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The Mountains Meet The Sea and the Desert (Closed, WA only)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Cyretopolitania
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Moralistic Democracy

The Mountains Meet The Sea and the Desert (Closed, WA only)

Postby Cyretopolitania » Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:48 am

The Royal Seafront Estate
The Northwestern Coast of Cyretopolitania


“Are you sure about this?” Hannah Halliche, the daughter of the Duke of Gafsa and, now, sister-in-law of the Empress of Tehua, said as she brushed her cousin’s hair.

“About what? The braids? Or the visit?” Princess Ilizibith said with a playful smile.

“You know what I mean,” Hannah said as she laid aside the brush and began twisting the princess’ hair into a French braid.

“We’ve waited for this for so long,” Ilizibith said, “we want our families to get to know each other… and to get along.”

“Well, that’s the hard part, isn’t it Lizzie? I mean, respect for getting your father to… tolerate Peter,” her voice lowered, “especially after I thought he’d toss him down the same hole he threw Azenfar down…”

Ilizibith bristled at the suggestion that her beloved father, the king, could… would simply make someone disappear. She turned her head sharply and frowned. Of course, he probably had done just that to the former count and head of royal intelligence. But to even joke that he could do that to Peter…

“I… I’m sorry. Lizzie.”

“It’s… it’s ok, Hannah,” Ilizibith said at last. “But Father and Peter have been getting on much better since Uncle David’s funeral… don’t you think?”

Better than giving him icy glares, the younger woman thought silently. “Well, yes, I suppose so.”

Ilizibith smiled. “Good!” She looked in the mirror. “It looks wonderful. Thank you, Hannah!”

“Of course,” the young woman said.

The princess stood. “Now, let’s find something to wear. I want to look good for Peter’s family. But still casual, you know?”

* * *

Elsewhere in the massive complex, King Aksel IX stood looking in the mirror, fingering the Royal Usekh Collar around his neck.

“Oh, Aksel,” Queen Samia said, shaking her head, “take that thing off. This is a casual, family visit. Not a state visit. Please try to act like a good father-in-law and not His Pharaonic Majesty...”

The King sighed and removed his collar. He unbuttoned the top button of his cotton shirt and turned to his wife. “Better?”

The Queen, dressed in a light-weight yellow linen dress smiled. “Yes. Much.”

There was a knock at the door, and the King turned. “Enter,” he said.

A servant entered and bowed deeply. “Your Pharaonic Majesties,” the woman said, “your guests from Brasland have arrived.”

The Queen held out her hand. “Shall we, dear?”

The King gave a slight smile. “I suppose so, my Queen.”
Last edited by Cyretopolitania on Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Brasland
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Postby Brasland » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:37 am

Prince Stephan of Brasland looked at his exotic surroundings with curiosity. He was not much of a traveler, and his idea of paradise was a small alpine cottage in the south of Brasland, where he escaped to hunt occasionally. He had been brought up in the strict but refined world of the Residenzschloss Friedrichsburg, but he preferred simplicity. Grand settings were part of his position as a prince, but not places where he liked to spend his free time. Also, meeting the in-laws was never easy, especially after what his boy Peter had done. The young rascal had always been impulsive and energetic, and Stephan was not surprised of how things had turned out between him and Princess Ilizibith. He smiled to himself briefly, amused but aware that it wasn’t right to be amused about that. He also knew that this visit wasn’t just to meet the Cyretians, but to subtly make them realize that Peter was not a barbarian, that he came from a good, respectable Christian household, a royal one, despite the not very-royal behavior of the rather hot-headed prince.

Flanking their father on each side were two of his many children. Princess Gisela, twenty-four, stood to his right, while her brother Felix, twenty-one, stood to the left. The men were dressed casually with beige pants and light blue cotton shirts, while Gisela looked stylish in a light blue linen dress, a golden cross pendant hanging from her neck. They were relatively relaxed, aware that the air was charged with a bit of expectation. The princess, especially, hoped that they would all be able to get along and distract from every day problems. The last year had been very rough for them. Their mother’s death had left a deep scar in their souls. She had tried, with no success, to make her father travel a little bit and get away from Schloss Augustenberg, where every corner reminded him of his wife. King Aksel’s invitation had come as a blessing, for Prince Stephan would have never said no to a royal command. Gisela needed the distraction as well, as there were things she needed to reflect upon, like her prolonged engagement to Prince Felipe of Providencia y San Andres. It wasn't that she didn’t like him, but she was not sure they were right for each other. He had a rather roving eye, perhaps not helped by the fact that he was very good-looking, and that Providencian women threw themselves at him. Her mother’s death had made Gisela rethink some of her decisions. Maybe thrones and palaces were not so appealing for her anymore, maybe Sophia’s and Irene’s choices were not for her. This trip would help her to make up her mind.
Last edited by Brasland on Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cyretopolitania
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Postby Cyretopolitania » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:29 pm

Upon arrival, the Braslanders had been ushered to an open colonnade. Columns to the north framed the pristine beach and the ocean beyond. To the west was the portico of a large flat roofed two story palazzo with the mountains rising behind it in the distance. To the east stood a large pool with a submerged seating area and a larger dry seating area partially enclosed with columns and white awnings. A table laden with fruits, honey, bread, cheese and numerous pitchers stood in the middle of the chairs and benches.

The doors of the palazzo opened and the Royal family walked out, led by the king. The servants standing near the Braslanders dropped to a knee, saying “Your Pharaonic Majesties.”

King Aksel IX nodded to the servants, who stood and bowed, and approached Prince Stephan. “Welcome, cousin,” he said with a smile as he extended his hand. “Welcome to Cyretopolitania. Consider yourself at home!”

