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The Iciaverse - An Iciaros News Thread [News Only]

A place to put national factbooks, embassy exchanges, and other information regarding the nations of the world. [In character]
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Iciaros
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The Iciaverse - An Iciaros News Thread [News Only]

Postby Iciaros » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:46 am

ICV News is now publishing internationally!

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Who We Are
We are Iciaverse News, otherwise known as ICV News. We’re one of the Big Five news organisations of Iciaros (well, fifth, but let’s not split hairs). We try our best to put out unbiased, accurate news, while not taking ourselves too seriously - the news cycle can get depressing at times, and it is precisely in our darkest moments that we have to keep our heads high, smile, and laugh. That, and we want people to keep reading past the funnies.



What This Is
Normally, we run both a televised network and a print edition, but technological incompatibilities and limitations mean that we can only run a text version for our international publication. So, this is what that is - a digital version of our print edition, carefully pruned so that we skip all the technical and less significant stories and deliver only the best, most interesting, and most compelling news bites. And occasionally some cats.



I Don’t Understand Anything!
We try our best to make sure our news is understandable to an international audience, who might not know much about Iciaros, but in the end it’s useful to know at least a little. If there’s something you don’t get, feel free to check the official factbooks or inquire through the Ministry of Diplomatic Relations’ Question and Answer programme (legend says that if you ask a question, one diplomat’s day gets a lot brighter!).
Last edited by Iciaros on Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

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Iciaros
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Posts: 387
Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:49 am

Flag Not Religious Symbol, Minister Clarifies
17/5/725, New Ixainia

Yesterday, Minister for Migration Lana North held a press conference to address an issue of pressing national concern: the meaning of the Iciarosian flag.

According to data from the Imperial Census Bureau, surveys of recent immigrants have shown an upwards trend in general dissatisfaction over the past several months. More in-depth surveys conducted since, including one released just the day before yesterday, reveal that the proportion of immigrants with moderate to strong religious affiliations have increased, and dissatisfaction is linked to Iciaros’ lack of religious diversity, accommodations for large-scale worship, and firmly agnostic government stance and education programmes. Researchers link this sudden demographic change to Iciaros’ recent signing of migration treaties with nations hosting a significant number of persons affiliated with the Catholic or Christian faiths, religions foreign to Iciaros, and suggest that some elements of Iciaros’ presentation as a migration destination may be misleading for would-be immigrants.

One of these elements Minister North aimed to address was the Iciarosian flag. “I understand that the Iciarosian flag has what appears to be a cross, a symbol of religious importance to several foreign faiths. However, it is not a cross. The symbol on the flag was inspired by the appearance of medieval compasses, themselves modelled after the ancient Iciarosian symbol for the Sun. Iciaros does not, and will not, have any affiliation to any faith, and I apologise to anyone who may have been misled into thinking so by the flag.”

Aside from the flag, Minister North also clarified the meaning of other government-linked symbols, such as that of the Imperial Cipher, asserting that it bears no link to what some cultures in foreign nations term ‘the Illuminati’. She also briefly covered existing information on migration and Iciaros generally as hosted on the Ministry of Migration website, and promised to increase the clarity and detail of said materials.

However, the Minister was clear that no changes in national policy or expenditure would be forthcoming. “While it is regretful that our recent immigrants are dissatisfied by our policies and state of affairs, it would be impractical and detrimental to the overall population to make the sort of changes that would remedy the supposed fault. I would like to ask all dissatisfied migrants to contact the Ministry of Migration, if they so wish, to arrange a further migration to one of the many nations with which we share migration treaties. I am sure that among their number, there will be a place that you can call home.”

Not everyone was so diplomatic. According to an unnamed Ministry of Migration employee, the mood in the Ministry was generally one of disbelief. “Seriously, if you decide you wanna live here just because of the flag, you should really think about whether you’re responsible enough to make big life decisions. They’re lucky we’re so easygoing about migration. Imagine if they decided to have children instead!”

Unfortunately for this employee, Minister North walked within earshot during their interview, and the interview came to an abrupt close. We extend our best wishes to them.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

User avatar
Iciaros
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Posts: 387
Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:15 am

Population Hits Ten Billion, Probably
19/5/725, New Ixainia

Last night, the predicted population counter on the Imperial Census Bureau’s official website finally passed ten billion, marking a significant milestone for all of Iciaros - probably.

“Obviously someone wasn’t just born right that second,” Bureau director Angeline Song told ICV News in an interview this morning. “It’s just our best guess for the rate of population growth and immigration numbers based on previous years’ data. We could have passed the mark months ago. We might not have even reached it yet. We’ll only know in four years when we conduct our next national census.”

Not yet content with spoiling our fun, Director Song continued, “Anyway, the ten billion mark is only for our core provinces. Counting our states (semi-autonomous provinces) we probably have much more than that, though I don’t personally know how accurate their data is. Our data isn’t totally accurate, in any case, since we’re using growth numbers from the last census six years ago.”

