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BrellachWatch: Independent News About the Holy Queendom

A place to put national factbooks, embassy exchanges, and other information regarding the nations of the world. [In character]
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BrellachWatch: Independent News About the Holy Queendom

Postby Brellach » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:10 am

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BRELLACHWATCH LAUNCHES TODAY


VOLUNTEER-LED, independent and unbiased, BrellachWatch launches worldwide today in an effort to provide the international community with news, opinion pieces and analysis about one of the least communicative, and most poorly understood, countries in the world - the Holy Queendom of Brellach.

This privately-owned service has been established to fill a perceived void in the online news space. While not an oppressive, anti-journalist state, Brellach's news service is fragmented and localised, with no foreign news media or any kind of online media presence. What little news emerges from the country tends to be written in their native Brellachi, a language without widespread understanding beyond their borders. This leaves the world with a stunted knowledge of what happens in the country.

BrellachWatch aims to change this. Formed by a group of people with strong personal interest in the unusual country, we are entirely led by volunteers and funded by charitable donations and user subscriptions. Our journalists regularly visit Brellach, and have contacts that will help them adequately source their stories. It is hoped that BrellachWatch will become the one-stop-shop for information on the Holy Queendom, a country with a historic paucity of said information.

It is our mandate that the team will adhere to our Three Tenets in all of their writing:
  • Impatial
  • Evidence-based
  • Independent

Please subscribe to our mailing list for regular updates! If you're a foreign news company with an article you'd like published, please get in touch with us at editor@brellachwatch.com.



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3. ROFLCOPTER
+3

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What's a Brellach?

2. AmazingTulip
+1

3 MINUTES AGO
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Strange country. Interesting to get some news about it, besides reading an out-of-date wiki!

1. l337sp34k3r
-13

5 MINUTES AGO
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1st
Last edited by Brellach on Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:15 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Brellach » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:33 am

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GOOD PROGNOSIS FOR DIMINUTIVE BRELLACHI HEALTH SYSTEM


ACROSS THE world, opinions regarding the Holy Queendom are generally dismissive, where they exist at all. The words 'backwater', 'quaint', and even 'stuck in the past' are thrown around quite frequently. 'Welfare state', on the other hand, certainly isn't one of the terms one would generally associate with Brellach.

The Brellachi government does little to dissuade people from these preconceptions either; besides legislating to death anything that could be remotely damaging to the natural environment, Her Court - the closest thing that exists to a legislature in Brellach - generally takes a thoroughly laissez-faire approach to governance, as all previous Brellachi governments have tended to do, usually at the behest of their Queens.

Since coming to power, however, one of the young Divine Queen Lyta's driving ambitions has been to establish a universal healthcare system in Brellach. This is no small task for a country with historically minimal taxation, and in which only around 40% of the population actively contribute to the economy.

A quick look at independently-produced government spending priorities1 for Brellach quite clearly show how keen the Queen is to make a go of it, though. Since as recently as 2007, spending on healthcare has gone from virtually nothing to the equivalent of nearly 15% of Brellach's gross domestic product, a dramatic increase that has already seen dramatic results.

This doesn't translate into a huge amount of money when compared to some other countries out there, but the Divine Queen has been frugal with what she has - existing private practitioners have been brought onto the government payroll, buildings and all, while they have sourced modern, Western medical training from foreign experts rather than reinventing the wheel. Old buildings have been re-purposed as hospitals or 'cottage hospitals', where necessary, and where scientific evidence supports their efficacy, existing tribal remedies have been appropriated and refined rather than importing expensive pharmaceuticals from abroad2.

The results are already extensive - there are now 23 proper hospitals in Brellach, dotted across the vast island in the vicinity of most major towns, with other settlements having at least a reasonably large, well-equipped general practitioner, or 'cottage hospital'. They are all free at the point of delivery, and available to all Brellachi citizens. As is common in Brellach, there is no fancy, formal name for either the buildings or the service providing organisation - they are merely known as "Her Places of Healing", roughly translated.

Already, key public health indicators in the 'citydwelling' population (as non-tribals are known in Brellach) have risen considerably. Infant mortality has dropped by more than half in the last five years, and life expectancy for those diagnosed with serious conditions such as cancer has, on average, increased by at least 10 years.

Brellach's ability to build a public healthcare system in such a short space of time, with such a small amount of funding, and in such a unique political and cultural climate to boot, is a feat that other countries may wish to study, or at the very least commend. And the young Divine Queen has shown no signs of slowing the momentum of her goals - plans are already underway to establish hospitals in the remaining towns. This will be a struggle in northern Brellach particularly, where population density is low and transport links are poor, but the monarch and Her Court appear undaunted.

Opinion piece by David Frith

1 Her Court doesn't publish these; one has to look to the World Assembly for rough estimates.
2 Various tribes in Brellach use surprisingly effective herbs and moulds for anaesthetic and anti-biotic purposes, respectively. Other traditional medicines are less effective, however, forcing the government to import the necessary drugs.




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3. CynicalLurker95
+9

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If a country like Brellach can build a universal healthcare system, there's no excuse for our leaders!

2. Newsaholic
+5

6 MINUTES AGO
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Where'd they get the money for that? Their national industry is poverty, right?

1. BetterDeadThanRed
-27

12 MINUTES AGO
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F**king communists!
Last edited by Brellach on Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:15 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Brellach » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:56 pm

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'THE HOLY JOURNEY TO SEE HER'


RESIDENTS OF Sheoth are beginning to notice an abnormally large number of tribals in and around their city of late, which can only mean one thing - once again, it's that time in Brellach known as 'The Holy Journey to See Her'.

This cumbersome Brellachi term for what essentially amounts to a pilgrimage is a common, if seemingly completely random, event in Brellach which requires some background knowledge of their culture to fully understand.

The well-known, if poorly-understood, tribes of Brellach are a big deal in this country. As will become a recurring theme on BrellachWatch articles, around 60% (roughly 13.2 million, an estimate which even Her Court acknowledges is more of a guess) of the 22 million Brellachi citizens are members of these tribes, and there are thousands of them. Most are nomads, ignoring the advances that city-dwelling Brellachi have made in favour of a more natural, 'harmonious' existence.

In historical times, this numerical superiority was even more pronounced, and the tribes threatened to overwhelm the earliest city-dwelling Brellachi, whom the tribes of the era felt were dishonouring their goddess by 'removing themselves from nature'. Modern Brellach as we know it was only saved by The Compact, an ancient document that affirms the existence of the nation, while simultaneously affirming the rights of the tribes to ignore and be unaffected by said nation.

Summarising a very complex agreement, The Compact essentially requires the state to do everything in its power to protect the tribes from interference, while requiring the tribes to respect the boundaries of the settlements their urbanised counterparts had chosen to build.

Perhaps most importantly, The Compact required the tribes to acknowledge the newly-ascended (at the time) Divine Queen as an 'avatar' of the goddess they all believed in - and continue to believe in now. While to outsiders, this may seem like a historical example of using theological adherence to achieve political goals, both parties continue to believe in the divine origins of their Queen, and tribals and city-dwellers alike venerate her.

Accordingly, the leaders of many tribes make regular pilgrimages to Sheoth, and Her Divine Sanctuary, to pay their respects to Queen Lyta and renew their respect for The Compact.

The Holy Journey to See Her is never announced, nor does any perceivable timetable exist to predict when the tribes will undertake the Journey. It is not annual; this will be only the fourth since Queen Lyta came of age back in 2007 (which is, it should be noted, more Journeys than most prior Queens received in similar time-frames). Nor do they all turn up at once. But it is theorised that the tribes will undertake the Holy Journey to See Her when their nomadic roaming brings them closer to Sheoth than usual, though it is unknown how these disparate tribes communicate their intentions to conduct such a pilgrimage, and most Brellachi simply believe that their goddess commands them to do so.

As the residents of Sheoth know all too well, they simply start appearing one day, and continue to do so piecemeal for a month or two. Not all tribes make every Holy Journey - though all tribes send representatives at least once every few times - but most do, and some travel for thousands of miles without the use of modern transportation to visit the Divine Quene.

Earlier this morning, BrellachWatch received word that the leader of Tribe Roro - a large and particularly influential tribe from the western regions of Brellach - was sighted entering Sheoth with a small cohort of her comrades, officially marking the beginning of The Holy Journey to See Her. Her arrival was followed in short order by the arrivals of three other tribal leaders and their entourages.

Fellis Jessina, the Most Devout Advisor of Her Court, made a short statement to local press that same morning, welcoming the tribe leader to Sheoth on behalf of the city's residents, adding that Queen Lyta "is looking forward to receiving [her]."

The arrival of Tribe Roro's leader has kickstarted the traditional 'welcoming celebrations' by local residents, which historically commence with the arrival of the first tribe leader, and end with the departure of the last - sometimes, a period lasting two months or more.

These festivities are meant to thank the tribes for their continued respect for the terms of The Compact (and, presumably, for travelling thousands of miles to reaffirm that respect).

Welcoming celebrations invariably feature vast street parties, including music, feasts, and dancing, and represent one of the few times that city-dwellers and tribals interact with each other in any meaningful sense.

Based on the atmosphere this author can already feel in the streets of Sheoth, this 'Holy Journey to See Her' promises to be no less of a celebration than the last.

News piece by Anna Jones



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3. PartyAnimal
-1

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dude weres my invite sounds cool

2. NewMarketSeeker
+1

4 MINUTES AGO
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I guess anybody planning on doing any business in Sheoth (or am I the only one?) is going to be disappointed for a couple of months.

1. AmateurAnthro
+2

7 MINUTES AGO
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Sounds fascinating. Save me a drink!
Last edited by Brellach on Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:14 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Brellach » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:40 am

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BRELLACH VERSUS THE WORLD


BRELLACH'S PLACE in the world has always been an uneasy one. They are aware that the outside world exists, and that it can have an impact on them, but they aren't comfortable with that reality and don't really want to be a part of it. The Holy Queendom has historically alternated between positively trying to involve itself in international affairs, and complete and utter disinterest verging on isolation.

