The King is dead...

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Jydermark-Østveg, Jan 12, 2018.

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  1. Jydermark-Østveg

    Jydermark-Østveg Well-Known Member

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    [09:05] // Blåhuset

    Prime Minister Christian Henriksen arrived early at Blåhuset in hopes to get a better understanding of what was going on. Henriksen himself was a staunch monarchist, and understood the potential for Constitutional crisis in this scenario. From his brief telephone call with Jutish Prime Minister Olsen, the King lay in a hospital with a slim hope for his survival, and ultimately the potential for a crisis in which a successor could not be found that was desirable. This could ultimately be a reason for which a foreign power may attempt to break up the Two Kingdoms.

    Early was the fact he arrived at five past the hour. It was typical for meetings to function at quarter past an hour, as per the tradition in North. Much of these traditions could be traced back to old academics, which preceded a considerably younger, but all the while still old politics.

    The door to Blåhuset opened as he was ushered into a dining room by several staff who promptly took his coat and his shoes. A quite normal thing for Northern culture, as to wear shoes inside another’s home was quite disrespectful. Christian declined the offer of slippers, as he never wore slippers in his own home. He often wondered why shoes were considered so rude inside in the North. Perhaps it was because of how terrible the weather always was. Rain, snow, and, mud were not great things to track around another’s home for it would always leave the host something that they’d have to clean up.

    As far as dining rooms go, the room was quite ornate. A tapestry engulfed the wall the long wall that was opposite of an equally long window which provided a view of the rose garden. Blåhuset was interesting in that is was drawn out in the shape of a rectangle, with a long rose garden in the middle. The home was once home to a noble family, that had since gone defunct and the small palace of sorts was seized by the crown, and subsequently given to the Folketing to house the Prime Minister. Nearly all of the Prime Minister’s affairs were conducted from this house, and thus it served as a place of both family and the office. A neat concept as theoretically the Prime Minister of Jutmark was always at work.

    The long table that stretched across the room, over looked on both ends by portraits of past Prime Ministers sat both men who sat next to each other. Olsen at the head, with Henriksen directly to his right. Coffee was poured for both men, and a basket of pastries between them. The doors shut, and echoed softly as though a paddle of a row boat had slapped the water rather than guided the boat forward. It was a dark and large room, that dwarfed the two men. Not a single light was on, their vision only aided by the natural light from the windows that framed a gray sky morning.

    Henriksen spoke first, “If I so may, make a suggestion as to the future of this nation...” He was interrupted by the man countless years his senior. Rasmus Olsen held a certain degree of elder wisdom that emanated from his balding head. A military veteran, he held a cane that helped him walk as his knee was badly injured in a parachuting exercise that did not go entirely as planned. Olsen had his eyeglasses on, and his leaned back in his chair has he spoke.

    “With all do respect my dear Christian, my best friend has died and I have not yet even welcomed you to my home yet. Surely you do not expect me to allow you to conduct business before I had done that. Are we not gentlemen?”

    Henriksen cleared his throat in slight embarrassment. “My condolences my friend.” He nodded his head downward in deferment to Olsen’s words.

    Olsen chuckled, “My dear Christian, you are so young and full of energy. Not that age has slowed me down, no.” Olsen put both hands on the table took a deep breath, as Henriksen took a sip of coffee. “Welcome Christian, yet again to my home. You are always welcome here. Yet it has been far too long. What? What, has it been? An entire year now? I remember when you first became Prime Minister and blew the legendary horn of Østfjord. Time passes too quickly.”

    Both men chuckled a bit, the legendary horn of Østfjord was a traditionally a horn given by the King to Prime Minister of Østveg. Christian was the only one to attempt to blow on it during the ceremony. Not that the Austwegian Parliament was a very old entity. Only since the dawn of the 20th century did it come about in order to prevent the Two Kingdoms from breaking apart. At least this is what historical scholars would say.

    Henriksen nodded in agreement, “To be fair the work of a man in the Storting is not as easy to allow so many vacations as you might believe. Three years is quite long for me, I have not a clue how you have managed however many epic lifetimes you have.”