With population growth, however, comes more strain on Iciaros’ public housing system, which is primarily responsible for keeping Iciaros’ homeless rate below 0.03% and providing countless citizens with guaranteed housing free of worry. Director Song confirmed that population numbers in cities (collected yearly, rather than every decade) was rising alongside overall numbers, but refused to comment on the implications. “This is a matter for Ms Walsh (Minister for Housing and Development) to address, not me.”

An hour later, we confronted Minister Shannon Walsh with this problem in a separate interview.

“We are keeping an eye on it, and allocating the necessary funds as the data comes in,” Minister Walsh assured us. “The problem does not suddenly balloon once we hit a milestone. If there is a funding problem, it will not ambush us. We will see it coming.”

When asked whether the public housing system was sustainable overall, Minister Walsh replied, “According to our current data and predictions, yes. We have enough housing to meet needs for another two years on average at the current rate of growth in the cities, and we are constantly expanding outwards. The issue is not a lack of space, just our usage of it.” After a pause, she added, likely in reference to Iciaros’ orbital habitats, “Except in particular areas. And rest assured, there is money going towards making space.”

At least in the near future, city-dwellers should be able to look forward to continued affordable housing.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

User avatar
Iciaros
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Posts: 387
Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:17 am

Medical Miracle! Assassination Victim Gets New Body
24/5/725, New Ixainia

Four years ago, a series of high-profile assassinations rocked Iciaros, the first tragedy in a series of horrors that would eventually come to be known as the Soul Crisis. Most of the victims of these assassinations died long before their bodies were ever discovered, but one girl survived, barely, and now once again walks among the living.

Her name is Calypso Wray. Her father is Atlas Wray, Grand General of the Iciarosian army, and her mother was Liliana North, whose entire family enjoyed the particular care of Iciarosian state security. Of all the victims of the assassination chain, her family enjoyed the greatest protection and scrutiny from intelligence services, and some suggest that it was only this that brought a state response swift enough to save her life.

In an interview given after the crisis, several intelligence officials confirmed that Calypso was not the intended target of the attack. Her mother was most likely the actual target, and she died at the scene before help could arrive. Calypso, who was with her at the time, tried to protect her mother and was grievously wounded as a result. She survived at a terrible price: she suffered from total locked-in syndrome, or complete paralysis, losing all ability to move or communicate.

Although her circumstances were tragic, the answer, according to her doctor, was obvious from the beginning. “Soul-linking* technology already lets soldiers control artificial bodies, and that’s been around for centuries,” said Dr Jeremiah Jones. “The version of it we have today is much, much better than it was in the past. We could have given her an experience virtually indistinguishable from her natural body from the beginning.”

The problem, it seemed, was her condition. “When we tried the procedure on her the first time, it didn’t succeed,” Dr Jones explained. “Her soul had strange properties. In layman’s terms, it was shrunken and missing some parts. It was similar to a soul that was already in the process of linking. You can’t re-link linked souls, not without un-linking them first. There was nothing we could do.”

Hoping that her situation might one day improve, Calypso’s medical team kept her soul under observation. She became the subject of many benign experiments and research papers attempting to diagnose or treat her condition. None were ever verified. Last week, however, her doctors noted that her magical readings were normalising. Once they confirmed that her soul had become suitable for soul-linking, they performed the procedure before her condition could deteriorate.

“We have no idea why her soul was like that in the first place and why it went back to normal,” Dr Jones said. “I’ll leave that to the scientists. I’m just happy that she has another chance at life.”

The procedure was completed with no issues, and doctors say Calypso is now undergoing therapy to accustom herself to her artificial body. She is slated for a full recovery by the end of next month.

Neither Calypso nor her father have made any public statements as of today. However, Minister for Education Hayley Patel has issued a public statement congratulating her and her family on the recovery, and welcoming her back to her studies in the Leadership Talent Development Programme.

*A brief explanation of the soul:
The ‘soul’, in magic theory, is a term coined by early magic theorists to understand the nature and existence of, in their words, ‘a strange packet of magicka (magic energy) whose purpose we can’t understand’. This packet is even now somewhat inexplicable; its decay or disappearance is associated with brain death, but it can be removed - with great difficulty - from a living subject without damaging the brain. It is known to release magicka in conjunction with emotion and sensory reaction, but does not appear to absorb ambient magicka to replenish this loss. And, though it clearly maintains a concentration of magicka within it far greater than ambient magicka concentrations, it somehow avoids ‘bleeding’ magicka to its surroundings, in the same way that ambient magicka is absorbed into living bodies to replenish lost magicka.