The King turned and gestured to his wife. “My wife and Queen, Samia.”

Samia nodded her head and smiled. “Welcome.”

Aksel turned to the young man to his right. “My oldest son and Crown Prince, John. And I believe you know his wife, Princess Irene, and our grandchildren, Victoria and George.” John smiled and gave a slight bow.

Turning to his left, Aksel said, “And my second born, Prince Agizul, and his wife, Princess Yulia.” Agizul bowed.

“And I believe you already know my youngest child, Princess Ilizibith, and, of course, her… husband Peter.”

Ilizibith smiled warmly and hugged Prince Stephan. “Welcome, Father,” she said.

“Oh,” Aksel said, as if noticing the young raven-haired woman standing beside Ilizibith for the first time, “and my niece, Lady Hannah.”

Hannah curtsied. “Welcome, Your Highness.”

After the Braslanders introduced themselves, Aksel gestured towards the pool and table just beyond. “You’ve had a long journey. Come and be refreshed!”

He led the way to the table. “Please, sit. We have fruits, nuts, fresh bread and cheese. Fruit-infused waters, mint tea. And, if you prefer, grey wine and honey beer.”

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Brasland
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Postby Brasland » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:43 am

Following Cyretian custom, Prince Stephan bowed instead of nodding his head to the King and Queen.

“Your Majesties, thank you for welcoming us at your summer home”, he said. “This is my daughter Gisela, and this is my son Felix. The rest of my children were unable to come, but they send their regards.”

Slightly surprised by Ilizibith’s informal greeting, he returned the embrace warmly, and looked over her shoulder in Peter’s direction, with a discreet but expressive gaze that his son understood.

“My dear, you get more beautiful every time I see you”, said Stephan to his daughter-in-law.

“Welcome, Papa”, said Peter, nervously, trying to hide his discomfort.

“Son”, the prince replied, briefly.

They had only seen each other once after the surprise wedding, when he and Ilizibith had travelled to Markund to introduce her to the royal family, but it had been a very short visit. Peter knew that his father would use his time in Cyretopolitania to speak his mind to him, and he knew very well that Prince Stephan was not a man who minced his words. Both men being too good-mannered to make a scene in front of their hosts, they exchanged a formal embrace, after which Peter greeted his siblings, this time much more enthusiastically.

Gisela had taken an immediate liking to her sister-in-law and she greeted her with true sympathy, although a little bit shyly. Felix on the other hand, had grown up in the school of Peter and there was no shyness in him. However, he had also grown up in the tradition of learning not to repeat his older brother’s mistakes, which meant he was less impulsive and more self-aware. He realized that this could be a unique opportunity to learn about Cyretian culture from the top man himself, and decided to approach the King.

“Your Majesty, Sir”, he said, bowing. “It’s a great pleasure to be in your country. I recently finished my military training and have begun studies at the Markund School for Eastern Studies. I would love to ask you a few questions on Cyretopolitania’s geopolitical challenges, if this is not too impertinent.”

A few steps away, next to Queen Samia, Prince Stephan thought that it was indeed a very impertinent thing to ask, but he just smiled and made small talk to Ilizibith’s mother.

"Ma'am, may I inquire about Queen Safiya?", he asked. "My aunt, Princess Alexandra, is a close friend of Her Majesty, and she expressedly asked me to bring news about her."
Last edited by Brasland on Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Cyretopolitania
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Postby Cyretopolitania » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:12 am

“Your Majesty, Sir”, he said, bowing. “It’s a great pleasure to be in your country. I recently finished my military training and have begun studies at the Markund School for Eastern Studies. I would love to ask you a few questions on Cyretopolitania’s geopolitical challenges, if this is not too impertinent.”


The King gave Prince Stephan a slight smile and nod, then said to Felix, “No, it’s not impertinent at all, young man. I’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss it in detail.” He glanced at Peter and then at Stephan. “And since we’re all military men, I look forward to showing you my collection of armaments. I understand that you are a collector as well, cousin Stephan.”

A few steps away, next to Queen Samia, Prince Stephan thought that it was indeed a very impertinent thing to ask, but he just smiled and made small talk to Ilizibith’s mother.

"Ma'am, may I inquire about Queen Safiya?", he asked. "My aunt, Princess Alexandra, is a close friend of Her Majesty, and she expressedly asked me to bring news about her."


“Mother is doing well,” Queen Samia said with a smile. “She sends her regrets - she doesn’t like to leave her residence much these days. If you have the opportunity to visit Cyretia, I know she would be happy to receive Alexandra’s regards in person and send hers in return.”

As everyone took their seats, Ilizibith held Peter’s arm tightly and smiled. “Things are going well, aren’t they?” she whispered in his ear.

Hannah, sitting next to Ilizibith looked at Felix and smiled. “Would you like something to drink?”

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Brasland
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Postby Brasland » Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:11 am

Cyretopolitania wrote:The King gave Prince Stephan a slight smile and nod, then said to Felix, “No, it’s not impertinent at all, young man. I’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss it in detail.” He glanced at Peter and then at Stephan. “And since we’re all military men, I look forward to showing you my collection of armaments. I understand that you are a collector as well, cousin Stephan.”


"Indeed, Sir", said Prince Stephan. "I am a rifle collector, although we also keep some ancient Morgensterns and swords in the castle, but I've always enjoyed collecting rifles."

"Hunting is Papa's hobby", explained Peter.

"Yes, he has an awful hut in the mountains where he likes to escape sometimes", Gisela added, teasing her father.

