First Session of the International Open Forum (IOF)

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Touzen, Nov 25, 2017.

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  1. Touzen

    Touzen Administrator Staff Member

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    The Golden Pillar Hotel, Shigö, Kashtan

    Lightdomes. Lightdomes had been the defining feature of the Kashtanese capital's night skyline for as long as he could remember. From the balcony, the smoke of his cigarette disappearing into the rainy night, he watched as the large searchlights on either side of the Hall of the Supreme Idea slowly passed to one side, crossing the light domes from the other side, before returning to their original position, spectacularly centerpiecing the domed abomination exhaling the ideological purity of the Republican -ism, whatever that was at any given moment.

    For a brief moment he had considered hosting the International Open Forum, that idea concocted within the Party to further vaccinate the country against unpleasant surprises by giving it a sense of ownership over the flow of international discourse, inside the Hall as a grotesque, yet highly amusing, perversion of its purity metaphors, yet ultimately it had been concluded that it would only take away from the mystery surrounding the capital's prominent landmark - trivializing the IDRK was something to be avoided, both for domestic and international purposes.

    He flicked his cigarette down into the night below.

    ---

    The reception hall of the exclusive hotel had been lavishly decorated, and bowls of exotic fruit (a rarity for the common Kashtanese) and other snacks were strategically placed among the standing tables alongside an ample supply of sparkling wines and other alcoholic beverages. Located just under the roof, the large windows gave way to a breathtaking view over the capital, which was shrouded in a few clouds today much to Gurak Lyam's displeasure. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Friendship would have to see to it that the official pictures from the summit would be getting the image editing treatment.

    What was more pleasing to him was the large poster above the entrance of the hall showing a beautiful picture of the International Open House nested on the side of Lake Kesil to the North-West at the shore of the Golden Sea, built in record time to accommodate the meeting tomorrow. In fact, construction was ongoing even at this very moment and would probably continue until shortly before the arrival of the delegations. It had been the President himself who had suggested that it would be a great idea to manifest the International Open Forum in the shape of the building, and Lyam had been eager to oblige. After all it was easy to please a man who's go-to answer to problems was constructing new buildings.

    Therefor it had been concluded that every morning the delegations would depart from their quarters in the Golden Pillar, channeled to the International Open House to give prestigious photography options to Kashtanese media and then returned to the Golden Pillar for the night.

    But that was all in the future. Tonight, there would be boozing and mingling.
     
  2. Crotobaltislavonia

    Crotobaltislavonia Well-Known Member

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    The Golden Pillar Hotel, Shigö, Kashtan

    Maximilian Jedreck was a happy man as he looked in the mirror and reminisced, while he dressed for the gala. It has been a long journey. University. Earning and supporting the right patrons. Working his way up through the Foreign Ministry. Serving in more than his fair share of hellholes overseas. Executing contradictory foreign policy for whichever regime was in power. And the purges. So many good men, so many friends, rotting in unmarked graves if they were lucky. But Maximilian had survived it all and was here.

    Foreign Minister
    , the man thought to himself as he turned his profile towards the mirror, satisfied that he looked the part.

    As Jedreck finished buttoning his jacket and shooting his cuffs, his assistant stirred under the sheets but did not wake. The Foreign Minister smiled at pleasant memories and then left the bedroom. In the suite's main room, his security detail fell in with their principle and the party headed out the door.
     
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  3. Kir Chares

    Kir Chares Well-Known Member

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    "Comrade," the soldier, wearing perhaps one of the finest pressed dress uniforms in the entire hotel, smiled politely as she spoke the timeless word, her elegant yet firm hand pushing the door inwards into the gala. The First Gentleman of Xinhai, Ba Yazhao, was likewise dressed in his very best. A rich black zhongshan suit, decorated with the finest gold laid buttons, shone under the light. He was flanked by a retinue of four almost mirror-like images; military beauties, each the same height and weight, with fierce eyes and the precision of grace afforded only the most disciplined parade troop. Their uniforms, perhaps outdated in comparison to the best of the Western nations, still stood out in the crowd.

