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[EMBASSY] Embassy of Balder

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Zander Cerebella
Greeting Europe

I am Zander Cerebella the Balderan ambassador and foreign minister wishing to open our embassy here. Its been a few months since Europe opened one in Balder and we thought it was about time we did the same here.
 

Imperium Anglorum

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Happy to see you!

Please present your credentials by an in-game telegram from either the Delegate (Queen, in this case) or Foreign Secretary for Balder. Also, will you be moving an Ambassador puppet into Europe?
 
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Zander Cerebella
Telegramed you in-game.

Our ambassador service is currently understaffed so I am current ambassador to about half of our embassies for now. I could move a nation to Europe if needs be however we do not require ambassadors to keep a nation in our region.

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The Realm of Balder


Population - 4,612 nations ~ Delegate Endorsements - 156 ~ Endorsement Cap - 15 ~ Forum Posts - 106,304

Monarchy

Queen - Rach Eriksen
Crown Prince - North East Somerset

Statsraadet (Executive)

Statsminister - OnderKelkia
Minister of Foreign Affairs - Zander Cerebella
Minister of Integration - Tom Vasentius
Minister of War - Theoden Sebastian
Minister of Culture - Gradea

Storting (Legislature)

Lawspeaker - Arastaoir
MP - Gradea
MP - Onder Kelkia
MP - Theoden Sebastian
MP - Tom Vasentius

Election News & Future Plans

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In the latest round of legislative elections, three incumbent MPs were returned (Arastaoir, Theoden Sebastian and Tom Vasentius) and two new legislators were elected to the Storting (Gradea and OnderKelkia). Within the Storting, the outgoing Lawspeaker Tom Vasentius did not seek re-election. Arastaoir and Theoden Sebastian emerged as the two candidates for this position, which serves as presiding officer in legislative debates. A close contest ensued. After voting was tied, Theoden Sebastian withdrew from contention, leaving Arastaoir to be elected Lawspeaker as the remaining candidate.

The process for selecting the new Statsminister went more smoothly, as OnderKelkia was elected unchallenged, following a term as Minister of Integration and after topping the polls in the Storting election. The Statsminister serves as Balder's head of government. OnderKelkia was quick to announce his cabinet and detailed plans for improving the performance of each government department.

Under the new administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be developing our valuable relationships with existing allies, while forging ahead with new partnerships which cement Balder's position both among fellow game-created regions and as a leader of the wider Independent sphere. The Ministry of Integration will build on the progress made with manual naturalisation telegrams during the previous term to mentor new forum members and direct them to activities which are beneficial to the region. The Ministry of War will be organising Balder-led military occupations and building up our capacity to provide significant reinforcements led by our allies. The Ministry of Culture will be working on a major event to mark the fifth anniversary of Balder's creation and maintaining growth in general forum activity.

Integration Ministry Reformed

The biggest institutional reform announced by the new Government thus far is the re-branding and restructuring of our Integration functions. Previously, the Balder Civil Service was administered centrally through the Ministry of Integration-Civil Service. Following an announcement by Statsminister OnderKelkia, Civil Service appointments will be directly managed by each member of the Statsraadet within their own department, while the Ministry of Integration will retain ownership of this agenda as part of its wider outreach to new and existing members. It is believed that the new system will provide greater flexibility and allow assistant ministers to become directly engaged in the actual running of their departments. The new grade of Deputy Minister was also created and the Statsminister announced Sygian Vasentius as the first Deputy Minister of Culture.

Treaty News

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Over the last two months, Balder has seen a significant amount of new diplomatic activity. In July, we formed the GCR Sovereignty Accords with our allies in The Pacific and The West Pacific. The Accords rapidly obtained the unanimous approval of the Storting. This partnership represents an exciting opportunity expand our cooperation in good faith and enhances the security of all signatories against potential adversaries. The Realm of Balder is firmly committed to carrying forward this agenda.

The Treaty of the Ancient Gods with Osiris was updated and revised in late August following talks between both parties, with new language to remove an out-dated reference to the Imperial Sovereign Realms Army. In reaffirming our alliance, Balder is glad to have renewed commitments to our fellow sinker.

Back on 18th July, there was an announcement in the Gameplay forum delivered by Glen-Rhodes, The South Pacific's Minister of Foreign Affairs, that TSP was dissolving its treaty with Balder. Following this announcement, it emerged that the requisite legal approval for dissolving the treaty had not been obtained in The South Pacific when Glen-Rhodes issued his statement. It is now over 2 months since Glen-Rhodes made his announcement. Despite the passage of time, we have still yet to receive the required five-days' notice from TSP that the treaty has been dissolved in TSP's embassy on our forum, even though providing this notice is a requirement of our treaty.

Statement on the Grey Wardens' Aggression against Osiris

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As we approach the fifth anniversary of the creation of Osiris and Balder next month, our commitment to the welfare of our sister sinker remains strong. We are therefore disturbed by recent developments. On 7th September 2016, the Pharaoh of Osiris issued a royal proclamation concerning unprovoked aggression against Osiris perpetrated by the Order of the Grey Wardens. Specifically, the Grey Wardens re-founded Islamic Republics of Iran, a territory belonging to Osiris since 2013. This action followed general threats by the Grey Wardens to engage in hostilities against regions which are prepared to undertake offensive military operations.

The Realm of Balder hereby announces its full support for the retaliatory steps announced by Osiris and our opposition to the Grey Wardens. Barring exceptional circumstances, such as multi-regional anti-Nazi missions, we will not cooperate militarily with the Grey Wardens and we will not entertain any diplomatic relations with their organisation. We will also be developing and implementing security and citizenship policies to maintain the safety and integrity of Balder. The Grey Wardens seized Islamic Republics of Iran as a calculated and gratuitous insult to the sovereignty and security of Osiris. In needlessly choosing to attack Osiris, to minimal practical effect, the Grey Wardens not only gained the enmity of Osiris; they earned the enmity of the allies and friends of Osiris. We will not allow our allies to be singled out and intimidated by enemies who seek to constrain their military autonomy. Balder stands boldly and firmly with Osiris.

