Winds of the Archipelago

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Pelasgia, May 12, 2019.

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  1. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Gerakoulia, Theme of the Archipelago
    12 May 2019


    Located off of the coast of the Pelasgian mainland and far enough away from any inhabited isle of the Archipelago that a marooned person could not swim there, Gerakoulia (known to foreign sailors since Tiburan times as "Falconera") stood as a deserted and dry rock creeping out from the otherwise crystalline waters of the azure main that formed the Long Sea. Its only natural inhabitants were the predatory seabirds that gave it its name in both Pelasgian and the Tiburan-derived languages, and it boasted little if any flora. The sand that covered its shores was rather reddish, owing to a strong presence of copper elements in its composition, and ships and people generally tended to avoid it. The greatest monuments Gerakoulia could boast of were the shipwrecks surrounding its water, some so ancient that but a few pieces of their timber frame remained, and others more recent; some where the product of nature, others of human negligence, and others bore the impact holes of torpedoes, from as recently as the mid 20th century. The sea bottom surrounding Gerakoulia was an ossuary of sorts, for it lacked the formalities of a graveyard, though not the human matter commonly present in such places.

    On Pelasgian maps and naval charts, famed for their emphasis on including even the minutest of isles due to the Pelasgians' own experience with the Archipelago, the isle was clearly marked as the "NAVAL FORTRESS OF GERAKOULIA", in small but red print, signalling its nature as a naval exclusion zone enforced by the Imperial Coast Guard and Navy. Most foreign maps ommitted reference to the isle entirely, due to its little interest to foreigners. For Pelasgians however, and those acquainted with the Long Sea history, Gerakoulia had long stood as a symbol of exile and internal displacement. It had long been the tradition of the seafaring Pelasgians, and the Tiburans after them, to exile unwanted persons to such isles, often called the "Dry Isles of Bitterness" (τῆς Πίκρας τὰ Ξερόνησα) or the "Great Drynesses" (αἱ Μεγάλοι Ξέραι) in Pelasgian tradition. However, unlike its sisters, Gerakoulia could not boast heavily guarded barracks of political prisoners, dissenters and conscientious objectors. History had consigned it to host the other kind of persons the Pelasgians considered fit for internal exile: felons.

    As dawn broke, the small white barracks buildings covering a relatively flat area on the southwest of the island were lit up. In one of the cells, a lone man lay on his bed, his thin pastel-green bedsheet darkened by the sweat of a warm Pelasgian spring night. The sound of a baton hitting up against the bars of his cell awoke the man, followed by the cry of one of the guards, clad in the grey uniform of the Imperial Port Corps, the Empire's paramilitary maritime police force.

    «Κατάδικε Υ356! Σὲ θέλω πλυμένον, ξυρισμένον καὶ ἐνδυμένον εἰς 20 λεπτά!»
    "Convict Y356! I want you showered, shaved and dressed in 20 minutes."

    Once the order had been barked in mechanical pseudo-Ancient Pelasgian, of the type so much liked by the Empire's security forces, a package containing a new set of clothes, shaving utensils, and a bar of soap was thrown into the room. The man followed the instructions to the letter, and stood silently with his hands behind his back, facing a wall, as the guards entered 20 minutes later. Exiting the firebrick-built barracks, Y356 looked up, above the hill and through the barbed wire and guard-towers, towards the bare, simplified neoclassical building that stood atop the hill: the Command Building of Gerakoulia Naval Fortress, sporting the Imperial Flag from the third floor balcony. The freshly cleaned man walked up the barren hill chained and with two guards flanking him, being escorted to the room whose balcony sported the Imperial flag: the Commander's office. Sitting straight behind a large metallic desk, the Commander opened a beige folder bearing the prisoner's number: Y356. The Commander's pale blue eyes scanned the document calmly, while the prisoner looked enviously but silently at the clean, brand new uniform of the middle-aged man before him.

    «Εἶσαι κάθε ἄλλο παρὰ εἷς νομοταγῆς πολίτης, Υ356. Βιαιοπραγία κατὰ ἑνὸς ὀργάνου τῆς τάξεως, συχνάζειν κακόφημα ἰδρύματα ἐστιάσεως, ἀσέβια κατὰ δημοσίων ἐορτῶν καὶ φυσικὰ λαθρεμπόριον ναρκωτικῶν... το κακούργημα ποὺ σὲ ὀδήγησε ἐδῶ.»
    "You could hardly be called a law-abiding citizen, Y356. Assault against an officer of the law, frequenting disreputable establishments, disrespecting public holidays and, of course, smuggling drugs... the felony that landed you here."

    The Commander motioned the guards towards the door. The two officers saluted and exited the door, waiting outside to be called in again.

    «Φυσικὰ καὶ πρέπει νὰ μισῇς αὐτὸ τὸ μέρος. Πρέπει νὰ μισῇς κι ἐμένα. Μὰ, ἴνα εἴμεθα εἰλικρινεῖς, καὶ οἱ δύο γνωρίζομεν πὼς σοῦ ἀξίζει νὰ εἶσαι ἐδῶ.»
    "You must hate this place of course. You must hate me. But truth be told, we both know that you deserve to be here."

    «Ξέρεις πὼς μπορῶ ἄνετα νὰ σὲ σκοτώσω, τῶρα ποὺ ἔδιωξες τοῦ λακέδες σου.»

    "You know I can easily kill you, now that you sent away your lackeys."

    «Τὸ ξέρω. Ἀλλὰ ξέρω καὶ πὼς δὲν θὰ τὸ κάνῃς.»

    "I know. But I know you won't do it."

    «Καὶ γιατί;»

    "Why not?"

    «Γιατὶ εἶμαι ὁ μόνος ἄνθρωπος ποὺ μπορεῖ νὰ σκοτώσῃ τὸν Υ356... καὶ νὰ ἀναστήσῃ τὸν Θεόδωρο Ἀγνό.»

    "Because I am the only man who can kill Y356... and resurrect Theodoros Agnos."

    NB: The events in this RP take place after those in Hail thee Saint George, and take canonical precedence in case of any conflict or lack of clarity.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  2. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Sindos, Pelagision Theme
    18 May 2019

    The sun shone faintly over the horizon as the large steel ferry from the isle of Koulouri approached the northern coast of the Pelasgian mainland in the early morning hours of May 18. From the deck of the ferry, Theodoros Agnos stared out, beyond the waves, to the outline of the city of Sindos. It had been nearly ten years since Theodoros, then a young and impressionable man, had left the city following his sentencing to penal exile and hard labour for smuggling and repeated breaches of parole for other felonies. Much had changed since then; his youthful skin had turned coarse, with several scars earned from many years around other convicts, and his broad shoulders and triangular back had gotten even more muscular. Theodoros, always known for his height among his peers, towered over other men at an astounding one meter ninety-five, his thick body hair earning him the nickname "the bear". And yet, he was still the same man: still the same sturdy frame, the same confident step, the same oval face, the same sparkling eyes.

    The city he gazed upon was his own mirror: so much different, and yet so little changed. Tall office buildings and massive cathedrals protruded from the skyline of Sidnos, always built in the neoclassical style the Pelasgians loved so much. The old slums of the harbour had been demolished, and the docks had been rebuilt anew, with large concrete seawalls and quays. And yet, the very same river cut through the city, and the old Cathedral of Saint Panteleimon still rose to its east. The gaps between the skyline outlined the same old districts: Kelleia (the harbour with the grain elevators inhabited by the working poor) and Prometorion (the rich merchant district), Hagios Panteleimon (the administrative centre with the cathedral), to name a few. So much had changed, and yet Sindos was still Sindos; modern, rich, prosperous and a living emblem of the Imperial reforms' success, but still the same city... or so it seemed.

    As he exited the boat, Theodoros entered the new customs building, a large Propontine baroque building built on top of the old, laconic structure. Almost automatically, he stopped to admire the frescoes and gold decorations of the marble-built halls that formed the edifice's interior, which were illuminated brightly by a large glass dome. Having sufficiently gazed, Theodoros made his way to the declaration office and presented his Internal Passport: a small booklet with the Imperial Eagle containing his personal and biographical information; as soon as he pulled it out, he noticed the hawk-like predatory stare of the man on the other side of the inspection kiosk: a pale, clean-shaved man with dark hair in the grey uniform of the Imperial Port Corps. The passport's yellow colour gave Theodoros away as an exiled felon. He waited for what felt like an eternity before the passport was stamped; were it not for his cooperating with the Empire's authorities, he doubted he would have made it through the port at all.

    Exiting the port building, Theodoros made his way through the bustling streets; he knew their outline, but he hardly remembered their appearance. The newly opened tram tracks and the newly built structures, much more ornate and tall than anything he had left behind, made him think he was in an entirely different city. His normal, confident step, was replaced with the physical posture of an abused dog navigating an alien crowd. Boarding the tram, Theodoros pulled out a few coins from his pocket to pay. He was the only man to pay in cash, apart from an elderly citizen who might as well have been an octogenarian - all the other passengers used the shiny transit cards, staring at him with an annoyed glare for delaying the tram's boarding with his primitive ways. It was almost an hour before Theodoros made it to his formal domicile in what was once the distant outskirts of Sindos. The humble country home was now surrounded not by olive and orange tree fields, but by large residential buildings, a couple of industrial warehouses and, slightly further, the factory of the soft-drink firm EAS. By the time he made to his own house, he could hardly recognise it: the short, wooden fence had been replaced by a cement wall with metal bars, all painted white, and a second floor, probably housing a tenant to make money on the side, had been added.

    Walking into his own home, Theodors felt like a stranger: the yard was largely the same, and his old pomegranate tree had grown twice as tall. A small pot with water, in the traditional Pelasgian shape, alongside with a small plate covered by another of its kind containing bread or sweets lay on the table, for any passer-by or guest to take; Theodoros remembered the traditional Pelasgian maxim: "The bread is on the table, and the water on pot; give, o mother, to the passer-by, give, my love, to the thief". Which one was he? He could hardly tell after so long. Suddenly he heard the sound of a pot dropping on the floor, cracking; a young woman, perhaps eighteen years of age looked at him in terror and fled inside. A ruckus was heard inside, and another woman, looking quite like the first, albeit much older, came out; both stared at him in disbelief.

    "Andromachi," Theodoros said; "My love..."

    The older woman run up to, nay charged at him, threw her hands around him, hugging him and striking him softly at the same time. "Thodoris!" she repeated, using the affectionate version of his name; "Thodoris, you are alive!" Theodoros could hardly believe it himself; how long had it been since he last saw his wife? How much had she changed? "Despoina" he said, "Despoinaki, I'm your father. Don't you remember me?" The young woman did not move an inch. It was only at this point that Theodoros realised: he wasn't home, his home was long gone. He was a stranger in a strange land. It was the price of a couple dozen kilos of narcotics, which were supposed to buy him a solid base to build his family. Instead, all they had done was cut down whatever roots he had left. And yet, Andromachi remembered him, or at least what he used to be. Perhaps he could try to rebuild something on that alone. He had a last chance, a last hope and he would not let it go to waste... no matter what was required of him, he would earn his freedom.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  3. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Free City of Trapezon, Pelagision Theme
    25 May 2019


    Leophoros Nomotheton, whose name roughly translated as "Avenue of the Lawmakers" was one of the largest avenues in the entire Free City of Trapezon, cutting straight through the downtown of the city, from the northwestern end of its Acropolis to the port. Various smaller avenues, named after famed Trapezonian lawmakers from antiquity to modernity, intersected with it, forming a pattern resembling a web around the Acropolis of Trapezon. Under the massive antiquated citadel at the heart of the city lay the government quarter, centered around a massive hexagonal square which was connected to the port by Leophoros Nomotheton. The largest structure, at the centre of the square, was the Bouleuterion (or Parliament/Assembly Building) which housed the Boule of Trapezon, the highest legislative body in the Free City, which formally held its Sovereignty. All around where the various ministries, High Courts and the treasury, among other government buildings, all built in the most ornate of classical and neoclassical styles that Trapezonian mercantile wealth could furnish. Among those government buildings, two stood out in particular: the Imperial (or Throne) Prefecture, which housed the representative of the Throne of Propontis in the Free City, and the local Guard Headquarters (which housed the head offices of the Trapezon Police Service).

    In recent weeks, the two buildings had been permanently surrounded by riot police and armed guards, mostly from the local Trapezon Police to avoid igniting sentiments. On the morning of May 25th, 2019, when most of the Free City was concerned with the passage of the Constitutional Reform Package restoring the Laskarid Dynasty to the status of near-absolute monarchs, three columns of troops from the Imperial Pelasgian Army had entered the territory of the Free City with the authorisation of the Imperial Prefect, placing themselves outside the city proper, in an old and disused base that had formerly been used for naval munitions storage. Soon, however, the news broke in the city proper, and already inflamed public sentiment boiled over. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of native Trapezonians from all walks of life, led primarily by students and labour organisations assembled the port and begun their long march through the Avenue of the Lawmakers to the government quarter, holding flags and banners in purple and gold: the traditional colours of Trapezon. Amphorae, the symbols of the Trapezon since antiquity, were carried and smashed on the ground symbolically, signifying the crowd's view that their city was being permanently altered, taken away and destroyed.