    Mr. Ba was not a well-known man. His position within the Party was relatively low, he nominally served as an ambassador-at-large, but only attended very select functions. Typically he was chosen for his close relationship with his wife, serving when partisanship and politics could not afford to disrupt the purpose of the event. It had become a customary service of the First Lady and Gentleman, but it was not one Mr. Ba was truly fond of. He loved his wife; they had wed before she had been elected to higher offices, and at times he almost found himself wondering why she had chosen to stay with him. He was a good talker, but not a formidable politician; he would have preferred to mill through the writings of better men and women is history long past.

    Still, he had his opinions. Kashtan, Kadikistan, the Socialist World Republic. He had been drilled on the line he had to tow; Xinhai strove to carefully balance the needs of other nations against its own, to pursue a path of peace, but that made him dread speaking with these nations the most. One little mistake..., he paused. One of the sister-comrades beside him turned her gaze upon him; a rich, chocolate gaze melted through him, but they did not relent even as she smiled.

    "We are beside you, Comrade," she said, nodding towards the Kashtanese Minister - his name was... Gurak.. Lyam? Yes, that was it - and Yazhao stifled a sigh and wrinkled a napkin in his pocket to dry his palms. One step at a time, he told himself, raising a foot and preparing himself for the first interaction of the night.
     
  4. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Minister for Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chancellor Rudolph Kögler had traveled to Kashtan with a team of officials from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Together they would represent Eiffelland at the first session of the International Open Forum. Kögler would have preferred to stay at the Embassy during the session, but the invitation to this session put too much emphasis on using the suites in the Golden Pillar to ignore. Therefore, Kögler and his team used a suite in the Golden Pillar. Not without pleasure, by the way—the Golden Pillar was a very luxurious hotel.

    The dresscode for the opening reception was white tie. This meant that a tuxedo was not enough; the men had to wear dress-suits and the women had to wear long dresses. Dressed up according to the dresscode, the Eiffellandian delegation walked from their suite to the location of the welcoming reception. Eiffellandians were not known for their alcohol resistance. Furthermore, they had very strict ideas about alcohol at work, and this reception was considered work. Unfortunately for Eiffellandians, the kind of work event where the consumption of alcohol was part of work. A very delicate situation for Eiffellandians, who considered it better to not drink alcohol at work at all. They would stick to not more than one glass of alcohol once every two hours.
     
  5. Kadikistani Union

    Kadikistani Union Well-Known Member

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    1921 Eternal Friendship Building, Non-Governmental Organization for Kadiko-Kashtani Friendship, Shigö

    The recently reformed People's Federal Socialist Republics of Kadikistan was one of the few notable absentees on this conference. To most of the world Kadikistan was known to prefer the old ways of diplomacy, either by bilateral agreements with each state individually, or within a framework that Ivar could control or at least assert its shared dominance, like the Rurikgrad Pact and the Status Quo Treaty (SQT). It was no secret that Kadikistan experienced initiatives such as the International Open Forum as a threat to its own interests, especially given the rise in anti-SQT sentiment among most of the participants. The interventionist revolutionary years of Nikolai Leninov long gone, Kadikistan had come to prioritize stability on the international scene. According to the Ivar nomenklatura the main instrument to accomplish this was still the Kalahari Status Quo Treaty, the Northern Status Quo Treaty with Engellex and the alliance with the People's Republic of Serenierre along with various bilateral agreements with other regional powers.

    This being common knowledge that even uninvolved members of the broader public would know. The fact that, while not participating in the talks, Kadikistan still wanted to know everything that was discussed, both formally and informally, also seemed evident though indeterminable. Weeks before the Open Forum kicked-off the Kadikistani Directorate of State Intelligence, in close cooperation with the Directorate of Party Intelligence, contacted their long-time allies within the Kashtani Department for the Destruction of Anti-Socialist Activities in order to find a way for Kadikistan to establish a permanent, yet invisible, presence on the International Open Forum. While for the outside world the breaking-points between the reformed Marxist-Leninovists in Kadikistan and the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninovists in Kashtan seemed almost insurmountable, behind the scenes Shigö and Ivar had always maintained the close cooperation from the old days, especially when it came to sharing intelligence. The fact that Kadikistani and Kashtani intelligence departments still worked so closely together in order to mount a major intelligence operation would testify to this.

