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A house divided...

Pelasgia

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Nearchus looked out of the window of the Café. Soldiers walked next to lines of people who threw mountains of flowers on them. Some, like Nearchus, wore olive uniforms that bore a crown others ones that bore a red star, others had extremely different uniforms, probably foreign volunteers or Eiffellander soldiers. Flags of all sorts and all factions, variations of the Cyclopeian Blue & White and other local ones as well as flags of Eiffelland, Vasország, Wendziema and other countries. The troops Cyclopeian and foreign origin, Socialist and Monarchist, marched through with big smiles. All shops served to soldiers for free. Some even served to everyone for free. The whole city was one big festivity of joy. Nearchus walked out and joined the fun. The city centre of Nauplio, with its elegant architecture was filled with seas of people of all sorts and vibrant colours everywhere. The sun shined over it. The winter was finally over both literally and metaphorically. Thousands stepped over what remained of the torn and burned Junta flags, with the colours of free Nauplio flying high.

As Nearchus and the other troops of various factions marched through he could not help but think. Think of something that everyone was pushing n the back of their heads, saying leave that thought tomorrow. The thought everyone wanted to avoid, to not consider because as they rejoiced and thought the hardships to be over they knew full well that this thought was enough to land them, to hit them like a fly is thrown to the floor by a swatter. What now? Socialists controlled half the country, Monarchists the other half and a lot of non-aligned people just stood there. Sure there was unity and love during the fight against the Junta, but that ended the moment Nauplio was surrendered to the Duchy. Cyclopeia was no longer dozens of City States, it was more united than ever. Two big factions, for God's sake, thought Nearchus. But yet now it was more devided than ever. Or rather more dangerously devided than ever.

At the same time, from both ends of Cyclopeia two planes flew. One from the West, one from the East, both bearing men one step away from rulling all of Cyclopeia. One believing to be legitimized by popular love and struggle, another by tradition and divine right. Soon enough these two would have to sit down and decide the future of this ancient land, once and for all, and hope that another war would not be needed to settle things, as has been the story in Cyclopeia since the first two Polis were built on it.


[OOC: For those who do not know what this is it is a continuation of my first RP, . You are welcome to check that out, but if 77 posts and 8 pages are too much for you, they probably are, then I will give you a short summary once this thread gets a comments thread of its own. For now you can check for a summarized version of my RP. - <3, Demosthenes]
 

Eiffelland

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Matthias von Luckenwalde was a conscript Navy Lieutenant at the SMS Aachen, where he was a communications officer. The Aachen had been moored in the remnants of the harbour of Nauplio, and now Matthias was visiting the city, celebrating with the others. Cyclopeians from the Junta who celebrated that they had been freed from yet another oppressive regime, Cyclopeians from the Duchy who celebrated their victory together with the Eiffellandians. Peace had been restored, the war was over. The Eiffellandian soldiers had been ordered to pay in the shops, despite the fact that soldiers were served for free. The reasoning behind that order was the following. Now everyone may be euphoric about the end of yet another dictatorship and yet another war and the shop owners may give their commodity away for free as a result of that euphory, but how would they look at that decision when they would have to make up their books? Then the hands of the Eiffellandians had to be clean in the eyes of the shop owners, so that they could not be accused of plundering.
Matthias knew the history of Cyclopeia. The country that rolled from civil war to civil war. At least, that was how people from Eiffelland looked at it, assuming that Cyclopeia was a country. But was it really a country, Matthias thought. Wasn’t it more a group of many small city-states that the outside world called Cyclopeia for the sake of simplicity? Only when threatened from outside, the Cyclopeians acted together. After then, the country fell apart in its small city-states again. Did the country of Cyclopeia roll from civil war to civil war, or were it sovereign city-states that continuously fought each other? Seen from that perspective, the Despotate was nothing more than an alliance of many city-states that agreed on cooperating w.r.t. foreign politics and defence. Could you call that a country? Maybe not. In any case, despite the alliance called the Despotate of Cyclopeia, the city-states still distrusted each other in such a way that they started fighting again. OK, the one-before-last war was in fact an uprising, but that uprising could only end up so bloody because the country was still a group of city-states. Now the Cyclopeians celebrated the end of yet another war, but how long would the peace last? More fundamentally, were Cyclopeians really able to make peace with each other? Or did they suffer from a pathological urge to wage war against each other?

There was one person Matthias von Luckenwalde, the second son of the Duke of Luckenwalde, missed. But he didn’t miss his fiancée. He wasn’t engaged out of his own free will. His engagement to a woman who was eight years older than himself was the result of a decision of his family. The woman in question was unmarriable. There could be several reasons for that. In the case of this woman, it was her character. She was sneaky, nosy, manipulative, and very mean if she didn’t get her way. She had been engaged a few times, but every time the man had ended the engagement. It was impossible to have a relationship with her. However, Matthias had to marry her, whether he wanted it or not. His family obliged him to marry her. He had told that to Prince Ludwig during those eventful last nights of January. He didn’t miss his fiancée. He missed Ludwig.

