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Tagmatium Rules

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  1. Welcome to Eurth, @Yetrasia! You've got a great flag!
  2. Welcome to Eurth, @Kingdom of Carpatha! If there's anything we can help with, please ask!
  3. To: His Excellency, Eduard Blanco, Foreign Minister of the Kristianiki Koinopoliteia ton Ebrarion, the Christian Commonwealth of @Ebrary From: the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion Your Excellency, It gladdens the hearts of the Arhomaioi that your government is willing to discuss the subject of a closer cooperation with regards to the safeguarding of the entrance to the Adlantic Ocean. My government would certainly be keen to see what your government would suggest on that front. Tensions in the area do remain somewhat high, so if a route can be found that would help to reduce this further, then that would be ideal. Our two nations are perhaps best poised to work together, since we share more in the way of cultural links that the others that are involved in the area. But these avenues should not necessarily be closed off. Equally, I am certain that if our nations were to encourage closer trade links through various means, this would help to strengthen not only our nations' economies but help us cooperate together in the future. It seems as though Ebrary operates on a similar economic model to the Greater Holy Empire – my government maintains control over infrastructure such as transport and utilities, as these are key to the prosperity of the nation. Other aspects are privately owned and subject to market forces. I am sure that we will be able to find some common ground and I would go as far as to suggest that our nations undertake trade missions to each other, to better get to know our economies. The knowledge gained from these may well mean that we can enact a mutually beneficial trade agreement between our nations. If, of course, your government and people agree with such a thing. May God see to it that the peoples of Ebrary and Arome share peace and prosperity, Eugenios Goulielmos Megas Logothetes, Grand Minister of the Logothesion ton Barbaron, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion
  4. To: Her Excellency, A. Sarris, Véla Lagata of the Exárcheia tis Kirvínastíria (@Kirvina) From: the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion Your Excellency, May I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your appointment to the position of Véla Lagata. I hope that this will mark the start of a new period in cooperation between our two proud nations, as we are both of the same Aroman stock. That two oceans divide us has never been an insurmountable challenge and I pray to God that that remains the case. Indeed, the ability of your ancestors to traverse those oceans and visit their homeland was one that was always most impressive to those who remained in Europa, even as our cultures and religions diverged over the years. The Kirvinoi are always welcome within my nation and it is hoped by the Holy Imperial Government and the Holy Emperor of Arome that the coming years will once again see our nations and people draw closer together. I would also like to take this moment to re-affirm the relations between our nations, as well as to give notice that the Megas Agios Basileia will retain Tatianos Poullades as our ambassador to your nation. It is felt by the Holy Imperial Government that Poullades has been an able representative to your nation, although if your government disagrees, then mine will be willing to send a more suitable replacement. After all, it would not bode well for our future relations if we allow this to be a stumbling block at this point. May God see to it that the bond between our nations and people remain strong, Eugenios Goulielmos, Megas Logothetes of the Logothesion ton Barbaron of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion
  5. Good luck, @Metztlitlaca and @Fravina!
  6. “Is it all going to plan, then?” The tone in Paulos Narses' voice made it sound as if he didn't want it to happen. The Hyperlogothetissa (“Upper Minister”) from the Logothesion ton Koiaisitoron, the Ministry of Works, shifted uneasily in her chair on the opposite side of the Megas Logothetes' desk. She had barely sat down before the question had been asked and she had yet to have been offered the customary refreshments and polite small talk that were offered out of courtesy and respect. To not do so did not just snub her personally but one of the great and ancient institutions of the Megas Agios Basileia. An aide hovered at her elbow, waiting with the traditional cup of tea, glass of water, watered wine and wafer biscuits. Katherina Hyrtakena had been briefed by her own ministry on the hostility that the Minister of the Environment had towards the project, despite the fact that it stood to strengthen Arhomaneia. The hostility had been demonstrated by the amount of time she had been forced to wait outside of his office before being invited to enter and then the discourtesies given to her afterwards. And the fact that the minister-priest had chosen to have intentionally placed pictures of various Argic animals around his spacious office. She wasn't used to this level of disrespect – after all, Hyrtakena was a full hyperlogothetes, not some minor underling. It took at least a hyperlogothetes to