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Freice | Stories of the Country

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Freice | Stories of the Country

Postby Freice » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:52 pm

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Histraonis do en Planden

~

My country is an old book with a crumbly, dusty cover;
original and valuable
Like a book, you don't judge it by its cover.
What's inside it is what defines it.
Gently open it;
Read each word with heart,
Uncover its uniqueness
till it brings delight.
Find the book enjoying,
You'll never wish for it to end.
You'll read it one more time,
You'll show loftiness to it.
Oh, fellowmen, we're proud of our country
Even if we're not;
Our mouths say we are, but our hearts deny.
Oh beloved country,
We discerned ourselves
through judging you
because of our own fault.


© Frank Lloyd Manalang, 2014

PLEASE DO NOT POST ON THIS THREAD!
Last edited by Freice on Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Freice | Discussions

Postby Freice » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:36 pm

The room was dark, with the chocolate wooden panels encroaching on the open air of the chamber. The hard floor picked up the smallest of steps and made them the march of a large army. A large window stood at the end of the narrow room, with white silk curtains allowing light in but forbidding a view outside. A door stood isolated in the rear of the room, facing the window. In the centre of the room sat a large table with chairs at its side; over its top was placed a large Freician flag.

The door suddenly opened and two women entered, followed behind by two men. The first woman [Aniera Iona Sare] was a tall and thin woman who was as threatening as she was imposing. The second woman [Aerona Ceiri] was a shorter and more stocky woman, with glasses and a calm and sensitive character. Behind them, the first man [Cadar Besau] was a tall and masculine individual with a low voice, with the second man [Euda Hiera] being short but equally as dominant and masculine.


IONA SARE: [harshly] So, what do you think about independence? We're going to get it you know...
CEIRI: [contrastingly soft] Well, my main concern is the promotion of the truth. [Cautiously] Politics is not truth but a set of opinions.
BESAU: I would assume that you would not consider votes for women an opinion!?
CEIRI: I would say that the question of votes for women is not political but rational. [She takes a chair, pulls it out and takes a seat] Scientifically, women are very much the same as men and, as a result, it is illogical to suggest that women cannot vote.
BESAU: [disgruntled] And I assume that you do not view independence with the same scientific view? [He takes a seat]
CEIRI: Independence is something that is superficial; I would rather see real change. Whether this can happen only with independence is something I have given very little thought to.
HIERA: What is your view of independence? I don't know about my honourable colleagues, but I would be intrigued to hear your thoughts.
CEIRI: I cannot profess to be politically knowledgeable, but, in the event of independence, we need to ensure a listening government that is unique to our situation.

The three others listen with interest.

CEIRI: I would suggest that independence would be a plausible if the government was appropriately structured.
IONA SARE: [demandingly] What do you mean by plausible?
CEIRI: A single-chamber parliament of independent representatives, elected based on merit and belief and not party affiliation. A head of state with ceremonial powers and the responsibility to represent the nation at home and abroad, who is elected by the said parliament. A government that is of the parliament and which serves with the confidence of the house. [She pauses and clears her throat]. The question of whether this state be a republic or a monarchy is up to you and your constitutional convention - oh, if you get independence of course.
HIERA: A monarchy? I thought you just suggested an elected head of state.
CEIRI: I assume you have not read my book, 'Politics and Succession'. [She laughts] A monarchy does not necessarily need to be hereditary; we could have a monarch - a king, an emperor or a gerent - elected by parliament to serve for life and who has all the trimmings of monarchical power with a dash of democratic accountability.
BESAU: A gerent? What's that?
CEIRI: A title I rather like. It is neutral and has none of the bourgeoisie undertones associated with the title of President.

[Iona Sare smiles].

CEIRI: You could have a gerent, a 'prince-gerent' if you wanted a monarchical system - [sarcastically] or even a supreme-gerent if you wanted to go more authoritarian in model.
HIERA: A Prince-Gerent? Nah! I mean... Could it work?
IONA SARE: [Angrily] We don't want any trappings of old capitalist rule! Monarchies are a symbol of the control of the bourgeoisie and we mu-
CEIRI: [Calmly] I would rather see our head of state elected by our parliament and who serves at their pleasure. We see heads of state come and go - because of term limits or the impulsive swing of popular opinion. If the head of state serves for an indefinate period, they would be able to get the job done with some element of permanency but also be accountable to parliament. We would, in effect, be mixing the continuity of a monarchy with the democracy of a republic.
HIERA: [Intrigued] Interesting...
BESAU: [In a strong and masterful tone] You are President of the Society for the Pursuit of Knowledge and people listen to you. If we were to publish this proposal as part of our vision for an independent government, would you put your name to it?
CEIRI: [Surprised] I knew politicians were impulsive, but don't you think you are being a bit hasty, Mr. Besau? I don't even-
BESAU: [Interrupting her] You write us an essay or whatever you intellectuals write on what you think an independent Freician government should look like and I'll put it to the Council. What do you think?
CEIRI: [Hessitantly] I can't see that my opinions would be worth anything, but I could give it a try...
HIERA: Wonderful!
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Freice | Democracy?

Postby Freice » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:50 pm

Aerona Ceiri sat at her desk in her office in eastern Eprela. Her office was dark and not representative of the position she held as head of the most prestigious learned society in Freice and also as one of its founders. Her desk was a light brown wood, with a loosely-coordinated mix of papers, books and statues. Ceiri sat on one side of the desk, in her element as the more dominant person in the room, and Leader of the Council Cadar Besau sat on the other side.

