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1900 : Alternative Divergence [AH][IC]

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1900 : Alternative Divergence [AH][IC]

Postby Alt Div Admin » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:05 pm

1900 : Alternative Divergence

IC THREAD





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“Men make History, but not at the time he wishes.”

– Karl Marx__________________________________


But for the sake of argument, what if we could?

Be it a point of divergence or a whole new nation, what if we could make history EXACTLY at the point that we wish?





Hello and welcome to Another Alternative Divergence, an AH/AW RP where the world is your oyster to do whatever you wish. For the sake of continuity, the time now is 1900 C.E., and nations are expanding in a world not quite yet sobered by war for annihilation. What would be your vision of a world shaped by the nation that you call your own?



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[RESERVED]

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Terminus Pheonix
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Postby Terminus Pheonix » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:14 pm

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A Caliph's Dream


Caliph Hussein ibn Ali soared above his domain at night, the first and last bastion of Islam in the world. In ages past, the warriors of Islam had once swept to the gates of the Second Rome, and held the Holy Land of Jesus and the Jews under their belt. But those ages were long past. For the past few centuries, the house of Islam had fallen, piece by piece, until the Dar-al-Islam was nothing more than squabbling tribes in it's homeland of Arabia, and minorities in the lands it once held dominion over. Even in Arabia, the Muslim was under foreign yoke, as the some of emirates of the Persian Gulf had been annexed in the years of squabbling and weakness. Those lost emirates were the source of great concern and a rallying point for the hard-liners, some of whom had been in revolt since the 18th Century, and who were a constant menace to caravans travelling the route across Arabia.

But, in this dream, when the Caliph soared to the Lost Emirates, he saw the flag of the Caliphate flying, and the foreigners' flags limited to ships leaving the harbors. Truly, he had been divinely guided towards these lands in his sleep, and his goal - the true reunification of Arabia - was now divinely blessed. He soared elsewhere, and found his people unified and at peace, and the camps of the Wahhabi rebels empty. This was another sign - to face the Europeans and reclaim Arabia, the Arabs must be unified themselves, not squabbling over schools of thought. This was the path he must walk - one of unification of both nation and mind. A Caliph must exercise power over his people's religious and temporal actions, or he was no true Caliph. With this, he soared back to his palace in Mecca, and his dream concluded.




"Arabia must be one," the Caliph roared as he awoke "and those who reject the oneness of Arabia and God must be defeated!"

When it was time for breakfast, Hussein announced his grand strategic vision - a unified Arabia, willing and able to stand against outside influence and rebuild the Dar-al-Islam. While they all agreed to this vision, the court quickly broke out into bickering over how it should be accomplished. Some supported further modernization, despite in the hardliners in the deserts, others chose to choose an approach more in line with the Caliph's own vision, first defeat those who had continually reject the legitimacy of the Caliph, then look outward. Other advisers took the chance to discuss the idea of reforming - or even ending outright - the Iqta' system. But, as the day wore on, the Caliph and those who agreed with him slowly won over the court through the argument that nothing could be changed if the realm was not consolidated internally. To expect people to simply submit to radical reforms with an active rebellion they could run to was the height of folly. Until the Wahhabis were crushed and submitted to the Caliph's authority, rebellion would be an always active threat, one that could lead to another disintegration, this time fatal for the Dar-al-Islam.

But, he did concede that some reforms would be needed now rather than later. To this end, the Caliph called upon his chief diplomat and upon two of his sons. The people of Arabia were massively uneducated compared to the Romans and the West, not doubt due to the centuries of misrule and traditionalism. But, this could be solved, given both time and new ideas on education. To educate his people, the Caliph would send off two of his sons to the West to learn from the current masters of the world, and hopefully synthesize the ideas of Islam and those of the West.




To: The Foreign Relations Office of France
From: The Court of the Hashemite Caliphate
One of the Caliph's sons have come-of-age, and he seeks to see the world outside the Caliphate. To this end, we seek a western education for him. While we would usually seek a direct enrollment with the college itself, but in this case, we wish to start an official diplomatic and cultural exchange, so that we may become closer as societies.


To: The Foreign Relations Office of The Grand Republic of the All Russias
From: The Court of the Hashemite Caliphate
One of the Caliph's sons have come-of-age, and he seeks to see the world outside the Caliphate. To this end, we seek a western education for him. While we would usually seek a direct enrollment with the college itself, but in this case, we wish to start an official diplomatic and cultural exchange, so that we may become closer as societies. While this may seem odd, seeing as our internal politics differ radically, the Caliph believes his son shall be able to synthesize your radical ideas with our traditional ones, in such a way that would benefit both our societies.

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Plzen
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Postby Plzen » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:00 pm

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Nordiska samväldet

1900 Anno Domini / 1900 år efter Kristus

Salus populorum fraternorum / Brödrafolkens väl



"The turn of the 20th century saw the young Commonwealth, now only 34 years old, stretched out as one of the most extensive, but not one of the largest, colonial empires of the era. Although the Swedish golden age has passed centuries ago, one could make a very reasonable case that the relative power of the Scandinavian peoples relative to the rest of the world has increased since that time, not vice versa.

The territory of the Commonwealth may have been abbreviated through centuries of unsuccessful warfare and neighbouring armies grown to dwarf Norden's own, but consider the assets still possessed by the Nordic Commonwealth at the turn of the century. It had, for one, political unity. No longer were the Nordic peoples divided into two roughly equally matched states at odds with each other, but rather belonged to one unified and stable Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth possessed, furthermore, one of the most literate populations on the face of the planet, thanks largely due to an extensive public education scheme that has provided universal primary education since 1842 in Sweden and not long after in Denmark. It is not a coincidence that the Scandinavians have provided a highly disproportionate share of scientists compared to their meagre population in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The loss of Slesvig-Holsten four decades prior cemented Prussia as the premier power of central Europe and, in so doing, aligned the Commonwealth with the Russians and the Dutch, finding common ground in a common foe. Although a considerable blow to both Nordic prestige and pride, it broke the Nordic state - for after the Second Jylland War there was just one - out of its untenable geopolitical situation of being completely surrounded by rivals. Treaties were signed with the American states formally forgoing any remaining claims they retained to Vinland and a partial dismantlement of Viborg Castle, the early years of the Commonwealth were defined by a de-isolation of Nordic diplomacy.

Economically, the Legation Concessions continued to pour vast treasure into coffers of the Commonwealth, and so did Scandinavia's advanced industries. Denmark and the Skåneland became one of the first regions in the world to adapt the mechanisation and steam power technologies innovated in western Europe, and development spread from there outwards into central Sweden and Norway. The reorganisation of the cities formerly belonging to the Danish East Indies Company into the Legation Concessions have ended the period of temporary instability, placing these cities into the spotlight of Asian trade that the Danish East Indies Company used to occupy.

Furthermore, Scandinavian culture persisted as a minority in some of Denmark's former colonies in North America and as expatriate communities across Europe, the Americas, and Southeast Asia, providing it significant cultural influence. Although the population of the Commonwealth was just over 28 millions in 1900, it is estimated that there were millions more speakers of Scandinavian in the world by that time.

Indeed, while there was no doubting that the Norden in 1900 was a declining power, the situation was not quite as dire as certain contemporary statesmen believed. It was not a 'husk of its former glory,' as one General Electoral Coalition's members of parliament put it.

If such was the power and influence of the Nordic Commonwealth, to what purpose was it used? The late 19th Century have seen a profound change in what the Scandinavian states considered their national objectives. The Second Jylland War and the subsequent formation of the Commonwealth saw a complete turnaround in Swedish-Russian relations, with the new, highly liberal government, stepped in National Romanticism, lost revanchist interest in Sweden's former Baltic territories which, not being populated with Nordic peoples, it did not consider to be integral Nordic territory. By 1900, relations have warmed sufficiently for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to even openly tender suggestions of a defensive alliance.

The dissolution of the Danish East Indies Company and its powerful mercantilist interests has also strongly decreased the Commonwealth's propensity for colonialism. The extension of its Gold Coast colony inland in 1872 and the integration of the Gulf Principalities into the Commonwealth in 1879 would prove to be the last significant colonial seizure in Nordic history aimed at sheer territory and resources, although the Commonwealth would continue seeking ports for access to various regions of the world for some time afterwards.

Rising socialist movements have also forced the Nordic state to spend far more of its resources and energy looking inwards, towards the anger of the common people. The Commonwealth Socialists, a minor party before 1889, jumped into immediate prominence following the introduction of universal suffrage, being included in several liberal coalitions and finally itself forming a coalition government as the dominant party following the General Elections of 1899. Speaker Reynir Persson, today often called the 'father of the Nordic welfare state,' introduced sweeping legislation that virtually abolished the statare system, redefined capital-labour relations, and instituted a universal national pension among other changes. Increasingly the role of the State was seen as the promotion of its people's welfare rather than the simple defence of their securities."


- A History of the Northern Peoples, vol 3: Blood and Steel, 1997



"We, the Citizens of the Legation Concessions, holding faith in the

- promotion and creation of an economically prosperous and political free international order in Southern Asia,
- enlightenment of the native populations of Southern Asia into the proper and Nordic way of life,
- protection of the human progress of Southern Asia from the crippling shackles of war and instability,

and for these purposes resolved

- to unite the capabilities of the Cities for the maintenance of peace and stability,
- to establish and maintain a free government that does not act with violence except in the common interest,
- to support with all possible means the prosperous and free development of all peoples in the region,

have agreed to pledge our collective efforts towards these purposes and, accordingly, the honourable Mayors and City Councils of Serampore, Tranquebar, Bangkok, Batavia, Singapore, and Malacca, through duly nominated plenipotentiaries gathered aboard the good ship Kastellet, have agreed to the present Charter of the Legation Cities and hereby establishes an intercity administrative organ to be known as the Commission of the Legation Cities."


- Charter of the Legation Cities, 1883



"I have heard considerable criticism from the General Electoral League regarding our Party's recent decision to support the Right Hon. Persson's bid as Speaker of the Second Chamber. They claim that the Farmer's League is betraying its principles in choosing to associate itself with those most radical Socialists who in their hearts desire nothing more than the destruction of those Nordic values that we hold and have always held dear, instead of those forces working to preserve what had once made the Scandinavian nations some of the greatest in the world, along with many of the other parties of the so-called "liberal" wing.

Indeed, we are a liberal party and not, no matter what anyone claims, a socialist one. Our beliefs are deeply rooted in the rights of man and the liberties of societies. These we see as the values of our Commonwealth. But what do those things mean?

Great progress has been made in our northern lands. The Commonwealth stands as one of the richest, if not the richest, nation below Heaven itself. Yet the people that we represent, the small landowners, the rent farmers, and the statare of the land, have been cut off from this great tale of human progress. The small landowners, the traditional base fabric of Scandinavian society that on which hung all its bright decorations, have seen a decline in their living conditions in the past few decades. While some in our country live in great mansions, the statare of this country continue to live on in truly appalling conditions, concerned about their most basic necessities such as food and a roof over their heads. Where here is the right of man?

The Right Hon. Torbjørn Berg pointed out as early as 1867, in one of the speeches of the first congress of our party, that for a man to be truly free it is not sufficient that he merely be left alone by the forces of society. Unless there exists social circumstances in which he is able and encouraged to utilise the freedoms and rights that he is theoretically provided in order to better himself and his lot, any freedom that a man possesses is an illusion at best.

We have always appealed our causes to the conservatives and the other liberals of government. For ten long years we have shaken the shoulders of many a statesmen on the right to see the world not from their ivory pedestals high in the riksdagshuset, but from the humble eyes of those who till the land and feed the nation. For ten long years, as those desperate people who have put their faith in us continue to suffer, we have been ignored. For ten long years, not a finger was lifted to relieve the misery of the hardworking souls of our land.

A state for the people, by the people. That was the promise of 1889. That promise has been betrayed.

If a society in which wealthy landowners and industrialists live in palaces while the hardworking farmers of this country send their young daughters to the fields and retirement means homelessness for those without family, a country in which it is considered perfectly acceptable for us to turn our backs upon those most vulnerable of society desirous and requiring our aid, and a state that offers as the only salvation from starvation, destitution, and homelessness the Army is what the General Electoral League chooses to see as the time-honoured values of the Nordic Commonwealth, then yes. The Farmer's League is perfectly willing to support those who are willing to destroy these values.

Socialist or not, anti-Nordic or not, Speaker Reynir Persson has pledged a better life for the common man of Norden. As long as that promise holds, we here at the Farmer's League are proud to say that he has our full and undivided support.

For a better future, skål!"


- Steffen Rinne, Reception Dinner Speech, 33rd Annual Congress of Bondeförbundet (the Farmer's League), 1899



To Gospodin Velikij Novgorod:

Greetings, your Sovereign.

I greet you as the plenipotentiary of a friendly state. With the deepening of commercial, social, and cultural bonds between our two great and historic peoples over the most recent years, there can be little doubt in the future of our mutually prosperous relations.

It is thus with great joy that I have the honour of proposing to you a mutual agreement that will further tie our two nations in brotherhood and co-operation. The Cabinet has suggested to me that commercial relations between our two nations can be greatly expanded to the benefit of both parties should the various barriers separating our respective economies can be diminished or eliminated, and I have decided to relay their proposal.

We propose that the Nordic Commonwealth and the Grand Republic of the Russias be joined in a common market. This would involve the elimination of tariff barriers affecting commerce between our two nations and a harmonisation of external tariff schemes, as well as the elimination of legislation that currently bar the citizens of our respective states from seeking work in or investing capital into the economy of the other party in ways that citizens of the corresponding state is not barred. We also propose that our two states confer on each other the status of most favoured nation, and abolish those non-tariff barriers imposed against imports from the other state that is not imposed against imports from any third party state.

The Second Chamber has already agreed to this proposal in principle, and is willing to ratify any final agreement reached provided that our respective States are able to establish the specific conditions of this agreement in greater detail. Should this proposal interest you, I invite you to send a plenipotentiary to establish the above-mentioned specific conditions to Stockholm on the 15th of June this year, so that the above-mentioned specific conditions can be agreed-upon between our two states.

Regards,

Alexander Klasson,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and
Right Hon. Member of the First Chamber

on behalf of:
Anders Branting,
Grand Prince of the Nordic Commonwealth

with approval of:
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

on this day the 22nd of January 1900

- Telegram from the Nordic Embassy in Novgorod, 1900; Provided by the Bureau of State and Official Records
Last edited by Plzen on Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Forward, my comrades, march to your stations,
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Postby Liecthenbourg » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:32 am

The Grand Republic of the All Russias
Velikaya Respublika Vserossiyskaya


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Chapter I: The Ever-Present Beckoning Cries of the World Revolution.


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"I am the shield of the Republic,
the sword of the People." -
Alexander Kolchak,
Inaugural Address


Novgorod the Great, Novgorod
January 7th, 1900


He gave a warm smile.

The lamp shone brightly off of the symbol on his large white brimmed admiral's hat. His uniform was impressive and almost regal, snugly pressed against his imposing figure, a series of medals from long lost acts of bravery and wars that would be forgotten to history. Epaulettes of almost metallic slabs flanked a high collar, raising high an impressive jaw-line that was strong enough to cut through the resolve of any man. A rapier adorned at his belt, with a hilt of intricacy. An heirloom, used by all Grand Princes; what gave them the title 'First Sword of Novgorod'. Some say it was forged in the fires of the old city's smithies and given to Daniel Kholmsky following his victory at Shelon River.

Yet despite this... appearance of nobility and that damned smile that would've charmed any other woman in the Republic, Filosofova new better. At his core, Supreme Chancellor Kolchak was a bitter autocrat who yearned to return to sea, but held hostage in power by parties that needed him. His smile kept locked away behind it an almost passion for disliking almost everyone around him. He was at the best of times, to those that only saw him in public address, a gallivanting hero of the republic -- a keen orator with a populist tongue, wrapping his words around the minds of all the listeners. The men would look up to him as a commander and the women would look up to him in awe.

Those who knew the Grand Prince behind closed doors knew he was a borderline alcoholic, a hulking brute of a man with an impressionable distaste for anyone and anything within the 700 strong Novgorod the Great that even dared vote against him. This had brought him to blows with his own party members. Yet they kept the ship of state from sinking. Their personal kerfuffles, it seemed, would not pour out into the streets of every hamlet, town and city in the Great Republic.

Anna Filosofova, First Voice of Novgorod the Great, returned the smile in kind as she scanned his figure up and down.

It was late and why he had come to her office at almost the witching hour she could not guess. No important bills had been proposed. No contentious disagreements, as far as she knew.

She shifted her weight onto the door frame and tapped her foot almost impatiently, cutting through the silence with a cough. "Yes...?"

Kolchak stared at her indignantly, pushing past her until he entered the office. "Shut the door behind you, First Voice." The nerve. Pressing her weight against the door, the oaken piece thudded into place within the frame. She turned in time to notice Alexander sit himself down at her chair. A hulking brute, claiming ownership of her desk.

"I could very well tell you to leave, My Grand Prince." She quipped at him, with venom on her tongue. "Your bullying might work on meeker men, God knows my Socialist Party is filled with those!, but not on me. I don't fear you. So, rather than try to put up this charade of... stoicism and political brutality, just tell me what it is you want. I have my own work to do, you know? Whipping votes for your ventures, drafting up papers for our proposed nationalisation of all the railways in the republic..."

Kolchak spat at her, pressing his palms into her desk so hard it creaked in what some would have described as pain. "Nationalisation! Bah!" He rubbed his eyes, a thumb an index finger pressing against the bags under them in a vein attempt to stay awake. "I care not for that, all I care for is that there is a plan. The Romans will complain and cry at the help they invested in it, but they knew the price. Financial compensation can be given, or not, I care not. There are things more important than the welfare of all the people, First Voice. I've come here for your help in what I want.

This was the true Kolchak, not the pretty face for the papers and adoring crowds for the 'Grand Admiral of the Fleet that Sails the Caspian.'

"And what can I help you with?" Filosofova replied, pulling up a chair before the Prince and sitting next to him, not opposite. She poured them both a glass of water. He gave her a look that seemed to say 'what, no alcohol?' She did not reply.

"I want to increase our military, the Young Kadets want to increase our military. We need more men. The Army of a Million Men is no longer adequate. Prussia outnumbers us, even if all our forces were brought to Europe; leaving the Republics in the East unguarded and precious Vladivostok open."

She was... taken aback, to say the least. "And what do you have in mind...?"

"Two million." He interjected. "Draft up a conscription law, increase years of military service, lower the age requirement I do not care! It must be done. Increase your equality measures and get more women to join it." He gave a silent laugh. "That would've been a use for your women's groups, aye."

She kept her composure and even smiled. "I'll help you, Grand Prince. But you're not fucking the Socialist Party unless we get to fuck you, too."
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Krugmar
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Postby Krugmar » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:11 pm

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Bharata Khanda

मै दुर्गा की जयेष्ट-पुत्री,क्षात्र-धर्म की शान रखाने आई हूँ
मै सीता का प्रतिरूप ,सूर्य वंश की लाज रखाने आई हूँ

मै कुंती की अंश लिए, चन्द्र-वंश को धर्म सिखाने आई हूँ
मै सावित्री का
सतीत्त्व लिए, यमराज को भटकाने आई हूँ

मै विदुला का मात्रत्व लिए, तुम्हे रण-क्षेत्र में भिजवाने आई हूँ
मै पदमनी बन आज,फिर से ,जौहर की आग भड़काने आई हूँ


January 3rd, 1900
Lake Palace
Udaipur, Hindustan


The setting sun began its descent into the clear azure lifeblood of Udaipur. The sky darkened as the city slowed to a deathly rest, though for one resident life had only just begun. A newborn's cries echoed across the palace, bringing the news faster than any bells, and more jubilantly than any silver-tongued messenger. Servants and officials scurried across the pontoon as a solitary skiff cruised ever closer. Off steped a figure dressed in such fineries and jewelries to make the the Chinese Emperor seem impoverished, and the Roman humble. He waited for none of his companions as he strode towards the sound.

Din Tavade Singh, a confidante of the Peshwa and friend to the Mahrana, did not attempt to follow. Such an event was for their clan to celebrate together. A familiar voice came from his side, belonging to that of Gul-Yar Tahirkheli Beg, "Tavade, a pleasure to see you here." Tavade turned to face the grizzled Afghan, a Pashtun chieftain whose rapid promotions at court were owed to both his uncle, favoured by the Maharana, and his patronage by the Peshwa.

"The pleasure is all mine." He said courteously, admiring the man's sword hanging around his waist. The hilt was golden, encrusted with various jewels, and the scabbard made of a wood he couldn't recognise but was certainly ornate with calligraphy etched lovingly into every space.