"It's not a hut, darling", the prince protested. "It's a perfectly nice cottage where I can hunt in peace."

"With no heating or electricity!", exclaimed the princess.

Stephan looked in the King's direction, amused, and then raised his eyes to the sky as if asking the Almighty for patience.

"I have three daughters", he sighed. "They think they can control their father's life."

Hannah, sitting next to Ilizibith looked at Felix and smiled. “Would you like something to drink?”


"Whiskey berbere, Ma'am", said the prince, smiling back to the King's niece. He discreetly followed Lady Hannah, and courteously approached her. "So, my lady, what does a court creature like you do for fun around here? Oh, and please don't worry, I'm not my brother. We only share about fifty percent of DNA."
Last edited by Brasland on Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:26 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Cyretopolitania
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Postby Cyretopolitania » Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:48 pm

"Indeed, Sir", said Prince Stephan. "I am a rifle collector, although we also keep some ancient Morgensterns and swords in the castle, but I've always enjoyed collecting rifles."

"Hunting is Papa's hobby", explained Peter.

"Yes, he has an awful hut in the mountains where he likes to escape sometimes", Gisela added, teasing her father.

"It's not a hut, darling", the prince protested. "It's a perfectly nice cottage where I can hunt in peace."

"With no heating or electricity!", exclaimed the princess.

Stephan looked in the King's direction, amused, and then raised his eyes to the sky as if asking the Almighty for patience.

"I have three daughters", he sighed. "They think they can control their father's life."


The King gave a slight smile. “My collection is mostly swords, but I do have a few rifles from significant historical battles.” He paused. “And if you would like, we could go into the mountains for a hunt. I cannot offer you a rustic cabin, but we would travel as my ancestors did, on horseback and taking our tents and supplies with us.”

“Those supplies including a full kitchen, larder and barrels of wine and beer. And a retinue of servants,” Prince Agizul said with a chuckle.

Aksel laughed. “Well, that is how my ancestors traveled!”

"Whiskey berbere, Ma'am", said the prince, smiling back to the King's niece. He discreetly followed Lady Hannah, and courteously approached her. "So, my lady, what does a court creature like you do for fun around here? Oh, and please don't worry, I'm not my brother. We only share about fifty percent of DNA."


At the mention of whiskey berbere, King Aksel IX turned and gestured to a nearby servant. “Ah, yes, excellent choice. Hassan, whiskey berbere for all!”

A male servant stepped forward and opened a silver container of tea leaves. He placed them in the pot with a loaf of sugar, poured boiling water over them and swirled them about with a flourish. He poured out the water and added mint and a selection of herbs. He stirred and added boiling water. He poured the mixture into a glass pitcher and back into the pot several times. Finally, he raised the pot to the level of his head and poured the tea in a dramatic arc into several cups. Servants distributed them to the guests and the royal family. Then, the servant climbed a small step stool and poured three additional cups, which were given to Prince Stephan, and to the King and Queen.

As the tea ritual proceeded, Hannah turned to Felix. “See what you started?” She said with a teasing smile. She laughed, then said, “There is not much to do here, except to swim, play tennis and ride horses… but I guess that’s quite a bit, actually.” She continued to smile. “Back in Cyretia, I like to go the galleries, go to concerts… and dance.” She paused. “What do you do for fun?”

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Brasland
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Postby Brasland » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:15 am

The King gave a slight smile. “My collection is mostly swords, but I do have a few rifles from significant historical battles.” He paused. “And if you would like, we could go into the mountains for a hunt. I cannot offer you a rustic cabin, but we would travel as my ancestors did, on horseback and taking our tents and supplies with us.”

“Those supplies including a full kitchen, larder and barrels of wine and beer. And a retinue of servants,” Prince Agizul said with a chuckle.

Aksel laughed. “Well, that is how my ancestors traveled!”


At the King’s mention of mountains and hunting, Prince Stephan’s eyes brightened.

“If that is not an imposition, I would very much like that, Sir”, he said, letting only a bit of his enthusiasm slip. “The Cyretian way certainly seems more civilized, but our alpine traditions have their charm. I usually invite a few friends during the late summer season. It’s not a big cottage, so we can't accomodate a large party. We spend three weeks in the middle of nature, chasing chamoix and deers, drinking the traditional Falkenthaler beer and telling stories next to a bonfire, under the open sky. It’s paradise.”

“Your Majesty, don’t let Papa talk too much about the Alps”, said Princess Gisela. “He can do that for hours.”

Stephan sipped from his cup of tea, giving his daughter a dangerous gaze. Realizing she was teasing her father too much, she left the men alone in their conversation, and quietly approached to the Queen and the Crown Princess.

“Your house is lovely, Ma’am”, she said to Samia, and then she added in a lower tone, so her father wouldn’t hear. “It’s so kind of you to invite us. We have all had a difficult year, after our mother passed, but it has been especially difficult for Papa. He doesn’t like to travel much, but this will do him good.”

As the tea ritual proceeded, Hannah turned to Felix. “See what you started?” She said with a teasing smile. She laughed, then said, “There is not much to do here, except to swim, play tennis and ride horses… but I guess that’s quite a bit, actually.” She continued to smile. “Back in Cyretia, I like to go the galleries, go to concerts… and dance.” She paused. “What do you do for fun?”


"I see you're artistically oriented, which is cool", he observed, and then added, tongue-in-cheek: "I like dancing as well, some of my friends would even say I'm a good dancer, if they weren't envious of my talent in the dance floor."