CEIRI: [Softly but forcefully] Whilst I acknowledge the need for democracy, I think we can both agree that it is simply a means to an end...
BESAU: A means to an end? But what end?
CEIRI: What do voters want when the elections come around?
BESAU: [Shrugs]
CEIRI: Wealth, equality, respect and human happiness. When people vote, they vote based on how their pockets will feel, how they are treated in comparison to the more powerful elites and how they are treated by these elites, and vote based on how the government will relieve them of their suffering.
BESAU: [Thinking] Mmmmm...
CEIRI: When I say democracy is a means to an end, I do not suggest that democracy is unnecessary. What I suggest is that democracy can be temporarily suspended in some areas of society and expanded into others as the evolution of governance progresses.
BESAU: What do you mean?
CEIRI: Well, [she pauses, considering her next thoughts] if a referendum results in a vote of, say, 70 percent voting in favour of a policy, it would be safe to then close the door on that issue and not revisit it. We can then focus our time on other elements of society and governance.
BESAU: So... What you're saying is that a vote in favour or against a policy then puts that policy off limits for a period of time?
CEIRI: [She gets up from her chair and walks over to her bookcase with strong and purposeful strides] Yes. However, I am also talking about the suitability for democracy in any given political climate. Let's say for example [she pulls a book from the bookcase and she drops it to the ground, letting out a loud thud as it clashed with the carpeted wooden floor] we had an economic depression worse than what we have now. Should we have democracy then?
BESAU: Well, errr... [He is visibly stumped by this query. He places his elbows on the desk in front of him and brushes his hair with his long skeletal fingers]

[Ceiri walks from the bookcase with a thin book in her hand. She gracefully walks to the chair and sits herself down serenely, before smacking the book onto the desk. Besau jerks his head up as he reacts to the noise of the paper hitting the desk]

CEIRI: Let me put it another way. If your house was on fire, would you have a vote amongst your family on whether or not to put it out yourselves or call the fire brigade or would you just call them?
BESAU: [Seemingly perturbed by the example given and leaning back in his chair] If it was a small fire I would put it out myself. If the fire was out of control, I would get my family out of the house and call the -
CEIRI: [Interrupting] Exactly!

[Ceiri leans back into her chair and looks directly at Besau. Her eyes are piercing but her strong glasses prevent the true colour of her small eyes from being enjoyed. She smiles in her confidence and power]

CEIRI: We have had a devolved administration in Freice for... Oh... A decade? And in that time, what have the politicians achieved? Unemployment remains high, inflation high, discontent high and now we are told that independence is the answer. Well, it may be, but it better be more successful than what we have had so far.

[She leans forward and her face moves to within 30 centimetres of Besau in a political standoff. Besau looks nervous but with the facade of strength]

CEIRI: I accept the offer that you made be last week. However, I also want to make you an offer that you must accept for me to offer you my services. In the event of independence, I want you to give me your full support in any attempt I make to win political office. [She suddenly cuts the sentence and raises her finger to him] Remember! I said win. We do need a democratic Freice to elect the people into office who can get the job done. Once in office, we can then decide what we do about elections - and for how long we may want to pospone them.
BESAU: But democracy is part of independence, surely?
CEIRI: [Softly] I am not talking about abolishing democracy, dear! Maybe there is a vote in the legislature suspending a general election for, say, 10 years. In that time, the government can appoint a technocratic commission of economists, sociologists, political scientists and the like and solve the problems of the economy. When elections come around again - [forcefully] and they will - they will be a referendum on the work done.
BESAU: Well, I-
CEIRI: Do I have your support? [She takes a small pile of papers] Here is my proposal: a republic with a ceremonial head of state with reserve powers, an executive head of government and a democratically elected unicameral legislature. I have stuck with 'Gerent' because I rather like it, but you can decide what you call these positions and bodies. [Coldly] Do I have your support?
BESAU: [Weakly] Yes.
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Freice | Turning Tables

Postby Freice » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:27 pm

The two women stood facing each other in the dimly lit room. Ceiri stood by the door, slightly slumped over as she tried to come to terms with the news she had just received; her black attire matched her equally black expression and mood. Councillor Eiran Stomoragta stood by the window, with the light from the sun shining behind her and darkening her front in a picturesque and Biblical image of superiority. Her dark attire, in contrast, demanded servility and adherence.

STOMORAGTA: I'm sorry, but I have a majority in the Council.
CEIRI: [Wistfully] I put so much work into those ideas, and Besau gave me his support.
STOMORAGTA: [Sympathetically but also patronisingly] He now has no chance of keeping his position. His government is ready to fall and he knows it. The government only survived for as long as it did because it was united by the referendum. Now we have succeeded, they have nothing to unite behind.
CEIRI: My ideas...
STOMORAGTA: Your ideas have been discarded - can't you see? We may be having a Congress of Legislators, as you kindly suggested, but we're not going to have a Gerent or anything of the sort. It's been agreed that we are going to stay as close to what we have already and, in view of the fact that we are going to have nothing when we declare independence, it will be only rational that we model ourselves on Neigeland.
CEIRI: [Painfully] The country you declared independence from.
STOMORAGTA: The independence that you helped with.

They remain standing. Stomoragta walks slowly to Ceiri but retreats.

STOMORAGTA: We will not be drawing up a constitution immediately; we need to consolidate our position and establish diplomatic and trade links with foreign states. Our plan -
CEIRI: [Suddenly straightening] Our?
STOMORAGTA: As I said, I have the support of enough members of the Council. [Continuing confidently] Our plan is for a democratic republican state with a ceremonial head of state - and not a Gerent - and an executive head of government. We will maintain all current laws that have been drafted by the Council or the governments of Plateadinia or Neigeland. Once we have consolidated our position and cemented our independence, we can enact a great repeal bill to remove and replace legislation we don't like.
CEIRI: To what end?
STOMORAGTA: Businesses are concerned about economic policies and people are concerned about social policies. Starting a clean slate would be inefficient and impractical. All we need to do, first, is change the look - and then the ins and outs. In the independence declaration, we will rename the Council as the Congress of Legislatures and allow sitting members to continue until fresh elections can be called in an interim capacity. We will rename the office of Leader of the Council to President of the Government and take the powers of the Plateadinian and Neigelandic executives and vest them in a ceremonial State President.
CEIRI: [Angrily] Who'll be you, no doubt?
STOMORAGTA: [Sternly] I have not entered this game for gain, madam. If I am appointed to any position, it will be because I have the support. [She walks, again, up to Ceiri and closes in on her] Don't think that I was not aware of what you were up to. I know you had planned the power for yourself - Besau told me. Well, let me tell you this: [she closes in further] I'm not power-hungry and I do want to make a difference for the good of the country and not my pocket.
CEIRI: To what are you insinuating?
STOMORAGTA: I'm not insinuating anything, dear. If I am appointed to any position, I will ensure that you are as far removed from power and influence as possible. Your dubious views on democracy make me sick and your lust for power is nauseating. I can, with the help of the people, make this new country great - equality, rationality and humanity will be my guides - not power, money and appearance!