He lifted it to better help Tavade study it, "A gift from my uncle Zorawar, and a truly fine piece if I do say so myself." He said, grinning at it. Tavade nodded, gently holding it in his hand as he studied the swirls, though gave up after a few moments as though he was versed in the Arab script, such calligraphic writing was beyond him. Gul-Yar laughed, "If my uncle had not told me what it says, I wouldn't know either." Tavade joined him, before silence fell on the conversation for a few moments as they noticed more boats arriving.

"Courtiers expecting to be allowed to shower the new prince with praise." Tavade said dismissively. If he wasn't allowed inside, what chance did they have?

"A prince, you are so sure?" asked Gul-Yar

"Well, Surya willing it shall be. Our Prince has been openly hoping for one for some time, being blessed with daughters but no sons has been a delicate issue these past few years, since his accession." He said, with Gul-Yar nodding. The man was somewhat new to court, and so lacked the knowledge and intuition that one born and raised in its atmosphere knew.

"I am lucky to have a friend in you to fill in the blanks for me, fool that I am focusing purely upon the Maharana's great desire to reunite Bharata that I forgot that such issues cloud his view." The Pashtun said, smiling courteously at several courtiers passing by. By a great mistake they snubbed him.

Tavade leaned in close, "Worry not, I know their names." He said smirking.

Gul-Yar wasn't able to muster a full smile, and Tavade knew that it wasn't the first time he had been snubbed. His faith and heritage marked him an outsider, and it didn't help that where the man loved ostentatious weaponry, he was fond of bland dress that was popular among fundamentals of his coreligionists. "But you are mistaken, our Prince's view is not clouded at all. He sees Bharata clear as day from the moment he opens his eyes till the moment he closes them. Even now the Nordain and Englo must be on their way."

"He has summoned them here?" Gul-Yar asked.

"Not here, the City Palace." Tavade said, glancing across the lake to the vast palace. The sun had by now almost completely set, and slowly its rays receded. Udaipur was left largely in darkness, save the palace in the lake which was to shine bright long into the night.


पेशवा का कार्यालय
Peshava Ka Kaaryaalay


TO: His Excellency Anders Branting, Grand Prince of the Nordic Commonwealth
RE: Diplomatic Summit

On behalf of His Imperial Majesty the Bharatavarsha Samrāṭ, we convey our greetings to His Excellency the Grand Prince. We humbly request the presence of an ambassador in Udaipur at the earliest time of convenience to discuss relations, trade and compensation.

Signed and approved,
Mir Suhaan Khan Sardar, Prince of Khairpur


पेशवा का कार्यालय
Peshava Ka Kaaryaalay


TO: His Excellency Francis Lachon, Premier of the Commonwealth
RE: Grievances

On behalf of His Imperial Majesty the Bharatavarsha Samrāṭ, we request the presence of your diplomats in Udaipur to negotiate the cession of Indian territories occupied by Angloterre, and compensations and treaties arising from said negotiations.

Signed and approved,
Mir Suhaan Khan Sardar, Prince of Khairpur


पेशवा का कार्यालय
Peshava Ka Kaaryaalay


TO: Grand Prince and Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, Alexander Vasilyevich Kolchak
RE: Amicable Invitation

On behalf of His Imperial Majesty the Bharatavarsha Samrāṭ, we convey our greetings to His Excellency the Grand Russian, and humbly invite him to a cordial meeting to celebrate the birth of the Maharana's new son and to establish goodwill between our nations. His Imperial Majesty is eager to ensure that trouble along the border, caused by no fault of either party but by of certain brigands attempting to ruin peace, is put to rest and the border properly and clearly delineated for posterity.

Signed and approved,
Mir Suhaan Khan Sardar, Prince of Khairpur


*Credit to Tyrannia for the message designs
Last edited by Krugmar on Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The V O I D
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Postby The V O I D » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:08 am

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From the Office of the Royal Foreign Ministry of Prussia

To His Majesty, Philip IV, King of the Low-Countries



Your Majesty,

This letter has been sent with the authority of His Majesty, Wilhelm II, the King of All Prussians and Emperor of Greater Prussia. This letter is to act as a formal invitation on behalf of His Majesty to the diplomats of Your Majesty's great kingdom to discuss the current relationship between our kingdoms on the date of March the Fifteenth.

It would be His Majesty's honor to host Your Majesty's diplomats, and we hope for the betterment of relations between our two great kingdoms.

With the kindest of regards,
Fredrich Holt, the Royal Foreign Minister of Prussia
On Behalf of His Majesty, Wilhelm II, the King of All Prussians and Emperor of Greater Prussia


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From the Office of the Royal Foreign Ministry of Prussia

To His Imperial Majesty, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, Tsar of the Bulgarian Empire



Your Grand Imperial Majesty,

It is my great honor to invite Your Imperial Majesty's diplomats into the domain of the Kingdom of Prussia on behalf of His Majesty, Wilhelm II, the King of Prussians. We wish to discuss a betterment of relations between our two great kingdoms, and the possibility of a military alliance against a certain mutual foe.

This invitation is for a meeting on March the Twentieth.

With most humble regards,
Fredrich Holt, the Royal Foreign Minister of Prussia
On Behalf of His Majesty, Wilhelm II, the King of All Prussians and Emperor of Greater Prussia


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From the Office of the Royal Foreign Ministry of Prussia

To His Grand Imperial Majesty, Napoleon IV, the Emperor of the French



Your Grand Imperial Majesty,

It is my greatest and most humble of honor that allows me to greet Your Imperial Majesty on behalf of His Majesty, Wilhelm II, the King of Prussians. It is His Majesty's wish to invite Your Imperial Majesty's diplomats into the Kingdom of Prussia to discuss the future of relations between Your Imperial Majesty's great empire and our great kingdom.

We sincerely hope that Your Imperial Majesty is willing to accept our invitation for such a formal meeting on the date of March the Eighteenth.

With most humble and honored regards,
Fredrich Holt, the Royal Foreign Minister of Prussia
On Behalf of His Majesty, Wilhelm II, the King of All Prussians and Emperor of Greater Prussia

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Resurgent Exiles
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Founded: Mar 27, 2018
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Resurgent Exiles » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:25 pm

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Królestwo Galicji-Karpat

A.D 1900


The Kingdom of Galicia-Carpathia, the small Kingdom sandwiched in-between four great powers in Central Europe; commonly known as the Polish Kingdom, Carpathia-Wielkospie, or simply Galicia- is the rump state left over from the second partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1783. Following a tumultuous and restless period of rebellion, revolution, and eventual pacification- Galicia would arise out of the ashes of an old empire long past its golden age to soldier on into the modern era.

~ Encyclopedia Universalis, volume XVII, University of Przemysl


Epilogue

It was noon. The early morning clouds had long passed over Przemysl and were replaced by a long and unforgiving sun. The same sun that had risen and fallen over the horizon for countless and untold days had today decided to show itself in all its splendor and glory. Its presence attracted many pigeons and various birds to fly across the city in search for food. Such activity was uncommon this time of year, but then again- so was the weather.

The people, like the birds were also moving about. This activity was more normal however. The city hummed with the activity of horses, carriages, trams and even a few automobiles. Przemysl was the kingdom’s capital, and the economic center of Galicia. Many citizens were scurrying to use their scarce free time to buy lunch. Food vendors were everywhere, and in this city the food was known for its great freshness and taste. Among the food vendors, one had the great fortune to be visited by a very special guest. A quaint old man, stout and imposing walked in unassumingly. The shopkeeper was uninterested, he had his nose buried in the days newspaper. Clearly disturbed, he coaxed the old man to hurry his business in a boorish tone. This caused no response from the old man, still looking about the selection of meats.

It wasn’t long before another person walked in, this time much younger and good looking. Unlike the old man, he was not quite as deliberate in his movements. Clearly anxious, he seemed to impatiently stare at the old man- almost as if urging him to hurry. Yet even this was not enough to cause a reaction from the man. After a few minutes of this, the old man turned to look at his grandson. His light-green eyes met with his grandson’s equally light-green eyes to hint some disapproval, before turning to the shopkeeper to buy something. The shopkeeper finally turned his gaze to the pair of gentlemen who graced his presence. But upon turning he looked shocked to see them. He nervously spit out a sentence, regretting his behavior almost instantly.

“I- I’m sorry your majesty welcome to my humble shop how can I help you…?!”

Smiling to the shopkeeper, the old man let out sincere loud laugh and apologized magnanimously. He was royalty, but unlike others in his family he did not enjoy making this fact known. He had no need to apologize, but he did so anyways. After a few more awkward apologies from the shopkeeper, their business was done and concluded. Exiting the shop, the young man who accompanied him wore a sheepish smile as the shopkeeper shouted apologies from his storefront at the two men. After a few moments of walking, the young man looked at his grandfather, who carried packages of meat to a parked automobile on the street. He offered help, but the king refused, finally placing the packages in the back seat. He boarded the vehicles front passenger seat and turned to speak to his grandson.

“Thomas, take the long route, today would you?”

Thomas was obliged to obey his wishes and got in the driver’s seat.

We look like common people, not royalty! – he thought.

The street was noisy, and the automobile was even nosier. But after a while, they passed the crowds and drove out of the central districts into some of the peripheral edges of town. Here the urban jungle turned into suburban and middle-class neighborhoods where the loudest sounds were from children playing in the street. None of this had however, stopped the King from falling asleep in his seat. Thomas drove, but the boredom pushed him to start conversation. Only one thing could come to mind.

“Grandfather, why do you apologize to them?”

“Hmmm? Huh?” the old man woke from his nap looking startled. Thomas repeated his question.

“Why did you apologize to that shopkeeper, grandfather?”

The old man yawned and stretched a little. He thought about the questions briefly and answered.

“Why shouldn’t I?”

“You are royalty!” Thomas answered excitedly. “And I am driving you- work for servants. Why did you ask me to come along?”

“Is that why you are asking me such petulant questions?” the king asked. Thomas took a deep breath, regaining some of his composure. The king looked at him and back and then back at the passing scenery.

“I’m sorry. I lost some of my temper. I must confess I am concerned for you grandfather, or I would not have agreed to come along. You are getting older and-"

Mateusz interrupted. “Do not bother me with platitudes today, boy. I am stuffed in that blasted palace all day and I never get to see the world. I apologized because I realize that such mundane customs are not important at my age anymore. You are just a boy and have only just seen a small bit of this world. Now leave me in peace!”

Thomas didn’t understand why his grandfather apologized. He couldn’t make sense of this newfound humility his grandfather had seemingly acquired today. He had never done anything quite like that before. And this errand was so mundane, it perplexed Thomas why his grandfather had been so happy throughout. He decided to keep quiet, out of respect. Yet he still didn’t understand- and it bothered him greatly.

By the time they had driven out of the city- to the royal palace just a few miles south-west- it was just a bit half past noon. After entering the palace grounds and parking, they exited the car. Thomas took the meats that had been placed in the back. Servants quickly rushed to attend them and took the meat indoors. The two stood outdoors with more servants coming to help, when Mateusz apologized for his outburst.
“I’m sorry for my outburst son. I should not have scorned you like I did.”

“It was nothing grandfather. I was being tempestuous. I’m sorry for ruining your leisure time.”

The king smiled a little. “You are still young, and you will be married soon. I would be nervous as well. I wanted to spend time with you. You will be very busy soon and I wanted to spend some of my time with you before I would be unable to. Just being here with you makes me proud to see the man you are becoming.”

Thomas couldn’t help but to blush a little. He had not received this type of affection for a long time. He and his grandfather were close, and his eyes felt his eyes grew watery with emotion. “Thank you… grandfather. Really.. truly I thank you!”

He patted Thomas on the shoulder, and Thomas did the same. As they walked indoors, birds had perched themselves on the roof of the palace to rest. They basked in the sun for a little while before they would depart once more to find another roost. The sun was still bright, and a breeze had begun to blow across the country. The weather almost made it seem like nature itself was beckoning them to return back to where they had gone. But time stops for no man, and they like the country had to move forward.
Last edited by Resurgent Exiles on Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Remnants of Exilvania
Powerbroker
 
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Founded: Mar 29, 2015
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Remnants of Exilvania » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:54 am

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Трета българска държава
Treta bŭlgarska dŭrzhava
Third Bulgarian Empire


The gardens were covered in the white of the snow, coated with it like a cake with some frosting. And the bushes and trees were the decorations. In a way it reminded Tsar Ferdinand I of a wedding cake since his wedding cake had also been completely white, the only colour in it being the small black figurine of himself which had been placed on top of the cake. In addition the upcoming wedding of his niece Margarethe Klementine with that Polack, whose name he kept forgetting, directed his thoughts towards such absurd things as wedding cakes. He shook his head a little to free it up from these, only to catch an annoyed glance from said niece who was sitting next to him, clothed in warm yet elegant winter clothes. Right, he had also been discussing that wedding with her. He was supposed to keep thinking about it and not about the beauty of one of his many gardens...

"Apologies my dear Margarethe, my thoughts trailed off. Now, where were we again?"

His niecest sighed, rolling her eyes and probably sending a pater noster to the heavens before picking the topic up yet again:

"We were talking about wether or not you would personally attend the wedding and you were mumbling something about not being able to leave Boris and Kyrill alone which is utterly ridiculous in my opinion. You could very well take them with you to the wedding. Indeed, I demand that they be there as well as Eudoxia and Nadejda."

Ferdinand raised an eyebrow at that before cautiously asking:

"You...demand? My dear niece, must I remind you who the Tsar is? Must I remind you to respect your elders?"

She snorted, crossing her arms before her breast and demonstratively looked away from him as she responded:

"Hmrpf! You are Tsar but you do not have the power to command me around. And just in case you forgot uncle, you are only 9 years older than me."

Ferdinand sighed, turning his gaze back to the gardens where his two sons were playing in the snow, apparently having a contest about who could build the biggest snowman. Ah, such wonderful innocence. They were both such wonderful boys, so wonderful and naive indeed that Ferdinand loathed having to give the responsibility that came with the title of Tsar to them at some point. Nowadays he often questioned why he had accepted the Bulgarians' request for his ascension to the throne. He hadn't been obligated to do it and he had known the terrifying geostrategic position Bulgaria was in. The position certainly hadn't improved, in fact, it seemed as though Bulgaria was falling behind further and further in the industrialisation and modernisation process that was pursued by all the hostile powers surrounding it. His reign was already bound to be one of great crises, how would theirs be?

"I beg you to do this, for their sake, for the sake of the people of this country. We desperately need any allies we can get. And these poles, while small and few in numbers can provide us with technology as well as some additional meat to bolster up our eastern front. Allies are in short supply for us while our enemies are just waiting to make this decaying nation a part of their empires.

And I will also make this wedding worth your while. Expect a dowry 20 million lev."

His daughter stood up abruptly when he said that and turned away from him to leave, hesitating only for a short moment to tell him:

"If I didn't know that you really need this marriage, I would've declined just now. It's insulting how you think you can buy me with money. Keep your dowry, Bulgaria has more need of it than I will have."

And with that she left, leaving the Tsar alone to watch his sons as they kept playing in the garden. He clenched his fists, so hard that if he hadn't been wearing warm and soft gloves he would've made his hands bleed. It hurt, she had really hurt him.

But before he could sulk over it too much, steps approached quickly, distracting him from it. Looking up, he saw one of the butlers approaching, not wearing actual winter clothing, apparently having rushed out immediately. He wondered what could be so urgent. Panting from the sudden exertion and shaking from the cold the butler came to a halt before him, presenting him with a letter. Ferdinand only waved with his gloved hands, showing the butler that he was pretty damn incapable of opening it right now. The butler sighed before unceremoniously ripping the envelope open and handing the letter to Tsar Ferdinand who skimmed it before letting out a relieved laugh. From the movements of the butler he had already expected it to be a declaration of war from the Byzantines or the Russians. But no, it was simply something from the Prussians who hoped to better relations between them. Which was just fantastic since he had planned to turn to the Prussians as well.

"Tell them that I accept and will send my diplomats at the proposed time."
Ex-NE Panzerwaffe Hauptmann; War Merit Cross & Knights Cross of the Iron Cross
Woodhouse Loyalist & Inactive BLITZKRIEG Foreign Relations Minister
REST IN PEACE HERZOG FRIEDRICH VON WÜRTTEMBERG! † 9. May 2018
Furchtlos und Treu dem Hause Württemberg für alle Ewigkeit!

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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
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Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Father Knows Best State

Postby Tracian Empire » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:25 pm

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Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων
Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων
Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn
Basileía Rhōmaíōn

The Empire of the Romans
The Roman Empire

Η βασιλεύς Σύγκλητος και ο Λαός της Ρώμης
I Basileus Sýnklitos kai o Laós tis Rómis
The Emperor, Senate and People of Rome

Βασιλεύς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων!
Basiléus Basiléon Basilévon Basilevónton!
Emperor of Emperors, Ruling Over Those Who Rule!


Legacy of Rome



For more than two millennia, the mighty Roman state had continued to exist and to persevere, no matter of what fate had thrown against it. Empires unnumbered had risen and fallen ever since Romulus had created the Eternal City on its seven hills, and yet the flame of the Roman civilization continued to burn. Ages had passed by, countless Emperors had lived and died. A New Rome was created, as the old one was lost and then recovered. Barbarians had soaked so many of Rome's previous provinces in blood, but still, the light of Rome continued to protect the provinces that had remained under imperial rule. Now, the Empire without End was entering a new century, in the middle of a different age, an age of steel and steam, of progress. And as always, the Empire was going to adapt, to evolve, all without abandoning the glory and harmony of its traditions.

The dream of ever restoring the Western Empire to its full glory had died together with the great Justinian, and not even the most insane of all Romans would have claimed today that the Roman flags with their imperial eagle should wave over Iberia or France. It all began long ago, when the Empire had been ripped into pieces, and when the people of the West had abandoned Rome. But the Eastern Empire refused to abandon Italy, the place where it all began so many thousands of years ago..Rome was still Roman, and the descendants of Belisarius continued to be the Caesars of the West, but ironically, the Western Empire was now one of the biggest problems that Constantinople had to face. For ages, the two nations had continued to follow the same tradition. Two sides of the same empire, two heads of the same eagle. But unlike the division created by Diocletian , the Emperor of the West had always been inferior to the true Emperor in the New Rome. The Basileus was the Augustus, superior to the one on the throne in Rome. This concept had survived through many centuries, through countless wars, but it was a concept lost in time. The Empire was still only one, as many tried to believe, but a rivalry had developed between the Old Empire on the East and the Young Kingdom in the East.

Some in Constantinople, carrying the same arrogance that had characterized their ancestors for centuries, believed in this superiority and believed that those in Italy had to be reminded who their rulers was. That the age of the Western Empire was long gone, and that Italy had to be integrated under the rule of the East, that Rome had to come under the control of the Queen of Cities. But for many more, this thought was horrible. So many brotherly wars between Romans had shed so much Roman blood throughout the ages..nothing like that should ever happen again. The arrogance of ages past had to be forgotten, and the position of the West had to be recognized, so that the two halves of the empire could continue on their path in friendship and peace. And that's why the young in Christ Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans, Basileus Autokratōr Michail Palaiologos Sebastos was going to Rome, to meet Cesara Alessandra Udina Belisaria, the Empress of the West.

But that wasn't all. The nightmare of the age of the Barbarian Invasions had continued to haunt the East for countless centuries, and these nightmares most often took a single form - that of the accursed Kingdom of the Vandals. Most of the rich and glorious provinces of the African West had been lost to these savages so long ago, and the bloody rivalry between them and the true people of Rome had continued through countless generations. No matter of how much their civilization had developed, those in Constantinople had continued to consider them savages, heretics, barbarians. Their horrible faith was disgusting, and their attempts to take over the Mediterranean, over the Mare Nostrum had led to so so many battles. Their raids on Roman shores had spilled so much Roman blood, so the Romans had always been ready to pay that back tenfold. And just a century before, the Roman Navy had finally managed to do what their ancestors had failed, pushing the Vandals out of the Eastern Mediterranean, defeating their naval forces and pushing them back, while the Empire's legions, from both the West and the East had been ready to do what Majorian had failed to accomplish.