OOC: Oops. Originally posted at the wrong thread. Now posted in the correct thread.
 

Pelasgia

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With all the ambassadors and leaders of the two great coalition controlling Cyclopeia as well as the individual city states and foreign countries having gathered the meeting was to finally start. The summit would normally be held in the Megaro of Nauplio but sincen that now housed the provisional administration of the city by the Anlkimonid Crown the building that normally housed the Legislative Assembly was used. The less important representatives sat in the seats of the Vouli of Citizens while the more important ones in those of the Vouli of Nobles. The semi-circular room of the Assembly's meetings was large and extremely elegant with Cyclopeian pillars of all types, pillasters, statues and decorative elements, while most of it was made of marble. The outside of the building was equally impresive, almsot entirely of white marble, with columns surrounding it, forming an outer "wall" of columns, supporting the extension of the roof, while the internal wall featured a row of windows near its top to let light into the building, large glass and metal doors and frescos. On the building's top there were glass sections to let in rich amounts of light while the room were the Assembly met at the centre of the building had a large dome over it. Outside the rectangular building there were gardens and a large statue of Athena, Nauplio's patron goddess, which was also featured on the Polis' Crest and its coins.

As the representatives poured into the building, large crowds gathered outside while the city's Police and its Doriphori Guard, a form of Gendarmerie, gathered outside it. The troops of both the Duchy and League agreed to not be in the perimeter of the building and temporarily disarm, allowing policing duties to the aformantioned neutral Naupliot forces, headed by Commodore Pavlopoulou. The negotiations would be moderated by the Archons of Artemis, Demetrias and Antikya, to keep the hundreds of attendants, who had half-filled the Naupliot Legislative Assembly, in check. At the very front seats, President Zorbas of the Amarysian League and Duke Ericthonius III of the Duchy of Oenotria & Antikyra sat with their entourage. The Presiding Archons had elected the Archon of Artemis to make annoncements as he was the most neutral of all. He stepped forward, standing behind the podium in front of the entire Assembly and made the statement to commence the meeting. Behind him was a map of Cyclopeia with all cities and geographic features as well as the current zones of control. As he did the two leaders moved to a large round table, where they sat at opposite ends with their advisers and the foreign ambassadors where in the nearby front seats of the Assembly.

"My brothers and sisters. We have all gathered here today to see to the future of our Great Nation and our Fatherland, now that the fascist menace has been dealt with. With that in mind, I shall allow our honourable guests to commence negotiations so as to achieve our stated goal. On the left side His Excellency Cleisthenes Zorbas, the President of the Amarysian League. On the right side His Highness, the Duke of Oenotria and Antikyra. May their judgement be wise, as Athena whose statue is right behind their table. No outside contact unless necessary for the negotiations is allowed. The summit has now commenced."
 

San Jose

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Legislative Assembly, Nauplio, Cyclopeia
24 / 3 / 1955, 0935 Hours

Ambassador Radoslaw Gomułka, although he was accorded a place of honor near President Zorbas of the Amarysian League, felt disgrace rather than pride from his presence at this summit, for he was a revolutionary at heart, and he felt as though he personally had betrayed the fellow leftists of the Amarysian League, whose flags should have been the first to fly over Nauplio, not those of the monarchists. But they didn't, and he knew it was partially because of his and Nadzorca Komorowski's failure to convince the rest of the Rzeczpospolita Ludowa to send extensive aid to their revolutionary brothers and sisters in Cyclopeia. Instead, it was the excuse the so-called 'moderates' needed to bring a total shutdown to the transitional government, blocking any and all efforts to send aid beyond humanitarian care packages which went to both the League and the Duchy, and the authorization of volunteers, again to both the League and the Duchy. There were shutdowns over the past year, of course, but never anything this bad. Combined with a resurgent resistance from the Dansk Remnants, who still for reasons beyond the ambassador's understanding wished to bring back the Dansk Reich, Wendziema was paralyzed on the international stage and, now, the national stage as well, and was useless for other revolutionaries.

The League had understood, they knew true revolutionaries like him and Komorowski were doing their best, but had to contend with troubles at home, and they were not hated, but Ambassador Gomułka could still sense the disappointment in their smiles, the pity in their eyes as he explained what was going on in his homeland, it was a disaster for relations between the Amarysian League and the Rzeczpospolita Ludowa. Only through his tireless efforts was he able to retain some goodwill and respect from the Cyclopeians, which was why he was seated where he was now, rather than in the back with the rest of the unimportant observers and representatives.

He knew that the League was in a difficult position, for although they controlled extensive amounts of Cyclopeia to the north and east, they did not control Nauplio, the true prize when it came to international prestige and legitimacy. Certainly, they were considered a legitimate representative of the Cyclopeian people, but only half at best. The rest went to the Duchy of Oenotria, smaller but with that prestige and legitimacy of the capital. The League would have to find a way to compromise with the Duchy over how they were going to govern the Cyclopeian people, and although the monarchists were more reasonable than the Junta, it was doubtful they'd be willing to give up any potential power to the revolutionaries in the League. The ideologies were fundamentally opposed to one another's existence, and if the Rzeczpospolita Ludowa was an example, it was of what would happen in the long run of 'cooperation' between leftists and non-leftists.

