Summit Tsyion 2016 [P/MT, IC Thread, Attn: Dienstad]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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New Azura
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Founded: Jun 22, 2006

Summit Tsyion 2016 [P/MT, IC Thread, Attn: Dienstad]

Postby New Azura » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:03 pm

Out-of-Character Thread Located Here.


The Royal House of Tsyion, Praeclarus, Evenguard of Azura
The Southern Gardens of Her Majesty the Phaedra — 4:30 PM Azuran Time

The drapery which hung from the ornate stone pillars surrounding the colonnade of the south terrace was the only muted color in sight. The hand of nature, or divine providence as it were had begun to craft its handiwork in the hills surrounding Praeclarus, turning the mountainsides into a splendid canvas; a cacophony of colors that invigorated an already-breathtaking vista with the sort of majestic beauty that befitted the Phaedra and her manor. The mums of her garden had answered the challenge of the hills as best they could, fully in bloom and vibrant along side the natural creek which flowed through the south garden. Yet nothing could compare to the sight of the changing leaves dotting the hillside, the crimson and the orange intermixed with fading green and yellow.

Casina Arcadius stood momentarily at a narrow wooden footbridge which led into a forested area of the garden, heading further beside the creek as it swelled into a mountain stream through a cut in the valley. By her last check, the groundskeepers were ahead of schedule decorating the garden patio for the formal reception after the gala in the main hall, affording her a few moments to appreciate the view she had come to neglect in her duties at Praeclarus. Tsyion was an amazingly beautiful city, nestled in the midst of Serenity Valley, surrounded by the rustic charm of the Palisades in all their glory. Such a shame that her duties kept her inside most days, away from the vibrancy of Praeclarus and all that it had to offer. If only the money weren't so good...

Who the Hell am I kidding? The money's great...

The attaché shook her head, sighing, already bored with her musings. It wasn't as if the gardeners were paid slave wages, of course: there were far worse things in life than to be under the charge of Phaedra's estate, in any capacity. And though she missed the little things in life, her work in the Evenguard had borne much fruit for the Imperium. As a virtual help-meet for the Imperatrix, Casina had become as indispensable to Phaedra as had Oleg Korzakhov and John Cailean, albeit in her own unique way. Her invaluable service to Phaedra had blessed her with the privilege of being the first non-Azur to ever plan a decennial celebration for a Phaedra. It was an honor she took very seriously, not just because of a personal measure of pride or ambition either.

"No other gala will match that of my Phaedra's first," Casina reassured herself quietly, turning from the mountain scenery at the last to resume her preparations. Despite being ahead of schedule, there was still much work to do if she meant to have the Estate properly dressed for the dignitaries planning to attend. According to the Estate's historian, no single planned Summit meeting had ever seen so many foreign dignitaries from around the world preparing to attend as would this particular gathering. It was a testament to the work of her and her staff in setting things up, but it was also a testament to the Evenguard's renewed attention on foreign affairs. For years, the Colossus had slumbered in blissful ignorance, but those days were rapidly closing.

"You know," a voice called out from ahead of her on the patio, "all this walking is tough on an old bastard."

The inflection, to say nothing of the verbiage betrayed the speaker before Casina had even picked him out of the crowd. Soon enough though, Oleg Korzakhov separated himself from a throng of attendants and stewards arranging the décor in the garden, his button up shirt partially-soaked with perspiration. He'd also found a way to stain his khaki pleats with paint, most certainly from the Cubiculo, which was undergoing renovations in preparation for the festivities at Praeclarus. The old man had been more active physically since his physician had instructed him to give up the alcohol and drugs, and the cavorting with women. Of course, those in the know held no illusions to what had really happened, but despite his reputation, he still carried great respect at Praeclarus.

No need to embarrass him for having been ordered by Phaedra to straighten up and fly right...

"Hail, Serr Korzakhov," Casina addressed him politely, taking her clipboard and handing it to a passing attendant trying to lug a utility crate full of electrical wiring down to the fountain below her. "You look well today!"

"Oh, put a lid on it, you Krytopian sock puppet," Oleg fired off at her in faux-disgust, wiping beading sweat from an arched eyebrow. "Phaedra wanted me to check in with you, and see if you needed any help in the garden."

"Out here? No, I think we have things covered," Casina replied, crossing her arms expectantly. "Though if you wanted to take over for me and see to the décor in the main atrium, that would be absolutely lovely!"

Korzakhov wasted no time in scoffing. "To Hell with you, I'm going to eat a doughnut."

"Keep it up, old man," Arcadius laughed, pointing towards his belly, which had been quietly expanding in lieu of his sexual appetite's deprivation. "You'll get the doctor onto you about your blood pressure if you aren't careful."

"High blood pressure is all that I have left to look forward to," Oleg rasped, coughing into his hand. "I've been smoking cigarettes for so long, my lungs think an extended walk is a form of torture. They're not wrong, either."

"You'll find your sea legs soon enough," Casina reassured him. The old man wasn't nearly as convinced.

"That's what Phaedra said to me earlier. I think you're both full of shit."

"Speaking of," Casina changed the subject, using his wisecrack to segue into a matter which had been pressing on her, "Phaedra hasn't come to do her tour of the gardens yet. You wouldn't happen to know what she's doing, would you? We are doing the best we can, but we can't finalize things without her approval."

Oleg motioned up towards the balcony of the Estate's second floor, pointing. "See for yourself."

Casina stole a look up towards the terrace, which adjoined to Phaedra's private study. The Imperatrix was standing there, staring off into the distance, gazing upon the same mountain vista that Casina had stolen a glance at not five minutes before. But whereas Casina was marveling at the majesty of Praeclarus and its surroundings, Phaedra was considerably less moved. In its place, even from that distance, was the clear etchings of distress and worry. It was a painful look, marked by abject grief, as if she was mourning the loss of a dear friend or loved one. Phaedra was the epitome of strength and perseverance to her people; to see her suffering so mightily in grief... It was beyond all manner of recompense. Phaedra was hurting, and there was nothing that could be done to alleviate her burden.