But the Vandals asked for peace. Unwilling to shed the blood of their sons, the leaders of the Empires had agreed. And for the first time in so long, a peace had been reached. Borders were opened, and trade had created connections that would have seemed impossible just a century before. Now, at the dawn of a new century, there were many in both Carthage and Constantinople that started to realize that their rivalry of thousands of years had gotten them nowhere. That so much blood had been spilled without anything being achieved. And while the rivalry was still there, and while many still wanted to see Carthage being destroyed.. the young Basileus had agreed to negotiate with the accursed Shophet. The Vandals, the so called protectors of Africa, and the Romans, with their dreams in Egypt and Nubia, both disliked the threat of European colonialism there... so who knows what could be achieved. The King of the Vandals was going to join the two Roman monarchs in the Eternal City, where the fate of so many people was going to be decided.



Ρώμη, 1900 μ.Χ.
Roma MMDCLIII a.u.c.


"My Emperor, I do not wish to criticize your decision in any way.. but I hope that your Highness realizes that what you are about to do is a first for our Empire..trying to negotiate better relations with the Western Empire is nothing new.. but trying to negotiate with the Vandals? When the threat they represent in Africa and in the Mediterranean is still present? The Senate will heavily oppose it. .and your Highness knows it all too well.." From the other side of the luxurious carriage, the young Roman Emperor looked at the older man calmly, managing to hide his annoyance. The Master of Ceremonies was not a bad man by any means.. but since he had known Michael for so long, ever since the Emperor had been a little child, the older man always tried to advise him on all matters. The man did have a knack for politics and diplomacy, even if of course, the strict ceremonies of the Eastern Roman court were his passion - but unfortunately, he really disliked the Italians, considering them.. perhaps a little inferior. It was an opinion shared by many of the conservative members of the East Roman aristocracy that Italy was far too independent for what should have de jure been a part of the Empire - an opinion heavily opposed by the progressive "plebeians", and of course, the Basileus opposed it too. "I do fully understand the consequences, Teletarches. This will be a stepping-stone in the relation between Italia and Rhomania. We need to stop this senseless tension and hate. No side of the empire can survive without the other. Especially now, with so many enemies on the horizon, we must turn towards our brothers in the West for friendship and help. We need to cooperate if we hope to keep our empire strong. Why should we waste our time with a senseless rivalry, while the enemy is waiting in front of our gates? That is why the empire has fallen, that's why Rome was sacked. Because instead of fighting against the barbarians, the Romans fought among themselves. We have to stand together against all our common enemies." And the young monarch sighed. "As for the Vandals.... it's not like I like them either. They are barbaric, they stole northern Africa from our Empire so long ago, and they have provoked so much pain, death, and hate by raiding our shores throughout the history. But they are no longer the deadly enemy they were during the reign of my father. And if we wish to fight against European colonialism in Africa, and if we wish to have a peaceful Mediterranean, we need to at least try to negotiate with them. The Empire isn't what it has once been, and I thought that we have learned long ago that not everything can be solved with the use of weapons. If the negotiations fail, I'll be the first one to order our legions to march forward.. but until then, I will do what I think is best for my people and my empire."

The Master of Ceremonies tried to say something else.. but he quickly realized that it would be impossible to change the Emperor's mind, after all - even the Grand Logothete had failed to convince him to stay in Constantinople. ."You are right, my Basileus.", was the only think that he could say.. because of course, the young man in front of him was not a simple, normal person. He was Michail Palaiologos, in Christ Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans, the latest descendant of a line of Roman Emperors that stretched all the way back to the great Augustus.. the rulers of the greatest Empire the world had ever seen, the core of all European civilizations. Even if the very concept of such an empire seemed anachronistic for their age.. the Roman state continued to exist, defying time as the empire without end that it was..

The Emperor sighed, before he took a sip from a cup filled with water. The journey from Constantinople had been pretty tiring, but they were now finally approaching the Eternal City. The Book of Ceremonies, of course, clearly specified what an Emperor had to take with him during such a journey, from the large tents and the luxurious furniture brought for the comfort of the Basileus, to the wardrobe, the art pieces, the perfumes, the jewelry, the gifts for foreign dignitaries, the money, the holy icons and the holy relics, the golden, portable throne, encrusted with diamonds and sapphires, the golden dishes and cutlery, the library, with its many books, theology, fiction, history, military strategy. And of course, the portable bathtub and the portable chapel, for the Emperor's use. And the 500 riding soldiers, all wearing ceremonial uniforms. The monarch had tried to force the Master of Ceremonies to abandon what was not really necessary, since after all, Michael was a lot more used to the strict and rigid military life that had marked his past few years.. but he couldn't break all traditions, and while visiting foreign countries, he had to act and look like the mighty Roman Autocrat that he was supposed to be.

Unfortunately, as the ceremonial required, Michael had to abandon his comfortable military uniform before approaching the city of Rome, and as such, the monarch was now wearing his ceremonial outfit. Of course, the long white tunic, the rigid sakkos, with its large and puffed sleeves, with small enameled plaques sewn into it, girded with a belt decorated with precious stones, the crimson shoes, embroidered with the imperial eagles, were all present. This time however, Michael was also wearing the heavily jewelled Imperial loros. The decorated loros was like a long strip, dropping down straight in front to below the waist, with a portion behind pulled round to the front, the part that was supposed to hung gracefully over the left arm of the monarch. The crown and the scepter were of course, also there, the crown made out of gold, decorated with many precious stones and with its golden pendoulia, while the scepter itself was made out of thick gold, heavily encrusted with precious stones and pearls, with a holy relic hidden in its center. The cross on it was also golden, but encrusted with rubies. Normally, such an attire was reserved for important situations, like the Easter Sunday, but this only served to further prove the importance of this meeting. As for the Emperor himself, well, he had the somewhat messy, light brown hair of his father, the late Emperor, and the amber eyes of his mother. Spending so much time confined by his work in the Great Palace and in the Senate of Constantinople, Michael was also a little paler than most of his subject, but no one could deny that he was also attractive. All the three brothers of the imperial family for the way in which they looked, but the similarities kinda stopped there. While Michael was usually considered to be the most attractive, at least in the secret rankings of the noblewomen of Constantinople, he was also the most mature of the brothers, charming and strong. Constantine, on the other hand, was a well known ladies' man, a hedonist, immature, irresponsible and the nightmare of the Ecumenical Patriarch. The youngest, Manuel, was also the shiest, responsible and very mature for his age, but also really quiet and withdrawn.

"I really hope that their welcome will be worthy of your presence, my Basileus. You are their Emperor, and they should remember that well.", the Teletarches said in a low voice. The court in Constantinople was forever caught in its ceremonial chains, with ceremonies existing for nearly every moment of the day, to prove the harmony order of the imperial power. Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, a man divinized by the old Master of Ceremonies, used to say that the order of the Empire and of the imperial court had to reflect the motion of the Universe as it was made by the Creator. From that point of view, Eastern Roman nobles considered the Western court to lack the glamour and beauty of the Queen of Cities. As beautiful as the Eternal City might have been, they believed that it lacked the harmony of the eastern court. Michael sighed yet again. "You should ask the people of Italia, Teletarches. Who is their monarch? The Emperor of the distant East, or their Empress in Rome? These old beliefs will take us nowhere. They have to welcome as friends, they're not servants welcoming their masters. I just hope that this meeting will bring a new hope for both sides of the empire." And that's when a voice was heard from the outside, one of the soldiers riding alongside the carriage. "My Basileus! We have reached the city of Rome!"




The Romans of the East arrived in the capital of their Western brothers and sisters, the Eternal City, after long hours spent travelling through Italia. For the first time in more than a century, the Basileus from Constantinople was going to visit the lands that had been liberated by the great Belisarius in order to meet the Cesara from Rome. The Emperors of the East and of the West were going to meet in order to decide the future of their two states, of the two halves of the same Empire that had survived through so many ages. And even beyond that, after their meeting, they were going to welcome the accursed Shopet of Carthage in order to see if the hopes for a long-lasting peace was going to survive..

This was going to be an important day for all sons and daughters of both the Old Rome and the New, so the Eastern Romans had prepared themselves in order to impress. Of course, being so far away from their homes, they didn’t have the means to do the same things as in the Queen of Cities.. but they had a reputation to protect. And above all, they had to show the power and the might of the Eastern Empire to the West, but not in a threatening way. The people of Italia had to realize that even if so many centuries had split them into two, that even if they were talking different languages, they were the children of the same empire, of the same civilization. And that if the power of Rome was to prevail, they had to be together.

The parade started at the outskirts of the Eternal City, and the first to enter it were the riders of the Scholaí Palatinai, the Palatine Schools. Descendants of the guards of Constantine the Great, the successors of the Praetorian Guards, the soldiers of the Scholai were no longer the main guards of the Emperor, but they still followed him, as an elite organization of the Roman Empire. Nearly all the soldiers taking part in this parade were wearing ceremonial armors, and the riders of the Palatine Schools were no exception. Their decorated lamellar armors and their silver helmets were shining in the light of the sun, and while most of them were armed with rifles, some of them had not forgotten their tradition, and were wielding long lances with the crimson and golden flags of the Eastern Empire bound to them. The riders were all from the unit known as the Athanatoi, the Immortals, an elite cavalry unit, but while the first half of them was riding proud horses from Asia Minor, the others were riding camels, having arrived straight from Aígyptos. The first four riders even had the old and easily recognizable scale armors of the old Kataphraktoi on their horses, only to impress, of course. Behind the riders of the Immortals came a group of soldiers on foot, wearing their own decorated armors and red mantles, still members of the Schools, but of the unit known as the Exkoubitoi, the Sentinels, tasked with protecting the Emperor as a secondary guarding force. Despite their ceremonial, medieval looks, they were armed with the most modern bolt-action rifles that the Empire had to offer.

Immediately behind them came a small group of around 10 soldiers, wearing sandy colored, modern uniforms, but the peculiar thing about them was the way in which they were armed. Each of them had a cheirosiphōn, a flamethrower. In this age of technology and progress, the destructive power of the Roman Fire had been limited, but it was still something that a lot of people viewed with fear and admiration. And with their improvised breathing masks, the soldiers wielding it were among the best that the Romans had. Of course, the people of Rome wouldn’t have spent a lot of time looking at them - because what came behind them was a lot more.. massive. Two elephants, from the depth of Africa. The animals had been tamed, and small structures were present of them, were two people stood, soldiers, from among both the African and European citizens of the Empire. The elephants were painted with various symbols, and they calmly moved forward.

While the elephants would have attracted the attention of most of the people watching, right behind the elephants came a small group of Orthodox priests, in their rich garments, carrying a holy icon of Christ Pantocrator with them, chanting the Trisagion. Of course, the Eastern Empire had no intention to insult the faith of the West, so right next to them walked Catholic priests, chanting in Latin, symbolizing the equality and the peace between the two true rites of Christianity.

From the peaceful view of priests, the attention of the people would have quickly moved to the next group, a group of soldiers surrounding a quadriga. Tall, foreign warriors, distant from the Roman world, wearing ceremonial armors made in the model of the Norse warriors that had created their fearless unit. The Varangian Guard, the mercenary guards of the Basileus. The age in which the guard had been made up solely by Vikings was long gone, but still, its ranks were restricted to foreigners, to the best foreign warriors that the Empire could find. They still embodied the bravery and often recklessness that their unit was so famous for, but when ordered to, they were just as disciplined and orderly as the Roman legionnaires. Loyal to the brink of death, they exuded a sense of power and glory that just couldn’t be compared with any other units. And while they were also armored with modern rifles and pistols, they still had their traditional axes - and not only in a ceremonial role. But no matter of how mighty they were.. they were only as important as the person they were protecting. The young man, or the boy as some would still consider him, in the quadriga.

The Emperor. Just like in the carriage, before they reached the city of Rome, he was wearing the full imperial regalia of the monarch of Constantinople. The purple, the red. The golden crown, the golden scepter, the jewelry. But his imperial appearance did not only come from his clothes.. but from his very being. To truly look like an Emperor, you had to act like one - and Michael Palaiolgos had an imperial persona that would have made many of his predecessors envious. Despite his young age, he exuded power and authority, like none of the people around him. His regalia suited him so well that he seemed to have been born to wear a crown - and he was simply brimming with confidence, and with what seemed to be an unfaltering will. And his appearance.. well. Michael was the favorite of many of the ladies in Constantinople for a few good reasons. He didn’t have the pure manliness of his younger brother, or the shy beauty of his youngest brother - he was somewhere in the middle, close to perfection as some joked - and with more charm than both of the princes combined.

But that’s enough about praising a single person. Michael hadn’t arrived to Rome in act like Prince Constantine in Constantinople - let’s just say that Constantine was and still is the personal nightmare of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Michael was just not that kind of person - he was here because he had to represent his people and his empire, and that meant that he was going to act like an Emperor - no mistakes could be tolerated.

As they advanced into the city, his men started to give all sorts of gifts to the general population that was watching the parade - not expensive gifts, since Constantinople wasn’t going to make the poor people of the city of Rome rich - but the very act led to some of the citizens there cheering the Eastern delegation, an atmosphere that quickly spread throughout the city. And the group continued to move to where their Emperor was going to meet with the Empress of these lands.. and right behind the quadriga of the Basileus, a few carriages had been specially prepared, filled with gifts just for her.. a gesture of goodwill, of course.

The meeting that was going to decide the future of so many people was drawing near..
Last edited by Tracian Empire on Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Plzen
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Posts: 6279
Founded: Mar 19, 2014
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Plzen » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:26 am

Krugmar wrote:
पेशवा का कार्यालय
Peshava Ka Kaaryaalay


TO: His Excellency Anders Branting, Grand Prince of the Nordic Commonwealth
RE: Diplomatic Summit

On behalf of His Imperial Majesty the Bharatavarsha Samrāṭ, we convey our greetings to His Excellency the Grand Prince. We humbly request the presence of an ambassador in Udaipur at the earliest time of convenience to discuss relations, trade and compensation.

Signed and approved,
Mir Suhaan Khan Sardar, Prince of Khairpur

To His Excellency Mir Suhaan Khan Sardar, the Prince of Khairpur.

Prince,

I am delighted to receive your earlier communication, and am reassured that you are interested in further pursuing mutually beneficial relations with the Commonwealth which I represent. I can scarcely refuse to send an ambassador to the court of a friendly state which has specifically requested a presence.

The State which you represent being an Asian state, I have instructed the Lord Mayor of the Legation Concessions to nominate a plenipotentiary who, upon her arrival in your court, will speak with the authority of the Legation Concessions and the Government of the Commonwealth as a whole. During her stay in your State her authority is understood to surpass that of our Permanent Mission.

I trust that Ambassador Sigrid Rasmussen will deliver us great news of your country. Please expect her arrival within the next three weeks.

Signed,

Anders Branting,
Grand Prince of the Nordic Commonwealth,

With the approval of:
Alexander Klasson,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and
Right Hon. Member of the First Chamber

and

Pers Storberg,
Lord Mayor of the Legation Concessions.
Last edited by Plzen on Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Forward, my comrades, march to your stations,
Righteous and proud! Win, we most surely can.
This is a triumph of peace and of nations,
A dawn of friendship for all people of man!

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Raetia Secunda
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Posts: 30
Founded: Jul 30, 2018
Ex-Nation

Postby Raetia Secunda » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:24 am

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آلِ کزیقآله


Kingdom of Kiziqal


Throughout the winds of change upon the oceans of time, the throne of Persia has remained exalted among others. Replete with legendary kings and mighty warriors, the antiquities of Persia shine brightly among the world of nations. Despite the turbulences over the centuries, the Persian identity has remained glorious and royal. No other state that has undergone such change would still trace its roots so deep.

By 1900, Persia had become a Christian kingdom of an Asian salad of peoples. The ruling dynasty itself, the House of Kiziqal, was a Khitan and Oghuz Turkic descent, having conquered for itself a kingdom in Aturpatakan (Iranian Azerbaijan) only in 1501 before bringing the rest of Persia to its heel. Even the Christianity of Persia was unusual: the kingdom was strictly Marcionite. Semi-polytheistic in the eyes of other Christians, Marcionism had started off as an early Christian heresy, counting pitiful numbers of followers until its adoption by Persian kings in 1454. Above all though, Persia had retained a sense of cultural identity; in the form of its language, writing, national character and, crucially, its idea of the territorial extent of Greater Persia.

Worldwide changes occur in modern times at a far greater pace than they did in antiquity. The world around Persia was changing fast: political systems of old crumbled in the face of popular demand, economies took off in ways they never could, industry changed the face of how people lived and thought. For once, Persia had been slow to react. The rule of the King remained unchallenged as ever, albeit slowly transforming into a more pluralistic autocracy, with ministers taking greater control. The economy remains primitive, but small signs of change portend to momentous future possibilities - the nascent industrialisation, the growth in international trade and above all the still unborn petroleum industry. In short, Persia has come to the crossroads of nationhood; nothing guarantees its success.




The room looked out onto a splendid view of Shenāriyah, the bright morning sun rapidly warming the spring air. Urbanisation had grown the city to an unprecedented size, streets of houses extending far into the mountainous countryside. High in the Zagros, the city of Hamadan had been rechristened Shenāriyah by the Kiziqal kings of the seventeenth century, who had made the city the royal capital. Splendid as it looked this morning, Marqos Simeonayyād was not supposed to be daydreaming at the view.

The door opened; a number of men clad in suits walked in. Simeonayyād abruptly turned and leafed through his papers. The men sat down; the Prime Minister opened his oration.

"My colleague here, Minister Ardalani, and I have completed the necessary changes to the draft. This is a particularly important budget and it is crucial that we get this through the Royal Council. I am relying on you, gentlemen, to do the necessary canvasing to get maximum support."

The message was clear to all. For the second time, Prime Minister Simeonayyād wished to pass a budget through the Royal Council without having to present it to the King until then. The motivation was understandable: the increasingly powerful class of politicians aspired to create a system that best marginalised the king's wide powers. For decades the nascent politics of Persia had been controlled extensively by the kings: in any conflicts any side could invoke the king's support and bypass the whole Royal Council and judiciary. The last three prime ministers, including Simeonayyād, had come to power in this fashion; simply accuse the incumbent before the king with meagre justification, and with some bribery of various sorts obtain the leadership of the Royal Council in his place. If there was anything Persian politicians could agree on by now, it was that the political system would stay stagnant if the king was constantly allowed to interfere in such a way. Persia was unlucky in that the recent line of kings were none too gifted in the art of leadership. This is what motivated the Prime Minister and Finance Minister to call this meeting.

The committee discussed the contents of the budget, each of the participants raising various concerns about the plans and the general economic situation. As things looked like they were all wrapped up and everyone collected their papers, one last member raised his hand.

"And what became of the lobbying for the other planned..."

In a flash, Ardalani responded. No clarification was need regarding what he was referring to.

"There will be no splurges on majestic fairy ideas. Were we to have the money or even a slight evidence towards what they are suggesting, perhaps we would look at the matter more closely."

With an approving nod from Simeonayyād, the meeting ended and everyone filed out.




The towering Zagros slowly receded into the hazy distance as the Peugeot car trundled across the dusty plains of Khuzestan. Squinting, Eskander Abadaniyād peered out towards the horizon. Much had happened since he was first recommended to the position of Bishop of Orkoe, the largest diocese of the Marcionite Church, much of it making him question the value of the exalted post.

Nevertheless, he was privileged to be riding in one of the two cars in the whole Persia - only the King and Patriarch possessed so modern a luxury. Next to the Bishop on this bumpy ride was Patriarch Yahanan, Patriarch of Babylon and leader of the Marcionite Church of Persia. Short and on the plumper side, the Patriarch’s youthful look belied his grandfatherly age; the blonde wisps on his chin crowned his generally smiling countenance that proved so charismatic. Even now, the Patriarch’s face gave no hint of the ongoing strain current events brought.

"I have heard much positive report about your outstanding qualities"

Abadaniyād fidgeted nervously

"I hope to fulfil in my role to the best of my ability, Father"

"I am particularly looking forward to announcing the pilgrimage"

Sensing the bishop's nervous look, the Patriarch's face stiffened

"It is of no concern to either the bureaucrats in Shenāriyah or the embassy in Constantinople. This will be a purely religious affair. Jerusalem is revered by all Christians as the city of Jesus, our Saviour, and the city where God's Salvation was revealed to man. Is it not fitting that followers of the true creed, faithful to the good and merciful God, should merit to laud His Glory in His great city too? This is why I was hoping you could lead it."

Abadaniyād didn't look reassured.

"I will try to ensure of its good organisation, but I fear I cannot go to Jerusalem."

The hours went by, and eventually the city of Orkoe appeared on the horizon. Named after and geographically near the ancient city of Uruk, Orkoe was the hub of Persian Mesopotamia. New factories dotted the skyline, the streets were loud and busy. At the centre the great church stood tall and proud. And in the distance, on the wide canals built west of Orkoe, stood two frigates among the scores of boats.