Ambassador Gomułka's job, therefore, was to advise the League against going down the same path as the Wendowie, at minimum doing it better than the Wendowie, because he was hearing disturbing reports from his home, where Nadzorca Komorowski was plotting against the moderates. He did not relay that sensitive information to the League, but time was running out on the Rzeczpospolita as it currently stood, and although he was with Komorowski, he wished that the timing was far, far better. Blood was going to be spilled, and he would have to remain here, in Cyclopeia, rather than fighting with his fellow revolutionaries to bring true peace, prosperity and partnership to the Wendowie, to the Dansk, and to the Yamanyar.

On the other hand, he considered darkly, perhaps what was about to happen in the Rzeczpospolita Ludowa would be a very brutal lesson to the Amarysian League: Do not give too much power to your so-called 'allies', you will pay for it in the long run.
 

Cayabocan

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Legislative Assembly, Nauplio, Cyclopeia

Cayetano Palomo never felt so uncomfortable in his entire life. He once sat before the House of Delegates as President Rivero’s nominee for Commissar of Foreign Affairs. Rivero was fiercely unpopular with the Legislature and any nomination that the man made faced hurdle after hurdle. Four a nearly three hour hearing, Palomo sat through a continuous wave of ad hominin attacks from a vicious legislature. Any momentary lapse in his demeanor would lead to his immediate rejection. Somehow,he was approved. When Santana ousted Rivero and was sworn in on January 5 of this year, he opted to keep Palomo. The Legislature, as a sign of good will, approved all of Santana’s appointments in half the time it took to confirm Palomo the first time.

That war, he knew, was politics. This was different. He was seated next to Ambassador Radoslaw Gomułka of the Collectivist Union. The man came from a nation that Auraria had also exhausted a near incalculable level of resources*. Palomo could not help but think that the existence of the Collectivist Union is the sole reason that these talks in Nauplio had to be held.

Auraria was deploying an additional 10,000 soldiers to the border to bring up the troop total to 30,000. It was a massive force, an invasion force. Santana felt personally at fault for the League’s failure to arrive in Nauplio before the Duchy. He was adamant about reversing the failure, adamant about adding another socialist nation to the world.

Palomo heard the commencement of the talks, but he did not care to intently pay attention –his staffers would handle that. He had his orders from Santana:

“The United Communes of the Aurarine State will, under no circumstance, accept the legitimization of any aristocracy within the Government of Cyclopeia.”

If anything, Palomo thought, Auraria had given the League 30,000 points in which to negotiate with.
 

Pelasgia

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The meeting begun with Zorbas speaking first, preffering to start his speech in a rather unexpected way.

"I would like thank the Archon for the introductions. I apreciate the fact that our friends from the Duchy sacrificed many lives to help us free Cyclopeia from fascism's iron grip, including their costly advance to this city. However I believe that it is time the Duke respected the popular will that started this whole affair and handed power over to the legal government of the people, which seeks power through peaceful and democratic means and not hereditary monarchs and despotism."

With a clap from the side of the left side of the Assembly and silence and murmurs from the the right, the Duke prepared to deliver an equally predictable response.

"I would also like to thank the Archon for the introductions. We hold a similar respect for the blood and efforts of our compatriots from the Amarysian League who fought on the first line against fascism. However as to the shocking request from Mr. Zorbas, I cannot help but refuse. After all both of our governments are approved by the constitution of the current Triumvirate and the President was never elected, he was appointed by a council. As for the peaceful means, calling on foreigners to bring thirty thousand foreign troops on our nation's borders to enforce one's will in the middle of negotiations they requested is hardly democratic. I am sure the Sounians of all people are outraged at this perversion of democracy, their own creation as they so much like to remind us constantly, by the Aurarines."

The Assembly's right side clapped and murmurs filled the observers and the left side of the Assembly, with many looking at the Aurarine ambassador with an... unhappy look at best.

"The Amarysian League had absolutely no part in this action.It is a completely unilateral step by our comrades to the West who seek to prevent further oppression of the Cyclopeian people by the Despotic Crown." said Zorbas.

"Yes because a foreign invasion is exactly the way to prevent oppression! We joined your League to prevent bloodshed from coming to the North of Cyclopeia and now you bring foreigners on our doorstep, ready to wage war on us for this 'popular rule' of yours. When were the people asked? The Polis of Xerres has no choice but to leave the Amarysian League and join the much more moderate Duchy of Oenotria. If I may allow a personnal comment I am sure the late Nikolaos Zorbas would never approve of this fiasco!" said the Archon of Xerres, whose Polis as near the Cyclopeia-Auraria border, igniting an uproar in the Assembly.

"Order! Order!"

After the three presiding men were able to calm the Assembly two more Archons made statements.