[She turns her back and stalks around her desk and sits on her chair. She looks at Ceiri with her dark eyes as she places her hands on the cheap wooden desk and leans forward.]

STOMORAGTA: The winds of change are blowing, and people like you will be the first to fall.
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Freice | Crown

Postby Freice » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:17 pm

The bright hall stood in contrast with the dark rooms that had preceded other stories and which was awash with great paintings of glorious past notable individuals of Freician history. The white marble floor of the newly-renamed Palace of the Congress reflected the light from the glamorous chandelier like a bullet of nature flying through the air of serenity. The white pillars rose up from this floor as the memories of the past rising up into modernity. In the centre of the large hall stood a group of three men, the State President (Tomays Miangran) and two representatives from the Freicians for a Monarchist Foundation, who towered over the State President. The sea of suits, which contrasted with the grandeur of the classical structure, paved the way for a not-so suit-like discussion.

MIANGRAN: [Jovially and with a hint of humour] So, gentlemen, you are telling me that you want to see a monarchy in Freice? I thought Kings and Queens were things of the past?
MONARCHIST #1: Well, Your Excellency, [He takes a piece of paper from his pocket, looking at his colleague as he does so. It is a single piece of ripped paper, with a single hand-written block of text on it] I would ask that you consider the benefits of a monarchical system of government. [He proceeds to read from the paper] "A man who has weathered the storm of change and who stands as a symbol of continuity and of unity". Do you know who wrote that, and who it is about?
MIANGRAN: I'm afraid I don't - please enlighten me, sir.
MONARCHIST #2: [Interjecting in a school-boy fashion] It was written by the Ministry of External Affairs about the late Grand Duke of Diogott.
MIANGRAN: [Slightly addled by the seeming lack of logical response or direction] Very nice, gentlemen, but what does that have to do with establishing a Frecian monarchy?
MONARCHIST #1: What do you expect will be written about you after your death - or let me rephrase that... What do you hope will be written about you when you die. In your obituary?
MIANGRAN: [With a high note of apathy] A good man? An honourable man? It means little to me, gentlemen; I just want to ensure that whoever writes it is in a better position than where we are right now.
MONARCHIST #2: Essentially, you want to be forgotten?
MIANGRAN: I want to be remembered if I do well, forgotten if I do nothing, and held in contempt if I do bad. [With a sudden change in behaviour as he starts to get annoyed by the conversation at hand] Look, gentlemen, you were talking about establishing a system of government that would remove part of our democratic order and establish a hereditary system - just after we have voted to declare independence from a power, exactly because we felt that we had little power to do as we pleased! Please, gentlemen, can you answer me this: what chance would a monarchy have in Freice?

[The two monarchists look at each other, their shoulders slump and their expressions morph into the expressions of a fatherly figure teaching his son the ways of the world]

MONARCHIST #2: [Patronisingly] You seem to see monarchy as some sort of affront to democracy?
MIANGRAN: Wouldn't you?
MONARCHIST #2: [Rather offended] Most certainly not, sir!
MONARCHIST #1: You see, Your Excellency, the system of monarchy, in our eyes, complements the democratic process. [He backs slowly away and marches around the State President and his colleagues, gesticulating in the open air of the hall as he preaches his message of monarchy] We are standing in the hall of democracy. The people make this democracy and, as you are the representative of the people, you are the physical embodiment of the democracy we cherish. However! You will be elected, as will your successors, and you will polarize society - the very people you represent. However, a monarch is not elected. A monarch his here. A monarch will always be, from the moment they are born to the last breaths they take, a child of the nation, and who has to serve all people. They are not elected, sir! They are appointed - some say by God but we say by the people. A monarch represents continuity and also progress - we can see the future generations of heads of state being born and we grow up with them - or they grow up with us. They are not swung by polls or votes, but by the determination to serve their subjects and their nation and their fellow brotherhood of monarchs - and their subjects. Do you see, sir, what I am trying to get at?
MIANGRAN: [Rather dazed but sincere] A very poetic and romanticised view of kingship, sir. You forget that monarchs are not always the public servants you suggest; what if I were to take the crown and be the King Claudius, and Freice the kingdom he reigned over, and you [he points to the first monarchist] prince Hamlet? What if I were to disregard my duties as king and be the tsar of a nation divided between the poor and the paupers?
MONARCHIST #2: You assume, sir, that monarchs cannot be removed. As you raise the classics and historic cases of heinous kingship, we can raise the numerous cases of abdications - forced or voluntary - and we can also raise the fact that the case you mentioned is a case based on exaggeration and contempt for the order of society at that time. We now, in our present republic, have a public body - soon to be elected - and a legal framework that we inherited from a free state. The transformation of our fair republic into a fine kingdom does not have to mean the removal of these bodies. Who says that the monarch must have the power to, as you suggest, make their country a nation of the poor and paupers?

[There is a pause, and a new purple air rises from the grey air of republican sympathies. The men stand in silence - motionless - as the State President, with his moustache twitching under the pressure of the debate (or argument, depending on how you view the discussion) stands almost defeated. The State President then sighs, and looks down, before lifting his head.]