Felix finished his tea and left the cup on the table. He thought of saying something interesting, but he could think of nothing. Instead, he decided to be bluntly honest: "I guess I'm a typical Braslander guy. I like football, skiing, drinking a reasonable amount of beer and chasing girls. Not in that order, necessarily. Oh, and I also like history and politics, but obviously I cannot do very much about the latter."
Last edited by Brasland on Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:25 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Cyretopolitania
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Postby Cyretopolitania » Sun Nov 28, 2021 11:42 am

At the King’s mention of mountains and hunting, Prince Stephan’s eyes brightened.

“If that is not an imposition, I would very much like that, Sir”, he said, letting only a bit of his enthusiasm slip. “The Cyretian way certainly seems more civilized, but our alpine traditions have their charm. I usually invite a few friends during the late summer season. It’s not a big cottage, so we can't accomodate a large party. We spend three weeks in the middle of nature, chasing chamoix and deers, drinking the traditional Falkenthaler beer and telling stories next to a bonfire, under the open sky. It’s paradise.”

“Your Majesty, don’t let Papa talk too much about the Alps”, said Princess Gisela. “He can do that for hours.”


Aksel chuckled as Gisela’s comment. “As can I when discussing my… pastimes.” The King turned to a servant standing a short distance away. “Iosef,” he said, and the servant approached and knelt on one knee, “prepare hunting party for,” the King looked around, as if counting, “six…”

“No more than three days. Two nights,” Queen Sami said with a smile and shake of the head.”

“For three days and two nights,” the King said. “We shall leave,” the King turned to the Queen, who titled her head, “the day after tomorrow.” The Queen smiled and nodded.

“So has it been said, so shall it be done, Your Pharaonic Majesty.”

The King nodded and the servant rose and backed away from the King.

Aksel turned to Stephan. “There. It is settled. We shall go into the mountains and hunt wild boar and gazelle as my forefathers did.”

Stephan sipped from his cup of tea, giving his daughter a dangerous gaze. Realizing she was teasing her father too much, she left the men alone in their conversation, and quietly approached to the Queen and the Crown Princess.

“Your house is lovely, Ma’am”, she said to Samia, and then she added in a lower tone, so her father wouldn’t hear. “It’s so kind of you to invite us. We have all had a difficult year, after our mother passed, but it has been especially difficult for Papa. He doesn’t like to travel much, but this will do him good.”


Samia turned to Gisela and smiled. “I am very glad that you could come, my dear,” she said. Then lowering her tone to match the Braslander’s, she continued: “Peter has told us a little of… how difficult it has been. And we know how difficult it was for him, as well. We hope that this will be a time of… renewal for everyone. And a time to build new family ties between our houses.”

"I see you're artistically oriented, which is cool", he observed, and then added, tongue-in-cheek: "I like dancing as well, some of my friends would even say I'm a good dancer, if they weren't envious of my talent in the dance floor."

Felix finished his tea and left the cup on the table. He thought of saying something interesting, but he could think of nothing. Instead, he decided to be bluntly honest: "I guess I'm a typical Braslander guy. I like football, skiing, drinking a reasonable amount of beer and chasing girls. Not in that order, necessarily. Oh, and I also like history and politics, but obviously I cannot do very much about the latter."


Hannah nodded with a slight frown at the mention of politics. Ever since her uncle had purged his government, any discussion of politics had been banned in his presence. The Queen feared he was too deeply immersed in the troubles of his government and she did not want him any excuse to dwell on those matters more than he already did.

Her face brightened as her thoughts turned back to dancing. “Perhaps when you return from Uncle’s hunt we can arrange a dance. I admit I would like to put your boasts to the test,” she said with a smile.

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Cyretopolitania
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Postby Cyretopolitania » Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:17 pm

The Western Mountains, near the Seafront Estate
Two Days Later


The expedition left early, just as the sun began to break over the east. The six royal gentlemen, their guides and accompanying spearmen were on horseback, while several wagons followed with tents and supplies. A pack of hunting dogs kept pace with the horses, closely watching the Master of Hounds.

After reaching the mountains, the wagons headed for a campsite, while the rest of the party continued deeper into scrub brush, and the sparse pine and cedar forests. At a certain point, the Master had signaled the hounds and they ran into the bush. The rest of the day consisted of following the sound of the dogs hoping to find a boar they had driven out into the open. The mounted hunters, each of whom had been issued a meticulously maintained early 20th century .30-30 smokeless lever action carbine, then tried to score a kill shot before the boar became a threat to the party. The spearmen stood at the ready to spear any boar that escaped the rifles and drew near enough to pose a threat.

After a long day in the mountains, the guides led the party to camp, though camp might have been an inadequate description for what awaited the hunters. Several large tents, complete with beds, chairs , lamps and trunks stood around a large fire. Chairs were arranged around the fire and a large, fully dressed dining table stood nearby. Additional, but more modest, tents for the servants were arrayed in a second ring.

Upon the party’s return, the cooks began dressing the boars and preparing them for the spit. King Aksel IX led his guests to the chairs around the fire. “Let us sit, my sons, my cousins, and drink and tell tales of adventure and daring!”

He sat and servants appeared to offer glasses of wine and lemon-mint water. Taking a glass, the King raised it. “To a successful hunt! To our guides, spearmen and the Master of the Hounds! And to our noble, and delectable prey!”

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Postby Brasland » Sat Dec 04, 2021 11:14 am

Prince Stephan raised his glass and nodded.

“Mountain air, wild boar and good friends. What more can a man ask?”, he said, as he sipped from his wine.