"Demetrias and Ampeli would also like to express their severe dicomptent at this decision. As North-Western Cyclopeian states we have no choice but to leave this League and follow our borthers from Xerres in the Duchy of Oenotria."

Zorbas was visibly unhappy at this decision but he did not speak out of turn, fearful such an action might push more of the Northern states to the Duchy. Apart from their outrage, Zorbas was certain the Duchy had compensated the three Archons well to follow popular wish and leave the League instead of ignoring temporary public disconent. The Duchy had played them like fools. Previously the League had access to all coasts of Cyclopeia and controlled more than half of Cyclopeia, now they only controlled one coast and had as much land as the Duchy. The Duke with a sarcastic smile seemed happy at the developments and spoke. The indirect threat of Auraria had pushed many moderates to the Duchy's side. With the border states joining the Duchy the League could no longer allow the Aurarines in peacefully and discretely. Only an invasion would work and one would surely cause the Cyclopeian people to take the League down and fight on the Duchy's side. As the situation was Zorbas had been practically disarmed and forced back to talks. Unless of course he could rally the people of the East behind some sort of hostile action or sign of despotism by the Crown. Maybe he could even frame them. Time would tell.

"It would seem that even the mere mention or vague threat of foreign military action has already convinced half the country to support our side. I would not dare to take action if I were you or your allies... lest you want the other half to rise up and take the League down with it. Now that diplomacy has become again the primary method and not foreign military strength I am sure we both want to continue talks. As the situation is, any conflict would be long and bloody and even if you were to win both against us and your own angered people, which I doubt, you would only hold ruins and hold control for even less than the late Despot, whose policies you would need to far surpass in brutality to hold on to power. I think we should accept eachother as a legitimate speaker if we want to proceed. We both have half of the Cyclopeians on our side, after all."

Zorbas took a sip of water and spoke.

"Very well. However before we go into details I must state that we will never allow or accept a Crown to rule over the Cyclopeians again. Just like you would never accept us to hold full power I assume."

"Agreed. But I cannot think we want another triumvirate or such a thing. The last one cost us thousands of lives and hunderds of millions in damages."

"Our bid for government is the most realistic. We hold all of the East and you have no way to the East coast."

"We hold all of the West and you have no way to the West coast either."

"We have Nikaia and Sounio. Their industrial might combined is not to be underestimated. We have a large fleet and any friends of yours would need to come by ship. We could easily blockade your ports."

"We have Nauplio and with it legitimacy. Nauplio does not lack an industry either. As for your fleet we have an air force. The Junta's fleet was not very lucky when faced with those odds."

"I know at least three states that would never agree with that. To the Socialist states of our brothers and comrades in the Long Sea a new Despotate would be unnacceptable, just as to us. And if not an invasion, hostile relations with neighbors would not be a very good factor for your new government's diplomacy."

"And I am sure many more would not, at least one for sure. Let us not forget how our area is filled with monarchies. An almost fully Socialist Northern Long Sea would not seem like a good idea to them and they would use all diplomacy available to counter it. The people would also not look well upon a state that depends on foreigners, like a puppet or colony."
 
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Cayabocan

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After receiving permission to speak,the Commissar for Foreign Affairs took the podium and prepared his remarks.

“Before I begin my remarks, I wanted to congratulate both factions here today on the victory they have achieved over the tyranny that the Cyclopeian People have experienced. Seventy years ago the people of Auraria rose up against our own tyranny and put their lives on the line in order to secure for all generations a higher quality oflife in an endless pursuit for equality. For the last seventy years the United Communes of the Aurarine State has worked tirelessly to make equality a realityas opposed to an ideal to strive towards.” Palomo began, in an eloquent voice.

“We have made difficult decisions and many have sacrificed along the course of our progress. My grandfather fought and died in the Aurarine Revolution. My father and uncle stepped up and kept the family going, put food on the table. My uncle joined the People’s Armyand spent his entire life protecting the people of Auraria and preserving the ideals we fought for. My father was a delegate to the 1910 Constitutional Convention, he helped reform our nation.”

“Auraria has experienced great change by both sword and pen. We are not alien to suffering, negotiation is not a foreign concept. It is in the spirit of human cooperation and growth that I am standing before you today. Auraria was humbled by the invitation to this Assembly as it is the democratic process that serves as the foundation of human civilization. The idea of all citizens being able to participate in their government in equal voice is a noble virtue that shall never perish from our land. It is a gift to be given to all lands.”

“I understand there is resentment against the Aurarine State. I am not a blind man, I am able to see numerous perspectives. I understand the angst and in fact I would be shocked if the Assembly did not respond in such a manner to the soldiers just over the border. I speak to you not only as the chief diplomat of the Aurarine State, but as ahusband and father, a citizen of our planet, when I say that it is not the intent, interest, or goal of our nation to engage in warfare.”

Palomo paused for a few minutes, taking in all of the disapproving stares and murmurs of the Assemblymen. He couldn’t blame them, thirty thousand troops are rarely assembled in pursuit of peace. Palomo did not enjoy lying to people, but in foreign affairs that was all a part of the job.