    Olsen quickly chimed in, “Seventeen.”

    “Of course. Are you ready to speak on matters at hand? I for one am dreadfully worried about the possibilities and consequences. The longer we take, the greater the chance something goes terribly wrong.”

    Olsen rolled his eyes, his glasses making the motion all the more belittling. “Very well, do speak your mind. Just know I think we will use my idea when you have finished your coffee.” Despite a possible worry from the outside world, the Two Kingdom’s Parliaments had similar parties in power, both conservative, both monarchist. So wholehearted disagreement was never in the cards, despite minority voices in the Storting urging that Østveg elect itself own King separate of Jutmark. These voices had perhaps felt Østveg had for too long been the junior partner of the Union. That Union general gave Østveg more advantages than disadvantages though. Østveg did not even have to provide for a military, although taxes and persons came from Østveg to support the Jutish military endeavors.

    The men chuckled again, and as Henriksen did not ever find himself truly bothered by Olsen’s brashness. He continued, “I believe that the time has come for us to elect a new King. We have no other option, else we end up with some random man from Eiffelland or some god forbidden lazy southern nation, who might proceed to embezzle the entire family’s, nay, nation’s wealth on his own damn uses.”

    “You best finish your coffee so that I may stop you; for, I do not foresee any election happening, nor some strange election to be scrutinized by our publics.”
     
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  2. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    [10:27] // Washbridge House

    "Didn't the last Mael Coluim die while racing, Jake? Why do these northern kings smash themselves to death in race cars?" CRASH PUTS JUTISH KING IN COMA read the headline of the newspaper that had apparently asked the question. Behind it was the Gunnish prime minister, Maria Huyldrich. She crossed her legs like a man. Maria folded the newspaper, revealing a pale freckled face with turquoise glasses and thick black hair she called 'poofy.' It did not seem like a rhetorical question.

    "I don't know, Maria. Why?" From his tone, James Blackthorn was clearly exasperated with her already. And they were still waiting to meet with Robert Gunn at 10:30 to select the new foreign office head. Leader Blackthorn -- it was Jake who controlled the most votes in the Thing, the prime minister only represented the queen -- had been exasperated with Maria Plutarska since university. He was laid back, she was uptight. He was practical, she was always lost in thought. But most of all, outspoken women were rare in Gunnland. And Maria was even more annoying to Jake because she was so conservative, somehow.

    The newspaper was open again. The prime minister seemed not to have heard her old 'frenemy.' She was not talking to him, but thinking out loud. (This annoyed Jake further.) "I wonder where Julian is in this line of succession. The Gunns have married into the other northern families since the fifteenth century. Maybe she'll become a queen twice this year." Blackthorn snorted in laughter. But Maria Huyldrich, a historian by training, made a note to do a little genealogical research that evening.
     
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  3. Jydermark-Østveg

    Jydermark-Østveg Well-Known Member

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    [09:35] // Blåhuset

    “Oh dammit,” Henriksen murmured. He immediately finished his coffee, and proceeded to pour himself another one. Olsen chuckled and continued,

    “The real solution here is to change the rules. We keep everything in house and in the family. We know who these people are, and we can avoid division. Some other monarchists, or legalists might bicker at us, but frankly I don’t think it matters. Our solution should come at any cost of reputation to order to maintain the status quo. So hear me out on this, we pass a law that appoints dear Carl Frederick’s wife, the Queen as regent until his recovery as I will assume emergency power to make that appointment for our unique situation. I believe we can do this quickly. She will then sign into law an act which will institute absolute primogeniture as the new law that comes from both our Parliaments. From there we no longer have a problem, and while the conservative elements around the world might have a problem, the wind will blow the other way in three weeks and they’ll find a bigger fish to fry than some Nords off in the distance.”

    Henriksen nodded, “So you expect us not to face opposition within our own parliaments?”

    “Not at all,” smirked Olsen. “You see, we are the conservative elements of our Kingdom. You really expect those liberals to be mad to include a woman in our succession laws? No! If anything I’d never want to do this if not for the crisis we’re in. Did you know that from what we’re discovering the next male successor is likely to be Gunnish? It’s absolute lunacy. The only other option is to vote in a new King entirely, and the list of suitors in that sense becomes quite random. Here, we have control. We have known elements, the Queen and her children.”