MIANGRAN: I see your point. [He lifts himself out of the philosophical hole he has argued himself into] Listen, I am not unsympathetic to your viewpoint. As a student of history, I often marvel at the splendour of monarchy. However, whilst I understand the benefits associated with constitutional monarchy, there are two problems. Firstly, Freicians would never accept a monarchy, and secondly, who would be monarch?
MONARCHIST #2: Well, Your Excellency, Freicians haven't been asked. As polling has shown, they are, like you, sympathetic to a monarchy; they have seen or heard or, in the case of some, witnessed the instability and bloodhsed that fell upon Neigeland in the early years of this century. In those days, we had no-one to look up to - to represent us, other than a dictator with no public backing and no legitimacy. A monarch, with sufficient reserve power, can deny power to any dictator and ensure a free and fair democracy. On the topic of who would be monarch...

[The second monarchist looks at his colleague, raises his bushy eyebrow, and his colleague follows his point and continues]

MONARCHIST #2: [Smiling in an almost sadistic way] Well, since you raised the idea, Your Excellency, how about you?
MIANGRAN: I beg your pardon!? [He is stunned by the proposal, and equally shocked by the confidence in which the proposal was offered] You are seriously suggesting that I become King?
MONARCHIST #1: Why not?
MIANGRAN: King Tomays? Seriously?
MONARCHIST #2: Consider it? You, seemingly, have popular support from all sides because of your history of being vague on almost all subjects apart from public health and the welfare of the people [saying so with an undertone of criticism], and you are also seen as the human face of politics.
MONARCHIST #1: It sounds good, doesn't it? His Majesty King Tomays of Freice? Or '... of the Freicians' if you want to be a socialist monarch.
MONARCHIST #2: [Codly] Consider it; the people yearn for change and for Freice to be held up as unique and equal with the great powers of the world, and they are slowly understanding that a monarch is the only way to do that...
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Freice | Decision Made

Postby Freice » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:44 am

State President Tomays Miangran sat on his sofa, staring at the small screen of his new television set. He had the air of defeat; his hair was unkempt and his clothes were creased. His wife, Siana, sat by him in her own chair, her knees delicately squashed next to each other and her arms resting on the arms of the chair. Her hair was delicately arranged and her youthful face - which contrasted with that of her older husband - showed a light that the President didn't.

SIANA: [Suddenly sitting forward] They offered you kingship! Why didn't you say yes!?
TOMAYS: I don't want kingship; I just want to serve Freice and leave it in a better place than we found it in. Me having a crown and a fancy title does not ensure that.
SIANA: [Motherly] Darling, you have not thought this through.
TOMAYS: No, you haven't thought this through.
SIANA: Tomays, think about it.
TOMAYS: [Suddenly snapping, then surrendering back into the chair] Think about what?

[Siana stands up, sighs and then marches over to her husband and sitting down next to him. She pulls him close to her and she carefully and kindly pulls her hand through his wiry hair]

SIANA: Darling, they have offered you a great and important opportunity. You said yourself, when you were appointed State President, that you wanted to serve this great nation until your dying breath. This is your opportunity to do that. As well as that, you can truly bring Freice on a par with other powers, and even outshine the President of Neigeland - he will be bowing to you!
TOMAYS: I don't want anyone to bow to me!
SIANA: You know what I mean! Freice will go from being an upstart little country to a great kingdom to rival all other kingdoms! As a king, you can legitimately leave politics to the government and do what you love best - promote the arts, history and science. Imagine putting your name to great academies of science and giving out awards to the greatest of musicians and artists and writers!
TOMAYS: [Codly] I can do that now.
SIANA: [Patronisingly and with a hint of criticism] Until the government sacks you - or the people sack you.
TOMAYS: If the people are going to sack me, why would they make me king?
TOMAYS: You are a popular man who is known to be principled but who is still unknown. If we put a sash around your body and call you a president, people will soon be bored. If we put a crown on your head and a mantle on your back, people will want to like you. As a president, you are equal to other leaders; as a King, you tower over them and command their respect. Think of what that could do for Freician foreign affairs!
TOMAYS: [His voice becomes significantly weaker as his will is ground down] You want to be Queen, don't you?
SIANA: [With the strength of a bull running toward a red cloth] You could be King, and I could remain Mrs. Miangran and it would not make any difference. I want what is good for Freice and I want what is good for you. If you take the crown, you can elevate yourself and Freice to levels of greatness that have never been seen before. You can dedicate yourself to the protection and promotion of all those areas that you have neglected since you became State President. So yes, if that is me wanting to be Queen, I do!
TOMAYS: President Stomoragta has been little help. She doesn't seem to care either way. Do you know what she told me? [He looks to his wife, who motions him to continue silently] She told me that a crown on my head is of little interest to her as long as she "remains in control". What is the point of wearing a crown if I can't do anything with it!
SIANA: [Sarcastically] I thought you didn't want the crown? Power isn't based on what you can do, but rather is based on what you can make other people do. If the State President tells someone to do something, they may do it. If the King tells them to do it, they will do it.

[Siana gets up and proceeds to sit back in her chair]

SIANA: Imagine it: His Majesty The King of Freice!
TOMAYS: [With a hint of humour and a smile] And Her Majesty The Queen!

[Siana smiles]
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Freice | Accepted

Postby Freice » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:28 pm

The State President was incongruous with the setting. His neatly-pressed suit and harsh formality was a contrast with the disorganised character of the room he sat in, which overlooked an enclosed park of freely-moving birds and other species of nature. The theme of rooms remains consistent in this saga and is found, once again, in this episode. The State President was sat down, and surrounded by Conservative, Monarchist and Social Democratic representatives from the newly elected Constituent Assembly. He was comfortable in his red leather chair, but this confidence, for all the representatives knew, may well have been misplaced.

MIANGRAN: [With a strong and capable voice representative of the position he holds] With regards to the offer that has been extended to me, I would be willing, after careful consideration, to accept the position of Sovereign of any constitutionally established Freician kingdom.

