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  1. As Droungariokomes (Commodore) Sofia Ooryfaina looked the bay and the town of Basilikolimanion that was nestled around it, there were several things that struck her. The first was that was a good, sheltered anchorage for ships, and the concrete wharves that jutted into the bay would make the unloading of equipment easier. So long as they were still in good condition, although they likely wouldn't have been used intensively for decades. They could well be corroded and weakened by years of being battered by the elements and unable to take much heavy equipment moved across them. The second was that the large cathedral and equally large palace were incongruous amidst the dilapidated and crumbling houses and industrial buildings. They were from a significantly more prosperous time, when the Hermitages were at the centre of Arhomaneia's whaling industry a century ago. The islands where then, briefly, used for coal and iron ore mining until the Long War made it too dangerous for ships to cross. An attempt was made thirty or forty years ago to restart the mining, but it was deemed uneconomical to ship it across the Sea of Storms. She couldn't tell what state the wharves were in from out where her ship was. Or the palace and the cathedral, as they were just dark silhouettes against the the bare rock and small patches of vegetation that made up the hinterland behind the main settlement of the Hermitages. The third was that it looked bloody cold out there. The wind was whipping off the tops of the waves and it looked like there was snow in the air. “No sign of any life?” She asked the ship's captain, or Droungarios in her nation's naming conventions, taking her binoculars from her eyes and turning to her left to look over her shoulder. His name was Eufemios Kamoteros and he looked like the typical Basilikoploimon officer – smartly turned out in his black uniform, with a dark beard that was starting to show edges of grey. He was of below average height, not much taller than Ooryfaina herself. Both of them had regulation short hair and were wrapped up against the cold, despite being on the bridge of the command ship of the mission. “None from the Foussatores or Vestiaritai, Kyriossa,” came the reply from the officer standing at her left shoulder. The Border Guard and the Financial Guard respectively, they were only on the island to protect what little Arhomaneia considered to be of worth on islands. Which was little. “The monks, though, have acknowledged our approach. I've asked them to get in contact with the others.” Droungariokomes Ooryfaina gave a heavy sigh. The need for secrecy and the speed at which the operation was assembled meant that it hadn't been able to contact the remote stations that kept the Tagmatine claims to the faraway islands alive. It also didn't help that the islands were considered such a backwater deployment by the organisations in charge of them that it would probably have taken weeks for them to contact their subordinates on the islands. It was considered by the Epistrategaion to just contact them once the flotilla was close enough to the island. It could well have been something of an oversight on the part of the High Command. “Well, keep having your people try them, Droungarios. I don't want any unfortunate accidents taking place.” The Droungariokomes turned away and walked over to the windows on the bridge's starboard side to look at the handful of vessels that were following the cruiser BPP Trapezon she was on. Three tenders, filled with supplies and equipment to establish a proper base on the island, as well as a troop ship with a Apelatai regiment on it. Although it had initially been deemed a risk to withdraw a unit from the western border, the elite infantry were equipped and prepared to deal with the harsh conditions this far north. There were two corvettes and a destroyer accompanying the flotilla, watching for any ships or aircraft that might have suspicious intentions. A pair of submarines lurked nearby, acting as an unseen screening force. A conspicuously civilian vessels with too many antennas lurked between the tenders and the troop ship. It was from the Arhomaiki Noimosyni Dykton and other than its presence and its immediate movements, no one had explained to the Droungariokomes what it was going to be doing. Ideally, the attention of the Gharoi would be on both Corinium or the Prognostikator watching them in the Thalassa ton Kataigidon, the Sea of Storms. No one should really have seen anything as the Tagmatine ships slipped anchor in the various ports on the Kentriki Thalassa, the Central Sea and then amassed on the eastern side of the island of Vanarambion. They kept to international waters as best as they could as they did so. The vessels then made their way north by slipping through the Fillipou Thalassa, the Kosscow Sea and between the islands of the Hexanesa under the cover of darkness. Nights were still long at this time of year and this latitude. The flotilla was approaching from the east, in order to try to further escape any possible prying eyes from other countries. The few ships they had seen were trawlers, although you could never be sure. It seemed a good enough plan to the Droungariokomes when she'd been briefed on it but it was clear that it could spark off something, especially as the Seilosioi (@Seylosians) and the Iberikoi (@Ivericans) had tried to block Gharoi (@Haruspex) plans for Corinium. Only partially successfully, as the Gharoi pretty much now controlled the northern entrance to the Adlantic. There was a good chance that the northern barbarians were eyeing up the Hermitages, probably to create naval bases and despoil of their natural resources. Which was something that the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion wanted to avoid, as it would entirely put the seas surrounding Arhomaneia at their mercy. As the Droungariokomes ruminated on the chances that Arhomaneia might kick off something bigger with establishing direct control to the northern islands, another officer leaned over to the Droungarios and muttered in his ear. He nodded and turned to Ooryfaina. “It looks like we still can't get a hold of anyone but the monks, Kyriossa, but they've sent someone over to to warn the Foussatores and the Vestiaritai,” he said, a frown on his face. “Apparently it's common, or at least common enough, that someone's radio goes down and they rely on the others to communicate.” Ooryfaina grunted. “Good start.” The other officer shrugged. “As good as any, really. I suppose it can't be expected that this out-of-the-way shithole would be up to scratch. They have to get everything sent up to them and it's not like any of them are trained military.” “Well, two of them are law enforcement of some sort,” the Droungariokomes said, shaking her head and walking over towards the windows in the bridge that looked towards the islands. “The buggers should really have their shit together a lot more. Especially out here.” “It'll be a shock when two-odd thousand pissed off soldiers start stomping around the island,” replied the captain, a grin showing through his beard. The smile disappeared and was replaced by a more serious look. “The monks also suggest that we use the eastern wharf, as the western one is a bit degraded.” “What's 'a bit degraded'” the female officer asked her subordinate, turning towards him, eyebrow raised. “They didn't really say,” the other replied, with a shrug. “I suppose that we'll have to see as soon as we get there.” Both of them turned to look towards the island. It was low down towards the sea but rose up towards the north east to a hill. A glacier covered the mountain and below that, bare rock. They were much closer now, able to see the individual houses that made up much of the settlement, as well as the walls of the fortress. Most of the houses were little more than ruins. The palace and the cathedral were easily seen. “They call it the Palati ton Oston,” said Kamoteros. “Pretty ominous. Apparently, they made much of the flooring and door frames out of whalebone, from all the years of hunting.” Again, the more senior officer grunted in reply. The BPP Trapezon was too large to moor directly alongside the wharves, as it was much bigger than the colliers and iron ore cargo ships it had been designed for, some seventy or more years ago. That didn't bode too well for the plans to bring the port itself up to the standards necessary for acting as the Europan end of the Argic trade route. But, Ooryfaina considered as she stood in ready to climb out of the ship's boat she had left the cruiser in, it was likely already known by the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion. The iron rungs of the ladder from the water level up to the top of the wharf were slippery, corroded and occasionally missing. She almost lost her grip a couple of times. Getting a dip in the frigid Thalassa ton Kataigidon was not something that she was planning on doing today. As she hauled herself onto the top of the wharf, a band struck up the Arhomaiki national anthem. Badly. The smell of incense wafted over the sea air and was whipped away by a strong wind and she looked towards where the music was coming from. The band was made up of ten musicians, half in the winter uniform of the border guard and half in that of the financial guard. It did not sound like they had every practised together. A group of monks, well wrapped in winter gear, were waving thymiata and carrying holy relics to bless the new arrivals. Striding towards the Droungariokomes was an elderly-looking priest carrying a crozier and with a mitre perched on a woolly hat, followed by what must be the two senior officers of the enforcement agencies that occupied the Herimitireia. They seemed to be having a typically Aroman struggle over who would greet her first in their order of seniority. The border guard could trace their roots to the forces that conquered Europa and Amutia whilst the financial guard were, strictly speaking, a unit of the Tagmata. Thus the two officers were surreptitiously trying to step in front of the other. Soon it was likely going to come to elbows jabbed in ribs. “Welcome to the Herimitireia,” said the Arkhiepiskopos Dorothios Maliasenos, vapour from his breath curling away in the wind. He gave an appraising glance over Ooryfaina's rank tabs. “It is rare that we get anyone from the Basilikoploimon here, let alone a droungariokomes. Usually, it's a ship chartered from a civilian firm that drops of supplies for us. A supply tender for them comes from the navy but it's never someone of such a rank.” The archbishop punctuated the last part of the statement with a jab of a gloved hand over his shoulder. The two behind him had finished their bickering but waited until the archbishop had finished talking to the naval officer. The statement of the archbishop seemed to be a bit dismissive of the other two officers but she couldn't quite tell. “And now you arrive with that,” he said, giving a nod towards the flotilla sat in the bay. “Yes, your beatitude,” replied Ooryfaina. “The Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion has decided that it is time for the Herimitireia to truly become part of Arhomaneia again.” A pretty pompous line. The naval officer winced internally almost as soon as she said it. “Some of it has already been explained to me by a communication from emailed over to me,” the archbishop said. “I am not sure I wholehearted approve, for many reasons. For one, we have got used to the peace and tranquillity of these islands. I rather it wasn't disturbed by building work, ships or soldiers.” “I believe that will come a bit later, your beatitude,” the Droungariokomes replied. “I'm not sure when but I think that, considering what the Gharoi and Seilosioi have done, I imagine it will be soon. I'm not in charge of the building work, just securing the islands.” Again, the expression on what little of the archbishop's face was visible between his beard and his woolly hat was unreadable. He turned on his heel without another word and started to walk back down the wharf towards his waiting entourage, who were still waving incense and chanting. Ooryfaina found herself staring after him, frowning. She hadn't been told anything about the Church disapproving of the increase in activity on the islands but, as she had said to the archbishop, that wasn't really her problem. Her job was to stop any other nation to trying to meddle in the affairs of the island. Another woolly hat bobbed into view, but this with a tall domed hat crammed on top of it. “Tribounos Pankratoukaina Tzamplakonissa of the Foussatores,” said the well wrapped little shape that lay under the hat. From the name, Ooryfaina guessed that the speaker was female but the amount of clothes rendered any physical appearance hard to discern. And in order to nip any pretensions of the other officer being anything other than inferior to the speaker, they continued. “And this is Komes Theognostos Maroules.” The other officer narrowed his eyes at the slight but gave a half-bow towards the naval officer. “Welcome to the edge of the Eurth, Droungariokomes,” the shorter figure said, with unnecessary dramatics. “We'll get you and your staff somewhere warm.”
