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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    Lyam was walking through the crowds, extending cordial greetings and short conversations here and there before continuing to greet the next delegation. This kind of formulaic exchange was second nature for him at this point, he had spoken to hundreds, no, probably thousands of functionaries throughout his career in the Democratic Party. If one wanted to progress in the party, one needed to be a people person (not just in the ideological sense) - or have the correct connections. Having both didn't hurt either.

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs threw a glance at a waiter passing by, a list with attendees and small photos next to the names tugged under his arm. At around the second third of the page, a line had been manually crossed out by hand and something added in handwriting. Ah yes, the Ostrovakian matter, the man with the distinctive Tocharian features said to himself, his hand pushing the hair of his receding dark brown hairline away from his high forehead, as was his quirk. That was something else that would have to be dealt with, preferably during the session.

    The Kashtanese was forced out of his internal musings as he noticed a figure approaching him.

    Look at that, he thought as Yazhao was opening up. Of course he wasn't talking about the rather unimposing Xinhese man, but rather his attractive female sidekicks. The grandeur of the display was almost comical to him, which was an impressive feat to pull off in Kashtan, a land that was by no means a stranger to unnecessary displays of rank and privilege.

    "A victory for all of use, Comrade...Yazhao", he replied, with only the slightest hint of hesitation. "This would not have been possible without the attendance of people like you, and the endorsement of people like your wife."

    Even though he said it, the sentence was still bizarre to him. Women in leadership rules were a rarity in Kashtan.

    "Now more than ever we need stability, which I hope the IOF will be able to provide a humble step towards. With the Papist disaster unfolding, God...", he chuckled, "God knows what's in store for Europe. In a world like this, any agreement we will depart with here is a step forward from what we have right now in my book."

    "Of course, I hope we might find some time for more...intimate talks as well. Multilateralism, all fine and good, but some things are best left to talks between friends. Between comrades."

    The Kashtanese face of the event began pulling away at an orange he had requested from one of Yazhao's trophy guards with a laconic smile and continued.

    "Malika? Ah yes, she's doing fine. I mean, not as fine as your wife I presume, but, you know." He forced himself to smile. The truth was his wife was still recovering from her pneumonia attack last year in a sanatorium at the shores of the Golden Sea. He counted himself lucky to have worked himself into a position where he could circumvent the notoriously disastrous public health system to fly in Eiffellandian doctors and medicine. If she had still been a commoner, of she had married another man, she would probably have been dead now. She had chosen wisely.

    He did however not count himself lucky to witness the rather hapless attempt of the First Gentlemen to gracefully eat a passionfruit.

    "Well, if you'll excuse me - I'll get back to you shortly, but I am afraid that I haven't finished my introductions yet", he finally said as he forced himself to break from the sight unfolding before his eyes, bowing towards the eastern comrade before greeting the next delegation.
     
  2. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Prime Minister Gallagher smiled at Count von Schlabrendorff and Minister Kreutzwald. This ready coöperation bodes well for our region. "Well, I think the next step will be to send the trade negotiators to Windhaven to start hammering out an agreement that would open our economies to one another, without leaving them vulnerable to the big powerhouse economies of Europe."

    Overhearing the Crotobaltislavonian foreign minister, James Gunn Gallagher spun around, one eyebrow arched. It wasn't the smoothest of interruptions, but it was immediately obvious that the Gunnish prime minister wasn't overly endowed with social grace.

    "You don't know Prince Hugh and Mr. Villier? Allow me to introduce you to the gentlemen who keep the peace in central Gallia. On that note, Mr. Villier, I have a message for you and his royal highness." He handed the Burgundian foreign minister a note written on the prime minister's stationary. "Mr. Jedreck, Jim Gallagher."

    He stood awkwardly now between the delegations from Eiffelland, Geotri, Elben, Bourgogne, and Crotobaltislavonia, having taken care of all his pressing business, and pretended to take an interest in the Eiffellandians' discussion of ducal guard uniforms. These Eiffellandians are so... encyclopedic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  3. Polesia

    Polesia Well-Known Member

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    Vladimir Pinski arrived characteristically late. Surrounded by a small gathering of advisers and translators, he hung awkwardly in the corners of the room, sipping whatever alcohol he could find quietly, and giving the occasional nod of acknowledgement whenever a recognised face passed.

    It had been a tough few months for the Trivodnian External Affairs minister. His flagship policy - deepening ties with Kadikistan - had backfired spectacularly, as Ivar continued to throw temper tantrums designed to belittle the Free State. From extraordinary customs checks to erratically closing the border, the New Order in Kadikistan at times didn't feel too different from the old one. Thankfully for Pinski, Kadikistan had decided to boycott the International Open Forum, viewing it as a threat to the series of bilateral and multilateral treaties designed to balance its foreign interests with that of other powers. An altercation, or even worse, a friendly photograph with a Kadikistani representative, would have proven politically explosive back home.