Mistress, why do you torture yourself so?

Casina frowned deeply, turning back to Oleg. "She's still nervous, isn't she?"

Oleg shrugged. "Wouldn't you be, if you were prepared to turn the world upside down?"


The commotion below her balcony was frivolity in the grand scheme of things. She supposed that there was some obligation to sign off on whatever it was that they were doing in preparation for the diplomatic gathering, but frankly, she couldn't muster the energy to care. There were far more important things than gauging whether the color of the carpet or the positioning of the lighting was proper to her tastes. She had no taste for decorations right now, only the bittersweet anguish of a lurid truth which produced a stink in her nostrils that made her want to wretch. So much was about to be accomplished, visceral and poignant simultaneously, and her words would stand as the epicenter for it all. She had never despised a task as much as she had come to despise this one.

And it isn't even upon me, yet.

Calixte breathed in deeply, trying to center herself in the moment, shedding the unwanted feelings, finding herself longing for the embrace of Silvier more and more each passing day. Though Caesar was assuredly in the air and en route to Kinseleagh as she stood there, the distance between them was making the breadth of her charge that much more daunting. For the time being, she was very much alone in her thoughts, and the thoughts weren't good. On the contrary, they were a vicious and foreboding storm of emotions that threatened to rent her from top to bottom, casting away all of her pomp, the carefully-constructed veneer which separated the Phaedra from the woman. Here, in the quiet solitude of her private abode, she was laid naked and exposed before the world.

Things had not gone according to plan for Calixte in the last two weeks, and though she had made every attempt to make the best of the situation, Phaedra was rapidly losing her patience. The various machinations of her charge had blitzed her from all sides, keeping her running to and fro, trying to ensure that every full measure was engaged. The Karajaani situation had left her reeling, though, beyond all normal bounds, and with her sister now in transit towards the beleaguered aisle, attempting to accomplish in peace what Calixte had cause to go to war for, things felt as though they were out of her control. Her right hand man had accompanied her sister as part of the envoy, further exposing her to the political winds in Tsyion. She needed her bulwarks, her pillars of strength about her.

What you need is to remember who you are, a firm voice in her mind reprimanded her, chiding her lack of faith. You have the power of a thousand suns resting in your soul, Shroudlure. Have faith, and accomplish.

Calixte ran her finger along the stone balustrade, tracing the edge. "I have no faith left."

Then you must find it, Shroudlure. Your Children depend on it.

Each breath in was shallower than the last; the cool air intermixing with the fire burning inside her soul. The fear that had consumed her was blossoming into full-fledged anger, now; a vitriol that was churning inside of her. To what cause was she forced to rent the fabric of the Evenguard as it had existed? Were it now so grievous a sin to rest on complacency, that one was punished with the foreknowledge that countless lives were going to be altered? Was her punishment truly the work of just and benevolent forces in the universe? Caius Anaximander would certainly claim so, but Caius wasn't here, she was, and the steep price she was preparing to pay was wanton and grievous. The fear was not her true enemy; rather, it was injustice, naked and plain for all to see.

You must comply, Shroudlure.

"To Hell with you," Calixte spoke out loud, sneering. "To Hell with everything; I'll do as I please—"

"Beg your pardon, m'lady?" The voice of her servant, Maranthe pierced the quiet of her solitude. Calixte spun on her heels quickly, the look of surprise etched across her face. She hadn't even heard her approach from the study...

"I am so sorry, mistress, I meant not to alarm—"

"What do you want?" Calixte barked, a new ferocity in her voice from before.

"Madam Arcadius and Serr Korzakhov wish to speak with you at your convenience, m'lady."

Calixte glared at her. "Tell them Phaedra will speak with them shortly."

"Yes, ma'am," her servant meekly replied. "By your grace, m'lady."

Phaedra watched as her servant quickly departed the terrace, leaving back through the study from whence she'd came. All manner of self-doubt and pity had evaporated in a firestorm of bitter rage and frustration. There was no supreme force compelling her to a predetermined fate; she made her own fate, and it was high time that she accepted that truth. The myth that her Children were going to suffer fate as it extracted ts measure of flesh, satiating itself on the blood of her people was folly. No, her Children were going to enjoy the fruits of her labor, and enjoy themselves with their Phaedra shepherding them to a brighter tomorrow. This summit meeting, this gathering... it wasn't her curse, it was her blessing. It was a chance to show off her country before the world.

There's nothing that you can't handle...

Calixte smiled, content with her internalizing. There was no need for worry; everything else was of no consequence. It could be dealt with later, when things were calm. The Summit gathering was going to go off without a hitch.
Last edited by New Azura on Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.



Her Graceful Excellence the Phaedra
By the Grace of the Lord God, the Daughter of Tsyion, Spirited Maiden, First Matron of House Vardanyan
Imperatrix of the Evenguard of Azura and Sovereign Over Her Dependencies, the Governess of Isaura
and the Defender of the Children of Azura

— Current Roleplays —
Congress of Ishikawa|Summit Tsyion 2016

— Multilateral Agreements —
CAPINTERN|Global Aerospace Trade Association|The Western Pact

— Controlled Nations —
Azura, Lexmark, New Azura

— Other Supported Regions —
Astyria (PT | MT), Teremara (P/MT | FT), The Local Cluster (FT)

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The Macabees
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Founded: Antiquity

Postby The Macabees » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:54 pm

Arrival of the Macabean Delegation

"By what force are we entitled rule?" asked a young boy to his father.