Despite the still-unsettled mysteries of this packet, it has been successfully used for practical purposes, the foremost of which is credited with granting the packet its name in magic theory. The packet was discovered to be linked to sensory consciousness, and through a complex method known as soul-linking could allow individuals to experience and even control other beings and even properly-equipped inanimate objects. This connection to experience and autonomy led to this packet’s association with the metaphysical concept of the soul, and thus it was similarly named.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

User avatar
Iciaros
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Posts: 387
Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:19 am

Life in Virtual Reality: Excitement as Project Dreamscape Announced
1/6/725, New Ixainia

Yesterday afternoon, Minister for Research and Technology Lindsay O’Deorain officially declassified the secret government project rumours have been whispering of for years: Project Dreamscape, the endeavour to create a fully immersive and high-user-capacity virtual reality world. The announcement of Project Dreamscape coincides with the conclusion of its preliminary development stage, meaning that it is - in theory - fully operational. At least, one world is fully operational. And most likely not every little feature or design has been completed yet. But, still, it is an exciting step into the future that has dominated news headlines and discussion forums across Iciaros.

“There are several likely uses of Project Dreamscape,” Minister O’Deorain said during her press release, accompanied by a preview of several pictures and videos of an idyllic village rendered within a virtual world. “One is to allow Iciarosians to more easily connect and form relationships regardless of physical distance and across cultural divides. Another is to function as an affordable tourist ‘destination’, if you will, which is likely to both boost the economy and provide accessible entertainment for the lower income groups. It has also been suggested to us by other Ministries that the virtual world could be a point of meeting in case of physical quarantines, such as conducting school lessons during epidemics.”

When asked how close to full implementation Project Dreamscape currently is, and what said implementation might look like, Minister O’Deorain provided few details. “Project Dreamscape is about the development of the concept,” she said. “Specifics about what will be done once we have fully realised Dreamscape’s potential will be left up to other Ministries, the Imperial Legislative Commission, and of course, Empress Ceriss.” When pressed further, she revealed no other details.

Separately, the Imperial Secretary of Publicity Alyssa Courtney (the spokesperson for the Crown) stated to the press that details of the planned purposes of Project Dreamscape’s virtual worlds were still under discussion, and would likely not be finalised and unveiled until further into the project’s testing phase. “While we by no means doubt the work of our diligent researchers, we want to be absolutely sure that Project Dreamscape is safe and secure before we begin to announce how we intend to use it.”

Perhaps, in the future, you will be reading some news from inside virtual reality.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

User avatar
Iciaros
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Posts: 387
Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:21 am

New Artifact Discovery Hints at Prehistoric Aliens
29/6/725, Arenia

An archaeological dig team braving the conflict-ridden and inhospitable planet of Gladia has made a discovery that has shaken up the scientific community: a map of the solar system and beyond, dated as several thousand years old.

This ‘map’, according to scientists, is in actuality a series of stone carvings, forming pictures annotated with what appears to be an unknown language. This, in itself, is already a novel discovery, as recorded history on Gladia begins only several hundred years ago. However, when archaeologists examined the carvings, they discovered that the depictions bore an uncanny resemblance to current Iciarosian maps of the solar system, down to approximate comparisons of planets and star sizes, as well as orbital paths.

“This is an incredible find,” researcher Alan McNaghten told ICV News. “It wasn’t until three hundred years ago that we confirmed that planets were round and revolved around Cel (the sun). Either a civilisation of inferior technology came to the same conclusion it took us advanced mathematics and astronomical tools to come to, or a civilisation with technology comparable to ours existed thousands of years ago. Whatever the case, it’s still incredible that such a civilisation existed and left behind no obvious traces.”

When asked if this was conclusive proof that aliens exist, Mr McNaghten was more ambivalent. “We don’t know who made it, only roughly when it was made,” he said. “It might well have been an old civilisation wiped out by a cataclysm. It’s unlikely that such a civilisation would disappear so thoroughly with little trace, but it’s possible. There’s a lot of Gladia we haven’t explored. There might be more hints hiding where we haven’t yet looked.”

Fellow researcher Philip Fuller disagrees. “There is no evidence that Gladia might have suffered such a cataclysm. We’ve found no large impact craters or evidence of world-shattering geological activity - Gladia has no geological activity. If there was some kind of natural disaster in the past few thousand years, it should have left behind evidence for us to find. Civilisation in general leaves behind noticeable evidence. But we haven’t found any of it.”

Whatever the case, prehistoric aliens or advanced civilisations - dubbed in popular media as ‘Precursors’ - have long been the subject of discussion, even in the academic field. Many astronomical phenomena, from the seemingly impossible placement of planets to abnormal planets themselves, have left researchers scratching their heads as to what could have formed the solar system we live in today if not purposeful intervention. This new discovery is no doubt a feather in the cap of such theorists.

The Iciarosian protectorate that resides on Gladia, Arenios, is turbulent and ridden with both social and violent strife. In the interests of preserving this artifact, Iciaros has agreed with Arenios to extract the carving from its original location and house it in an Iciarosian research site for further study.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

User avatar
Iciaros
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Posts: 387
Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:53 am

Election Season: Iciarosian Protectorate Prepares to Choose Government
4/8/725, Fontana

While Iciaros of course does not have elections, one of its protectorates does - the republic of Fonto, a planetary government situated on one of the other planets in Iciaros’ solar system. Fontoan politics, as vitriolic, combative, and chaotic as it is, has become a source of great periodic entertainment for Iciarosians, and this season of the great electoral war promises to be no less bloody.