    Trivodnia's position on the frontline against Marxism-Leninovism had won it some support from the likes of Burgundy, Eiffelland and Pelasgia, who, understandably, wanted to keep Communism contained. But the truth was the small country didn't have any real friends on the world stage. Partly down to its strict constitutional neutrality, forced upon it as a condition for peace and independence by Kadikistan, the Free State was limited in how it could interact with others. Even simple deals like trade agreements or intelligence sharing could prove politically contentious. So Trivodnia remained an awkward party in global affairs, but more tragically condemned to irrelevance, lacking any serious economic or military weight as well as any direction.

    True, the Free State had recently emerged as a leading voice in the chorus demanding more must be done in the war on drugs. It had even co-signed a letter with Kashtan, the IOF host, urging wealthier nations, whose citizens are primary consumers of narcotics, to give financial aid to both countries to support anti-drugs efforts.

    The whole thing was a slight farce, given the extensive involvement from politicians in both nations in the production and distribution of drugs, and had hitherto been mostly ignored by the international community. But at the IOF, Trivodnia, along with Kashtan, saw an opportunity to raise the issue again, and help bring in much needed foreign cash.

    The two states had always had a weird relationship. Both on the fringes of a power hungry empire, back channel discussions on how to best tame Ivar were a regular occurrence. Not long ago however Shigö had been firmly in the Kadikistani fold, and a fervent enemy of the Free State. How times changed.

    Pinski continued to sip his drinks, impatiently checking his phone. There was an election going on back home (not that anyone here was likely to know), and the minister was desperate to be kept in the loop. But the reality was he was sent to the Golden Pillar Hotel to be out of it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  4. Xinhai

    Xinhai Well-Known Member

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    He ran a finger along his chin to clean up some of the fruitflesh that had dribbled out of his mouth, watching as the Kashtanese minister moved away with all the diplomatic grace he could muster. It was apparent, to him at least, that the Kashtanese minister had no stomach to speak with him at this time. His interpreter politely translated the Kashtanese ministers regards, but he knew better. Perhaps he was more interested in relations with the West, Yazhao thought to himself. There were palms to be greased, he knew, and Kadikistan loomed over relations between Kashtan and Xinhai like a stern, punitive father.

    He knew it, although others were loathe to admit the truth. Xinhai fell within the Kadikistani sphere, and even though they were absent, they were ever present. Perhaps Shigö sought to stretch their legs. His eyes moved through the crowd and found the representative of Chernovy as well as a woman dressed in bright blue, her eyes flashing to him with intent if only for a moment. He glanced at the flag emblazoned on her uniform and knew, at that moment, that it wasn't just Shigö stretching its legs. The region was a tinder box and Ostrovakia lay at the center, a match ready to blaze. It seemed that it was the season for coups, and a leftist regime like Xinhai's would naturally be apprehensive of the events transpiring in Ostrograd.

    The woman in blue and Ba Yazhao would need to speak tonight, for there were not many opportunities to do so. Perhaps this had been why his wife had dispatched him - the People's Republic was hesitant to communicate with Ostrograd in an official capacity. The People's Republic was considering pulling its embassy from Ostrograd and had not recognized the new government; a counter-revolution was easy to recognize, and Orlov had executed a near masterpiece. Instability was a centrifugal force, Xinhaiese political doctrine held, and it needed to be contained.

    Now, there were almost no other chances for dialogue, and pens would be replaced with rifles if left unused. His accompanying guard caught the target of his eyes and stiffened. Perhaps they, too, had realized. For now, however, the lady was busy, and perhaps there were others intent to speak with him. He popped a grape into his mouth and clenched his jaws, unaware of the burst of juice that escaped his lips.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  5. Vinedia

    Vinedia Member

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    The Golden Pillar Hotel, Shigö, Kashtan

    Doge Ludovico Dandolo finally reaches the table where exotic fruit and alcoholic beverages are served to the many guests in the room. He seems to be struggling while moving around in such a lavish dress. Each time he attempts to grab one of the fruits, the cape irremediably slips on his arm. After the third attempt, one of his ducal guards, probably moved by compassion, grabs the fruit and hands it to the Doge.

