What's new

The Lion and the Eagle

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Ixus, Propontis M.D., Pelasgia

Ixus, named after the Pelasgian word for mistletoe, was a suburb of Propontis more so in the Old World sense than in the one most used in Westernesse. Its quaint roads, lined by trees as to shield passersby from the scorching rays of the Meridian sun, were not flanked by pre-planned single residential homes, nor were they filled by the tight, eight-storey neoclassical condominiums that dominated most of Propontis—instead, a sort of happy medium predominated, consisting of low-rise mixed use buildings, all constructed in a unique style mixing neoclassicism and old Propontine architecture. The spacious gardens of these homes and their elegant fences provided much-needed cool and freshness in the centre of Ixus, which they surrounded.

As one went further out from the heart of the quiet little suburb, with its commuter highway link to Propontis and Selymbria, and its suburban railway station, larger homes with taller and more concealing enclosures started to dot the landscape, in between pine forests and small streams frequented by a few animals here and there. It was these proud edifices, these villas for lack of a better term, that served as the stylish residences of much of the Imperial capital's elite. Located close enough to Propontis to allow for comfortable daily transit and still far enough to allow for the luxury of complete peace and safety, Ixus was ideally positioned to host the cream of the crop of the Queen of Cities, whether they be noble or merely rich.

Therefore, it would come as little surprise to one visiting Ixus if he were to pause before one of the most elegant villas lining its periphery—a neoclassical building painted in a faint shade of yellow, and possessing an expansive garden with no less than three fountains—and to find carved above its gate the arms granted to the Clan of the Angelopouloi by the Sublime Throne*.
*Depending on the context, the Sublime Throne (Ὑψιστὸς Θρόνος, Hýpsistos Thrónos) is a synecdoche for either the monarchy or the monarch himself (much like "the Crown" or "the Kremlin" is used in other countries). In this context, it refers to the Emperor, since only he can ennoble someone and grant him or her the right to a coat of arms.

Somewhere deep behind that gate, our guest would perhaps be spotted by—without himself spotting—the four figures that surrounded a small table located in one of the many oases of shade in the villa's gardens.

"Authenta," said Alexandra, the short, olive-skinned woman with the large, friendly eyes who served as one of the Angelopouloi's relatively few servants. She had used the proper form of address for a lord, rather than the generic "kyrie" said to any gentleman or older male, since Sophokles Angelopoulos was not a mere boss, but a nobleman (
, but a nobleman nonetheless). "Here is your tea." The slender young woman, a native of Ixus from a family living there before its transformation to an upscale suburb, placed a tray containing three teacups on the table

Sophokles Angelopoilos, the head of the Angelopouloi, looked up at her, his deep, almost azure blue eyes retaining their usual calm and warmth. "Thank you, my dear," he said, and an honest but reserved smile appeared on his pale, slender face—he was quite a pale man, even for a nobleman from Old Pelasgia, and his dark hair (or what was left of it, at this age) only added to that impression. "Please, be so kind as to leave us until my motorcade arrives. I shall call for you if I need you; otherwise, I believe the Housekeeper, Mrs. Papadopoulou, had some tasks for you."

"Yes, my lord," Alexandra answered with a small bow, and at once she disappeared in the direction of the mansion.

"Now then," Angelopoulos exclaimed, turning to his visitors. "Where were we?"

"I believe you were telling us of your plan to reverse the declining trends in Pelasgia's demography," answered Justice Minister Konstantinos Sphrantzes—Angelopoulos' unofficial but widely acknowledged political heir apparent.

"Ah, yes," answered Angelopoulos. "Well, in any case, I expect it will cause quite a bit of uproar, both at home and abroad. Even the Catholic Church has decided to become a force for liberalism these days. But it is necessary—and, from what I gather, the Sublime Throne's objectives are in line with my designs."


A small cough came from across the table, where a calm, elderly man of remarkable height was sat. In his small, old eyes burned a flame full of wit and life: a symbol of a man who had aged in body, but remained quite remarkably apt in spirit. "The Throne is indeed in agreement with your views on both the necessity to ensure the continuation of the Pelasgian Nation, as with your preferred means for achieving that end. Nevertheless, you have chosen to take on the burden of this decision entirely upon yourself, as if it were your burden to bear alone."

"I am a loyal servant of the Throne," the Prime Minister retorded at once. "If my initiative were to fail, it would have grave consequences—consequences which we cannot allow to taint the Great Sovereign and his line. If, on the other hand, my design were to succeed, it would be counted among the long list of things that went well during the Great Sovereign's reign, as always happens with such things." A failure would harm his eldest son, Leon's, political career; but then, one could never truly keep a patrician and a descendant of two prime ministers away from politics forever.

"One always needs someone else to take the fall for errors and failures," Sphrantzes pointed out, as if to extract the lesson from his mentor's remark. "But nobody needs such a person to take credit for success. Machiavelli's logic holds true in Pelasgia as much as it does in @Radilo ." The Justice Minister, who was by far the youngest of the three, turned his gaze to the dust that had started to rise in the direction of the main gate.
A pitch-black motorcade consisting of a luxurious , had just entered the premises. "Say, Sophokles," he continued in a rushed fashion, hoping to get a full answer before his boss' maid interrupted them. "Doesn't your plan engender great danger, regardless of success or failure? Isn't it far too risky to undertake such a plan when it is dangerous with no guarantee of bearing fruit?"

The Prime Minister downed the rest of his teacup's contents before setting it aside. "All plans worth pursuing have some element of risk to them; indeed, the riskier a plan is, usually, the better the payoff if it succeeds."

Fortunately for Angelopoulos and unfortunately for his interlocutors, it was here that Alexandra came to notify the Prime Minister of the motorcade's arrival. Yet, even if she had been a full hour late, Sophokles Angelopoulos would still not have revealed the true reason behind his certainty: That his was the rare sort of plan which grants him who undertakes some measure of victory regardless of its ultimate outcome. For, Pelasgians, like all people, like and respect a martyr and naturally take his side. Alas, to say that one plans to be attacked somewhat detracts from martyrdom—or from almost-martyrdom, in the Prime Minister's case. As such, his associates would have to be kept in the dark—and with them the Emperor, whose designs Angelopoulos ultimately aimed to further.
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
You must be registered for see images

Imperial Code of Statute Laws
1 Theod. VIII no. 124 | Act № 124/1990
Ch. 215 (Act of the Parliament of Pelasgia № 477/1990)
Measures concerning the protection of the social and constitutional regime, and of the State.
——
CHAPTER 215.
MEASURES CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF THE
SOCIAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL REGIME, AND OF THE STATE.

Article 1 - Short Title
C. 215, s. 1 / No. 477/1990, art. 1
1. This Law may be cited as the Delictum Sui Generis Law.
2. In reference to the Imperial Code of Statute Laws, this Law may also be cited as Chapter 215 thereof.

Article 2 - Interpretation

C. 215, s. 2 / No. 477/1990, art. 2
In this law—
[...]
" proscription " means a decree of condemnation to death or banishment issued against a natural or legal person following their designation as an enemy of the State, and which entails the deprivation of civil and political rights, property, and liberty from the same;
[...]

Article 3 - Delictum Sui Generis

C. 215, s. 3 / No. 477/1990, art. 3
1. Whosoever either through words or deeds attempts to overturn the established social and constitutional regime, including the rule of the Sublime Throne and the rights and privileges of the Great Church of Christ, in a manner that contradicts the provisions of the current Constitution shall be guilty of a sui generis delict punishable by imprisonment or by penal exile, either within the country or outside of it.
2. If any person who commits the aforementioned sui generis delict does so in collaboration with or at the direction of a foreign government or of a designated terror group, the delict shall carry a punishment of penal exile or of death.

Article 4 - Proscription

C. 215, s. 4 / No. 477/1990, art. 4
1. If sufficient evidence exists as to justify a criminal indictment under Article 3 of this Law, and if there is a manifest danger to the safety of the State which cannot be prevented through the ordinary judicial process, it shall be lawful for His Majesty, at the advice of the Council of State, to proscribe any individual or group of individuals, or any body corporate or group of bodies corporate in order to prevent the said danger from manifesting.
2. Proscription in this case may entail imprisonment without trial or bail, deprivation of property and freedom, stripping of honours and public office, search and seizure without warrant, and the deprivation of rights and violation of freedoms, including the right to due process and the right to life and security.
3. In order to be effective, any decree of proscription shall be considered before the Council of State, signed by His Majesty, attested by the Prosecutor General, and published in the Government Gazette without undue delay. It shall also list clear all charges levied against all defendants and the precise measures inflicted upon them to neutralise them and the threat they pose to the State.
4. Any decree of proscription shall be subject to a judicial challenge by the defendant no more than thirty days after its entry into force. In cases where a war or other emergency has been declared, this period shall be extended until the end of the emergency. Furthermore, following the end of this period, the Throne is bound to bring charges against all defendants in a competent court of law.

[...]

-------------------------------


You must be registered for see images

IMPERIAL DECREE
Th. 8 № 40577 | № 728/2022

IMPERIAL DECREE PROSCRIBING FOUAD TWAL
PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 125 OF THE IMPERIAL CODE

THEODORE VIII VATATZES
PELASGIAN EMPEROR

Having considered that:

1. Fouad Twal is Our natural-born subject and therefore owes Us obedience and fealty, including conformity with Our Laws and Ordinances.
2. Fouad Twal has nevertheless violated Our Laws and Ordinances with respect to the Tiburan Catholic Church and the Pontiff of Tibur, and he has accepted appointments that place him in the service of a foreign Sovereign in a manner that is inconsistent with his lawful loyalty to Us.
3. Fouad Twal has furthermore acted to frustrate Our lawful dominion over Our Realm and to violate the rights of Our subjects, as well as those of the Great Church of Christ, all in flagrant contravention of the Law and with a view to overthrowing the rule of Our Sublime Throne.

We, at the advice of Our Council of State, decree and ordain as follows:

Article 1 - Indictment

Th. 8 No. 40577, s. 1 / ID 728/2022, art. 1
1. Fouad Twal is charged with having commited a sui generis delict under Article 3 of Chapter 125 of the Imperial Code of Statute Laws.
2. More specifically, it is charged that Fouad Twal conspired with a foreign power to subvert the rule of the Sublime Throne and privileges of the Great Church of Christ, so as to overthrow the established social and constitutional order of the Empire for the benefit of a foreign Sovereign and in flagrant violation of the lawful order.
3. It is also charged that Fouad Twal acted in conspiracy with others, and that he further attempted to induce members of the general public into joining his conspiracy by means of seditious statements and acts.

Article 2 - Proscription

Th. 8 No. 40577, s. 2 / ID 728/2022, art. 2
By reason whereof, Fouad Twal is proscribed within the meaning of Chapter 125 of the Imperial Code of Statute Laws.

Article 3 - Penalties

Th. 8 No. 40577, s. 3 / ID 728/2022, art. 3
1. In light of which proscription, Fouad Twal is declared to be an Enemy of the State, and it is the duty of every able-bodied Pelasgian to apprehend and deliver him unto Our officers, so that he might answer for his crimes. In the exercise of this duty, anyone may use deadly force if any resistance is offered by the proscribed person, without any liability of any kind being incurred by his so doing.
2. Once apprehended, Fouad Twal is to be exiled from Our Realm and deprived of his nationality and citizenship, as well as any and all rights that are attached thereto.
3. Regardless of his apprehension, Fouad Twal is to have all his property in Pelasgia, including all his funds, seized. The property in question shall be transferred to the care of Our Chancellery, where it shall be held to be desposed of appropriately. Moreover, Fouad Twal is to be stripped of any and all honours bestowed upon him, as well as any public office which he might have held within the Empire.

Article 4 - Operative Provisions

Th. 8 No. 40577, s. 4 / ID 728/2022, art. 4
1. This decree shall be executed by Our Minister of the Interior.
2. This decree enters into force immediately upon its publication in the Official Gazette.

Propontis, August 8, 2022

THEODORE IMP.

(L.S.)

The Imperial Seal was witnessed and affixed in gold.

THE PROSECUTOR GENERAL
IOANNES MAKARIOS VELISSARIOU
@Radilo
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Propontis, Propontis M.D., Pelasgia

A faint light shined through the large French windows that surrounded the room, placed in between equidistant pilasters with Corinthian columns. At this time of day and of the year, the skies over Propontis should normally have been beaconing; and yet, well in the afternoon, the mighty Meridian sun found itself concealed by thick, dark clouds, as if to announce a rare occurrence for August in Propontis: a day of rainfall. Most residents and visitors of the Queen of Cities had remarked at this joyfully, seizing the chance to remove their hats and actually exit their homes or places of work on to run errands before the evening. For those occupying this dimly-lit room, however, the weather did not even register. Theirs was the privilege of sitting around the table of the Council of State, which met in the centuries-old chamber where the Propontine Sovereigns held their council, inside the Great Palace of Propontis. This privilege, an honour unparalleled for any living Pelasgian, brought with it great responsibility and stripped away such bare luxuries as enjoying the capital's tame weather.

"Cardinal Twal has been arrested and is awaiting deportation," said Justice Minister Sphrantzes, reading from the stack of documents before him. "He no doubt plans to raise an appeal before the Chancellery Division of the Supreme Court."

"His appeal is doomed," answered the pale figure of Prosecutor General Velissariou. "A decree of proscription, if properly drafted, is nigh impossible to overturn."

"Almost makes one wonder why we don't use them more often," commented the man to Sphrantzes' right, Ecumenical Patriarch Seraphim. The elderly man stroked his beard for a couple of moments, as if to ponder his own question.