First, some context: Fonto was a previously wholly independent nation, but by treaty forfeited some of its external sovereignty to Iciaros in 706 AA nineteen years ago. Since then, its upper and lower houses have been dominated by a right-wing coalition led by the nationalistic Freedom Party, which fought its way to electoral victory on the promises of preserving Fontoan national dignity and challenging the Iciarosian ‘bullies’. However, support for this coalition has gradually declined over the years, with high levels of poverty, widening socioeconomic inequality, spreading anti-consumer business practices, and general rises in the cost of living following in the wake of its policies. In recent times the right-wing coalition has developed fissures, with centre-right parties clashing with their more extreme counterparts over issues of policy.

While the decline of the ruling coalition has seen all its competitors rise, the greatest winner is the Liberal Party, the centre-left party that had been the electoral frontrunner until submission to Iciaros in 706 AA. Shunned by voters in the aftermath of Fonto’s ‘defeat’, the Liberal Party has risen to prominence once more as the party of Fonto’s golden age. The Liberal platform of greater business regulation, increasing high-income taxes, and strengthening social programmes has resonated with voters, and polls show that its popularity could well exceed that of the waning Freedom Party.

Nonetheless, the left in general has some fighting to do if it wishes to topple the ruling coalition. Both the lower and upper houses of Fonto, as well as one of its two Heads of State, are as of now controlled by the right. The upcoming election will only affect the upper house and Heads of State. However, if the left claims control of the proportionally-represented upper house, it will gain many critical powers that experts suggest can crack the monopoly held by the right, in particular the power to redraw electoral districts for the lower house. Several veto powers will also stymie right-wing attempts to push through its agenda, and with control of the Heads of State unlikely to fall wholly to either side, the upper house’s vetoes will most probably go unchallenged. For the left, which no doubt seeks to capitalise on an upper house victory to seize the lower house as well in the midterm elections, the outcome of the upcoming elections will be critical.

Experts suggest that the formation of a left-wing coalition is increasingly likely, and that the Liberal Party will be the one to lead it. Rhetoric among the left, as opposed to the discord on the right, has displayed a surprising inter-party camaraderie, most likely in a lead-up to an imminent alliance. How strong this alliance will be, however, especially if ultimately confronted with the friction of governance that has fractured the right, will only be revealed in time.

As with every electoral cycle, Iciaros has pledged to maintain its side of the status quo with regards to Iciaros-Fontoan relations. As announced by Imperial Secretary of Publicity Alyssa Courtney, “How our ties with Fonto change shall rest entirely in the hands of its new government.”
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

User avatar
Iciaros
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 387
Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:56 am

Regional Vigilantism on the Rise: A Tale of Inequality
2/9/725, Cilessa

The Iciarosian semi-autonomous territory of Cylesia has long been known for its vast social and economic inequality, the abysmal condition of its poor, and systemic exploitation of its working class. Despite open and subsidised migration opportunities, the low-income population of Cylesia remains substantial, owing to higher employment rates and lower regulation and qualification requirements compared to neighbouring Iciarosian core provinces, topped off with the irresistible allure of winning the economic lottery.

Whatever their reasons, however, numerous independent studies, investigations, and reports show that the quality of life and average happiness of low-income Cylesians remains abysmal, amid high levels of corruption and a naked failure of the rule of law. It is an open secret that both the courts and the legislature exist only to further the interests of big businesses, shareholders, and executives, and the needs and injustices suffered by the poor are rarely, if ever, addressed.

All this has given rise to the sort of widespread dissatisfaction that breeds revolution, despite the general capitalist sympathies of.all Cylesian demographics. Many an interviewed low-wage worker has expressed that while they prefer Cylesia’s laissez-faire policies to that of relatively more regulated Iciarosian core territories, corruption and preferential treatment under the law ruin the free market paradise it could have been. Campaigns and movements attempting to reform the system have been summarily shut down, throwing further fuel onto the fire of regime change.

So far, revolution has not arisen. Were it ever to, the sheer wealth and resources of Cylesia’s controlling companies would likely nip such insurrection in the bud, bloodily if need be. But recently a different sort of rebellion has made itself known: anonymous vigilantism.

The vigilante in question goes by the moniker Astraea, a goddess of justice in ancient regional religions. Though named after an individual, many surmise that actions attributable to her are so simultaneous and widespread that she is in reality a group of individuals working in concert. Astraea has claimed responsibility for many acts, such as hacking into the systems of banks and other financial institutions, the assault of prominent Cylesian political figures, and acts of trespass and theft in large company buildings. Her stated intention is the liberation of Cylesia from corruption, a transformation of the dysfunctional legal system, and the redistribution of wealth from the undeserving to the deserving. To date, she is reportedly responsible for the disappearance of over fifty billion dollars and the maiming or disfiguration of two dozen politicians and high-ranking government executives. Suspects brought to trial for these actions have managed to be acquitted following the hiring of expert lawyers, paid for in full by anonymous donors using money of unknown sources.