[There is a gasp of, both, relief and surprise]

REPRESENTATIVE #1: Thank you, Mr. State President.
MIANGRAN: However, I do have some conditions that would need to be consented to before I formally accept any Crown. [He pauses momentarily and takes from his breast pocket a small piece of folded paper, which he fingers open and commences to read from in a nonchalant manner] Firstly, any Freician kingdom must be established by the Constituent Assembly by vote, in its capacity as the acting legislature of the republic, and that this vote should constitute a simple majority. Second, the nature of any Freician monarchy must be constitutional in practice and in law, and that there must be an independent legislature and government that represents the people and manages the day-to-day governance of the nation. [He stops abruptly] Are you with me so far?

[The representatives remain silent; Miangran takes this as a signal to continue]

MIANGRAN: Thirdly, the monarchy must be independent from any established religion or political doctrine not provided for in any constitutional document, and that the Sovereign must be seen as the protector of the Constitution and, like the people, a servant of it. Fourth, succession must be to the oldest child, and not to the first-born son; my daughter is incredibly capable and, although I have no sons and do not intend to have any, it is representative of the need for talent over gender. Fifth, the Sovereign must have reserve powers, provided for in the constitution, to ensure the supremacy of the head of state in certain matters, but which are regulated and overseen by the highest judicial authority. [He smiles] Don't worry; I'm nearly finished. Sixth, that my proposal for the structure and principle of monarchy be approved.

[Miangran takes another piece of paper out of his pocket - his inside one - and hands it to the nearest representative. This paper is creased, slightly stained by tea but, despite the physical condition, it emits importance and seniority like light over darkness. The representative opens up the paper and places it on a small table that divides them from the State President, where all can see it.]

REPRESENTATIVE #1: [Taking the initiative to read the handwritten notes] "The Monarchy of Freice should consist of a Monarch, who serves as head of state, representative of the people and the unity of the kingdom and head of the Royal Family. This Royal Family, named the House of Freice - representing its nature as a symbol of the nation, should include the Sovereign, their consort and immediate relations. The Monarch should be styled "Majesty" and have the title "By the Will of the People and of the Laws of the Nation, Elected King or Queen of the Freicians and Perpetual Protector of Constitutional Authority", with the heir apparent being granted the title "Prince(ss) Royal" and the style of "Royal Highness"...

[He looks up at his colleagues, rather surprised but impressed at the detail, before glancing at the State President and then continuing with his reading]

REPRESENTATIVE #1: "... The King should have the power to, amongst other things, appoint and dismiss the head of government and ministers of the cabinet, summon, prorogue and dissolve the legislature, hold supreme command of any armed force, grant or deny assent to any bill, and act as the fount of justice and honour. However, these powers must be constitutionally mandated and overseen by the aforementioned supreme judicial authority."
REPRESENTATIVE #2: [Sarcastically] You certainly are thorough
MIANGRAN: You haven't finished.
REPRESENTATIVE #1: I think we get the picture...
MIANGRAN: [Showing an element of anger about the lack of seriousness shown by the representatives] My final point is having the public decide in a refere-
REPRESENTATIVE #2: [Cutting in] I think that these are conditions that we can accept and, pursuant to the vote you requested, we would be happy to proclaim a monarchy, with you as head of state.
MIANGRAN: But what about a referend-
REPRESENTATIVE #1: [Cutting the State President off] The Constituent Assembly will review your proposals immediately. Good afternoon, Sir.

[The delegation of representatives swiftly depart, leaving the President silently angered by their refusal to acknowledge his desire for a public referendum, but optimistic for the possibilities that await him as Freice's potential future King.]
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Freice | Arrangements

Postby Freice » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:10 pm

The tall walls of the relatively small room enclosed the new Royal Family behind the prison of luxury. The wooden floor contrasted sharply with the white walls, which were intermittently separated by great windows that looked out on the city of Eprela, and which let the bright Sun fire its golden rays into the room. Inside the room, the chairs and sofas were scattered across the space, with the King standing at the front of the room by a chocolate cabinet, upon which sat his glass of white wine. His mother, sister, daughter and brother-in-law all sat down, with the gleeful atmosphere giving way to an informal and free conversation.

KING: [Calmly, whilst taking his glass and holding it chest-height] I have decided that all of you shall be granted titles, and that, as we need to be acknowledged as a legitimate royal dynasty, we must address each other as such in public. [He takes a sip of his wine and then proceeds to place it upon the cabinet] All of my blood relatives shall be granted the dignity of being a prince or princess of the dynasty and shall be entitled to use the title of Prince or Princess of Freice.

[He turns to his mother, and smiles as he raises his arms in the air as if to embrace her]

KING: Mother! As my dear and kind parent, you shall be granted the title of Princess Mother, befitting your position in this great family, as well as the title of Viscountess of Tesa Blyneu. You will also be styled 'Her Royal Highness' and be granted equal position to my dear wife the Queen.
PRINCESS MOTHER: [Gaily] Oh, my dear son! Whatever title you lavish upon me, I will always prioritise my title of mother.
KING: And, even though I am King, I will be, first and foremost, your son! [He turns to his daughter, and smiles, to which she reciprocates as she smiles to her grandmother] Elinor! My daughter and heir! You are the light of my life and everything I hoped for. You shall be my heir and shall be granted the title of Princess Royal, with the style of Royal Highness.
PRINCESS MOTHER: I wish your dear father was here to see you now!
KING: [Knowingly and tenderly] So do I. I want to acknowledge his memory by also honouring his other child - my dear Elena. [He turns to his sister] I want to assure you that you are also a princess of this nation - although I feel you already knew that!