A deep voice spoke up from the head of the table: "Power that reveals itself opens itself to attacks." Everyone's gaze turned to meet a fifty-two year old man with blue eyes, dark, receding hair, and a slightly prominent lower half the face. His ornate naval officer's uniform, along with the baldachin that he sat under and the elevated seat that he occupied identified the man as none other than the Pelasgian Emperor: Theodore VIII Vatatzes. "Or, in Mr. Angelopoulos' case, it sometimes seeks an attack for its own sake."

A computer screen placed to Sphrantzes' left sounded, offering a response to the Emperor's words. "I apologise to Your Majesty for taking a such a risk without consulting you," Prime Minister Angelopoulos said. He spoke from the hospital bed where he was supposedly still being cared for, despite having made a full recovery from his relatively minor injuries. "I merely wished to avoid opening Your Majesty from attacks—and to make certain that my colleagues' reactions would appear sincere."

The monarch leaned forward and shot a glance at the Grand Despot, who seemed the fairer, younger, and more handsome version of himself. "Your concern for my Most Pious Father's well-being is appreciate. Yet, one must wonder whether the risk was proportionate to the reward."

"From what I hear, our majority supporting my newly proposed measures has been solidified, both in Parliament and in the court of public opinion," the Prime Minister answered. He tried his best to hide an inkling of triumphalism in his tone by faking a pained cough. "The Vice-President of the Cabinet can fill you in on broader political implications."

Justice Minister Sphrantzes adjusted the pin on his coat—which bore the Imperial Coat of Arms, to signify his status as a Councilor of State—and shifted through his documents before continuing. "Indeed, the attack on Mr. Angelopoulos' life seems to have taken the opposition by surprise. Even the liberal opposition expressed their condolences, and they went ahead to condemn 'radicalism and illegal actions' regardless of affiliation. Right now, they're trying to not challenge us too hard, for fear they may be lumped together with the attackers." He paused for a moment. "It would appear to me that, if they were to try to oppose us, we would have the requisite legitimacy to prosecute them."

"Good," the Emperor noted, his demeanour as calm and emotionless as ever. "With this, we have the home front secure, which will allow us to pursue our foreign policy agenda more freely."

The Prosecutor General removed his glasses and leaned on the table. "With respect, Your Majesty, the republican parties are still lawfully allowed to pursue their radical agenda."

The Emperor stood, forcing everyone to stand with him at once. "One thing at a time, Ioannes," he said, as he started for the door with a group of four guards in tow. "One thing at a time." Just before leaving the room, he paused beside the bust of his late father, to whom he bore an uncanny resemblance. "I want the Cardinal stripped of his nationality and deported from Pelasgia for good; maybe he can settle in some place nice, like @Radilo. The last thing I need is a foreign dissident drawing publicity to the labour camps on the islands."

Everyone bowed and the Prosecutor General promised to see to it that the Emperor's wish be fulfilled. Once the monarch had exited the room, as everyone was gathering their things, Sphrantzes could not help but stare at the large map of Pelasgia that hung on one of the walls opposite the windows. His eye caught the desert islands and he thought back to the first case of a person he had ever known to be deported there on penal exile. I wonder, he thought to himself. How is he doing?
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Rhodokastellon, Archipelago District, Pelasgia

Located just north of Kyparissia and Akanthos, to the west the mouth of the Propontine Straits, Rhodokastellon had been blessed with being located just far enough from the main trade route traversing the Straits to retain a relative semblance of peace and tranquility. Nevertheless, the island had spent most of its existence for the two remarkable qualities that were exemplified by its name of "Rose Castle": its beautiful, fertile lands, which blossomed with numerous species of rose, and its extensive fortifications, which dated back to the days of the Ancient Pelasgo-Carians, and which had been maintained by every subsequent ruler of the isle. The 21st century had offered no respite with regard to Rhodokastellon's status as the fortified and closely guarded control point of the Propontine Straits, with its administration having been taken from the local civilian authorities of the Archipelago District and transferred to the Imperial Pelasgian Navy, which had designated the island as a "Naval Fortress".

Thus, every day, the civilians inhabiting the northern shores of the nearby islands of Kyparissia and Akanthos, two of Pelasgia's most populous and largest, would gaze out into the sea and see a veritable host of vessels belonging to the Imperial Coast Guard and Navy going around the small rock standing against the horizon, monitoring traffic through the Propontine Straits, while warding off any fishing boats or other vessels that would dare venture into the island's naval exclusion zone. Under the medieval fortifications of Rhodokastellon, in between walls of stone and battlements meant to ward off pirates and other raiders, the modern underground bunkers and overground barracks of the Pelasgian Emperor's men-at-arms seemed to cover the whole landscape. Yet, aside from undisclosed naval deployments and anti-air and anti-ship missiles, Rhodokastellon had other secrets to conceal.

Deep under the island's surface, even under its deepest military bunkers which housed the Imperial Navy's counter-intelligence directorate, there lied a brig built and maintained by the Imperial Secret Service—the infamous Krypteia. In the deepest of this prison's cells, behind double and triple doors, there lied a relative luxurious but otherwise isolated chamber served only by elderly women, half of whom were deaf, and the other half blind. The room's occupant, known only by the code "AA3701", was a man whose features lied permanently concealed behind a mask—and whose identity was ignored by all those save the few who had sent him there.

"You have a visitor, young sir," said the soft, elderly voice of Ms. Kalliope. The blind woman knew not who AA3701 was, but she had heard him speak for long enough that, reflexively, she called him 'sir'; one could try to hide their nobility from fellow nobles, but it was impossible to do so from a commoner. It was like pretending not to be a foreigner, given how differently the two had grown up.

"Oh?" replied the man. "I don't get those very often. Please let him in." AA3701 had been the subject of Pelasgia's first decree of proscription since the end of the rule of the Carian House of Notaras. Yet, despite its historic importance, the decree in question was conspicuously absent from most government publications and records. In the rare places that it could be found, such as the Imperial Archives, it was locked behind a thousand security mechanisms and authorisations. Moreover, even if one were to access it, the documents wording was ambiguous enough as to render the text meaningless.

"For having attempted to corrupt the sanctity of the Sublime Throne," AA3701 repeated, quoting the text as he heard the footsteps of his visitor. "Have they sent you here to see whether I've sufficiently regretted my actions?"

"We both know you regret nothing," answered Tiverios Stavrides, the chief judicial official on the island, and thus the Justice Minister's personal envoy on Rhodokastellon. "My superiors merely wanted to make sure that you were still alive."

AA3701 smiled. "Can't trust their own records, can they?" He turned toward the door, as if to stare at his visitor through his blinding mask. "In so far as the world is concerned, the person I once was is dead already. But yes, you are right: I regret nothing; nor should I. Why should I regret love?"

Stavrides cringed reflexively. "If you call that love, you are truly beyond redemption."

In response, the room's occupant laughed. "A touch to the face—is that the worst crime in Pelasgia? Murderers, traitors and rapists get trials in this country; but I place my hand on the Despot's face and I get sent here, without recourse or hearing. Were I not the heir to a Dukedom, I would already be dead. Is that fair?"

"That was more than a mere touch!" Stavrides said sternly. "To seek to corrupt the Emperor's own flesh and blood with such sin is a crime without equal. You sought to condemn all of the country—all eighty million—to damnation! Do not presume to speak to me of 'fairness' or 'love'!"

"You might see it that way," the masked Duke answered. His words fell upon deaf ears, as Stavrides had already started for the door. "And yet, I maintain: it is merely love; and, at that, just a touch."

---

Hills near Scutari, Pera District, Pelasgia

A soft breeze passed over the rocky coast overlooking the Propontine Straits. For a moment, Despot Basil Vatatzes turned his gaze in the direction of the isolated isle of Rhodokastellon, as if to think of someone he knew there long, long ago. Then he shifted his gaze back toward the bay and examined the 'enemy' force: an amalgam of old, decommissioned ships, alongside a hodgepodge of foreign military gear, chiefly from Tianlong and Tarusa, for obvious reasons. The Despot, who was dressed in a Pelasgian Lieutenant General's uniform, lowered his binoculars turned to one of his trusted aides—one Brigadier Aristarchos Doukas, a tall, handsome man of fair features, who was among the Despot's closest friends and confidants.

"I see that the enemy is ready to launch their invasion," he said, referring to the opposing force in this exercise. Anticipating a growing risk of an enemy attempt to take over the Straits, the Imperial General Staff had decided to launch drills regarding the defence of the position—and who better to direct the drills than the Emperor's own youngest son and one of the Empire's best military minds? "We must greet them appropriately. Launch the anti-shipping missiles."

Doukas saluted and relayed the order, which was promptly carried out. Before long, the small flotilla of decommissioned ships was struck by a volley of harpoon-like missiles, reducing many of the vessels to burning husks, and sinking a good chunk of them to the ocean floor. It was with this unofficial signal that the 'battle' commenced, to last for the remainder of the week.

The Despot, to nobody's surprise, came out on top. He was an unmatched commander, a veritable tactical and strategic mastermind, and a father to his men. A handsome man, much wanted by many of the Empire's noblewomen, he spent more time with his troops than he did back home with his wife, who—in spite of four years of marriage—had yet to give him a child. By all accounts their marriage was convivial and happy, and they always slept together when he was at home. Alexia Kourou had always been known to be a domineering, almost masculine woman, yet she seemed quite comfortable around the Despot, as if they were good friends and not married. Were it anyone else, rumours would have abounded, about this being a sterile marriage, or a marriage of convenience, or even worse, a marriage to conceal something else about both husband and wife... And yet, none dare say anything of the sort, for it was the House of Vatatzes' honour that was at stake, and, anyway, there were no other candidates for either party's affection that were known.

Besides, who could doubt the sheer virility of Despot Basil? A single look at the tall, muscular, and elegant man, perpetually dressed in his military uniform and occupied in some exercise or another, was enough to dispel all doubts as to who and what he was. Despot Basil was merely a very dedicated military man, and his lack of children was not at all concerning, given that he was the third son and that his eldest brother already had issue. Pelasgia's future was in good hands, and the Despot contributed as best as he could; and he also did his best to keep himself from staring in the direction of Rhodokastellon. As any Pelasgian, he was a good Christian, and there were some things that good Christians never even entertained, no matter how much effort it took. Duty is the death of love, and what is a princeling's life but duty throughout?
 

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
On August 12, 2022, Emperor Theodore VIII Vatatzes did absolutely NOTHING world-shattering. At all.
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Downtown Propontis, Propontis M.D., Pelasgia

The Cathedral District surrounding the Hagia Pronoia was place unlike any other any Propontis. Perched atop one of the famous nine hills of Propontis and built in the shadow of the massive domed edifice that was the Patriarchal Cathedral of Divine Providence (or Hagia Pronoia), this urban ward boasted majestic views to both the port and the centre of the city on either side, which one could enjoy from its many parks and open spaces. When the sun rose or set, the district's wide streets, which were lined with majestic neoclassical buildings several storeys-tall, served as a conduit for the capital's breathtaking dawn and sunset sky, each dyed golden or deep red, depending on the hour and time of year. Originally the home of most of the capital's administrative buildings, which had since relocated further inland to the New Government Quarter and the Judicial District due to size concerns, Cathedral District still housed much of Propontis' municipal and provincial-level administrative buildings. Moreover, the District's border with the port area of Pyrgos and the more working-class Elaiokastron ward were known for their relatively safe but still affordable rental housing.

Maria Kontopalamiotou was the landlady of one such unit of housing. As her rotund and somewhat tall figure exited on the street, her regularly paying tenants and those who knew her in the neighbourhood greeted her politely, but without much joy. She was neither a bad nor a good landlady, and she was perpetually stuck up about being paid the money she was owed without being stingy about upgrading the property her late husband had left her, which earned her enough respect to be shown courtesy without necessarily being loved (nor despised, for that matter). Mrs. Kontopalamiotou went about her usual Sunday routine (Church, along with some minor last-minute shopping in preparation for the next day's festivities to celebrate the Feast of the Dormition); however, she did so with remarkable speed, for she had received somewhat exciting news: a new prospective tenant would be meeting her at the rental unit in question just before two in the afternoon. Climbing up the theshold with the excited groaning of someone her size, she made her way to the elevator before finally making it to the fourth floor. There awaited a young man of thirty-something years, pale and with dark hair and eyes--a stereotypical Pelasgian if there ever was one.

The man wore the freshly-cut uniform of a Major of the Imperial Gendarmerie, and he placed his hat between his left arm and his waist as he started forward to shake the middle-aged woman's hand and to greet her. "Good afternoon, Mrs. Kontopalamiotou. It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Good afternoon, Major Kavallaris," the landlady answered, recalling the officer's name from the emails they had exchanged right up until an hour ago. "The pleasure is all mine." She unlocked the door to the apartment and showed Rigas Kavallaris in, before asking a question of courtesy. "I hope the train ride from Hierosolyma was pleasant?"

The Major nodded as he entered the room. "Indeed, it was, thank you." Rigas scanned the living room and found it much to his liking: the air-conditioning worked well, as he could feel by the slightly cold temperature, and he had no doubt the heating worked likewise based on what he had heard about the building. The ceiling was tall, and the décor was quintessentially Propontine: built in a simplified neoclassical style but with all the necessary modern amenities. The crystal chandelier, red Oriental carpet and drapes with golden threading, and the large windows could belong in any respectable Propontine home, especially that of an officer in the service of the Throne.