During the last few days, he had gotten close enough to the King so that they would now call each other by their first names. They shared many interests, values and a common sense of humour. The prince felt quite at ease next to a man who, as he saw it, “thought about things in the right way”. After dinner, while the younger man remained at the dining table, Prince Stephan and the King moved to the chairs around the fire. The prince looked over his shoulder and discreetly checked if the others were coming. They were not, too absorbed in their own conversation. He cleared his throat, slightly tense about what he was going to ask.

“Sir, I mean… Aksel”, he began to say. “This trip has been brilliant so far, a real treat. However, you better than anyone knows that our sort of people can never be completely free of obligations to our countries. My nephew, King Georg, has requested that I discuss a certain issue with you. Would you mind discussing regional politics tonight?”

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Cyretopolitania
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Postby Cyretopolitania » Sat Dec 04, 2021 11:54 am

The King gave an enigmatic smile. It was not certain that he had anticipated the question; however, he was evidently not surprised by it. He lifted his cup of sambuca and espresso and sipped. He lowered it and nodded. “Of course, Stephan,” he said. “When one swims in the sea of politics, one is always at the ready to discuss it.”

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Brasland
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Postby Brasland » Sat Dec 04, 2021 12:32 pm

The prince observed the flames for a few seconds, and gave a silent sigh.

“Your country and mine are very different, Aksel, but we share one thing. We are both surrounded by interesting neighbors. You have Qubti, Breucia and Jrawa. We have Daytanistan, Anahuac and the Ostmark. This is not a new situation. Brasland has never integrated well with its neighbors. First, they were pagans, now they are Communists. The two Marks were the exception, but they have fallen under the influence of foreign powers. Dietrich, that beast of a man, is a Sabari puppet, while the Nordmark sold its dignity for Snefaldian protection, even after King Georg offered them the same. The Westbund is truly a rotten empire, unable to defend its ancient lands in the Transmontana. Without them, Brasland remains the last independent Christian state in our part of the region. We are prosperous and peaceful, but many in Markund feel nervous, and not without reason. How can we sustain our progress if we’re surrounded by hostile states? The King is a patient man, but he is watching developments in our borders. Daytanistan controls the puppet state of Narvasar, which gives them access to sell their opium through the Mittelmeer. They gain power and wealth, while we remain still. Should we take action? Can we take action? Can we stop Daytanistan and Sabaristan? We are powerful, but we cannot stop them both. I will be honest, Aksel. The King resents foreign intrusion in our neighborhood, but he knows that there’s no other choice but accepting that intrusion. Without Excalbia and other like-minded powers, we cannot prevent the advance of our enemies. One of the problems, however, will be international support for our cause. A second war will not happen tomorrow or next year, maybe not even in the next decade, but it will inevitably take place again, during Georg’s reign (may God preserve him). Of all the princes of the Western Atlantic, you might be one of the few that can understand our situation. Your neighbors are not precisely amiable, am I right? And you may not be risking a war, but your country knows what it is to be misunderstood abroad. We need to stand together against adversity, we need to make public opinion understand our challenges, and for that we need moral allies.”

Stephan did not explicitly ask the King for support, because the conversation was an informal one, but he hoped that Aksel would give him a satisfactory answer. He was eager to bring good news back to Markund.

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Postby Cyretopolitania » Sat Dec 04, 2021 12:48 pm

The King sipped his drink and stared into the fire. He could almost image the flames as the figures of tiny soldiers marching to war. He looked away, and drew in a breath. “While Breucia and Qubti may disagree, I have never sought conflict. And I certainly do not relish war. However, I do share my late cousin David’s view of Dietrich,” the King spat into the ground after mentioning the name. “He is an usurper and an apostate. A pawn of Satan.” He turned to the Prince. “And I do not share my late cousin’s sanguine opinion of Noel Hoogaboom and Anahuac.”

Aksel took another sip of his drink. “You are in a dangerous neighborhood, Stephan. Of that there is no doubt. Perhaps even more treacherous than ours.” He gave a faint smile. “In such environments, it is important to have… friends. And you may assure King Georg that Brasland may consider Cyretopolitania a friend. A true friend.” He paused. “And I assume that the reverse is true as well.” His smile broadened. “After all, my grandchildren have Brasland blood in their veins. And someday, this Kingdom will be theirs, God willing.”

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brasland » Sun Dec 05, 2021 12:09 pm

Cyretopolitania wrote:The King sipped his drink and stared into the fire. He could almost image the flames as the figures of tiny soldiers marching to war. He looked away, and drew in a breath. “While Breucia and Qubti may disagree, I have never sought conflict. And I certainly do not relish war. However, I do share my late cousin David’s view of Dietrich,” the King spat into the ground after mentioning the name. “He is an usurper and an apostate. A pawn of Satan.” He turned to the Prince. “And I do not share my late cousin’s sanguine opinion of Noel Hoogaboom and Anahuac.”

Aksel took another sip of his drink. “You are in a dangerous neighborhood, Stephan. Of that there is no doubt. Perhaps even more treacherous than ours.” He gave a faint smile. “In such environments, it is important to have… friends. And you may assure King Georg that Brasland may consider Cyretopolitania a friend. A true friend.” He paused. “And I assume that the reverse is true as well.” His smile broadened. “After all, my grandchildren have Brasland blood in their veins. And someday, this Kingdom will be theirs, God willing.”


Stephan listened to the King, pleased by his words.

"You can rest assured that King Georg holds your country in great esteem", said the prince, serenely. "Just like you, he does not forget that his nephew will once sit in the throne of Cyretopolitania. You see, that's the advantage of monarchies and royal marriages. They force us to think in the long term."

He put his glass of wine aside, and now spoke in a lower tone.