    “So the King is truly gone?” Henriksen quickly interjected. Olsen shock his head and looked down, “Yes, dear friend. He’s gone. Truth be told the family wanted to pull the plug, all indications are that the King is entirely brain dead and will never wake up again. He’s more machine than man now. It was difficult telling the family that ramifactions and what will happen to them if the King immediately died. The Queen is looking out for her children. She knows the deal I’ve offered them to keep a dead man alive on paper, secures a brighter future for her daughters.”

    Henriksen sighed, “A shame.”

    A silence hovered over the room momentarily. “It’s a done deal. You were not pulling me about on this one. You’re right, this is a far superior plan.” Henriksen shook Olsen’s hand. “So, can I get drink this cup at a slow and comfortable pace?” The men chuckled and got on talking about ice hockey.
     
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  4. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    [2:11] // Clyth Castle

    A little blonde boy is playing with colorful interlocking plastic blocks. His older sister -- old enough to be his (very young) mother -- adjusts the diadem on her head and kneels down. "Joey?" This is short for Joachas. "Joey? Do you know how I am a queen?" Joachas, the four-year-old Duke of Clyth, nods absently without looking at her. "Well, I think you are going to be a king? Would you like to be a king? The king of Jydermark-Østveg?" The boy is too busy trying to snap a plastic windshield on the tiny fire truck to listen to Julian. "Joey, are you listening?" He isn't. "Joey, it's the country where they make those toys." Joachas looks up for a moment. "Yes, Julie. I am king of the blocks."

    Maria Huyldrich laughed, but Robert Gunn was lost in thought. Would this foreign adventure be worth it? Who would support Joachas's claim the the throne? Østveg? Perhaps West Gouw Marken? Dealing with far-northwestern politics was risky. We risk angering Kadikistan, and we gain what? Queen Julian was determined, however, to press her brother's claims and family's rights. The teenage queen had been taken advantage of for too long, by too many people. Julian listened to the counsel of her ladies-in-waiting that had also been exploited, controlled, abused, and kidnapped as she has been. So she was quick to conclude that others were taking advantage of her. And ready to fight.

    Robert spoke up. "We have to move quickly. The whole world will think that we are busy with the stephanitic games. It isn't enough to ask for the support of Bourgogne and Eiffelland. We also will need domestic support, especially in Østveg, and among the liberals in Jydermark. I think under normal circumstances, no liberals would be keen to have a Gunnish king. But maybe your reputation will make the difference, Queen Julian. It is time to cause maximum confusion and a political crisis, before the royal family of Jydermark-Østveg can consolidate power."

    The Foreign Office began sending e-mails to every politician in Østveg's parliament that they could identify who would be congenial to the cause of young King Joachas.
     
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  5. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Queen Julian has asked for the support of Europe's royal families to support her brother's claim in The Iron Crown.

     
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  6. Jydermark-Østveg

    Jydermark-Østveg Well-Known Member

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    Prime Minister Olsen sat with the Royal Family in his study. The entire immediate family sat patiently as he finished reading his reports. “The Gunns wish to put young Joachas on the throne, and have suggested an arranged marriage. They argue it will avoid civil war and the ultimate dissolution of the Two Kingdoms.”

    Queen-consort Nadia piped in, “What choice do we have? We haven’t the support of the Austwegians. We now have a gun pointed at our head by a foreign power.”

    Olsen stood up and walked to the windowsill. “We always have a choice. Just because we have a gun at our head does not mean we have to do what they tell us. We have more than one option still.”

    “You dare move forward without the Austwegians?” Nadia retorted. Olsen turned back towards the people in the room and nodded, “they need us far more than we need them. We’re the economic power in this arrangement, we have the troops, the economy, and the people to defend our most integral borders. They have not. Østveg is a point of prestige for this monarchy, and while we have a gun pointed to our head we can choose to ignore that prestige and forge a new path, or attempt to pick up the pieces of that prestige with another child at the helm. No doubt intimately linked us to the Queen Julian. This is a power play as much for her as it is for us.”