Furthermore, by their actions, the Grey Wardens have illustrated that any assurances they offer cannot be trusted. On this occasion, they proceeded to seize Islamic Republics of Iran in spite of the High Constable of the Grey Wardens having previously implied that they represented no genuine threat in conversations with the Pharaoh of Osiris. Clearly, the Grey Wardens are willing to offer misleading impressions to preserve the political position of their members in their target regions, but in the long run they cannot help themselves from jumping on the limited number of military opportunities which arise to undermine their targets. In this context, trusting the Grey Wardens would be naive in the extreme. Any region which is willing to raid has good reason to identify the Grey Wardens as a hostile force which must be contained. Independent regions like Balder have as much reason to fear as Raider regions like Osiris. Accordingly, Balder will be consulting with our allies to develop an appropriate response to the political project represented by the Grey Wardens.


 
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The Festival of the Ancient Gods

19th October 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the creation of Balder and Osiris.

Over the past five years, many players have committed their time and effort to the development of Balder and Osiris. Due to the success of our citizens, vibrant communities have emerged and prospered in in both regions. The addition of two sinkers has also had a significant impact on the game as a whole, reinvigorating the game-created regions as centres of NationStates politics and altering the course of gameplay.

In honour of this occasion, Balder and Osiris will be holding the Festival of the Ancient Gods between 21st and 24th October. The first two days of the Festival will take place in Balder on 21st and 22nd October. The second two days will take place in Osiris on 23rd and 24th October.

The Government of Balder is delighted to invite you to join our celebrations. The scheduled events for the Festival include an in-character role-play of the founding of Osiris and Balder, as well as several spam games, tournaments and contests.

All participants from regions with embassies with either Balder or Osiris are most welcome to attend events at both segments of the Festival.​
 
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Hello! I am Lord Docomo from Balder. I have recently been assigned here to serve as an ambassador between Balder and Europe. I get the impression that the majority of the members here have little to do with NS, but i hope to engage in conversation with the few that are involved and hope to better strengthen our two regions relationship.
 

Imperium Anglorum

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Hello! I am Lord Docomo from Balder. I have recently been assigned here to serve as an ambassador between Balder and Europe. I get the impression that the majority of the members here have little to do with NS, but i hope to engage in conversation with the few that are involved and hope to better strengthen our two regions relationship.
Welcome! This is the NationStates portion of the forum. Many of the other people here don't have all that much to do with NS, that's for sure, but others (well, like myself at least) do. What is your NS nation name?
 
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Glad to hear there are a few participates left. I think RP within NS has drastically declined over the past year.

My nation within in Europe is lord-docomo4.
 
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Hello! My name is Alta, & I've just been appointed to serve as Balder's ambassador to Europe. Y'all seem like a very unique NS region - in fact, transcending just an NS region - and so I hope I'll get to learn a little bit about this area while I'm hear.

Cheers!
 
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Balder Press Release said:
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Regional Government

Monarchy
Queen of Balder:
Rach
Crown Prince: North East Somerset

Statsraadet
Statsminister:
Linkin Talleyrand
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Theoden Sebastian
Minister of Community: Fuzzy
Minister of WA Affairs: Akillian Talleyrand
Minister of War: Bran Triune​

Lawspeaker of the Storting:
Theoden Sebastian

Members of the Storting:
OnderKelkia
Linkin Talleyrand
Akillian Talleyrand​

February Elections & Future Plans

The Elections for the Storting term February to April 2018 concluded with incumbents OnderKelkia, Theoden Sebastian, Linkin Talleyrand and Akillian Talleyrand retaining their seats to serve in the regional legislature. OnderKelkia, after having occupied the office of Statsminister for seven terms announced his retirement prior to the election. In his concluding remarks, Kelkia noted the dramatic expansion in activity which the region experienced during his tenure. In the 17 months from September 2016 to January 2018 the forums accumulated over 75% more forum posts than in the 17 months from April 2015 to August 2016. He also mentioned the foreign agenda gains of his administration, such as the signing of treaties with The North Pacific, The West Pacific and Lazarus.

Linkin Talleyrand, WA Minister in the previous state council and multiple-term Storting member, then announced his bid to become the next Statsminister. He was selected by a unanimous vote of the Storting and was immediately invited by the Queen to form a government.

Meanwhile, Theoden Sebastian was also unanimously backed to serve another term as Lawspeaker.

Statsminister Talleyrand said that he will look to continue the record of the previous government and and promised tackle the issue of forum activity by researching new programs to encourage participation within the government and cultural activities. The ministries of Culture and Integration were merged into the Ministry of Community to serve as the core department for domestic affairs.

The new Statsraadet is composed of the following:
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Theoden Sebastian
Minister of Community: Fuzzy
Minister of World Assembly Affairs: Akillian Talleyrand
Minister of War: Bran Triune

Legislative Reforms

Following the State Opening of the Storting, Lawspeaker Theoden Sebastian unveiled a proposal to amend the Representation of the Realm Act. The amendment seeks to address the need for special elections when seats become vacant. At present, the basic law only allows for the holding of special elections for inactivity of members. As of this update, the measure is expected to pass unanimously in the Storting and will become the 5th amendment to the Representation of the Realm Act. This follows the run-off amendment earlier passed by the Storting, which added a provision for how ties should be handled.

Jomsvikings support operation in Yorkshire

The Jomvikings, Balder's military, successfully concluded its mission in Yorkshire. The region was captured by the combined forces of the Europeian Republican Navy, The North Pacific Army and The Land of Kings and Emperors Imperial Army. Balder earlier deployed to provide support. The regional government is pleased to participate in the mission in support of its allies and has promised to increase participation in joint operations them.​
 
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Hello, I'm Fuzzy, Balder's current Foreign Minister. I'm also Balder's new ambassador to Europe. I'ts good to be here :D
 
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Balder Bugle Issue II

A publication of the Ministry of Communications of the Realm of Balder.