"I trust everything is to your satisfaction?" the landlady asked as the two of them went into the apartment to examine it room by room. After the impressive living room, there was a cozy kitchen which was slightly large to also serve as a dining room (where Mrs. Kontopalamiotou did not neglect to half-joke about her daughter's cooking for the Major, if he ever was desperate for a meal); a remarkably sterile bathroom (which was only viewed quickly); and a quite comfortable living room, which could be completely darkened despite its large windows (here, Mrs. Kontopalamiotou asked whether the Major would be staying alone, to which he replied that he would, "for the moment at least"--that was a response that seemed temporary only, for the recently-promoted Major would need to marry in order to rise any higher than his current rank, at least according to the widely acknowledged unofficial norms of Pelasgian social hierarchy).

"Yes, it certainly is," Rigas answered after a moment's ponderance of the large dining table. He had chosen a furnished apartment, lacking the time (or the will) to furnish an empty one himself. The landlady, being all too experienced with the uniformed men who often stayed in this part of the capital was more than glad to oblige. "I think rent will be as we discussed?"

"Of course," the landlady said. "Along with an initial deposit of 1300 obols, for the furniture, carpets, and the like."

Rigas nodded. "Naturally." He removed his chequebook and signed a cheque to that amount, along with the rent of the first month. His recent promotion, thanks to his excellent handling of the Pope's attempted uninvited visit to Hierosolyma had earned him a substantial bonus from which to draw. A few more documents and signatures, and he was the lawful tenant of 235 Aspropoleos Street, Apartment No. 44, 115 22, Propontis, Pelasgia. The landlady kindly offered to help transport whatever baggage Rigas had the same day, but he politely declined, explaining that he had already contracted a service to keep his not-particularly-voluminous baggage not too far from the area, so they bring them over at a moment's notice. With a few polite goodbyes, Rigas was left to his devices in his new abode, to peacefully await the arrival of his worldly belongings.

Careful to not crease any article, the newly promoted Major from the east of the country removed his uniform and opened the curtains to examine the view from his apartment. Though it was not at the building's corner, it still occupied a column-like "bulge" which stuck out from the building's central section (a common feature in Propontine architecture); thus, the room offered a splendid view of the city, all the way down to the golden waters of the Propontine Straits.

No sooner had Rigas leaned forward with his shirt unbuttoned, allowing himself to take in the sights, than his phone rang.

"Yes?" he asked.

"Good afternoon, Major," answered the familiar voice of Lieutenant Anna Geraka. "How's the new apartment?"

"Good," Rigas said in turn. "If I didn't know you better, I'd think you were keeping tabs on me, Geraka."

The Lieutenant laughed--she allowed herself to do so, for the two were basically friends at this point. "I was certain you'd have closed the deal by now, sir."

"Well," Rigas retorted, turning around and leaning against the window. "I have to thank you for mediating on my behalf. No way a newcomer like me would have gotten a place like this otherwise."

Anna's response sounded content. "It was the least I could do, sir. I've scarcely been under your command for a year, and I've already made full Lieutenant, up from Second."

Rigas shook his head. "You would have risen without me." He looked out the window again, toward the other end of the Straits. "Anyway, are you still staying in Pera District with your family?"

"For the moment," Anna replied. "I'll have to find someplace to stay, but I think the Muntenian family that's renting my family's apartment near the Forum will vacate it soon. I could move in there next week."

"Well," Rigas said. "That sounds like a plan. But, until then, how about you come over to my place with the rest of the team for a bit of a housewarming Dormition Feast dinner? I've bought nearly a whole boar, and I can't eat that by myself. Unless you'd prefer to spend the holiday with your family, that is..."

Anna was quick to reply. "Oh, no worry of that, sir--they weren't expecting my promotion and transfer so soon, so they'd already made plans to spend the holiday in Caria, with my mother's parents. I was nearly resigned to the fact that I'd spent August 15 on my own."

Rigas stood up triumphantly. "Excellent, then. I shall see you tomorrow. I'll send out the details via a group email."

"Thank you, sir," Anna answered. "Till tomorrow then." She hung up, leaving Rigas to ponder the view again. What a massive city Propontis was, quite unlike Hierosolyma, let alone the smaller town where he had been brought up! How many stories and lives one could fit in there--enough to contain the whole world! Funnily enough, he had heard that his unit had housed a well-off Pannonian refugee family, before they had been relocated inland, to Aspropol, along with most of their wave. Not only could Propontis contain a whole world, it also housed people from all over it: Anna's Carian mother, the Pannonians, the Himyari immigrants in Himyar Square... for a moment, he wondered how all those people must have felt when they first laid eyes on the Queen of Cities.
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Nymphaion, Lycaonia, Pelasgia

The sturdy stone walls of the Palace of the Laskarids stood firm with the weight of eight hundred years of history. It was here that the Laskarids, the progenitors and the predecessors of the current Vatatzes Dynasty, had taken refuge after the Great Himyari Crusade had driven them from Propontis; and it was here that, every year since the recapture of the Great City, the Emperors of Pelasgia came to pass the end of their summer and to celebrate the feast of both cities' patron saint: the Virgin Mary.

Sat atop his golden and tyrian purple velvet throne, Theodore VIII Vatatzes seemed almost out of place amidst the near-medieval castle. His admiral's uniform was almost hyper-modern inside a palace that, apart from some changes here and there, retained mostly the same outline as in the end of the medieval period. Yet, to the eyes of all those around him, the Sovereign exceeded nothing but majesty and authorityem—what animal but man had been so thoroughly trained to ignore his basic senses?

It was thus covered in all his trappings of state that the Emperor received his most loyal and obedient Prime Minister, who had come all the way to Nymphaion with an important request, the likes of which could not be delivered even via a technological medium. In this way, the premier hoped to more effectively appeal to his Sovereign Lord's senses. Alas, it all was in vain.

"Your Majesty," Lord Sophokles Angelopoulos said, his voice betraying a tone of desperation as he finally repeated his request for what felt like the thousandth time. "It is imperative for the unity of the governing coalition that you distance yourself from him until the rumours are thoroughly debunked—nine months from now or so."

The Emperor, with his deep blue eyes and fox-like face, seemed unimpressed, though emotionless as ever. "Prime Minister, you ask me to 'distance' myself from my son—from my own flesh and blood? Politics be damned, Basil has done nothing to warrant such dishonour."

"It is only a temporary measure-

"Temporary or not, punishment without crime is still unjust!" the Emperor retorted, cutting off Angelopoulos and raising his voice for the first time the latter could recall in years. "My son has done everything his country has demanded of him and then some: he has given up a life of comfort for service in the Army; he has married a woman not of his own choosing, to keep up the family name; and, now, he has given her a child, not through 'IVF' as some would recommend, but the proper way. What more must the man do to dispel the baseless slander some foreign pervert from @Radilo ascribes to my son's dearest sister?"

Angelopoulos fell silent for a moment. As his deep eyes gazed out from within his even deeper sockets to examine the man and the room before him, found his interlocutor as unphased and unyielding as ever. With a deep sigh, he stood up straight, even straighter than he normally thought possible, and uttered his last argument. "In that case, I shall have to ask Your Majesty to allow me to tender my resignation."

The reply came without a moment's hesitation. "Yes, that would be best." Angelopoulos was visibly taken aback; he had scarcely opened his mouth to form a response when the Emperor continued. "Recent events have made it clear that, though your services have done much good to Our domain, you have also started to become unpopular with large segments of your own party—and, increasingly of the public. Your heavy-handed approach has started to put a target on Our back, and that is precisely what you wish to avoid, is it not?"

The premier was dumbfounded. All this time, he had thought himself so indispensable to the running of the State, almost like a second Emperor, that he did not even consider that the actual Emperor could do without him. This must be the work of Andreades! he reasoned, bringing to mind the figure of his main rival within the Constitutional Democratic Party—an image that instantly enraged him. I'll get back at him alright. But first, I must retain my position! Alas, rage as he might, his thoughts had soon cleared up enough for his legendary dexterity to make matters clear: there was no walking back from what he had just done. A threat once made and taken up upon, must be seen through to the end, lest he who made it lose all serious bargaining power; and, anyway, were the MP to try to climb back all the way to the top, he would have to burn the very coalition that led him to power to do so, making the whole thing a self-defeating task, since he could never hold power even if he attained it anew.

Truly, Angelopoulos, as he would later reason, should have laughed: one moment, he had been on top of the country; and the next, he was withdrawing from public life without even having planned for it. No doubt, he would find some academic, diplomatic, or other dignified position to spend the rest of his days. He was a noble and a former PM, and therefore a senator ex officio, if nothing else. At the end of the day, though, his mind could not help but fixate on one old adage: "God is a master comedian." That, He very clearly was.
 

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Propontis, Pelasgia

ΑΠΑΓΟΡΕΥΕΤΑΙ Η ΑΦΙΣΟΚΟΛΛΗΣΙΣ - ΝΟΜΟΣ 2147
Posters prohibited - Law 2147

This simple prohibition must have been painted a million times across the centre of Propontis, appearing on signs, inscriptions, and warning billboards on various surfaces that lent themselves to the sticking of posters—always in the same, sterile sheriff font, and always in laconic black or white lettering. Nevertheless, some hoodlum or another saw fit, every now and then, to break the law for a quick buck, particularly in less policed alleyways or side-streets.

Having spent his early years in a smaller town where every wall was someone’s private property, Rigas took this law quite to heart. His subsequent experience in Hierosolyma and Propontis, where his adoptive parents had taken him after his family’s tragic demise in a driving accident not of their own fault, had only reinforced this view, since the young orphan had been raised in a less than fortunate part of town, where violations of Law 2147 abounded the most.

“Enjoying the view, sir?” Anna asked, happening upon Rigas as he surveyed the detention and fining of a person sticking unlawful posters, with some visible measure of satisfaction.

“As one should,” Rigas replied after a moment more of silent pondering. “The Emperor’s law is not to be flaunted.”

This time, it was Anna’s turn to smile. “You sound like my father, sir.”

The image of the late Lt. General Epaminondas Gerakas, one of the Imperial Gendarmerie’s most prodigious officers and most highly respected Academy instructors came to mind. The tall, stern-faced man with the slightly large nose and the austere spectacles had served as one of Rigas’ own mentors back in his Academy days, and the man who jump-started his career in the Internal Security branch of Pelasgia’s largest law enforcement agency.

“That’s quite the complement, Geraka,” Rigas admitted. “You know I respect your father deeply.”

“I know, sir,” Anna answered. “I believe you told me when you accepted to have me as your subordinate—on my father’s recommendation.”

“Indeed,” came Rigas’ reply. He pondered the somewhat comedically harsh interaction between the constables and the lawbreaker down the street for a few instants more, before finally continuing down to the road, to where Anna was parked. “Look, Geraka, I’ve been meaning to tell you, but I couldn’t in front of the others: I’ve been offered a transfer to the Krypteia, as a Lt. Colonel. Do you think I should take it?”

Anna’s goldish-brown, almond-shaped eyes blinked rapidly. “That’s wonderful news, sir! And of course I think you should take it; I can’t think of a better qualified man for the job. Especially after the magic you worked in Hierosolyma…” She paused for a moment, before answering a question she knew her superior most likely had but could not bring himself to voice. “And I think my father would share both my sentiment and my response.”

A deep nod of satisfaction cane from Rigas as he opened the door for Anna. “Thank you. I… Of course, I won’t be your superior anymore in a few days’ time.” He paused awkwardly for a few instants, unsure of what to say in such a situation. “Realistically, I think you’ll succeed me. So congratulations—I think some drinks are in order, perhaps next week when I’ve signed all the paperwork, to celebrate!”

An unseen palour overtook the natural olive tone of the half-Carian Lieutenant, followed by a rush of blood to the cheeks—this must have been the first time Rigas ever saw his subordinate blush. “Of course, sir, it’d be a great honour! Should I tell the others, or…?”

Rugas shook his head. “It’ll take a couple of weeks more before they’re formally notified—before that, it’s all classified. So we have to act like nothing’s changed in front of them.”

Anna saluted reflexively, even though neither one of them was in uniform. “Understood, sir!”

The two of them blinked awkwardly. “Geraka, I didn’t order you to have celebratory drinks with me.”

The resulting laughter even caught the attention of the Imperial Police constables down the street, who had found a new offender to fine, this time for not keeping his barking dog inside his apartment during quiet hours.



Pyrgos, Propontis M.P., Pelasgia

A luxurious automobile sped down Kosmidiou Avenue, the massive Propontine thoroughfare that run down the entire length of the Metropolitan Prefecture, connecting the old port of Pyrgos with the eponymous affluent area of Kosmidion, which was located at the furthest point of the city proper, on the edge of the internal bay that lied south of the city.

The vehicle in question, a Pegasus 160 SUV, was escorted by six more of its kind, all black, armoured and with tinted, bulletproof windows. It was inside the back of the main vehicle of this small convoy that Count Palaiologos, the Foreign Minister, sat beside the Throne’s favourite candidate for the premiership: Philippos Andreades, Member of the Boule for Propontis B*.

*The most populous and important electoral riding in Pelasgia, which occupies the suburbs of the capital city. It is broken into sub-districts (B1, B2 etc.) for the various suburban areas of Propontis. Andreades represents B1, the wealthy eastern suburbs where the Count lives.

“I appreciate your invitation, Mr. Andreades,” the handsome, red-haired Count said in his characteristic, refined tone and flawless Propontine pronunciation. “I’ve meant to go to Kapniotes’ Seafood Restaurant for some time now, but, alas, my duties have kept me from doing so. But now—how could one refuse an invitation from the ranking member for the Boule’s Foreign Affairs Committee?”