The father, proud Lord Gregor Bendián Karr himself, looked down at the lad for only a brief second before setting his eyes once more on the smoldering field that lay before them. Dozens of burnt-out vehicles littered the vast plain, all of it covered in a thick pattern of ash and soot. The bodies of thousands of dead men lay as far as the eye could see, many of them dismembered and quartered beyond recognition. It was ghastly, and the young boy looked at it mouth agape. The father seemed unperturbed. They stood on a tall mesa that overlooked the ruins of the recent battle, the two of them far above those peasants whose lives had been sacrificed below.

"Because it is Willed, Turok," said the father finally, his eyes still on the destructive expanse.

Perhaps the shock of death affected the boy, but he seemed to take that almost intellectually. "Did they deserve to die?" he asked.

The father turned away from the remains of the battle and took a knee before his son. "Let me ask you something, Turok," said the lord. "Do you deserve to die? Assume for a second that you live your life perfectly without sin. As you lay at night, your old, thin bones no longer able to withstand the cold, do you deserve to die?"

Bringing his finger to his lips, the boy thought about the question in search of an answer. His father waited patiently, a kind smile on his face, despite the grimness of what he had wrought. "I suppose that in that situation I would have lived a full life and that it is to Nature's choice that I am bound. I am not entitled to life, after all."

"Aha!" replied the father. "That is correct. We are not entitled to life, and so the question of whether we deserve death is irrelevant. We are not in the business of choosing, we are simply chosen."

He turned his head to look back over the lip of the cliff that led to the corpses below, and said, "Díenstad conquers because it is Willed, and when it is no longer Willed then we will no longer conquer. No one deserves the fate they are handed, just as no one deserves death, but what is simply is. Look! Look at the dead strewn across the plain below. Study it. Appreciate its art. Humanity is great because it struggles without respite to be great, and this, this that you see below, is merely the byproduct, the waste of the díelekta. Know that, see its purpose, and you too perhaps shall be the one who is ultimately rewarded with greatness."

The boy, young Turok, looked with wide, innocent eyes at the blight below him. He captured then that field, with its black frames of destroyed tanks demonically twisted in impossible ways and the never-ending trail of slaughtered men. It was the same field that would for a very long time plague his dreams, until worse sights had replaced them...

The drive to Praeclarus was short; at least, shorter than it would be for most others heading to the summit. Jogornos Turok Bendián left the embassy in Kinseleagh early morning that same day and, busy as he always was with paperwork, once they arrived at the gates of the estate, it felt as if almost no time had passed at all. Even as they drove into the palace grounds, the jogornos paid no attention to the Praeclarus' sprawling rolling hills decorated by flowers and trees of lush green and bright colors. There was still much work to do and, with the summit planned to extend into the day and perhaps the next, very little time to do it in. Black pen in hand, the Macabean ambassador stuck to his duties even as their auto came to a stop at the courtyard.

Across from the ambassador sat Adjogornos Tem Nol, the man in charge with doing all the busy work that Bendián didn't want to do. Of course, there wasn't much work that met that criteria when it came to the jogornos, because he always wanted to do all of it. The man wasn't very good at delegating the in-the-weeds grit that men of his stature were far too important to concern themselves with. Nol shook his head as he saw the boss scribble away.

Soro Dejín too looked at Bendián work, with Leutkoronel Gal Verona opting to look out the window just across from him. The four of them were sitting on two wide, tan leather bench seats, arrayed as it were like in any other vehicle. To the right and to their left were the flanks of the large, black sports utility vehicle, with Dejín and the adjornos facing toward the front. Between the two seats was a large wood table that matched the upholstery of the car. Forming one large block unit, it was firmly rooted into the vehicle's flooring and, in fact, one could open compartments at either end to access small refrigerators that held bottles of water, refreshments, and whatever else its occupants wanted. Despite all of these amenities, the passenger's compartment was quite roomy, owing to the fact that there was no need for front seats — for there was no driver!

It was Dejín who broke the silence. "To you, it's always time to work, huh Turok. You know, even busy men like you must rest every once in a while!"

"Yes, well, the jogornos doesn't believe in rest," replied Nol. He looked at the ambassador, but Bendián failed even to lift his head in response. His hand must have burned, furiously moving to write as it was. But he seemed not to be aware of anything outside his cone of concentration. The adjogornos lightly chuckled and added, "Sometimes I fear that my position will one day cease to be there, because the jogornos does all my work for me!"

"Here," said Bendián suddenly. He clicked to recede the pen's nib and handed what he wrote to Nol. It was a letter to Caritate Phaedras, a name that the adjogornos recognized. Organized directly under the purview of the Phaedra herself, the charity was tasked with distributing funds to regions in need. The embassy, tasked with constructing the Golden Throne's image in the Evenguard, had written the organization to donate funding. They had apparently responded, because — from what Nol was able to scan as he looked it over — the letter was about a hefty wire transfer to the charity's account. "Type that up and send it to our usual point of contact at Caritate Phaedras. They expect it by tomorrow morning," finished the jogornos. When he saw Nol's sour face, he quickly added, "What, I thought you were looking for job safety? In fact here," he handed him a thick portfolio of loose papers, "you can read through all these letters too. Sort the high priority ones for me, the rest you can respond for yourself."

Nol grunted. Dejín, at that, erupted in a boisterous laugh that overwhelmed all else in the car. "You shouldn't have said anything. Now it looks like you'll be working all night!" he boomed, his voice rebounding off the vehicle's inner walls.

"Yes, thank you for pointing that out," replied Nol, again sarcastically. He wondered why Dejín, who was neither a member of the embassy nor of the Imperial government, had even been invited to come to the summit along with the jogornos and the aides of his choice (Nol and Verona).

