentino had brought along his arm candy, Lady JaJa, though he didn't intend to take her ashore on a state visit, not that she minded being left out of such dry matters. Being a household name in Asgeirria, and the self-proclaimed matron of "ArtPop", a genre heavily influenced by Variotan culture, she was inclined to spend her time partying on boats rather than involving herself in regional politics. The emperor's attachment to the popstar was well-documented, but not well-understood. Nevertheless, he had arrived in Dartha and was ready for some international diplomacy. As his boat docked, he stood by the boarding ramp and awaited the arrival of his guide.

 

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Posted (edited)

The day had arrived that the Imperator of Asgeirria was to arrive.

Avelik had received a last-minute communique from the Imperator concerning his ceremonial guard's weapons. The Chamberlain had consulted with the Senate Consuls about any potential loopholes in the weapons restrictions pertaining to the capital. The law had been designed to prevent any regular Republican army from bringing their entire force to bear, and essentially, commandeer the state through sheer force. It did not apply to foreign leaders so long as they were invited. In this case, the Imperator had been invited directly by the Praetor. It was settled, the Imperator's White Harts would be part of the security detail. He responded to the Imperator's message in the affirmative and went ahead with the final preparations.

Everything was ready for the Imperator's arrival from his transport to the banquet and the set-up of his quarters at the Palace for the next several nights. He walked through each room, giving it his personal inspection, nodding with approval at the respective servants responsible. All was in order. Satisfied, he embarked for the Harbor to officially greet their honored guest. The small vehicle convoy they would be using emerged from the Palace to the throngs of individuals wanting to catch a glimpse of their foreign guest, Praetorians forming a man-made wall to define a path through the core of the capital.

An honor guard of Praetorians had already gotten ahead of Avelik and the Imperator's detachment and they were lined up on both sides the quay, close to the end. Avelik approached the Harbor from the Forum and could start to make out the sheer size of the Imperator's personal yacht, a sight to behold. It certainly peaked the interest of several commoners who had been working the docks as the vessel made preparations for final docking.

Meeting Mirel at the city end of the honor guard was Senator Pranana, the appointed Foreign Minister.

"Where have you been?" demanded the Senator, pointing to his watch while eyeing the disembarking Imperator. Avelik, given his position as the Chamberlain, was only responsible to the Praetor. "Doing the important work of getting the Palace ready for the arrival of our guest, after all, an individual of such importance only deserves the finest of experiences," he retorted. Before they could continue their little spat, the Minister's aide informed him the Imperator was ready to be officially welcomed. "Nevermind," paused Pranana, "let's greet him." Avelik nodded, deciding he'd find a different opportunity to put the Minister in his place, concurred. The commanding officer of the Praetorians then instructed the band to strike up the anthem of Asgeirria and the soldiers to stand at attention, Lirash polearms at the ready.

Avelik and Pranana walked down the dock and stopped close to the Imperator. "Honored Imperator," began Avelik, "on behalf of Praetor Terix, the Senate, and the People, welcome to the Rihan Republic." Pranana then added "Praetor Terix looks forward to greeting you formally at the Praetor's Palace. He has sent the two of us to personally escort you to the Forum of Caliax."

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The sound of clanking could be heard for quite some time before the four White Harts appeared, their ruthenium armor shining extraordinarily brightly. It was a clear day, and the sun reflecting off their armor made them quite painful to look at. All the better to conceal how sweaty the poor sods were, trotting around in what amounted to glorified tin cans, with the practicality and utility of timberworking with a butterknife. As the band played, the emperor strode down the gangplank, flashing a winning smile (at least, for those who weren't blinded by his guards). He found the experience of the anthem being played on these instruments to be quite unique. He made his way towards the nicest dressed person on the dock, assuming it to be his point of contact.

"Thank you, Avelik. So nice to finally meet you. I look forward to my stay with your wonderful people, and hope for many more in the future. Now, let's away to the palace, I simply must meet the Praetor." Valentino exclaimed, clearly exuberant to be free of the confines of Regis Celestia and the humdrum monotony that it entailed.

On all four sides of him, the White Harts clanked along, carrying their glorious ruthenium spears, glistening and gleaming like rays of sunlight themselves. If one survived the blinding, or was wearing sunglasses and looking closely, there were intricate, ornate, and truly masterful designs carved into the armor, not that anyone would see them and not go completely blind from the excessively shiny material. What the original purpose of these walking mirrors was had likely been lost to time, known to only the wisest, and probably blindest, scholars of our time.

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"But of course," he responded. "If you will follow me to the awaiting vehicles," he offered, waving him to walk with him and the Senator by the Praetorian honor guard and into the car. The White Harts and the Praetorians who would form the Imperator's detail got into other vehicles within the convoy. As soon as everyone was inside, they moved out and into the dense capital. Tens of thousands lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the foreign head of state, a rare event, up until now. This visit was to be the first of what would likely be many in the coming weeks and months ahead as the Republic took its formal place on the global stage.

Within the middle car, Senator Pranana was rather silent as he was constantly texting with his coalition members of the chamber about that evening's banquet and what to potentially expect from it. Avelik would spend the trip pointing out several landmarks along their route to the Palace including the Baths of Reledek, the Lanshara Momument, and for only a brief second, the Orventis Arena. Dartha, the first city, was home to over 1.5 million in the city boundaries and another million in the surrounding suburban districts. It was a city of contrast and it would be easy to spot where the 'nice' areas ended and the more 'ignored' neighborhoods lie, but everywhere had at least a certain level of comfort, making the capital in far better shape than many other cities in the Republic overall.

The crowds lining the streets increased exponentially as the convoy approached the Forum, the center of life both in Dartha; but the heart of the Government. Hundreds of Praetorians encircled the entire area and along their route across to the Palace itself. Their ride was coming to an end as the vehicles entered the gates of the Palace complex, a sprawling array of buildings ranging from apartments, barracks, and offices for the Praetorate to lavish gardens and recreational facilities. A small city onto itself. "We're here," commented Avelik, and the cars circled to the largest of the buildings - the Palace itself. The soldiers of both the Imperator and his local detail got out first and prepared for the final segment of walking, a very short walk indeed. A purple carpet was rolled out from the foot of where the car door aligned, through the large doors and up the staircase to the first floor. At the top of the stairs: Praetor Terix in his ornate robes of state. Awaiting the Imperator.

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"What a lovely place." Exclaimed the emperor, delighted at the populace and the palace. Asgeirrians were much less interested in the Imperator, who was treated much the way a father might; with respect but certainly not adoration. Speeches were not common, and when they took place, it was considered courteous to show up to listen to them, not that the citizens really cared that much about the topics. The Imperator was just that-a head of state, someone to be left alone to do their job and not be bothered, like a clerk or a night stocker.

Valentino stepped out, and walked towards the Praetor.

"Praetor Terix," He said, approaching the prominent figure, "How wonderful to finally meet you. I hope our talks will be productive."

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"Be welcome," responded the Praetor, extending his hand, meeting the Imperators. Both men then adjusted themselves for the official photo that would be plastered over the TAR and other state-sponsored media. "I have been looking forward to our meeting and I am optimistic that our talks will very productive for both parties involved," he finished as the cameramen walked away to another room, certainly to set up to take official photos of the evening's banquet. "I hope Miral hasn't been too much of an annoyance on the car ride over here," his aide turning his head at hearing his name, merely to acknowledge the Praetor's comment. He had been at his side when the now-Praetor was an Admiral and was used to his somewhat dry humor at times. As the Praetor engaged in small conversation, particularly about the sea voyage across the small sea between them, the Chamberlain was busy getting the servants organized.

"You three," he snapped, "take these cases upstairs to the Imperator's quarters, overlooking the Forum," he said. The three servants said nothing but obeyed. Miral may have never been an aristocrat nor any member of his family but he was everything but and for most, he was probably one of the most powerful commoners in the Republic with the exception of the People's Assembly's various largely-unempowered magistrates. "Your accommodations have been prepared for you," he said, politely interrupting his master. "Helev, here will show you to your room. Your guards have been given housing in the Praetorian barracks across the courtyard," he paused before finishing, "if you may excuse me daise, but I must check on how the kitchen is faring in getting dinner ready."