[The whole congregation of family members laughed as the King's sister remarked that, whilst she was the princess of the nation, their mother was the true queen. The Princess Mother smiles and blows kisses]

KING: I wish to grant you a style but, as the sister of the Sovereign and in line with the law on titles that I intend to introduce, it cannot be equal to that of our loving mother or Elinor. However, I want to give you the style of 'Highness'. I want to give to you, Elgan (Elena's husband and the King's half-brother) the title of Baron of the Doyruan and the style of 'Excellency', with you [he looks at Elena] also becoming Baroness of the Doyruan.
BARONESS: You have certainly taken on your new role with commitment, Tomays!
KING: Ah! I have decided, in honour of our father, do take the name Pietro, and I would be thankful, if required, that you address me by this name in public.
PRINCESS MOTHER: [Rising up with a large smile across her wrinkled face] Oh my dear son! Your father would be so proud of you! [She hugs him and kisses him]

[The door suddenly opens and the King's wife, Siana, enters. She is wearing a long floral dress and has her hair youthfully flowing by her untouched face]

SIANA: [With her feminine charm] What are we all talking about?
KING: I am just going through the titles, my dear!
SIANA: Oh! Do I get a title? [She says so with an element of sarcasm]
KING: You are my wife, dearest, so you will be my Queen! And you shall be styled 'Majesty'!
QUEEN: How wonderful!
PRINCESS MOTHER: You were always a Queen in my mind, my love!
QUEEN: [Quickly walking over to the Princess Mother and resting her head on her shoulder, being kissed as she does so] Dear mamma! If anyone is a Queen, it would be you, and Elinor as your crown princess!
KING: She is Princess Royal
QUEEN: And a true princess indeed!

[The King takes his unfinished glass of white wine and passes it to his wife, who takes her place next to him]

KING: For my enthronement, I wish for you all to be present as I take my oath to this nation, and I want you, mother, to have the best seat in the house next to our President.
PRINCESS MOTHER: [Her face sours] I don't very much like her; when I was younger, a woman would be expected to be married and stay in the home!
QUEEN: Dear mamma! We are in the 1960s now! Women are now free!
KING: [Peacefully] I am sure you will fit in somewhere! [He walks forward, liberating himself from the clutches of his Queen] This ceremony will be the greatest this country will have ever seen, and I am sure it will be a great success!
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Freice | Change

Postby Freice » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:20 pm

The room was dark, illuminated by the moonlight through the thin silk curtains. The room was small - smaller than other rooms in the house - and the solitary double bed sat in the middle of the long wall, opposite the double doors that opened out to the much larger room the bedroom jutted out from. In the bed lay the King and Queen, with the Queen's snoring resembling the grumbling of an angry dog. The narcotized calm of the room, which was accompanied by the sound of a friend in the form of a solitary owl on the tree outside the window, was suddenly broken with the sound of the phone ringing. Both the King and Queen wake suddenly from their deep sleep.

KING: [Fumbling for the phone, before picking it up. He is tired and speaks his words half-heartedly and with little awareness of what is occuring] Hello?
OPERATOR: [With come crackling down the line] The Presiding Officer of the Constitutional Convention wishes to speak with you, Your Majesty.
KING: [Baffled] The Pres- Uh, very well. Put him on.

[There is a short pause]

PRESIDING OFFICER: Good evening, Your Majesty.
KING: Do you realise what time it is?
PRESIDING OFFICER: I am sorry to disturb you, Your Majesty, but I have good news.
KING: [Sarcastically] It better be good news if you have woken me up at... [He repositions the clock on his bedside table] a quarter to ten...
PRESIDING OFFICER: We have been trying to contact you all evening but your lines were down and, with all that has been going on, nobody has been delegated to see you - the Constitutional Convention has passed the constitution.

[The King sits up in bed, further disturbing the Queen who sits up, turning her light on]

KING: [With sudden energy] That's marvellous! Was there much opposition?
PRESIDING OFFICER: The vote passed smoothly, although some amendments to... certain positions and arrangements had to be done to get the support of some of the Social Democrats.
KING: What amendments are these?
PRESIDING OFFICER: [Nervously, with his voice losing its confidence] Well, sir... Well...
KING: Spit it out, sir!
PRESIDING OFFICER: It was felt that, whilst we wished to follow through with a continued hereditary system, we... Uh, felt that - or, rather, the Social Democrats and some liberals felt - that to have a king would go against what we stand for as a nation and, uh, well...
KING: [Coldy] Well...
PRESIDING OFFICER: An amendment was inserted into the constitution that would abolish the monarchy and... replace it with a new system of government, in which the head of state - yourself - would be a 'Gerent', which would remain hereditary and, in many ways, would mirror the position you already hold.
QUEEN: What's going on, darling?
KING: [Remaining on the phone] Are you telling me I am no longer King?
PRESIDING OFFICER: [A short pause ensues, followed by the muted voice of the Presiding Officer] Yes, sir. But you are our Gerent - our first Gerent.
KING: You never thought to consult me - or tell me?
PRESIDING OFFICER: We have been trying to reach you, but your lines were-
KING: [Suddenly with anger] Forget the blasted lines! What am I, for I know not what I am now!?
PRESIDING OFFICER: [With contrapuntal calm] You are our head of state, sir. Whilst you may not be His Majesty The King, you are Tomays Miangran, the Gerent and, as was agreed by the Convention, you hold much more respect in that light than you do as our king. You remain our legitimate head of state and your daughter your successor. We have not - and cannot - take that away from you.
QUEEN: [Motheringly] Oh, what's happening dear?
KING: [Taken over with a sudden tranquility] Mr. Presiding Officer, if I am not King, then how can I rule?
PRESIDING OFFICER: Sir - Mr. Gerent - you no longer rule, but serve.
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Freice | Malsana

Postby Freice » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:07 pm

Tomays Miangran lies in his large bed, covered in a cumbersome duvet that kept all parts of his body below the upper torso covered and protected from the cool air that flowed freely from the open window. His red face was moist with sweat, with his wet hair hanging over his wrinkled and worn-out face. Sat around him was his wife, Siana, and his daughters Elinor and Lona. Siana, with her forever youthful face that smiled radiantly, sat still with her hands resting on her husbands, whilst her daughters sat on the other side of the bed, motionless.