Andreades unassuming visage and figure were, much like the smile on his face, polite but not overbearing. “I appreciate Your Excellency’s taking the time to dine out with me; it is a great honour to treat a Count to rofos*.”

*The most expensive dish in any Pelasgian seafood restaurant, sold by the kilo and considered a favourite of the Propontine aristocracy.

The Count noded contently at the recognition of his superior status before facing his host. “I take it that the dinner will involve some business?”

“Only if we can’t come to an understanding here and now,” the other explained. “Your record as Foreign Minister is beyond reproach, and most insiders agree that my victory in the leadership race is guaranteed. So, I have an offer for you: to be my Minister of Foreign Affairs—and the voice of the aristocracy in my cabinet.”

The Counted toyed with his beard pensively before answering. “You speak honestly and make a good offer. Yet, we both know that, with me, I will be bringing a considerable amount of your predecessor’s erstwhile backers to your side, thereby removing the ground from under Minister Sphrantzes’ feet. Now, trust me, I am not playing favourites, but I must ensure that the new cabinet is adequately led by experienced statesmen before I withdraw my confidence from a colleague.”

Andreades had been awaiting this moment, expecting nothing less from the old fox of a Count, as he was often called on account of his cunning. “In that case, I shall also ask you to grace me by being my Vice-President of the Cabinet, in order to lend me your experience in government.”

The Count smiled faintly for a moment, and then looked back into the car, away from the lights of the city that flashed by the vehicle's windows. “In that case, it how could I not accept?”

The two men shook hands and decided to devote the rest of their evening to pleasantries on the Propontine seafront, accompanied by plentiful portions of rofos and sips of white wine, all paid by the obol and lepton of the Andreades political dynasty (who had come to Propontis from Pieria almost a century prior).
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Skala, Pieria, Pelasgia

Numbers lie. Statistics are an illusion. Certainly, they are a useful approximation of reality, a simplified model of a complex world; but for anyone who has ever gazed on the real world and then examined statistics, the two might as well be describing two different planes of existence. Take the GDP per capita of Pelasgia for instance: EM 26.623 (or PGO 159.738) for every Pelasgian. Twenty-six thousand euromarks. On its face, that seems like a nice, round sum for a country on the lower to middle end of the high income spectrum. In actual fact, however, that was more of a median between two worlds: the highly developed world of coastal Old Pelasgia and its sprawling metropolises, where GDP reached somewhere in the low to mid forty thousands; and the developing, harsh world of inland Pelasgia, with its smaller industrial cities and rural towns. There, GDP was decidedly lower income, hovering around ten thousand, and sometimes plummeting below that, especially in highland regions. The fertility rate was another such illusion: 2.14—a nice, easy-to-remember figure, just above replacement levels. In coastal areas, it had long gone below that; whereas in inland areas, where large families were still the norm, it seemed comically low. In short, these figures described two wholly different countries, two distinct worlds, which just happened to exist within the same primary-level statistical area.

In some places, these two worlds met. Skala was one such place. Perched on the eastern edge of the bay surrounding Thermi, Pelasgia's second largest and "co-reigning" city, Skala was home to some of the largest shipyards and industrial facilities in Himyar and all of Europe. Even as far back as the days of the Tiburans it held this status; and even as far back as then must it have been the same thing it was now: a magnet for all the poor and humble who could make the trip to come and search for a new beginning, for hope of a better life in exchange for hard work. Third and fourth sons from rural areas with no hope of inheritance and who could not stomach joining the Navy; fallen women and illegitimate children; migrants from as far North as Pannonia and as far south as Central Himyar, and every place in between; and plain old ordinary folk who could just no longer make it back home, in their God-knows-where small town south of the Lycaonian Mountains. Others yet, had simply had the fortune (or, perhaps, the misfortune) of being born there.

For as far back as he could remember, Gregorios Lazarides had called Skala home. Its concrete residential towers, almost always painted white or some light shade of blue, yellow or pink by law and every now and then sporting a red tile roof were the only place where he truly felt comfortable, in spite of the general impoverishment and the great incidence of crime that characterised this humble corner of the Thermian metropolis. The son of an immigrant man from Hajr and an orphaned Pelasgian woman, both of them workers at a nearby fish processing plant, he bore his mother's last name not because he was an illegitimate child (as was often the case when one bore the last name of anyone but his father), but simply to avoid social stigma. His three younger sisters were also called Lazaridou—and the eldest, Alexandra, had introduced him to the girl who had been his childhood best friend, and who later became the woman of his life: Konstantina Severtakou, the only daughter of a Pelasgian construction worker and a nurse from Central Himyar.

It had only been a week since Konstantina, that tall, slender woman whose skin was just dark enough to be Nethian, and whose hair just curly enough to not be straight had agreed to marry him. Sat across from her beside the sea, near that old fortress whose hundred steps had granted Skala its name of "staircase", he saw a spark brighten her deep blue eyes when he proposed. The kiss they shared then must have been the sweetest he had ever had. Oh, how he still recalled-

"Hey, you there!"

Gregorios stopped and turned to his right, facing the man whose authoritative cry had interrupted his smiling recollection.

"Where do you think you're going?" the man continued; the man wore dark blue uniform and a garrison cap bearing the unmistakable golden, double-headed eagle of the Empire—meaning that he was a constable of the Imperial Police, and that Gregorios had to answer his question whether he wanted to or not. "Didn't you see the light? Do you want to get run over?"

"I- Sorry," Gregorios simply said, and he started for the crossing again. Alas, the constable pulled him back.

"'Sorry' doesn't cut it. Where are you running off to, anyway? What are you doing here?" At once, Gregorios examined the man detaining him more closely. Before then, he had not truly paid him heed or perceived him, yet now, he understood the constable's angle. Pale with dark hair and eyes, he was a centimeter or two taller than the average Pelasgian, which made him clearly shorter than Gregorios, but by no means short. The striking image of an Old Pelasgian, the kind who were alone trusted to police these 'in-between' areas dividing the country's two worlds. His true meaning was to ask precisely what some low-class hoodlum, some half-breed pleb like Gregorios was trying to do, crossing the road out of Skala and into a respectable middle-class neighbourhood like Palinorthosis (itself named after the illustrious Restoration of the Vatatzes Dynasty). Gregorios' olive skin took a blood-red hue, as he felt rage go throw him. He reasoned that he could rather easily push away the overbearing constable with his faked Propontine accent—but he knew better. No reasonable, sane man would dare raise a hand on an officer of the Throne in Pelasgia... (Unless he wanted to lose the hand, that was).

"I..." Gregorios stuttered out an answer. "My betrothed's in the hospital, she got struck by a car. I have to go see her."

Instinctively, the constable let go. A moment prior, he had been resolved to fine the youth before him, but even his heart had to soften at news like these. The organ of public order regained his strict composure and let Gregorios go "with a warning". Gregorios would have been outraged, but the adrenaline rush as he crossed the street wiped his wrath away almost in an instant. As he zoomed past the better maintained, more elegant and more spacious residences of Palinorthosis, with its greenery and shrubs throughout, he felt a hot summer wind blow in his sweaty face and the scorching sun burn his skin as the sound of cicadae and birds mixed with the noise of cars zooming by. The belltower of some nearby church chimed one in the afternoon when Gregorios finally arrived at Palinorthosis General Ecclesiastical Hospital, resting under the shade of the pine trees that filled its grounds and the nearby wood.

A nun, somewhere between thirty and forty years of age, showed the tall, robust and visibly anxious man to a greenish-blue plastic seat somewhere in the endless white and pastel-green corridors of the hospital. For the next nine hours, he waited, the coughing and crying of other patients and their family members, along with the black-and-white-clad figures of the nuns who run the hospital being his only stimuli. All over the walls of the facility, portraits of saints hanged. Konstantina, it was explained to him, had been admitted, but she was only eighth in line. The hospital was hopelessly understaffed, overwhelmed by the influx of residents to what had, up until a few decades ago, been a semi-rural, suburban outpost of Thermi, and not a part of its sprawling urban core. The Church did its best to provide care, with the occasional state subsidy, but so long as things persisted in this way, long waits and occasional denials of service were inevitable. The state had, timidly, started to help, but its wish to save taxpayer money and to avoid a turf war with the powerful Orthodox Church had kept it from expanding into anything but regulation of standards for healthcare, well short of providing the service itself. And, anyway, of all places in Pelasgia, why would Skala be the one to get a state hospital? The nearby hospital of Palinorthosis was good enough, though it prioritised the better-off locals who mostly paid for it through their donations, rather than the nearby freeloaders of Skala.

In the early hours of the next day, Konstantina would be dismissed from the hospital, with only a concussion and minor injuries. She would recover at home, while Gregorios worked double shifts to make up for her lost work and income. For all the golden eagles the Empire could afford to plaster on its monuments, it was reluctant to spend an extra dime to support an injured worker. The Church would handle that, helping Konstantina with the occasional charity and dole—had she been anything but a good, practicing Christian, with a local priest to vouch for her, one could wonder where she would have ended up...
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
You must be registered for see images

Parliament of Pelasgia
Parliamentary Library and Archives


22/08/2022: Speech by the Rt. Hon. Mr. Philippos A. Andreandes, MP for Propontis B2 Electoral District, before the Boule of Representatives on the occasion of his appointment to the Prime Ministry of the Empire (Transcript).

“Mr. Speaker, esteemed Members of this House, I would like to begin this my first speech before the Boule of Representatives in my capacity as Prime Minister by thanking our Most Pious Sovereign for the great honour he has done me by appointing me as Head of Government of the Empire.”

[Applause follows for a few moments.]

“Let me then begin my speech by pointing out all the great things that our Nation has done since the end of the Union of its Throne with that of Caria: for one, we have re-established ourselves as Himyar’s largest economy, and as one of the most prominent in Europe; furthermore, and in no small part thanks to the efforts of my predecessor, we have not only maintained our dominance over global and Meridian maritime trade, but we have expanded into new markets, such as Ostmark’s electronics industry, over which Pelasgia is guaranteed a virtual export monopoly; indeed, we have maintained our neutrality while forging closer ties with countries as far as Corrientes and San Jose and as close as Radilo and Tarusa, all the while using oil and shipping profits to diversify and further industrialise our economy into the industrial giant of all Himyar. Most importantly, perhaps, we have completed the Restoration of our Empire, both by ensuring the continuity of the Vatatzes Dynasty, and by liberating Philistaea and reabsorbing it into Pelasgia without firing a single shot. This has all been done, in no small part, thanks to the undying loyalty and perseverance of the Pelasgian People, without whose steadfast dedication and unparalleled work ethic, neither industry nor military would see their ranks filled, neither academy nor Cathedral would see their halls populated, neither market nor forum would see their seats occupied. The lifeblood of the Nation, as always, is the people who make it up—and it is to them, first and foremost, that we owe the success of our Empire.”

[Thunderous applause erupts and persists for several instants; the Speaker politely requests the Chamber to be quiet, so that the Prime Minister might continue with his speech.]

“Of the valour of our men, of the virtue of our women, of the piety of our sons and daughters, and of the wisdom of our elders, I could say much and yet very little, for speech is inadequate to glorify such excellence. I could indeed extol our noblesse and our bourgeoisie, who have laboured together to lead the People of this Nation to glory—or even the dutiful middle class who turn the wheels of the whole machine, and the common folk who put in the necessary, hard labour day and night to carry out the plans conjured by the top of society and overseen by the middle. Yet, it is precisely because unity is so important to a social project that I must, unfortunately, turn to less pleasant aspects of the last half century.”

[A silent pause—amidst which a few audible gasps can be heard—follows.]

“For while, honourable colleagues, all this great progress has been made, it cannot be denied that great issues have persisted and even grown—while entirely new problems have appeared and been allowed to fester. Who among us has not visited the growing slums of this Nation’s great cities, areas which have resulted from the pouring in of millions and millions from the overpopulated rural inland to the economic centres near the coast, with neither plan nor care for how these millions of new labourers will be housed, educated, cared for, and otherwise integrated into the fabric of their new home? Who among us has not noted the great moral decay which such impoverishment and deprivation tends to induce into the lower classes, which, formerly, were in the naturally virtue-inspiring environs of nature, and which are now cast into the darkest abyss of a metropolitan cauldron? Who, indeed, can deny that, if allowed to fester, such dysfunction shall not only prove destabilising for the polity, by acting as fertile ground for anarchic and antisocial ideas, but also by corrupting that same lifeblood of the Nation of which I previously spoke: the people?”

[A mix of booing and applause, both violent, ensues; the Speaker loudly demands that the Chamber be quiet for several moments, until order is re-established by the appearance of the Sergeant at Arms.]

“Gentlemen, let us not lie to ourselves: a Nation is a compact between all members of a society. Be they rich or poor, male or female, pureblood or mixed, young or elderly, educated or illiterate, rural or urban, noble or plebeian, Orthodox or heretic, Christian or heathen, and so forth, all within a society form part of it, and their collective participation to society, their willingness to make sacrifices for that society’s preservation, is precisely what constitutes the Nation. Surely, it is the business and duty of the more elevated (in any sense of the term, be it pecuniary, social, intellectual, physical or spiritual) to help raise up and protect those who are lesser. Without this hard but necessary duty, the Nation ceases to exist and gives way to division and civil strife. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us, as the Representatives of the Nation to the Sublime Throne, to do our utmost in the pursuit of this duty.

“As Prime Minister, I shall endeavour to maintain the unity of this Nation, by making the necessary reforms, no matter how profound or painful. In this difficult task, I have been assured by His Imperial Majesty that the Sublime Throne shall be at my side. I pray, gentlemen, that I shall have you at my side—and at the Throne’s side—also, as good, loyal, and honourable Pelasgians. Thank you.”