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The Emperor was genuinely interested in getting to know the praetor, as a possible partnership, or even alliance, between the two nations would require significant rapport between the two leaders to succeed. And High Command strongly recommended that a relationship here succeed, as they had calculated that both parties involved would stand to gain significant influence in Aurelia, should control over strategic areas of the continent be solidified. He anticipated the beginning of official talks, and as much as he enjoyed the polite banter between leaders, he was perhaps overeager to beginning of the coming meetings. In these comings hours and days, the region might see a major shift in the balance of power, a titillating idea to the hungry leaders, legates, and legmen of the Imperial regime. And if it could be achieved while simultaneously gaining and benefiting an ally, all the better.

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Posted (edited)

The Praetor watched Valentino ascend the lefthand marble staircase. This meeting was important and knew his counterpart shared the same perspective. Aurelia, as a region, was almost completely isolated from the rest of the world, short of the cold wastes of the far south, Antargis. Once the Imperator was out of sight, he returned to his study to finish preparing his latest speech to present to the Senate, timed exactly for the Imperator's visit. It would outline the true foreign policy the Republic would be following from here on out. Mathon had shared copies of the address to the major senators who led their coalitions within the chamber, along with members of the Continuing Committee. He was just about to start working when Mirel interrupted him. "Dinner will be ready at 6:30," the Praetor looked at the clock which read 5:00 and nodded in acknowledgment. "Please let my wife Arenn know," he instructed. The aide responded and made his way to the Praetor's private apartments. He would spend another thirty minutes before returning to his chambers to get his wife.

Mathon entered the bedchamber and saw his wife putting on an elaborate necklace and accompanying earrings. Terix had always been one for simple, yet imposing - his wife, on the other hand, was the one who needed the latest silks, the most beautiful jewelry, the finest of all things. Arenn came from a considerably wealthy family from Rateg. They originally met when they both were in basic training at the provincial branch of the military academy. While he would serve as an enlisted man in the navy, her connections allowed her to avoid an actual combat role and instead serve in naval signals at the Lavaeri Naval Yards, the home base of the 2nd Flotilla, the very same contingent he was posted to. After her five years of service, she returned to Rateg, and Mathon continued to climb the ranks in the Navy. They would reconnect several years later during one of his shore leaves which he spent in Rateg, and have an undisclosed relationship for five more years until he formally asked for her hand in marriage. He would have to deal with her father but it wouldn't take much to convince him the marriage wasn't the wrong thing for his only daughter. When he returned to the Naval Yards, to help her feel better with the distance, her father spent over 30,000 Chaks on an elaborate urban villa in Dartha, which was but a mere hour by car from her husband's base.

Arenn had never expected Mathon to ever be more than an officer in the military and she was equally as shocked to learn that Mathon would become the Praetor. She may have been a noble lady of Rateg, but being the wife of the most powerful person in the Republic, she was not ready for. She was still very nervous about how it would change their lives. She was putting on her rings. "As ravishing as ever my dear," he remarked, giving her a peck kiss. "I hope this purple dress is sufficient," she responded. "Sufficient is hardly the world," he paused, "perfect." He readjusted his robes of state. "Ready?" he asked. Arenn quietly nodded. "Ready." The couple left their quarters and headed to the Great Hall, where the banquet would take place.

Downstairs, the festivities were already underway, senators and military officials had been streaming into the Palace for the last ten to fifteen minutes. As the Praetor reached the bottom step, the Imperator had made his appearance, greeted him once more and they all entered the room, followed by the stragglers outside the main hall. The banquet itself was one of the largest held in the Palace for some time. As everyone took their seats, the wine was being poured, and the platers upon platers of food emerged from the kitchen. It was to be a joyous evening for all. The Imperator and Praetor engaged in conversation as they dined but Mathon could not absolutely ignore the threat to his position. There were over two-thirds of the entire Senate and a quarter of the high-ranking military officers in the room. Of everyone in the room, Senators Darok and Charvanek were amongst the crowd, each playing the Great Game, under the cover of the festivities. He eyed both of them for a brief moment before returning to his conversation with his honored guest. He would deal with them, in due time. The entertainers came out to perform and all paid attention to them for the length of their act.

The banquet would last til nearly eleven at night. After all the food had been eaten, the performers done, all were content. The Praetor would thank each member who attended personally as they left the Palace compound, giving both Liviana and Garthan an extra few seconds of contact, for appearance sakes, and cold reception. After everyone had left, the Imperator, along with the Praetor and his wife retired to their quarters for the night. Both men would convene for their one-on-one meeting in the morning. There was a great deal to talk about.

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Posted (edited)

The following morning

The air was warm, heated by the bright sun. People had begun their daily routines, the markets were opening, the forum abuzz with early morning chatter and rumor. Inside the Praetor's Palace, Terix had put on his functional robe, which he wore when he was conducting business within the confines within his own complex. Miral had finished setting up the meeting room the two leaders would sit. Flags angled, guards posted outside, notepads and pens squared away on the fine urukan wood table. Though it was warm, a small breeze could be felt coming into the room as the Chamberlain kept the windows open. Both men would be meeting over fine pastries baked early that morning by the kitchen staff. The Praetor was the first in the room, he eyed Miral as he inspected the items on the table. "You may let the Imperator know I am ready to meet now," he instructed. His chamberlain nodded in acknowledgement and went to bring the Asgeirrian downstairs.

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The Emperor was still quite full from last night's feasting, and cozy from the warmth prevailing in the palace. He quite enjoyed the hospitality and climate in Dartha, and was in a very amenable mood for negotiation. He followed the chamberlain down to the meeting room, with a pip in his step, a smile on his face, and a curl in his mustache. As he entered the room, he quickly and surely closed the distance between himself and the Praetor, offering him an eager roman handshake.

"Good morning, Praetor! I hope last night's festivities will not interfere with your abilities! I noticed quite a few drinks passing your lips!" He chortled, clearly having enjoyed the occasion.

Asgeirrians were a very good-natured, friendly bunch, for all their unnecessary intensity in some subjects. A certain amount of their bravado came from the ubiquitous military background of the culture, everyone having served at one time or another. An old saying went as such; There are only two things guaranteed; war and taxes. But Asgeirrians were nothing if not optimistic, as Valentino had unfailingly demonstrated for the past day. Putting past the conflicts of the past, there was a good amount of hope for a potential new ally in Aurelia. In the coming hours and days, it would become clear whether or not these ideas were misguided.

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Terix laughed in response to the Imperator's witty remark, "certainly not," he said. "Copious amount of wine is the only way to have a banquet, and," pausing for a second, "in no way a hindrance to the importance of the conversation we're about to begin," he finished. Mathon took one last look at the prepared table to ensure everything was in place. He was completely satisfied. "I had the kitchen make us some fine pastries and bread to complement our discussion, with some fine tea on hand," said. "I suggest we don't let the hot water get cold," and proceeded to offer his guest the seat which had the Asgeirrian flag beside it. The Imperator took his place and the Praetor, his own, pouring a cup of the tea for himself, before putting the pot back, waiting for either for Valentino to make a cup or to remain solitary on the table until needed next. 

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Valentino poured himself some tea, and took some bread. Asgeirrians loved bread, with a passion almost as fiery as their love for battle and excessively shiny armor.

"Lovely bread. Now, what shall we discuss first, hm?" He probed, "What are you needs and wants for the official negotiations?"

From what he could tell, directness was the proper approach to the Praetor.

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"Mirel," he said looking at this Chamberlain, "Leave me and the Imperator," he instructed. "Daie," was the response and Avelik took his leave, closing the doors to the room behind him.

"There we go, some privacy." Terix picked up one of the pastries, took a small bite and put the rest of a plate that had been set next to him. He appreciated Valentino's directness. There was no time to tip-toe around the issues.

"The place to begin is at the crux of where all things stem from, our relationship. As many of the other topics are quite interconnected. I would believe you would agree with this assessment."