“It is the intent, interest, andgoal of Auraria to broker a peace between the League and the Duchy. We urgently wish to put warfare behind us and see a new era of prosperity. We are open to such negotiations and we are beyond enthusiastic to aid in them. However, the Aurarine State cannot and will not accept the throwing off of one tyrant for another. I am proclaiming before this Assembly that any restoration of the Crown to any political position is unacceptable. Today, Auraria officially backs the peoples and workers of Cyclopeia and not its aristocracy.”
 

Pelasgia

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Following the address by the Aurarine Ambassador the President and Duke were allowed to make any comments they wanted, along with anyone else who wanted to add something or ask a question. Following this the other ambassadors would also be allowed to speak. The Duke rushed to speak first.

"We thank the Aurarine ambassador for his comments, however we do not believe a foreigner has the right to set red lines to the Cyclopeians in our Assembly. If he would be kind enough to claim the Aurarine State wants diplomacy and not war then we would prefer that they proved it by withdrawing some 30,000 troops from our border."

Zorbas smiled at the somewhat nervous statement by the Duke.

"I would certainly agree that diplomacy is preferable to a long, drawn out conflict. How about we agree to make a joint statement for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cyclopeia?"

Zorbas cracked an ironic smile, having paid the Duke back for the earlier 'punch'. He had showed him the League could also throw diplomatic 'punches' of its own. A withdrawal of foreign troops from Cyclopeia would be no problem for the League. The only troops they had were some volunteers they only temporarily needed until the could draft their own troops, which they had now done. After all the foreign armed support in East Cyclopeia seemed to not be willing to expand its operations so Zorbas thought it would be good to get rid of it. The Duchy on the other hand would lose the large forces of Eiffelland, leaving it with much less troops than it begun with and making Antikyra be especially valnerable. The Duke however rushilgy regained his composition, deciding to throw a punch back.

"Of course. If the Aurarines would remove their troops from our border too, and promise to keep them away, that is."

The Aurarines could always go back on their promise and send troops back on the border quickly, while Eiffelland would take longer to send troops and potentially be blocked by its neighbors. However going back on an open diplomatic promsie would make many Cyclopeians no longer see them as liberators but invaders and certainly cause quite a commotion on the international diplomatic scale. Was a Socialist Long Sea from one end to the other be worth it? That remained to be seen as the whole Assembly expected the Ambassador's reply.
 
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Cayabocan

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Commissar Palomo took to the podium to reply to the Duke.

"I would like to clarify the stance of the Aurarine State regarding to our tolerance of the restoration of the Crown. I said that Auraria would find any restoration of the Crown to be unacceptable. The Aurarine State does not claim it has any right to tell the people of Cyclopeia how to run their nation. I am simply affirming that the Aurarine State would not be welcoming to another Monarchy imposing its will upon the Workers. As I have stated, Auraria stands with the Workers of Cyclopeia, as it does with the Workers of any country across the globe," the Commissar stated.

"With regards to the removal of Aurarine troops from the border, I have a few comments. The Aurarine Soldiers are deployed within Aurarine soil. As a sovereign nation, we have every right to defend our nation as we see fit. The honorable President Zorbas has requested that all foreign soldiers be removed from Cyclopeia's territory. I concur with this. Before Auraria makes any further decision on troop deployments within our territory, we want the full removal of all foreign soldiers from the territory of Cyclopeia."

"I would also draw to the attention of the Duke that the soldiers of Monarchs have rarely been allies to the Aurarine State. We would remind the Assembly that several entities along the Aurarine Border have just joined the Duchy in a move that is seen, at the very least, as anti-Auraria. Now, there are serious security concerns along the border and the troops placed there have become all the more necessary."

"Let me recap.
1) The 30,000 troops are deployed within the territorial boundaries of Auraria. As an independent nation we are entitled to defend ourselves in the way we see fit.
2) Before any further negotiation on said soldiers progresses, all foreign soldiers must be removed from Cyclopeia's borders.
3) With the defection of various entities along our border, we will need extra confirmation that the request to remove Aurarine troops is not done so in an effort to disarm our people or the peoples of the League. Auraria must now consider that there is a potential our border is not secure and we must proceed with caution."
 

San Jose

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Nauplio

Ambassador Radoslaw Gomułka looked on with approval to the developments that followed the initially bold statement made by Commissar Palomo. The withdrawal of Eiffellander soldiers from the Duchy, a hypocrisy in the ambassadors' eyes if he ever saw one considering the statements made about Aurarian soldiers on the border, was desirable to him and to Nadzorca Komorowski. The 'moderates' in the Rzeczpospolita Ludowa may not like it as much, but they couldn't really come out against efforts towards peace.

He, therefore, felt comfortable in requesting and taking the podium to address the assembly. "Speaking on behalf of the Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, I concur and wholeheartedly support the original proposal of a joint statement towards the withdrawal of all foreign soldiers on Cyclopeian soil."