    Among those students was Eleutherios Triphyllopoulos, known to his friends as Lefteris, a young engineering student from the Polytechnic of Trapezon whose family had been in the free city for as long as he could imagine. Next to him were his friends, Nikos, Elena, Alexandros, Katerina and Petros. The last two had graduated from their university last year, but were unable to find work because the Propontis-appointed governors of the Free City had altered local labour laws and standards to recognise the degrees of the thousands of Pelasgians that were pouring into the Free Cities to find jobs, on top of giving them citizenship en masse. Nikos' father was a police officer and he was opposed to his father being forced to work for the Central Government in Propontis due to Imperial Decree 203/2019 which unified all Pelasgian police forces into the General Directorate for Public Security. As for Elena, Alexandros and and Lefteris himself, a general sentiment of opposition to being ruled by the faraway autocrats and bureaucrats of Propontis was enough to motivate them to join the protest.

    Protests had taken place on previous days, and the use of tear gas and mas arrests was not new. Indeed, a few blocks after the protesters started their march, riot police threw stun grenades into the crowd and grabbed protesters from side-roads, arresting them at random. However, these officers mostly belonged to the local Trapezon Police Service and were reluctant to harshly attack their own compatriots. The same scene was repeated a few blocks down, and then again; the third time, tear gas was used, enraging the crowd, but forcing them to retreat temporarily, until the wind changed direction and blew the tear-gas away from the protestors, onto the gas-mask-clad officers. Two blocks away from the government quarter the local Trapezonian riot police forces halted, exhausted and unwilling to fight further; by that point, the sun had nearly set. Suddenly, the riot police retreated completely, into side streets. As the protestors begun to advance, they noticed a second line of riot police.

    These men were clad in all-black uniforms and wore military-style helmets and gas-masks. The bore no Trapezonian insignia; instead, their uniforms bore the Imperial Eagle. These were the men of the Corps of Special Constables, the gendarmerie-descended paramilitary security police of the Throne, who had been brought in to quell the riots completely. The presence of the Central Government troops outraged the local citizenry who begun jeering at the police line and throwing objects; the Special Constables responded by advancing and then halting to throw military-grade flash-bang and stun grenades into the crowd, which quickly fell back. The Special Constables descended onto the crowd with batons, throwing countless people of all ages and both sexes onto the ground, and then arresting them with plastic handcuffs. Some of the protestors attempted to charge the Special Constables, but a hail of rubber and plastic bullets, coupled with tear-gas canisters and water hoses, threw most of them back or to the ground. Among those grabbed by the heavily armed, black-clad Central Government troops were Alexandros and Elena, two of Lefteris' friends.

    Without a second thought, driven by the bravery birthed by adrenaline and the foolhardy fearlessness characteristic of youth, Lefteris charged at the men; though Alexandros had been squarely arrested and dragged behind the riot shield line, Elena was still struggling, having been thrown to the ground by three officers. Lefteris tried punching an officer but was hit with a shield and fell down; quickly, he picked up a rock that some protester had thrown to the riot shield line and struck on of the officers at the back of the helmet, taking it off and momentarily throwing him down. He put the rock down and run towards the other two officers arresting Elena, shouting at her to wait. Just as he was about to reach her, he heard a gunshot and felt a piercing wound in his back; looking down he saw his white shirt turning and red and heard Elena screaming. The two officers arresting her were also staring at him, as he collapsed to the floor. Behind him, the grounded Special Constable lay, holding his smoking sidearm, his face covered entirely by the emotionless black military gas mask he wore, as he gazed upon Lefteris' body through the two black eyeholes of the mask.

    In the midst of the chaos caused by the suppression of the protest-turned-riot, the single gunshot went largely unnoticed, as did the death of a sole young Trapezonian university student. Soon, however, the hole city would find out and the situation would move completely beyond the control of the local authorities; not that the Throne of Propontis would regret any excuse to intervene in Trapezon in force.
     
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  4. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Free City of Iolcus, Pelagision Theme

    Hundreds of bright lines of light reflected off of the near pitch-black surface of the midnight waters near the greatest and oldest of the Free Cities, as the skyscrapers of the Iolcian skyline remained alight throughout the night. Even from miles away, the light of the spires could be seen, an emblem to the affluence but also to the hubris of the greatest of the Old Pelasgian metropoles. Iolcus never slept, a fact which most visitors and travelers seemed to relish; Theodoros, however, did not. As he slowly approached the city in a small fishing boat, with all lights turned off and the engine running so quietly one could barely hear it amongst the waves, the seasoned smuggler did his best to avoid the ever watchful eye of the patrolling ships, slowly approaching a line marked by static buoys. These large metal buoys, coloured bright red and with a red light fixed atop, marked the internal border between the territory of the Throne and that of the Free City. On the one side, the ships of the Imperial Pelasgian Port Corps stood guard; on the other the ships of the Maritime Section of the Iolcus Police, which was slowly being integrated into the General Directorate for Public Security (GDDA).

    Getting caught be either force would not do; the Port Corps was not aware of his mission, and he did not want to be boarded and searched by them, as that would make his discovery by the Iolcians certain. As for the Iolcians, they would never let him cross into their territory if they caught him. As he slowly crossed the dividing line, Theodoros turned around and motioned one of the three other men who were on the boat with him; the man raised a blue and white penant above the boat's Pelasgian ensign, like that flown by all Iolcian ships. Thedoros' fishing boat, built and painted to look like an Iolcian fishing boat, certainly fit the part.

    "Do you think it will work?" asked the man quietly, his voice betraying fear and anxiety with every word. Theodoros turned and faced the man; he was but a barely bearded child, a young and excitable student from Sindos who was convinced the whole world around him was wrong, and was even more convinced he could fix it. "It will have to work. Go wake up your friends," Theodoros responded, referring to the other passengers, comrades of the student from Sindos. The young man complied instanter.

    Coming closer and closer to the city, the small boat's lights came back on, giving it the appearance of a returning fishing boat. Carefully, Theodoros avoided the ships which still bore the markings of the Iolcus Police, which, though formally taken over by the GDDA, were crewed by Iolcians. Instead, he headed towards the Port Corps ships which had been dispatched from the Throne Lands to reinforce the Throne's forces in the Free Cities, approaching the quay to dock close to pier 13. As the boat touched the cement, a small group of Port Corps officers were already waiting for the group, flanked by a grey Port Corps SUV with blue stripes and lights. "Let me handle this," Theodoros said to the young student, walking to the officers, who stood right next to the yellow pole were the boat was to be tied.

    "Good morning, officer," said Theodoros as he tied the boat to the yellow pole with a rope.

    "Your papers, please," replied the officer, betraying no emotion. Theodoros handed him a small pack of documents, including a set of four fake identity cards and the ship's registration. The officer first scanned Theodoros' card using a small portable machine; sure enough the ID clearly came up as fake, as did the three others. Before the officer even said anything, one of the assisting officers tackled Theodoros and put him under arrest. The other officers rushed to the boat, catching the two men under the boat's deck, while the other passenger jumped into the water. His escape attempt was short lived, as he was caught by Port Corps officers in a speedboat near the fishing boat and brought back ashore almost immediately. The boat was surrounded, and the four would-be smugglers from Sindos had nowhere left to go.

    *****

    Theodoros awoke in a small, individual cell, in the holding area of the Port Corps Station at the Port of Iolcus. A guard stood outside his cell, hitting the bars with his baton, flanked by a man in civilian clothes. "On the wall!" the guard shouted, and Theodoros complied. The cell opened and Theodoros was led outside, first to the hallway of the holding area, then to the undeground prisoner transport garage; he was handcuffed and taken to an all-black SUV, where he was sat in the back seat alongside the suited man. As the vehicle drove away, the suited man started speaking to Theodoros.

    "Good morning, Mr. Agnos. I am Second Lieutenant Orpheas Melissiotis of the Central State Security Service (YKAK). Please lean towards the seat in front of you so I can free your hands." Theodoros complied and was swiftly uncuffed. "You did as you were told, and I am glad to say that the operation was a success. Please excuse the arrest, though you must understand we needed to keep up some pretenses."

    "Am I free finally? Or is there anything else you want me to do?" Theodoros replied, cutting straight through the YKAK man's useless explanations.

    "Free as a bird. As long as you stay out of trouble, that is. See, Mr. Agnos? It always pays off to be on the good side of the law," Melissiotis said.

    Theodoros ignored the agent's comment; "I would like to go home now." he said.

    "But of course, Mr. Agnos. Your family must miss you, and you must be really tired. But, first, I would like to give you something. A parting gift of sorts, from the Throne, for services rendered." Melissiotis handed Theodoros a small folder. The car stopped a few moments later, and Theodoros heard his door unlock. "Goodbye, Mr. Agnos. May God be with you," the agent said, motioning Theodoros to exit the vehicle by spreading out his hand to the door's direction. Theodoros complied, exiting the SUV and closing the door behind him.

    Quickly enough, the black car sped away, merging into normal traffic, while Theodoros found himself on the edge of the pavement of the square near Iolcus' main railway section, surrounded by people, cars and tall buildings on all sides. Opening the folder, he found a ticket for the speed-rail connection between Iolcus and Sindos, along with a new internal passport (greenish-blue in colour, like those of normal, law-abiding citizens), a cheque for a few thousand hyperpyra, and a letter granting him an Imperial pardon. Theodoros was finally free; the price of that freedom, he would soon find out.
     
  5. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    PROPONTIS, ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF JUNE, IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD TWO THOUSAND AND NINETEEN

    IN THE NAME OF THE HOLY, CONSUBSTANTIAL AND INDIVISIBLE TRINITY

    IOANNES VII LASKARIS, FAITHFUL-IN-CHRIST BASILEUS OF THE PELASGIANS AND AUTOKRATOR OF THE TIBURANS, GREAT LORD OF PELASGIA, PHILISTAEA, LYCAONIA, KYPHTIC MEMPHIS, HAYDIS, PERAMUS, THE ARCHIPELAGO, NEW TIBUR AND ALL OF SOUTHERN TIBUR, PROTECTOR OF THE HOLY TOMB AND THE HOLY CITY OF HIEROSOLYMA, CUSTODIAN OF THE SOVEREIGN BASE AREAS OF CAPE SAINT NICHOLAS AND DIOSKOURDIOU ISLAND, SOLE REPRESENTATIVE OF HOLY, CONSUBSTANTIAL AND INDIVISIBLE TRIADIC GOD ON EARTH, SEVASTOS, DEFENDER OF THE ONE TRUE ORTHODOX FAITH

    WHEREAS the Free Cities of Old Pelasgia have long enjoyed autonomy over its own internal affairs, empowered by ancient degree and long recognised privilege as granted thereto by Our ancestors and predecessors; and

    WHEREAS by virtue of those privileges the Free Cities have become centres of trade, of culture, of industry and of growth of great importance to both Pelasgia and Europe as a whole; and

    WHEREAS this Empire of Ours has since evolved and changed to such a degree that the Free Cities' society and level of development is not unique among their neighbouring urban centres of Old Pelasgia; and

    WHEREAS, in recent times, vile insurrectionists, secessionists and traitors have attempted to use and abuse the advantages granted by Us and Our predecessors to the Free Cities to rebel against the Throne which hath nourished them; and

    WHEREAS the centralisation, modernisation and unification of political power, for the benefit of the Nation and the Realm, was recently recognised as a core National objective by the Constitutional Reform Act of 2019 and the Grand Synod of the Provinces of that same year, both convened under Our authority; and

    WHEREAS the separation of the Free Cities from the rest of the Empire has created a state of undue discrimination and exploitation in those cities against the subjects of the Propontine Throne born thereout, the likes of which is completely unjustifiable and unprecedented both from an ethical and a Constitutional standpoint; and

    WHEREAS the Boules of a number of Free Cities have already expressed a desire for greater integration, including such ancient and prestigious institutions as the Boule of Trapezon;

    WE DO HEREBY DECIDE AND DECREE:

    I. That the Chrysoboules of Autonomy granted by our Predecessors to the Free Cities of Iolcus, Trapezon, Kypseli, Thoricus, Anaktora and Therisus are hereby rescinded;

    II. That all the privileges and rights granted and enjoyed by those Free Cities under the said Chrysoboules are thereby rescinded immediately and irreversibly;

    III. That all local administrative and governing bodies in those Free Cities not under direct Throne control are hereby dissolved, and all their functions are to be assumed by Our Prefect in each Free City until We and the Senate of the Realm can make provision for the establishment of regular administrative institutions, indistinguishable from those of other localities;

    IV. That all local judicial bodies in those Free Cities not under direct Throne control are hereby dissolved, and all their functions are to be assumed by the judicial bodies of the closest Provincial capital until We and the Senate of the Realm can make provision for the establishment of regular judicial institutions, indistinguishable from those of other localities;

    V. That the Free Cities themselves cease to exist as legal entities within the framework of the Pelasgian legal system and constitution, and are replaced by regular Metropolitan Demes, enjoying the rights and privileges granted by Delegation by Us to all other Metropolitan Demes pursuant to the Agreement reached between Us and Our Provincial Governors at the Grand Synod of the Provinces of 2019;

    VI. That all police and other security forces currently standing or established in those Free Cities are to be integrated instanter into Our respective National police and security forces;

    VII. That all citizens of the Free Cities lose that status, which itself shall cease to exist in Pelasgian law, and instead become regular Pelasgian subjects who are demots of their respective Metropolitan Deme.