In a twist of irony, Cylesian laws may prove to be its own undoing when dealing with Astraea. The intentional lack of transparency in government and corporate affairs, coupled with guarantees of economic privacy, means that even the Cylesian government will have a difficult time tracking the movement of illicit money. Though it is entirely capable of repealing the laws it has in place, such an act could very well be a part of the legal reform Astraea has been hoping for, and could put up for scrutiny many dubious transactions and monetary affairs that Cylesia hopes to keep secret. In the meantime, Cylesian officials have beefed up their security and limited their outside exposure, but Astraea’s cracking of the security of even Cylesia’s most secure banks suggest that nowhere is safe from her reach.

When asked about the issue, Iciarosian Imperial Secretary for Publicity Alyssa Courtney declined to comment. She reiterated, however, that “Iciarosian policy is not to interfere with the internal affairs of our protectorates and semi-autonomous territories, and where asked, to only operate as requested and within the boundaries of local laws.”

Cylesia, it would seem, has a difficult battle ahead.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

User avatar
Iciaros
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 387
Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:49 am

Building Collapse Kills Several, Dozens Still Missing
5/10/725, Atlanta

The collapse of a high-rise government weather control station in the province of Atlantia yesterday afternoon has so far resulted in seven confirmed deaths, with eighty-two other government personnel still missing in the substantial rubble left behind. Workers in adjacent buildings, some of whom found themselves momentarily stranded in buildings with exits blocked by rubble, were thankfully extracted safely and are at no risk of further harm. For the moment, the area has been cordoned off while rescue operations are underway, and warnings have been issued to air and seaports over the temporary but limited incapacitation of weather monitoring and control.

Though both official and private insurance investigations are still ongoing, fingers are already being pointed in several different directions. Most accusations are based on the information released - and still being released - by Ms Agnes Rines, who hired a private investigation firm to find the truth of the death of her wife in yesterday’s disaster. Ms Rines insists, based on the evidence she collected, that the collapse is primarily attributable to faulty construction and inadequate maintenance, and blames the companies responsible.

The public, at the moment, seems to agree with Ms Rines, though many other theories have surfaced. Some believe that government corruption or ineptitude might have had a role to play, and have petitioned the national government to look into the operations of the provincial government. Others speculate that the vigilante entity causing unrest in neighbouring Cylesia could be responsible, but no evidence yet exists to support this and the vigilante(s), who have so far been open in claiming responsibility for their acts, have denied any involvement with the Atlantia collapse.

For the most part, the more outlandish theories have fallen by the wayside, and pressure is mounting on the companies accused by Ms Rines. One of these companies, Solid Foundation Inc., has already issued a statement denying these claims. In their statement, they express sympathy for Ms Rines and other mourning families, but insists that their work was properly performed and monitored, and that the full investigation would vindicate them. They, in turn, hired a competing investigation firm to look into the matter, despite protests from social media users that the eventual report would no doubt be biased.

Whatever the case, the flying allegations have caught the attention of the national government, which is primarily concerned that the Atlantian provincial government may be skirting national safety directives, protocols, and regulations. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion announced this morning that the event was extremely serious, and they would paying close attention to the outcomes of the various investigations.

ICV News would like to send our deepest condolences to the victims of this collapse and their families. Information on potentially helpful hotlines and charities are available on our home page.
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New Imperial Order of Iciaros
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Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

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Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:14 am

Update on Building Collapse: Faulty Construction Responsible
2/11/725, Atlanta

Almost a month ago, we reported on the tragic building collapse that killed several people and injured dozens of others. The death toll, which ultimately came up to 27, has made this collapse the most fatal accident in recent history in the Atlantian province, whose lack of dangerous industries and rigorously enforced safety guidelines placed it for many years among the most accident-free province in Iciaros. In the wake of that collapse, several investigations were initiated or commissioned, and now with most of their reports being made public the truth of the matter is finally being revealed.

The results of the investigations commenced by the insurance companies responsible for insuring the collapsed building and the workers involved have concluded that the likely cause of the collapse was defects in the original construction process and materials used. Although the specific evidence uncovered was not made public, several lawsuits have already been filed against the accused companies, suggesting that whatever proof exists is very compelling. Meanwhile, government investigations, originally begun by the provincial government but later put under the purview of national government agencies, have come to the same conclusion, adding that there was evidence to suggest subsequent safety checks and maintenance either had been negligent or deliberately attempted to hide defects in the original construction. This had led to further investigations by the national government, both against private companies and the branches of the provincial and district governments responsible for certifying compliance with safety procedures.

Investigations commissioned by the companies accused of wrongdoing, however, have been predictably inconclusive, claiming that the evidence is insufficient to prove that negligence or malice contributed to the collapse (though the basis for these statements is unclear, as the companies have all refused to release the full reports they received). Statements made by spokespeople of the national Ministry of Territorial Cohesion suggest that these investigators (amongst others) will likely be subpoenaed for the full reports, should legal action be taken.