brief the chief minister of another ministry and the onion layers of protocol demanded that certain actions were always taken. Narses seemed to realise the rudeness that he showing and gave the aide a nod. They laid the refreshments on the desk itself. Clearly wanting to make up for his actions of a moment ago, the Megas Logothetes himself stood and poured the cup of tea for her himself. He sat down and stroked at his beard. From what little of his face that Hyrtakena could see between the beard and hairline, it seemed as if he was looking somewhat apologetic. “They are, Endoxotatos-Pappas,” she replied, using the somewhat clumsy honorifics for both a high minister of state and a priest. The Hyperlogothetissa reached down to pick up a briefcase placed by the side of her chair. She put it across her knees and popped it open and took out several sheaves of paper. Placing one in front of herself, she then reached across the heavy oak desk and laid one opposite Narses. “If you wouldn't mind turning to page five, you'll see a breakdown of the work programme and its projected milestones laid against the milestones actually achieved. There's been a few things like delivery issues and the levels of light is starting to drop. The midnight sun there has meant that the work teams there been able to work around the clock over the summer.” The other minister's face was blank as he thumbed through to the page stated. He looked down at it as the Hyperlogothetissa continued. “No need for electric lights at night to keep up with the timetables, which I am aware was a concern laid out by the desk-based assessment and studies put forward by your logothesion. The worry that it might impact on nocturnal or crepuscular animals has hopefully been at least reduced.” Reduced because of the fact that the months-long midnight sun completely eradicated both twilight and darkness. Either the Logothesion ton Koiaisitoron completely missed the ramifications of that, were being obtuse or intentionally obtuse about it. It didn't seem like Hyrtakena cared or knew that she was trying to pull the wool over the eyes of someone who knew exactly how she – or they, her ministry – was trying to do it. A slight sigh issued from Narses but the Hyperlogothetissa didn't pick up on it. “Noise levels, though, Epifanissa?” asked the minister-priest. His politeness had returned – Narses used the form of address that befitted a minister of Hyrtakena's rank. It meant 'illustrious'. “They can have an even more adverse affect on wildlife than unusual lighting levels.” “If you could turn to the next few pages, Endoxotatos-Pappas, you'll see some graphs showing the noise levels over time.” She turned the pages of the copy in front of her, which displayed a series of lines going up and down. They demonstrated how the noise being produced by the building work wasn't having that much of an affect on the animals, at least in the view of the Ministry of Works. It may well have been complete nonsense, however, just a smokescreen laid down by the ministry to try to fool anyone looking at it. There were even excerpts from papers and reports written by ecologists employed by that ministry, backing up the claims that the wildlife on and around the islands weren't suffering from the increased noise that the construction work was causing. The Logothesion ton Agelon had its own ecologists on the island and the work was certainly having an impact. The port had been expanded and modernised, disrupting a colony of harbour seals and the increased maritime traffic was also having an adverse affect on the fish in the area. The restoration of the Palati ton Oston, the Palace of Bones, had seen the polar bears that had often made their lairs there turfed out. At least one had been shot. There were strenuous attempts to stop invasive species from getting a foothold on the island, especially rats. Rats had destroyed island bird species across the wurld time and time again and Narses was damned if he would let that happen on these islands. Wind turbines were being built, both on the island and out to sea, and if the mitigation strategies put forward by Narses' ministry were not stuck to, then these could kill the birds of the islands. Admittedly, nowhere near as many as other human activities or even cats did. And no damn mention of the submarine pens. It was likely that the Hyperlogothetissa was unaware that they were even being built. Narses had not been able to win on that one, only mitigate the damage as best he could. Kontarian had been right and the strategic concerns had outweighed the environmental ones. However, it might be the only naval base in history built to take into consideration the local wildlife, albeit not as much as not building it in the first place. “It looks as though your logothesion has been thorough in its precautions, Epifanissa,” said Narses, thumbing through the pages of the document. The woman looked warily at the minister-priest's expression for a moment, obviously trying to work out if the man was being sarcastic. After a slight pause, she had obviously decided to take it at face value. A smile broke out across her face. “Thank you, Endoxotatos-Pappas,” she replied, giving a slight nod of thanks. Hyrtakena picked up her tea cup and took a slight sip from it before putting it back down. She also picked up a biscuit and took a bite before she continued. “Safeguarding