New Regional Structure Lays Strong Groundwork

When he was re-appointed for his current term as Statsminister, OnderKelkia emphasized the importance of the position of Zander Cerebella as Minister for Regional Development. This position, tasked with suggesting cultural and thematic changes to the Statsminister to help guide the region back towards its Nordic origins, was most fitting for Cerebella. As a former Delegate, Vice-Delegate, and Statsminister as well as current Prince, he has extensive experience with the cultures and practices of Balder, past and present. Zander's work this term has been pleasing, and in conjunction with the release of the new forums at balder.boards.net, a plethora of pleasing thematic changes were also implemented.



Firstly, the old terms "Citizen" and "Non-Voting Resident" were scrapped in favor of the terms "Viking Citizen" and "Viking Resident," respectively. Secondly, Viking Citizens and Viking Residents are now asked to pick a city based on excellent roleplay blurbs developed by the Minister of Regional Development. These cities are: Ribe, the city of trade and diplomacy, Aarhus, the city of culture, and Jomsborg, the city of the military. The Ministry of Regional Development is hoping to develop these three cities, and arrange events, such as competitions or festivities, between the three. It is excellent to see Balder returning to its Nordic origins.



King Appoints Three Experienced Princes

Using the powers vested in him as Monarch of Balder, King North East Somerset has announced the appointment of three princes as members of the monarchy. They are tasked with maintaining a higher endorsement count, along with other miscellaneous security tasks, as well as serving as advisers to the King. Their presence as border control officers with a high level of influence only solidifies Balder's position as the most secure game-created region in NationStates. The Princes were appointed based on the new cities - OnderKelkia for Jomsborg, ZanderCerebella for Aarhus, and Fuzzy for Ribe. We are glad to have these three highly capable indiviuals in these capacities and are pleased to see them doing excellent work.



Balder and The East Pacific Host Gala

On 2nd February, Groundhog's day, the Realm of Balder was pleased to host a gala along with our friends in The East Pacific. Although the Realm of Balder has typically hosted our events in the past on the regional forums, we had a unique change this time: the event was hosted on a Discord server that was prepared by the Statsraadet (Cabinet) of Balder in conjunction with our colleagues in The East Pacific. In addition to the formal roleplay of the gala that was hosted in the Manor's Ballroom, the Discord server allowed for games such as Chess, skribbl.io, Town of Salem, and many others to be played by the guests at the festival.



The Realm of Balder was encouraged by the high number of people (59) who joined the Discord server and participated in the gathering. Following the event, Minister Cinder, one of the organizers of the event, commented, "I think the event went very well. Everyone seemed to have a good time once it started, the games lasted for several hours, the music bot was active until after sundown." The Gala's participants enjoyed themselves and we were pleased to partake in this cultural cooperation.​



Contact Vulturret, Minister of Communications, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
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Balder Bugle Issue III
A publication of the Ministry of Communications of the Realm of Balder.

Storting Elections Conclude

Last month, elections for five seats in the Storting (parliament) of the Realm of Balder were held. Incumbent Lawspeaker Linkin Maximus and MPs Akillian Talleyrand and Aexnidaral stood for re-election and all three of them were voted back into office by the entire citizenry of Balder. In addition, four other candidates battled it out for the other two positions: Minister of Regional Development Zander Cerebella, MP and Minister of World Assembly Affairs Griffindor13, Minister of Internal Affairs Theoden Sebastian, and Minister of Communications Vulturret. The latter candidate was the only parliamentary candidate to also announce their intention to seek election to the Office of Statsminister as well as to the Storting. Winning these two seats were Theoden Sebastian, a long-time Balderan, and Vulturret, a newcomer to the region whose work as Minister of Communications was well-received by the citizenry.

What is interesting to note from the full results below is that the top four candidates were all tied for first place. This is excellent for the region because it represents how satisfied citizens are with the plethora of candidates available. There was no clear-cut front-runner, which allowed all members of the Storting to enjoy a large base of support among the citizenry, thus allowing them to have strong support among the citizenry and govern with the people of the Realm fully behind them.

The full results of the Storting elections are as follows, with the members being elected (the top five) being shown in bold, ordered based upon votes received:
1. Vulturret
1. Linkin Maximus
1. Theoden Sebastian
1. Akillian Talleyrand
5. Aexnidaral
6. ZanderCerebella
7. Griffindor13


Storting Convenes to Elect Lawspeaker

Following the conclusion of the elections to the Storting, the new members of the Storting gathered in the chamber to deliberate on the Lawspeaker (presiding officer) for the term. Outgoing Lawspeaker Linkin Maximus announced his election to stand for the position once more, which was well-received by the other elected members. Speaking about his colleague Linkin, newly-elected MP Vulturret said, "based on his long record of service to the Storting and his excellent ministerial work, there is no question that [Linkin] is highly suited to continue in the role." Lawspeaker Linkin was confirmed by unanimous support of the Storting.


Crown Prince Selected and Confirmed

Additionally, in the State Opening of Parliament, the King, North East Somerset, revealed that after careful deliberation he had selected OnderKelkia, the Prince of Jomsborg and longtime Balderan governmental figure to be nominated to the role of Vice Delegate, styled as Crown Prince. In the confirmation process that followed, all members voiced their unanimous support for OnderKelkia. Speaking to the Storting, OnderKelkia said of his nomination, “I would like to record my immense gratitude to the King and the region for the trust His Majesty has demonstrated in nominating me to serve as Vice Delegate and Crown Prince. I have enjoyed my many terms as Statsminister of Balder and I now look forward to meeting a new challenge. If my nomination as Vice Delegate is approved by the Storting, I hope to serve the King and region well in this capacity.” The Government is pleased to have Onder's senior leadership abilities in this capacity to assist the Crown and Government and ensure regional activities run smoothly. We look forward to what he will bring to the new position.


Nomination of a new Statsminister (Prime Minister)

Also on the legislative agenda for the newly-elected members of the Storting was to nominate a new Head of Government. Under the Instrument of State and Government Act, the Storting is responsible for making a recommendation of a Statsminister (Prime Minister) for appointment by the King. As almost all executive authority is held by the Statsminister, making the selection of a nominee a highly important function of the Storting.