There were a few investigations commissioned by individuals, mostly workers or their families, but most of these were ended when state and corporate investigations began. One person who has stuck it out to the bitter end is Ms Agnes Rines, whose wife was killed in the collapse, and her report was the very first to be completed and released in its entirety to the general public a week ago. The accuracy of the report, which concurs largely with the findings of state and insurance reports, as well as the constant media focus of Ms Rines as the face of devastated loved ones in the wake of the accident, has seen a great spotlight shone onto the investigation firm she commissioned, Oracle Investigators, as well as she herself.

“I’m glad the truth is out there now,” she said in an interview with ICV News. “That was all I needed. Some closure. The rest is up to the people with money now, but I hope we can make it so this never happens again.”

Once more, ICV News would like to send our deepest condolences to the victims of this collapse and their families. Information on potentially helpful hotlines and charities are available on our home page.
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Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

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Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:42 am

Tensions as New Year Tourist Clash Nears
4/12/725, Isenia

As the end of the Iciarosian new year approaches, so too does an increase in the influx of tourism from Iciarosian protectorates. This increase is due mostly to religious tourism from the protectorate of Orial - though Iciaros is avowedly non-religious, Orial is very much the opposite, and disdainful local attitudes towards divine beliefs have not sufficed to deter Orialians from visiting their most holy site: the mountain city of Isenia.

The Orialian obsession with Isenia draws its roots from the city’s origins. The modern city of Isenia sits on the ruins of (and owes its name to) the pre-Apocalyptic city of Ixainia, the capital of ancient imperial Iciaros. It was the home of Empress Celeste, who ostensibly ruled pre-Apocalyptic Iciaros for hundreds of years, and who Orialians regard as their one true god. Upon her death in the years leading up to the Apocalypse, it is said, Celeste ascended to an even higher state of being and now watches over the people she used to rule. The date of her death, which lies close to the Iciarosian new year, also marks the beginning of the Orialian new year and the tourist stampede.

While Iciaros may not adhere to the same faith as Orial, Isenia has undergone a radical transformation because of it. It is now one of its province’s biggest tourist spots and one of its biggest sources of economic activity. Once a relatively quiet residential area, the mass exodus of residents following the disturbances brought by tourism have facilitated its transformation into what could best be described as a nostalgic tourist trap, sporting medieval architecture carefully blended with technology for convenience. Its large hotels and wide, long roads were reportedly calculated to maximise tourist capacity without compromising the ‘experience’ of history.

Such measures, while no doubt appreciated by Orialians, does not cater quite so much to Isenia’s second-largest seasonal tourist demographic - protesters from the protectorate of Fonto. Fonto, unlike Orial, was founded upon a very different set of beliefs: that of the historical figure Diane Sergla, who led the biggest and most successful popular rebellion against Celeste’s empire and, according to legend, personally slew the late Empress. The Orialian celebration of a person perceived by Fonto to be a cruel, uncaring tyrant has never sat well with Fontoans, and every year tourist groups come from Fonto for the specific purpose of disrupting and hassling Orialian tourists, albeit within the strict bounds set by Iciarosian law. This behaviour has never been embraced by the Fontoan mainstream, and so remained tolerable - until this year.

Faced with an impending and increasingly inevitable electoral defeat in its upcoming elections, the dominant party in Fonto’s ruling coalition, the Freedom Party, has sought to garner nationalist support by openly denouncing Orial and calling for an organised protest against the Orialian celebration of Celeste. This call to action has galvanised local protest organisations, whose spirited campaigning and arrangements indicate an expectation that Fontoan involvement in Isenia during the new year will spike tenfold. Bookings at Isenian hotels and lodgings in the surrounding area corroborate this assumption, much to the consternation of Orial. Orialian leader Bishop-Protector Asiel condemned the Freedom Party’s actions and warned of possible retaliation against Fonto if it “continues down the road its current government has paved for it”. Fonto’s newly-formed opposition coalition has remained silent on the matter so far.

For its part, Iciaros has warned tourists from both sides not to go overboard, and Isenia’s city authorities have taken to putting up warnings and reminders of local laws to deter overexcited factional clashes. The Minister for Civil Defence Elliott Han announced yesterday morning that special funding would be diverted to Isenian security during the Orialian new year period, in a joint press conference with Isenian city administrator Susan Holt. Malicious lawbreaking, he warned, would be punished harshly. In the same press conference, Administrator Holt appealed to tourists to remain civil, and offered some guidelines and advice on how to conduct a legal peaceful protest. The same advice has since been uploaded to the official Isenian city tourist website, and will be put up on signposts in advance of the tourist period.

Only time will tell if this year will end in violence.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

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Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

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Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:10 am

Tourist Clash Update: Surprisingly Chill
5/1/726, Isenia

Last month, we reported on the potential clash in tourist groups for the new year period. With the event now over, the result has been unexpectedly benign.