    This Chrysoboule shall take effect immediately after its publication by Our Secretary for Internal Affairs, and may be cited as the "Imperial Decree of 11 June 2019".

    Signed and Sealed,
    Ἰσαάκιος Α' καὶ Ε' Λάσκαρις, Πιστὸς ἐν Χριστῷ Βασιλεὺς τῶν Πελασγῶν καὶ Αὐτοκράτωρ τῶν Τιβυρῶν

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    (Great Seal of the Pelasgian
    Empire - Printed in Gold)
     
  6. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE OF THE PELASGIAN EMPIRE
    Citation: Imperator v. Council of Pelasgian Nobles, et al.
    Appeal heard: 15 June 2019
    Judgement rendered: 22 June 2019
    Record no: 2 AAD 2019
    Published: (2019) 1 AAD 2

    His Imperial Majesty's Secretary of Justice
    Appellant

    v.

    The Council of Nobles of the Pelasgian Empire
    The Association of Pelasgian Monasteries, Convents and Ascetic Organisations
    The Association of Pelasgian Religious Organisations
    Respondents

    Coram: Papatheodoropoulos C.J., Anastasiades, Theophilos, Alexopoulos, Nikomachides, Palaiologos, Koressios, Triantaphyllou, Makriadis, Michalopoulos, Andreou, Solonos, Sampson, Psychogios, Nomikou JJ.
    Reasons: Papatheodoropoulos C.J. (Solonos, Alexopoulos, and Psychogios JJ. dissenting)

    ON APPEAL FROM: Propontis Administrative Court of Appeal

    Summary of Papatheodoropoulos C.J.'s reasons prepared by a clerk of the court (unofficial translation published by the Court):

    The appeal by His Imperial Majesty's Secretary of Justice should be allowed, with costs. The ruling of the Propontis Administrative Court of Appeal should be struck down; in its place, a rejection of the appeal by the Council of Nobles of the Pelasgian Empire, the Association of Pelasgian Monasteries, Convents and Ascetic Organisations, and the Association of Pelasgian Religious Organisations should be entered.

    The present appeal concerns a judgement rendered by the Propontis Administrative Court of Appeal, regarding the constitutionality of the Pyrgos Accords. The present appeal consists of three separate cases regarding the same questions of law, which were joined at the appeal stage, and merger which was maintained once this Court granted leave to appeal. The questions of law on which the present case centres could be summarised thus:

    1. Can a non-constitutional document characterised as an Imperial Decree, such as a Chrysoboule, written and intended to have binding effect on the successors of a duly ordained Sovereign have such binding force on the actions and proclamations of the said successors?

    2. Can a non-constitutional document of the kind mentioned in question 1 serve to create a binding Constitutional Convention, even if the document itself is not binding, provided it is adequately important to the Constitution of the Empire?

    3. Can the Honour of the Sovereign be invoked to hold the Throne true to the word of a past Sovereign, in the absence of a document of Constitutional Effect?

    4. Does Pelasgian Law recognise inalienable rights? If so, are the rights granted in the Twin Chrysoboules of 20 September 2018 inalienable rights?

    The Court first turns its attention to the first question. It is a fundamental principle of Pelasgian Law that a Sovereign, duly and lawfully ordained and enthroned, cannot be bound by any earthly law or pact other than one which has been duly enacted by the said Sovereign or a legitimate predecessor thereof with clear Constitutional effect. This principle derives from the idea of the Divine Right of the Emperor, which is the fundamental basis of Sovereignty in Pelasgian Law, and is supported by centuries of Pelasgian and Southern Tiburan jurisprudence. Any document written and published with the intent of binding a Sovereign's successors must be clearly designated as a Constitutional document. In any other case, regardless of this clearly expressed intent, the document cannot bind a Sovereign and may be recanted, or abrogated or derogated from at the Throne's leisure. The Chrysoboule that this appeal centres on, as any other Chrysoboule known to date, is not a Constitutional document, but an Imperial Decree. Though Chrysoboules are superior to normal Imperial Decrees, as their particular format and formalities serve to attest to, they are not, by any measure, Constitutional documents, and cannot be given such force. Nor has there been any change in Pelasgian law at any point sufficient to justify such a characterisation. Indeed, the Chrysoboule in question was never intended to have Constitutional force, but to merely serve as a framework for a later Pelasgian Constitution. The Constitution in question, known as the Pelasgian Constitution of 2018, has since been repealed and replaced by the Imperial Senate. Neither it, nor the Chrysoboule that it is based on can therefore bind the Throne of Saint George. The first question must thus be answered in the negative.

    It has long been a principle of Pelasgian and Southern Tiburan Law that Constitutional Conventions, though clearly central to the Pelasgian Polity, are not binding parts of the Pelasgian Constitution, and cannot be enforced by the Empire's Courts. Any Conventions deriving from a Chrysoboule are not an exception. There has not been a significant evolution in the Pelasgian Law, such that would justify the recognition or creation of a binding Constitutional Convention in Pelasgian Law. Furthermore, the Court must be careful to not usurp the position of the Imperial Senate and to attempt to re-write the Pelasgian Constitution unilaterally. That would be an evil far greater than any breach of any Constitutional Convention. The second question must also, therefore, be answered in the negative.

    The Honour of the Sovereign is not engaged in the present case, since the ability of the Sovereign to reconsider Imperial policy and to revise Decrees or to abolish them by issuing new ones, is a fundamental part of Imperial Prerogative and central to the Executive Power's function in the Constitution of Pelasgia. This is particularly true, given that the Decree in question was published by a previous Emperor and not by the current Sovereign. Thus, the court does not need to answer the third question of law, and declines to do so.

    Pelasgian Law recognises inalienable rights, as well as any fundamental rights, only to the degree that those are explicitly and clearly included in a Constitutional document, such as the rights granted in the Second Part of the Constitution of the Pelasgian Empire. Any rights granted outside of such documents are, by their very nature, not fundamental and inherently alienable. This case centres on a non-Constitutional document which is not of Constitutional nature; moreover, the rights granted in this document are not generally applicable rights fundamental to all Pelasgian citizens, but special privileges granted to a selected class of Pelasgians, namely the section of the Pelasgian Nobility known as the "Dynatoi". They are not, therefore, fundamental and inalienable rights. As such, though the first half of the fourth question must be answered in the affirmative, the second half must be answered in the negative.

    CASES CITED: [omitted]
    STATUTES CITED: [omitted]
    AUTHORS CITED: [omitted]

    Summary of Solonos J.'s dissenting reasons prepared by a clerk of the court (unofficial translation published by the Court): [...]

    For the complete decision, please see: www.scj.gov.pg/aad/aad/en/2019/2
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
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  7. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    2,297
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Capital:
    Propontis
    Nick:
    Demos
    Nymphaion, Elimeioton Theme

    In the midst of the summer, Nymphaion experienced yet another partly cloudy but otherwise humid and hot day. The songs of birds could be heard across the city, whose ruined edifices were covered in green plastic sheets and steel scaffolding as they were being gradually repaired. The city's unique affluent neoclassical buildings were mixed with formulaic "simplified" neoclassical buildings, of the variety so much favoured by the Pelasgian state, gradually eroding the unique urban culture and identity of the city. Equally, the local populace was being diluted by ethnic Pelasgian settlers imported from hardline loyalist areas, who did not speak a word of Melingian and perceived the Melingians as a regional subgroup than a nation at best, if they recognised their existence at all. Resentment was inevitably a result of this policy; and yet, at every corner, checkpoints and barriers enforced a perpetual state of internal occupation, coupled with observation devices, both online and offline, such that the local populace had little opportunity to manifest its feelings, even for those brave few who still had the resolve to do so.

    Looking outside her window, Ana could see such a checkpoint, manned by the grey-clad men of the Corps of Special Constables, a gendarmerie-like semi-independent paramilitary formation within the General Direcotrate for Public Security (GDDA), Pelasgia's national police force. Wielding submachineguns and rifles, and flanked by they grey cars of the GDDA, with their characteristic yellow stripe, the Special Constables manned checkpoints and conducted patrols, aided by cameras, public surveillance systems and drones. Seeing them made Ana's blood freeze for a second, before she remembered she no longer had much to fear from the Empire's authorities: she had worked with the Central State Security Service (YKAK), and obtained convictions for several of her former comrades... including the one she had once looked up to the most: Darius. In exchange, the asphalites* had gotten her a pardon and allowed her to return to her life. Alas, she found herself adrift, like a lost bird. She could not bring herself to throw everything away to return to Thermi and to her old life; she could not bring herself to stay in Melingia either, not after all she had seen and done.
    *A derogatory term meaning "security men" for the members of YKAK and other Pelasgian security services.

    Every day that had passed in those dreadful months, she had found herself stuck alone in her solitary apartment in Nymphaion, staring at the exit plan the asphalites had given her in exchange for her services(and as an advancement payment on any future services, no doubt...): the large orange paper folder contained all the documents she needed to start her life anew as a medical student in the faraway mercantile city of Ioli, in Empire's northwest. Perhaps I should take it after all, she thought; There's no point in wasting my time here, torturing myself over things I can't change. Her thoughts were interrupted by a message in the city's newly installed loudspeakers, broadcasted by a cold, calculating and almost mechanical or inhuman feminine voice in Katharevousa* Pelasgian, in a pure Propontine accent:
    *Katharevousa (meaning "Pure" or "High") Pelasgian is the archaic form of the Pelasgian language used as the official language of Pelasgia, as opposed to Demotic ("Common", "Vernacular" or "Popular") everyday Pelasgian.

    «Προσοχὴ εἰς ἄπαντας τοὺς αὐτοκρατορικοὺς πολίτας τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐν τῷ διαμερίσματι 13Α: στοιχεῖα ἀντιπολιτειακῆς δράσεως ἔχουσιν ἐντοπιστῇ ἐν τῇ κοινότητι ὑμῶν. Ταῦτα περιλαμβάνουσι: παραβίασιν τῆς ἀπαγορεύσεως κυκλοφορίας, ἐσφαλμένας μετρήσεις κατ' ἐπανάλειψιν, μὴ συνεργασίαν μετὰ τῶν αὐτοκρατορικῶν ἀρχῶν. Ἡ συνέχησις τῆς ἀποτυχίας ὑμῶν ὅπως συμμορφωθεῖτε πρὸς τὰ ὑμέτερα πολιτικὰ καθήκοντα θέλει ἐπιφέρῃ συλλογικὸν σοφρωνισμὸν ὑπὸ τῆς Δημοσίας Ἀσφαλείας.»
    "Attention all Imperial citizens residing in block 13A: elements of anti-civic activity have been noted in your community. These include: breach of curfew, repeated miscounts, failure to cooperate with Imperial authorities. Continued failure in your civic duties will result in collective disciplinary action by Public Security."

    Ana was still unsure whether the voice was human or some kind of automated bot that the apparatchiks in Propontis had devised. Ana sighed deeply and looked at the folder one more time. She took it in her hands and stared at it for what felt like an eternity, ignoring the background noise of the Special Constables' hounds and the helicopters (or perhaps drones?) flying overhead. Fine, she thought, I'll do it. There's nothing left for me here anyway.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Propontis, Optimatoi Theme

    Markos sat comfortably in his office at the New General Staff Building in Propontis, looking at reports on his desk. To say he was tired was a grave understatement; the three golden stars and the grenade on his shoulders, befitting a Colonel, had been replaced by the silver-gold star, crossed sword and sheath, and golden grenade of a Brigadier General. Equally, the shoulder patch befitting a rather humble unit in Pierrheia had been replaced by the goddess Athena, the badge of the prestigious Supreme Military Command of the Interior and the Archipelago. On the bottom corners of his collar, red patches with the number "1" in gold, signifying his status as an officer of the all-professional First New Army, whose troops had been trained by advisers from @Beautancus were proudly displayed. And yet, these honours had brought with them his present headaches: Titan Status reports, logistical issues regarding Long Sea prepardness, planning for a potential renewal of hostilities in the Long Sea-Hamar corridor, and so forth. Sighing deeply, Markos leaned back into his chair and raised his hands up. A ray of light reflected off of a piece of metal on his finger, catching his attention: it was his golden wedding ring, inside which were inscribed the names Markos and Sophia. A small smile was painted on his face. Do it for her, he thought, half-sarcastically citing a common piece of Imperial military propaganda, a poster depicting an idealised Pelasgian housewife saying goodbye to her husband, clad in army olive-green.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  8. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    2,297
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Capital:
    Propontis
    Nick:
    Demos
    Propontis, Optimatoi Theme

    The large stone and marble houses of the Synklitika District in Propontis towered over the streets at least eight stories tall, each with a coat of arms of some kind carved above its entrance. The neoclassical structures, decorated by statues, pillars and pilasters, and ornate tile roofs housed the Senatorial elite of the Imperial capital, the career politicians who directed most of the Empire's everyday politics. Surrounded by parks and pedestrian fencing, the area was theoretically easy to access by commonly trodden streets, but scarcely traversed by those not inhabiting it, thanks to traffic and parking restrictions, a complex internal grid, and an overly inquisitive and enthusiastic police detachment permanently stationed there. It was a common secret that YKAK also patrolled the area reguarly. Thus, the Empire's political elite found themselves relatively isolated in an island of luxury and tranquility in the midst of the Propontine metropolis, right next to the city's main river and close to the New Senate House, in an otherwise bustling city of over ten million people.