Since 2007, Brellach's stance has officially been one of 'compassionate cooperation', as mandated by Queen Lyta. In practice this vague and woolly policy has proved to fall somewhere between the two extremes mentioned above; rarely does Her Court break their traditional silence to communicate with the leaders of the world. Rarer still do they actually take a firm stance on something.

It is difficult to fully understand what Queen Lyta's thoughts on Brellach's foreign policy actually are, and her reign has been the most inconsistent of all when it comes to the subject. For example, in 2007, several months after becoming Queen, she issued a blanket invitation to all foreign leaders to visit Brellach, ostensibly for the purposes of improving Brellach's diplomatic standing in the world. Then in 2008 Brellach sent a diplomatic envoy of their own to Northern Sea for a royal wedding for the same purposes. Throughout 2009 and 2010, however, Brellach was utterly silent on the international stage.

Even more recently, after the young monarch has had more time to form a cohesive strategy, Brellach's diplomatic overtures have remained inconsistent. They have alternated between full-blown offers of aid, as they did to New Edom during the Peregrino incident, to merely issuing statements of support to seemingly random nations, while being silent in other instances. It's not easy to predict what Brellach will respond to, if anything.

While one can study the military forces of some nations and garner an understanding of their foreign policies from how they go about procurement, deployment, and reorganisation, even here Brellach withholds its true aims. After a period of significant investment at the start of Lyta's reign, which saw them determinedly finish a (comparatively) massive naval modernisation project, Her Legion of Light has since seen military budgets slashed despite promises of continued modernisation from Queen Lyta, who reportedly stated (via Her Court) that priorities lie 'elsewhere'.

Her Legion of Light is now in an unusual position in that half of their equipment is modern and reasonably effective, such as their recently-completed frigates and their fairly modern main battle tanks, while the other half is woefully obsolete. And while they have been deployed to foreign shores during Lyta's reign for such reasons as peacekeeping and humanitarian support, they have never been deployed in anger. Her Legion's role is repeatedly said to be purely defensive, though in actuality nobody seems to know for sure what it is for.

It is important to understand that Brellach, while recognising that the outside world exists and that it can have an effect on them, does not regard the outside world as something that should concern them greatly. The Brellachi national motto (or at least, the closest thing they have to such) is "Her Favoured People, in Her Favoured Land", and this phrase has deep spiritual connotations to them that informs their politics.

Fundamentally, Brellachi believe themselves to be the 'favoured children' of their goddess, with the land of Brellach itself featuring in their scripture as a sort of paradise on Earth. The outside world, though a creation of their goddess and to be treated as such, is thought of as the 'dark lands' - not 'favoured'. To the Brellachi, foreigners are 'lost children' - not to be scorned or attacked, but pitied and respected. This worldview has influenced the foreign policy of every Divine Queen since the beginning, including Lyta, even if some have interpreted it slightly differently than others.

With this in mind, Brellach engages with the international community as and when it suits them, and they do so more to placate, befriend, or impart their idea of wisdom upon other countries, rather than to actively pursue any international interests; they don't have any particular interests outside of Brellach. They do seem to want to bring about an end to war and suffering in the world, and will occasionally attempt to achieve this via diplomatic means, but this desire is tempered by an innate knowledge that the 'lost children' will never stop killing each other, no matter what Brellach does or says.

Similarly, Her Legion of Light - with its mission statement, "to lift the veils of darkness that hang over those who would do harm to Brellach or Her Divine Avatar, our Queen" - is not a tool for expanding Brellachi influence, but a necessary defence against the 'darkened' world and persistently violent 'lost children' around them, one that they would willingly discard today if the world was at peace. Defending the favoured lands of their goddess is, however, a holy duty they cannot shirk no matter how much they might want to.

All of this makes predicting Brellach's interactions with the world at large, or even summarising their foreign policy from one moment to the next, difficult to accomplish. Their efforts at diplomacy seemingly take place only when they actually remember that there is a world beyond their shorts, and quickly cease when they forget once again. Take their neglected embassy exchange program as a case in point. On the plus side, the fact that they don't understand how to the game of international politics too well (at no point in history has Brellach sent a communique that is anything but honest and to the point) means that one doesn't have to look too far for their true intentions when they do break their silence.

The only solid prediction we can make, unless there is a dramatic cultural and political shift in the near future, is that we're unlikely so see Brellachi soldiers in our countries any time soon. We simply have nothing that they would want to take from us.

Analysis piece by David Frith



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4. Oorah14
-36

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Our marines could blow up their whole country on their own if they wanted!

3. InternetAddict
+7

2 MINUTES AGO
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Interesting. It's like they only have a foreign policy or an army because the rest of us do, they just don't know what to do with it.

2. AmateurAnthro
+2

4 MINUTES AGO
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I can understand wanting to ignore the rest of the world. Wish I could!

1. l337sp34k3r
-42

6 MINUTES AGO
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1st again
Last edited by Brellach on Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brellach » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:48 am

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SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT


EDUCATION IN Brellach is a shambles. The Queen knows it, Her Court knows it, the Brellachi people know it. Literacy and numeracy rates are, compared to global averages, abysmal, school attendance rates are low, and the number of people with degree equivalent qualifications in any subject is infinitesimal.

More worryingly, there's not a lot anybody can realistically do about it.

About 13.2 million people are automatically excluded - by choice - from ever attending a school, and not only is this unlikely to change but, thanks to The Compact, is not something the government can force. Tribes don't send their children into town, much less into an educational institution, and they never will. Even if the entirety of the remaining 40% of Brellachi had perfect school attendance records and graduated with honours in every subject, the tribals will forever push key performance indicators such as literacy rates down.

But the remaining 40% of Brellachi think themselves too cool for school, too. Somewhere between 65 - 70% of all children are educated at home, by their parents, according to tradition. Some of them will learn the 'family trade' and nothing else, while others may receive a more rounded curriculum, but none of them will enter a school in their lifetimes. The result? A further hit to those key performance indicators.

Queen Lyta and Her Court want to transform Brellach into a modern economy overnight, sidestepping an industrial revolution altogether (and the assorted pollutants that would clash so badly with their religion) and jumping straight into high-tech and service-based markets. Appeals have been made internationally, in the hopes that foreign investors will set up shop. Certainly there's a lot of appeal in this; Brellach has always had a tiny tax rate, and aside from environmental legislation there is little in the way of red tape.

Without an educated, wealthy population, with specialised skillsets and an abundance of disposable income, however, it's not feasible. Who would these companies recruit? Farmers? Huntsmen? Smithies? And who, in a land where even electricity is considered a non-essential novelty, would they be selling their high-tech consumer goods and sophisticated banking services to?

It's a tricky conundrum with no clear answer. The government has ruled out making state education compulsory, and they can't entice people into schools of their own volition. To make matters worse, the Brellachi people have never shown any great interest in the Western consumerism model anyway - they're happy with their lot in life, overall, and don't change easily. Those who are interested, go to university and pursue the capitalist dream of their own accord.

So, how do you modernise an education system and attract modern companies to your country if your people don't want to go to school and you don't want to force them?

Analysis piece by Anna Jones



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3. NewMarketSeeker
+7

2 MINUTES AGO
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Doing business in Brellach is fine so long as you don't open an office there. You just can't recruit locally, as the article states, as unless you have a factory (and Her Court won't let you build a factory), the locals aren't skilled enough.

2. AmateurAnthro
+21

7 MINUTES AGO
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If Brellach wants to have a modern economy and a modern education system, the only way they're going to do it is by making state education compulsory. The Brellachi people seem to be content to remain in the dark ages.

1. l337sp34k3r
-42

10 MINUTES AGO
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1st lol
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Postby Brellach » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:00 am

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WIND FARM IN VIOLATION OF THE COMPACT, TO BE DISMANTLED


AS THE Holy Journey to See Her kicks into full swing, one of the points to emerge from the meetings between Divine Queen Lyta and the various tribe leaders is a violation of the terms of The Compact.

Tribe Hurk has highlighted to the Queen that a new wind farm on the outskirts of the town of Aichen-boke has interfered with one of their hunting trails, and must be dismantled as per the terms of the ancient treaty.

This is not the first time that the Aichan Savannah bordering settlement has fallen afoul of The Compact. In 2009, Queen Lyta was forced to intervene when the mayor of Aichen-boke permitted a local farmer to extend his grounds into another of Tribe Hurk's hunting trails. The Compact requires that the Queen protect the ways of life of the Brellachi tribes, which includes protecting any lands they use to survive.

Then as now, the leaders of Hurk appealed to Queen Lyta to overrule the Aichen-boke mayor's decision, which she did - marking the first time the young Queen had been forced to uphold the terms of The Compact.

The Divine Queen took to the streets of Sheoth today, flanked by Her Protectors, to announce her decision to the people of Brellach to uphold The Compact once more.

"The tribes of Brellach are a boon to this spiritual country," she said. "Their sacred hunting trails are invaluable to their continued survival, and as Avatar of Her Divine Glory I have a duty to protect them.

"It is concerning to me that the leaders of Aichen-boke are repeatedly found to be in violation of The Compact, and I can only apologise to Tribe Hurk - and promise to put right the wrong that has been done to them."

The new wind farm, located ten miles from Aichen-boke's town centre square, is now to be demolished.

While this will be seen by some in Brellach as a means for the Queen to reaffirm her support for the tribes (something she rarely gets to do, given how infrequently they interact), upholding the terms of The Compact has wide-reaching ramifications, given the part it played in the founding of the Holy Queendom.

For her part, Queen Lyta will now have been forced to intervene to protect The Compact twice in almost five years, both times in Aichen-boke, and it is thought that steps will now have to be taken to ensure that future breaches do not take place in the town.