"Now, this might not be the perfect time", he whispered, leaning slightly closer to King Aksel. "But there probably won't be a good moment to say this. I know my son caused you and the Queen a lot of distress. I can tell you that I was not precisely happy with the way he handled the whole thing. As his father, I apologize for his behavior. I hope, however, that he has sorted things out with you himself. I must add as well that we all love your daughter very much, and we hope she and Peter spend more time in Brasland. He's my eldest son, after all, and he will inherit my estates."

The Royal Seafront Estate
The Northwestern Coast of Cyretopolitania


While the men enjoyed their hunting trip, Gisela got to know Ilizibith's family on her own. At first it was a bit intimidating, but the princess quickly gained confidence, aided by the kindness and warmth of her hosts. Because Irene had only lived in Brasland for a very short while, she and Gisela had never known each other well. It was a pleasant surprise for them both to get along magnificently, and Gisela felt completely at ease in the company of Ilizibith and Hannah, as well. However, she had quickly grown to admire Queen Samia. She had seen how clever and lovingly she handled her husband. The King evidently relied on her authority when it came to deal on domestic issues. The princess thought of Felipe, her fiancé, and sighed.

One evening, when the women were all scattered around the house doing their own thing, Gisela gained courage and went to see Samia. In an intimate setting, she confided her problems on the Queen.

"When we got engaged I was very young, now I'm twenty four and I see things a little differently. I want to marry, but I need a husband who wants to make the marriage work. Felipe is very handsome, maybe too much for his own good. Women at court just offer themselves to him, like bulls to a matador. I am fond of him, but he hasn't paid me much attention in all these years we've been engaged, and I'm not sure I can deal with a man who ignores me and has so many temptations around him. Oh, Aunt Samia! I am so confused, what should I do?"

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Cyretopolitania
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Founded: Apr 27, 2011
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Cyretopolitania » Sun Dec 05, 2021 2:08 pm

Royal Camp
The Western Mountains


Aksel frowned slightly and nodded gravely as he listened to Prince Stephan. He took a sip of his drink and stared briefly into the fire before turning to the Braslander. “I appreciate your apology, Stephan, but Peter is a grown man. His… lapses in judgment are his alone. I can already tell that you are a good man and father; you have nothing to apologize for.”

The King drew in a sharp breath. “I will confess that when Peter and Ilizibith eloped I was…,” he paused, “to be frank, angry.” He dropped his head and frowned. “And I am embarrassed to admit that I was less than welcoming when Ilizibith finally brought Peter home. I am particularly embarrassed in light of the kindness you and your family have shown my daughter.

“However, I have come to see that Peter genuinely loves Ilizibith. And makes her happy.” He gave a slight smile. “And I suppose that, in the end, that’s what matters.”

The King turned back to the fire. “Of course, we understand that the two of them will need to spend more time in Brasland. And that it will eventually be their home.” He turned to Stephan. “We just hope they always… feel at home here and visit often.”

The Royal Seafront Estate
The Northwestern Coast of Cyretopolitania


Queen Samia listened as the young Princess spoke, resting a hand gently on the young woman’s arm. “I know it is a difficult situation, my dear,” she said after a moment of silence.

Samia moved closer to Gisela and put an arm around her. “Marriages of state are always… difficult. There’s a level of attention, symbolism and stress that most couples will never have to endure.

“Ilizibith has grown rather close to Felipe’s youngest sister, Letizia,” the Queen stroke Gisela’s hair, as she would her own daughter’s. “Felipe and Letizia were both raised quite differently than you were. Or than our children were. It’s no fault of Carlos, who is a dear man, or Sofia, who is darling and quite devout. I think it is the nature of the Providencian monarchy, really. Dear Carlos doesn’t really reign, certainly not like my husband, or Joseph. Or Georg. Rather, he presides, with no real power. So, it seems to me that Felipe and Letizia were raised with a sense that… their behavior had no consequences, and they were free - and wealthy enough - to indulge whatever… desires might capture their attention.”

The Queen looked at Gisela and smiled. “Ilizibith tells me that Letizia began to change when she took an interest in making a difference in the world.”

“So, my dear,” Samia said, “I have two pieces of advice for you. First, and most important, be honest with Felipe. No relationship worth having can be built on anything other than honesty. Tell him that his lack of attention has hurt you.” She held up a finger. “How he reacts to that will tell you much. If his reaction tells you there is still hope, then,” she raised a second finger, “try to find something that will… inspire and motivate him. Something that will focus him. Give him purpose.” She smiled and crossed her fingers. “And something, hopefully, that will bring you together.”

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Brasland
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brasland » Mon Dec 06, 2021 1:06 pm

Queen Samia’s maternal attitude towards Gisela made the princess shed a few tears. Since her mother’s passing, she had made her best to show a brave face to life, but moments like this made her realize how much she missed her. The tears did not last much, though, for she felt happy and comforted. She smiled to Samia and squeezed her hand gently.

“Thank you”, she said. “I will talk to Felipe next time I see him. Maybe I should be more clear about my expectations as well.”

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Brasland
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brasland » Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:48 am

The Royal Seafront Estate
The Northwestern Coast of Cyretopolitania


A few days later, when the royal men were back from their hunting trip, the whole family celebrated an intimate dinner at the summer estate. For Peter and Ilizibith this was a particularly important occasion, for the couple had something very special to announce. As they all sat at the table, Peter looked at his wife and gently squeezed her hand. She looked so beautiful and glowing that he would have kissed her right there, but he controlled himself. Instead, he just looked at her, adoringly. God! I’m such a lucky man, he thought.