Admittedly, Soro Dejín was perhaps the most important member of the delegation. Chief executive officer of Navitek, the man was probably more properly considered a sovereign since the company's acquisition of the Isthmus of Jumanota. The powers that be in Fedala avoided recognizing that fact, but them sticking their heads in the sand did not alter reality one bit. Regardless, Dejín's newfound status had earned him a spot at the table and Fedala had not hesitated one second to take him in under their own wing, no doubt to continue communicating the message that Navitek still answered to the state it paid taxes to. Of course, as more and more of the business moved to Jumanota, that message became less and less true.

The Navitek situation would come to a head one day, but for now Dejín agreed to attend events like these with representatives of the Golden Throne. Perhaps it was recognition of the favor the Empire had made it by deploying auxiliaries to help maintain security on the isthmus. Perhaps it was all just a game to Dejín, one whose rules he only agreed to follow for now.

When the car pulled up into the courtyard, it came to such a soft stop that those inside had barely noticed that the vehicle had stopped moving. That being said, they had hardly noted it moving to begin with. It was the sudden opening of the doors that alerted them to having arrived, the two big side panels rising until they stopped at an obtuse angle, toward the boundless sky. Outside, imperial guards stood erect, their eyes glued to the distance but their attention undoubtedly on the Macabean delegation and anything else alien to these grounds. Apart from the guardsmen and other palatial staff, however, there was no sign of any other arrivals.

"We are the first here, perhaps," said the adjogornos, apropos to the setting.

"That makes us first to meet the Phaedra then," boomed Dejín, his voice rich with excitement and ambition.

The adjogornos eyed the man, but it was Bendián who responded. "You are to follow our lead, Soro. I will be sure to acquaint you with all of those politicians of value to you, so that you may sing to their ears and fill their pockets later. But, you and your...agenda...must wait tonight, for matters of state are far more important here than those concerning Navitek."

Dejín's initial silence manifested his disagreement, but he shook the scolding off his shoulders quickly. "Whatever you say, Jogornos. Long live His Imperial Majesty and all!"

The other three men peered at Soro Dejín wearily. Sarcasm at the emperor's expense was not widely appreciated amongst proper citizens of the Empire, and anywhere else a comment such as that may have ended with disciplining. Instead, the jogornos allowed Dejín to walk ahead of them and then he whispered to Verona, "Watch him. And he if says something he should not, ensure that he gets lost in the lustra."

Verona smiled an evil smile. "It would be my pleasure, sir."
Last edited by The Macabees on Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Founded: Nov 21, 2014

Postby Geara » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:54 am

The Grand Terraces defied my expectations in many ways. I was expecting something akin to a range of mesas or bluffs, but what I discovered shocked me. There are three terraces side-by-side, each a decapitated mountain. A perfectly formed spiral of flat steps separated each of the terraces in a cone with a large flat space at the top. You cannot understand it unless you see it, for they are truly mountains carved into their current shape. Samuel, my guide, tells me that the operation was performed without the aid of metal or stone tools. Instead they were carved by fire-hardened wood and the tramp of a million footsteps. The mechanism of its creation is hardly worth mentioning, however, in comparison to my lasting awe at the scale.
-- George Cavendish, “Letters to Home” (1843)

The looming shadow of Matthew French gave Xian a shiver and a ripple of gooseflesh. It was equal parts his physical and personal stature that unnerved him. For one, Matthew was a towering figure amongst the relatively short Gearans, but even amongst foreigners he seemed to have the advantage of height. His eyes were always heavily hooded, as though he was very close to sleep, but it occurred to Xian that he had too many secrets written on the back of his eyelids and wanted to keep them hidden. He was also insidiously well connected to the royal court, seeming to always have an unseen ally plying his will or, when allies failed, the king himself gravely advising on his behalf. That was the sort of man that Matthew French was, dark and shadowy, altogether unlike his more honest countrymen.

Lord Thurmquist was more to Xian’s liking: even tempered, a strong beard, not too tall, and a little pudgy. They knew each other from the Capital Club, a common respite of dignitaries such as themselves in the capital city of Germium. For this reason, Xian and his friend hung well back from their leading delegate, in addition to inexperience in the wide world and for fear of igniting some hidden fuse. This disparity bothered Xian a great deal until they reached the valley. From the windows of their vehicle they could see great heaps of horticulture in every color and combination imaginable.

“Good lord, Richard! Get a look at all that!” Xian said as they passed a particularly ostentatious cluster of delonix regia.

Thurmquist wheezed as he pressed up against Xian to peer at the towering example of red blossoms. His substantial eyebrows worked up down wildly as he sought to take in the various sights all at once.

“How do you think they manage to see the whole garden in a single sitting?” He asked bemusedly.

“I assume they must have somewhere to sleep in the middle,” Xian proposed after some thought, “So you could spend several days in it without ever needing to leave.”

“It’s very involved then, eh?” Thurmquist went on, “I was never one for too much literary horticulture, I doubt I could make it for days on end with nothing to do but walk!”

“Do you think they might have amorphophallus titanium here?”

“I should say so. With this acreage I imagine the Phaedra must have at least one of every blossom somewhere or else the plot would get very dry very quickly.”

“Seigneurs, this is a jardin à la recherche, a looking garden, not one of our peripatetic gardens.” Matthew announced abruptly, having hardly said hello upon their first introduction, “They have a very different sense of horticulture. In fact, groundskeepers are relatively low-payed artists.”

There was long silence as the pair of nobles processed this. First they were surprised to hear him speak at all, Xian had secretly hoped that he might have been stutterer and thus much less imposing, but the issue of gardening was far more important. While portraits could be gotten for pennies on the street, a decent garden could cost thousands to create and maintain—it was considered a very exclusive and academic pursuit. No one in the car had ever attempted to start their own garden, though they had all been to dozens as a form of polite recreation over the years.