News piece by Anna Jones



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3. Dingleberry
-1

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jJust force the tribes to join the 21st century! what kind of country kowtows to a bunch of primitives in this day and age?!

2. l337sp34k3r-2
-11

6 MINUTES AGO
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y u ban me?!

1. AmateurAnthro
+1

8 MINUTES AGO
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Seems like the folks in Aichen-boke don't care too much for The Compact. I wonder why they keep breaching it, when they know the Queen will immediately stop them?
Last edited by Brellach on Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brellach » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:49 am

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CAR MANUFACTURING IN BRELLACH?


HER COURT surprised everybody this morning when they announced that the Divine Queen had given her approval to a consortium of family businesses to open a car manufacturing plant in south Brellach.

Her Chartered Carriage Smiths, as the company's name translates to English (it is anticipated that the company will trade internationally as HCCS), has been formally issued the Brellachi equivalent of a royal charter by the government.

When asked by local residents how such a proposal had made it through the strict environmental laws for which Brellach is famous, the Most Devout Advisor, Fellis Jessina, simply stated that "[Queen Lyta] is satisfied that [HCCS] will place Her Creation above all other concerns," before adding, "we shall monitor their progress closely."

It is to be assumed, therefore, that HCCS will be under intense scrutiny from the moment they begin work.

However, Veka of Thum - spokeswoman for HCCS - defiantly proclaimed that the company intends to build the "cleanest factory in the world", which will in turn produce the "cleanest [cars] in the world".

This unanticipated move by Her Court demonstrates a continuing undercurrent of ambition in Brellach, as the government attempts to make the country more competitive on the international stage.

Initial plans for the factory itself hinge upon three key concepts - recycled materials, renewable energy, and responsible waste disposal.

In a nation plagued by low educational standards, HCCS says its biggest challenge has been finding skilled workers to realise their dream. I had the opportunity to sit down with Veka of Thum after the announcement and quiz her a little on what challenges HCCS faces.

"Already we are scouring the whole country, looking for ambitious and educated graduates from Her Academies and Her Places of Learning," Veka told me1.

"Many Brellachi choose to pursue their family traditions to the exclusion of all else, which we respect - but a handful choose to rise above tradition, and pursue careers in technology and science. They are few, but we are the most exciting development in Brellach right now, and we hope to recruit as many as we can."

HCCS plans to produce cars that will sell internationally, but with a Brellachi twist - they will all be electrically-powered, for the sake of the environment.

"We have studied the kinds of [cars] that [foreigners] buy," Veka explained. "We know that Brellachi do not buy cars. Maybe they can't afford them, or maybe they don't want them. We will sell to Brellachi customers, but they are not our market.

"We have designs for what is known as 'sedans' and also for 'hatchbacks', and plan to produce prototypes for international consumption very soon after the factory is completed."

Perhaps the second biggest challenge faced by HCCS is finding the tools and raw materials to produce vehicles. "We are hoping to find international suppliers of raw materials in the long run as we grow, but for now we can source locally. Resources available now will suffice."

HCCS believes that its greatest asset is that it is perhaps the first 'Western-style' corporation in Brellach. Although it has been formed by a group of family businesses, HCCS has adopted various Western ideas for its organisational structure, covering everything from human resources to the entire concept of a 'production line'.

"It all has to be tempered by our strong desire to safeguard Her Divine Glory's Creation," Veka was keen to add, highlighting the strict environmental laws they must negotiate.

Construction on the factory itself is scheduled to begin next month, as whatever skilled workers they can recruit from across the country are moved to the site, which is just outside Sheoth.

Whether HCCS will be a success or failure remains to be seen - it is the first company of its kind to exist in Brellach, and the first to consider trading with the world at large on a significant scale.

News piece by Jamie Conner

1 I've paraphrased Veka a bit when I translated her words to English for the sake of readability, but the overall meaning is retained.



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3. Artichoke
-1

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Wait, I thought they all lived in tents? Now they're making electric cars? How does that happen?

2. NewMarketSeeker
+16

12 MINUTES AGO
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Brellachi industrialism? Never thought I'd see it. Can't wait to see what they come up with though.

1. l337sp34k3r-2
-181

16 MINUTES AGO
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1st agen lol
Last edited by Brellach on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:56 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Brellach » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:13 am

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ROVING GOVERNMENT


DESPITE BEING ruled by an unelected Queen with wide ranging powers, the Brellachi are not strangers to the idea of democracy.

Brellach has 40 regional administrations, known as Her People's Spaces. Each centred around one of the major towns and cities of the Holy Queendom, with a radius of between 10 and 50 miles from the town centre, Her People's Spaces are granted a surprising amount of power to make laws that affect local residents - and 38 out of 40 of them are governed by democratically-elected leaders.

An effort to give the Brellachi a greater say on issues of national import has been made by Her Court in recent years, in the form of Her People's Court. More of a forum than a government, Her People's Court is open to any citizens to raise any issues that concern them, and is often attended by the Divine Queen herself.

However, the vast distances involved in travelling to Sheoth from other areas of Brellach, and a lack of communication technologies like the Internet or telephones, makes speaking at Her People's Court a difficult proposition for the majority of citizens. Instead it is primarily attended by the leaders of Her People's Spaces, in a form of accidental representative democracy.

Her Court, or more specifically in this case Queen Lyta, doesn't like that, and wants to open it up to 'ordinary Brellachi'. They've conjured up a solution to the problem of how to make Her People's Court more accessible; it is to become mobile.

This experimental idea will see the entirety of Her Court - and perhaps Divine Queen Lyta too, depending on time constraints - travel to each settlement in turn to host open sessions of Her People's Court.

It is thought that the idea of a 'roving government' is the first of its kind in the world, and is an example of the innovative solutions the Brellachi come up with to work around their own restrictions without necessarily having to change their way of life.

"[Queen Lyta] is fond of the idea of hearing more of her people's thoughts on the way Brellach is governed," Fellis Jessina, Most Devout Advisor of Her Court, said to BrellachWatch. "We hope that many people will come to talk to us, to share their concerns if they have any, and Her Divine Majesty will do all that is within her power as Avatar of Her Divine Glory to allay them."

The 'roving government' idea, simply called 'Her People's Court in Motion' by the Brellachi, is scheduled to start after the end of April, by which time Her Court hopes that the Holy Journey to See Her will have been completed.

It is unknown how long the trial is intended to run, but it is thought that every town and city in Brellach will play host to Her People's Court at least once.

News piece by Anna Jones




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5. AmateurAnthro
+1

JUST NOW
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@NewMarketSeeker No, I suppose not.

4. NewMarketSeeker
+3

JUST NOW
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@AmateurAnthro, can you blame them?

3. Jack315
+4

4 MINUTES AGO
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Great idea. Maybe our government should be based on a bus? It'd make it easier to run them off the road at any rate...

2. l337sp34k3r-3
-191

6 MINUTES AGO
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omg stop bnanning me i dun nothin rong

1. AmateurAnthro
+14

8 MINUTES AGO
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"an example of the innovative solutions the Brellachi come up with to work around their own restrictions"

This part is very true. I've studied the Brellachi a bit, and it's amazing the lengths they'll go to in order to avoid having to embrace the modern age.
Last edited by Brellach on Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Brellach » Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:16 am

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PRIESTHOOD OF HER DIVINE GLORY FORMS NEW HUMANITARIAN GROUP


THE PRIESTHOOD of Her Divine Glory, the governing body of the Holy Queendom's national religion, today announced the formation of a new international humanitarian group.

Dubbed - literally translated - Her Aid to Those of Other Places (abbreviated to HAtTOP for international audiences), the organisation appears to be the Priesthood's attempt to emulate the International Red Cross movement.

"Though [foreigners] may live beyond the light of Her Favoured Lands, they are still Her Children," High Priestess Jossi Wrelin told BrellachWatch. "We seek to bring Her gentle touch to those suffering and dying however we can."

The Priesthood already has wide responsibilities in Brellach that range from their involvement in the criminal justice system to their responsibilities to the Divine Queen. Some have expressed concerns that these essential duties will suffer as the Priesthood spreads itself too thinly.

Her Chief Lawbringer, Dessi of Jul, is one such critic. "Her Priesthood are a vital component of law and order," she said. "If their numbers are administering aid to [foreigners], who will preside over trials? Who will redeem the Darkened [dangerous prisoners]?"

But the Most Devout Advisor of Her Court, Fellis Jessina, supported the Priesthood's initiative, perhaps even hinting that Her Court had motivated it in the first place: "[Queen Lyta] has long been of the view that the suffering of [foreigners] cannot be ignored, and Her Priesthood's latest project is in line with our foreign policy and fully supported by [this government]."

It is understood that Her Court is to allocate the equivalent of $50 million to the Priesthood for the purposes of establishing HAtTOP, though it is not known if this is to become a regular budgetary allocation or merely a 'start-up grant'.

While it may be easy to see overtones of religious evangelism in the initiative, the High Priestess summarily dismissed such accusations.

"Our aid is not conditional to the particular faith of those who need it," she explained. "Nor is our deliverance of it a prelude to a sermon."

In a country where foreigners are viewed variably with pity or apathy, Brellachi citizens have expressed understandably mixed reactions to the news.

One person told BrellachWatch, "why should resources from Her Favoured children be spent on those who choose to live in the dark?"

Another was more optimistic, claiming that "it is about time that we uplifted the suffering of Other Places."

News piece by Anna Jones




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6. AmateurAnthro
+2

JUST NOW
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@NewMarketSeeker Why should that be a problem? There are a whole bunch of both religious and government-endorsed humanitarian groups operating without issue the world over. How's this any different? So long as they don't discriminate, and Brellach stays neutral, I don't think that'll bother anybody.

5. NewMarketSeeker
+15

4 MINUTES AGO
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I think the bigger problem will be the religious connotations and government links of this 'HAtTOP' group, @AmateurAnthro, not just the whole 'lol primitives' angle.