The sunny morning in Shenāriyah had given way to heavy rain. The shower poured down relentlessly over the cobbled stones of the Royal District. A group of men, wrapped in their overcoats, trudged their way down towards the Central Square. Shenāriyah often saw heavy rainfall towards the end of winter, when it was already too warm for the usual snowfall typical of the mountainous capital.

The men eventually made their way to the square, finding a carriage waiting for them. Their forlorn faces weren't just a result of the inclement weather. The tallest one continued to a narrow alleyway off of the square, clutching a package to his chest. Behind one of the houses he was met by a dark figure, one who had been waiting in the wet weather for a while. He handed him the package. He spoke softly, with an accent clearly not of the local Persian dialect.

"Nothing came of it, as the master thought. Tell them to make their way at once to Rasht and the border, there is little time. You and Agent Kara must go to Gorgan: you have much to do there before they return. Master will reward you immensely if you find what we need."

The men exchanged parting greetings, before the dark figure sped off down the alley. Visions of what the future held plagued his mind as he jumped on his horse and began the long journey eastwards.

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Pasong Tirad
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7889
Founded: May 31, 2007
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Pasong Tirad » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:47 am

Image



The Zemene Mesāfint Part 1



አንድ ሰው ድህነትን እንዴት ሊጥል ይችላል?
ድህነት ትልቅ አደጋ ነው.
በጣም ያሳዝናል.

አጫጭር ሰዎችን ሙሉ በሙሉ ያጠፋል.



It is Ethiopia's time.

The ancient Empire of Ethiopia is a recent addition to the world stage since the attack of the Nords and their defeat at the hands of the "primitive savages" just four years ago. Spears and swords went up against machine guns and cannons, and for the first time in Ethiopia's history, all of its dozens of peoples were united for one cause: to repel the "invader." Of course, it wasn't actually an invasion, it was several thousand Nordic men on an expedition to control several ports in the lands of the Tigrinyans (Ethiopia) and the Afar (Djibouti). But that didn't matter to the Ethiopians. Already wary of the many foreign incursions into Africa, the Nordic attack was enough to unite the many banners of Ethiopia's feudal lords, raise up the standard of the Negusa Nagast, Menelik II. After their "grand victory," the Nords promised to recognize the sovereignty of the African empire, and the Emperor was proclaimed with the title the Lion of Judah, the greatest Emperor since before the Era of Many Kings, the Zemene Mesāfint, and the first to hold the sacred title since it was bestowed upon the emperor Gelawdewos centuries ago.

After that battle, however, the many kings of Ethiopia reverted to their old ways. While fully recognizing the primacy of the King of Shewa, they still continued to see him as "first among equals," rather than the absolute ruler that he really was - or wanted to be. Menelik II had planned a Great Modernization that would have upturned the social order of the empire, and taken power away from the kings and into the hands of the King of Kings, and perhaps some power to the common man - and the Neguses have been stonewalling him at every turn. Now, Ethiopia is at a crossroads in its history: does it retain the old ways, or does it open its doors to the new modern world of the 20th century?


Dear mother,

Blessings be to you, and may you be in the favor of the Theotokos!

The Negusa Nagast never took part in the meetings of the Mekwanint nor of the Mesafint. Fitawrari Dinagde always had to act as mediator between himself and the council. Father never liked leaving the Palace. But, on this particular day that I write to you, everything was different.

An assembly of learned men of faith had arrived by boat at the ports at Obock, in the province of Gabuuti of the Afar people. They were men of our own faith, Oriental Orthodox men - private individuals who had come voluntarily from all over the world to serve the King of Kings. Copts, Armenians, Syriacs and Assyrians, Keralites and, much to our surprise, several Englishmen who wanted us to refer to them as "Celts." I met them at the port with a grand procession and a proper feast. We were to stay at Obock for a day, and then travel to Addis Ababa the next morning. The Negusa Nagast had invited them to come to our country to teach our learned men in their ways - our generals, our technologists, our naturalists, our artists. This was to be a grand assembly, I aided father in the preparations: a welcoming ceremony once they arrive at the palace, a large banquet, widespread festivities throughout Addis Ababa, something Europeans call "lecture tours" where their professors would leave the universities and teach at different places. This meant that the intellectuals would directly teach our The Mekwanint had already approved of their entrance into Ethiopia. Uncle Dinagde had even given me a larger budget than I asked for!

They weren't just going to teach, mother, they were going to build and build and build - and their foundations can help Ethiopia weather the storm of the invading West. Their expertise would have aided us in truly bringing Ethiopia into the new modern world that we live in. A Russian man in their party was going to teach us how to create our own firearms, a Copt from France was going to teach us to communicate without need of riders by using a marvel of the modern world known as a telegraph, men from Britannia were going to help our engineers build roads and railways and organize our cities.

When the Mesafint sent out a law banning foreigners from coming into our country and "imparting on the Ethiopian people the corruption of the West," father went mad. I was there in the room with him and the Fitawrari when he read it, and he went into a rage. He stormed out of his office and walked to the meeting hall of the Mesafint so quickly, the Kebur Zabagna had to jog just to catch up with him! The Fitawrari and I followed closely and quietly, afraid of being the target of his anger for being unable to stop the Mesafint. Once he was there, he screamed to high heavens at how the Neguses were being disloyal to their Negusa Nagast, at how they were betraying their country by not allowing it to prosper and progress, at how they were blinded by their desire to keep their power within their respective provinces that they failed to see that they were Ethiopians first.

The Mesafint was silent. Father cowed them into submission once he showed up at the meeting hall with the Kebur Zabagna. He ordered them, as emperor, to follow his God-given right to rule and turn back their ban on foreigners. And then, they did the unspeakable.

A man stood up, Tekle Haymanot Tessemma, the old Negus of the rich province of Gojjam. He had the audacity to lecture father on the old ways, of how the Mesafint ruled, and the Negusa Nagast merely reigned, of how neither weapons nor women were allowed to enter the meeting hall of the Mesafint, of how the laws of the Mesafint could only be overturned by God. Embarrassed and furious, father swore to Tekle Haymanot Tessemma that he had turned the emperor into his greatest enemy, and left the Mesafint having accomplished nothing and antagonized many.

Luckily for our entourage, however, was that the Negus of Wollo, Mikael, and the Negus (or rather, Sultan) of Gabuuti, Mahammad ibn Hanfere, both left the Mesafint's chambers and met with father, agreeing to rescind the law in their lands, pledging their loyalty to the Negusa Nagast, and agreeing to allow the free travel of the foreign intellectuals through their lands. In exchange, all they asked was that, for fear of retaliation from the powerful Negus Tekle Haymanot Tessema, the Negusa Nagast himself escort the foreigners back to Addis Ababa himself, and that several battalions of the powerful Mehal Safari be sent to their borders to guard against incursions from the inferior but numerically large local armies of the other provinces - especially for Wollo, the borders of which were right next to Tigray, Begmender, and Gojjam, all of which were on the side of the Mesafint. Father approved, delighted in being able to win over their loyalties.

We are now on the Awash river, mother, and are expecting to meet the westerners in a day. I have not seen westerners since I glimpsed at Nordic prisoners when father freed them four years ago.

Mother, while I applaud father's actions in attempting to curtail the power and influence of the Mesafint, I fear battle lines are being drawn and that a civil war may soon break out between father and the powerful Negus Tekle Haymanot Tessemma. He no doubt has the loyalty of the western provinces, more numerous, and rich, while father, incorruptible to the core, still has to see whether or not he can gain the loyalties of the eastern provinces without buying them off - father would never do such a thing.

Pray for peace, mother. Please, let it be in your thoughts every second of every day, and if peace should fail, may Christ bestow upon us his Righteous Hand, and grant father victory over the insidious men of Tekle Haymanot Tessemma, so that Ethiopia can properly enter the modern age, and so that we may all benefit from this wonderful path to progress.

Yours always,

Zewditu



To His Imperial Majesty,
Michael IX Palaiologos
Emperor of the Romans


Tena yistilign!

Brother in Christ, Last of the Old Romans, I greet you as a younger brother would greet an older one, and write this letter to you personally, with mine own hands, to extend to you a hand of peace and fraternity. I extend to you an arm of friendship and pray that you reciprocate. Our Ethiopian Empire is ready to open itself up to the west, and our first partner in this Great Modernization should be no other than our brothers, the Romans. The current trade our two empires enjoys is insufficient, and should be expanded for both of our benefit! Let us build roads and railways that meet at our borders, let us expand the flow of goods and people between our empires, may the Tigrinyans of both our empires be given liberty to freely associate with their own people wherever on the border they may lie, and let our humble Empire of Ethiopia be your fervent ally in the defense of your land and sovereignty. Let my empire act as a barrier between your great empire and the wild, untamed southern lands of Africa.

And, most importantly, may you recognize my rule as legitimate, and cast aside any pretenders that may seek favor with your court. For God has given us the right to rule, and only He can take it away. May this letter reach you swiftly, and may you act upon it swiftly and in the favor that God wishes for you.

Your Basileus,

Menelik II
Last edited by Pasong Tirad on Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
"If there is no friendship with [the poor] and no sharing of the life of the poor, then there is no authentic commitment to liberation, because love exists only among equals." - Gustavo Gutierrez



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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13366
Founded: Mar 08, 2013
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:56 pm

L'impero romano d'Occidente
Image
"Rome has grown since its humble beginnings that it is now overwhelmed by its own greatness."



Roma

A city, the origin of romance, filled up a lovely place on a river and seven distinct hills. An ivory automobile, its engine chugging steam, with luxurious burgundy leather seats drove down the ancient cobbled roads- and over a bridge- on its way to meet a very important man. Carried therein was a most beautiful woman, groomed to perfection by many centuries of emperors leading up to her, treated with the best doctors, educated by the best tutors, and raised with the finest standards. The great vehicle itself resembled a carriage of steel, with fancy baroque brass decorating the sides. Zooming through the street at the breakneck speed of a cantering horse, the great Empress of the West was protected from the harsh winds of speed, and the moist Roman air, by a thick, stiff, and thoroughly black coat of pure rubber- a riding coat gracing her form with a heavenly shine as the sunlight beamed down upon her. It was, despite being somewhat stiff, also rather formless- and concealed her proper attire underneath.

As she drove, or rather was driven by a Lombard with a coat much like hers, past her subjects, her hair and its associated white translucent veil, held up by a laurel, flew in the wind. She greeted each and every person with a gentle wave from her dainty hand gloved in ivory Tuscan leather. The car would, perhaps, go past the view of the Constantinoplitans as they rode their old-fashioned clip-clops through town, but she was not here just to greet them- no, instead she had somewhere to be. That place being, of course, The Forum- the ancient square of Rome which had, through the extensive effort of the Belisarion line and its various relations, been preserved. Soon arriving at the lovely location, with its imposing marbles, the temples of the old gods, various monuments dotting the space, Alessandra climbed gently out of the car and began to walk with pace- the ebony heels of her blood-red boots clicking and clacking with each of her steps, she soon rose to the stage and overlooked the not-yet-full plaza. So much history in such a small space.

Opening the front and throwing her coat over her shoulders to rest on her forearms, hanging now only from its sleeves, she revealed the remainder of her outfit- a style which, like most in Italy, matched both degrees of antiquity and degrees of modernity, and very unlike the vested, long-sleeved Dalmatian costume of her dynastic origin. It consisted of a white gown, ever-so-slight puffing of the skirt to create a desirable silhouette, which was twice-belted at the waist and higher to the ribs. The straps hung not on her shoulders, but in the rather modern fashion of the day- off-the-shoulder, draped around her upper arms, very intricate translucent lace somewhat obscuring the very edges of her well-fitted ivory leather gloves, which themselves covered the majority of her arms. A black velvet choker wrapped around her neck, with a single diamond embedded in the ribbon directly covering her throat. adorning her head, apart from the wreath with veil, was the ancient Iron Crown- made from a nail of the True Cross- which fit her head somewhat poorly and mostly manged to rest on the poofs of her curls. With a coy, or perhaps sly, smile added as people seemed to start filling the forum- every part of her being exuded sheer elegance, grace, and wisdom; it was as if she were Minerva herself.

And here she waited for the Constantinopolitans. They were in for a treat.

As the Eastern delegates made their way through the street, they would be met with a military procession. Trumpet-playing men in breasplates with intricate brasswork would march on, beside them flag-bearers wearing carved golden armor with frescoes of ancient Roman glory etched into their very plate, and a lion's roaring head extending from just over each man's heart. This procession would stop in front of the Basileus, and greet him with a musical show of twirling flags and batons. From this frontward angle, the Lombards in the crowd became obvious.

The famous Lombards, the Western Varangians.

Long ago, in the first millennium of our Lord, a Germanic warrior people named Langobard, for their very long beards and the women pretending to be warriors by tying their hair to appear as a beard, invaded the Italian peninsula. The well-aged Belisarius still led men to battle against them, and defeated them- he made a deal, instead, to let them settle in the area now known as Lombardia in exchange for their service as guards. Apart from accidentally inventing feudal contracts, this rebirth of the foederati system led to an army of hardened warriors, settled on the frontier and so always ready to stand guard, and with their new home on the line should anyone breach the Alpine wall. It was the perfect measure, and the last streak of tactical brilliance Belisarius would display before his death that very same year.

Ever since, those Germanic settlers have been bodyguards, soldiers of their own theme, and some of the most fierce and loyal warriors produced in the whole of Italy. They wore splinted mail, ancient in design, with eagle feathers poking from their conical helmets. The captain of the group, a fearsome man by the name of Leutprand, a scar went across his cheek and his left hand had been replaced with a prosthetic- rather than a hand, however, his prosthetic was a sharp dagger. His armor was like that of his companions, although with a wolf's hide draped over his head and shoulders- said to have been the pet of some warrior long ago and preserved ever since, as well as the brass amulet of a lion's head hanging from his neck. Bearing the look of a true berserker, had at his hip a Germanic sword, and in his arms a rifle made of high-grain dark wood, with its iron replaced by shining golden brass. The Lombards, the only armed soldiers of the parade, were the clear centerpiece- their fair hair and ancient Germanic habits clearly and meticulously designed to impress; this to such a degree that they stood out even among the elsewise impressive remainder of the parade.

The streets were now crowded by the local Italian population, many dressed in their most formal clothing despite the majority being rather middle-class. Some wore Western-style suits and jackets and gowns, although the vast majority wore the local vernacular costume. For the men, long-sleeved white tunics adorned their bodies, drooping down to their knees and with wrists bound by strips of linen and leather- the fancier affording bracers for the task. The dark beards and thick, long, curly hair of the men were in contrast to the sheer paleness of their shirts- and the cloaks they wore of varying reds and purples, these being the ancient Roman colors. They also wore baggy pants, some made of linen, others made of different leathers, but all universally black. These, too, were bound- around the shins with the same linen straps were they held, making room for boots and sandals depending on the preferences, class, and occupation of those involved. Some wore burgundy vests with golden embroidery, and some wore hats of very much the same style and make. These were all variations of the modern Italian costume, and just as variations of clothing existed, the many languages of Italy passed through the streets. Most often speaking in the local Romanesco, others spoke Venetian, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Corsican, Sardinian, Romangol, nearly every dialect could be found in the great metropolis.

Then were the women, wearing their chemises. Some had sleeves, some had straps. All were belted at the waist, or close enough to it. Some wore the same cloaks as men, others wore shawls of the same colors. Stolae, more properly. Their soft boots were concealed by their skirts, the feet seen but the tops thereof obscured. Their perfumes filled the air, alongside the smells of spices, marble, fresh bread, and the Tiber. The richest wore, like the queen, ivory gloves of fine leather- the poorest wearing cotton or linen, but the majority able to afford at least the cheaper leathers; the high quality of even locally-cheap leathers was, of course, the specialty of the peninsula and particularly the central region. In any case, all women wore their graceful gloves. The overall look was simple, but had a refined elegance to it- not oversaturating the senses like elsewhere in Europe and simultaneously holding a sense of continuity from great antiquity to the design philosophy.

The smells of the city were plentiful, for not only pleasant with bakers and river mist, but filled with all types- the sweat of workers in the Mediterranean heat, the drifting odor of the cloaca that faded or grew the closer one came to its exposures, the scent of thriving vegetation growing in ancient spaces, and of course the smell of the spring-fed fountains all throughout the city. The Italians loved their fountains, oh so dearly much. The city reeked of glory.

Some Dalmatians roamed the streets too. Their costumes were greatly different, the men wearing black jackets and pants with shorter white tunics, and red ribbons tied around their necks to dangle down like scarves. Their puffy pants were likewise bound by linen strips, but their shoes were simple red slips. The women wore similar jackets, with matching skirts. Their white hose was found in the very same red shoes as the men, and their blouses very much matched those of their male counterparts. Some wore aprons, but this was hardly a necessity for identifying these Illyrians.

The most interesting part to the Basileus might be the Griko citizens- at a glance indistinguishable from Italians, their Italiot dialect, retaining many of the ancient Doric words and habits, betrayed them. They might sound a little like the Tsakones of the older Roman navy, or those brave Maniotes who resisted conversion so long ago. These foes of Pyrrhus could be found throughout the city, always surprising the foreigners whenever they mumbled something in the Greek tongue. Far from their majority lands in the heel and toe of the peninsula, they were a true testament to the metropolitan nature of Rome, the city of all Italians.

Soon, though, as the Basileus was led near the entrance of the ancient forum, all things fell silent. All smells seemed to disappear. Every man, beast, and odor fell in quiet reverence for the empress, Cesara Alessandra Udina Belisaria, and the Eastern emperor to see her. A long, open line showed across the gleaming marble floor where no man, woman, or child dared to stand. At the very end, atop the stage, stood Alessandra- ready to greet her counterpart in person, in public, in full view of the city, amidst all the ceremonies, at last. Music was played by the parading procession to signal the Basileus to make his walk, and all stood ready.

"Salve, Rex Romanorum. Benvenuti a Roma. Sono Regina Romae."

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Raetia Secunda
Secretary
 
Posts: 30
Founded: Jul 30, 2018
Ex-Nation

Postby Raetia Secunda » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:09 am

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آلِ کزیقآله


Kingdom of Kiziqal


CHAPTER II: INTRIGUE

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The Right Honourable Reynir Persson, to whom is seen fit to represent the Nordic Commonwealth,


Salutations to the mighty power of the Commonwealth! I begin by noting the great amity that exists between our two nations, bound through time immemorial by shared values of Christianity, peace and of equality. The Kingdom of Kiziqal values the Commonwealth's contribution to stability and prosperity in the region, specifically in our shared Gulf. It is crucial that our nations work together to maintain this fortunate stability, enabling further trade and commerce in the Gulf.

To this end my government proposes to sign a treaty with the Commonwealth, in which both sides commit to aid the other in the event of an occurrence of aggressive nature that threatens the peace and stability of the Gulf. To this end both sides must be prepared to deploy military power if this is required. In addition both sides will send embassies to keep close ties in ensuring we jointly support the economic opportunities afforded by our positions in the Gulf. This agreement can also serve as a framework for furthering close ties across the world in all areas.

Upon the signing of this treaty, we endeavour to send an embassy to Stockholm and will inform you of further details prior to their mission.

With sincere hope for the success of our joint endeavour, I sign on behalf of the Government of the State of Persia and Khorasan, and in the name of the Sovereign, His Majesty King Lūqās IV Shovekh, Elect of God, Guardian of the Faith, King of kings of Persia and the Four Corners of the World,


Marqos Simeonayyād, Prime Minister of His Majesty's Royal Council





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Orkoe, with the Great Church of Orkoe dominating the skyline on the left


You could hear a pin drop; were you in the Great Church of Orkoe during the Sunday sermon of the Patriarch of Babylon. All available space was crammed with worshippers yearning to hear from the greatest figure of the Marcionite Church.

Patriarch Yahanan was drawing towards the end of his sermon. He was mentally preparing himself for his next few words: the ones for which he had been planning for the whole way through.

"It is in this spirit of faith and yearning, and in this spirit of almighty gratitude for our Salvation by our lord Jesus Christ, that we take upon ourselves to give our lives to Him. We must be prepared to do anything and be anywhere for this cause. It is in this vein that some of the noblest residents of Orkoe have taken vows and will travel on a holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the city of Christ, where his message of salvation was delivered, our most important revelation from God. Our most esteemed new bishop, Father Eskander Abadaniyād, will lead this consecrated undertaking, with God's blessing. And may their sacrifice and their service in the holy city and the holy church merit all of them and their helpers an eternal salvation."

The congregation murmured loudly in assent.