Lawspeaker Linkin Maximus nominated MP Vulturret (who had previously released a platform for activities as Statsminister as part of his campaign for the Storting) for the position. He accepted that, thanking the Lawspeaker for the nomination, and proceeded to receive unanimous support of the Storting to form a government following an appointment by the King.


King Delivers First State Opening of Parliament of Reign

Additionally, the King bestowed four knighthoods (peerages) upon four deserving members of the region. These were made in accordance with the Titles and Honours Act. The following individuals were recognized for the applicable contributions:
Knight of Odin - HRH Prince Zander of Aarhus - for his idea to create the Three Viking Cities, and the associated Roleplay themes, as well as the great leadership and vision he has shown over the past two months.
Knight of Mimir - Sir Griffindor - for his excellent service in Cabinet as the Minister of World Assembly Affairs.
Knight of Thor - Sir Vulturret - for his role in creating and drafting the Balder Bugle, as well as his input into the TEP festival and setting up a new Discord bot.
Knight of Bragi - Sir Bran Triune - for organising and holding a successful cultural festival; the TEP-Balder gala.


Statsminister Delivers Opening Address and Appoints Cabinet

Upon the gracious appointment of His Nordic Majesty, Statsminister Vulturret delivered an opening address praising the success of Balder in the past and looking forward to how we can improve in the future. The new Statsminister touched on the importance of Balder sticking to its self-driven priorities as an Independent region and highlighted the critical nature of the term in shaping foreign policy. The Statsminister also highlighted his various goals for the term - including boosting the endorsement count of Delegate North East Somerset, the size of the piling force of the military, and various other cultural, civic, and diplomatic endeavors that will continue to boost the strength of Balder.

Additionally, the Statsminister appointed a team of dedicated statesmen, many of whom have been in Balder for years, to the Statsraadet, known in English as the Cabinet. The Statsraadet is as follows:

Minister of Culture: ZanderCerebella
Minister of Integration: Fuzzy
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Linkin Maximus
Minister of War: Cinder
Minister of World Assembly Affairs: Griffindor13
Minister for the Cabinet Office: Theoden Sebastian

The Realm of Balder is highly excited to see what we can accomplish this term.


Other News

Fuzzy, our Minister of Integration and the Prince of Ribe, won multiple prizes at the highly imaginative multi-regional festival organized by The West Pacific to celebrate their newly announced theme. Fuzzy was named the winner of the prizes for The Best Haiku, The Best Short Story and Best in Class for Writing. Balderans had an excellent time attending the festival and we appreciated the numerous contests that all attendees had the unique opportunity to engage with. The Realm of Balder could not have thought of a better way to celebrate with TWP than this magnificent event, which we thank them for organizing.

The regional military of Balder, the Jomsvikings, are currently deployed in Westphalia supporting the operation led by The Black Hawks.


Contact [nation]Vulturret II[/nation], of the Ministry of Communications, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
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Balder Bugle Issue IV
A publication of the Ministry of Communications of the Realm of Balder.

Storting Elections Held

April saw the election of a new Storting (parliament) in Balder. The election marked the end of the first full term on Balder's new forum, and Vulturret's first term as Statsminster. The many changes Balder faced over those two months continued to shape issues in the election, with Statsminster Vulturret looking back on the challenges met and the ones still to face as Balder continues to grow and prosper. The region went into the election with confidence, looking forward to another productive term. A number of candidates stood, and five were ultimately elected:

Vulturret
Theoden Sebastian
ZanderCerebella
Griffindor13
Akillian Talleyrand

Election of Lawspeaker

With the elections concluded, the Storting's first act of business was the election of a Lawspeaker (The Storting's presiding officer). Theoden Sebastian declared his intention to run for the office when he stood for the Storting, and upon election was nominated for the position by fellow member Akillian Talleyrand, recieving the unanimous support of his colleages. Seconding the nomination, Vulturret praised Theoden's previous service in the role, commenting "Based on his record of prior service that can be found on our old board, I have no doubt he will render the region an excellent service in returning to the role." Theoden thanked his fellow members for the support and accepted his nomination.

Statsminister Election

The Storting then moved on to the election of a Statsminster. Outgoing Statsminster Vulturret had announced his intention to seek a second term at the outset of the Storting election, and upon completion of the elections was nominated for Statsminster by Akillian Talleyrand. Accepting the nomination, Vulturret thanked Akillian, stating that he was "pleased to accept this humbling honor to be re-nominated as Statsminister." Vulturret recieved the unanimous support of the Storting, with fellow member Griffindor13 commenting "You did an excellent job last term as Statsminister, and I’m certain you’ll do better this term."


State Opening of Parliament and the Awarding of Honours

With the elections complete and the Lawspeaker and Statsminster elected, parliament was opened by King North East Somerset. Formally appointing Vulturret as Statsminster, the King voiced his support, saying that Vulturret's "service over the past two months has been one of dedication and perseverance, and those are qualities that I think will serve us well going forwards."

Praising the solidarity of Balder's citizenry and government through a tough time in the Region's history, the King stated "The transition to a new forum and from a Delegate who had served the Region for over half its history, simultaneously, would normally be one of significant upheaval, but any pitfalls have been overcome with a steady hand and determined grit to move forwards...I believe strongly that the correct application of our independent philosophy will equip us effectively for whatever is thrown at us"

Thanking those who had played a significant part in these transitions, the King went on to say "I would like to pay tribute to all members of last term's Government, many of whom I hope will be serving again - and also to my fellow Royals; Onderkelkia, Zander and Fuzzy - who have provided valuable and wise counsel, to the Government and Monarchy. Together we make a strong team, and one which I have the utmost confidence in. "

Honouring those who had served Balder with persistance and dedication, the King conferred the following titles:

Baron of Hovgården - Akillian Talleyrand
Baron of Malmö - Cinder
Jarl of Nordland - Linkin Maximus
Duke of Aalborg - Theoden Sebastian

The titles are all well deserved, reflecting a long history of service to Balder. Upon awarding these titles, the king said "I hope you will join me in congratulating these much deserved Peers for their service. Their cumulative service is too detailed to go into here, but they know what they have done for the Region and over such a length of time."