4. AmateurAnthro
+1

6 MINUTES AGO
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@THE-MAN Thanks for proving my point.

3. THE-MAN
+4

7 MINUTES AGO
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What business do these superstitious primitives have trying to render aid to their superiors?!

2. AmateurAnthro
+6

7 MINUTES AGO
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Admirable, though I'm not sure how well foreigners will react to people they perceive to be 'primitives' going into their countries to help during disasters.

1. l337sp34k3r-3
-261

8 MINUTES AGO
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1st lololololololol
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Postby Brellach » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:24 am

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IS DIVINE QUEEN LYTA A FEMINIST?


IN GENERAL it is considered unusual for the Holy Queendom to have an opinion on affairs of international importance, much less the internal politics of another nation.

It is particularly unusual for the Divine Queen herself to have a view of such things, given the general belief that her primary concern should be 'Her Favoured People' - the Brellachi themselves - and not the party politics of foreigners.

However, the question was asked by a member of the public in today's session of Her People's Court; "who does [Queen Lyta] support in the New Edomite elections?"

Fellis Jessina, Most Devout Advisor of Her Court, responded surprisingly: "[the Queen and I] have discussed this briefly; [she] tends to find the Feminist Collective Party to be most favourable to her views, aside from [the economics]."

The term 'feminist' carries little weight in the Holy Queendom, a country in which a goddess - rather than a god - is worshipped, no king has ever reigned, and family lineages are traced matrilineally rather than paternally. There isn't really an equivalent word for it in Brellachi, in fact.

It is perhaps for that precise reason, however, that the Brellachi tend not to understand the reason for chauvinism either, and support its eradication from those societies in which it is experienced.

Indeed, Queen Lyta - like most of her predecessors - takes a very liberal view of such things as gender equality and LGBT rights (which, again, has never been a significant issue in Brellach), and takes a very dim view of things such as people trafficking and discrimination.

With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that the young ruler has come out in favour of the New Edomite FCP, in spite of her disapproval of 'the economics'.

Whether this will result in material support for the foreign party, or even an official statement from the Divine Queen as a show of moral support, is currently unknown.

News piece by Jamie Conner




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3. THE-MAN
-54

7 MINUTES AGO
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And on that day, no **** were given.

2. AmateurAnthro
+5

7 MINUTES AGO
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I suppose New Edom is as 'close' to Brellach as anybody, given how infrequently they really talk to other nations, so if they were going to have an opinion on the politics of another nation it may as well be them.

1. l337sp34k3r-3
-561

8 MINUTES AGO
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1st lololololololololololololololololol


{Originally posted as a response to this thread = viewtopic.php?f=23&t=334721

Reposting here just to keep any news articles centralised for future reference!}
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Postby Brellach » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:19 am

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DIVINE INSPIRATION IN NEW EDOM MONARCHY


AS REPORTED by the New Edomite National News Agency (NENN) a couple of weeks ago, the New Edomite Queen, Mara I, has gone back to basics as part of her efforts to restore peace to the country, claiming Divine Queen Lyta as her inspiration.

New Edom has been embroiled in a civil war for some time now, as the country has split into rival factions after the Fineberg Olympic Stadium disaster claimed the lives of the entire Interim Government cabinet earlier this year.

With the civil war claiming countless innocent lives on all fronts, Queen Mara explained in her interview with NENN how she sought to help her people, and bring about peace, by discarding her monarchical privileges and emulating Divine Queen Lyta's uniquely spiritual - and spartan - life.

"I'm going to live among the people until this is resolved," Queen Mara told NENN. "I refuse to have any special privileges except the one of not being touched without my consent. I will work here in the refugee center. I will not take a side no matter what. I will pray and hope for the best for everyone. I will not wear any clothes except to protect my body from danger."

The Queen went on to cite Divine Queen Lyta as an inspiration for her decision. "There's a queen of a country called Brellach that really inspired me. She lives without clothing or possessions, all the time, because she belongs to the very land. Of course she's not a Christian, and she is believed to be a goddess, and I'm not a goddess. But I am going to do what i can to make a point of my own."

Her Court had not heard about this change in Queen Mara's lifestyle, or her inspiration for doing so, until BrellachWatch pressed them for comment. They have since obtained footage of the interview, and the Most Devout Advisor, Fellis Jessina, issued us a statement on behalf of Divine Queen Lyta:

"It is my honour to relay to you, and through you the international community, the wise words of the Magnificent and Beautiful, Wise and Powerful, Perfect and Almighty, Avatar of the Divine Glory, Queen Lyta of Brellach, Her horses swift and Her blade true.

"It saddens Her to watch from afar the turmoil that has ripped New Edom asunder, as pointless slaughter claims so many of Her children. She offers Her blessings, that they might find peace in the Times Yet to Come.

"But She is heartened that Queen Mara of New Edom has walked into the Light and placed Her children before selfish privilege or mortal power struggles. It greatly pleases Her that Her own example should be followed by one so far from the shores of Her Favoured Lands.

"While Queen Mara follows gods of Other Places, Her Glorious Majesty wishes for her to know that the Divine Glory steps with her, and embraces both her and her people, with love and Light, and by honouring Her Divine Glory, She shall guide them from the darkness that has shrouded them."

Although touched by the recognition, and presumably surprised by the fact that such recognition exists, it is seen as unlikely that the Holy Queendom's official foreign policies will be significantly impacted by the revelation in the short term.

However, Brellach's mostly inactive foreign embassy programme saw a flurry of activity shortly after Queen Mara's interview, believed by some to have been a side-effect of the Edomite Queen's 'shout out'.

News piece by Jamie Conner




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3. xxGiselleXX
-6

JUST NOW
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OMG! cant believe there own queen lives that way! let alone some other queen wanting to copy her!

2. THE-MAN
+5

7 MINUTES AGO
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They were probably more surprised that somebody had heard of them at all.

1. l337sp34k3r-4
-125

15 MINUTES AGO
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u cant ban the best!!1
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Postby Brellach » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:54 am

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HOLY TOURISM


IT IS an unassuming office. Based in the ground floor of what was once, in days gone by, a pale yellow blacksmith building on the south-east corner of Sheoth's city square, the Brellachi Tourism Office is as spartan on the inside as its plain exterior facade.

Placing a conical glass of water on the desk in front of me, Mila Dro asks me, in Brellachi, if I want anything else. As I look around at the innards of the headquarters of Brellach's tourism industry, which apparently needs nothing more than two plain wooden tables strewn with papers and some simple chairs to function, I tell her no thanks.

Mila Dro, as anybody with any knowledge of Brellachi names would be able to guess, was born in north Brellach, specifically (and proudly, based on her tone when she informed me) in the island town of Dima. She moved to the mainland, and to Sheoth, only a couple of years ago at the invitation of Her Court with a specific purpose - to take charge of Brellach's small but growing tourism industry, providing some much-needed structure.

"We are the first stop for [foreigners]," Mila tells me. "They go nowhere before they come here and talk to us."

After I inquire as to whether this is a law or a choice, she informs me that it is neither - it is a necessity.

"I am yet to encounter [a foreigner] who speaks Brellachi," she elaborates, before offering me a knowing smile. "You are the first."

"Navigating Brellach, any part of Brellach, without at least basic Brellachi understanding would be impossible," she continues. "And our people... we might be Her Favoured Children, but we aren't multilingual. Not many of us. So they can't understand us and we can't understand them."

Brellach is not multilingual. Signs, where they exist, are written in Brellachi pictographics, and the people are stubborn when it comes to learning foreign languages. Even for me, with a fairly decent grasp of the language, it is sometimes difficult. For a tourist with no knowledge it's impossible.

The Brellachi Tourism Office solves this problem by assigning groups of tourists with interpreters. Under Mila's leadership, many of the few foreign language speakers in Brellach have been recruited to their cause, the offer of above-average wages enticing them away from other professions. Most of these interpreters are English speakers, though they also have a smattering of German, French, and Russian speakers on their staff - an impressive achievement, given the paucity of Brellachi citizens proficient in these languages.

"They do not just translate, but guide also," Mila corrected me when I called them 'translators'. "They know Her Favoured Lands well, and they impart this to those who wish to see. We receive more [tourists] each day - some come for culture, others for the scenery. We point them in the directions they need to go."

Indeed, it turns out that the Brellachi Tourism Office's staff are adept guides as well as interpreters. They guide tourists to cultural hot-spots, sites of historical significance or natural beauty, and even offer tours of Sheoth or nearby settlements.

Apparently, they also keep tourists out of trouble.

"We have no laws here that [foreigners] would not already be familiar with," Mila explains. "Violence against the innocent is not permissible in most cultures, I have found. There is no problem normally.

"It is when we come to the tribals that we find problems."

It would appear that the most common faux pas committed by foreigners in Brellach is their attitude towards tribals. While a curiosity to you or I, something to be gawked at, the tribals are protected by national and religious law in Brellach, with deep spiritual significance in their culture.

While it's fine to interact with them respectfully, interfering with them in a negative manner carries heavy penalties - up to and including being branded 'Darkened', the Brellachi term reserved for the most serious criminals.

Suffice to say that tourists, typically from wealthy countries with particular views on how people should live, are often less than respectful. And while the Brellachi justice system is remarkably understanding and rarely oppressive, making it unlikely that a tourist would actually be prosecuted, being arrested - even without being charged - is a surefire way to ruin a vacation.

"[Foreigners] touring the [countryside] seem to view those of the tribes as something to marvel at," Mila tells me. "And not long ago here in Sheoth was the Holy Journey to See Her, when we have tribe leaders come to the city and pay homage to [the Queen].

"It became a full-time job for us, stopping [foreigners] from getting themselves into trouble, shouting at them, pointing their [cameras] at them... they do not understand. We have to make them understand, before Her Lawbringers make them understand."

Historically, the number of foreign visitors to Brellach could be measured in double-digits, and rarely were these anything other than businessmen hoping, and usually failing, to expand their markets. But today it is estimated that Brellach receives over 100,000 foreign visitors each year, a figure that is growing rapidly. Sheoth Airport, the only international airport in the country and one which isn't especially well-developed, is bursting at the scenes.