He made sure to emphasize those four words, to exclude the Aurarians from any legal responsibility. "I can personally assure all gathered here that the Wendowie embassy and consulates will work closely with Cyclopeian authorities in organizing the return of all Wendowie volunteers to the Rzeczpospolita."

It wasn't much, but every little bit that made life harder for the monarchists helped.
 
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Pelasgia

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The Duke shaked his head usurprised.

"As you can see fellow delegates the Aurarines once again lie to us in our very nation. They claim fear of their borders, yet I wonder how a war torn nation would have interest in invading another. Another question is what they would be defending from since there are no Cyclopeian soldiers on that border, barely any police as a sign of good will. Unless Auraria is scared of goats, the only thing to be found on the mountains near our border, one can only assume they are making an agressive deployment as a threat and are insulting our intelligence if they think otherwise. Never have we or the previous Despotate shown hostility toward Auraria, but it seems too hard for the self-proclaimed champions of our workers to at least do said workers the justice or returning a sign of trust. Thus the Duchy refuses any request to insult its allies by forcing them to leave overnight, so that our borders may be open to foreign agression and threats. If Wendziema wishes to see volunteers leave Cyclopeian borders, it can start by removing its own."

Zorbas' trap had worked, causing the Duke to seem far more reliant on foreign aid and support than he wanted to let on and make him rather annoyed too. The problem was that the Aurarines' refusal to back down had made him look like even more of a rebel. As long as the Duchy held the capitalm foreign military support made him look like a foreign agent, something he knew full well would be exploited by his enemies in Sounio and even the Zorbae to its fullest extent. Yet he could at least allow himself to enjoy the anger that had filled the Duke, as he was forced to practically admit he could not stand on his feet without Eiffellanders to back him up. With that and the certainty of Aurarine and Wenzieman support on many levels he decided to strike again.

"Only somebody who would have reason to lose their power without foreigners to prop them up would be scared of losing foreign support. The Aurarines have every right to deploy troops anywhere in their soil. If they owned the moon, they might as well deploy there and not have to ask us about it. As for our Wendzieman friends, their volunteers' help has been crucial, it would be insulting to simply kick them out overnight. The Aurarines are very well justified to have concern over the Alkimonidae's decision to regain the Crown. The Alkimonid dynasty was not hesitant to punish and mistreat its own people, if I was the leader of a nation next to an Alkimonid Cyclopeia I would certainly be terrified at the concept of them regaining their iron grip. Cyclopeia was the first country to see popular rule, a form that disenfranchised many branches of its population, but a form nonetheless. I believe it is time that tradition was brought back to life, in a proper form and the concept of a Crown was abandoned. After all ancient Cyclopeian Democracy resembles the system of the Aurarines much more than the Tiburtinan concept of a bourgeois Republic or the deposed Alkimonid Monarchy."

Zorbas' strike was hard enough to rock one side of the chamber and gain applause from the other. Despite that however the three men of the Presiding committe seemed rather disappointed. The way this was going, the concept of a united Cyclopeia seemed less and less probable.
 

San Jose

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Ambassador Gomułka allowed himself a polite smile as he received the verbal jab from the clearly agitated Duke, and joined in the applause following President Zorbas' counter. He, like the Presiding Committee, knew that all of this was making it less and less likely for a united Cyclopeia, but the Wendowie Ambassador also knew that such a unification was doomed on arrival. His land was the living proof of that. Something else, something better for the socialists and workers of Cyclopeia, had to be extracted from this discussion.

That being said, the return of those volunteers to Wendziema was not unwelcome, for they were not needed in the League like the Eiffellanders were in the Duchy, and the way things were going, they were going to be needed in their own lands soon... But why make it too easy? The ambassador requested the podium to reply to the Duke.

"Insulting as it may be, as pointed out by President Zorbas, it is certainly our wish for all foreign soldiers, not just volunteers Your Grace," Gomułka began, his emphasis on the style of the address clearly shown to be uncomfortable and alien to him, "to leave Cyclopeia. Therefore, the Rzeczpospolita Ludowa would be happy to begin preparations immediately and lead the way for the Vas and Eiffellanders, provided they too agree to such swift preparations and the joint statement is made official."
 

Pelasgia

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The Duke spoke to his advisors for a couple of minutes before looking back at Zorbas and requesting to speak. His request was of course granted by the Presiding committee.

"I would propose the as a first step and sign of good will we ask the foreign troops to leave mainland Cyclopeia. Those on the Crown's side shall move to Elios Island and those on the Socialists' side shall move to Elena Island. Both are at the West and East ends of Southern Cyclopeia. That way we take them away from where conflict could occur so they are not used as a threat and we keep them close as a deterrent to any third party that wishes to take advantage of the Fatherland's current situation."

Zorbas thought about it for a moment. It did seem like an honest proposal, perhaps the first actually productive step in the whole meeting that was not a trap or attempt to discredit the other side. He waved his head to agree and was handed the papers. He read through them to make sure the Duke had not "forgotten" to mention anything, but it all seemed honest. He went ahead and signed. The Duke already had.