the environment is not just the command of his imperial majesty, but also our Christian duty. Our redevelopment of the islands is not just a step towards strengthening our holy nation but also making sure Eurth is protected. If it wasn't us in control of the Herimitireia, then it would be some barbariki nation, intent on plundering it for its natural resources.” At what point did something stop being a platitude? When enough people believed in it? Kontarian had said almost exactly the same thing several months ago. Maybe Narses was falling too out of step with the belief of his fellow Aromans and that this was not some mere platitude, something repeated so often it lost all meaning. Had it actually shifted towards being a genuine belief? “I am not sure that God would have allowed it to happen, Epifanissa,” said Narses. “I pray that that is the case,” the Hyperlogothetissa returned. Both of them were then silent for a moment, as if in that very prayer. Around the room, the discrete aides, secretaries and priests that were always attendant on a great minister of state also bowed their heads and the smell of incense became stronger for a moment. And it might have very much been the case for Hyrtakena but the minister-priest's mind was, ironically, elsewhere. Narses did believe that God would have intervened before allowing another nation a toe-hold on the islands. But then again, no nation would have been foolish enough to risk the wrath of the Greater Holy Empire to do it. There were noises from Akwisia that they would like to get a slice of the pie, especially as they had been the ones that had discovered the islands originally, before Tagmatium had forced them off of them. There was likely going to be a cabinet-level discussion over what exactly the small protectorate might think that it was owed. At this point, with the Anglia Crisis still on going, they were likely going to find an answer more in their favour than at any other point. “How long do you think that it will take to be completed?” Narses asked, breaking the moment of thoughtful silence. “Well, Megas Logothetes, the document does lay out the milestones that we've achieve and hope to achieve.” She wasn't rude enough to turn back to the pages she originally indicated but there was obviously the temptation there. “As I said, we're on target. It's only been three months since we started and then about two since we did so in earnest. The main focus of work was to get into place enough accommodation for the workers. And the port in at least working order, or better than it has been for decades.” She looked leant forward, as if she was sharing a conspiratorial moment with the Megas Logothetes. Narses wasn't sure why. Hyrtakena would know that he would be able to get any information not considered to be a state secret. Although she wouldn't know that he would likely be able to get a lot of information that was considered to be a state secret. “In all honestly, we've got a few months before work will have to more or less shut down again for the winter. By October – next month, that is – the temperature will have started to really drop. We'll be able to squeak along with general stuff until December. By January, temperatures will average at a high of about -11 or -13 below zero and an average low of about -21. f*cking cold, if you forgive me.” The Hyperlogothetissa looked sheepish for a moment, realising that she'd sworn in front of a priest. Narses gave her a shrug. Being a priest was merely one of many things he had been over the years. A swearword wasn't going to offend him. “And they're pretty much iced in over that period,” said Narses. “At least, from about January or February until about early summer.” “Almost apart from Basilikolimanion, but that's why it's the main port.” She was silent for a moment, looking thoughtful. “Only port. And only real settlement.” Narses raised an eyebrow, although the Hyperlogothetissa didn't seem to catch the expression. “All the project is hoping to do at the moment is get the Palati ton Oston ready to have a governor live there and act as a suitable venue to receive his Aroman Majesty.” There. Something about Narses meant that people tended to tell him more than they initially meant to. It was something that joining the ranks of the Aroman clergy had only added to. As a lecturer and then professor, it had been a useful thing to help put students at ease. Now it always seemed to mean that information came his way when sometimes it ought not to. That the Old Tyrant was going to visit the island at least explained the show of force that had been taking place on the islands for the last few months. Otherwise it was absurd that an entire regiment had been deployed there, even with the Gharoi, Seilosioi and Iberikoi squabbling to the south east. “Well, Hyperlogothetissa, this interview has been most helpful,” Narses said. “You have certainly laid at least some of my worries about the work on the islands to rest.” Hyrtakena smiled, looking as if she'd won some sort of victory. “But, of course, I will insist that the level of oversight and scrutiny that the Logothesion ton Agelon current exercises continues as long as the project does. Thank you for coming.” The smile faded away as those words sunk in. She rose to her feet and the two ministers bowed to each other before the Hyperlogothetissa turned and left the office.