    Exiting his house at 27 Hagiou Stergiou Street, Periandros A. Eratosthenous prepared for a romantic night at the opera with his wife, having left the kids in the safe care of a summer camp for the following month. As he exited his house, he found a car other than his own waiting for him; a large black luxury car from the Pegasus brand, a Pegasus Athanasia, humbler than his own Pegasus Despoina but still quite out of reach for most average Pelasgians. A man dressed in a black suit and sunglasses, with a headphone in his ear and a small green pin with a golden eagle opened and door for him to go into. Periandros sighed deeply and walked into the car, the door closing behind him. The all-too familiar voice of Marshal Epameinondas Vatatzopoulos greeted him "Good afternoon, Mr. Senator. It has been quite some time since we last spoke."

    "Quite some time indeed. But was this really necessary? My wife must be waiting for me," Eratosthenous replied, wishing to avoid the conversation, though he new quite well he had no real way out of the car. "Your wife has already been convened to the Opera House, at your instruction. We took the liberty of lending you a chauffeur," said another voice from the seat in front of Eratosthenous. It was Major General Christophoros Sartzetakis, the head of the Second General Directorate of the Central State Security Service (YKAK). Before he was able to respond, the Marshal spoke again: "We have led you to a rather comfortable position Mr. Eratosthenous; you are now the head of the Senatorial majority and the Presiding Magistrate of the Legislative Council of the Imperial Senate. But we did not put you there merely out of the goodness of our hearts."

    "I know that very well, Marshal. And I know what you want. But these things... they need time," the Senator replied with an annoyed tone, almost lecturing the Marshal to mask his own fear. "Do you, Mr. Eratosthenous? Then you must realise we want action and not words. It is one thing to talk about forging New Pelasgia... it is quite another to go about it. We did not do away with the Pyrgos Accords and their decrepit constitution to let another inbred noble rule over Pelasgia. We did so to pave the way for sane, modernising reformers to acquire the power they need to restructure the Empire under the guise of merely serving the Throne." Eratosthenous raised his arms in protest at the insinuation of the Marshal: he knew that he was being indirectly accused of having abandoned the New Nationalist cause, of having made peace with the Throne in exchange for personal privilege. Eratosthenous had hardly ever been an ideologue and cared very little for such things, though he knew the price of betraying the Sacred Band very well - too many who had done so had met an unfortunate end.

    "Last week you postponed the Bills ending the privileges of the Dynatoi, restricting Monastic power and liberalising the market scheme one more time. You have already postponed votes on them twice, despite having the votes," Sartzetakis said, breaking his silence once more. "I told you, General, this things take time. These are bold political moves and we need to have the requisite support to avoid dividing the country." Sartzetakis handed him a large folder before speaking again. "This is a list of all Senators and how they plan to vote on the Bills. You have more than enough votes. You will put the first two bills to a vote and pass them by the end of next week, and the third one the week after. We will accept no further delays and no failures, Mr. Eratosthenous." As the YKAK Major General uttered his last words the car came to a halt outside the grand edifice of the Imperial New Opera House of Propontis. The door opened once again, and Eratosthenous was allowed to leave without further comment. The clock was ticking, and he knew it very well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  9. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    2,297
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Capital:
    Propontis
    Nick:
    Demos
    Propontis, Optimatoi Theme

    Cries and shouts broke the otherwise peaceful summer air as a group of students, a few hundred at most, stood outside the Propontis Court of Appeal building, waving banners and shouting slogans in favour of their peers arrested near the Polytechnic earlier in the summer. The stone cold marble building, with its pillars, arches and steel-framed windows stood in sharp contrast with the colourful and lively crowd surrounding it, and indeed with the blooming nature of summertime. Birds sang along peacefully; gradually, their songs were joined by the sound of drones. Before long, the all-too familiar sound of police sirens, accompanied by flashing blue lights, had been added to the mix. The grey cars of the Propontis Directorate for Public Security had made their way to the scene. As all Pelasgian police forces united and coordinated under the General Directorate for Public Service, the Propontis Public Security identified its cars with a yellow stripe around the door-handle level, along with the well-known double-headed eagle variant of the Public Security and some other identifying marks. Officers stepped out of the vehicles, clad in grey uniforms with a thin yellow armband on their left arm and a golden imperial eagle on their kepi.

    A voice cried out from one of the cars, a large jeep, using a megaphone: "Notice to all those assembled: you are charged with civic disruption and antisocial activities of the first degree, including illegal assembly, disruption of public order and illegal occupation of a public space. You are hereby order to stand down and surrender yourselves to Public Security officers in an orderly manner."

    The warning feel on deaf ears, being returned with loud jeers and insults, including "Fascists!", "Cops: pigs and murderers!", and "Come and force us!". Of course, many of these students knew that more specialised Public Security units were poised to arrive at any moment: though, technically, such situations would call for the intervention of the Sub-Directorate for the Restoration of Public Order (YADT), Pelasgia's riot police, the areas within and around courthouses fell under the riot control jurisdiction of the Corps of Special Constables, Pelasgia's paramilitary gendarmerie force. Soon after, the latter had arrived. Among them was Themistoklis "Thimios" Raptis, the young and impressionable man who had finished his military service but a year earlier and enlisted in what was then the Imperial Field Constabulary/Gendarmerie, choosing not to return to his native island of Makri.

    Thimios could only be told apart from the other riot troops by a number on the back of his helmet: 9-27. Other than that, he was an indistinguishable grey form in the armoured line that made its way toward the students, shield and batton in hand, with gas masks covering their faces, more for intimidation and depersonalisation than for actual protection from any gas: it was well known to most police commanders the world over that any human being with their features covered and a bit of authority could let themselves scoop to levels of barbarism otherwise unimaginable to the very same person, thanks to some experiments by academics in Clarenthia some decades ago. The line marched as the warning was repeated over megaphone, stopping some paces short of the protesters to throw flash-bang grenades into the surrounded crowd, stunning and dispersing them. The crowd run straight into the advancing officers on all side, many being taken down, beaten and arrested. The concept of excessive force was wholly unknown to Pelasgian law enforcement, and no video trying to expose them, if it managed to transcend the country's censors, seemed to affect any change. In the mind of the average Pelasgian, brutal policing was the only kind of policing, as traditional marriage was the only form of marriage - few Pelasgians had ever been exposed to a different definition of either concept, and even fewer had ever embraced it.

    Thimios grabbed one of the students and tackled them to the ground, shouting "Get down!" repeatedly. As the assisting officer moved in to aid in handcuffing the student, Thimios took a moment to catch his breath. He stood the suspect up, and started pushing them to the police bus which was to transport the detained demonstrators. "You are under arrest," Thimios mechanically said following his training "for illegal assembly, disruption of public order and illegal occupation, as well as illegal demonstration outside a courthouse. You-" His speech was cut short by an enraged feminine voice protesting. "I don't care about your laws, pig!"

    It was only then that Thimios observed his captive: a young woman, around his age, of pale complexion and average height, dressed in what appeared to be imported colourful Natalian fashion, rather than the more conservative clothing Pelasgians wore regardless of age. The young woman struggled momentarily, but Thimios twisted her wrist behind her back, paining her and forcing her to keep walking into the bus. "Why do you dumb kids do this? What are you even trying to achieve?" he heard himself say. "Don't call me a kid, we're the same age. We're trying to be free, is that a concept that's ever crossed your mind?"

    Thimios observed the shirt of the young woman: "IOANNES VII LASKARIS IMPERIAL UNIVERSITY OF PROPONTIS". The sight enraged him profoundly: an educated person, a well-bred Pelasgian girl, someone with the status and brains to attend the Imperial capital's finest tertiary learning education breaking Imperial laws so defiantly. "Freedom from what?" he replied "The system that raised you, bred you, and is giving you a world class education? You people don't know how well you have it. Maybe we should drop you off in Loago and show you what freedom is like." The young girl momentarily recoiled, but found in her the resolve to shout out one last phrase at Thimios before he started walking away from her and off the bus: "The freedom not to have the State own us, down to telling us what we can and can't wear! The freedom to love who we want when we want to, regardless of what some old fool with a weird hat says! But what would you know about that?"

    Thimios knew quite a lot, ironically enough. But he did not have the time to argue; he got off the bus, went back to the line and continued cleaning up the street outside the Court of Appeal.
     
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  10. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Capital:
    Propontis
    Nick:
    Demos
    Nymphaion, Kibyrrhaioton Theme

    Despite being located but a few kilometers from the coastline of northwest Pelasgia, Nymphaion was remarkable among Pelasgian cities for its temperate climate. Nymphaion's unique location near a lake and at the foot of the Lycian mountain range gifted it cool summers and snowy winters, both a rarity in coastal Pelasgia. The city's population totalled around 160,000, being located in close proximity to the multi-million metropolis of Evosmos, one of the Empire and the Long Sea's largest population centres. Despite its comparatively small size, Nymphaion had a long and proud history, closely linked to that of its coastal neighbour. Having emerged sometime in the 8th century AD as a fortified stronghold inland, for the inhabitants of Evosmos and other nearby coastal cities to escape barbarian raids, Nymphaion had grown into a major centre of strategic importance, and boasted an important economy of its own, being particularly renowned for its silverware, dried fruits and furs in tradition, and for its bus, trolleybus and tramcar factories in modern times.

    Nymphaion had endured a year-long siege during the Great Himyari Crusade, and had repulsed the Catholic invaders despite its defenders' numeric inferiority. Later, it had acted as a refuge for the fleeing Imperial Court of Propontis, being the home city of the current Laskarid Dynasty, and had acted as the centre through which the Pelasgians liberated first the local region of Lycaonia and later all of the Empire from crusader rule. To this day, the Imperial banner of the Laskarids flew over the city proudly, alongside the Banner of Saint George, and the historical seat of the Laskarids, a large marble palace renovated and expanded many times since the days of the Crusader Invasions, still stood. It was there that Laonikos Laskaris-Tivyros stood, observing the distant Lycaonian coast, looking out from the large window behind the balcony door at the main hall of the Palace of the Laskarids, known in Pelasgian as Megaron Laskaridon.

    Laonikos Laskaris-Tivyros was a large, pale man, with brown eyes and light brown hair. He had a sharp but not large nose and a prominent chin on a clearly oval face, and his shortly-trimmed hair gave him a somewhat skull-like appearance, as his wife always liked to remark. Laonikos was a man with a stern serious face, and his smile was warm, though it was rather rarely displayed in public. His all-white navy uniform, bearing the rank insignia of a full Admiral, complemented his large physique and triangular back well, and his stern facial expression and gaze matched his posture, with his hands crossed behind his back as he wondered at the sight of the light reflecting off the Long Sea. Some said he was one the last descendants of the Buganov Dynasty of Kadikistan through one of his great grandmothers, to which he owed some of his features, though this was never confirmed by anyone inside the Laskarid household.

    Laonikos was the half-brother of the late Emperor Ioannes VII Laskaris and the uncle of the current Emperor, earning him the rank of Sevastokrator, a Pelasgian honorific and title of nobility roughly translating into "He who rules by respect". A serious and dutiful man, Laonikos had been entrusted with the Dynasty's hereditary seat and with a senior role in the Empire's newest naval force, the Third Fleet, which was based the traditional region of Lycaonia. The Third Fleet often acted as a guinea pig for the Empire's new equipment and tactics, such as the new Xiphias-class super-silent submarines, and the stern hand of a man directly related to the current Emperor was what kept such a force strictly loyal to the Central Government and under the control of Naval High Command. At this moment, however, Laonikos did not ponder at the affairs of the fleet and the Long Sea, which had occupied most of his day, even more so as of late. Instead, he was busy discussing the country's politics with his sons: Isaakios, Tiverios and Attalos. His wife and his three other daughters were not in attendance, concerning themselves with activites more befitting of women of noble birth in the Pelasgian mindset. Laonikos was a staunch conservative, and his familial life, though jovial by all accounts, clearly reflected this. This meeting was also attended by another associate of Laonikos', Aristogeiton Kyparissios, a respected senior Senator and a close friend of Laonikos and his family.

    "... so, to conclude, Your Highness, the Social Reform Act will likely clear the Senate, though at a much slimmer majority than it did the Legislative Council," the elderly statesman said from the comfort of his oaken and leather chair around the large, oaken and gold-decorated table at the centre of the brightly-lit and ornate room.