I'm curious about how the Brellachi Tourism Office is promoting the country abroad so successfully, to create such exponential growth. I've never seen an advert on TV, after all.

"We do not advertise Brellach," Mila told me, with a shake of her head. "It is not our task to entice with promises or incentives. People must seek out the bright light of Her Favoured Land on their own. Perhaps they are drawn to the love of Her Divine Glory?

"Or perhaps it is word of mouth," she adds with a smile.

Whatever the reason, tourism is a growth industry, and the Brellachi Tourism Office is on the front lines, doing its best to make being a tourist in Brellach a much easier proposition. To drive that point home, before I get up to conclude the interview and leave the office, Mila personally offers me a guided tour of Sheoth.

Analysis piece by Jamie Conner



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3. AmateurAnthro
+11

2 MINUTES AGO
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South Brellach has some surprisingly beautiful beaches, and despite the implications of this article, the country is big enough that you never see another tourist. Worth a visit.

2. AmazingTulip
+21

17 MINUTES AGO
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I'd love to visit! Can't afford though! Have you seen the ticket prices?!

1. THE-MAN
-42

43 MINUTES AGO
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Not sure why anybody would want to go there. Backwater dump. Much better places to visit.
Last edited by Brellach on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:46 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Postby Brellach » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:18 am

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NO CAR MANUFACTURING IN BRELLACH?


HER CHARTERED Carriage Smiths (HCCS), which was only formed a couple of months ago, has abandoned plans to begin a car manufacturing operation in Brellach, a spokeswoman for the company told BrellachWatch this morning.

Veka of Thum explained that a combination of poor finances and an inability to reconcile their ambitions with environmental protection were the primary reasons for abandoning the project.

"We were unable to develop the manufacturing premises we needed without causing unnecessary harm to Her Creation," Veka explained. "Further, we could not revise our prototype [cars] in such a way that made them as clean as we needed to make them.

"To solve the problems we were having would cost too much. We are all faithful to Her Divine Glory and Her Creation and wish not to cause Her harm, and with this in mind we have abandoned our plans.

"We thank [Divine Queen Lyta] for the opportunity She granted us, but our love for Her prevents us from continuing with our plans when we know we would be wrong to do so."

HCCS, a company created by the Brellachi equivalent to a royal charter, will now break apart, restoring the individual family businesses which originally merged together.

This comes as a blow to Her Court's ambitions to develop Brellach's economy into an international competitor.

"We are sorry to see the grand ambitions of [HCCS] come to an end," Fellis Jessina, the Most Devout Advisor of Her Court, told BrellachWatch. "We found their plans exciting and hoped this would bring new money to Her Favoured Children."

"[Divine Queen Lyta] is pleased that Her trust in them was well-placed, as She knew it would be, for they have chosen to respect Her Divine Glory's Creation over profit," she added.

Assets purchased by HCCS with the intention of building a factory are to be distributed between the constituent family businesses, and we understand that workers recruited to aid the project are to be offered continued employment within one of these organisations.

The legacy of HCCS, short-lived though it was, shall be felt for years to come however - it was the first 'Western'-style corporation in Brellach, and shall no doubt be emulated as Brellachi ambitions grow in the future.

News piece by Amy Johnson



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3. AmateurAnthro
+1

JUST NOW
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I kinda saw this coming. You can't worship the environment like the Brellachi do, and mass produce fancy electric cars. Just making the batteries for those things causes huge levels of pollution and I doubt they'd ever be comfortable with that.

2. NewMarketSeeker
+12

4 MINUTES AGO
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That's a shame. Was curious to see what they'd come up with. A typical example of grasping beyond your reach though I guess.

1. Artichoke
-12

11 MINUTES AGO
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So I was right - people living in tents can't make electric cars.
Last edited by Brellach on Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:38 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Postby Brellach » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:57 pm

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EXCLUSIVE - BRELLACHWATCH TO INTERVIEW DIVINE QUEEN LYTA


BRELLACHWATCH HAS been offered the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with the Divine Queen of Brellach, Lyta I, next week.

This publication has been seeking an interview with the Brellachi head of state since its formation, though until now the requests have always been quietly rebuffed by Her Court.

Divine Queen Lyta, though mentioned or quoted in most of the Holy Queendom's diplomatic missives since her accession, has never met with a foreigner in person before, not even other heads of state.

She has never left the country, nor have dignitaries been granted access to her.

Though prior Brellachi rulers have met with foreign dignitaries, Lyta has been secluded from the international stage for most of her reign. It is completely unprecedented for any Divine Queen to allow herself to be interviewed by the media, however.

"[Divine Queen Lyta] seeks to foster understanding with Those of Other Places," Jessina explained. "She feels that this cannot be accomplished by seclusion and mystery."

BrellachWatch has been granted a half-hour audience with the ruler at the Divine Queen's Sanctuary outside Sheoth. Only one reporter may visit, however, and BrellachWatch has selected features editor Jamie Conner for the honour.

"I'm thrilled really," Mr. Conner said. "I've always been a bit of a Brellachiphile - it's what brought me to BrellachWatch after all - so the chance to be the first foreigner to ever meet the Divine Queen herself... I mean, wow. Here's hoping I can pull it off!"

BrellachWatch, as part of its mission statement to improve the world's understanding of the Holy Queendom, has announced that it is willing to accept questions submitted by foreign news agencies, governments, or just curious citizens.

Mr. Conner will select the best questions to include in his interview with the Divine Queen.

Questions can be submitted to editor@brellachwatch.com, or alternatively you can post your submissions in the comments section below.

News piece by Amy Johnson



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5. ADMIN-JCon
+14

JUST NOW
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Thanks @NewMarketSeeker, I wasn't nervous already.

4. NewMarketSeeker
+61

2 MINUTES AGO
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So, Mr. Conner.

I wonder what happens if you ask the wrong questions and p*** off a 'living goddess'?

No pressure.

3. AmateurAnthro
+5

3 MINUTES AGO
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Are you kidding? This is great. Not sure what to ask though. Funny how you have loads of questions right up until the moment you actually get the chance to ask them.

2. PartyAnimal
-2

4 MINUTES AGO
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why dont u live in a palace like every other queen

1. Artichoke
+3

4 MINUTES AGO
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Where're your clothes?
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Postby Brellach » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:23 am

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BRELLACH APPLIES TO JOIN OMNI


REPORTS EMERGED this morning that hinted the Holy Queendom had applied for membership in the OMNI Declaration.

If their application is successful, it will be the first time Brellach has held membership in any international organisation since Divine Queen Lyta assumed power in 2007.

"It seems to be a solid document with great aims," Fellis Jessina, the Most Devout Advisor, told BrellachWatch during a brief street interview. "Brellach is not a world power and we have no ambitions of becoming one, and our first focus should absolutely be on Her Favoured Lands.

"But if it is within our power to improve somebody's life, with minimal cost and risk to ourselves, how could we not put Brellach forward for membership?"

The OMNI (Operational Maritime Network Initiative) Declaration, made public in the early hours of this morning, aims to use international cooperation to set out a series of policies and protocols which, it is hoped will make the seas safer. It specifically aims its attention towards international people trafficking, slavery, and piracy.

Brellach does not have a significant overseas export business, however, leading some to ask why Her Court is not sticking to problems closer to home.

"[Queen Lyta] herself is very enamoured with [the Declaration]," Jessina told us. "That makes it policy. She has a glorious way of seeing through budgets and bills, and focussing all her energies on the delivery of compassion where it is needed most.

"The OMNI Declaration, assuming Brellach's application is successful, will be a great means to doing that."

News piece by Anna Jones



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3. AmateurAnthro
+1

JUST NOW
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@NewMarketSeeker the chances of Brellach having a sudden upsurge in cargo shipments are low. They don't care for material things the way you or I do. Why make lots of stuff you don't want, to sell for currency you're not really bothered about accumulating, while potentially damaging the natural environment that you worship as a part of your goddess?

Well, you don't. That would be silly.

2. NewMarketSeeker
+1

2 MINUTES AGO
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Anything that makes importing and exporting goods safer must be a good thing for the economy, right? And just because they don't do much cargo shipping right now, that isn't to say they might not in the future.

1. AmateurAnthro
+41

3 MINUTES AGO
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I've studied Brellachi culture and governance for nearly 20 years, and I have no idea what's going on over there anymore. One minute they're sealing their borders, the next they're protecting other nations' shores.

I have a feeling that Divine Queen Lyta wants to get more involved in the outside world, but isnt' quite sure how to go about it. That would explain both this sudden interest in foreign treaties, and these false starts we're seeing so many of lately.
Last edited by Brellach on Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brellach » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:14 am

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BRELLACHI DATA ANALYSIS FLURRY


HER COURT has announced the commencement of the Brellachi equivalent of a census; their term for it being, translated literally from Brellachi, 'Her Great Count of Her Favoured Children'.

This will be the first 'Great Count' since Lyta's accession in 2007.

Conducting a census in a country like Brellach is no small feat, and that is not merely because of its sheer size. According to the last estimates (obtained, incidentally, from the last Great Count) about 60% of all people in Brellach are tribal nomads, with large swathes of them refusing to take part in any aspect of 'modern society' - which would include filling in census forms, it seems.

In past Great Counts, once they have received figures from the more cooperative tribes who do agree to take part in the census, Her Court has had to extrapolate the size of Brellach's remaining tribal population based on a number of factors. Often these include hearsay and conjecture, obtained from more cooperative tribes who have had dealings with their secluded brethren, as well as their own intelligence on tribe movements.

Given the short space of time between the conclusion of the Holy Journey to See Her, and the commencement of Her Great Count, some in Brellach are wondering if some kind of agreement was reached between the Divine Queen and the tribe leaders.