    The joint operation was labelled 'Prisluškivanje', after the Srb-Kadiko word for 'eavesdropping', and was a major tests for the operational effectiveness of the Directorate of Intelligence since it had been a while since such a large commitment with such a substantial use of high-technological hardware was required in such a small amount of time. Luckily for the Kadikistani State Intelligence both the Golden Pillar Hotel and the International Open House were built by the Kashtani authorities in an unmatchable pace with the sole purpose of serving as infrastructure for the IOF. Kashtani State contractors were told to accommodate room for the strategic placement of covert listening devices, from the main halls to the private chambers of the respective delegates. Kadikistan wanted to have non-stop surveillance over the conference and its participants, both formally and informally, in order to gather information of any kind, be it important international decision makings or the scandalous chattering of the diplomats and their respective staffs.

    The fact that construction allowed for the bugs to be placed internally, drastically decreased the chances of it being discovered without breaking out the walls, floors and ceilings. Shallow covert listening devices were of no need and deemed too dangerous. If this operation was ever discovered it would do irreversible damage to both the Kashtani and the Kadikistan State. However it was very unlikely for this to be discovered given the position of the bugs and the high-tech nature thereof. Information from the various halls, chambers and even sanitary rooms of both buildings were gathered in a small room three storeys below ground in the maintenance section of the Golden Pillar Hotel. The intelligence room was manned by four human operators tasked with grouping and sending through information to the socialist-realist 1921 Eternal Friendship Building. The latter was preferred as a distribution centre of intelligence as it housed a non-governmental organization created to improve Kadiko-Kashtani cultural ties and was therefore less monitored than say the Kadikistani Embassy. The intelligence room was only accessible by first passing a security room where six highly trained armed guards worked in shifts to ensure that at least two of them would be able provide non-stop security if the reinforced doors were to be breached. While this might have sounded exiting, the security personnel was mostly just bored out of their minds with next to nobody ever coming close to them except for the monthly sewer cleaners, which ran next to them from behind a reinforced wall which luckily blocked most of the smell.

    The Kadikistani Directorate of Intelligence was open to all kinds of information. It wanted to know what discussions were being waged, but also what the delegates thought about each-other right down to the most indiscrete intimacies, how they reason, their health, their ambitions,... everything.
     
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  6. Fiannia

    Fiannia Administrator

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    Organ for Foreign Dialogue HQ,
    Ostrograd, Ostrovakia

    2 Weeks Prior to the Open Forum

    With a sealed document binder in hand Melania Sidorova hastily entered the office of Gennedy Kharmalov, Administrator of the Organ for Foreign Dialogue. Kharmalov stuttered to his feet immediately, not meeting her gaze at first, but instead gawking at the imposing presence of two rifle-armed League Marines lumbering in tow."Explain yourself immediately, Miss!" the Administrator demanded.

    "I am a Civil Affairs Captain with the Ostrovakian League Navy," Sidorova replied curtly, "Citizen Kharmalov, you are hereby charged with 'Criminal Contradiction of Progress' by a Special Investigation Council of the Citizens Progress Bureau . ." Sidorova replied, waiting a breath to see if the accused would twitch or protest. Instead the Administrator's shoulders and arms slumped to the side, his body sinking in shame to his office chair.

    "What are my options for remedy?" Kharmalov asked, a trained response for such a charge. "You are ordered to furnish the League Navy with the full contents of your personal records as Administrator, and sealed within this binder is authorization by the General Secretary and his council for the Foreign Organ to dissolve into MINTCOM (Maritime International Command), you will next sign a public statement of compliance with these orders and apologize for negligence and ignorance to Citizen Glazkov's many crimes against progress!"

    "Is that all?" Kharmalov peeped wryly, resigning to the abrupt end of a twenty-six year long career.

    The Golden Pillar Hotel, Shigö, Kashtan

    As ordered the Organ for Foreign Dialogue was quickly dissolved into MINTCOM and foreign cables were dispatched first and foremost to Chernovy, and then Kashtan who would be advised of altered entry requests to redact Gennedy Kharmalov and replace him with Captain Melania Sidarova, newly minted Administrative Officer of Foreign Relations for MINTCOM. There was no doubt in her mind that the altered requests, although granted, had sent Kashtan's visa control and entire international apparatus into a tizzy with such a sudden and brazen change.