    Ludovico is not used to such meetings. The foreign policy of the Vinedia has been characterized by a self-imposed isolationism for the last 200 years, since the Great Reforms of 1797. In the past, Vinedian governments exercised their hegemony over the Retalian Sea by signing trade agreements with the various coastal settlements in the region and by assimilating them into its cultural and economic sphere. At the height of its expansion, Vinedia controlled much of the Retalian shores, including some islands far in the south.

    During its history, Vinedia has rarely resorted to warfare except when the very existence of the Republic was at stake. Due to this rather pacifict doctrine, very unusual during late-antiquity and the middle ages, Vinedia has never posed as threat for the nations of Europe. As of today neither rivalries or particularly warm relations exist between the Republic of Vinedia and any of the nations represented in the ongoing international meeting.

    But Doge Ludovico appears to be out of place nonetheless. He obverves the diplomats and the ministers, along with their functionaries, dressed in modern suits, laughing and shaking hands. He is sorrounded by his Ducal Guards, who stand around the Doge and seem to be confused as much as he is. Ludovico catches his reflection in a mirror and realizes how anachronistic his country has become. Some of the conservatives in Vinedia affirm the Republic's traditions are the only hope for the future. However, the 36 years old Doge - the youngest Doge in the history of the Republic - is slowly but steadily becoming aware that Vinedia must embrace modernity as soon as possible, or it will follow the fate of prehistoric reptiles who failed to adapt to a mutating environment.
     
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  6. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    It is a pity that the Pelasgians aren’t there, Kögler thought. He thought they could support positions he wanted to take. But maybe the Pelasgians would come later. Hopefully they would come later. The Pelasgians were not the only delegation he would like to see though. He was happy to see Prince Hugh and the Burgundian Minister for Foreign affairs at this conference. He decided to greet them.

    “Good evening, Your Highness. Good evening Minister Villiers. How are you?” he asked in French.
     
  7. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Schlabrendorff fell back a bit as the group continued to grow. The count looked pleased with himself and the world around him. Something to drink though would make it even better! Glancing around, he spied the doge and the fruit and made his way over. Using the table and all it had to offer to circumvent a formal introduction and the bodyguards, he pointed at something for the attendant to get for him and then looked at the doge.

    "Your Sereneness, may I order something for you?"

    His diplomatic French was flawless.
     
  8. Engellachia

    Engellachia Administrator

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    ATTN: Chernovy

    Vice-Regent Yedisanki appeared before Captain Sidarova just as her hunch that he might actually be found in the men's latrine or closet tending to one of his infamous addictions. "Vice-Regent, the Admiral sends his regards, sir." she greeted with a knowing nod - for Radagora probably knew more about Orlov's machinations and motivations than even she.

    "One cannot plant a fruit tree for example without breaking the earth at least a little," Sidorova explained, his queries as to her comfort not unusual but annoying, "To grow and truly blossom in this career I must expose myself to all of nature's elements - greatest of all being the greed and desire of men, no?" she suggested with a grin. "The Lord Admiral has a plan for me, the League, and the Frontier as a whole. Perhaps you know it already?" her smile growing.

    Captain Sidarova scanned the room for a moment and her smile quickly vanished, her gaze turning back to Ilyaz Yedisanki, "To be honest with you though, the only discomfort I feel is that within this room I see no less than 10 ambassadors and dignitaries who I know for evident fact are child molesters or traffickers. And I can see most of them pretending that they do not drink alcohol this evening as well." she scoffed.

    "Do you have a cigarette, sir?" Melania inquired in a hushed whisper, aware he was in possession of this and more.
     
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  9. Occitania

    Occitania Active Member

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    Upon arrival at the hotel, Eleusium Aebutus, Tracars for Julius Apple dressed in a royal blue robe and wearing a silver belt went straight to order food. Occitans refused to fly unless in a threatened situation and Eleusium arrived in Kashtan via ship then took his horseless carriage which was decorated with red and bronze to the hotel. So by the time he arrived all he had eaten was Occitan bread and grapes.
     
  10. Vinedia

    Vinedia Member

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    "Indeed Count von Schlabrendorff, thank you very much. I think i will order a glass of wine.. provided it is up to expectations, of course.."

    While the Count's attendant pours a drop of red wine in the glass, Ludovico adjusts his Corno Dogale, the Doge's hat. Unlike the Doge, Count von Schlabrendorff seems to be used to international meeting. At least by the flawless diplomatic french he unveils during the conversation. On the contrary, Doge Ludovico's french is heavily influenced by his Vinedian accent.