TOMAYS: [Weakly] I don't feel well.
SIANA: [Comfortingly] The doctor has been; he says you have the flu, my love.
TOMAYS: It feels worse than the flu. I haven't the energy to move nor to think of moving.
SIANA: I know. You gave us all a fright when you fell, you know!
LONA: [Childishly] Indeed, father. I thought that you may have left us for another world!
TOMAYS: I only have the flu, child! I just lost my balance.
ELINOR: [Seriously] Has the President of the Governing Council been to see you about independence settlement negotiations, father?
SIANA: [Sharply] Elinor! Your father is not well enough to discuss matters of state; please don't bring up such business until he is well.
TOMAYS: I am still the King and I do need to meet with him.
ELINOR: Gerent, father.
TOMAYS: [Ailingly] Huh?
ELINOR: You are the Gerent now, father - not the King.
SIANA: [Angrily] Elinor, please do not bring up that sorry business again!

[There is a muted knock at the old wooden door as the atmosphere in the room becomes more and more tense with every word. Tomays tries to rise, with the support of his wife, to bring him to a more seated position.]

SIANA: [Authoritatively] Come.

[The door slowly opens and a servant slowly marches in. He is dressed in a smart suit, with his hands gripped behind his back. He nods his head in respect.]

SERVANT: [Quietly] Ma'am, the doctor is outside.
TOMAYS: I thought he had gone.
SIANA: I had him come back after you moved to the cottage.
TOMAYS: [Questioningly] Cottage?
ELINOR: After you fell ill, father, it was felt that you would be more comfortable in the little cottage behind the House of the Gerent.
SIANA: And we don't want to disturb Mr. Den Baren and his friends, do we?
SERVANT: Shall I bring the doctor in, Sir?
TOMAYS: Yes.

[The servant turns on his heels and leaves the room, replaced by the tall and thin figure of the Gerent's doctor. His long and aged face, accompanied with a white waxed moustache and wiry white hair divided by the pale skin of his bald spot, was without emotion as he glanced at the Geral Family.]

DOCTOR: [Without any consideration for rank or position, and with a cool manner] Sir, Ma'am, [looking at the young geral children] ladies.
SIANA: [Nervously] What news, doctor?
DOCTOR: I am happy to say that the Gerent is suffering from no more than the flu and that, with the right amount of rest and attention, he should be back on his feet in a week or two.
LONA: Wonderful news!
DOCTOR: [Sternly] I suggest, however, that the family not continue to surround the Gerent, as he needs peace and tranquillity.

[Siana looks at him and, if looks could kill, the doctor would no longer require any Earthly services.]

DOCTOR: If you will excuse me. [He bows his head, turns and marches out of the room, quietly closing the door behind him in a manner contrapuntal to his preceding behaviour.]
SIANA: What a nasty man!
TOMAYS: Honest and forthright - a man after myself.
SIANA: He has no respect for you or your position!
ELINOR: But, mother, he is not the king and so, surely, should not be treated as such.
SIANA: [With a subdued anger] I will not tell you again, Elinor!
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Freice | Morto

Postby Freice » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:45 pm

The small dark room was crowded, with the interfering sunlight adding a new character to the depressed congress of figures surrounding the deathbed of the Gerent. The Gerent, lying with his eyes bearly open and sweat dripping from his face, was surrounded by his family and important members of the government and the political nation. His hand was tightly clasped by his wife as she looked, as pale as the sea of white that covered the Gerent, into his eyes.

SIANA: [Coldly, with her emotion drained from her] I don't understand, doctor.
DOCTOR: I'm afraid that the Gerent's body has reacted to the virus in a way we had hoped it would not. As is unfortunately common in such cases, his lungs are not receiving enough oxygen. There is nothing I can do, which is why I sent for our judicial friend.
SIANA: You could've waited for him to sleep!

[The President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justiciary, the highest court in the land, steps forward slowly, bowing as he does so]

PRESIDENT: Unfortunately, Madam, it is required by the Constitution that the successor take their affirmation as soon as possible and we cannot, unfortunately, wait.
SIANA: [Scathingly] Inhuman! The lot of you!

[There is suddenly a creak and the door opens slowly, with the head of Elinor Miangran emerging from behind its brown surface. Her body emerges further as she begins to enter the room, with the silence deafening, and advances to her father. She takes a seat by her sister, Lona, flaked on the other side by the President of the Governing Council, who had only just arrived himself with good news that he felt he should keep.]

ELINOR: [Softly] Father, dear father...
TOMAYS: [Weakly, raising his hand and tighly taking hers] Elinor. [He coughs and wheezes] My dear daughter, I give you my country.
ELINOR: Father, you can't leave me! [She begins to cry]
TOMAYS: You are strong. [He looks at Lona] Be sisters as rulers as you are in family.
LONA: Father! Please don't die!
SIANA: [Now beginning to expell tears] Tomays, please stay with us!

[Tomays looks up at President Den Baren, smiling]

TOMAYS: Take care of my girls, Councillor.
DEN BAREN: [Dutifully, with a hint of emotion] I will do all that is in my power sir, and more besides.

[Tomays then turns his head to see the dark image of the President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justiciary, who stands as the grim reaper, representing his imminent departure. He smiles and then coughs again.]

TOMAYS: Death looks me in the eye, and I look it in the eye back.

[Tomays' mouth doesn't close and any movement stops. There is a sudden pause, as if time had stood still, as the congregation pondered their next move, working out whether the Gerent had actually died or not. The Doctor moves forward, coldly, and places his two fingers on Tomays' neck to feel for a pulse. He looks up, with his sorrowful expression saying all that words could not. The assembled Miangran family begins to sob as the Doctor closes Tomays' eyes and bows nobly.

As the Doctor departs, the President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justiciary moves forward, with a copy of the Constitution of Freice in his hand.]