    The Sevastokrator took a moment before responding. "And the Nationalists will get what they want anyways. They could probably pass it by a wider majority if the bargained... or if Eratosthenous put his back into it. But Eratosthenous does not want to use up too many of his cards for the bluecoats'* sake."
    *The Bluecoats (Κυανοχίτωνες) are the members of the Nationalist faction of the Pelasgian National Schism and their political descendants, distinguished from the Goldcoats (Χρυσοχίτωνες) of the Loyalist faction, and -more rarely- the Socialist and Communist factions' Red Guards (Ἐρυθροφρουροί or Κοκκινοφρουροί).

    "Indeed, it seems this ambivalent attitude has earned him the ire of the more... radical Nationalist circles in the Capital," Kyparissios explained.

    "So it seems. He will be liquidated before long, one way or another. Suicide, car accident, heart attack, the earth under Propontis always swallows men like Eratosthenous for nobody to ever see them again. Alas, I have little sympathy for that disloyal weasel," the Laskarid Admiral retorted, turning around to face the other attendants of this private discussion. "But my main concern is where the Nationalists' power-grab in the Capital leaves us."

    "I would not call it a power grab, father," said his eldest son, Isaakios. "The Constitutionalist Coalition will likely survive intact, and someone else will simply take Eratosthenous' place."

    "I am not talking about that turncoat wench, Isaakios," replied the young man's father. "As for the Constitutionalist 'Coalition' it's a myth; the Coalition is a convenient excuse for the Loyalists to stay close to power so they can pretend they did not completely lose in the National Schism, so they can pretend they were asked while the Nationalists legislate all they stand for away on the path to the New Pelasgia. I"m talking about the Social Reform Act, the culmination of Theophrastos Sakellarides' political vision."

    "But, father, I thought you supported the Social Reform Act. Besides, it aligns with all of our House's objectives: it dis-empowers the Dynatoi in favour of the Throne and the Central Government, it deprives the Monasteries of any power to challenge the Patriarchate and thus the Throne, and it paves the way for economic modernisation and liberalisation to create a new class of small urban entrepreneurs and workers who will rely on the Throne for support against the robber-barons, as the peasants once did against the Dynatoi and the Monasteries," the son said, feeling the heat in his body rising as he tried to explain his point of view to his father.

    "On the surface, it will do all of that. But in practice, it will not take power away from the Dynatoi, the Monks and the Business Conglomerates and give it to the Throne: it will give it to the Central Government which pretends to serve the Throne. While our House might control the Throne, it is the Nationalists who control the central government. And, to the Nationalists, the Throne is just another relic of old Pelasgia that must die for the Phoenix to be reborn... or whatever it is those Neoplatonists liken their idea of Palingenetic Nationalism to," Laonikos replied, somewhat amused but also annoyed by his son's still incomplete grasp of politics.

    "What are we do then, Father?" his son asked; "We cannot oppose the law for fear of alienating our supporters while openly risking conflict with the bluecoats, and we cannot support it as it would harm our own interests irreparably by making the Nationalists the true masters of Pelasgia once and for all."

    "That exactly is our conundrum, my son. I fear there might not be any possible positive outcome for us in this scenario. Worse yet, I feel my nephew, your cousin, might try to forge one, only to our collective detriment. The best our House can hope for at this moment is to be a respected symbol of national unity and political stability, with some mediocre level of political influence over the nation's everyday politics. If we anger the Nationalists, we risk losing even that."
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  11. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Chrysoupolis, Optimatoi Theme

    Chrysoupolis, whose name meant "City of Gold" was located across the Propontine strait from Propontis itself, sitting comfortably on the eastern shore of the island Prinkeponesos, across from the Propontine port of Hagios Simeon. Throughout its history, Chrysoupolis had been connected to the Imperial capital, having acted as an area where forces other than those of the Throne could negotiate with the Throne, or where the Throne itself could escape Propontis when needed. It was there that the Grand Synod that had standardised Christianity, which had then still been united, had taken place, resulting in the Creed, and it was there that the Propontine Emperors had fled the Great Himyari Crusade beforing relocating to Nymphaion.

    It was well-known that there were plans to integrate Chrysoupolis into Propontis as a major borough, like the once-independent ports of Hagios Simeon and Pyrgos, and the urban core at Christoupolis. The Propontine Metropolis was ever growing in all directions, and Propontis was no exception to this trend: the once serene and relatively small town had now grown to a full city in its own right; granted, its occupants were mostly rich Propontines and nobles, particularly lawyers and businessmen seeking refuge from the urban sprawl of the industrial metropolis across the strait. Indeed, there had even been talks of building a new Imperial Palace in Chrysoupolis, though such talk had never come to fruition, at least as long as Chrysoupolis remained formally separate from the Propontine Metropolitan Deme.

    Among the wealthy aristocrats and notables inhabiting Chrysoupolis were a great many of the Empire's Senators, who had begun moving from the Synklitika District in central Propontis, leaving their houses there as temporary residences to go to only when their work at the Capital required them to. Their district was known as the "Nea Synklitika", the New Senatorial District, being filled by countless tall neoclassical manors on a perfectly organised grid. Among the occupants of these impressive and luxurious residences was Periandros A. Eratosthenous, the current Presiding Magistrate of the Legislative Council of the Imperial Senate.

    Eratosthenous would normally find himself at his Propontine residence during such a politically and legislatively active period of the year, though he was prevented from doing so by an otherwise rather innocuous occurrence: his youngest son's birthday. Eratosthenous had spent the best part of the previous evening at home, eating dinner with his family and singing songs for his son, to whom he had gifted the toy of every 11-year old Pelasgian boy's dreams: a brick-made model of an Isaakios I Laskaris-class aircraft carrier, made by the much renowned Pelasgian toy company VISPA. The celebrations, which included a reception of all the boy's school friends and their parents at the Eratosthenous manor, dragged on well into the night. After barely five hours of sleep, a badly awoken Periandros Eratosthenous found himself barely being able to make it into his clothes. The rainy and gloomy atmosphere of that day, which the Senatorial Magistrate had observed quite clearly while shaving early that day, did not help matters at all, further tiring and depressing Eratosthenous as he realised he would have to drive across the bridge to Propontis in this kind of weather.

    Having dressed himself in a grey suit of the finest quality, with a white shirt and a red silk tie, Periandros Eratosthenous took a good, long look in his mirror: his brown hair had turned grey on his balding head, and he had trimmed it closely; his deep green eyes shone dimly through two deep eye-sockets, darkened by years of long nights and exhaustion. His round head sat on a relatively short neck on a large but middle-height body, and his stomach protruded visibly, thanks to years of bountiful feasts paid ever so kindly by the taxpayer. On his suit jacket's left lapel sat a pin with the emblem of the Constitutionalist Coalition, a silver depiction of Saint George slaying the Dragon surrounded by an olive wreath and Crowned by an Imperial Crown: a symbol containing both Nationalist and Loyalist motifs, placating both and taking the side of neither; quite an apt metaphor for the near-fifty year old man's own political career. Eratosthenous fixed his tie, which was tied in a simple but elegant oriental knot, the most popular knot among Pelasgians. He then walked out of his home through the front door, heading to the parking spot where he had left his trusted Pegasus Despoina last night, in order to be able to leave quickly, without having to go around the driveway.

    Looking out of his front porch, he remarked at the rainy weather once again, and chose to take out a black umbrella to cover himself from the rain. Under a tree across the street, he saw an owl staring at him with its large, menacing, predatory eyes; it was so early in the morning that the owls had not gone back to their day sleep, which usually came with the dawn, an event delayed by the current weather. Annoyed, Eratosthenous ignored the owl and continued walking on the sidewalk, only to bump into a passerby. He felt a slight sting on his foot as his leg touched the tip of the other man's closed umbrella, but -checking to see and confirming that his suit pants had not been damaged- he did not say a word a continued walking by the man, who had seemingly just walked out of his car without the time to raise and deploy his umbrella. Though he himself did not know it, Periandros A. Eratosthenous had met his end then and there: the umbrella had had a stinger affixed on top of it, which had injected into Eratosthenous' blood what the Pelasgians called the Queen of the Poisons: Aconite, also known in Engellsh as Wolfsbane. The umbrella itself had belonged to a man of the Central State Security Service (YKAK)'s Second General Directorate, particularly the Secret Directorate for Internal Operations (KDEE),Pelasgia's closest thing to a secret police, commonly known in Pelasgian by the first word in its name, Krypteia.

    The particular kind of Aconite used by the Krypteia could only be detected through gas chromatography, a procedure that was very complicated, costly and rare, and would only take place if one was specifically looking for Aconite. Certainly, nobody would suspect the use of Aconite on the Empire's own chief legislator, especially not when YKAK itself, though through another Directorate, was charged with the protection of the Empire's political elite; even if they did, YKAK would make sure the investigation never progressed to that degree. Instead, the poison would cause what would normally appear as a heart attack, with no medical signs of poisoning. Eratosthenous led a highly stressful life, and the recent weeks had been particularly stressful; he also never lead a particularly healthy life or diet, as his less than ideal physique could attest to. A heart attack for such a man would be hardly surprising, if not typical; after all, the legendary Sophokles Krevatas had been killed by such a heart attack -that one had truly been completely natural- at the height of his political power, back in 1957.

    When Eratosthenous would expire later that day, sitting behind his desk at his Senate office in central Propontis, he would be rushed to the 371 Saint George's Imperial Military Hospital, only for the doctors to pronounce him dead of a heart attack. Attempts to revive him would be in vain, since this was far from a natural heart attack, though the attending physicians would be ignorant of this. Finally, once he was pronounced dead, Periandros A. Eratosthenous would be given a full state funeral some days later, with the same people who organised his killing and then climbed atop his corpse giving tear-jerking eulogies about this "great servant of the Pelasgian Nation and the Empire". Nobody would ever learn the truth behind the fate of this two-faced master manipulator of Pelasgian politics; perhaps it was only an exercise in poetic justice that a man whose entire life was based on lies would die in one. "Never judge a man's life before knowing his end," as a popular Pelasgian saying went.
     
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  12. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Sea of Buto-South Thaumatic Ocean border

    The Pelasgian ship Neolcus, named after an industrial port city in Neolcus, near the south end of the Narrow Sea, was one of six large Pelasgian commercial whaling ships currently deployed in the Southern Thaumatic Ocean. The Neolcus, a veritable behemoth of a ship, was the pride of the Pelasgian commercial whaling fleet, and was capable of operating independently for months on end, bringing tonnes of whale meat, oil and other byproducts back to the Empire for sale in Pelasgian and international markets. Not a mere harpoon vessel, but also a whaler factory ship, the Neolcus could convert the meat of the whales into valuable byproducts from the very moment of capture, instead of waiting for a long trip back north. It was the only such ship in the fleet, and was thus a prize asset, that was always closely followed by a security ship, to avoid any attempted interference by unwelcome guests, usually environmentalist and ecologist radicals.

    Of course, the Neolcus had recently attracted quite a lot of publicity; its discovery of a never-before seen species of shark, and its earlier discovery of a giant squid inside a whale which had been captured by another ship and brought on board for processing, had earned the large whaler some international repute on top of its notoriety among environmental activist circles. The Pelasgian government, eager to improve the public image of its whaling fleet through the veil of scientific research, had dispatched two science vessels owned by the non-profit Pelasgian Institute for Oceanic Life Research to accompany the fleet and study some of its more interesting or unique captures on the spot.

    However, the long distance between the Empire's southernmost major port, Outopolis, and the Southern Thaumatic-Buto Sea border region, let alone the deep Southern Thaumatic, made this task quite expensive and difficult. Pelasgian whaling companies were equally faced with such problems, and the hostility of activists, which made it difficult to dock in many foreign ports in the area, did not alleviate this burden. With utmost secrecy, and with quite significant reservations, the Imperial Secretary of State for Internal Himyari Matters, the Imperial Secretary of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries, and the Imperial Secretary of National Education, Religion and Research, had drafted a classified paper recommending a solution to these woes: the establishment of a faraway research and docking station on the Far Southern isles of Himyar.

    The plan, code-named Operation ARKTOS, had been approved by the Throne Council in camera, and had been set in motion the day after the discovery of the mysterious Southern Thaumatic shark was publicised. Three large modified cargo ships, under Pelasgian civil ensigns, were dispatched southward from Outopolis, sent to join the Pelasgian whaling-research fleet near the southern mouth of the Sea of Buto. The ships were loaded with workers, equipment and supplies, and formed part of an ordinary trade convoy until reaching the southern Himyari isles. Once there, they would set anchor and construct a temporary port, unloading supplies, workers and construction materials for Pelasgia to establish its permanent field port, code-named NEOLKOS Naval Station. Further inland, by the port, a small research base with some housing facilities and warehouses would be built, code-named Point ANTIPAS, after the Company's current Governor and Executive Chairman. For now, mostly prefabricated structures filled the area. Gradually, industrial whaling facilities would also be erected, alongside with more permanent habitation and more steady research structures.