    "Please bring my greetings to His Majesty the King. It's been a long time since the Republic of Vinedia and the Kingdom of Elben had a diplomatic contact, but i am sure if we had the chance to investigate our state archives we'd discover important pieces of the history of our nations and possibly of Europe.. but given the ammount of dust gathered in the past centuries, and the bad humour of the functionaries who take care of our archives, i think it would be best to concentrate on the present"

    The Count's attendant finally hands Ludovico a glass of red wine. The Doge carefully looks trought the glass and slowly takes a sip of the beverage. By the look on his face, he seems to be neither impressed or disappointed.
     
  11. Touzen

    Touzen Administrator Staff Member

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    The highest-ranking Kashtanese in the room continued to greet the different delegations, exchanging short pleasantries here and there while avoiding those that he would have little to trade with except insults - the arrival of the Gunnish Prime Minister in particular had been a curious oddity to Lyam. What on earth was he doing at an event that was not sanctified by his reactionary cult?Whatever the reason was, Lyam wasn't keen on finding out, the man shared probably very little in terms of language to begin with and even less when it came to ideas.

    The unofficial contender for the place of second man in Kashtan (among several other men, all vying for the only realistically attainable position below the enigmatic and almost unassailable President) spent more than the few minutes he had given himself for every delegation with Plinski from Trivodnia. The two states had recently been hatching up a common scheme to beg for international money, and both would be keen to bring the topic to the forefront of the agenda of the IOF. In the back of his mind Lyam was worried whether there would truly be enough time and room to discuss the issue as well or whether that would be a topic for the second IOF, but he nevertheless thanked Pinski for the recent cooperation and went over some of the details for the next day with him - when the topic would come up, the Trivodnian man would speak up, while he, as the host country's representative, would join in later. The minister was not keen on Kashtan dominating the entirety of the event on its own, especially with such a peculiar topic involved.

    As he passed the delegations from Chernovy and Eiffelland he made a mental note to speak to both later that evening - one on accounts of the recent events in Ostrovakia, the other to see if he could bargain for any sort of movement in the Schwarzmann affair. Perhaps the Germanian state was willing to make concessions to let the Tiburan agitator go.

    "Ah, Vice-Chancellor", he hawked as he spotted the Beiran sampling some local Kasi nuts. "I see you have taken to our local specialties. Just like your country seems to have taken to the ideas of not being a lapdog of the reactionary cabal any longer", he grimaced and grabbed himself a handful of Kasis.

    "Trust me, it's a particular pleasure to receive you here. Only a few years, what am I saying, weeks, ago, this would have been an absurd meeting. All the better to have you here. I fear that the ghouls of Propontis must have been very tempted to make accidents happen to your plane on the way here. From what I gathered, they have not been too happy about recent events at all, regardless of what they proclaim in public. But you and me both, we know the truth."
     
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  12. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Schlabrendorff tested his own wine. It wasn't bad. His initial sip was followed by a more eager gulp, though that was about all he allowed himself. The glass for the moment became something to hold and wave around if needed.

    "I will certainly pass along your greetings. His Majesty looks forward to furthering his relations with Vinedia. And allow me to compliment you on your attire." He gestured at the hat in particular with his wine glass, "Elben is a bit of a mish-mash of ethnic groups. The majority Germanians are themselves split by where they live along the Elb and then there are other minorities. His Majesty has little opportunity to wear any one form of dreass, being a man of many hats, you might say."

    The count chuckled at his own turn of phrase.
     
  13. Warre

    Warre Well-Known Member

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    The Drunken Crane Public House, Yi'an, People's Republic of Xinhai

    LATE NIGHT

    TWO DAYS BEFORE THE IOF MEETING




    He could not for the life of him remember what it was that had started the fight, but within this pub he had already dodged so many attacks he thought of himself as a stand-in for a Wing Sing martial arts movie star. Roger Roy Willis was the type who normally would have no problem remembering, but he had been taking shots with a Yi'aner associate of his (A Wu ethnic, as far as he understood), and the clear liquor that he initially thought tasted like petrol had ended up hitting him like a MAC truck after the thirtieth shot. He could barely even remember his name none the less what had happened five minutes ago, but as the brawl swallowed up the Pub and its occupants began fighting each other he found himself thrown across a card table by what might have very well been a large bear wearing people's clothes. The throw launched the cards on the table, and among the varied playing cards used, he saw something that reminded him.



    It was a card for playing the popular gambling card game, 'Diamond Road', and the ten of spades, or the 'White Barbarian' flew past his site. Memory came back to him, and he remembered it all now. The gangster coming up behind him and telling him to move in English, before adding 'Engellexic Devil' in Xinhaiese. Which had forced the response of that motor oil tasting liquor being smashed right in the gangster's handsome little nose and the side of his face.