  7. To: His Excellency, Maurice la Vaneu, Foreign Minister of the Autokrateia ton Megas Zaxareia, the Empire of Greater @Zaxar From: the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion Your Excellency, I am thankful that his majesty has accepted the offer of my government to exchange embassies. The first steps onto the wurld stage are often the most crucial, dictating the path that then follows. It is hoped by Arhomaneia that the path ahead of Greater Zaxar will be smooth, considering the struggles that are behind your people and your nation. I pray to God that this will be the case and I do not doubt that that there is greatness ahead of your nation. It is the hope of my monarch, myself and the Arhomaioi that Arhomaneia has a part to play in that greatness. In order to facilitate this, I have discussed the appointment of an ambassador from my nation to yours with my nation's diplomatic corps. Between us, we have selected Demetrios Meitzomates as the head of my nation's mission. Please find their credentials attached. If they do not prove to be acceptable, I will find a more suitable candidate. I have also attached a building that could be a suitable chancery for your nation in Tagmatika, the administrative and political capital of Arhomaneia. Again, if this is not suitable, then another might be found. May God see to it that this is the start of a great friendship between the Zaxar and the Aromans. Eugenios Goulielmos Megas Logothetes, Grand Minister of the Logothesion ton Barbaron, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion
  8. To: His Excellency, Eduard Blanco, Foreign Minister of the Kristianiki Koinopoliteia ton Ebrarion, the Christian Commonwealth of @Ebrary From: the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion Your Excellency, It gladdens me, and his Aroman Majesty, Kommodos III, that your nation is willing to accept the appointment of Meletia Kardalaina as ambassador from the Megas Agios Basileia. As I previously mentioned, we are sure that she will prove to be able within the role. Otherwise, of course, she would not have been appointed. The safety and security of the areas around the Sea of Storms and the north-eastern Adlantic Ocean are, as you can imagine, of great importance to my nation. The continued peace of this area is key to the prosperity of both of our nations. The recent occupation of the island of Corinium by the Kingdom of Seylos and the Sovereign Imperium of Machina Haruspex was the closest this area came to conflict in recent years. Cooler heads prevailed in the end, but it remains something of a trouble zone. The forces there remain a possible source of conflict which has yet to be truly resolved. Due to this, my nation is increasing its presence on the Hermitage Islands, in order to help secure the Sea of Storms from the threat of other nations destabilising that sea. The idea is to have the islands as a potential staging point for the Argic Passage, which is currently set to become a key trade route from northern Europa to northern and western Argis. So long as there is not further disruption from rogue nations. Your nation's position on the eastern tip of Argis could well be main part of that, as I imagine you have considered. Obviously, increased commerce through these seas would be a benefit to both of our nations. A closer working relationship between the government of the Christian Commonwealth and the Greater Holy Empire would help to maintain both peace in those seas and bring greater prosperity to the peoples of our nations. Peace is treasured by all truly Godly nations, Eugenios Goulielmos Megas Logothetes, Grand Minister of the Logothesion ton Barbaron, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion
  9. Hello and welcome to Eurth! If you have any questions, please ask!
  10. Yep, that's my Tagmatium Gmail. It's the name of my Information Minister.
  11. I've requested access to the form.with my Tagmatium-related Gmail account.
  12. It being Dolchland may make sense, as you said in your post. It might throw a few spanners in the works, as we might have to take another look at how we've been portraying Dolchland. It may have to become a realitively powerful New Wurld player up until recently. Which might be quite interesting and go some way to explaining why much of Aurelia and Mesothalassa have Dolchic ex-colonies. That being said, if Anglia was the coloniser, then that could explain its current power and combined sense of entitlement and inferiority. Its lost colonies are driving it to try to gather that old power again and it's also a reason why it's a wealthy state. The Anglo-Metzli War could become all the bloodier because of it.
  13. Welcome to Eurth! It seems like you've got a few ideas already, from here and from what you've said on Discord. I hope you like it here!