"There seems to be great optimism [from Her Court] about the about the accuracy of the figures this time around," says Grita Muelan, who has been awarded the position of 'Her Master Counter' for the second consecutive time. "I wonder if [Queen Lyta] has brokered some kind of participation deal with the tribe leaders during [the Holy Journey to See Her]?"

Her Court has made no comment on the matter, however, besides the initial announcement.

But the tribes are not the only roadblock to census success. Poor infrastructure in certain parts of Brellach, particularly the northern regions, makes obtaining figures even from the city-dwellers a slow, labour-intensive task.

"It took us nearly two full seasons to collect and return the last data to Sheoth," Grita said. "I am looking to beat my record in that regard however. We have better rail links to use this time. I hope to reduce that to less than a season."

Concurrently, Her Court also announced that they are looking at improving the manner in which they calculate Brellach's gross domestic product. Currently it does not include the product of the tribes, which have historically been excluded from such calculations.

"The traditional view is that the tribes do not participate in our economy at all, neither as contributors or consumers," explained Tirra Moro, Devout Advisor of Her Court With Responsibility for Spending and Trading. "But we now feel this is a myth, as they do 'produce' things. Their furs and food and tents and instruments may not be large commodities, but they exist, and they have value - even if the tribes themselves do not use currency or sell those products.

"[Queen Lyta] has decided that these products should be included in our calculations from now on, for it demeans the tribes to do otherwise."

Cynics have argued that this is just a means to artificially inflate the country's economic standing. Brellach's GDP per capita is historically very low by international standards, and this is predominantly blamed on so much of their population being excluded from the calculation.

Moreover, as they will face the same difficulty in obtaining reliable figures on what tribes produce in a given year, they will be forced to estimate based on the figures from the Great Count - figures which themselves will be inaccurate by default.

News piece by David Frith



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3. TheGrouch
0

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Sounds like a way of fudging the books to me.

2. THE-MAN
+1

2 MINUTES AGO
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That should add about 50c to their economy. Watch out, capitalists!

1. NewMarketSeeker
+12

5 MINUTES AGO
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Good luck counting people who don't want to be counted!

As for including the tribes' products in GDP calculations, that makes sense to me. Other countries include black market products and such.
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Postby Brellach » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:34 am

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EXCLUSIVE - MEETING THE DIVINE QUEEN


THE DIVINE Queen's Sanctuary is best described as beautiful. That may sound like a cliché, but it is the only word you can use to describe it.

Set in the midst of the otherwise-untouched evergreen woodlands that sprawl from the edge of Her Space of Sheoth and touch the border of the Aichan Savannah, I feel bathed in green and overcome by the sweet smell of summer flowers. Sunlight bursts through the trees as god rays, penetrating the light morning mist that still lingers around us.

My invite to the Divine Sanctuary was a surprise, both to BrellachWatch as a group, and to me personally. A project that started life as a means of informing the rest of the world about a country that shares little, it was unexpected to hear that Her Court, and the Divine Queen itself, are pleased with the work we are doing.

As I am guided past the guarded wooden gate, flanked on either side by Her Protectors - elite bodyguards that never leave the Divine Queen unattended - I wonder what I am going to ask of a woman who has never been met in person by foreigners before. A sense of apprehension clashes with my excitement; Divine Queen Lyta is, so far as the Brellachi are concerned and as a commenter on BrellachWatch handily reminded me, a living goddess.

What their reaction would be if I offended her, or her aides, is unknown territory. I ask my guide, the Most Devout Advisor, Fellis Jessina, what I could do to avoid finding out.

"You are to meet Her Divine Glory's most perfect Avatar," Jessina tells me in her measured voice and offers a wry smile. I feel as though I have amused her somehow. "Not a mortal infant easily moved to tears."

She continues leading me through the sanctuary. Unlike most royal residences, there is nothing ostentatious here. In fact there is nothing much here at all. It is not quite a clearing, but there are trails and the foliage is not as dense as it is elsewhere in these woods. Aside from those trails, cut into the grass by the footsteps of so many visitors over so many years, there are no signs that mankind has ever been here. That is, of course, the point.

We push through some bushes and then I see it. We have all read of the Divine Queen's frugal, back-to-nature existence, but nothing really prepares you for the reality of seeing what is, for all intents and purposes, the roof on legs that constitutes her home. No floor, no walls, just some rough-cut wood atop some ten-foot poles, layered with thatching. Just barely enough to keep the rain off her in winter, and little more.

The Divine Queen is inside, sat folded-legged in the grass with an old book, her flowing brown hair wafting slightly in a breeze. As I already knew, she wore nothing but a simple golden pendant around her neck, in stark contrast to the absurdities most monarchs are adorned with. My foreign eyes are forced to avoid staring.

Her royal horse roams nearby, a white stallion named Enan, uttering a neigh at my approach before returning to gnawing on the branch of a nearby bush. This attracts her attention, and she looks up from her book and lays her gaze on me, a stare more intent, yet warm, than any I have received before or since. She rose to greet me, moving with the fluidity and grace of a dancer, and after the formal introductions by Jessina - including the lengthy official title, spoken with passion - I heard her speak.

"Your journey was without incident."

I wasn't sure what I had been expecting. She spoke in a smooth, melodic voice, slowly and determinedly, as though considering every word carefully - to be expected really, as she was no doubt accustomed to people hanging on her every word, leaving little room for ad-libbing. The wording and tone she used was odd, both question and statement in one, as if she knew the answer but at the same time wanted me to feel that she was asking anyway. I soon learned this to be the natural way she phrased everything, but it took me by surprise.

After standing there dumbstruck for a few moments, I replied with a simple 'yes'. She simply smiled. I asked how she preferred people to refer to her, and much to the chagrin of the Most Devout Advisor, she replied simply: "by our name."

I had only thirty minutes with her, and so many questions. My first thought was to ask about her personally, about her life and lifestyle, about her spirituality, but this is all a matter of public record for the most part. This kind of thing is easily found in online encyclopaedias.

So I asked what she thought of us - the 'darkened children' or 'those of other places', as Brellachi variously refer to us foreign folk.

"You are children of us, and we love you," she replied, matter-of-factly. The 'us' and 'we' part confused me at the time, though I was later informed that all Divine Queens refer to themselves as a gestalt entity; a merger of their mortal bodies and Her Divine Glory, the goddess.

"We weep for your suffering, for our children should not know it," she continued. "You fill the hole you feel within yourselves with greed and malice, not seeing our gift all around you. It a great sorrow for us."

Feeling a sermon coming on, I asked what she intended to do about our suffering and greed - would she try to change our ways if the Holy Queendom had the means?

"We offer you our light," she said. "We are in the True Ground, we are in the sky. Our love is all around you, and is plain for all to see. You choose to stay in the dark. We cannot force you to be what you are not, however much it pains us. To try would lead Our Favoured Land into the darkness with you, for such is not our way."

Why, then, interact with the world at all? Surely sealing the borders completely would be for the best? She responded by either telling me I had, or asking me if I had, children, depending on how you interpreted her words and tone. I told her yes.

"To turn your back on that which you love, is not love at all," she replied. "Love is without conditions. Your children may walk a dark path despite your love and guidance. You do not follow, but you must watch, because you love them. And if they reach out to you, no matter how much darkness they have seen and spread, you must embrace them. For they are our children, and we love them."

This was all very spiritual and philosophical, but I pressed further. I asked if it was in Brellach's best interests to communicate with the world at large, if the world at large was so.

"We seek to befriend all [foreign nations]," she told me. "If we can help [in the process of doing so], we shall," she added, mentioning Brellach's recent signing of the OMNI Declaration as a case in point.

Pressing this last point, I enquired what the citizenry of Brellach thought about the use of limited Holy Queendom resources to fulfill foreign treaty obligations.

"Our Favoured Children believe both that Our Favoured Lands should be safe," she began, using terms that refers to Brellachi citizens and the nation of Brellach respectively. "And that our light should be spread wherever it can. If we can improve the lives of our darkened children without risk to Our Favoured Children, it is our duty that we do so."

Curious, I question she views this as a contradiction of what she said about non-interference just a moment before. Waves her hand, a Brellachi gesture for 'no'.

"We do not try to interfere in the governance of other places," she says. "[The OMNI Declaration] targets [criminals]."

The signing of the OMNI Declaration isn't the first shift in Brellachi policy to have occurred recently. Indeed, Divine Queen Lyta is a force of change. More reforms have been enacted during her short reign than in any other in the last two hundred years. Universal healthcare, of a fashion, is being established across the country, while efforts are underway to modernise Brellach as much as realistically possible in other ways too.

What makes Lyta so different to her predecessors, who historically maintain the status quo to a fault?

"This incarnation of [the Divine Queen] is fresh," she told me, referring to herself almost as if she thought of herself as an object or concept. "Many before us benefited from the tutelage of our predecessors. This time, it was felt that [Brellach] would be further enlightened by new thinking.

"And so we came into this world without [Divine Queen Vala's] mentoring," she added, referring to the fact that her predecessor died a number of years before Queen Lyta came of age, and therefore couldn't mentor her beforehand. This lack of influence from the outgoing Queen has clearly brought a completely fresh approach to governance, though one still tempered by Brellachi spirituality and tradition.

"We seek to make it such that our children need not worry about their health," she told me when I asked what other plans she had. "The task is not yet done. It is not easy, but we shall finish it.

"We must make [Brellach] compete with the world, without [Brellach] losing [its identity]," she added. "But we can only offer our children the opportunities; we cannot force them to take them."

Brellach's government, surprisingly for an absolute monarchy, places few demands on its people. In her efforts to make Brellach more competitive with - and therefore safe from - the rest of the world, she has hit a stumbling block: people won't send their children to school, and the government refuses to try and force the issue.

"In time, our children will see that we need their help to defend Our Favoured Lands from the dark," she told me optimistically. "For now, we can only respect their wishes."