    Soon both Roger's friends and the gangster's friends had jumped in on each other's side, and following that the entire bar seemed engulfed in the skirmish. While he saw his associate slip out the back door he paused and considered following suit, but stopping after being thrown only brought the group of gangsters around him. With a hail of punches they brought him to the ground, grabbed him and then decided to throw him right through the front window of the pub.



    Ten minutes later he woke to the high pitched klaxons of the Yi'an Capital Police, and it took a hour of telling them who he was in slurred Xinhaiese before they just checked his papers and realized that he was the Firesean Equivalent of an envoy or ambassador to Xinhai. His Yujing handler was called and soon he was escorted back to the small brick and mortar building where the Firesean government rented the top two floors of as ambassadorial offices and an ad hoc embassy.





    The Golden Pillar Hotel, Shigö, Kashtan

    PRESENT



    It was needless to say that after such an event there was no way of fixing the appearance of Firesea Union Junior Custodian of Foreign Affairs Roger Roy Willis. A man who had been given medical care only the day before, the stitched and bandaged officer of the Firesea Union executive branch none the less strode proudly towards the Golden Pillar Hotel. Aside from his wounds, his lack of title or high rank in his government, and his lack of accompanying bodyguards, the Firesean was just as well dressed as the others. Wearing a pair of comfortable highlander boots*, a blue-green-and-orange plaid which was held in place by a broach featuring the Firesea Union's stylized sun and triskele emblem,** a black suit with matching black highlander* wide brim he moved with confidence but didn't bother to butt in to anyone's conversation.



    He had been chosen by his government both because he spent plenty of time in Xinhai and Kashtan as the envoy of the Firesea Union to those nations, and because he had no high rank or internationally visible accomplishments to make him seem like a big mark for diplomacy or espionage. He could watch the events unfold and more importantly listen and remember what happened before reporting back any useful information to Black Mountain. While any other diplomat might have called for a replacement in his situation, with the bandages and obvious marks of having been in a fight, any assessment by others of his intelligence or him being someone to watch, would be nill.



    He was just another stereotypical roughneck from the good ol' F.U.



    *In the Firesea Union most of the 'great plains' are higher in elevation than otherwise they would be, and as such the equivalent of 'cowboys' for them are called 'Highlanders'. These highlanders generally dress as one would expect a cowboy or vaquero to dress including even wearing panchos or carrying blankets over their shoulders when it is especially cold or stormy.



    **And a plaid, for those who don't know, is a Gunnish (and who knows maybe pan-celtic) blanket made with a tartan pattern, which is worn over the shoulder and pinned with a broach.
     
  14. Vinedia

    Vinedia Member

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    "Ah yes.. my attire. Well, Count von Schlabrendorff, sooner or later one has to wonder if status quo actually provides any benefit, or if it is the expression of a national effort to reject and dismiss any form of progress. Traditions are important indeed. This attire has never changed in the past thirteen centuries.. it has been improved here and there, mostly the quality of the fabrics.. but when attires represent an obstacle between you and a glass of wine, that might be the right moment to rediscuss who you are and why you are dressing in a certain way."

    Doge Ludovico surely represents the youth of Vinedia. He does not deny or reject tradition, but he strongly believes tradition can coexist with modernity and individual rights. He drinks the last drop of wine in his glass then turns once again to Count Schlabrendorff.

    "I am indeed interested in furthering the relations with Elben. We do wish to join international politics, and that's the reason why i'm here.. but i think our historical neutral stance in international affairs should be preserved."
     
  15. Bergenheim

    Bergenheim Well-Known Member

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    Entering with customary tardiness, the First Hand of the Keys, Bergenheim's top ambassador, envoy and plenipotentiary without portfolio, Angela Zweigler quickly seated herself with a warm, buttery smile. Looking around the room, she was quite probably the prettiest person there. At only thirty-five years old, she was also among the youngest.

    Adjusting her spectacles- purely for show, she had perfect eye-sight- the immaculate, attractive blonde woman in a low-cut business suit quickly laid out her papers.

    Seeing that her hurried entrance- in which her sizable bosom had strained against her low-cut business jacket and shirt- had drawn more than a few glances, she quickly made to apologise in flawless, Eiffel-accented Engellexic. "Do pardon me, please."

    She folded her hands neatly, and quickly adopted a relaxed, professional demeanour, despite the slight sheen of sweat on her brow and chest.

    Bergenheim was practicing its age-old diplomatic practice of being quietly noticed as usual. Passive yet present. Angela's other assets might also be seen as representing the famous mountains of her homeland, as well, and the attention they drew might charitably be attributed to her audience's love of symbolism, and not anything more crude.
     