“How very sad. Whatever do they do with their time if the arts are so underdeveloped?” Xian said sorrowfully thinking of his many happy hours spent in pursuit of a good path through a good garden.

“…but I am sure the Phaedra has amorphophallus titanium somewhere here, even a looking garden must have its varieties,” Thurmquist said comfortingly.

“There is much to be said for the arts outside of botany, Seigneur,” Matthew continued. “I expect it might be to your benefit to tour the oil paintings here, I am told there is an extensive collection.”

“How dull,” Thurmquist pouted, “Doing all that walking and not even getting a decent detail. You know, Minister, that’s why oil paintings never caught on, there’s just not the same detail as the real world offers.”

Matthew glowered at Thurmquist and lapsed into silence. He was educated in a Oir school, a flippant term that Gearans used for foreigners and was a fluent French speaker. What he lacked was a princely education like his counterparts, which exposed young men of station to the traditional arts; things like horticulture, botany, sculpture, poetry, and etc. He had read novels, listened to classical music, and surveyed many museum walls of oil paintings. These things were decidedly untraditional, trifles for the poor and foolish. Even what few novels were accepted into the Gearan canon were extremely different from any of the narratives he was brought up reading. The culture gap between his fellow Gearans and the world was almost insurmountable. It was as if they spoke the same words, but with meanings just different enough to cause confusion.

“I suppose there will be time to see the gardens then?” Xian asked expectantly.

“Oh, definitely!” Thurmquist answered, allowing Matthew to return to his unseeing stare out the window, “I went to one of these things in Frae one year. Lots of very important people get together and do their best to do very important things as slowly as possible.”

Thurmquist launched into the tale of the Fraesburg Conference 1988 during which had spent several days touring the beerhalls of the city. Whenever the conference came to a close with the signing of the Typhon-Hamilton proposals for international fishing rights, the much younger Colonel Richard Thurmquist had been enjoying a picnic atop a nearby mountain. This, of course, reminded him of his time in alpine training up north in Electria and the rest of the journey devolved in the slightly rowdy swapping of tales between Thurmquist and Xian whilst Matthew looked with hooded eyes towards the horizon and the low-hanging sun.

Matthew blessed himself and thanked God for allowing the ride to come an end shortly thereafter. Xian and Thurmquist tumbled out, both of their faces slightly pink from laughter. Each of them carried a small satchel of personal belongings and some of their religious implements that required nightly attention while their luggage was handled quietly by the staff without their supervision. Giddy with the excitement that can only be born from stretching one’s legs after long confinement, Xian and Thurmquist immediately went off in search of a bed of purple bearded irises they had spied through the window. They peered over them carefully, inspecting the tenseness of the stems and thickness of the petals.

“These are very well kept for a foreign garden,” Xian commented after a good deal of hemming and hawing about the symmetry of the blossom.

“But look at this, these petals haven’t been trained at all!” Thurmquist protested, “They are allowed to fall over each other and there doesn’t seem to be much uniformity in orientation.”

“They’re foreigners, I’d say we should be impressed they’ve managed to keep anything upright at all. Besides, this could be one of those progressive arrangements that’s all about ‘chaotic beauty’ and what have you.”

“Chaotic my arse! It’s just young botanists being lazy if you ask me.”

Thurmquist reached hand into the bed and snipped off one of the blooms that he found particularly offensive for its orientation. The soft purple petals swayed breezily with the motion, but Xian straightened and gasped. The old soldier waved him off and brought it up to his face for a whiff.

“You know, Xian, I don’t think anyone designed this at all.”

“Whatever do you mean?”

“Haven’t you noticed that there are no signatures anywhere? Not even one of those cryptic ones where you have to tilt your head sideways to see.”

They both inspected their surroundings, confirming that indeed, no one had bothered to plant their artistic mark of ownership on the plot of dirt at which they now stood. They twisted their heads and looked this way and that, but it seemed that the irises were completely without ownership. It was at that moment Matthew found his companions, twitching about like turkeys, and drew them back towards their point of arrival. They came up on the rear of the Macabeans, shuffling slowly with Matthew pushing at their backs like naughty school-children.

“Hullo!” Thurmquist shouted, much to the eternal despair of his compatriots.
Last edited by Geara on Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Greater Themis
Posts: 116
Founded: Oct 18, 2015

Postby Greater Themis » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:04 am

''Every leader's challenge is the balance between compromise, and furthering his people's cause.'' The succinct quote sat at the top of the page, one of the many gems of wisdom picked up in interview. The interrogator sifted through his hasty notes, written whilst the well-spoken words hung in his mind, as the story came together in his head.

His subject sat only a few metres away, the aircraft bulkhead adding an illusion of physical and political distance, dividing the President and his closest advisors from the support staff at the back. At the back of the aircraft, the interviewer was the sole journalist within this entourage, privileged enough to hold position as the Official Correspondent to the Media. His overly inflated title faced the world in crisp black type, printed on the pass that hung around his neck, stern passport photo staring at him. Around him, various secreterial and clerical staff had got to work, whilst others slept, a mix of the aircraft's chefs, support staff and guards.

Opening a laptop, he let the artificial blue light of the screen light up his surroundings, adding to the dimmed lights of the night flight. It lit up the décor of what passed for economy class on this jet aircraft: from the black reclining seats, spaced for legroom, the crest of the nation embroidered in silver thread on each headrest; to the thick pile of the carpets. For a socialist president, a man who condemned excess and rooted for personal fulfilment over symbols of status, it was surprising the vehicle was still in use. But, as the leader had explained with a wry smile, there wasn't that large a market for second-hand presidential aircraft in Greater Dienstad. Sitting back, he began to type, fingers flying over the keyboard. With any luck, the report would be back in time for the morning news run.