I could talk to the harmonious young ruler all day, but it is at this point that the Most Devout Advisor informs me that my time is up and beckons me to leave. As I stand up from the grassy floor, wondering where the time went, Divine Queen Lyta offers me blessings and - depending on your interpretation - either wishes me, or tells me I'm going to have, a good trip home.

Interview by Jamie Conner



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Postby Brellach » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:17 pm

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HURRICANE WARNING FOR EAST BRELLACH


HER SKYWATCHERS have issued an extreme weather warning to the eastern coast of Brellach today, as it predicts a waning - but still powerful - tropical hurricane will impact the islands early next week.

Her Skywatchers is a government meteorological organisation established in 1974, after the worst hurricane in Brellachi history struck the east coast in the same year. It wiped out several tribes in the area and left one town completely devastated. A lack of weather monitoring technology at the time was blamed for the devastation, as it was thought that an early warning would have allowed for some precautionary measures, and could have saved a number of lives.

Infra-red imagery obtained by BrellachWatch shows the weather pattern, currently at Category Three intensity, is indeed on course for Brellach's east coast. At present it is approaching from the south east along a north-westerly course. It will likely sweep across the east coast on Monday, with Her People's Spaces of Ios, Trel, and Rint taking the brunt of the bad weather. The island towns of Dima and Rint'tan will be hit the hardest.

Her Skywatchers are hopeful that the hurricane will have softened in intensity by the time it reaches them, however.

Despite this, Her Court has announced that they will send Her Legion of Light to the affected settlements to assist in the evacuations and subsequent damage control. Once deployed, Her Legion will likely send riders into the surrounding countryside in an effort to warn the local tribes of the impending hurricane.

"Her Favoured Lands do not feel the sadness of Her Divine Glory often," Cici Lucona, the Devout Advisor of Her Court with Responsibility for the True Ground and Her Creation, told BrellachWatch. "But sometimes, the darkness does so impinge upon her usually joyful mood. We must all strive to please her in the Times Yet To Come.

"For now we shall do all we can to prepare for this, and [Queen Lyta] offers her blessings in this trying time."

Brellach isn't prone to bad weather. If it continues on course and hits the coast as predicted, this will be only the fourth hurricane to do so in nearly fifty years.

As Devout Advisor Cici's statement implied, the Brellachi believe natural disasters to be the result of their goddess becoming upset, but not in a malicious sense - the common analogy is a tear rolling off one's cheek and landing on an insect below. Indeed, their own term for such weather patterns translates literally as 'Her Divine Glory's Sadness'.

News piece by David Frith


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3. TheGrouch
+11

JUST NOW
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These puns blow my mind.

2. NewMarketSeeker
+115

4 MINUTES AGO
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I bet this news took the wind out their sails.

1. AmateurAnthro
+157

7 MINUTES AGO
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Well, that blows.
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Postby Brellach » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:54 am

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IMMIGRATION REFORM IN BRELLACH


MIGRATING TO the Holy Queendom of Brellach has historically been difficult. While the country welcomes tourists and visitors, living there has been the exclusive domain of ethnic Brellachi. Even if you are born in Brellach, if you are not born to Brellachi parents, you could not live there indefinitely.

'Her Favoured Lands' are the exclusive domain of 'Her Favoured Children'.

Or at least, they were. As part of their ongoing drive to improve business prospects in the country, and therefore hopefully bolster the economy, Her Court has announced that immigration laws are due for reform.

The Divine Queen is reported to have given a tentative nod to the creation of the Brellachi equivalent of a permanent residence card, the Brellachi term for which translates roughly as 'Her Permission to Live in Her Favoured Lands'.

Previously, to stay in the country for a prolonged period of time, one would have to repeatedly reapply for their equivalent of a visa, which given the state of Brellachi infrastructure and its lack of reliance on IT systems was something of a headache for long-term guests.

And to make matters more difficult, using that method would only work for a maximum of five years, at which point one cannot apply again for at least a year.

Although it was possible to undertake limited work in Brellach under these old 'visas', this time limit - and the accompanying administrative nightmare - made it unfeasible for people to consider Brellach as a new home.

The fine details of this new scheme are yet to be worked out, but it is expected to be subjected to some stringent criteria - such as demonstrable knowledge of and respect for Brellachi customs, an agreement to protect the environment and the tribes, and having contributed positively to the country in some way already.

"We need to make [Brellach] an attractive place to do business," Fellis Jessina, Most Devout Advisor of Her Court, told BrellachWatch. "It is difficult to do this if [foreigners] cannot remain for long time periods. They would not be true [Brellachi citizens], but they would be able to reside here to do as they need and to benefit Her [economy]."

The latter part of her statement has been interpreted by some to mean that there will still be no way for foreigners to become true Brellachi citizens, even if they reside there permanently.

Even so, Brellach is now open to the possibility of migrant workers for the first time in its history.

News piece by Abbud Karim


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Postby Brellach » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:05 am

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BRELLACHI ALPHABET IN TATTOO CRAZE


IT IS no secret that across much of the developed world, tattoos have made a comeback. Once the domain of punk rockers and biker gangs, tattoos now feature on the bodies of a significant chunk of many countries' populace.

Tattoos are very much in vogue.

The designs, of course, can vary as much as their wearers. Some opt for old Celtic symbols, others delve into the Japanese alphabet for inspiration, while a number of brave individuals have huge, elaborate artworks that portray complicated scenes involving dragons or floral arrangements in stunning detail.

More recently, several tattoo parlours have begun to delve into a hitherto-untapped resource - the stylised pictographs that make up the Brellachi alphabet.

"I first learned of Brellach from [BrellachWatch] actually," explained Kevin Hart, a tattoo artist from western Osiris. "I heard that they have their own alphabet over there, and I thought to myself, 'why not see if there's anything I can use?'

"Turns out, they have a beautiful alphabet that's just begging to be tattooed onto people."

The notion spread virally, with a number of tattoo parlours across the world now offering 'Brelloos', as they've come to be known colloquially.

Though still uncommon compared to more traditional tattoo themes, 'Brelloos' can now be seen more and more frequently, and often feature the Brellachi Glyph of Light - the same pictograph that adorns the Holy Queendom's flag, and this news website's logo - alongside a selection of other pictographs.

But what to the Brellachi people think of this craze, and tattooing in general for that matter?

The Brellachi are notoriously Spartan when it comes to personal adornments, with many shedding clothes entirely, and few wearing jewellery. In my years working as a correspondent in Brellach, I have never seen anything like a tattoo either on a tribal or a city-dweller, nor would I know where to go to get one.

In their view, they are 'Her Favoured Children', and much like the Divine Queen's body is not to be tampered with or obscured, they try not to deviate from the design that their goddess laid out for them.

"I would not do that to myself," said one anonymous Sheoth citizen, when I quizzed her on the subject of tattoos - after having to explain it to her. "Her Divine Glory meant my body to be this way - who am I to change Her design?"

"This body is Her gift," said another. "It is not mine to tamper with."

A similar sentiment was expressed by every Brellachi I asked, with some expressing shock at the mere concept.

Then, to mix things up a little, I showed them some photographs of 'Brelloos' that foreigners now wore. The result was, by and large, surprising - they laughed.

"That one says 'He of the Flower in [March] by the Sea'," said the Sheoth citizen. "Is it written by a [child]?"

"Why does he have a description of [male genitalia] next to the Glyph of Light on his arm?" said the other person I asked, through muffled laughter.

Clearly then, tattoo artists may wish to learn how to construct Brellachi sentences before inking anybody who might later visit the Divine Isles, lest they face an embarrassing situation. The language isn't widely spoken outside of the Holy Queendom (hence the existence of BrellachWatch), but you never know who you might run into.

Opinion piece by Joy Davenport


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3. BogMan
+9

JUST NOW
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My friend recently had a 'Brelloo' on his right forearm. Since reading this article I looked up what it meant - it says "monkey, stars, pig-like man, swimming in oranges" apparently.

2. CynicalLurker95
-5

13 MINUTES AGO
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This is why primitive languages should be ignored by we civilised folk.

1. AmateurAnthro
+61

21 MINUTES AGO
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I wonder how many people are now unwittingly wandering around with graphic descriptions of penises on their arms?


...what a load of dicks.
Last edited by Brellach on Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brellach » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:57 am

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BIRTHDAY BASH OR HOLY DAY?


TOMORROW REPRESENTS the most holy, and widely celebrated, occasion in the Brellachi calendar - the Divine Queen's birthday. While other countries around the world will often celebrate the birthday of their monarchs, tomorrow represents something else entirely to the Brellachi.

That a diminutive, never-clothed young woman's birthday - a woman whom we've been fortunate enough to meet and interview previously, and found to be wise, though humble - could be so important to more than 22 million people can be difficult for outsiders to understand. But to gain such an understanding, one does not have to look much further than their calendar system.

Today's date, in the colourful language of the Brellachi, is The 42nd Day of the First Half of the Coldest Season, on the 23rd Sun Rotation Since the Birth of Lyta. Tomorrow's date, the Queen's birthday, shall be written as The 43rd Day of the First Half of the Coldest Season, on the 24th Sun Rotation Since the Birth of Lyta.

Astute readers will notice that the year - which the Brellachi call 'sun rotations' - has gone up a digit.

The entire calendar system in use in Brellach is predicated on the birth of their reigning monarch. Their years are numbered according to their age. The year never starts lower than 15, which is the youngest age a Divine Queen may assume the position, and will reset upon the death of an outgoing monarch to represent the age of her successor. And should a Divine Queen perish before the Priesthood has selected the 'Divine Successor', those years are known somewhat cynically as 'Sun Rotations Lost to the Dark' - so significant to the Brellachi are these that their entire economy, GDP and all, will often experience a recession until a new Divine Successor is found and comes of age.