  16. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    Quite possibly the most boring man in all of Implaria, Rudolph Hull had earned his position as state secretary for foreign affairs by possessing two virtues: loyalty to his party and ideological flexibility. Whatever twists and turns president Winters reform course had to make over the course of his two terms, Hull had been at his side and followed the more charismatic, more proactive politician without fault.

    The visit to Kashtan, partaking in the International Open Forum, was an obligatory one, but Hull had come with little agenda to speak of. Of course, trying to break up the unlikely alliances that had formed to oppose the interests of the World Republic in Himyar and beyond was always on the table and it was considered a good sign that Kadikistan had chosen not to partake in the forum, its propaganda machine openly criticizin the Kasthanese endeavour. An opening, perhaps, for Deliverance to strengthen ties with Shigö at Ivars expense.

    With the presidential elections at full swing back home, however, other goals would take priority. Clint Hill, the candidate of the Social Democrats, was running on a platform of reforms and international normalization. Foreign aggressions and hostilities against the SWR would undermine that ticket and strengthen radicals in both parties. Hull had been told personally by the president to use this opportunity and communicate this clearly to foreign powers present at the IOF. Any more such moves as the sudden travel ban the Gunnish had declared and they could kiss hopes of market liberalization goodbye.

    Hull entered the forum, trying to locate the Gunnish delegation. The small, unimposing man was quickly lost in the crowd. His grey-in-grey choice of attire did little to help him stand out more than the his short stature, bald head or rimmed glasses did.
     
  17. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

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    Schlabrendorff nodded at this talk of the doge's garments. Inwardly he agreed, but of course he wasn't about to say anything aloud. Elben was a land where modernity was held back as best as possible, its corruption well recognized. This revelry came to an end as the doge shifted gears.

    The count replied easily, "Neutrality is not an easy policy in Elben's neighborhood. But we do our best to keep out of the way of those who would engage in reckless conflict while maintaining our security. As for Vinedia and Elben, I'm sure we can find a way to build a stronger relationship without compromising Vinedian neutrality. Easing the way for tourism for instance."

    Schlabrendorff finished speaking just as the representative of Bergenheim entered his line of sight and he frowned. "If I may, Your Sereneness, it is better to be overdressed than under."
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  18. Beautancus

    Beautancus Timeout

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    Beautancus
    His pulse quickening every so slightly with the scent of the woman, quite a bit younger than he, in his nostrils - one ever so slightly higher and wider than the other, worn from years of careful if not always discreet use - Ilyaz smiled blandly, though his only slightly age-weathered eyes told no such tale. His own gaze followed about the room, lingering here and there for an instant as hers had. There were indeed men present that even he could label as vile without the sting of hypocrisy.

    "I most certainly do, dear Kapitan, would you care to join me for one?" Producing a dulled-pewter case around the size one might expect for a cigarette case, a bit larger here. Slyly smiling with her affirmation, and a gentle, albeit very (intentionally) obvious protective arch of the arm just around her shoulders, Ilyaz led them back to his quarters, having really only just exited. Hertovski glupnyy Radya i Vadya, his boss and his (boss') brother -and very much keeper- were very likely to hear of this in the wrong light before he was able to provide some form of explanation.

    As this sort of dilemma went, at least this one involved the guarantee of...cultivating...a positive working relationship with a new, very attractively female and unexpectedly amenable colleague.

    The girl was smart enough to wait for him to make any moves in the room, or to speak for that matter. With a knowing finger lifted between then, he produced the same cigarette case from before and deftly thumbed it open. From it he very quickly lifted two cigarettes, and three lighters. "And for you, Melania Sidarova," he lit the cigarette for her, waiting to make sure that she smoked with the relish of one actually, truly, accustomed to so despoiling their own lungs. The which he certainly was, sparking his own to life and turning for a moment flipping open one of the other, at this point very intriguingly conspicuous, lighters and placing it on the bar between them. Ilyaz winked, and stooped to the nearest window, flipping that lighter open also and pushing it flush with the pane of the glass.

    The beautiful Ostrovak's knowing nod, the slight incline of her and head, the wry arch of a single eyebrow and the corresponding upward arch of her full smile told Ilyaz that she understood and no further explanation was required. Listening devices could be and indeed were very small. Those devices to effectively baffle or outright defeat them tended to be slightly - but not much - larger. It would be no surprise that someone as highly placed or well-briefed as Yedisanksi (without regard to his not at all insignificant military and intelligence service experience) would come with some of the best possible solutions to the age old quandary of finding and securing some level of privacy in an environment a frog's hair from utterly controlled in his very pocket.