"I would encourage all those who's hearts incline to do good unto God to take vows and travel with this holy pilgrimage, with your new bishop at its head, to our holy city. All those who do so will receive a remission of all their sins. May the Lord Jesus guard your steps."

The Patriarch slowly descended from the pulpit, the congregation quickly breaking out into conversation. When would this pilgrimage leave? What was needed for it? One of the Patriarch's assistants quickly rose to the pulpit and announced the details. The pilgrimage caravan would leave in a weeks time from Orkoe's East Market, heading across the Syrian Desert. Documentation for crossing the border was unnecessary - all was organised already. As he stepped down from the pulpit, he was surrounded by more questions. The congregation of Orkoe was fired up by the prospect of the pilgrimage; Eskander tried to wipe the mortified look from his face. Things wouldn't be so bad. All he needed was to get an armed escort for the safety of the pilgrimage, and he knew who to ask for it.

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NewLakotah
Minister
 
Posts: 2046
Founded: Feb 18, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby NewLakotah » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:35 am

Introduction: Bonapartistes- La Nouvelle France



For the French at the turn of the century, to say that they had arrived on top over a period of peace and prosperity would hardly be fitting. For the French during the 19th century, they had managed to form no less than 2 Republics and 2 Empires and even an almost-monarchy, however that never formally happened. 2 civil wars raged across France and its colonies, wars with its neighbors, especially under Napoleon I, Napoleon the Great as he is known. Nonetheless, through the fiery century that was the 1800’s, France advanced itself and put its place on the map truly for the first time.

Beginning with the rise of Napoleon I in 1800, the century started off with a bang for the French people. Within a few years they had formed an Empire, a few years after that, established dominance around the world, in Africa and in Europe. Soon after the death of Napoleon I, Radical Revolutionary Republicans seized power, battling with Royalists who also took the opportunity to try and seize back the crown and Bonapartists. In the end the Republicans were successful, forming a government that was as fractured as its founding. Represented by numerous political parties, factions, movements, the overall structure of the Republic was too fractured to get anything done. Control over Napoleon’s conquests fell apart, even the colonies floundered for many years without funding. However, that did allow them to grow and develop themselves. Those that stayed developed a stronger identity and help build stronger colonies.

When Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon I, took over as President in 1848, then led the bloodless coup that placed him in full power and authority over the nation. Then, only a few years later, Napoleon seized full power and declared himself Empereur. To establish his newfound control, he issued the 1st Plebiscite, to ensure his popular support in the face of the angry Republicans. This he won easily. Establishing the Second French Empire.

To say things were shaky for the newly refounded Empire would be an understatement. Not only were the Republicans upset over the return of the Imperial control, but Royalists, loyal to the Bourbon dynasty, particularly potent in heavily Catholic regions such as Brittany and Pas de Calais, were waiting and bidding in the background. For Napoleon III, it would be tight rope to watch, despite his wide popular support from even those who identified as Republicans and royalists. Nonetheless, Napoleon took to his strategy and his policies with a gusto that invigorated the nation. Money flowed more easily, since the bureaucracy and partisanship of the old Republican government was gone. Taxes and restrictions were lowered. Tariffs were lowered. The military went into a reconstruction mode for the first time since Napoleon. The linage and grandeur of the Grande Armée from the days of Napoleon were reinstated. This coupled with major modernization efforts constructed a new military spirit that invigorated the military staffs and individual soldiers. Wars in Africa and South America battle hardened many of these men and gave valuable experience for the officers to help shape the next modern war. However, they knew that they would have to keep up with the other great powers of Europe. Britain of course, the large and well-oiled machine that was Prussia. The immeasurably large bear of Russia. The ancient powers of Rome, which might be a shell of their former selves, but were still powers with massive influence. Then there was France. Caught in the dead middle of it all.

For Napoleon, he sought to build off of the Continental European economic strategy that Napoleon I had attempted, mostly through military conquest and alliances. Instead of military, Napoleon III followed a purely economic attempt. To make Paris the centre of all trade and finance in the world. Using France’s colonies in Africa to build its store of wealth. Cutting down tariffs and cutting down of taxes on wealth and on movement of wealth and banking.

Napoleon III was not able to fully see the implementation of his economic and military reforms. He died in 1871. After his death, the Empire was thrust into a crisis as many did not recognize the succession of the Empire from father to son, as if it was a kingdom, rather than First Consulship and Imperial authority of the Republic. Radical Republicans seized on this issue several months after Louis-Napoleon ascended to power as Napoleon IV. They used the economic Panic of 1871 and the succession crisis to try and overtake the Emperor. Rallying their own forces and their own populace, they reformed the popular lead National Guards to counter the Imperial Army.

The moves of the Republicans found many allies, even Royalists finding them as allies of convenience and joined forces with them. These forces attempted to battle with the Imperial French forces. At the Battle of Soissons, 23,500 Republican Soldiers faced off against 48,000 Imperial French soldiers. Despite vicious defense and smart leadership by the Republican forces, the sheer weight of number and strength eventually won out for the Imperial Army. The Republicans managed to flee south with an army of 11,000 men, regaining strength in the south of France, while Napoleon IV attempted diplomatic endings to the conflicts while mopping up resistance in the north.

However, those attempts would fail and as Napoleon IV turned his full strength of his army south, many Republicans had managed to make an escape south, heading towards Africa. 5,000 Republicans held off a holding action just long enough to allow for their escape. The Republicans managed to buoy their numbers in East Africa with native Africans. However, they fought battles against the loyal l’Armee Afrique. Eventually, Metropolitan Forces arrived from France to end the civil war in the final battle of Maputo.

Louis-Napoleon had always sought a better middle ground. This ensured his position. While he made it clear that he was Emperor and, after holding the 3rd Plebiscite, totally establishing his control. He could see that his position could only come through unity between all estates: from the throne, the clergy, and the people. He was quick to restore powers to the Church, while staying a more secular state government. He worked with the legislature. Giving power to the Prime Minister as head of government and with the fully elected Corps Legaslatif. Meanwhile, he invested millions of Francs and also encouraged thousands of French to move south, to the colonies of Africa, to help build up a new image of French Africa and to continually make France a growing international power.

Chapter One: l’Empire des Français
Paris, France
5 January, 1900


The morning air was sharp and cold today. The ground was covered with a layer of soft whiteness, courtesy of last night’s snowfall. Despite this, the city was still entering into its full morning busy routine, with thousands of people out and about in the early morning air. The city seemed to be always busy, especially since the renovations had made the city a sight prettier. Businessmen, pleasure-seekers, and local workers mingled together in the streets and squares all across the city.

Napoleon IV had always disliked the cold weather, much preferring the warm summer months to these bitter cold days. He quietly wished that he could be down in one of his African palaces rather than in stuffy cold Paris at the moment. However, he still had important business to attend to here, some of it, of course, concerning Africa.

He was sitting in one of his many meeting halls, quietly waiting for the rest of the attendees to arrive. Several aides were around him, and other servants and guards stood quietly and stock-still in the background. Every wall was dominated by large maps, some of Europe, Metropolitan France, One of the whole world, and finally a detail map of Africa. He would often peruse around the maps, staring at them in detail, thinking and planning out his next moves and actions. For him and for France, things were far from certain. Europe was crowded. Africa was crowding. Asia dominated regional and international political talks. It was up to him to ensure that France was not crowded out, but stayed steady.

As the clock struck on the hour, the first members of the meeting began to arrive in one by one right on time. They bowed ceremoniously to him. First there was his Foreign Minister Ferdinand Moreau, followed by Field Marshall Louis Jalbert, Chief of Staff of the Armies. Louis Thibault, his economic adviser was close behind.

The moved in quietly before taking their seats. Napoleon IV leaned forward.

“Welcome, gentlemen.” Napoleon said, thus beginning the meeting. The men nodded back and mumbled out their responses, just before Moreau cleared his throat and leaned forward.
“Your Majesty. We have received a letter from King Wilhelm II. Of Prussia. He request a formal meeting of our diplomats to Prussia on March 18.”

Napoleon rubbed his eyes thoughtfully for a moment. “Interesting. Very well, that is an appointment that we can keep, Moreau. Now, this is actually quite an interesting development. Some bit ago we received a message from the Caliph, wanted to send his son here for studies. Something I am sure we can provide, potentially starting some form of relations. Despite our differences, of course. However, as a whole we must, again, think of the future.” He glances over at the map of Europe, before continuing. “Here, gentlemen, the next war will be fought. And France will certainly have to be involved. In Europe. In Africa, and even beyond. France needs to grow. We need more wealth and more political control. Yet, we have no ability to do so here. Not in Europe not without starting a war that would be bloody and costly, even if we can win it. Thus, I want a new expedition. In Africa, and even beyond. To Asia and South American interiors. First and foremost, I, as have we all, heard of the great natural wealth and resources. Something we can use for our advantage. Thus, I want l’Armee Afrique prepared for a new expedition. To the Central African regions.”

“Very well, Your Majesty.”


Maputo, Afrique l’Est

Maputo was a growing trading city along the eastern coast of Africa. It had been one of Napoleon the Great’s crowning African jewels in one of his African conquests. Since then, the area grew in both population and wealth. It was a major trading port, and thus was a major throughway for exports and imports. It was one of the sites of Napoleon IV’s grand African Palaces, where the Governor-General’s estate was apart of. Henri Phillipe had been appointed the Governeur-General of the region 6 years prior, and he took to it with gusto. Ensuring that the region would grow and become a symbol of French excellence and international pride.

Beyond Maputo’s economic importance was its military one. The port city played host to one of the French Navies southern fleets and an army base and fort was located just outside the city. Several thousand French troops and French Colonial Troops called the base home. For them, the days were mostly spent drilling or in boredom. Violence in these parts were rare, and mostly focused around the more untamed borders, however, even those were rather rare. However, these would be the soldiers who would carry out the next expedition for France. Expanding the Empire, expanding for France and working to position France in a position of political and military importance on the continent.


To: Fredrich Holt, the Royal Foreign Minister of Prussia
For – His Majesty the King, Wilhelm II of Prussia and Emperor of Greater Prussia

Your Majesty,
It would be our great honour to send our diplomats to Prussia in order to discuss our future relations. We have always looked highly upon your great Kingdom, and look forward to discussing our relations in the coming new century.

We certainly will be in attendance on March 18

Sincerely,
Ferdinand Moreau, Foreign Minister of the Empire of the French
Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte -Par la Grâce de Dieu et la volonté de la Nation - Napoleon IV, Empereur Des Francais, Co-Prince d'Andorre, Empereur d'Afrique

To: The Court of the Hashemite Caliphate.

Greetings,
We are certainly willing to accept the Caliph’s son here in Paris when he is able to arrive and to begin diplomatic relations between us.

Sincerely,
Ferdinand Moreau, Foreign Minister of the Empire of the French
"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." ~~ Black Hawk, Sauk

"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." ~~ Tecumseh

Free Leonard Peltier!!

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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 23766
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Father Knows Best State

Postby Tracian Empire » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:57 am

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Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων
Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων
Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn
Basileía Rhōmaíōn

The Empire of the Romans
The Roman Empire

Η βασιλεύς Σύγκλητος και ο Λαός της Ρώμης
I Basileus Sýnklitos kai o Laós tis Rómis
The Emperor, Senate and People of Rome

Βασιλεύς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων!
Basiléus Basiléon Basilévon Basilevónton!
Emperor of Emperors, Ruling Over Those Who Rule!


Legacy of Rome




Constantinople
The City of the World's Desire


It was evening in the Queen of Cities, and the last rays of the sun illuminated a certain room in a certain house, somewhere in the richer quarters of the city, not so far away from the central, imperial part of the city. This was not a normal room by any means, its walls were covered by richly decorated tapestries, and a textile material covered most of the windows, leaving only enough of them uncovered for the sun to bring a little light in - leaving the side opposite from the windows in semi-darkness. The gas lamps of the walls had not been turned on either, but even so, there were certain other details that a watcher could have noticed - the rich furniture, which was partially Roman and partially Western in its design, and the countless bottles and glasses filled with probably most of the alcoholic drinks known to man covered the few tables present in the room's corners. Those with experience would have recognized this room as being part of one of the more special houses that Constantinople had to offer, where escorts could cater to the needs of those rich enough to afford them. Constantinople, despite being one of the holiest places on Earth, had a thriving industry of this sort - a legal one, protected and organized by the Roman state itself. It was then only normal for the representatives of the Roman state to enjoy the industry's services after all, right?

But some were using it more than the others.

"What a surprise to see you here, Manuel. You're spending all your days learning and training.. when are you going to have some fun?", a young man asked, laughing, provoking a lot of giggling among the group of women who were present in the room. The man who had spoken could have perhaps been considered a boy if not for his extremely muscular and tanned body, as he seemed to be in his late teens - but his persona made him seem a bit older and perhaps more mature than he really was - since his behavior was certainly anything but mature. Moderately long and curly black hair and amber eyes completed his appearance, giving him a certain charm that certainly made him very popular with the ladies. He was wearing a purple tunica, or a long chiton as it could have also been described - fastened at the shoulder by a golden and decorated fibula. The women around him, five in number, were all wearing white dresses with flared sleeves and seemed to come from different places in the empire, judging by their appearance. Some of them were sitting next to the man on a rather comfortable couch, while the others made sure that his glass was always filled with wine, no matter of how much the man was drinking, which was well, a lot, judging by the nearby empty bottle.

On the other side of the room, close to the door was a boy, a few years younger than the one on the couch - with fairer but still slightly tanned skin, light blonde and messy hair, and amber eyes. One would need to look very carefully at both of them to realize that they were indeed brothers - but the younger one, Manuel, had clearly taken more of his foreign mother's features, and while his older brother there was a lot more manly and attractive from that point of view, the younger boy had a more delicate appearance and beauty - but one thing was obvious, both of them were Roman princes. And those who knew them would also know that both of them were highly appreciated by Constantinople's female nobility - the older one for his boldness and recklessness, and the younger one for his delicacy and mysteriousness - and his complete refusal to take part in many of the finer pleasures of life.

"I will have some fun when the duties that I have to perform are over, and not a moment sooner, brother Constantine.", Manuel responded in a calm and even somewhat gentle voice. Anyone would have been annoyed by Constantine's behavior, but the blue eyed boy let none of that be seen - with a serene expression on his face and even a faint smile. Unlike his brother, Manuel was also wearing a tunic - but his was white, alongside a simple and also white chlamys, fastened by a silver fibula on his right shoulder. "And while there is no issue with you having fun either, you should stop ignoring your duties as a prince. Brother Michael is gone in Rome and until then, we have to represent the imperial family in the city's various ceremonials - and you have been missing for a week now. The Grand Logothete and the Patriarch are both rather angry with you, brother." And of course, Constantine laughed again. "Isn't that why old people exist? To take part in their boring and ancient ceremonies? What do they care if I'm having a bit of fun around here? And tell the Patriarch not to worry, if I do happen to sin while in here, I will tell him everything in detail during my next confession.."

And Manuel simply sighed. "Brother Michael will not be pleased with you upon his arrival in the city. And do you remember that he has warned you before his departure? Or do you really want to lose your title of Despot?" While the younger boy was the epitome of calmness, it suddenly became rather obvious that Constantine was the annoyed one. "Do you really want these fine ladies here to hear every single argument between us and our older brother? Or should our family discussions become rumors throughout the city? Come and relax a little, and then we'll see what happens.", the amber eyed man told him before taking another sip of wine. And surely enough, one of the women hugged the younger prince from behind, clearly excited about the prospect. "You're working too much, your Highness.. you should unwind for tonight.."

Manuel immediately blushed a little, which provoked some more laughter from Constantine and some giggling from the women, but the boy took a step forward, gently removing the woman's arms from around him."I'm only trying to look out for you, brother Constantine. If you come with me tonight, the Grand Logothete won't even know that you were here, and we can prepare for tomorrow's Liturgy in the Hagia Sophia.", he tried to explain. And Constantine just sighed, finishing his glass of wine. "You're always so good at ruining the fun..", he murmured, before he suddenly stood up. "My deepest apologies ladies, but my brother surely knows how to bargain.. I'll see you all another night..", he told them, as a clearly relived Manuel turned around, opening the door - and a few minutes later, both of them were out in the streets. "Returning through the Imperial Palace alone through the night, just the two of us! This will be a wonderful adventure, don't you think, Manuel?"

Manuel simply sighed yet again, and as soon as they took the first street to the left, they were welcomed by a small group of Varangians and Scholarioi in civilian clothes - clearly having been brought there by Manuel. "As I said.. always ruining the fun..", Constantine murmured again..




Ρώμη, 1900 μ.Χ.
Roma MMDCLIII a.u.c.


As the people of the Roman East moved through the Eternal City, they were welcomed by a beautiful military ceremony, trumpet-playing men with decorated breastplates, flagbearers with golden armors, in short, a ceremony equal in value and beauty to what the Eastern Romans had tried to show on their way there. And then, they saw the Lombards, the Western rivals of the proud Varangians. They stood out from among the Western parade just like the Varangians were standing out among the Eastern one - their armor of mail and eagle feathers giving them the same ancient warrior look that the viking armors and decorated axes of the Varangians also had. Their leader was perhaps even more impressive, with that prosthetic arm-dagger, the wolf's hide, the amulet representing a lion's head - he was certainly an intimidating figure, but the mercenary guards of Constantinople also held their own quite well. The Varangians had changed their composition throughout their many years of service, but even today, all of them looked and fought like true bersekers - and while unlike the Lombards, they weren't armed with any rifles - "the axe-wearing foreigners" stayed true to their name - hitting their shields with their axes as the Eastern procession moved forward.

In his ceremonial quadriga, Michael smiled and saluted the citizens of the Old Rome, his full imperial regalia, his jewelry and his crown giving him a rather Oriental appearance A when compared to the people on the streets around him. As they moved forward, of course, Michael took his time to carefully observe the people who had come to witness his entrance into the city, noticing their costumes, the different attires of men and women, their appearance and colors, the vests, and the hats, all symbols of the cultural richness of the Italian people, and of course, from place to place he could also see people that he identified to be Illyrians or well, Dalmatians. And the weirdest of all - there were some people that seemed to be vaguely Eastern, or well, Rhomaioi - they looked Italian - but their words vaguely reminded him of the Romaika spoken in the East.

The chemises of the women were slightly different from the fashion that was popular in Constantinople, while some were wearing stolae or skirts. All of them were also wearing gloves, and it was certainly a very interesting thing to see - the fashion in Constantinople was Oriental, Roman, and Western from so many points of view - but the Basileus was more accustomed to the strict fashion code that existed in the imperial court and in the religious part of the Queen of Cities.

And then the smells.. there were of course, pleasant things that he could feel, the perfume of women, the smell of bakeries, the river mist, vegetation, fountains, but also the less pleasant smells that one would expect to feel in a city - and all of these smells combined reminded him of his old city. Despite the differences, Rome and Constantinople were certainly sisters, and they both reeked of the glory of ages past.

Michael continued to just smile and to salute the citizens that had come to see him - he couldn't disappoint them, after all - and he certainly wasn't going to. Despite the well, clearly Eastern aspect of his regalia, it was clearly Roman - and even those who would hated the Eastern Empire, and Michael as its embodiment would have been forced to recognize that the Basileus was a handsome and charming young man. He was a popular and friendly figure, regardless of whether he was in the New Rome or in the Old Rome, but his imperial persona also imposed a certain respect - he seemed to be as close to the ideal of a Roman Emperor as one could get.

Eventually, the procession reached the ancient forum, and Michael climbed down from his quadriga, slowly walking towards the marble floor as everything fell silent - and that's where he saw her, on the stage. Michael Palaiologos, in Christ Basileus and Autokrator of the Romans was going to meet his Western counterpart, Cesara Alessandra Udina Belisaria. In theory of course, the Empress of the Old Rome would have been inferior in status to the Emperor of the New Rome.. but poor Michael was certainly not thinking about that - feeling the full stress of having so many people looking at him.. and well, seeing Alessandra pretty much left him without any words. Alessandra and Michael had met when they were little - back when the was a prince and she was a princess, back when they were children, during an official meeting of their fathers - but many years had passed ever since. And now.. well, calling her the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen would have been fairly accurate.

Her natural beauty was enhanced by the interesting attire that she was wearing, one that looked both Roman and Western at the same time and that made his own heavily decorated imperial regalia seem a bit.. too traditional and outdated. A white gown, a skirt, belted at both her waist and once again higher than that, with straps hanging off her shoulder in what seemed to be a modern fashion (not that Michael would know about it), and the ivory leather gloves, with their lace edges were also part of what seemed to be a very popular part of Italian fashion, judging by what he had seen at the women along the way. The velvet choker around her neck with the diamond in the ribbon was both elegant and a little aggressive and modern at the same time. A wreath and a veil covered her head - and while his crown was golden and adorned with jewelry, she was wearing the Iron Crown - that didn't seem to fully fit on her head. She was smiling slyly as Michael approached - and he could easily imagine her as a modern variant of one of the Roman goddesses of old..