    Rikke stood up with a hint of aggression in her eyes, and her fist clinched. “We fight them! Give me the crown, and I’ll carry our banner forward. Østveg will fall in line or they’ll submit to the Gunns, but not I. I believe I have something so much more inside me than to continue as part of any of their agreement.”

    Nadia retorted, “Dear girl, we have no idea who will even back us.” Olsen nodded, “while true, the longer we wait the more likely we’ll have none. I think you need to sign that paper. The Gunns are testing our politicans. They want to know who in the realm supports their claim. From my own gut feeling, I know none of the Liberals in both Østveg and Jydermark have any interest in siding with a foreign power on the issue of a monarch. They’d much rather have this country move towards a Republic. They know that a Republic would not be tolerated by the powers of Europe, and so they’d much rather side with us. Better the devil you know, rather than the devil you don’t.”

    Rikke walked over to Olsen’s desk and grabbed the fountain pen on the table, “Mother you must sign. We all know father is dead, and we’ll never know how he’d handle this conflict. He raised me though, and just like him, I welcome the fight.”

    Olsen took the pen from her, “I’m sorry but I quite like this pen. We ought not to have you ruin your clothes either. We have an important meeting in Parliament if this is the case. If so I must immediately ring the Austwegians. They should know before we do it.”

    Nadia sighed, “get them on the phone.”
     
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  7. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Schloss Klippenstein

    Robert Gunn absentmindedly touched the blond wisps that hung on from his receding hairline and said a silent prayer that Adelaide wouldn't open the heavy wooden double doors. She did. He looked down, registering the familiar ample hips giving way to let him pass. "Nice mustache, sir." Robert adjusted his black spectacles and took her in. No question, the past decade had aged him more than the tall brunette. But it is, or at least was, her job to stay attractive. "So Julian is still bent on taking my clan to war, is she?" he said, in passing, "Can't you be the adult in the room?"

    Julian was wrapped in a lilac pashmina, overlooking the still reflecting pond out the window, a hand to a pane. The trees, Adelaide said on the way up the stairs, were only weeks away from budding. This is the south, Robert thought. He thought how thin Julian's neck and wrists were. Her face wore a determined look. She asked Robert about the Østveg crisis immediately, and he said something evasively about Patrick Gunn Gallagher and weapons caches in West Gouw Marken, giving his young queen the impression that the Gunnish Navy was operating in the North Thaumantic. This was false, of course. War preparations meant sending some of the most hotheaded Gunn clansmen to the western continent.

    It turned out that Julian had been busy, on the other hand. An Eiffellandian PR firm had been hired. Hundreds of articles written for the papers in Nidaros, Gøternhavn, and in the European press. On Queen Julian as a svelt, savvy, modern monarch. On the Gunns as a 'European family,' that 'only happened' to be the rulers of Gunnland. On the many Gunns who were married into royal families and noble lines across Europe. On the new 'young Gunns' as the future of liberal monarchies in the north. On the prosperity sure to come when the Gunns further united Jydermark-Østveg with Gallo-Germania. On the awkward diplomatic problems if Rasmus Olsen pressured the royal family to "isolate Jydermark-Østveg from Europe." On the crippling economic sanctions that would follow. On the ways that the Gunn family reached out to

    And there were, of course, more scurrilous articles. Some alleged that King Carl Frederik knew Joachas was his heir, and recently revealed this fact to his family. Some did more than hint that Rikke ordered the mechanics to tamper with the breaks of his racing car. Others took a more searching tone; first Caledonia, now Jydermark-Østveg, How many kings can we expect to die in racing accidents under normal circumstances? Some found this or that legal technicality to argue that Nadia was no longer a queen in her own right once Carl Frederik was incapacitated, and Joachas was king already.