Appointment of Statsraadet and Announcement of Term Goals

Following on from the state opening of parliament, newly re-elected Statsminster Vulturret appointed his new Statsraadet (Cabinet) making the following appointments:

Minister of Culture: Zander Cerebella
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Fuzzy
Minister of War: Akillian Talleyrand
Minister of World Assembly Affairs: Griffindor13
Minister for the Cabinet Office: Theoden Sebastian
Minister of Integration: Jake

The cabinet includes a mix of experienced ministers and new faces, all of whom are looking forward to the term ahead.

Vulturret also took this opportunity to set out his plans for the term, stating that "Our continued success is owing to the long record of service by the Monarchy to ensure our region is secure and our high World Assembly statistics are maintained; the Government, meanwhile, has been engaging in the creation of many programs last term that will be ready for implementation this term."

The first of these is a plan spearheaded by the Ministry of Integration which aims, among other things, to improve community engagement on Balder's RMB and increase participation in the Royal Diplomatic Service. This will be supported by the recent completion of a new set of automated telegrams, which aim to increase the King's endorsement count and promote regional integration through increased participation in regional life.

Finally, the "Information for World Assembly Voters" programme was unveiled, which aims to increase co-operation on WA affairs between the various parts of Balder's government and increase the amount of WA vote information made available to Balder residents. This aims to strenghten Balder's influence in the WA, by better co-ordinating our position on resolutions, educating our residents and ensuring that WA nations vote in accordance with Balder's official stance.

Vulturret's plan to oversee the implementation of these programmes recieved the support of Balder citizens and royalty, with Crown Prince OnderKelkia commenting "A very fine speech. We can look forward to another strong term with Vulturret as Statsminister." and Lawspeaker Theoden Sebastian stating "A solid plan of action by the government that focuses on community engagement and participation. I look forward to serving with my esteemed colleagues."


Other News


The Jomsvikings had been assisting Balder's partners in The Black Hawks with their operation in Westphalia. That operation is now concluded, and the Jomsvikings are now training for further reinforcement missions.

Contact Vulturret, of the Ministry of Communications, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
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Balder Bugle Issue V
A publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.

June Storting Elections

Balder's June election saw five members elected to Balder's Storting (parliament), marking the beginning of the third full term on Balder's new forum. Many existing members declared their intention to run, and were joined by new faces. Former Lawspeaker Theoden Sebastian declared his intention to run for the office of Statsminster, with veteran member Griffindor13 seeking to take Theoden's place as Lawspeaker. Ultimately, the following were elected to the Storting:

Theoden Sebastian
Griffindor13
Akillian Talleyrand
ZanderCerebella
Aexnidaral



Elections of Lawspeaker & Statsminster and State Opening of Parliament

With the elections complete, Griffindor13, Balder's long serving WA minister and a multiple term Storting member was nominated as Lawspeaker by new Storting member Aexnidaral. Griffindor13 received the unanimous support of his colleagues and was duly appointed as Lawspeaker.

Theoden Sebastian stood for the office of Statsminster, a position he had previously held with distinction in late 2015. Theoden received the unanimous support of the Storting and was nominated as Statsminster once again.

Appointing Theoden as Statsminster in the state opening of parliament, King North East Somerset stated it was his pleasure to do so, saying "I have every faith in his qualification and capability to undertake this office to the highest of standards due to his past experience in it."

Statsminster's speech and appointment of Statsraadet

In his speech following on from the state opening of parliament, Statsminster Theoden announced the appointment of his initial cabinet:

Zander Cerebella - Deputy Statsminister and Minister of Community Affairs
Fuzzy - Minister of Foreign Affairs
Akillian Talleyrand - Minister of War
Griffindor13 - Minister of WA Affairs

Announcing a focus on domestic issues, Theoden stated his main goal for the term is greater citizen engagement, both in government and forum-wide, with a number of initiatives being announced to take this forwards. In foreign affairs, Theoden
aims to build on Balder's close alliances and further strengthen our military the Jomsvikings.



Appointment of Minister of Discord Affairs

At the end of June, Theoden appointed longtime citizen Cinder as Minister of Discord Affairs. Announcing the appointment, Statsminster Theoden emphasised Cinder's extensive experience at all levels of government, going on to say "Considering Cinder's presence and activity in the Discord platform, which is an important extension of Balder community life, Cinder is well placed to help the government engage and assist the citizens there. I am sure that the Minister will perform well in the role."


Relaunching the Civil Service

One of the key objectives for the new term was the re-launch of Balder's Civil Service. This initiative aims to increase regional activity levels and give citizens greater opportunities to get involved in regional life and Balder's government by becoming a member of one of the three new service corps.

A key part of the Civil Service is the Community Corps, where citizens can help run community events and help run Roleplay. The Community Corps also is used to promote the Nordic culture and develop the four cities.

Another part of the Civil Service is the Media Corps. The Media Corps is where citizens are encouraged to write articles for the Balder Bugle, along with other official publications and documents for the government.

The Diplomatic Corps, another portion of the Civil Service, is tasked with being Balder’s face unto the wider NationStates community. It also assists in distribution of the Balder Bugle. All in all, the Civil Service is a great way for citizens to ‘rise through the ranks’, giving them the opportunity to show Balder what they can do, and what they can contribute to the region.


Relaunch of Balder's University

Plans are in the works for the relaunching of Balder's university, with comprised of a college for NationStates studies, a college for Balderan law, a college for natural sciences, a college for social sciences and the arts, and the refounded Museum of Balderan History. The University will enjoy academic freedom and will aim to explore and build upon this wide range of topics. The university Chancellor will be appointed by the Statsminster, with other staff appointments made by the Chancellor. The Statsraadet have recently proposed legislation for the creation of this university, and are working hard to finalise the details ahead of the launch. The university presents an exciting opportunity, allowing for a better understanding of Balder's history and NationStates as a whole.