He took a sip of his tea, grasping the cup in hand. "The anticipated results from this conversation is to believe that our 'friendly' rivalry is something of the past and that we are able to find common ground in moving not just both our nations forward but truly define what the long-term vision for the whole of Aurelia," taking another sip before continuing. "By pure geography, we are as far away from any other country on this planet and this brings both stability but also challenges. I think we are at an opportune moment to address this and other 'geographic' issues," he then put down his cup.

"The Republic has been far too long attempting to do things on its own and it is not sustainable. It is time to change that paradigm. Starting with this conversation."

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"I agree. Our Republic, as well, cannot hope to achieve greatness through solidarity. In my opinion, close cooperation with Rihan is the true way forward to a stable and civilized Aurelia. How we proceed with such cooperation, however, is open-ended. I think you'll find Asgeirria quite flexible in these negotiations, Praetor."

Asgeirria had claims to vast swathes of land stretching across Aurelia, though claims were just that. What they did have, however, was shared culture, architecture, love for bread. Not all former sectors were as violently disposed as the former Coalition islands, and High Command expected full reintegration to be possible within a decade. Having a close ally, especially one as capable in ground-fighting as Rihan, sharing regional governance.... The entire continent could be under their control in one or two years. But of course, holding that much territory with such a short transition period was sure to cause issues. For now, the main objective was to secure a reliable ally as a groundwork for all future operations.

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"I believe," he began to respond to Valentino's remark, "that comes in the form of establishing an organization of mutual cooperation. An Aurelian League if you will, that will not just make a statement to the world but bring both nations closer - culturally, economically, diplomatically, and if you want to get deeper into militarily, though it may be more prudent to address that separately. The ability for our peoples to further understand each other, do business with each other without borders and ensure that the lines of communication on matters of foreign affairs are always open between us."

He took another bite of his pastry. "Before you respond, I am not in any way suggesting the complete melding of two entire, independent, and sovereign states. If Aurelia is to as powerful as Argis, some form of unified front' is needed as posturing - an image. This would also come alongside with formal renewal of diplomatic relations and recognition - the elevation of undermaintained embassies to be returned to their full operational capacity and roles."

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The emperor almost choked on his tea. To be as powerful as Argis? It would take a miracle to bring Aurelia down to the level of those frozen savages. One of our divisions alone has more bullets than Prymont has citizens. We've got ships that cost more than Girkmand's entire military budget. Ahrana can't stop changing governments long enough to have a coherent foreign policy. Greater Serbia is being invaded over slavery. I must misunderstand his meaning.

The emperor paused for a moment before responding.

"Mathon, may I call you Mathon? Nothing we say here is final, so let's not beat around the bush. Asgeirria is looking to expand its territories on the Aurelian continent, and we are seeking an ally. My personal vision for Asgeirria is to reestablish the far-reaching empire that we enjoyed in antiquity. I envision our two nations expanding into Aurelia side by side, a new era of cooperation and prosperity. That's my end goal here, all cards on the table. If any part of this is not something you're interested in, please tell me now and we'll save time on the back end of the negotiations later."

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"You may call me Mathon," he responded. "I recognize if my poetic words were not as direct as desired, but you are getting exactly what I meant. We intend to bring order to Aurelia, and I foresaw, before your arrival, that you wanted to restore some of Asgeirria's former mainland holdings. I think we are speaking the same language," he stopped for a moment. "When I meant Argis, I meant to show the myriad power the might and power of a unified continent. If not send a message to the Old World itself. I will not lie to you, there are elements within the Jaridan senatorial coalition who want a rematch with the Enolians, if not expand considerably to the west and north."

"I believe we can work together to bring proper order, unparalleled economic power, and untold progress, for all."

He repositioned himself in his chair. "In your mind, how do you see this vision playing out?" 

 

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They had continued their conversation for a few minutes before the Praetor flipped open his notepad to the back and found a document that had been prepared for him.

"Seeing as I've been far too poetic, now I am going to be upfront," a second copy was available and handed to his counterpart across the table.

"This is what I am proposing as a baseline which can be expanded further, amended, or outright rejected..." He read through the list.

  • Statement of Affirmation that the longstanding rivalry between the Republics is over. A Declaration of Friendship will be made.
    • To that effect, all diplomatic missions in each other's nations will be elevated to the proper level of a consulate or in the case of capitals, embassies.
    • Each nation's borders will be reaffirmed as they stand. However, both nations will discuss with their opposite concerning the reclamation of former territories or their intention to gain further territory in Aurelia.
  • The establishment of free trade between the Republics and both will commit to having the other as a preferred trade partner.
    • The Aurelian League could be established to administer and guide economic-related items of this document.
      • The Rihan Republic will begin to ease into a sudo-free market system to allow for increased competition, using this agreement was the trigger for that process to occur.
      • The potential to open a special economic zone for joint economic activities.
  • Customs between the two Republics will be relaxed to a minimal level acceptable.
  • There will be an acceptable level of movement permitted between the two Republics. The Republics will give the citizens of the other ease of migration in regards to immigration processes at ports of entry.
    • In doing so, both nations may consider the implementation of policies that may foster greater cultural, educational, or societal growth through exchanges and the promotion of tourism.
  • Both Republics will actively collaborate on military affairs concerning the continent of Aurelia.
  • Both Republics will collaborate on military research and development as needed in the name of protecting Aurelia.
  • The naval forces of both Republics commit to joint security over their shared maritime zones.
  • Both Republics will jointly hold a range of training exercises over the coming year.
  • Both Republics' military officials will hold joint planning and strategy sessions on defensive and offensive actions that impact both nations.
  • Both Republics will cooperate on all levels to bring peace and order to the Aurelian continent by whatever measures required, including but not limited to military force.
  • Both Republics will formally sign a treaty of non-aggression with the other, ensuring peace between the predominant powers of the continent.
  • Some elements of this list may imply a treat of mutual defense. This is a matter to be discussed separately.

"I would imagine that this a more substantive, if not direct, list of items under consideration. My speech to the Senate is along the lines of what's upon this paper before you., mind you this is not in the proper legalese yet."

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The emperor read over the list.

"Legalese or not, I can see nothing here that I disagree with. I hope that we will have time to go over each point individually, in a more official capacity.

A few things I should bring up now: Asgeirria has its eyes on the horizons. We have recently annexed the coalition responsible for our isolation to our immediate area. Now, without the threat of the coalition looming, we intend to expand. My hope is for us to divvy up the choice bits as mentioned in point one, subsection two.

Additionally, ValenCorp has a monopoly on almost all markets in Asgeirria, which might require some protectionism on your end should a free trade agreement go ahead, unless you fancy your domestic company's prices being undercut by a foreign company. Small business is also an extremely important facet of Asgeirria's economy and culture, although most of the businesses provide niche services. Hopefully Rihanese business won't interfere too much with the varied fauna and flora of our economy, but if it does, we might consider protectionist policies. Otherwise, all business is tentatively welcome.

I look forward to increase cooperation between our nations, in all facets."

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"It is certainly a long list but seeing as there is nothing in general that you are outright opposed to, we should explore each area in finer detail, starting with the Islands and greater Aurelian expansion, as it will largely dictate the development of our continent for generations to come." He stopped for a moment before responding to the Imperator's comment concerning free trade. "I will admit that the Rihannsu economy is closed insofar as a means of protecting aristocratic and mercantile assets but I think the Republic can support a sudo-free balance through 'partnerships' with the aristocratic entities. There is a tremendous amount of resource wealth that we haven't even tapped into. I suspect that many of these individuals would be willing to cooperate with ValenCorp or their subsidies. Absolute free trade may be harder to achieve given our baseline differences but I think there is a space where improved economic activity can work. But we'll get there in the next section of our conversation. But back to the continent, "do you have an inclination of where Asgeirria intends to focus its expansion efforts?" 