PRESIDENT: [Authoritatively, but with a tinge of sorrow] Ms. Miangran.
ELINOR: [She stands up, wiping the tears] Yes?
PRESIDENT: [Taking the Constitution and holding it up in front of him] Can you place your hand on the Constitution please?
ELINOR: [Following the orders with little understanding of what they entail] What for?
PRESIDENT: Please repeat after me: I, Elinor Siana Miangran...
ELINOR: I, Elinor Siana Miangran...
PRESIDENT: do truly and solemnly affirm and declare...
ELINOR: do truly and solemnly affirm and declare...
PRESIDENT: that I shall be faithful to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Freice...
ELINOR: [Her emotions beginning to pour out] that I shall be faithful to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Freice...
PRESIDENT: and humbly and diligently serve the people of the Commonwealth...
ELINOR: and humbly and diligently serve the people of the Commonwealth...
PRESIDENT: without fear or favour...
ELINOR: without fear or favour...
PRESIDENT: in the office of Gerent...
ELINOR: [Immediately sobbing further] in the office of Gerent...

[The room becomes darker as the full extent of what is happening becomes apparent. The sobbing of Siana and Lona becomes more apparent as the President of the Governing Council looks on solemnly]

PRESIDENT: I do promise that, for my tenure...
ELINOR: I do promise that, for my tenure...
PRESIDENT: I shall respect this high office and its position within the Constitution...
ELINOR: I shall respect this high office and its [slightly stumbling] position within the Constitution...
PRESIDENT: and I shall undertake its responsibilities and duties...
ELINOR: and I shall undertake its responsibilities and duties...
PRESIDENT: with honesty and truth.
ELINOR: with honesty and truth.

[The President of the Tribunal lowers the copy of the Constitution and slowly bows before the new Gerent.]

PRESIDENT: [Announcing] Ladies and gentlemen, the Gerent of Freice.
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Freice | Inaugural

Postby Freice » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:00 pm

The room was bright, in keeping with the emerging style of 1960s Freice. The wallpaper was a complex mix of the raw colours of childhood's spectrum, with the sharp clash between the green walls and the floral curtains not being of any interest to the homeowners. The living room was small, but large enough to fit the family, who huddled around the small television, with a young child sat with his legs crossed on the floor, and his parents seated on a two-seater sofa. They eagerly awaited the first address of the new Gerent of Freice.

BOY: [Childishly, with little regard for the occasion] Mummy, will you be Gerunt one day?
MOTHER: [Motheringly and with a kind smile] Mummy already has a better job looking after you! [Her warm face moves closer to her son as she kisses him on his head.]
DAD: I hear this new Gerent is a bit of alright! [He starts to laugh, but immediately stops when glared at by his wife]

[The television makes a crackling sound and suddenly the ident for the Freician National Broadcasting Corporation fades into view. The black and white picture features a globe, with the words "Freician National Broadcasting Corporation" slowly moving around it. Immediately, an authoritative voice crackles into being.]

ANNOUNCER: [With a commanding voice] This is the Freician National Broadcasting Corporation. There now follows a public address by Her Great Honour The Gerent of the Commonwealth of Freice, Miss Elinor Miangran...

[Silence envelops the room, but the atmosphere of excitement cannot be understated. The television screen slowly fades and the blurry image of a young woman comes into view, seated at a desk, with her back straight and tightly holding a piece of paper half on view.]

ELINOR: [Softly] My friends. [She takes a pause, looking nervously at the camera and then down at her speech] Today I speak to you as your Gerent, succeeding my late father of happy memory, who was sadly taken from us too soon. As I speak to you, I am made aware of the acute sense of loss felt by this nation, but also the great sense of nervousness about me. I wish to take this opportunity to speak to you personally and put your fears to rest.

[She loosens her grip on her paper and clears her throat]

ELINOR: I am aware that my presence on your television screens - a marvel of modern science - comes at a time of enormous social division, with the position of my father as King, and later Gerent, angering many. While I acknowledge that decisions were made - and some wrongly - it is for us now to put these incidents behind us and look to a common future. [She pauses once again, then continues] Yesterday, I held a meeting with the Governing Council of our commonwealth, where discussions were held on the future of our nation. I, like my father, retain a great confidence in our government and our constitution...
BOY: Mummy, what's she saying?
MOTHER: [Angrily] Shhhh!
ELINOR: However, after a brief conversation, it became apparent that two councillors of our esteemed Governing Council were unwilling to take the affirmation as required by the constitution. I respected their claims that their refusal was on moral grounds, for we all have to remain true to ourselves, and I gave them a grace period of twenty-four hours in order to decide whether or not to continue abstaining, placing the entire Governing Council under threat.

[The father and mother turn to face each other, concerned over the nature of the speech. They, like most Freicians, seek only continuity and stability and are nervous about what the outcome of the speech will be.]

ELINOR: [Gaining strength in her voice] Today, the Governing Council reconvened and I, once again, asked abstaining members to make the constitutionally-required affirmation of allegiance to the Gerency. They, once again, refused. [She pauses and looks directly at the families and individuals watching her across Freice] Therefore, I made the decision, with deep melancholy, to dismiss the Governing Council through a Geral Order.

[The family all look at each other with trepidation, surely replicated across the country.]

ELINOR: I have, through this action, directed our most loyal National Meeting to elect a new Governing Council and instructed all who refuse to make their affirmation of allegiance to remove themselves from the deliberations of the National Meeting, remaining a non-member, without salary or privileges, for as long as they refuse to make their affirmation. Some of you will be frightened for the future of our democracy; I wish to assure you all that your interests are being looked after, and Freice will continue to grow into a thriving and free nation. Thank you.

[The picture slowly fades away and a vaguely-identifiable piece of footage of the national flag flying, accompanied by the strong tune of the national athem, comes into view. As the anthem plays, a faded image of the Gerent comes into view and, with the conclusion of the patriotic tune, the screen slowly fades to black.]
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