  2. Chapter 1, Scene 1: Oyānci Archpriest Oyānci, the uncle-in-law of the first ever Archpriestess (Archpriestess Moyoluani), was the Archpriest who led the Azlo from the Great Paran lake in 8 BCE by the orders of Lōzōnxicoyol herself. Before Oyānci, the Azlo had many archpriests and each archpriest was said to be the divine "Cōconēλ" (Directly translates to "Mouth Piece" or "Puppet") of separate Wēcatoc deities. Under the guidance of Oyānci, the Azlo who left the lake came to be unified under the banner of Ce Meƶλ, The Mun. Without the groundworks for a near-unified religion, the Crescent Empire could not of ever unified lands from the Paluvian Rainforest to the Synthe Bay, to the Paititi mountains, to the Manamana Isthmus. Modern Day A middle-aged man, around his late forties, early fifties, in a yellow-cream military jacket was hunched over head down at a gnarled dusty wooden table with numerous yellow-stained documents and large A3 sheets of rolled out and bent maps. The room he was in shook slightly, cream-coloured dust trickling from the ceiling, the same colour as the ceiling and cracked walls. The room was dead silent, but soon began to be periodically cut by the rattling of distant gunfire and eventually built up to be like an orchestra of woodpeckers, the sounds of individual bangs from the guns merged into one long drawn out buzz. Thankfully for Alez he was not on the front lines down at Pezidenteza Street, he was two streets back at their temporary base, but the periodic hallowing echoes of faraway explosives still trickled cold sweat down his neck. He was far too close to the conflict for his liking. In the outlying front lines, the roaring of a collapsing concrete building echoed through the streets followed by broken up cheering. Alez wasn't sure if that was his own side cheering or that of the opposing forces, but the fact that the long drawn out buzz of machine guns did not end had dampened any hope in his heart. The greyish wooden door - the only way in and out of the room - rattled causing Alez to flinch in place, his head glancing up towards his door. A small part of his brain almost hoped it was the men of the opposing force, finally here to put him out of his misery, but instead it was another man in a similar yellow-cream military jacket, with grey combat trousers and a partially unbuttoned grey shirt. "We have the map, sir." The man declared, saluting to the hunched man. Alez sighed, his eyes locking with the man. "Please Camillo, I have repeatedly requested that you call me Alez. I am no more a sir then General-President Tario is." "Yes si--Alez." Camillo stumbled. "The map you requested of the city has arrived." "Excellent, thank you." Alez replied. Two more individuals in similar jackets stepped through the door, one (a lady) holding a large rolled up tube of paper held together only by an elastic band and the other (a man) with a single plastic wallet with several cleaner papers inside. The hunched man finally stood up properly, sweeping aside several of his papers to make room. "I'd have expected we'd afford more than a single rubber band to be wrapped around our most valuable current intelligence." Alez sarcastically commented, before being cut by Camille. "There was a problem s–Alez. The scouting men came across numerous wandering soldiers, General-President soldiers, beyond our controlled territory." He commented, the man with the paper rolled it out on to the table for all men currently in the room to see. "It's incomplete." Alez snarled, backhanding a pile of paper near himself to the ground, sheets of paper sprawling out everywhere. The two newcomers traded anxious stares before Alez let out a frustrated sigh with a hand to the bridge of his nose. "I'm fine, we're fine. This is still useful. The map ends where President-General soldiers were contacted? Camille?" "Yes Alez." “Is this the only map?” Alez questioned, his voice still tense a bit raspy but now looking back to the three men. The old man pulled out a thick black pen from his table and stacks of papers. He turned his head back to Camille. “No sir, just a copy.” He replied, his voice a tad quieter then previously. “Excellent” Alez remarked as he carved out great black line across the map following where the surveyed area ended, the scraping of the marker against the paper ringing out across the now silent room. Once Alez finished he took several steps back, the black line going from the top to the bottom of the city map. "Then this still gives us a rough indication of current front lines of the liberation of the city. If there were lone General-President men, we can safely assume they were attempting to survey the arena of battle themselves. But they held this city before it was even evacuated, why would they need multiple men out beyond the active front lines? They only have so many men at the old city hall building.." "Perhaps they are looking to find a hole in our defences?” Camille postulated, the three other men and women in the room turning to him. Camille bent over the map pulling out a Sitallian copper peso, the older lady frowned as she folded her arms – waiting for her turn to speak. “Whilst the General in the city hall has a portion of his men on Pezidenteza Street,” He began, sliding the coin from the town hall to Pezidenteza Street, then rummaging for a smaller silver peso he dropped it back at the city hall on the map, dragging it over several streets to the side. “The General sends out a secondary force to our flank, in hopes of breaking through to Pezidenteza.” He continued, moving both pesos into the street and towards the University. “And break through.” Camille concluded, swiping both pesos back into his pocket. He nodded to the lady, but before she could speak the whole room shook as dust sprinkled from the ceiling and a crack in the wall. The echoes of a second falling building – louder than before – erupted followed shortly by faint cheering. Alez shook his head, sighing and turning his attention to the lady. "They are desperate." The lady stated, her eyes squinted as the wrinkles on her face curled around. She was the oldest of the four, her salt and pepper hair that was more salt than pepper showed that well. "Before our men came together, my men fought at Papapietolia on the coast. They sent out men to find a clean route into the front lines. Week later, President tanks and heavy artillery arrived. Half my men were lost on a single day and we were forced to flee from the city. f*cking spineless men. Soon as they believe they might loose, they run to daddy Tario and-" The lady was cut off as a young man in a basic grey uniform burst into the room, breathing frantically. Alez's face burned red. "What in the damned Hell do you think you're doing?! What's your name division so I know who to smack later?" The old man roared towards the young boy. "Oyānci s-sir, the Ƶantico d-division! Alez, sir! I-its your son!" The man cried out, with Alez's face going from red to purple. "Well dammit boy! What Hell has he gotten himself into?!" He snarled, slamming a fist onto the table causing a single sheet of paper to flutter to the ground and Camille to flinch. "He's at the first aid camp, he got shot at th--" Once again, no one can get a single word out as Alez stormed past the boy and down a hallway, leaving the young man to the ire of the three men and women.