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    • By Rihan
      Rihannsu politics is a dangerous game. Formal coalitions existed in the chamber, but their membership was always in flux, a senator cooperating with Jaridan one day may be helping the far-right Jol Tan the next. Every move, every vote was carefully taken, not so much for the masses they represented, but for their own personal self-interest and desire for further influence and power amongst their colleagues. There were 300 of these individuals, of both genders, seated in the round Hall of State, at the very heart of the capital. Presiding the Senate was none other than the Praetor, the effective head of state of the Republic. They had near-dictatorial power, such authority was the dream of every senator. Most would never get it as many Praetors were highly popular both with the military and the lower classes and taking action upon them could potentially lead them to political suicide.
      Praetors, on the other hand, may have had considerable leverage over the senators, they were not sacrosanct. Two Praetors had been assassinated within a three-year period because of their intended policies had tilted more so in favor of the commoners than the aristocratic Senate was willing to accept. The recently appointed Terix knew his position was tenuous at best. He was secure in the knowledge that he had the support of the military and a slim majority of the chamber to get some of his policies adopted, but it would be folly of him to assume that he absolutely safe. Prior to his appointment, the now-Praetor, he was an Admiral in the Navy. He suspected his appointment to the highest position was merely one of keeping the factions in the Senate in a temporary truce while they evaluated their next moves following the dual assassinations of Praetors Vrax and Gaius.
      The Praetor's Palace complex was across the Forum of Caliax from the Hall of State. One of his servants had put on his formal toga of state. He looked out the window and saw that it was another sunny day over the capital, Dartha. Two Praetorian Guards entered the chamber he was dressed in and escorted him to several others waiting for him for the walk across to the Senate meeting. As he descended one of the marble staircases, his advisor and confidant Miral Avelik, stood ready to meet him.
      "Daise (foremost), I have been informed that a small majority of senators exists to pass the law on implementing the establishment of a food program for low-income citizens in the capital," he reported as the two exited into the central courtyard of the complex, Praetorians surrounding them.
      "Avelik, which senators were the holdouts who finally joined?" he asked while they approached the gates.
      "Senators Hexce Amarok, Vaebn Lareth, and Gathan Darok."
      The group had now emerged from the Palace and into the buzz of activity that was the forum. It was another day of normalcy in the capital. The walk between the two buildings would take no more than four minutes.
      "Darok you say?" he questioned, "he's certainly been very generous lately," he mentioned to his aide.
      "Do you want me to get someone to keep an eye on him?"
      "Not yet." He said quietly as they approached the steps of the Senate. "Inform the senators that they have my gratitude that they would support this common-sense proposal."
      "Yes Daise," he acknowledged and allowed the Praetor and his guards to ascend the steps and through the main door into the round building. Miral would proceed to complete the task given to him. He would enter the building from a side entrance and try and look for them. A bell rang, signaling the start of the Senate session, keeping the aide from doing his job until the conclusion of the session.
      Senators began streaming into the chamber, taking their seats. The Praetor took his seat upon the Eagle Chair, eyeing the room.
      On the right-hand side, he could see Senator Gathan Darok, the second-richest man in all of Rihan taking his place. Darok's family was not initially aristocratic. Rather, they bought their way to influence. The family possessed many thousands of melakols (acres) of farmland on the Aihai outside Dartha, growing vitally important wheat. His grandfather had invested the wealth generated from it to purchase two profitable iron mines in the D'Kalla Mountains. Between the farms and the mines, he possessed tens of hundreds of slaves. Garthan's father, Kaol, had converted their wealth into power. When Aerv Nanclus passed away, his seat opened up. Kaol would spend hundreds of thousands of Chaks in bribes to several senators with clout over the Continuing Committee to get himself appointed. Just after he was formally confirmed by the committee, he passed away. In recognition for his dedication to the state, the seat was allowed to pass onto his son, Gathan. He was not content with his family's holdings when he became the head of the family and immediately went about gaining another hundred thousand melakols of farmland and more slaves to cultivate the fields. Using the new land, he would curry favor with the military to make him a preferred provider of foodstuffs to the army, giving him a tidy profit. As his fortunes grew, he decided to exchange it for influence. He alongside two others close to him would pool their money into bankrolling much of the Festival of the Republic, including a 15,000-person banquet and five days of entertainment in the Orventis Arena. His decision to back the Praetor's plan to provide food for free to many low-income people in the capital was just another step. The latter ran up against the more 'free' market elements of the Senate, abet 'caring' for the people, the Nej'ahar.
      Terix then turned his gaze to the upper left benches where he could make out the beautiful Liviana Charvanek. She was gorgeous, attracting the attention of many male senators and nobles outside the chamber, attempting to get her attention. The Charvaneks were a noble family, tracing their lineage all the way back to the Arrival. They were the rulers of the city-state of Calanista, the heart of Rihan's wine country. At the conclusion of the Clan Wars, they decided to accept the dissolution of their 'absolute' power over Calanista, and submitted to unification into the rapidly forming Republic in exchange for being given a Senate seat, a seat they've had within the family since their signing of the D'Vatta. Although not as wealthy as Darok, her family did retain control of a substantial vineyard and attached villa on the outskirts of Calanista, as well as a smaller urban villa in Dartha. Over the generations, the Charvaneks would be patrons of the arts and education, sponsoring the construction and eternal endowment of the Beryk Institute, the greatest school in the Republic. Other members of the family over time had been dedicated officers in the military, and every second son in the family had maintained a full career in the service. Liviana did her required duty but serving long was not in her interest. Liviana had lived a pampered life, and due to her family's fortune, she never needed to work. She was given the family Senate seat when her mother Isha decided to step down to enjoy the final years of her life in the countryside and her father decided to not take it as he had just completed his fourth tour in the military, wishing to join her in retirement. Since joining the Senate, she would use her beauty and charisma to get what she wanted. In regards to the proposal on the docket at the day's session, she was fully onboard with it. The Charvaneks had been firm members of the militant Jaridan, the largest coalition, urging for greater expansion of the military for defense and always seeking opportunities to grow the territory of the Republic further. Liviana would bolster her feminine advantages by invoking her family's respected military history when needed.
      The Praetor once again turned his attention to the middle of the chamber. Sensing that most of the members were in the room, he motioned his Praetorian to bang the bottom of his Litesh polearm against the floor several times, calling for order. "This session will now come to order," Terix said. He readjusted himself in his seat before continuing. "The matter before the Senate today is for the allocation of monies sufficient for the implementation of a free food program for low-income citizens here in our glorious capital.." For over an hour, senators would generally speak in favor of the motion, including Darok and Charvanek. The Praetor listened to every word they had uttered. The speeches would eventually cease and a division would be called for. It would pass 154-146. Upon hearing the result, Darok was the first to stand and clap, not to be outdone, Charvanek, joined in as did the rest of the individuals supporting the motion. Both gave glances at each other and then at the Praetor as they clapped. They both wanted the Praetorship, by whatever means.
      A lunch recess had been called, lasting an hour, before they would return for an afternoon session on matters related to foreign affairs. The Praetor prepared to leave the chamber with his Praetorians, both senators would approach him just as he had reached the door and commended him. He thanked them and continued on his way. Gathan and Liviana looked at each other once more, coldly, before leaving the Senate chamber.
      Rihannsu politics is a dangerous game.
    • By Rihan
      The Republican Information Service (Tlaru Aihrifv Rheilhhu) is the sole news outlet within the Rihan Republic per order of the Senate. This channel will serve as a means in which to connect the world better to the activities occurring within the Republic.
      Please standby for incoming transmission... 
    • By Rihan
      The Rihan Republic/Rheilhhu Rihana
      "Valhær i na Afvhama"
      Quick Facts:
      Leader: Praetor Mathon Terix Capital: Dartha Type of Government: "Republic" (though in reality, it is an Aristocratic Authoritarian Oligarchy) Population: 22,720,192 National Currency: Chak (Ck) National Langauge: Rihani National Religion: Way of D'era History:
      The Departure
      For many generations, the Rihannsu were a tiny minority, numbering no more than a million who resided in the southern reaches of the Tagmatine Empire. They were more or less isolated from the rest of the Imperial citizen, keeping to themselves. They were primarily farmers, warriors, and craftsmen. They maintained a rigid familial and social structure and were largely atheist (abet this was hidden from Imperial authorities who had attempted for over a century to convert them to the Iconoclastic Church). The Rihannsu provided hundreds of men for the Imperial military every year in conjunction with an annual tribute. This modest relationship would come to a complete halt with an act that the Tagmatine authorities would consider seditious. Tellus, a Rihannsu philosopher, had attacked the Imperial Church, saying that praising a single being over the greater strength and duty of the people was a means of oppression. Tagmatine patriarchs reacted severely, both within their congregations and within the Imperial Court.
      They would coax the sitting Emperor to make a decision: either eject the entire population from the Empire or far worse, eliminate them outright. Tellus' words of duty to the whole and of disciplined loyalty to each other spread quickly across the Rihannsu populace. The heads of the various Rihannsu clans gathered and unanimously agreed that they must leave the Empire for their own home. Within days of a suspected Tagmatine attack, five massive vessels alongside tens of dozens of smaller boats were filled with everything they could take, and every Rihannsu individual, and departed. As the Rihannsu diaspora crossed the horizon, Tellus turned and faced the Empire and played a striking tune on his string instrument.
      A New Land
      The Rihannsu departure from the Tagmatine Empire made them a nomadic, seafaring people for over twenty years, making landfall numerous times as myriad warlords and other nations sought the strength of their warriors. They would serve as mercenaries in dozens of small-scale conflicts, only staying long enough to secure enough resources and wealth to keep their people moving forward. As the years went by, some Rihannsu believed they would never find a home and tensions rose to a point where the people could potentially split. Tellus, urged unity through D'era. It was only the power of his words that kept them together. Eventually, they would come upon the land of Rihan, an unspoiled land. As the diaspora flotilla of ships entered what is known as the Apnex Sea, the Pennon and the Shavokh, two of the largest vessels landed on the shores of the Sherdek River in the area that now makes up the capital and greatest city, Dartha and established the Kingdom of Dartha. Thus the Rihannsu had found a home. As the now four-million-strong people disembarked, they began to spread out, founding numerous city-states, each led a major clan. But the peace would not last long as small disputes would erupt. At first, they were trivial but as they grew in severity, Tellus would intervene. Tellus would pass away at the age of 92. Without their guide as a mediator, the conflict between the clans and their city-states could no longer be held back.
      The Clan Wars
      The Clan Wars was a century-long conflict between the various city-states, fighting for more territory, greater resources under their control, and ultimately, supreme power over the other cities. Bloody battles raged across the land including the Gilgmamma Massacre, the Battle of Jorani, and the Battle of the Seven Armies outside the city of Dinalla. Great nations had formed, anchored by the largest and most powerful of the cities including Raxna and Dartha, some 'republics' other 'kings' or 'tyrants'. Many notable early leaders had perished in the conflict, as did hundreds of thousands, but it would be L'Deus, the Praetor of Dartha, who would bring an end to the conflict with the birth of the Republic. Over a million would be dead by the end of the war.
      The Foundation of the Republic
      L'Deus was the Praetor for the tenth King of Dartha, Valkis. He had been known to be an oppressive and arrogant ruler, having little to no allies within Dartha's aristocracy. The Praetor had been conspiring with several high-ranking nobles for several years to create the conditions for the King's removal. The Darthan aristocracy had grown angry with the King and that of his predecessor because they were not involving them in decisions concerning the ongoing Clan Wars. In 5129, having reached a critical point in the nationwide war, the city's aristocracy rallied the common people and incited a revolution, forcing Valkis to flee into exile.
      With the King's expulsion, Dartha had entered uncharted territory. The Rihannsu had always been a people led by the strongest, and sometimes most cunning of individuals. Over the course of his meetings with the aristocracy in the final months of the King, L'Deus had worked with them to outline a new form of government to lead all Rihannsu: a Republic made up of a deliberative Senate made up of clan leaders and wise men led by a Praetor, with the Continuing Committee to act as a moderating and oversight body. This framework would forever be known as the D'Vatta or Great Paper. It would be supported by the principles and virtues of D'era, Tellus' philosophy, which would be reintroduced across the land at the conclusion of the Clan Wars.
      The aristocracy of Dartha were the first formal signers of the Paper. Though Dartha's internal politics were at peace, the rest of Rihan was still engaged in the Clan Wars. L'Deus would lead the effort to bring calm to the land, going from city-state to city-state, to either bring those respective territories and clans into the fold diplomatically by offering them seats in the Senate or through force of arms by overthrowing recalcitrant clans and replacing them with their rivals who sought their power. This process of unification would last nearly five years and would bring the absolute conclusion of the Clan Wars. The Continuing Committee would formally sit for the first time and appoint the first Praetor of the Republic, Pontilus, a well-respected Darthan aristocrat who could trace his roots indirectly to Tellus. A Statement of Rights for all citizens were attached to the D'Vatta on the first birthday of the Republic. The first decades of the Republic would be seen as a golden age in Rihan history and the first time the people would have seen peace in over nine generations. The economy accelerated and the arts would flourish. The Republic's population would grow at a brisk pace. But the Rihannsu people began to feel urges to expand further. Pontilus, Sartorix, Colius, and Karzan, the first four Praetors, would exploit this to achieve further glory but also direct Rihannsu aggression outwards.
      Contact with the Asgeirrians
      Rihan was not alone in this pocket of Aurelia: the Asgeirrian people also lived in the general region, on a chain of islands to the south of the mainland. Contact between the two had not occurred in the first century and a half as the Rihannsu were focused on securing their new homeland while dealing with the scarring Clan Wars. The Rihannsu and Asgeirrians would finally meet during the Praetorship of Colius. It was during the proceeding period that the Asgeirrians had slowly begun to build up a chain of territorial possessions up and down the coastline to fuel their budding trade empire. The first contact between the Asgeirrians and Rihannsu was brought about by an Asgeirrian trader who had been blown off course in a storm. Having little choice, the foreigner made for safe harbor in Dartha. He was greeted with the point of a sword by the City Guard. Upon hearing the disturbance, Praetor Colius took matters into his own hands and saw the man for himself. He would invite him and his crew to stay at the Palace. He would use the time to learn as much about the Asgeirrian people as possible. Following the event and working off the information the trader had described during his time in Dartha, the Praetor would send a delegation of traders to Asgeirria. After five years of minimal interaction solely around exchanging goods, the Asgeirrian and Rihannsu leaders would meet face-to-face. This meeting would establish formal relations between the two peoples but it would also prompt the Senate needed to dramatically expand the small navy to keep their neighbors in check.
      The First Age of Expansion
      For over a period of over 300 years, the Republic would experience a golden age: expanding to acquire more land to accommodate its growing population and obtain new caches of resources to fuel its burgeoning economy. This period also marks centuries of 'friendly' competition with the neighboring Asgeirrians who were also expanding, opening new land holdings to increase the strength of its trading empire. Seeing as they could not compete with them at sea, the Senate decided to expand into the interior of Aurelia, using the territory they would gain as a means to compete with their maritime counterparts. As they grew, the Rihannsu would found new cities to maintain their claims: such cities as Hlarek, Villera, and Torven were established. Rich new fertile river valleys, wide open plains, and abundant mountains full of mineral wealth unlocked by the legions of men would create untold wealth for the still young Republic. This period of unrivaled prosperity was led by Praetors Colius and Karzan.