  14. To: His Excellency, Maurice la Vaneu, Foreign Minister of the Autokrateia ton Megas Zaxareia, the Empire of Greater @Zaxar From: the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion Your Excellency, Often, the continent of Aurelia seems a most mysterious land to those in far off Europa. Arhomaneia has had contact with some of your neighbours, both in the present and in the past, but it does remain an area that seems one of the most exotic on Eurth. Tales of such things as the so-called “railway states” have enticed the imaginations of many in Europa for years, as well as many of the other aspects of your home continent. We also respect the struggles that your nation has had in coming into being. The Flaxar War is undoubtedly one of the longest in modern times, lasting almost three quarters of a century. Truly, Greater Zaxar is a country that has struggled against adversity and been tempered by the fires of conflict into something much stronger than it could have been without that. Although my nation is ancient, it knows some of such struggles. Arhomaneia has often found itself surrounded by hostile enemies but has always come out on top, stronger than it was before. Due to that, the Arhomaioi see in the Zaxar an element of kinship, although our nations and cultures also differ in many ways. I hope that through closer contact, this might in time become a friendship, one that benefits both of our nations equitably. To this end, I have been tasked by his Aroman Majesty, Kommodos III, by the Grace of Christ the God, faithful Emperor and Autocrat of the Aromans and Equal-to-the-Apostles, to ask that your excellency puts before his majesty, William of Zaxar, a request to exchange embassies between our two great nations. I do not doubt that this would be the start of a great relationship between our two honoured nations and it would do much good not just for them, but Aurelia, Europa and the Wurld. I pray that this will be the start of a long and fruitful relationship between our nations, Eugenios Goulielmos Megas Logothetes, Grand Minister of the Logothesion ton Barbaron, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion
  15. To: His Excellency, Eduard Blanco, Foreign Minister of the Kristianiki Koinopoliteia ton Ebrarion, the Christian Commonwealth of @Ebrary From: the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion Your Excellency, I pray that this message finds you well. As you are no doubt aware, his excellency, Epifanios Ammonianos is to retire shortly. He has given many years of sterling service as Arhomaneia's representative in your honoured nation but it is now time for him to withdraw from service to the Skrinion ton Barbaron, my nation's diplomatic service. After his years of hard work, making sure that the interests of my nation are represented to your government, he now deserves a peaceful retirement. I am sure that you will do the same. Due to the retirement of Kyrios Ammonianos, the Megas Agios Basileia is now in need of a new representative to your nation. I have attached the credentials of a suitable candidate to this message, one Meletia Kardalaina. This will be her first posting as an ambassador but I feel that she will rise to the task. Please do not consider this an insult, as she is certainly an experienced member of my nation's diplomatic service and has been an able member of several missions in other countries. The relationship between Arhomaneia and Ebrary has long been one that my nation has always valued highly, especially since we are both countries that find ourselves neighbours, or virtual neighbours, to heathen nations. Our cooperation and friendly relations means that the beacon of the Light of Christ continues to shine out across the Wurld and, in working closely together, continues to shine out ever more strongly. In time, I hope that more of these neighbours find the love of Christ in their hearts and are drawn from their mistaken paths. May our shared love of God continue to draw our nations closer, Eugenios Goulielmos Megas Logothetes, Grand Minister of the Logothesion ton Barbaron, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion
  16. “Once a leopard has killed and eaten a human, they are likely to persist as man-eaters—they may even show a nearly exclusive preference for humans.” Excerpt from Man-Eaters: The Memoirs of a Professional Hunter by Khristoforos Iagoupes, first published in EK7400 (AD1892). Iagoupes was later awarded the courtly title of Protokynegos, or “First Hunter”, in recognition of his exploits. Diplomacy was more interesting than heading a committee, Kommenos reflected. At least it got him out in the fresh air, even if that often was tainted with the fumes of jet fuel as he went from aircraft to awaiting motorcade. The Kouropalates had spent the last year intermittently listening to competing theories and ideas, pouring through ancient texts and modern treatises and generally ruing his monarch's command that he was in charge of bringing democracy back to its ancient home. From across the Aroman wurld, experts and academics had been called to advise the committee that the Kouropalates headed. The Mystikon, the Tagmatine monarch's personal civil service, helped compile thousands of pages of reports, notes and examples. Virtually no stone was left unturned in the Occident. The ancient constitutions of Adthens and Arome were run through with a fine toothed comb, trying to see whether they might fit their modern successor. They were discarded in the main, however. Neither of them were democratic, in the modern sense, and would not fit the modern wurld. At least the modern wurld as to how Kommodos envisioned it. Some, of course, would hold that the ancient constitution of Arome had never been abandoned, just added to over the years. Slowly, the Kouropalates' search