[The Prime Minister leaves the podium at the centre of the Chamber, amidst both thunderous applause and violent booing by different segments of the Chamber; the Speaker calls for order and threatens that he shall have the Sergeant at Arms remove any particularly egregious offenders, though the scene persists for quite some time, until the Prime Minister regains his seat.]
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Hagios Simeon, Propontis M.P., Pelasgia

A rainy weather had come over all of Pelasgia, particularly in the north. These late August pours, which had seemed to appear every other year, had gotten more common in recent years—still, compared to the remarkably hot late summer of the previous year, they seemed an anomaly, even to those best acquainted with the peculiarities of the weather: farmers and men of the sea.

Nikos Pavlopoulos was that rare breed of man who had been both. Born to a rural family in some small town of a few hundred souls just south of Diospolis, near the Pelagonian highlands, he had spent most of his childhood far from the sea. By the time he had swam somewhere other than a river or a lake, he had been twelve years old. In a country where most people learned to swim by four years old, Nikos Pavlopoulos had not even laid eyes upon the Pelasgian coast before his teens. Yet, fifteen years later, he could still recall that moment with impeccable clarity—and with a genuine glow in his eyes. That endless azure main, stretching as far as the eye could see, brightened by the rays of the sun and foaming white at various points and always as it touched the naked coast! Nothing in the mountainous, dump and cold environs he called home could match that—not to speak of the hosts of marine life, formerly only seen in film or read or heard about, with which the quiet beaches near Basilica were teeming.

It had been then that Nikos resolved to live his life out at sea—not that, as the fifth child and the third son of a rural family without much land to divide between its offspring, he would have been left with many other choices but to leave home and making a living. At seventeen, before he even had attained the age of majority, he snuck aboard a cargo freighter belonging to Poseidon Shipping, a subsidiary of the immense Koressios Conglomerate: the Efterpi. Now, ten years and countless ships later, he found himself aboard the Agios Eleftherios, returning from a trip on the western coast of southern Occidentia, with stops in eastern and southern Toyou.

Calmly surveying the harbour of Hagios Simeon, the modern port of Propontis since its victory over Pyrgos almost a century prior and the largest of its kind in all of Himyar, Nikos took occasional puffs from a cigarette—the last of a pack of Palmas, which had been gifted him by a night’s paramour in Corrientes. The Agios Eleftherios appeared like a giant, anchored as it was by one of the innumerable piers of Hagios Simeon; and yet, some other ships that passed by, such as the monstrous Toyoumax bound for the Far East or the Occimax sailing for the New World dwarfed even Nikos’ own ship. When he had first joined the Merchant Marine, such sights had amazed him, even given him some pride in forming part of this humongous fleet; now, they scarcely even registered. They were as mundane to him, as music must be to a conductor, or sport to a top athlete.

As he calmly surveyed the harbour, Nikos’ eye stopped just past the large cargo cranes the loaded and offloaded freighters. Docked beside the mountain of metal crates of all colours that constituted this cargo area of the port, there was the medium-sized freighter Ariadne, a relatively new but otherwise modest ship affiliated with the Xitelis Group. The sight brought a smile to Nikos’ face—for unremarkable as this ship was, it was where his cousin Panagiotes had taken up the sailor’s trade, himself looking to escape the mountainous interior with its harsh weather and even harsher life. Not that a sailor’s life was easy… It was lonely, poor, and hard. But it was far from boring, even after one had seen most of the world. For the thrill of the ocean—or, rather, of struggling to survive on the high seas—never quite went boring. One moment, you could be lying calmly in bed, and the next, your ship could be struck by a storm that made you reconsider your spiritual beliefs! Panagiotes himself had recently had that experience for the first time, according to one conversation he and his cousin had had via a messenger app a few weeks prior. With a hint of a smile in his visage and his cigarette in his left hand, Nikos took out his phone with his right hand and snapped a picture of the Ariadne, which he sent to Panagiotes. A smiley was the immediate response, along with the laconic message: “We’re just back from Dulwich. You?”

Nikos wished he could say that he was staying in town, if only to meet with his cousin and talk about the Panagiotes’ first trip out to open sea. The stories he would have! Most of them would be mundane to a seawolf like Nikos, but the excitement of hearing a young sailor utter stories such as these was always something to savour. And then there were the few stories that never got old: unique sights; freak accidents; friendship and fights; tales of camaraderie; and tales of love. Nikos himself still thought of his first trip from time to time: becoming best of friends with Basil, the humongous Central Himyari engineman with a heart of gold; that bar fight where the most of the crew almost died and yet beat a group of men thrice as many as they; the time he lost his virginity to some prostitute in Karzask who strangely refused his payment; and that storm on the way back, where he nearly vowed never to set foot on a ship ever again! Each sailor had stories like this—and they each had a few truly unique stories, the kind that one only heard once and was left wondering how much of the thing was true.

“Heading to Attaleia to refuel in a few hours,” Nikos answered. “We’ll meet.” There was an ‘eventually’ missing somewhere in there, but it was always implied among men of the sea. Without even a sigh, he put out his cigarette by crashing it on the steel railing and then threw it overboard. Hagios Simeon would be watered by the dirtiest sea in the world, were it not for the Straits’ renewing the waters from two seas here all the time, Nikos thought. Just as he was about to complete his thought and turn around to enter the ship’s tower, he paused. The Mikra Zakros! He thought, remarking at the large Imperial Coast Guard cutter marked «ΒΛΣ 191» (or ICG 191, meaning “Imperial Coast Guard [vessel] 191”). That cutter (if one could call it that), was essentially a frigate with lighter armament and equipment which had been painted in Coast Guard stripes and put into the Imperial Coast Guard’s service was one of the largest in the world and nothing short of overkill—but it did allow the ICG to patrol sensitive waters and prevent piracy without having to rely on the Imperial Navy.

“That’s a big boat,” remarked Basil as he emerged from the ship’s tower out onto the balcony-like platform. He bright orange sailor’s uniform was wet from the last few days’ stormy weather, and his pitch-black skin was sweaty from several days’ hard work. On Basil’s helmet figured the flag of Central Himyar, his native land—along with an inscription in his native tongue. The large engineman had only told Nikos what this was on condition of keeping it secret: Basil’s real name. If someone found out, he could use it to curse him, Nikos recalled Basil’s explanation, based on his own people’s beliefs. Basil was only the name the other sailors had given him—he had originally hated it, but changed his mind when he found out that it was a cognate of Basileus or “King”. Basil allegedly traced his ancestry back to a proud line of chiefs in his native land—and though Nikos could not tell whether he was mocking him by claiming this, he always knew that the charismatic, big-hearted engineman had a kingly quality about him. If nothing else, he never hesitated to buy his crewmates a round (or several) on his own dime, even when his pay was withheld or delayed. ‘Basil spends like a King’ the pun went in Pelasgian!

“It’s the Mikra Zakros,” Nikos answered. “The Harbour Corps’* latest ‘large operational cutter’—what they call their frigates for legal reasons.”

*In Pelasgian, the literal name of the Imperial Coast Guard is the “Imperial Harbour Corps” (Βασιλικὸν Λιμενικὸν Σῶμα, Vasilikòn Limenikòn Sôma).

Basil shook his head. “The Habour Corps, eh? Your little nephew joined up with them, no?”

“Yes, my eldest sister’s only son,” Nikos answered, nodding. “He’s on that ship.” With that, Nikos’ face sunk and his visage turned dark and murky.

Basil placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Scared for him? Maybe take a picture of the boat and say ‘hi’.”

“You know I can’t do that,” Nikos answered sternly, turning to look at Basil. “He’s on deployment, he can’t communicate with the outside world! And yes, of course I’m scared: military service is harsh, especially on first deployments. They drill discipline into the young lads, to ‘make men out of them’.”

Basil pondered his friend’s sour complexion for a few instants. Then, suddenly, his face brightened with an idea. “Oh, I see!” he roared. “They take the boys to the brothels!”

“What?!” A blushing Nikos shouted back at Basil. “No, that’s not what I meant!”

Basil, however, was relentless. “Your nephew’s never been with a woman before, right? Like you on your first trip! He’s basically like the little brother you never had. I say you send him a different kind of picture, one from the web—along with instructions on ‘where to put it’.”

Nikos sighed deeply, finally realising that the loud, bombastic engineman had been playing him. “Fuck you, Basil! Is that even your name on the helmet?”

Basil roared with hearty laughter, so much so that he clutched his chest. “Oh, that’s what I told you, isn’t it, Nikos? Now, whether you believe me or not… that’s up to you!”
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Aspropol, Pelagonia, Pelasgia

The sun had barely risen over the outskirts of Aspropol, just barely registering over the silhouette of the Pelagonian Highlands, and the towering figure of Dioscorphe, that massive behemoth of a mountain whose peak was the tallest in all of Pelasgia, and possibly all of northern Himyar. All across the capital of the Theme of Pelagonia, with its near-uniform simplified neoclassical housing blocks and its smaller but equally thoroughly planned suburbs, not a single window shone with light. The residents of one of the Pelasgian inland's largest industrial centres were peacefully asleep in their homes, resting before a long day's work. All of them, that is, except for one teenage girl, who calmly awaited in the shadows behind the living room window of her home, which looked out into the nearby sidewalk and the mailbox beside it. The mailbox in question was shared by the four families that populated the small but relatively comfortable quadriplex in the planned community of Rhodolivadon, near the city's southern frontier. But, for her part, Viktoria Farkas was convinced that any activity near that mailbox must have been related to her household, and hers alone!

"Come on now," she whispered so softly as to almost not speak at all. Having awoken a good hour or so before normal, she lied under the sheets she had brought from her room onto the living room sofa, carefully observing the narrow street outside her home (Patriarchou Nikodemou Street, that is). Though not cold at all, she clutched her blanket (ironically a gift of charity to the Pannonian refugees by PEFA) ever more closely as the moments passed by. "Will that man show up?!"

Sighing a sigh that turned into a yawn, she wiped the rheum off her eyes and restlessly kicked the sofa until, suddenly—There!

A small yellow van appeared, its side bearing the unmistakable black logo of
: a double-headed eagle inside a post horn. Dressed in a black and yellow uniform, which included a waterproof windbreaker and a hat bearing the same symbol, a postman emerged from the truck to deliver a few letters to each mailbox. First, the Ngubu family from Central Himyar, Viktoria's upstairs neighbours; then, the Papadopouloi, a peasant family who had recently moved to the city and qualified for the same social housing unit as the Ngubu and Farkas families; after them, the quiet elderly couple of Mr. Kyrianes and his wife; and, finally, a trio of letters into the Farkas mailbox, bearing the name of Viktoria's grandfather, Péter.

No sooner had that most ancient of Tiburo-Pelasgian civil servants returned to his van and departed the premises than Viktoria had ran out of the front door, key in hand, to unlock the mailbox and go through its contents. An all-white envelope with the laconic black logo of PEFA? Nagyapa Péter can take care of that one! A light yellow folder with the officious lion of the Imperial Himyari Bank of Commerce? Nagyapa Péter's, clearly—or maybe mine, since I'm working too, but not a priority! A thick white folder from the Great Church of Christ in Propontis? Here, Viktoria's eyes widened: Finally!

Her heart almost bursting out of her chest with excitement, she carefully but rapidly tore open the folder, using the slender mailbox key as an envelope cutter, and then extracted the contents.

To the attention of the legal guardian of Ms. Viktoria Farkas, Mr. Péter Farkas, the letter started, printed in that peculiar font which stood between between a sheriff times-style and a medieval Propontine quill script. Hastily, almost as if annoyed by every word but the ones she was looking for, Viktoria scanned the text right down to the last comma and colon. "Whereas we acknowledge receipt of your granddaughter's application dated .... In consideration of both the letters of recommendation sent to us by the vice-headmistress at her girl's school, Mrs. Nikoletta Tiveriadou, and your family friend, Captain Stephanos Vogatsis of the Imperial Army ... In light of the appropriate legislation, and after consulting with the Logothesion of the Patriarchal Jurisconsult ... THE SAKELLARIOS* OF THE GREAT CHURCH OF CHRIST WISHES TO NOTIFY THE APPLICANT, MS. VIKTORIA FARKAS, OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF HER APPLICATION TO PURSUE HER STUDIES AT THE GREAT SCHOOL OF THE NATION IN PROPONTIS."

*The Pelasgian equivalent of Chancellor

At reading these words, Viktoria was ready to burst with joy: her eyes watered, her face blushed, she felt her vessels almost exploding. "Yes!" she cried out, forgetting in an instant her care not to wake her sleeping family members, and perhaps even her neighbours, given how loudly she had cried out. "I'm in! I'm in!"

Thoughts and dreams raced through Viktoria's mind: thoughts of those many passages she had read on the , the image of whose red brick castle-like exterior, built on a slope near the Patriarchate in the Cathedral District of Propontis. In truth, what Pelasgian child had not once dreamed of attending that most ancient and venerable boarding school, which had been founded in Propontis under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the 4th century A.D. by Tiberius the Great himself? To mingle with the smartest minds and the most elite of elite in the Empire's society; to study in ancient halls built in nearly lost ancient Tiburan styles; to parse through the tomes of the Great School's library, surpassed only by that of the Imperial and Patriarchal University of Propontis (BPPP). Viktoria could already see all of it before her: it was a dream come true. "I'm in!"