      Though many native peoples would capitulate to the superior arms of the Rihannsu and accept dominion by them, others would not: the Areshi, the Sakethans, and the Zelvorians. The three had resided in their particular lands for hundreds of years before the Rihannsu had begun to encroach on their areas. The Areshi lived at the foot of the D'Kalla Mountains, the Zelvorians lived on the plains named after them and the Sakethans lived at the top of the Ganser River Valley in the lands known as Saketha. Rihannsu diplomats and politicians would at first attempt to bring them into the fold peacefully, offering them client state status and near-autonomy in exchange for dominion. These discussions ultimately fell apart. Tahn, the Praetor who had succeeded Karzan, decided that there was no other choice than to forcibly take the land. He would force the three peoples into a war with a series of devious false-flag operations. The conflict between the Republic and the three would last for over fifty years, only ending when the Sakethans surrendered at the Battle of Makar.
      All three would be enslaved by the Republic, forced to work in the new large farms owned by the aristocracy in the fertile lands, others were to suffer horribly in the new mines to extract the rich ore beneath the surface. The justification for their enslavement would emerge from the virtues of D'era, their guiding principles set by their father, Tellus, stating that through hard dedication and firm obedience to their masters and the state, would they see their freedom. However, the increasing use of slaves for many jobs in the Republic would not only make the economy unproductive but leave many lower class citizens without work. This, along with other issues that would crop up over time would lead to a serious crisis in Rihan.
      The urge to expand had not died but slowed as the Republic would spend many decades consolidating their gains under Varus, Decius, Mrian, and Taris. In due course, there would be calls for new territory. This time, the gaze of Rihannsu aggression would turn to the lands of Enolia to the southeast.
      The Enolian-Rihannsu War
      Coming soon
      Aftermath, Isolationism, and The Iumnelai
      In the aftermath of the devastating war with the Enolians, Praetor Morror Kassus resigned in disgrace and the Senate unanimously voted to remove Rihan from the world stage for a period of time in order for it to recover from the devastation the war had brought. The Asgeirrians were exempted from the order due to the vital trade relationship it held with the Republic. Praetors would come and go over much of the early part of this period including Toqel, Hloal, Merrok, and Thrax, but most would hold office for no longer than three years. The war had exposed many of the underlying issues of the state that were fomenting during the latter years of the expansionist period. This included income inequality, the extent of slavery within the economy and resulting unemployment of many lower class citizens, and escalating tensions between the common citizenry and the aristocracy. There had always been tension between the two classes but these were largely subdued under the premise of D'era's call for Rihan manifest destiny but the Enolian War had depressed that illusion considerably. Though Rihannsu politics had always been a dangerous game since the Republic's founding, the level of blackmail, bribery, and rapid leadership changes had reached a new level of concern over the stability of the Republic.
      The D'Vatta, the constitution of the Republic, had been legally binding for over 500 years to this point. It had firmly stated that the Senate led by the Praetor held supreme authority. The regular citizen had never had a major role in the Republican government besides petitioning their individual senators. The combination of events that had unfolded in the aftermath of the Enolian War and a slow economic recovery had emboldened some to challenge the government. Protests would begin spreading across the state including in several places throughout the capital. Thrax, a hardline aristocrat, had become Praetor by appointment (largely through blackmail) of the Continuing Committee. He was a member of the Jol Tan coalition, both he and his fellow senators did not care about the petty concerns of the commoners other than that loyalty to the state was paramount and that all seditious activity would be brutally repressed by the military. His tenure would be short-lived, no more than a year, as the commoners would not wait anymore him to act on his own, and they would rise up and engage in a general strike. All of Rihan would be put in chaos.
      Praetor Thrax resigned himself to the countryside for failing to prevent the strike from occurring. Aratenik was hastily appointed as Praetor as a consensus candidate by the committee. Prior to his rise to the Praetorship, he was a well-regarded scholar of literature, having only been appointed to the Senate during the final year of Merrok's rule. He would bluntly confront his Senate colleagues stating in no uncertain terms that if the crisis were not to be resolved, the Republic would be destroyed. With great reluctance, he was empowered by the Senate to come to a compromise with the masses. Aratenik would summon representatives of the commoners to meet with him and the Continuing Committee. At their first meeting, the commoners demanded a greater role in the Republican government, more employment opportunities, and a better quality of life in exchange for an end to the strike. The deliberations over a compromise would last a week until both sides had given it their blessing.
      The Iumnelai, as the compromise would be known as, formally incorporated a People's Assembly (ætheaa) into the D'Vatta. Its membership would consist of the entirety of the lower classes. They could appoint their own presiding magistrates to moderate sessions of the Assembly and the votes taken by the body would be by secret ballot. The Assembly had the right to petition the Senate on a broad range of matters provided that those motions had received majority consent. Additionally, all slaves eighth generation and above would be emancipated, but not given formal citizenship, and the jobs they would then vacate would be available for commoners to take for themselves, for a wage. The commoners would also see modest increases in the quality of life over the next decade. The Senate would proceed to unanimously approve it. Aratenik's popularity with the commoners skyrocketed, and with that came a host of enemies within the Senate. On the surface, the various coalitions vowed that Aratenik's Praetorship would be one of unified cooperation and for five years this held true - the economy had started growing at a reasonable pace, the military had seen significant improvement, and harvests started returning to pre-war levels. For the Praetor, it seemed as if stability had finally come to the Republic. Alas, this was not to be for the 'peace' between the coalitions was a mirage, plots were being designed in the shadows.
      Aratenik was killed at his countryside villa one evening five years after cementing the Iumnelai. Though his murderer could not be identified, rumors at the time suggested that several aristocrats had bribed the Praetorian Guard to eliminate him. With Aratenik's death, the supposed stability of the Republic was shattered once more. In the proceeding three years, the Praetorship would be held by two Suketh senators, Vrax and Gaius, Aratenik's closest supporters in the Senate. Both had managed to get the position as the Continuing Committee did not want to risk a constitutional crisis. However, their appointments in hindsight were nothing more than expediency. They would both be assassinated by colleagues for their populist policies including proposals to curtail the amount of land an aristocrat could hold, the introduction of a free food distribution program for Dartha's poorest (ironically, this would come to pass under Terix), and making motions passed by the Assembly into formal law. The stability of the Republic was in jeopardy, the threat of constitutional crisis was near the point of nationwide violence as the lower classes had seen the Suketh assassinations as an attack upon their quality of life. To avoid the fallout, the Continuing Committee met and appointed the politically neutral and well-respected Admiral, Terix to the position of Praetor. Upon his ascension to office, his first order would be to call to an end of the Republic's isolation from the world and call for the beginning of a new era of stability and continued economic growth.
      Reemergence
      Terix knows that while he has tremendous popularity with the military and with many segments of the lower classes because of his military career, he knows his relationship with the Senate is tenuous at best. He knows that his appointment is was solely one of political expediency. The Praetor finds himself unofficially in partnership with the militant Jaridan, the largest faction, and the Nej'ahar, made up of the wealthiest members in the entire Republic to get much of his political agenda approved but Terix knows that such cooperation could imperil his chance on moving the Republic forward, even through modest if not slightly liberal, reforms. Although he has not been in the position for long, Senators are already scheming quietly in the shadows. At least two Senators have their eyes set upon the Praetorship and are willing to get it by whatever means.
      Geography:
      The land of Rihan is lush, humid, and full of abundant vegetation. The capital, Dartha, lies at the mouth of the Sherdek River and the Apnex Sea. The river valleys are fertile for agriculture which is dominated upon the Aihai, the flat plains between Dartha and Raxna. The Sherdek has the Jendraax and Vrekess rivers as tributaries. The two other most important rivers are the Dorvek and the Ganser (with the Balsanra and Nelrek as tributaries). While much of the land is either made up of humid forests or calm flatland, there is a single mountain chain that crosses the land from northeast to the west: the D'Kalla, of which Mount Al'kathel is both its highest peak and that of the entire country. During the hot summer months, the Praetor retreats to his residence in the cooler Valley of Chula as do many aristocrats. The Forest of Allerash is covered in thick, strong urukan trees. Other major cities in Rihan include Dinalla, Rateg, Calanista, Chaladra, Tephren, Peldrad, Vendras, Bareldek, Kromtal, Dorvek, Hlarek, Villera, and Torven; all of which dot the landscape.