  3. Wow its been a minute, ammiright, but hell last 2 times we expanded it was like Bang, you know what I'm sayin'? No? I'm not high I swear. I'm just making this as cancerous as possible at your expense. Ok for real, I'm gonna do this proper before anyone thinks I'm getting sweet bootylicious clay just by virtue of being staff. In this post I'm going to: Show the community how my previous expansions have gone (hence: why I deserve to be trusted on this one). Tell you why this isn't actually a really big expansion (or even much of an expansion at all) Tell you what I'm planning and seeing if anyone has anything to say about it. Explain why all this makes sense unless you're a smooth brain. 1. Big Boi Numba Wan: Ivy-wyvy's messy wessy expansions UwU a. Ultramares (we gots a tiny island kawaii) What Happened: Iverica got it via referendum. Made a couple of (decent detail) news posts (more below the linked one) for it back when the regs weren't so strict. But we have been using it in actual RP like in the Asta L'Vasqqa Part 1: State of the REEEeepublic (link below). Its also been used in more news since then and is used in my iiwiki pages. b. The MADDAFAKKIN IBERIC FEDCOM BYATCHES (or: Iverica writes 2 novellas OwO whats this?) What Happened: THIS Boi and This THICC BOi. Capping it off with a little encyclopedia style post. Basically the Iberic states become one thicc glubal EU like power and it gets used like a ton of times. Yes it has a pretty basic iiwiki page as do all the states of the FedCom with individual pages. 2. Its Not Really An Expansion Tho >.> eat my socks omnom The areas we want are super duper uuper tiny my dude and they like-totally like have no: a. Permanent Population: Anyone live there? XxxDOUBTxxX. b. Resources: at least none that we would exploit. Point: deees monies not gonna go into de borsa nononono seniorrrrrr. 3. Whats the Plan Stan? The big idearr, the buzz in yer bumper, the bulge in your Blitzkrieg, the bung in your bumho— So you may have seen some posts talking about a certain project. Project Adlantis: North and South. The goal is for Iverica to build some bootylicious bases on bumfuck nowhere places because—strategic value? Trade route security? Investor confidence? Political posturing? Increased glubal committment? Smol stuff like that. Nothing important. New Phone, Where dis? Lighthouse Island, Corinium Diego Gracias Island, N of @Gallambria THE Plan: IC'ly Iverica will be coordinating with local governments (Gallambria and South Corinium) and rapidly put military infrastructure down on the islands. Lighthouse Island will likely be leased with permission from the S. Corinium ( @Seylos) government given that Iverica only recognises the Southern government ( perhaps @Haruspex may have some IC ideas how this will go down since its contested territory). As for Diego Gracias, no one lives there last I checked. I've also talked to Gallambria about this. No issues so far. To solidify the expansion with posts I only plan to do a few RP posts briefly going over what we're building. Since these are so tiny and this is hardly an expansion in terms of size or resource value, I suppose those will suffice. I've got my ears open to any com-mentos though. To make this whole song and dance worthwhile, there will be some secondary attempts Iverica will make at putting down supply stations ( a max of 2) on close by reefs (1 north, and 1 south probs) and not in anyone's exclusive economic zone or even contiguous zone so don't you worry your little head. Heads up: Some of the work (like building some prefab stuff and gathering equipment, I will write to have happened a couple months back already. Why? Because I'm not waiting a full fucking year for the bare bones of two naval bases thanks. 4. SO WHATS IN THE BOX MAN??! WHATS IN THE BOXXXXXX/X///1/1EQKLWNJ NO SERFS, NO MONIES? Whats in it for Ivy? El simplicado my amigbro: a. OOC Reason: Closer to the action. Its really expensive and hard to justify constant naval expeditions into the Adlantic. These bases will mean we have an anchor to make our RPs in the area more realistic and more realistic. b. IC Reason: [1] I think its important to realise that ships don't normally operate waaay outside of waters near a friendly base that can render aid or supply. If your ship gets into a boo-boo 3,000 km away from a friendly base of allied nation, who's going to help you? The ooga-boogas? Bruh, they're more likely to sell your organs. Enjoy the free ice bath that comes with it. Logistics are the foundation of operations—no logi=stupid ops, stupid commanders. [2] Another thing: with growing trade with @Tagmatium Rules, Iverican pledges to support Polar activity, and not to mention Iverica's part in securing Corinium. All these reasons equals galaxy brain: we have skin the game mudderpuckerrrr. Additional Hypothetical FAQ: Q: Iberica, how u appord dis? A: With a budget. Srs: I haven't even dented infrastructure budget in years. Even if I decreased my military spending by 25% we could still afford this. In the posts I've already made, I've shown that Iverica wants to hire local businesses to support the projects. Q: Won't the closest indigenous groups hate you? A: Maybe. But we're hiring them. So they can hate us while they help us. Q: IBURCA, how u justipie dis? Politikally. A: Seecuuuuuuuring trade and Polar Roooooooooooooutes, diplomatic committments, the fact that Europa is flexing and TRIDENT was founded precisely to pre-emptively unfuck the fucked up shenanigans that are certainly coming. Q: C'est très irréaliste, honhonhon, vous paysan, vous ne savez rien de la géopolitique!!! Mon dieu! A: Really? Try China string of pearls? Nine-dash line? Ring any bells. Remember the only reason why people are really incensed are because the the UNCLOS territorial overlaps. Not the actual bases. Further, people have been doing this for decades like the Diego Garcia atol among the scores of other islands. --- OOC: damn son, you gotta try this organic shit. Also, I may have misspelled some stuff. idgaf. I dunno man. I'm just tryinna haff fun. Fancy a shag? Also: if there are complaints while I'm doing everything I just mentioned up there, I am not gonna hear it. If you don't like the way I twerk, you better say so soon or forever hold your piece. If you're concerned make sure you read it. Mwahahahaha, now you see the genious of making the whole post cancer. Now you have to reread it.