    "A right and proper master of the trade taught me that trick," he nodded to the window, "...makes it impossible to reconstruct anything by refracting any of the very carefully placed vibrators..." she stopped him, a gentle but firm hand on his chest, probing beyond his coat and to the buttons of his shirt. They both laughed at his not entirely untimely joke, and for some minutes made the very best of the privacy he'd purchased for them.
     
  19. Engellex

    Engellex Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
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    Location:
    Kingdom of London
    Capital:
    Hammersmith
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    Engellex/Britnae
    Opening Session of the International Open Forum
    Shigö, Kashtan


    A simplified interior, remarked Northern President Anne Siward in observation to the change of decoration on Southern Prime that could be seen. Siward was participating in a video conference call with Southern President Seraphina Underwood, both en route to Shigo for the Kashtanese opening of the first session of the International Open Forum, and both in the air. Southern Prime was the Republic Air Force designation for the Ēastre supersonic passenger jet in service to carry the Southern President; Northern Prime for the Northern President; Republic Prime for the Lord Protector; and Parlement One - Five for important office holders of the Engellexian Republic Parlement, including one for the Northern Congress and another for the Southern. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Joint Committee, Lord Benjamin Boxer, was not a participant to the video call despite also being en route, on board Parlement One. Politically speaking, the Engellexian Republic had been mobilised for the curiosity that was this new standard of international diplomacy, a standard that, in truth, they did not particularly like, or care for.

    Seraphina smiled. The state interior was a little too.. ducal for me, so I rearranged the mood. The decor of Northern Prime, for example, incorporated walls all hung with fine blue silk, blue leather tuffed chairs, and dark wood finished floors. Southern Prime was positively business, with its clean grey walls and soft brown leather chairs. I have not completely abandoned the silk standard, I simply have yet to find the appropriate tone, but I am sure it is on it's way, said Seraphina. Vladimir Pinski.. a Trivodnian, a concern, she added, as she resumed reading a select number of documents. A character of concern? Questioned Siward. No, not necessarily, said Seraphina, looking up from her papers, just his enthusiasm for control of narcotics. Siward was in agreement. Quite. I have had my own discussions with Lord Boxer, extensive discussions. The duplicity of their cause would be embarrassing to some important interests to the Republic, should the IOF be mildly sympathetic.. mildly competent. And.. and I would not want our people to burden the financial consequences of those belonging to lesser nations.

    Lord Boxer share anything on Gallegan participation? Asked Seraphina abruptly. Lord Boxer, said Siward quite reservedly, having only said his name to break any tension that should simmer at she having nothing to share. Continues to keep his own counsel on the subject. I cannot say whether they (Foreign Affairs Joint Committee) are prepared or preparing to open dialogue with the Gallegans on normalising trade relations, fully. There was a short pause. The Southern President sighs. Of course, when it first arrived to her attention that there were talks of negotiating away the exclusionary barriers on each other's vessels from each other's ports and territorial waters, there was understandable frustration, if not open outrage. Gallega has to rescind their legislated objection to the Engell Human Commodity System for ports to be open, as it was their righteous and interfering objection that had them closed, anything less would be a diplomatic defeat, or worse, an admission of the Republic's unique system of human value as naked slavery. The International Open Forum could prove quite dangerous in this regard. The Southern Congress, and it's Presidency, wants the suggestion dropped - or their objection publicly retracted, immediately, informed Seraphina softly, with a truly cold smile.

    The Northern Congress, and I, speaking a little frankly if you will, are in an agreement with you, Siward replied. But I believe more time may be required on this. Seraphina continued with her cold smile. I have wondered whether it was a competent move on my part to bring you in on this matter, with our quiet agreement concerning the Thaumantic Games. The Thaumantic Games, and the grand effort to pull everyone on board with them, belongs - completely unknown publicly - to Northern President Anne Siward. Herself and her faction within the Northern Congress have been moving heaven and earth to have over half the Republic Navy scrapped and rebuilt, expanded even. Nationalist pride is certainly partly responsible, they are the First Republicans, and the Engellexian Republic Parlement is in broad agreement for modernisation, however, personal and local interest sit at the heart of this want of mass industrial expansion. So much money. We were in agreement, Seraphina reminded her. Yes, we have an agreement. It is not a matter one forgets, replied Siward sternly. No, it isn't, said Seraphina with a much softer tone. I hope our time in Shigo can prove beneficial to you. I certainly do appreciate the opportunity it has afforded me. Siward respectfully nodded her acceptance.

    The video conference was, shortly after, ended.