    Clad in the Naval Officers Civil Uniform, consisting of a bright blue jacket, light blue undershirt, black tie, and golden regalia to display rank, accomplishments, and the Orthodox Cross to indicate faith. Many eyes would be not on her as a person, she reminded herself, but what she represented: a nation in chaos and disarray. With consultation of Lord Admiral Orlov, she would first approach the minister from Chernovy, second the First Gentleman of Xinhai, and finally representatives from Kashtan to again thank them for complying with the sudden change and gratitude for such lavish hospitality that did not exist even in Ostrograd.
     
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  7. Nitra

    Nitra Well-Known Member

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    The Golden Pillar Hotel, Shigö

    During the Civic Process, Beiran delegations were keen on showing that the country has a militarist tradition, and because of that, usually delegations were always made of military members of the government. It became a tradition for Beiran officials to always come dressed in military uniforms. But things have changed very much since those days. For the first time in nearly a century, the military uniform was ditched and replaced by a civilian suit. Carlos Ribeiro, the Vice-Chancellor of the Confederation of Beira has arrived in Shigö and was leading the Beiran delegation. This had two goals. First, to show the world that Beira was offering the IOF enough weight to send the Vice-Chancellor, and secondly, the lack of any Beiran military member of the delegation, to show that the old regime and it's habits are all but done.

    He came to Kashtan to try to win the friendship of other left-wing nations, to be sure that Beira would have some foreign support, preferably from the Socialist World Republic, but if needed, Kashtan or Xinhai would also be good, especially in this era of uncertainty, when fascists in Beira were planting bombs and assassinating officials to make the country take a U-turn back into the days of Civism and with a potential Pelasgian support of the right-wingers.

    He was happy that he finally managed to come to Kashtan. He was fascinated by it's history and cultures and thanks to how closed the country was and to the censorship in Beira, he couldn't even dream a few months ago that he will end up in Shigö not as some exile, but as a representative of the people of Beira. Now, it was time to mingle and enjoy the evening, while tomorrow he had two main issued to talk about, the drug trade and the religious terrorism. But now, he was looking for the Xinhai and Kashtanese representatives.
     
  8. Salen

    Salen Active Member

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    Golden Pillar Hotel, Shigö, Kashtan

    As Councillor for Foreign Affairs she formally spearheaded the seven-member delegation of the Gedelands, but the attendance of King Horick's eldest son and possible successor Prince Aalwyn made her position somewhat less comfortable. For Lady Sabe is a sober, clever and ambitious person - and so is Aalwyn - and she understood what was at stake: 'the perfect opportunity for the Prince to show not only the international delegates, but more importantly our regional rulers and electors, his qualities and diplomatic skills' she thought. Aware of her own position she had no other intend than to play along, without loosing her own credibility! For if one day the College of Electors would elect Aalwyn and crown him King, this consular undertaking could prove important for her political career - more so than she initially imagined.

    The royal delegation appeared on the scene in formation, Lady Sabe and the Prince in front and as custom has it, all dressed in tuxedo's and a pitch black gown for the Foreign Councillor. The Prince only distinguishable due to his black and white royal sash. Less pompous, with a limited set of decorations and awards and rather stiff, the envoys were elegant and traditional in appearance and by doing so symbolised their (national) ideals: predominantly stoic, conservative and ambitious yet underneath very approachable, sensible and honest. Rather than the other way around, it was Foreign Councillor Sabe who introduced the Prince and her fellows to the present international delegates.
     
  9. Nicosia

    Nicosia Well-Known Member

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    Golden Pillar Hotel

    Prince Hugh was the only brother of the Grand Duke and had acted as a de facto 'ambassador at large' for Burgundian interests. While he had a reputation for professionalism, it was clear that he had a definite lack of motivation he would express behind closed doors. His military career remained far more important to him than politics. Being 4th in line to the throne, he wielded tremendous influence that he usually declined to use. Orders were orders however and he found himself in a full dress uniform of the Burgundian Navy. Though his military career was in the Air Force, Ducal protocol dictated that on formal occasions a Army or Naval uniform was to be worn. Next to him, dressed not-so-impressively, was Pierre Hugh Villier. Villier was a backrooom dealbreaker- the type Prince Hugh despised. Horse trading and secret clauses were the Villier way. But word had long been passed that his time was coming to an end as Foreign Minister. Villier's reputation was neither good nor bad in most of the international community- though he was generally viewed as an extremely boring person socially. It was to be a night of light interactions for the two delegates. If the IOF proved to have a future and future sessions would occur, a permanent ambassador might be appointed. But for now, the two men would feel out the session and the other delegations at the event.
     