"The Amarysian League agrees with this proposal and thanks the Duke for it. Such compromises could greatly help pacify our country. I have another one to make. We shall withdraw our troops from regions whose capitals are held by eachother. Our troops shall leave the areas of Demetrias, Xerres and Ampeli that they hold, which are now loyal to the Duchy, and the Duchy's troops shall leave the areas of Amarysia, Pyrgos and Apolloneia that they hold. I also propose troops from both sides leave Nauplio itself and move to the surrounding area instead, temporarily until our troops leave Nauplio completely."

"The Duchy would fully support such a motion. We thank the President for his proposal."

The Duke went ahead and signed the papers that Zorbas already had. Finally some progress had been made. With that the first day of the summit was over. The delegates would reconvene tomorrow. They would stay at a large hotel near the Assembly building for the night.
 

Eiffelland

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Roman Kästner had remained silent during the first day of the summit, as ordered by the government of Eiffelland. However, that order had turned out to be a mistake. With the support of both the Collectivist Union and Amarysia, Zorbas had managed to overrule the Duke from all sides. Retreating the foreign troops from mainland Cyclopeia was a nice compromise, but it was problematic to Eiffelland. There were 15,000 Eiffellandian soldiers on the side of the League, and 40,000 Eiffellandian soldiers in the Duchy. Not all of those 40,000 soldiers would fit on Elios. This compromise had weakened the Duchy.

Against the orders of the Eiffellandian government, he took the floor as the last one.

“Gentlemen, I have one remark to make. We saw three city-states voluntarily switching sides from the League to the Duchy. At this moment, we consider these moves to be a representation of the will of the citizens of those city-states, as we consider the existence of the Amarysian League and the existence of the Duchy to be the result of the will of the Cyclopeians living in the areas currently controlled by respectively the Amarysian League and the Duchy. It will be unacceptable to us if anybody wants to impose anything upon the Cyclopeians. Both the integrity of the Duchy and the integrity of the League will be of our concern. We currently have soldiers in the Amarysian League, who were stationed there to defend the League against the Junta, and we have soldiers in Antikyra, who were stationed there to defend the Duchy against the Junta. Our soldiers currently in the League will be retreated to Elena Island, and our soldiers currently in the Duchy will be retreated to Elios Island, as per the agreement that has just been signed.”

After the meeting had been ended, Kästner immediately contacted the government to discuss the situation and to receive new orders. After having talked to his Minister, he contacted the Duke to discuss some matters.
 

Cayabocan

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Palomo sat with an extreme contempt for the Duke.

"How dare he insult a foreign diplomat in such a manner," he thought "Especially when one such diplomat wielded tens of thousands of troops."

The idea of Hierarchy was alien to Palomo. The fact that anyone who proclaimed himself to have some divine, birthright to rule over men made him grind his teeth. Palomo went off in his head listing every insult he possibly could towards the Duke. He had to get it all out now, for fear he'd say it at the podium. Then he heard an unfamiliar voice and it drew his attention. Roman Kästner, the Eiffellander, the only man who could complicate Auraria's position. He listened to the man intently, devising a strategy that would stray from his orders in Solis.

"This may be the stupidest foreign policy decision I've ever made,"
Palomo thought "Or, it could be the best. It's a strange thought how thin the line between the two is."

Palomo motioned to speak at the podium, and the presiding council allowed him.

"When I was a boy, growing up on my father's farm, a goat actually attacked me, broke a few ribs. I do apologize but I am a bit frightened of goats," Palomo began, lightening the mood "I would like to apologize to the Duke. I, of course, meant no disrespect or insult towards the intelligence of the fine gentleman. I do hope you accept my apology."

Palomo wanted to puke. Killing them with kindness was a strategy he employed frequently.

"However, I must raise a grave concern with the plan offered by both the Duchy and the League. I find it agreeable to move the soldiers to Elena Island and Elios Island respectively. Such a move is a fine compromise and shows good faith in deescalating the conflict. I would like to offer a compromise of my own, to show our faith in deescalating conflict," Palomo said, looking at Roman Kästner.

"I would find it most agreeable if the 15,000 soldiers that would go to Elena Island instead head home and are replaced by 15,000 Aurarine Soldiers. In exchange for this, Auraria will agree to remove the 30,000 troops placed along the northern border."

Palomo took his seat, he couldn't help but shoot a look to Kästner.
 

Pelasgia

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"Such a move would be unacceptable. We have done moee than enough to keep the Aurarines' soldiers outside our nation and we will not bring their troops into our lands peacefully. As for convenience on the Eiffellander troops' part perhaps we can allow some on land near Navarino, on the opposite of the coast of Panormus, because fitting them on Elios would be impossible, if it would be convenient."

The President wanted to refuse but he knew that such a compromise would be needed for practical reasons.

"Very well then. However they will stay within the city's premises. As for the deployment of Aurarine troops we would support it but whether it will happen rests on the judgement of the Eiffellanders. Perhaps we can allow the Eiffellanders to stay in Navarino itself, on mainland Cyclopeia becuase they cannot fit on an island and in exchange move the 15,000 Eiffellanders to Navarino along with the other Eiffellanders and replace them with Aurarines, who shall evacuate their troops from our border."