''Good morning Mr Kyriacos, I hope you slept well. The President requires your attendance in the Blue Lounge to take breakfast with his staff.''
The uniformed flight attendant smiled, evidently unphased by the fitful sleep the man beside her had endured, passing him a glass of water.
''Service is in ten minutes, if you wish to compose yourself beforehand.''

''So, ladies and gentlemen, as we are set to touch down in a few hours, I felt now is better than ever to discuss our aims. But first, I wish you all to cast your memories back to your school education, however many years ago that may be. Think of your history classes, where lessons of our forefathers, national heroes, explorers, scientists, dominated the school day. And think of the common theme – of a trading nation, with Dienstad and beyond, willing to spread our wealth, our industry, but behind closed doors. Talk to another nation, and whilst they may be aware of the trade our proud nation pioneers, the projects we have financed, they may not even know of a single Themisi product, or person. We have been a nation of backroom negotiations for centuries, something that has benefitted us as a neutral, strong and independent power.

However, I wish to look to the future. In this modern age, isolationism is becoming an increasingly unaffordable privilege, where the tradeoff is between freedom and prosperity. Our nation champions both, but can only carry on doing so if we become more of a political and cultural presence. Some sectors of the press have criticised my actions as head of state, seeing my travels around the world as an endless taxpayer-funded holiday. But unless we strike future trading deals, we will be relegated to a bottom league. Unless we enforce our ideals, and extend friendship rather than a chequebook to nations that share our views, all too soon we may find those who wish to destroy our way of life paying a visit.

To that end, make every opportunity you can of any audience you receive with any person at this most prestigious of conferences. Those amongst us with diplomatic privileges, I expect you to make full use of them in organising deals both now and future. Those without, extend what invitations you can, make it your patriotic duty to extend relationships, both with our hosts, and with our fellow guests.''

The President paused, taking gentle sips from the rich, dark coffee in front of him. The satisfaction glowed on his face as he enjoyed the drink, before looking on to the continental spread laid out on the table in front of his guests.
''I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our embedded reporter, or whatever title my administration has invented, Mr Halie Kyriacos, from the Themisi Union of Journalists. I expect you to all assist Mr Kyriacos on his far more difficult mission; that of conveying my mission to the public back home, making it interesting, and not simply focussing on scandal.''

A gentle laugh rose from the table, the President himself smiling.
''Don't you worry though Halie. In fact, as I recall, I believe your skills go beyond that of penmanship? I am correct in thinking our reporter has a keen eye as a photographer.''
''I believe that is the case, Mr President.''

Halie spoke up, listening as there was a pause. After a couple seconds, almost like hours, he got the hint, reaching into the bag he had beneath the table.
''Would there be any objections to a group photograph, something to illustrate your speech?''
''Not in the slightest.''

The President had always had attention to detail, something honed during his service in the Naval Militia. And as his vehicle cut along the clean roads towards the Royal Estate of Praeclarus, it was the details he was admiring. The crisp road markings on deep black asphalt ribbons, the sharp edges of the roadway. And beyond, the autumnal palate of the hillsides set a fairytale backdrop to the scene. It reminded him of places he had visited as a child in the north of his homeland, where the warm summers and mild winters were replaced by weather somewhat harsher. And yet, in the warmth of his car, his formal winter dress providing comfort as the weather changed, he was able to admire the beauty of the scene, without the biting cold the late afternoon was bringing.

''You know, I have always wondered what Azura would be like. And I certainly have yet to be disappointed.''
''They do know how to put on a show.''
''Tell me though, Alexandra, did you bring your walking boots? This is a nation that enjoys the outdoors.''
He turned back to his assistant, smiling as she frowned.
''Don't you worry, I'm sure you can find a solution.''

The small convoy of cars turned a corner on this private roadway of the estate, displaying a fantastic mountainous vista. Perfectly blue, untainted water stretched below in a glorious mountain lake, sunlight twinkling from the crystal surface, in perfect contrast to the red hues of the vast forest. And up ahead, a beautiful town was emerging from the trees, their destination for the evening.
''Tell me Alexandra, what do you think of the Envoy that the Foreign Minister sent to rein me in?''
''Oh, are you talking about Mr Dmitros? I don't feel it would be appropriate for me to have an opinion.''
''Alexandra, I always value your opinion. However, I was surprised at his appointment as a Special Envoy – I've only ever encountered him in his work at the Foreign Ministry as a grey man is it were. I would have thought they would have sponsored someone more senior – indeed, it almost seems his supporting diplomatic team are more experienced.''
''Well, I can't exactly comment. Did you not have a say in his appointment?''
''Somewhat – though the Foreign Minister was adamant he had a representative on the ground here. Please make sure someone keeps tabs on him, I would rather not deal with him.''

The car had wound through a number of picturesque streets, the setting a model town as it were. It was obvious to his eye that the town wasn't one in the normal sense – indeed people lived here, but not in the haphazard, near anarchy that any town possessed. The streets were pristinely clean, traffic signs placed perfectly as if to be symmetrical, even cars parked in driveways and parking spots perfectly. Their allocated lodgings had been agreed upon beforehand, a picturesque villa on the opposite side of the town, a mere few minutes drive from this utopia.
''Keep me updated as to timings Alexandra – I would hate to be late to the opening ball.''

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United World Order
Posts: 4156
Founded: Jun 16, 2011
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby United World Order » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:18 pm

Arrival of the Ordenite delegation.