“Are you ready, darling?”, he whispered to his wife, unable to hide his excitement and nerves.
Last edited by Brasland on Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Cyretopolitania
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Founded: Apr 27, 2011
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Cyretopolitania » Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:59 pm

The Royal Seafront Estate

Ilizibith took Peter’s hand and gave it a quick squeeze. She nodded and turned to give him a small smile.

The servants had just cleared the main course and not yet begun serving dessert. Everyone was in a good mood and the room was filled with light-hearted conversation. Then there was the tinkling of a knife striking the side of a water goblet. Conversations suddenly paused as everyone turned to see who was striking the glass.

After everyone’s eyes turned towards Ilizibith, she set down her knife and rose to her feet, smiling broadly. She held out her hand for Peter to join her. “We have an announcement to make,” she said. “A wonderful announcement. Peter and I are having a baby.”

The room burst into an excited murmur and overlapping expressions of congratulations and well-wishes. Queen Samia leapt to her feet and rushed to her daughter’s side, embracing her in a warm hug. The Queen spread her arms, pulling Peter into the hug. “Oh, my dears,” she said, “I’m so happy!”

The King sat in silence for a moment, then turned his head. Just as someone might have suspected he was hiding his face in anger, he raised his napkin and wiped his eyes. With a sniffle and a long, deep breath he rose and lifted his glass. “To Peter and Ilizibith,” Aksel IX said, “you have made me… all of us… so happy.” He drew in a breath. “May the pregnancy be easy, and may God bless your child with strength, intelligence, beauty and goodness…”

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Brasland
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brasland » Tue Dec 14, 2021 3:13 pm

Prince Stephan smiled and lifted his glass as well.

“Hear, hear”, he said, in agreement with the King’s toast.

As he looked at Peter and Ilizibith, both beaming with happiness, he thought of his wife and how happy she would have been with this news. He thought of the grandchildren she would never meet and his eyes filled with tears. True to his style, he repressed them. Peter looked at him, not saying a thing, as if he was thinking the same. Father and son shared a brief moment of complicity, and then they returned to the general joy in the room.

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Cyretopolitania
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Moralistic Democracy

Postby Cyretopolitania » Wed Dec 15, 2021 12:12 pm

After everyone had finished congratulating Ilizibith and Peter, and returned to their places, the servants began bringing out plates of dessert - pastries soaked in syrup with a variety of nuts, fried nut pastries, crepes and date-filled cookies - and glasses of champagne. As everyone began to enjoy the sweets, Queen Samia smiled and said, “Now we have all the more reason to host a ball!”

“A ball?” King Aksel IX turned to his wife. “When did we decide to host a ball?”

The Queen smiled. “We discussed it while you and ‘the boys’ were hunting boar, dear. We want to invite a few suitable guests to come and celebrate with us before our Brasland family has to go home.”

“Oh,” the King looked towards Prince Stephan. “It seem we will be having a ball before you return to Brasland.”

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Cyretopolitania
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Founded: Apr 27, 2011
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Cyretopolitania » Sat Dec 18, 2021 3:28 pm

The Royal Seafront Estate
The Northwestern Coast of Cyretopolitania


“A ball? At Seafront?” The Queen Dowager wagged a finger at her daughter-in-law, Queen Samia. “And informal! This is… unprecedented!”

“I know, Mother,” the Queen said gently as she brushed the older woman’s hair. “But we need to celebrate Ilizibith’s and Peter’s good news…”

“Indeed, it is good news. A great grandmother… again,” Queen Safiya smiled. “I never thought I would live so long.”

“We are glad you have,” Samia said. “And the even should be informal; Seafront is… a place of tranquility and peace. The… pomp and circumstance of a formal ball would be… out of place here.”

“Yes,” Safiya agreed, “it would.”

“And we are only inviting a few people. Family. Close friends.”

“Then why the Providencians? That girl, Letilia… Lettice…”

“Letizia,” the Queen offered.

“Letizia,” Safiya repeated. “She’s a pistol. And her brother Filip…”

“Felipe,” Samia said softly.

“Felipe is a drunk…”

“He is also,” Samia said quietly, “Princess Gisela’s fiancé.”

“Ah,” Safiya said, smiling, “now I see the plan…”

“There is no plan, Mother,” Samia said.

“Of course not,” Safiya said with a wink.

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Brasland
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brasland » Sat Dec 18, 2021 4:43 pm

Joint post with Mayagua


Apartments of HRH Princess Alexandra
Residenzschloss Friedrichsburg
Markund


Manuela Estrada had been staying at the Residenz for two days and she already hated it. She had only done it for Blanche, her best friend. Manuela’s father was the nephew of the King of Mayagua, and had served many years as his ambassador in New Chalcedon, where Blanche lived with her mother. The two girls were inseparable, but Manuela wondered whether her friendship would pass the test of two days with her friend’s great aunt, Princess Alexandra.

“So you’re telling me you don’t know your family tree?”, asked Alexandra to the young girl.

“No, Ma’am, I’m just saying I don’t know it that well”, the young woman replied.

“For God’s sake, any Braslander noblewoman could recite her ancestors up to their great-great grandparents. Mayaguan education is certainly lacking!”

A fiery temper herself, Manuela’s black eyes fumed with indignation.

“Well, they teach us other things! And I didn’t go to school in Mayagua, I just told you that Blanche and I were classmates”, she said, doing her best to repress her anger.

Sitting at a certain distance, Princess Blanche heard the exchange with amusement, relief… and a bit of concern. For once, she was happy not to be the target of Alexandra’s interrogations, and it was fun to see Manuela hit back. On the other hand, she wondered if her great aunt was not testing her friend’s patience too much.