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Balder Bugle Issue VI
A publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.

Storting Elections

Five members were elected to Balder's Storting (parliament) for the August-September term, with a close race being fought between the seven candidates who stood for election. Incumbent Lawspeaker Griffindor13 stated his intention to stand again for the position, and Zander Cerebella, one of Balder's most experienced statesmen, announced he intended to stand for Statsminster if elected. The election saw the following members elected:

Theoden Sebastian
ZanderCerebella
Griffindor13
Akillian Talleyrand
Aexnidaral



Elections of Lawspeaker and Statsminster

After a successful term as Lawspeaker, Griffindor13 opened storting business by seeking a second term in the position. Once again, he recieved the unanimous support of the other members and was appointed as Lawspeaker.

Griffindor13 also opened nominations for Statsminster by nominating outgoing Statsminster Theoden Sebastian for a second term. Zander Cerebella stated his intention to stand also, in line with his Storting campaign platform. Declining his nomination, Theoden Sebastian stated his intention to focus on Storting business, saying "For this term, I want to step back and focus on the Storting where I hope to work on the proposals that I have included in my manifesto."

Zander went on to secure the unanimous backing of his colleages, and was duly nominated for appointment as Statsminster by the King.


State opening of Parliament and appointment of Statsraadet


With initial business concluded, King North East Somerset opened the Storting with a rousing speech. The King opened by formally appointing Zander Cerebella as Statsminster, stating "It is a great credit to both him and Balder, that more than 7 years on from serving as our Head of State and Government, as Delegate - Zander for the fourth time, is again the Head of Government."

Commenting on the dedication of the region's members and the continuing stability they bring to Balder the king went on to say "The commitment of our membership, some dating right back to the Founding of Balder, is something we should celebrate and hope to preserve...Not a Region to jump on bandwagons, align with cults - not reliant solely on the whims of the predominant personality. We are consistent where others are transient. We will still be here when they have faded away."

Statsminster Zander followed on from this by thanking the citizens of Balder for another opportunity to lead the region. Zander outlined his plans to get Balder's new university operational in time for Balder's 8th anniversary in October, and to focus on the many legislative reforms being discussed in the Storting. To aid in his goals, Zander announced the following Statsraadet appointments:

Development and Deputy Statsminister - Theoden Sebastian
Foreign Affairs - Fuzzy
Interior Affairs - Bowzin
World Assembly Affairs - Vamperiall

Looking forward to the term ahead, Zander stated "The plans for our university, the potential for changes to our legislature and the introduction of new ministers gives us cause for great excitement for the coming term as we approach 8 years of our region. We must now build upon these new ideas and move ever forward while the initiative is ours."

Balder's Parliament Changes

The passage of the Constitutional Reform Bill 2019 has seen a complete change in the structure of Balder's Storting (Parliament). Originally a single directly elected chamber, the Storting now consists of two seperate non-elected chambers - the Odelsting and the Lagting.

The Odelsting is the lower chamber, and is open to all Citizens of Balder who are members of the Jomsvikings and have their WA nation endorsing Balder's monarch.

The Lagting is the upper chamber and consists of the Vice Delegate, any other members of the Royal family appointed by the Monarch and any citizen who holds a title of nobility granted by the Monarch.

Both houses are jointly responsible for nominating a Statsminster, whose term length has been extended from two to three months. Nominations for the position will now be held every year in February, May, August and November, and anyone who has been a citizen for two months is eligible for nomination. The new term lengths are effective immediatly, with incumbent Statsminster Zander's term now due to end in November.

The Constitutional Reform Bill has been the subject of a substantial amount of work over the past two terms. Detailed discussion has taken place on the proposals for a number of months, with the Storting directing considerable effort towards ensuring the final bill delivers a new system which works for Balder. The final Constitutional Reform Bill was passed unanimously by the Storting before being put to vote in a public referendum, where it also received the unanimous approval of all participating citizens. The bill was signed into law by King North East Somerset on October 2nd.


Birthday Celebrations

Balder's 8th Birthday is quickly approaching! In order to celebrate the occasion, which occurs on the 19th of October, our government has been hard at work planning an event for Balderans and our allies to come together and party. The current plans consist of speeches, history, Norse mythology, games, and more! The experience should be fun for all those involved and a proper acknowledgement to the long 8 year history Balder has had. The festival will take place on both our forums and a dedicated Discord server.

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Balder Bugle Issue VII

A publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.


Statsminster Election

November saw the first Statsminster elections under the Constitutional Reform Bill 2019, which saw Balder's two legislative chambers put forward candidates for the position. In the Lagting - the upper house, consisting of Balder's princes and nobility - Theoden Sebastian, Duke of Aalborg put himself forward for the position, and received the unanimous backing of all those who voted. In the Odelsting - the lower house, consisting of all eligble citizens who choose to take their seat - two candidates were proposed, with Theoden Sebastian and Bowzin both standing. Theoden ultimately won the Odelsting vote with a two thirds majority.

With the backing of both houses, Theoden Sebastian was put forward as the presumptive Statsminster for the new term, awaiting his appointment by the King.


State Opening of Parliament

With the Statsminster and Talman (speaker of the Odelsting) elections concluded, King North East Somerset formally opened parliament. Appointing Theoden Sebastian as Statsminster, the King stated "[Theoden's] immense experience within this Realm and abroad, shows his ability to exercise this Office successfully and to work to secure the betterment of the Region".

In his speech, the King thanked outgoing Statsminster Zander Cerebella for his hard work the previous term, saying that Zander's "exemplary service is a shining example of what Leadership means to us all. We all owe a great debt to him for his dedication and competence in moving the Region forwards during both challenging and productive times, over the past year and beyond"

Speaking of the constitutional reforms and Balder's current position, the King stated "The reforms are just one achievement from the past term, although an important one as they have unlocked opportunities to broaden the structure and depth of participation, whilst maintaining an unique perspective on our Constitutional Monarchy system, which is proving to be a real dark horse in terms of its ability to combine both dynamism and stability. I said last term that our spirit, identity and unwavering commitment to sovereignty and independence have made us a force that it would be foolish to underestimate. And so that has proven to be the case."