moved forward through the history of the Arhomaioi, trying to search for historical examples that might guide the future. There were the occasional lower class rebellions that broke out across Aroman territory, and their aims and simplistic ideas were looked at. At the time, the likes of the Zilotai of Petrion in the 14th Century, the later Adiutatores of the 17th Century or even the socialist Skaptonoi, who sought to give the poor more of a say in how their nation was run, were crushed as those who sought to overthrow God's chosen order ought to be. Now, their ideas of an elected Synkletos were being seriously studied by a man whose ancestors led armoured cavalry against them and pored over by an organisation that masterminded campaigns of oppression to put them down. The irony certainly was not lost on Kommenos. From the Aroman wurld, experts had been invited from Adaptos and Sporseia, the parts of that sphere that were actually democratic, to discuss their nations' methods with Kommenos. The former's method was viewed with an element of scepticism – after all, the Megas Omospondí Autokrateia, the Grand Federated Imperium, had collapsed several times over the last few decades, partially through its own democratic processes. It was only the strong hand of two autocratic monarchs had brought it back from the brink of completely fragmenting. As well as the military intervention of Tagmatium. And the latter was currently undergoing internal turmoil, with the Patriarkhes of Tzius heading a caretaker government. Recent Aroman attempts at democracy, it seemed, had a tendency to fall apart when not guided by a strong hand. That seemed to be the Tagmatine take home from the situation. Certainly, it meant that the Old Tyrant could point out that there needed to be an autocrat in place in order to prevent Arhomaneia from tearing itself apart like its western and south-eastern neighbours. Those experts that had been consulted were taken before the Leopard Throne itself and asked to place their hands upon ancient and holy relics and swear that they would not reveal anything of what they were asked. Although it had been done through proxies, even the former Megas Krites of the Hexanesa, Ioannes Hegesinos had been met with. It had been a long time since Kommenos had interacted with the man, but he was both pro-Tagmatika and a known democrat. And, of course, a pan-Aromanist. Despite the fact that the Hexanesa was nothing but a nest of traitors, they were still arguably the longest functional democratic state in the Aroman wurld. For almost seventy years, they had elected their government without any dictatorial interlude or civil strife. Even though they had turned their backs on God's Representative on Eurth, they seemed to be able to run things in an orderly and civilised manner. That was something that the Kouropalates and his committee needed to understand, so that Arhomaneia did not tumble down in the manner of so many other democratic nations, not just in the Occident or Europa, but the rest of the wurld. It was a state secret, even more so than contacting of a former member of the Hexanesa and the AND developing its Gigai Agroktimai, “Giant Farmers”, plan in order to test the limits of foreign democracies, that Arhomaneia was actually turning towards representatives of foreign nations for help. The chosen nation of God on Eurth was turning to those very countries it was partially scheming to undermine in order to build its own democratic framework. There was certainly an irony there, but even the Kouropalates couldn't – or wouldn't – actually see it. Several political theorists from Prymont and Iverica, the two Argic democracies that Tagmatium was closest to, had been consulted and their ideas sought. It was suspected that the religious oaths that their Aroman equivalents had taken as binding due to following the Truth Faith would mean little to those heretic barbarians. Instead, they were requested to sign non-disclosure agreements that would remain in force until a date chosen by the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion, who then retained lawyers within those countries in order to enforce those contracts. Now, as a way of relaxing, Kommenos sat on a horse between Honorios and Alexandros Kontarian. They were be half brothers and very different from each other. The former was a Megas Logothetes and the latter a Stratelates, a senior officer in the Tagmata, the palace guard. The ancient pedigree of their family put Kontarian at ease. The Minister for War had invited the Kouropalates over to take part in some horse archery, as well as dinner and some drinks later on. It was too easy to get washed away in all this talk of democracies and Honorios had thought the his friend needed some downtime. Horse archery was considered to be a skill of the aristocrat, where using firearms demonstrated that one did not have the time to practice enough to perfect the skills needed for a bow and arrow. Or, indeed, the money or the space. A horse needed to be fed, exercised, stabled. These things cost money and required a lot of space. Some amongst the middle classes took up the sport, too, in order to show that they were also good Arhomaioi. Occasionally, there was even talk of some sort of wurld equestrian events but they had never gone anywhere. It was a shame in the minds of most people – it would do the barbaroi good to be trounced by the proud Aromans once again. “It's your shot, Fillipos,” stated Honorios, as he slowed his horse down to where his brother and the Kouropalates were waiting. Honorios' own attempt had struck quite cleanly in the side of the wooden target, a life-sized imitation of a red deer. The arrow had green fletching and would likely have been a killing shot, had it not been a lump of wood that had been hit. The Megas Logothetes