  4. Keno thrust his hands deep into his pockets as he walked in the night, the streetlamps dimly illuminating the sidewalk he walked on. The suburbs he walked through were unfamiliar to him, Keno himself growing up in the urban slums of Alvernia's north. His family still lived in the same one-room house that they had lived in for 16 years, but here Keno was in suburbia, a 45-minute bus ride away. His baggy shorts and t-shirt failed to cover him from the chilly winds, which accompanied the rapid drop in temperature that came with the sunset, while the bag that carried his clothes made his back sweat. Despite feeling chilly, Keno enjoyed the walk. He was alone with his thoughts, a small field to his right and the road to his left. The 2 lanes were separated by a median that made them one-way roads, and the grassy median held a row of trees that extended across the entire road. The leaves whistled gently as the breeze blew while the night air was filled with the noise of the local fauna- the chirp of the local bugs in early fall was especially loud in the night time. A soft mist began to fall as Keno checked the time on his battered wrist watch: 11:30. Despite the late time, the house he was heading to was expecting him. The Piannas were family friends of Keno’s family and Keno and their son, Leo, knew each other since they were 3. After they were both accepted into the same private secondary school, the Piannas had offered to house Keno, aware of their economic situation. With undying gratitude, Keno’s family accepted the proposition. Saving up his money, Keno was able to buy the cheapest bus ticket he could find, packed his bags, and headed towards the suburbs. The blaring of a car horn from behind Keno interrupted his thoughts as he whipped his head around. A 4-door sedan had slowed down to a roll next to Keno but he kept looking straight, ignoring the car. The light that poured out of the headlights made him squint and Keno heard the car come to a stop and doors open and close. Even though he was sure he would not be mugged before he had left, Keno had taken a small switchblade with him just in case, the one he had carried with him for years now as protection in the urban slums. The sound of footsteps came closer and one of them shouted out, “Where you going, asinavulo*? We just wanna be friends.” Keno’s throat closed as his heart raced. What was he to do? The bag on his back made it difficult to run quickly. But the Piannas was what, two blocks away? He might be able to make it. He turned his head around for the first time. One person was sitting on the hood with a cigarette in his hand. While three others were walking shadily behind Keno. Running wouldn’t be an option. Upon making eye contact with one of the three, the man smiled. Keno realized all three were reaching into their waistbands; his heart began to thump harder than ever before. Adrenaline pumping, Keno, as quickly as he could, slumped the bag off his shoulders and bolted while screaming as loud as he could. “HELP! HELP ME!” He heard the footsteps of the men behind him inch slowly closer as the car revved and drove towards him. Keno heard one of the set of footsteps disappear for an instant before feeling a hand slap his foot into the other one, tripping him. One of the men and Keno slammed onto the pavement while the other two reached him. Keno fumbled for his blade but didn’t reach it in time- one of them had grabbed the back of his head and was repeatedly slamming it into the ground, cursing him with each blow. Keno’s face numb and bloody, the man finally stopped. He sat there dazed for a moment before one of them rolled him over, back on the pavement. He couldn’t make out much, but Keno saw four figures around him. He dimly heard a switchblade flick open and one of them saying, “This is for running, you dirty asino.” More blades flicked open as they bent down towards Keno, who laid there, still. They drew their arms back, then Keno felt several sharp stabs of pain in his stomach before blacking out for good. * * * Alvernia had not seen so much violence in one week. Not since the People’s War, anyway. Just five days ago, the death of a native Marenesian by Salvian nationalists ignited anger amongst the native community. In the north, where most of the native population was present, peaceful demonstrations garnered hundreds of thousands while newspapers and local news stations reported on the murder 24/7. The boy was honored as a hero, a martyr, a rallying call for any and all native Marenai who still inhabited the Salvian lands. The story ran quite differently in the south, especially in the overwhelmingly Salvian capital, Soncinia. The men were labelled as “drunken vagrants,” having nothing to do with the Salvian identity. Other, more extreme tabloids went on to discuss the identity of this Marenai boy, saying the event never happened, or that it was in fact the boy that had started the violence. The story spilled over into national politics: several members of the Body of Representatives took sides, while most refused to even acknowledge the rising tensions and conflict between native Marenai and Salvians. States of emergencies were declared across the country as the National Guard and Alvernian military were deployed to quell the revolts. Keno’s family was caught up in it all. Interviewer after interviewer requested for a conversation with the grieving family, while the mailbox spilled over with letters of compassion and support as well as death threats. How their address was leaked in the first place, none of them knew. Keno, according to the Catholic Marenai tradition that was frequently observed in northern Alvernia, was placed in an open casket during his funeral despite the gruesome outcome of the crime. The family was not allowed to speak, sleep, or eat- only pray- for 24 hours, while anyone invited mingled around and remembered the teen’s life. At the end of the 24 hours, at sunset, the priest sprinkled the casket and the congregation with holy water before burning the casket and after that the family could talk. But they didn’t. Only wept. * * * “Lunex,” The minister addressed the president while bowing. While the word might seem appropriate for a democracy to an outsider- the word translated most literally meant “leader” or something of the sort- in the Salvian context, it was closer to “king” or “grand leader” than a humble title. Just another of the many “reforms” Lunexus Marzeni had instituted since his first election in 2005. Of course, even if his second victory was legitimate, Alvernia’s two term limit would’ve guaranteed Marzeni leave in 2015, but he was able to convince the entire Body of Representatives to amend the Constitution to grant him four more terms. Yet it didn’t matter- every Salvian loved him anyways. His promises of creating a new and strong Alvernia that would dominate Marenesia and reuniting all Salvian people was pleasing to the ear of many Salvians, even those of the Sanctum Imperium Catholicum. The native Marenai be damned if they stood in the way of the great Lunex’s dream. The president let the minister stay in a bow for several seconds before gesturing with his hand. Marzeni began talking as soon as the minister stood while fixing himself a drink, “Good morning, piccliocho**. You wish to discuss with me about the Northern situation, do you not?” The minister, Bergio de Wohine, was Secretary of the Poka’i- Marzeni’s new police force he had established a few years back. They essentially replaced all local police departments with a national force that had pledged loyalty to Marzeni. “Yes, Lunex. The Poka’i have been combating the crisis for over two weeks now. I wanted to come to you personally with a request for extra aid. Perhaps calling in the military?” The pouring of whiskey and clinking of liquor stones stopped abruptly. De Wohine swallowed, Marzeni kept staring at his drink, half poured. A moment of tense silence seized the air before ending as soon as it had started with the Lunex chuckling and continuing fixing his drink. Taken aback, de Wohine began chuckling awkwardly. Marzeni’s glass completely filled, he kept chuckling before violently snapping at the man, “I did not ask for you to laugh!” De Wohine flinched then put his hand over his chest as Marzeni stood and walked towards the window that sat behind the Lunex’s “throne”. Marzeni breathed deeply before sipping his whiskey then walked over to a small table to his right and picked up a knick-knack, closely observing it. De Wohine was frozen the whole time. “Mi piccliocho. You are very, very unintelligent. You know very little about a true Salvian’s goal in life. Do you even know what it is?” He said this last sentence sharply, looking back at de Wohine while setting the object down. The minister just sat there, wishing he could be absorbed by the upholstered chair he sat in. Thankfully, Marzeni answered the question for him. “It is to unite Salvia, is it not? The asinos are nothing but specks of insignificant, unworthy dust in our path.” He took another sip. “To suggest our great military needs to be deployed in order to combat a couple million rebellious asinos is pure folly.” Beginning to smile and chuckle while speaking, Marzeni continued, “You see now, how funny your joke was?” Marzeni took another sip, shook his head slightly and continued to chuckle. Sighing, he walked behind the minister and put his hand on the man’s shoulder, gripping tightly. “Now, you’ll see that those asinos are dealt with, will you? That’d be excellent.” He patted the minister’s shoulders; the minister just nodded. “Good. Now get the F*CK out of my office!” De Wohine practically jumped out of his seat and quickly exited, rushing to his office. He was in his own office chair before he even began to think. His heart pounded against his chest as he poured himself some hard liquor, then drank it like a cup of water and poured another. He had to do something. The crisis was only worsening as the Marenai revolted, boycotting work and Salvian businesses. Marzeni would surely fire him-- or worse-- if he failed. But maybe this something would instead be against the “Lunex”. With that thought in mind, de Wohine picked up a pad and pen and began drafting a letter. _____________________________________________________________________________________ *Incredibly derogatory term for native Marenai used by (some) Salvians **Salvian word meaning “little friend,” as if talking to a child. In this context, used in a demeaning and patronizing way