"In where, my child?" demanded the slightly annoyed voice of her rudely arisen grandfather. His tall, sturdy figure had grown hunched with age, but Péter Farkas was still an imposing man.

"Into the Great School of the Nation, grandpa!" Viktoria answered. "The best school in the country!"

"The Great School of the Nation," the elderly man repeated, with an almost ironic emphasis on that last word—as if to say: Whose nation? Certainly not ours. "Congratulations my dear," the old man continued, walking closer and closer until he could put his hand on his granddaughter's head. "Only, my dear, I must ask: who will work while you go off to Propontis with all those geniuses and patricians? I'm doing my best, but there's only so much I can do to keep this roof over our heads. Without you, we're as good as doomed down here, in the midst of this foreign nation."

Here, Viktoria felt the excitement leave her body almost as quickly as the blood left her face. Pale as death and awe-stricken as the first time she had seen death, the realisation crept upon her that she was not, in fact, of the Nation in the sense used in the Great School's name. It had been an obvious fact, but one she had (perhaps subconsciously) neglected to consider.

"Well," she started faintly. "There are grants..."

"For Orthodox kids," her grandfather answered. He drew her closer to hug her and knelt, painful as it was for his large and crooked back. "You don't qualify for those grants, do you?"

Drawing her brows closer, Viktoria spoke with determination. "Then, I'll convert! Isn't that what the essence of being a Pelasgian is, anyway? Speaking Pelasgian and being Orthodox? The Ngubus have done it, and so can we!"

Nagyapa Péter was taken aback. A fanatic he was not, but he had spent his whole life as a proud and devoted Catholic. To hear his own flesh and blood, all that was left of it almost, renounce her faith so easily over a dream of some school... "It's not so simple child. We might always move elsewhere... We have to..."

"Stay Pannonian?" Viktoria answered firmly. "Pannonia is dead, grandpa. Csengia is a cruel joke, it's an abomination wearing the skin of our country. The Inquisition is not the Catholicism you and grandma practiced. And anyway, we've been running for far too long. We have to settle down, to plant roots again at some point. And why not here? Why not now?"

Péter Farkas knew not what to answer. He raised his gaze above his niece, into the well, and perhaps into the endless expanse of the universe beyond. For the first time in his life, the disciplined, obedient young little girl he had known had started to have a mind of her own, to become a woman. It was a good thing alright, and he was happy to see it... only it came at a most inopportune time. Having being accustomed to the comforts of Pannonia, where every year tradition receded further and further in light of modern comforts, it was now hard to reassert parental power, even if the said comforts had evaporated. If felt wrong, nearly. "I do not know child... You have a point. But how would you even convert? You need a godfather, don't you? Someone to vouch for you to the parish priest."

Viktoria's deep blue eyes shifted to the letter before her: "In consideration of both the letters of recommendation sent to us by the vice-headmistress at her girl's school, Mrs. Nikoletta Tiveriadou, and your family friend, Captain Stephanos Vogatsis of the Imperial Army ..."

"I've got one alright," she said. "Only thing is, he is further south, in Central Himyar. And I'm not sure whether I can reach him in time..."



Propontis M.P., Pelasgia

"Did you hear the news, sir?" asked Sergeant Philippides as he passed by the desk of Major Selmanoglou to deliver a stack of classified documents. On the wall behind the Major was a portrait whose number of copies rivaled even the famous icon of the Virgin Mary holding the Sacred Infant: a portrait of Emperor Alexios VIII Vatatzes. On either side of the portrait stood the flag of the Pelasgian Empire and the standard of the Imperial Gendarmerie's Internal Security Command.

"What news is that, Sergeant?" came the reply as Selmanoglou barely gazed over his desk to acknowledge receipt of the documents. After shooting his question, the Major took a sip of Propontine black tea with honey and continued reading some report on his computer.

"Why, your former colleague, the newly promoted Major Kavallaris is getting married!"

Selmanoglou nearly spat his tea out. "What? When?! To whom?" Thus he shouted, as if to ask: "Why didn't he (or anyone else) tell me?"

"Well, it came as a shock to all of us, but to former Lt. Anna Geraka," Philippides responded, carefully shielding his remaining documents behind his back. "You see, the Major got transferred to the Krypteia after his success in Hierosolyma, which left Geraka, as his former subordinate to take over his position. Only, given the reorganisation proposed by the Interior Minister, the Gendarmerie and the other security forces would have changed a bit too much for her liking, on top of the new transfer of so many of her close colleagues. So, the Lieutenant decided to leave the force and get a desk job at the Interior Ministry."

Without moving an inch, Major Selmanoglou blinked in disbelief. "So... Rigas just let that one fly?"

The Sergeant shook his head. "Oh, no sir, he didn't know. She broke the news to him as they were having drinks to celebrate their new promotions before they were allowed to tell the others." He shrugged. "And rather than try to talk her out of some that was, by that point, a fait accompli... he simply asked her to marry him. I dare say her late father could not have hoped for anyone better."

Selmanoglou collapsed into his chair and span half-way to facing the wall. "Well, I cannot say I am that surprised... Most of us always joked that those two were like a couple... And the late Lt. General Gerakas was certainly fond of Rigas, fond enough to both sponsor his career and send his daughter to serve under him. Only, I guess, none us saw it coming so soon. She had a bright career ahead of her, that one."

"They both do, sir," Philippides answered. "After all, to advance above a certain rank, military or civilian, all Pelasgians need to be married. Doesn't the Empire need good families?"

A flash of sunlight from the window reflected off Selmanoglou's own wedding ring, drawing his attention. "That it does. That it does."
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Propontis M.P., Pelasgia

"My son! Get me my son!" Thus echoed the halls around the room of Propontis Central Military Hospital where Theodore VIII Vatatzes, Basileus and Autokrator of the Pelasgians was "recovering" from his surgery. "Recovering" was a generous term, for, though the Sovereign's success had been a success it had failed to address the underlying issue: the Emperor was dying. Whether it would be in a day or a decade, it had always been a question of time, the Imperial Surgeon had opined. Alas, for all the efforts of the best physicians in the Pelasgian Empire, it seemed that the time before the Emperor's death would be sooner than hoped, after all.

"My son! Get me my son!" The Emperor kept shouting, ignoring all attempts to calm him down. Thus he continued until, finally, the son in question emerged into the room, having been rushed to the hospital in a motorcade in the middle of the night from the Great Palace of Propontis, where Grand Despot Alexios Vatatzes' had been filling in for his father's absence.

"My son!" Theodore cried out one last time, nearly not believing his own eyes, when Alexios emerged into the room. His voice hardened as he turned to all around his bed. "All of you: Out, now." At once, everyone complied—even the Patriarch, who had been giving the Emperor his last rites.

Motioned to come closer, Alexios approaches his father, who seized the young Despot's hand the moment he was at his bedside.

"Alexios," the Emperor said. "Check the drawer under the desk in my study. There's a document there that I need you, and you alone, to get your hands on. Do you understand me?"

Alexios nodded. "Yes, father. What is it?"

"It's a decree packing the Senate with nobles of my own choosing!" (The Emperor's words caused great shock in Alexios, but he remained silent.) "With that, you can force through any reforms you like. Go now, and make sure it is published before I am pronounced dead. The future of our Empire depends on it."

Alexios kissed his father on the hand and then the cheeks before departing. Strained as he was, pained to see his father bedridden and moribund like a dying lion (or perhaps a dying eagle?), he complied, rushing out the room and back into his motorcade, which spend directly to the Great Palace. He followed his father's instructions and found the document—only, he did not go to produce it straight away. The bottom of the paper, he reasoned, bears my father's golden seal, making it a Chrysoboule. Such a decree is valid even if not published, as long as it is authentic—and it survives the Emperor's death, binding his line for all eternity. A smile appeared on his face as he shouted for his personal secretary, facing the massive, gilded icon of Christ Pantokrator which hanged over the Emperor's desk.

"Your Highness!" answered Georgios Melissanides, the secretary in question, as he emerged into the office. "Your Highness, it is with great sorrow that I must report that the Emperor is dead."

Though Alexios' face hardened, he did not turn around to face the secretary. "Georgios, I want a meeting with the Presiding Magistrate of the Senate. Book it right away."

Taken aback by the Grand Despot's directness and lack of apparent emotion as Melissanides was, he complied at once. Every man mourns differently, the man reasoned. And, indeed, deep inside himself, Alexios was mourning—but, as had been the case for the late Emperor when he rose to the Throne mere days after his own father's assassination, a head of state has neither the luxury for emotion, nor does he prioritise it. His first concern must be the Nation, the Realm. In Grand Despot Alexios' case, this was precisely what he had in mind. First, he would secure the Throne his father had left him; and only then when he go through all the ceremonial, outwardly motions of mourning.

As he paced up and down his father's office, the soon-to-be Emperor kept another piece of advice passed down from his grandfather to his father, and then to himself: "Upon rising to power, your enemies and your friends will shift around, and they may not be the same as mine. Set emotion aside, and do what must be done to secure your place." That was precisely what Alexios had in mind: for, to become Emperor of Pelasgia, one's enthronement would need to be approved by the Senate—and, at present, the Senate was most certainly not in favour of the reforms that the two previous heads of the House of Vatatzes had sponsored.
 

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
From: Aristeides Doukas <dieuthyntes@krypteia.gov.pg> [Director @Krypteia]
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2022 1:23 AM
To: Ioulios Laskaris <gen.epitelarches@ypetha.gov.pg> [Chief of General Staff @Ministry of National Defence]
Subject: Priority Encrypted Message
Attachment: [Intercepted Communication]
URGENT!

General,

Please find attached below an intercepted communication of crucial importance to you and the State, pursuant to the agreement governing our cooperation.

I am certain that you will use this information with discretion and great care.​

Aristeides Doukas | Director
H.I.M. Own Secret Service (Krypteia)
T: 210*******
E: dieuthyntes@krypteia.gov.pg

15 Nymphaiou Ave.
115 22
Propontis

*Open attachment*
You must be registered for see images

Pelasgian Empire
Interior Ministry
Imperial Secret Service
Department II - Internal Political Control


TOP SECRET | URGENT

Doc. No. 5321/B/1.1-3/2022


Below is the transcript of an intercepted conversation between the Presiding Magistrate of the Senate, Lord Markos ASLANIDES, and the Foreign Minister, Count Theophrastos PALAIOLOGOS. [...]

<document start>

PAL: I hear that you spoke with the Grand Despot?
ASL: You heard well. Unfortunately, it seems that the kid will be a bigger hustle than we expected.
PAL: Oh?
ASL: He has in his possession an unpublished Chrysoboule by his father appointing a great number of Senators of his choosing and creating many of them as patricians. With this, Vatatzes will be able to force whatever reform he wants on us—he will repay our making his father Emperor upon his grandfather's demise by rendering the senatorial nobility irrelevant.
PAL: That's hardly shocking, Markos. The Throne has always sought to sideline the Senate even before the Tiburan Emperors moved to Propontis. What is baffling is that the Grand Despot has not made use of this document yet—it would grant him instant victory, no?
ASL: Correct. But, he also correctly reasoned that such an open confrontation between different segments of the noblesse would weaken both us and the Throne, and open the latter up to attack by the bourgeoisie and other socially aspiring classes and segments. He wishes to preserve the Throne's power while destroying ours.
PAL: A fool's errand—but then, the Propontine Sovereigns have never lacked for ambition, no matter how displaced. I assume he wants you to capitulate in exchange for not publishing the decree? To allow us to 'save face' and eat ourselves to death while the nobility becomes ceremonial and powerless?
ASL: That is what he has proposed, yes.
PAL: And what do you have in mind? Or do you expect me to believe that you called me merely for 'advice', you old fox?
ASL: Well I did have a plan that I wanted to run by you-
PAL: 'Enlist me for', you mean.
ASL: As you wish. Anyway, he has the decree alright, but we can still question its validity. The whole process should take some time, even with expedited appeal procedures before the Chancery Division of the Supreme Court. In the meantime, we could perhaps circumvent traditional regency provisions making the Patriarch act in the Emperor's stead during a contested interregnum to install someone of our own choosing—someone more powerful. The whole spectacle should scare some sense into the young Vatatzes and force him to 'put some water in his wine'* as the plebeian saying goes.

*I.e., To moderate his stance (Pelasgian: νὰ βάλῃ νερὸ 'ς τὸ κρασί του, nà váli nerò 's tò krasí tou)
PAL: An ambitious plan, but not entirely without merit. Do you have anyone in mind?
ASL: I would like to flatter you by pretending I wanted your recommendation, but that would insult your intelligence. Of course I do: General Ioulios Laskaris, Chief of the General Staff.
PAL: Laskaris is a noble—not just any noble but a distant uncle of the Emperor's and a hereditary Sebastokrator*. He might as well be a candidate for the Throne.

*Essentially, a very senior noble who is a member of the Laskarid Dynasty (the parent family of the House of Vatatzes), without being part of the Emperor's direct family. The title lacks strict criteria and is typically conferred by the Emperor upon eligible nobles.
ASL: Who better to scare the Grand Despot with? Or to affirm the Senate's power to choose Emperors from among the eligible nobility, if push comes to shove and we have to make good on our threat and elevate General Laskaris to something more than a mere Regent.
PAL: Perhaps—but that is the same logic that brought us the late Emperor Theodore to kick away the Notaras faction for good. It worked for a while—only it brought you here.
ASL: And if Laskaris becomes a problem, we'll deal with him then. We live in the hic and the hoc, not in five decades from now. Though, I assure you I have made adequate preparations—which includes proposing that the first Prime Minister of our new Sovereign be a noble, if only to remind the people of this country that we still have a hand in government. I can't think of anyone better than a Count who has served as Foreign Minister in four different cabinets.
PAL: Flattering as your proposal might be, it is late and I cannot think on something so urgent on such short notice. Perhaps we can discuss my role in this tomorrow, since I will be in the Senate on official business anyway?
ASL: Certainly, but don't take too long to ponder the matter. The plan will go on with or without you, and it is perilous to be attached to Prime Minister Andreades right now—for he is with no faction at all. His late patron, our deeply regretted Sovereign, is unfortunately with the Lord now.