  10. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Gunnish formalwear -- a black jacket with square silver buttons, white shirt, blue-and-green Gunn kilt and white socks with black sock flashes -- gave the sixty-year-old a dandyish air. His full head of black hair was now flecked with white, and -- always tall and thin -- he now seemed gaunt and, despite the kilt, even haggard.

    Hmm.
    He had never seen a light dome before. He considered the searchlights' range of motion, the angles of incidence, the timing of their illumining sweeps. Hmm. A born engineer, Jim Gallagher had been a naval architect for Cameron Shipyards for most of his career. The rare member of the Gunnish élite who had worked a nine-to-five job in a lifelong business career. Now, as prime minister/foreign minister, the government appreciated his aloofness as much as his practicality. Of course, he only had the vaguest notion that the "government" was a series of zany plots hatched by his nephew, his son-in-law, and their friends; the thought of them conjured only a nebulous sense of mild disapproval. He dreamed of retiring to tinker with ships. But the death of King Josias had resulted in a strange constitutional situation (not the only one in Gunnland): nobody was authorized to accept the prime minister's retirement.

    This was fortunate. In one important respect, James Gunn Gallagher was the perfect representative to the conventicle at Shigö: he was entirely innocent of the fact that the Gunnland was a medieval holdout. Those who complained of the vice-grip of clannism and clericalism, Jim thought, were simply exaggerating wildly. It made him more congenial than those 'young Gunns' who always seemed to be plotting and suspicious of other Europeans. Aha, the Eiffellandians! It was sort of comical that he seemed surprised to see Rudolf Kölger, whom he knew.

    "Minister Kölger, it's good to see you. I understand we, mmmm, have you to thank for the queen dowager's recovery. And the whole world is watching Eiffelland these days, to see who the next Holy Father will be."
     
  11. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    The Hotel

    Count von Schlabrendorff had once been a young cavalry officer. He still had the mustache for it, even though it was now iron grey rather than black. Still trim and with the posture he learned as a boy from the equestrian champion who taught him to ride, the count was a fine figure of a man in his white-tie. He almost wished he had his old officer's cap to put on.

    "Oh well!" he said aloud to no one in particular.

    His valet behind him smiled at the count in the mirror and asked, "Will that be all, sir?"

    The count nodded and headed out. On the way, he considered how much business he wanted to mix with pleasure. Schlabrendorff felt like a night off after having his heartfelt letter rebuffed by the PM of Satakunta. Maybe he'd just do a bit of feeling out of whose present. Yes, that seemed quite enough business for one night. Into the reception area he glided, looking around at all those present with an affable smile.
     
  12. Geotri

    Geotri Active Member

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    The Golden Pillar Hotel

    Foreign Affairs Minister Tristen Kreutzwald was accompanied by a small group of officials within the Foreign Affairs Ministry, including Ambassador Ekhardt Schroth, as they arrived in Kashtan. They are here primarily to mend old and new wounds that Geotri has caused, as well as deal with several international issues.

    While Ekhardt has become accustomed to the traditions and culture of Kashtan, Minister Tristen has not had much experience with the Kashtanese. Which has hurt Geotri in the public stage, and he was determined to fix this as his career was on the line. After his previous messages between him and several representatives left a bad mark on Geotri, he nearly was fired from his job, and as a result he was forced into attending this instead of it just being led by Ambassador Ekhardt.

    Ambassador Ekhardt had to deal directly with the backlash caused by Minister Tristen, which lead to some heated situations and some difficult diplomacy. Neither were pleased to be here, for different reasons of course. With Minister Tristen not wanting to be there and sink his career anymore, and Ambassador Ekhardt not wanting to be there with the man that made his job more difficult. But they both had to deal with this situation and decided to make the best of it, even if they had a disliking for each other.
     