So when we say that tomorrow is a big day for Brellach, trust us - it's huge. Which is perhaps unsurprising when one considers that the Brellachi believe their Divine Queen to be the 'Avatar of Her Divine Glory' - literally, a goddess walking among them. Aside from being a royal birthday celebration, it is also their equivalent of New Year and Christmas, all rolled into one. Imagine if you were a Christian, and Jesus kept getting reincarnated as the leader of your country, and you've gone some way to seeing the significance of the Brellachi ruler.

And sure enough, festivities are already well underway in the Holy Queendom. Market stalls have already made their presence known - from commemorative coin stalls to marketers peddling calendars featuring pictures of the young queen in varying stages of her life - the general mood of the country is one of merriment.

Sheoth, the capital and the closest settlement to the Divine Queen's Sanctuary, is predictably the focal point of the occasion. Arrangements are already being made for vast, week-long street celebrations, and cartloads of food and drink are being shipped in from around the country. The usual bunting and posters are being laid out, along with makeshift stages for popular folk bands. The entire week has been designated a national holiday, as it is every year, and all of the churches are already full to the brim with people offering their prayers to their beloved ruler.

The celebrations are by no means limited to the capital, however, as towns across the vast country gear up for similar levels of revelry. Even the tribes, usually disconnected from the goings-on of the city-dwellers, will be celebrating, in their own unique ways, and many will enter nearby settlements to join in the fun - an interaction almost unheard of at any other time of the year. Yes, even the tribes celebrate this holiday.

Tourist boards across the world unanimously rate November 25th as the date on which they should visit Brellach, and for very good reason - a party of this size, scope, and influence is rarely seen anywhere else in the country. And provided you are respectful, everybody is invited.

A unifying force, a significant religious occasion, a New Year, a royal holiday, and a tourist trap, all on the same day. Divine Queen Lyta has a big day resting on her shoulders tomorrow, and it promises to be quite the occasion.

News piece by Abbud Karim


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3. AmateurAnthro
+115

JUST NOW
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I foresee some hangovers on December 1st.

2. NewMarketSeeker
+1

4 MINUTES AGO
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I'd kill to find a way to monetise this occasion. Too bad the Brellachi are routinely offended by the suggestion...

1. Artichoke
+157

7 MINUTES AGO
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Now there's a party I wish I'd been invited to.
Last edited by Brellach on Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brellach » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:08 am

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BRELLACH BALKS AT BRUTAL BILL


SOUTHERN ASTRANIA has proposed new legislation that could see criminal offenders as young as 14 being sentenced to death, the Astranian Paper revealed today.

The Youthful Death Penalty Act (YDPA), proposed by Lord Alexey Romanov, would permit the Astranian courts to prescribe the death penalty to anybody aged between 14 - 18 years should they be convicted of a capital offence, provided they are 'mentally competent' to stand trial in the first place. Possible execution methods include death by firing squad, and death by hanging.

Unsurprisingly the Astranian Paper said that the bill has faced widespread criticism, both within the country and beyond, and according to our sources this is no different in Brellach.

Although Brellachi 'come of age' at 15, and thus they are treated as adults, the Holy Queendom does not utilise the death penalty for any crimes. Even 'The Darkened', the most heinous of criminals, are merely placed in Her Places of Redemption 'prison-churches' both to keep their local communities safe, and to rehabilitate them in the eyes of their goddess. This is because the Brellachi believe criminals have been 'tainted by the Dark', and can no more control their actions than somebody with mental health problems.

According to a statement by Rena Vaska, the Devout Advisor with Responsibility for Speaking with Those of Other Places (or, foreign affairs, to you and I), news of the YDPA was presented to Divine Queen Lyta as part of Her Court's weekly briefing of foreign developments to the young monarch, and she was said to be "dismayed".

"The veils of Darkness cloud much of the World Beyond Her Favoured Lands," Vaska told BrellachWatch. "It is neither surprising nor uncommon for such barbarism to transpire among those who are not of Her Favoured Children.

"But such is Her love for all, that She is still saddened by the news that Those of the Other Place of Southern Astrania plan to murder their own children," she said. "[Divine Queen Lyta] wept at the news, and in Her Divine Wisdom she pleads with the Astranian king to block this horrific act."

Vaska went on to hint that although Brellach has no formal diplomatic relationship with Southern Astrania at present, she would do everything in her power to keep it that way "in the Times Yet To Come".

"Should the veils of Darkness lift from the Other Place of Southern Astrania, this position we shall rethink," she added. "But associated with those who would kill their own children we cannot be, and we urge others to reconsider their relationship with [Southern Astrania] too, should they have such."

News piece by Abbud Karim


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3. NewMarketSeeker
+3

JUST NOW
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Unusual for the Brellachi government to bother stating the obvious like that. They usually don't bother commenting at all; this must have really riled up that queen of theirs.

2. AmateurAnthro
+72

3 MINUTES AGO
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I laugh at people who call these people primitives, while murdering their own kids for funsies. Most of them might ride around on horses, but they're a damn sight more enlightened than a lot of people... naming no names, of course.

1. 0nlineGr4ndm4-84
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They might talk funny, but they speak more sense than the Astranians at the moment.
The Holy Queendom of Brellach
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Brellach
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Postby Brellach » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:48 am

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Breaking news from the elusive and mysterious Holy Queendom

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BRELLACH'S A-OKAY IF YOU ARE GAY


IN AN uncharacteristic display of curiosity about the opinions of foreigners, Her Court submitted a completed LGBT+ survey form back to the Artúriätet Regnbooe Verbund (Arthurian Rainbow Alliance) for review.

The Rainbow Alliance (ARV) is an organisation dedicated to promoting the rights and freedoms of the LGBT+ community. It operates an international ranking system that determines how 'friendly' states are to members of that community, based on that state's answers in a detailed survey.

It is unclear why the Holy Queendom has, seemingly at randomly, decided to participate in the survey, especially as Her Court has been quite silent internationally of late and the Brellachi are rarely interested in what outsiders - or 'Those of Other Places', as the Brellachi dispassionately classify them - think about their country or way of life. However, as one colleague pointed out to me, this ranking system is known to be particularly valued by tourists, and Brellach's tourism industry has been growing in importance for several years now.

All submissions to the index are public domain, and Brellach's response, submitted by none other than Fellis Jessina, the Most Devout Advisor of Her Court, is available on the ARV website.

The ARV awarded Brellach a score of 71.9, which earned it a 'High' rating.

In their own words, however, the ARV "found this particular submission difficult to accurately score as a result of the different legal language seemingly used in Brellach." In this, they are hardly alone. Brellach communicates in their own fashion, and does things their own way, and they are rarely good at self-publicity or making their views clear.

"Regardless, our attempts have shown us that there is a deep undercurrent of tolerance in Brellach," the ARV went on. "Underpinned by the notion that sexual orientation and gender identity are perhaps unimportant in the government's treatment of individuals or groups."

In this, the ARV have correctly identified the overall view that most Brellachi, the government included, hold when it comes to the "LGBT+ issue" - essentially, they just don't care, and they never have. Brellach has never been touched by the kind of intolerance and fear of LGBT+ groups that many other countries have, and they don't generally even understand why it is an issue.

In every case that BrellachWatch can identify, whenever an advisor of Her Court has been approached by a foreigner on the subject of intolerance for LGBT+ groups, or the need for legislation to protect them from such, at best they have expressed confusion at the entire concept.

For example, in a Brellachi submission to a similar index two years ago, Devout Advisor Rena Vaska reacted with surprise to a question that asked what proportion of the population believed homosexuality should not be accepted by society - "Why would people believe such a thing?" she responded.

Brellachi spirituality specifically states, in its Canon, that 'love is transcendental', irrespective of gender. The Church of Her Divine Glory performs Joining ceremonies between members of any gender and always has, and no government legislation was ever required to force the issue. Neither is there a particular subculture of people who find the idea offensive, as far as we can ascertain. Indeed, most Brellachi would find the idea of discriminating against a person because of who they love to be sinful, given what the Canon states, as well as their belief that the capacity to love is one of the most blessed gifts their goddess has given them.

For these and many other reasons, Brellachi organs of government do not classify people based on sexual orientation or any other peculiarities. Their view, reinforced by the Divine Queen herself on many occasions, is that all are 'Her Favoured Children'. Prior to regular contact with the outside world, the Brellachi didn't even have a term for LGBT+.

With this in mind, it is perhaps understandable that the ARV marked Brellach down for having no laws specifically designed to protect LGBT+ peoples from intolerance and abuse. Either because of a lack of cultural understanding, or simply because of the way their index functions, the ARV found that this lack of legislation was "counter-productive".

"By failing to treat the LGBT+ community as a particular subset of wider society, lawmakers may not see the equally-particular abuse to which they are subjected," they said. "This is why hate legislation (used under its Arthurian legal definition as opposed to a loose adjectival addition) is considered so important by the ARV and why Brellach's ranking is significantly lower than it could have been."

"Nonetheless," the ARV added, "it appears as though the government and people of Brellach are deeply caring for all, including the LGBT+ population, and therefore deserve praise."

BrellachWatch sought the response of the Most Devout Advisor, Fellis Jessina, at the Building of Her Court's Residence this morning.

"We and [the Divine Queen] thank Those of the [Rainbow Alliance] for viewing and commenting on the [Brellachi] submission to the organisation," Jessina said in a brief statement to us. "We and She are thankful for them to take their time, and us and ours are thankful that they have gleaned much of truth from it.

"Us and ours are disappointed in smalls amount that Her Favoured Lands did not achieve a higher place on their list of ranks," she added. "But we understand that in the Other Places, the veil of darkness must colour their views."

She then asked us to relay a message to the LGBT+ community worldwide.

"[Divine Queen Lyta] wishes to express Her most sincere assurances to those known as 'LGBT+' people in Other Places - you are welcome in Her Favoured Lands. Here, you are just Her Children. There is no fear here, no judging, for these are lands touched by Her Light and Her Love. She teaches that Love is Her gift, and it matters not who you Love. And so it matters not to us and ours, either."

Analysis piece by John Davis


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