<document end>
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
You must be registered for see images

REGENTAL DECREE
AB (2022) № 3 | № 888/2022

REGENTAL DECREE APPOINTING
CERTAIN PERSONS TO THE SENATE

IOULIOS LASKARIS
SEBASTOKRATOR AND REGENT

Having considered that:

1. The present makeup of the Senate has proved to be a hinderence to the normal functioning of the State, given the refusal of a majority of members of that body to carry out its normal tasks absent certain concessions of a self-interested nature.
2. The makeup of the Senate has not changed significantly in nearly a decade, thereby excluding both the expertise and the wisdom of several of Nation's most qualified and talented individuals in all domains of public life.
3. It is the power of the Sublime Throne, and thus of whoever is exercising the Sublime Throne's powers during an Interregnum, to appoint Senators and create Patricians unilaterally and by decree, from time to time, in order to ensure that the Senate both functions properly and it adequately represents the Nation.

We, at the advice of the Council of State, decree and ordain as follows:

Article 1 - Senatorial Appointments

AB (2022) No. 3, s. 1 | RD 888/2022, art. 1
The following persons are appointed to the Senate as full Senators:
[...].

Article 2 - Creation as Patricians

AB (2022) No. 3, s. 2 | RD 888/2022, art. 2
Of the persons named in Article 1, the following persons are created Patricians, with the corresponding rank of nobility indicated below:
[...].

Article 3 - Exclusion of Liability, Judicial Review

AB (2022) No. 3, s. 3 | RD 888/2022, art. 3
1. No suit may be brought against any person named in this decree to frustrate its execution or otherwise in connection with the decree's enactment.
2. No suit may be brought to challenge the validity and enforcement of this decree, except where explicitly provided for in the Constitution and in relevant legislation. No novel action may lie from this decree, except against those frustrating its execution.
3. All judicial review of this decree is reserved to the Regency through the judicial functions of the Council of State.

Article 4 - Operative Provisions

AB (2022) No. 3, s. 4 | RD 888/2022, art. 4
This decree enters into force immediately upon its publication in the Official Gazette.

Propontis, September 14, 2022

IOULIOS LASKARIS S.

(L.S.)

The Great Seal of the State was witnessed and affixed in silver.

THE PROSECUTOR GENERAL
IOANNES MAKARIOS VELISSARIOU
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos



You must be registered for see images

THE SUPREME COURT OF THE EMPIRE
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
DIVISION V - CHANCERY
Judgment № 65/2022
September 15, 2022

[IN BANCO]

His Highness the Grand Despot,
Petitioner,
v.

Prosecutor General of the Empire,
Respondent.
_ _ _ _ _
S. Anastasiades, Senior Throne Counsel, for the appellant.
P. Goulandres of the Legal Council of the State, for the respondent.

_ _ _ _ _
The unanimous judgment of the Court was delivered by
Theodorakopoulos C.J.

_ _ _ _ _


J U D G M E N T
THEODORAKOPOULOS C.J.: The case at bar lies from a petition filed to this Court's Division of Chancery pursuant to its first instance jurisdiction, to try matters of overriding public importance and expedience, and to grant extraordinary relief. The petition in question (№ 227/2022) in fact asks to court to fulfill both of these functions. First, Petitioner (His Highness the Grand Despot) asks the Court to rule on the Constitutionality of Regental Decree № 5 of 2022; second, Petitioner also requests the Court to enjoin all parties against the execution of the impugned Decree pending a decision on the merits.

On the first issue, the Court must examine the right of Regents, such as Respondent, to issue decrees. Generally, a Regent has the same powers as the Emperor in whose stead he stewards and presides over the State during an Interregnum. [See K. Nikandrou, "The Legal Status of the Regency", 3rd. ed., Propontis, Magnaura Academic Editions, 2019, pp. 47-63; Simeon v. High Commissioner, C.S.P. No. 17/2020.] Nonetheless, both precedent and convention restrain a Regent from using these powers unless absolutely required. [See Nikandrou, "The Legal Status of the Regency",
supra, pp. 59-60; Simeon, supra.] The question thus becomes whether this convention has risen to a constitutional rule, either included in the text of the current Constitution of Pelasgia, or otherwise enshrined in the overall framework of our constitutional government. (...)

Having decided that the convention in question does rise to the level of a constitutional rule, the Court must thus conclude that a Regent, by reason of his extraordinary and provisional authority, is more restricted in its use than an enthroned Sovereign. Thus, a Regent may only issue decrees of a non-ceremonial or procedural nature where absolutely required. Whereas Respondent claims that the present political situation of the Empire rises to such a level of necessity, the Court does not share this opinion. (...) There is nothing in the current situation or in the impugned Decree suggesting necessity or inevitability; rather, it appears to the Court that the Regent is taking advantage of political circumstances to enact fundamental political change with little to no legitimacy or legal backing. (...) Particularly repugnant to the Constitution and the Rule of Law are provisions in the impugned Decree purporting to place it outside judicial review, or to reserve such review to the enacting party through the Council of State. (...)

On the second issue, the Court must return to the old, tried-and-tested method for analysing necessity of injunctive relief. This test was most clearly articulated in Pelasgian Aeronautical Company S.A. v. Royal Pelasgian Airlines S.A., SCP No. 23/1983, a landmark post-Restoration decision regarding intellectual property and injunctive relief. In that case, this Court found that injunctive relief may only be granted where failure to grant it would result in irreparable harm to the party seeking it, including, but not limited to, frustrating the purpose of the underlying litigation. (...) In the case at bar, it is clear to all that, should Respondent be allowed to proceed with the referendum contemplated in the impugned Decree, irreparable harm would result to Petitioner, regardless of the underlying legality of the Decree itself, as Respondent would be granted political legitimacy to proceed with fundamental and irreversible constitutional reforms. (...)

In light of this reasoning, it becomes patently clear that the impugned Decree is ultra vires His Excellency the Sebastokrator, and that its execution would result in irreparable harm to His Highness the Grand Despot.


Petition granted on both counts. Costs of Ø20000 plus VAT and interest, if any, are assessed against the respondent.


K. THEODORAKOPOULOS C.J.

(L.S.)
 

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Selymbria, Optimatoi Theme, Pelasgia

The pleasant scent of resinated wine filled the room, as the dim light of an office lamp shined alone through the otherwise pitch-black darkness. In this late hour, one could barely make out the features of the chamber, apart from the faint, half-illuminated figures of pillasters that lined the walls, in between large windows. Two more such pillasters stood behind the desk on which the lamp illuminating the room was placed, flanking a large portrait of Grand Despot Alexios Vatatzes, the namesake of the current Grand Despot—and the man currently occupying the room.

A phone rung, interrupting the eerie silence of the room, which was complete, apart from the distant sound of autumnal thunder and rainfall in the forests surrounding the Imperial Summer Palace in Selymbria.

"Parakalô?" inquired the current Grand Despot, politely answering the phone with a word roughly meaning "please". His tone sounded calm, collected... and in control. "Oh yes, Lord Aslanides, good evening to you too. Of course you're not waking me up, my lord; why I was expecting your call!"

The Grand Despot continued to speak calmly, but with every sentence, a smile grew on his lips. "Yes, of course, we must stick together. The Sebastokrator's treachery is far too much to bear—he would abolish both my Throne and your privileges. Now, I did warn you about the risk of such designs..." He paused, allowing a panicked Aslanides to respond with a suggestion. "Indeed, the Court is on our side—my side, to be exact. I appointed all of them. Just today, they struck down that fool's decree. I am sure they will keep siding with me, but, if we haven't settled the matter by Monday..."

Shrugging, Vatatzes stood up and paced around the desk, occasionally pausing to stare out the window, into the thick Selymbrian wood. "I could, of course, reverse any decision the Sebastokrator makes in the Council of State. It is the Emperor's Council of State, after all. But for that, I'd need to be Emperor... By Friday, no less." Alexios returned to his desk, staring at the portrait of his grandfather as the Presiding Magistrate of the Senate eeked out a reply seeking some basic assurances. "Why, certainly a compromise can be arranged. I mean to ensure that our noblesse keeps all its privileges—Prime Minister Andreades' latest proposal provides for that clearly, all the while ensuring that the Senate is reformed and modernised to improve its function."

A few seconds' silence followed on the line, before Aslanides finally conceded. Irrelevance was better than total abolition for the descendants of the dynatoi or "mighty ones", those potent landowners and notables who had raised themselves into a nobility by intermarrying with the patrician class and rising to pose a real threat to the Throne—both before and after the Carians seized it. "Yes, I am glad that we are in agreement too, my Lord. Please do give my regards to Count Palaiologos. I shall be in touch with the Prosecutor General to draft the appropriate legal documents immediately." (Here, Vatatzes was lying, because the documents had in actual fact been already drafted well in advance.) With many thanks and assurances of eternal loyalty and the like, the Presiding Magistrate finally concluded the call, allowing the Grand Despot a few moments to soak in his victory.

Vatatzes turned his gaze downward, at his desk, where a portrait of his late father stood with a black stripe around the upper right corner of its frame. He nodded at the picture of the dead Emperor and then dialed another number on his phone. "Yes, Sebastokrator Laskaris? Good evening to you too, uncle. I must really thank you—the old relic bought the whole tale. Indeed, like fishing for comber, as you always say." The chatter on the other side of the line was decidedly happier and more collected. "Oh, of course, an Emperor's word is as good as gold: your granddaughter and my son will marry, that much is certain. And as for your son, he can expect the appointment we discussed, certainly—along with some stock in PelPetrol. It is only a fitting gift for so loyal a subject." A storm of thanks followed, along with some more polite good night wishes. "Good night to you too uncle—and don't worry about Director Doukas, I will let him know of our arrangement myself. Some thanks is in order to him too..."
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
You must be registered for see images

OFFICIAL GAZETTE OF THE EMPIRE
Part I(A) | No. 49 | Monday, September 19, 2022 | 31
Act of the Parliament of Pelasgia № 63/2022 (1 Alex. VII no. 5)
The Law respecting Nationality is enacted following its publication in the Official Gazette of the Empire pursuant to Article 52 of the Constitution.
——
No. 63/2022
LAW RESPECTING NATIONALITY

Be it enacted by the Emperor's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and Boule of Representatives, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Article 1 - Repeal of Previous Legislation

S/2022-63, art. 1 / I(A).49.19.09.2022.31.1 / C. 106, s. 1
1. The Law respecting Immigration (3 Theod. VIII no. 12) and the Law respecting Nationality and Naturalisation (1 Theod. VIII no. 27) are hereby repealed in their entirety.
2. This Law shall replace all references to the repealed acts in all legislative, regulatory, judicial and other official documents and functions, pursuant to the Law respecting Statutory Interpretation (C. 1) and mutatis mutandis, except as otherwise indicated in any part of Title Fifteen of the Imperial Code of Statute Laws.
3. This Law may be cited as Chapter 106 of the Imperial Code of Statute Laws.

Article 2 - Definitions

S/2022-63, art. 2 / I(A).49.19.09.2022.31.2 / C. 106, s. 2
In this law—
[...]
" diaspora " means the members of Pelasgian communities abroad, who are descended from expatriates without themselves being expatriates;
" expatriate " means a Pelasgian who was born in Pelasgia but has left the country to reside abroad;
" immigrant " means a person who moves to Pelasgia from a foreign country with the intent to permanently reside there;

" nationality " means the legal bond between a Nation-State and a person belonging thereto;
[...]

Article 3 - Nationality

S/2022-63, art. 3 / I(A).49.19.09.2022.31.3 / C. 106, s. 3
1. Nationality is solely based on the principle of jus sanguinis. As such, nationality may only be acquired through inheritance or through naturalisation.
2. Nationality is inherited by a person having at least one parent who legally holds Pelasgian nationality at the moment of the inheriting person's birth, regardless of where the person is born. Nationality may not be inherited from one who has lost or renounced it, or from one who is legally entitled to it but has not taken the necessary steps to claim it. Nationality may also not be inherited by a person who is legally barred from inheriting nationality.
3. Nationality is acquired through naturalisation pursuant to the applicable legal provisions.

Article 4 - Provisions for the Diaspora

S/2022-63, art. 4 / I(A).49.19.09.2022.31.4 / C. 106, s. 4
1. A member of the Pelasgian diaspora abroad, who can prove that at least one parent of his is legally entitled to Pelasgian nationality, is entitled to claim Pelasgian nationality regardless of whether his parent or that parent's parents have done so. However, to claim nationality under this regime, the person in question must first fulfill his national service requirements and all other legal criteria imposed by the law.
2. Members of the diaspora may hold more than one nationality, provided that they permanently reside abroad. A member of the diaspora wishing to return to Pelasgia must renounce any other nationality. Moreover, in all his dealings with the Pelasgian State, any additional nationalities of a Pelasgian diaspora member will not be recognised.