  13. Vinedia

    Vinedia Member

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    Golden Pillar Hotel

    When the motorcade reaches the destination, Doge Ludovico quickly steps out of his sedan. The motorcade, composed of one sedan and two SUVs, reaches the Golden Pillar Hotel approximately at 8:00AM. As usual, the young Doge is followed by sixteen marines of the Gran Guardia de la Repùblica (Great Guard of the Republic). They are the elite of the Doge's bodyguards. Their light blue uniforms have not changed since 1797. As the protocol says, the only figure allowed to speak in the name of the Republic is the Doge himself, a condition which would suggest Doge Ludovico is a man used to international meetings and long travels, on all sorts of vehicles. But the sad reality shows the 36 years old Doge is affected by an extreme phobia for wheeled vehicles.

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    The men of the Gran Guardia de la Repùblica outside the hotel.

    The Guard quickly form a double colum behind Ludovico, who is still visibly upset by the trip, as he walks towards the entrance of the Hotel. He wears the official dress of the Doge of Vinedia. He doesn't seem to be too happy about it, but that's what the protocols say. Everyone knows how Vinedians are obsessed by protocols, rules, regulations and hyper-bureaucracy, and the Doge himself must set an example for all his subordinates.

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    The Doge's dress. In Vinedia, sobriety is never taken into account.
     
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  14. Kir Chares

    Kir Chares Well-Known Member

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    Ba Yazhao proceeded towards one of the few men he intended to visit. He doubted his nations commitment to grand international diplomacy, the likes of which Kashtan supported through initiatives just like the IOF. Afterall, wouldn't they have dispatched the Foreign Minister to preside after the first meeting, rather than he himself? He shrugged away the thought - he recognized that he'd always had low confidence in himself, and was sure that his wife had cause to entrust him with this task. One of his guards apologized on his behalf as he bumped into one of the delegates while squeezing by, and he became acutely aware that the Kashtanese delegate might not speak Gōnghuà.

    He looked back to ensure that his military linguistics attaché was accompanying him before proceeding forward, his stride swiftly bringing him to the presence of Gurak Lyam.

    "Comrade Gurak," he spoke in well-enunciated gōnghuà, parroted by an attractive female attendant, extending a hand of friendshipto the man responsible for tonight. Several others flanked the First Gentleman, but each concerned themselves with others in the crowd, flashing coy smiles but remaining quite alert. "It is a pleasure to meet you. Congratulations on this achievement, it is quite remarkable that Kashtan could be the place that would bring so many countries together. Surely, a victory for the people, and for yourself...," he allowed the compliment to linger as the soldier translated without pause.

    He caught the eyes of one of his guard and gestured to the bowls of fruit. She firmly nodded and moved to collect some food; he was curious what she would return with. Did she assume him to be the adventurous type, or would she bring him something safe?

    "How is the wife?" he asked, trying to make small talk. Relations between Xinhai and Kashtan had become stagnant, and with regional stability at risk - no thanks to Ostrovakia - he was here to ensure that the Kashtanese minister was aware of Xinhai's intent to improve them. But that conversation would come in time, he thought as the soldier returned with yellow passionfruit, rambutan, and grapes from Serenierre. She returned his smile as he spooned out the the flesh of the passionfruit; her choices had been impeccable, he thought to himself.
     
  15. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    “Good to see you too, Prime Minister Gunn Gallagher,” Kögler said enthousiasticly. “There is no need to thank us. Dr. Von Bernrode, Dr. Meyer and Dr. McAllister did what they had to do. Dr. Meyer and Dr. Von Bernrode will continue to monitor the Queen-Dowager’s health, together with Dr. Gunn McChrystal. By the way, Dr. Von Bernrode said the following about Dr. Gunn McChrystal: ‘If all Gunnish doctors are as good and inspired as him, the Gunnish health care system should be in a very good shape.’ He is willing to help Dr. Gunn McChrystal with obtaining a licence to work in Eiffelland.”

    Kögler took a sip of his orange juice. Then he continued: “Yes, indeed, the conclave. History is being written there. But it will also be important to us, because the new Pope will appoint Archbishop Strelecki’s successor. Apart from the fact that Strelecki’s successor will probably crown Prince Friedrich in 20 to 25 years, he will also shape Tiburan Catholicism in Eiffelland.”