This is not to say that there was no violence; over the course of the new year period, fifty-three assaults were reported and law enforcement estimated that officers had to defuse many more potential fights before they broke out. But this number is hardly on the scale that was expected from the tens of thousands of tourists that took to the city of Isenia this year. Isenian authorities were, according to city administrator Susan Holt, prepared for widespread chaos; riot police were on standby and even military-grade equipment was distributed to local police in anticipation of violence clashes. What transpired in the end seemed to be nothing more than somewhat exacerbated holiday tensions.

This unexpected calm seems to have been at least in part brought about by active anti-violence non-profit organisations. Readers may remember that this saga was sparked by a call to action by the dominant political party in the Iciarosian protectorate of Fonto, the Freedom Party, against the ideologically-opposed protectorate of Orial, in an attempt to rally nationalistic sentiments ahead of upcoming elections. At the time, hotel booking information suggested that Fontoans had bought into the incendiary rhetoric, and prepared to confront Orialian tourists en masse during their holy new year period. However, the truth, revealed close to the new year period itself, was that much of this spike in hotel bookings was orchestrated by Fontoan counter-violence organisations working in concert with Iciaros-based charities, who sought to pre-empt violent Fontoans travelling to Isenia by booking out their places of stay. They later began campaigns to the Fontoan public to combat violent anti-Orialian sentiments while distributing the acquired bookings at discounted prices, attracting large swathes of tolerant and peaceful Fontoan tourists. Under the leadership of these organisations, tour groups comprising both Fontoans and Iciarosian volunteers were formed with the aim of understanding Orialian culture and interacting peacefully with holiday travellers. Eyewitness accounts also report that some groups were formed specifically to disrupt and bar the movement of violent assemblies, something that seems to have been successful.

“We may not agree with Paradise (the Orialian religion), but to resort to violence and hate is unacceptable,” said Julian Arcuri, chairman of Fontoan anti-violence organisation Fight for Peace. “I can understand wanting to fight what you think is unjust, but the moment you throw a punch is the moment you become the injustice you hate. If we ever change Orial, it will be through understanding their culture, appreciating it, and engaging with them on their level. Not by attacking them.”

Orialian leader Bishop-Protector Asiel, while maintaining his condemnation of Fonto’s Freedom Party, has praised the behaviour of the non-violent tourists and the groups which helped to organise them. “Violence against the innocent and unarmed is never the answer,” he proclaimed in an international press conference. “To fight so fervently for what one believes in, yet in such a bloodless way, is worthy of great admiration. I dare say even our most faithful could stand to learn from these brave souls of Fonto and Iciaros.”

The Freedom Party, on the other hand, has had nothing but criticism and disdain for every party involved in these events. “We condemn Orial for their oppressive tyrannical beliefs,” said Fontoan co-head of state Elena Garcia, who is also the head of the Freedom Party. “We condemn the so-called ‘charities’ who sought to obstruct the will and passion of the Fontoan people in pursuing justice. We condemn Iciaros for condoning the actions of their organisations, which amount to a blatant interference in our election affairs. And we condemn the Liberal Party (the leading party in the opposition coalition) for being complicit in this shameful display through their silence.” Fellow Fontoan co-head of state Alicia Calle, also head of the Liberal Party, explicitly made clear that she did not endorse her colleague’s message but made no further comments.

Iciaros has taken the Freedom Party’s criticism in stride. “Iciaros promised not to meddle in the internal affairs of its protectorates,” acknowledged Imperial Secretary for Publicity Alyssa Courtney. “As promised, it has not. The only Iciarosian organisations involved in the counter-movement were non-government charity organisations. They have no affiliation to, nor receive funding from, either national or provincial governments. Furthermore, please note that, had violence played out, it would have happened on our soil. We would like to caution Ms Elena from labelling every action she dislikes as ‘meddling in internal affairs’.”

The saga, in any case, is finally over, and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that this date did not become one to remember.
Last edited by Iciaros on Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
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Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

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Postby Iciaros » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:37 am

Iciaros Considers New Hate Speech Regulations
12/2/726, New Ixainia

Yesterday morning, a new bill was introduced in Iciaros’ national legislative body, the Imperial Legislative Commission, to tighten the regulations Iciaros currently has in place regarding hate speech posted on social media websites.

“Hate is the most counterproductive of contributions to any conversation,” said District Commissioner for Isenia Andrew Hawkins, one of the sponsors for the bill, in the speech following its introduction. “All hate can do is anger, offend, divide us, and reproduce. Such vitriol should have no place among our people.”

The proposed bill, titled ‘Regulating Hate Speech on Social Media Act’, puts additional responsibilities on social media companies to detect and filter out offending content hosted on their platforms. It also requires companies to take action against repeat offenders, up to and including permanent bans. It also features a tier system, approved by the Ministry of Economic Growth, that rates social media platforms according to their popularity, traffic, and the size of their owning companies, in order to vary the severity of the regulations according to what would be necessary and affordable.

“Additionally, this bill takes into account that not all critical speech is hate speech,” Commissioner Hawkins added. “It is not, and should not be, a crime to analyse and criticise policies, actions, and belief systems in objective ways. That is the basis of improvement. However, speech intended only to denigrate, particularly in the absence of fault, must be censured.”