    The whole operation was formally not under the jurisdiction of the Pelasgian government, but the sole initiative of the recently and discretely created Pelasgian Southern Himyari Company (PENO). The company, which had been formally established as an Imperial-chartered joint stock company to conduct trade in the region, was owned by wealthy Propontine and Edessine merchants, and was to act as the de facto face of Pelasgian interests in the area, unifying the numerous smaller Pelasgian whaling and trade companies that had been operating in the region; it had also been granted control over and funding for the Pelasgian Institute for Oceanic Life Research. After all, Pelasgia's sole interests in the region was economic and scientific, and the Empire did not want to accidentally give of the vibe of Imperial or territorial ambitions; a research station and whaling factory on an uncivilised and sparsely inhabited island on Himyar's far south were not projects to boast of, and the Empire had no intention of doing so, at least until they were secure.

    To ensure security from any threats, the fleet had been reinforced by two more security ships, essentially civilian-owned versions of the light Type 23 Fast Attack Craft used by the Imperial Pelasgian Navy, called the PENO Tolmeros and the PENO Aniketos, their weaponry covered as their transited the narrow Sea of Buto. Moreover, two company-sized formations of Pelasgian PMCs, called Security Detachments, had been shipped aboard the three cargo vessels. These men, largely former Pelasgian security forces and military, had been directly hired by the PENO to protect its facilities and staff, from any prying eyes or unwelcome guests, as well as from any of the small numbers of Southern Himyari tribals that might attempt to set foot near the island base. So far, the whole area was private corporate facility on stateless ground, which could not be considered Pelasgian territory (not that it had been claimed as such), and had to, formally at least, be protected by PENO itself. Whaling was a lucrative but dangerous business, after all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  13. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Port NEOLKOS, Southern Himyar

    The Treaty of Zarakas, which had abolished the Exarchate of Tephanon and created the rump territory of the Pelasgian Sovereign Base Areas in its stead had seen the largest exodus of Pelasgian colonists and loyal colonial subjects in recent memory. Many have established themselves in the ports of Cassandris and, to a lesser extent, other major port cities of the Empire, seeking a new life as merchants, entrepreneurs and government administrators, or even as simple citizens living under the banner of order and development that the Empire provided. However, the soul of an expatriate is a peculiar thing, and that of a loyal colonist even more so: wherever they go, they try to recreate their home, however a peculiar mix it might be, with one foot always on either side of their cultural heritage. These men and women could never abandon Pelasgia (or, rather, Pelasgianism), but they could never feel at home in Pelasgia proper. They thus took it upon themselves to spread Pelasgianism, Pelasgian civilisation and culture, to the far ends of the world.

    The Tephanese, as they had come to be called in common Pelasgian parlance of recent years, were thus an excellent target for the Pelasgian Southern Himyari Company's charm offensive to recruit new settlers and workers for its commercial outposts: Pelasgian, educated, skilled, loyal, used to living away from home, and always in search of an adventure. Week after week, advertisements in Tephanese Expatriate forums and newspapers proclaimed: "Brave Pelasgian pioneers needed!", "Come make your life anew in the Far South!" and "A new start and endless opportunities await all in Southern Himyar.". Slowly but surely, the messages started working. First a few dozen, then a few hundred, then some thousands had answered the call and sought more information. That figure was expected to grow in the coming weeks and months. For its part, the PHSC had shipped the first batch of essential personnel composed of Tephanese volunteers the first few days after the initial prefabricated or identically-built housing units had been set up in Southern Himyar.

    Among them, was Demokritos Milonas, a jurist from the former Pelasgian colonial admiralty courts in the once busy and bustling commercial port of Zarakas. The task he was called upon to perform in Southern Himyar was not an easy: with no established system of laws, the fledgling settlements needed some sort of legal framework to govern them and settle their disputes; commercial and admiralty cases were particularly important, given that the settlements were essentially a handful of small ports for temporary anchoring and docking piers. Given the lack of established laws and state authority, Milonas and his colleagues would have to make it up as they went, so to speak; taking inspiration from the Engellexic system of binding precedent and stare decisis, of judge-made law, and drawing their legal principles from the general principles of the Pelasgian law which they knew so well, they made arguments and wrote up decisions to issues that came up to them to resolve disputes as best and as efficiently as possible. As long as a decision was firmly grounded in an established principle of Pelasgian law, it could serve as binding precedent for future judges, who had to decide the issue before them in a similar way, unless they could distinguish it in some meaningful way.

    This innovative and groundbreaking experiment in jurisprudence was precisely the sort of unique challenge and opportunity that drew Milonas and so many others to the far southern ends of Himyar; nowhere else was man free to create anew, free from the constraints of the past and overarching burden of millennia-old Tiburo-Pelasgian state. And this was all being done here, in the small partly-prefabricated partly-laconically built courtroom of steel, glass and concrete of the Naval Station of NEOLKOS (often translated as Port NEOLKOS), not in some ivory tower of Propontine Academia or a Propontine High Court. With a renewed sense of purpose and of meaning, Demokritos Milonas awoke one more day, but a week after having arrived in his new home, and began authoring a judgment: "It is a well established principle in the Pelasgian law that preliminary injunctions may be granted in cases that admit of it, that is to say..." It was a well established principle, and he planned to alter it. That was his freedom. A freedom no Pelasgian jurist alive outside of Southern Himyar could know.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
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  14. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Propontis, Optimatoi Theme

    A cool, silent night reigned over Propontis. Only the sound of crickets and the occasional automobile could be heard in the distance, as the relatively insulated palace district's inhabitants slept the just man's sleep. There was, however, one man who did not share this tranquil lethargy: His Imperial Majesty, Isaakios I & V Laskaris, Sovereign of the Pelasgians and Autocrat of the Tiburans. Gazing out the large crystal windows of his personal study, Isaakios looked beyond the bushes and trees of the Imperial Gardens, at the distant view of the brightly lit Patriarchal Cathedral of Divine Providence, the Hagia Pronoia. For centuries, the Cathedral had stood as the emblem of Propontine Imperialdom, withstanding storms, rebellions, wars and sieges. And yet, but a mere six months ago, researchers from the University of Propontis had discovered structural issues with the grand but aging edifice; it needed to be reinforced, and in some ways that could not even be hidden from the common eye. Some sections would have to be closed off from the public, for the first time in over a century. It was perhaps a metaphor for the status of Pelasgia, nay of the Empire. The Empire was one of the oldest, perhaps even the oldest, of Europe's States. It traced its origins directly to Ancient Tibur, whose existence had predated Christ, and it housed cultures which preceded the Son of God by even four thousand years. It was only natural that this edifice of statecraft, so majestic and yet so antiquated, would start to show its one ruptures.

    The last century had been full of such ruptures: Attalian Reforms, the Junta, and the National Schism, which had almost torn the Empire apart. The Pyrgos Accords had stabilised the foundations of the Empire, for a time, but that scaffolding had started to crumble. As the current Constitutional Crisis served to show, the Empire was reached its last days. Pelasgia would survive, for sure. But it would not be the Propontine Empire. It would be another creature: New Pelasgia, as the Nationalists so proudly proclaimed, cheering on as two millennia and more of history ignited around them, in the great funeral pyre of Propontine Imperialdom, and the sacrifical flames that would rebirth the Pelasgian Phoenix. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps it was time for the Eagle to lose its crown. Perhaps that was the only way for Pelasgia to survive, to live on, to achieve great things once more; to escape from the cycle of decline and regain its spot as one of Europe's great powers. The last time Europe had called on Pelasgia to fulfill this role, during the 7 Days War, Pelasgia had instead torn itself apart. That was not the sign of a mighty Empire; that was the swan song of an Empire. And Isaakios' own swan song was beginning to sound.

    Isaakios knew the Senate was planning to dethrone him. The very day that the election results were announced, the legislative leader of the Nationalists, Senator Markopoulos, the very man Isaakios had fought to keep from the Presiding Magistracy, had openly announced the Senate's intent to strip him of the title of Imperator, effectively making him a half-paralyzed Emperor, a lame duck. On Monday, the new Senate would sit; they would introduce the bill, allow for some rudimentary debate (only for everyone but the Loyalists to support the move and for the DKKP, or whatever they called themselves now, to abstain) and then they would pass it with flying colours. This blight, this public humiliation would stain the House of Laskaris for decades, if not centuries to come. He did not have the power to fight; no forces were on his side, and Pelasgia could not survive (and would not tolerate) another coup. Not that the army would support him. Moreover, he had, quite frankly, lost the resolve to fight to stay on a meaningless Throne. Saint George might as well have abandoned him; the Triadic God might as well have rescinded the mandate He had bestowed upon him to rule. He knew very well what needed to be done. It was the last hope for the House of Laskaris to survive, for his eldest son and heir to take the purple, even if a Nationalist-appointed regent would rule in his stead. Isaakios would take the fall, and the Throne would live on. The New Pelasgia would still be an Empire, even if name only, even if the Nationalists made it a Republic in every other sense.

    He picked up the letter he had penned from the table before him and read it one last time:

    ISAAKIOS
    FAITHFUL-IN-CHRIST BASILEUS OF THE PELASGIANS AND AUTOKRATOR OF THE TIBURANS

    A PROCLAMATION

    To all Our loyal subjects and to whomever else it may concern,

    Having given profound consideration to the developments which have recently transpired in Our Realm, and to the grim tidings which the current state of political affairs bears for Our subjects, Our country and Our polity, should it continue on the course which it has so far pursued, We feel that We are obliged by Our conscience and by Our divinely-ordained duty, to take such action as would be needed to rectify this crisis instanter.

    We recognise that recent political developments have injected such profound hostility and mistrust into the political climate of the Realm that it is impossible for Us to perform Our duties as prescribed by the Constitution and as demanded by Our duties. This is because We can no longer act as a neutral and universally respected Sovereign and Head of State for the Empire, but have instead taken a clearly partisan character, which makes it impossible for many mighty political powers in this country to deal with us in a manner impartial and in good faith.

    We are well aware of how prejudicial and noxious such a state of affairs, and the continuation thereof, is to Our polity and Our people, as well as to the Inheritance of our Lord God on this earth. We can, must and therefor do utilise the last measure available to us, to attempt to clear the murky waters of the country's politics, and allow all those involved in the public affairs to act in the best interest of the Realm, without partisan or petty political considerations, in service of God, the Nation and the Law.

    We, Isaakios I & V Laskaris, Faithful-in-Christ Basileus of the Pelasgians and Autokrator of the Tiburans, Great Lord of Pelasgia, Philistaea, Lycaonia, Kyphtic Memphis, Haydis, Peramus, the Archipelago, New Tibur and all of Southern Tibur, Protector of the Holy Tomb and the Holy City of Hierosolyma, Custodian of the Sovereign Base Areas of Cape Saint Nicholas and Dioskouridou Island, Sole Representative of the Holy, Consubstantial and Indivisible Triadic God on earth, Sevastos, Defender of the One True Orthodox Christian Faith, do hereby utterly and irreversibly ABDICATE AND RESIGN all our aforementioned and other titles and offices of state, as of Monday, July 30th, of the Year of Our Lord 2019.

    This we do, as we are empowered by Part III of the Constitution of the Empire, in favour of Our designated heir and successor, the Diadochos, Ioannes Laskaris-Palaiologos, Grand Despot of Leuktron. We pray that the Senate, in all its wisdom, will allow the appointment of Our eldest son to the offices of state which we have hereby resigned. We also pray that the Senate will designate Our beloved and wise Uncle, the Sevastokrator Laonikos Laskaris-Tivyros to act as Regent for our yet underage son, until the latter might be able to rule of his own accord, as prescribed by law.

    May this put an end to the bitter division and hostility which has gripped Our nation these last weeks.

    Hail Saint George, the Dragon-Slaying Martyr!

    Signed and Sealed,

    _________________

    Isaakios I & V Laskaris, son of Ioannes
    By the Grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat


    Taking a deep breath, Isaakios took a pen from the table and signed his Letter of Abdication on the empty line, using the red ink traditionally reserved for Pelasgian Emperors. A golden seal had already been affixed to the previously blank paper, to allow the Emperor to publish declarationsProclamations at a moment's notice. It was done. Emperor Isaakios I & V Laskaris was no more; there was only Isaakios Laskaris, born Antipas. Come dawn, the Imperial family would have already left the Grand Palace for the isle of Prinkeponesos, to avoid the shame of publicly leaving the Seat of the Emperors of Southern Tibur. They would stay on the large isle across from Propontis, until the Senate confirmed the Diadochos' appointment to the Throne. At least, that was what Isaakios hoped they would do. Only God knew whether the Nationalists were willing to trust the third Laskarid Emperor in a decade to play by the rules, and with a Laskarid regent who was brother to Ioannes VII at that. But it was all in God's hands now. Neither Isaakios, nor no man near him, could do anything to stop the tide of history anymore.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  15. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

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    Black Straits, Sea of Buto-Southern Thaumatic Ocean border region

    A whaling group was a truly majestic sight to behold: a group of three massive whaling ships, led by the factory ship, and with a smaller research vessel behind them, their dark black hulls cutting through the stormy and frosty ocean, as their flags and pennants waved violently and their spotlights cut through the stormy sea's foam. The passage of the group was equally impressive for the marine world's inhabitants: loud propellers and even louder sonar pings marked the group's passage. The crew of the ships consisted of rough and hardened men, who had left their comfortable, warm homes near the shores of civilised northern Himyar and come down south to feed their families, or to start life anew. For many in Pelasgia, a sailor's life was the only choice; many Pelasgian families had a tradition of sending of third or fourth son to the navy or the merchant marine, and many other Pelasgians who were social outcasts for one reason or another chose to sail away. Indeed, many more poor young Pelasgians saw this as the only way to escape the misery back home and see the world. Certainly, for those who wound up in the Far Southern whaling fleets, the thrill of the hunt and of taming the mighty high seas was clearly superior to a slow life wasting away in a factory or a construction site.