    Meanwhile, the rest of the Eiffellandian delegation was discussing the arrival of the Vinedian Doge. People were surprised that the Kashtanese allowed the Doge to take his guard with him in such a manner. Then the Eiffellandian Königlicher Garde was a lot more subtle, which had the advantage that people planning evil didn’t know whom to shoot to get the Königlicher Garde out of the way—contrary to the Vinedian guards.
     
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  16. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    "That's kind of Doctor Von Bernrode to say." Why would Landry MacChrystal wish to practice in Eiffelland? Of course, the Gunnish healthcare system was a mess. Outside of the major cities, it was basically a network of converted Gunnish Army field hospitals now run by the Home Office but most often still staffed by army doctors. Bad socialized medicine is good for toughening a people up, Walter Matthew had written in one of his old columns. Advanced and long-term care was expensive, prohibitively so for most of the country whose insurance was provided by the clans at varying degrees of inadequacy. Still, Jim couldn't understand why so many people complained. It was better than when he was a wee bairn. Oh, it's the other northerners.

    As Kölger turned to discuss the relative merits of clandestine and ceremonial royal guardsmen with his colleagues, Prime Minister Gallagher waved at Tristen Kreutzwald and Count von Schlabrendorff.

    "Count von Schlabrendorff, we need to get a new Flying Gunnishman on the Windhaven-Amstov line rolling again, and cut an hour off the morning train to Eschenbach! The Home Office is about to announce big improvements on the GDWR* and the WHR*. If you're not a believer in the benefits of increasing trade volume from Gunnland, just ask Minister Kreutzwald, here."

    He smiled warmly at the foreign minister from Geotri. In fact, the Gunnish balance of payments deficit with that country was putting pressure on the talent, which was losing more value than the Gunnish central bank was comfortable with. So Gallagher was on a special mission to use the IOF to increase Gunnish agriculture and textile exports.

    "I was hoping we could move the ball on establishing a trilateral free trade association, a Northern Free Trade Agreement***, and if things go well in a year's time, consider reaching out to bring Bourgogne into our bloc."


    *Gunnland Down-Wash Railway, Windhaven-Highland Railway; Gunnland's two major railways. The GDWR serves Seaguard, Dalmyre, Windhaven, and joins the lines serving Eschenbach and Amstov; the WHR serves Ayr, Windhaven, Ils-des-Pins, and joins the lines serving Lans, Brienne, and southern Gallia.
    **"NORFTA," perhaps.
     
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  17. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    As the prime minister waved in his direction, Schlabrendorff nodded in greeting and walked over in time to hear the PM's remarks. Trains had always fascinated him and this talk of lines and times only increased his affable smile. For a moment, his eyes glazed over as he recalled another facet of his boyhood, his model train with carriages painted with the livery of the Royal Elbener...

    The moment came and then went; the count came to himself, laughed, and replied, "We are certainly interested in increasing trade with our Gunnish neighbors. And trade with Geotri as well." He executed a smart bow to Kreutzwald before going on, "As for a trade bloc, my master His Majesty may be willing to entertain such a proposal, with the proper conditions attached to safeguard and maintain our native Elbenese industries."
     
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  18. Geotri

    Geotri Active Member

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    Minister Kreutzwald was welcomed to see a representative of Gunnland, who have been on great terms with Geotri for decades, "Ah yes, the Gunnish products are of high quality and well worth constructing better trade relations. A pleasure to meet you Count von Schlabrendorff," He says as they shake hands, he then turns his attention back to Prime Minister Gunn Gallagher. "That would certainly make our time here well spent, I am sure those back home would approve establishing this."

    While Minister Kreutzwald continued on talking with the group, Ambassador Ekhardt decided to break off and introduce himself to the Gedish delegation. He did a bow to the Prince Aalwyn then shook hands with Foreign Councillor Sabe, "A pleasure to meet you, I am Ambassador Ekhardt from Geotri. And if I remember my time spent being an ambassador in Gedeland correctly, you must be Foreign Councillor Sabe." He flashed a smile at her, he remembered her well from his time in Gedeland, however the young prince was someone he has not seen nor interacted with at all.
     