  5. “An Empire Divided” Multi-Expansion RP Proposal Metztlitlaca Expansion My first expansion! Despite the name of the proposal this application is only for the first stage of the expansion, which is the conquest of the Occidental Democratic Republic of Satillo. All currently made information for the expansion (for now) will be below. Since the departure of Derthalen, Adaptus, Limonaia, and Variota, there is no longer a “Boogeymen” nation for people to work with/against. The closest we have is Fulgistan, who although is planning to expand, may not be as amoral as people hope (closer to Galahinda then the DPRK), and Haruspex (who is pretty locked into their corner of Europan). So I’ve taken it upon myself to hopefully give people a nation to condemn, to secretly work with, to be a global issue to carefully deal with. Expansion will begin with Sitallo, but hopefully if reception is positive from my expansion RP thread and a thumbs up from my neighbours, I will continue with the Triple Commonwealth conquest and beyond. The eventual state I plan to end with (2022-2023) will have a population from Half a Billion to a Billion. That’s an insane number for Eurth - which has a global population of 5 Billion - but considered the GDP per capita would be much lower than its competition, the GDP itself would only put it in the top 5 nations and still have to work with and by other large states such as SSI, Gallambria, and eventually Fulgistan’s FASR to get what this behemoth wants. Hopefully I can earn the right to be the Wurld's Douchebag :P. (Map of the Three Azlo Sisters - successor states to the Crescent Empire) Proposal A: The Occidental Democratic Republic of Sitallo Overview The Occidental Democratic Republic of Sitallo (Sitallian Azlo: Lepaplica Democatic Ocitental Sitallo) is a Low-Income-Country which is most well known for its tenuous internal politics torn between a recently authoritarian government and the major military general warlords of the nation. Area: 641,320 km^2 (93% of Metztlitlaca) Population: 16,077,892 (75% of Metztlitlaca) Population Density: 25.07 per km^2 GDP per Capita: $2,587 GDP total: $40,159,350,660 (64% of Metztlitlaca) Demonym/Adjective: Sitallian De Jure National Religion: Non / Secular De Facto National Religion: Catholicism Capital City: Sìta ti Fitòria The Sitallian constitution defines Sitallo as a unitary republic of 15 provinces, however like Metztlitlaca, Sitallo is largely an authoritarian state (moreso than Metztlitlaca). Sitallo is classified as an autocracy (unlike Metztlitlaca’s anocracy) as part of a backsliding democracy since 2015. This has come about as part of the recent expansion of power by the Sitallo National Brotherhood Party due to the failed 2015 coup, which has resulted in the recent oppression of the nation’s plurality ethnic group of the Metztlica by the smaller (yet still substantial) Xisomostoxe ethnic group. In 2019 and 2020 there have been multiple protests and riots in the capital of Sitallo by the Metztlica and other oppressed groups, but so far no effort has been made by the Sitallian government to stop the increasing pulling away of democracy, instead enact harsher crackdowns on dissident groups. History The borders of the country were first defined in 1592 by the Crescent Empire under the name of Tonalcalaquiyantlacah (“Land of the Sunset”). The region was part of a large-scale tributary revolt against the Crescent Empire in 1672 which lasted until 1711 when the region broke away as numerous smaller nations one of which was called Cicitlalloteotlalliapan which roughly translated to “On the waters of a sacred land full of stars”. The stars within the name most likely represented the large abundance of exposed platinum in the area and in the rivers. In 1785, the Shffahkian Empire (under Emperor Eustace I) conquered Cicitlalloteotlalliapan as well as numerous other smaller states under the colonial name of Nuovo Sfachiano. Due to the tropical savanna-like climate, the region became colonised by Cristinese Shffahkians for cash crop plantations with slave labour predominately made up of the native inhabitants with some importation of the Huang. The colony did not last, and a large-scale slave revolt from January 1847 to December 1848 caused the region to break away under the Republic of Nuovo Sfachiano. The nation renamed itself to Sitallo in April of 1849. In 1899 there were talks between the Republic of Sitallo and the Crescent Kingdom on Azlo unification, but Armand Eugène de Caldofondo-Bouvèron died before any real constitution was drafted as post-Armand I kings of the Crescent Kingdom were disinterested in expansion. 1847-1848 Azlo Slave Revolt Flag From 1849 - 1932, the Republic of Sitallo swung between stable democracies to effective autocracies, but in October 1932, a Fulgistani-backed socialist coup ended the 86 year old republic replacing it with the Socialist People’s Republic of Sitallo. The SPRS was a forced-secular authoritarian regime, which eroded down the indigenous Wēcatoc religious even more than under the Shffahkian Empire, along with the closing and even destruction of catholic churches and cathedrals. The second attempt at unification between Sitallo and the Crescent Kingdom (now under the South Palu Confederation) was in 1972, but due to ideological differences (primarily around freedoms of religion) the two nations never took the idea seriously beyond condemning one another for their actions against unification. In December 1991, a minor protest against socialist authoritarian rule broke out in the capital of Sìta ti Fitòria. Yet the protest was met by open fire by several on-duty Sitallo soldiers , leading to the death of fifteen protestors - 9 of which were under 18 - leading to a domino effect up until the 1992 February Sìta ti Fitòria Revolution, where in a large number of armed ex-army combatants, anti-socialist militia groups, and protestors took over the capital city for an entire week culminating in the fracturing of the state into five war general-led states. Although the Socialist People’s Republic was not legally dissolved, it was for all intents and purposes over. 1932-1992 Socialist People’s Republic of Sitallo “Worker’s Banner” Over the next decade and a half, the country slowly reunified under the Occidental Democratic Republic of Sitallo. This was largely done through appeasement of the warlord military generals through coersion, bribery, and assassinations. The Occidental Republic was surprisingly functional as a democracy, holding its first elections in 2003 with the Sentenamitl Unification Party (party backed by the generals) winning 72% of the vote. The second election in 2007 saw the S.U.P. gaining 53% of the vote - largely by Metztlica and southern populations of the nation - and the Sitallo National Brotherhood Party winning 32% of the vote, with the last 15% predominantly going to the Democratic Liberal Party. The most recent election in 2011 saw the SNBP with 51% of the vote, with the DLP at 42% and the SUP at 7%. Many of the ex-military generals who controlled territories of Sitallo began to fear that their power was waning, and an attempted coup in 2014 - a year before the next election - occurred, but failed, leading to the SNBP voting as a bloc to “temporarily hold elections” under President Tario. Interestingly only one of the five generals involved in the failed coup was arrested and tried, with the other four pardoned, leading to many assuming the coup was - in fact - staged. From 2015-2020, prejudice towards Wēcatoc Temples increased and [the discrimination] became endorsed by President Tario who described Wēcatoc as a “Barbaric idol faith”. Recently Catholicism has been covertly sponsored by the regime to replace Wēcatoc in the western and inland territories. This has led to Metztlitlaca threatening intervention in the region as refugees from Sitallo have begun to cross into Metztlitlaca, upsetting the already fragile balance in the Tapelt region. Current Flag of the Occidental Democratic Republic Culture & Military Like Metztlitlaca, Sitallo is split between Shffahkian colonists, native Azlo, and a small percentage of Huang. The Shffahkian colonists make up 4% of the total population and are the core of Catholicism in the nation. The number used to be much higher until many fled when the Slave Revolt occurred - fleeing to the Crescent Kingdom or the Shffahkian Republic. The Huang (mixed or not) make up ~12% of the population, predominantly in the north-east, and have a culture similar to that of Pomodoria of Yatotla: mixed ex-slave Huang with significant influence from Azlo and Cristinese cultures. There are four Azlo groups within Satillo, in order of population are: Metztlica (37%), Xisomostoxe (33%), Àwitsoxe (21%), and the Western Tlaxcalixe (9%). The military of Sitallo, although similar in size to Metztlitlaca (~30,000 Active Military Personnel), is split amongst 5 separate loosely tied together military generals, three of which were part of the original People’s Republic break up (Tario, Tonato, Miliano) with Lèn and Palisi being the oldest sons of the previous generals. All five military generals along with the Sitallian government attempt to act as a single body, but dissonance between generals has led to instability in the recent past. (Temporary Map - better one will be made if the submission is accepted) Reason for Expansion - In Universe Ideology Since the official formation of Metztlitlaca in 2005 the nation has toyed with the idea of irredentist claims to former Crescent Empire territories, but serious intervention and land grabbing has been out of the picture as the nation was more focused on reconstructed then expansion. But since 2019, the Civil Reconstruction Program has been declared a success and 95% of regions which were severely affected by the civil war have seen reconstructed (often better then they were previously). The growth of Metztli nationalism has also seen success under the Bitheocratic Constitution, spear-headed by Continentalist, Palu Socialist, and Covenant Pluralist ideologies. The expansion into Sitallo would - in the eyes of the Metztlican Government - cement Metztlican nationalism as the central and legitimate ‘true ideology’ of the country. There is also the easy decision to use the war as a “moral crusade” to free the Metztlica population from religious and societal oppression along with increasing personal freedoms of the region. Economic Since the early 2000s, the Metztlican economy has been cruising off low-density metal mining + refining, and export of cash crops to LAANN members and observers. However, closely guarded records have noted that Bauxite reserves within the Metztlican side of the Tapatepetli Mountains are expected to reach economically insufficient levels by 2025 - two years before the current 10 year plan for industrialisation is achieved - which has thrown the highest governing bodies of the nation into a crisis. But, large veins of platinum are known to exist in the northern vestiges of Satillo, along with untapped Bauxite reserves which should last current Metztlican exploitation levels until 2040. The larger worker force would also decrease the 10 year plan’s end date down to 2022 if Satillo infrastructure could be brought up to Metztlican standards by mid 2021. Reducing Foreign Influence The conquest and subjugation of Satillo - in the mind of the government - would allow for Metztlitlaca to reach an even footing with its closest frenemy of Fulgistan and could mean that the Metztlican government can put its foot down to any unreasonable Fulgistani demands. There are also rumours of Fulgistan’s own potential expansion in the upcoming years. If true, it would mean Fulgistan would easily outcompete any other member of LAANN and come to dominate the geopolitical region uncontested. Keeping up with Fulgistan is an imperative of the current Metztlican regime to prevent a second South Palu Confederation. Plan of Action The RP expansion will be in two pieces: The first half is about a man called Cualli Pellamo and how he became involved in two separate militia groups, both groups attempting to work together to perform a second coup in the capital city of Sìta ti Fitòria. The second half is the actual invasion by Metztlitlaca into the nation of Satillo. Whilst the first half is ongoing, plans for the second half will begin. Any nation who wishes to get involved (LAANN or not) may, as either humanitarian aid, combatants or even just news reporters or unfortunate tourists. As long as it makes sense you can get involved! You can even attempt to stop Metztlitlaca’s expansion and try to save Satillo. I don’t necessarily know how long this expansion RP will take (first time doing it) but it’ll most likely take until post-mid 2021, especially so due to College.