    Just over an hour later. One after another, Parlement One, Northern Prime, and Southern Prime landed, in that order. It was very late in to the evening. There was an opening white tie reception, but the Engellexian Republic respectfully declined to attend. The other attendees, by this time, were already indulging upon the generous hospitality of the Kashtanese government, no doubt intoxicated and bloated from self-overindulgence. To those in the Republic, this was no time and place for such slipping of character.

    Coursing out from the airport grounds to the inner urbanscape of Shigo was a motorcade of nine unassuming black Jaguar XJ Sentinels and six black Range Rovers, delivering the Chairman, the Northern and the Southern Presidents to the Golden Pillar Hotel. The Engell embassy in Shigo had much and did much to arrange. Naturally, more vehicles were required than held on the embassy estate, in fact, only one armoured Jaguar was in service, for the ambassador.

    Seraphina's heartbeat was quickening, but not racing. There was a sense of defiance toward this new way, this new order, a feeling of calm before an unrelenting storm. To her right sat her husband, gently holding her hand as they both enjoyed that short moment of simply existing in absolute silence, undisturbed. Bright street lamps, and signage, occasionally casting beams of light through and across their compartment. The car slowly rolled to a halt. For a moment, it was almost sad, to Seraphina anyway, having a sudden and very short feeling of dependence on her husband's strength and confidence of character. But it was short lived, if truly lived at all. No, she retracted her hand, and, with a flush of adrenaline, equipped herself with the fortitude, resignation, and grace worthy of a Lady of Underwood. President of the Southern Constituent Republics is merely the theatrical part she plays, for the time being. Her door is quickly opened, and there are flashing photography. An epileptic's nightmare. Unaware to her Kashtanese hosts, Seraphina Underwood and Anne Siward required their own photo opportunities. Fortunately for them both, the Engell media were more than very happy to oblige.

    There was applause, heavy applause, from amongst the clicking and calling. The first trip abroad for the Northern and Southern Presidents in an official capacity, and they almost were not granted that dignity. But it was also something else, it was elegant, if not assuming, in a royal sense. The occasion was business, the new interior of her official aeroplane spoke business, but her chosen wardrobe was that of conquest. The nude suede stiletto heels at the end of two slender, well toned legs that swung out from the car with a grace and dignity prized only by aristocratic Engell ladies, were the first glimpse of the Southern President in Kashtan. Then, only a split second later, did she fully emerge. The dress was a smart cerulean blue number to just below the knee, complete with three quarter sleeves and a wide open collar. A matching fascinator and a platinum rose brooch of encrusted diamonds complimented the attire perfectly. She stood for a moment, allowing the media ample time to photograph herself and husband, as one of three forward leaders of the Republic, that they ought to be recognised as. They being herself and Siward, the competition being the Foreign Affairs Joint Committee that should have been dissolved, it's powers and preserve delivered to the Northern and Southern Presidency, Congress, or even Secretaries of State.

    She spun a smile of warmth and reassurance. The Engellexian Republic was being presented as a dependable, reasonable, and progressive middle power, here; those were the qualities those of the Republic truly believed it possessed - dependence, reason, and progress.

    Thank you, she said to the various media, and they both entered the Golden Pillar Hotel. The Engellexian Republic had arrived.
     
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  20. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    10,019
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    Minister Kögler and his team were very well aware of the fact that the rooms in the Golden Pillar hotel were bugged. Well, they didn’t know for sure, but they considered the probability that the rooms were bugged very high. That was the reason why Kögler decided already in Trier to more or less “play” with the crew that had to tape the sounds and conversations in the rooms. He had a portable radio and CD player in his luggage, and a couple of CDs with the most dissonant compositions by Schönberg on them. Just before going to the reception, he had put one of those CDs into the portable radio and CD player, and had put the CD on repeat.
    Meine Güte, Herr Vizekanzler, muss das sein?” one of his subordinates had said. My goodness, Vice-Chancellor, do we really have to do this?
    Natürlich muss das sein, Frau Dettweiler,” Kögler had said with a big grin. “We can be sure that all rooms are bugged. We can look for the microphones and remove them, but then the Kashtanese will come back and install new ones. Of course we have other ways to make sure that our conversations aren’t heard, but when we are not in this suite, we can use, or abuse, the opportunity to maximally irritate the buggers. By the way, when we need to conduct conversations here, I also have listenable music with me to cover our voices.” Of course we have to do this, Mrs. Dettweiler.

    So while the Eiffellandian delegation was at the reception, the buggers, who were thought to be Kashtanese but were actually Kadikistani, had to listen to Schönberg on repeat.

    OOC: Some examples of the music Kögler took with him to put on repeat in the Eiffellandian suite while the Eiffellandian delegation is out:


     
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