Michael smiled, trying to ignore the stress and to carefully maintain his imperial persona - this was an official meeting after all, and he had to represent his nation and his people - even if all of a sudden, the thought of being back in Africa, hunting rebel groups with his soldiers seemed to be much better than being here, in this ancient forum, where everyone was looking at him... and surely, she saluted him, speaking in Latin and in Italian.. painfully reminding him of a few things. The first thing was that no matter how truly Roman his people were - it was clear that the Italian language that the people of the West were speaking was related to the language of the Ancient Rome, while his native Romaika was not. And the second part.. she had probably said that on purpose. She called him by his title - Rex Romanorum, so King of the Romans, like his title in Romaika - Basileus Rhōmaíōn, but she had called herself Regina Romae - the Queen of Rome, remind him that in the end, she was the one ruling over the Eternal City, not him. So what should he do? What would his father have done..

No, it was a bad choice to think about it. Basileus Andronikos would have probably been extremely angered by this maybe imagined insult - and would have claimed his authority as Basileus and Sebastos - Emperor and Augustus over her title of Caesara - ordering her to kneel or something like that in a fit of rage, demanding her obedience - his father had certainly not been known for his diplomatic skills. But he was certainly not going to do that. He was here in order to rekindle the friendship and the alliance between the people of the two halves of the empire. Not to provoke a war.

Only a few moments passed, as the Basileus tried to remember all the lessons that he had taken - before he started speaking in Italian. He was certainly no native speaker - he was pronouncing his words without the native accent of an inhabitant of any of the regions of Italy, and while his pronunciation was correct - there was a barely noticeable Greek accent there, but still. He was an Emperor of Constantinople speaking Italian in the Eternal City - that was something.

"Many years to you, Regina Romae", he saluted her politely, "I would like to thank you and the citizens of Rome for this warm welcome. It is an honor to be finally here, in the Eternal City, and to meet the Cesara of the West and the Queen of Rome. I hope that today's meeting between us will remind all the people of the West that us, the Romans of the East view you as our brothers and sisters, and that we only for friendship between the two sides of our glorious and ancient empire."

Despite the fact that he was literally dying on the inside, Michael continued to be calm and friendly, as he took a step to the side. "Of course, I couldn't come here in good faith without being prepared, so I have brought a few gifts for you, my Lady,", he told her, and a few servants quickly brought in a few rather large chests placing them on the ground and opening them for Alessandra to be able to see their contents - Eastern Roman clothes of the highest quality, from those worthy of an Empress to the best that Constantinople's fashion had to offer, countless different types of jewelry, from the best jewelers of the East, diadems, rings, collars, bracelets, everything, while another chest was filled with small statues and all sorts of beautiful items that could be used to decorate the rooms of a palace. "And I have not forgotten about you, citizens of the Eternal City. Please accept this gifts as a token of the friendship between the New Rome and the Old!" And at roughly the same time, an army of servants that had been following the Eastern procession started to unload a huge number of similar chests - giving out gifts to the citizens around - with the nearly presence of the Scholaroi and of the Varagians and of course of the Lombards making sure that everything would be done in a calm and orderly manner.

And then, Michael turned back to look at Alessandra. "May this meeting between us be good for the future of both our nations", he told her, with a smile on his face.


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Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων
Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων
Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn
Basileía Rhōmaíōn

The Empire of the Romans
The Roman Empire

Η βασιλεύς Σύγκλητος και ο Λαός της Ρώμης
I Basileus Sýnklitos kai o Laós tis Rómis
The Emperor, Senate and People of Rome

Βασιλεύς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων!
Basiléus Basiléon Basilévon Basilevónton!
Emperor or Emperors, Ruling Over Those Who Rule!



To His Imperial Majesty, the Negusa Nagast of Ethiopia, Menelik II of the House of Solomon, Negus of Shewa, Negus of Aksum, King of Kings of the Sixteen Taklai Ghizat, Negus of the Amharas, the Oromo, the Somalis, the Tigrinyans, and all Ethiopians, Dejazmach of the Mehal Sefari, Meridazmachof the Imperial Army of Ethiopia, the Lion of Judah, Defender of the Orthodox Tewahedo Faith,


Many years to you, Brother in Christ Menelik, Basileus and Despot of Ethiopia, the proud successor of the mighty Kingdom of Aksum! I am delighted to have received such a message from the mighty leader of our Ethiopian brothers. Too many years have passed ever since the relations between our people have been broken by the hardships of history. Now that our two proud nations are finally close to each other again, we can open a new chapter in our relations, one that will be highly beneficial to both Constantinople and Addis Ababa.

My Grand Logothete will see what can be done about the establishment of sea based trade between our two nations. The Suez Canal that was built under the reign of my grandfather, Emperor Georgios easily unites the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, and as such, Roman ships and merchants could easily establish contact with the people of Ethiopia. But of course, sea based trade will not be enough. Connecting our two nations on land would be an incredible event, and my servant, Exarch Alexios Philanthropenos is currently leading the construction of a railway and of several roads in the most southern lands of Rome. We shall see that once that region is stabilized and peacefully integrated under the light of Rome, the road and railway connections will be extended in order to unite our nations.

The Roman Empire will also gladly take care of the Tigrayan people that live under my rule. They will be able to freely associate with their people wherever they desire as long as they respect the laws of Rome while in Roman lands. Rome shall protect its people regardless of whether they are Roman or not, but we are grateful for Ethiopia's offer to act as a barrier between us and the mysterious lands to the south, and to your proposal of defense Rome shall extend its hand in friendship and peace, and like friends Rome shall also aid the people of Ethiopia if called.

As my brother in Christ, the Roman Empire shall also currently recognize your legitimate rule, Negusa Nagast Menelik, and as a token of friendship, filled with the hope of our future relations, I shall send Eustathios Valeinos as the Roman Legatos and my representative in Ethiopia, and we would also be delighted to welcome a representative of your Majesty in Constantinople.




His Imperial Majesty, Mikhael Palaiologos, in Christ Basileus and Autokrator of the Romans, Kaisar and Despot of the New Rome, Forever Sebastos and Sotiras, Porphyrogennetos, Viceroy of Jesus Christ on Earth, the Pious and the Blessed, Defender of the Orthodox Faith, Great Protector of the Holy Cities of Constantinople, Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, Lord of the Mare Nostrum, Sovereign of the Holy Order of the True Cross, Grand Master of the Order of Saint Andrew, of the Order of Constantine the Great and of the Order of Justinian the Great, Emperor of Emperors, King of Kings, Ruling Over Those Who Rule

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Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων
Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων
Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn
Basileía Rhōmaíōn

The Empire of the Romans
The Roman Empire

Η βασιλεύς Σύγκλητος και ο Λαός της Ρώμης
I Basileus Sýnklitos kai o Laós tis Rómis
The Emperor, Senate and People of Rome

Βασιλεύς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων!
Basiléus Basiléon Basilévon Basilevónton!
Emperor or Emperors, Ruling Over Those Who Rule!



To Grand Prince and Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, Alexander Vasilyevich Kolchak,


To the great leader of the Grand Republic of All Russias, many years to you! The friendship and the close relations between the Empire of the Romans and the Republic of the Russians have survived throughout the centuries until in the present day, and now, the Roman and Russian people both face countless threats to their existence and glory. In this new century of technology, steam, fire, and steel, it is more important than ever to improve this relation of trust and respect between Constantinople and Novgorod. In the light of that, it is a great honor for the Emperor, the Senate, and the People of Rome to propose a common naval exercise between the Grand Republican Fleets of the All Russias Republic and the Navy of the Romans in the Pontus Euxinus, in order to affirm the Roman and Russian control over this sea and to reaffirm the strong desire of both nations to protect the peace in this region.



Ioannes Batatzes, Logothete of the Drome of the Empire of the Romans, in the name of:

His Imperial Majesty, Mikhael Palaiologos, in Christ Basileus and Autokrator of the Romans, Kaisar and Despot of the New Rome, Forever Sebastos and Sotiras, Porphyrogennetos, Viceroy of Jesus Christ on Earth, the Pious and the Blessed, Defender of the Orthodox Faith, Great Protector of the Holy Cities of Constantinople, Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, Lord of the Mare Nostrum, Sovereign of the Holy Order of the True Cross, Grand Master of the Order of Saint Andrew, of the Order of Constantine the Great and of the Order of Justinian the Great, Emperor of Emperors, King of Kings, Ruling Over Those Who Rule

Image
Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων
Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων
Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn
Basileía Rhōmaíōn

The Empire of the Romans
The Roman Empire

Η βασιλεύς Σύγκλητος και ο Λαός της Ρώμης
I Basileus Sýnklitos kai o Laós tis Rómis
The Emperor, Senate and People of Rome

Βασιλεύς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων!
Basiléus Basiléon Basilévon Basilevónton!
Emperor or Emperors, Ruling Over Those Who Rule!



To Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, the great Monarch and Leader of the French People,


Many years to you, your Majesty. For too many years, the Empire of the Romans has neglected its relations of diplomacy and trade with the great nations of Western Europe. This is why the Emperor, the Senate, and the People of Rome would like to ask your Majesty for permission in order to send Ioannes Kammytzes as an imperial Legatos to the great city of Paris, where the will represent the Empire of the Romans in front of the French Nation and the French people. We would also like to officially extend an invitation for the great French Nation to send a representative of its own to the city of Constantinople.



Ioannes Batatzes, Logothete of the Drome of the Empire of the Romans, in the name of:

His Imperial Majesty, Mikhael Palaiologos, in Christ Basileus and Autokrator of the Romans, Kaisar and Despot of the New Rome, Forever Sebastos and Sotiras, Porphyrogennetos, Viceroy of Jesus Christ on Earth, the Pious and the Blessed, Defender of the Orthodox Faith, Great Protector of the Holy Cities of Constantinople, Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, Lord of the Mare Nostrum, Sovereign of the Holy Order of the True Cross, Grand Master of the Order of Saint Andrew, of the Order of Constantine the Great and of the Order of Justinian the Great, Emperor of Emperors, King of Kings, Ruling Over Those Who Rule
Last edited by Tracian Empire on Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Plzen
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6279
Founded: Mar 19, 2014
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Plzen » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:55 am

Raetia Secunda wrote:


The Right Honourable Reynir Persson, to whom is seen fit to represent the Nordic Commonwealth,


Salutations to the mighty power of the Commonwealth! I begin by noting the great amity that exists between our two nations, bound through time immemorial by shared values of Christianity, peace and of equality. The Kingdom of Kiziqal values the Commonwealth's contribution to stability and prosperity in the region, specifically in our shared Gulf. It is crucial that our nations work together to maintain this fortunate stability, enabling further trade and commerce in the Gulf.

To this end my government proposes to sign a treaty with the Commonwealth, in which both sides commit to aid the other in the event of an occurrence of aggressive nature that threatens the peace and stability of the Gulf. To this end both sides must be prepared to deploy military power if this is required. In addition both sides will send embassies to keep close ties in ensuring we jointly support the economic opportunities afforded by our positions in the Gulf. This agreement can also serve as a framework for furthering close ties across the world in all areas.

Upon the signing of this treaty, we endeavour to send an embassy to Stockholm and will inform you of further details prior to their mission.

With sincere hope for the success of our joint endeavour, I sign on behalf of the Government of the State of Persia and Khorasan, and in the name of the Sovereign, His Majesty King Lūqās IV Shovekh, Elect of God, Guardian of the Faith, King of kings of Persia and the Four Corners of the World,


Marqos Simeonayyād, Prime Minister of His Majesty's Royal Council

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Your Majesty Lūqās IV Shovekh, King of Kings of Persia,

Salutations! The Commonwealth receives and welcomes the warm friendship of the Persian people. The dedication of your State towards upholding the prosperity and peace in Arabia and the Levant has not gone unnoticed by the many citizens of the Commonwealth who make their homes in this region, and I hope to continue this warm and mutually productive relationship into the indefinite future.

The Government of the Nordic Commonwealth has given the proposals outlined in your previous communication the due consideration that the interests of a friendly state demands. This Government is in agreement that further co-operation between Persia and the Commonwealth, specifically towards the purpose of securing peace along the Gulf of Persia from the aggressive powers of the region, would be of great interest to both parties. To this end the Second Chamber has approved the mutual exchange of embassy and consulate services to improve communication and co-ordination between our respective States.

This Government and the Second Chamber remain less enthusiastic, however, about the prospects of a mutual defensive treaty. The Nordic Commonwealth already has many military obligations across the world, and our capability to project military force is quite heavily circumscribed. Given these circumstances, the Commonwealth cannot make its presence known in every diplomatic issue that requires our attention. Although the Commonwealth may be willing to militarily intervene along the Persian Gulf depending on the specific circumstance, but this Government is unable to obligate itself to Persia's defence.

I look forwards to continuing warm relations with your State and your people.

Signed,

Reynir Persson,
Speaker of the Second Chamber

With the approval of
Alexander Klasson,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and
Right Hon. Member of the First Chamber
Last edited by Plzen on Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Forward, my comrades, march to your stations,
Righteous and proud! Win, we most surely can.
This is a triumph of peace and of nations,
A dawn of friendship for all people of man!

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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13366
Founded: Mar 08, 2013
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:10 pm

L'impero romano d'Occidente
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"No one wants to be excelled by his relatives."



Roma

Alessandra felt her eye twitch. It didn't, but she felt like it did. She could scarce comprehend her surroundings, and with each new gift brought before her, held in display for her to see, she waited a little longer on her response. She was frozen in thought, unable to mentally process the events unfolding- and with each gift the delay only grew. Was this man playing some cruel game? He had shown an amiable facade, he had been friendly- much unlike his father. It was something that her own father had never prepared her for. What was the root of this? He must be attempting a usurpation- to win the hearts of the people of Rome, to appear as a friend to all and then to finish his work when nobody was looking! Yes, that had to be the case. A sly dog, was this Basileus.

She snapped back to reality, and responded.

"Yes, friendship and goodwill between emperors." she said at least, breaking from her trance. "There are, of course, gifts for you as well, Basileus. They are, however, away in the palace- you may receive them once we are finished with our...public show." With this, she turned to face the crowd- still gathering gifts of gold. "Does it please you?" she called to her people, who did not really cease their cheers and murmurs. "The Emperor visits Rome at last- to bring peace between us and the Africans," she began once more, "To bring goodwill...between our peoples. To bring an age of prosperity." She side-glanced the emperor beside her. "And now he will speak to you all."

Waiting to see whatever he had to say, she flipped her coat back to its proper position. "And then...we shall return to the palace." Returning her voice to a soft, soothing, almost motherly voice, "and then we shall return to the palace," and with a smile she heard out all that he had to say. After this, she guided him back to her automobile, not necessarily dragging him along should his steward of stuffiness demand he use his horse instead, but she was certainly quiet on the ride back. Not just because the engine was popping and whistling and loud, either. She was contemplative. Overlooking the emperor, memories came flooding back of their childhood meeting.




many years ago

A prince and a princess. Two emperors. The staunch and powerful lord of the east might tell his son to go forward, while the proud lord of the west nudged his daughter. She hid behind him, but he stepped aside and pushed her forward. Clouds gather outside, it looks like there will be heavy rains- perfectly in-season with what one might expect from the lovely Tuscan countryside. The boy was, perhaps, a bit dashing for his age; she, however, was shy and afraid, and hid behind her long hair. Only one brown eye seen looking to him, she looked down a little and took a step or two forward. Her father, meanwhile, just stared his counterpart down- a tension that only adults might know building in the room.




Ravioli ravioli we're back to the storioli

They arrived at the palace. With a quick, almost seamless motion, Alessandra exited her vehicle and went through the gilded doors of the palace- held open by a man with a pike and a foofy feather on his helmet. Dropping her coat back to resting on her forearms once more upon entry, finding it added a certain appeal- like a stola of its own, a shawl wrapped around her arms but not concealing her gloves nor her lacy dress straps. As soon as the Basileus entered, he would be showered by servants offering fineries- a few paintings, one of Alessandra herself, golden trinkets and baubles, some guns with brass outers decorated by etchings, perfumes, wines, and assortments of Tuscan leathers and garments made and dyed in the fashions local to various regions of Italy.

After this, the servants quickly disappeared. With little indication, Alessandra began a brisk walk to nowhere in particular within the palace, "Now," she stated simply, "we can talk."

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Tracian Empire
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 23766
Founded: Mar 01, 2014
Father Knows Best State

Postby Tracian Empire » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:34 am

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Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων
Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων
Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn
Basileía Rhōmaíōn

The Empire of the Romans
The Roman Empire

Η βασιλεύς Σύγκλητος και ο Λαός της Ρώμης
I Basileus Sýnklitos kai o Laós tis Rómis
The Emperor, Senate and People of Rome

Βασιλεύς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων!
Basiléus Basiléon Basilévon Basilevónton!
Emperor of Emperors, Ruling Over Those Who Rule!


Legacy of Rome




Ρώμη, 1900 μ.Χ.
Roma MMDCLIII a.u.c.


Saying that Michael was stressed during those moments would have meant to severely underestimate just how he was feeling. The citizens of Rome were clearly enjoying the gifts that he had brought with him, and this was a first but important step in fixing the image of the Eastern Romans in the eyes of the Western Romans.. an image that his father, Basileus Andronikos, had more ruined than helped during his reign. Just as important was his gesture to speak in Italian, not in his native Romaika, or well, as some foreigners called it, Greek. But while the citizens were clearly happy about it.. a few really tense moments passed, as Alessandra remained quiet, leaving Michael rather confused about what her reaction would be.. even as his servants were presenting his gifts for her.. and everyone liked gifts, right?

Eventually, the Caesara finally said something, but Michael was still a little concerned. She talked about the gifts that she had prepared for him, but she mentioned that they were back in her palace... it seemed that she didn't want to present her gifts in public.. which was weird. The Master of Ceremonies had always told him that the manner in which gifts were offered was just as important as the gifts themselves.. so what did this say about the Western Empress? Or what did his gesture to present his gifts in public mean for his own image? Diplomacy was very, very confusing.

But he didn't have much time to think about it, as Alessandra quickly finished their "public show". She talked to her people, but then she also forced him to say something, so Michael tried as usual, to hide his nervousness as best as possible, reverting to his imperial persona and smiling. "I'm confident that this meeting will be the beginning of a new era of friendship and prosperity between the eastern and the western part of our glorious empire. May the rule of Rome last for another thousand years!", he exclaimed, and of course, the public cheered, as the Eastern Romans were still giving gifts to them. Michael then turned around, looking at Alexandra just as she softly said that they would return to the palace, smiling.

As she started to lead him towards her automobile, Michael abandoned most of his guards - but a few of his Varangians followed them on their horses. Clearly surprised, Michael also remained quiet on the way back, partially because well, she was also quiet.. and partially because he was at least a little afraid. Of course, he knew what cars were, and he had seen some of them before.. but this was actually his first time in one. Automobiles had no place in the rigid and strict ceremonial rules of the Eastern court, and while they existed in Constantinople, they were forbidden to enter the old city. The loud pops and whistles and sounds of the engine were a little intimidating, but Michael quickly became used to it. Still saying nothing, he side-glanced at the empress next to him..and with nothing better to do.. he also thought about their first meeting.

It was back when they were little, when his father and her father had met in Tuscany. He was just a child, but his father had taken him especially for this meeting, just vaguely explaining him that as the future Basileus of the east, it was important for him to meet with the future Caesara of the West. A normal child would have never been forced to go to diplomatic meetings in foreign countries.. but you couldn't say that Michael had a normal childhood.. well, simply because he didn't have one. After all, he wasn't just a normal boy, he was born as the first prince, the first purple-born son of his father, the ruling Roman Basileus, and his mother, the Roman Basillissa. The had been destined for the purple cloak and the imperial crown from his moment into this world, and his father had made sure to prepare him from that from as soon as possible. Ever since he was little, Michael had been a kind but rather shy and quiet child.... but he just couldn't act like that, being a future Emperor. From as early as he could remember, Michael had been forced to hide his nature between a princely, and later an imperial persona. If he wanted to be the perfect prince, or the perfect emperor.. he just had to act like one, right?