The bill has met mixed reactions from other members of the Legislative Commission. “I could see this bill passing, in a gentler form,” said Provincial Commissioner for Atlantia Alexandra Paules in a conversation with the press. “But there are a lot of things to iron out. I imagine a lot of us would find it too harsh in what it considers ‘hate speech’. If I call a serial murderer a ‘monster’, would I be banned from the service? Its language and phrasing needs work. No doubt the learned Commissioner Hawkins will be busy after the bill’s first reading.”

Major social media companies have also issued their protests to the national government, in particular the Ministries of Law, Economic Growth, and Consumer Protection. These Ministries, which have the power to issue advice and criticisms of the bill should it reach a later stage, could have great sway over the final outcome if the bill makes it to the Empress’ desk for approval or denial.

When questioned, Imperial Secretary of Publicity Alyssa Courtney made no comments on the bill. “Empress Ceriss has not expressed her opinion to me, and it would be improper in any case to make comments publicly at this stage of legislation,” Ms Courtney told the press.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.

User avatar
Iciaros
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Posts: 387
Founded: Sep 30, 2014
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Iciaros » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:21 am

Protectorate’s Election Results are in: Victory for the Left
9/3/726, Fontana

A few months ago, we covered the circumstances surrounding the then-upcoming elections in one of Iciaros’ democratic protectorates, the republic of Fonto. With all ballots now counted, the results are in - the political left has claimed victory over the right, whose rule over both legislative branches has persisted, unbroken, for two decades.

Yesterday’s victory marks the culmination of the slow but steady decline in the right-wing coalition’s popularity. The period of its governance was marked by unresolved social and economic issues, a widening income gap, and a progressively more costly price of living for the lower and middle classes. All this seems to finally have surmounted the populist and nationalistic appeal of the coalition, and in particular its leading party, the Freedom Party, whose policies analysts generally agree did little to alleviate the severity of the situation, if not outright worsened it.

As the dust of battle settles, the victorious left-wing coalition, newly forged in the fire of its first electoral trial, has much work ahead of it. Though most parties in the coalition gained seats in Fonto’s upper house in the aftermath of the election, the gain was not enough to claim the critical two-thirds needed to exercise such powers as the redrawing of electoral districts for the lower house. For this, the left will have to negotiate with factions in the ever-more divided right and attain enough allies to push through its redrawing plans before the midterm elections in two years. How they will conduct these negotiations, such that they do not jeopardise the momentum of change that propelled them to victory in this election, remains to be seen.

The right, in the meantime, has virtually fallen apart in the wake of its defeat. Fractures between extreme and moderate wings of the once-ruling coalition, already large before the election result, widened to their breaking point once the results were announced. In a single day, four parties deserted the coalition to form a competing centrist bloc with assorted independent centre-left parties. Matters within the coalition itself are not much better. The Freedom Party, once a clear leader both nationally and within its coalition, has lost so much popularity with the electorate that its head, Ms Elena Garcia, was nearly ousted from her seat as Fontoan co-head of state in the concurrent elections for Fonto’s two heads of state. Despite barely managing to clinging to her position, however, voices from within her own coalition are calling for her to resign, blaming her and her fairly hard-right party for the right’s electoral defeat. Contemporary political journalists have written, both before and after the election, that a power struggle within the right-wing coalition is all but inevitable, and the odds of the Freedom Party emerging victorious have now dropped significantly in favour of the moderate-right Prosperity Party, which actually gained seats amidst the dramatic collapse of the right.

Immediately after the announcement of the election results, left-wing coalition leader Alicia Calle, co-head of state and head of the Liberal Party, addressed Fonto in a triumphant but conciliatory tone. “The time for division is past,” she announced to a crowd of cheering supporters and the mass media. “From today, we move forward not as two halves but as one people. The problems facing us are clear; I promise you that we have every intention of fixing them, and not in two years - right now, with our friends on the right.”

Commentators have speculated that the Ms Calle’s statement signals the left’s intention to push through its legislative agenda, despite lacking a majority in the lower house. Such a gambit, heavily reliant on forging alliances with the disillusioned right and the newborn centre, suggest that negotiations have already begun behind the scenes and that Ms Calle is confident in its success.

As with every season of Fonto’s election dramas, there is no time for rest.
Iciaros' Q&A: Ask whatever you want!

New Imperial Order of Iciaros
Sovereign | Heir | Chief Ambassador | Grand Admiral | Grand General
High Fantasy, Absolute Monarchy. PMT/FT on this scale. Current Year: 726 AA.
NationStates stats and policies are non-canon. Refer to factbooks for accurate information.
Welcome to the spoiler! ^.^ You are a great person and you should love yourself!
I go by Icia or Ici, pronoun she. I'm a hopeful writer and hopeless law student. Also, I'm afraid of basically everything.
I like to think that I'm a positive pessimist. Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, and trying my hardest to keep smiling throughout.
Does my nation reflect my beliefs? Well, it's complicated.


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