  6. Spring was finally coming to Gournaion, the capital of the island of Efmoseia and the nation of the Hexanisa. It had been a hard winter across all of northern Europa and even the western countries of Machina @Haruspex and Tagmatium had suffered in the coldest weather in decades. Despite being the two most functional nations in either the Occident or Burania, many of their citizens had died in the cold weather and parts of them had been cut off due to the deep snow and blizzards. In the band of six large islands and innumerable smaller ones that marked the division of the Thalassa ton Kataigidon (Sea of Storms) and the waters of inner Europa, the weather had been especially hard because the islands had very little resources of their own to call upon. Some of the small fishing villages and semi-permanent logging camps that made up the settlements on the exposed northern coasts of the islands had to be completely abandoned. Vessels and aircraft from the Stolos, the militarised coast guard, were now going out to assess the damage to the settlements and to see if the inhabitants could return. The weather had been a shock after the warm temperatures of the summer and very few people had been prepared for anything other than the usual winter weather, although that was always quite harsh. The economic damage would have to be counted before the country could move forward. The long cold winter had delayed the planting of crops and prevented fishing for weeks when the fleets should have been out laying pots for crab or trawling for Adlantic salmon. Whilst the people of the Six Islands were unlikely to starve over the coming months, the finances of the country and its inhabitants would suffer. The last decade hadn't been kind to the Hexanisa and it seemed like the start of the new one wasn't going to be great, either. Those were the thoughts going through the head of a warmly wrapped little old lady as she sat at a cafe table and took sips of a cup of tea whilst looking out over the harbour of Gournaion. The cafe had cast iron furniture arrayed around tables and segregated from the street by low planters with hardy plants, although most of them had died over the winter. A heavyset stheneloser dog lay curled at her feet, its thick black and white fur proof against the cold of the northern islands. There were still boats in the harbour, although most of them were out to sea, trying to catch up with the season's fishing. She had just come from a morning service at the Panagia Theotokos, the cathedral of the Hexanisa. A savoury pastry lay untouched on a plate in front of her. Several newspapers were spread across the table, some from the Hexanisa, some from Tagmatium and even one from @Orioni. It was the old lady's habit to look through the headlines in the morning after church before she pottered back to her house. The headlines, at least of the Tagmatine ones, were mainly about the Megas Agios Basileia's involvement in Ceris – two carrier groups and a corps were now in action there, with suggestions that more might follow on. She shook her head. It was unlikely that “Arhomaneia” was involving itself there for the benefit of the Cerisers, although no one could deny that the Sentists were a plague that wouldn't go away of its own accord. The Orinese paper was at least more hopeful, although it focussed on the ongoing EOS mission in the Bainbridge Islands. The papers were full of just more examples of the powers of the wurld bullying the smaller nations. Although the Orinese were much less... conservative, blunt and chauvinistic than the Tagmatines, they were perhaps a bit more hypocritical. They tended to frame all of their actions as good for the people they were subjecting them to, even if it was entirely against their will. The intervention in the Bainbridge Islands had been going on much longer than any operation the Tagmatine armed forces had undertaken in decades. Under the aegis of EOS, the Orinese were bringing peace and stability to the south of Europa, whether it was wanted or not. After a moment looking out to sea again, she broke off a corner of the pastry and crumbled it up further. She then tossed the crumbs to a wagtail that was scavenging around the tables of the cafe but keeping a wary distance from the stheneloser. Another joined it and the two birds bickered for a moment amongst the table legs before seemingly deciding that the amount of crumbs was enough for the pair of them. She watched the small birds briefly before sighing to herself and pouring more tea from the pot into her cup. A passerby called a greeting and waved at the old lady. The wagtails, always timid, scattered and chittered their outrage at being forced away from their crumbs. The stheneloser raised its heavy head and watched the passerby and the old lady's reaction to them, its eyes darting between the two. When she waved back, it put its muzzle back on its paws, content that there was no threat there and closed its eyes. She reached down and scratched it behind its ears and broke off another bit of the pastry. The dog put its head up again and gave a begging look. The old lady smiled at the big dog and gave it the rest of the pastry, saving a corner for herself. It chewed messily for a moment and nosed up the crumbs that it had dropped. She ate the corner she had broken off and sipped the cup of tea. Of course, to the locals it wasn't just an old woman – it was Evangela Leotykhidissa, the Megas Kritissa, the Great Judge, of the Kritakrateia of the Hexanisa. A small bodyguard called the Skouterioi lurked nearby, attempting to make themselves unobtrusive but also trying to be a visible barrier between her and any possible threat. Unlike the bodyguards of the islands' western neighbour, they weren't in ostentatious armour and robes but coats and suits. It was clear that they were still bodyguards, as the tailoring of their suits couldn't quite hide the presence of holstered pistols. The Skouterioi had always made it clear that they weren't happy with the fact their head of government was content to sit in public and let the islanders greet her as they walked by. Although the islands weren't rich, they were strategic. The Arhomaiki Noimosyni Dykton was an ever-present threat, as were the secret services of the Exousiokrateia or the Volskoi. Any of them might try to engineer a takeover of the islands or assassinate the Megas Kritissa. They would likely then try to take advantage of either the islands' position or the possibility of mineral or oil wealth possessed by them. The Gharoiki have been carrying out “hydrocarbon mining” in the areas of the Thalassa ton Kataigidon under their control. It seemed to be a pompous way of saying “oil and gas extraction” and it couldn't be doubted that the Hexanisa were being eyed up by the northern barbarians. Evangela took another sip of tea. The Megas Kritissa had been voted into the position in 2016 as a reaction against the regime of Kommodos Iakoumos, as she had been in the election six years before that. The old woman was one of the few of the Lipotakai, the Deserters, still actively involved in the politics of the Hexanisa. She had been repeatedly elected because she was seen as taking a hard line with Tagmatika. There was still an arrest warrant out for her in the Megas Agios Basileia, even though it had been over sixty years since the events at the end of the Long War which had caused the Hexanisa to break away from Arhomaneia. It looked like the relationship between the islands and the mainland were warming up in the reign of Theodosios VI but his death at the hands of an assassin and the civil war that followed had halted that. At the time, some of the other Kritai had considered throwing in their support behind the cabal of naval and army officers attempting to revive the Navarkhokrateia but that scheme had been stopped by the then Megas Krites, Ioannes Hegesinos. It just would have meant a vengeful Kommodos landing forces on the islands and bringing them to heel by force. Some of the defeated rebels had tried to flee to the islands in the aftermath of the civil war but they had been turned away, most of those disappearing further east or south. There were rumours that the new regime in Tagmatika had shot dozens, if not hundreds, of rebellious officers. Handing over any refugees would have been as bad as murder even if it would have meant that Tagmatika might have warmed up to the Hexanisa. The pot of tea was empty and Leotykhidissa stood to her feet, using the arms of her chair to help her get there. One of the Skouterioi stepped forward to take her arm but the old woman waved him off. The big dog stood up and followed the old lady at her heels as she started on the walk towards her official residence. It wasn't too far away from the harbour and the cafe. Gournaion was not a bustling metropolis by the standards of most nations, even New Wurld ones, but it was the largest city of the Hexanisa. The other people walking the streets knew the Megas Kritissa by sight and waved at her as she passed. Many other heads of state would use a car to get around but the size of the capital meant it was unnecessary and Leotykhidissa also loved to see the city. It meant that the old lady felt like she was more in touch with the ordinary people of her country than others in her position might be. And she could see the effects of the policies that she enacted or the repercussions of wurld events. In recent years, the numbers of boarded up shops were more noticeable than ever before. As she walked through the cobbled streets of the port, it was obvious where the road surface had become worn or damaged and been replaced with cheaper tarmac. The Great Europan Collapse had not impacted the islands as badly as others – the government hadn't fallen apart due to economic ruin like in many other countries but the primary industries of fishing and logging had taken a hit. The tourist trade had been nascent but starting to bear fruit, with southerners coming to see the relatively unspoilt landscapes, although others came to see the remains of the battlefields of the Long War. Those were mainly Tagmatioi and their money was as good as anyone else's, even if the Hexanisoi didn't like their government. However, that had dried up and the tourist board of the Kritakrateia just didn't have the money or the pull to try to attract more people to the islands. Foreign faces were now entirely uncommon on the islands. The Megas Kritissa got to the official residence of the head of the islands. It