had hit the target well, despite moving his mount at speed. The Megas Logothetes tou Stratiotikou patted the neck of his horse, which stomped in a small circle. The other two looked on as Honorios moved his animal back towards the rest of them stood. He leaned down and handed his bow and quiver to an aide and then sat back up in the saddle. He looked on at the other two, waiting for them to take their shots in turn. “Take the shot and we can just sack it off for the moment,” said Alexandros, with a petulant tone not really suiting a senior officer. He wasn't as good an archer as either his half-brother or Kommenos. He was certainly passable but it seemed that horse archery was just not his sport. Polo was, however, and he'd represented his unit before being promoted beyond where it was dignified to take part in a match. “We can have a ride up to the lake and back again.” “No, it needs to be a proper go,” said Honorios, something more than frustration in his voice. “I didn't invite you up here to just shoot randomly into bushes. You need to hit the target. Both of you do.” Honorios was said to hate Alexandros and the feeling was supposedly mutual. It apparently went beyond a mild dislike that an older brother might have for a half-sibling. Kommenos knew that there had been a falling out several years ago, involving the misappropriation of funds of a guards unit but it was said to have been sorted out. At least to the satisfaction of all involved and it had not obviously caught the attention of the Agios Basileos. Rumour had it that it was something to do with gambling and their late father's estates. The Minister for War was supposed to have gone as far as to have one of Alexandros' dogs shot, the poor thing, by another officer with the implication that further gambling ceased. Or it would be worse in the future. As Kouropalates, and more importantly being a member of another great family, it was beneath Kommenos to ask what had actually gone on. He knew Honorios well and doubted that he would have had an animal shot. And that Alexandros was here at all showed that the Megas Logothetes was attempting rebuild some bridges and the two seemed to be getting on quite well. So it was likely all just wild gossip, the sort of thing more suited to household staff and not the likes of the Kommenoi or the Kontarianes. Fillipos knocked his heels back and urged his horse onwards, into a trot, then a canter and then a gallop. Showing off, he pulled an arrow from the quiver as he came towards the target, knocked it to his bow as he drew level and then aimed and fired after he had passed. Clearly, even the members of the ancient families weren't above showing off at times. At least he suppressed the grin he felt as he came back around to where the two Kontarianes were waiting. The sour look on Alexandros' face was enough to make him almost laugh out loud. He heard the Stratelates mutter something rude about showing off. As he drew his horse level with the other two he gave them both a slight smile, acknowledging he had indeed taken the piss a bit. “So, why did you invite us up here, Honorios?” Kommenos asked. A servant scuttled forward from the clutch of them that had been waiting discretely nearby and offered a tray of wine glasses to the three men. Kommenos reached down and picked up a glass and took a sip. Once each of them had taken a glass, the servant scuttled off again. “As you said, it certainly wasn't just to launch arrows into bushes, or targets.” The Minister of War looked like he was about to point out the fact that his half-brother hadn't had a go at one of the targets yet. Kommenos raised an eyebrow. He wanted an answer. “Fine.” Honorios took a mouthful of his own watered wine. “I thought you needed a break. You've been struggling with this whole democracy thing for a while now. You need fresh air and a chance to do something fun for a bit. What the Megas Logothetes really meant was that he wanted to be nosy. Likely, he'd been putting out discrete inquiries as it was but hadn't really got anywhere with them. So he had decided to outright ask. “It's going... OK,” sighed Fillipos. “There are a lot to work with, trying to make a system that works properly for us. And I'll admit that it's not my realm of expertise.” He looked around and moved his horse onward, away from the knot of servants, aides and bodyguards. The other two were obliged to follow. They moved out into an area of well mown lawn and then stopped. “Kommodos, may God guide him, does not want something like the hereditary senate we saw before,” the Kouropalates continued. “It must reflect modern Arhomaneia much more. It needs to be democratic, too. But then there's the question of whether it's to be a single house or several, whether it's a combined body instead of one for each capital as before, how members are elected from the themata, age limits... It goes on and on.” He was silent for a moment, looking out across the lawn towards a stand of trees. There was movement in amongst them and a small group of deer emerged from it and then turned to look at the three horsemen. None of them even considered taking a shot at them. Hunting live animals had been banned years ago. “It turns out, trying to make a representative system almost from scratch is difficult. Of course, we have the systems in the themata and below to work with, but bringing it to life for a nation the size of ours was always going to be a hell of a lot of work.” Honorios nodded but his brother looked decidedly bored. “And, of course, Nea Demokrateia...” the Minister of War said, trailing off intentionally. Kommenos made a dismissive gesture. “That fat windbag is his own worst enemy. No one takes his shit seriously these days and he's brought it on himself.” “Nonetheless, he'll keep kicking up a stink, the more these