The idea was a good compromise. It made up for the strength the Duchy had lost and gathered more Eiffellanders on its side who would be on the mainland, ready to fight if needed. The Amarysian League would get more troops 100% loyal to Socialism but they would be on an island, where it would be hard for them to get to any front lines. Perhaps they could allow some time to pass during night-time recess so the sides could discuss it off-the-record and then talk about the compromise the next day, on record again.
 

Eiffelland

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“I fully support the idea of moving the 15,000 Eiffellandian troops currently in the Amarysian League to Navarino. I also fully support the idea of dividing the Eiffellandian troops currently in the Duchy of Oenotria over Elios Island and Navarino,” Kästner said. Then he paused for a moment before he continued. “Regarding allowing Aurarian troops into Cyclopeia, that decision is not for us to take. Cyclopeia, more precisely the Amarysian League, will have to decide on that.”

Kästner took a sip of water before he continued. “I have one question. Currently, there are also many medical troops from Eiffeland active in both the Amarysian League and the Duchy of Oenotria. These medical troops are still treating patients. According to me, an immediate retreat of those troops will harm the patients currently treated by them. Therefore, I want to discuss a gradual retreat of those medical troops. Unless the situation requires them to stay of course.”
 

Cayabocan

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Palomo made a motion to speak and he was approved by the presiding committee.

"I am afraid that I find it confusing that Aurarine Soldiers of equal capability and quantity to present Eiffelander soldiers aiding the League is deemed unacceptable. Immediately after that statement, special accommodations are being offered in order to keep Eiffelander troops on the mainland. I am not in a position to be provocative, your Grace," those words were so foreign to the Commissar that you could distinctly hear him fumbling over them as he said them "but I see it as quite discriminatory that when we offer the same level of support that Eiffelland has offered, it is deemed unacceptable. Even more so when we offer to remove the troops from the border, which if I recall, is a favorable event to your government."

Palomo paused for a bit.

"I also understand that this decision must warrant the approval of the President and the Eiffellandian Ambassador. Auraria will not place any troops into Cyclopeian territory without the clear, voluntary consent of the League. I would also hope that the Ambassador from Eiffelland see our compromise as agreeable and made in the best of intentions."

"This is bound to blow up," Palomo thought "When I leave this summit, Auraria and Eiffelland will be locked in a power match for a fairly long time. Any deal that would allow such a sizeable number of Eiffellandian troops so close to Aurarine Shores would be entirely unacceptable and result in my immediate firing - and rightfully so."
 

Eiffelland

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“Well, Your Excellency,” Kästner said with a relaxed tone in his voice, “it is a fact that we Eiffellandians are a bit more relaxed about certain things than most Aurarines are.” Then he continued in a more serious tone: “We have to realise that this country is Cyclopeia. It is not Auraria, it is not Eiffelland, it is Cyclopeia. Our role should be to help Cyclopeia with making its own choices. We cannot proscribe what the Cyclopeians should do; they have to determine that themselves. The intention of my government is to help the Cyclopeians with the choices they make. We will follow the decisions of the Amarysian League and the Duchy of Oenotria. At this moment, His Grace the Duke of Oenotria wishes our troops to stay in the Duchy. It is our intention to follow that wish.”
 

Pelasgia

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The Duke and the President staretd conversing again.
"I thank the Mr. Kästner for his understanding. I am certain the honourable Mr. Palomo shares it. With the President's blessing I would invite the Eiffellander troops in the League to move over to the Duchy, in Navarino and Elios, with the exception of the medical troops who will be allowed to freely move around Cyclopeia."

The President knew theis would create an opening he could invite the Aurarine to fill and he could not really refuse, unless he wanted to put the Eiffellanders in a tight spot as well as create a more strategic problem. If the troops stayed there then they would be not enough to destroy the League's forces and take Sounio and Amarysia but they would be enough to take out the League forces on the island and hold it creating severe problems for the League, right next to its de jure and de facto capitals. The League would need to violently siege and starve them creating huge problems for both. With a surprise attack these Eiffellanders might even take Amarysia. The Duke was doing a President a favour. Ericthonius aimed to ease Zorbas' position so that he could relax and allow the negotiations to proceed.

"I agree, of course with the will of the Eiffllanders it can only happen. This creates a gap, but I would be glad to welcome the mentioned Aurarines to Elena Island. The medical troops can freely continue and provide their invaluable humanitarian services."

Zorbas took the offer. Of course he knew the trade off the Duke was expecting very well. He spoke again, before the Duke asked to speak.

"We would in turn, as a sign of good will, have our forces leave Nauplio and all of Nauplia, moving to its border with Amarysia a few kilometers away."

Now the Duchy too could be at ease for the negotiations to proceed. With the petty differences about troops settled, they oucld finally move to the issue at hand: matters of a united state, or rather the lack thereof.
 
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