New Honours and Titles awarded

The King ended his speech by awarding a number of honours to deserving members of our Region:

Knight of Forseti - Sir Griffindor - for his dedication and service as Lawspeaker, ensuring the voice of the legislature is heard and our Parliament is run efficiently.

Knight of Bragi - Sir Bowzin - for his commitment and drive to furthering the Culture of the Realm, including in the NS in-game events, for example in coordinating Balder's efforts at the forefront of N-Day activities.

Knight of Mimir - HRH Prince Fuzzy of Ribe - for his excellent service in Cabinet as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, playing a crucial role in multiple significant developments including the signing of the Treaty of Aarhus.

Baron of Brattahlíð - Aexnidaral - a fitting peerage given his long-standing service as an MP in the Storting, his immense and demonstrable capability in the game as a legislator, and also his behind the scenes work here in regional security.


Treaty of Aarhus signed

The recent coup attempt in The East Pacific saw Balder's Jomsvikings take swift action to help delegate-elect Marrabuk assume his rightful place as the region's delegate and leader. This event took place during the latter stages of treaty discussions between Balder and TEP, and once TEP was secure, the Treaty of Aarhus was ratified by both sides, coming into force in Balder on November 9th. This treaty sees Balder and TEP agree to mutual recognition, defence and intelligence sharing, and formalises the rapidly strenghtening relationship between our two regions. Balder is pleased to count TEP amongst its friends, and looks forward to a long and successful partnership.

Contact Fuzzy, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
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Balder Bugle Issue VIII

A publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.


Statsminster Election

The second Statsminster elections under the Constitutional Reform Bill 2019 took place in February, with Balder's two legislative chambers putting forward candidates for the position. In the Odelsting - the lower house, consisting of all eligble citizens who choose to take their seat - Bowzin, a nominee in the last election and Minister of the Interior under Statsminster Theoden, was proposed and seconded by other members of the chamber. No other candidates came forward, and Bowzin went on to win the Odelsting vote with 8 votes in favour and one vote - from Bowzin himself - abstaining. In the Lagting - the upper house, consisting of Balder's princes and nobility - Bowzin was also proposed and seconded, with no other candidates coming forward, and went on to receive the unanimous backing of all those who voted.

With the backing of both houses, Bowzin was put forward as the presumptive Statsminster for the new term, awaiting his appointment by the King.



State Opening of Parliament

With the Statsminster election concluded, King North East Somerset formally opened parliament. Speaking of Bowzin's governmental positions here and abroad, and his status as a relative newcomer to Balder, the King stated "I think this shows there is great potential for Bowzin to lead the Realm over the next term, and I hope he will focus his drive and energy on moving us forwards positively. Indeed, Bowzin only became a Citizen during this my current tenure as King, and to me this demonstrates the opportunities of Balder."

Looking back over the previous term, the King noted that Balder has "begun to show our growing military strength in recent deployments, whilst in parallel we have maintained an active presence in World Assembly affairs." Hoping to see the same going forward, he thanked those who had served in the previous government and said "We must continue to engage with our allies and friends to ensure we progress our mutual interests with dynamism and enthusiasm."


Statsminster's speech and announcement of Statsraadet

Shortly after his appointment as Statsminster, Bowzin laid out his goals for the term in his opening speech. Noting the substantial changes that have happened in Balder recently, including opening the new bicameral legislature, introducing longer Statsminister terms, and providing new ways for citizens to get involved in Government, Bowzin promised he would keep up the pace, stating "now we must push forward to new territory and take advantage of the systems given to us".

Bowzin also announced his ministerial appointments in his speech, saying "I have a strong team behind me, and I have the utmost faith in them to accomplish great things this term." The ministers appointed to Bowzin's Statsraadet are:

Eriadni as Minister of Interior Affairs,

Vamperiall as Minister of War,

Fuzzy as Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Aexnidaral as Attorney General



Civil Service

One of Statsminster Bowzin's priorities for his first term as Statsminster is to see more citizens becoming members of Balder's Civil Service. To that end, the Statsminster has initiated a recruitment drive, asking all ministers to open a Civil Service application thread for their respective ministries, with the aim of making the Civil Service easier and clearer to access. Applications are now open across many of the current ministries, and the Government is looking forward to engaging with members of Balder's citizenry to move the region forwards. The Civil Service will, as always, provide an opportunity for citizens to engage with and take part in Government, giving them an excellent opportunity to help shape and implement policy and perhaps even start a Government career!


City Reform


The Princely Cities Act (February 2020) is currently up for debate in the Odelsting, following extensive Government level discussions. The Act, which if passed will be a Basic Law of Balder and therefore a core piece of legislation, aims to encourage activity at City level by legislating for the creation of City charters and governments. With each City possessing its own distinct culture, the shape of these charters will be left up to the citizens of each City, with the Prince who rules each City taking the lead on creating the charter, and having the final say in its shape and the scope of the powers any City level governments will have.


Trial of Griffindor13

On February 11th, the Realm of Balder brought charges of Treason and Deception against Griffindor13, for consipring to overthrow Balder's elected Delegate, King North East Somerset. In his statement announcing the charges, Statsminister Bowzin dismissed Griffindor13 from his position as Minister of WA Affairs.

Griffindor13 informed the Government of his intention to contest the charges and a hearing commenced on February 15th. Both parties agreed to appoint Crown Prince OnderKelkia to act as Arbiter (judge). Griffindor13 represented himself and Attorney General Aexnidaral represented the Government. Both parties were invited to present their arguments and evidence in turn, followed by a closing statement.

Five days of arguments followed, and on February 20th Arbiter OnderKelkia issued his judgement, finding Griffindor13 guilty on both counts. For Treason, Griffindor13 was sentenced to six months banishment from the region and forum, as well as a year long ban from holding an elected office within the region, beginning with and subsequent to the expiration of the six months banishment. A period of at least six months banishment, followed by a year long ban from elected office, is required by statute for all persons convicted of Treason. For Deception, Griffindor13 was sentenced to seven weeks banishment from the region and forum, to be served concurrently with his sentence for Treason.