“You went to school in New Chalcedon?! Well, that’s all I needed to hear”, exclaimed Alexandra. “The school system is just dreadful, and children don’t even wear a uniform! You both were practically raised as savages.”

When Alexandra looked away, Manuela raised an eyebrow in Blanche’s direction. The young princess understood.

“Dear Aunt, you were mentioning something about a trip, right?”, she asked, changing the subject.

“A trip? Oh yes, Safiya of Cyretia invited me to spend some days with her, and of course I need to travel with attendants, so you two will do the trick.”

“Not a chan…”, began to say Manuela.

“Of course we will!”, exclaimed Blanche, nervously and looking at Manuela as if she would cut her throat.

“Then go now and pack your things”, ordered Alexandra, absent-mindedly.

The two girls stood up and quickly headed to the door, but the old princess was not done.

“And Manuela…”, she said.

The young Mayaguan turned around and tried her best to force a smile.

“Yes, Auntie?”, she replied, tensely.

“By the time we land in Cyretia, I expect you to recite your great-great-great grandparents by memory.”

Before her friend could open her mouth, Blanche grabbed Manuela by the arm and rushed her out of Alexandra’s apartments. During the five-minute walk to their rooms, all Blanche heard were curses in Spanish.
Last edited by Brasland on Sun Dec 19, 2021 12:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Providencia y San Andres
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Founded: Jun 10, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Providencia y San Andres » Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:40 am

The four Providencians had all arrived separately, such was the life of young, wealthy jet-setters. However, the Providencian Embassy, chronically understaffed and underfunded, had worked with the schedulers to ensure that had all arrived in a narrow window allowing the Ambassador to greet all four with one trip to the airport, and allowing the Embassy to dispatch one car and driver to convey all four to the Cyretian King’s Seafront Estate.

“It is nice to see you again, Letty,” Doña Elena Anna Sofia de Habsburg y Mukhrani, daughter of the Duke of La Costa del Sur, said to her cousin, leaning forward to touch her on the arm.

Infanta Letizia Isabelle Maria de Habsburg, youngest daughter of the Providencian King, smiled and tilted her head. “And you, Ele. Are you still going to university?”

Elena nodded. “Yes. I graduate this year.”

Letizia smiled. “I am almost jealous. I never had the time for university.”

“Too busy spending your Father’s money, I am sure,” Don Ernesto Cristian Ferdinand Leopold de Habsburg y Cabral, Elena’s older half-brother and heir to the Duke, said with a smirk.

“I no longer need my Father’s money, unlike some,” Letizia said with an exaggerated sniff.

“Oh.” Ernesto said. “And that is why poor Rosalia is not with you? Your father no longer pays her?”

“The Countess of Santa Tesla, my dear, dear friend Rosalia, is, as they say, otherwise engaged.” Letizia gave Elena a wink, and the younger woman blushed.

“Do tell?” Príncipe Felipe Augustine Carlos Antonio de Habsburg, the future King of Providencia, asked rousing himself from his stupor.

Letizia turned to her brother. “Yes. She’s become rather… close to a young Caldan fellow who lives in Hartstad.”

“Her father will not approve,” Felipe said.

“No, but like me,” Letizia said sharply, “she is a grown woman.”

“Are you looking forward to seeing your fiancée?” Ernesto asked, leaning towards Felipe.

Felipe blinked. “Um, yes,” he said, “yes, of course.”

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Mayagua
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Founded: May 29, 2019
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Mayagua » Sun Dec 19, 2021 12:27 pm

The Royal Seafront Estate
The Northwestern Coast of Cyretopolitania


Manuela looked around. It sounded quiet, which meant Princess Alexandra was either sleeping or dead, and she couldn't decide which alternative was better, for she was sure the old witch would haunt her forever. With a sigh, the young Mayaguan thought that all the money in the world was not worth spending time with the princess. She made a mental note to never visit Brasland again and then exited her room, trying to remember where was the pool in this massive royal estate.

“Manuela!”, a voice called her.

Mierda!”, Manuela heard herself say.

Por favor, Dios mío, que no sea esa mujer, she prayed in her mind. She turned around and, to her surprise, a tall man stood in the middle of the courtyard, smiling at her. It took her a few seconds to recognize his face.

“Uncle Fernando!”, she said, running towards him.

The two hugged each other. Manuela had not seen her father’s first cousin in a few years.

“You have grown so much, Manuelita”, said Don Fernando de Sajonia-Coburgo-Gotha, the current Mayaguan ambassador to Brasland.

“And you look so different with a beard”, his niece added. “What are you doing here?”

“I was on holiday nearby”, explained Fernando. “Somehow word reached Queen Samia and she sent me an invitation. Of course, one can’t say no to Her Majesty. What about you?”

Manuela rolled her eyes. “I’m here with my friend Blanche. We’re basically being treated like slaves for her great aunt, this horrible woman called Princess Alexandra.”

Fernando froze. Could it be the Alexandra he was thinking?

“Wait, you don’t mean the King of Brasland’s great aunt?”

“Yes, that one. She’s horrible, tío, giving us orders all day as if we were her maids. She even forced me to memorize my thirty-two great-great-great grandparents. It was worse than algebra!”

The ambassador smiled, amused.

“Alexandra’s fame precedes her. I wouldn’t want to be you, little one, but you better behave around her. She’s not someone you should cross.”

Manuela sighed. When was this nightmare going to end?
Last edited by Mayagua on Sun Dec 19, 2021 12:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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