was no towering edifice but a low villa, almost in the classical style, if not for the modifications made to the architecture to take into account the frigid winters. A pair of guards in the dress uniform of the Taxiotai, the island's paramilitary police, stood either side of the door. Their faces were slightly reddened from the cold and their breath clouded in the early morning air. Leotykhidissa would make sure that the guards changed over a bit earlier than scheduled to get them out of the cold. The big dog walked up to the nearest and sniffed at the gendarme's boots. “Arkadios, come.” The dog stopped sniffing about immediately and trotted after the old woman and into the building. It was a comfortable enough building, if slightly more grand than many others in the city. It was the old seat of the Exarkhos, the governor, of the Hexanisa, back before the Long War had dashed that all to the winds. It was, imaginatively, known as the Palati tou Exarkhou, the Palace of the Exarkhos, although “palace” was far too grand a name. Arkadios' nails clicked on the tiles in the hall. The vestibule was cold and a draught blew through it, even with the front doors now closed by the Taxiotai on guard. The only real nod to being in the building was when an aide stepped forward to take the Megas Kritissa's coat and held out a warm indoor robe. Waving the aide away with a gesture, Leotykhidissa took off her coat and changed into the offered robe. “A cup of tea to warm you up?” the man asked. He was almost as old as Leotykhidissa and had the air of a trusted retainer about him. “Yes, thank you,” replied the Megas Kritissa, giving him a thin smile that still managed to be warm. “Can you take it through to the study? There are some papers I wish to go through before I get anything else done today.” “Of course,” he sketched a quick bow and stopped to give Arkadios a pat on the head before he did so. “Anything for this boy?” “No, he's had a pastry already this morning,” Evangela said, looking down at the big dog, who was in turn looking up hopefully at the aide with big eyes. He was trying to suggest that he'd not been fed at all today, despite what was being said. “He sat patiently outside, waiting for the service to finish. He's been a good boy.” Arkadios' tail wagged at the words. “I will bring the tea through when it is ready, Megas Kritissa,” said the aide, finally stopping rubbing the fur on top of the stheneloser's head and walking down the hall. “The heating's on, so the study should be nice and warm.” “Thank you, Leontios,” the old lady said and walked further into the residence. One of the main changes from the traditionally designed Arhomaiki home was that the study wasn't in a commanding place in the building, open to both ends to allow a good view throughout. Instead, in a nod to the cold weather, the room abutted the kitchen, to allow it to take warmth in from the ovens in the walls. That, along with the underfloor heating, made it one of the most snug rooms in the depths of winter. For an elderly person, it made it very liveable. Arkadios padded into the room and went straight over to the dog bed that lay in between the desk and the door and curled up in it. His eyes were on the Megas Kritissa as she pulled out the chair behind the desk and took out a pad of paper. She looked ahead almost blankly for a moment before taking a fountain pen from the mug of pens on the desk and started writing. It took a long time for the words to start properly coming and the cup of tea that Leontios placed on the desk was stone cold before she took notice of it. Eventually, the big dog had started to fidget and whine slightly, making it known that he needed to go out to go to the loo before Leotykhidissa finally stopped her fitful writing and looked down at the words on the page. She sighed and made the sign of the cross in the Aroman fashion – thumb, index and middle finger together, going from right to left – before sitting back in the chair. Of course, as she herself was not a despot, Leotykhidissa would put it before the other five Kritai to see what they would think. Personally, it seemed to be the only way to guarantee the fate of the Hexanisa but she had no idea whether it was the right choice. She was just tired of seeing her beloved nation rot and its people suffer like they had been doing for the last few decades. Her status as a Lipotakissa and her stance on Arhomaneia meant that she would probably be the only person who could propose a reunion with the Megas Agios Basileia without it being immediately shouted down and the proposer being arrested for high treason. It was certainly shocking, even to Leotykhidissa, but perhaps it was time for her country to come in from the cold. OOC: It's time to get the ball rolling on the first part mentioned here.
  7. Roué, the capital of the Republic of Paranne (Lycian: République da Paranne). Three Shffahkians are sitting in a limousine. And then what? Nothing, it would make a fine set-up for a joke is all. Says Louque Admie, a lanky thin pale man in a suit, whom some call him the living embodiment of an academic possessing several degrees and qualifications of various backgrounds, who also happens to be the sitting president of the Collective of Ministers. Holding a pile of papers barely together with several falling from his clutches with every bump the limousine meets. Sounds like a pretty terrible joke. It ain't even got anythin' after. The three should be doing something... Like arm-wrestling! Replies a far heftier man, Rémy Rémy. Tall, outgoing and radiating a presence of courage, he is the current president of the Shffahkian Council. Never one to say much and one to almost always forget something important, a popular rumour of him is that he forgot his last own last name. Well, I didn't say it would be a fine joke per se. Says Admie as he kneels down to pick up the myriad of documents he dropped during the limousine ride. But rather that it would make a good set-up - ça veut dire - a start to one which then predisposes the listener to the comedic twist, thereby... Agh, great this year's documents for the Port-Réel Celebrations budget are besmirched in coffee. Ah, so that's where that went. Says Adélaïde Larue as she bends to pick up the leaking thermal mug putting it back on the small pile of thermal mugs of varying colours next to her. Why did you even bring those files, to begin with? Are you planning a parade float of your own or something? Well excuse me, but I said, many a time, I wasn't going to stop this discussion over the budget of these celebrations for anything. That includes this project of yours, going about galavanting across Paranne. As if the situation in Shffahkiaville isn't bad enough without you constantly avoiding our budget talks. Also, based on that pile haven't you had enough coffee? That addiction of yours is beginning to spiral out of control. You see... Larue pauses for a moment to sip her coffee. There's a difference between an addiction and a passion. Of course, there is. One is an all-consuming fire while the other is a spark of enlightenment, correct? Which stop is next again? Interrupts Rémy looking at one the documents detailing their trip around Paranne. Is it the At-risk Disenfranchised Indigenous Women's Mental Health Association or Parannais Mining Rights Society? No, we already were at the At-risk Disenfranchised Indigenous Women's Mental Health Association back in Térémaie. Does the hour-long hike to the mining site where the protests were happening ring a bell? We had to walk all the way up the mountain because they don't allow transportation vehicles that far up the mountain. Those were women? They were by far too hairy to be women; one even had a beard I'm pretty sure. You're sure they weren't the miners? More importantly, you call that a mountain? I've climbed hills that were bigger than that! They were shouting in... Louque Admie attempts to say before being cut off by Rémy. And I've climbed them without any equipment what so ever! That's great, but how do you explain the fact that they were very clearly throwing what seemed like dirt towards mining equipment? Maybe they were protesting salary cuts? They were shouting in an indigenous language... How should I know what they were speaking? And why are we even going out of our way to talk to some insane sasquatches up in the mountains? They can't even vote what's the point in that? Larue intervenes and says Paranne loves to boast of its indigenous cultural presence. Despite only 15% or so of the population actually being made up of that particular group. So making good with that important minority smooths procedures in the long run. Besides the president's husband suggested it to us prior to our visit. Which one of them was the queer one again? asks Rémy abruptly. What on Eurth do you mean? inquires Admie, flabbergasted. Émeric Dutoit is the first openly "queer," as you so blatantly put it, president of Paranne. His election was seen as a big step forward in the country. Ah, so it's Émeric and not Sylvain? By definition, they both are! Decries Admie, frustratedly at Rémy. And please, do not employ such a word during this trip. What's wrong with calling the sky blue? The negative connotations the word drags around as baggage. Drag, don't tell me they... Says Rémy before being interrupted by Larue Please just stop for goodness' sake. What if it comes up during dinner? I highly doubt this particular subject will come up during our dinner answers Admie. I'm sure we can converse over other topics such as the new ADIWMHA spokesperson... Sasquatch! Interrupts Rémy. Or perhaps the unification deal Larue continues then returning to her coffee. Ah yes, back to that. So after the dinner, we have two stops left depending on how long the pursuing negotiations are Admie preludes. They were which again? Rémy asks. The Animal Rescue Centre of Roué and then the... Wouldn't the joke be better if it began with something else than three Shffahkians? inquires Rémy. Excuse me, what? Admie replies with utter despair in his eyes. Something like a Sunset Sea Islandian, a Shffahkian and a Mauridiviahn are sitting in a limousine. That does sound more like an actual joke. Larue comments. It seems like we've almost arrived, is everything ready? As ready as it can be. replies Admie sweating from anticipation. Let's just hope no arm-wrestling happens. I would say the opposite, you porcelain man! answers Rémy right as the limousine doors open to reveal the glimmer of cameras.