Article 5 - Dual Nationality

S/2022-63, art. 5 / I(A).49.19.09.2022.31.5 / C. 106, s. 5
1. Except as otherwise provided in this Law, no person may concurrently hold Pelasgian nationality and a foreign nationality, citizenship, subject or protected person status.
2. Violation of this article by a person who has acquired Pelasgian nationality through naturalisation will void naturalisation. Violation of this article by a person who has inherited his Pelasgian nationality will result in non-recognition of any additional, violating nationality.

Article 6 - Immigration and Naturalisation

S/2022-63, art. 6 / I(A).49.19.09.2022.31.6 / C. 106, s. 6
1. A person may only acquire the status of settled immigrant if he lawfully immigrates to Pelasgia subject to the requirements of the Law respecting Aliens and Immigration (C. 105).
2. An immigrant may apply for naturalisation to acquire nationality, if he can satisfactorily prove that he fulfills the following criteria:
(i) that he has lawfully resided in Pelasgia as a settled immigrant for a continuous period of at least five (5) years, or that he has been in the service of the State for an equal amount of time anywhere in the world, in either case no more than eight (8) years before the application date;
(ii) that he has not committed any crimes and that he is of good character;
(iii) that he has adequate knowledge of the Pelasgian language, culture, political system and society; and
(iv) that he intends if his application is granted either to reside in Pelasgia or to enter or continue in the service of the State.

Article 7 - Freedom of Religion and Public Order

S/2022-63, art. 7 / I(A).49.19.09.2022.31.7 / C. 106, s. 7
1. No person may be required to convert to the State Religion or any other religion in order to acquire nationality via naturalisation.
2. If, from time to time, His Imperial Majesty is of the opinion that the provisions of Articles 4, 7(1) and 8(2) this Law regarding the naturalisation of foreigners must be suspended for reasons of national security or of public order, then His Imperial Majesty may suspend the said provisions by decree for a time and scope subject to His Imperial Majesty's absolute discretion. The decree in question shall be enacted via the Council of State and countersigned by the Minister or Minister of State responsible.

Article 8 - Special Cases of Acquisition of Nationality

S/2022-63, art. 8 / I(A).49.19.09.2022.31.8 / C. 106, s. 8
1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other article in this Law, nothing in this Law may be taken to restrict or detract from the established Right of His Imperial Majesty to, at any time, grant Pelasgian nationality to any person or group of persons unilaterally and by decree.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other article in this Law, a person who is married to a Pelasgian national automatically acquires Pelasgian nationality, provided that he is willing to renounce any foreign nationality, citizenship, subject or protected person status that he may hold. This provision applies equally to both sexes. However, for this provision to apply, the applicant must demonstrate that the marriage is truthful and lawful, and that it is not meant merely as a way of circumventing nationality law requirements. Divorce does not undo the effect of such naturalisation, provided that it does not occur within five (5) years of marriage, or, if it does, that the naturalised party is not at fault.

Article 9 - Operative Provisions and Entry into Force

S/2022-63, art. 9 / I(A).49.19.09.2022.31.9 / C. 106, s. 9
1. This Law should be read and interpeted concurrently with the Law respecting Aliens and Immigration (C. 105).
2. Violations of this Law are governed by the Law respecting Immigration and Nationality Violations (C. 108).
3. This Law enters into force immediately upon its publication in the Official Gazette.
 
Last edited:

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
You must be registered for see images

FROM THE EMPEROR

The Director of Our Secret Service is ordered:—

To verify either personally or through a trusted and secret agent of his the identity and status of Prisoner AA3701 who is being held on the Special Military Prison on Rhodokastellon Island, Archipelago Theme; and, having done this, to dispose of and liquidate the said Prisoner, and to deal with any who may have come to know of his existence and identity and who are not in Our service in such a fashion as to ensure that they will never divulge the state secret surrounding Prisoner AA3701.

Done in Our Great Palace in Propontis, on 19 September 2022.

ALEXIOS IMP.

(L.S.)

/
This ordinance was witnessed and countersigned by:

THE PROSECUTOR GENERAL
IOANNES MAKARIOS VELISSARIOU


Rhodokastellon, Archipelago Theme

"Are you quite sure, sir?" the blind old lady asked, inclining her head almost instinctively in the direction of the man addressing her. She knew not who he was—and not for failure of asking—but she could tell when the person she was speaking to was a man of authority. There was, for lack of a better term, a sort of pompous authoritativeness that came with every word, as if one was both obligated to listen closely and much obliged for having been given the chance to do so. "I mean, are you certain that it is me?"

The Krypteia Colonel held back a frustrated sigh, remembering his manners at the very last second. "Yes, my good woman, it is you. In thanks for your long and loyal service to the Throne, our Most Pious Sovereign has ordained that you are to be provided with a home in the quiet, fair and distant island of Mikri Zakros, where you are to spend the rest of your days on a generous pension provided by the Imperial Chancellery."

The old woman frowned over her unseeing eyes. "If you say so, sir... Only, I did not do that much in the way of service. Are you sure I should accept such a great honour? I could always spend my retirement close to my granddaughter-in-law, in Attaleia."

"That will not be necessary," the Colonel insisted. "Your colleague—the deaf one—has already accepted. It would be a great insult to refuse the Throne's generosity. And as for your service, your silence and discretion have been service enough... I hope that you shall keep both."

"But of course, good sir!" the woman affirmed excitedly. "I would never repay His Majesty's generosity with treason."

Satisfied, the Colonel allowed a pair of the warden's men, supervised by own of his own subordinates, to escort the old woman out of the prison and to her quarters, to recover her belongings before the trip to her comfortable and closely surveilled home on a small, remote village on the distant islet of Mikri Zakros. With that taken care of, he turned to the cell door ahead and instructed one of his retinue to open it.

"Oh, my!" the blindfolded prisoner within cried out with ironic joy. "I hear novel footsteps! Is it to announce the death of our old Basileus? Or the enthronement of the new? Perhaps it is the Vatatzes with whom I am most familiar who will wear the purple now?"

"Silence, scum!" barked one of the Krypteia officers flanking the Colonel.

Silencing his subordinate with a motion of the hand, the Colonel addressed the prisoner. "AA3701, by ordinance of His Imperial Majesty, you are to be released from your penitence."

A near maniacal laughter came in response from AA3701's side, as a pair of officers approached him from either side to stand him up. "Oh? Release you say? Why, the Emperor is dead, and long live the Emperor! I am free!" AA3701 cackled anew before explaining. "Only, you said 'ordinance'—which, unlike a decree, need not be published. And you said 'released from my penitence' too—not merely 'released'. Why, my friend, I might have been in here for half my life, but senile I am not!"

Amidst the prisoner's unhinged laughter, the officers stood him up straight, before the Colonel removed his sidearm and aimed it at the AA3701's head. The Colonel's colleagues put on hearing protection, as he had already done, in preparation for the foul deed. As the head of the Krypteia party removed the safety of his weapon, all that sounded in the cell was the laughter of AA3701, interrupted by occasional shouting of "The Emperor is dead! Long live the Emperor!"

A few moments later, a gunshot thundered through the cell, silencing AA3701's maniacal cries—forever. A hole was dug under the cell, a body there deposited, and the whole thing filled with cement, the floor being redone to remove any trace of the works. Thus was buried a certain Duke of Pelasgia—and, with him, the darkest secret of the House of Vatatzes.
 

Pelasgia

Elder Statesman
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
3,629
Location
Athens, Greece
Nick
Demos
Theodoropolis, Theme of Philistaea, Pelasgia

About 2km from Bethlehem, itself no more than 10km from Hierosolyma, lies a village by the name of Theodoropolis. Named after the late Emperor Theodore VIII Vatatzes, who reigned at the time of its foundation, this settlement was constructed not organically or by accident, but by intelligent design of the Emperor's Ministers; for it was through the foundation and settlement of many such villages and towns throughout Philistaea, using ethnic Pelasgians from across the Empire's core territories in the north, that the Government of Pelasgia hoped to secure the hold of the Sublime Throne of Propontis over its newly reclaimed territory. The Plantation of Philistaea, as many foreign sources had taken to calling this settlement drive, had no name in Pelasgian; it was merely the continuation of standard Imperial policy throughout history and in every territory outside of Old Pelasgia that existed under the rule of Propontis.

But to the minority of locals not making up the Pelasgian ethnic majority (of both the Empire and Philistaea in particular), it had another name: colonisation. Internal colonisation, perhaps, but colonisation nonetheless. And it was clearly to those of Philistaea's Urudoah and Jews who had yet not been fully pelasgised what this policy meant for their future in the region: gradual dilution to the point of demographic and political irrelevance, along with complete cultural assimilation. The other policies of the government meant much the same: as those in Propontis celebrated the 'modernisation' of the State's taking over education from religious authorities, minorities in Philistaea understood well that, for them, this meant a complete license to Education Ministry officials to indoctrinate their children with the propaganda of the Empire's nation-building, to conduct schooling in Pelasgian, and to prevent minority children from learning their own traditions in the auspices of their faith. The Empire's common educational curriculum was nothing sort of cultural assimilation dressed in the mask of modernity and progress.

If Philistaea was left to continue as it had since the "resumption" of Pelasgian rule, it would, within a century's time, become indistinguishable from Lycaonia, Sebasteia, or any other Theme of the Empire. That much was clear to Elhanan Geiger, as he drove past a checkpoint on the periphery of Theodoropolis every day. Every day, for the last two years, one of the squad of gendarmes patrolling the periphery of the village would force his car to stop to verify papers. Behind the gendarmes, in their white, sunlight-resistant overcoats, stood the growing sprawl of Theodoropolis' pre-planned housing units. Every day, more of these would rise, and more of these would be occupied by landless third or fourth sons of Pelasgian peasants, who had been granted free land by the Throne in Philistaea.

As the gendarme gave Elhanan back his identity documents, which bore the same double-headed eagle as the gendarme's cap, the third-generation Jewish commune 'repatriate' settler, he remarked just how further away the dream of an independent, Jewish Philistaea was for his people. Driving past the checkpoint and through to his own nearby town of Petrovounia (at least that's what the Pelasgian authorities called it), he could not help but voice his concern to his brother, Yosef.

"Look at these bastards," Elhanan said. "I could swear there's more this time. And the one who took my papers—'Iosiphides'. That's a pelasgised Tephanite if I ever saw one! Is that the future of our children?"

"I'd keep those thoughts to myself if I were you, brother," Yosef answered as he stared out the window absent-mindedly.

"Why's that?" inquired a frowning Elhanan.

The other was puzzled. "You don't know? Their new Emperor's visiting Philistaea next week—the whole region is practically a fortress."

Elhanan nearly stopped the car right there and shot a bewildered glance at his brother. "Visiting you say?!" He demanded, only to catch himself and lower his voice. "I- I would be careful if I were him..."

Yosef froze and stared at his brother with great concern. He knew him well, far too well, not to be alarmed by this.



Forest of Selymbria, Optimatoi Theme, Pelasgia

"Your Majesty, I must protest!" Thus sounded a hushed voice through the thick wood surrounding the city and palace of Selymbria, in the fertile, temperate terrain east of Propontis. The voice belonged to none other than Foreign Minister Count Theophrastos Palaiologos, who calmly followed the monarch through the forest in hunting attire, all the while sporting a custom-made hunting rifle worth a small fortune.

The Basileus' reply came in the form of a gunshot, followed by the thumping of the cadaver of a stag on the ground—the same stag that Alexios VIII had had his scope trained on for what had felt like an eternity by that point. "Protest away, Your Excellency. But, as this stag must die for my amusement, those who would injure my blood must die for the good of the Realm."

"We're talking about a Duke, Your Majesty!" the Count protested vividly.

Unmoved, the Basileus cleared the empty casing from the bolt of his rifle and shouldered it. "Are Dukes exempt from punishment? Last I checked, nobles are supposed to be more harshly punished, not less."

The Count put up one final defence. "But it was without any form of process!"

"Hence the added harshness," the Emperor replied. "A commoner would have had the same penalty, but only with a media circus watching."

For a moment, Palaiologos thought of bringing up the possibility of extrajudicial punishment for the Pelasgian nobility being created by this precedent. Alas, he ultimately decided against it, seeing that it was both futile and somewhat impertinent to make such a ludicrous, confrontational claim. I suppose that he brought it on himself, the Count reasoned in respect of AA3701. And that was the last of it.

"Now, Your Majesty, Your Excellency," interjected Prime Minister Raptes. "If the question of the prisoner is concluded, I would like to address the engagement of Grand Despot Theodore to the grand-daughter of the Sebastokrator."

"What of it?" Alexios asked, as he approached the stag and knelt beside it.

"Your Majesty, is it not premature to announce such an engagement? Your son is a mere child, as is his... betrothed. How can we be sure that they shall like one another thirteen years from now?"

The monarch sighed and shook his head. He plunged his knife between the dead stag's skin and the rest of its cadaver, and he started slowly flaying the fallen beast.

"Respectable Pelasgians scarcely marry for love," the Count responded, seeing that the Emperor could not be bothered to do so. For once, the two were in agreement. "Those of the House of Vatatzes even more rarely so."

"These things are changing," Raptes noted.

"Perhaps for those who study abroad and marry foreign women," the Count answered. "In Pelasgia, at least, you'd struggle to hold a marriage without parental approval."

"My wife is Pelasgian, though she was raised abroad," the Prime Minister pointed out with a measure of visible annoyance.

"Half-Pelasgian," the Count corrected him. "And seeing that she was raised abroad, she might as well not be at all—for, and I mean no offence, this is a matter that is quite peculiar to each culture. Ours still views marriage in a classical form; foreigners can see it as a romantic novel or fiction movie, for all I care. The Sublime Throne's line certainly has no such luxury."
 
Top