Military Operations

Over this term and the last, Balder's military, the Jomsvikings, took part in a number of successful operations.

In December, the Jomsvikings deployed to Cretanja Queendom, supporting The Black Hawks in a raid they conducted of the region. The raid was completed successfully, and the Jomsvikings were recalled to Balder on January 1st.

At the beginning of February, the Jomsvikings again deployed in support of The Black Hawks, assisting in a raid they conducted of ASEAN REGION. The Jomsvikings were recalled to Balder on February 8th.

On February 16th, the Jomsvikings deployed to Slatos in support of the Eastern Pacific Sovereign Army's invasion and occupation of the region. The deployment ended successfully on February 23rd.
Vamperiall, the Minister of War, alongside the Chief of Defence and Viking Command, is working to further develop and expand our military capability, and the Jomsvikings look forward to a busy roster of operations in support of Balder's international objectives over the rest of this term. Anyone interested in working alongside the Jomsvikings, or as part of it, should contact Vamperiall via NationStates telegram or Discord DM at #2044.


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Balder Bugle Issue IX

A publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.


Statsminster and Talman Elections

The nomination process for the May Statsminster election saw two candidates put themselves forward for the position. Fuzzy was the first to put himself forward, announcing his candidacy in Balder's upper house, the Lagting. Shortly thereafter, Fuzzy was nominated and seconded to the position by two members of the Odelsting. The incumbent Statsminster, Bowzin, put himself forward for re-election in the Odelsting and also received the support of two other members. Fuzzy went on to receive the unanimous backing of the Lagting. The Odelsting vote saw 7 votes for Fuzzy, 3 for Bowzin and 2 abstentions. With the backing of both houses, Fuzzy was put forward by the Storting as the presumptive Statsminster for the new term, awaiting his appointment by the King.

The elections for Talman (Speaker of the Odelsting) also took place in May, with the incumbent Talman, Zander Cerebella, putting himself forward for re-election. Zander was nominated and seconded to the position by other members of the Odelsting and was returned to the office with the unanimous support of those that voted.


State Opening of Parliament

With the Statsminster election concluded, King North East Somerset formally opened parliament. Speaking of Fuzzy's longstanding experience, the King said "His dedicated service to Balder over the past 7 years are an example to us all, and he has all the skills to help drive Balder forwards. Indeed, it was Fuzzy who served inaugurally in the Office of Statsminister when it was first created during my first term as Monarch in 2014."

Looking back at the previous term, the King noted that "The past term has seen some notable successes in the deployment of our military, the Jomsvikings, which in some respects represents the Constitutional reforms in late 2019 bearing fruit." The King also paid tribute to the outgoing Statsminster, Bowzin, for his service, stating that "His rapid and successful rise to the position of Head of Government of this Realm, is an example to all of the wealth of opportunities that Balder presents." The King awarded Bowzin the Chivalric Order of the Knight of Odin as a thanks for his service.


Statsminster's speech and announcement of Statsraadet

Once appointed, Fuzzy took the time to set out his plans for the term. Seeking to increase activity in the region and move ahead with a number of cultural projects, Fuzzy stated that "Our highest priorities will be the engagement, retention and development of new members." He also noted that the establishment of Balder's university and the creation of city level charters and governments are priorities for this term, stating that "With the passing of the Princely Cities Act, we now have a fantastic opportunity to expand our region and create more ways for people to get involved."

Fuzzy also announced his cabinet, made up of the following ministers:

Linkin Maximus as Deputy Statsminster and Minister of Culture
Zander Cerebella
as Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minethefirst
as Minister of Integration
Charax
as Minister of World Assembly Affairs
Vamperiall
as Minister of War
Bowzin
as Minister of Discord Affairs
Aexnidaral
as Attorney General


Civil Service


As part of his drive to increase activity, Statsminster Fuzzy has continued his predecessor's drive to get people involved in the Civil Service, and has worked to make it more accesible to newcomers by integrating it into Balder's citizenship application process. All new applicants are now encouraged to join the Civil Service and get involved in Balder's Government. The Statsminster has also requested the creation of a number of Deputy Minister roles, to further increase the opportunities for newer members to get involved.


City Reform

The Princely Cities Act (March 2020) was signed into law on 13 April 2020, allowing for the creation of city charters and the appointment of mayors. The city of Jomsborg was quick to capitalise on this opportunity, with OnderKelkia, the Prince of Jomsborg, appointing Linkin Maximus as Marshal (Mayor) of the city. Linkin was quick to create a City Charter outlining the operation of the city government. The city of Ribe followed shortly afterwards, with its Prince, Fuzzy, creating his own charter and appointing Charax as Mayor. Mayor Charax has already been busy, and two citizens of Ribe have already been appointed to the City Council. A charter for Aarhus will hopefully be in place by the end of the term. All three cities have a different character, and this is already being displayed in the differences in their charters and operational structures. With so much more to now get involved in, it is hoped that the cities will drive another increase in regional activity as people join their governments and get involved in city level activites.


University nears opening

Balder's university project is another priority for the region, with Deputy Statsminster Linkin working on his proposal for a new and improved bill to found the university, which will be introduced this term. Once established, the university will become a centre for learning and scholarship, and will provide another hub for regional life. Amongst other things, the university will provide a home for Balder's history as well as providing a place to publish and store writings on a number of topics. The university may also play host to courses on various subjects.


Military Operations

Last term saw the Jomsvikings complete a number of successful operations, including a very successful deployment to Boston led by The Black Hawks and LWU. This operation saw the Jomsvikings assist in securing the region and defending it against an attempted liberation. The Jomsvikings also participated in successful operations in Xedas and Asia.

The Jomsvikings are looking to expand on their operations and build on these successes, with Minister Vamperiall looking to increase training and help encourage more members to join the ranks, alongside planning future operations.

Contact Fuzzy, Statsminster of Balder, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
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