    The group would make its way to a location with known whale populations and begin its bloody harvest, filling its hulls until no more carcasses could be taken. Most of the carcasses would then be taken to the factory ship, a floating meat factory, where they would be cut and prepared for storage. Some would be sent to the research ship for study, though those were in a small minority. The fleet would then make its way back to port, in this case in one of the rudimentary settlements set up by the Pelasgian Southern Himyari Company (PSHC) in the region, to store the meat and prepare for another run. The creation of the Company's new settlements had certainly made life easier for the whalers, as they would only need to unload their cargo at the southern tip of the continent, instead of having to go all the way to Outopolis, in southern Pelasgia, or having to stop at a foreign port. This would give them more time to rest and resupply at port. Equally, the company would be able to freeze and ship the meat more efficiently, by storing it temporarily in Southern Himyar, and could send its whaling ships out to a new hunt almost right away. Unsurprisingly, profits had skyrocketed.

    However, the southern end of the Sea of Buto, sometimes referred to as the Black Straits due to the darkening of the waters as ships entered the Southern Thaumatic, was not an entirely civilised or safe area, being bordered to the east by the unorganised lands of the Far Southern barbarians, as the Pelasgians referred to the various tribes and nations of local natives. Some of those natives had taken up the practice of piracy, buying rudimentary arms from nearby Himyari ports or smugglers, and boarding boats to attack the various ships traversing the Sea of Buto to cross between the Long Sea and the Southern Thaumatic Ocean. On the first of August 2019, one such group of pirates made its way to attack Whaling Group 9 of the PSHC, which was returning from a successful hunt loaded with all sorts of whale products and remains. The would-be pirates approached the factory ship, which led the small flotilla's advance and begun circling nearby, hoping to catch an opportunity to board. The whalers were generally armed with all sorts of dangerous tools, but these could do little against opponents firearms, though they were generally excellent for deterring overly-zealous environmental activists.

    As one of the small boats broke its circular trajectory and moved closer to the factory ship, a shower of bullets hit it, knocking out two of its occupants and stunning the rest. From the deck of the ship, men clad in blue jackets and coyote tan pants, vests and caps had opened fire with black metallic assault rifles. First a couple, then a dozen, then a few dozen such men appeared on top of the whaling ships. What's more, a small gunboat, flying a Pelasgian civil ensign and the PHSC flag (a blue Southern Cross on a white diamond surrounded by blue triangles) appeared nearby, making its way to the area at high speed. A group of tugboats was deployed from the larger ships, while many of the blue and tan-clad defenders remained on board with their weapons aimed at the pirates. The tugboats made their way towards the attackers' boats, as did the gunboat. Over loudspeakers, the gunboat and the ships broadcast a simple message in a handful of local languages: "Turn off your motors. Surrender and drop your arms. Do not resist."

    As one of the pirate boats neglected to shut off its engine and begun moving away, in the opposite direction from the boat that had attempted to attack the factory ship, the gunboat let of a single burst from its main gun, ripping through the escaping boat and killing or maiming all on board, letting the Southern Thaumatic sharks take care of the rest. Following this display, the pirates conceded and were apprehended rather readily by the PHSC security personnel, who handcuffed them with plastic zippers and put black hoods over their heaps. Being transported to the deck of the factory ship, the men were lined up, with two dozen security personnel opposite them. The commander of the PHSC security detachment, a large pale man with a dark blue shirt that had a yellow armband on the left arm, begun reading out a prepared statement to the men, in Pelasgian, flanked by a translator: "You have all been placed under arrest for piracy and attempted piracy. These are crimes according to the law of all civilised nations and the established customary and treaty-based law of the sea, due to being major violations of the freedom of navigation of the safe passage of commercial ships in peacetime. Moreover, these offences directly violate Bylaws 13, 58 and 143 of the Pelasgian Southern Himyari Company. How do you plead to these charges?"

    A muffled response came up, consisting mostly of mockery and insults, as the 'defendants' refused to plead, or to even acknowledge to corporate PMC commander's authority. The commander turned to the Captain of the factory ship: "Might we consider this a plead of not-guilty?" Legally speaking, any plead other than guilty did constitute a plead of not-guilty, though a refusal to plea would be a more accurate legal concept in this instance. Nevertheless, the Captain nodded in agreement. "As the Captain of this ship, I order that you be detained until such a time as you can be tried for your crimes. Commander, put them in the brig." The commander gladly obliged.

    But a day later, the captured pirates would be at Port NOLKOS to be tried for their crimes before a PHSC Court of Admiralty. Two days later, they would be hanged by the neck until death without much ceremony, their bodies being transferred to a small islet near the Black Straits and left there, hanging, to rot, as a warning to all pirates. Next to the bodies a simple sign was left with the same inscription in all local languages and languages of major maritime nations: "PIRATES". Above the inscription stood the dark blue Southern Cross of the PHSC. The point had been made, and would increasingly be made. The PHSC, reinforced with a strong security apparatus, was determined to stamp out piracy in the area, to open it for business and settlement. As the PHSC's presence in the region grew, piracy would only be dealt with more harshly.
     
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  16. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    2,297
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Capital:
    Propontis
    Nick:
    Demos
    Classified location, somewhere under the surface of the High Seas

    The sailors aboard the Pelasgian Delphin-class nuclear attack submarine (SSN) Salachion gathered around the boat's integrated secure radio. Tuning into the frequency of the Pelasgian Armed Forces Radio, the men prepared to hear news of the developments back at home. As music began to play, one of the men realised that they had tuned into the wrong frequency, that of the Pelasgian Armed Forces' music channel, instead of the news channel. However, the song being played was enough to give away what had happened at home: "The Cyan Army is the mightiest", referring to the cyan colour of the Nationalist or Bluecoat faction of the Pelasgian National Schism, also known as "Black is the Doux, Gold is the Army" was playing on the radio. The Nationalists' victory was being broadcasted loud and clear for all to hear.


    Μαύρος ὁ δούκας, χρυσὴ ἡ στρατιά
    Black is the doux ("duke", commander), gold is the army
    Mavros o doukas, chrysi i stratia


    Ποὺ πολεμάει τὴν ἐργατιά,
    Which fights against the working man
    Pou polemaei tin ergatia,


    Μὰ ἀπ’ τ’ Ἀρχιπέλαγο ὠς τὰ βουνά
    But from the Archipelago to the mountains
    Ma ap' t' Archipelago os ta vouna


    Κράτιστη εἶν’ ἡ Κυανὴ Στρατιά.
    The Cyan Army is the mightiest.
    Kratisti ein i Kyani Stratia.


    Refrain:

    Γι’ αὐτὸ καὶ ὕψωσε τὸ λάβαρό μας
    Thus raise our banner
    Gi' afto kai ypsose to lavaro mas


    Κι ἔλα καὶ ῥίξου καὶ σὺ ἐδῶ,
    And come here and throw yourself too
    Ki ela kai rixou kai sy edo,


    σὲ μία μάχη ποὺ θε νὰ κρίνει
    into a battle which shall decide
    se mia machi pou the na krinei


    τὸν νικητὴ καὶ τὸν νεκρό!
    the victorious and the dead!
    ton nikiti kai ton nekro!


    Κυανὲ Στρατέ μου τράβα ἐμπρὸς
    My Cyan Army go forth
    Kyane Strate mou trava embros


    ΄σένα καλεὶ ὁ Ἀρχιστράτηγος,
    the Marshal is calling you
    'sena kalei o Archistratigos,


    Τὶ ἀπ’ τ’ Ἀρχιπέλαγο ὠς τὰ βουνά
    For from the Archipelago to the mountains
    Ti ap' t' Archipelago os ta vouna


    Κράτιστη εἶν’ ἡ Κυανὴ Στρατιά.
    The Cyan Army is the strongest.
    Kratisti ein i Kyani Stratia.


    Refrain.
     
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  17. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    2,297
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Capital:
    Propontis
    Nick:
    Demos
    Chrysoupolis, Optimatoi Eparchy

    Chrysoupolis was best known in Pelasgian and abroad as the seat of the Chrysoupolitan Council, officially known as the First Ecumenical Council, that formulated the official dogma of the Christian Church, including the well-known Chrysoupolitan Creed (known in older Englesch versions as the Chrysopolitine Creed). It was there, away from the daily commotion and perpetual vanity of the temporal world that the powerful Orthodox Church had placed the seat of the institution that would ensure its continuation through the education and production of new clergymen and theologians: the Theological School of Chrysoupolis, also known abroad as the Great Chrysoupolis Seminary. secluded and away from the distractions of the material world, the devotees of the One True Triadic God could devote themselves to the study of the Holy Scriptures, the writings of the Fathers of the Church and the Saints, the Lives of the Saints and all the other innumerable tomes that made up the Orthodox Christian corpus. Even as urbanisation and modernity advanced on Chrysoupolis from across the Propontine Straits, the perpetually growing metropolis across the straits gripping its tentacles of expansion and growth on an ever greater part of the region, the Seminary remained secluded and relatively untouched, protected by spiritual rather than physical walls.

    So many centuries after the conversion of Tibur and the Tiburan World to Christianity, the Church still held a powerful stranglehold on the Pelasgian psyche. There was no well-bred Pelasgian who did not kiss the hand of a priest upon seeing him; there was no Pelasgian school, public building or even train without a Christian icon, let alone a private home; there was now town without a Church, and indeed there were some chapels located in parts of Pelasgia that were otherwise completely uninhabited. Everything in Pelasgia ground to a halt on Sundays, on Easter, and on Christmas, without exception. Nobody even dared to sell meat during lent, not out of fear of criminal sanction, but out of pure shame, of fear of social exclusion, and of existential dread. Any talk and act of modernisation aside, Pelasgia was as Christian a country in the Year of our Lord 2019 as it was one century before then. The Pelasgian of even the smallest settlement often looked up to three authorities for direction: the Teacher, the Constable and the Priest. No amount of reform would ever change that, not that anyone had dared to try.

    For this exact reason, every earthly ruler in Pelasgian history had made sure to keep the Church, or at least a sizeable faction of it, on their side: the Emperors had the High Clergy and the Patriarchate, the Dynatoi had the Monks, the 19th century Republicans had the Orthodox Reformers, the Junta had the National Clergy and the Nationalists had flirted with both the Patriarchate and the New Reformers. Even the leftists of Pelasgia did not break with the Church; in leftist circle it was not uncommon to see a man chant "Winds, Storms" with one breath, cursing churches and crowns, and piously recite the Troparion of the True Cross with another. Church officials were highly conscious of this reality; in addition to being a great theologian and a man of profound piety and devotion to the Divine, one had to be an excellent politician, even a statesman, to ascend the ranks of the Great Church of Christ in Propontis. In fact, whereas Pelasgia as a state had always seen days of weak statecraft, the Church had never been through such a lack of political talent. There was no period in Pelasgian history where the Church was not actively present, sometimes even more so than the state.

    Ecumenical Patriarch Neophytos X was well aware of this reality, as had been all of his successors. And as the example of his direct predecessor, deposed and exiled by an enraged Emperor, served to showcase, carefully managing political realities was a major part of the daily work of any Ecumenical Patriarch. Neophytos had visited the Great Chrysoupolis Seminary to lecture the students there about the theological implications of recent political events, and the relationship between Caesar and God in Christian theology. That was the official story at least. More importantly, though, the Ecumenical Patriarch had come to Chrysoupolis to consult with the Seminary's Dean, the Reverend Nikodemos of Neapolis, a man whose age, wisdom and understand of Pelasgia's every shifting political chessboard surpassed all leading clerics still alive. The Reverend Dean had told him the same thing he had begrudgingly come to understand himself: that Emperors had come and go without changing Patriarchs, but that every new Dynasty always did away with the old Patriarch and rooted another, more consistent with the ideology it would use to justify its rule. "The Republic," he had said, "is but another Dynasty. Make no mistake, Your All-Holiness: if you do not convince the Nationalists that they can rely on you, you will be replaced. And I fear for what the ideology of your successor might mean for the Church."

    Reflecting on the words of the Reverend Dean, the elderly hierarch fixed his gaze on the large 13th century icon of Jesus teaching the Apostles, which hang above the fireplace at the apartments reserved for the Patriarch, when he visited. First among the Apostles was Saint Andrew, the first Patriarch, a precedence which had earned him the title "the First-Called" in Christian theology. In his hand, he held a letter written to him by the Speaker of the Boule of Representatives, Konstantinos Markopoulos.