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  19. Crotobaltislavonia

    Crotobaltislavonia Well-Known Member

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    The Golden Pillar Hotel, Shigö, Kashtan

    Minister Jedreck entered the gala and began circulating. The mission tonight: be neighborly. After a turn around the room and getting the lay of the land, Jedreck ambled up to the delegation from Bourgogne and smiled disarmingly. With a refined Slavonian accent, the Minister bowed and introduced himself.

    "Maximilian Jedreck, Foreign Minister from the Free Canton of Crotobaltislavonia. And you are?"
     
  20. Beautancus

    Beautancus Timeout

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    The Golden Pillar Hotel, Shigö, Kashtan

    Though he too had been less than pleased to learn of the emphasis the Kashtanese were placing on the attending national delegations staying at their jumped-up massage parlor, Ilyaz Yedisanski, Deputy Vice-President for Foreign Affairs, 15th Regency Council of the Sovereignty of Chernovy would never so much as hint at that fact, not least of all because of the policy this Regency so rigorously adhered to. That being a polite mask of deference, more often than not feigned - and in such a way as to be clearly thus, but Ilyaz had no intention of pushing that too far in whatever matters came to be at hand in the next few days. There was far too much riding on these performances.

    Thanking whatever agnostic's deity there was above him for the preternatural acuity and speed of the SSS (Special Communications Service) in being able to anticipate his needs for this engagement so well, delivered tailored as it were, for his ease of use. It seemed to him that most of the Regency Council was still in as much of a state of shock as his own office of Foreign Affairs that things had deteriorated as quickly as they had in Ostrograd...but the reports prepared and waiting for him were no less detailed, and perhaps with even more depth, than what he was normally accustomed to. Nearly so quickly as the Lord Admiral in acting to restore order to what was, had been and likely always would be Chernovy's most important ally and trading partner -if not the farther provinces, as many within the financial establishment were daring to murmur, after the shock to the market of the previous weeks. Another thing that it would do to put out of your mind altogether, at least for now, Ilyaz reminded himself as he ground the last embers of a cigarette in the crystalline ashtray furnished for his suite's balcony. Best tighten up and get out there - earn the ridiculous boyar's salary they're paying you now.

    Frowning his own voice out from within the echoing walls of the back of his mind, Ilyaz gave himself a nearly absent-minded glance in the mirror on the way out. Charm and physical appeal were things for which he'd never found himself in short supply, nor did any man serving in the Krutop Regency find their way out of doors without first being clothed in such a manner as to reflect the ideals of the modern Sovereignty, whether in the finest cut of suit as he found himself in now, or the best-pressed dress and brass for those still in active duty service - which he had not been for nearly fifteen years. Ilyaz did break from tradition somewhat in being completely clean-shaven, something of an anomaly in often doggedly Orthodox Chernovy.

    Not at all anomalous were the tattoos so long ago and so deeply inked into his flesh, marking his service in the Naval Infantry, his induction into the Order of the Vine - and other markings that identified him as something like nobility within the Bratva*, though none of that variety were anything close to visible above the line of his collar.

    As was a matter of protocol and far more immediately pertinent necessity than was typically the case, Vice-Regent Yedisanski, as his office was almost always referenced, checked his (Sanity) party cuff-links and started for Captain Sidarova as soon as he caught sight of her - again the quality of the SSS dossier struck him, they'd somehow managed to pick a photo that was just off from exactly as she appeared this very moment. A topic that bore discussion with "his boss" on returning home, like the rest.

    "Captain Sidarova, I pray that present circumstances find you doing well? I would imagine you are somewhat more accustomed to life outside of the halls of the most august offices of government than I, and I must confess to being more than a little happy to see how the other...side...lives. That said, and as I'm sure you've no doubt, I've taken the opportunity to express my great personal alarm and concern for current state of affairs across the Gulf," Ilyaz was careful to gauge the Ostrovak's level of comfort and openness, here as much as in her actual responses to him.

    He suspected she was as well informed as he was, at the least, and likely far better so, on this matters at least. For the same reasons, and from the same hand - all the more. "I must also let slip that I was more than a little relieved to see your Lord Admiral on television as he was the other day. It seemed almost a page from our own Sanity playbook, if I might be so bold!"

    *"Brotherhood," very generally analogous to the Russian "mafiya"
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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