  8. For many years, the “Group Of Five”, an informal group of Slavic nations close to each other, have endured relative prosperity and well-being. However, with new land being snatched up left and right, the Euroführer felt that they needed to put their foot in the door. The “Group Of Five” includes the Euroführer, @Cavunia @Greater Serbia, @Poland-Lithuania, and @Girkmand. Relations have been positive with most of these countries for many years. However, that may change with a new possible land acquisition. (This will be added to over time)
  9. Wednesday, 14th February 2018 Santhope House The KIng's Equerry - "Your Majesty, The Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence." The two Ministers enter the King's private study. Both Ministers and the Equerry bow to the King. Albert II - "Prime Minister." Sir Anthony - "Your Majesty." Albert II - "Sir Henry." Sir Henry - "Your Majesty" They both bow and shake the King's hand. Albert II - "How can I help you Gentlemen?" Sir Anthony - "Well Your Majesty, as you are well aware, the Navy is undertaking a survey operation in the northwest to map out the waterways through the island groups. The commander of the task group, Captain Peter Blackwell, was in contact with the First Sea Lord and the Chief of the Defence Staff stating that the islands were to the best of his knowledge uninhabited. He sort permission from the Board, to extend the operation to a joint service operation to undertake a land survey of the island groups. Which the Board, after consultation with Sir Henry and the Attorney-General, gave their blessing. Sir Henry - "Sir, If I may. (Rolls out a maritime chart of the area, and points to the four islands). The original operation was to chart the water ways surrounding these four island groups. Part of the job they have is to also to gather information about indigenous maritime traffic, which when Captain Blackwell submitted his report, was non-existent, which lead him to believe that these islands were uninhabited. Albert II - "So Gentlemen, you're both telling me, that we've had these islands within our sphere of influence for the last one hundred and fifty years, and we haven't done anything about it? Sir Henry - "Not necessarily Sir. (He pulls a ring-bound report from his brief case). According to the survey reports along with imagery taken by our Air Forces UAV's, it says that up until at least ten to fifteen years ago, they were to some extent inhabited." Albert II - "Well what happened to them?" Sir Anthony - "Well Sir, we believe they may have migrated further west to either the Alharun or Aurelian continents." Albert II - "Ok, So this obviously doesn't require anything done on my part, so what's the matter then Gentlemen?" Sir Anthony - "Sir, Both sides of the house, the Defence Board, and members of industry have approached the cabinet pushing for us to make claim to the islands. Having said that, the Cabinet is of the opinion as well. According to the Land Survey reports, there are large mineral deposits on the islands, as well as from a defence point of view, they are positioned in a strategically important area, which would allow us to project our forces. So, we've come today Sir, for you to sign an instrument declaring that these island groups are Terra Nullis and they have been claimed by the Gallambrian Monarchy, as external territories." Albert II - "Right then, well thank you Gentlemen, this will need to be discussed with the Privy Council, and Sir Jock will be in touch with you. Thank you." Sirs Anthony & Henry - "Your Majesty." They both bow and exit the study. Sir Anthony whispering to Sir Henry - "That went better than expected."
  10. Looking at expanding Gallambria's reach 'globally' for political, economic and strategic reasons. I have an interest in these three islands/island groups. My intention is not to land grab, however to expand into islands/areas that would extend my nations reach into the northern hemisphere, but also allowing nations to access the Marenesian island group. Below is the plan I have for my expansion. As these islands are deemed "Terra Nullis" - I will be RP'ing the claims through maritime exploration by Government and Naval maritime forces.
  11. I've almost worked up enough a backstory for my nation to the point that I feel I can actually start joining some of the roleplay, but as this is my first roleplay in Europa I don't want to make any sort of egregious errors. What would be the best way to bring my nation into contact the rest of the region? For example: Begin with the election of a president who is in favor of knocking down the isolationist barriers which his predecessors have set up, sending out diplomatic feelers to other nations. Decide to enter a war or other conflict which is already going on. Have some kind of crisis in my country which results in foreign intervention or at least interest. Randomly declare war on somebody. Invade more territory. That kind of thing. Can I just pick one of these ideas and roll with it, or is there one particular way in which I should endeavor to cure my n00bishness? (Not to RPing in general, but to Europa.)
  12. Welcome to all foriegn delegations who have ventured to Dew Point. I hope that you had a relaxing trip. Now to the issues at stake. 1) The fate of the two islands off the coast of Area #82 a ) Are they part of Area #82? b ) Can they be claimed by any nation, regardless of population limits set forth in the rules of the maps? 2) The Rules of the Map a ) What are the territory limits to any nation, in the 'in between' areas (ie, land caputed during the war, islands, etc) b ) What are legitimate reactions by other nations? Should there by any limitations. We, the Allied States of Meteorola declare the Dew Point Peace Accords (DPPA) offically open.
  13. At 01:00 hrs this morning, the military might of The Armed Republic of Paranoid Schizos was mobilized and ordered into plot 67. The reason for this is National Security. 24 hour Combat Air Patrols are in operation backed up by Airborne Early Warning Systems. The 3rd Carrier Battle Group has put to sea and established a total exclusion zone extending 5 miles from the coast of plot 67, which will be merged with our great country. 1st and 4th Shock Army and the 54th Airmobile Brigade have struck deep into the territory, encountering little resistance. The indigenous population are wary, but welcoming. A 'hearts and minds' campaign is underway and a promise to modernise and harmonise this new area of Paranoid Schizos has been pledged. A total reporting blackout is in force and will be reviewed daily. All other nations are urged to allow us to go about our business with no interference. Our forces will not fire until fired upon. So far the plan has gone well with only a handful of casualties experienced within the Task Force.
  14. The situation in the Northwestern Europa had just started to normalize again as the governments of Vanarambaion and S.S.S.S agreed to stop hostilities for a week. Meanwhile however at the other side of the continent was boiling a new cauldron of troubles. The Byzantine royal family had become a target for an unknown group of assassins and in the most serious assassination attempts yet the Byzantine Emperor had been nearly killed and was lying unconscious in hospital forcing his son to take his duties. What was even more worrying was that Vanarambaian troops had captured several dozen people similar to the assassins during the conflict in the north. These were then turned to Byzantines and surely they are never heard again. The other governments of Europa had expressed their condolences and offered aid to Byzantines. Vanarambaion had even sent a team of shadow corps to aid Byzantine troops to find the assassins. Who are these people and where they come from? What were their motives?
  15. **Breaking News from Stoned Smurfs** "Hello, I am Ann Ryder from SPOT radio out of Potsville, Stoned Smurfs. We are broadcasting to you live outside of the Green Movements HQ. I have acquired a top secrete memo from President Pot himself declaring the two islands located to the east of the S.S.S.S. official territory. Many have considered the furthest island its own nation or that of the nation above it. We here at SPOT radio feel this is just another example of how oppressive our government is. The memo also outlines plans to turn each island into its own military base and conduct exercises on each. One island will be turned into a naval base and they plan to make a man made lake big enough to repair many major naval ships at once. The other will be strictly for air assaults and airports. We believe this should show all of Europa Pot's true intentions. The President and this administration is hell bent on ugh..." The camera is knocked out of focus for a few seconds and then comes in to view once it is settled on the ground. What we see next is two rather large men dressed in dark blue suits angrily escort and woman and what appears to be an unconscious man off the premises. **End of transmission**
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