    "... It is an undeniable fact of our country's history that the Church has never been absent from Pelasgian public life. It is for this reason that Pelasgian public life never has been and therefore cannot be absent from the Church. As such, I am obliged to inform Your All-Holiness that the National Government can no longer ignore You All-Holiness' stance on the matter of Pelasgia's Political Transition. Your All-Holiness' comments have ranged from apparent disinterest to open opposition for the 'deposition of God's duly-appointed and anointed Viceroy on Europe', as you told young boys and girls at a Christian summer camp near Dekeleia recently. With all due respect, I must urge Your All-Holiness against such intransigence. Change in the Constitution is both inevitable and desirable, for the benefit of the Nation. Pelasgia remains committed to being God's State on Europe, but we cannot do that if our Church refuses to recognise the evolution of our Polity. I must remind Your All-Holiness that you are the Republic's chief minister for spiritual matters, as you were once the Emperor's. The deposition of Isaakios Laskaris has not elevated Your All-Holiness to a status of independence, or of being God's representative on Europe. It is the Republic that has taken up the mantle of doing God's will on Europe, as outlined in Part I of the Constitution, and it is therefore Your All-Holiness' duty to serve the Republic as best as possible. If this intransigence persists, the Common Parliament shall be forced to consider other measures to ensure that the duties of Your All-Holiness' most ancient and important office are fulfilled properly. [...]"

    The Nationalists could not so easily depose him, not with the same legitimacy as the Emperor, who was God's anointed Viceroy on Europe. But perhaps that was precisely what they would seek to accomplish by doing away with him: that the Republic was the former Emperor's equal, and it could act in God's name as well as he. That would be a point worth doing away with a Patriarch over.

    In the end, Neophytos would have to make his choice once and for all sooner rather than later: would he serve the Throne which he had defended as the repository of God's Will on Europe all his life; or would he serve the Republic which had bestowed upon itself, nay usurped, that Divine Mandate. The clock was ticking.
     
  18. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    2,297
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Capital:
    Propontis
    Nick:
    Demos
    Chrysoupolis, Metropolis of Propontis, Optimatoi Eparchy

    Built in the affluent section of the port of Chrysoupolis, across from Propontis, Koressios Palace (or Megaron Koressiou) stood as one of the most emblematic edifices of the area, its ornate marble facade adorned with countless representations of mythical scenes, pilasters and other decorative features meant to emit wealth and opulence. As its name suggested, the Palace had been erected at the direction and on account of Lord Georgios Koressios of the Island of Kolouri almost two centuries ago, to serve as his residence near the Imperial capital. Lord Koressios had then served as the Empire's Chief Minister and was one of the Empire's early modernising entrepreneurs, investing in both banking and trade, as well as the railway industry. His first successful entreprise had been the industrialisation of the export of Pelasgian raisins, earning him the nickname "the Raisin Despot", a fact commemorated by a depiction of a plate of raisins in one of the frescoes at the building's hall.

    More importantly, however, the building had come to serve quite another end, one to which its purely Pelasgian architecture (the building was built in an extremely purist classical-revival style) made it perfectly suited. Following the deposition of the Empire and the proclamation of the First Republic in the mid-19th century, the building had been donated by the House of Koressios to the Society of the Phoenix, also known by its Pelasgian name: ἡ Ἐταιρεία τοῦ Φοίνικος (i Etaireia tou Phoinikos), to serve as the Society's new headquarters. The precise origins of the society remain unknown to most Pelasgians, even those within the body. Some say that the Society was the creation of 19th-century patriots among Pelasgia's elite wishing to see Pelasgia modernise and regain its status as a major world power, directing Pelasgia's reformation from the shadows. Others saw the Society as the descendant of far older secret societies, some citing the very first secret cults founded after the suppression of Paganism by the Empire's authorities as its source. Others, still, claimed a far older source, that of the mystical cults of ancient Pelasgia, which they claimed the Society aimed to revive.

    For many Pelasgians, the existence of the society as anything but a scholarly club of those in Pelasgia's elite who aspoused a certain nationalist ideology remained an obscure urban myth. The Society itself had ensured that inquiries into its nature and origins were discouraged by whatever means necessary; of course, the clout the Society of the Phoenix carried within Pelasgia was enough to make some suggestions or even mild threats enough for any inquiry to stop. In reality, even many lower members of the Society ignored its ends and roots. According to apocryphal tales one such member, who had since disappeared with no trace in such a way that many doubted his existence, had supposedly endeavoured to find these out. To this end, he had secretly abused the confidence of a higher-up mentor taken out one of the tomes recording the Society's story. From what he had discovered, the Society had taken its modern form in 1789, being the merger of a whole array of other secret Pelasgian patriotic societies. The Society's predecessors preceded it by decades, centuries and -if the book was to be believed- even millennia in the case of two societies which claimed direct descent from Pelasgian mystic cults. The Society of the Phoenix had been founded in 1789, somewhere in Old Pelasgia, with the goal of promoting and defending Pelasgianism despite the suppression of any national and ethnic identity and loyalty by the Empire's authorities, in the nascent days of modern nationalism. The Society defined Pelasgianism as Pelasgian civilisation, culture, spirituality and nationhood, which it viewed as superior to any other and sought to advance the world over, to usher in a new Pelasgistic Age and "rebirth the Phoenix from its ancient ashes". Of course, the apocryphal tale remained just that: a tale. But who was to say it wasn't at least partly true?

    Assembled in a large, ornate salon at the centre of the Koressios Palace, the leaders of the Society gathered one more time to decide and guide the future of their country. Their identities were unknown to any but themselves, though they were all powerful Pelasgian noblemen and notables from Old Pelasgia. All the men were dressed in evening dress, being only distinguished by a ring bearing the Pelasgian Phoenix; the same Phoenix, in gold, could be found over their heads on the ceiling of the room.

    Standing from his seat, the Secretary of the Society, Lord Theodotos Metaxas spoke first, bringing the meeting to order:
    "Brothers, we are all assembled here, in service of the Light of Pelasgianism to see how to best serve it in light of recent events. I know that we all have much to say, but I pray that we respect order of precedence and seniority as we always have."

    Chatter seized, and the senior-most of the men, Lord Ioannis Alousianos took the floor:
    "Brothers, a lot has transpired since our last meeting, though so little time has elapsed. The Republic which has been born not even a month ago is still young and it's already gasping for life. Some of you had pointed out that our men in the political class might have acted too hastily, and perhaps you were right. But now that the barrier of the Laskarids has been lifted, there is nothing keeping us from progressing onto more important concerns, if we are to ensure to the safety and prosperity of Pelasgia. The Republic was and is a tool; if, or when, it outlives its use, we shall discard it and replace it. Be it Crown, Parliament or Courthouse that rules Pelasgia in name, Pelasgia shall still be Pelasgia, and we will still guide its course. The current calamity shall pass soon enough, which shall allow us to focus on bigger issues to our east. The Crypt has been allowed to fester for far too long. I shall yield the floor to my learned brother, Lord Georgios Diogenis."

    Lord Georgios Diogenis, the only man second only to Alousianos in seniority, took the floor in turn:
    "Brothers, I have no doubt that many have pondered at the words of Lord Alousianos, both last time and this time, and thought at how radical, and thus perhaps damaging to stability, the necessary adjustments will have to be. To calm this calamity, a lot will have to change in fact and some even in theory, though much will remain the same in theory. But this calamity is good and even necessary, for it will allow us to steer a better course and it will force the ignorant masses and the foolish middlemen to recognise the necessity of the path we will steer the country towards. They need not know who the navigator is, as long as he can carry them out of the storm. And carry them we will. There is a lot to talk of with regards to Hermessos; but first, we must deal with how to replace the useless Council with a symbol of unity that is more efficient and more manageable. The same needs to be done with those professional talkers at the Boule, and a Senate more akin to the very first Senate of Tibur might be of use to that end. Once it reaches its ideal form, its membership will overlap significantly with ours, so that whoever rules the country can finally have direct advice from the truest of sources. The more pressing question then is who that de facto ruler will be. I, for one, have several candidates in mind..."
     
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  19. Pelasgia

    Pelasgia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    2,297
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Capital:
    Propontis
    Nick:
    Demos
    Federal City of Propontis, Pelasgia
    Propontis Directorate for Public Secutrity
    Department for the Persecution of Electronic Crimes
    Main Server Room - Automated Detection System

    Indirect access to unauthorised foreign website detected.
    Retrieving domain information...
    >Restricted Website No. 313,241
    >Address: www.goldmarket.lg
    >Country: Loago, Republic of
    >Restriction status: Schedule III Prohibited Domain
    >Infractions: Multiple 4139/2003, 384A, 187A, 154 violations* [complete list]
    >Flagging agency: GDDA, YKAK, GDDA (DPP)**

    Initiate tracking of offender...
    Bypassing illegal virtual private network...
    Bypassing illegal IP masking suite...
    Identifying IP...
    >IP no: 176.**.**.50
    >ISP: Pelasgian Telecommunications Society S.A. (POT A.E.)
    >Registered owner: Papamikos Evangelos, son of Vasileios
    >Location: 44 Kavou Street appt. 6, Velona Borough, Iolcus, Pelagision Eparchy, 15003

    Retrieving profile of registered owner...
    >Individual: Papamikos Evangelos, son of Vasileios
    >Natural persons registry no: 345.617.012-33
    >Date & place of birth: 23/07/2000, Iolcus (Pelasgia)
    >Civic status: Citizen by descent, Pelasgian national (P1)
    >Residence: 44 Kavou Street #6, Platania Borough, Iolcus, Pelagision Eparchy, 15003
    >Civil status: Single
    >Military status: Completed service, unarmed due to mental health issues (I5)
    >Employment status: Enrolled in trade school, full-time (Institution no: 13,450)

    Retrieving police profile...
    >Individual: Papamikos Evangelos, son of Vasileios
    >Outstanding warrants: No
    >Outstanding fines: No
    >Past convictions: No
    >Gun permit: No
    >Known to police: Yes
    >Additional targeting info: (GDDA/DPP) - Associated with "Long, Hot Winter" activities in Propontis 2 months ago. Potential group leadership role. Non-ideological, self-interested involvement.

    Evaluating...
    Evaluation: Criminal infraction. Class 3 offender.
    Notifying units...

    "Attention all units. Dispatch reports 4411/2006* in progress in designated location. All available units, respond. Class 3. Code: contain, apprehend, document, sever."


    *Numbers of Penal Code articles (384A=child pornography, 187A=terrorism, 154=illegal trade in arms) and numbers of Acts of the Common Parliament (4139/2003=Restricted and Dependency-Inducing Substances Act, 4411/2006=National Electronic Security and Information Technology Systems Security Act) breached.
    **Acronyms of Pelasgian security services/forces (GDDA=General Directorate for Public Security, YKAK=Central State Security Service, DPP=Directorate for the Protection of the Constitution - a specialised GDDA directorate)




    Iolcus, Pelagision Eparchy
    Evangelos, known among his friends by the common diminutive "Vangelis", was not a particularly good student, despite being admittedly rather smart and skilled at electronics and mathematics. He had, however, always been rather socially apt and popular. Though he had often good in trouble since a young age, he had always managed to put himself at the head of whatever student movement he could find, escaping the law mostly unscathed partly due to a mix of good luck and partly due to leniency due to his -then- young age and his family's status. Unsurprisingly, he had managed to wiggle his way into the Iolcus Student Union, having cynically made the best of the "Long, Hot Winter" protests while avoiding any real harm to himself (or so he thought, being completely ignorant of the police records regarding his involvement).

    With the same confidence as ever, he prepared all the necessary supplies for a large party him and other members of the Union were preparing: plenty of alcohol, quality music, a ample supply of popular students and... some pills to spice things up. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, often simplified to MDMA and commonly known as "Ecstasy" was the new hot stuff. In a country as draconian as Pelasgian with regard to narcotics, searching for such substances online was bound to earn you a visit by the local authorities, which would not end well. It was but a couple of years since Pelasgian authorities had hanged a set of drug smugglers, some of them foreign, caught at Embasis. God knows how many more Pelasgian traffickers had met a similar end with much less global publicity, while their clients found themselves jailed. But Vangelis was smarter than that lot: he had consulted with an equally socially dysfunctional friend who was highly involved with Anarchist circles and thus more technologically inclined (the only way to engage with such things online in Pelasgia and survive was to be skilled with technology). His friend had directed him towards a particular VPN which would take care of all his problems. Of course, Vangelis was smarter than that man too, and had found a cheaper version. For the past few hours, Vangelis had been engaged in conversation trying to secure a deal.

    Suddenly, he heard knocks at the door and the voice of his sister and roommate, Elena. "Vangelis! Come here right now! The police are at the door!" she shouted angrily, having been awoken from her Sunday sleep. Vangelis froze in his chair... there was no way they could know. As he stayed in his chair, he could hear the sound of multiple footsteps making their way towards his room, inside the small Iolcian student apartment. He heard the sound of radios and voices coming closer and closer: "Affirmative, dispatch, we are 10-23. We will 10-19 momentarily."
     
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