      Flora and Fauna
      Rihan is home to a rich ecosystem that is largely hostile and predatory. The Eagle, the symbol of the Republic, is based upon the predatory raptor-like bird, the Mogai. Other birds include Ratar, Kalabam, Deletham, and Tliss. In the woodlands, the Raal (a type of bear), the Thrai (a type of wolf) dominate. Meanwhile, Hlai can be found in bountiful quanities on the plains. In the Apnex Sea, Veruul and Osol fish can be found in abundance. The predominant domestic animals of labor are the Travit and the Drabhik. Nobles who own villas in the countryside maintain stables filled with stoic Fvai and Kerosh (horses). On farms, growers cultivate three variants of wheat known as oliva, kheh, and vareet; along with maintaining groves of fig and citrus fruit trees. Some plantations cultivate tivish, a type of cotton, used in textiles.
      Government:
      Rihan's government is structured upon the quintessential concept of a Republic, though not in the sense generally recognized around the world. All power lies within the Senate (Deihuit), made up of 300 Senators (Deihu), all of whom are either well-versed in military skill, in possession of vast wealth, or harken from aristocratic families. The most powerful assignment for a senator is a coveted seat on the Continuing Committee. It is made up of ten individuals (with only the Praetor being guaranteed a seat) empowered to regulate elevation to the various levels of government (including the Lakhræmdæsnen, Bærhiedæsnen, and Temiætidæsnen) and military. It is the members of the Committee who are responsible for confirming the ascent of an individual to the position of Praetor and have the sole authority to expel senators. There are numerous political coalitions that exist within the chamber including Jardian (Conservative), Jol Tan (Far-Right), Suketh (Moderates), and Nej'ahar (Focused on the Economy and the General Welfare), representing the spectrum of political opinion in the country. Membership within the coalitions are constantly in flux and a member siding with one group on a specific matter may not be with them on another.
      While the Constitution (D'Vatta) states that the Senate is the undisputed and sole authority of the Republic, it is the Praetor (Fvillha) who ultimately wields broad power that can be borderline dictatorial. He or she is the Republic's Head of State. The Praetor presides over all Senate sessions, the supreme military commander of the Republic's forces, the highest judicial official with the power to inflict the death penalty, and the authority to interpret and enforce laws passed by the Senate. A Praetor is considered the very embodiment of the Rihan ideals of honor, accomplishment, discipline, and most importantly, the virtues of D'era. Due to the extreme danger that is Rihan politics, it is not uncommon for Praetors to suffer abbreviated terms of office in comparison to other heads of government. To guard their person, the Praetor is protected by the Praetorian Guard (Morairi ih'Fvillha). The Praetor is the only individual allowed to hold the Teral'n, the trident scepter representing the firm talon of the Eagle. A Praetor can only be legally removed by a three-fourths vote of the Senate. In the entire lifespan of the Republic, this has never happened.
      As the ultimate power in the Republic is in the hand of a small oligarchy of wealthy and powerful aristocrats, the lower classes have very little control over the day-to-day decisions of state. However, they do a mechanism to petition and coax the Senate into addressing their concerns through the Assembly (ætheaa), which was established after the Iumnelai. Its membership consists of all regular citizens who vote directly by secret ballot. Petitions that receive a majority are elevated to the Senate for their consideration, though more than 90% of such attempts are ignored from those above the citizenry-at-large.
      The High Tribunal is the highest judicial court in the Republic consisting of twelve Tribunes confirmed by the Senate. For those unfortunate to break the law, punishments can range from years in a dark prison cell to the death sentence or enslavement. For those condemned to death, they are publically executed but the individual is given the right to make a statement before they are killed. The system of justice assumes the individual charged is guilty of the crime unless proven otherwise. Many procure the services of well-skilled intercessors (lawyers) to represent them in the courtroom.
      All citizens of the Republic have the following basic honorable freedoms as outlined in the Statement of Rights: The right of procreation; the right to own property and to manage it as necessary (this includes the right of slavery and the owner's right to discipline); the right to commit honorable suicide; the right to commerce, subject to the needs of the Republic; the right to present a defense in a publicly recorded trial, aside a public defender, before the courts; the right to apprehend and charge as a private citizen, any criminal or enemy of the Republic, and the right to bear arms, for defense or sign of status, in public and in private. Citizens are not permitted to undertake any action deemed to be against the interest of the Republic and the People. The prohibitions are not outlined and this has given the Senate and the courts tremendous leverage in interpreting an action on a broad spectrum.
      Military:
      The Republican military is made up of the Army (Draao), the Navy (Galæ), Air Force (Ralaarihsein), the Special Forces (Krannsu), and the Praetorian Guard (Morairi ih'Fvillha). The various military branches are supported by the military intelligence (Tal Diann) and logistics (Tal Shava) divisions. Over 550,000 Rihannsu are active in the military at any one time. As stated in the constitution of the Republic, the D'Vatta, the Praetor wields supreme military command of all Rihannsu forces. All citizens are obligated to serve in the military upon receiving their formal citizenship (Plyanazi) at the age of 20 for a term of five years. Following their term, some choose to remain in the forces. Many of the nation's finest generals and admirals have risen through the ranks from lowly legionaries or seamen. Service in the armed forces is viewed with Rihannsu culture as a high honor and fulfilling one's duty as dictated by the virtues of D'era. The Shining Star (Ranam Valassa) medal is the highest award a soldier can attain. An awardee is well-respected both within their family and throughout their community.
      Economy:
      The Rihan economy has never been as productive as others in the world due to the use of slaves in place of freemen, though this has changed somewhat since the implementation of the Iumnelai compromise under Praetor Aratenik. Over 60% of the economy is heavily controlled by the aristocratic and mercantile families, both its wealth and means of production. The main segments of the economy consist of agriculture and fishing, mining and metallurgy, industrial and consumer goods manufacturing, and financial services. There is a slew of small businesses and farms run by commoners but these are at a major disadvantage against those own by the aristocrats. The state, under the pretense of D'era, does have an obligation to ensure all citizens are afforded a minimum standard of living. Under Praetor Terix, a long-fought policy of implementing a free food distribution program was passed by the Senate, allowing two-hundred thousand of Dartha's poorest to receive a daily ration of foodstuffs. All trade between the Republic and the wider world is only sanctioned by order of the Senate and operated through the RTC.
      Transport and Infrastructure
      All public transportation, including buses, trains, and river ferries, is handled by the state-controlled Yhfillain while road infrastructure is maintained by Rheilhhu Eyhon. The national airline, Havraær, is based at Dartha's Cliperian International Airport (Ihanv). While the capital is a major seaport, so is the Port of Levaeri to the southeast. Energy is largely provided by clean solar generators scattered across the Republic, though there are few fossil-fuel plants still in operation. Power distribution is handled by Cælis'cæri. Every settled area of the Republic has access to clean water either by maintained wells or through sophisticated aqueducts, reservoirs, and plumbing by Aekhhwi'rhoi.
      Society and Culture:
      The Rihannsu are highly xenophobic and see themselves as superior to others. They were not originally like this but following their forced departure from Adaptus and the Tagmatine Empire due to religious differences, they've come to trust, but only after a very long period of time. Rihannsu are very emotional, war-like, and absolutely dedicated to the virtues that define the way of D'era, a strict code of discipline, duty, and honor. Their culture follows a hard line of social and physical Darwinism. They have a spartan regard toward those that are not physically able or are mentally deficient. They will kill children that do not match the physical model of perfection. In spite of their cold outer shell, they are ardent supporters of family. The first virtue, devotion, is primarily one of family. Citizens of all class levels are given many incentives both economical and social to produce and cherish large families. Rihannsu indeed cherish their families. They are as capable of love as any other people.