So back to Tuscany, when they had met.. his father was right before him, wearing the full imperial regalia, while Michael was wearing clothes worthy of a prince, a purple tunica, held in place by a golden fibula, and a small golden diadem was resting on his head, over his slightly messy light brown hair. On the other side was the Caesar of the West, and a girl, roughly of the same age as Michael, was hiding behind him, even if the Western Emperor had nudged her to move forward. Her father however stepped aside, pushing her forward, and that's when his father also told him to move forward. Clouds were gathering outside, preparing for a heavy rain, but hopefully, this wasn't some sort of a godly sign for their meeting. Michael was feeling pretty out of place here and his anxiety was pretty much killing him.. but what could he do? The times in which he could run away and hide in the palace next to his mother were gone.. and not only because of his mother's death, as depressing as this was. His father was expecting him to act like a future Basileus. He had to, there was no other way...

Michael stopped in front of her, looking at her as he took a deep breath. She was clearly shy and afraid too, hiding her face behind her long hair, with only one of her brown eyes visible..and that made him feel a little better, knowing that he wasn't the only one scared about this meeting. She took a step or two forward, while the two adults just started at each other in silence.. but Michael desperately tried to ignore the tension in the room. "I'm Michael,", he started to speak in a calm voice, in Italian of all languages. His Greek accent was clearly there, but he didn't want to scare her any more than she currently was by forcing her to talk in another language. Trying to calm her and to calm himself down at the same time, he smiled kindly. He was certainly a bit dashing for his age, he was Constantinople's little prince after all, and a glimpse of the Emperor that he would become was there..but if Alessandra would have looked into his amber eyes.. she would clearly seen just how scared he also was. "What's your name?"

Michael was however suddenly brought back to reality as the car stopped. Alessandra quickly exited the car, and Michael wasted a moment thinking about how the really shy princess that he had met had changed.. but well, he had changed too. Leaving the car behind, the Basileus followed her through the open, glided doors of the palace, as he looked at the man with a pike and a weird feather on his helmet who was holding them open. As Alessandra dropped her coat back to the way in which it had been resting on her forearms before, Michael suddenly started to feel even more uncomfortable in his full and heavy imperial regalia that he couldn't do anything about. It was as if him and her were blocked in different ages of time... and for a moment there, he really longed for the simple military uniform that he had become so used to.. but there was no time for such thoughts. He was quickly showered by servants offering him gifts on behalf of the Cesara, but luckily for him, the Varangians who had followed them immediately intervened to take care of them - but Michael spent a few moments looking at the picture of Alessandra, but then, the servants and the Varangians both disappeared.. leaving them two alone.

Suddenly, Alessandra started to walk, and Michael followed her.. and as she told him that now they could talk.. the Basileus suddenly started to desire to be anywhere else but here. Even being back there in Africa, hunting native rebels would have been much better than being here, alone with her. But.. it's not like he could run away, unfortunately. He had to say something, anything.. but.. he could nearly feel the tension in the air around them. Did he do something wrong, or was this just because of the awkwardness? Oh well.. he would have sighed, but he had to control his behavior.. so he just smiled.

"Well.. thank you very much for how you have welcomed me and my people. Thank you for the gifts that you have offered me.. and I certainly hope that you will enjoy the gifts that I have prepared.", he told her, still speaking in Italian, before he took a deep breath. "Like.. I've told the people back there.. I've come to meet you in order to improve the relation between our two nations. The two sides of our empire have stood together against their enemies for more than a millennium now..we should forget the rivalries of the past and work together towards a better future. I know that.. my father had his special views.. but I think that we can just leave the old rivalries behind, and move on." Taking another deep breath, and trying to remain calm, Michael continued. "And then.. I've also come to discuss.. a specific part of the relation between our countries..the whole part where the leader of the West was supposed to be.. inferior in rank to the Emperor in Constantinople. Europe has moved on from those kinds of feudal relationship..and this part of the relation between our two nations feels.. anachronistic in this new era of steam and steel. I've come to discuss that.. and hopefully to change that, once and for all. "
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
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Pasong Tirad
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7889
Founded: May 31, 2007
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Pasong Tirad » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:24 am

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Portrait of the Negus of Gojjam,
Tekle Haymanot Tessemma



The Zemene Mesāfint Part 2



Though he's wealthy in servants he cannot command,
For he is but an old dotard unable to rule.
Though his flagons are many we've nothing to drink
For an iron chain closes his bottles of beer.
Oh! how angry the master has grown against me
Since I came to this household his servant to be.



Addis Ababa


The proud Negus spoke to his peers in the Mesafint with the alluring charisma that the Negusa Nagast just never had - and that was Menelik's weakness. Ever the traditionalist, the Emperor could not inspire anger in the people in the way he inspired imperial devotion. After all, the emperor reigned, he did not rule. Luckily for Abeto (a title reserved for males of the extended Imperial family - a prince, but nowhere near the line of succession) Fassil Senai, a rather unknown member of the Mekwanint of Fitawrari Dinagde, he was able to sneak into a corner of the room filled with other like-minded spectators of the Negus' speech.

"He has not the right to rule over us as though we were Arab slaves!" the Negus said to a chorus of nobles tapping on their desks. Many of the desks - perhaps a little less than half, Fassil noted - were empty, signalling the growing divide between the Mesafint and the Imperial Court. The empty seats, it seems, have chosen to place their bets on the Emperor. "We are Ethiopians! Omoros and Amharas, Tigrinyans and Somalis, all Ethiopians! And the Negus of Shewa should reign over Ethiopians! Not foreigners who seek to invade us by undermining our way of life!" Cheers from the men. And more banging of desks. "For a Negus, he should not be doing any bowing, and yet he has made it clear to the Romans that we are their inferiors! He does not call them brothers, but fathers! He bends over to them, they who did not accept Christ until a hundred years after we did! Don't forget, the Kesate Birhan, Saint Frumentius had already converted the Negus of Aksum, Ezana, while the Romans were still squabbling among themselves over which whore should rule over their Basileus!" Laughter erupted, as well as more banging of desks and cheering. "We are the true masters over the Romans, and yet Menelik would want us to be turned into their vassals!" Boos and jeers. Fassil was sure there were several Romans merchants in attendance here, who would no doubt head north as soon as this was over to spread the word of all of this.

"Well I say damn the Romans! Damn the Europeans! Damn the Negus of Shewa! Stand with me, brothers. Let Negus and Ras stand side by side as equals once again to expel even more foreign invaders! May this Mesafint, through the guidance of our eternal father, pass a law throughout this land declaring the Negus of Shewa a false king! May he become, as the Romans say, persona non grata! May all who stand beside him be overthrown without mercy! No mercy to the traitors of Ethiopia!"

A man, a Ras from some small vassal state of Gojjam stood to speak. Fassil noticed that the man seemed to stand at the behest of the Negus - a flicker of the eyebrows while the crowd was still calling for the death of the traitors. "Let us now also call for a motion which shall bestow upon the Negus of Gojjam, the rank of Meridazmach, Supreme Commander of the Arbegnoch, the Patriots of Ethiopia! And let God Himself smite down any man that may say anything against us!" As a chorus, many other members of the Mesafint seconded the motion

"I say to you all now, Menelik may have been a great Negusa Nagast in the past - but no more! This is a new age, an age where we here in the Mesafint, the proud, supreme, honorable, and noble sons of Ethiopia, must exert its power over corrupt absolutists and degenerate bloodlines!" Fearing that somebody might recognize him as the emperor's nephew, Abeto Fassil ran off as quickly as he could, taking his small retinue and their horses, hoping to run off fast enough to catch the next ferry in the Awash river to Obock, where the Negusa Nagast was busy welcoming the Orthodox Intellectuals, as the Ethiopians were now calling them. Hopefully, he would be able to arrive in time before the Patriots do anything more drastic - more drastic than beginning a civil war.

Abeto Fassil Senai left the Arbegnoch as they continued to celebrate in their newly founded toy parliament, which the prince recognized right away had no actual power, but was operating only under a nominal guise of democracy. This is what differentiated Tekle Haymanot from Menelik II: the Negusa Nagast was not a politician, and never acted under even just the pretense of giving the Mesafint some ceremonial powers. The Negus of Gojjam, however, was a lifelong member of this Mesafint, and knew very well that he still had to act like he was an equal member of this governing body. Abeto Fassil couldn't help but notice just how similar Tekle Haymanot was to Augustus, and the "princeps" of the old Western Roman Empire: nominally democratic, nominally "equal" to the Roman Senate, but imperial in reality.



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The current loyalties of the nobles and landlords of Ethiopia, following Negus Tekle Haymanot's announcement of the creation of the Arbegnoch. Most of the Mesafint, mainly those residing in the western highlands of Ethiopia, has sided with the pro-nobility Arbegnoch faction led by King of Gojjam, Tekle Haymanot Tessemma, henceforth known to Europeans as the Patriots. While in the desolate east, populated mostly by the Oromo and almost all of the Ethiopian Muslims have sided with Menelik II, whom the European circles refer to as the Royalists. While Addis Ababa is in the province of Shewa and is loyal to the emperor, the Mesafint have taken advantage of the absence of the Negusa Nagast and his Kebur Zabagna and have occupied it and most of Western Shewa in the name of the Arbegnoch. The Mehal Sefari, far too spread out to properly defend Addis Ababa, were also unable to respond to this threat.


Obock, province of Gabuuti


"Are you certain of this?" Menelik II asked the young Abeto Fassil, as they pour themselves over a map of Ethiopia.

"Yes, your Majesty. I was there for the tail-end of the Negus of Gojjam's speech to the Mesafint. I took note of all the Neguses, Rases, and Abetos who weren't present. Many of them, of course, are with you here today, your Majesty."

"And the rest?" Menelik asked his most trusted, the Fitawrari, Habte Giyorgis.

"Most likely tending to their own lands, your Majesty. Present with you today are the Negus of Wollo, the Boqor of Migiurtinia, the Sultan of Gabuuti, the Sultan of Warsangali, the Sultan of Hararghe, the Ras of Bale, and the Emir of Soqotra. The Ras of Sidamo and the Ras of Arsi are probably preparing to defend their own lands, if the Abeto is to be believed about their absence from the Mesafint."

"Our dear, er, Orthodox Intellectuals, shall be taken care of. Station them here at Gabuuti, at Wollo, or south to Sidamo. Get them to work. The more... militarily-minded men from their party shall join us, should they so choose. If they wish to leave to avoid the brewing conflict, which I assume some will given Tessemma's statements, they are free to leave and we shall grant them safe passage back to their ships. Can I trust you with this assignment, Abeto Fassil?"

"Yes, your Majesty," Fassil said, overjoyed at the thought of being assigned a job that wasn't something menial, like much of the courier work that he's been doing as part of the Imperial Court.'

"The Mehal Sefari shall head for Arsi and Sidamo. As close as they can get to Addis Ababa without provoking the Arbegnoch. They must be led to believe that our first task is to retake the capital. The Kebur Zabagna shall stay with me, and shall lead the training of the levies. Our dear Neguses and Sultans shall provide the bulk of our new Imperial army. A portion of this army shall be trained by both the Orthodox Intellectuals and the Kebur Zabagna. They shall cease to be provincial levies once inducted into this new... standing army. No longer will our new Ethiopia rely on levies from the provinces to defend her. Fitawrari, see to this. I must contact our brothers to the north."

"Yes, your Majesty."

"My dear kings, this new conflict must end with an empire even more united than before. Good day to you all."



To His Imperial Majesty, Mikhael Palaiologos, in Christ Basileus and Autokrator of the Romans, Kaisar and Despot of the New Rome, Forever Sebastos and Sotiras, Porphyrogennetos, Viceroy of Jesus Christ on Earth, the Pious and the Blessed, Defender of the Orthodox Faith, Great Protector of the Holy Cities of Constantinople, Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, Lord of the Mare Nostrum, Sovereign of the Holy Order of the True Cross, Grand Master of the Order of Saint Andrew, of the Order of Constantine the Great and of the Order of Justinian the Great, Emperor of Emperors, King of Kings, Ruling Over Those Who Rule

Tena yistilign!

Dear Brother in Christ, Last of the Old Romans, it pleases my heart to hear of your generosity! May Constantinople and Addis Ababa grow ever closer together, as sister cities should.

I shall welcome with open arms your Legatos, Eustathios Valeinos, and personally bring make him part of my Imperial retinue. And, in the hopes of being able to match the boundless generosity of the Romans, I shall send Negadras Yigezu Behabte as the official representative of the Ethiopians. If it so pleases you as well, I would very much like to send more men from my court to be granted an education in Constantinople. I have many men wishing to learn more about, among other things, war, nature, and trade. And I know that several of my clergymen wish to make a pilgrimage north to Alexandria to kiss the hands of Abba Kyrillos V and to learn theology from the most celebrated living head of our Oriental Orthodox faith.


Your Basileus,
Menelik II
Last edited by Pasong Tirad on Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"If there is no friendship with [the poor] and no sharing of the life of the poor, then there is no authentic commitment to liberation, because love exists only among equals." - Gustavo Gutierrez



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Resurgent Exiles
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Founded: Mar 27, 2018
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Resurgent Exiles » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:17 am

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Królestwo Galicji-Karpat

A.D 1900



A steam train thundered past one of the rail stations on its route. The blowback from the locomotive had caused the would-be passengers to shield themselves from its effects, irritating many who had expected the train to stop. Despite the warning that this line would not in operation for the public today, some still came because they didn’t hear or read the public announcements. Very rarely did the trains come out of use for the public in Galicia- and when they did it was usually due to mechanical failure or absurdly unlucky disasters. Today was a special case however, for the passengers who rode this line today were privileged and the schedule undoubtedly reflected it.

The cabins were inhabited by the well-to-do folk of both the Galician and Bulgarian societies: For Galicia that meant high ranking military officers, members of the royal family, wealthy businessmen, old prestigious families, and even a few aristocrats. They were all chattering and mingling in the way it is standard for people of these classes do. Most passenger cabins had been modified for today, as they were to be inhabited by special people. They were decorated in a typical royal way, but they were adorned in a way that was reminiscent of a wedding. That was no coincidence. All the people in these cabins were here for the royal wedding between Thomas Aldek of Galicia and Margarethe Clementine of Bulgaria.

The second to first cabin, was different however. This one was not decorated or in anyway special. Although it was a first-class cabin, it was not in any sense different from the typical first-class cabins you could find anywhere in Europe. Indeed, the people who were in this cabin were waiters, guards, and other train staff who were on break. They were all either napping, reading or using their break time for some other leisurely activity. Among them, was a member of the royalty. Had he not been dressed like one, you could never notice he was a member of the Galician royal family, Emmett Rohatyn of Galicia, was Thomas’ younger brother. Like his brother, he was considered handsome by many which sometimes earned him too much attention from gossiping women and maids in the royal court. This often led to unfair rumors regarding his chastity, a highly valued trait among bachelors in Galician society.

Emmett did not have these vices however- in fact he was quite the opposite of the typical virile young man. He liked to keep to himself, and seldom participated in events like this one. This likely contributed to his mystical reputation and made him the target of trashy gossip magazines and strongly opinionated morally loaded editorials. He was of course aware of these things- he loved to read. Newspapers acted as a window into the world, and were it not for some of his outdoor hobbies he would be considered a shut in. Had his father not forbidden him to do so, Thomas would have written a great deal for the national newspapers. He was really the completely opposite of his brother, and it caused him a lot of grief. Unsurprisingly, Thomas was in this cabin among workers away from the ruckus a few cabins over. His nose was buried in a book, a book on Bulgarian history in fact.

To put it in his own words, he found Bulgarians “strongly distasteful”. Despite his attempt at tact, speaking to him would probably reveal that he dearly hated Bulgarians. His hate was deep. His mother died birthing Emmett, and the royal doctor- a Bulgarian- had been the attending doctor. This doctor greatly caused Emmett grief in his younger years, as the Doctor had a taste for pederasty. Why Emmett was abused, and Thomas was not is a mystery. Whatever the case, Emmett really hated Bulgarians. Although he didn’t like to show it, he was quite disapproving of this marriage. Marrying a Bulgar was enough for him to disapprove. But overall, he found the strategic implications of the alliance that was packaged into this marriage a crucial mistake on the part of his grandfather. He appealed to him on this basis, but he was shot down every time. Failing that, he petitioned his father. But as always, his father never took him seriously, despite being at the top of his class in the military academy.

Closing the book, Emmett sighed. He was bored. And his faced showed it. Putting his head down, he was on the verge of sleep when he heard a loud thump. Startled, he came to attention. He was surprised by his sister, Anna Katia of Galicia. Grinning she hugged Emmett who reciprocated her affection.

“You scared me!”

“Its your fault for being such a recluse! What are you doing here?!” Anna knew Emmett better than anyone else. She knew why Emmett was here. But she was giving Emmett a hard time.

“I was bored… so I came here to read. How did you find me?”

“Call it a sister’s intuition!”

“Well I’m glad you’re here Anna, lets go back to the party yes?”

- Nodding, the two began walking back to the main cabins.

"I heard you did well at the Academy, Emmy!"

"Did I? I couldn't tell. My father doesn't seem to care."

"Father is just being modest. You would make any father proud. Besides at least grandfather acknowledged you last night at dinner..." her voice trailed off. She hesitated for a moment. Her thoughts were turning to her Grandfather, Mateusz III of Galicia. The two awkwardly jumped to the next cabin, and the conversation resumed.

"Grandfather doesn't care either. He probably still thinks i'm a kid. his memory seems to be getting in worse and worse condition. A few days ago he thought he was at the old residence at Krakow."

"Emmy..you should really give him more credit. His health may not be what it used to be but he still loves us. I think he was trying to be nice."

Sighing, Emmett conceded her point. "You're right. Sometimes I worry too. It feels like time is running out. Is he on the train? I have the urge to see him."

"No. He went by automobile. You know him. He loves the contraptions. I think he went with Father as well."

"What about Thomas then?" Once again, the two jumped yet onto another cabin. After the two crossed, Thomas's question was answered.

"He is at Grybow already. You, me, and grandmother are the only "royals" on board. Adrian was going to come with us too but he was called away at the last minute by an envoy from another government minister." This caused an eyebrow to to lift on Emmett's forehead. As the Prime minister, Adrian was to give a speech at the wedding. It would be quite scandalous if he did not show. But he thought nothing more of it. Since the king had been increasingly absent, Adrian had become quite powerful. Although Emmett had a personal distaste for the man, no one could deny he was a good PM. Perhaps too good for his own benefit. He appointed a few ministers without consulting Mateusz, but Mateusz was in too poor health at the time to respond. Although Emmett's father found this outrageous, it was allowed anyways.

Finally, before crossing into the next cabin, Anna held Emmet's hand before hugging him once more, being quite affectionate with his brother. Although Emmett squirmed a little at this display, he did not resist. His older sister was always like this (although Emmet liked to remind her that it was only by one year). Anna was the only one who Emmett truly felt appreciated him.

"I'm just really glad to see you Emmy! I'm sorry I just..." Letting go, she wiped some tears from her cheeks. "Its okay sister. I love you too. I'm really glad I can see you today. There is a lot more we have to talk about. But first let go see Grandmother. I haven't greeted her yet." Jumping yet onto another cabin, Emmett and Anna stayed together for the rest of the ride.

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Old Tyrannia » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:37 pm

(OOC: Sorry that this post was so long in the coming... I've been stuck on part of it for so long, I ultimately decided just to post the first half and leave the unfinished sections for a later post. Consequently the first section may seem a little random, but I assure you that it will be significant later).

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Japanese Southern Continent Governorate (南大陸行政)
Kaikoku (海国)


Souma ran a hand through his hair and watched with agitation as his missed shot bounded off into the distance on two powerful legs. He gritted his teeth. He'd been here in the desert for almost a week now, and soon he would have to return to his family's farmstead- empty handed. He rose to his feet and slung his hunting rifle over his shoulder. It would be a humiliating homecoming for him. His family were poor, descended in his father's line from the burakumin underclass of the Yamatokoku and through his mother, from the natives of the South Islands. He had been born here, in the Southern Continent, where his parents had moved to take advantage of the offer of free land to Japanese colonists prepared to settle the poorly-explored frontier of the Empire. As late as the 1870s, Japanese control of the continent was restricted to the northern and eastern coastlines, focused mainly around the north-east peninsula. Only as the presence and interest of Western powers in the region increased did the Kaikoku-seifu launch its project to expand its de facto control of the Southern Continent inland, towards the centre, fearful of losing out to the barbarians on access to valuable resources.