These were turbulent times for the Ordenite Reich as it saw it self besieged and attacked at all sides by the greater powers that be in central and eastern Dienstad. The Reich was feeling tremendous pressure externally as it was being harassed at all points of it's extended reach of power. Kashubia was under invasion by a coalition of nations aligned with the People's Unified Federation, a sworn rival and enemy of the Reich. South Panooly was seen as in danger as hostilities had finally erupted between the Reich and the Golden Throne which it's satrapy was being invaded by what Wehrmacht forces could be mustered in the region to do so. Even the homeland, Germania was being attacked although so far such attacks had been thwarted, it was only logical to expect that more attacks were coming. Friends were something the Reich had little to none of in Dienstad as it's only regional ally, Castille was also being enveloped in armed conflict with the People's Unified Federation as well. Other attempts at friendship with such powers alike the Golden Throne of Macabees had been full of complications and frustration expressed by both sides. The Reich was running out of options and with a multi-theater war in full swing now and it's influence militarily being contested, the announcement from the Phaedra of the Evanguard about a summit being held in their capital, Tysion was a last ditch effort for the Reich to acquire some form of cooperation from a nation that had yet to truly become entangled in the mess of Dienstadi geopolitics and agendas.

The Evanguard was a nation that the Ordenites had yet to truly witness or know much about. So it was at the wishes of Oswald Grossmann himself that he be the one to travel to the Evanguard capital of Tysion and meet Phaedra. Along with him was Valentin Voelker the foreign minister, Philipp Schmitt who was the Department chief of culture and was part of the Reichministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment. Hendrik Muhr the national leader of the youth and head of the Orden Youth also joined the trio in heading to the Evanguard and representing the Reich in foreign lands. "What a sight this is, almost reminds me of the forests of Sturmburg." said Grossmann while adjusting the collar on his coat which he wore on him, the limozine which was taking them to their destination was passing through a heavily forested area as Grossmann looked out the window at the passing tall trees. Across from him sat Voelker who drummed his fingers and looked out from the interior of the limozine at the passing landscape.

"Herr Grossmann, have you heard of the appearance of a Mokan delegation to this summit as well?"
he asked. "Those Macabeeans are said to be attending as well." he said further untill Grossmann looked at Voelker and laughed.

"I don't care if those damn she males from Holy Marsh were attending this summit, none of this matters to me, only what we must accomplish here tonight."
he said in return. Muhr and Schmitt listened on to the conversation between Grossmann and Voelker. "Our Reich must come out of this with a new friend in this damned region, else we continue this fight we have on our hands alone." He said further before Voelker responded.

"Hopefully those backward idiots don't show, it's enough that their incompentent president thinks he can win this war."
he waved his hand. "Not to mention those noble stooges from the Golden Throne, what kind of aristocrat are they going to send here?" Voelker laughed. "Some bafoon I'm sure." he added. The limozine transporting the Ordenite delegation eventually reached their destination which was the western entrance designated for them to enter the luxiourious mansion through. The driver soon enough stepped out of the limozine and opened the door, holding it open for the Ordenite delegation to exit from the vehicle and make their way through a glass room that had a garden within it. Grossmann lead the way as the delegation passed the Imperial guards who stood erect and vigilant as steel toed jack boots clicked on the concrete and eventually the tile of the interior of the Mansion. It seemed that upon the arrival of Grossmann and the delegation that the Macabeeans and Gearans were first to arrive before them. Voelker stood beside Grossmann and spoke quietly between the two of them, Grossmann had his gaze on the Jogornos, Turok Bendian.

"I believe that is the Macabeeans over there." Voelker said referring to Bendian and Nol who stood across from them, one of the Gearans had caught the duo's attention. Grossmann snickered and glanced back at Hendrik and Philipp who talked amongst themselves. "Relax and enjoy the festivities, gentleman. I must make my acquaintance with the royal stooges." Grossmann said as Voelker stayed back as his counter part headed towards Bendian and Nol.

Unlike the Gearan who had approached the duo from the rear, Grossmann approached from the right as he stopped a few steps away from Bendian and Nol and made himself known to the foreigners. "Well well, I think this is the first time I've ever truly stepped foot out of my own country and onto the soil of foreigners." he began and continued, addressing Bendian and Nol themselves. "I take it you both are part of the Macabeean delegation that are here to see this summit too?" he finished not even recognizing or attempting to address the Gearan who had got to the duo first.

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Mokastana » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:11 am

Trust the Mokans to be armed, even when among their allies.

Such a phrase was not just clever words. For the Mokans, it was a way of life. Mokastana was a nation born in fire and blood, baptised by betrayal and forced to grow up in a hostile world full of colonizers and imperialists. Many who saw her great redwoods, fertile farmlands and indigenous peoples viewed then as mere fuel for their own empires back home. More nations had raised their imperialistic flags over Mokan soil than any local cared to remember. Growing up in such a world made the Mokan People distrustful, paranoid even, but they were only products of their environment.

It was not a history without examples. The first international conference ever hosted in Mokastana City was firebombed by Urcean imperialists, who then ransacked the Capital and cared not for the lives of diplomats or civilians. Kroando was next, stealing the Island of Juventud from Mokastana under the banner of war, retaliation for when the Mokans offered aid to an oppressed population. Mokan VIPs had been killed in Greal, who also held the record for most Mokan embassies burned on their soil. Allies who offered aide during wartime came only to occupy instead of liberate. Even the famous Grand World Order had once burned through the Surian countryside of the Mokan Mainland. When they were weak, no one had cared for the plight of the Pueblo de Mokastana, which made the lesson extremely clear: In this world, only the strong survive. Life as a colony had only hardened the resolve of the Mokan people, and the Mokans would dedicate their existence to ensuring foreign control never happened again.