plans move along,” carried on Honorios. “He wants what he thinks his rightful place is.” “And he'll be damned lucky if we even left him stand for election,” growled Kommenos. He might be trying to build a new, democratic Tagmatium but the authoritarian streak that ran all the way through the political establishment of the Greater Holy Empire was never far from the surface. “His imperial majesty has decided that Niketas will take no part in any aspect of this. He can piss and moan from the sidelines.” “Why not let him stand?” Alexandros said. Kommenos wouldn't have thought that the guards officer was even following the conversation. “He's a f*cking idiot. Most people will see through him once he has to do anything of substance.” “Well, he's been leading his damn rabble well enough for years,” pointed out Honorios. “If he was as much of a f*ckwit as people like to paint him as, he would never have been able to last as long as he has. And Nea Demokrateia have had something of a resurgence lately. Something about the Esoteriki Epitheorisi Pliroforion knocking people's heads together too hard. I'd heard that the Logothesion ton Deeseon had had to keep things out of the national press, so as to not cause undue controversy.” The Logothesion ton Deeseon, the Ministry for Information, was one of several bodies that helped to censor or at least monitor the press and communication within the Megas Agios Basileia. But that wasn't something that Kommenos had heard. He frowned to himself. If he had spare time, he would have to look into it. Could Tonaras be acting too much on his own initiative? That was not really out of character for that jumped-up thug. “And Mercy International will be sniffing around,” carried on Honorios, seemingly warming to his theme of pointing out all the potential problems that might happen. “They always do.” “Little more than Orhioniki puppets,” his half-brother said. “We should never have let them set up shop in our nation. And the buggers that work for them should be treated as the traitors they are. Especially that Lupakena.” He made a fist with his right hand and extended his thumb, index and middle fingers and aimed the pretend gun downwards, roughly like someone carrying out a so called “execution-style” murder. He brought his thumb down, made a popping noise with his mouth and mimed recoil. It was Kommenos' turn to feel frustration with the officer. Honorios' expression displayed uneasiness at Alexandros' comment and action as well. “Relations between us and the Omorfoautokrateia are already pretty poor. The imperial sovereign would not wish to risk them by doing anything so damn foolish. There is absolutely no way that this problem is going to be solved by blowing people's brains out. Not this time. May God have mercy on you.” He turned his horse around and moved back towards the target range, leaving the other two behind him. “By the Saints, Alexandros,” said the Minister for War, shaking his head. He urged his horse after the Kouropalates. Alexandros Kontarian was left alone, looking in the direction the other two had left in. “What?” asked the Stratelates, seemingly puzzled about precisely where he'd gone too far. It's not like none of them knew that it hadn't happened before.
  17. Hello! We've actually got a very extensive IIWiki presence. Most articles tend to be in the process of being written, though. Please see it here: https://iiwiki.us/wiki/Eurth
  18. Welcome! Some of us are too far gone to avoid our own cringe
  19. I'm not going to try to I don't want to break our anonymity. My nation's name is kind of a bit more boring. I was (still am?) more than a little obsessed with the Byzantine Empire, and the more common variations were all taken. So I pretty much chose a word - in this case "tagma", which was either a guard unit attached to the imperial palace or a word for "regiment" depending on the period - and added "-tium" to it to get the right looking name. Oh, well. I think yours is at least more original.
  20. I love the name "Zaxar" - what was the inspiration behind that?
  21. I've several points but these relate more to history than the nations themselves. The first is the inclusion of the Thelarike Kingdom in the history of Tal Shiar/Nusisium. That should be totally doable and not impact anything. The second is the Tagmatine/Vanarambaion campaigns/crusades of the 13th Century. I need to check my own history, which I'm sketching out at the moment. I think certainly the later 13th Century and later involved a period of Tagmatine collapse, precipitated by Akiiryan invasion. We can readily sort out the mechanics of this and how it can tie into a series of crusader states. Thirdly, which is the somewhat bigger one, is that I want to scrap the Long War as is almost entirely and retool it as a conflict based around the Central Europan Seas, with Tagmatium and Volsci as the main combatants and the surrounding states in coalition with one or the other. With perhaps movement inbetween them. The main motivation for this was that it meant that I'd have control over the participants without stepping on IP, which is admittedly less of an issue now. But also to make Tagmatium more directly in peril at points and have it more reasonably a traumatic event in Tagmatine history. Again, I'm sure we can sort that out. Fourthly, Volsci as is is explicitly not a Christian state, although vaguely monotheistic and much more aggressive towards Christians, according to the wiki. What's the reasoning behind changing this? I'm just curious.
  22. Nope, you're right and I'm wrong.
  23. Hello! The bit of Argis you've suggested is very much not temperate. It's sub-arctic. Which means temperatures will be like parts of Alaska, Canada and Siberia. Please see here for the climate map.
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