None of Souma's family had ever visited the Yamatokoku. His father had been born in the South Islands, married into the local people as many burakumin colonists had done (for better-bred Japanese, marriage with the natives was socially unthinkable), and eventually followed in the steps of his forefathers by setting out south to build a new life for himself. For the most part, the Inoue family had done well on the Southern Continent. They were not wealthy, but they were able to eke out a living as farmers, living off their own produce and making enough money from the surplus to allow for a few small luxuries. They were considered to be fairly respectable people out here, where everyone was coming to get away from something or in search of a second chance, and details like one's ancestry were not so crucial to determining one's social standing. Souma's older brother Shouhei had even been fortunate enough to get into the Imperial Naval Academy in the gubernatorial capital of Shinitami. It was possible he could make a good career for himself as an officer in the Imperial Marines, something that would have been unthinkable for their father or his father before him. For Souma, that meant that he would be the one to some day inherit the family farm- not an unpleasant prospect for a second son, although he sometimes envied his brother the opportunity to travel the world and make his mark.

Souma's world consisted of the family farm, the nearby town, and the Outback. What little livestock they had was precious, so if they were to include meat in their diet it had to be hunted, and that meant venturing out into the wild. Souma had first gone hunting in the Outback with his father at the age of just eight years old, and now, at the age of ninteen, he knew the desert better than the old man did. Sometimes he would disappear into the Bush for up to a month before returning, with nothing but his trusted horse Momotarou and his gun. Occasionally he would be accompanied by his younger sister Setsuko, on which occasions he was sure to stay closer to the farm that he would were he alone. It was not considered proper, even here on the outskirts of civilisation, for a young lady to go on hunting expeditions but despite their parents' disapproval Setsuko was stubborn and constantly bored by life on the farm, so Souma inevitably gave in and allowed her some small taste of adventure in the Outback. Their hunting trips together rarely led to a bonanza, but sometimes they returned to the farm with a bushel of fish caught from one of the billabongs or creeks close to their farmstead. As he found Momotarou tethered to the tree where he had left him, Souma considered the possibility of stopping by such a place on his way home, so that he didn't return home with nothing at all.

Sure enough, Souma was able to find a stream on the way home. This was more a matter of luck than an outlander might realise, as in the Outback such waterways regularly dried up or changed their course, making it hard to keep track of where water could be found. Souma stared down at his distorted reflection in the creek. His skin was darkened by exposure to the hot sun. His hair was black, shaved at the sides and held up by a topknot. Souma was of average height, slightly shorter than his brother, and his build was lanky rather than muscular, but he was reckoned by the young girls of the neighbouring families as attractive. He would probably look better clean and dressed in fresh clothes than his reflection in the water seemed, caked with dirt and dressed in soiled clothing. He wore a grey-green tunic, a shortened version of the traditional Japanese kimono, along with light, baggy grey trousers and leather boots that showed the Western influence of Japanese fashions. A black sash was fastened around his waist. He unslung the hunting rifle and lowered his cupped hands into the water, raising them to take a drink before washing some of the dirt off of his face. There was no sign in the narrow creak of any fish. Souma released a soft sigh of disappointment and, resigning himself to a decidedly unheroic return with nothing to show for his long absence, raised himself up and carried on his journey.

Soon, the distinctive sloped roofs that characterised Japanese architecture came into sight, and Souma knew he was almost back at the farm. The pungent smell of the family's pigs entered his nostrils, causing Souma to grimace. He must have been sighted before he had stepped foot on the family's small property, as he was greeted by his sister running out from the direction of the farmhouse just as he closed the gate behind him.

"Welcome home, Big Brother." Setsuko was dressed practically in a simple peasant's dress, her dark hair tied back and her face unmarked with makeup. Her lips were full, though, and she had even features, with a delicate heart-shaped face and a woman's figure despite her youth. She was likely to find a husband easily, at least out here where good breeding and manners tended to count for less. Her tomboyish tendencies would likely embarass her parents in any sort of society, however.

"Hello Little Sister. How are Mum and Dad?"

"Well. Did you catch anything?"

Souma shrugged, and his silence was the only reply Setsuko needed.

"Oh well. Don't worry Big Brother, we wouldn't have time to eat a kangaroo anyway. Dad wants to take the whole family to Shinitami to celebrate Shouhei's graduation from the military academy."

"He's graduating?" Souma responded with suprise. "Really? I hadn't realised... How long it had been since he went away..." He wrinkled his brow. "How did that sun-addled fool graduate in normal time? I was certain he would be held back a year."

Setsuko laughed, drawing a smile from Souma. "Well, you will have to wear a proper kimono for once, and behave like a true young lady, if we are going to the capital."

"Souma!" Setsuko responded in a sulky voice. "Don't remind me! Mum has already had a talk with me... I don't want to look foolish like the big city girls that come here sometimes with the tax collectors."

"You'll look much prettier than they do," promised Souma.

"I don't want to look pretty," she replied, "I want to look like me."

"You'll always be you, no matter how much make-up you wear."

"That's easy for you to say. You just have to wear a kimono and wash your face for once. And have your hair made up properly!"

They were almost back at the farmhouse now. Souma stopped by the door to remove his boots, and stepped into the cool interior of the entrance hall. A door slid to one side on the left, and his mother appeared. He turned and bowed politely; she returned the gesture without dipping so low, saying, "welcome home, my son."

"Thank you. I am glad to be home, Mother. Have you and Father been well?"

"Well? Yes, very well. Did you find anything in the wilds for meat, my son?"

"No, mother. Forgive me," Souma replied sheepishly. His mother seemed unfazed; as Setsuko had hinted, his parents were likely too wrapped up in the thought of their trip to Shinitami and their pride in their eldest son to worry about the failings of the spare.

"It doesn't matter. I am sure Setsuko has already given you the wonderful news. Please come in here."

Souma followed his mother; she tottered into the living room and approached a desk on the far side, one of the few pieces of luxury furniture the family possessed. She opened a drawer and reverently removed an envelope, which she offered, turning, to her second son with a respectful bow. He took it as she offered it, with two hands and a low bow, and he knew long before opening the envelope what was inside. It was a letter from the Southern Continent office of the Secretariat of Martial Affairs, confirming that Inoue Shouhei had completed his studies at the Imperial Naval Academy in Shinitami and was due to graduate and become an officer of the Imperial Marines. The letter ended with an invitation to his family to attend the graduation ceremony in the territorial capital.

"Isn't it a blessing from the gods, Souma?"

Souma looked down at his mother's beaming face. So full of pride for the eldest son, the one who had always been favoured, even when he shirked off his duties around the farm, even when he beat Souma sore for petty reasons.

"Yes, Mother," he replied. "You're right. This is wonderful news."




Japanese warship Yamashiro
North Pacific Ocean


As the sun set over the North Pacific, its last light danced beautifully over the rippling surface of the ocean. From the deck of the armoured cruiser Yamashiro, her captain watched the sparkling water thoughtfully. Captain Isana Masaomi had only recently been raised to the captaincy and granted this command, and he was conflicted between the sense of responsibility it carried and a frustration that his first assignment amounted to what was essentially a courier mission. Like many naval officers, Isana had been drawn from a class of respected naval families largely descended from those samurai who had first settled in the Empire's new colonies centuries ago to serve as both soldiers and administrators. Raised in one of the Kaikoku's prosperous and cosmopolitan port cities, he had never been in any doubt that he would follow his forefathers into a naval career. He had graduated at the top of his class from the Naval Academy in Manila, and subsequently enjoyed a spotless if unremarkable career. But he had never experienced the grand adventure that he had envisaged as a boy. In the latter days of the 19th century, most of the world's seas had already been charted, leaving few unexplored routes for adventurous cartographers; and there had been no major conflict involving Japan for the last five decades. Peace had reigned, and the navy had been left to routine duties.

"A yen for your thoughts, Captain Isana?" a rough, if polite, voice enquired. Isana turned and bowed sharply to the figure who had appeared by his side, and older, bewhiskered man in a full formal kimono, grey with a black outer coat decorated with five kamon.

"Ambassador Aiko. You honour me with your presence this evening."

"The honour is mine, captain." Aiko Makoto was once a highly regarded commander within the Imperial Marines, the Kaiheitai. In an earlier age, he had distinguished himself in altercations with the pirates that then plagued the Kaikoku's southern territories, plundering trade routes. Much of the then-lawless Kappa Islands were brought under the control of the Kaikoku-seifu by his hand, until political disagreements with the then-regent had seen him promoted out of the field and relegated to a series of largely ceremonial posts until he could be safely retired. Although he had little in the way of formal diplomatic experience, he had been plucked from his retirement in the quiet Yamatokoku town of Chizu in Inaba Province to lead a diplomatic mission to the mysterious Aztek Ascendancy; that great empire to the far east, which straddled the thin strip of land connecting the Americas and commanded the passage from the Pacific to the Carribean Sea. Although commerce between Japan and the Azteks had been carrying on quietly for close to a century, formal diplomatic relations had always remained low-level. Informally, on the other hand, mutual interest in strengthening ties had persisted for some time, and the Kaikoku-seifu Secretariat of External Relations had now moved to open up a dialogue by sending a diplomatic mission to the Aztek capital of Tenochtitlan. Why Aiko had been selected to head the mission, other than the fact that he was known to be an old friend of the Secretary for External Relations Lord Orihara Masanari, Isana could not say. The old man's company was genial, however, and Isana was glad to have him on board.

"So, then, what is it that troubles you?" pressed the ambassador. Isana raised his eyebrow slightly at the persistence of his new companion.

"I am merely reflecting upon my career, my lord Aiko."

"Is that so. Forgive me for saying so, captain, but I believe you are too young to be reflecting upon an unfinished career."

"If careers can be reflected on only once they have concluded, ambassador, then they are not to be reflected on at all. You stand as proof that one can never truly know if one's career is over or not."

This drew a laugh from the old man. Relaxing his usual formality, Isana allowed himself a smile.

"I hope the Azteks prove as generous hosts as Queen Liliʻuokalani of Hawai'i," Aiko said, changing the conversation topic. They had stopped in the Kaikoku's Polynesian client kingdom en route to America, and been entertained as hosts of its elderly queen. "I have not been able to get the feast Her Majesty presented us with out of my mind. And how kind of the queen to play a piece of music for us herself. I had not truly expected her to acquiesce to my request, although I dearly wished to hear her famous composition played by its creator. It is remarkable that time and age have not dulled her talent at all."

"The queen is not alone in retaining the talents of her youth into old age, ambassador, if your skill in the game of shogi is any true measure of your tactical ability."

"Shogi is not like a real battle, captain. But I thank you for your compliment. I keep my shogi skills sharp by playing regularly. Lord Orihara is a fan of the game, as is Lord Konoe."

"Grand Counselor Konoe Kyosuke? You are acquainted with him?" remarked Isana, surprised by this revelation. "Is he not a prominent leader of the traditionalist faction in the Yamatokoku?"

"That is right, captain. You clearly have a good grasp of the politics of the Yamatokoku. Lord Konoe and I have been not merely acquaintances, but good friends, for many years now. It is true that we do not often agree on political matters, but Kyosuke is good company, and we share many interests. We are both enthusiasts of the tea ceremony, calligraphy, and poetry. Lord Orihara and Lord Konoe are also friends, you know; although he is not so interested in the traditional arts as Lord Konoe and I. I do not know what they talk about between themselves."

"You are ever the source of interesting conversation, ambassador. It grows cold; shall we withdraw to my cabin to share a pot of tea?"

"You show me great kindness, Captain Isana. I will be glad to join you."



大日本海国外交事務局
Secretariat of External Affairs of the Great Japanese Maritime State


TO: The Aztek Ascendancy
RE: Diplomatic Credentials

To the relevant government office of the Aztek Ascendancy,
On behalf of Their Imperial Majesties the Emperors of the Northern and Southern Courts, and Her Excellency the Imperial Regent, greetings. The Kaikoku-seifu has long contemplated the expansion and strengthening of our ties to the lands to our east, across the vast Pacific Ocean. It is the belief of the Kaikoku-seifu that our peoples share a common interest in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Pacific, which is regrettably threatened by the encroachment of outside nations into waters long acknowledged as ours, and in expanding trade between our great continents to the enrichment of all. Consequently, we have dispatched the honourable Aiko Makoto as our representative to the Government of the Aztek Ascendancy, with full authorisation to negotiate on behalf of the Kaikoku-seifu. It is our hope that an agreement may be reached between our representative and the honourable government of the Aztek Ascendancy that will facilitate the removal of barriers to trade between our peoples, as well as cooperation between our naval forces to maintain peace and order within our waters.
May friendship between our nations endure for ten thousand years.

Your humble servant,
折 正
原 就

Orihara Masanari, Secretary for External Relations of the Great Japanese Maritime State
Signed and approved,
豊 日
臣 南

Toyotomi Hinami, Kampaku of the Great Japanese Maritime State
Ascended to Modhood on the 14th September 2016
The Grand Fascist Empire of Old Tyrannia
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Intermountain States
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Intermountain States » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:54 am

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Empire of the Great Joseon
대조선제국
大朝鮮帝國


Hanseong, Joseon
January, 1900


"Our positioning on this map is always open for potential conflicts," Defense Minister Kim Jeong-mun said at the throne room. "We've invested much of our resources in the Six Commanderies of Daegyeong and that paid off for us but we could be shut off from trade in the Indian Ocean, especially if relations with Japan or the Xi Dynasty turned to worse."

"This will be a problem especially if we suffer negative relations with Japan, considering that they control the vast majority of the islands leading to our colonies," The Emperor agreed. "They could easily blockade routes to the Six Commanderies, putting our wealth from the Americas at risk."

"Our relations with the Xis are always close," Prime Minister Wang Jun-min said. "Xi and Joseon are like brotherly nations with close economic and political ties with other. I'm not too worried about losing friendly relations with Xi compared to with Japan but we cannot risk ignoring Xi and potentially alienating a powerful neighbor."

"We're going to have to go further than affirming good relations with Xi or Japan," the Emperor said. "Perhaps we could work with our neighbors, assist in their imperial goals in return for port cities and favorable trade deals?"

"This is probably our best bet in fostering good relations," Jun-min agreed. "As long as Xi and Japan do not have territorial ambitions that coincide with each other, we could create an entente between the three powers and if there's peace between Xi, Joseon, and Japan; our holdings in America would not be at risk. Our production of gold and silver in Gimsan and Gobuk would remain unmolested and with non-hostile relations with the Azteks, the worst the Six Commanderies would have to worry about would be those Plains savages."

"But what if the ambitions of Xi and Japan do cross each other?" The Emperor asked.

"We'll have to serve as mediators between the two then, your Majesty," the Prime Minister answered. "We'll have to hear out the consuls on the ambitions of their mother countries seperately and then work to ensure harmony in the process. If all of our work has failed, then Joseon would have to pick a side and this would be a difficult prospect. Ally with China and face the wraith of a naval power that could choke our route to America and then see our colonies face a war with the Azteks. The other option would be to ally with Japan but see at least a million man army crossing the border."

"Could we survive and win against these odds? There's a chance," Jun-min continued. "But let's hope that we won't have to be asking this question again. Do I have the permission for the Foreign Minister summon the consuls and to work with them, your Majesty?"

"Yes, you do that," the Emperor answered. "Ensure that Joseon's future remains bright."

"Thank you your Majesty," the Prime Minister said while bowing.

대조선제국
Empire of the Great Joseon


TO: The Honorable Consulate of the Legation of the Great Xi

On behalf of The Gwangmu Emperor, we humbly ask of the presence of the ambassador of the Great Xi, Celestial Masters of the Middle Kingdom to meet with the Imperial Court of Joseon to further cooperations and good relations between two brotherly nations.


Signed and approved,
Bak Young, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Wang Jun Min, Prime Minister of the Great Empire of Joseon


대조선제국
Empire of the Great Joseon


TO: The Honorable Consulate of the Legation of the Maritime Empire of Japan

On behalf of The Gwangmu Emperor, we humbly ask of the presence of the ambassador of the Maritime Empire of Japan, an honourable and valiant island nation of the Rising Sun, to meet with the Imperial Court of Joseon to continue our fosterings of good relations to mutually benefit the two equals of this continent.


Signed and approved,
Bak Young, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Wang Jun Min, Prime Minister of the Great Empire of Joseon


Imtae Mountain, Daegok Commandery
January, 1900


From distance, the wild boar looked peaceful, drinking water from the stream.

Of course, that wild boar, one of the escapees of some abandoned pig farm, has been part of a major problem for everyone of the nearby town. The farmers hate the boars for eating their crops and small livestocks. The townsfolks hate the pigs because the farmers have less fowls and vegetables to to sell to them. The miners hate the feral boars because the town shopowners raised the price of foods to cover the expenses of the boar. And the wild hogs start to breed and more pigs are ravaging the town, some even sighted in neighboring towns and villages. Eventually, the county administrators ordered a bounty system on the hogs, believing that getting hunters to turn in tails of feral pigs would use far less resources and be just as effective as calling in the colonial military.

That decision was fine with Go Seung-gu. He, along with other opportunistic hunters, have been making money hunting down feral boars for the past few weeks. Plenty of tails were turned in and farmers report of better crop yields in the future. That boar is one of the only remaining wild hogs known, which makes the price very lucrative for Seung-gu.

He aimed his rifle at the boar, his ironsight focused on the side of the wild pig.

"Yes I'm taking away your life and your freedom but that's how the world works," Seung-gu thought to himself. "I can't allow you to disrupt the town's economy. I need to eat too you know."

A loud crack came from the rifle and the pig fell on its side, not moving. Startled, Seung-gu turned around and saw a native tribesman, Haengbok-bal, with his rifle out, smoke coming from the barrel.

"I had that boar," the hunter protested as Haengbok-bal walked to the dead pig.

"You waited too long," the native man responded. He took out a knife and cut off the pig's tail. He then took out ropes from his bag and begin to tie the hog's feet together.

"It's getting dark so I'm heading to the town to collect the bounty tomorrow. Care to join me for some roasted pork?" he asked the hunter. Seung-gu was about to say no but he hadn't eaten in hours and his stomach growled, craving for some meat.

"Excellent," the native man said, slinging the pig on his back. "There's a cave close by that has not been explored by the silver miners nor disturbed by wild animals. We could set up camp there."

It was just a few minute walk and the duos reached the cave. Haengbok-bal set the pig down and the two begin to build a campfire. As smoke rises from the dead branches, Haengbok-bal opened the pig's stomach and removed the innards. Once the fire was large enough, the two men hoisted the hog over the flames. Seung-gu and Haengbok-bal sat on some large rocks, watching the flames licking the boar's skin.

"While the pig is cooking, I'll go deeper into the cave, just to make sure that we won't be trespassing any bears or wolves," Seung-gu said, grabbing his hunting rifle and a torch.

"There are no animal tracks that deep in the cave," the native man responded. "The only animals you'll encounter here would be bats and bugs. They won't bother this part of the cave."

"Regardless, a hunter must know his surroundings," the Seung-gu replied as he ventured deeper into the cave. He's not too worried about disturbing a bear's sleep, the tribal was right in that no bearprints, or any paw prints were found so far. The cave was empty for the most part.

He didn't know how long he was exploring the cave but he's satisfied with his search. It was time to head back to Haengbok-bal and to eat some of that pig.

While he was turning around, he saw something glisten at the corner of his eyes. He crept towards that direction, his torch lighting up the area of the cave. It was a golden nugget encased on the rock, a large one at that. He has no mining tools but he looked at his rifle. Using the butt of the rifle, he picked at the rock as best he could before the nugget broke from the rock and fell onto his hand. He couldn't believe what he was holding. He looked around for some more gold and found more glistening minerals encased. Even with his stomach growling, he couldn't help but think of this good fortune.

The pig was finally ready as Seung-gu returned to the surface of the cave, looking cheerful. Haengbok-bal was already eating a piece of the hog.

"You're looking happier than when I last saw you," Haengbok-bal said. "The pig is ready, eat as much as you need, we got enough to last us the whole night."

"I just discovered something that can make us both rich," Seung-gu said.

"You found some silver?" Haengbok-bal asked.

"Even better, gold," he replied, showing the nugget. "How would you like to be a potential business partner in this new endevour?"
American, science lover, free speech advocate, gamer, classical liberal, history enthusiast, jokester.
I find my grammatical mistakes after I finish posting
Lazy biography of me
Lunatic Goofballs wrote:I'm a third party voter. Trust me when I say this: Not even a lifetime supply of tacos could convince me to vote for either Hillary or Trump. I suspect I'm not the only third party voter who feels that way. I cost Hillary nothing. I cost Trump nothing. If I didn't vote for third party, I would have written in 'Batman'.

If you try to blame me, I will laugh in your face. I'm glad she lost. I got half my wish. :)
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