    Beyond the wide-ranging public opinion war, the Gunns had contacted the staunchest Austwegian critics of Prime Minister Olsen and Gøternhavn, to better coordinate a political resistance. Julian was getting excited telling all of these things to Robert Gunn, which she called "the battle of public opinion." He nodded tiredly, accepting a dram of Glenwillie from Adelaide, avoiding her gaze. "This is very good, Julian. But if these talking watering cans aren't enough to win that kingdom, what are you going to do when it's time for blood and iron? Are you going to bring our family to war for some arctic villages, a war that the Gunnish people won't support, and which will cause many to question your enlightened reputation?"

    Julian was quiet. Robert was not sure he could convince her to give up her quest to see her brother crowned in Gøternhavn. But he could at least take this opportunity to win a personal political victory. "Well, if we've learned anything so far from this crisis, it is that King Albrecht isn't going to help you when the chips are down, Julian. As always, Gunns can only rely on Gunns."
     
  8. Jydermark-Østveg

    Jydermark-Østveg Well-Known Member

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    Ring... Ring... Ring...

    // Einar Kundsen.

    “Yes, I am ringing you to let you know that Nadia is on route to sign the bill. You know that we have not the time to be able to let this fester. The longer this drama lasts, the worse for the Kingdom.”

    // The Kingdom? Already singular dear friend?

    “Einar, you know I haven’t the time to debate simple semantics, I’m giving you a curiosity call to prepare with as much time as I could possibly give you.”

    // That’s well and all, but what am I supposed to do with this knowledge? I do not have any more political pull than Christian Henriksen did. I’m just as much at the mercy of the Parliament as his resignation demanded of him.

    “Surely you can get something from this news. You had to have know this day was coming?”

    // Well really, the only thing I have to bank on is what I can get from you here in this conversation.

    “Well? We both know you’ve been contacted by the Gunns. Get it out already.”

    // Have you? Well that makes this conversation marginally easier then. You see I’m not more prepared to take Østveg and declare Joachas King, than I am to acknowledge Rikke. Frankly, if it were up to me I’d let this hang in constitutional limbo until the some people who cared more took power. Instead, I am here to make the judgement on what course to take. Especially since I’m not really wanting a war from this. I quite like our arrangement, and I think public opinion supports the fact that war is not on the table. In fact I’d go as far as to say that if we attempted to end the union, the result wouldn’t be a war between Østveg and Jydermark, but rather a civil war in Østveg. No doubt that would turn into a war that Unionists would win once the Jyske men came across the border. Even then, the rebels would be fractured. Half would opt for Republicanism before Joachas. It’s complicated here in Nidaros.

    “So what do you want then Einar?”

    // My legacy is making sure we avoid war. Can you give me a formal constitution? With the rights of the Austwegians formally spelled out and our relationship officially made clear?

    “Can I? No. Can you? Quite possibly. Present a constitution before the coronation that Rikke must sign in order to be recognized.”

    // I do not have a constitution.

    “You are going to need to quickly draft one. Bring on those pesky Republicans if you want broad support. Omit their desires if you want more power to the traditional institutions. That said, present that you have one for Rikke sign even if you don’t yet.”

    // One more thing, this is going to take us into direct conflict with Queen Julian. Word has it she’s got a chip on her shoulder and can see nothing except victory for her brother and family. We may pay dearly for this internationally. They will do everything they can to isolate us.

    “We already don’t go to their events. I’m afraid that ship has sailed. The lack of a head of state is painful. That said, our sportsmen never venture off to foreign competition. There is no need to prove who is best. It is common knowledge that we play in the snow a lot and this means we are likely quite good at it.”

    // That’s not the point. They are offended.

    “That’s a topic for another day my friend.”

    // Very well. I’ll do my best to see if the constitutional demand is enough to get this problem to slide. I’m skeptical. I still see the potential for some unrest. Hej hej.

    “Hej hej.”
     
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  9. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Trier, Eiffelland

    The polls made it clear. Chancellor Von Seydewitz was facing the end of his career as a politician. The Christiandemocrats would loose dramaticly in this weekend’s national election. Eight years in the Chancellery. He would have loved to do a third term as Chancellor, but there was also something like a political reality. The March on Trier had ruined his career. He already hated the far right movement, but he hated it even more after this.

    In any case, there was one thing he still had to do as Chancellor. From next week onwards, he would be demissionary for at least a month. He started to type.


     
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