Of course, it took more than force of arms to secure a nation's place in the world. The broken Mokan nations had to unify under one government First as a confederation, then as the People's Unified Federation. Though small, the Mokan State had grown since its bloody birth. The PUF offered membership to its Federation to other small nations, expanding its influence across Greater Dienstad and the world. It made trade deals and joined alliances. For 20+ years the Federation grew, raising its children in a world without foreign intervention, a Mokastana that was more than just someone else's battlefield. A Mokastana that was able to stand up proudly, and show the world, finally, who they were. United with their fellow Federal Nations, such as Wellovia and Aqua Anu, they began to expand and becane a minor, but influential, power in the East. It was this mature, peaceful, but paranoid, version of the People's Unified Federation that Foreign Minister Elizabeth Franshaw was going to introduce to the Far West.

Elizabeth checked her .45 caliber Derringer before putting it back into its well hidden holster. Just a minor detail in her prep work before a major diplomatic event. Her aides would also have similar small arms while their security teams carried the much larger Lyran .50 caliber hand cannons as a last line of defense. The odds of their use were practically negligible, but it was their way to be armed at all moments. Besides the weapons, Elizabeth and her staff and her went over documents and intelligence, trying to understand the local culture and guess what the hosts intentions were. With nations like The Golden Throne, Geara, Ghant, and even Yohannes attending, it would be political suicide not to show up. Not to mention, what a better way to demonstrate your success in a war then to fly a VIP to the opposite side of the region, and past your enemy's homeland to meet with them face to face.

Elsewhere on the plane from the Romani-Marshite Union, an agent from the Mokastana Bureau of Secret Affairs(MBSA) was doing final checks of their own gear. A high ranking enemy who dared to declare war on the PUF was going to be at the event. It was a rare chance to see the Orderite Party Leader out in the open like this. A chance the MBSA could not pass up, but they had to be discreet. Guns and bombs were attention grabbers, and anything that ruined the diplomatic event would be investigated. No doubt the PUF would be the primary suspect if suspicion was raised. They had to be quiet, careful, and most of all, appear innocent until the end. If the operation went right, no one would be the wiser until Party Leader Oswald Grossmann was feeling ill on his plane back home.

Polonium-210, Ricin, Tetrodotoxin from Anuien puffer fish, all were considered options with various means of deployment. All with terrible effects on the human body. It wouldn't be easy, and might take a few hours if not days to find the right moment to strike, but they would be ready when the time came. Elizabeth would work the crowd, ensuring the Ordernites had limited access to future allies, while the MBSA took care of the problem more directly.

The Royal House of Tsyion,
Praeclarus, Evenguard of Azura

The limos with the delegation from the People's Unified Federation pulled up the Southern Gardens. Security staff dressed in expensive suits exited and opened the doors, allowing the diplomats to escape to confines of their secure vehicles. First out was Secretary Donna Guerra, aide to the Foreign Minister. An older woman with olive skin, she looked the part of her Mokan Homeland and her years of experience in Foreign Policy. Her dark brown hair and eyes only made her blue and white suit stand out even more. She smiled at the Garden and spoke a few quick lines in Spanish to the Woman behind her.

The woman behind her was, of course, Foreign Minister Elizabeth Franshaw, the young and pretty face of the PUF. Unlike her shorter and darker aide, her bright red hair and pale skin showed just how different the peoples of Mokastana could be. Long legs hidden by a grey business skirt, with a blue blouse and the flag of the PUF pinned to her grey jacket. She too stood in awe of the beautiful botany laid out before them.

“Perhaps we should take our time, enjoy the jardín for a little while, que piensa?” Elizabeth asked her Secretary, who responded without looking away from the scenery.

“I'd love to, but many delegates are already here. Pienso que you should go in, I'll look around.”

Elizabeth wanted to argue, but her Secretary had a point. She was the face of the Federation, while Secretary Guerra was relatively unknown, also it would give her staff a chance to explore the Garden and see if there were places for ‘quieter meetings’ to occur. Given the other guests present, a few meetings outside of the public eye might be useful. Security would also stick close to their VIPs, the Foreign Minister, the Secretary and their Aides would each have one guard, while the rest watched the vehicles, or other things. The Mokans planned to make friends here, but understood not all had their best interests at heart.

She walked into the hall with the other delegates, her short heels clicking on the floor a sharp contrast to the Iron Heels of the Ordernites. It seemed they were already here, trying to snuggle up the Golden Throne like a lost puppy. Of course, when your master still offers treats during a war, it would make sense to beg at every chance. The Golden Throne was a power that Elizabeth was already familiar with, and even knew the Emperor himself on a first name basis. She would have to introduce herself to them soon, but other then make sure they weren't Ordernite sympathizers, it was a low priority task.

Otherwise, there was President Julian Magnuss of Greater Themis, a fellow Socialist and leader of a nation the Mokans had a long history with. Some good, some bad, but no matter the powers that be, it always ended with a positive working relationship. Both having Socialists in Office at the moment certainly would help in that regards. It would be nice to finally meet the man himself, and perhaps even invite him to the Federation for a visit. Allies were important these days.

Last, but certainly not least, was the delegation from Geara, a unique country to say the least. The Kingdom was far away, but close to a Federal ally, the Marshite-Romani Union. It was unclear if they were going to be here, but perhaps it was time to make friends with the local neighbors. It seemed among them one towered over the rest. While Mokans and Gearites were generally the same height, both Matthew and Elizabeth fell on the taller side, but even now she was shorter than this man. However, both the Gearites and the Ordernites were fighting for the attention of the Golden Throne.

She watched and listened with amusement as she scanned the room. Most of these delegates she knew of, or had a plan of attack for when she met with them. But there was one missing, perhaps the most important one, their host. In this regard, the important question was: Where was Phaedra Calixte?
Last edited by Mokastana on Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Montana Inc

Quotes about Mokastana:
Trust the Mokans to be armed even when among their allies

The fact that the Mokans hadn't faced the same fate was a testament to their preparedness, or perhaps paranoia
-United Gordonopia

Moka you are a land of pimps, prostitutes, drug lords, and corruption.
We love you for it.
-The Scandinvans

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