      For recreation, most play games such as D'elo, a game of sticks and stones that can be traced back to days prior to the Departure from the Tagmatine Empire. The people are fond of arena games where athletes of both genders show their prowess with weapons and fighting techniques. Blood sports, like Ke`veshrek (a form of boxing) or Tyr’llryanniha (football) are extremely popular and are often broadcasted across the Republic. The Orventis Arena is the grandest of them all, located in Dartha; it can seat nearly 100,000 people. The Rihannsu are major players of tactical and logic-based games including Latrunculo, Masaharis, Parmen Chess, Voraant, Trayatik (dice game), Villrillu (cards), or Khariat (like Jenga). In the same vein, solving puzzles of all forms are popular. Though people may engage in simulated chess and similar games, people desire real opponents, and thus simulation is far less popular in Rihan. S'darha is one of the most important recreational activities the aristocracy partake in. It is an extremely intellectual game that involved the recitation of stanzas from great literature in order to support a given argument or statement. It is a combination of debating, rhetoric, declamation and trivia games. Many of the best S'darha masters have become the most influential Praetors in the Republic as it has helped them in dealing with the dangerous politics of the Senate.
      Artistic abilities show the softer side of the Rihannsu personality, balancing a fierce warrior ethic with the sensitivity of an artist. Sculpting, pottery, and carving are the most popular media — Rihannsu prefer to work in 3-dimensional forms. The artist Raban Gedroe is a notable 3D painter. In addition to the visual arts, there is writing, literature, poetry, drama and Lhi, a game of wits and riddles. Rihannsu also relish nature and enjoy the beauty of it — most are avid hikers, riders, or mountaineers. While less common, scroll painting (a mix of calligraphic writing and light painting) has a long tradition in the Rihannsu culture. Some of the most important literary works include Amarcan's Axioms, the Contemplations of Landar the Elder, the Taer'thaiemenh by V. Raiuhes Ahaefvthe, and Na Temhsah'urri by Reanas.
      Rihannsu cuisine focuses on assorted breads and pastries (baked from grains cultivated on the Aihai), strews like Plou'mek, a range of vegetables including gresh, fish (Osol and Veruul), and meat from Hlai. Soldiers in the military typically consume a mixed stew called Viinerine. A delicacy amongst the aristocracy is Aafvun'in'hhui (mollusk soup). Aristocrats can also obtain aged Travit steaks. To wash down their food, most commoners consume Tarka or a bitter vareet. The more well-to-do consume Kavit, a native variant of wine, that is in high demand outside the Republic.
      The emblem of the Republic is 'the Eagle.'  It is a symbol of military might and honor, displayed everywhere, symbolizes civilian pride in the state. All Rihannsu swear oaths upon the Eagle, and defacing the symbol is a serious offense. The inspiration for the emblem comes from the predator avian that flies over the Rihannsu' adopted home. This bird is known to carry its eggs in its talons, which artists represented as the Senate and the People. The bird itself is spread in an aggressive posture of display, representing the glory and majesty of the Republic.
      D'era
      The Way of D'era is the official 'religion' of the Republic. It's not as much a spiritual calling as much as it is one of duty to the Republic. The Way was formulated during the final days of the Rihannsu living the Tagmatine Empire when its founder, Tellus, seditiously condemned the Iconoclastic Orthodox Church and said that adherence to one god over the overarching strength and duty to the people was unjust. D'era calls upon all Rihannsu to follow the teachings of obedience, discipline, and loyalty. The center of D'era is in Dartha's Central Septum where a statue of Tellus stands for all to reflect upon his words. The Way is led by the Pontix, Lucian Tamok, and various councilors across the Republic. D'era priests are paid by the state. Septums of D'era are located in every Rihan community.
      Praxani: The Rites of Life
      Rihannsu progress through their lives under a structure of rites that related to the four virtues of D'era. These are:
      D'navassa - The Great Beginning Nimaz - Naming D'sora - 5th Birthday Phi'lasasam - The Education Plyanazi - Formal Citizenship Serona - Mandatory Military Service (5 years) So'rdaz - Marriage Union Charozzah - Passing Latta - Death (upper class individuals are buried in family tombs in the Rikolet [the Great Graveyard] while lower-class individuals are mostly cremated) Dartha, The Capital of the Republic
      Dartha is the largest city in Rihan with a population exceeding 3 million. It is the first and oldest settlement, the center of politics, trade, and activity that involves the outside world. The city lies at the mouth of the  Sherdek River and the Apnex Sea. The Forum of Caliax is the beating heart of the capital where the Hall of State, the Central Septum, the Praetor's Palace, and the Arc of D'deridex can be found. In front of the Hall of State is a statue of L'Deus, author of the D'Vatta. The Markets of Relevek are just off the Forum. The Forum is abuzz with trade activity and the rostrum at the middle is always active with Senators speaking the gathered crowds, and even sometimes, the Praetor.
      A few blocks down towards the Sea is Victory Square where there are regular military parades and ceremonies. The Library of Alavhet is on the Via Karzan. The Via Colius is a major thoroughfare that runs east to west through the capital, running past the largest park, the Cor'Lavet. The Via Chula leads out of the capital to the east and towards the Valley of Chula, its namesake. Numerous academic institutions are located in Dartha. On the shores of the Apnex Sea is the Harbor of Oreta. The High Tribunal, administered under the auspices of the Praetor, is near the forum. The Orventis Arena also present.
      Many wealthy aristocrats live in large villas on the outskirts of Dartha, distancing themselves from the cramped, smaller dwellings that make up the majority of housing in the capital. The old walls, the Honn, still encircles the core of the city when it was first founded by Tellus. Amongst the tight shared housing of the lower classes, there are some larger townhouses on the Via Renak owned by the higher classes, offering better proximity to the Senate and the Forum. The neighbors in and around the Renak have exclusive tailors, theatres, and bathhouses (including the most notable Bath of Reldek the Great) are frequented by the political and wealthy peoples of the Republic.
      Under Republic law, all armed military personnel, except for Dartha's City Guard (Morairi ih'Sivas) and the Praetorian Guard (Morairi ih'Fvillha) must remain outside the capital. This was instituted to reduce the risk of a military coup during the early days of the Republic. It remains on the books to this day.
      The Rihannsu Calendar:
      Z'at • D'ruh • Brax • Khuti • Krat • Tasmeen • Havreen • Sharveen • Lior • Irhheen • Ailat • Khaidev
      Important Festivals:
      Eitreih'orheika (Festival of the Ancestors): 21-23rd of Brax • Eitreih'Avilh (Festival of Earth): 1-3rd of Krat • Eitreih'vauthil ch'Rheihhu (Festival of the Republic): 15-20th of Sharveen • Eitreih'hveinn (Farmer's Festival): 10-15th of Ailat
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      Minister of State Artur Domiania
      4th Floor, State Ministry Building
      New Limone, @Faramount 00001 Subject: Establishment of a Diplomatic Mission Most esteemed Minister Domiania,
      after a brief yet comprehensive consulation with his excellency, the Grand Duke, we both agreed that it would be mutually beneficial to establish close diplomatic ties with your own great nation. Our diplomats have already been asigned courses for both the local Faramanian customs as well as the local language of Limonaian as a gesture of our good faith. The Grand Duke has also mentioned the possibility of a future meeting between him and the most honored president Mateo Terrone and his trusted ministers and aides. Respectfully,
      Agalia Sobot, Minister of Foreign Affairs
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    • Samura Heavy Industries was the very first Keiretsu to come into existence, founded in 1872 by Masamune Samura. He had a very close relationship with the reigning Emperor who entrusted him in developing Kipan's industrial capacity by using the technological advancements in manufacturing and resource extraction that were flowing into the islands due to the Udo Transformation. In short order, Samura raised a vast industrial empire. The corporation has maintained its firm grip over a huge swath of the economy for generations and has no intention of letting up. Samura has an 'understanding' with the Hogosha ('protectors'), a quasi-legitimate organization who provide brute muscle and guard Samura's assets. Although it's at the top of the "Big Ten," they are very aware of the Sato Corporation's rapid growth. Over much of its history, Samura has been a predominant supplier to the military, alongside their closest business ally, Obata. The industries Samura focuses on include chemicals, mining & metallurgy, steel production, forestry, oil & petrochemicals, concrete, construction, shipbuilding, timber & paper products, power plants, arms manufacturing, aviation, machinery, glass, and aluminum.
    • The Honorable Agalia Sobot
      Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Karilla
      [[Street Address]]
      Trebzon, Grand Duchy of Karilla, [[Postal Code]] Your Excellency, The Democratic Republic of Faramount seeks friendly relations with all peace-loving nations. With this in mind, I humbly reach out to you to propose an exchange of diplomatic missions, so as to facilitate a good relationship. If you agree, I will have my staff reach out to yours to make appropriate arrangements. Thank you,
      Minister of State Artur Domiani
      4th Floor, State Ministry Building
      New Limone, Faramount 00001
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